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Be gentle to yourself, animals, and others.

By Natalie Blanton

 

What has always remained so confusing, frustrating, and surprising to me is the bad taste in the mouth of our collective society when words such as “vegan” or “animal rights” are brought up.

I will most likely field some criticism for this — but I need to say something about living compassionately:

Yes, we live in a society that is built upon the backs of the most marginalized. Including animals.

Living compassionately should include the active elimination of harm, violence, and suffering inflicted upon all other humans, animals, and this planet, Earth.

Driscoll’s Workers Call for Global Boycott over Alleged Abuses at World’s Biggest Berry Distributor -- Read the Democracy Now story here.

Driscoll’s Workers Call for Global Boycott over Alleged Abuses at World’s Biggest Berry Distributor — Read the Democracy Now story here.

Granted, and unfortunately, you will never be 100% “cruelty-free” because animal products are in everything. And I mean everything. Beyond food, household cleaning products, medicine, and makeup, are all brutally, and unnecessarily, tested on animals. And those organic non-GMO veggies? They were most likely picked by migrant or undocumented farm workers, living under a cruel system/regime of oppression, non-livable wage, and silencing lack of representation. I would not qualify these fruits, vegetables, and products of industrial agriculture as “cruelty-free,” even if these processes do not involve harming animals directly.  

In light of all this doom and gloom? Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H. Neurologist, public health specialist, and author, gave me a great piece of advice: “Just do your best!” In continually seeking, creating and living a life free of violence and cruelty, there will always be that one obscure ingredient that, once you’ve researched the origins, you will be forever perplexed and saddened by our society. For now? Watch Dr. Akhtar’s TED talk here, regarding all of the reasons to keep fighting this good fight and pursuing this idea of “cruelty-free” no matter how difficult. In essence? Shop locally and ethically, never be silent about oppression, and keep educating yourself and your community.

Once you are veg, keep doing your best to stay veg.

If you are new to the plant-based life — first off, welcome. Second off, fun fact: Cheese has the same addictive properties as hard drugs. Because of this terrifying scientific fact, cravings are real. I get it. Even after many years of a vegan lifestyle — those can randomly rear their ugly heads. If there is something specific? Reach out to one of our Sage Mountain resources to ask, “Why do I miss fish so much?” or “I just can’t give up cheese,” etc. These are real questions with real answers and we live in a day and age when it is easier than ever to be vegan — with the right information, awareness, and understanding. So jump on it — reach out to any of us here at SM or local, incredibly knowledgable plant-based fitness and nutrition coaches: Lexi P., of element xii, Courtney Pool, etc.

Remind yourself why you went veg in the first place and surround yourself with support and community.

Realities of the dairy industry.

Realities of the dairy industry.

I would argue that people give veganism or plant-based living a bad wrap because of these fabled “vegans” themselves. But, you have to wonder why we are such a minority and why it is so wild for an individual to step back, say no, and abstain from consuming death and suffering at every meal/in their daily routine. I will never understand that by making the choice to go veg we become such a nuisance to society. Yes, vegans are outraged, and angry. But for good reason. We are not here to shame and blame you. We must understand that there are larger actors and systems at play here. And we are more angry at the society that continues to profit off of animal lives. The moment you open yourself up to the awareness and consciousness that is plant-based living, it is hard not to react with an incredulous, “How did I never know that milk is only produced by grieving mother dairy cows, after their baby was taken from them?” and other such sentiments.

 

It is hard enough having every meal, social gathering, restaurant visit, and drive down the interstate be a reminder and space of violence towards animals. You can not fight the good fight, sustainably and progressively, if you are weak, sick, or too depressed to go on. Compassion fatigue is real — and we must be wary of it as humans with our busy routines, plus this added layer of complexities and advocacy. Self Care is a must. Meeting other like-minded individuals helps in feeling less alone or weird in this social movement.

