Add 1/2 cup water and cover. As water evaporates, add 1/2 pound or a little more of lean ground beef or turkey. If you want a vegan or vegetarian meal, omit meat, follow these steps, and at the end, add 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils or quinoa.
Sauté, add 28 oz stewed tomatoes (chopped tomatoes work fine too)
1 tbsp oregano and
1 tsp cinnamon
Add 1 cup rice (I used basmati) that’s been soaking in water (just a smidge over the top of the rice).
As the first thing you do before cooking. Add rice – and a few tablespoons of tomato concentrate (kind of optional but makes for a richer flavor).
Cover and stir every few minutes for about 15 mins – salt and pepper.
I pre-boil the peppers for about 8 mins until slightly soft. Keep the pepper water handy if you have to add a little to the mix.
When your rice is 90% done or completely done for faster oven time – pour some of the sauté in the bottom of the pan.
Stuff your peppers with your mix, top with parsley and bake about a 1/2 hour – uncovered if you like a crunchy top, covered if you like all soft. Easy! Everything takes just one hour!
I hope you enjoy this dish – and anyone else you share this with too! Tonight Joey, Gigi and Grandma sheltered in place while eating their dinner – made by Joe Joe!
Months into this pandemic and with only a dim light at the end of the tunnel, if that, all it took was an ad by Tyson to put yet more vulnerable people — and animals — at risk. After the second-largest meat producer in the U.S. warned of “disruptions,”
President Trump signed an executive order to compel meat-processing plants to remain open. With the swipe of a pen, the order erases the liability that the plants face if workers get sick or hurt. This reckless decision will cost the lives not just of countless animals — in terrible ways — but possibly also of the workers, whom the meat industry already stands accused of viewing as disposable, as well as their families. Slaughterhouses are among the least safe workplaces in the world in the best of times.
No one needs meat. And filthy, blood-soaked slaughterhouses are, like “wet markets,” well-established breeding grounds for disease. Deadly outbreaks of mad cow disease, swine flu, avian flu, SARS, hoof-and-mouth disease and other zoonotic diseases have come from treating animals like commodities, depriving them of almost everything that’s natural to them, and penning, caging and factory-farming them for food.
The sheer number of animals on the slaughter line and the speed with which they travel down it toward the workers who will slit their throats or shoot a captive-bolt through their brains does not allow for safety. Federal guidelines now call on companies to encourage single-file movement throughout their plants and have workers spaced 6 feet apart. However, those are suggestions, not regulations. One labor advocate stated it plainly: “The people are still standing next to one another in these plants. They’re still getting sick.”
Lax laws cause immeasurable animal suffering. Another recent Trump administration rule largely deregulated pig slaughter and increased kill speeds. In a sworn statement, a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector reported an increase in pig carcasses with scalding-tank water in their lungs—an indication that the animals were still breathing when they were dropped into scalding-hot water to remove their hair and soften their skin. The inspector said that she regularly observed workers threatening pigs with raised paddles, ready to strike the terrified animals. During her inspections, she said, she often hears stressed, frightened pigs screaming. These intelligent, inquisitive, friendly animals sense they are doomed.
And birds have no federal legal protection — they are exempt from the meager protections of the Humane Slaughter Act. At Tyson, where PETA conducted multiple eyewitness investigations, workers stabbed birds, slammed them into hanging shackles, breaking their limbs, and were told by a supervisor that it was acceptable to rip the heads off live birds who had been improperly shackled.
As if cruelty weren’t reason enough to stop eating pigs’ body parts, under the deregulated system, the inspector noted that “toenails, hair, and abscesses are routinely allowed in meat intended for human consumption.”
It’s not a matter of whether using and killing animals for food will give rise to another disease outbreak — it’s a matter of when.
For the sake of migrant and other workers who are treated like scum in these slaughterhouses and on behalf of the animals who struggle desperately not to die, these plants must remain closed.
Alec Baldwin – defender of animals and PETA star supporter!:
Here we are the second Sunday in May, and the Untied States is celebrating Mother’s Day. It was proclaimed to me “Mother” day individually, so each one is recognized. The foundress of this American holiday was Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. Her intention was to honor her mother by continuing the work she started, thus creating a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”
Anna was born in 1832 and had the usual life: her father was a Methodist Minister and had her marry off to the son of a Baptist Minister in 1850. Two years later they moved away and started their business which was quite successful from the start. He was a successful merchant then started a mercantile business.
