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Save 25% On Vega Products – All Made With The Best Real, Plant-Based Ingredients

Vega products are all plant based and packed with nutrients to fuel any activity. All products are certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free as well as soy free. My favorite line of theirs is the Sport Line which includes protein bars (20 grams) and smoothie powders (30 grams) containing 6 BCAAs which help to put your muscles back together after a hard workout. I also love their Vega One bars and Smoothie Powders as well. Coconut Cashew is my favorite. If I need a quick pick me up in the afternoon or between meals I grab a Chocolate Carmel Protein & Snack Bar. These bars are only 200 calories and contain 11 grams of protein.

 

This month, Vega is teaming up with Sage Mountain to offer 25% off MSRP on any product. We ask you donate back at least 10% of the discount back to Sage Mountain. Go to www.myvega.com to see a complete product listing and description.

Please email Alisha with your orders akniswander@gmail.com by February 27th.

 

Co-Founder Lauren Lockey Interviews With KPCW

Co-founder Lauren Lockey interviews with KPCW on behalf Sage Mountain’s “compassionate traditions” campaign. Click the link below to listen:

http://kpcw.org/post/local-news-hour-november-15-2017#stream/0

(Lauren’s interview starts at 34:28)

Vega Promo For The People

If you are active or on the go, you don’t want to miss this! We would like to share an offer from one of the best plant based nutrition companies on the market, Vega. Local plant powered athlete and friend, Alisha Niswander is partnering with Vega to offer you 10% off on your purchase. In addition to that, another 10% of your purchase will go directly to Sage Mountain. Enjoy delicious plant powered protein, recovery and snack items PLUS help one of your favorite animal sanctuaries in the meantime. That’s a win-win if we’ve ever heard one. Here is a picture of some of Alisha’s daily go-to Vega products.

Please don’t hesitate to drop her a line with any questions. Check out their website and take 10% off your MSRP pricing! Remember, they will match that discount and send it directly to Sage Mountain.

Any order over $100 will receive a free Vega Blender Bottle so you can shake your nutrition on the go!
Orders must be in to Alisha by September 15th! Don’t hesitate to contact her with any questions regarding the product or pricing!
Alisha Niswander
Mountain Vista Touring
(435) 640-2979
akniswander@gmail.com

Mindful May Middle School Madness

By: Chris Shapard and Craig Gordon:

The students at Treasure Mountain Junior High learn about the power of plant-based nutrition

“How many of you think about where your food comes from?” A few students hesitantly raise their hands, most keep them down.

When most of us sit down to eat, about to sink our teeth into a burger, we see a burger, not a dead cow. Behind that seemingly innocent paper-wrapped circular mass of bread, vegetables and condiments, there is a sinister story that everyone who eats food needs to know.

Commuting around the Salt Lake Valley, our plant-based tribe is increasingly aware of an endless parade of livestock trucks, hauling animals to slaughterhouses. My stomach turns and I get nauseous at the sight of these trucks. I want to look away and ignore the problem, but my heart and my eyes look to connect with just one of the souls on board to say “I am sorry.”

Over the course of two days, Sage Mountain’s Lauren Lockey teamed up with local plant-based athlete Craig Gordon and Chris Shapard of the non-profit Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC) to educate hundreds of students on the benefits of a plant-based diet, and to raise awareness of the consequences and power of their everyday food choices.

The animal products people buy in restaurants and grocery stores have been so transformed that the animals who suffered and died for chicken wings, a hot dog, or slice of cheese, have been completely hidden behind a deceivingly benign image of a picturesque little farm on the package. Happy cows, smiling pigs, fish frolicking in the ocean… brilliant disconnected marketing ploys. What’s not included on those packages is the fact that 99% of animals today are raised on giant factory farms, and that billions of chickens spend their entire lives crammed into a cage with each having less space on average than a standard sheet of paper.

Students gasped when they learned that hundreds of millions of male chicks in the egg industry are ground up alive simply because they don’t produce any eggs and therefore they are of “no use” to the industry. Like most of us, the students didn’t think about the baby cows who are taken away from their mothers so that the baby’s milk can be sold for human consumption, and the billions of animals whose lives were cut drastically short because we have unconsciously prioritized our taste buds over their right to live. This is the story for those raised on small farms, factory farms, humane, cage free, organic, or grass fed.

