HomeArticlesNikolai Drozdov: animal lover with 45 years of vegetarianism

Honorary titles of Nikolai Drozdov

Our list of Russian representatives of vegetarianism opens with a well-known personality by an unforgettably kind voice behind the scenes of the program “In the World of Animals”. Since 1977, its author and presenter has been Nikolai Nikolaevich Drozdov , a Soviet and Russian zoologist, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, one of the most respected scientists and teachers of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov, public figure, member of the expert council of the national award "Crystal Compass", member of the media council of the Russian Geographical Society.

  • In 1989 N.N. Drozdov is included in the Honorary list of leading ecologists and environmentalists of all countries of the world "Global 500" UNEP.
  • In 1992 he was awarded the “Golden Panda” (“Green Oscar”) “For Outstanding Achievement” at the largest nature film festival in Bristol (Great Britain).
  • In 1994 he was elected a member of the International Explorers Club.
  • In 1995, he was awarded the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science and the Albert Einstein Medal, and was elected a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.
  • In 1996-1998 he was a member of the Supreme Advisory Council for Sustainable Development under the UN Secretary General.
  • In 1998, he was awarded the Honorary Diploma of the World Wide Fund for Nature Conservation “For outstanding contribution to nature conservation in Russia and around the world”.
  • In 2006 N.N. Drozdov was awarded the Order of Honor by the decree of the President.

You can list many more awards and titles of this outstanding person, but kindness is considered his main merit and worthy of respect. Nikolai Nikolaevich not only loves to explore and enthusiastically talk about animals, but also actively advocates for their rights, fights for environmental protection and against deforestation, and is also a well-known vegetarian.

Rich scientific activity

The activity of this tireless person is so wide that it is impossible to cover it in one article. Here are the most significant milestones in his research and journalistic fields:

  • As a scientific researcher, Nikolai Drozdov participated in dozens of scientific expeditions around the world: Kamchatka, the Far East, the Kuril Islands, the Pamirs, the Tien Shan, the Karakum, etc.
  • In 1971-1972. passed a 10-month scientific internship at the Department of Zoology of the Australian National University in Canberra.
  • In 1979, already being a vegetarian, he climbed the summit of Elbrus (5642 m) with a group of climbers.
  • In 1980, he took part in a four-month UNESCO expedition under the project “Protection and rational use of island ecosystem resources” to the islands of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.
  • In 1993 and 1995 participated in expeditions on the Russian icebreaker Yamal to the North Pole and along the Northern Sea Route, as well as on the Discoverer ship along the coast of Alaska and Canada.
  • He is the author of about 200 scientific and popular science articles, more than 20 books, textbooks and manuals for schoolchildren, students and teachers.

Scientist Vegetarian

At 78 (!) years old, Nikolai Drozdov has not eaten meat for almost 45 years, contrary to the popular belief that people do not live long without it due to a lack of necessary elements. Drozdov says:  “I became a vegetarian in 1970 when I was working with Alexander Sguridi in India. I read books about the teachings of yogis and realized that there is no need to eat meat for three reasons, because: it is poorly digested; moral (animals should not be offended); spiritual - it turns out that a plant-based diet makes a person more calm, friendly, peaceful.”

Nikolai Nikolaevich believes that the human body, by its nature, like the organisms of most primates, is not adapted to eating meat food (according to the classification of the dental system): “There is so much vegetable protein in plants. Especially in peas, various legumes, in spinach, in beans. This vegetable protein may well be for the construction of our body. There is an old-vegetarian diet, when without dairy products and eggs. But already young vegetarianism allows dairy products and eggs. And it is better to consume sour-milk products, this is understandable. Therefore, without meat, you can live perfectly.” Drozdov himself is in excellent physical shape: he travels a lot around the world, horseback riding, yoga, skiing, running in the mornings and swimming in the hole. And all this without the essential amino acids found in meat for more than half of its life.

