(AV17463) The Cultural and Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet


good evening apologize for the short
delay in the beginning but this program is going to be great
I’m got a frenemy the president of IFC vegetarians and vegans a student
organization at Iowa State University and I’m proud to welcome you to the part
two of the sustainable food conference which has been sponsored by I see whose
lectures committee yesterday we had a very inspiring discussion on the effects
effects of animal agriculture on environment and world hunger following
on that the theme of tonight’s discussion will be the cultural and
health benefits of vegan diet dr. will Tuttle will lead the discussion with
Harold Brown and Erica shoosh dr. will Tuttle is a Dharma master in Zen
tradition and has practiced meditation for over thirty years studying
contemplative Christianity and a variety of non-western spiritual traditions he
received doctorate in education from University of California Berkeley his
PhD dissertation focused on educating intuition in adults and was nominated
for best dissertation award he has taught college courses in creativity
humanities mythology religion and philosophy and has created seven CD
albums of original piano music dr. will Tuttle is recipient of the Peace Abi’s
courage of conscience award and has lectured and performed widely throughout
North America and Europe his book the world peace diet has been called the
most important book of our time he is noted for his clear and inspiring
presentations that include original music and evocative art by his spouse
Madeleine who herself is a visionary artist from Switzerland dr. Tuttle has
been vegetarian since 1975 and has been a vegan for 28 years so without further
delay please join me in welcoming dr. Walter okay well thank you so much Gaurav and
welcome everyone to round two of our discussion of the power of veganism as a
social transformative benevolent force and I would like to begin by actually
first just because it will probably not get to this later I’d like to just have
a round of applause for the is you vegetarian vegans for all the work
they’ve done here thank you so much again for putting this on it’s really
it’s through I think you know Madeline and I have been living now we’re in our
thirteenth year of traveling in a rolling home and living without a house
with no real estate just living on the road you know solar powered RV and in
all the travels that we do actually this year we were doing over 200
presentations and the feeling I have is that there’s the real power and life and
energy and vigor of what’s happening that’s positive honor in our country is
happening like this at the grassroots level with people like I guess you’re
vegetarian vegans just calling people together and we get to come together and
talk about the issues that are important to us how we can build a more
compassionate and wise and sustainable world so that’s what we’ll be talking
about tonight I’ll be talking a little bit about the ideas in the world peace
diet and I’d like to actually begin I think with just some some images and
some music to kind of just set the tone for the evening because very often this
whole thing gets kind of abstract we’re talking about animals you know like and
and it’s still relatively abstract I think I think if they were right in here
in the room with us that’s probably we should do next we should have some
chickens cows pigs and all kinds of wild animals in here and we get because these
are real beings with interests you know we in our culture very often the closest
ever anyone ever gets to animals is when they eat them you know and that’s not
really very conducive to developing a sense of
the sacredness and the beauty and the uniqueness and the personality people
who have chickens for example as like on sanctuaries and things are always so
amazed at how every single one of the animals has there or has her own unique
personality and so and the other thing is I think to just reconnect if we can
within ourselves with the feeling that nature is a celebration that life is a
celebration and that it is essentially enormous ly beautiful if we can go into
nature with these eyes and cultivate this way of seeing and see life as a
celebration I think we’re all born in a culture that directly and indirectly
warps our perception so that we look at things more just as half did I mean that
that’s it’s hard to to say this exactly but I’ve had this experience myself that
sometimes the vision suddenly clears and we see the life flowing through trees
and forests and birds and in the amazing beauty of this planet and I think once
we have that connection we have a yearning to protect it besides the fact
that it’s our home and the home that we’ll have only home we’ll have here on
this in the solar system and for our children as well so this presentation
very brief it’s going to be six minutes long what it’s going to be is some some
images some some slides of animals the beings we call animals as if we’re not
animals I mean we are also mammals with a reproductive you know and other
systems and that have drives and so forth but the non-human animals and of