Anna worked on the family side and over the course of the next 17 years she gave birth to 11 to 13 children, of which only 4 survived to become adults. Tragedy and loss like this was not uncommon, and having experienced the demise of her children because of measles, diphtheria, typhoid fever and other Appalachian circumstances, she was inspired to help the community take a stance and correct the circumstances that took her and others children’s lives.
This all started during her pregnancy with her sixth child in 1858. She started the “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to improve sanitary conditions and create health awareness. These clubs were a catalyst to educate families to reduce infant mortality and disease. Additionally, they raised money to purchase medications and hire women to work in families to help the mothers who were now suffering from Tuberculosis or other health issues. With the assistance of her brother, James who just happened to be a physician and was instrumental with his work in the typhoid fever epidemics at the time.
We are miserable with Covid 19, but they had it bad! Anna, alongside her brother James and her new founded club members, created inspections for milk long before it became the norm. Club members also started programs to visit homes and educate mothers and their families about improving sanitation and overall health.
She was indeed a pioneer (no pun intended). However, across the pond in Europe, there already existed celebrations honoring the mother of the family. Mother’s Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of February to June. It also has ties to similar celebrations that recognize family members, such as Father’s Day, Siblings Day, and even Grandparents Day.
Being European, of course these holidays generally had religion behind them. Like Virgin Mary Day and events that were basically honoring motherhood. With the influence of the United States official holiday all became known eventually as Mother’s Day.
The British with their Church of England had “Mothering Sunday” on the 4th Sunday of Lent. The European’s generally celebrate the second Sunday of May, while a few other countries, France being one of them, celebrate the last Sunday of May. My friend P.J who is from Bolivia told me that Mother’s Day is always the 27th of May, a date that women went to battle to defend their children in 1812. Russians celebrate it as International Woman’s Day – March 8th, every year.
The irony here is Ann Reeve Jarvis’ daughter Ann Marie Jarvis (her namesake) spearheaded the day by holding a memorial Mass for her mother in 1907 on the 2nd Sunday of May, two years after her mom had passed away. After the death, Anna was determined to honor her mother’s accomplishments! And to make that day a holiday – not just for her mother, but for all mothers. After the Mass, she gave each attendant a white carnation, Anna Maria’s favorite flower. She held another the following year as well. So that is the “unofficial” original date of Mother’s Day.
Like her mother, Ann Jarvis was also an activist. She was the 9th child and actually went to university and received a degree. She, however, was more concerned with creating peace. She treated and helped wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and also created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day to be held on the second Sunday of May. Much to Ann’s chagrin it took off as a money-making holiday! By the 1920’s Hallmark and other companies were selling cards like hotcakes. Ann organized boycotts, wanted handwritten letters only (that lead to Valentines Day cards – another story). Jarvis was convinced they were not representing her original wishes, and she lost it when white carnations were being sold by the American War Mothers! Ann was so angry she got arrested for disturbing the peace!!
Ann Maria Jarvis gained nothing from creating this holiday, Mother’s Day. She attempted to have Mother’s Day rescinded, to no avail. She died alone in 1948 in a sanitarium, at 84 years old. The karma here is that all her medical bills were paid by people in the floral and greeting card industries.
So now that you have your morning read! Although it is a holiday of sorts, these two remarkable women changed the lives of many with a single outcome – stay alive and healthy. Kind of ironic as here we are 160 years later trying to do the same thing.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Animal Moms: Portraits of Compassion
According to writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the trials of motherhood make moms the great vacationless class. Although she may have been talking about the human variety — the moms who are near and dear to us — other animals show the same tireless dedication to their children. PETA hopes that this Mother’s Day, while you are praising your family’s matriarch, you’ll also remember that some of the best moms in the world are found in the animal kingdom!:
♥️Northern Fur Seals
Fresh from foraging for food, moms have to find their young quickly in a sea of hundreds — or possibly thousands — of seals, so both mother and pup depend on their uncanny powers of vocal recognition to find one another. Both will call out and answer, responding selectively to one another until they are reunited.
Always ready to give an affectionate caress, a gentle nudge in the right direction, or a cool bath to help their babies beat the heat, doting elephant moms maintain constant touch with their young ones, never allowing them to stray too far from their side. Mothers even stay in touch with their adult kids and enjoy close relationships with their daughters that can last up to 50 years.
