Cows raised for slaughter fed candy mixed with “ethanol byproduct”

If you need yet another reason to stop eating cows, check out this short news story, sent to me by Canadian reader Darlene U.:

Click here to view video article on rancher’s new way to feed cows.

Ranchers are now feeding cows CANDY mixed with an ETHANOL BYPRODUCT, instead of corn feed? What have we come to, that bucketsful of rejected gummy worms now substitute as FOOD for any living creature?

I think the rancher’s brains might be a little foggy from eating some of the candy himself?


We love the SOUTH! part 1 of 3

Congrats to these three readers who won Cool Caps for their green smoothies, by being the FIRST to write us:

Patricia Ottley of Shelley, ID; Sandy Zent of Ten Sleep, WY; Kylee Wilkins of Lehi, UT

Did you know that caps and lids were the third-most collected debris item worldwide along shorelines, with almost 900,000 collected in 2010 alone?

What a great green habit, these dishwasher-reusable straws and lids-–by a GSG reader-mom, of course!

We’re just back from Atlanta, Columbia, Charlotte, and Raleigh, where we had a blast meeting our friends in the South. (And then Kristin and I stayed out till 3 a.m. in both Charlotte and Raleigh, checking the city out, before getting 4 hours of sleep and jumping out of bed to teach more classes!)

At first it was a little disconcerting, all the people saying, “AMEN!” and “HALLELUJAH!” in response to whatever I’d say in the lecture.

By the fourth class, I would actually wait for it. Feel the tiniest bit dejected if I didn’t get the revival response.

I love the South. I’m from Virginia and realized this past weekend that I miss it—the warmth and hospitality Southerners are famous for. In Columbia, I reconnected with one of my dear friends from high school, Emilie, a valedictorian and a phenomenal athlete I haven’t seen in 27 years. In Charlotte, Courtney showed up, our homecoming queen and my freshman-year roommate I haven’t seen in ages either.

I’m almost always given what I call “love letters” at my classes. In Raleigh, Jennifer brought me photos of her and her husband, Paul, before and after his dramatic 127-lb. weight loss in one year, from shifting to a whole-foods diet after a cardiac scare.

The Blackwell family gave me a letter with 10 photos of all the habits they’ve adopted they say are GSG-inspired. Green smoothies made by a nine-year old, homemade spelt bread, my granola, kefir, coconut oil, salad always on the dinner plate, and…..this one’s fun!…..they’ve been on a Sugar Bet ever since I made a pledge with Matthew 10 months ago. None of the kids have eaten sugar in nearly a year! I’m so impressed!

Joanie in South Carolina brought me a hand-written letter and hand-tatted green cross from Hope Green, in Tucson, who has been to my class and sent her friend Joanie. (I should have been named Hope Green. Not fair.)

I want you to know that I read and save your letters, and that the comments you make appreciating my mission, are deeply meaningful to me. I mostly remember names, and it’s so fun in nearly every city to meet people whose names I’ve known from five years of blogging and facebooking.

I feel a deep connection to people who say, “I’ve been with you for so long that I received 12 Steps to Whole Foods, one chapter at a time, in 2008.” Y’all are my people, darlin!

(I call my kids, and other kids I love, “darlin,” probably because of my upbringing in the South. Everybody called Kristin that in the Carolinas and she loved it!)

I put the site up five years ago. I can’t dramatize it by telling you it was just an embryo, or a dream, at the time. There was no dream. It was just some content I put up on the internet, thinking I’d walk away from it and hope it helped some people.

I had no idea how it would resonate with, now, about 100,000 visitors a month, and sometimes as high as 10,000 blog readers a day, or lectures in 50 cities annually averaging 200 attendance.

I love all the people like Hope, who send people she loves 2,500 miles away to hear my message. Our long-time reader Kari Powell, who sent an email to 100 people to attend our class in Raleigh, many of whom were there. More about some amazing people I met tomorrow…..

Be the Change….part 3 of 3

Can we talk about ways to walk against the current because we want to Be the Change? I hope you’ll share your ways too, so we can all learn from you.

On airplanes, I hate that they keep bringing everyone cup after cup of water. I keep my cup and ask for refills. (I wish I could bring water from home, but obviously that’s not possible.) Flight attendants say, “I’ll bring you a fresh one,” and I explain, “No thanks, I’m trying to make a small carbon footprint.”

