For those of you that don't know Rene, he was the founder of the Australian based Fruitarian Network, and toward the end of the 80s and throughout much of the 1990s edited and produced a small informal quarterly newsletter, which was surely an inspiration and encouragement for many world wide, with many wise written words and testimonies on the benefits of the fruit only diet.
Rene was 2 months short of becoming 82, and and surely wasn't having an easy time toward the end, with failing eyesight and mobility problems, I've been told he died with a body riddled with cancer..
A fruitarian dieing of cancer? Yes, that would puzzle me too if it were strictly true. I mean, it's not that I categorically rule out the possibility of a fruitarian with cancer, as there can be other contributing factors besides food intake leading to such physiological situations, but sadly I believe Rene, being originally of dutch decent and background, growing up through Europe in the 2nd world war, suffering many hardships and no doubt other tough life experiences, did not adopt his fruitarian ideas until quite late in life, and despite his seeming conviction to fruitarianism, Rene himself had difficulty putting his own beliefs and philosophies consistently into practise. So, much as he was undoubtedly dedicated to spreading the truth about food, he himself never truly sought out the correct nurturing environment and surroundings to allow integration of such ideas fully into his own life.
I last met the guy toward the end of the 1990s, but had a decent chat with him on the phone barely 7 or 8 months ago.. He expressed at the time some frustration that he had not come to fruitarianism earlier in his life, and wished to indicate that his ails were not at all stemming from a fruit diet, - something I'm sure he'd wish to be made known to any puzzled followers.
In honour of the fellow, there will be a small memorial held this coming sunday (14th November) at 16:00, on the northern end of Trinity beach (Cairns, Australia), anyone who knew him, or of him, is welcome to attend, just bring along an item of fruit or 2 to share, and enjoy the picnic.
Rene's newsletter was most definitely a comfort for me as I myself struggled sticking with fruit and even raw, and it helped to read of and share experiences with others through the informal newsletter, and know that I was far from alone with those struggles (in those pre-internet days, such fruitarian magazines were about the only way we had of connecting with other like minds!). So I'd like to personally thank Rene for being there and being an often voice of reason.
Wherever you're at, enjoy the fruits of your labour Rene!