For cows and their calves, it’s love at first sight. The first minutes after birth are spent developing a bond that will last a lifetime. Throughout life, mother and child maintain social contact and regularly enjoy each other’s companionship. Their attachment and affection for each other is so deep that if they are forced apart, they both suffer severe stress. Moms have been known to escape their enclosures and travel for miles looking for their calves.
Dolphins are known for graceful synchronized swimming, but dolphin mothers and their babies also synchronize their breathing for the first few weeks following the babies’ birth. These dedicated moms may nurse their young for up to 10 years and will also mentor less experienced females by allowing them to babysit as practice for when they have babies of their own.
Let’s hear it for single moms! These lightning-fast felines have their paws full caring for their cubs all on their own. Not only does mom protect her children from predators while she is nursing them, she also hunts for them from the time they are weaned until they are 14 to 18 months old. Overly active offspring can make the task of hunting even harder: Cubs often scare hunted animals away with their animated antics, leaving mom so worn out that she sometimes falls asleep in the middle of a hunt.
Nurturing begins in the nest for these caring moms. Mother hens will turn their eggs as many as five times an hour and cluck softly to their chicks, who chirp back to her and to one another from within their shells! Once chicks hatch, devoted moms use their wings to shield their babies from predators and have been known to refuse to leave their nests during a fire if they have newly hatched peeps.
♥️This Mother’s Day, please take a moment to recognize the unique bond between mothers and children of all species!
♥️To support all moms, go vegan, wear vegan fashion, use cruelty-free products, and never exploit animals in any other way!!!
Cinco de Mayo is a great day to celebrate Mexico’s commemoration of a victory by Mexican troops in La Batalla de Puebla on May 5, 1862. The battle was against the French Empire no less and lasted a day! Over 500 Frenchmen and fewer than 100 Mexicans perished in the ordeal.
On a separate note, Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16, the anniversary of the revolutionary priest Migel Hilado y Costillas “Cry against Dolores” – the war against the Spanish colonial government in 1810.
Cinco de Mayo really did not become anything important until the 1960’s in the United States, but who says we have to eat Mexican? It really is one of those close to mid-year celebrations that occasionally comes with a tad of debauchery.
So because it was a battle with the French, let me share a few French favorites, starting with Ratatouille!
This is a vegetable-based delicious concoction that can have other things added to it like peppers or mushrooms. Traditionally served at room temperature, it makes a great dip with pita chips or crackers. And a few veggies and make a nice size dish.
4 cloves garlic
4 large tomatoes or 1 basket (8 oz) cherry tomatoes
Fresh parsley and basil, if you have it.
You can also add Herbes de Provence a blend of Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Basil, Oregano and Sage – available at your local grocers.
The above ingredients are cooked in a little sunflower oil and cooked separately.
Start with the Eggplant it takes a while and may require a tad of water as it will absorb all the oil at first. After you Saute each veggie until done (soft and tender).
Layer each veggie in a bowl and, when everything is cooked, add the chopped parsley and herbes de Provence and mix well. Voila it I done! This dish keeps for a couple of days and is an awesome alternative to salsa. You can make it without tomatoes and veggies but you want to keep it soft with summer veggies. Winter items like cabbage and squash don’t play well.
You will be serving up something different and at the same time something nutritious. Not fattening and healthy! Enjoy!
Despite COVID-19 spikes at American meat plants, packaging plants, slaughterhouses, President Trump signed an executive order requiring slaughterhouses to remain open
Since the beginning of this month, 18 slaughterhouses operated by meat companies such as JBS USA, Tyson, Smithfield, and Cargill have shut down after reportedly over 5,000 workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus and more than a dozen have died.
Now, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order requiring slaughterhouses to remain open and will try to protect them from legal liability.
For the sake of human health and in behalf of the animals destined to be slaughtered and the migrant and other workers who are treated like scum in these slaughterhouses and whose families are more at risk than in almost any other job, PETA asks the nation to rise up and shout a resounding “NO” to keeping slaughterhouses open at this time.
Join PETA in urging Trump to reverse the executive order and keep slaughterhouses closed, since they not only put workers and the public health at risk, but also cause the violent, bloody deaths of billions of animals every year!
