About

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You probably already know who we are and how we can help you. But in case you don’t, we’re the Vegan Bros.

 

Entrepreneurs, future New York Times best belling authors, and experts at helping you effortlessly get your friends, family, and everyone around you to go vegan.

 

But first, our story of 1,000 transformations.

 

SO MUCH SHAME

 

The Vegan Bros grew up in what some consider, “a cult on the extreme fringe of Christianity.”

 

Brighton Assembly of God

 

PHIL LETTEN AT 6 YEARS OLD

 

When Phil was six years old the church hosted a drama called Heaven’s Gates, Hell’s Flames.

 

The play started out with Jesus dying on the cross and coming back from the dead.

 

Immediately after that it gets into things.

 

The rest of the play is basically various scenes based on real life.

 

A couple of families driving in a car.

 

Someone contemplating suicide.

 

A party scene with drinking and drugs. etc.

 

At the end of each scene, everyone would die.

 

The people who accepted Jesus into their hearts during the scene would go to heaven.

 

And those who didn’t.

 

The lights would come down and get dark and red.

 

The music would change and the devil would come out from hell laughing and yelling.

 

Then he would tell the demons to take the people to hell.

 

Phil’s mom was in one of the scenes. And when she died the devil and demons took her to hell.

 

All while she was yelling and screaming that she didn’t want to go.

 

And Phil watched it when he was 6 years old.

 

He never talked about it with anyone. And he suppressed the memory until he was 30 years old.

 

It’s one of the most memorable moments of his life.

 

Phil is pretty sure this is an example of the exact scene.

 

Side Note: Later in life Phil played a demon in 2 very similar plays called Edge of Eternity and the Day After Death.

 

THE CULT

 

Fear of and hate for everyone and every thing was the norm.

 

Total division.

 

They didn’t just think they were better than people in other countries.

 

They didn’t just think they were better than people in other religions.

 

They didn’t just think they were better than people in other churches of the same denomination.

 

They even thought they were better than nearly everyone at their own church.

 

All while at the same time, every Sunday they were made to feel like complete and utter helpless failures who should be so ashamed of themselves.

 

They needed to ask for forgiveness every week.

 

Fuck! Not every week. Numerous times per day!

 

Speaking in tongues, getting slain in the spirit, they didn’t swear until were both like 20, scared of gay people, wives you are to submit to your husbands, etc. All that shit.

 

Matt and Phil were both not only members of the cult.

 

They were watched under the microscope by the church leaders and were routinely shamed and scolded in meetings as minors.

 

The church leaders kept folders on members in the office, listing negative character traits and incidents.

 

This video sums up the Vegan Bros childhood to a T. Except the camp they went to was called FA-HO-LO.

 

Everyone they grew up with is still stuck inside the cult. And they’ve learned to love them all.

 

But 1-by-1 the Letten family escaped.

 

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Photo taken recently and around 11 or 12 years after escaping from the cult. Also pictured are two friends that are like family, John Oberg and Victor Sjodin.

 

Starting with Phil, then Matt.

 

Then both of their parents.

 

MATT LETTEN

 

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Matt was severely overweight and struggled with depression and self-confidence most of his life… Tired. Sick. Sad. Always.

 

“FATSO!”

 

It was 3rd grade. Their family had just moved from Tennessee to Michigan.

 

That was the first time Matt remembers getting called names and made fun of for being overweight.

 

This was a struggle that Matt would take with him into college. And he just kept getting bigger.

 

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In 8th grade, even though he could barely even make eye contact with girls, he worked up the courage to ask out Michelle.

 

She was a girl he sat next to in marching band. She said “no.”

 

This was a significant moment in Matt’s life. At 15 Matt felt gutted, blamed it on his obesity, and departed further and further inside of himself.

 

He learned that if he didn’t put himself out there, he couldn’t be hurt by people.

 

But this left Matt feeling empty and worthless, and like he had no hope for getting in shape and ever having any self-confidence or happiness.

 

He tried to appear as the funny fat kid. But now feels this was a defense mechanism he used in hopes that people wouldn’t notice or make fun of how fat and ugly he felt.

 

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Matt began to assume no girls would be attracted to him. So he took less and less pride in his appearance, and things spiraled further downward.

 

COLLEGE FOR MATT

 

Matt didn’t think he had hope for his future.

 

But his parents encouraged him to go to a religious college.

 

So he did.

 

Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri.

 

The first two years of college were tormenting for Matt.

 

Friends were dating, he felt they were having fun, looking good, and enjoying life.