The presentation also disclosed the immense environmental toll of animal agriculture. To produce a single beef patty, it takes upwards of 660 gallons of water. Animal agriculture is also a leading cause of deforestation, water pollution, and produces more greenhouse gasses than the entire transportation sector – a fact that resonates with all of us here in Utah whose winter wonderland is becoming increasingly threatened by rising temperatures.

The animal products that take such an immense toll on animals and our environment are killing us as well. Animal products cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and the students learned that the choices they make now determine their health in the future.

The students learned about about Pony Boy and Wilma Jean (or PB & J), who get to live out their lives in peace at the beautiful Sage Mountain sanctuary.

The good news is that the power is in our hands to fix these problems with the food choices we make everyday – and these students are the ones who will be leading the way. It is our responsibility to educate them and embrace their innate compassion. Even though we covered environment, health, and ethics equally, students were most impacted by the suffering animals endure. They realized they don’t want to be a part of it. We can choose compassion over convenience, health over habit, and sustainability over appetite. When we make the simple choice to eat plant-based foods instead of animal based foods, we are taking a stand for animals, people and our planet. We may not be able to see it, but when we choose plant-based foods, we can unlock the cage for countless other animals just like PB&J.

Please continue to follow Sage Mountain via Instagram and Facebook for individual interviews of students from Treasure Mountain!

Ponyboy, My Story

By: Ponyboy

I will have to say that it’s been a whirlwind since Johnny and I broke free from our captors in Riverside County, California. See, what many of you don’t know is that this was a planned getaway from the beginning and not some spontaneous guy’s night out romp.

Let me help paint the picture with some of the few details that I remember from that evening. You will have to cut me some slack as I was only 3 months old at the time and my memories are vague. I’m sure many of you would also have a hard time remembering what you were doing at that age. I can assure you that planning a daring escape was not in the cards. In fact, our lives were meant to be doomed from the beginning.

Johnny and I were being raised in what humans would call a backyard butcher situation. What that basically means is that we lived in cramped quarters where our humans would raise and grossly over feed us until we were ready to be turned into lamb chops and bacon. Now, let me stop there for a minute as I have an issue with this. At what point do I become bacon? When your species dies you don’t transform into another thing or food item. Apparently Johnny and I transform into something completely different. I’m not bacon. I’m a pig and a damned smart one at that. When it’s time for me to go I will become a deceased pig and not this “bacon” thing.

Many humans know for some reason or another that we pigs are intelligent creatures. This is not by chance but by hard work and numerous sleepless nights studying. In my studies as a young piglet I noticed that when humans would consume my deceased fellow friends, or “bacon”, that those humans would then become sick with chronic disease such as heart disease. So let me get this straight, humans kill pigs like me and then we turn around and kill them with the number one killer of all humans, heart disease.

As Johnny and I laid there realizing how counterproductive this all was, or as Johnny would say “batshit crazy” (Johnny had a way with words), we realized we wanted to do something about it before it was too late. So for a few weeks we  contrived a plan to break out of our tiny quarters and make our move. The daughter of our captor would not be the best at locking our gate after coming into feed us in the evenings. After a few times of seeing this we knew that we had to make our move and make our move we did. It was a breezy September evening and Johnny and I bolted. We ran and ran until we couldn’t run anymore. Then we ran some more. Then we walked. We walked miles and miles through farmland and neighborhoods until we were just couldn’t go anymore. Sometime around midday the next day some strangers stopped us and coaxed us into a truck. We realized this was animal control and figured that it was better than where we were before so we decided to get off our feet for a while. After a few days at the animal control facility, the workers there didn’t have the necessary means to hold us much longer and placed a call to Farm Sanctuary in Acton, CA to ask if they would take Johnny and I. This is where things made a huge turn for us. Farm Sanctuary is the largest farm animal welfare group in the country and through a miracle picked us to come to their home. Johnny and I knew that from here on out were not going to become bacon and lamb chops or contribute to the number one killer of humans.

this is Johnny and I at Farm Sanctuary

As we grew up at Farm Sanctuary I realized I was becoming a lot bigger than Johnny and needed some more space. It was at this time two people from Utah (wherever that is) representing Sage Mountain came to visit me. They said they had tons of space and would love for me to come and live there. After a few months, vet visits, and a short stay in Northern California, I was ready to take a road trip with my new girlfriend Wilma Jean to Utah. I won’t say much about Wilma Jean here as apparently she had a blog written about her a little bit ago. I’m still trying to wrap my big ears around this as I met the Sage Mountain team first and should have been the first blog. I will let it slide as to not hurt Wilma Jean’s feelings and not to mention I don’t want to upset her. She outweighs me by 100 lbs and can give me the business at anytime she so desires.