… Please contact the White House right away to urge the administration to keep bloody, dangerous slaughterhouses closed:
Here are a few simple things you can do to make sure your message gets to the White House as quickly as possible.
If you write a letter, please consider typing it on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. If you hand-write your letter, please consider using pen and writing as neatly as possible.
Please include your return address on your letter as well as your envelope. If you have an email address, please consider including that as well.
And finally, be sure to include the full address of the White House to make sure your message gets to us as quickly and directly as possible:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
A COVID-19 GI BILL! Now!
Massachusetts, let’s follow MICHIGAN’S lead: Governor Charlie Baker must CREATE A GI BILL FOR OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS!
FREE COLLEGE, home mortgage loans, a la World War II. The New GI BILL!
The COVID 19 GI BILL!
We are living through a war. We are in a brutal, life-destroying, HISTORIC MOMENT. The novel coronavirus has changed every aspect of our lives and loves – for years to come. Almost 63,000 Americans have died. Thousands upon thousands of us have gotten sick with the virus, suffered – including amazing frontline doctors, nurses, nurses aides and other health worker angels.
Let’s include our regular guys and gals – our supermarket/big box store workers, our gas station attendants, our convenience store workers, bus drivers, security guards. THEY ARE ESSENTIAL – just as life-saving as the docs! They are OUT IN THIS DEADLY CHAOS KEEPING THIS COUNTRY ON TRACK. Helping us all to keep it together!
They are the lowest paid American workers. Often without health insurance. Often going to food pantries to stretch their puny pay check dollars. Around 40% of AMERICANS DO NOT HAVE $400 in the bank for hard times. Yet these are the folks who RISK THEIR LIVES these COVID 19 DAYS – often with little medical/safety oversight from their employers. Many are not given PPE; for them, coronavirus testing is unavailable; their health care systems filled with holes.
MOST ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR.
ALL ARE THE WORKING POOR.
Is this the way we treat American heroes? Men and women, often “just kids,” who are keeping their fellow countrymen and women fed, supplied with personal care products … buses and subway cars rolling, our personal vehicles gassed up?
Victory! Horses Spared Chicago Traffic, Forced Labor With Carriage Ban
By Zachary Toliver
Rose’s kitchen wall. Rose loves her horses! pic: R.T.
In a landmark victory for horses in Chicago — who will no longer be forced to pound the pavement through extreme heat, thunderstorms, and blizzards — the Chicago City Council has passed a ban on horse-drawn carriage rides.
PETA supported Chicago Alliance for Animals’ (CAA) push for a progressive ban every step of the way. Forcing animals to pull heavy carriages — especially in Chicago, where dangerous winter temperatures dip well below zero and where CAA has reported that horses were made to work without access to water in the summer — is simply unacceptable.
“We have given you lots of room to shape up,” Council Member Brendan Reilly told carriage owners. “You have failed miserably.”
CAA documented that horses were overworked by the carriage industry, and accidents are common when high-strung horses meet city traffic. In one incident, five people — including four children — were injured when an SUV rear-ended a horse-drawn carriage. Last November, CAA caught on camera a horse being struck in the face at the chaotic Magnificent Mile Lights Festival parade.
As a result of CAA’s documentation, Chicago’s horse carriage operators racked up 334 violations in one year, including for regularly working horses more than double what the law allowed and forcing them to work in temperatures above 90 degrees many times.
A Hero to Horses Award is on its way from PETA to Jodie Wiederkehr — the executive director of CAA — for leading the charge to end the use of horse-drawn carriages citywide.
Horses have shown that they can understand symbols and use them intelligently to make requests. They can even ask for winter coats to be taken on or off. (Obviously, they get cold, too!) They are remarkable individuals who deserve to live free from beatings and repetitive, involuntary labor.
Many horses forced to pull carriages have been observed living in squalid conditions with inadequate food and veterinary care and nothing but filthy sewage water to drink.
Horse-drawn carriages are accidents waiting to happen.
Council Member Brian Hopkins said that horse-drawn carriages pose a traffic hazard on already-congested city streets. “The time has passed for these devices in Downtown Chicago,” he stated.
If you’re a tourist in need of transportation to explore a city, choose a human-powered pedicab, rent a bike from a bike-share service, or simply walk.