 

But Matt felt like a zombie.

 

Feeling depressed, lethargic, and unwell on a daily basis.

 

He frequented McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Papa Jon’s, etc. And he overate 3-5 meals per day.

 

Matt had ballooned up to 265 pounds and cared so little about his appearance he didn’t even take the time to fix his hair every day.

 

He would turn down invites with friends if a hot tub or pool were involved because he was petrified to have his shirt off in public.

 

THE CATALYST FOR MATT

 

Following a routine medical checkup.

 

The doctor let Matt know that at the age of 21, he was what the medical field considers pre-hypertension.

 

And Matt should consider medication to lower his blood pressure.

 

This doctors appointment was Matt’s lowest point and he began to recognize that.

 

He cried in his room when he got home.

 

In spite of all this crazy shit, both Phil and Matt think the world of their parents.

 

And they look back and love that their Dad decided to make a lot of money in his adulthood so Phil and Matt would never have to worry about money as children.

 

He even paid both college tuitions.

 

And then their Dad did something.

 

He began to express concern for Matt’s well-being.

 

He went so far as to threaten to stop paying Matt’s tuition if he didn’t turn his life around.

 

For years Matt resented his dad for doing that to him.

 

But the beauty in life is that as Matt reflects on this now, that ultimatum from his Dad was the single most important moment of his life.

 

And he’s thankful for it now.

 

MATT’S TRANSFORMATION

 

The fear of losing his college tuition was a wake-up call.

 

He wrote down in a journal how fat, ugly, depressed, and hopeless he felt.

 

He cried alone in his room and, for the first time, the tears felt good. It was cleansing.

 

He ended the journal entry by writing down a goal to lose 60 pounds. He didn’t think he knew how to reach it.

 

AN UNLIKELY ANGEL FOR MATT

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At 6’4″ and 240 pounds, Andy Zart would not be your default idea of what an angel looks like. But he was that for Matt.

 

Andy and Matt lived on the same floor in college, and Andy was a defensive end for EU’s football team.

 

Matt worked up the nerve to ask Andy for help to reach his goal of losing 60 pounds. It took every nerve in him to do it.

 

Andy excitedly said “yes.”

 

And the rest, as they say, is history.

 

He guided Matt at the gym every day for 2 weeks, and began to help Matt with nutrition advice.

 

It was everything he needed. His life seemed to change rapidly. Every time Matt looked in the mirror, he thought he looked better and better.

 

Pretty soon his clothes started getting baggy. He felt happier.

 

Fast forward 9 months and Matt had lost 100 pounds.

 

Matt feels his dad’s ultimatum, and Andy Zart’s friendship helped change the course of Matt’s life entirely.

 

Women were recognizing him for the first time.

 

It took him a while to figure out how to handle it.

 

He felt massive power and confidence, and now had his sights set on changing the lives of others.

 

His mentor, Dennis Whaley, recommended that Matt look into the fitness industry after college.

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The far left of this photo is Matt’s mentor, Dennis Whaley (RIP) This man was one of the most caring people he ever met. Dennis lives on through Matt and will be a part of everything Matt touches

 

Matt felt he had developed so much confidence and desire for life, that he didn’t just look into the fitness industry.

 

Matt decided he would open a gym. And he did just that.

 

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January of 2008 at the grand opening of Matt’s first gym. Matt and Phil are so incredibly thankful for their parents support throughout life.

 

Their dad helped Matt get a $200,000 loan and less than 7 months after graduating from college Matt became an entrepreneur.

 

Matt felt his gym was a massive success, bringing in over $300,000 it’s first year.

 

He then opened another gym, and another gym. And all 3 of them were busting at the seems.

 

By the time Matt sold his gyms, he had helped over 3,000 people work toward their health and fitness goals.

 

Full Circle

 

Prior to this transformation Matt thinks he was an angry, judgmental, unhappy person.

 

He believed he had the world figured out, and he straight up hated vegans and vegetarians, often screaming bacon at his brother, before devouring a steak right in front of him.

 

As a result of Matt’s inner and outer transformation, he became incredibly interested in learning all he could about the world, the way things work, and lies he may have been blindly believing through the first part of his life.

 

Phil mentioned a documentary he had been wanting to watch. ‘Death On A Factory Farm’ on HBO.

 

His curiosity was peaked, and he decided he’d check it out.

 

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Matt couldn’t believe what he saw.

 

Newborn piglets being thrown around and kicked. Being sliced open without painkillers and having their testicles ripped out.

