When I first considered making the vegetarian/vegan transition I was very frustrated by the state of affairs in the world; to the point that I began feeling powerless and vulnerable. Then I read Diet for a New America by John Robbins, and realized that all I had to do in order to create positive change was stop purchasing animal products and replace them with organic plant foods.

This simple daily practice has enabled me to be a powerful contributor towards healing and restoring balance, justice, and happiness to thousands upon thousands of creatures of all kinds. Now I can sleep well knowing that I have aligned my spirit, resources, time, energy and money towards something that is positive and healing. My life is now part of the solution and I am no longer perpetuating the problem. This has given me new purpose in life and restored my sense of hopefulness for our future. I started Good Karma Café because I have been given a foundation from which to contribute and serve the world in a positive manner.

Growing up I ate the Standard American Diet (SAD), lots of beef and chicken and dairy and eggs. I also consumed plenty of processed foods and sweets; I had no idea there was anything problematic with this lifestyle.

When I was in college, my brother and I were lucky enough to meet a role model who inspired us and taught us how to begin the vegetarian transition. We learned some of the principles of macro-biotics and the value of eating whole, organic foods. We then eliminated beef, chicken and dairy immediately. Fish was the last animal food to be released from our diets, and the transition process from SAD to vegan diet took about a year for me.

The evolution to a vegan diet has enriched my life on every level; mental acuity, physical energy and stamina, and overall health and well-being. The changes are profound. At first, I over-did my consumption of whole grains, and was consuming such large quantities of cooked grains that they were converting to sugars in my system and creating an imbalance.

Anything taken in excess can be problematic, but I corrected my problem over time simply by being sensitive towards my body and making some adjustments. The longer it takes to develop a problem, the longer it will take to heal it, so my advice is to just be patient.

My motivation and conceptual development for Good Karma Café was simple. I said to myself, 'we need a chain of fast food restaurants that serve as pipelines to deliver the bounty of mother earth directly to the urban culture.' In the process, we can create communities that are able to economically sustain by farming, distributing, and preparing the food with the end result being that everyone will heal, thus balance will be restored.

In the end, everyone is unique and people’s nutritional requirements depend upon many different factors. However, at this time in our evolution, given the conditions of our ecology and culture, the single most powerful action anyone can take in their lives in order to positively support the healing and transformation of our planet is to simply progress from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet.

If you want to ‘talk the talk’ and manifest a collective vision of a healthy, peaceful, rich and abundant world, you must ‘walk the walk’ and move your lifestyle towards plant-based meals. It's that simple. Our meat-based culture is destroying everything that we hold dear; our very lives and the lives of all other beings. The one thing that can and will reverse and heal this destruction is organic plant foods. Regardless of what contemporary issues you are absorbed in trying to change, all problems can be solved or greatly reduced by switching to a plant-based diet.

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