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I encourage you to reach out to us, or other veg-inclined folk. These conversations are so rejuvenating, I promise. Come to our monthly vegan potlucks, #ThirstyFirstThursday events [there is one coming up this week at Este PC], SLC’s very own VegFest taking place on Sept. 10, or the SLC Vegan Facebook page’s meet-ups are amazing!

selfcaresundayBe gentle to yourself, animals, and others. There is an unhealthy amount of infighting in the plant-based, vegan, and animal rights movements. And these schisms between this community of like-minded, progressive individuals will only do more harm than good in pushing the momentum. If a veg individual decides to, for whatever reason, re-integrate animal products back into their lives — then that is on them. It is okay to feel angry and disappointed with that person, but do not shame and blame and kick and scream and yell, or call them a “sell-out”. This will only further wedge the divide between the individual and the veg-lifestyle/community. This is where that bad taste in the mouth comes from, and subsequently, the distaste for “vegans” in general. It is wasted energy and resources spent shaming, guilting, or pressuring people back into being fully veg. And it is not sustainable. People should make the transition to plant-based living for themselves, or whatever reasons feel right for them — that way, they are more likely to stay veg, and, as so many of us have realized, thrive. Take your vegan rage and channel it into new avenues — write your political representatives about the dismal state of animal agriculture, host a fundraiser for your favorite animal rights organization, or, meet up with youth in your community and have an honest conversation about all of the wonderful reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle.

Art by Sue Coe.

Art by Sue Coe.

I understand it is easy to be frustrated with friends and family who remain [or return to being] stubborn omnivores. Most of my immediate environment of kin is not veg whatsoever. And that is okay. Remember, this world, unfortunately, revolves around the use and abuse of animals, and it is not “normal” to be vegan, yet. But the tide is shifting. And it is getting easier, more accessible, and celebrated by governments, health organizations, celebrities, and individuals alike. Do not lose your temper with people who have not yet had their eyes opened to the truth, or the windows opened into slaughterhouses. Or those who believe the self-congratulatory lies that the dairy and egg industries are profiting off of daily [see resources regarding these “happy farm animals” such as the Humane Myth, “Cage Free,” or Free Range Fraud].

 

You do you. And do your best. Keep fighting. For yourself, for the animals, and for this planet. Continue fostering these honest and vital conversations of awareness and advocacy. Because it matters. And this is a brave, valiant and hard fight.
We are all here for you. And we must do this together.

Parkite sees benefits in eating more plant foods: Interview With Andy Krumel

By: Lauren Lockey

Every so often we are honored to highlight people within the Utah community who have made changes in their lifestyle, see the benefits, and seek to share it with others.

A few weeks ago I had the great opportunity to interview Andy Krumel who not only lost 15 pounds from reducing his consumption of animal products, but also feels happier and has more energy! Read below to find out more!

Sage Mountain: First, tell us a little about yourself.. Your name, age, where you are from, what you do, why you reside in Park City.

Andy Krumel:  My name is Andy Krumel and I am 53 years old. I have lived in Park City for three years. Before that I lived in the San Francisco bay area where I worked in the software industry. We now live full time in Park City for the great life is provides: clean air, great outdoor activities, and a vibrant community.

 SM: When and why did you decide to reduce your consumption of animal products?

AK: 5/1/2016 – That is the date I heard Dr. Joel Fuhrman speak at the Park City library. He made a compelling case for changing my diet in so many ways that seemed easy and made scientific sense. One of his main points was to reduce animal product consumption to no more than 10% of ones diet to greatly reduce the risk of cancer.

 SM: Wow that statement is quite compelling so what was the process like? Was it difficult for you to make these changes?

 AK: My wife and I went to the grocery store that night, we needed to make a trip anyway, and loaded up on beans, walnuts, and vegetables. Meat and cheese were central to my eating habits before changing my diet. Now, I go many days in a row without eating any meat without conscious effort.

 SM: How did your family/friends respond to you making these changes? 

 AK: No real reaction. This is not surprising given how many dietary restrictions people have these days.

 SM: That’s true. What changes have you noticed mentally and physically since reducing your animal product consumption?

 AK: Changing to Dr. Fuhrman’s diet resulted in increased energy and I have lost 15 pounds. The decreased weight is strictly the result of the diet, for if anything I have increased the amount I eat and have not altered my exercise regimen. Oh, and my sense of smell seems to have improved which is nice since it has never been very good – really makes life more enjoyable.

 SM: 15 pounds without altering your exercise?! I guess the statement is true that it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise huh? What do you eat on a typical day then?