 

This is all routine treatment in factory farms.

 

But this was the first time Matt felt he had the courage to realize this truth.

 

He couldn’t believe he had been lied to by the meat and dairy industry for years.

 

However, the most horrific scene to Matt was a mother pig being hoisted up by a fork lift with chains around her neck.

 

She was hung to die by the workers. They laughed and watched as she squealed and squirmed and eventually, died.

 

To this day Matt thinks about her often, and channels the torment and pain she must have felt as men kicked her, hung, her, and watched her die.

 

And he uses it to fuel him helping the world relieve itself of suffering.

 

He went vegetarian on the spot and vegan soon after.

 

But he recognizes that it wasn’t a “change” so to speak.

 

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On the left is Matt’s sidekick and best friend, Peyton. When Matt looked into Peyton’s eyes, he realized he could no longer eat animals. Pictured right is Matt with his friend Bruno. Matt thinks anyone who actually spends 5 minutes with Bruno, will never want to eat steak again.

 

Matt thinks that when we as humans self-actualize, veganism happens.

 

It’s an outward expression of the amazing person inside each and every one of us.

 

Matt realized for the first time that we all deserve inner peace and world peace.

 

MATT’S NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

 

Matt has a severe nut allergy.

 

3 years ago while dining at a 5 star restaurant, a chef said to Matt that all the vegan food was nut free.

 

The dish, in fact, had cashews in it. Matt began having an allergic reaction in seconds.

 

He was rushed to the emergency room, went into anaphylactic shock 3 times and nearly lost his life.

 

His heart rate rushed to over 210, his vision starting to go, his hearing started to go, and he blacked out for 3 hours.

 

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This is Matt during his 3 hour blackout where he accepted death, but them re-emerged back into life later that night!

 

During this time he had what he describes as a near death experience.

 

He thought he was going to die. And he felt a peace and calmness fall over him.

 

He woke up 3 hours later, with a new lease on life, and left with the warm realization that while we are alive, we should all live as fully as we can!

 

Matt is now in the best shape of his life, read over 75 books last year, and loves building businesses with his brother Phil, and reaching the world.

 

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PHIL LETTEN

 

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Phil was so shy and socially awkward growing up that he didn’t even know how to hold a basic conversation until he was 22 years old.

 

Obviously, he didn’t know how to talk to girls.

 

While everyone in his life felt they were teaching him NOT to objectify women.

 

Looking back he thinks he interpreted it the opposite.

 

And so he sees that he spent the first 30 years of his life objectifying women while thinking he was doing the opposite.

 

He didn’t think girls were attracted to him. (His first kiss was at 19. His first girlfriend was at 23.)

 

He had low self-esteem.

 

He felt like he was weird and everyone hated him.

 

Then he stopped eating meat when he was 17, and transitioned to vegan at 20.

 

And that’s when every other aspect of his life actually seemed to get worse.

 

Lower self-esteem, people hated him more, women liked him even less, etc.

 

And there was no way in hell he was influencing anyone in his life to go vegan.

 

Phil looks back now and notices that, as he got older, his self-esteem felt like it got lower by the week.

 

When he was 18, inspired by his brother’s physical transformation he began going to the gym.

 

Nothing crazy at the time.

 

But he looks back and noticed a slight positive change in the way he felt about himself.

 

Five months later he cut his hair and noticed another slight positive change in the way he felt about himself.

 

But no MAJOR positive changes. And things flatlined for a few years after that. Nothing else really changed until 2009, when he was 22.

 

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He graduated from Michigan State University in the summer of 2009 not knowing what the fuck was going on in his life.

 

PHIL MEETS A FRIEND

 

And almost immediately he met his now friend, Victor Anders Sjodin.

 

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Victor helped Phil flip a switch in his mind and things began to slowly change for Phil even more.

 

Vic saw something in Phil that Phil never saw in himself. That he was attractive and confident.

 

While he didn’t view himself as the most confident person in the world over night.

 

Phil was viewing life different.

 

Over the next 4 years Phil spent his time working on behalf of the nations foremost farm animal protection organizations.

 

Mercy For Animals, Vegan Outreach, the Humane League, and HSUS- Farm Animal Protection.

 

He handed out hundreds of thousands of pamphlets on factory farming on college campuses all over the country, gathered signatures for farm animal ballot initiatives in multiple states, lived out of a car even though his dad had more money than the average man, gave interviews to hundreds of mainstream media outlets, etc.

 

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He experienced a fuck ton of personal growth during that time period because he forced himself into numerous awkward and hostile social interactions on an almost daily basis.

Including walking around like a douchebag on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

 

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And he actually thinks he is good as fuck communicating in many different scenarios now.

 

And although he is a relatively small guy, he also thinks he is better than almost anyone else in the world at de-escalating hostile social situations now.

 

On the rare chance a person approaches him as an enemy, Phil makes sure they leave as his friend.

 

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Shock Jock DJ grilled hot dogs at their protest in Alabama. Phil thinks the DJ left feeling like an idiot, not because Phil made him feel that way. But because Phil and Nick Wallerstedt (Phil’s intern and friend) helped the man figure it out on his own. At the end the DJ realized they were all friends. And the DJ said he supported their campaign on the air.

 

Side Note: Before meeting Vic Phil’s self-esteem was low as fuck. 1.5 years later this beautiful woman messaged him on Facebook. Holy shit!

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7.5 years later Deanne and Phil are still friends. He still thinks she’s beautiful and amazing on the  outside and inside. And having her positive energy and enthusiasm in his life has only made l more amazing for Phil.ife

 

LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD

 

The Vegan Bros were born into, what they look back on as, a constant downward spiral until spring/summer 2017.

 

Yes, there were bits and pieces trying to get back up at various times. But in general, they feel they just kept spiraling downward.

 

At the bottom in every area of life.

 

And they know you will watch them rise and come out on top.

 

These transformation photos are a physical representation of 2 men who have literally just begun to leave the valley of their lives in these last few months.

 

MATT LETTEN

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PHIL LETTEN

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VEGAN BROS

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In many ways things have gotten better and better these last 11-ish years as they adopted a more positive mindset.

 

But they recently realized they were also running from their past. They hadn’t embraced all the crazy shit from their childhood.

 

And they hadn’t realized it was all just a misunderstanding.

 

And everything is actually alright.

 

They are currently skyrocketing!

 

They feel like their lives are already becoming effortless in every way.

 

They walk into a coffee shop and everyone is nice to them

 

They get shit for free without even asking.

 

People go out of their way to help them both.

 

People they just speak to for 30 seconds make moves toward going vegan.

 

Dagen McDowell from FOX NEWS says she goes vegan after following them on Instagram!

 

Wisdom and Knowledge

 

They enjoy sharing their wisdom and knowledge with people from all walks of life regardless of political affiliation, religion, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, even whether you’re vegetarian or not, etc.

 

And they love learning from the wisdom and knowledge each person they meet has gained.

 

They love hanging out with Toby Morse, vocalist of legendary hardcore band H2O, and Alissa White-Gluz, vocalist of metal band Arch Enemy.

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They love hanging out with CEOs and leaders of successful companies they feel are changing the world.

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They love hanging out with pastors of both churches small.

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And large.

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They love hanging out with police officers.

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They love hanging out with amazing women who are changing the world just to connect with them while in LA.

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And London.

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They love hanging out with their friends who are gay (one of whom is Nathan Runkle, President of Mercy For Animals).

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They love hanging out with various people who they view as leaders of the animal advocacy movement.

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Phil loves hanging out with people who speak Spanish, but not very good English.

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They love hanging out with people who don’t currently live in homes.

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The Vegan Bros think each person’s perspective is unique. And they love imparting their knowledge and wisdom to others.

But they also love to learn from the wisdom and knowledge of each person they meet.

That way the Vegan Bros walk into each conversation with more and more wisdom and knowledge to share.

Always coming their best before each person they meet.

 

And they look forward to becoming friends with more people from even more walks of life. Everyone!

Both everyday people and world leaders of all types and from all sides of the political spectrum.

 

They literally love hanging out with everyone! Even striving to love people who claim to hate them!

 

TRUE WEALTH

 

The Vegan Bros have invested tens of thousands of dollars into developing themselves over the years.

 

And the life experiences they’ve had are worth millions of dollars.

 

While many others in the vegan community are wondering why everyone hates vegans.

 

The Vegan Bros are sitting back, watching as both their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins (on both sides of the family) and acquaintances go vegan.

 

The Vegan Bros credit this success to what they’ve learned from personal experiences outside their comfort zone and interacting with other people physically, reading books, watching lectures, taking online courses, etc.

 

But most importantly, they credit their successes to taking imperfect action over and over and over again.

 

And the Vegan Bros want to help you achieve the same results in your life.

 

Let’s save all the motherfucking animals!

 

Feel free to check out our blog, videos, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

 

To join us on our journey, don’t forget to sign up for our email list here:

 

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