Dixie Mahy is a member of the IVU International Council and president of the San Francisco Vegetarian Society: www.sfvs.org
Dixie and her SF colleagues have kindly taken on the task of organizing the 2012 IVU World Vegetarian Congress to be held in San Francisco. The following interview excerpts are reprinted with permission from Open Exchange Magazine, Jul-Sep 2010:
Dixie, how long have you been a vegetarian?
I've been vegetarian 52 years and vegan 32 years. I first wanted to be a vegetarian when at age 5 in 1938. I went fishing with my father and caught a fish, but all I wanted to do was put it back into the water. I saw it suffering and I couldn't eat it. I felt a oneness with the fish, almost a Zen thing.
Did your family support your decision to go vegetarian?
No, growing up I was told I couldn't live without meat, and the rest of my family remained meat eaters. I'm 76 now. I have no medical issues, no arthritis, no cancer, no knee replacements. I buried two of my younger sisters, one 10 years younger. It's sad when you see your own family ignoring you, not connecting the dots.
Why did you go from vegetarian to vegan?
I started learning about problems with raising calves, with milk production, the cruelty involved, and I became a vegan for compassionate reasons. After that I learned about the health reasons, too. Medical doctors such as Dr. McDougall find that milk is perhaps even more harmful than meat.
For the rest of the interview: www.openexchange.org/features/JAS10/mahy.html
Complete IVU Online News - March 2011 - www.ivu.org/news/online/March2011.pdf