5 Awesome Reasons We Could Have a Vegan America by 2050

785px-Bill_ClintonAfter undergoing quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and a later stent surgery, Bill Clinton adopted a vegan diet in 2010. Since then, he’s lost 20 pounds, and is now an advocate for vegan and meatless diets.

“I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now,” Clinton told a CNN reporter. “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy.”

Clinton is not alone. If the growing number of vegans continues to rise at the same pace, we could have a meat- and dairy-free country by 2050. Here’s the proof:

1.  The Rise of Fast-Casual Chains. Casual-dining chains like Red Lobster and Olive Garden were all the rage in the 1990s but have faced decreasing traffic in nine out of the past 13 years. Instead, so-called fast-casual dining is red-hot. Chipotle, Panera and Five Guys offer cheaper, quicker, but also higher-quality, dining experiences. Fast-casual is the fastest-growing segment in the restaurant industry, with an 11 percent increase in sales in 2013. These chains are not all vegan, but they generally offer fresh, nutritious food, with vegan options — a very different proposal from the dreary over-cooked meat and fish options available at Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

2. Changes in the Fast-Food Industry. Chains like Burger King, Wendy’s, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and many more have pledged to phase out products derived from the industry’s most horrific practices. Moe’s Southwest Grill offers tofu, Chipotle offers “Sofritas” (delcious tofu braised in a variety of tasty spices), and Tropical Smoothie Café offers Beyond Meat as a substitute to any chicken wrap, sandwich or salad. The vegan chain Loving Hut has 43 restaurants in 15 states. Native Foods Café plans to open 200 new locations. And yes, McDonald’s is not doing so well.

3. Consumers Are Becoming Aware of the Horrific Effects of Eating Meat. Meat impacts the environment so severely because livestock require so much more land, food, water and energy than plants to raise and transport. Producing a four-ounce (quarter pound) hamburger, for example, requires seven pounds of grain and forage, 53 gallons of drinking water and water for irrigating feed crops, and 75 square feet of land for grazing and growing feed crops.

4. Meat consumption Is Down. In 2012, Americans consumed 12.2 percent less meat than in 2007. Half of us are aware of Meatless Mondays, and nearly as many of us are eating at least one vegetarian meal a week. If you search on Google for “vegan caterer” you will get 16,200 results. And the most vegan-friendly cities aren’t always where you might expect them: there’s Portland, Ore., Los Angeles and New York, but the list also includes Chicago, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. A Google News search for “vegan 2013? provides 24,200 results, while a “vegan 2003? search provides only 1,650 results.

5. The Famous Are Going Vegan. It’s not just Bill Clinton. Long-time vegetarian Natalie Portman went vegan in 2009 after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals. As she wrote in a blog on Huffington Post: “The human cost of factory farming — both the compromised welfare of slaughterhouse workers and, even more, the environmental effects of the mass production of animals — is staggering.” Similar to Natalie Portman, comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres switched to a vegan diet in 2008 after reading several books on animal rights and diets. “I do it because I love animals,” DeGeneres told Katie Couric. “And I saw the reality and I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.” Degeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, agrees; their 2008 wedding featured a vegan menu. Other big names who are vegan include Al Gore, Mike Tyson, Alicia Silverstone, Joaquin Phoenix and Usher.

As it turns out, we may not have a choice. While celebrities like Clinton have been advocating a vegan diet, leading scientists have issued stern warnings about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegan diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.

A vegan America by 2050? Hooray!

What do you think? Could the U.S. be vegan by 2050?

source: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-awesome-reasons-we-could-have-a-vegan-america-by-2050.html#ixzz3DiNB2UmG

Vegan America by 2050?

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I'm making a prediction: America will be vegan by 2050.

Sound preposterous? Not if we work together to make it happen.

Consider that until the 1900s millions of young children worked in our factories... and how untenable that would be today. Consider that a country built on the backs of slaves elected Barack Obama in 2008. Consider that seventeen states in a country where gays lived painfully in the closet just decades ago, now allow them to marry. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice," Martin Luther King said, paraphrasing a longer quotation from transcendentalist Theodore Parker. Our nation's history speaks this truth.

And consider that a 2012 study found that when ten percent of the population holds "an unshakable belief, that belief is always adopted by the majority of the society."

