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While campaigning in Las Vegas for his wife, Bill Clinton made a point to put in a good word for something else close to his heart — his veganism.
The former president, who was visiting vegan café Simply Pure while stumping for wife Hillary, credited his (modified) vegan diet for putting his health back on track after a history of heart problems. In 2004, Clinton underwent a quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery, and returned to the same hospital, New York Presbyterian, for emergency surgery in 2010, after waking up with chest pains.
Soon after, Clinton said, he received a “blistering” email from an old friend and heart disease specialist who scared him straight. “I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn’t want to fool with this anymore,” Clinton said in an interview with AARP magazine. “And I wanted to live to be a grandfather.”
Years later, Clinton recognizes the tremendous impact of going vegan. “I might not be around if I hadn’t ‘become a vegan,” he told reporters in Vegas. “It’s great.” Clinton also expressed his appreciation for the culinary progress made by the vegan food industry since he turned a new leaf six years ago.
“I like all the Italian stuff,” Clinton said. “Lasagna, I like the chili enchiladas — they nailed the meat substitute stuff. It used to be when I started this, it was inedible. It’s so much better now.”