Tag Archives: go vegan or vegetarian!

🎵🎵🎻 to our souls!💛 and … Make your own Easter Yum Yums!🍰

From PETA.ORG:

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Why You Should Celebrate a Cruelty-Free Easter

As Christians remember Christ’s crucifixion as the final sacrifice and celebrate His victory over death in the resurrection, let us resolve to emulate His compassion in our own lives by showing mercy to animals.

There’s no better place to begin than the dinner table. As we break bread, let’s break ties with some of the most violent and ungodly places on Earth — slaughterhouses and factory farms.

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Before they become Sunday’s centerpiece, animals on factory farms are denied everything that God designed them to want and do. They never breathe fresh air, nurture their young, play with other animals, or do anything to live out the biblical concept that “God’s mercy is over all His creatures.”

For example, pigs spend their entire lives in filthy concrete pens, and cruelty is rampant, as witnessed by PETA investigators.

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PETA’s investigation of Belcross Farm, a pig-breeding facility in North Carolina, resulted in the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to animals by farm workers in the U.S.

PETA’s undercover investigation at Seaboard Farms, Inc. has resulted in the filing of felony cruelty-to-animals charges against a former manager at the facility.

Easter is also no celebration for hens on egg farms, who suffer constant confinement to tiny, filthy wire cages. Male chicks are killed — often through suffocation — since they don’t produce eggs, and female chicks have their beaks painfully seared off to keep them from pecking one another.

Cows on dairy farms are kept continually impregnated, and their calves are snatched away just after birth so that their mothers’ milk can be consumed by humans.

At the end of their short, miserable lives, these animals are crammed into trucks, with little protection from the elements, to suffer the ultimate terror of the slaughterhouse, where workers hang them upside-down and slit their throats.

What You Can Do

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Plant-based foods can be found in supermarkets (editor’s note: check out TRADER JOE’S in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, just over the bridge) and on the menus of many chain restaurants.

Since eating vegan is easier than ever, there’s simply no reason for any animals to end up on our plates!

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Homemade Vegan Easter Eggs!🐰🐰

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There are a variety of places online where you can order vegan Easter candy, and finding vegan chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, or jelly beans — just like those you remember filling your Easter basket with as a child — is no longer difficult. However, if you’re like me and you’ve waited until the last minute to plan for the sugar fest that often comes with the holiday, finding these goodies won’t be quite as easy.

But don’t fear! Those of us who tend to procrastinate — or are just super-crafty — can go the homemade route!

Below is a recipe for basic chocolate eggs, which you can then turn into a variety of designs.

🌷💙Chocolate Eggs💙🌷

1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Decorations, e.g., chopped nuts, unsweetened cocoa, toasted flaked coconut

Beat the nondairy cream cheese in a mixing bowl until it is smooth.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until it is well blended.

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls or egg shapes and roll them in the nuts, cocoa, or coconut.

Store the finished chocolates in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 5 dozen chocolates

🌷🌼Some “eggs-traordinary” ideas!!🌼🌷:

Roll egg-shaped chocolate in chopped nuts.

If you can find a cute Easter-themed mold, simply fill it with the chocolate and refrigerate.

Allow the chocolate to cool in a thin layer, then cut out your favorite shape with Easter-themed cookie cutters.

Decorate egg-shaped chocolate with dyed coconut. I recommend adding a few drops of food coloring to water and then adding your coconut. Allow to soak for a few minutes in the water, then remove and allow to dry completely before using to decorate.

Use plastic Easter eggs to get your desired shape, scoop out the center, and fill with peanut butter, nuts, or another favorite candy.

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Close the plastic egg and refrigerate until both sides are firm and have joined together.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with holiday color foils or ribbons.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with vegan nonpareils or another small vegan candy.

You can shape and decorate the chocolate any way you’d like, so get creative with it!

Enjoy!🐰🐰🐰🐰

Worcester news you can use and a song …

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Instead of meat, feast on these mock-meats! Available at TRADER JOE’S, RT. 9, SHREWSBURY (just over the bridge):

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REC-CITY OF WORCESTER EARTH DAY CLEANUPS – this Saturday!

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Dorrie and CENTRAL MASS KIBBLE CONNECTION! Every Wednesday at the Mustard Seed on Piedmont Street! Dorrie gives out free cat food and dog food to people who are struggling – but have pets they love and care for! And need to feed!

