The mayor of Marshall, Texas is making headlines – not like those made by oh say, the mayor of Toronto or the governor of New Jersey. He’s making headlines for being vegan and for encouraging his city’s citizens to adopt a whole-foods, plant-based diet for better health.
When the five-term mayor, Ed Smith, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, he began a whole-foods, plant-based diet and later founded, with his wife Amanda, the nonprofit group Get Healthy Marshall, to share the benefits of a plant-based diet with the city of Marshall.
Some have criticized the mayor for not emphasizing the animal-rights aspect of a vegan diet in the cattle country of east Texas. “People are much more receptive to the health message”, the mayor said. “We’ve seen people make the change for health purposes, and once they’ve been able to disassociate themselves from animal products, all of a sudden they’re more receptive to what’s happening with animals. It’s not such a challenge to their own personal ethics.”
I say rah-rah Mayor Smith. I question the militant, all-or-nothing stance of those who criticize Get Healthy Marshall’s focus on the health benefits of a vegan diet. The end result of no meat and dairy consumption or less meat and dairy consumption – for whatever reason – is the same: better for animals raised for food.
And can I just say: How about those Hawks!