Boycott Chicken- I’m serious.

I’ve done a lot of research about factory farming, but this article really shocked me, and saddened me.

I saw this, not through PETA or Mercy for Animals. This is for the general public, consumers. When is enough, enough? When do we say- this is not tolerable? No one seems to give the meat industry grief when they serve up 87% of their chicken as contaminated with e-coli. No one cares that the chicken are living in cruel, deplorable settings. We’re fine with the preventative antibiotics in their feed that are creating immunity to antibiotics for us. It’s okay for them to pump them full of solution to add weight (fecal broth), and then to pay for that additional weight.

Now, they are sending these miserable slaughtered, diseased carcasses to CHINA to be processed, and then shipped back to us. I guess since we have created such a very high demand for meat (mind you, far exceeding just population rise), that we no longer can manage it over here. The devastating impact to the environment caused by the slaughterhouses are now compounded by shipping meat overseas- round trip!
What could go wrong? Stop eating chicken. Just for awhile- let’s say one month. Send the message to the USDA that consumers do not approve. And we will not condone this. Chicken is actually rated the very worst as far as risky meats already.

Once the chicken industry sees that it is not in charge, the other producers can take notice as well.  If not- well, what else can they do that would make you take action? Seriously?


How can I make a difference?

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I want to be a friendly resource for those who may not have considered a plant-based lifestyle.

There are so many logical and strong arguments to change; from huge environmental impact, to animal cruelty, to health reasons, that we simply cannot continue our current path as our population grows and lifestyles of Western consumption spread. It is not illogical, just unpopular. I believe we just need to make it as easy as possible for people to adopt.

The frustrating part is that although I believe in my message and passion, I haven’t grown my readership past my own personal friends- or just slightly beyond that. I am extremely grateful to these people, but those who know me, probably won’t tell me the hard truth. I want to talk to non-vegans, from “carnivore” to vegetarians, so that is pretty much 99% of the people out there- I need to know what will make them interested in this subject. I’m not here to preach to the choir of those who already agree!

At first I hoped to simply raise awareness in a fun way by using art: illustrating veg food on instagram and the blog, making info graphics that would make the data easier to visualize.

Then I tried posting about articles that I felt consumers would want to know– like how some chicken is shipped to China. Or, environmental issues.

I added resources on HOW to make changes, to make small steps, or have a trial period.

Still not gaining more interest, I just posted my own personal lifestyle posts about our family, hoping to just be somewhat interesting enough to engage.

And now, I am feeling that the bigger obstacle is just the newness of people learning how to eat and cook without animal products.  To that end, I think recipes and meal planning are the most important hurdles.

I want to use my time wisely… how can I best help you?


What really makes you angry about the world?

This post is part of the Live Your Legend blog challenge. I want to be more involved in the LYL community (and hopefully win a ticket to WDS).

What really makes me angry in the world is that wealth and “wants” are the priority. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last four years researching climate change, factory farm cruelty, droughts, health issues, environmental devastation and more. I’m surrounded by good people with families who I’m sure care about the future… yet, they are not fully informed or motivated to make any changes.

Are we just hearing “blah, blah, blah” when climate scientists talk about rising ocean levels destroying large coastal cities? Or, do we think these events all over the world are not connected? Although 97% of climate scientists agree that we are headed for calamity… we ignore these signs for the most part, maybe thinking there is nothing we can do.

We know population growth is on the rise, and that now China and India are now using more fossil fuels and resources than ever before, but we continue to do things the same way we have done in the past, and expect that everything will just work out. We are going into uncharted territory here with the amount of resources available for more people than ever, within my kids’ lifetimes.

For those just meeting me, I write and draw about eating for the future. Eating is something we do at least 3 times a day, and we vote for our future with every choice and purchase. It is estimated that our dependence on livestock, and their grain and water requirements constitutes more than all transportation combined. It is connected and affects all the major issues I mentioned.

Pretty big deal. So why are Americans eating an average of 200 lbs of meat/year over twice the 75 lb/year world average?  Look to who is profiting from the sale of meat, dairy and eggs. 99% of our meat comes from Factory Farms. Factory Farms were designed to squeeze every bit of productivity from animals by making them grow faster, have less space, and die sooner for as much profit as possible. Over 80% of the meat production in the US are owned by just a few giant agribusinesses who buy up smaller brands to look more organic…. Tyson, Foster Farms and Perdue. They will do everything in their power to protect their own interests.

Until we start caring about what these billion-dollar companies are doing, they will continue to hide the truth from us with politics, ag-gag laws, pollute our water without penalties, send chicken to China for processing and back to sell without even labeling it, subsidize their products with our money, and waste water, rain forests and land. We will have to eat less meat to change the world.

