al sharpton

Activist Rev. Al Sharpton is still a larger-than-life presence, but the body he’s using to deliver his message has gotten considerably more compact and a whole lot healthier. Appearing at July 1st’s 2012 BET Awards, where he was lauded as humanitarian of the year, the Rev. cut a slim, striking figure that he credits to vegetarianism, exercise, and old fashioned discipline.

Since cutting meat, his beloved fried chicken, and refined sugars and starches from his diet in 2010, Rev. Sharpton has gone from 214 to 167 pounds, according to an interview he gave Vanity Fair this April. “I was a chicken junkie,” confessed Sharpton. “I used to eat chicken three times a day.”

But being a junkie is no way to live. In late 2011, the Rev. drew the connection between the health of society and the health of the body, telling MSNBC “You can’t […] demand social justice when you are a prisoner in your own body.” He hopes to break those chains by bringing more readily accessible fresh produce to African American communities and reducing dependence on church kitchen fryers.

Sharpton isn’t mourning the loss of fried mac ‘n’ cheese, though. “I just love greens and grains. I eat a lot of salad and fruits. I feel like a new, improved me,” he explains. “A vegetarian diet has a way of absorbing the stress and gives you greater endurance.”

So, want to be happier, healthier, and more socially conscious? Fall in with the Reverend and say amen to one of these vegetarian soul food delights.

Photo Credit: Ira Bostic / Shutterstock.com

About Jaime Warburton

Jaime Warburton is a poet and professor living in Ithaca, NY, where she takes full advantage of the farmer’s market, Sweetland Farm CSA, and Farm Sanctuary’s Watkins Glen location. When not drowning in words or making vegan ice cream, Jaime teaches pre-ballet, sings with Bella Voce, and dreams of living with goats and chickens. She also offers her consultation services on making a smooth and successful transition to veg eating. Keep up with her and her poetry at jaimewarburton.weebly.com or on Twitter @JaimeSWarburton.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vasu-Murti/691743017 Vasu Murti

    PETA recently snagged an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton in which he explains his inspiration for going vegetarian.

    “I overhauled my diet after a forty-day hunger strike when I was in jail for the Vieques protest,” explained Sharpton. “I dabbled with weight loss ideas, wanting to keep off the pounds I lost. First, I gave up red meat, then chicken.”

    Sharpton, who serves as the host for MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, continued, “I ran into Bill Clinton, who told me how he has more energy, needs less sleep, and can think more clearly since going vegan, and I can tell you the same thing happened to me. I also kept in mind the words of another vegetarian friend—Coretta Scott King—who always spoke of the ethical reasons to give up meat.”

    Coretta Scott King and Dexter Scott King were reportedly influenced by Dick Gregory.

    In 1968, civil rights leader Dick Gregory compared humanity’s treatment of animals to the conditions of America’s inner cities:

    “Animals and humans suffer and die alike. If you had to kill your own hog before you ate it, most likely you would not be able to do it. To hear the hog scream, to see the blood spill, to see the baby being taken away from its momma, and to see the look of death in the animal’s eye would turn your stomach. So you get the man at the packing house to do the killing for you.

    “In like manner, if the wealthy aristocrats who are perpetuating conditions in the ghetto actually heard the screams of ghetto suffering, or saw the slow death of hungry little kids, or witnessed the strangulation of manhood and dignity, they could not continue the killing. But the wealthy are protected from such horror…If you can justify killing to eat meat, you can justify the conditions of the ghetto. I cannot justify either one.”

    Gregory credits the Judeo-Christian ethic and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with having caused him to become a vegetarian. In 1973, he drew a connection between vegetarianism and nonviolent civil disobedience:

    “…the philosophy of nonviolence, which I learned from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during my involvement in the civil rights movement was first responsible for my change in diet. I became a vegetarian in 1965. I had been a participant in all of the ‘major’ and most of the ‘minor’ civil rights demonstrations of the early sixties, including the March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery March.