their lives and with it I’m going to just sit at the piano and play a piece
of music sort of as an accompaniment to that and the melody that I usually play
with this because it just seems somehow to go together well and in fact while
I’m thinking of it if you are interested in ever seeing this again it’s on
YouTube you can just just put type in will Tuttle and it’ll come right up and
and it’s all you can also type in our fellow mortals that’s the title of it
our fellow mortals and there’s a link actually to it on our
website world peace diet org but the music that goes with it will be a melody
that came to me actually was inspired by an unlikely creature by a little mouse
and I know in our culture again we think of we tend to think of mice as just not
worth even thinking about but I think if we really get to know any animal any
creature we see this amazing intelligence actually they are operating
and I was Madeline I actually moved into a house in Northern California num
number of years ago and when we moved in it was way out in the middle of nowhere
and there were a lot of mice and so one day I I was transporting these mice to
another place and I put the piano the the mouse and she was in a jar on the
grand piano and I just started playing and I’m a composer of piano music and it
was like her being just pulled this music out of me as a inspiration so I’ve
always thought of this as the mouse piece it’s on the album we have called
islands of light so enjoy sit back relax and just take in the images and and open
to the the beauty and the celebration of the beings that we share this planet
with and the music that’s going with it is the piece called it’s called the song
for the earth but I call it the mouse peace joy we turn this off what do we do now okay
so thank you all again for joining us this evening and I’d like to just say a
couple more words here before we introduce Erica who will be our first
presenter and the I guess the the main point I want to maybe just sort of open
here besides the idea that animals have lives they have interest they have
yearnings they have a positive contribution that they do make to our
planet in their own right to the ecology and not just that but that they have the
other subjective the subjects of their lives and you know they have a
subjective experience that to them is precious and just like our life to us is
precious and so we have this tendency to we’re in I have to say this really as a
culture where again forced by our the underlying assumptions in our food
system to look at animals as commodities how many of you in here were actually
here yesterday and heard everything more or less so quite a few new people it
looks like all right so maybe I’ll just very briefly lay the up to sort of the
main ideas before we go into this little more veganism
is a word that it has a connotation of being very radical right it’s like this
radical extreme idea and I would argue that it’s not at all radical and it’s
really our basic fundamental nature we are at heart were all vegans everyone I
believe every human being in our core is a vegan and what the word the man who
coined the word said that the word means this he said Donald Watson in 1944 made
this word vegan and he said it has to be pronounced he said it’s de GaN and it’s
pronounced vegan not vegan or veg and anyway he said veganism is a philosophy
and way of life which seeks to exclude as far as possible and practical all
forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food clothing or any other
purpose anymore not to say that it by extension it seeks to create animal free
alternatives so for that well for the benefit of humans animals and the
environment so this is back in 1944 and they the basic idea that as you see is
it’s simply veganism is simply the effort making the effort to live a life
where I’m not causing cruelty to animals is that really so extreme and I think
all of us in our hearts when if we were going down the street and we saw someone
abusing a dog say or something we would try to stop that because there’s
something in us that recognizes that if an animal is vulnerable in our hands it
is a hideous thing to then torment and hurt that that defenseless being so this
is our natural inherent compassion insanity just spontaneously expressing
however we’re all born into a culture where we are forced to participate from
the time we’re born practically and I mentioned yesterday just look at the
baby food jars and you’ll see turkey chicken beef cheese everything all of it
right there and a little baby food jars so we’re forced to eat the flesh and
secretions of animals that have been brutalized in a variety of ways hyper
confined dominated exploited and begin this journey of this behavior and and
we’re forced into it by every institution in our culture by our
parents by their parents by our relatives by the educational and
governmental and media all the different institutions so so this is the situation
and in the world peace diet I go at length into the amazing repercussions of
this that no one as far as I can tell really has ever talked about before and
how it affects us spiritually psychologically socially culturally