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Jett thinks the world of Dorrie!

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THIS THURSDAY!

A fundraiser to benefit the military veterans of Veteran Homestead!

Get your friends and colleagues together for a FUN night of go-kart racing, food, drinks, music, prizes, networking and of course mingling with our veterans at the Second Annual Veteran Homestead Star Spangled …

… Go-Kart Challenge!💗

Where:
F1Boston
290 Wood Road
Braintree, Mass.

When:
Thursday, 6 April
5 pm to 9 pm

We have only one team available, so act NOW and tickets are also on sale if you don’t want to race – so don’t miss this opportunity and the fastest way to help our heroes, the veterans who are responsible for our freedom.

Compete for a place on the podium and the 1st place trophy or come and cheer on your comrades. Either way, you’ll have a blast and help support our veterans through the great work of Veteran Homestead.

Event Details

There are two ways to participate:

1. WE HAVE ONE TEAM LEFT TO FILL – Sponsor and organize your 4-person team to race in the 90-minute endurance race. We have corporate and individual sponsorships available.

It’s fun and safe and each of your drivers take turns at the wheel of the F1Boston racing kart. You’ll race against as many as 11 other teams all for the glory of supporting our veterans and winning the illustrious 1st place trophy.

2. Buy a ticket and attend the event to cheer on your favorite team, enjoy food and cocktails, music, networking, shoot a game of pool (all included in the ticket price) and of course meet our veterans.

Tickets are $150 per person and all proceeds go to Veteran Homestead.

For more information on Veteran Homestead visit veteranhomestead.org
For more information on F1Boston visit f1boston.com

Your health and animal rights – always in fashion!

But first …

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Rise in colorectal cancer in young people should be a wake-up call

By Heather Moore

The new American Cancer Society report showing that there’s been a sharp increase in colorectal cancer in people in their 20s and 30s might just be the kick in the pants that young people need to eat more vegan foods and less red and processed meats, which are linked to colon and rectal cancers.

According to the report, which compared different generations at similar ages, people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer of those born in 1950 when they were the same age. Experts aren’t sure why the rates have been rising, but they are confident that people can reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by eating lots of fiber-filled fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

In October 2015, the World Health Organization announced that bacon and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat, including beef, pork and lamb, is probably also carcinogenic.

Soon afterward, scientists from Oxford University reported that eating one steak a week increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer by more than two-fifths and that people who eat meat twice a week have an 18 percent higher risk than do vegetarians.

This wasn’t exactly new news — a number of previous studies had shown that eating meat could raise one’s risk of colorectal cancer — but it caused an uproar anyway. Some people defiantly insisted that they weren’t going to change their unhealthy eating habits no matter what — a peculiar reaction considering that colorectal cancer can cause abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms.

Changing your diet can be daunting — I know. But in the end, it comes down to this: Would you rather undergo surgery, chemotherapy and other costly medical treatments or eat tasty vegan foods? Many physicians believe that colorectal cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if you follow healthy living recommendations. According to Kim Robien, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at George Washington University, “It is absolutely recommended to decrease — if not completely eliminate — processed meat intake to prevent cancer.”

Study after study has shown that ditching meat is an effective way to ward off colorectal cancer. A 2015 Loma Linda University study involving more than 77,000 men and women, for example, suggests that a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by at least 22 percent.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine asked 20 African-Americans in Pittsburgh and 20 rural South Africans to “switch diets” for two weeks. At the end of the swap, they performed colonoscopies on all of the study participants. Those who had eaten the traditional African-style diet, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables, beans and cornmeal — and very little meat — had less inflammation in the colon and more of a particular fatty acid that may protect against colon cancer, while those who had eaten the typical American diet, high in meat and cheese, showed changes in gut bacteria that are consistent with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Just this month, a study in the journal Cancer Science revealed that Japanese men who eat lots of meat in general, and specifically red meat, are 36 percent and 44 percent more likely, respectively, to develop colorectal cancer than those who don’t eat much — or any — meat.

No matter what your age, race or nationality, you can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer—not to mention heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems—by eating plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones.

And since March is National Colorectal Cancer Month, it’s the perfect time to ditch unhealthy animal-based foods and start eating delicious vegan meals instead.

