Ana Negrón MD, a doctor and a vegan, stresses lifestyle modification rather than medicines to help her patients.
From classes in Spanish to community projects, this in-demand Zoom lecturer mentors medical students and residents, and helps people with chronic health conditions transition to a whole-foods vegan diet in her own solo consulting practice.
Throughout, Negrón looks for ways to get around the barriers our society has set up against vegan eating, but especially for those facing other barriers—of language, or economic standing, or cultural misinformation. As a native Puerto Rican, being bilingual helps.
“I see the children on camera, and I see other people lending an ear. People are learning from each other: “Every week, people are telling other people about the barriers that they are overcoming: ‘I don’t hurt anymore,’ ‘I’ve shed weight without effort,’ ‘my acne,’ ‘my asthma’—you name it, all their conditions are just melting away.”
Negrón has had to work overtime for decades to get to this point, starting from her standard medical education, where “lifestyle medicine” was unheard of and nutrition advice includes pushing meat and dairy as essential. As science emerged and Negrón’s self-education grew, she finally became confident “that my own philosophical and ethical decision had benefits for my patients.”
“What we all have in common is the fact that our health has been devastated by us being steered away from the food of our species. We have all been emulating the U.S./western diseases. We’ve been severed from our roots by pizza, nuggets, and fries.”
It’s also notable that “Doctora Negrón” in her white coat and authoritative manner happens to be a “73-year-old, 30-year-plus vegan who has no disabilities.
“I also share with them my journey, both philosophical and ethical. We talk about the environmental health and the violence against animals, and not just against animals but against the female animals: the hens, the cows, and all of that.”
“And because I can see them on Zoom, all of that is translated in expressions that are priceless.”
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