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Humans are a Virus to Planet Earth (and how to cure it)

Planet Earth, just like us, is a living breathing organism and just like humans when it gets sick, it heats up to kill the virus (disease). Well, right now our planet is sick, very sick and it’s heating up big time to kill the disease and that disease is us, humans!

The instances of larger hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, airborne diseases, dirty/lack of water and rampant violence are a direct result of the human species taking more than we are giving back. When I was born in the 1950’s there were two billion people on this planet, today there are 7.4 billion, projected to hit 12 billion by 2100. Along with that human growth has come with it an industrial revolution in the form of energy development, transportation and agriculture that this planet has never seen before. The excess heat being produced by 7.4 humans is being trapped in our atmosphere and absorbed by our oceans. Hurricanes feed off those warm waters; wildfires feed off the dry land conditions. Even if you are not convinced that humans are contributing to these problems, shouldn’t we ALL be on the same page to better our planet and all it’s occupants?

The most efficient way to deal with a disease is to get to the root of the problem, not just ignore it, take a pill or apply a band-aid but stop the problem at its root cause. When it comes to human health, the root of most health problems is what we eat three times a day as well as other abuses we do to our bodies. With education and support, humans can improve their diet, incorporate regular exercise into their lives and stop bad habits like smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. When it comes to planetary health the root of the problem is us, so what can we do about it?

I, like everyone else, want to come home to a warm home every day, I want to drive my car anywhere I want, go on periodic trips around the world by plane. The energy and transportation industry is very important to the human lifestyle, but thanks to the many visionaries our species has produced, we are now seeing the beginning of an energy and transportation industry based on renewable energy in the form of the sun and the wind and that’s awesome. A number of individuals are switching to solar energy for their homes and electric cars, but not all of us are financially able to do so as of yet. The time frame to switch to 100% renewable is going to be long and expensive and will be fought the whole way, by industries profiting on the present system.

But there is an industry which most people aren’t aware of that is the biggest contributor (51%) to the warming and polluting of our planet more than energy and all the transportation in this world combined and that’s animal agriculture. Because of our demand for animal protein an industry has been born in less than 100 years that is the leading cause of:

  • Deforestation–we need more trees, not less, to absorb more carbon dioxide and breathe out clean oxygen we all need to survive).
  • Water Shortage—there is only 1% of fresh water available to all life on this planet and animal agriculture takes close to 50% of that fresh water. The rest of our planets water is salt (97%) and ice (2%).
  • Food Shortage—the reason animal agriculture needs so much water is to grow grain, corn, soy, alfalfa, and hay to raise the 70 billion land animals being raised for food annually.
  • Ocean Dead Zones—because those 70 billion animals create over 100 times more waste (feces) than humans with no sanitation system. That animal waste ends up in our streams, rivers and oceans killing all life it comes in contact with.
  • Airborne Diseases—to keep those billions of animals from dying of disease during their short life before they are sent to slaughter, they are giving 80% of all antibiotics available in this world, creating antibiotic resistant airborne diseases that spread quickly across our sick planet.
  • Human Sickness—the science is overwhelming today showing that an animal based diet is the leading cause of virtually every disease humans are experiencing.
  • Human Violence—violence creates more violence and there is not a more violent industry that the raising of billions of animals for food…food that is eventually killing us from those animals grave and that grave is the human body!

Fortunately, there is “one single act” that all humans on earth can participate in and can do so at their very next meal and every meal after that, which will force an end factory animal farming and begin the healing of our planet (and us) immediately. That “one single act” is to stop eating, wearing and using animals for ANY resource, it is not necessary in the modern world we live in now! Everything on this earth revolves around money and demand determines where that money goes, we as a human species need to demand:

  • Plant Based Foods—grown directly for human consumption and not filtered through an animal first.
  • Solar Power—the sun is the center of all life on this planet and is given to us freely.
  • Compassion—to treat every animal on this earth (humans and non humans) with respect, compassion and love.

One Single Act that EVERY ONE of us can do RIGHT NOW and FOREVER, to better ALL life on planet earth, as well as planet earth itself!

Kent Maurer—citizen of planet earth
www.OneSingleAct.org

Raising Compassion

By: Mandy Parry

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              Last year my 7 year old son came home from school looking dejected. He pulled out a worksheet he was given for homework. The instructions were to draw a line from the farm animal to the thing it “gives”. This week his 1st grade class was learning about farm animals. The curriculum didn’t bother to mention how the animals look, sound, think or live outside of exploitation. Instead it only focused on how a cow “gives” milk, a hen “gives” eggs and a pig “gives” pork. Give is a funny word to use because it’s as if the animal was asked and had first right of refusal or they have a choice in the matter. The reality is that they have no choice. These things are not only taken, the sentient beings they are taken from, endure a life of suffering..