Most importantly, consider what's happening before our very eyes:

1. Meat consumption is down, while "all things vegan" are on the rise.

In 2012, Americans consumed 12.2 percent less meat than in 2007. Half of us are aware of Meatless Mondays, and nearly as many are, in fact, eating at least one vegetarian meal a week. A Google search for "vegan caterer" yields 16,200 results. Our plant-based pals are in cities that you'd expect (Portland, Chicago, New York) but more encouragingly, in those you wouldn't, like Smithfield, North Carolina, a town where homes are filled with the stench of hog manure and where manure mist settles on homes, cars, sidewalks, and laundry left on the line. A Google News search for "vegan 2013" provides 24,200 results, while a "vegan 2003" search provides only 1,650 results. From 2005 to 2014, Google trends reports a 3-fold increase in vegan interest.

Naturally, our changing attitudes are changing industry:

2. Supermarkets are changing.

No matter whether you live, your favorite supermarket likely looks pretty different than it did five years ago. According to Supermarketnews.com, one of the Top Ten Food Trends predicted for 2013 was new vegetarian and vegan proteins, and in the two preceding years, over 100 meat substitutes were introduced to grocery stores. Some supermarkets, like Whole Foods in Northern California, are replacing egg-based mayonnaise with a non-GMO canola product called Just Mayo, and while the department may still be called "dairy," it's easy to find non-dairy milks, butters, and sometimes even cheeses there.

3. Restaurants are changing.

Our rejection of agribusiness is evident in changes taking place in the fast-food industry: chains like Burger King, Wendy's, Subway, Dunkin' Donuts and many more have pledged to phase out products derived from the industry's most horrific practices. More significantly, the success of vegan items in traditional chains AND of vegan fast-food restaurants suggests that not just our attitudes, but our palates are changing. Moe's Southwest Grill offers tofu, Chipotle offers "Sofritas" (tofu braised in a variety of yummy foods) in 17 states and plans on expanding, and Tropical Smoothie Café offers Beyond Meat as a substitute to any chicken wrap, sandwich or salad in all 300 locations. The vegan chain Loving Hut boasts 43 restaurants in 15 states. Native Foods Café plans to open 200 new locations. The most telling news may be that McDonald's, long the undisputed fast-food king, is struggling, with one public relations disaster after another and lackluster sales for several years. Even CEO Don Thompson notes that the chain has lost some of its "relevance" with customers.

Oh, by the way, it's not just fast food that's changing. Forbes says one of top ten 2013 food trends was "High End Vegan," and over half of the 1,500 chefs polled by the National Restaurant Association for its "What's Hot in 2011" list included vegan entrees as a hot trend.

4. The super-rich are driving industry-wide change.

If billionaires know one thing, it's how to spot a trend that will make them richer. The fact that they're investing in vegan start-ups is a pretty clear indicator that they believe America is ready and waiting. Among these visionaries are Bill Gates, who has invested in Beyond Meat and Hampton Creek Foods and has blogged about how, in essence, we must go vegan to meet our demand for "meat." Hampton Creek Foods recently raised $23 million from Asia's richest man, Li Ka-sing, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, while PayPal's Peter Thiel has invested in Modern Meadow. With money behind them, these vegan start ups have the potential to transform the future of food.

Dr. King uttered another oft-cited statement: no lie can live forever. This one is going down: We see the barbarism and reject it. We know the protein myth is, well, just that. Person by person, we're understanding the link between our diet and planetary devastation. As my pal Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House wrote recently: It's all coming together.

Vegan by 2050. Let's say it. Let's believe it. Let's make it happen.

 

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-stevens/predicting-a-vegan-america_b_4905691.html

Organic Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Clean Nor Toxin-Free

500px-USDA_organic_seal_svgBuying organic food is an exercise in personal virtue: You pay more to consume food that's healthier for you and less damaging to the environment because it's grown without artificial or toxic chemicals.

This powerful perception, based more on belief than facts, goes a long way toward explaining why demand for organic products has grown so much. Organic sales have more than tripled in the past decade, to more than $30 billion a year, while sales of conventional food products have dawdled along at an annual growth rate of about 2 percent.

There's just one huge problem: Neither of the main assumptions driving the growth of organic farming are grounded in science. In fact, there is evidence that organic farms produce as much, or more, pollution than conventional farms and that organic products might actually contain more toxins than other foods.

Like all farms, those that grow organic products rely on fertilizer. Often, organic farmers use animal manure rather than chemicals derived from petroleum or minerals.

In one study of greenhouses in Israel, the use of manure led to much more nitrogen leaching into groundwater compared with use of conventional fertilization. Nitrogen contamination, the study noted, is one of the main reasons for closing drinking-water wells. And by the way, nitrogen from all sorts of farming is one of the main pollutants behind algae blooms, fish kills and dead zones in bodies of water from local farm ponds to the northern Gulf of Mexico.