Some just give me a strange look because they may not be familiar with the term. I don’t know where it comes from, but to me it means walking lightly on the earth. Not leaving deep tracks that hurt the next generations. Minimizing the amount of fossil fuels that had to be pulled out of the Earth just because I lived here.

I don’t want to take more than my “fair share” of resources. It means I don’t use stuff with lots of packaging.

What are things YOU do, to opt out of so much use of fossil fuels, so many throw-away items heaping up the landfills, so much excess?

Some of mine:

I always re-use water bottles (until I lose them or they break). I fill them with filtered, alkaline water from home, rather than the kind that has to be flown and trucked all over the world. (And which cost twice as much as gasoline, by the way!) When traveling, I try to buy gallons of filtered water rather than water bottles. Over 1 million water bottles go to landfills daily.

I refuse the napkin they give you with the drink on airplanes. In a restaurant, I take just one napkin, and look for ways to minimize the amount of throw-away stuff I’m given to hold my food.

I avoid overeating.

I eat plants, since eating animals is one of the most unsustainable practices there is. (It takes 20 lbs. of plants, and 1,000 gallons of water, to make 1 lb. of meat!)

I reuse grocery bags indefinitely. I refuse them if my items can fit in my purse. Or I take my reuseable ones.

I buy very little that comes in boxes or cans.

I recycle.

I don’t take a newspaper anymore and choose paperless billing.

I garden, organically.

I compost. I take other people’s bags of leaves, and compost them, too. (I let my own leaves compost in the lawn.)

I don’t spray for bugs.

I use organic, biodegradable cleaners and soaps.

I teach my kids to do all this stuff.

I would love to hear your ways of leaving a smaller carbon footprint? I want to learn more, do more.

Aloha from Hawaii!

I’ve just returned from a heaven of pineapples and papaya, teaching on Maui and Oahu. Thank you so much to my friends there, the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii, and Down to Earth Markets, for hosting my lectures. Many thanks to GSG reader and my friend Debbie Tuttle (shown below with her husband Tom, and my friend Ben and me) who organized the whole Hawaii trip.

In the photo below of the “Dine Out” event they hosted after the Honolulu event, you can see event organizers Anjie Pham, Jim Thompson, Ori Ann Li, and Lorraine Sakaguchi, who are delightful and committed to helping the world eat more plants—and encouraging others to not eat our friends, the animals. I have never met more detail oriented, kind, committed people. And Sylvia Thompson has a fabulous takeout / delivery raw-food service called Licious Dishes—absolutely fabulous food we ate all week. Thank you to Dr. Karl Seff who graciously opened his home to us, and Dr. Steve Blake in Maui for running our event there.

It turns out that wherever I go, about 50 cities a year, I find a big group of people who

–need help and inspiration returning to whole foods, to restore their health

–don’t know how to eat any more because they’ve been bullied and brainwashed by food cults

–want someone to help and inspire their family, friends, children they bring with them

I don’t like trying to get people to adopt labels or join food cults or extremism. (Of course I’m friendly to some movements in the nutrition space—vegetarian, vegan, raw food, alkaline food.) What I do like, staying out of pointless debates and marginalizing, is helping people learn how to eat more plants. That much is certain: eating more plants in their raw state means less disease, more energy, more abundance, more positive mood, pretty hair and skin, strong bones. It also means fewer animals live in misery and die to end up on a plate.

Just for fun after the lectures, Ben and I spent some time at the Pearl Harbor memorials, the Polynesian Cultural Center, the North Shore, hiking, paddle boarding, and lying around on Waikiki Beach. We came home tan and relaxed, and I can’t wait to visit Hawaii again.


Libby Goes Vegan

You know I don’t   promote any “isms”–vegetarianism, veganism, raw foodism.  I’m secretly a fan of all those movements. But I don’t adopt them as extremist positions because I think they send most people running for the hills. And I believe that sticking to the idea of eating MORE PLANT FOODS wins more converts.

But I don’t cook/serve animal flesh in my home. My older daughter, though, is a militant vegetarian.

The younger one, Libby, 14, struggles. She admires her sister’s “cause” orientation, and has “gone veg” several times but it doesn’t stick. She goes to her dad’s where meat is a staple, and she caves in, falls off the wagon. She has been looking at vegetarian vids on youtube and studying the issue.