Maggie and I nose to nose

Exploring with Wilma Jean at Sage Mountain(I have definitely filled out some)

Since being here I have made new friends especially with Maggie the German Shepherd. She follows me around all day and won’t leave me alone. I have told her numerous times that I have a girlfriend but it doesn’t seem to stop her. I look forward to more animal friends arriving at Sage Mountain during the spring and summer months.

I get to wake up to amazing sunrises, lots of space, sometimes snow cover (still getting used to that), and usually Wilma Jean snuggled next to me. Here I explore, dig, chew, bathe, get muddy, get muddy some more, eat, sleep, receive belly rubs and treats, and am adored by my humans.  I get to be a pig here and that’s all I ever wanted. I will continue to be a voice for all my animal friends out there and  be the change I seek in this world.

one of my favorite times of the day

Oink Oink

Ponyboy

Welcome Wilma Jean!

Wilma Jean came to us last year after a kind man fell in love with her and stepped in to protect her from harm.

The man had been temporarily taking care of Wilma Jean for his son, who was raising her for meat. But after spending just a short amount of time with her, the father came to see her for the special individual she was, and he couldn’t bear the thought of anything but happiness in her future.

 

Wilma Jean and Ponyboy were our first 2 rescued/farmed animal ambassadors/additions here at Sage Mountain, thanks to a collaboration with our friends at Farm Sanctuary. The FS team was contacted about a young, black and white female pig, in early September. She was described as “he” initially—the man who called FS thought she was male. He called because she was scheduled to be slaughtered the following week. His son had raised her as an attempt at “homesteading,” though the caller admitted to me that last year’s pig was still in the freezer. The son’s life had become too complicated with work and family responsibilities, and the responsibilities of caring for the pig had fallen on the father. Of course, once the father began caring for the pig on a daily basis, he was able to see her as an individual, and it became more difficult for him to imagine her going into the freezer like the last pig. He spoke to his son about sending her to a sanctuary, and the son agreed to surrender her if placement was found. That’s when the father gave FS a call. He really was the kindest man on the phone—just so caring and gentle, and FS could tell that he had really made the connection through this animal. 

Wilma Jean is quickly adapting to being a mountain pig.

Wilma Jean, as she is so lovingly referred to as now, arrived just last week to her forever home here at Sage Mountain. Read her write up on Farm Sanctuary’s blog, with her partner-in-crime, Pony Boy. We feel so fortunate to get to know this brilliant soul, we have fallen deeply in love with her personality! She is sweet, gentle, and a bit shy, but very curious. She is loving exploring the sage brush and snow — new experiences for her new life!

2017: The Year of Altruism, Momentum and Compassion

 

By Natalie Blanton

I am all for reinventing oneself, I fully believe in self-care and homework of the soul and goals. If we do not continually strive to do better for ourselves, in tandem, with progressing our communities, environments, and our planet — what are we doing with this one life?

 

As we say farewell to the brutally tough year that 2016 has been — I know many of us are mentally preparing for a New Year/New You. New Year’s Resolutions are brilliant, sure, but why not re-commit to serving yourself, and the world around you, every single day? Volunteering, donating, showing up are all amazing gestures — but I want to remind you that the single greatest act you can do, everyday, with the most immense impact — is to reduce, if not eliminate, your consumption of meat, dairy, eggs, and fish, for the health, well-being and longevity of yourself, the animals, and this remarkable planet. I deem 2017 the year of the vegan — a year of compassion, a counter-action to all of the hate, fear, and pain that occurred in 2016. I am hopeful that we will continue to see and feel more momentum in the plant-based and animal rights movements.

 

lisa-simpson-vegetarian-2Whether you are environmentally aware/concerned/anxious [as we should all be], you think pigs are too cute to eat [which they are], you know meat is horrible for your health, or the idea of eating dead animals has just never been appetizing — whatever the reason may be for you making this paradigm shift — you are welcome here. And that is the beauty of this individual activism, and voting/raising your voice at every meal, and with every decision made revolving around consumption. I urge you to craft your own vegan identity. Which can shift and change as you grow more in this vein of compassionate living. The process and snowball-effect that takes place when you simply think-through your consumption habits is incredible. A basic shift toward a veggie burger rather than cow flesh, will quickly make you more aware how these simple choices of meals, or not-tested-on-animals/cruelty-free household products and cosmetics, or cutting out the more hidden animal by-products, such as honey or gelatin, have huge, lasting, and undeniable impacts.