            I expected to run into a time when my son and I would have deep conversations about veganism but not in 1st grade. To my surprise he already understood what was wrong with these teachings. He’s been to farm sanctuaries and has a better understanding than I assumed he did. What a relief. He continued to bring home worksheets along the same lines. I was upset that this type of thinking was being ingrained into young minds. I went to the school and talked to his teacher but she didn’t see my concern. She went on to say this was standard curriculum from the district and she couldn’t change it if she wanted to. As disappointed as I was to hear that, I’m grateful this gave my son and I a chance to discuss farm life in greater detail.

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              My family and I became vegan a little over 2 years ago. My husband and I decided we didn’t want to contribute to violence against animals and we studied some amazing health benefits from plant-based diets. The switch was easy, but we worried how the kids would adjust. What I didn’t consider is how compassion in children is so innate. They get it better than most adults and before we knew it we had re-placed calf growth fluid (milk) with almond milk, cheese by delicious Follow Your Heart, and beans or lentils in place of meat. Contrary to some beliefs, we didn’t starve and in fact our pallets developed a new appreciation for foods we used to eat sparingly. Not only do we find ourselves getting sick less often, but our recovery time is quicker. Our kids come in contact with kids with viruses at school often and rarely do they contract the illness. Their immune systems kick ass! Same goes for working out and being athletic. My recovery time reduced though I’m getting older.

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               In my experience the most powerful tool to raising compassionate children is to lead by example. They watch as I volunteer at animal sanctuaries and rescues. They come with me when I go to protests. They see my passion and love for all beings. Even though we haven’t always been vegan we never supported animals used for entertainment. My husband and I never felt right going to circuses, zoos or aquariums so that wasn’t a shock for them. Now I watch as my children explain to others why we don’t support the animal entertainment industry. My daughter has a Dr. Suess book where a cartoon girl is riding a rhino. Each time we read it she says “Momma, it’s so sad that she’s riding that rhino. Animals don’t like to be treated like that”. My son comes home upset because kids were stepping on bugs at school and he couldn’t get them to stop. What so many adults are unable to see, children just know. I hope they never lose that. I want them to question everything and refrain from following the status quo.

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I know there may come a time when they decide to step away from veganism. To say this possibility doesn’t terrify me would be a lie but I want them to find their own voice and passion for veganism. What I can do is be the example and hope what they have learned is what they already know in their hearts – compassion.

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               Another great tool for raising vegan kids is finding community. It can be lonely without it. I was amazed at the amount of support I found online and in my hometown. Our first discovery was Esther the Wonder Pig and Ziggy the Traveling Piggy. I was able to show my kids videos of beautiful animals living free from harm. We love watching the videos on The Dodo and Peta Kids has some great information too. We were able to find a community of local vegans that put on holiday parties, potlucks and meet-ups. Being around like-minded people with children that have answers to your questions and an understanding for the hardships you face is incredible. It’s one thing to go vegan yourself, but when it comes to raising vegan kids everyone has an opinion. I personally have extended family that thinks we’re “too extreme” because we don’t share their views on animal exploitation. It’s not always easy, but it is definitely worth it. It’s not even as close to difficult when you consider the challenges the animals face being raised for food.

For Christmas this year I have my eye on a few new books that teach about compassion. One of them is “V is for Vegan,” which goes through the alphabet giving the why’s and how’s of veganism. The other, “Santa’s First Vegan Christmas,” is a story about a fun-loving reindeer who meets Santa and shows him how we can all be kinder to animals. Kindness is a gift we can never give or get enough of.

“It is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts.”

Dalai Lama

Sustainable Fishing? Tell that to the Orcas

By: Dave Swartz

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A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit the San Juan Islands of Washington State. These islands are known for their natural beauty, blue ocean waters, rolling country hills, and of course the local Orca whale population. On a visit to Lime Kiln Point Whale Watch Park, the only land based whale watching park in the country, I had a chance and to stop and hear one of the marine biologists speak about the current state of the local Orca population. I learned quite a few interesting facts such as the matriarch of the Puget Sound J pod being an estimated 105 years old.

