Frank L. Hoffman Interviewed by Bridget Soeder for Bella Online
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Frank L. Hoffman Interviewed by Bridget Soeder for Bella Online - 14 Oct 2006
What is your best description of All-creatures.org?
FLH : I’m not sure that there’s a “best” description. Among other things, www.all-creatures.org is a library of information about compassionate and cruelty-free living for the whole of creation according a Judeo-Christian ethos. It is also a host site for more than 30 other like minded grass-roots organizations.
What year did All-creatures.org begin?
FLH: The beginning of 1998.
What motivated you to create this website and actively promote vegetarianism?
FLH: In the United States alone, where 90% off all people consider themselves to be part of a religion – 85% consider themselves to be Christian – the churches and synagogues, with very few exceptions, have failed to promote a loving, compassionate, peacemaking, cruelty-free lifestyle for the whole of creation according to Biblical teachings, especially those of Jesus Christ. In fact, they have actually promoted the opposite, except where it involves a select group of human beings.
All of our efforts to open these doors, through channels, had failed, so we decided to do something to bring about a change to cruelty-free living through a grass roots level effort, and to minister to the millions of sensitive people who have felt alienated from the churches because of the churches’ hard-of-heart teachings and policies. Thus, both our Foundation and all-creatures were born.
How long have the two of you maintained a vegetarian lifestyle?
FLH: Our journey began nearly 35 years ago, but we never put it all together until about 20 years ago when we became vegan.
What made you both decide to become vegetarian and then vegan?
FLH: The horrendous cruelty inflicted upon animals.
Do either of you need to take any supplements?
FLH: I’m not sure we “need to,” but for precautionary reasons, we take B-12 and iodine supplements.
What are the benefits you and Mary have experienced from maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle?
FLH: If I can change your question to a “vegan” lifestyle, then the answers are many. To name a couple: we feel good that we are doing everything we can to make this world a more gentle and compassionate place for the whole of creation, but sad that we haven’t been able to do more, which is also our incentive to continue to do whatever we can; and we’re in better health today than we were 20 years ago – we rarely see a doctor except for routine check-ups, and we take no medications, not even aspirin, and we’ve had only two minor colds in the past twenty years (not many people in their late 60s can say this).
What are your thoughts on organic produce?
FLH: Organic is definitely better than chemical-laden conventional methods, but we are not totally convinced it is what it is billed to be, because we question some of the foreign imports and we also witnessed some cheating, and they use animal fertilizers. The recent E. coli problems with spinach and other greens occurred because of animal waste contamination, either from the fertilizer or from the water that was used. The ultimate answer is veganically grown produce.
Isn't it healthier to eat organic /vegetarian fed/ free-range meat?
FLH: It may be somewhat more healthful, but from everything we’ve learned it would do nothing to eliminate the major health problems associated with eating animal flesh and by-products. See our health section:
Did either of you experience any negative health consequences related to cutting meat and dairy from your diet?
FLH: Quite the contrary; our health improved dramatically within three weeks of becoming vegan. Our lingering coughs, colds, and sore throats ended, our arthritis pains were gone, and our digestive systems improved.
What makes your online recipe section different from other websites?
FLH: All of our recipes are healthful, vegan, colorful, delicious and relatively easy to prepare. We use no sugar and almost no oil or salt and very few processed food items. As an example, all of our bread recipes use whole grain flours.
How many recipes are on your site?
FLH: Hundreds, and we publish new ones almost every week.
What is your favorite recipe?
FLH: It seems like almost every day we have a new one, and we’re constantly experimenting with new ideas.
What do you typically eat?
FLH: We usually have only two meals a day, with some snacking. Almost every morning we start the day with either a vegan veggie or fruit smoothie. Occasionally we may have oatmeal or oven cakes or muffins or muffin cakes. For our mid-afternoon meal we’ll usually make something gourmet or have something simple like corn on the cob or baked potatoes with a large tossed salad.
What is your advice to anyone who feels that they cannot afford to feed a family on a strict vegan diet? (Referring to cheaper grocery products, fast food, etc.)
FLH: Actually, we believe that a healthful vegan diet is probably one of the least expensive ways to eat. See our food cost report at:
Junk foods and processed foods and animal products are the expensive items.
What is your advice to someone who might be contemplating a vegetarian diet but doesn't know where to start and/or is afraid of the transition?
This is not a simple answer unless the person is making the switch for ethical reasons, because perfect love casts out all fear. For other people, we usually try to find out what kinds of food they like and then point them to some relatively simple vegan recipes. As an example, most people like our vegan chili recipes more than the ones that contain dead animal parts.
The key is that people have to want to change their lifestyles, and not look for excuses why they don’t want to make the change.
What made you decide on the name "All Creatures"?
FLH: From the doxology…”praise Him all creatures here below.”
How much traffic does the site average per day/month/year?
FLH: In 2005 we had over 7,500,000 individuals visit our web site, with an average of more than 500,000 hits a day. This year we were averaging over 600,000 hits a day, and more recently the average has been over 700,000 hits a day.
What are the most common compliments and most common criticisms you receive from visitors?
FLH: About one half of the letters that we receive in reference to animal exploitation are from children who thank us for exposing the truth and who want to help save the animals. Most of them also have either stopped eating animal flesh and by-products or they desire to do so. The few negative letters that we receive are from hunters and people in the animal exploiting industries.
The recipe section gets a lot of very complimentary email, too; the few exceptions are from people who try to prove that God wants us to kill and eat his other animals.
Over all, we receive over 90% positive mail.
Which is the most important link on the site?
FLH: By link, are you referring to sections? They really are all important. The most popular is the Animal Exploitation Section which receives over 150,000 hits a day; the second is the Recipe Section, which receives over 70,000 hits a day; and the third are our various Nature Study Sections, which receive over 50,000 hits a day. In the Family Foundation Section are some web site statistics that will help answer more of this question.
Which is the most visited link on the site?
FLH: See above.
Any other comments, suggestions..
FLH: Not at this time.
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