A carriage ride may be a fleeting moment of entertainment for you, but it supports a lifetime of torment for horses. We’ve seen everything from pools of blood left by an injured horse forced to pull a carriage to a runaway horse who drowned in an icy river while attached to a sinking vehicle.
Many injuries and even deaths to both horses and humans have occurred after the animals got spooked in traffic. In a split second, a horse can go from appearing calm and sedate to crashing blindly through busy streets in a panic.
Accidents aren’t the only problem with horse-drawn carriages. The industry has been under fire for violation after violation of laws, including ones concerning animal welfare. Drivers have been caught making horses work in 90-degree weather despite a mandatory heat suspension, drinking on duty, and forcing a horse to work for four days with a serious leg injury.
Don’t Be Taken for a Ride!
We hope this kinder, carriage-free city will influence other cities (like Worcester!) to ban this inhumane practice, too. Cities across the country — including Breckenridge, Colorado; Palm Beach, Florida; and Salt Lake City — have already outlawed the operations.
Horse-drawn carriages are primitive hazards on 21st century streets. No amount of regulation can protect the public from the danger posed by horses’ tendency to become frightened and bolt. If you live in a city where carriage rides are still allowed, contact your local legislators and ask them to sponsor a ban.
What’s better than a healthy snack that doubles as a lunch – and is inexpensive? 😊Chickpeas and rice as the base and both extremely inexpensive. Combined they are good for protein and fiber.
What I like to do is add things, like small cherry tomatoes, crumbled cheese – blue cheese or feta. Canned tuna, black olives is the base of this one. You can skip tuna and add diced chicken or tofu – or nothing . The other part is as long as you do not add lettuce to this salad, it will keep for a couple of days.
The Dijon garlic dressing I use is tangy and delicious. However, you can use your favorite dressing, too – remember that is 30% of your fat intake! Salad dressings are generally high in fat, even though it seems sensible. The average salad dressing serving size is 2 tablespoons – and 90 calories.
My simple salad dressing is one clove fresh garlic chopped fine – sprinkle with salt and use the blade of a large knife and go back and forth and make a paste.
Put this in a bowl with 2 tbsp cider vinegar, and 8 tbsp sunflower oil . Mix together and add I teaspoon of Dijon mustard – it will mix and become thicker. Double or triple this according to the amount of salad you are making. You can make a large batch and keep it in a jar for a week!
PETA has offered to help retrain employees of various meatpacking companies
By Zachary Toliver
The novel coronavirus pandemic and other deadly diseases have devastated pig- and bird-flesh supplies.
What better time to overhaul this filthy industry?
Forget worrying about a “meat shortage.”
Dirty processing plants and meat markets threaten the health of every human on the planet.
In response, PETA has offered to help retrain employees of various meatpacking companies
Free of charge — to produce vegan meats.
SmithfieldFoods allegedly took NO PRECAUTIONS to protect the safety of its workers, leaving over 600 employees infected with COVID-19. The pork industry is so greedy that it is willing to kill pigs and harm employees just for money! Multimillion-dollar pig-killing company Smithfield Foods tried to blame its slaughterhouse coronavirus outbreak on its overworked, underpaid employees.
Earlier this month, 32,000 turkeys were killed at a South Carolina farm after an outbreak of deadly bird flu sickened them and endangered workers.
Last week, a Smithfield Foods pig slaughterhouse in South Dakota closed because nearly 300 of its employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
A Cargill meat-processing plant in Pennsylvania closed, too, after its employees reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
The company also announced that it will close an egg factory because of decreased demand and cut back hours at a cow slaughterhouse.
At a Tyson plant in Tennessee, 90 workers recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
Besides viruses, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” developing on farms have worried scientists for years.
Nearly 80% of meat in U.S. supermarkets contains some form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
While many people can carry around the superbugs without realizing it, others have experienced skin irritation, life-threatening infections such as pneumonia and blood poisoning.
We know that COVID-19 originated in a meat market and that previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens.
It’s not a matter of whether using and killing animals for food will give rise to another disease outbreak — it’s a matter of when.
There has never been a better, more obvious time for businesses to put an end to their dirty trade of slaughtering animals for their flesh. Companies such as Tyson, Smithfield Foods, Perdue and Hormel already have their foot in the door when it comes to plant-based markets because they already sell vegan meats. These companies — and other flesh-sellers like them — should plan long-term by rethinking their entire business model and reopening facilities as safe, clean, disease-free vegan meat factories.