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Be one less person harming animals and this planet.

Commit to eating your ethics — for yourself, the animals, and the planet this year.

 

Here are some tips and tricks to help you along your herbivorous resolution/journey:

 

  • Further educate yourself. Watch the films (Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, Earthlings, etc.), utilize Vegan Apps or YouTube Channels for many different perspectives on Veganism, and the issues that have awoken so many of us.
  • Make a plan. Everyone is different! Some individuals go vegan overnight — cold tofurkey if you will. Some of us, like myself, took the gradual route and utilized the “crowd out, not cut out” mentality. Start somewhere: Meatless Monday’s or choose 2 days a week you eat all plant-based. As you introduce more delicious plant-based foods, animal products will disappear off of your plate and you will begin to feel cleaner and better! Transitions are always rough on our bodies — so give yourself time, do your best, be gentle with your body, if you are active — eat more calories, and drink lots of water, always!
  • Seek out and join community vegan social media groups, and through those, look for vegan meet ups in your area — like-minded individuals can be so helpful in this individual quest. Here is the local  SLC Vegan Facebook group!
  • Seek out a Vegan mentor — through community boards on Facebook (as aforementioned) or through any of us at Sage Mountain!
  • Go to or organize plant-powered potlucks, or cook for your omnivorous friends!
  • Write letters to your local leadership — urging them to end speciesism and let animals be — in all of their different, natural ways, or organize/attend a protest!
  • Be an example for others around you! Stay present with your friends and family who may be skeptical of your shift of diet/ethics. If you stay kind and simply encourage others to eat less animals and more plants — my, what marvelous things can happen! Offer to cook with your community to show that vegan food does taste amazing.

 

Do YOUR best. Because:

 

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. 

 

We are here for just a spec of time. Leave your own legacy of compassion for others. Simply,  start with today.

 

Together, let’s make 2017 the year of altruism and compassion.

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Author note: many of these tips were included in Sage Mountain co-founder, Lauren Lockey and the author, Natalie Blanton’s SLC Veg Fest 2016 talk “Veganism 101” — view their presentation here.

From One Mother to Another

Guest blog by Lexi Purrington

When I first found out I was pregnant I went through a lot of emotions. Fear, excitement, disbelief, and amazement to name a few. I began getting morning sickness in the next few weeks to come, craved things I’d never liked before, tossed and turned after getting back to sleep the 4th time after using the bathroom, and became a cranky, sleepy, needy mess. The first trimester was extremely trying for me, and I couldn’t quite understand how so many people did this, so very often. The second trimester was a breeze, morning sickness was alleviated, I didn’t have to take two hour naps everyday, and I had energy again.

The third trimester came and it hit me. I was going to be a mother. I was going to be somebody’s caretaker, provider, and most of all, protector. For life. I was devoted to somebody I had never met but knew so well. I was going to do the best job I possibly could. Because it’s my instinct, because he’s helpless, because he’s my child, and because I already love him more than I could ever explain. I chose to bring him into this world, and I am beyond lucky to live in a place where I can do that safely. I get to bring him home, feed him from my body, cuddle him, soothe him, bathe him, and watch him grow. I would do anything for him as his mother. Just as any animal would.

And yet, people continue eating and drinking dairy products every single day, thinking it is a harmless by-product. When in fact, once educated on the matter, it becomes quite clear that: dairy is a gruesome, horrific, and unnecessary commodification of motherhood.

Cows have been subjected to a cruelty we as humans could never understand. They live a constant nightmare on dairy farms.

tumblr_o74vy51t5j1qzg669o1_1280Most people don’t realize that in order to get milk you must first impregnate a cow. They are then pregnant for 9 months. Cows bond with their sons/daughters while inside the womb and (without our intervention) maintain a lifelong relationship of social contact and companionship. All exactly like us.

Male calves born in the dairy industry are considered useless. The day they are born they are immediately taken away from their mothers and sent off to veal farms. Kept in a dark, cramped, crate no more than 30 inches wide and 72 inches long. The crates are designed to be extremely small to ensure the “meat” is tender by prohibiting normal muscle growth. They are kept alive for 12-23 weeks until being transported and sent to slaughter. Female calves are either killed on the spot or kept at the dairy farm (separated from their mothers) and used as milk machines for the rest of their lives until their bodies wear out.

