Tag Archives: al gore

Going Veg is a Climate Must!

City under waterThe latest global warming research makes clearer than ever that there’s no fixing a climate change catastrophe without a worldwide switch to a vegetarian diet. Don’t look for alternatives to save us, such as grass-fed beef which is actually worse.  Nothing else can be substituted for going veg, and even the most optimistic forecast of technological improvements both on the farm and in industry won’t be enough. What’s more, it really needs to happen now!

Scientists from the Department of Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology, in Gothenburg, Sweden, publishing their analysis in the journal Climate Change, show how going veg on a global scale is “crucial” even for a more modest goal of just limiting the global temperature rise to 2C.

This latest research really shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, it turns out that, according to a UN report, livestock and meat production cause the emission of more greenhouse gasses than all the cars, trucks, trains, boats, ships and air planes in the whole world put together. In fact a study by scientists from the World Bank and the World Watch Institute show that livestock causes more global warming than all other causes in the world put together!

While most in the environmental community have chosen to remain comfortably unaware of meat’s overwhelming impact on climate, we are happy to report that this has now begun to change. In fact the world‘s foremost leader in both the national and international movement to prevent the impending climate crisis, Vice President Al Gore, has now gone vegan in recognition of meat’s role in causing the many environmental threats now facing humanity.

The good news is that if you want to have a major impact on climate change, you don’t have to wait for international treaties, congressional legislation or industrial reforms. The biggest part of the answer resides squarely on your dinner plate when you have a veg meal. Not yet veg? No problem, we’re here to help with our free classes and our books and other publications.

What a Year for the Veg World!

FireworksWhat a year 2013 was for the veg world! In fact, it’s hard to come up with a more significant year for the vegetarian movement in the last 100 years or more.

We saw Al Gore become the first ever Vice President to go vegan. As one of the leaders of the environmental movement, the significance of this can hardly be overstated considering how resistant many environmentalists have been. The first ever Vegetarian Caucus in Congress was founded, and has been growing by leaps and bounds all year. With interest from the newly elected vegetarian senator Cory Booker, it shows ever-increasing promise for further growth.

The first ever leader of a major global hunger relief agency, Bill Gates of the Gates foundation, came out in favor of the vegan diet as the long-term sustainable answer to the persistent problem of global hunger.

The first all vegetarian public school opened in New York City. Reports later showed improved test scores and health of the students. Though they may have had mixed motivations, we even saw the first ever all vegetarian jail system begin in Arizona.

Health Insurance company, Kaiser Permanente, broke new ground in sending an advisory to all its doctors to advise their patients of the health advantages of the vegetarian diet. In addition, a major breakthrough happened showing how the meat-centered diet fuels breast cancer. Almost as significant, at the end of the year was major research showing the connection between diet and Alzheimer’s disease. We’ll be reporting on these advances, showing the health advantages of the veg diet soon.

The first ever head of state, Benjamin Netanyahu, endorsed meatless Mondays. And, not to be outdone, in Norway the first ever military and NATO member began Meatless Mondays as well.

On the product front we saw the introduction of “hyper-real” meat analogues, plus the development of synthetic eggs so real that no one can tell the difference. While we’re still not sure how we feel about this, the first ever stem-cell grown “meat” was produced.

Meanwhile, public interest in the vegetarian way grows and grows. Hardly a month goes by without another Hollywood celeb or musician jumping on board. In the faith-based community, the influential pastor and author, Rick Warren, jumped on board the vegetarian band wagon with the Daniel Plan diet.

We look forward to 2014 with growing hope and excitement as the veg message gains more and more traction. Happy New Year to one and all.

Al Gore Goes Vegan

Al Gore speaksAl Gore has finally gone vegan. People were beginning to wonder, since he had been ordering only vegan food at events. He had also spoken about reducing his meat consumption in light of livestock’s impact on global warming several years ago, giving us a glimmer of hope. At that time he admitted, “It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat-intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis, not only because of the CO2 involved but also because of the water consumed in the process.” Then more recently the plot thickened when we heard that he was a potential investor in a vegan egg substitute company, Hampton Creek Foods. Finally, mention of his having gone vegan was slipped into an article in Forbes magazine.

We’re jumping for joy on this one. Almost exactly four years ago, we sent him a copy of our book, The Vegetarian Solution, and included a personal letter with it, encouraging him to make the change. We received a short note in return but have heard nothing since. Although we certainly can’t take any credit for anything, imagine our delight when we found out that he had actually made the switch. We couldn’t ask for a more wonderful holiday gift!

Comfortably Unaware – New book turns up the volume on the Veg-Environmental Message

Comfortably Unaware, by Richard Oppenlander, is destined to become a landmark book discussed for years to come. The message of this book is loud and clear: the production of meat and other animal products is wrecking the environment.  It’s time for environmentalists and the public at large to wake up, face the facts, come out of denial and do something about it. No more excuses can be accepted, as almost every excuse, technological dodge, or halfway measure (such as grass fed beef), is shown to be either impractical, useless or wholly inadequate.

The author begins making his case with a wealth of specific and well-referenced statistics, and then challenges us to draw the obvious conclusions, which he spells out in forthright fashion. The data reveals the massive detrimental impact that raising meat and harvesting fish has on the environment. From global warming, to the burning down of the rainforests, to air and water pollution, Oppenlander prosecutes the case against meat that exceeds even the “shadow of doubt” level of certainty required in most criminal cases. One would think, with all the evidence presented, that a conviction would be all but inevitable.

Yet the jury, made up of environmentalists and their leaders along with the general public, still won’t face the facts, with a few notable exceptions, and act upon them. Oppenlander is not letting anyone off the hook. From Al Gore to Michael Pollan, he takes them all to task by saying what needs to be said, and what so sorely needs to be done, to build a more sustainable society. So far, the majority of environmentalists haven’t been willing to face the evidence and explain the imperative of switching to a meat-based diet, and the reader may wonder whether they have chosen to be popular by down-playing the meat issue, rather than choosing to truly protect the environment. The same goes for university and hospital food service officials who make big statements about running green establishments, but then refuse to make organic veggie burgers available for students, patients and staff.

To bolster his case, Oppenlander includes short chapters on health, global hunger and animal welfare. Again, evidence of damage is presented along with a demand for redress of grievance.  Again and again leaders and their organizations are found wanting and in denial, and the jury too timid, choosing to remain comfortably unaware, rather than to make tough decisions and take bold yet rational actions, requiring just a bit of courage.

This book is a good choice for those looking for a wake up call, served up at high volume. It may, however, be a less effective tool for those looking for incremental approaches and a take-you-by-the-hand style. The author would have done well to consider the sensitivities of human psychology, and the emotional flavor of food and all it represents, a little more than he does. Mary Poppins did have a point when she said that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

Yet the book is so well researched that everyone can profit from it on some level regardless of operating style and personality. For too long the veg world has underplayed the environmental case for a plant-based diet, and we welcome this book for doing so much to make up for that shortcoming. With endorsements ranging from the famous anthropologist, Jane Goodall, to the President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Neal Barnard M.D., we take this opportunity to add our recommendation for this important book.