to Veggie Zone:
one-stop resource for the what, why and how of vegetarianism!
you're a vegan, aspiring vegetarian, or hardcore Burger King enthusiast
just curious about "the other side," everyone's welcome at
Veggie Zone. I really appreciate your taking
a bit of your time to have a look around the site. After over 15 years
of being a veggie, I continue to get a tremendous number of questions
about my vegan lifestyle so, hopefully, we'll be able to address many
of them here.
are so many aspects of our lives on this planet - from our physical
health, to the issue
of ethics where the treatment of animals is concerned,
to our world
ecology - that are so profoundly affected by
what we eat, we must take a closer look at our food choices. Veggie
Zone has been set up to take you through these three primary
areas of concern as they relate to vegetarianism, give you some specific
ideas on how you might integrate some vegan concepts into your lifestyle,
and then provide you with links to other sites where you can get further
information and support.
the way - and solely in the spirit of our being on a journey to a more
evolved, peaceful existence - I hope to challenge your thinking. After
all, one of the hallmarks of human evolution is the constant reconsidering,
reevaluating and reprioritizing that we all must go through as part
of the process. And I propose that there are many things we do, foods
we eat, products we use and clothing we wear - en masse - that are out
of alignment with the highly-evolved model of peace and compassion that
I know we are inherently destined to achieve as a race.
to our cultural conditioning and a variety of outside influences, most
people are not only left in the dark about the many ramifications of
an animal product-based diet, but are actually thinking that much of
that food is good for them. Meanwhile, hospitals around the world are
packed like the Palm Springs Marriott on the Fourth of July, with patients
whose arteries are clogged with animal fat, or whose organs are ravaged
with cancer, or whose bones are brittle with osteoporosis (and, yes,
the list goes on), most of whom don't even consider that their health
crisis might be linked to their diet. Those not laid up - or laid to
rest - are generally dealing with a myriad of other ailments that are
virtually nonexistent in the plant-based foods societies, but that have
come to be accepted as status quo in ours. We'll discuss the superior
nutritional aspects of the vegan diet in great detail in the For
Your Health section of Veggie Zone.
the same time, the world at large is completely oblivious to the
horrors that take place in our factory farm system, in the production
of animal-based clothing, in our many vivisection (animal testing)
laboratories, or even as a result of some of our "harmless"
cultural activities. Throughout Veggie Zone,
we'll be dealing with the cold, hard realities of vegetarianism
and veganism as they relate to the treatment of animals. Some of
the facts here will not be pretty...but then again, neither are
the far-reaching consequences of an animal product-based diet or
a lifestyle that contributes to the exploitation of our fellow animal
I encourage you to proceed anyway and read up on everything in the
For the Animals
section; it is the product of many years of study and research that
I (and others) have done. I would also encourage you to view the photos
there. This is the truth. What you choose to do with this truth is up
to you, but at least give it the benefit of your honest evaluation and
the way, should you prefer to just read the information and not view
the photos - which are no doubt unsettling - don't worry. All of the
more graphic images are arranged on the site in such a way that you
will be prompted to click on a link to view them.)
many folks are unaware of the connection between the food we eat and
its direct effect on our environment. In the For
the Planet section, we'll take a look at how the draining
and polluting of many of our natural resources from around the world
are directly attributable to the multi-billion dollar operations responsible
for bringing animal products to the local store and restaurant. And,
believe me, this information is not to be dismissed as some kind of
speculative jibber-jabber thrown together by a bunch of "tree-hugging
flower children." This is very real, well documented stuff that
directly affects our water, land and air. So check it out, and let's
at least go in with our eyes wide open as we contemplate our food, clothing
and lifestyle choices.
Your Way Around Veggie Zone
You'll notice that we've segmented the site into six main sections.
The icon/links at the left of each page will give you immediate access
to any other section, from anywhere on the site. Additionally, for fast
reference, we offer a brief overview of what's covered in each section
and even give you the ability to jump ahead to any particular area of
interest. There's a lot of information here and we want you to be able
to navigate your way around quickly and easily.
the best way to initially experience Veggie Zone
is to move through each of the six sections sequentially. This will
give you a complete, big-picture understanding of vegetarianism, enabling
you to see the "interrelatedness" of its compelling facets.