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Veal operation here in the U.S.

A lot of people picture dairy farms as just that, a farm. When in fact, it’s more like a factory. The industry views these animals as numbers, objects, and profit — and they are treated as such. But, these sentient beings are not machines. They are living, breathing, peaceful animals who crave the same things we do: love, happiness, and most of all, freedom.

tumblr_o9o0a8edn91v56l2uo1_500I’m now eight months pregnant and feel for these mothers now more than ever. Not only are we taking such a natural, beautiful thing away from these innocent beings, once you look at the big picture it begins to get even stranger: humans are the only species who drinks milk beyond infancy. The dairy industry has done such a great job convincing us that we need milk in order to have strong bones and good teeth that we’ve forgotten we don’t actually have any use for it at all. Having studied nutrition for years now, I have come to realize how many other alternatives and sources of these nutrients there are. 5-best-milk-alternativesFortified almond, soy, cashew, rice, hemp, and coconut milks contain the equivalent of calcium found in cows milk. And funny enough, the only reason dairy products contain calcium at all is because the cows are fed plant sources containing it. We are so fortunate to have so many powerful choices, options, and so much room to grow and evolve as a species. I think we can all agree it’s time to retire dairy. For our health, for the earth, and most importantly for the forgotten mothers and babies of this hidden horror.

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Lexi Purrington is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and a mom-to-be.
She can be contacted via email, here: lexipurrington@hotmail.com

One Single Act-“For the Betterment of Humanity”

By: Kent Maurer

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There is “one single act” that every one of us has absolute control over for the betterment of all of humanity, and that is what we choose to eat. We literally vote with our food choices at the grocery store, a restaurant, a drive through food joint, or a convenience store. Every time we make a purchase its telling industries what we want, demand and supply. When we order it, buy it or crave it, big business will continue to supply it, no matter what the health or environmental costs. Of all the food choices we are making, the choice of eating animals and animal products is, by far, making the biggest (negative) impact on our personal health and very dramatically, the health of our planet.

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Let’s talk about environment first. We all live together on this planet and share its resources. Two thirds of the planet is water but only 3% of that water is fresh water and 2% of that fresh water is ice. That leaves 1% of planet earth’s water available for all to share. Of course humans think of themselves first, without water we will die. Right now there are 7 billion plus people on this planet, just 50 years ago there was just over 2 billion. By 2100 there is expected to be 12 billion people all sharing that 1% of available fresh water.

We are not alone on this planet. Other living creatures and plants need to share that 1% of available fresh water with us and this is where it gets disturbing. Because of our voting habits when it comes to food, there are presently 70 billion factory farmed animals being raised world wide to satisfy our demand for animal products. Those animals require a dramatic amount of water when it comes to growing the food they eat and the water they drink. It’s estimated by the United Nations and other water watch communities that 23% of all the fresh water in the world, 50% of all the water in the United States and 70% of all the fresh water in the western U.S. is being used to grow food used specifically to raise farmed animals. In the mean time everyone and everything else is taking the blame for our water shortage We are told to take shorter showers, let our lawns die, tell growers whose plants take more water than normal like nut trees and certain fruits, to cut back on their crops or go out of business altogether, while collectively, nothing comes close to the amount of water being used to grow animals. Of all the restrictions being put on water use, animal agriculture gets a free pass with no restrictions.

In addition to the massive amounts of water being used by factory animal farming, in the U.S. alone 80% of farmland and 70-90% of our grain crops, is dedicated solely to raising animals for food. Millions of people in the U.S. and 2 billion people world wide do not have enough food, but factory farmed animals are fed till they are as fat as they can get to warrant the most money at slaughter. Our forests are being leveled to make room for more grazing area and to grow crops to feed to animals. This is a huge problem in the Amazon in South America where an acre a minute is being leveled to support animal agriculture. The Amazon and all vegetation are the lungs of our planet; plants absorb the carbon dioxide and breathe out the precious oxygen we all need (along with that 1% of fresh water) to survive.

