Friday, January 10, 2014

Dedicated to Rynn Berry... Scholar, Philosopher, and Vegan Hero

"Clearly, there has been a paradigm shift in societal attitudes towards veganism... If veganism were a stock, I would certainly invest in it. Its growth has been exponential and will ever continue thus."

I am still in shock and deeply saddened as I write about the sudden passing of the brilliant and wonderfully esoteric yet down to earth, Rynn Berry. He collapsed while jogging on New Year's Eve in Prospect Park, NY and remained unconscious for a week in the hospital

He was one of the first vegans I ever met 15 or so years ago, and he was as much of an inspiration to me then as a newbie, as he is now and will continue to be. 

Years later, I had the privilege of attending a potluck at the Northern Connecticut Vegetarian Society where he gave a theatrical performance of famous vegetarians in history talking about food and politics (Pythagorus, Tolstoy, Leonardo da Vinci...), and was fortunate to assist in the preparation of some simple recipes from his book, Famous Vegetarians and Their Favorite Recipes. I learned so much from him that day, and it gave me the courage to live my life with purpose, dedicating myself to helping animals. I will be forever grateful to him for the experience. 

This is an unfathomable loss to the vegan community. He was truly one of those rare individuals who, simply by his presence, made the world a better place knowing he was in it. I will miss him tremendously. 
“I think it is important that people be made aware that the vegetarian movement has a venerable history behind it. It didn’t spring full-blown from the head of a flower child in the 1960′s. It really begins with Pythagoras in the West in the 6th century BC and has reasserted itself periodically ever since.” ~ Rynn Berry 
Friends and family are planning a memorial in the coming weeks.  I hope this brings all in the vegan community together and further expands veganism to an ever widening circle of compassionate friends, bringing his dream to fruition.

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