REC Worcester Earth Day clean-ups … Vegan St. Patty’s Day yum yums … and music 🎵🎶🌹🎵 to our ears!🌸

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From REC:

Saturday, April 8

8 am – 12 pm

We are excited to invite you to join us for this year’s REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

This is truly a community-wide event in which residents come together every year to give Worcester the Spring-cleaning it deserves.

Last year, more than 1,000 volunteers came together to pick up more than 50 tons of trash at over 60 sites in Worcester!!!🌸❤

Let’s do even more this year to make
Worcester cleaner and greener🌻🌺!

WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU❤💛💜❤!

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If you would like to help us coordinate the cleanup of a particular site, we encourage you to sign up as a Site Coordinator.

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Otherwise, please sign up as a Volunteer (or group of volunteers) and we will connect you with a site in your area!

This event is only possible because of your volunteerism and commitment to our city. The REC, along with many partners including city government, non-profits, and businesses provide the materials, pick-up services and logistics.

We look forward to working with you!

Please feel free to contact Pat Barnosky with any questions or concerns
– earthday@recworcester.org – 508-799-9139

Thank you for joining with your neighbors and friends to support the 28th Annual REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

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GO VEGAN THIS ST. PATTY’S DAY!🍻🍏

Irish Cabbage Salsa!

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1 cup shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 carrot shredded

2–3 green onions chopped

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight.

Makes about 2 cups

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Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

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1 large onion chopped

3 ribs celery chopped

2-3 cloves garlic minced

1/2 head cabbage chopped

4 carrots sliced

1-1 1/2 pounds potatoes cut in large dice

1/3 cup pearled barley optional or substitute with gluten-free grain

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon rosemary crushed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6-8 cups vegetable broth

3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt to taste

Place vegetables, seasonings, barley and broth into a large stockpot.

Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary.

Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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😄😄😄❤

We crucified the Lamb of God — Why do we still slaughter sheep?

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By Dan Paden

As I read Exodus and Leviticus this Lent, the ritual sacrifices of lambs, oxen and other animals strike me. Imagining how the offerings of these slaughtered animals looked, sounded and smelled fuels powerful meditations on the death of Jesus, the “Lamb of God.” It also makes me wonder: Why do the faithful still have countless lambs and sheep — among other species — killed so violently for us?

Christ’s death, after all, made animal sacrifices obsolete. According to Saint Paul, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, no one else — including lambs and other sheep — need die for our sins. But need they die for us at all? God put animals’ fate into our hands only after He lamented our ancestors’ wickedness and flooded the Earth. This likely left Noah’s family with little to eat and wear but animals. That’s a bleak position to be in: Kill, eat and cover oneself with God’s creations — or perish.

I don’t face such desperation. Very few readers do. We don’t need to eat lamb — hundreds of healthy, happy Trappist monks and nuns across the U.S. can attest to that — or wear wool.

And yet, in a nation where more than 70 percent of the population self-identifies as Christian, around 37,000 lambs and older sheep are slaughtered every week at federally inspected plants. Nearly 190,000 lambs and sheep were killed on U.S. farms from 2014 to 2015.

In Colorado, my friend documented a shearer who twisted one such victim’s neck, breaking it, and then kicked her headfirst down a chute, where she died.

That horrible treatment cannot be considered an isolated incident. In 2014, another colleague of mine documented that workers in Argentina cut the throats of conscious lambs and started to skin some of them while they were still kicking. Months earlier, PETA had revealed that in Australia, workers beat sheep while shearing them.

All that pain and agony was inflicted on God’s creations here and elsewhere simply so that someone could buy a lamb chop or a pair of socks made of wool. The U.S. produced more than 25 million pounds of wool — and imported millions of pounds more — in 2015.

So we must ask ourselves: Are the sheep and lambs who are slaughtered today dying because of our sins?

Sin “is an offense against … right conscience … caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods” (Catechism of the Catholic Church). If we wouldn’t slit a conscious lamb’s throat or break a sheep’s neck ourselves, can our conscience rightly accept having others do so on our behalf?

Isn’t it only our stubborn attachment to mere taste preferences — whether for a particular dish or a certain sweater—that keeps us buying lambs’ flesh or wool in the face of such endemic cruelty?

I confess that I once cherished the wool sweaters that my grandparents gave me each Christmas. But when I learned of the agony woven in with that yarn and the blood washed out of it, I could no longer in good conscience wear them or any wool. To do so would be to support all the terror and suffering that exist in the interconnected wool and sheep-flesh industries.