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Then there are the airborne diseases that are escalating in this world, bird flu, avian flu, swine flu and on and on. 70% of the entire antibiotic supply made in this world goes to factory farmed animals in an effort to keep them alive in horrendous conditions until they are slaughtered. The overuse of antibiotics creates antibiotic resistant bacteria super-bugs, add that to the waste that 70 billion plus factory farmed animals are producing and a serious health problem is created. There are no sewer systems dedicated to these animals, their entire excrement ends up in our aqua fillers, rivers and oceans creating “dead zones” where nothing will grow and even more airborne diseases arise.

So why do we put up with an industry that’s estimated to contribute to 51% of all greenhouse gases produced? …Protein…

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We are obsessed and convinced that without our burger, chicken sandwich, hot dog, scrambled eggs, steak and fish, that we will not survive. While quite frankly the opposite is true, the science, case studies, and facts prove otherwise. Animal protein is the problem of our ill health, not the cure. We’d be immensely better off if we stopped eating animals and got our protein from the same sources the cow, pig, chicken, elephant, gorilla, racehorse and every other animal on this plant that has an anatomy similar to ours gets their protein from, plants!

75% of all animals on this planet, including humans, have an anatomy perfectly designed to take in soft easy to acquire plant food. We are the total opposite design of a carnivore like a lion or an omnivore like a bear. Humans have slow foot speed, small mouths and short dull teeth that could never bite through the skin of another animal and if we could we absolutely wouldn’t like the taste of blood. When fiber-less animal flesh enters our bodies our low acidic stomach acid and long windy intestines are not designed to absorb and eliminate that flesh. As the meat sits in our 11 times the length of our torso intestines, our 98.6 degree internal body is the perfect environment to produce the same type of bacteria that breaks down a dead animal on the side of the road. This is a disease producing acidic environment. Whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are the perfect foods for the human design and can be made into an unlimited variety of tasty, filling meals and produce the alkaline blood we are designed to thrive on.

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We cannot continue to justify the amount of water, food and land needed, as well as the diseases produced in our quest for animal protein. Not to mention the immense amount of pain and suffering 70 billion plus land animals and 100 billion sea creatures go through, unnecessarily, each year. As much as we don’t want to admit it, humans are not that important to this planet. We may have gotten the bigger brain and the ability to reason, but what have we brought to the table for the betterment of planet earth, I-phones, bombs, pollution? If bees or ants were to vanish from this planet the earth might not be able to survive, but if humans were gone, this planet would thrive.

We were put on this earth to oversee and protect it and all its inhabitants; unfortunately,we are not doing a very good job. But I do have confidence in my fellow human species, if we are given the correct information and then minimize, or better yet, eliminated our unnatural appetite for eating animals, we could save this planet and our health.

Stop believing the marketing hype, we don’t need animals for protein, calcium, iron, omega 3’s or any other nutrient, plants have it all. After absorbing this information and researching it yourself, don’t think you can call yourself an environmentalist or a humanitarian if you still choose to eat meat. I believe our future population will look back on this period of our planet in sadness, but also with pride. Pride that we took action and realized the problem and then corrected it. Just like any other disease, we have to get to the root of the problem instead of using band-aids in trying to correct the problem. THE single biggest problem, is raising and eating animals for food!

With one single act, the whole planet will benefit; animals need to be taken off the breakfast, lunch and dinner table, NOW.

http://www.onesingleact.org/

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A pig is a dog

By: Lauren Lockey

It’s difficult to imagine dog and cat meat on the menu in Park City. They  are loved so much here that just the thought of it creates deep anger and disgust. We respect and love our four legged furry creatures so much that we come together as a community to find loving homes for those in need, raise our voice of any inclination of abuse, and fight city council for more off leash areas!

This is not the case in countries such as China. One example is their yearly event called the Yulin Dog meat festival. 10,000 dogs and cats expect to be eaten during the 10 day event. Dogs and cats are cramped together in wire cages and often transported  1000 miles without food or water. It is one of the most horrific scenes  you can imagine. These animals are often beaten and tortured because instilling fear and stress into their bodies is believed to make their flesh more tasty and desirable. Hung by the neck and beaten with a bat, mouths stapled shut, boiled and skinned alive are just a few of the torture tactics.

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It is gruesome and heartbreaking to read or listen to hero, Marc Ching tell his story of going undercover in these areas as a dog/cat meat buyer.  Watch a short interview with him here.

