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Will US President Joe Biden take up the charitable challenge to go vegan for 30 days? That’s the million-dollar question—quite literally. After former president Trump famously rejected the same offer, nonprofit organisation Million Dollar Vegan is now asking whether Biden would be willing to eat only plant-based food in return for a $1 million donation to a veterans’ charity.
Million Dollar Vegan, the plant-based campaign backed by names like Alicia Silverstone and Dr. Michael Greger, is now asking President Biden whether he’d be willing to go vegan for 30-days in return for a $1 million donation to a charity supporting US veterans. The organisation has famously made the same offer to The Pope and Donald Trump.
It comes just days after Trump’s reason for not accepting the offer to “Make America Healthy Again” was exposed in ex-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham’s new book. It claimed that Trump refused because it would “mess with your body chemistry, your brain…and if I lose even one brain cell, we’re f**ked.”
$1 million vegan challenge
Responding to the revelation, Million Dollar Vegan has described Trump’s words as “misinformed and bizarre” and is now fully focused on asking the sitting US president to rise to the challenge and take a different path from his predecessor.
The charity’s CEO Naomi Hallum said that it was public knowledge that Trump “loves hotdogs, cheeseburgers, and buckets of fried chicken, but his body most definitely does not,” and cited the plethora of scientific evidence showing that processed meat consumption is linked to “higher risk of many serious ailments, including diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, dementia and cancer—some of America’s and the developed world’s leading killers.”
“That Trump thinks eating more plant-based whole foods, such as wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, in lieu of Big Macs for 30 days is going to ‘mess with his brain’ is bizarre and completely misinformed. In fact, the opposite is far more likely,” Hallum added.
In a formal offer to Biden, the organisation reiterated the critical role that plant-based dietary shifts will play in solving human health crises and the climate emergency, with animal agriculture driving nearly a fifth of GHG emissions and the rise of zoonotic pandemics.
“We’re kindly asking you to acknowledge this, and to lead by example in keeping the American people healthy and safe,” wrote Million Dollar Vegan. “If you’d be willing to do that by going vegan for just 30 days, then we’ll gladly donate 1 million dollars to a veterans’ charity or another charity of your choosing!”
‘Easiest and healthiest way to support both our troops and country’
At the moment, Million Dollar Vegan plans to donate $1 million to a veterans’ charity, should Biden take up the offer and complete the challenge of eating only plant-based foods for 30 days.
For US veteran and Naval aviator LCDR Hallum, who has been thriving on a plant-based diet, the challenge represents the “easiest and healthiest way to support both our troops and country.”
“As a veteran and 5+ year vegan, I’ve flown hundreds of sorties in a high performance aircraft while capitalizing on the benefits of a plant-based diet,” he added. “Being vegan has sharpened my focus during critical times in the jet, like flying in combat or landing on an aircraft carrier at night. Our veterans need and deserve the best support systems we can give them.”
Million Dollar Vegan medical advisors, Dr. Ayesha and Dean Sherzai, who are renowned neurologists and Alzheimer’s-prevention specialists at Loma Linda University in California, explained that plant-based diets do in fact help sharpen our mental and physical health—firmly refuting the excuse that Trump made to reject the challenge.
“There is plenty of scientific evidence that a planned plant-based diet is the healthiest diet for the brain and longevity, and populations that have adhered to it have lower risks of a spectrum of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, stroke and others,” Dr. Ayesha and Dean Sherzai said. “They also have better processing, memory and decision-making capacity.”
Lead image courtesy of US White House / Unsplash.