The Food Revolution, John Robbins “Is it ok to eat animals?”

John Robbins thinks it’s wrong to eat animals, on a number of levels.

Deep within the mind, people are compassionate. So, are they really sad about the way food animals are reared and killed. or are they trained from childhood onwards to suppress that sadness and keep on eating meat. Further, are they  brainwashed as to the nutrition and value of meat, which is a myth. This makes people insensitive to cruelty. The inherent human compassion and love for living beings, including fellow humans, thus, disappear. The whole thing is a matter of individual psychology.

This is an excerpt from the new documentary PROCESSED PEOPLE.

Find our how your food choices affect your health, happiness and the future of life on Earth so hopefully the next time you’ll be passing McDonalds you’ll just keep walking on – it’s worth every step you take away from it. 1h long. A must see for everyone.

Diet for A New America by John Robbins

Diet For A New America – How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness, and the Future of Life on Earth, is widely considered to be one of the most influential books on health, compassion, and the environment ever written in the English language. It has sold more than 1,000,000 copies, and at the turn of the century, it was heralded as among the ten most important books of the 20th century by numerous organizations working for a joyous, fair, and sustainable world.

Robbins, the author of bestselling book Diet for a New America, decided to completely change the way he lived and set out to explore a way to live with nature in harmony and also grow his own food without eating meat. His classic book awakened the conscience of a nation and since its first publication in 1987 beef consumption in the United States has fallen a remarkable 19%. Diet for a New America is a startling examination of the food Americans currently buy and eat in the United States, and the shocking moral, economic, and emotional price we pay for it. John Robbins takes an extraordinary look at our dependence on animals for food and the inhumane conditions under which these animals are raised.

Although it is commonly known today that meat and dairy products are one of the primary causes for heart and other deadly diseases, people are living (and dying) with them every day.  Diet For A New America is  a well-documented expose of America’s “factory farms” and should prompt even die-hard meat-and-potatoes lovers to reevaluate their diets. Asserting that “we are ingesting nightmares for breakfast, lunch and dinner,”

Robbins details how livestock is raised under increasingly industrialized conditions by “agribusiness oligopolies.” Grazing and foraging have given way to debeaking, tail-docking, dehorning and castration, and treatment with pesticides, hormones, growth and appetite stimulants, tranquilizers and antibiotics which, in turn, are assimilated by humans who then suddenly become sick.

Robbins correlates our “protein obsessed” society with a higher incidence of arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, cancer and other degenerative diseases, as well as freakish occurrences like premature puberty from estrogen contamination. As Robbins debunks nutritional myths perpetuated by the powerful meat and dairy industries (indicting as well his family’s Baskin-Robbins ice-cream empire), this is sure to prove controversial.

It becomes clear that the price we pay for our eating habits is measured in the suffering of animals, a suffering so extreme and needless that it disrupts our very place in the web of life. Robbins then challenges the belief that consuming meat is a requirement for health by pointing our the vastly increased rate of disease caused by pesticides, hormones, additives, and other chemicals now a routine part of our food production.

Robbins shows us that the high health risk is unnecessary, and that the production, preparation, and consumption of food can once again be a healthy process. He also looks at the global implications of a meat-based diet and concludes that the consumption of the resources necessary to produce meat is a major factor in our ecological crisis. Or read the book.

Listen to Animal Voices at Noon tomorrow (Oct 22, 2010) for an interview with John Robbins (yep, he gave up his Baskin-Robbins inheritance to be a vegan activist!

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Each week, your co-hosts (Alison Cole and Joanne Chang) keep you up to date with current animal issues, provide easy vegan lifestyle tips and conduct live interviews with people who are doing important work to help animals.

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The Rise Of The Power Vegan : October Men’s Journal

Check out the  October issue of Mens Journal “The Rise Of The Power Vegan Diet”

The Once food movement is taking hold in some surprising places. Top Talent NFL, The Business World and Adventure Sports are saying that going animal- free not only works. It gives them their edge.

From Kevin Gray’s The Rise of the Power Vegan

For years the gospel of the vegan convert centered on Teva wearers fighting for animal rights or on righteous punks sticking it to their parents at the dinner table. It did not include $7-million-a-year freight trains like Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, hockey brawlers like former Montreal Canadiens winger Georges Laraque, or seven-time Western States Endurance Run champ Scott Jurek. But vegan athletes — who eschew all animal products for a plant-based diet — and their vegetarian cousins, who may or may not eat eggs and dairy, are challenging meat eaters on every field. Even former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson ditched the burgers and went vegan several months ago and, as a result, is looking a lot like the old lean-and-mean Mike (except for that face tattoo, which is still just bizarre).

And it’s not just athletes looking to shave time off their marathon bests or add inches to their guns. Hard-charging Fortune 500 types, watching their blood pressure spike every time stock prices dip, are equipping their corner offices with raw-food Kind bars and enough locavore produce to choke a rabbit.

