Tag Archives: if everyone ate a plant-based diet – it would cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent and save 8 million human lives by 2050

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.

There will be a (vegan) revolution in the new year … and … 3 so-easy veggie pasta dishes by Chef Joey

By Heather Moore

It’s time for a vegan revolution!

I mean … resolution. Each new year, countless people resolve to lose weight and eat healthfully, but many find themselves no thinner—or healthier—in July than they were in January. Perhaps this year, everyone should put some stock in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) new position paper on vegetarian and vegan eating and resolve to ditch meat, eggs and dairy foods.

The updated AND paper, which was published in December, confirms that wholesome vegan foods “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” It specifically points out that people who eat plant-based meals are less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

According to the authors, people who go vegan reduce their risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 62 percent, of being hospitalized for a heart attack by 33 percent, of suffering from heart disease by 29 percent and of succumbing to any form of cancer by 18 percent. Men can reduce their chance of developing prostate cancer by 35 percent just by eating vegan.

And in case you weren’t listening the first time they said it, the AND reiterated its assertion that a vegan lifestyle is suitable—even beneficial—for everyone, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies, children, adults, athletes and your third cousin, twice removed.

And that’s not to mention anyone who professes to care about animals or the environment.

The report even includes information on the environmental aspects of eating vegan. Susan Levin, one of the report’s authors, acknowledges that the AND’s expertise is in nutrition but says that it’s impossible to ignore the evidence proving that plant-based foods are better for the planet. Research has shown that if everyone ate a plant-based diet, it would cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent and save 8 million human lives by 2050.

Going vegan spares countless animals, too, so it’s the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint. And not to sound like a teenager, but everyone is doing it. According to a Harris Interactive study, there are nearly 4 million adult vegans in the U.S. alone (and even more vegetarians). More and more companies now offer plant-based options in order to meet the growing demand. Ben & Jerry’s, for example, introduced four vegan ice cream flavors in 2016, and Unilever, maker of Hellmann’s and Best Foods, recently introduced its own nondairy mayo spread—after previously suing another company that makes vegan mayonnaise for alleged false advertising, because it argued at the time that mayonnaise must contain eggs.

In late 2016, Tyson Foods, Inc.—the largest U.S. meat company by sales—invested in Beyond Meat, a company that makes vegan meats. It was a smart move: The vegan-meat market is projected to reach $5.2 billion globally by 2020.

So, yeah, I guess a vegan revolution is taking place—an innovative one at that. A few months ago, a meat-free gastropub opened in Miami, and the city is getting a vegan butcher in early 2017. It won’t even be the nation’s first—The Herbivorous Butcher opened in Minneapolis in January 2016. A popular Mexican restaurant in Dallas made news when it switched to serving all-vegan fare, and North Dakota recently got its first vegan restaurant.

Out with the old and in with the new, as they say. If you want to turn over a new leaf, resolve to go vegan in 2017. And if you need help—and extra inspiration—check out Jackie Day’s new book, The Vegan Way. It includes 21 days’ worth of tips and encouragement that will help you be a happy, healthy vegan.

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“recipes,” photos and cutlines by Chef Joey

Three vegetarian pasta dishes

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Butter and mushrooms on spinach pasta

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Tomatoes and mushrooms on spinach pasta

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Butter, mushrooms and sage on gluten-free noodles