We are the fortunate ones

Profile of a vegan: Philip Ross became interested in plant based diets over 50 years ago. Here is his vegan story.

My interest in health started in my school days, however, it lacked disciplined direction. I was introduced to the work of Dr Herbert Shelton in 1969, when I was 19, and two years later I met Dr Alec Burton. Everything now fell into place for me, both from a scientific and a commonsense perspective. I read all of the available literature on Natural Hygiene as well as listened to audio cassettes of Dr Shelton's and Dr Burton's many lectures.

During the early 1980s I undertook a number of fasts under Dr Burton, lasting between 14 and 21 days. One of my stays at Dr Burton's Arcadia Health Centre, near Sydney, coincided with a visit by Dr John McDougall, who generously shared his medical insights and the many errors he encountered in standard medical practice. The following year at Arcadia I was fortunate to meet Dr Alan Goldhamer, who was interning in fasting supervision with the Burtons. His intelligence and enthusiasm for the principles of hygiene were, even then, palpable and impressive. He was clearly destined to open his own health center, which of course evolved into TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California.

Though not having specific health problems, my own health continued to benefit from regular fasts and sticking with the principles of Natural Hygiene, and my learning became more focused over the years.

Another significant encouraging influence (from the early 1970s) was my friendship with Bruce Standish, greengrocer and fellow hygienist. Bruce still operates his business in Elwood (a suburb of Melbourne, Australia), specializing in organically grown produce, as well as the sale of literature and DVDs on health issues. I have four rescued dogs, and like me, Bruce is also an animal advocate, being a keen supporter of Animal Liberation Victoria. Bruce also holds regular meetings in a large room above his shop, featuring health topics with the help of visiting speakers and DVD presentations.

In more recent years I have made annual visits to TrueNorth and undertaken supervised fasts ranging from 10 to 22 days. Whenever my partner, Judith, and I meet people with chronic health problems who are receptive to removing causes, we invariably recommend a visit to TrueNorth. Several people have taken the long trip to California on our suggestion, and have realized excellent results.

I can generally discern those who are willing to take on the challenge of being educated in removing lifestyle causes, particularly dietary, and freeing themselves from the shackles of hopeless medical treatments and procedures. For those individuals who show little interest in a plant-based diet, I generally say nothing and hope to pass on the health message through example. I am constantly reminded that we are the fortunate ones who have the valuable knowledge of this way of life.

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