Vegetarian Hall of Fame Award
August 03, SummerFest 2002

(lower left: T. Colin Campbell, lower right: Alex Hershaft's (a past "Hall of Fame" recipient) both give tribute to Howard and his accomplishments)

"In Recognition Of Your Untiring Dedication To The Advancement Of Vegetarianism To Create A Saner, More Compassionate World." (Text on the North American Vegetarian Society Vegetarian "Hall of Fame" Award).

Written Tribute from John Robbins

My name is John Robbins and I’ve been given the privilege of saying a few words in honor and appreciation for the outstanding contributions made by a man I am grateful to call my friend --- Howard Lyman.

You probably know his life story, how this 4th generation family farmer from Montana developed a tumor on his spinal cord that caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down, and then made a devout commitment to give his every ounce of energy towards the creation of a humane and sustainable world.

You probably know how Howard appeared on the fateful Oprah Winfrey show, and then became the target of a massive lawsuit brought against him and Oprah by the cattlemen for the sin of speaking disparagingly against beef. You probably know that Howard and Oprah have the distinction of being the first individuals ever sued under the Texas Food Disparagement Act, and how, in February, 1998, the Texas jury found them NOT liable for comments made on the show about eating beef, and affirmed that Howard had spoken truthfully and accurately.

You probably know about his remarkable book, Mad Cowboy; about the thousands of speeches and interviews he’s given, helping to awaken people to the realities of food production and to the choices we all can make to bring about a healthier, more compassionate and more viable future.

What can I add to this, except to say that I have had the great pleasure of working with this man for many years, and I can tell you he is a man of great character. I’m not saying Howard is a saint, or that he is perfect. Howard Lyman is human. He has faults; he makes mistakes; he has anxieties ands [sic] suffering, like all of us. But what he’s done, what’s so absolutely amazing about him, is that he has used his suffering as a springboard to gain strength to do everything he can to help life prosper, to help life be fulfilled, to help each and every sentient being thrive and be cherished.

Howard sees the pain of our times and knows it personally. He sees how wrong, how terribly and tragically mistaken, we have become in our food production and consumption patterns. He is not alone is seeing this. But what makes Howard Lyman so unique and so extraordinary is that he has given his life, with all his formidable talents and dedication, to do what he can and all that he can to help steer us towards a sane, ethical, and grateful relationship to what gives us life.

Howard Lyman is a big man, not because of his physical stature, but because of his moral stature. He stands among us as a man of love.

I am so grateful that he is here. And I give thanks, as I know you do, too, to Howard Lyman --- a wonderful human being, a dedicated human being, and a true gift to life.

Thank you.... John Robbins ("The Food Revolution")

PAST RECIPIENTS INCLUDE: Jay and Freya Dinshah, Helen and Scott Nearing, Michael Klaper, MD, George Eisman, RD, Paul Obis, Mahatma Gandhi, Alex Hershaft, Muriel C. Golde, Patricia Lambert