anthropologically how it affects the invite
and how it affects the beings we call wild animals and that’s what we’re going
to be going into tonight so it’s exciting hang on to your hats it’s
they’re quite a ride it’s really an adventure and exploration
into self-discovery we will not ever will be I mean don’t you think this is
true will never understand ourselves very well if we don’t understand our
culture because at a very deep level our culture we not only live in a culture
that culture lives in us we just saw as little babies and kids and as we grow up
we’re like sponges we just soak it in at such a deep level and so the underlying
assumptions of our culture live in us and as I said yesterday these are
assumptions of reductionism of commodification of life turning beings
into things of exclusion and that these are the very mentalities predation
disconnectedness these are the mentalities that stop us I think in our
efforts to live wisely and humanely and with wisdom and joy and peace and beauty
and love and freedom and creativity and all the things that we yearn for in our
life so if we’re serious about being a positive force for change in a world in
the world we are obliged I believe it’s a fundamental level to look at the
living fury at the core of our culture which is this massive brutality we’re
killing 75 million animals every day just in the United States its massive to
look into that and then to discover in our hearts what is ours to do how are we
to live and do we feel right contributing to that and continuing that
cycle of violence and that manifests in so many different ways and the beauty of
the possibilities that we have actually to make a change so I’d like to invite
my wonderful spouse Madeleine to come to the front just for a minute just so you
can get to meet her we actually went vegetarian I think basically at the same
time when was it 35 years ago 33 years ago something like that she was in
Switzerland I was here and we didn’t meet for another I don’t know 20 years
but she’s the artist who has painted these paintings of these animals and
maybe she can just say a little bit about about the paintings and the art
and so forth thank you will I really like this
slideshow thank you this is so beautiful how many of you
would like to have this continued that we have the wild animals out there the
beautiful birds the butterflies they I mean it’s like the Dolphins the turtles
and I think we can all do something for that every single person in this room if
we change to a plant-based diet we give back their their environment we give
back their place to be to live and to have their lives and I’m really just
committed to work for this and painting the beauty of these wild animals thank
you Thanks the I’ll just close with this little interesting fact that I read
recently in an article biologists have a way of estimating biomass biomass is the
weight of physical bodies on the earth and the estimates are according to this
article that I read that if you go back roughly ten thousand years which was
basically the dawning of the time when we first started owning animals okay we
started for the very first time herding animals roughly eight to ten thousand
years ago and what is today Iraq at that point the biomass of human beings was
one less actually less than 1% of the biomass of all the animals on the planet
right so you have this lots of wildlife you know ninety nine percent in humans
were one percent today just a mere ten thousand years later which is just a
flash of an eye right and in terms of the bigger picture of the life of the
earth today human beings and and animals that we own as property are now
98% of the biomass so wild animals have gone in a mere flash of an eye from
being 99% of all the life on the earth to less than 2% or roughly 2% and the
same thing has happened in the oceans as well I mean they’ve been completely
devastated the people that came over on the ships
from Europe when they first landed on the North American continent you can
read in their writing in there in the ship’s logs they were afraid they were
going to run aground on the schools of fish that were so thick I mean this
lives the oceans and the land were just absolutely celebrating life and it’s
been and now there’s just basically all the Fisheries on in the ocean or
collapsed and we’ve completely stripped mind we’ve devastated this planet right
now we’re in there should be a sense of urgency about this I think because if
things continue the way they’re going there will not be human beings much
longer and that’s well known science is you know scientists sort of we’re
definitely at the tipping point are we at the point of no return yes some
scientists say we are in terms of global warming in which in which animal
agriculture is the number one driving force behind global warming in terms of
species loss loss of genetic diversity of which animal agriculture is the
number one driving force behind that – because we’re taking in their habitats
away for for grazing and especially for crops we go we go to South America and
just see the the whole rainforest being cut down to grow soybeans and it’s not
for tofu the soybeans are it is how you fattened up animals so there I really