A broader study of 12 different farm products in California found that in seven cases, those using conventional methods had lower greenhouse-gas emissions. A big reason for the difference? Conventional farming tends to be more efficient than organic farming, meaning fewer inputs are needed to generate the same amount of food.

That hits on a critical issue for organic farming, as noted in a 2012 analysis of more than 100 studies of farming methods across Europe: Getting the same unit production from organic farming tended to lead to "higher ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions." And while organic farming tends to use less energy, it also leads to "higher land use, eutrophication potential" -- that's the dead zones mentioned above -- "and acidification potential per product unit."

The main author of the study, Hanna Tuomisto, a professor at Oxford University, said:

Many people think that organic farming has intrinsically lower environmental impacts than conventional farming but the literature tells us this is not the case. Whilst some organic farming practices do have less environmental impact than conventional ones, the published evidence suggests that others are actually worse for some aspects of the environment. People need to realize that an "organic" label is not a straightforward guarantee of the most environmentally-friendly product.

Organic animal production also can cause problems. Unlike conventional farms, organic farms usually let animals wander around. No surprise that animals then do their business wherever nature calls. Rain, in turn, washes waste into local streams and rivers. Think of that next time you see free-range something on the menu. By comparison, conventional farms can (although they don't always) confine waste to covered areas. This prevents exposure to rain that causes polluted runoff.

As for health benefits, the evidence suggests there's no distinguishable difference in nutritional value between organics and other food. Some types of organic production, notably the use of manure concentrations, actually lead to higher levels of toxins in food. One study in Belgium found that organically cultivated winter wheat had higher levels of lead and cadmium than conventionally grown wheat. The levels were below tolerable limits, and processing could have removed some of the contaminants.

So are you worried now? You shouldn't be. Buy what you like to eat whether it's organic or not -- unless you're watching your food budget, in which case the choice is clear.

To contact the author of this article: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Lisa Beyer at lbeyer3@bloomberg.net.

Source: http://www.bloombergview.com

Video: James Cameron promotes vegan lifestyle

This video featuring James Cameron, Director, Producer, Explorer, and Conservationist tells an audience at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conference that the true conservationists of the future must be strict vegans. Citing statistics and hailing the movie "Forks Over Knives", Cameron notes that creating animal food products for human consumption generates one and a half times the carbon as the entire global transportation system. Eating plants only will be the mark of conservationists of the future who are walking the walk.

James Cameron give money to school to go vegan

Photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/fruits-fruit-apples-food-69025/

Photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/fruits-fruit-apples-food-69025/

As we've been reporting, the quest to get more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into public schools has once again gotten political.

But in spite of the new, federal standards for school nutrition, "changing a school lunch cafeteria, especially those that participate in the National School Lunch Program, it is like turning around the Titanic," says Susan Levin, director of nutrition for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Education.

However, if you happen to have performed in the movie Titanic, as Suzy Amis Cameron did, and you happen to have founded a private school that you and your world-famous director husband support, as Amis Cameron also has, then maybe revamping a school cafeteria isn't such a tall task. You might even be able to eliminate meat and dairy altogether, and create the first plant-based school in the U.S.

A lot of schools lately have been making incremental changes toward more plant-based options, says Levin. Take the Meatless Monday program, which is now in hundreds of K-12 public and private schools. One public school, P.S. 24, in Flushing, N.Y., even went completely vegetarian.

But Amis Cameron's plan for MUSE School CA, the environmentally focused school in Calabasas, Calif., that she founded with her sister, Rebecca Amis, in 2006, is even more ambitious.

"We are gradually moving toward a plant-based menu because we do call ourselves an environmental school," Amis Cameron tells The Salt. "Within the next year and a half, we will be plant-based."

Private schools like MUSE School CA, of course, have a lot more flexibility when it comes to deciding what goes on, and what comes off, the menu.

Already, the school has a strong seed-to-table program that's producing fresh fruits and vegetables grown by its 140 students. They're guided by the school's full-time, year-round gardener and educator, Paul Hudak.

He and students at the school's two campuses in Malibu Canyon have built 28 raised beds to grow peppers, greens, tomatoes, herbs and other edibles, plus flowers. The older students will also be selling some of the food grown over the summer to local restaurants.