  AK: Breakfast: fruit smoothie (reduced amount due to diet), paleo granola, fruit, and nuts. Occasionally have an egg or cheese.

  Lunch and dinner: some combination of vegetable soup, beans, and salads. Might have some meat when we go out to eat which is not very often. Surprisingly, we have found meal prep times are greatly reduced on the new diet. We make sure to include chia and flax seeds, raw onions, and cooked mushrooms daily.

 SM: Do you exercise? Is it more often than before since you have more energy?

 AK: For exercise I lift weights and run three miles 3x per week. During the summer I will go on several mountain bike rides in the mountains several times a week. During the winter we vigorously walk to the Park City Mountain resort on powder days!

 SM: Have you visited a doctor since you have made these dietary changes? What are their thoughts?

AK: No doctor visits.

 SM: How long did it take you to really “settle in” to this way of eating? Do you ever think about going back to how you ate before?

 AK: Settled in from day one. Crazy considering how different the Fuhrman diet is from my previous eating habits. In my version, so as not to speak for what Dr. Fuhrman intended, I do not count calories or engage in any portion control. If I am hungry then I eat.

 SM: Love that! It makes sense to eat when you are actually hungry! Do you plan to stick with it now that you have witnessed the benefits?

 AK: Of course. There is no going back.

 SM: What is your advice to those seeking to make changes in their diet?

 AK: Go hear Dr. Fuhrman speak or read one of his books. He has a long history of working with patients with severe heart disease and has worked with premier medical research institutions to perform scientific studies concerning the effects of diet on heart disease and cancer rates. The results are simply stunning and eye opening.

 SM: I agree! I was able to hear him speak last winter and he is super knowledgeable! Is there anything else you would like to add before we close?

 AK: I have always been one of those people that could not fathom making dietary changes if I looked and felt healthy. Well, we should never stop striving for improvement and why shouldn’t diet be in that mix? The change was easy, I feel better, love the taste of our food, and I have increased confidence our lives will be active for longer.

 SM: Thanks so much for your time Andy! Have fun mountain biking this summer!

Inspiring stories like Andy’s are happening around us all the time.  Do you have a story? We enjoy sharing and spreading the love whether it be for your health, the environment, or the animals. We would love to hear from you!   Never hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns in transitioning to a plant based lifestyle. We are here and excited to help in any way possible!

Our Plant-Based Community Happenings

By Natalie Blanton

Last week, we at Sage Mountain hosted 2016’s inaugural #ThirstyFirstThursday at the High West Distillery in Wanship, Utah. Our two speakers, Jenn from Meatless in the Mountains, and Nurse Kate from Resilient Body Nutrition were phenomenal. The food and cocktails were remarkable, and overall, the event was incredible and we are so grateful to all who made the trek up there. See photos from the event here.

What with our summer-month Thursday gatherings kicking off — I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the exciting happenings in our local plant-based community here in Utah:

  • We have yet another finalist in PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door campaign Dexter-SVND-2016-Finalist-300x300
    [last year’s winner was also a Salt Lake native and creator of the amazing Mexican Buffet at the Mi Ranchito restaurant, Victor]. In the 2016 finalist category is Dexter who, as described on PETA’s website, “is a transgender activist who believes that everyone deserves equal consideration, respect, and compassion, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race or species. As a researcher, he uses his expertise to advocate for non-animal test methods, including during his time working for the National Institutes of Health.” VegNews recently picked up his story and is worth the read, here.

    We are so excited for you, Dexter! This is an awesome step for equality on so many fronts! Thursday is the last day to vote for Dexter (June 9) — so please vote, here.


  • Have you heard the news that Salt Lake will be hosting its very own VegFest this September?13310402_1040146639385476_4340421155701889302_n
    We are so looking forward to this free and open to the community (vegans and omnis alike) celebration of all aspects of veg-lifestyles. There will be fitness demos, food samples and vegan restaurants represented, environmental education components, animal rights groups, and, hey, we will be there with a table and our Condition One Virtual Reality set up — come visit! The date is Saturday, September 10th from 11am – 6pm at Library Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The best way to support the up and coming VegFest?  Stand with Utah Animal Rights Coalition by becoming a supporter of their efforts to pull off Utah’s very own VegFest. Stay tuned for updates on the VegFest Facebook event.