feel a sense of urgency is appropriate do we want to be able to continue as a
species carrying on or are we going to do commits ecocide and suicide and it is
by eating burgers that we are committing suicide for sure I mean that is the
driving force so I’d like to turn it over now to Erica and she will be doing
a presentation for us here and it’s called vegan nutrition the benefits and
the barriers and I’ll say this one a bit about Erica she’s the founder and
director of the center for plant based diet development the website is
plant-based diet org with hyphens in between I’m sure you’ll have it up there
an Iowa nonprofit organization based in Ames she received her BA from Harvard
University with a major in biology and a minor in visual and environmental
studies has a master’s in botany from Iowa State University where she works as
a research associate and teaching assistant in the Department of Food
Science and human nutrition she’s been a vegetarian for 22 years and a vegan for
ten over ten years including during pregnancy and lactation so let’s give a
big hand to Erica for being with us this evening thank you thank you very much will I’m very happy
to see all of you here especially my family in the second-to-last row my name
is Erika and I am going to be talking like will said about vegan nutrition the
benefits of it as well as the barriers and by barriers I mean the social
barriers that can prevent people from choosing to be vegan my presentation
will have five parts first I’m going to introduce you to the Center for plant
based diet development then I’ll talk about vegan nutrition the benefits of
vegan nutrition which are to human health and animal welfare and the
environment I’ll next talk about barriers to the
adoption of vegan diets those include culture information
transfer problems economic forces and government actions and finally I’ll talk
about overcoming barriers our mission at the Center for plant based diet
development which is an Iowa nonprofit organization based here in Ames is to
educate the public about the benefits of plant-based diets so that the demand for
plant-based foods will increase allowing these benefits to be obtained and this I
feel is a very powerful idea because you all of you through your demand that you
place when you buy something can affect the bigger picture of what happens to
animals throughout the world our vision we envision a future in which people
choose plant-based diets to create a compassionate and sustainable society
one that benefits people non-human animals and the ecosystems to which we
all belong what exactly are plant-based diets this is a definition I would give
the plant-based diets are founded on whole grains legumes vegetables
including leafy green vegetables those favorite leafy green things that we
probably need enough of fruits nuts and seeds and vitamin b12 supplementation if
your diet does not have any animal products in it there are three major
types of plant-based diets the one we’re talking about tonight is a vegan diet
and that is in which a diet in which your nourishment is obtained from non
animals horses and like will said it’s part of
vegan living where you avoid animal products to protect animals from
unethical treatment and to reduce their suffering
you also beyond just protecting them by not eating them you do try to treat
sentient beings kindly including other humans who are animals you don’t use
them as a means to an end you don’t use them OVA lacto vegetarian diets I’m
familiar with that I was at Novell dr. vegetarian for 10 years includes eggs
and milk and indirectly supports slaughter of animals because of course
the cows and the chickens will be killed finally there are diets with small
amounts of animal flesh and they do reduce but still support the intentional
harm to animals I do recognize though that many people
will transition to vegetarianism through the stage of eating a little bit of meat
and my philosophy is any reduction that’s better than no reduction you can
nutrition this by the way is a young vegetarian who I know very well because
he’s my child the American Dietetic Association physician paper on
vegetarian diets from 2003 says that well-planned vegan and other types of
vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the lifecycle including during
pregnancy lactation infancy childhood and adolescence so I was vegan when I
was pregnant and I always tell my husband who wonders sometimes about the
health of vegan diets look if I could be pregnant and give birth and have a
healthy child and that’s the time of life when you’re supposed to need the
most nutrients surely then someone who’s not pregnant and as healthy in all
respects would be able to be vegan the American Dietetic Association goes on to
say that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful
nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and
treatment of certain diseases the Harvard School of Public Health I like
them not just because I went to Harvard but I like them for this reason they say
go with plants eating a plant-based diet its health healthiest make red meat beef
pork and lamb only an occasional part of your diet if you eat it at all skip the