So, at the bottom of each section is a link to the next one, allowing
you to move seamlessly from section to section.
what we'll be covering in this Introduction
section (click on the Go link to
skip ahead to a particular topic):
Vegetarians, strict vegetarians and vegans defined Go
2. What is veganism all about? Go
3. But what about the food? Veggie Food is Delicious! Go
4. My experience Go
5. Who else has been a vegetarian? Go
6. General Information: Commonly asked questions about veganism, who
is Bobby Rock, e-mail Bobby Go
strict vegetarians and vegans defined
If I had a nickel for every time I heard, read, or disproved a misconception
about vegetarianism, Bill Gates could be my butler. The fallacies surrounding
the vegetarian lifestyle, combined with the rampant untruths and misinformation
about animal products, make for a relatively unenlightened society where
food choices are concerned. This is more than a little astonishing to
me as bona fide scientific studies, tests, and other forms of evidence
mount up each year.
One of the first misconceptions about vegetarianism to address is what
a vegetarian actually is.
vegetarian is one who abstains from all flesh foods. There can
be a further distinction in classification by saying lacto-vegetarian
- for those who consume dairy products like milk and cheese; or ovo-vegetarian
- for those who consume eggs; or even lacto/ovo-vegetarian - for those
who consume both dairy products and eggs. Under no circumstances,
however, would a vegetarian diet include chicken, turkey, fish or any
other kinds of sea creatures.
or total vegetarian
is one who abstains from all animal products, including dairy and eggs.
A vegan (pronounced vee-gun) is one who follows a strict vegetarian
diet, and also (by literal definition), avoids:
1. wearing animal-based clothing (leather, wool, silk, fur, etc.)
2. using consumer goods containing animal products or that have involved
3. supporting events or institutions (like the circus, rodeo or even
the zoo) that exploit and/or harm animals in any way.
Obviously, there are many varying degrees by which a "vegan"
might abide by the above criteria and, of course, there are no vegan
police running around to site a purported vegan's indiscretion. But
the point is, the vegan approach is more of a total lifestyle commitment
where the individual aspires to make a consistent statement of compassion
for all living creatures. So, with veganism being the sort of "final
frontier" of vegetarianism, you'll notice that the philosophies,
biases and suggestions in Veggie Zone are
all vegan friendly.
What is veganism all
The basic premise of veganism is this: as we continue to evolve spiritually,
we begin to recognize a heightened sense of interconnectedness among
ALL living things. The periphery of whom or what we feel deeply connected
to expands beyond our inner circle of family and friends to include
all of our fellow humans and, ultimately, our fellow creatures of the
earth. Accordingly, as a more evolved society, we've outgrown certain
philosophical and lifestyle ideals that were largely unquestioned in
the past. One of these ideals was that animals are here on earth primarily
for our benefit in the form of food, clothing, transportation and even
entertainment. The vegan lifestyle aspires beyond this outdated paradigm
as it expresses a more compassionate and harmonious understanding of
animals' roles in this world and we acknowledge that our animal "brothers
and sisters" are to be treated with respect and love, much like
our fellow humans.
is why vegans go to extremes to avoid all animal-based foods, clothing
and consumer goods and do not support any events or institutions
that exploit and/or harm animals in any way. By avoiding these things,
we are not only doing our part in saving animals from suffering
and death, but we are also saying, in effect, enough. We
are no longer going to support these entities and perpetuate the
unspeakable cruelties these animals are forced to endure. In this
way, our lives become nonverbal statements of peace and compassion.
human being is a part of the whole called the "universe,"
a part limited in space and time. He experiences himself, his
thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a
kind of optical delusion of...consciousness. This delusion is
a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires
and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must
be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of
compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature
in all its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely,
but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the
liberation and a foundation for inner security.
what about the food? Veggie Food is Delicious!
Another misconception about vegetarianism is that if you embrace
the lifestyle, you'll be stuck eating bland, boring entrees and chewing
on "health bars" that would make styrofoam seem appetizing.
Again, this notion is at least 15 years past its prime. Why? Supply
and demand, my friends. Vegetarianism has transcended a number of stereotypes
to now include a broad contingent of folks from around the world and
every walk of life. There are literally millions of us just in North
America alone. And guess what? Just like everyone else, we have to eat
and are prepared to buy food!
So now, with all of these hungry vegetarians running around looking
for tasty things to eat, manufacturers, stores and restaurants are all
vying for a piece of that action...which creates a sense of competition...which
raises the bar line of quality, etc. The time-tested vegetarian standby
of brown rice and broccoli is only scratching the surface of the multitude
of food choices now available. And I mean available everywhere. I travel
all over the place, all the time and, let me tell you, I'm not always
cruising through some cultural epicenter. I'm in Springfield, Missouri;
Meridian, Mississippi; White River, Vermont; etc., and yet, I can find
things to eat anywhere, no problem. It's easy...you just have to know
where to look.