  • Our friends over at The Big O Doughnuts opened their store front in Salt Lake City last weekend!
    If you haven’t tried one of their heavenly plant-8d1f393fbd59e0fe3c513006376c8067based, innovative flavored, delicious sugar rings you best get down there and buy a dozen. You won’t regret it. The family team behind this shop is awesome and absolutely deserves our whole-hearted community support. The store is located on 171 E. Broadway in SLC and is open 8am – sold out, Wednesday thru Saturday. Stay connected with their Facebook page for flavor updates and storefront availability.

 

 


  • Last but certainly not least, mark your calendars for our next #ThirstyFirstThursday event happening Thursday, July 7, at 7 pm at Zest in SLC! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more info to come!ConstantContact_JULY

The best way to further the plant-based, vegan, or animal rights movement is to support one another — animal and human alike. I encourage you to get out there, connect with other plant-eaters in your community and keep fighting the good fight. 

Tips From A 10-Year Vegan

By: Courtney Pool (guest)

Hello Sage Mountain Friends!

My name is Courtney, I’m a vegan nutritionist and a recent Utah-returnee living in Cottonwood Heights. It’s a funny story how I got to do a guest blog here: Lauren was my yoga teacher years ago in Park City, before either of us were vegan. When I moved back here, I found vegan roommates, one of whom knew Lauren and Sage Mountain very well. Long story short, I got to see her again for the first time in 10 years and here I am on the blog. Also an FYI: I’ll be the speaker at Sage Mountain’s Thirsty First Thursday at Zest on July 7th!

I’ve been vegan for about 10 years, and working as a nutritionist specializing in vegan nutrition, juice cleansing and overcoming overeating for about 8 years now.  It’s an online-based business and I do my consultations over the phone and Skype, which is wonderful because it allows me to have, in addition to local clients, global clients. And I love talking with people about veganism all around the world!

For this blog, I wanted to share some tips from the perspective of a longtime vegan that might be helpful for others. I hope you find it helpful!

1.Eat a healthy, well-rounded diet and minimal junk food.The vast majority of people who end up with nutritional deficiencies or claim they don’t feel as good on a vegan diet are often not getting enough healthy foods and are eating too much junk food. It can also be because there is not enough variety in the diet. Make sure you’re getting a wide array of veggies, fruits, beans, seaweeds, nuts, seeds, oils, etc.

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2.Amass a solid list of favorite recipes/meals. Whether you consider yourself someone who likes cooking or not, you need to invest some time trying new recipes and new meals, and figuring out what you like best. When people tell me they don’t know what to eat now that they’re vegan, that tells me they haven’t gotten any vegan recipe books, haven’t googled any vegan recipes online, and haven’t played around in the kitchen. It is a process of trial and error where we need to try a bunch of things, some of which we will like and some of which we won’t, but it will give us some staples that we can return to again and again. And if you’re not big on being in the kitchen, that’s fine–there are plenty of “simple vegan recipes” and “quick vegan meal recipes” that we can google.

3.Find community with likeminded people.Look for people who are likeminded and share a similar desire for veganism. They can be found through meetup.com in your city, or they may be found in an area-specific Facebook group. It’s lovely to find a local friend that you can frequent vegan cafes with or have over to make a meal, but don’t underestimate the power of being connected to people online. Join some forums and groups, ask questions, connect with people there. Share your fears and your insecurities about veganism, ask for tips. People love to help!

4.Learn about all aspects of veganism.I’d say there are four main categories of truth about why veganism is the ethical, loving, and moral way to live: health/well-being, animals, environment, and other welfare of other humans. If you’re only familiar with the details about one or a few of these aspects but not all of them, educate yourself on all of them. The more you know the truth about all factors, the more you receive that truth into your heart, and you can get to a place whereby because you know the truth so thoroughly, you simply can’t not be vegan.
 

