Mystic Animal Rights Force~ A New Animal Welfare Group

Mystic Animal Rights Force~ A New Animal Welfare Group

Hey TheVeganMom.com fans! Thanks for taking the time to read my guest blog post dedicated to the new Mystic Animal Rights Force group. I am a vegan living in Southeastern Connecticut with a passion for animals and healthy living. I run a blog called Ethical Clips and I am a social media consultant for sustainable, vegan startup companies. 

So, what’s my story? It is generally one of an animal-obsessed little girl turned college-educated activist. In elementary school, I repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to talk my mother into letting me take home one of the classroom’s fluffy little baby chicks (…no, I didn’t have a plan for what would happen when it turned into a big chicken).  I wrote my fifth grade autobiography on why I wanted to be veterinarian when I grew up, ordered veggie burgers at wing restaurants and never felt right cutting up and eating a lobster while on vacation in Maine. 

During my first year of college, I finally made a split decision to give up meat after a classmate gave a presentation on the impact of veggie burgers versus hamburgers. The decision felt right and when people asked me “why” at the start of my diet change, I would shyly reply, “Well, I’m a really big animal person.” This was before I solidified my current position on ethics, health and the environmental impact of meat production and animal product consumption. Now, and only when people ask, I love confidently sharing the reasons why I choose to live a loving, ethical, plant-based life. 

The start of educating myself on living “meat free” was not easy, as many vegans may know. I researched and researched through what seemed like a black hole of blogs, websites and Internet videos. I watched Meet Your Meat and Food Inc. I decided to change my diet forever.  When I saw my first video of a slaughtered cow hanging upside down, left to bleed to death surrounded by metal and walls of concrete, I realized how hard of a fight this would be. A fight against the undoubtedly unnatural, a fight against pain and sorrow, and a fight against the norm, where hamburgers are presented at fast food restaurants and hidden behind smiling families in television commercials, while sad animals live miles away in misery.  These hamburgers are not only physically unhealthy, but also harbor the sad energy of the lives the animals led before they became food for humans. 

…But it’s not all sadness because we can make change. We can change the way animals are treated, we can change the way the environment is impacted and we can change the health of our own bodies. The average vegetarian saves 50 animals each year, not eating only one pound of meat saves the same amount of water as not showering for six months and 50% of meat eaters die from heart disease versus 15% in vegetarians and 4% in vegans. 

After living in southeastern Connecticut for a year, I decided there should be a larger presence for people looking to share their love for animals and a healthy, plant-based diet. When I attended The Seed vegan food festival in NYC this summer, I felt what it was like to be surrounded by people who truly, deeply care about animals.

I’ve started Mystic Animal Rights Force to bring people in Connecticut together into an environment where they can engage with other like-minded animal lovers through online discussions, meetups, dinner parties, documentary screenings and tons of other fun activities. Mystic Animal Rights Force will be an environment welcoming to vegans, vegetarians and, importantly, anyone interested in learning more about animal rights or a plant-based diet.

We look forward to starting up the online conversation and growing our network of new friends! Please head over and ‘like’ & share our Facebook page at: www.Facebook.com/MysticAnimalRightsForce. Reach us on Twitter at @AnimalRightsCT and by email at MysticARF@gmail.com.

Much Love,

Lindsay Rubin

Founder, 

Corporate Agriculture, Polluted Water & The Future Well Being Of Our Children

First off, I would like to wish all of my readers a very happy “Blog Action Day 2010″. Today thousands of bloggers of all different types, are writing about one common subject…. WATER. One might think, “water”….. what would thousands of bloggers write about… “WATER”???? It’s wet, we drink it, we bathe in it, it fills our oceans… what more can you say?

A LOT!

In the United States, over half of our water is used to raise animals for food, according to the Audubon Society. The EPA reports that all of the nation’s industries combined, do not pollute our water sources nearly as much as Factory Farms alone. A U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture states that livestock produces 130 times more urine & feces than the United States human population. Factory Farming produces more than 500 million tons of animal waste each year, which includes antibiotics, ammonia, fertilizers, hormones and countless dangerous chemicals. This waste ends up polluting our ground water, lakes, rivers and streams. The Sierra Club reports, “America’s drinking water, rivers, and lakes are at risk from giant, corporate owned factory farms….. waste leaks into our rivers and streams, fouling our air, contaminating our drinking water, and spreading disease.”  We currently have a 7,700 square mile “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico where the Mississippi River flows into it, due to agriculture runoff. The EPA states that in the United States, 40% of rivers, lakes and coastal waters are so contaminated that they are unfit for humans to fish in, swim in or drink.