Hudak says now that the schools are growing produce year-round, they can supply up to 20 percent of the food consumed in the cafeterias, depending on the season. "Once we really get cranking, I think we'll be up to 40 or 50 percent," Hudak says.

The Origins Of MUSE School CA

Food played a role in sparking Amis Cameron's motivation to start the school in the first place. She and her husband, James Cameron, one of the world's most successful directors (yes, Avatar, the Terminator films and Titantic), have five children, including one from her previous marriage. The family splits its time between their home in Malibu, their ranch in Santa Barbara and their 3,500-acre farm in New Zealand.

As she phased out modeling and acting in the late '90s, Amis Cameron focused on her children and their education. And as she did, she says, she became increasingly frustrated with the schools they were in: "They were really wanting to put our children in a box."

"The school she was going to — that touted itself as an environmental school — was teaching my child to count with M&M's," Amis Cameron says. "And everything in my life came to a screeching halt."

She and James started talking about the possibility of starting their own school for their children and other kids whose parents were looking for an alternative to the schools in Malibu.

"Jim was trying to decide between doing more deep-ocean exploration, or make a little film called Avatar," says Amis Cameron. "He decided to make Avatar, and I decided to start MUSE. And off we went in our different ventures. Now, nine to 10 years later, it's all coming full circle, dovetailing."

While MUSE School CA has grown to 140 students — two are Camerons, and half receive financial aid — it's still not an accredited school, though Amis Cameron says they're working on that.

She and her sister, Rebecca, have tried to walk the sustainability talk on campus, using recycled materials to build the classrooms, installing solar "flowers" designed and donated by James to power the school with renewable energy, and by hiring a resident falconer whose hawks eat rodents and eliminate the need for pesticides.

The Camerons Go Vegan

Over time, the Camerons' environmentalism — which features heavily in the ecological destruction narrative of Avatar — has become more and more centered around food.

The turn happened, Amis Cameron says, when the couple went vegan in 2012 after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. The film emphasizes the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and that initially compelled them to empty the cupboards and fridges of all dairy and meat products.

"But what has really been a major eye opener is the connection between food and the environment," says Amis Cameron. "Now, we're benefiting greatly from eating plant-based, as are our children, but the environmental piece has become really our sole focus."

While there is a consensus that the meat industry has taken a heavy toll on the environment, few people agree on what to do about it.

And many environmental scientists are not convinced the solution is for everyone to give up animal products — especially people in the developing world who haven't had ready access to them.

One recent study we reported on argued that to prevent more greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector, we'll get the biggest bang for the buck by helping producers become more efficient and keeping land from being converted for grazing. The researchers say that while consumers in rich countries could stand to eat less meat, it's not realistic to expect us to give it up entirely.

"It's not a matter of giving up meat. It's a matter of shifting to other kinds that have less climate impacts," one scientist told us. So, not as much beef and pork, and maybe more farmed fish and insects.

In addition to transforming MUSE School CA into a vegan school, Amis Cameron is writing books on the environmental impacts of meat production for different demographics — moms, teens, children and thought leaders, she says. The Camerons also regularly give speeches where they talk about their newfound veganism and why they're primarily motivated by concern for the planet.

"Any extra bandwidth that we have is spent on that piece and ... bringing that message out into the world," she says. "We have an amazing platform."

But even with all their influence, Amis Cameron admits that it hasn't been easy to convince other parents at MUSE School CA that the chicken, turkey and cheese currently served at the school have to go.

"Food is a very sensitive subject for so many people," she says. "People have their cultural reasons for eating meat, their traditional reasons, their likes and dislikes. But slowly we are offering educational programs through MUSE, for not only the children, mainly for the grownups, because the children, they live and breath [the environmental way] already."

Is Vegan Healthy For Kids?

Levin of PCRM says that a vegan diet can be healthy for kids — even the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has ruled that kids can get everything they need from plants alone.

"Most people assume it's so hard to make kids eat vegan — that it's easier to give them the chicken nuggets and the milk, and the cheese," says Levin. "But I don't think anyone could defend that they would be less healthy by not consuming animal products."

And while Levin sees MUSE School CA's move toward a vegan menu as an anomaly, she says she applauds what Amis Cameron is doing.

"They might be in a privileged position to advocate for dietary choice, but it ultimately shows other people how effective it is," says Levin.

And, Levin adds, many plant-based foods, like rice and beans, aren't prohibitively expensive for schools. "It shouldn't be an entitled program. You don't have to be rich to be plant-based."

