At the present time, when most of us sit down to eat, we aren’t very aware of how our food choices affect the world. We don’t realize that in every Big Mac there is a piece of the tropical rainforests, and with every billion burgers sold another hundred species become extinct. We don’t realize that in the sizzle of our steaks there is the suffering of animals, the mining of our topsoil, the slashing of our forests, the harming of our economy, and the eroding of our health. We don’t hear in the sizzle the cry of the hungry millions who might otherwise be fed.
We don’t see the toxic poisons accumulating in the food chains, poisoning our children and our earth for generations to come. But once we become aware of the impact of our food choices, we can never really forget. Of course we can push it all to the back of our minds, and we may need to do this, at times, to endure the enormity of what is involved. But the earth itself will remind us, as will our children, and the animals and the forests and the sky and the rivers, that we are part of this earth, and it is part of us. All things are deeply connected, and so the choices we make in our daily lives have enormous influence, not only on our own health and vitality, but also on the lives of other beings, and indeed on the destiny of life on earth.
Thankfully, we have cause to be grateful-what’s best for us personally is also best for other forms of life, and for the life support systems on which we all depend.” ~Diet For A New America
Top Ten Things You Can Do To keep Your Kids Healthy
1. Walk or bike your kids to school, or if that’s not feasible, ride on weekends–a family that bikes together saves the planet together!
2. Teach them about Farmers Markets, It’s so important bring awareness early in life. It’s fun to see where your food comes from. Explain how food choices affect their health and environment. Be honest about where meat comes from.
3. Make sure their toys are PVC-free–keep them from breathing in any off gasing plastic softeners.
4. Don’t reward with toys. Try to teach them that happiness doesn’t comes from buying new things, and the planet doesn’t need the resource extraction, chemical-pollution and landfill clogging that comes with making and eventually trashing them.
9. Resist the urge to swaddle your babe in landfill-clogging disposable diapers. But if cloth is out of the question, get unbleached, biodegradable, chlorine-free throw-away ones. Like these.
10. Teach them to love nature: take them to the park, on little hikes, or picnics in conservation centres. Teach them that animals are nature, including house pets and that we need to respect them. When you teach a child to be kind to animals, you help pave the way to a brighter future for all living beings.
1. Choose renewable and recyclable glass. You don’t have to worry about the numbers because all glass can be recycled. If you’re worried about the amount of energy used to ship your glass contained products then look for local labels.
2. Numbers. If you must buy plastic know your numbers, check the bottom for numbers that tell you the plastics are recyclable, like #1 and #2. (See the City-by-City guide to learn what can be recycled in your city.)
3. Buy Dry Goods. If you’re picking up something like broth, the powdered kind goes a lot further than the canned. If you must buy canned make sure you look for BPA free cans, not all aluminum cans are the same; producing recycled aluminum requires 95% less energy than producing aluminum from bauxite, an aluminum ore, but you wouldn’t know what one to choose because they don’t label cans, the bonus to skipping cans is you can skip cancer causing BPA. If you have to buy canned choose companies you can trust to use BPA-Free cans
4. Buy in bulk, shop where they sell bulk and fill up your re-useable container, you can also use your own your own coffee mug for your daily java at your local cafe, other places to re-use your container is at the salad bar! The choices are endless.
5. It’s in the bag! When you cart home all of your bulk goods please us a non-plastic bag! Use cloth bags instead of plastic.
6. Good things come in small packages. Often foods like cereals that come in smaller boxes contain the same amount of, say, mueslix, as the bigger boxes that are just full of air. Compare product weight to be sure. Or you can make your own cereal from your bulk products you just bought. The bonus! you will know whats in it and it will probably taste better.
I come across a lot of very cool products and this one by Pela reminds me of why it’s so important to educate people on the usage of plastics. I attached this video from their site:
Plastic even though recyclable doesn’t make the list of the most eco-friendly material. Plastic bottles rank right up their for the most anti eco-friendly materials out there including plastic bags and plastic containers. If you eliminate the scourge of bottled water, you will be eliminating one of the biggest problems facing our environment. —Charles Moore, founder, Algalita, and discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The production of plastic not only hurt’s the health of people in the factories producing it but also to the people living in the small towns around the factories.
Plastic containers leach chemicals into the water we drink, foods that we eat and containers our food that we buy comes in, even worse when we heat foods in plastic containers and plastic wrap in the microwave we are releasing toxins into our food. Plastic containers show evidence of chemical release even when not heated.
The problem is plastic is still used just about everywhere, it’s harmful to the environment, it takes centuries to break down and when it does, it separates into tiny toxic particles that contaminate the ground and water, ending up in our streams, oceans, rivers and drinking water. Know your numbers. If you’re buying something that comes in plastic, check the bottom for numbers that tell you the plastics are recyclable in your area, like #1 and #2. (See the City-by-City guide to learn what can be recycled in your city.)