If one thinks that our water problem in the United States is cause for concern, it is nothing compared to what is happening in other parts of the world. Not to mention, what is still to come.

Is it surprising to learn that more people on this planet own a cell phone, than have access to a toilet? How about that THOUSANDS of people die every day, due to a lack of clean water? The World Health Organization reports that 3.575 million people die each year due to water related disease, and 1.4 million of these people are children. UNICEF reports that Dirrahoea is the second leading cause of death among children under five globally & kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Dirrahoea is largely due to lack of safe drinking water, sanitation & hygiene. Children in poor environments who lack clean drinking water, often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at one time and millions of children spend hours each day, trying to collect water from distant & often polluted sources, states the 2006 United Nations Human Development Report.

These statistics are foreseen to become worse into the not so distant future. The future well being of ALL children are at risk for lack of clean drinking water, as our world population increases. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has stated that food production would have to increase globally by 70% by the year 2050, as the world population is estimated to reach over 9 billion! And impacts from factory farming will increase substantially.

Livestock now uses 30% of the earths entire land surface, according to the FAO. The USDA states, 80% of the agricultural land in this country is used for raising livestock. If my math is correct, that seems to leave only 20% of our nations agricultural land devoted to plants, meant for human consumption. Time magazine reports that 70% of the grains and cereals grown in the U.S. are fed to livestock. Unfortunately, most animal feed gets wasted and only a small amount of the plant protein is converted to flesh. Animals must consume many times more calories, from plant foods, than they give back in the form of meat.

In my mind, this seems like a lot of wasted land, which could be used for growing plant foods, that would feed countless more human beings. Many feel, that if the entire world came to this conclusion, and became Vegan, we would actually be able to feed every person on this planet. We could also clean up our polluted water and save millions of lives each year.

This past June, The United Nations issued a statement, urging humanity to make a shift towards a Vegan diet, in order to protect the future well being of our planet and people. “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.” The report also stated “A global shift towards a Vegan diet, is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty, and the worst impacts of climate change.”

As a Vegan mother, raising a Vegan family, it bothers me that more people don’t understand how obvious it is, that we have no choice, but to shift away from an animal based diet. It is absolutely vital, that we begin to live off the land, and not the creatures who we share the land with. My children deserve to live a long and healthy life, without fear from water scarcity and waterborne disease. Your children deserve the same. Every child on the planet deserves this. Don’t you agree?

A really smart man once said “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Albert Einstein

Please Welcome Guest Blogger, My Mom “Why I Became Vegan”

“Why I became a Vegan”

According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living (Penguin, 2005) a vegan is “one who avoids causing harm or exploiting other living beings as much as humanly possible. This involves excluding all animal foods and animal-based items from their lives.”


I’m one simple person who has recently made a conscious decision to live my life with greater compassion toward all living creatures. This premise of compassion is the heart of what it means to be a vegan. When you become aware of the animal suffering going on in the world, and you become determined you will no longer contribute to it, you have already taken the first step in bringing your compassion to the next level. The following is my personal story on how I’ve arrived to this point….

My oldest daughter, Lisa, became a vegan (along with her beautiful family) a couple of years ago. She’d read the The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (Benbella Books, 2004) and become convinced that becoming a vegan would be a much healthier, more compassionate lifestyle.

My first thought was, “I have to give up CHEESE? Oh my.” I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t become vegan overnight. I more or less inched myself along, learning along the way. First, my husband and I cut out all meat. Surprisingly, it was not a difficult transition. I could be a vegetarian, I’d thought! I invested in a couple of vegetarian cookbooks. I also discovered an informative and inspiring cooking show on PBS called, “Christina Cooks.” Christina Pirello had been diagnosed with cancer at a young age and went into total remission after she chose to follow an organic, vegan lifestyle. My path of discovery continued….

This past summer my daughter, my grandchildren, and I journeyed to upstate New York to spend the night and visit a farm sanctuary there. When I entered the car in Connecticut, I was a vegetarian. When I returned from New York, I had committed to becoming vegan.

