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Category Archives: Saving Animals

A Compassionate Thanksgiving

Every November, families gather together to give thanks. At some point in American culture, eating turkeys became the symbolic way to give thanks. We are hoping to encourage our readers to rewrite that tradition. There has never been a more compelling time to rethink how we treat animals raised for food.

Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of the holiday season. The holidays are often filled with family and friends, desserts and presents. Since we will all find ourselves on the giving and receiving ends, it’s the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate our role in the global community and how our choices affect everyone.

A Compassionate Thanksgiving is easier than you think. First we will offer you some important information regarding the detriment eating animals has caused and then showcase some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Why Choose A Compassionate Thanksgiving?

For the Environment- The UN has noted the imperative of a shift toward a more vegetarian/vegan diet for sustainability.

For The Animals– The animal advocacy group, Mercy For Animals, has released their second video from an undercover investigation at Butterball’s turkey farms. The video exposes violent acts of animal cruelty and inhumane treatment.

For The Food!

One Green Planet– Acorn stuffed with Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf 

Fat Free Vegan– Traditional Stuffing

Oh She Glows- Mashed Potatoes

Miso Vegan– Holiday Brussels Sprouts

Fit Sugar– Curried Pumpkin with Raisins

Happy Herbivore– Cranberry Sauce

Oh She Glows– Sweet Potato Casserole

Wicked Good Vegan– Tofurkey Loaf

Post Punk Kitchen-Maple Pecan Pie

Veggie Dream Girl– Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Crust

Skies The Limit!

If you are looking for more information, FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) has a great resource for all your Compassionate Holiday needs.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Don’t Miss Veganpalooza!!

A new world of conferences has arrived… they are online and they are FREE!

Welcome to Veganpalooza! We are proud to co-sponsor this incredible online, virtual summit –> Wednesday-Sunday (July 11-15th).

Join us for their Social Justice day on Thursday at 5pm EST (2pm west coast) when AWFW’s Founding Director Dawn Moncrief presents Eating Animals in a Hungry World.

Click Here to Register Now… it’s FREE!

Program Outline:

  • Wednesday – Nutrition & Wellness
  • Thursday – Social Justice
  • Friday – Thriving as Vegans
  • Saturday – Living and Sharing the Vegan Life
  • Sunday – Spirituality and Health

Plus, find out more about their VIP program with more bonus gifts than we care to count.

Veganpalooza is hosted by Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet and Steve Prussack, CEO of Raw Edge Productions. They have gathered together the “leading writers, researchers, activists, educators, and coaches in the vegan movement, with collectively hundreds of years of accumulated wisdom and experience in vegan living—so you can plumb the depths and breadth of understanding the keys to radiant wellness, social harmony, and joyful, creative, and abundant living.”

The incredible list of speakers includes: Drs. John McDougall, Neal Barnard, T. Colin Campbell, Gabriel Cousens, Brian Clement, Thomas Lodi, Jameth Sheridan, Milton Mills, and Jonathan Balcombe, as well as: Harold Brown, Rip Esselstyn, Rory Freedman, Kathy Freston, Howard Lyman, Keith McHenry, Victoria Moran, Colleen Patrick-Goodreau, Bo Rinaldi, Rich Roll, Nathan Runkle, Rae Sikora, Cherie Soria, and more.

Also in attendance is Philip Wollen who recently garnered a lot of attention from his inspired speech that quickly went viral… check out our previous blog.

The tele-summit kicks off THIS Wednesday (July 11) and runs through Sunday (July 15th). It will provide you with a fresh take and the tools you need to live a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle.  Be inspired and learn how to inspire others all while sitting at your computer!

Click Here to Register Now… it’s FREE!

Philip Wollen’s Blazing Speech

Philip Wollen opens with a quote from King Leer and you are instantly hooked: “How do you see the world? I see it feelingly.” The venue at which he is speaking is The Wheeler Center in Australia and the debate was entitled, “Should Animals Be Off The Menu?” On the pro side is animal rights philosopher Peter Singer, food writer Veronica Ridge and Mr. Wollen, former VP of Citibank turned ultra activist. This compelling speech has been spreading quickly through the internet and drives home points about animals and our imperative to treat them with kindness and give them equal moral consideration.

Mr. Wollen leaves out nothing in his 10 minute speech. From the environmental damage caused by our current factory farming system, to the lifestyle diseases inflicted by diets high in meat and other animal  products, as well as the detrimental affect our taste for meat has on the increasing daily hunger battles all over the world.

The opposition although (mostly) thoughtful and polite, by no means grip at your heart or your humanity quite like Mr. Wollen. He reminds us that vegetarians and vegans are a powerful new and up and coming demographic with the power to change the world. We urge everyone to watch this debate and join the conversation.

You can view the debate in it’s entirety here.

“All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”– Victor Hugo

Ethical Meat Essay Contest Full of Hot Air?

A recent NYT essay contest sparked a lot of controversy. The paper asked readers to write in and give their account on why eating meat is ethical.  Dissecting our disappointment with this topic could span several blog posts, we would rather showcase how this contest encouraged one of the judges, Mark Bittman, to write a great blog piece not on the ethics of eating meat per se, but on the reality of the consequences of that choice.

The focus of Bittman’s blog is not ethical or theoretical but pragmatic: eating meat is detrimental to our planet and its finite resources.  Research from both the United Nations and World Watch Magazine conclude that livestock account for more greenhouse gases than ALL transportation combined. Depending on the timeline and what’s counted, the livestock industry could be responsible for 51% of human-caused GHG emissions.

