Plant-based diets to save the environment and ourselves

Who Is Howard Lyman? Cattle Rancher Gone Plant-based

By Don's Early Light, Donald J. Brix, Ph.D. 

In case you don’t know, I won’t keep you in suspense a moment longer. Howard Lyman is a former Montana cattle rancher, now approaching elderliness. He grew up on his family’s ranch, a sizable operation which he eventually took over and made larger. A spinal tumor that came close to paralyzing him resulted in his beginning to question his way of eating, a super-sized version of the high-fat Standard American Diet.

Over the span of a year or so, Lyman became a vegetarian, then a low-fat vegan, lost 130 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by 150 points. Eventually he became a four-square, outspoken advocate for plant-based nutrition. Wrote a book, The Mad Cowboy.

During an appearance on the Oprah Show, reacting to what Lyman was saying about mad cow disease, Oprah made her memorable comment about never eating another hamburger. So, you’ve probably heard of Howard Lyman but just forgot his name. He’s the one who, along with Oprah, was sued by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. After a five week trial in Amarillo, Oprah and Lyman prevailed.

Sidebar: a Texas psychologist, Phil McGraw, was hired by Oprah’s side to help with jury selection. Oprah was impressed and thus was born Dr. Phil, who went on to become a household name. Where would the Doc be today if not for Howard Lyman?

About the book: I bought my copy at Half Price Books, but you may save money buying it used from Amazon. Here’s a small Smorgasbord of appetizers from the book, plant-based of course.

“Humanity is rich in folly, but it’s hard to think of a folly more mind-bogglingly stupendous than that of transforming infinitely rich, diverse, dense jungle into desert in a few years’ time for the sake of a few more hamburgers.”

“There is, simply, a never-ending stream of good news about vegetarian foods. But you never hear any good news about meat. You never switch on the news to learn that a medical study at Harvard has revealed that roast beef boosts the immune system, or that fried chicken helps prevent arthritis, or that ham is good for the prostate. There’s never a single encouraging news tidbit about veal, say, aiding the gonads. Nothing positive ever turns up even about the highly regarded turkey escalopes fontina. There’s simply never anything health-enhancing that any researcher can uncover about flesh foods. Meanwhile, a torrent of revelations confirms the benefits of plant foods.”

“To be an environmentalist who happens to eat meat is like being a philanthropist who doesn’t happen to give to charity.”


The evidence is unequivocal: The greatest thing you can do to foster an earthly environment suitable for your children, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren to live in is this: stop eating animal-based foods. Then, starting with me, tell everyone who’ll listen what you’ve done. I’ll applaud till my palms are red. The others, well, just wait and see.

Eat right. So much depends on it, Don

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