5.Work on your people-pleasing issues.One of the biggest challenges for most people in being vegan is the pressure they often feel to be “normal” and eat like other people eat. We can be susceptible to guilt-trips from others about us being difficult or high-maintenance, or we feel we don’t want to stand up for ourselves and what we need to take care of ourselves within our veganism. This is an issue that is unavoidable to work out if we’re going to stay vegan long-term. There cannot be any circumstance, any guilt-trip, any social climate that would cause us to cave and eat animal products, and the way that we’re going to create that is by working on the emotional reasons why we care what others think of us in this particular way. Don’t people-please with your eating.

6.Examine emotions that may create cravings.It doesn’t happen for everyone, but some people who have recently gone vegan will eventually face something internally that will cause them to be tempted to eat animal products. We’ve already discussed the people-pleasing related emotions that can cause this, but be aware of other ones too. They can be fears about it being unhealthy or apathy about the importance of vegan. Allow yourself to be self-reflective of feelings that may cause you to want to eat animal products.

I hope this helps! If you’re interested in chatting with me about the possibility of coaching, please visit my website -you can email me directly there! I’m also on all social media under my name.

Courtney Pool

A comprehensive article about everything on going vegan can be found here from our friends at Positive Health Wellness.

Oceans: The Planet’s Life Support System

By: Lauren Lockey

 “If the oceans die, we die.”  

Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

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       Oceans are the planet’s life support system for all uni-cellular and multi-cellular  organisms including humans. They cover nearly three-quarters of planet earth, and hold 97% of the planet’s water. Like trees, they produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and absorb carbon from it. “With every 10 breathes we take, 8 of them come from the ocean…”

Even though we live in the mountainous desert of Utah, the oceans still affect our lives and our family’s lives each and every day.

We all can agree that film is extremely powerful so rather than listing the many reasons oceans are important and how humans are impacting them, let’s take the visual route! The ocean is fascinating with all it’s symbiotic life so please click here and take a journey into a world so deeply connected to our own.

     According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, “80 percent of the world’s fish stocks for which assessment information is available are considered fully exploited or  over-exploited. Researchers are predicting that all fisheries will have completely collapsed by the year 2048 due to loss of bio-diversity caused by over fishing and the many other human threats facing ocean wildlife and ecosystems, such as pollution, climate change and ocean acidification, and the loss of vital habitats.”

    We can no longer turn or run away from the truth that is science. We can’t sugar coat it, say “we will get to it later” or rely on someone else to do it. We can make a collective effort that involves a small shift in our daily lives. Without fresh water, the rain forests, and healthy oceans, WE can not survive.

What can you do?

 Switch out meat, dairy, eggs, and fish for more plant based foods. It really is that simple. Again, we are the lucky ones with a choice. A choice that will impact every organism on the planet. We can either make that impact  positive or negative. What will you choose? Please feel free to contact us with questions or concerns regarding the transition to a plant based diet!

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Trees: The Lungs of Planet Earth

Trees: The Lungs Of  Planet Earth

By: Lauren Lockey

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         Those of us who are lucky to live in a ski town such as Park City can relate to the feeling while hiking, running, biking or skiing through the beautiful pine or aspen trees. In that moment, there is an overwhelming awareness of being connected to earth and everything around us.

I remember walking through the rain forest in Costa Rica . It was as if I could feel them breathing while I was enveloped in the mist surrounding them.   The scent of the wet leaves and soil was so raw and “earthy.” Or the magic I feel while mountain biking through red and yellow aspens and the sun shines through just perfectly.  Or the wisdom that humbled me from the old growth redwood forests in California.  It’s these moments when I realize we are all connected to such a powerful life force greater than us.  Humans, no matter how in control we think we are, are not separate from trees or other living beings. We need trees(and a healthy ocean) to survive.   Without them,we will vanish.  Besides trees protecting us from the sun, wind, and rain with their magnificent canopy, they are the lungs of planet earth. The largest of which we don’t see daily, the tropical  rain forest.

By absorbing carbon dioxide, rain forests  help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change. In addition to the important role rain forests  play in Earth’s climate, they also are an important home to about half of the species of plants and wildlife on the planet.

What does this actually mean and why is it so important?

There are more than 20 reasons but I am going to speak to the most important ones and how connected they are to our food choices.