    “Under the leadership of Dr. King, I became totally committed to nonviolence, and I was convinced that nonviolence meant opposition to killing in any form. I felt the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ applied to human beings not only in their dealings with each other—war, lynching, assassination, murder and the like—but in their practice of killing animals for food or sport. Animals and humans suffer and die alike…Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel and brutal taking of life.”

    In a 1979 interview, Gregory explained: “Because of the civil rights movement, I decided I couldn’t be thoroughly nonviolent and participate in the destruction of animals for my dinner…I didn’t become a vegetarian for health reasons; I became a vegetarian strictly for moral reasons…Vegetarianism will definitely become a people’s movement.”

    When asked if humans will ultimately have to answer to a Supreme Being for their exploitation of animals, Gregory replied, “I think we answer for that every time we go to the hospital with cancer and other diseases.”

    Gregory has also expressed the opinion that the plight of the poor will improve as humans cease to slaughter animals:

    “I would say that the treatment of animals has something to do with the treatment of people. The Europeans have always regarded their slaves and the people they have colonized as animals.”

    Since the 1980s, Dick Gregory has been involved in the anti-drug campaign.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keithoth Keith Blanchard

    I lost 60 pounds after I became a vegetarian. The best cheapest diet with no hunger pains and if you know how to cook you can eat very well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/darrintisdale Darrin Tisdale

      Conversely, when I went vegetarian, I found I became weaker, felt hungry, and had a number of GI issues. Only by switching to a paleo style plan–lean meats, fruits, vegetables, no grains, no dairy–did my health improve. I’ve lost over 100# this year, combining sensible eating and exercise. I’ve concluded that each person must find what works for them, given their genetic heritage and their lifestyle. Congrats to Rev. Sharpton; I’ll invite you to Indian if we have a chance to share a meal ;-)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WWFTUCBOPWNF5NAZKRWWH22BDA Blackwater

    So what? He’s still a racist, race baiting con man. An embarrassment to all of humanity.

    • hepette

      you are the one bringin up the race card….you are scared of him arent you? lmao

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bookin-Weasel/100003104336010 Bookin Weasel

        Tawana Brawley, Freddie’s Fashion Mart, Duke Lacrosse team false accusations…..look ‘em up Herpes….

  • gail

    i dunno i thnk we’re going to hear about cancer sometime soon, he looks sick :/

  • mark douglas

    Why would anyone ever believe anything that old prune faced charlatan would say
    I think the man is dying from hate,his nastiness has just eaten him up inside

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caleb-Boone/1032640095 Caleb Boone

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

    I think this is great.

    It is always fun to see someone lose weight!

    Reverend Sharpton’s weight loss should be an example for and an encouragement to many others.

    Words for the day: cabbage, lentils, barley and steamed or baked cod.

    Also: a dry green salad and a glass of water.

    Have a Dovely.

    Sincerely yours,
    Caleb.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bookin-Weasel/100003104336010 Bookin Weasel

    Tawana Brawley, Freddie’s Fashion Mart, Duke Lacrosse team…this guy is the biggest lying sack of waste…

  • http://www.facebook.com/charisse.riser Charisse Samuels Riser

    BS. He had surgery. He can say it is vegetarianism, but it is clear that he had some sort of gastric surgery. People who are super obese, look as though they deflated after the drastic weight loss. He has that deflated look.

  • Marioned

    Al is cool. He doesn’t look well. Hopefully he adds some good fat and protein to his diet. And drop the gain. If not a heart attack is sure to follow.

  • peter

    Al Sharpton is a freemason, he is a Jewish puppet, his job is to stir up racial hatred so the Jews can stay in power. Divide and conquer.

    • Darth-Vador

      Two idiots for the price of one! You and Al.

      • peter

        Name calling doesn’t change the facts, everything I said is true, so I guess you are the idiot.

  • DakTo

    I think Sharpton took too many laxatives. He was so full of crap that there’s nothing left of him.

  • meki60

    Hope he gets worse.