This Lent, as we strive especially hard to turn away from sin, may we also take up Christ’s instruction to “proclaim the gospel to every creature.” We can start to bring His good news to all creation by leaving lambs and sheep off our plates and their skin and fleece off our backs.

For the faithful — and indeed, for all kind people — our choice is simple but stark: We can work toward God’s peaceable kingdom to come, in which no animal will be harmed or destroyed — or pay others to harm and stab these docile, fellow living beings on our behalf.

Which will you choose?

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Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan in 2017

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Rose stopped eating red meat, pork and lamb 30 years ago, after her sojourn at a hippie-veggie commune💙! She used to eat chicken dinner 3x/year. Fish maybe 1x/month. She gave up chicken for the New Year. She’s hoping to cut poultry out of her diet FOREVER. So far, so good … Mix her mostly plant-based diet with her two hyper-active, LOVE-THEIR-DAILY-WALKS dogs + one crazy little rag and Rose has lost and kept off 25 lbs … and feels pretty good for an old broad!😉

From PETA.ORG:

Many people’s New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, eating better, getting healthier, and doing more to make the world a better place. The good news is that you can accomplish all these goals by switching to a vegan diet—and you’ll enjoy delicious, satisfying meals as well.

Here are our top 10 reasons to go vegan this year:

1. Slim down and become energized: Is shedding some extra pounds first on your list of goals for the new year? Vegans are, on average, up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters are. And unlike unhealthy fad diets, which leave you feeling tired (and usually don’t keep the pounds off for long), going vegan is the healthy way to keep the excess fat off for good while leaving you with plenty of energy.

2. It’s the best way to help animals: Did you know that every vegan saves more than 100 animals a year? There is simply no easier way to help animals and prevent suffering than by choosing vegan foods over meat, eggs, and dairy products.

3. A healthier, happier you: A vegan diet is great for your health! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. Vegans get all the nutrients that they need to be healthy, such as plant protein, fiber, and minerals, without all the nasty stuff in meat that slows you down and makes you sick, such as cholesterol and saturated animal fat.

4. Vegan food is delicious: So you’re worried that if you go vegan, you’ll have to give up hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and ice cream? You won’t. As the demand for vegan food skyrockets, companies are coming out with more and more delicious meat and dairy-product alternatives that taste like the real thing but are much healthier and don’t hurt any animals.

5. Meat is gross: Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids—all of which make animal products the top source of food poisoning in the United States. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested supermarket chicken flesh and found that 96 percent of Tyson chicken was contaminated with campylobacter, a dangerous bacterium that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

6. Help feed the world: Eating meat doesn’t just hurt animals—it hurts people, too. It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals. In fact, it takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used much more efficiently if it were fed directly to people. The more people who go vegan, the better able we’ll be to feed the hungry.

7. Save the planet: Meat is not green. Consuming meat is actually one of the worst things that you can do for the Earth. It is wasteful and causes enormous amounts of pollution, and the meat industry is also one of the biggest causes of climate change. Adopting a vegan diet is more effective than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against climate change.

8. All the cool kids are doing it: The list of stars who shun animal flesh is basically a “who’s who” of today’s hottest celebs. Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Al Gore, Flo Rida, Tobey Maguire, Shania Twain, Alicia Silverstone, Anthony Kiedis, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Alyssa Milano, Common, Joss Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Carrie Underwood are just some of the famous vegans and vegetarians who regularly appear in People magazine.

9. Look sexy and be sexy: Vegans tend to be thinner than meat-eaters and have more energy, which is perfect for late-night romps with your special someone. (Guys: The cholesterol and saturated animal fat found in meat, eggs, and dairy products don’t just clog the arteries to your heart. Over time, they impede blood flow to other vital organs as well.) Plus, what’s sexier than someone who is not only mega-hot but also compassionate?

10. Pigs are smarter than your dog: Although most people are less familiar with pigs, chickens, fish, and cows than they are with dogs and cats, animals used for food are every bit as intelligent and able to suffer as the animals who share our homes are. Pigs can learn to play video games, and chickens are so smart that their intelligence has been compared by scientists to that of monkeys.

This Valentine’s Day, show some serious love to animals! Pledge to go vegetarian – or eat way less meat! Drop the fur – forever! Bannish wool from your closet! Fight for ALL animals (even the ones you don’t think are cute)!💙

From PETA.ORG. Some sweet – and arresting – images. – R.T.

