If you read my book, “Freedom From A Toxic Relationship With Food” you know that I eat mostly WFPB (whole-food, plant-based), and I am committed to a vegan lifestyle - eliminating animal products from use in my life where ever possible. As I explain in my book, I came to this nutrition consciousness because my health was severely compromised, and the same was true for so many loved ones. I watched many battle (some won, some lost) with chronic disease, and with mental health challenges. I somehow could no longer deny the fact that most of us do not allow the food we eat to be what sustains us, boosts us up or positively impacts our quality of life.
I also discuss that once I adopted a WFPB diet, I became more and more in touch with all the negative environmental impacts of the animal agriculture industry. Please do not stop reading. This is not written to preach or convert anyone. This is just me sharing some thoughts and recent experiences.
Animal Agriculture Plays A Large Part in Climate Change
Most of us love our pets and consider them family members. At the same time we do not make the connection that our pets are no different in their capacity to want to live a comfortable, ‘happy’ and secure life than the cows, pigs, chickens, etc. that we raise for food. Yet, the way we raise farm animals is cruel, and doesn’t afford them that opportunity.
Secondly, that industry has a big impact on climate change. This winter has again, brought my awareness of this to the forefront. I live in the foothills of Northern California. I wanted to move here from the SF Bay Area because I was anxious to live where we had 4-seasons as I did when I was growing up on the East Coast.
However, I can tell you that 4-seasons was never meant to be as drastic as it has now become. In the past 5 years we have experienced “fire seasons” that used to be September/October. That’s when everything had completely dried out at the end of the summer and the ‘Santa Ana’ winds pick up. Then after many drought years, fire season extended to more than 7 months of the year, destroying millions of acres of forest land, but also whole towns and communities. Two years ago when we were ordered to evacuate and I needed to relocate 4 horses (with one 2-horse trailer), and 4 dogs (hard to couch surf or find a hotel that will take 4 dogs) it about did me in.
That summer was followed by winter’s (2021-22) devastating and disastrous 24-hour snow storm that brought down lots of HUGE trees, destroyed houses, took out power lines, and left roads blocked, paralyzing ours and surrounding counties. Because this storm was many feet of snow in a very short period sitting on the top of trees that had been so dry because of drought conditions, they were snapping in half.
Two weeks ago we finally got life back to some semblance of normal after we’ve had a winter (2022-23) of record breaking rain and snow. Basically, the entire winter has been colder than ‘average’. We struggled with no power, no heat, no internet (that means no TV), and for many days blocked roads and no access to the outside world. The feeling of isolation, while only a shorter time, was worse than when we were quarantined during the many months of COVID. It really made me take pause!
This winter there is so much moisture in the ground that entire trees are being uprooted because the ground is too wet to keep the root system stabilized.
What are we doing to our precious planet???
Knowing as I do that the animal ag industry has a lot to do with our climate change, I am more committed than ever to my vegan lifestyle.
It's Not Too Late To Make A Difference
I promised I am not writing to nag, preach or convert anyone. So, what is my point, you ask? My point is that if you have a commitment to your own health (including weight), then you would do yourself a favor by eliminating some animal products from your diet, and replacing them with plants. Maybe start with one meal a day, or even just a couple meals a week. Then consider extending that to one full day each week, etc. Then maybe think about the good you are doing for yourself, your children, your grandchildren or anyone else you want to share your life with, AND with whom we share this planet.
One of the challenges of changing how you eat, is that it means changing habits. We all know how hard that is. And, it is especially challenging to have a full, busy life and think about what you are going to eat, and then find something quickly. THAT is the reason we created Read The Ingredients Superloafs. Packaged, not processed complete meal that is healthy! We want to make it easier for anyone to make these small changes in their lives.