I’m not touching on the antibiotics being overused to keep these animals alive in close, unhealthy conditions or the known health and safety issues to people. I’m also not talking about the over-fishing, destroying the oceans. So many reasons to avoid an inefficient and cruel system.

I’m angry because we can make a difference, yet we choose our desire to eat bacon, or convenience of using cow’s milk, over the most important issues which will affect ALL people and animals. The worst consequences you can imagine.

In order to be effective in making change, I have to keep this anger in control. I choose not to rant about these issues or put people in such a defensive position they won’t listen. The anger does keep me motivated, but I direct that towards the factory farms, not those who have not yet understood. We can find a common ground there. I will use the skills and talents I have been developing over the last 20+ years, and use design, art and illustration to catch the attention of people numbed to the graphic photos and bored or immune to statistics, articles and numbers. I will help people and organizations who are making a difference in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Action steps we can all take

Studies show that people, in general, don’t give accurate representation of their behavior. So, many people who say they are vegetarian actually are not. Most people who think they don’t eat much meat, eat more than they realize. Wherever you are coming from, unless you are completely vegan, there are steps to take. The truly beautiful thing is that we can make this choice every single day at least three times. I would love to hear if you have other ideas, and if you try one of these.

Baby Steps

This is an evolving list that I created and will add to it. In no particular order…

1. Substitute almond, soy, coconut or rice milk where you might use dairy. Especially where you won’t even notice. If used in cereal or within a recipe, you won’t even notice it. Gradually you could try finding a milk you like with coffee. We just stopped drinking any milk alone, and drink water instead.

2. Buy earth balance instead of butter.

3. I highly recommend trying Just Mayo, the egg-free mayo that threw the egg industry into a panic.

4. Try one of the great meat alternatives in your tacos, or as part of a salad or sandwich. I will write a post on my favorites, but will mention Field Roast sausages as the best sausage alternative (apple sage is my favorite flavor).  I have to also mention the Gardein chickenless nuggets.

5. Reduce portions. If you feel you need to use meat in a recipe, try cutting your normal amount in half. You can even add more vegetables instead in most cases for lasagnes, soups, pasta dishes, etc. Don’t assume you will just eat less meat without making conscious decisions.

Eat less Chicken, fish and eggs

Many people decide to cut back on the red meat and consider that enough. Chickens (both meat and egg-laying) and fish account for 92% of the farm animals killed for food in the U.S. They also represent 95% of the days of animal suffering caused each year by omnivores (Veganomics).

The fact that poultry is one of the most contaminated meats also is shocking. It really feels like they are pushing to see how far they can push limits with consumers, even shipping chicken to China and back. As far as eggs, consider that all the male chicks born for the meat industry are ground up alive. Chicken and fish are perhaps harder for humans to relate to than mammals, however that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer.

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is an international movement to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15%.

On average, Americans consume 8 ounces of meat per day – 45% more than the USDA recommends. Going meatless one day a week can reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help limit people’s carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

For more information on the benefits of reducing meat consumption along with delicious meatless recipes and other resources visit MeatlessMonday.com. And be sure to sign up for our weekly Eater’s Digest newsletter with featured recipes and news.

Vegan before 6

Mark Bittman wrote a book on this, where he eats vegan for breakfast and lunch, but after 6, leaves it open. You’d need to read his book to learn all the details, but this seems like a way to curb meat consumption up to 2/3!
http://markbittman.com/i-answer-frequently-asked-questions-about-vb6/

Join the Reducetarian Movement

Take the #eatlessmeat challenge and simply reduce meat
It is an identity, community, and movement. It is composed of individuals who are committed to eating less meat – red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal. The concept is appealing because not everyone is able or willing to completely eliminate meat from their diet.
http://www.reducetarian.com/

Try a 30 day Vegan Challenge

Give it a trial run. It is only for 30 days.
http://www.the30dayveganchallenge.com/fe/29373-30-day-vegan-challenge

This is currently available FREE and will give you expert, daily guidance.
http://www.cowspiracy.com/take-action/

Please let us know if you have other ideas to reduce the strain that eating too much meat has caused for us all!

Watch videos

If all you do is spend a few hours to watch videos, that can be very motivating. Here are the most popular.

Forks Over Knives: This approaches more of the plant-based diet from a health angle. This was very impactful for me.

Cowspiracy, the sustainability secret: Now on Netflix. Eye-opening documentary about the meat industry, the environment, and why no one is talking about it.


Vegucated: If you think you could never be vegan, see what happens when this film follows 3 meat and cheese-loving New Yorkers as they try to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks.