It’s true there has been some debate over the exact number, but according to Bittman that number doesn’t matter:

“What does is that few people take the role of livestock in producing greenhouse gases seriously enough. Even most climate change experts focus on new forms of energy — which cannot possibly be effective quickly enough or produced on a broad enough scale to avert what may be the coming catastrophe — and often ignore the much easier fix of adjusting our eating habits.”

Bittman also invokes China’s eating habits which tends to displace blame, especially because Americans still eat twice as much per person.  As Americans, we set standards that are often emulated, and with regards to our poor eating habits can have devastating consequences far graver than our expanding waistlines.

Because of our heavy taste for meat we are depleting our water supply, land is being cleared to grow animal feed (Bittman’s number is 45% of land is used by the livestock industry), and our clean air supply is being compromised.

“Here’s the thing: It’s seldom that such enormous problems have such simple solutions.”

By decreasing our meat consumption, regardless off our ethical position on meat, we could be, as Bittman notes, heroes. Heroes to the next generation, to those who go hungry, and heroes to the animals.

Invisible Costs of Factory Farms

A recent report from the Rodale Institute took the time to summarize Daniel Imhoff’s book: CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, in which the truth of modern animal agriculture is described in a series of essays.  Contributors include Wendell Berry, Wenonah Hauter, Fred Kirschenmann, Anna Lappé, Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

There are three main lies perpetuated by the agriculture industry that this book succeeds in exposing:  Lie #1: Industrial Food Is Cheap, Lie #2: Industrial Food Is Efficient, Lie #3: Industrial Food Is Healthy.

Lie # 1: Industrial Food Is Cheap: The “cheap” price of animal products fails to reveal many hidden costs. The retail prices overtly omit the price paid to the environment, public health and animal welfare.

The environmental destruction caused by factory farms is at a dangerous level. For example, in order to grow feed for livestock, the soil and water are routinely treated with pesticides. Second, our water bodies are compromised with animal waste. Lastly, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emitted from the livestock industry have been cited as greater than all transportation combined.

It is increasingly becoming common knowledge that diets high in animal based foods are resulting in several serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several cancers. Annual costs for these diseases in the United States alone exceed $33 billion. In addition, because animals are routinely treated with antibiotics in order to combat their unnatural living conditions, we are facing a serious public health issue of antibiotic resistance.

The biggest invisible cost is in the form of animal suffering. The animals on factory farms face unimaginable living conditions. See our page on Factory Farms for an outline of what animals raised for food endure.

Lie #2: Industrial Food Is Efficient: Indeed CAFO’s produce a large quantity of “products” for a relatively “cheap” cost. However, it is commonly misconstrued that a high level of productivity equates to efficiency.  A quick glance at the output of milk, meat and eggs may help inflate the illusion of efficiency, but a closer look reveals a startling reality.  Regarding protein output, eating animals is highly inefficient.  Animals consume many more calories than they produce. For example, pigs convert 5.9 pounds of feed into a pound of pork. Cattle require 13 pounds of feed per pound of beef, though some estimates range much higher. To supplement that feed, one-third of the world’s ocean fish catch is ground up and added to rations for pigs, broiler chickens, and farmed fish. Adding to their inefficiency is the contribution factory farms make to pollution, waste, and public health scares such as E. coli and salmonella, which are funded by public tax money in the form of grain subsidies.

Lie #3: Industrial Food Is Healthy: Death and illness relating to diets based in animal foods is at an all time high. According to the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, meat and dairy foods contribute all of the cholesterol and are the primary source of saturated fat in the typical American diet. We are facing staggering statistics on obesity and high blood pressure which often leads to a larger incidence of heart disease (currently the leading cause of death in the U.S.).  Another hidden factor of our reliance on animal foods is the affect our consumption and lifestyle has on the global community.  We are a window to many developing countries, and they are starting to emulate our destructive habits.

These reasons and more are why A Well-Fed World promotes plant-based solutions for health, hunger and environmental concerns, creating a healthy, well-fed world for all.

Gates, Monsanto, and Heifer. Oh My.

When you think of Bill Gates you likely think of innovation and if you have heard of the foundation he started with his wife, Melinda, you may conjure up an image of a very generous philanthropist. Unfortunately, the Gates Foundation is sinking massive amounts of funding into organizations that too often do more harm than good. For example, promoting GE crops in Africa with Monsanto and promoting dairy consumption in Africa with Heifer International. Both organizations have received grants in excess of $40 million.

This quote taken from their website is telling us The Gates Foundation is accepting, not challenging a harmful status quo in Africa: “The demand for dairy products in developing countries is projected to double by 2020.”  However, demand is created not fixed. This projection is not something we should be encouraging.

We are lucky enough to have great African food here in Washington, D.C.  A cursory glance at these menus could inform any passerby that the African diet is not heavily saturated with dairy. In fact, lactose intolerance is a problem for many Africans and African-Americans. Fueling their dairy industries not only opens up the possibility for the continuation of suffering dairy cows go through when their young are taken from them soon after birth, but encourages the consumption of a product that is unhealthy.

We at A Well-Fed World encourage funding and development agencies to not assume the need for (or superiority of ) animal-reliant hunger solutions, especially in countries whose native cultural cuisine is mostly plant-based.  As America is a country whose behavior is widely emulated, we should improve the example we set instead of transferring our bad habits to countries who frankly don’t need anymore troubles on their plates.

DC Meat-Free Week!

Today kicks off DC Meat-Free week!  Washingtonians are lucky to be living in one of the most veg friendly cities in the country, and now we have an official week to pay our respects.  DC Vegan has arranged for the veg curious to reap the benefits of great discounts on vegan fare through out the city.  The inaugural meal is being hosted by our own Cupcake Wars winners,  Sticky Fingers Bakery, tonight from 7-9.

For more information on all the events for Meat Free Week, click here!

Enjoy!!