Get a free copy of Sick to Fit!

glen-merzerGlen Merzer juggles multiple careers with a grace and impact that makes me a bit jealous. From standup comedy in 1980s San Francisco (now I'm a little jealous), to sitcom writing, to screenplays, to non-fiction collaborations with plant-based authors, to his very own novel (now I'm a lot jealous!), Glen is doing a lot of good in the world through his pen.

I first found Glen through his co-writing of Howard Lyman's Mad Cowboy, about his transformation from cattle rancher to vegan activist. (Howard was Oprah's co-defendent in the slander lawsuit brought by Big Beef.)

Glen has also helped three other friends and colleagues of mine birth their books: Chef AJ, Pam Popper, and Del Sroufe. He's also contributed to Benji Kurtz's new book, The Plant Advantage. (Benji is scheduled to be a podcast guest in the next month or so.)

In our conversation, we chatted about writing, about his journey to plant-based eating, and about his novel, Off the Reservation, which is about a vegan Congressperson who runs for president. This discussion led to an in-depth critique of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and a discussion of a way to reform the electoral college.

So this episode of the podcast goes further into politics and policy than I've ever gone. Hopefully there's something here to interest and challenge (as well as offend) everyone.

Glen and I covered:

  • performing standup in San Francisco after graduating from a “hippy-dippy” school
  • writing for “the stupidest sitcom in Hollywood”
  • confronting his family's history of cardiovascular disease
  • becoming vegetarian in 1973 (at 17) and bringing his mother with him (she's now 97)
  • why Mad Cowboy started as a screenplay and become a book instead
  • the impact of Dick Gregory's vegetarianism and anti-war fast
  • “… a hamburger looks like a heart attack”
  • Glen's changing views on animal rights, and why it hasn't changed the tenor of his advocacy
  • how being proved right about mad cow disease led to a second book (No More Bull) with Howard
  • writing Food Over Medicine with Pam Popper as a dialog
  • the recent controversy over the phrase “Off the Reservation” and why Glen doesn't buy it in reference to his book
  • what Bernie Sanders misses about the healthcare crisis in America
  • the difference between health insurance and health
  • how to save $100 billion and millions of lives per year (by repealing one bill)
  • why pharmaceutical misbehavior is not the crux of our health problems
  • the political feasibility of an actual candidate promoting a plant-based diet as the foundation of health policy
  • why Glen thinks big money in politics isn't as important as it used to be (he makes a good case, but I'm not entirely convinced, but I'm a lousy debater, so he wins 😉
  • Glen's solution to the electoral college problem
  • and much more…

Oh, and we forgot to cover a plant-based health event that Glen is involved in in Southern California on Sunday, June 26, 2016. Read about it here.

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Off the Reservation, by Glen Merzer

Mad Cowboy, by Howard Lyman with Glen Merzer

No More Bull, by Howard Lyman with Glen Merzer and Joanna Samorow-Merzer

Unprocessed, by Chef AJ and Glen Merzer

Food Over Medicine, by Pam Popper, PhD, ND, and Glen Merzer

The Happy Cow Cookbook, edited by Eric Brent and Glen Merzer

Better Than Vegan, by Del Sroufe with Glen Merzer

Remedy Food Project Health Intensives

The Plant Advantage, by Benji Kurtz with Glen Merzer

Support the Podcast

Like what you hear? You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by becoming a patron. Click the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.


Big thanks to whoever invented wicking t-shirts, and to all the patrons of the Plant Yourself Podcast:

  • Kim Harrison
  • Lynn McLellan
  • Anthony Dissen
  • Brittany Porter
  • Dominic Marro
  • Elizabeth Clifton
  • Barbara Whitney
  • Tammy Black
  • Amy Good
  • Amanda Hatherly
  • Mary Jane Wheeler
  • Ellen Kennelly
  • Melissa Cobb
  • Rachel Behrens
  • Christine Nielsen
  • Tina Scharf
  • Tina Ahern
  • Jen Vilkinofsky
  • David Byczek


Favor alert!

Favor #1: Help my buddy Josh LaJaunie represent the plant-based community on the cover of Runners' World magazine. They're holding a contest, and the first hurdle is for Josh to get enough votes to qualify for the second round.

Go here to vote: You can (and should 🙂 vote once every 24 hours. Thanks!

Favor #2: Review the Plant Yourself Podcast on iTunes. Say something useful (and hopefully positive). Give us some stars (hopefully five). Help us get found in the labyrinthine iTunes podcast store. Thanks!

Check out my online TV show, Triangle Be Well. This week I talk about why you need to take the initiative when talking with your doctor about your health and healthcare. Check it out here.

I can help you navigate the medical system and adopt a healthy lifestyle

I'm available for one-on-one consulting and coaching to help you navigate the medical system, make informed decisions, take control of your health destiny, and achieve true wellness and not just medical management of disease.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

Comment on the show notes for this episode (below)
Call 919-794-3735 to leave a voicemail

Connect with me

Visit Howard Jacobson's health consulting site,
Subscribe, rate, and review in iTunes
Join the Plant Yourself Facebook Page


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive amazon gift certificates from your actions on such links.

1 comment on “Glen Merzer on Writing, Standup, and the Politics of Healthcare: PYP 159

  1. David Byczek says:

    I personally liked the talk about our current healthcare. It was my favorite part! I always say I wished that Obamacare had been passed as a series of small bills instead of one giant hulking clump of poop. I’m a Bernie fan but Glenn brought up very good points against single payer and the fact that he’s not talking about prevention(but who is), just putting more people in doctor’s offices more often.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *