Category Archives: Animal Welfare

A NEW MAMA ON MOTHER’S DAY

My family and I have had the privilege of watching this wonder of nature for the last few weeks…and today our favorite hummingbird became a mama.  How appropriate that her first egg hatched on Mother’s Day.

Much love,

Gretchen

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Education

VANISHING OF THE BEES

Where would we all be without bees?  We certainly wouldn’t be eating the fruits and veggies that we adore.

My family and I recently watched the documentary, Vanishing of the Bees.  I highly recommend this film for the light it sheds on this issue.  In addition to learning about Colony Collapse Disorder, I learned a lot about bees in general (they are fascinating beings).

This year when I plant my garden I want to focus some attention on adding some plants that bees really love…my way of saying thank you to them for all that they do.  I found  a great article from the Honeybee Conservancy about planting a bee garden (click HERE for the article).

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Education, Farming, Vegan, Vegetarian, Video

BOOK REVIEW – Healthy Eating Healthy World

In a word, Healthy Eating Healthy World is groundbreaking. Never before have I seen such a multi-faceted look at the power of plant-based nutrition. J. Morris Hicks (With Stanfield Hicks) examines the destructive nature of meat consumption on our environment as well as our personal health while also delving into the cruelty animals experience on factory farms, and the horrendous issue of human starvation throughout the world. Hicks successfully demonstrates the causal relationship between the SAD (Standard American Diet) and the aforementioned issues.

  • In all, raising livestock accounts for 78 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the land surface of the planet. –Page 72
  • To produce one kilo of potatoes requires 100 litres of water; to produce the same amount of beef requires 13,000 litres of water. -Page 78
  • [T]o feed a single person the typical Western diet (heavy with animal products) for a year requires 3.25 acres of arable land. To feed one vegan requires about 1/6 of an acre. -Page 109.

These facts force one to go inward and examine how one can in all good conscience eat the hamburger that contributes so strongly to the hunger of others.  If we were to use the feed given to animals to feed humans I have to think we would be moving in the direction of a solution.

While reading Healthy Eating Healthy World I was struck by the ease with which J. Morris Hicks was able to join together such a comprehensive amount of information with regards to plant-based eating. From the health benefits, to the scientific evidence behind those benefits, to Doug Lisle’s research on why we are so addicted to the very foods we need to be avoiding (The Pleasure Trap), to the HOWS of living a plant based lifestyle. So many books focus solely on the problems our world is facing, and while this book definitely explains those issues, the solutions are detailed as well.

  • In August 2010, for the first time ever, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that they will pay for intensive diet and exercise programs developed under the Ornish and Pritikin brands for reducing cardiovascular event risk. -Page 17

When I read that I practically jumped for joy.  We are starting to see REAL solutions.  Nutrition-based healing vs. drug dependency is going to propel this nation toward health.  While medication can be lifesaving during acute illness, nutritional excellence can achieve true healing versus the masking of symptoms long-term medication provides.

Along those same lines, Hicks digs his heels into the inefficiency and corruption that exists within the health insurance and food industries.  We have hospitals charging $8 for a single Motrin (personal experience) and nutritional researchers being financed by the food industry itself.

  • [A]nother found 34% of the primary authors of 800 papers in molecular biology and medicine to be involved in patents, to serve on advisory committees, or to hold personal shares in companies that might benefit from the research. -Page 145 

I don’t know what the solution is, however if people are not aware of the problem, the solution to it will not be found.  For that reason I am thrilled that Hicks is bringing these issues to light.  

As I mentioned above, Hicks does take the time to explain HOW one can healthfully follow a whole food plant-based diet. 42 pages of the book are dedicated to educating the reader about nutrition and WHAT to eat.  My hope is that the reader will be inspired by what they have learned and push further into the subject matter by reading the works of Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

I highly recommend Healthy Eating Healthy World for those who are looking for a concise yet wonderfully in-depth and well-rounded book that truly does bring all of the issues into the same room.  These issues are truly interdependent.

 

To read my interview of J. Morris Hicks on Chic Vegan click HERE

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Books, Education, Farming, General Vegan, Metabolic Syndrome, Research, Research, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Issues

ADOPT-A-TURKEY

I am sure that a lot of you are planning your Thanksgiving meals full swing right now (so fun!) and for many of you (including me), you will be going to Thanksgiving at someone else’s house where a roasted Turkey will take center stage.  Thanksgiving can be a touchy time for plant-based eaters / vegans (which ever label you prefer) in that so much focus is put on the turkey and as a result we tend to get a lot of attention from family and friends for not consuming any.

I know a lot of you feel guilt about attending a Thanksgiving celebration where turkey is served.  Rest assured that there is something you can do to help offset your guilt…Adopt-A-Turkey!  For 25 years now Farm Sanctuary has been rescuing turkeys at Thanksgiving time (and all year round).  Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey project:

“[S]eeks to end the misery of commercially-raised turkeys by offering a compassionate alternative for Thanksgiving. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has rescued more than 1,000 turkeys, placed hundreds into loving homes through our annual Turkey Express adoption event, educated millions of people about their plight, and provided resources for a cruelty-free holiday. For a one-time $30 donation, anyone can sponsor turkeys residing at Farm Sanctuary. Sponsor a turkey and receive a special adoption certificate in your name – or give sponsorships as gifts for family and friends. Donations are also needed to support our lifesaving efforts to promote a compassionate Thanksgiving and protect all farm animals.”

For the second year in a row, Ellen DeGeneres is the spokesperson for this wonderful project.

Says DeGeneres: “Did you know that every year between 250 and 300 million turkeys are bred for slaughter in the United States? More than 46 million for Thanksgiving alone. So, this Thanksgiving instead of eating a turkey, please join me in adopting one from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project and you can give a turkey something to be thankful for.” 

Image of Ellen courtesy of VegNews

Turkey images courtesy of FarmSanctuary

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Education, Farming, Vegan, Vegetarian