The Camerons were the initial MUSE School CA donors, and continue to supply startup funds as the school has expanded from elementary to middle to a high school slated to open this fall. But Amis Cameron says the plan is for the school to become self-sustaining.

"We've capped what we give, and we decrease the amount every year," she says. "But, gosh, it's a great place to be a philanthropist."

Source: NPR

 

 

 

 

Would You Buy an Electric Car With Leather Seats?

riding a cowI have many different sites in my RSS feed. I noticed an article today on USAToday.com's website. The title of the article is "Will vegans drive Nissan Leafs with leather seats?"

Apparently, Nissan is offering leather seats as an option on their  electric car, the Nissan Leaf. So the article is asking if vegans will buy a car that has vegan seats as an option. So that means that you can choose to have non-leather (presumably cloth) seats on your Leaf. You don't have to have leather seats in your car.

I think the resounding answer would be yes. I would still buy an electric car, but I would opt for the cloth seats over the leather seats. Just because the car manufacturer is offering leather seats as an option, doesn't mean that you need to disregard their vehicle as an option. They (and all other car manufacturers) offer leather seats on all of their other models. I don't think it would make sense to protest Nissan under the guise that they are presumably tainting the "greenness" of the Leaf by offering leather seats.

This just feels like the media looking to drum up controversy where there really isn't any.  Am I wrong here? Do you think that the mere fact that Nissan is offering leather seats as an option on their electric car would stop you from purchasing said car?

This reminds me of an article I wrote a long time ago. The article was titled Vegangelicism — You’re Not Good Enough For My Vegan Club. Basically, vegans need to acknowledge that the world has a lot of cruelty in it and that you can't change the world all at once. 8 million people aren't going to stop eating meat all together just because you suggest that they not do that. But if you can bring some awareness to them about the cruelties, you might get them to ease back some. Let's say that you convinced people not to eat meat one day each week, every week of the year. That would be a 14.3% decrease in the consumption of meat. Logically, that probably means that, eventually, 14.3% fewer cows, chickens, and pigs would need to be slaughtered.

So just because the car manufacturer is offering leather seats on a car that would otherwise help out the environment, the newspaper is trying to create controversy as to whether this would stop people who are vegans from buying the car. Maybe I'm wrong here. Maybe a lot of people would not buy this product. Maybe there are people who would not buy Silk soy milk because Silk's parent company Dean Foods sells dairy products. (Personally, I think you should make your own soymilk, but I digress....) Maybe they wouldn't buy non-leather shoes from a shoe manufacturer who also makes leather shoes. I know there are people who are vegan who will not eat in restaurants where they serve meat.

OK, so am I wrong here? Will vegans drive Nissan Leafs with leather seats? Leave a comment below indicating if Nissan's decision to offer elather seats on their electric car would hinder you, or in any way adversely impact you, from buying such this car.

Food, Inc. Review

Jane and I went to see Food, Inc. this weekend.  It has a limited release, so if you are interested in seeing this film here is a list of its scheduled showings.  (If you are in the Los Angeles area, it is playing at the NuArt in Santa Monica through Thursday, and will be at the Landmark in West LA starting the 19th.)

UPDATE: CLICK HERE to reserve your very own copy of Food, Inc. now:

Since we went vegan, we've been doing a lot of reading about food.  Sometimes it feels like all we do is talk about food: the way we eat, what we eat, why we changed our diet, where we get our protein, etc.  So much of the information presented in this film was familiar to us, but still, it was a worthwhile experience.  And some of the things we learned were truly shocking to us.  For instance, there are laws in place in 13 states which protect food manufacturers from people making "disparaging comments" about their food products.  Manufacturers are allowed to sue under libel laws.  Colorado takes things even further by making veggie libel a criminal rather than civil offense.  Frightening!  I guess I'm just a little naïve here, but I would expect my government to protect me against the big corporations.

Robert Kennar does a good job touching on most aspects of the food industry.  For example, the movie starts out by pointing out that the average supermarket sells 47,000 items but this is truly an illusion of diversity since 90% of the items contain corn and/or soy products, and there are only a few companies at the top level that manage agri-business in the United States.  One farmer comments that the farmer's decision making process has been outsourced to the corporate boardroom.  It's all about the bottom line, as opposed to good stewardship of the earth or animals.