But it was not always so. In his youth, Nikolai Nikolayevich was addicted to smoking and rich fatty foods, as a result of which, by the age of 38, he had gained an extra 30 kilograms and began to experience pain in his leg. However, after a 10-day fast and subsequent transition to a plant-based diet, the condition improved, the pain disappeared and lightness and vigor appeared. “I remember how sciatica caught me on an expedition in the desert. And then I was only twenty-eight years old. I walked for a long, long time in the heat, and suddenly it began to rain. I hid under a bush, and then I couldn’t get up: the cold water constricted my entire back, pinched a nerve. And at that age! But now I don’t know what sciatica is, because every morning I do exercises for an hour and a half. These are exercises for all muscle groups and yoga gymnastics. I have a teacher - Yuri Petrovich Gushcho. He wrote the book Twelve Keys to the Longevity Safe.

explains his choice in favor of a plant-based diet as follows: “Vegetarianism is really a life position that comes from the philosophy of yogis. I believe that this path is very correct for a person. Our stomach is well adapted to plant foods, but animal digestion requires a lot of energy. In addition, I am calm - for my sake, animals are not killed. You have probably seen more than once how housewives in the markets choose meat: this is for soup, this is for roast. And if you think about it, they turn over pieces of a dismembered corpse.”

Nikolai Nikolaevich does not eat eggs, fish, but sometimes he allows himself fermented milk products: kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese. For breakfast, he loves oatmeal with honey, because he considers it healthy, and he always eats pureed pumpkin. And during the day he uses vegetable salads, Jerusalem artichoke, cucumbers, cereals and is especially fond of zucchini. “I used to eat seafood and fish. This is considered fast food. Now I realized that I can do without it. My teacher Yuri Gushcho, whom I have already told you about, also does not eat meat. So, he found out that there are a lot of vegetarians among the Olympic champions. So do not think that plant foods do not give strength. And how. The orangutan and the gorilla are pure vegetarians, but I would not advise anyone to mess with them.”

True, he still had to eat food of animal origin: during the television show "The Last Hero" in the diet of the participants were toads and snakes. So in one of the episodes, Nikolai Nikolayevich, together with singer Kirill Tolmatsky, cooked poisonous frog soup and poisoned the participants in the game with it. Due to the lack of fresh water, they poorly washed the frog meat, and paid for it. Nikolai Nikolayevich himself commented on this situation in the following way: “The only time he deviated from his principles and nothing good came of it. But then I didn’t have much choice, we learned to survive on the island, so sometimes we caught fish, shellfish, and picked mushrooms. However, in ordinary life, we have plenty of plant foods.

Public activities of Nikolai Drozdov

In addition to participating in many environmental organizations, Nikolai Nikolayevich himself created his own project. In 2010, the International Ecological Movement "Terra Viva" (Living Earth) foundedThis is one of the instruments of public participation in the protection of nature and environmental human rights. Another goal of the movement is to encourage environmentally responsible companies that do not harm and even help the formation of an ecological habitat. The largest project of our Terra Viva movement is the project to support the Yasuni Nature Reserve in Ecuador. The reserve is considered one of the most unique places on the planet in terms of biological diversity. And now 982,000 hectares of unique selva in the western part of the Amazon basin are under threat. Our public organization considered that it is necessary to try to save this special flora and fauna of the country, the property of all mankind. Last year, we came together to help preserve Ecuador, the real pearl of the Pacific Ocean,” Nikolai Drozdov said at a press conference on April 11, 2012. The Terra Viva project has been officially awarded the status of a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

On May 17, 2012, a festive concert dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the creative activity of Nikolai Nikolayevich was held at the State Kremlin Palace. “We hold the concert “In the world of animals and friends” in order to raise money for operations on children with “cleft lip” and “cleft palate”. If one operation can return a smile to children, then it can and should be done, ” said the culprit of the ceremony.

But our hero is known not only for kindness, passion for animals, diligence and excellent health. Everyone is surprised at the unchanging optimism of Nikolai Drozdov - this is his calling card. “A certain number of years are allotted to a person, which he must live in joy and in a good mood. I really like the saying: "He who does not smoke and does not drink will die healthy." In my opinion, to save oneself, to be healthy until the last day of life is a great happiness.


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