process stuff bacon hotdogs deli meats since that’s awesome and linked to
higher cancer risk I was going to ask you what is the one nutrient that you
can get from plant from animals but not from plants and you can now guess the
answer because it’s vitamin b12 vitamin b12 is very important we need it because
it helps us maintain a healthy nervous system and form our red blood cells the
vegan source is cyano Cova lumen which is synthesized by certain bacteria and
is converted by the human body to an active form of b12 what many people may
not realize is the reason they eat animals or animal fluids to get vitamin
b12 is that animals obtain the bacteria from nature these bacteria make the
vitamin b12 it’s not the animal cells producing the vitamin b12 on their own recommendations for vitamin b12 are very
interesting of course vegans do need it you need a supplement because you won’t
get it from any source besides bacteria it’s also recommended for ovo-lacto
vegetarians so even if you’re having milk and eggs
apparently it may not give you enough vitamin b12 and what I found out in
doing research for this slideshow is that actually the food and nutrition
board of the Institute of Medicine recommends that all people over age 50
take a vitamin b12 supplement because the ability to absorb vitamin A vitamin
b12 from animal products is reduced after age 50 so it’s not just vegans becoming a vegan then as I see it comes
down to this basic question what is your choice going to be for your vitamin b12
either you choose what’s on the Left animals or you would choose bacteria
with vitamin b12 supplements this is a $4 bottle of vitamin b12 I picked it up
at high V if you actually figured out how much is in here it’s 25 thousand
micrograms you are requiring 2.4 micrograms per day so this bottle would
have enough for 28 years except this has an expiration date on
that’s only three years but if you could divide among all people in the room this
keep you going for a lot of time so this is why people eat meat and dairy
products because they’re not eating this protein you used to hear people
complaining about protein how are you gonna get protein if you’re vegan most
people don’t do that now because it’s well-known you can get adequate protein
you can eat whole grains legumes seeds and nuts and you should get about 10% of
your calorie intake as protein which is 50 grams depends on how many calories
you need but I’m not dying of routine nutrition deficiency yet so I think I’m
managing to eat enough legumes and whole grains you don’t have to combine them at
the same meal what’s important just to have a variety so that you’re not just
depending on only legumes or only greens you probably can survive and many people
do by eating rice because about 10 percent of the calories and rice is
protein but then you fill up on rice so you don’t have a lot of room for
everything else so it’s best to get the legumes and the greens in your diet calcium can also be obtained on a vegan
diet the Harvard School of Public Health says milk isn’t the only or even the
best source of calcium high milk intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer
and possibly ovarian cancer good vegan sources of calcium include broccoli and
some leafy green vegetables like kale and collards and bok choy I’m sure we’ve
all had a lot tonight right I haven’t but I do like broccoli we eat that very
often spinach is not recommended for calcium because it has a lot of oxalic
acid I believe but it is good for iron you can get calcium from legumes tofu
almonds fortified products and supplements you need about 1,000 to 100
1,200 milligrams per day iron iron deficiency anemia is no more
common in vegetarians and among the general population non heme iron is less
readily absorbs and heme iron from animals however when you have vitamin B
C vitamin C in your diet which you do what you do when you are a vegan you
will get enough iron absorption vegan nutrition also involves getting omega-3
fatty acids and everyone needs them the essential fatty acid alpha linolenic
acid is plentiful with flax seeds canola oil and walnuts we’re supposed to
consume about 3 to 6 grams of this per day so you can get that by having some
canola oil or flax seeds or flax oil and it’s crucial say nutritionists set the
ratio of alpha linolenic acid to another essential fatty acid and omega-6 fatty
acid linoleic acid should be about 1 to choose so you you don’t want to go
overboard with corn oil or safflower oil which have a lot of linoleic acid why do
we need alpha linolenic acid one reason is we convert it to long-chain fatty
acids omega-3 fatty acids you’ve probably heard of them DHA or EPA not
the Environmental Protection Agency DHA is docosahexaenoic acid and that’s a
structural lipid in our brains and retina the body levels of DHA and EPA
are lower in vegans than in meat-eaters excuse me there we go the recommended
daily intake is 500 milligrams but you don’t have to take it actually studies
have found that vegans have not been found to have any problems from having
lower DHA levels however if you want to be sure that you’re getting enough you