  Print

  •  trees in Earth’s rain forests absorb tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce much of the oxygen humans and animals depend upon for survival. One acre of mature trees provide enough oxygen for 18 people for one year.
  • Rain forests  help to stabilize the Earth’s climate. We now know that carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change. By absorbing carbon dioxide, rain forests help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change.
  • Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
  •  Rain forests are the home to more than half of the earth’s plant and wildlife species. As these forests decrease in size, so do the homes and lives  of these species.  Palm Oil is also responsible for large scale forest destruction and conversion therefore leading to species loss such as the Sumatran orangutan, elephant, and tiger. Check  labels and stay away from this product which is found in everything!

               orangutan-greenpeace

  •  rain forests help maintain the water cycle by producing and absorbing large amounts of rainfall every year.  When these forests decrease in size, you risk drought and flooding instances around the world.

An estimated 18 million acres  of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Let’s put that into perspective. That’s about 36 football fields per minute!   Just to take this sobering fact a little further, according to the Rain forest Action Network  “If present rates of destruction continue, half our remaining rain forests will be gone by the year 2025, and by 2060 there will be no rain forests remaining.”
Every second . . we lose an area the size of two football fields!
Every minute . . we lose an area 29 times the size of the Pentagon!
Every hour . . . we lose an area 684 times larger than the New Orleans Superdome!
Every day . . . we lose an area larger than all five boroughs of New York City!
Every week . . . we lose an area twice the size of Rhode Island!
Every month . . .we lose an area the size of Belize!
Every year . . . we lose an area more than twice the size of Florida!
At the very least, “with the destruction of the tropical rain forests, over half the plant and animal species on earth, as well as numerous indigenous cultures will disappear forever.” If strong and decisive action is not taken immediately to reverse the destruction of this vital ecosystem, the consequences will be catastrophic. In fact, many scientists agree that the earth could very well become uninhabitable for virtually every living species, including humans! Meaning we are a part of, not separate from, the ecosystem. Everything is interconnected.

One of the single major contributors to the destruction of the rain forest is animal agriculture. The process of raising animals for human consumption. When we choose an animal-based diet, the rain forest continues to be destroyed. 

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A Few Facts:

  • Approximately 200 million pounds of beef is imported by the United States from Central America every year. The demand is increasing around the world in countries such as China and Russia.
  • Since the 1960s, the cattle herd of the Amazon Basin has increased from 5 million to more than 70-80 million heads. Around 15% of the Amazon forest has been replaced and around 80% of the deforested areas have been covered by pastures.
  • Ranchers use slash and burn methods to clear land, fertilize the soil and plant desired crops such as soy feed for farmed animals. Because of the high demand for beef, the soil is unable to replenish which lead ranchers to clear more land for animal feed crops while using previous cleared land for grazing.
  •  Each pound of Central American beef permanently destroys over 200 square feet of rainforest.
  • 1-2 acres of rain forest are cleared every second to graze animals or grow crops to feed the animals.
  • To graze one steer in Amazonia takes two full acres. That’s a lot of land for a hamburger!
  • It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat. More than 868,000 acres are cleared to grow soy crops to then ship to factory farms for animal feed. Wow! Again, that is a lot of land and energy use for a small amount of meat!
  •  Trees are chopped down to clear space for livestock and they release all of that stored CO2 back into the air. Since those trees are removed, they can no longer help clean the air and produce oxygen.
  •  It takes 9 trees one month to scrub 10 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere. With 2000 trees being lost to deforestation every minute  (80 percent of which are lost due to cattle production) that’s 1,600 fewer trees  to keep excess CO2 from contributing to pollution and global warming…every 60 seconds. source
  • The world population is estimated to grow to 9 billion by 2050
  • As trees are cut down they are replaced with methane(greenhouse gas like carbon) producers, cattleSo, wait a minute… we remove what cleans the poison out of the atmosphere and replace it with the actual poison?!
  • Watch 40 second clip from Cowspiracy here.

This issue goes deeper than what I have listed! Remember the beef and dairy industry is a multi billion dollar industry so government subsidized loans, tax credits, and write-offs are at play here. But that’s another topic for a different day! This is all about supply and demand so we as consumers have a responsibility to reduce or eliminate the demand for animal products so we can preserve the rain forest.

