Across The Way Thread #15530
John Robbins/ The Food Revolution
Created ByMona
Created DateTue, Feb 03, 2004
Created Time12:20PM GMT

Mona2/3/2004 12:20:01 PM
Total Messages For This Thread: 1
AuthorMessage #30475
MonaSubjectJohn Robbins/ The Food Revolution
PostedTue, Feb 03, 2004 12:20PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Hi Everyone,
I came across this site and I just thought I would post this to
share it with all of you and see what you think. I really don't know
who John Robbins is but he says he was a friend of River, so if
anyone really knows anything about this I'd really like to hear what
you think, here it is:

Was River Phoenix a role model?

Dear John,

The Food Revolution aptly conveys the message that a plant-based
diet is supported by scientific data while its critics, particularly
those who stand to lose money when the diet revolution picks up
steam, present baseless public relation slogans and personal
attacks. But I was bothered by your references to the late actor
River Phoenix as a role model for compassionate living, because of
Phoenix's drug habit. Admittedly, to people with vegetarian beliefs
this is not a fatal flaw of the book, but I think about what it will
represent to readers who are not yet into a plant-based diet and
desire to evaluate its pros and cons. They will evaluate the content
for fair representation of the plant/meat & dairy schism. They will
be looking for any distortions, misrepresentations, etc. that might
discredit the book. These are the people who will say, "How can you
have a compassionate vegan who publicly spoke out for animal rights
while he was committing his own slow suicide by ingesting heavy
drugs?" These are the people who most need to be influenced by this
book! Vegan role models must value their own self-health first and
above all. How do you explain the enigma of River Phoenix the
compassionate person who eventually dies in the street from a drug
overdose? Please tell me so I can respond to those who truly need to
believe the contents of this book more than I.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond. The late River
Phoenix was my friend. I loved him very much. But I have never
referred to him as a "role model for compassionate living." Asking a
young person in this country (River was only 23 when he died) to be
a role model is asking an awful lot. Like all young people in these
times, he had many challenges to confront and issues to resolve.
These are not easy times for any of us. I think they are
particularly difficult for young people. What are we leaving for

In The Food Revolution, I speak of the celebrities, including River,
who have stuck their necks out for a more compassionate world. I do
so not to imply that everything about their lives are or were
exemplary, but to applaud them for taking a stand. At a time when
athletic stars are paid $20 million to endorse shoes that other
people are paid 20 cents an hour to make, I think it is tremendously
important that some celebrities are choosing to use their status not
for financial gain, but to promote the greater good of our world.

Specifically, what I said about River in The Food Revolution is that
he was a devoted advocate of treating animals with respect, and of
only eating foods that have been produced without cruelty - for this
he was. And that he was a vegan with a tremendous commitment to
animals and an unwillingness to sit back and enjoy his good fortune
while there is so much needless suffering in the world - for this
was true about him. And that he was an advocate for the creation of
a thriving, sustainable, and compassionate world - for this he
indeed was. From the bottom of my heart, I thank him for being who
he was, and for the openness, gentleness, beauty, and vulnerability
he shared with so many through his movies. He carried a heavy
weight, being thrust into such prominence at such an early age. If
he stumbled sometimes, this only shows, to me, that he was human.

River did not "commit slow suicide by ingesting heavy drugs." He was
not a regular drug user. In fact, this may be why, when he was
exposed to heavy drugs on the tragic night of October 31, 1993, they
were too much for him, and he died. River was extraordinarily
sensitive, and had not developed any kind of tolerance for hard

Despite the efforts of some of us who knew him, the media was quick
to sensationalize his death, and to exploit the drug aspect. It sold
newspapers and magazines to report that the young actor had died
from an overdose. I wish these same media outlets would give as much
space and attention to the issues that were so close to River's
heart - to the environmental destruction, the cruelty to animals,
the waste of food resources, and the damage to human health, that
are the true cost of factory farm meat. And to the efforts some of
us are making to uphold the spirits and support the lives of our
young people, so that they will feel far less desire to use drugs,
including alcohol, to soften the pain of growing up in a society
that seems so often to care so little for their hearts and prayers.

Interested people might want to know about the work of Youth For
Environmental Sanity (YES!), an organization that River devotedly
supported. Rather than merely telling young people to "Just Say No,"
YES! gives young people something to say YES to, and help in
channeling their energies into constructive and positive change.
YES! has put on 73 weeklong vegan youth action training camps and
hundreds of daylong workshops - all of them completely drug-free.
For more information, visit

With reverence for life,


and this is the link:

also I read the RHCP preformed at the Viper Room recently and I
think that's kind of odd.
Well I just wanted to share this with all of you
Many Hugs
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