Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are “almost vegan”!

First celebrity singer-songwriter Katy Perry announced that she was 95% ready to go 100% vegan!  After having 9 Hot 100 Billboard number one singles, awards too numerous to mention, and now as a judge on American Idol, Katy Perry is one of the highest earning women in music. During her 2020 pregnancy (she gave birth to daughter Daisy Dove Bloom in August 2020), Perry revealed she was ‘grossed out’ by beef and that she wasn’t ‘really into red meat’.  She told followers that she loved the Impossible Burger so much that she invested in the company.

Now her husband, actor Orlando Bloom, has announced that he too is 90% plant-based. He says “I sometimes look at a cow and think, that’s the most beautiful thing ever!” and claims to only eat a piece of red meat once a month.  The Pirates of The Caribbean star added: “At some point in time, we’ll look back and not be able to believe we used to eat meat.” For breakfast, the star says he eats porridge with hazelnut milk, vegan protein powder, and goji berries. Additionally, lunch is ‘mostly plant-based’, consisting of vegetables.

We hope that they both keep transitioning their diets, and decide to raise their daughter Daisy vegan as well.

The New Normal – a hotter earth

We knew it was coming. It had to happen. On May 4, the hotter Earth will officially become the new normal. That’s when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) releases its once-a-decade update to “climate normals.”

“It was a very substantial upward trend in temperature, especially along the West Coast, in the South and along the East Coast,” says Mike Palecki, with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Globally, the decade ending in 2020 was the hottest decade recorded since 1880. “We’re not aware of how much warming is happening on a regular basis,” says Bernadette Woods Placky, chief meteorologist with the nonprofit Climate Central. “It’s that slow grind that’s eating away at the changing normal that doesn’t give you the opportunity sometimes to sit back and look at what it used to be.”

That raising meat was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, culprit should come as no surprise.  According to a UN study, raising meat causes more global warming than all the cars, trucks, trains, boats and planes in the world all put together. A study conducted by the World Bank went further, stating that raising meat causes more global warming than all other causes put together. Even former vice president Al Gore has gone vegan, and says he’ll do it for the rest of his life.

We raise staggering 60 billion farm animals every year for meat. That’s an awful lot of animals, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has a big effect on the environment. Learn more about how raising meat causes so much global warming.

The pain that won’t go away

It’s called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and it really hurts. Ouch!

Many type 2 diabetic patients experience persistent pain in their legs and feet. Later the pain can come from the arms and hands. The pain can come out of nowhere or come from a bump or bruise. It’s often described as burning, pins and needles, shooting, aching, jabbing, sharp, cramping, tingling, or cold.

It’s very hard to treat. No single drug exists to prevent or reverse neuropathic changes or to provide total pain relief. Partial pain relief is often the best that can be hoped for. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that opiates are needed, but they carry the risk of addiction.

Now for the good news. It turns out that a vegan diet, also known as a plant-based diet, can really help.

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Vegan soft serve is spreading

Dairy-free ice cream has just gone soft on us. We’ve had delicious traditional dairy-free ice cream available in many locations for some time. Many people also like what’s commonly called “soft serve.” We’re lucky to have so many brands to choose from and we’ve been able to enjoy them, pre-Covid, in many places, but we haven’t yet seen them in baseball stadiums. That’s changing!

One company making soft serve, Oatly, will now be serving their soft serve ice cream at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. What a treat for Cubs and Rangers fans! Mike Messersmith, Oatly North American President, said “More and more, people are choosing to eat more plant-based, even at the ballpark….Globe Life Field is a great place to make that choice, and we’re excited for Rangers fans to try Oatly in a whole new way with our soft serve.”

It seems that many of us will finally be able to go see baseball this summer. How about it, Mariners? Seattle has long been know as a cutting edge city so its baseball stadium should be cutting edge as well. Vegetarian and vegan food options are available at The Natural food stand at T-Mobile Park, but wouldn’t it be great if they could top that off with soft serve dairy-free ice cream!

Leather from plants

Fique plants

It’s the latest thing. They can now  make vegan leather from plants.

First of all what is vegan leather? Vegan leather is an ethical and cruelty-free fabric that mimics the look and feel of genuine leather. Vegan leather is also referred to as faux leather, polyester leather, or pleather. While genuine leather is made from animal hides, vegan leather is usually made from two synthetic plastic-based materials: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane. While this avoids the cruelty of using animal hides, the plastic-based materials are not biodegradable, so they may contribute to landfills and plastic pollution.

But now there are companies making vegan leather from plants. One company uses cactus. This cruelty-free material allows the brand to cut down on water-use. Another company uses the fique plant, grown in Colombia. The plant has long been used to make fibers and other materials and now can be used for vegan leather.

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Do dairy and eggs result in animal suffering?

The following is an excerpt from our book “Say No to Meat“, a book to guide the new vegetarian on ditching meat and going veg! Written in question and answer format, it addresses key issues along with practical and social aspects of being a vegetarian.

Will consuming eggs and dairy still result in animal suffering?

Those who have cut out meat but still consume eggs and dairy products because they do not directly kill the animal are well intentioned. At one time, it was not that hard on an animal to supply eggs or milk, but with factory farming that is no longer the case. Unfortunately these days, dairy and egg production cause a lot of animal suffering. The objective of a dairy or egg farmer is to produce as much milk or as many eggs as possible for the least possible cost, so farmers give very little thought to caring for the animals, except to ensure that they continue to produce. Dairy cows and egg-laying chickens have miserable lives and end up in the slaughterhouse just like their meat-producing relatives.

In order to keep producing milk, dairy cows are forced to give birth as frequently as possible, but their calves are taken away from them shortly after birth, so that the milk they produce is available for human use. Often they are injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is designed to produce an abnormally high volume of milk. Many develop mastitis, a painful infection of the udders, and lameness. When their milk production wanes after about three or four years, they are sent to slaughter.