Earthlings: To be honest, I have never watched this. It is a documentary about humanity’s use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment and for scientific research. I know it is powerful and uses undercover videos to expose the truth.

Ellen Degeneres interview: There may be better interviews than this, but I love Ellen and she explains her personal reasons is a 4 minute snippet. At the 3 minute mark, she makes a very interesting tie to personal positive energy.


This is something we can all do

Studies show that people, in general, don’t give accurate representation of their behavior. So, many people who say they are vegetarian actually are not. Most people who think they don’t eat much meat, eat more than they realize. Wherever you are coming from, unless you are completely vegan, there are steps to take. The truly beautiful thing is that we can make this choice every single day at least three times. I would love to hear if you have other ideas, and if you try one of these.

Baby Steps

This is an evolving list that I created and will add to it.

1. Buy earth balance instead of butter.

2. Substitute almond, soy, coconut or rice milk where you might use dairy. Especially where you won’t even notice. If used in cereal or within a recipe, you won’t even notice it. Gradually you could try finding a milk you like with coffee. We just stopped drinking any milk alone, and drink water instead.

3. I highly recommend trying Just Mayo, the egg-free mayo that threw the egg industry into a panic.

4. Try one of the great meat alternatives in your tacos, or as part of a salad or sandwich. I will write a post on my favorites, but will mention Field Roast sausages as the best sausage alternative (apple sage is my favorite flavor). I have to also mention the gardein chickenless nuggets.

5. Reduce portions. If you feel you need to use meat in a recipe, try cutting your normal amount in half. You can even add more vegetables instead in most cases for lasagnes, soups, pasta dishes, etc. Don’t assume you will just eat less meat without making conscious decisions.

 

Eat less Chicken, fish and eggs

Many people decide to cut back on the red meat and consider that enough. Chickens (both meat and egg-laying) and fish account for 92% of the farm animals killed for food in the U.S. They also represent 95% of the days of animal suffering caused each year by omnivores (Veganomics).

The fact that poultry is one of the most contaminated meats also is shocking. It really feels like they are pushing to see how far they can push limits with consumers, even shipping chicken to China and back. As far as eggs, consider that all the male chicks born for the meat industry are ground up alive. Chicken and fish are perhaps harder for humans to relate to than mammals, however that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer.

 

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is an international movement to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15%.

On average, Americans consume 8 ounces of meat per day – 45% more than the USDA recommends. Going meatless one day a week can reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help limit people’s carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

For more information on the benefits of reducing meat consumption along with delicious meatless recipes and other resources visit MeatlessMonday.com. And be sure to sign up for our weekly Eater’s Digest newsletter with featured recipes and news.

Vegan before 6

Mark Bittman wrote a book on this, where he eats vegan for breakfast and lunch, but after 6, leaves it open. You’d need to read his book to learn all the details, but this seems like a way to curb meat consumption up to 2/3!
http://markbittman.com/i-answer-frequently-asked-questions-about-vb6/

Join the Reducetarian Movement

Take the #eatlessmeat challenge and simply reduce meat
It is an identity, community, and movement. It is composed of individuals who are committed to eating less meat – red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal. The concept is appealing because not everyone is able or willing to completely eliminate meat from their diet.
http://www.reducetarian.com/

Try a 30 day Vegan Challenge

Give it a trial run. It is only for 30 days.
http://www.the30dayveganchallenge.com/fe/29373-30-day-vegan-challenge

This is currently available FREE and will give you expert, daily guidance.
http://www.cowspiracy.com/take-action/

Go vegan for the month of January (Veganaury)

You’ve been thinking about making a new resolution for 2016. This website will give you the support you need to make the leap.
http://www.veganuary.com/usa/

Please let us know if you have other ideas to reduce the strain that eating too much meat has caused for us all!

 

Watch videos

If all you do is spend a few hours to watch videos, that can be very motivating. Here are the most popular.

Forks Over Knives: This approaches more of the plant-based diet from a health angle. This was very impactful for me.

Cowspiracy, the sustainability secret: Now on Netflix. Eye-opening documentary about the meat industry, the environment, and why no one is talking about it.


Vegucated: If you think you could never be vegan, see what happens when this film follows 3 meat and cheese-loving New Yorkers as they try to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks.

Earthlings: To be honest, I have never watched this. It is a documentary about humanity’s use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment and for scientific research. I know it is powerful and uses undercover videos to expose the truth.

Ellen Degeneres interview: There may be better interviews than this, but I love Ellen and she explains her personal reasons is a 4 minute snippet. At the 3 minute mark, she makes a very interesting tie to personal positive energy.