I also learned about the resident pods and the transient pods and how each pod had their own unique culture. For instance, the transient pods that venture through the area from time to time not only feed on salmon but also other marine life such as seals. However, the resident pods feed exclusively on Chinook salmon. Unfortunately, the numbers of Orcas in the Puget Sound are declining and scientists say the number one reason for this is due to the lack of availability of salmon.

My next question to the marine biologist was “What is causing the decline in salmon?” It turns out that the number one reason for the decline in salmon is competition with commercial fishing.

In the years since I gave up eating animals I’m not sure if I gave it much thought that I was taking food from someone that actually needs it, I always thought of the animal that was being directly consumed by humans. With beef cattle or farm pigs, I have never had the thought of “If I eat this animal, will its natural predators have nothing to eat?” I believe this is because our “natural environment” has been manipulated to a point that there are no wild species whose main food sources are farmed land animals meant for human consumption. Needless to say that is not the case with fish. This particular pod of Orcas depend on salmon for survival as it is the only food source they eat. If they don’t have enough salmon they will die. Humans in this country and many other countries have the option to go to a grocery store and choose a healthy alternative to fish. Orcas do not have that luxury. If you needed another reason to give up eating fish besides the fact that fish are extremely high in cholesterol and loaded with toxic chemicals such as mercury and over 80% of the world’s fish stocks are considered fully exploited or depleted, you now have it.

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!

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.

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.

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  •  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!

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  •  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!

 

 

 

 

Calculate This

Calculate This

By: Dave Swartz

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I have blogged in the past about the health benefits of eating a plant based diet, this week I would like to touch on the environmental benefits. It is one thing to talk about the negative effects animal agriculture has the environment and another to put that information into actual numbers that are easy to comprehend. A friend sent a link the other day that makes the process simple. This vegan calculator  produced some astonishing numbers. According to the website, in the 6 years that I have been vegan I have saved 2,007,500 gallons of water, 73,000 lbs of grain, 54,750 sq feet of forest, 36,500 lbs of CO2 and most importantly 1,825 animals lives saved. Take a moment to try it yourself. Plug in some numbers! http://www.thevegancalculator.com/

There is nothing better one can do for our environment than to make the switch to a plant based diet.

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The Answer to Climate Change

The Answer to Climate Change

By: Lauren Lockey

Please view 2 minute video.

If I were to tell you that one action could drastically reduce climate change, would you do it? Now don’t be alarmed! You don’t have to give up your car! I am talking about something fairly easy to do that would have a much larger impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I am referring to what we put on our plates each and every day.

According to a United Nations Report, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions whereas the entire transportation sector is responsible for only 13%. Now it is important to move towards renewable energy as well as electric cars. However, methane is up to 100 times more effective at heat trapping than CO2. Cows produce 150 BILLION gallons of methane per day WORLDWIDE. The reduction of methane would create a noticeable change in just a few years! We would actually see the positive change in our own lifetime!! Reduction of CO2 would take up to 200 years to even start seeing a difference. Plus, did you know that livestock and their by products are responsible for 32 TRILLION tons of carbon dioxide per year?? Therefore, switching to a plant based vegan lifestyle would have a much larger impact on climate change than if every car in the world was switched to a hybrid vehicle!

Animal agriculture is destroying the planet at a rapid pace. Raising animals for food is an extremely inefficient way to feed ourselves. There are over 7 BILLION people on the planet. There are roughly 150 BILLION land animals slaughtered for consumption each year. The majority of food grown on this planet is fed to livestock. It would be far more efficient for humans to eat these crops directly rather than filtering them through another being.

Animal agriculture is the leading contributor to air and water pollution, land degradation,  as well as wildlife and biodiversity decline. All of which we, and generations to come, need to survive. The oceans and trees are literally the lungs of this planet. If we continue to pollute and over fish the oceans and cut down more trees for solely the taste of animal flesh and products, the system will collapse and there will be another mass extinction. We will vanish.

There is HOPE. Yes!! We have time to fix this but we must open our eyes and reconnect with what is important. Our home. This beautiful planet and ALL it’s unique inhabitants. It is so worth it because most of us can agree that we find peace when we are outside in nature or even just hearing the sounds of nature. Without it, nothing else matters..It is the most important issue today and the answer is so simple.  Some sit back and think, “oh I can’t make a difference. What does is matter. Someone else will do it.” The reality is that each of us CAN make a drastic difference simply by what we choose to eat. We hold the future of this planet in our hands..Who wants to make it better for ALL beings?!