can take a supplement from algae so while I was pregnant I did take algae
DHA it didn’t seem to harm my child so hopefully it actually helped these
supplements are either Omega sin vegan capsules or v pure which is a new one it
came out in 2006 it has both epa and DHA and the benefit of this is that you
don’t have to have any fish killed and you can avoid the toxins that are in
fish because if you were to for example try to get the DHA you need per day from
tuna you could not eat enough tuna women are only supposed to have
eight ounces and that would give you less than 500 milligrams of DHA or EPA
per week so he really can’t rely straight on tuna fish there are other
fish that may be better in that regard but why when you can get algae oil that
would provide you those same benefits what are these benefits well the
benefits as you will see on our flyer which is back there it’s the green one
please take it if you’d like to have this information in writing plant-based
diets are good for the earth good for animals good for you health benefits include reduced obesity
cardiovascular disease and cancer of the colon and rectum breast cancer and
prostate cancer vegan diets can help treat diseases as well for example
reversing heart disease which has been shown to be effective when you have
exercise along with a vegan diet and also recently vegan diets have been
found to help with control of type 2 diabetes they are helpful because they
lack saturated animal fat cholesterol and meat carcinogens which you maybe
didn’t realize as you’re growing up actually are formed in meat as meat is
cooked vegan diets contain plentiful fiber antioxidants and vitamins which is
another reason they’re healthful a studies found Ashley’s several studies
found that vegetarian men and women have thirty one percent and twenty one twenty
percent lower death rates from heart disease compared to non vegetarians and
vegans men actually have a lower risk of heart disease compared to ovo-lacto
vegetarian men so the benefits of low cholesterol really are very
well-established red meat has been found to cause colon cancer or at least they
would say increase the risk of colon cancer so men and women who ate
respectively three and two ounces of red meat per day had a risk of colon cancer
increasing by thirty to forty percent compared to just eating meat twice per
week processed meat was even worse eating one ounce per day for a man or
two ounces per week for a woman increased colon cancer risk by 50% so
the conclusion of this study was less red meat is better it’s also been found
that women eating meat and high-fat dairy foods increase their risk of
developing a certain type of breast cancer which is very common they have a
reduced risk of 33% two women who are eating very little
animal fat vegetable fats were found to be helpful so it was actually the fat in
the animal products that was increasing the chance of having estrogen responsive
breast cancer it’s also been found and my husband likes to talk about this that
dairy protein is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer this
studies from 2008 it was found that a 35 gram per day increase in consumption of
dairy protein increased prostate prostate cancer risk by 32 percent
calcium from dairy products was associated with an increase but calcium
from non-dairy sources was not associated with increased risk of
prostate cancer we’ve talked about health benefits there are welfare
benefits animal welfare benefits of vegan diets – and that was the reason I
became a vegan the health benefits were just a perk of it vegan diets like whale
has said reduced the number of animals harmed and killed by people farm animals
are killed for example the male chicks of layer hens and male calves of dairy
cows and wild animals are killed by people and by habitat destruction such
as when you are growing all these crops to feed the livestock farm animals are
kept in captivity and feed Lots and farms subjected to painful procedures
like castration beak cutting and dehorning they’re unable to enjoy the
full range of experiences within their capacity such as strong emotional bonds
with their family freedom of motion and mate selection and a variety of life
stages and finally they’re slaughtered at a young age these pictures are taken
to northwest Iowa we went there in September the top one shows pigs in
confinement and the lower one shows cattle and feedlot in northwest Iowa
this September animal welfare benefits include the number of animals
slaughtered being reduced by being vegan in the US for example 34 million cattle
are killed per year in Iowa it’s 810 thousand dairy cows for the US 2.4
million are killed per year hogs in Iowa 30 million hogs are killed
per year out of 105 million total in the US if you go down to chicks male chicks
these are the baby chicks of egg layer hens in the u.s. 219 million of them are
killed or allowed to die by suffocation in Iowa
40 million and this is based on the number of egg layer chicks actually
hatched so if you look at data for Iowa it says 80 million egg layer chicks were
hatched and I talked with the USDA they said that yes half of those are the male
chicks who will never make it past the day when they hatch Iowa is the top Pig