Kennar takes you through a tour of what farming means today in America.  And here we were feeling all good about ourselves for being vegan.  What this movie says Monsanto does to the soy farmers makes me want to give up tofu entirely. Monsanto, the manufacturers of Round-Up, have modified and patented "Round-Up" ready soybeans.  As of 2006 90% of the soybeans produced in the US carry that gene.  Monsanto aggressively protects their patent going so far as to prosecute farmer's who's crops have been cross-pollinated by neighboring farms.  The people who were interviewed claim to have been persecuted by Monsanto, these include "seed cleaners" - Seed cleaners allow farmers to clean and store the seed from their fields to be replanted.  The reason is that, according to patent laws, Monsanto owns the seeds since they own the genetically modified gene.  Yikes!  If you're interested in learning more about Monsanto, check out this video:  The World According to Monsanto.  (Here's a link if you'd like to buy The World According to Monsanto.)

The CEO of Stonyfield Farm, Gary Hirshberg, talks about how many of the eco-conscious companies are now owned by mega conglomerates.  Tom's toothpaste is now owned by Colgate.  Stonyfield is now owned by Groupe-Danone (that's Dannon to you and me). He also defends Stonyfield's decision to sell their organic yogurt to Wal Mart by pointing out that the positive pesticide impact can be measured in tons rather than pounds. So while many people decry Wal Mart as the evil empire, Hirshberg points to the environmental impact, and the fact that this allows more people access to organic foods at a lower price.

Although we don't expect this movie to be as successful as Super Size Me," Morgan Spurlock's McDonald's expose, we hope it will get some additional exposure.  This message really needs to get out to the general population.

The movie doesn't touch on veganism at all, which was kind of surprising to me.  I guess they were concerned their movie might be played in one of the 13 states with veggie libel laws.  There is some exposure to CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations).  However, the "natural" farmer's method of slaughtering chickens didn't appear all that humane to me or Jane.

We give the movie two thumbs up.  See it if you have any interest in food.

For Further Information:

And there are plenty of interesting videos on YouTube.

Revel With A Cause

santa monicaIf you live in the Los Angeles area and you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, you may want to consider heading over to Santa Monica on Saturday, May 9th.  The Santa Monica Festival: Revel With A Cause will be held from 11am - 6 pm on 5/9/9 at Clover Park.   Although the festival isn't vegan, they're serving meat, there will be plenty of other eco-friendly activities and attractions.

If you are interested, here is a link to the Revel With A Cause site.  It doesn't look like they're promoting a vegan/vegetarian agenda (why doesn't the green movement get on this bandwagon yet?!?!), so there may be an opportunity for some vegans to start a discussion.  If not, there's always the Los Angeles Vegan Bake Sale (more details coming).

Vegan Eating Advocated On Commercial!

sosIf you've been reading this blog for any length of time you'll know that I tend to get on my soapbox about the global warming thing. I find it incredibly ridiculous, that for the most part, the media is ignoring meat production as a prime contributor to the problem. (See: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Vegan Eating Trumps Eating Locally, Reducing Your Carbon Footprint, etc.)

Imagine my shock today, when I saw a commercial on the Sci Fi channel for Let's Act Now. The commercial came right out and said your SUV causes less impact to the planet than eating meat. Woo Hoo! Someone came right out and said it on a national television! I'm not sure who is the target demographic for the Sci Fi channel, but we watch it in our home.

Here's their commercial (Thank You Red One for passing it along!)

Mark Bittman And Less-Meatarianism

mark bittman food mattersIf Jane ever leaves me, I'll know where to find her. She'll be back in NY looking for Mark Bittman. She loves the man, even if he's older than the typical male who might turn her head. Why does she love him? Well, there's his cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. She religiously reads his blog, Bitten (he's not the only one writing posts), and column, The Minimalist, in the NY Times.  But more importantly, she loves his message -- "eat less meat." Bittman is not vegan, nor is he vegetarian, but his message may do more to get the average person to consider eating vegan occasionally than appealing to peoples' ethics.

Bittman's new book, Food Matters, talks about the importance of eating less meat, and how that trumps every other action: eating locally, eating organic, eating "humanely" processed animal product (if there is such a thing).  He talks about the 60 billion animals that are killed annually to produce food, and how that is conservatively estimated to double by 2050.

His message to omnivores is to be a "less-meatarian,"  and vegetarians should strive to be "less-dairytarians."  And we should all strive for incremental (and therefore, sustainable) changes.

This is so do-able for everyone.  If you've been trying to convince the people in your life to go vegan, you probably haven't met with much success.  But THIS message doens't require any major "sacrifice."  We can save 6 billion animals if every human cuts down their meat consumption by 10%.  (And 1 billion if we get Americans to eat 10% less.)  10% doesn't seem like an unattainable goal.