The hero of our story today is an ordinary man. My guess is many of you may not have even heard of him. His name is Howard Lyman. Like many people, he did what his parents told him to do, and he ran the business his parents did. He was a cattle rancher. He was very familiar with raising animals and using them and killing them-- it was his job. It seemed he was bound to continue to do the same thing all of his life until he was diagnosed with spinal cancer. He thought his chances of survival were slim. On top of that, he had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and was overweight.
And as it happens with twists of fate, we can either fall victim to our circumstances or we can take responsibility. Howard Lyman at first decided to be a vegetarian. His health improved slightly. Then he became vegan, lost 130 pounds, his blood pressure and cholesterol levels became normal. It was not just his physical health that changed though. He sold his business. He stopped killing for a living. Somehow somewhere he made the connection. It is time to stop using others and harming others and killing others. It is time to include animals in our circle of consideration. And so he changed.
Howard Lyman is now an organic farmer, and he farms only plants, and he is also a vegan activist. When he went on the Oprah show to speak about what happens in the animal industry, it caused so much of a stir that he was sued by those who wish to silence him to protect their profits. He became a hero because he stood by his truth and his conscience and his compassion. Howard Lyman is a hero, and a living testament that evolution is not something that we need to wait to happen to us. As long as we are alive, we can change. As long as we are willing, we can transform. As long as we are grounded, we can grow and think and feel and evolve.