Friday, 6 March, 2020
With International Women’s Day approaching, there’s no better time to admire the bravery and achievements of women.
Legends of Change by Rebecca Frith is a powerful read that focuses on the personal health stories of women, and how the healing power of plants has saved their lives. We spoke to Rebecca herself to find out more about her book and how veganism has inspired and changed lives for the better.
What was the inspiration for creating this book?
In 2009 I lost an aunt to breast cancer. For years it was a deep concern that this was hereditary, and I feared that I would be next. I vowed that I would never suffer the same fate. This fear frightened me so much that I decided to find out all that I could into what causes cancer and how we can prevent getting this nasty disease.
But what started out as a journey into health and nutrition became so much more. As I opened my eyes to what was being put on my plate and in my body, the inescapable truth as to why veganism is kinder to animals, to people and the planet’s future shone brightly.
I knew that I had so much information that I needed to share but I also felt like my story was not enough, I needed more. People connect with stories; the first thing people ask me when they find out that I am vegan is why.
What does veganism mean to you?
Veganism to me is the future. It is the single most impactful change anyone can make to protect the planet and the environment. We must change for the planet, the animals and our health. None of these can survive the way we are currently living. Veganism is not a trend; it is the future.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachForEqual, are there ways that your book correlates with this?
Absolutely. Women account for 80% of the plant-based movement. I believe that our actions to create a more loving and peaceful world carry great power. For too long, women were silenced and now we have an opportunity to help heal this world with our kindness and compassion. We are a voice for the voiceless. We are all equal and we all want to live on this earth.
Tell us why you wanted to focus on women and the power behind womankind
I chose to focus on women as we make up the vast majority of the vegan population, as a gender we are in a pivotal and important position at this time. I believe women are caregivers and often the chef in a family home. We greatly influence mealtimes and how our families eat. Women are so often feeding our future generation, so I wanted to help educate them as to what we should be feeding our future leaders.
What can readers expect from this book in terms of chapters and advice?
From doctors, nutrition experts and Olympic athletes, to mums, daughters and women struggling with chronic illness, Legends of Change is a compilation of 85 first-hand stories, helpful habits, and life-changing tips from women who have transitioned into a vegan lifestyle of plant-based eating. The women featured in these short profiles detail their most personal life experiences to inspire you.
Legends of Change is a book you can share with your non-vegan friends, your sister, your mom or the man in your life. It is a book that you should give to someone close to you for encouragement and inspiration because many of these stories will be relatable to so many people.
Why were the women included in the book chosen to tell their stories?
Many of the women chosen in the book have overcome major obstacles in their life and have gone on to defy and conquer anything that falls in their path. For example, Dotsie Bausch took to cycling after healing from an eating disorder to then go on and win an Olympic medal as a plant-based athlete.
I tried to cover all facets of veganism, from health and activism, to athleticism, to nutrition experts and the new science-backed information that is coming out. Plants really do heal.
Do you have a personal favourite story from the book that touched you?
I was touched by so many; I cannot name one, but I will name just a couple.
The first story by Deborah Wood; she reversed multiple chronic illnesses, lost over 100lbs and looks like a completely different person.
Janette Murray Wakelin; as I lost my aunt to this exact disease this was especially close to my heart. I just wished I had of known all this information before we lost her. Janette reversed aggressive breast cancer 18 years ago after she was given six months to live. Not only did she beat cancer – she went on to run around the entire landmass of Australia at age 64: running 366 marathons, each in 366 days, with no days off.
What have you learnt from these women whilst writing the book?
Oh, I have learnt so much from these stories and amazing women. There is something to take away from each of their stories. One of the main things that did stand out to me as I created this book and in my two years working on it was that we are so confused about nutrition.
How will this book empower women to make a change in their lives?
Stories boost our feelings of trust, compassion and empathy. They motivate us to work with others, and they positively influence our social behaviour. Because of this, stories have the unique ability to build lasting relationships. Legends of Change is built upon a strong community of passionate women all paving the way for a brighter, healthier future.
By Chloe Bowen
All profits from Legends of Change during March 2020 will be donated to coalition-based nonprofit, Switch4Good.