Resources

This is a list of some of the resources that we visit for inspiration. There is some crossover, so the categories may include more than one issue. It is by no means exhaustive, and we do not necessarily endorse these organizations or individuals. If you have suggestions on more websites, please add them in comments, or contact us.

ANIMALS/ FACTORY FARMING

VEGAN

HUMANE/EDUCATIONAL

HEALTH

DIET

CLIMATE

 

Baby Steps

Studies show that people, in general, don’t give accurate representation of their behavior. So, many people who say they are vegetarian actually are not. Most people who think they don’t eat much meat, eat more than they realize. Wherever you are coming from, unless you are completely vegan, there are steps to take. The truly beautiful thing is that we can make this choice every single day at least three times. I would love to hear if you have other ideas, and if you try one of these.

This is an evolving list that I created and will add to it.

1. Buy earth balance instead of butter.

2. Substitute almond, soy, coconut or rice milk where you might use dairy. Especially where you won’t even notice. If used in cereal or within a recipe, you won’t even notice it. Gradually you could try finding a milk you like with coffee. We just stopped drinking any milk alone, and drink water instead.

3. I highly recommend trying Just Mayo, the egg-free mayo that threw the egg industry into a panic.

4. Try one of the great meat alternatives in your tacos, or as part of a salad or sandwich. I will write a post on my favorites, but will mention Field Roast sausages as the best sausage alternative (apple sage is my favorite flavor). I have to also mention the gardein chickenless nuggets.

5. Reduce portions. If you feel you need to use meat in a recipe, try cutting your normal amount in half. You can even add more vegetables instead in most cases for lasagnes, soups, pasta dishes, etc. Don’t assume you will just eat less meat without making conscious decisions.

 

Eat less Chicken, fish and eggs

Many people decide to cut back on the red meat and consider that enough. Chickens (both meat and egg-laying) and fish account for 92% of the farm animals killed for food in the U.S. They also represent 95% of the days of animal suffering caused each year by omnivores (Veganomics).

The fact that poultry is one of the most contaminated meats also is shocking. It really feels like they are pushing to see how far they can push limits with consumers, even shipping chicken to China and back. As far as eggs, consider that all the male chicks born for the meat industry are ground up alive. Chicken and fish are perhaps harder for humans to relate to than mammals, however that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer.

 

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is an international movement to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15%.

On average, Americans consume 8 ounces of meat per day – 45% more than the USDA recommends. Going meatless one day a week can reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help limit people’s carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

For more information on the benefits of reducing meat consumption along with delicious meatless recipes and other resources visit MeatlessMonday.com. And be sure to sign up for our weekly Eater’s Digest newsletter with featured recipes and news.

Vegan before 6

Mark Bittman wrote a book on this, where he eats vegan for breakfast and lunch, but after 6, leaves it open. You’d need to read his book to learn all the details, but this seems like a way to curb meat consumption up to 2/3!
http://markbittman.com/i-answer-frequently-asked-questions-about-vb6/

Join the Reducetarian Movement

Take the #eatlessmeat challenge and simply reduce meat
It is an identity, community, and movement. It is composed of individuals who are committed to eating less meat – red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal. The concept is appealing because not everyone is able or willing to completely eliminate meat from their diet.
http://www.reducetarian.com/

Try a 30 day Vegan Challenge

Give it a trial run. It is only for 30 days.
http://www.the30dayveganchallenge.com/fe/29373-30-day-vegan-challenge

This is currently available FREE and will give you expert, daily guidance.
http://www.cowspiracy.com/take-action/

Go vegan for the month of January (Veganaury)

You’ve been thinking about making a new resolution for 2016. This website will give you the support you need to make the leap.
http://www.veganuary.com/usa/

Please let us know if you have other ideas to reduce the strain that eating too much meat has caused for us all!

 

Watch videos

If all you do is spend a few hours to watch videos, that can be very motivating. Here are the most popular.

Forks Over Knives: This approaches more of the plant-based diet from a health angle. This was very impactful for me.

Cowspiracy, the sustainability secret: Now on Netflix. Eye-opening documentary about the meat industry, the environment, and why no one is talking about it.


Vegucated: If you think you could never be vegan, see what happens when this film follows 3 meat and cheese-loving New Yorkers as they try to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks.

Earthlings: To be honest, I have never watched this. It is a documentary about humanity’s use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment and for scientific research. I know it is powerful and uses undercover videos to expose the truth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHNC78zy1SI

Ellen Degeneres interview: There may be better interviews than this, but I love Ellen and she explains her personal reasons is a 4 minute snippet. At the 3 minute mark, she makes a very interesting tie to personal positive energy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeSA2j4oiDA