For the past 50 years animal agriculture in the U.S. has been taken over by large corporations that dominate the marketplace for meat, dairy and eggs. Industrial farming conditions are so harsh that animals commonly succumb to injury, illness and disease and millions die before reaching the slaughterhouse every year. On today’s industrialized farms animals are denied even the most basic humane consideration. Every year in the U.S. nearly 10 billion animals are raised, marketed and slaughtered under the most unconscionably cruel conditions. I had to ask myself, “How can I continue to support this?”

Visiting a farm sanctuary proved to be a very moving experience for me. My family and I discovered first-hand that farm animals are gentle, smart and friendly, just like dogs and cats! Like us, they want to be free of pain, live in a clean place and be treated with kindness. (For more information, please visit farmsanctuary.org)

According to a report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, raising animals for meat generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, trucks, planes and other form of transportation combined. Going vegan is not only a compassionate choice for animals it’s a greener choice for our beautiful Earth!

As chef Christina Pirello would say… “Cows are vegetarian. They eat grass. Skip the middleman and go for grains, beans and veggies that are loaded with protein!”

I choose to be vegan because I truly believe each of us has the capacity to make the world a better place. I choose not to be overwhelmed by what I can’t do. I choose to be EMPOWERED by what I can do. I am now making an effort to make more conscious and compassionate choices.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869-1948)

I invite you to join me.

Inspirational Visit To “Farm Sanctuary”

Every once and a while, you find yourself somewhere, that changes you for the better, and inspires you to do more. This is exactly what happened to us, during our visit to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY.

We made the 6 hour journey, with 3 kids fighting in the backseat and only 2 quick rest stops. Needless to say, all 5 of us (my mom included) were super anxious to get to the farm!! We had been planning this trip since last summer, and our excitement was rising!

We were hoping to make it there before 3pm, which is when they give the last tour of the day. Thankfully we made great time, and arrived shortly after 2:00. We parked the car and entered “The People Barn” to check in. We then went to check out our cabin. TOO CUTE!! There were 3 little red cabins, side by side, just steps away from the main building. The best part of all was the view. All you could see was beautiful open farm land, with barns and of course animals!

We then took the farm tour, which was included in our B&B stay. A sweet and knowledgeable young woman named Renee, was our guide. We visited with the cows, goats, turkeys, ducks, chickens and PIGGIES!! All of the animals were relaxed, content, and many were affectionate! It was easy to see that these creatures were appreciative of the love and respect they are given. Most have come from abusive situations, so they realize how wonderful their new lives truly are. This experience makes you understand that animals are really no different than us. They want affection, they require humane treatment and they deserve respect. They feel pain, fear & love. In my mind, anyone who hurts an animal, is no different from someone who hurts a human being.

I encourage any person who has a love for animals, to visit Farm Sanctuary. Whether you are a Vegan, or a meat eater, this is a place you will feel inspired & empowered. I especially encourage Vegans, who have a non-Vegan spouse, friends or family members, to take a trip here together. You may be surprised what happens…… My mother came as a Vegetarian (she loves her cheese) and left as a Vegan. (She learned how her love of cheese was fueling the veal industry)

I entered Farm Sanctuary as a Vegan, but I left with a new sense of “being”. I was enlightened, empowered and educated. How many family trips offer you that?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Please check out  www.farmsanctuary.org for information, ideas, updates, and ways you can help rescued farm animals.

YouTube – Ellen DeGeneres on being vegan

YouTube – Ellen DeGeneres on being vegan.

I recently watched this clip for the first time, and all I can say is WOW, Ellen is truly wonderful. She has such a clear and beautiful way, of describing why she chooses to be Vegan. I only wish there were more people like Ellen, who use their celebrity status to be a voice for voiceless animals, who suffer and give their lives so needlessly.

Farm Sanctuary and Union County Humane Society Working Together to Offer Refuge for Animals Victimized in Conklin Dairy Cruelty Case

Farm Sanctuary and Union County Humane Society Working Together to Offer Refuge for Animals Victimized in Conklin Dairy Cruelty Case.

The video recently released, showing ultimate acts of cruelty against dairy cows at Conklin Dairy, has broken my heart. I am at a loss for words, and I pray that the animals involved in this abusive environment, are rescued soon!! The fact that the law protects the rights of these dangerous criminals, over these innocent animals blows my mind! Please voice your concern for cows at Conklin Dairy & support Farm Sanctuary’s efforts to save them!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 402 other followers

%d bloggers like this: