Being Vegan – Don’t Wait Till It is Too Late

By Paul Graham

Las Vegas Informer

I just had the opportunity to view “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead” once again.  I really enjoyed it the first time that I viewed it but I really think I enjoyed it even more now watching it again about a year later.  “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead” is a documentary done by Joe Cross, an Australian businessman who found himself…well…fat, sick and nearly dead.  He was disgusted by where he had let himself go in life…overweight and taking numerous medications to try and control conditions that had plagued him for years.  Doctors has no answers for him, so he decided to take things into his own hands.

As Joe Cross studied alternative solutions to his condition, he found that the human body had an amazing ability to heal itself once it is given the right foods and lifestyle to support it.  Joe found out that most of the medical conditions that we face are a result of our diet and lifestyle.  He knew that he needed a reset in his life to begin to counteract the food addictions and poor life choices that he was making each and every day.  He came to the place of being sick and tired and did not want to be dead.  Joe was more than 100 lbs. overweight. He decided that one of the best ways to begin a new direction in his life was to do a 60-day juice fast of fruits and vegetables to cleanse his body.

Joe traveled to America regularly and decided to do this 60-day fast in America and face his demons head-on in the mecca of the “western diet.”  When we speak of the western diet, it is not a positive thing.  Joe began this mission under a doctor’s supervision who understood the power that a change in diet and lifestyle could bring.  It was not enough to hole himself up in a hotel somewhere and tough it out.  Joe Cross decided to take his blender across America and talk to people about what he was doing and find out what they thought about health and their own condition.  He ended up traveling over 3000 miles and talked to over 500 people and documented this journey in a heartfelt and very uplifting way.

It was wonderful to see the transformation in his own life but also the easy and friendly way that he engaged people along the way.  One of those people was Phil, a truck driver who was grossly obese at over 470 lbs. and was touched by Joe’s journey.  Though he did not make a change in his life right away, he did contact Joe after he had returned to Australia and was finally ready to take any path that would avert the death that was awaiting him.  Joe came back to America to help Phil and set him under a doctor’s care and on the road to health and life again on a vegetable and fruit juice diet.  I will not give away all of the details of Joe or Phil’s adventures but they are incredibly real, and incredibly inspiring.  I was deeply touched…and yes there was some facial leakage.  I am man enough to admit that.  One of the most beautiful things to see with Joe and Phil, as they were navigating their own journeys, was the desire and joy that they had in helping others.

It is no secret that we are experiencing a health crisis in this country.  Health care costs are out of control and while there has been such great debate over how this health care should be distributed, Joe Cross actually shows us how that it can be done in “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  Unfortunately, we live with a system that is heavily weighted towards treatment and not prevention.  I suppose there is much more profit in treatment and that explains about as much as we need to know about that.  Since most of what ails us is a result of what we eat and our lifestyle, it is natural for us to assume that if we can make a change in our diet and lifestyle we can make a change.  This video confirms that.  Truly… letting “thy food be thy medicine, and letting thy medicine be thy food.” This is about breaking food addictions and not going on a diet but changing a lifestyle.

Joe and Phil continue to be great models of what a plant-based diet can do for us.  It not only will change our health and our lives if done properly, but one person making this change will save the lives of hundreds of animals each and every year.  It will reduce our footprint on this planet and contribute to its healing as well.

This movie was so powerful in that it showed the attitudes of so many who, even faced with poor health and possible death, would not give up their self-imposed right to eat whatever they want. This video along with “Forks Over Knives” and “Earthlings” should be required viewing for every American of age to be able to view them. Do we really have to wait till we are fat…sick…and nearly dead to get serious about making a change?

Paul Graham

Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004.  He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer.  He has a daily vegan food blog which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.  He can also be reached at or


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3 Responses to Being Vegan – Don’t Wait Till It is Too Late

  1. To answer your question at the end “Do we really have to wait until we are fat, sick and nearly dead to make a change?” I believe the answer is yes to me. It seems that the majority of people will not change unless they are put in a dire situation that requires them to want to change for serious health issues that will cost them their lives.

    However it’s not always the truth. I’m an exception to the rule. I did a project for my blog and experienced veganism for two weeks. I liked it so much I stayed with it. Before that I was a omnivore!

    I think it can be done but patience and kindness with people is the key to getting them to change

    For more info on going veg check out!

    Sara Sawochka

    • I agree Sara…as evidenced by some of the comments and attitudes in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead… some people will wait until it is often too late. Even after having a heart attack one man said that it did not change how he was going to eat. People are eating themselves to death. We need people like Joe Cross, Phil, and others like yourself to encourage others in a positive way with patience and kindness. I know that it is working for me and I am seeing lives changed on a weekly basis. Thank you for your comments and keep on doing what you are doing…

  2. I watched this film for the first time on Netflix about 6 weeks ago, and I’m sure that I have watched it at least 10 times since then. I’m hardly an environmentalist vegan health nut, as a matter of fact I resemble Phil the trucker more than I care to admit. At 51 years of age, I had no real idea of how much I weighed, so I bought a scale at Target and was shocked at the result (360 pounds) and was further dismayed to discover that my blood pressure was 180 over 120. I did not have an autoimmune disease like Joe & Phil, thank God, but I was obviously a heart attack or stroke just waiting to happen.
    I think the point of this film was not to lecture, or humiliate the overweight, or sell a specific product. It was to show people like me that there is indeed a path to a balanced lifestyle and good health, and it inspired me. In two weeks I am down 23 pounds and I will continue to follow this path for the rest of my life. I don’t know where my weight will finally settle but I know for certain that my life will be better and I will be happier. I will probably never meet Joe or Phil, but their stories changed my life forever and I will always be grateful to them both.

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