Among them are social-networking wunderkind Biz Stone, the 36-year-old co-founder of Twitter; real estate magnate Mort Zuckerman, who is worth some $2 billion; and, perhaps less surprisingly, the co-CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, who oversees a $6.3 billion empire with 55,000 employees whom he urges to eat green.

Mackey, who has been a vegetarian for 27 years and a vegan for seven, recently set up a program to teach his employees and customers the benefits of eating a plant-strong, nutrient-dense diet. “I feel satiated and empowered, and have a sense of vitality that I haven’t felt in years,” he says. Interest in whole grains and health foods has, of course, skyrocketed in the past decade, with a Whole Foods in every city. Even Burger King has a veggie burger on its menu.

Tony Gonzalez, Atlantic Falcons had already suffered a bout of Bell’s Palsy, which temporarily paralyzed his face that year. He was convinced that the NFL diet, which fattens players with burgers and ice cream, was slowly killing him. Forty pages into the book, he was hooked.

But when he showed up for training, he found he had shed 10 pounds and struggled to lift the 100-pound dumbbells that he used to throw around. “The diet killed me,” says Gonzalez, still visibly shaken. “There was no way I could do this and play football, at least not the way I was doing it.”

Read the full article in MJ’s October issue…

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The True Story of the Stanley Park Swans

The True Story of the Stanley Park Swans

Written by Becci of Liberation BC, on May 25th, 2010

If you’ve spent any time at the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, you’ve almost definitely seen the Mute Swans.  They are large, strikingly lovely birds, and certainly one of the most memorable and defining aspects of the lagoon.

Did you know, however, that they aren’t a native species to the Park or even to the continent?  Mute Swans actually come from Europe and Asia.  To prevent the birds from spreading and becoming an invasive species, their wings are clipped:

The swans are pinioned (wing tendons clipped) to keep this introduced species from spreading to other parts of the province.  Unlike clipped wings, it is a permanent surgery.  Some may find this cruel but it is the only way to ensure that a non-native species does not spread.  (Stanley Park Ecology Society)

That’s right, the swans cannot fly, and never will.  They are essentially captives–living decorations for visitors to the park to enjoy. Yes, some DO find this cruel.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that most people would.  I know that I’ll never forget the day that I saw one of the swans desperately struggling to take off from the water.  Destroying the birds’ wings did not destroy their desire to fly.

The fact that the swans are denied their right to fly is  only one problem associated with their damaged wings, actually.  The birds are injured–or more often, killed–with surprising frequency, generally because they can only escape danger by staying on the Lagoon.  They cannot take to the air.  Despite warnings posted throughout the area, people very often unleash their dogs and allow them to run around freely.  I suspect that these are the same people who take their dogs, unleashed, for walks throughout our busy city, foolishly assuming that they know well enough how the dogs will react in every single situation.  The swans, who are very slow on land, cannot escape when a dog decides to express its natural instincts and attack.  It happens all the time.

Wild animals, like raccoons and coyotes, have also attacked the birds, and so have humans.  A few years ago, some idiot threw a large rock at a mother swan on her nest, breaking her leg.  Another swan and her babies were intentionally doused with oil.  (Two of the three cygnets died as a result.)  People who, again, ignore signs, have killed swans by riding their bikes too quickly on paths around the lagoon.

Right now there are close to 10 swans living on the lagoon, and even the park admits that this is too many:

There are also, technically, too many swans on the Lagoon.  In the wild, only one pair would inhabit a lake this size (SPES)

Let there be no misunderstanding here: I love Stanley Park, and I love the Lost Lagoon.  I think it’s one of the best places in our wonderful city.  But the swans should be considered an embarrassment to the otherwise fantastic park.  It’s not as if we’re lacking for wildlife–the park and lagoon are home to literally hundreds of species of animals, including Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles.  With such fascinating creatures living and flourishing freely in the park, why do we need captive swans?

Learn more from Stanley Park Swans.  The author is clearly in favor of the swans being in the lagoon, but the website is otherwise a great resource.

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Gimme Shelter, Everyday Choices

[read time: 5 mins]

If you attended the Gimme Shelter, Everyday Choices at the Roundhouse on Sep 26, 2010, I want to say a big thank you: your  support, open minds and big hearts for it was you who allowed me to made this event possible.  We raised $2800 dollars for Farm Sanctuary and $500 for Liberation BC. I was really happy with the speakers. The event’s purpose was to raise awareness about everyday choices. You could not have attended this event without being affected in some way. Along with a silent auction, entertainment provided by Evan Kennedy and the Fera Band some yummy catered food from Radha and a selection of wine to choose from – I think I had a pretty succesful first event.

