Circles of Compassion

Circles of Compassion

circles of compassion coverDr. Will Tuttle, author of the World Peace Diet, has edited a new book Circles of Compassion: Essays Connecting Issues of Justice. The foreword is written by author and activist Carole J. Adams.

This book consists of a series of essays by internationally recognized authors and activists, Edited by Dr. Will Tuttle. The essays focus on how the seemingly disparate issues of human, animal, and environmental rights are indeed connected. Authors also provide practical guidance about how to make the individual, systems, and social changes necessary to effectively create a peaceful and just world for all.

It includes essays from over 25 authors including Robert Grillo, Melanie Joy, Richard Oppenlander, lauren Ornelas, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

It is available for 25% off the original price on the publisher’s website as a book or PDF ebook, or from Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Veganism quote

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Is Vegan Food the Hottest Food Sector?

Cinnaholic - Gourmet Vegan Cinnamon RollsI found an interesting article on LinkedIn by digital marketer – for, among other things, vegan restos – Shadi Khattab titled The Hottest Food Sector: Vegan Food.

He makes a good case for the growth of vegan food, and especially restaurants, and not just in the usual places.

The Vegan food sector has turned into a steam train and the meat and dairy industry and its legions are slowly seeing their worst nightmares playing out. Well sort of. Huge swaths of people aren’t converting to veganism. Not just yet. But the signs that vegan food is beyond the tipping point and set to be a global contender for the hearts, minds and palette wars are clear and unavoidable.

Native Food CafeHe looks at the success of companies like Cinnaholic and Heidi-Ho Organics on Shark Tank.  Native Foods, a vegan restaurant chain with locations in Southern Cal, Oregon, Chicago, Washington, DC, and more, recently secured $15 million in venture capital funding to keep growing. Hopefully to Northern Cal – their menu looks fabulous!

Real Food DailyAnother restaurant, Real Food Daily has four locations in the Los Angeles area with one in LAX. The LAX location is the first plant-based eatery located in an airport anywhere in the world.

Veggie GrillRecently a Veggie Grill opened in one of the trendy open air malls here in Marin and more are opening soon in the Bay Area. They have locations on the West Coast in Washington, Oregon and California. Whenever we visit – more often than I’d like to admit – the place is hopping.

So, perhaps the answer to the question above is YES!

Khattab is looking at veganism as a marketer, and he likes the commitment vegans make to their lifestyle.

Vegans are a committed bunch who network, rally and force the discussion on animal welfare and environmental health as well as any political organization can.

And he sees trouble ahead for the meat industry

Meat industry has seen a huge downturn in their profits. Besides losing share to veggie oriented diets, the meat industry can’t seem to keep its facilities clean causing recalls of tainted meat into a regular activity. In 2013 alone 13,096,784 pounds of meat and poultry were recalled according to the USDA. As the meat industry loses more money and market share they will as they always have, try to push their plants to process meat at faster clips in order to squeeze more profits to make up for losses. This in turn will cause more mistakes and more outbreaks hence more recalls. The cycle unfortunately for them is self-defeating.

All of this is great news for a committed vegan. Khattab ends with this perspective.

Anyone who is friends with a vegan/ vegetarian on social media is given a daily or weekly dose of reality news feeds and tweets on the plights of farm animals, lab animals and circus animals. Social media doesn’t influence those who are staunch meat eaters and abusers, but it does affect those on the fence, the secondary adopters. As more movies, videos, petitions and information is constantly being presented along with viable alternative solutions, it’s hard to think Veganism will ever go back to some outer rim practice unable to affect the overall world it exists in.

I also wanted to share the illustration he used for his article. It is a beautiful drawing by freelance illustrator Roger Olmos. Enjoy!

Roger Olmos Illustration

Chris Hedges: Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time

Chris HedgesI have been reading Chris Hedges columns at Truthdig for years. He tells it like it is. I was delighted to see his latest column about going vegan.

My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine’s attitude toward becoming celibate—“God grant me abstinence, but not yet.” But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction, and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species. It is one that my wife—who was the engine behind our family’s shift—and I have made.

The column makes the case for why animal agriculture is at the root of many of the world’s problems – climate change, deforestation, water pollution, hunger. It also, as I have written about before, talks about how the animal ag industry has built a wall of restrictive laws around the devastation and agony they create to shield the public from the truth.

The animal agriculture industry has used the excuse of national security, public safety, trade agreements and the need for business secrets to pass what are known as ag-gag laws in about a dozen states and, on the federal level, the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, all enhanced with anti-terrorism laws to criminalize anyone who investigates or challenges the industry. It is illegal under the Patriot Act to issue statements or carry out actions that harm the profits of the animal agriculture industry. Radical change, as with every challenge to the power of our corporate state, will have to be built outside the structures of power, including the leading environmental groups, which have refused to confront the livestock industry.

It includes quotes from Comfortably Unaware author Richard Oppenlander; journalist and author of Green is the New Red, Will Potter; and the co-directors of Cowspiracy, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn.

Kuhn and Anderson laid out the problem.

“So many more people have a connection to animal agriculture, both in society and government, than have a direct connection to the oil industry,” Kuhn said. “The oil industry employs, relatively speaking, a very small percentage of people and is controlled by a very small percentage of people. The agricultural industry, both animal agriculture and commodity grains fed to those animals, involves a much bigger demographic. Politically it is a lot more challenging. Corporations such as Cargill, one the largest commodity food corporations in the world, is able to create U.S. policy. The government says it needs to have affordable food, which means giving massive subsidies to these corporations. The belief is that we have to eat animal products to survive. It is not something that is even questioned. The fossil fuel industry is more easily challenged with the argument that there are alternatives. People do not feel there is an alternative to eating animals.”

Please read the entire column and make the commitment to going vegan – for the health of the planet and your own also.

We have only a few years left, at best, to make radical changes to save ourselves from ecological meltdown. A person who is vegan will save 1,100 gallons of water, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, 30 square feet of forested land, 45 pounds of grain, and one sentient animal’s life every day. We do not, given what lies ahead of us, have any other option.