PETA hopes that dropping meat for good and investing in a vegan future would not only help flatten the coronavirus curve but also help companies avert the countless other deadly illnesses that can come from farms and slaughterhouses.
Individual personalities, emotions, and the will to live free from harm are traits of all animals on Earth.
Even if COVID-19 weren’t affecting every waking hour of our lives, animals are still individuals who shouldn’t be abused or killed for food.
A pig suffering on a factory farm.
Pigs bond with humans, love to cuddle, and play games. Like many other animals, cows have best friends. Chickens are caring mothers — a hen will “talk” to her chicks in the shell before they’ve hatched to teach them to recognize her voice in a flock. Every animal has feelings and traits that make their life just as interesting as ours.
Factory farm chicken in its feces
Animals are not ours to treat like inanimate objects.
All of them are terrified when their throat is slit at a slaughterhouse. And there’s nothing natural about pumping antibiotics into conscious, sickly animals so that they can survive (just barely) while being forced to live amid their own waste.
We can avoid deadly diseases and save gentle, sensitive animals by choosing to eat vegan foods.
Thankfully, eating animals is completely unnecessary. Humans can live healthy, cruelty-free lives by going vegan. When you do, you’ll save nearly 200 animals in just one year.
To every nonvegan who is cooking at home, surely you’re bored with eating the same three or four types of dead animals during this lockdown.
Why not opt for something new and exciting by trying vegan meats from companies like Beyond Meat, Gardein, or MorningStar?
You could take a little time to learn how to cook with tofu or tempeh — and maybe even try your hand at making seitan!
Mother Earth, her animals and plants are getting a much needed break from us humans during COVID-19!
It’s been 50 years since the first Earth Day, when 20 million Americans “took to the streets” to demonstrate for a clean, livable environment. That won’t be happening this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has left most of us confined to our homes. We can still make a difference, though. This year, as Earth Day, April 22, goes digital, we can all help halt climate change and other environmental problems in real life by eating vegan foods rather than animal-based ones and urging our friends and followers on social media to do the same.
Go, Uncle Joe!
The novel coronavirus likely originated in a “wet market” that sold fish, live poultry and exotic animals for human consumption. Wet markets, factory farms and slaughterhouses not only contribute to potentially deadly diseases, such as COVID-19, they also release significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A 2018 University of Oxford study involving 119 countries and 38,000 commercial farms found that beef and other animal-based foods have an “outsize effect” on emissions, noting that just 2 pounds of beef generates 132 pounds of greenhouse-gas emissions. Overall, the production of animal-derived foods is responsible for 10 to 50 times more emissions than the production of vegan foods.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the West’s high consumption of meat and dairy is fueling climate change and that cutting them from our diets could reduce our carbon footprint from food by two-thirds. It will also help conserve resources, reduce pollution and prevent the loss of forests—not to mention the slaughter of billions of sentient animals.
Oxford University researcher Joseph Poore says that going vegan is “the single biggest way” to reduce our impact on the planet. Animal agriculture plays a huge role in everything from water pollution and water shortages to deforestation and food scarcity. A 2018 NRDC report called the agricultural sector “a serious water polluter” and indicated that it was the “leading cause of water degradation” around the world. In the United States, it’s the main culprit when it comes to contaminated rivers and streams, the second when it comes to wetlands and the third for lakes.
A recent University of Delaware study found that 55% of the water taken from the Colorado River basin is used to grow food for cows. As a result, 53 species of fish are at risk of extinction, because freshwater stores are wasted on water-hungry crops to feed animals who are bred to be killed and eaten, even though ethical and environmentally friendly options exist.
And freshwater stores aren’t all that’s being exhausted by meat production. Cattle ranching accounts for 80% of current deforestation rates, making it the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, according to the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
When researchers from the Institute of Social Ecology studied ways to meet the expected global food demand in the year 2050—without sacrificing any forests—they concluded that the only option is for everyone to go vegan. Jessica Fanzo, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, who conducted a similar study in 2019, says we’ll be in “dire straits” if we don’t. Thankfully, we’re all learning that we can change our behavior to beat a crisis — or at least to prevent one from worsening. So, this Earth Day, how about exploring veganism? Eating Earth-friendly vegan foods is easy and enjoyable, and it will help prevent future pandemics and further environmental destruction!