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Worcester news you can use!

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For nearly 100 years, Worcester was the center of the commercial Valentine industry in the United States.

Join the WORCESTER HISTORICAL MUSEUM for a Valentine making workshop at 30 Elm St. on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11 and make your own Worcester-inspired card in the tradition of Esther Howland, Jotham Taft or George C. Whitney.

This program is for Valentine lovers of all ages and is FREE with museum admission.

We will provide everything but the stamp!

This program runs from 11 AM – 3 PM.

And …
Winners of the 39th Annual “Be Our Valentine” Contest Award Ceremony

At the museum …

Friday, February 10 at 4 PM

Students in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 celebrated Worcester’s historic role by creating 21st century Valentine greetings. The winners of our 2017 Valentine making competition will be awarded in this yearly celebration of creativity, history and fun!

All of the entries, representing 18 of Worcester’s schools, will be on exhibit at the Worcester Historical Museum through February 28!

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photos: WHM

Don’t give up now: Your New Year’s resolutions are doing more good than you know!

But first …

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Surprise! Rose found these beauties all a-bloom on her kitchen window ledge yesterday! Tender reminders of April in January…She hid this 2-year-old African violet behind the blue draperies, away from Cece’s digging, pulling and peeing but believed her little kitten had out-smarted her again and had gotten into the pot to make mischief … pics: R.T.

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Cece has made a mockery of Rose’s recently “unearthed” interest in house plants!

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The sole survivor!

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The plain pissed-off!

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Love you, Miss Cece!💝💝💝💝

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By Michelle Kretzer

If you need some extra motivation to stick with New Year’s resolutions that seemed so easily attainable just a few weeks ago, consider this: Much like the butterfly effect, your resolutions have the potential to make a positive impact on the environment and animals — including butterflies.

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, made by nearly a third of Americans, is to eat better and lose weight. The two go hand in hand, of course, which explains why numerous people — including Beyoncé, Al Gore, James Cameron and Alicia Silverstone — found that when they traded in their usual diets filled with meat and dairy products for colorful plant-based foods, the pounds fell off and didn’t come back. And the fringe benefits are nothing to shake a carrot stick at. For every day that you eat plant foods instead of meat and dairy products, you will save 1,100 gallons of water, 40 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forest, 20 pounds of CO2—and the life of an animal.

If you are among the many people who will stop smoking this year, you may save not only your own life but likely the lives of some dogs, mice, rats and monkeys. It has long been proved that cigarette smoking causes diseases in nearly every organ of the human body, yet tobacco companies continue to conduct painful experiments on animals. When you stop buying cigarettes, you cut off the experimenters’ funding.

Many Americans are determined to find love in 2017. Dating apps are great tools, but a tried-and-true way to meet people who share your values is to get involved in community-service organizations. You can join groups that help clean up local parks and beaches, hold adoption fairs for homeless animals, plant neighborhood gardens and run countless other volunteer projects. The same goes for resolutions to spend more quality time with family and friends. Working together to have a positive impact on your community instead of simply having dinner will strengthen your relationships and your health.

A lot of us have certain pesky tasks that always seem to get put off, so we tell ourselves on New Year’s Day, “I am going to get this done.” One that often seems to get put on the back burner is establishing a plan of action for emergencies. But if you’re checking that one off this year, don’t forget to include a plan for keeping your animal companions safe in a crisis situation, too. Fill a carrier with leashes, bowls, veterinary records, medicines, a bottle of water, a photo of each animal and a list of hotels that accept animal guests during natural disasters.

If you resolved to spruce up your yard, planting flowers and bushes will provide food sources for butterflies, bees and other wildlife, helping their populations and filling your yard with flora and fauna.

New Year’s is a popular time to decide to save more money, perhaps for a vacation, for a big-ticket item or to build up a nest egg. One easy way to economize that most people haven’t thought of is to order a meat-free dish when dining out. A good vegetable stir-fry, asparagus and mushroom risotto, or veggie sushi roll can cost you about half (or less) what most meaty dishes would. If you dine out twice a week, the savings add up quickly. And of course, if you “DIY” and make plant-based meals at home, you’ll save even more. Either way, as mentioned above, eating vegan is kinder to animals and the planet.

Perhaps best of all, this means that if you can stick with your resolutions for improving your own life, then your intention to do more good for others will easily take care of itself.