• Laura Simonson

Brenda Davis, RD: Tenacity & Courage

Updated: Nov 21

This post is part of our #MondayMotivation series. What do motivation and inspiration have to do with plant-based food for dogs? Fetch our perspective here.


It was 2011 and in the midst of Virchew's formative days when I happened to be temporarily living near Brenda Davis, RD in BC, Canada. I knew I just had to meet this incredible woman. I had been following her work for over 15 years. As a vegan Registered Dietician, she was a trailblazer in her profession - not only in North America - but internationally. I reached out to her to connect for tea and she immediately replied. Upon meeting her, I was taken by her strength, knowledge, and dedicated heart.


"Brenda Davis is, 'The Godmother' of vegan dietitians." - VegNews


Her story of tenacity and courage is remarkable and beyond inspiring. Long before most of the world was mouthing the word 'vegan,' she was already researching and writing her best-selling books. Through her lectures and exquisitely detailed books, she graciously challenged the status quo by doggedly publishing the research and facts (in some cases, along with colleague and pioneering RD, Vesanto Melina). Although she encountered discrediting industry pushback, she endured and did not slow down. Now, over three decades later, her work is revered by highly-respected health professionals around the globe. Her story is a real-life metaphor for one of my favorite quotes:


"Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident." — Arthur Schopenhauer Among many other awards, Brenda was recently bestowed with the 2022 Plantrician Project Luminary Award at the International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference in Palm Desert, California.


Thankfully, there is a video of her award acceptance and we highly recommend watching!


Video Link >


As the Facebook post commenter so perfectly described:


"Brenda spoke from the heart after receiving the 2022 Plantrician Project Luminary Award. Her intellect and compassion are always on display." — Carol MacLeod

It is rare to meet a professional in the nutrition industry with such a tenacious and courageous dedication. Motivating and inspiring to say the least.


Also, to put Brenda's bravery in context to our Monday Motivation series. As I shared in my blog, "On Belonging vs. Fitting In', Brenda (was and is) without an ounce of doubt, 'braving the wilderness'. (Based on the research and theory of renowned researcher, Brene Brown.)


Investing In the Future


To circle back to the days following our tea connection. Aside from the gifts of meeting her (and her wonderful husband, Paul) and learning so much from her contributions - Brenda loved our Virchew story so much, she became a valued shareholder in the Virchew community. This is what she shares about Virchew:


"I LOVE this company - so much that I purchased shares. They are quite simply an amazing team.⁠ I joined Virchew both as a consultant and a shareholder because I was very impressed with the company.⁠

From the moment I began learning about Virchew, I was sold. It is a brilliant idea put together with passion, integrity, and incredible attention to detail. The company has a truly extraordinary vision and remarkable strategy - a combination that is rare in the business world today and very exciting to be a part of." - Brenda Davis, RD⁠


Thank you, Brenda, for your truly extraordinary contribution to a vegan world. Thousands and thousands of people have been touched by your life's service and work.


***


BRENDA'S SHORT BIO:


Brenda has been a featured speaker at medical, nutrition, and dietetic conferences in over 20 countries on 5 continents. Her most interesting adventures include a personal consult and lecture for a member of the royal family (and his staff) in Saudi Arabia with a colleague, Dr. Michael Greger


As a prolific nutrition and health writer, Brenda has authored/co-authored 12 books with nearly a million copies in print in 15 languages.


Fetch more about Brenda's history and follow her unparalleled journey:

Website

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