Environmentally the usage of plastics is devastating, especially for animals; tiny pieces of plastic are consumed by fish, and those fish are eaten by humans this is causing widespread harm and health concerns. On top of that, land animals who eat it have been found dead by suffocation as plastics become lodged in their stomaches and throats. Some have even been found with plastic rings caught around their necks causing them to choke. This includes, fish, birds, small animals like rabbits and marine life including sharks, seals and turtles.
It’s known that plastics cause cancer, thyroid issues, neurological issues the risks are everywhere. Please click here to read what the Canadian Cancer Society say’s about plastics. A highly informative way to educate yourself about plastics is by watching a documentary called Tapped. Tapped examines the role of the bottled water industry and it’s effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.
So yes plastic is made from oil. By using less plastic you help to preserve our natural resources. Plastic is cheaper than organic materials such as stone, glass, and solid metal. Therefore, manufacturers cannot help but to use plastics but we must make better choices if we strive for a healthier future.
If you know of any great non plastic companies out there please feel free to share them with me, I’ll put them on the blog.
There are numerous paths that can lead a person to start eating plant-based. You can ask 10 different people and although you may find similarities in their stories, eating plant-based is a very personal decision.
1. Health and Nutrition
Many people who choose plant-based are drawn to the long-term health benefits of eliminating artery clogging and disease-accelerating animal products from their lives. Some specifically turn to a plant-based diet to improve their health and well-being and eventually adopt the lifestyle because of the numerous negative impacts of animal agriculture on animals and the planet.
2. Environmental Protection
If you haven’t noticed the mainstream rise of the green movement in recent years, you must be living under a rock! As the impacts of accelerating climate change have become more widely known, the need for us to take steps to curb the destruction of our precious planet has become abundantly clear. Industrialized animal farming is a huge factor that is contributing to environmental degradation the facts are so compelling that anyone seeking to live a more sustainable or eco-friendly lifestyle cannot help but question the impact of their food choices on the environment. Similar to those drawn in by the health argument for veganism, once people learn about industrialized animal farming and the horrific treatment of animals in factory farms, embracing the animal-free lifestyle beyond their plate becomes a logical next step.
Long before the health and environmental benefits were brought to the forefront of the argument in support of adopting a plant-based cruelty free lifestyle, people have been going plant-based solely for moral reasons. Anyone who admires or adores animals has probably (at some point in their lives) questioned whether there is any difference between the animals they care for and protect and those that we breed and kill for food. Some of us find a way to justify this clear disconnect, citing physiological, historical, cultural and other reasons why we are meant to eat and use animals. While others realize that these amount to nothing but excuses and that the only sensible first step that anyone who loves animals can take is to not eat them. This easily transitions into the broader realization that no form of animal use is morally justifiable and that we shouldn’t be wearing them or using them when animal-free alternatives exist.
4. Social Justice
Anyone who is opposed to injustice in the world, should pause and think about the fact that we breed and kill billions of animals on an annual basis, just so that we can eat them. People who passionately believe that the world would be a much better place if we all learned to look past our differences and embrace the common ties that bind us will eventually have to confront the injustice we inflict on animals for our pleasure, convenience and entertainment. If you oppose racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination based on class, sexual orientation, physical appearances or abilities, then veganism can be looked upon as a natural extension of the belief in equality. This doesn’t mean that humans and animals are the same in every way and animals need to enjoy the same rights as human beings. What this means is recognizing that animals do not exist solely for us to use them as a means to an end.
I don’t mean to imply that all the other paths to eating plant-based are not logical ones. However, many people turn to plant-based food because of a combination of all the above factors. They turn to this lifestyle choice as the most meaningful step one can take against institutionalized systems of exploitation of living beings, to do something positive for their health, the environment and to live in a manner that reflects their ethics. Eating plant-based is a logical choice because it is good for us, for animals and the planet. If you respect life, you should not directly or indirectly participate in the exploitation of life; if you respect nature, you cannot support industries that contribute to the destruction of our natural world, and lastly, if you value your own existence, you wouldn’t want to consume products that can have a detrimental impact on your health. It’s that simple, and you don’t need elaborate theories, complicated moral reasoning and a billion scientific facts to help you arrive at eating plant-based as the solution.
Ultimately, the path you choose to get to plant-based does not matter; what truly matters is you begin the journey and stay the course!
Mike Desjardins (also know as my husband) tells us about his transition from meat-eating to becoming a pescetarian. I asked him to explain his experience about his transition with a series of questions. In his own words he describes what he has learned and how being married to me has influenced his food choices.
