vegan

Operation Missing Link: Why We Aren’t Done Yet

Al Gore getting Nobel Prize.

In 2011, Kamal Prasad, editor-in-chief of LLV, and I started Operation Missing Link, a social movement aimed at getting climate leaders to speak openly about the harmful connection between animal agriculture and climate change. Al Gore was one of our targets, as his globally active Climate Reality Project is missing essential education about the importance of a plant-based diet in fighting climate change. Recent research shows that 80% of US land use is accounted for by animal agriculture, and 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the livestock sector. In other words, an elephant-sized piece of the solution is missing from Gore’s “reality” solution.

Gore adopted a vegan diet earlier this year, and this seems to have pleased the environmental and health communities. In a recent interview, however, Gore distinguished himself from those who go vegan for the climate, environment, or health, stating:

“Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet, really just to experiment to see what it was like,” he says. “And I felt better, so I continued with it. Now, for many people, that choice is connected to environmental ethics and health issues and all that stuff, but I just wanted to try it to see what it was like. In a visceral way, I felt better, so I’ve continued with it and I’m likely to continue it for the rest of my life.”

As a self-appointed climate leader who has global reach, influence, and real power to make a difference, Gore is still not serving his constituents well. He still isn’t speaking openly about why the shift to a plant-based lifestyle is critical if we are to solve climate change. In fact, he is distancing himself from the issue by saying that he just did it because it feels good.

Clearly, he can do better. So, Operation Missing Link continues, and you can sign a petition or submit a video to Al Gore, asking him to tell people about the number one thing they can do to solve climate change and show the world that he really can lead on this issue.

 

Image credit: Kjetil Bjørnsrud via Wikimedia

Swedes Go Veg

Swedes go veg.One out of ten Swedes is vegetarian or vegan, according to a recent poll by reputed research firm Demoskop.

Out of 1,000 Swedes interviewed, 6% self-identified as vegetarian, and 4% as vegan. In the last 5 years, interest in purchasing vegetarian products has increased by 11%.

The poll indicates that 21% of those interviewed who identified themselves as vegetarian or vegan, their choice was mainly due to animal welfare concerns, while 28% claimed that animal welfare was only partly responsible for their decision. The remaining 51% of people are likely to have made their dietary choices for sustainability, health, or religious concerns.

The poll also suggests that this trend is supported by the increasing availability of vegetarian options in major cities, including Stockholm and Skåne.

Given our previous post on how the Chinese, Taiwanese, and Israelis are embracing plant-based diets, it looks like the Swedes are in great company!

Source: The Independent

Image credit: galant via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution

Vegan: The New Mainstream?

food-vegan-gourmet-47127-hThe plant-based lifestyle is increasingly in the news. Whether it’s Al Gore announcing he’ll be vegan for life, or Kathy Stevens predicting that America will be vegan by 2050, there’s new evidence everyday that more and more of us humans are drawn to a plant-based lifestyle.

Stevens lays out four reasons for her bold prediction: Americans are eating less meat, supermarkets are carrying more vegan options; so are restaurants, and mainstream philanthropists like Bill Gates are funding vegan startups.

Oh, and Hampton Creek Foods is going to take over the world—and with a mission to make food healthy for everyone, everywhere—well, why not?

The trend is not just that people are opting for vegan choices. The trend is that vegan options are becoming the new mainstream.

As badass music producer and Really Fresh Vegan entrepreneur Mickey Davis put it, “”We want to reach anybody who likes food, not just people who think of it as vegan food.” Because vegans are foodies too,  and set a high bar for flavor and quality (well some of us set a high bar for addressing climate change, lifestyle diseases, land degradation, water scarcity, and animal cruelty, but all that aside), the vegan trend is starting to catch on as cool, climate pun intended.

And the best part? The benefits are truly awesome. According to Davis, who spoke to Beyoncé and Jay-Z about vegan eating, “Even if you don’t do it the whole way, you can still see benefits.” Nuff said.

Image credit: Geoff Peters 604 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution

GenerationVeggie.org – An Online Resource For The Modern, Plant-based Family.

The Branchesi FamilyReannon Branchesi (Ree-Ann-Nin Bran-Kay-Zee) has been vegan since 2001 and a mom to identical twin girls since 2012. She has worked for animal rights nonprofit organizations since 2003, including six years at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Currently, she manages Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals Program. She is a lover of cake, running and exercise enthusiast, and a singer who is currently focused on making up songs about her children brushing their teeth and putting on their socks. She is a native Wisconsinite who, after living in southeastern Virginia for 9 years, is now based Madison, WI with her husband, Jay, and her favorite gals, Isabel and Abigail.

Pregnant with twins and not finding much in the way of online resources to help her through her pregnancy, Reannon decided to create GenerationVeggie.org, a website for vegan and vegetarian families. She has started an Indiegogo Campaign to help raise funds for this project. We reached out to her via email to find out about the project and get some advance tips for plant-based families.

What is your elevator pitch for GenerationVeggie.org? GenerationVeggie.org will be a one-stop resource for everything related to plant-powered kids, including recipes, nutrition advice, product recommendations, community forums, humane education resources, stories from real-life families, practical tips for everyday challenges, and much more!

What inspired you to start GenerationVeggie.org? Is it something you were looking for and didn’t find, and thought of creating? Was it suggested by others? I had the idea for GenerationVeggie.org in late 2011. I was a few months pregnant and shocked by the lack of information available online about vegan pregnancy and family life. I felt especially without an anchor after I learned we were having twins — there is almost nothing online about vegan multiples and it freaked me out. There was no community, in general, and while I found several nice blogs, many were recipe-focused and didn’t discuss things I was curious about — animal-friendly baby products, supplement considerations for pregnant women and young kids, and most importantly, how to help explain animal rights to a young child. It may seem obvious, but I wanted to read something that went beyond “animals are our friends, and it’s mean to eat them.” I’m very lucky to have a large network of vegan friends with kids, but not everyone has that support. When I got pregnant, I had been vegan for 10 years and had worked as a “professional vegan” for most of that time. I realized that if I had doubts and was craving more support it had to be much worse for other pregnant women without my sort of social network. So, the idea for GenerationVeggie.org was born. It’s taken me more than two years to get it off the ground because, well, I’ll refer you to the part about how I have twins. :) Continue reading

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