V is for Values
Compassion is not self-serving, yet it is the greatest source of our own happiness because it is rooted in service to others, stewardship to our earth, and ahisma (non-violence) to all living entities. A vegan lifestyle takes roots in compassion — and just as sports or music require daily practice, so does compassionate living. Going vegan is more than a diet change, it’s an opportunity to take on the challenge of a compassionate lifestyle based on service, stewardship and ahisma.
Living vegan is not about giving up food groups, it’s about gaining a more conscious life for yourself and the planet.
The current state of our food industry is forged by business and often political agendas, whereby the only measurement of success has been with economic standards. Unfortunately, this myopic view has created a food production system that overlooks public and environmental health. – Dr. Richard Oppenlander, Author of “Comfortably Unaware”
Awareness forms our values – values form our choices – choices form our lives…..
- Water Resources - it takes over 5,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef; it takes 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat
In California today, you may save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you would be not showering for six entire months — John Robbins, Author of Diet for a New America
- Global Depletion – loss and pollution of land, water, and air resources accelerates loss of biodiversity and species extinction
- Deforestation – in Brazil, 90% of land deforested since 1970 has gone toward livestock pastures of feed (UC Santa Cruz)
- Climate Change - animal agriculture comprises 18% of all global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions (United Nations)
Livestock farming is the greatest single source of atmospheric methane – a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). Because methane is much shorter lived than CO2, a plant-based diet would have a huge impact on immediate reductions in global temperatures.
An organic non-vegetarian diet results in an 8% reduction in GHG emissions when compared to conventional farming, while an organic vegan diet results in a 94% reduction in GHG emissions.
Service to Others
- World Hunger: 90% of of all grain produced in America is used to feed livestock (US Dept of Agriculture)
- Economic: consumer choices are powerful in the marketplace
- Compassionate Caretakers
I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man –Mahatma Gandhi
**Lauren Michele manages the V-Aware portion of Sacramento Vegan Challenge – combining her profession in environmental policy and sustainable communities, practice of ahisma/non-violence, and dedication to consciousness based in service to others. Lauren is vegetarian as part of her practice of ahisma, and vegan for environmental and personal health reasons. She hopes her personal story might inspire others to start a journey toward a happier and healthier life for themselves, others, and the planet.
As part of her service to the Sacramento community, Lauren is happy to direct anyone interested in further resources if you wish to contact her at YogaFoodie@yahoo.com