In fact, I like to compare the health food movement to the health club
movement. Think about what the initial stereotype of going to a gym
was all about 30+ years ago: hangin' out in some dungeon-like environment
with a bunch of grunting, sweating "lunkheads," relegated
to using primarily barbells and dumbbells amidst tattered benches, rusted
plates and a lone Universal machine.
then what happened? More people got hip to the benefits of weight training
and the demographic began to broaden. Gradually, "regular folks,"
like accountants, retailers and homemakers began to take an interest
in resistance training, so the industry began to diversify as Nautilus
and other such high tech gear came onto the scene, along with treadmills,
indoor tracks, saunas, juice bars and designated aerobic rooms. Many
even went through cosmetic overhauls, as well, opting for a more modern,
sleeker feel. In short, gyms became mainstream "health clubs"
and, in the same sense, health food has become much more mainstream
and ubiquitous. The diversity and quality of these foods is impressive.
the What to Do
section of Veggie Zone, we'll give you a variety of delicious dining
options for eating at home, as well as at your local restaurant. We'll
also discuss a variety of practical ways in which you can support the
vegan cause in other aspects of your lifestyle.
My Experience with Veganism
be honest; back in my meat-eating days, I had little patience
with those "pansy-assed" vegetarian people and their
bizarre animal rights jive. I was just the last one to ever feel
like the movement had any real validity, especially as a dedicated
weightlifter hell-bent on high animal protein consumption. (And
if there has ever been a single population of people conditioned
to believe that animal protein is an absolute must for muscular
and strength development, it's the gym rats!)
when I eventually began to educate myself about it all, I was
more than a little knocked out by what I discovered...and so began
My personal experience with vegetarianism has been dramatic. In over
15 years on the path, the numerous physical benefits have resulted in
an overall greater level of health, with more energy, power and endurance
in all of my daily activities, including weightlifting, drumming and
I've also noticed that I simply don't require as much rest time as a
vegan, easily averaging two to three hours less sleep per night than
when I was eating animal products. And while my average "work day"
is usually around 20 hours, I can routinely push it from 24 to 30, no
problem, if scheduling gets particularly hectic.
of illness, any kind of digestive/elimination disorders, the flu, etc.,
have been all but non-existent for me, and I have to attribute that
in large part to my vegan diet. I've also noticed things like shinier
hair, a clearer complexion, stronger nails and an improved natural hygiene.
of the intangibles have been a mental clarity and renewed spiritual
connection that's difficult to describe. I'm convinced that we "vibrate"
at a different frequency when unencumbered with the heaviness of animal
products in our diets. I'm definitely not alone in this observation
as many spiritual sects (from the Seventh Day Adventists to a number
of Eastern-based religious practices) live this truth. There are even
a number of biblical references to vegetarianism.
know I could never go back. The vegan lifestyle is compassionate and
considerate of all living things which, to me, is most congruent with
any kind of lifestyle that promotes peace, harmony and one's self-actualization
on the spiritual path. It's also far and away the healthiest, as consistent
energy levels, sustained peak performance capabilities and freakishly
low cholesterol levels can attest to. (The last time I had a blood test,
the nurse told me I had the second lowest cholesterol level she had
ever seen.) And, of course, the vegan lifestyle is most economical with
regard to the usage and protection of our earthly resources, as we'll
talk about in the For the Planet section.
Who else has been a vegetarian?
If you think vegetarianism is just the rhetoric of the obscure or flighty,
consider that, in addition to the millions of individuals from all walks
of life that practice it now, there have been many influential people
throughout history that have opted for the vegetarian lifestyle. Some
include: Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, Buddha, Mohammed, Leo
Tolstoy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Darwin, Albert Schweitzer, Socrates,
Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire, Sir Isaac Newton, Henry David Thoreau, George
Bernard Shaw, Pythagoras and Gandhi, to name a few.
out the "Famous Vegetarians" link in the Veggie
Links section of the site for an extensive listing of renowned
here are a few pop-up pages that might be of interest to you. (We also
offer these links at the bottom of each section of Veggie Zone):
asked questions: Here is where I answer some of the most commonly
asked questions about veganism.
Bobby Rock: Here is some biographical information about me, for
those of you who may be wondering who the hell I am!
Bobby: Here is my e-mail address. Feel free to write...I love hearing
from folks. Just keep in mind that I'm not always able to respond.
of the diet and lifestyle concepts we'll be covering throughout Veggie
Zone are discussed in further detail in my upcoming book, Rock
Solid Fitness . For now, though,
let's get started by talking more specifically about how vegetarianism
and veganism can benefit you from a health standpoint.
to For Your Health
- - About
Bobby Rock - - Commonly
Asked Questions - -
Acres Page - -E-mail
Bobby - - Rights
vs. Welfare Essay