Former President Clinton’s Reason for Going Vegan Is Sure to Warm Your Heart

Published by Zachary Toliver.

There are plenty of reasons to go vegan—for the animals and for the environment, for example—but some people, such as Former President Bill Clinton, just want to live longer.

During a discussion as a part of this year’s Presidential Leadership Scholars program series, PETA’s 2010 Person of the Year and snazzy saxophone player Bill Clinton was asked about his compassionate eating habits and whether going vegan was difficult.

“Not when you have [had a] quadruple heart bypass and you want to live to be a grandfather,” Clinton told the moderator and attending crowd at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.

“I didn’t give it a second thought. I realized that I was highly prone to arterial blockage, and I thought I’d cut my chances. I literally wanted to see if I could live to be a grandfather.”

Clinton made sure to emphasize the significance of his vegan journey: “I am now the oldest person in my family for three generations—man or a woman…. I said, ‘You know, I think I’d like to hang around,'” Clinton said. “I’m kind of having a good time being alive …. It will be over sick and soon enough, and I think I’ll just stretch it out long as I can.”

Former president George W. Bush was also on stage at the center and made a cheeky comment about having to give up burgers. Don’t worry, W., we vegans eat tons of burgers, from the Beyond Burger that “bleeds” to the classic Boca burger to the Impossible Burger that has vegans and flesh-eater alike doing double takes. We also have the best burger recipes that you could hope for.

We’re so glad to hear that Clinton’s heart is in the right place.

In addition to causing unimaginable animal suffering, eating meat has been linked to one of America’s top killers—heart disease. The British Medical Journal published findings from a study concluding that lifelong vegans have a 57 percent lower risk of death from heart disease than nonvegans do.

A vegan diet can even reverse damage already done. When Dr. Dean Ornish put patients with coronary artery disease on a low-fat vegan diet combined with moderate exercise and relaxation techniques, he found that they reversed the buildup of plaque in their arteries.

We all have the power to be the commander-in-chief of our own health.

Make a compassionate executive decision about what goes on your plate every day. Adopt a vegan diet, and encourage your friends and family members to do so as well.

Note: PETA supports animal rights, opposes all forms of animal exploitation, and educates the public on those issues. It does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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