Today she brought me this typed statement:

“I, Libby Pay, am going vegan. I will not eat anything with eggs or milk. Or meat. So I want to make  special veggie foods for myself since the rest of you drink kefir in the mornings. If I have to drink kefir I will be deeply hurt. Anyways, to make my special food I would like these ingredients. Some of them I have already, but just want to make sure I am allowed to use them. I want to be hardcore vegan. You don’t have to be. But I really want to.”

“Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potatoes, fresh kale (to try this one recipe I found), black beans, that seaweed stuff you buy, big carrots, garlic and onion, green and black olives (not needed, just somewhat wanted!), green beans, cucumbers.”

“I feel very strongly about this. If it gets too hard, I’ll just be vegetarian, but I really want to do this.”

A few hours later, she came in with a binder she’d made, with lots of printed material about cruelty to animals and nutritional support for a plant-based diet, in plastic sleeves. The cover page has this printed, in large text:


“Yes, God may have put them on the earth for us to eat. But in the scriptures it says to eat meat sparingly in times of winter and famine. I don’t think our Heavenly Father intended for the animals we eat to be tortured, stuffed into tight cages for their whole lives, beaten, and to rarely see sunlight. Chickens, pigs, and cows have been chemically altered to grow way bigger than they are supposed to. They put steroids in the animals to make more meat. These animals can’t walk, and are tortured daily.”

I’m so proud of my kids when they stand for something. When it’s something that will benefit them and the world, even better!

Now if I could just get them to take a vigilante stand against SUGAR.

Young Vegetarians, share this with your kids, part 2 of 2

I like this YouTube video about another vegetarian athlete, Jake Shields, whose parents never served animals but didn’t talk about why. Now Jake converts other athletes, who are amazed at how endurance increases when they eat only plants:

Have your children look at all these world-class, famous athletes, including rocked-up bodybuilders, who don’t eat other creatures.

In addition to so many athletes, how about these brilliant vegetarians? Socrates, Plato, Pythagorus, Da Vinci, Newton, and Einstein! You know that song Adam Sandler did about all the famous people who are Jewish? Who wants to do one about people who don’t eat our friends?

Looking at that list of genius vegetarians, I hypothesize that freeing energy from digestion allows the mind and spirit to soar and creativity to be untrammelled. Either that, or people who think outside the box are willing to buck social norms to do what’s right and what logic dictates. Probably both.

Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, Mark Twain, Ann Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Pink, all of the Beatles, Billy Idol, Rosa Parks—all vegetarians.

Dr. Thomas Lodi has been vegan for 46 years. He can’t even eat in the presence of those consuming, as he puts it, “carcasses and animal excretions.” He points out that the human digestive tract is 30 feet long, like all vegetarians, whereas the carnivore GI tract is very short. (I became convinced by the “we aren’t built to be carnivores” logic 20 years ago by John McDougall.)

Therefore meat takes sometimes days to digest, and in your gut it does the same thing it would do on your counter: it putrefies. (Many of the healers I am studying point to the strong evidence that undigested proteins in the blood and gut lead to all the modern diseases.)

This is my paraphrase, with some stuff from me added, of what Dr. Lodi teaches people in their first group session with him at Oasis of Healing:

If we were carnivores, and a chicken walked in the room, we’d salivate. We’d pounce on it and tear it apart, eat its heart and liver out of its warm abdomen. We’d maybe swallow the sinewy eyeballs whole, and crunch on some bones. Everything but the feathers we’d tear apart with our long incisor teeth.

But we’re not carnivores. We don’t have long teeth. Because of our biology, we can’t stand to eat raw flesh. And after an hour, dead flesh goes into rigor mortis, and then we REALLY can’t stand to eat it. So we hang it for several days to “age” it (translation: allow it to rot), we cut the maggots and really disgusting parts out. And we STILL can’t stand to eat it. So we cook it. We might put some tasty cancer-causing nitrates in it, if it’s bologna, bacon, sausage, etc.

f you signed on for this gross-out lesson towards a plant-based diet and you are still reading….you might be more ready to give up eating our animal friends than you think you are!

If you need a final pinkie push, order Mike Anderson’s film called Eating. I’ll be amazed if you can watch the avalanche of data, and images of how animals are raised for eating in America, and not vow to stop contributing to it. Every plant eater should own a copy of it.