Exclusive: Ethan Zohn Fights C Word With V Word

Published by PETA.
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Ethn Zohn and Jenna Morasca

There’s no doubt that Survivor alumni Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca know how to make the best of a tough situation. Not even the diagnosis of Ethan’s cancer has been able to keep this couple down! When Ethan was diagnosed with CD20-positive Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier this year, he let the world know that he and longtime girlfriend Jenna would be tackling the illness head-on. As he told People magazine in May, “I’ll take it on like a real game of Survivor. I’m not getting voted out of this one.”

We are, of course, rooting hard for Ethan and Jenna—remember when they posed au naturel for our “Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign? And we were elated to learn that one of the first steps they took toward battling Ethan’s cancer was to switch immediately to a vegetarian diet.

We recently had the opportunity to ask Ethan and Jenna a few questions about the couple’s switch to a vegetarian lifestyle, and as you can see from their answers, they couldn’t be more pleased with their decision. More energy and the chance to help animals and the environment? As Jenna says, “You can’t get any better than that, in my mind!”

What made you decide to go vegetarian?
Jenna: When Ethan was diagnosed with cancer, we decided that we need to be careful about what we put in our bodies. So we went vegetarian together!

Have you ever considered going vegetarian in the past?
Ethan: I was on a macrobiotic diet when I was younger and my father was ill. My entire family made the change to macro to help my father and the cancer he was battling. In addition, I was a vegetarian for 14 years before going on Survivor.

How did you make the transition? Was it gradual, or did you stop eating meat cold (faux) turkey?
Jenna: We actually made the transition pretty quickly—just cutting out everything right away. Now, with so many great faux-meat products, it’s not as hard as people think anymore to go vegetarian. For instance, in the grocery store are many great faux-meat options, like Gardenburger meatless buffalo chicken wings. Ethan was a huge fan of buffalo chicken wings, so these are a good replacement!

How do you feel since making the switch to a vegetarian diet—any different?
Ethan: Yes! We feel like we have more energy and do not consume that many calories during the day.

Studies have shown that the meat industry is deadly to the environment—not only does it contribute to water pollution and deforestation, it’s also the biggest contributor to greenhouse gasses and climate change. What do you think about going vegetarian as a way to help the environment?
Jenna: I think that any way to help the environment is a bonus, and going vegetarian not only helps the environment but also helps animals too! You can’t get any better than that, in my mind!

Written by Amanda Schinke

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind