Earth Day!

“If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat…it’s staggering when you think about it — a plant based diet takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, and cruelty.” – Sir Paul McCartney

According to a recent United Nations report, a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change because of emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.  Researchers at the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is fifty percent more effective in reducing your carbon footprint than switching from a regular car to a hybrid.

Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population of the U.S.  Many of the millions of pounds of excrement and other waste (contaminated with antibiotics, arsenic, and other chemicals) produced by U.S. factory farms are stored in sprawling lagoons.  The toxic waste in these lagoons often seeps or spills out into surrounding waterways and kills massive numbers of fish and other animals.

If you eat vegan just one day a week for a year you will save 95,000 gallons of water, 245 pounds of grain, 7,000 square feet of rain forest, some of the 10 billion animals killed each year, 15.5 gallons of gas, 87 square feet of topsoil from erosion, and your health!  A plant based diet, even one day a week, will help reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables greatly reduce heart disease and diabetes (source wannaveg.com).

“Raising animals for food is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” – United Nations

Happy Earth Day!

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“You’ve inspired me to go vegan again!”

“The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.” – Mahatma Gandhi

In my day job I serve as the Director of Human Resources for a community services agency — this keeps me very busy!  Today we had a Health & Wellness Fair at one of our locations — employees enjoyed chair massage, assessments, healthy treats, and of course information about open enrollment for benefits.  One of my favorite employees, D, walked in and said to me, “You’ve inspired me to go vegan again!”  This was ironic as she was one of the ones that inspired me to start vegan in the first place!

Last November, D and I were sitting at a table together during the organization’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon and her plate contained just rolls and a potato.  I had loaded up on the turkey and stuffing as I was still a carnivore then.  She explained that she was mostly vegan so there was nothing else she could eat — even the green beans had bacon on them!  My heart sank as I was one of the ones responsible for the feast and I hadn’t thought about offering alternative food choices.  I asked D about her reasons why and she simply stated that she was against factory farming.  I knew little about it at the time so I started doing some research and was appalled.  I can’t even begin to share with you the horrific images burned into my brain — everyone needs to see for themselves.  We had already been toying with trying a vegan diet — we have wonderful friends that are vegan and saw major health benefits.  Between the animal cruelty and our quest for wellness we decided to make the switch in late November.

A few weeks ago D and I were in a meeting and as we chatted before starting I shared my vegan journey.  She admitted then to slipping back into some old habits.  Today she said that our conversation made her realize she needed to go back to the right way of eating!  Bravo D!

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Boston Marathon

There was a moment of panic when I first heard about the bombings in Boston since my brother-in-law and his sister were running the marathon and my sister was at the finish line to cheer them on.  When I heard I immediately called my sister and she answered the phone with, “we’re okay.”  Others didn’t get to hear that good news today and it makes my heart sick — why is there so much violence in the world?

I just read an excerpt taken from the famous speech by Chief Seattle in 1854, “So we will consider your offer to buy our land.  If we decide to accept, I will make one condition — the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.  I am a savage and do not understand any other way.  I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train.  I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.  What is man without the beast?  If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit.  For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man.  All things are connected.”

Today’s events have made me think about how we are all connected — could the loneliness of spirit that Chief Seattle spoke of be contributing to the hatred and violence in the world?

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