However, as we gawk at the very idea of consuming dog or cat meat, most of us have no issue with biting into the flesh of a cow, chicken, lamb, fish, or pig. Maybe it’s too difficult to wrap our minds around such a number as 150 BILLION animals slaughtered each year for human consumption. Therefore today I am going to keep it rather simple and focus on pigs. That brings the number down to 115 MILLION slaughtered each year. That’s quite a few lives taken for  bacon, sausage, ham, pepperoni, and pork which are  considered to be just as carcinogenic as cigarettes. In other words, they cause cancer. In blunt words, feeding children these foods is like giving them a pack of smokes!

Besides the health effects, this is an ethical issue that must be brought to light again and again. These are 115 million individuals who endure similar lives as those dogs and cats being butchered in other countries.

For a moment, imagine spending 4-6 months in an airplane seat.  Yet you can’t get up and stretch your legs or go to the bathroom. We can barely handle a few hours right?! That is the life of a pig in the meat industry.

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Their natural life span is 10-12 years but instead they spend 4-6 months(longer if it’s a sow in which they are continually impregnated for up to 4 years) in a metal crate on a cement floor where they are fed specifically to make market weight in a short time without the ability to move or care for their young. You can imagine the stress and boredom this causes when pigs naturally like to burrow in dirt, be social, and oh I don’t know, turn around and walk. Then,  just like the dogs and cats, they are transported for long hours/days without food or water in extreme temperatures to the slaughterhouse.

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The transport is similar to being stuffed with other humans in an elevator. Except it’s not just for a few floor levels, it’s for a few days. No water,  no food, and covered in fecal matter.  Pigs are actually very clean animals when given the space.  They don’t sweat naturally so they enjoy mud as it keeps them cool. In factory farms and transport trucks they do not have that chance. As piglets, their tails and tips of teeth are docked without painkillers. This is because the crowded conditions cause such stress that pigs will bite eachother to death. You will often find them chewing the bars of their crates.

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One single processing plant slaughters 1000 pigs per hour. Yes, per hour! How can such a large scale number not be questioned? Have we become so desensitized and ignorant because of pleasure and convenience?  Often due to improper stunning, pigs are still alive when they reach the scalding hot water or have their throats slit.  Sound similar to dogs and cats being boiled alive? This is in no way humane. Just the sheer number per hour make it impossible. Therefore, it’s torture. In fact, humane and slaughter are complete opposites! One can’t humanely slaughter someone. It makes no logical sense!

Life matters to all beings.  Your life matters to you. My life matters to me. Rats lives matter to them. Cats lives matter to them. Dogs lives matter to them. Pigs lives matter just as much. They are not all the same. They have unique personalities. Some are extroverts, some introverts, etc.. Just like our dogs and cats we love so dearly at home.

This video gives you an idea of what the life of a factory farmed pig is like.  I ask you to be courageous because we must bear witness to create change. No matter how hard it is to watch it’s not even a fraction of what these animals go through. You think it’s difficult to give up taste and convenience? Think how difficult it is for these animals destined for our plates. We must begin to think outside ourselves.

What you can do:

  • Stop giving your money to the meat and dairy industry. The abuse and slaughter will continue as long as we pay for it and demand it.
  • Educate yourself. Watch films such as “Forks over Knives,” “Cowspiracy,” and “Earthlings.” More great films coming out this year and next!
  • Make a plan! Everyone is different! Some can give up animal products overnight, some need to be gradual. Try meatless Mondays or meatless 2 days a week! As you gradually introduce more plant foods and grains, animal products will slowly disappear from your plate.
  • Join Park City Utah Vegan Fb Page or SLC Vegan FB page for great restaurants, recipes, events, etc..
  • Try new recipes and cook yummy plant based meals for your family and friends.
  • Explore all the plant based meats and milks out there! These foods are becoming more and more available!
  • Leave the animals alone! Sorry..but seriously!

This is not some cult or religion. It is about looking outside ourselves and opening our eyes to the injustices everywhere around us. This choice stems from the ability to educate ourselves and realize how ingrained and brainwashed we are from these multi billion dollar industries. Our government spends roughly $40 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industry. We are constantly bombarded with commercials and slogans to keep up the unhealthy habit. Do you think these industries are really looking out for our best interest? No they are looking out for THEIR best interest! And it all happens on the backs, skins, blood, and bones of sentient beings that value their lives like we do.

We are here for just a speck of time. Let us all leave a legacy of kindness and compassion. Even the world’s greatest scientists and thinkers agree!

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