Eleanor Boyle

Our first speaker was Eleanor Boyle, on sustainable food attainable health. Eleanor’s presentations are inclusive, compassionate, and optimistic. She creates opportunities for people to share ideas and strategies for sustainable living and eating.  With her presentation on how we can develop personal food practices that nourish the earth as well as ourselves, how we can choose to move down the food chain by eating none or less meat and how we can urge governments and policy-makers to shape food systems for ecological public health.

Graham Hill

In between speakers I presented  a video called “Why I’m A Weekday Vegetarian” by Graham Hill. I chose this video because it goes with my values, if I’m going to be successful at actually changing the relationships people have with food then I need to allow people to make gradual changes at their own pace. I can not expect everyone to follow the same set of values especially my own. I can respect that change takes time. Graham Hill talks about the arguments that being vegetarian is better for the environment and for the animals — but in a carnivorous culture, it can be hard to make the change. Graham Hill has a powerful, pragmatic suggestion: Be a weekday veg. Graham Hill is the founder of; he travels the world to tell the story of sustainability. Full bio and more links

Rex Weyler

Our second speaker was Rex Weyler, Rex was one of the founders of Greenpeace and I have to say he is right up there with David Suzuki when it comes to intelligence. His presentation on how our food choices effect our environment, his approach to living simply just might be a great start to rebuilding our environmental damage.  His eye opening presentation discussed that meat consumption not only contributes to the decline of our resources but that factory farming in a whole is the biggest contributor to global warming.  Vehicles release over 1.7 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, contributing to global climate change and each gallon of gasoline burned creates 20 pounds of CO2. That’s about 6 to 9 tons of CO2 each year.

Before you consider all the C02 we produce with transportation, Factory Farming creates even more, methane and Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2. While atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have risen by about 31% since pre-industrial times, methane concentrations have more than doubled. Whereas human sources of CO2 amount to just 3% of natural emissions, human sources produce one and a half times as much methane as all natural sources. In fact, the effect of our methane emissions may be compounded as methane-induced warming in turn stimulates microbial decay of organic matter in wetlands—the primary natural source of methane. This is a direct cause of the demands of more meat at a faster rate, more factory run farms and a diminishing of private smaller farms. Cheaper and faster is the new demand. We have gone from seeing meat as a side dish to it becoming a staple. Our demand and high consumption has created factory farms and factory farmed meat which is inhumane and the biggest contributor of global warming.

Mark Bittman

I followed Rex Weyler presentation with a video called “Whats Wrong With What We Eat” by Mark Bittman. I chose this video because it seemed a perfect follow up to Rex’s presentation. Our demand for resources. A semi-vegetarian, Mark Bittman accurately states: “There’s no way to treat animals well when you’re killing 10 billion of them a year.” Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it’s putting the entire planet at risk.

Gene Baur

Our  keynote speaker all the way from  California was Gene Baur co founder of Farm Sanctuary. Gene talks about the effects of Factory Farming and  presented an eye-opening discussion for many in the audience, as I later learned so many people had no idea that factory farming was going on. To most it was a shock that dairy cows are artificially inseminated and spend most of their life pregnant, while their calves become veal if they’re male and dairy cattle if they’re female, all days after birth. It is one of the cruelest forms of living and is what we know as factory farming. The environment that these animals live in is not hygienic; most suffer from respiratory problems, 90% of the antibiotics administered are given to factory farmed animals, and this is what is allowed in the food sold in supermarkets, it’s shocking that they allow this to be consumed by people. Gene explains that most of the animals that make it to Farm Sanctuary are scared and have never know any form of compassion. Gene is one of the nicest most compassionate, genuine people I have ever met. I feel very blessed to have had him visit us in Vancouver and speak at my event.

Liberation BC organized a dinner at Organic Lives restaurant after the event!

It is our responsability to learn how we can all make a difference and how we as a race can continue to support each other in making better choices and changes. For the full photo album of the event please follow me on Facebook.

Liberate Animals~ Vancouvers Animal Issues

Do you want to get involved but you don’t know how? Well here is a local Vancouver advocate that wears a big heart on their sleeve. Liberation BC offers a list of get involved Vancouver. Go ahead make a difference, the animals are waiting:

The holiday season is a great time to talk to others about how brutal and unnatural the turkey farming business is.
Foie Gras
You can convince Vancouver shops and restaurants that this cruel product is not welcome in your city.
Pappas Furs
We will continue to be at Pappas Furs until Aberdeen Centre kicks this vile furrier out of the mall! Learn more about the campaign here!
Canadian Seal Hunt
Every March, Liberation BC joins with other animal rights groups to protest Canada’s embarrassing “hunt” of baby seals.
Walk for Farm Animals
Every year since 2007, we’ve organized the Vancouver Walk for Farm Animals. All funds raised go to Farm Sanctuary!
In a real sport, all participants are willing. The rodeo is nothing but animal abuse.