When we choose a plant-based diet, the rain forest is preserved

  • 1 acre of land yields 250 pounds of beef. However the same amount of land yields 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots, and 53,000 pounds of potatoes.
  • You can produce over 7 times more usable plant protein per acre than animal protein.
  • 1 vegan saves 11,000 sq ft of forest per year

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      The facts and studies can go on and rain forest destruction is only a fraction of the effects animal agriculture has on planet Earth.  We as human animals are lucky because each and every day we get to make a choice that can benefit everything/one around us. When we choose a plant-based diet, we have made the decision to think outside ourselves and what is best for all of us because everything and everyone is inter- connected! We are intimately reliant on all the resources planet Earth provides. And they are reliant on us to watch over and take care of them.  Therefore, shouldn’t we be grateful for this life we were given? This home that is full of beauty and adventure?  Why not give back and preserve it for all the generations to come?

     With over 7 billion(and growing) humans inhabiting the planet, it can never go back to what it was before human kind. We naturally and unfortunately will continue to build, destroy land, and cause pollution and waste. However, we can significantly reduce our impact by making a few small changes in our daily lives.  When we make the choice to shift to a plant-based diet, we not only save trees and all other natural resources, we actually do integrate back into the connected web of all life and become stewards of planet Earth.

Feel free to connect with us here at Sage Mountain with questions, comments, or concerns regarding plant-based living! We are happy to help!

 

 

 

 

Sage Mountain Reads

Sage Mountain Reads

By: Natalie Blanton

When people begin their education or transition into the plant-based lifestyle–so often we hear that books significantly impact this dietary, lifestyle, and paradigm shift. Because these stories have so much power, we decided to compile a list of our favorite reads, with a bit of our commentary:

  • How Not to Die
    Dr. Michael Gregerhow-not-to-dieWe included this in our latest newsletter because we feel it is the most comprehensive and innovative plant-based health argument and guide out there!The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-recognized lecturer, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the top 15 causes of death in America-heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more-and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.
  • Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better
    Tracey StewartThis is on our gift guide — because this adorable, accessible and powerful read is on all of our lists this year. We especially love the illustrations and Tracey’s individual and humanizing stories of each of the animals that have changed her life.
  • Ishmael
    Daniel Quinn
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    This book, with its fascinating and obscure plot, juxtaposes consumer culture and nature and calls on its readers to become proactive stewards of this earth before it is too late. Quinn explores an understanding and appreciation of animals unlike anything we have ever read before.
  • Animal Liberation
    Peter SingerProblematic and provocative, this is a foundational text to the animal rights movement.
  • Total Liberation
    David Naguib Pellow
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    Utilizing Singer’s animal liberation framework as a jumping off point, Pellow integrates and intersects the human liberation and earth liberation movements to show that unless we all work together, we will continue to see destruction and oppression of this earth and all its inhabitants.
  • Sexual Politics of Meat
    Carol J. AdamsThis is a vital read that connects animals to humans in such an intimate and provocative manner. Think: the brutality of the dairy industry in relation to societal oppression of women. Adams argues (and we wholeheartedly agree) that the exploitation of female bodies, both animal and human, is absolutely unacceptable.
  • Consider the Lobster
    David Foster WallaceA provocative must-read essay on the history, zoology, and society of the lobster family and its unfortunate celebration and consumption in the western world.41WGczn93HL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_
  • Making a Killing
    Bob TorresThis book is an awesome expose on the horrors of big agriculture and factory farming. Well-written and witty, not to mention free on Google Books!


Other must-reads:

  • Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy – Matthew Scully
  • Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat – Philip Lymbery
  • The Dreaded Comparison – Marjorie Spiegel
  • Animals Men and Morals – edited by Stanley and Roslind Godlovitch and John Harris
  • When Species Meet – Donna Haraway
  • The Postmoden Animal – Steve Baker
  • Empty Cages – Tom Regan
  • The Moral Relevance of the Distinction between Domesticated and Wild Animals – Clare Palmer
  • Surface Encounters – Ron Broglio
  • Sistah Vegan – A. Breeze Harper

Note: remember to shop local and Park City’s very own Dolly’s Bookstore stocks many of these titles! 

What are your plant-based/vegan/ethical/environmental/health conscious favorites?

Which would you add to our list? Tell us here!