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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:

Heart Phoenix

John Phoenix

Diet For A New America

John Robbins

Vegan, Vegetarian, Vegetarianism

Ocean Robbins
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix
American EnglishEn Français

Diet For A New America

by John Robbins.
First published in 1987.

"We have so much responsibility and that's, I think, what we all need to assume more so. Especially once that information has been given, you know, clearly. I read John Robbins' book and it sheds so much light on all of this, and I had no idea. No matter how much someone tells you or you hear until you read it for yourself and have the statistics and scientists to back it up, you know?"

- River Phoenix

ISBN 0-913299-54-5 (Paperback, 423 Pages)

We live in a crazy time, when people who make food choices that are healthy and compassionate are often considered weird, while people are considered normal whose eating habits promote disease and are dependent on enormous suffering.

"I've always felt somewhat out of place with other kids my own age," said River. "I was constantly reminded by people's reaction to our names and our diet that we seemed weird to them."

But the ill-informed attitudes of others didn't bother River for he was truly aware that we are never quite so in-tune with nature as when we eat.

Described as "one of the most important documents of the 20th century", this book is far from an attempt to turn people towards a vegan lifestyle simply by playing on the readers guilt and conscience. Instead, the main aim of the book is to bring to the attention of the general public the disturbing practices that the food industry uses solely in the pursuit of maximized profits.

As a result, that industry now finds itself caught in a vicious circle. As soon as one farm, or rather, factory, makes use of a new drug or genetic technique that improves yield thus lowering the cost to the consumer then all other producers must immediately and blindly follow suit. Disturbingly, the long-term effects of these techniques appear to be completely disregarded as is the welfare of the animals, or "units", in their care.

River Phoenix was brave enough to put his career on the line by speaking out against the immoral industry-wide practices that are documented in this book. It is our hope, that by adding this section to our site, his actions will not be forgotten.

I have too much respect for the human journey to take it upon myself to decide for you what you should or shouldn't eat, and where you should draw the line. We are each unique. We have different biochemistry. We have our individual life situations to deal with, and our individual paths to forge. We are each of us responsible for our own choices, and for the consequences of our choices. However, the better informed we are, the more intelligently we are able to make food choices that serve our true needs.

Throughout history there have been people who have chosen to be vegetarians because they did not feel it was right to kill animals for food when this was not necessary, when there was other nourishing food available. But today, because of the way animals are raised for market, the question of whether or not to eat meat has a whole new meaning, and a whole new urgency. Never before have animals been treated like this. Never before has such deep, unrelenting and systematic cruelty been mass produced. Never before has the decision of each individual been so important.

Author, John Robbins was the heir to the American based Baskin-Robbins ice-cream company. But instead, he gave up this inheritance and devoted his life to environmental causes and the promotion of a more compassionate way of eating. He regularly attends environmental conferences and is often accompanied by his personal friend Heart Phoenix. Furthermore, John Robbins' own son, Ocean, was also involved both socially and politically with River and his brother and sisters.

Within the close Phoenix family circle, Diet For A New America was treated with a Bible-like reverence. Indeed, the book's revelations reinforced and guided many of River's own personal ethics. See Phoenix Family Values for full details. John Phoenix and his wife purchased copies of this book in bulk, and distributed them in great numbers to members of both the inner family and their extended community of friends.

Increasingly in the last few decades, the animals raised for meat, dairy products and eggs in the United States have been subjected to ever more deplorable conditions. Merely to keep the poor creatures alive under these circumstances, even more chemicals have had to be used, and increasingly, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and countless other chemicals and drugs end up in foods derived from animals. The worst drug pushers don't work city streets - they operate today's "factory farms."

The author has obviously amassed a vast amount of material on which he draws his conclusions. Throughout the book whenever the author quotes a particular fact he very carefully numbers it and provides details of the source of that information. There are almost 800 such facts painstakingly quoted within the book and the acknowledgements alone take thirty-six pages to list.

The book is divided into three sections. We will examine each of these sections in turn.

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