The baby calves produced in this process are either raised to produce milk themselves if they are female, or sometimes raised for veal if they are male. These poor animals are deliberately fed a diet that puts them in danger of becoming anemic and kept in small crates to prevent their muscles developing. This creates the kind of pale, soft meat prized as veal.

So the lives of dairy- and egg-producing animals are full of suffering and end in slaughter, in much the same way as those of the meat-producing animals. With so many delicious alternatives available, causing this much pain to animals is just not necessary.

Sound the alarm for the rainforest

Fire! Sound the alarm!

Yes, sound the alarm. It’s even worse than we thought. Scientists warn that the situation in the Amazon rainforest is, “worse than we realize. The rainforest’s climate is changing fast and in alarming ways.” Someone should sound the alarm before it’s too late!

According to scientists, the Amazon as a whole is now actually really warming the global climate. Not long ago, the Amazon was one of the best protections against global warming, but we’ve ruined that now and the Amazon has started to flip.

Animal agriculture and meat consumption are widely blamed by scientists and environmentalists worldwide for causing deforestation and fires across the region. Brazil is now the world’s largest exporter of meat. The rainforest is burned down to clear land to raise cattle and cattle feed. Simply put, the meat we consume is burning up our future on this beautiful planet. If this continues, large parts of the Amazon could permanently become drier savannah lands in only 15 years. The earth would lose a friend, and the many animals who live there will lose their lives.

Tropical forests such as the Amazon are very humid and under natural conditions they rarely burn – unlike many forests in the western USA where fire is a natural part of the forest’s life cycle.

After intense fires in the Amazon captured global attention in 2019, fires again raged throughout the region in 2020. According to an analysis of satellite data from NASA’s Amazon dashboard, the 2020 fire season was actually more severe by some key measures. The fires in the Brazilian Amazon were up by 13% this year, making 2020 the worst fire season in the area in a decade. At the start of last October, there were a staggering 28,892 active fires active in the Brazilian Amazon

The fires are so bad the astronauts can seed them from space. But there’s a way you can help put out the fires. Meat production is very sensitive to consumer demands. Brazil will stop exporting meat when people stop eating it. Every time someone orders a veggie burger, the demand for meat on the world market goes down a little, and every little counts.

Give this book to your doctor!

We understand the problem. For years you’ve recognized the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet, and you’ve wanted your doctor to know how to treat you with a plant-based diet, but your doctor didn’t know how. They hadn’t learned about it in medical school, or since they graduated. They don’t feel able to offer a treatment to you that they’re not familiar with, and they want every treatment to have a solid basis in science. We agree with them.

We understand and we have done something about it!

Our new book, The Prevention and Treatment of Disease with a Plant-Based Diet was written just for your doctor. This book gives your doctor the ability to treat patients with a plant-based diet, as an additional option to medication and surgery.  We went far beyond heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The book contains 25 articles we’ve written and had published in peer-reviewed medical journals, including:

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We’re Ruining the Planet

Sir David Attenborough is blunt in his view of the state of the planet.  “We’ve not just ruined the planet, we’ve destroyed it” he said.  “Our species has cleared 3 trillion trees, cultivated half its fertile land and now fishes across most of the ocean,” he explained in Our Planet. “In the last 50 years, the populations of wild animals have reduced by 60%. We’ve replaced them with ourselves and our domesticated animals and plants. Today, we, plus the animals we raise, account for 96% of the mass of mammals and 70% of the birds on Earth. There’s very little wild left.”

Let’s take a look at why these shocking statistics are occurring. The world’s 7.8 billion people, plus all the livestock we raise, now account for 96% of all the mammals on Earth.  Only 4% are wild animals. Humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of the plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.

There are several major factors at work here. The first factor is that the earth’s human population is now at 7.8 billion.  All those people need food on a daily basis to survive.

The second factor is that the amount of meat each human consumes has risen steadily over the past 60 years, although last year there was a slight decrease for the first time, possibly due to Covid-19 reducing income levels. While the production of beef has been slightly declining since 1975, the consumption of pork and especially chicken has risen dramatically. As long as people choose to eat meat, farmers will continue to raise the animals needed to produce it.

The third factor is that around 85% of the world’s production of soybeans go to feed animals, and farm animals use almost 40% of the world’s grain for feed as well.  In the US, this last figure rises to 70% of grain, since rice and corn aren’t the staple foods that they are in other countries.

The result of these 3 problems is that we are clearing land to raise livestock or to grow crops to feed them on a massive scale.  That’s leading to deforestation, soil degradation, loss of habitat, water pollution and ocean dead zones

The destruction of wild habitat for farming, along with deforestation and development, has resulted in what many scientists consider the sixth mass extinction of life to occur in the Earth’s 4 billion year history. About half the Earth’s animals are thought to have been lost in the past 50 years. This biodiversity loss is not just a tragedy, it’s the single biggest problem we face, according to David Attenborough.

By choosing to avoid consuming animal products, we can reduce the level of this devastation, and help the world’s animal and plant populations to recover their diversity.

World’s first all-vegan hospital

The first all-vegan hospital has just made history. The honor goes to Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon. We congratulate them and hope to see many other hospitals follow suit.

The hospital says, “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk….the very food[s] that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.” The hospital goes on to say,

“There’s an elephant in the room that no one wants to see:

  • When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in a hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital.
  • When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals.
  • When adopting a plant-based exclusive diet has been scientifically proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them.

We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions, taking the courage to look at the elephant in the eye. We believe it’s well about time to tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics, not just treat symptoms.”

It’s long past due that all hospitals come out of denial and recognize the elephant in the room. Patients deserve nothing less.

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