For the members of the Phoenix family vegetables are a way of life
rather than just a side dish!

The practice of vegetarianism has been around for centuries, yet in
modern times, it has only recently been observed that individuals who
reduce or eliminate their intake of fatty meats while eating more
vegetables, fruit and grains can reduce their chances of developing
life threatening illnesses such as heart disease. But for the
Phoenix family-parents John and Arlyn, and their children, River,
Leaf, Summer, Liberty and Rainbow-strict vegetarianism isn't just for
good health, it's also good sense.

While the Phoenix family is convinced of the health benefits
of a vegetarian diet, they admit that their abstinence from meat was
conceived from a moral standing. The family believes that animals
have the right to exist without human interference. Therefore, in
addition to staying away from meat, no one in the family eats dairy
products or honey, wears leather or fur, or uses soaps or shampoos
which contain animal by-products.

We're not cooking things to death, Arlyn says. River instigated
it all when he was six. He was morally aware and responsible toward
animals even then.

Many people may wonder that this strict diet, nicknamed vegan
vegetarianism, may leave very little to eat. River, however, says
that it's very easy to do once you're as used to it as he is. His
brother Leaf explains, We usually don't eat breakfast, but if someone
wants to there's always scrambled tofu (bean curd) with vegetables,
cereal made out of corn or we make milk out of tofu and bananas. For
lunch, there's avocado sandwiches or tofu salad. For dinner, we have
salad with tahini dressing or stir-fried vegetables.

As you can see, the Phoenix family diet isn't boring. In
addition to salads, avocados and tofu, they also eat many oriental
dishes which can be prepared without meat. As this healthy family
can attest, a vegetarian diet isn?t just good, it's good for you,