It’s Earth Day…Can We Talk?


“To be an environmentalist who happens to eat meat is like being a philanthropist who doesn’t happen to give to charity.”

-Howard F. Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy

I just love this quote by Howard Lyman, the famous cattle rancher who won’t eat meat, and the author of the best-selling book Mad Cowboy. If you recall, it was Oprah’s 1996 show featuring Howard Lyman which resulted in the lawsuit against Oprah, Harpo Productions and Howard Lyman himself brought by a group of Texas cattlemen under the Texas Food Disparagement Act. To learn more about this lawsuit, I highly suggest that you read Mad Cowboy which I believe to be one of the most informative and interesting books in existence advocating for a plant-based diet.

Mad Cowboy by Howard F. Lyman

Mad Cowboy by Howard F. Lyman

If you believe Mr. Lyman’s quote to be true (which I do), and if you consider the 2006 report of the United Nations which stated that “the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global,” then you must conclude that putting an end to your meat consumption is one of the single greatest things (if not the greatest thing) you can do to make a significant difference in the environment.

There are so many reasons for going vegan. But since today is Earth Day, I think it’s appropriate to recognize the significant impact we can make towards the health of our planet by eliminating animal products from our diet. The evidence is overwhelming that factory farming is a major cause of the pollution of our air and water, the reduction of our rain forests, and that it largely contributes to global warming. So, while driving a hybrid car certainly helps the situation (I love my Ford Fusion Hybrid), we cannot overlook the United Nations Report which has stated that the livestock industry has been responsible for more damage to the environment than all of the transport industry put together.

Driving a Prius, recycling, composting and using energy efficient lightbulbs are all terrific. I applaud anyone who chooses to live consciously and to take any steps towards making the world a better place. But for those of you who wish to do all that you can possibly do for the health of our planet, then you must realize that eliminating animals from your diet is the key not only to your personal health, but to the health of our planet as well.

I love you Al Gore! An Inconvenient Truth is one of my favorite documentaries. And Leonardo DiCaprio, I applaud you for your concern and activism on behalf of our planet earth. But, in my opinion, all that you do does not come close to those of you in the world who have chosen to abstain from consuming animal products. You are the true heroes of the planet, not only on Earth Day but every day!

I dedicate this post to you, my fellow vegans… for your compassion, your concern, your awareness and, most of all, for your actions. I love you more than I love Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio combined (at least until they become vegans too)!

Happy Earth Day!









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