Mike describes what that process was like for him and why it made sense to switch. Mike talks about how he felt after learning about the cruel conditions of factory farming and how our nations demand for overconsumption drives this industry. We have to be the change, our food choices are not only effecting the animals but also our health and our planet. Factory farming is destroying our soil and reducing our ability to be sustainable in growing our own food. We need to reduce consumption to increase our chance of correcting these issues.
In over 2 years Mike has reduced his meat intake to none with the exception of fish (I am educating him on the impacts of overfishing as well and what the depletion of fish has on our ecosystem, as well as the long-term effects).
At home because I have the lead in what we eat, we eat vegan, local and organic. This is our personal choice. I think every little bit helps. We are working on other thing too, there is so much to think about.
You don’t have to give up everything to reduce your impact, you just need to reduce your intake, you don’t have to become a full-fledged vegetarian or vegan overnight, learn about what you can do and learn about factory farming. Try being a weekday vegetarian. We all need to do our part.
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment” ~Oprah Winfrey
Enjoy this touching video by Zoe Weil, The World Become What You Teach
“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace” ~Kofi Annan
“Together let us build the global alliance to realize that goal, secure in the knowledge that in serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity” ~Carol Bellamy
This mothers day wear a cow ribbon, by wearing a cow ribbon you are contributing to raising awareness about the cruelty inherent in the dairy industry. Dairy cows endure the traumatic loss of a calf every year so that humans can take their milk.
The dairy industry spends a lot of money on advertising. You can find dairy ads in magazines, on television, in school cafeterias and on billboards. It is almost impossible to grow up in our society without being told how great dairy products are. The truth is dairy is about profit and not about our health. Click here to read more.
Despite appearing unexpressive by human standards, cattle are a sophisticated bunch who communicate with each other on many levels. Under natural circumstances, cattle live in herds with social hierarchies and form lifelong bonds with each other.
Cows are especially dedicated to their young and the bond formed between a mother and her calf remains long after the baby has grown to adulthood. Separation causes them tremendous stress and agitation. If mother and calf are separated by a fence, the mother will wait for her calf, even through harsh conditions like intense heat or cold weather, hunger and thirst. Cows have even been known to break fences and walk miles to be reunited with calves that were sold at auction.
One can imagine the trauma a dairy cow must feel when her calf is taken from her shortly after birth. It’s well known to farmers but rarely discussed that mother cows continue to frantically call and search for their babies for days after the calves have been sold off to veal farms. A mother’s milk and good exercise are crucial to the growth of a happy calf. In a natural environment, a calf nurses for up to eight months. In a factory farm they don’t get much more than the a few days or hours before being taken off to be auctioned or slaughtered for veal.
When put to the test, many cows have proved to be quite good at problem solving. What’s more, a study led by Donald Broom, a professor at the University of Cambridge, found that cows enjoyed intellectual challenge and got excited when they overcame obstacles. It’s no wonder that cows raised for slaughter have been known to plan escapes, leaping six-foot fences or swimming across rivers.
Could you imagine if your young were taken away from you, there are so many things wrong with dairy industry and we have so much to learn about what goes on surrounding our choices around food. I believe if people knew the truth that these industries would be less accepted. This Mother’s Day make a stand for all mothers including the loving dairy cows and wear your cow ribbon: dairy cows are symbolic representatives of all of the animal mothers whose lives and reproductive systems are manipulated by humans. The cow ribbon is a symbol of your concern for these suffering and abused mothers. Please take a stand and speak out for them. Click here to get your cow ribbon.
The video below is a beautiful reunion of a cow named Karma and her young calf, you can see haer the pain in her cries as she moo’s for her young calf, the excitement she has when she is reunited with her calf is unforgettable and something I hope will stay with you, it’s a beautiful reunion and I hope that one day we can all agree to put an end to factory farming. Consider eliminating dairy or reducing your intake significantly.
Love thy cow and love thy earth, respect all that has a willingness to live, love and take care of it’s young for we are all sentiment beings.
Do something, Learn something, Share something, Change something
What is a Meatless Meatup?
Meatless Meatups consist of potlucks, dine-outs and local related events. Directed by Earthsave, Meatless Meatups are a really just a group of foodies with an environmental conscience and a concern for animal welfare. The events, dine-outs and potlucks, are open to everyone, you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to join, and you can pick and choose the ones you wish to attend.
Are you interested in lowering your carbon footprint or just looking to learn more about food and food systems, are you exploring plant-based eating or just looking to meet like-minded people? If this sounds like you then you have found the right group! Click Here to see upcoming events near you.