Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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HomeViewpointsPeter BarclayFarewell Dr McDougall; you gave so much to so many

Farewell Dr McDougall; you gave so much to so many

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One surefire way to tell whether a man is truly worth his salt is to look over what others say about him after he passes. For Dr John McDougall, the accolades seem endless. A week later, people are still posting tributes.

Of course, he aptly deserves every positive remark ever made of him, but if he were here to respond, he might raise an eyebrow at the mention of his name in the same paragraph as the word salt.

It was the salt question that first piqued our attention when we ran into John at the Veg and Vines conference in Gisborne five years ago. Like several others we remain in regular touch with today, we were all there in person, and Dr John beamed in via Zoom.

At that stage, Catherine and I were still getting to grips with what WFPB was all about, and like many others new to this realm, getting to grips with the ‘No Sugar, No Oil, No Salt ‘ mantra still raised many questions.

Dr John said: “So why do fast food operators put salt in their foods? BECAUSE SALT SELLS!

He had a way of leaning up close to the camera when he wanted to make a point. That was a lean-in moment.

In his own inimitable way, Dr McDougall leans in as Auckland’s Dr Mark Craig poses a question at the Veg and Vines Conference in Gisborne in January 2019.

The next one came when, as part of his presentation, he pondered why some health professionals take a while to start firmly recommending this way of life to their patients.

He said the benefits of this ‘diet’ were proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, as far as he and many of the medical professionals of his generation were concerned. He told us all to “go out there and get on with it.”

Dr McDougall was a great inspiration to us.

Perhaps we identified with him easily because, like me, he had experienced a stroke, and for Catherine, his wife Mary cooked to provide ideas, recipes, books and meals for him, their family and his patients.

We liked his style. If there was ever anyone in the upper echelons of WFPB who could make us laugh, it was John McDougall.  He was a wonderful character with a message you couldn’t help but listen to.

Like so many others, we’ll miss him. We’ll miss his wonderful repartee, his sharpness of mind, his directness. He was fun, and if that’s what WFPB eating does for you after so many years, we want a piece of it.

John McDougall told us to leave the salt shaker on the table and, if we must use it, just sprinkle a little on top. As we know, less is more when it comes to salt, and John was worth every grain.

Others have posted so many observations and recollections that we could present here, but we only have room for a few of them. The following is but a minuscule sample:

jane_esselstyn_rn’s
Thinking of all of you McDougalls with such love and thankfulness. I always thought of John McDougall as The Clan Chieftain of Plant-Based Nutrition- we’d follow him anywhere!

highcarbhannah:
Heartbreaking. My literal hero ❤️ thank you for everything you’ve done Dr Mcdougall

healthyemmie:
A hero. What a huge loss. Thank you for changing my life, my family’s lives, and my clients’ lives. You will always be remembered. I’ll remember our times together so fondly.🪽☁️🥔

rawfoodromance:
So, so, so sad to hear this!!!! 😢😢😢💔💔💔 His legacy will live on. What a great man he was. Prayers and peace to your family during this heartbreaking time.

plant.powered.pediatrician:
I’m so sorry to see this. Dr. McDougall was the first physician to inspire me to learn about plant-based nutrition. It transformed my life. May his memory be a blessing 🙏🏼🌱

pbnsg:
We are so, so sorry to hear this… our deepest condolences! He provided us with so much support throughout the years and so much knowledge for our organization. 😢❤️

plantspiration:
Sending our deepest condolences to the McDougal Family! What a legacy he leaves. Thank you personally for all your life saving work. True humanitarian.🙏🏼

veginspired:
❤️ We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. McDougall. His leadership and example is a thread through our entire life and the work we continue to do in his honor. 💚🌱🥔

doctorsfornutrition:
Such a pioneer in the WFPB movement and a huge inspiration for our organisation. He will be greatly missed.

starchivoresandy:
Sending the family and the team so much love and prayers at this sad time. His wealth of knowledge and passion will be greatly missed in the plant based world. Mash & gravy for dinner tonight to honour him 😢

drsimran.malhotra:
😢😢 Sending my condolences to your family. What an incredible legacy he has left and will continue to live on through the lives of so many that he has impacted ❤❤

plantricianproject:
We are thinking of you and send our deepest condolences and support. Such a great loss for our community and we know his legacy will live on. 💚

elizabeth.winings:
What a beautiful life and legacy, I am so grateful for Dr. McDougall’s work and the opportunity to learn from him. Sending love to all affecting by this loss. He will be missed!! 🥔❤️🕊️

healthyveganxo:
Dr. McDougall was such a legend, and I’ll never forget first meeting him in 1996. I hung onto every word of his riveting lecture, and he forever changed the course of my life. Thank you, Dr. McDpugall, for the gift you gave me and so many others. My heart and prayers are with your beautiful, loving family right now. ❤️❤️❤️

drlukew:
Am so sorry to hear this. What a life well lived though and such an inspiration to so many. My time learning from you was life-changing. Thank you for everything you’ve done and will continue to do for us Dr McDougall 🙂 Take care Mary, Heather, Craig and the rest of the family ❤️

veganlovebirds:
The world just lost a wonderful person that was a force for good. He touched many lives and will continue to do so. We’ll never forget him. Even though we never met him personally, we feel a profound sense of loss. We wish his family, friends, and followers our deepest condolences at this trying time. 💔

tracyamatesz:
So sad and surprised to hear this. His character, style, and commitment to helping humanity to raise their level of health is unparalleled. A true man of integrity. So grateful for all he shared of his knowledge heart and spirit. Condolences to the entire family and extended ‘family’ of all who’s lives he touched. ❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏🙏

And last, but by no
means least!

Click on Chef AJ’s image to view her tribute. Dr McDougall was an honoured guest on her show for over four years on the first Monday of every month.

Peter Barclay
Peter Barclayhttp://www.wholefoodliving.life
Has a professional background in journalism, photography and design. He is a passionate Kiwi traveler and an ardent evangelist for protecting all the good things New Zealand is best known for. With his wife Catherine is also the co-owner of Wholefoodliving.
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