Former English teacher and writer, I was in the midst of raising 4 children under the age of 41/2, when a magazine article I was asked to write stopped me from serving meat, fish, chicken and eggs to my little darlings. I did this against a wall of protest from family and friends, who strongly felt that the children "needed animal protein". They are all healthy athletic individuals in their late twenties. They grew perfectly.

    The article was for Women's World about animal testing. Knowing nothing and having not thought for even a minute about it, I embarked on a research project that changed our lives. I discovered that eating animals was a major cause of disease leading to premature death in humans, that humans for most of their time on this planet did not eat animals (maybe the last 5 or so thousand years, which is not much considering how long human kind has inhabited this plant). There probably was no "cave man hunting the wooly mammoth while pulling his woman by the hair back into their cave. So much misinformation! Given enough space, I can link eating a hamburger to waging war.
    If we rationalize killing on any level, we can do it on every level - killing a twenty year old person for a political line in the sand is OK with some.

    So...I try to reach people on the delicious aspects of plant food - fruits, vegetables, grains and the like. My classes are held every other Thursday, and they are fun with great conversation, food and laughter.

    Mary Ellen Murphy was certified at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Ireland.