AR-News: (US) The vegetarian candidate - Does it matter what a
person eats when running for U.S. President?
info at animalconcerns.org
Sat Aug 23 09:37:08 EDT 2003
Consider the irony of presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's first
official stop at the Iowa State Fair: The Dairy Barn.
Here was the nondairy eating Ohio congressman checking out Gene Rathjen's
six cows and listening to the 52-year-old farmer talk about the importance
of helping small dairies.
Of the nine Democratic candidates for president, Kucinich is the only
vegan (pronounced VEE-gun). He doesn't eat meat, poultry or dairy products.
"I didn't think a person like that would even want to come in here," said
a bewildered Rathjen, who has 40 cows on his Brij-Ayr Farm in Wilton.
Which left Rathjen wondering - should it matter what a presidential
Would vegetarians think less of Sen. Bob Graham of Florida because he owns
an Angus farm?
Kucinich, 56, began eating vegan eight years ago while dating
then-girlfriend Yelena Boxer, whom he now calls a close friend.
"As part of the courting process, I decided to switch my diet," said
Kucinich, who used to eat eggs and steak for breakfast when he was mayor
He kept up with the vegan diet and stopped eating sugar, processed foods
and caffeine because it made him feel healthy, he said. Another bonus: not
eating dairy eliminated some health problems he thought might have been
tied to a dairy sensitivity.
Vegetarian Scott Clair of West Des Moines was considering lending his
support to Kucinich rather than Howard Dean, whom he had been favoring.
The switch was not because of Kucinich's vegetarian lifestyle but because
of his peace-based platform.
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