and egg producer state in the nation we have on average right now for example 57
million layers and they consume 57 million corn bushels per year so these
are egg-laying hens in the state we usually have 16 million pigs living with
us in a state with 3 million people here’s an example of how Iowa pigs are
treated during the floods you may be recall law enforcement officers shot
hogs trying to climb to safety atop a levee after they’d escaped from a
confinement that had flooded and no one had been able to in time I guess rescue
them if you could call it rescuing the law enforcement officers were quoted as
saying there’s no way to contain the Hogs around them up Farm Sanctuary which
protects farm animals rescued 68 pigs from the levee transported them to their
East Coast shelter the pigs showed typical signs of past of the abuse that
you see in confinements they had tails being having been docked they were
castrated they had old infected wounds dr. Temple Grandin is a well respected
animal scientist within the industry she says that what has happened to pigs is
really the industry standard for example killing pigs by blunt trauma slamming
them to the ground is an industry standard as its
castrating them without any any anesthetic as is shown in this picture
and the National Pork Board says that a sharp firm blow on the top of the head
over the brain is an efficient way of humanely killing of pigs less than three
weeks of age the reason this is important is recently undercover PETA
workers documented abuse happening at a hog farm in Iowa and the pork companies
were quick to say this sort of abuse is not accepted some of it definitely is
not accepted such as the vaginal raping with instruments of the female pigs but
the slamming of the piglets and killing them that way this is what is
recommended the problem was they didn’t kill to fix right away so they were
twitching but often in confinements people probably don’t check to make sure
the little piglets they’ve killed have died these are pigs living in Iowa at
least they were in September when I photographed them you may not be able to
see it on the slide but the pigs had a lot of redness to their eyes and
swelling I tried to ask a professor here at ISU what it may be he said he didn’t
know he is his involvement in pigs is sustainable agriculture in pigs so I
assume it’s conjunctivitis due to their uncleanliness interestingly
as my spouse and child and I were there and I was taking a picture a man pulled
up in a truck and said hello what are you doing I said oh I’m taking pictures
and my spouse said I’m taking pictures of livestock and he said are you from
PETA and we said no I’m not currently a member I was a member I didn’t mention
that so I thought it was very interesting cuz he pulled up and then he
drove away so they were watching what we were doing and curious and he wasn’t
from that farm either egg layer hens have their beaks trimmed as little
babies which is painful it’s not like having your fingernails trimmed their
beaks are innervated they use them for sensing since they peck to get food
spent hens are killed after just one year their normal life would be a lot
longer the male chicks like we talked about are killed
they’re of no value they don’t put on weight fast enough to be of value to the
industry they are either gassed or crushed as in
this picture or sometimes ground alive or just thrown into garbage cans dairy
cows also are forced to give birth each year to maintain their milk supply and
slaughter for meat after three to four years the male calves again usually
aren’t much value for giving milk and so the veal industry says thanks to them
they found a use for the veal calves by killing them right after birth it’s Bob
deal or killing them after three to four months a strict confinement where the
veal industry says oh yes they can stand up and lie down a stretch but the actual
veal information from the industry never mentions walking because they’re not
allowed to walk environmental benefits of you can diets are huge and this is
becoming more important daily and people are slowly recognizing it but not
quickly enough according to me the vegan diet benefits and plant-based diet
benefits include reducing the environmental damage caused by animal
agriculture such as global climate change land and water scarcity soil
degradation and topsoil loss pollution of air and water and loss of
biodiversity here are some cattle in Iowa at a feedlot and then that’s
anhydrous ammonia on the bottom going to be applied I assume on the fields
interestingly researchers at the University of Chicago have found that
switching to a fully plant-based diet from the average American diet which is
27 percent of calories from animal products causes a greater reduction in
greenhouse gas emissions than driving an ultra-efficient hybrid Prius instead of
an average sedan so that means if I were a meat-eater
I could choose to either become a vegan or go out and spend what is it twenty
three or four thousand dollars for a Prius or if I had a Prius drive the
Prius so it’s easier and less expensive better for you better for the planet to
simply become a vegan and yet you don’t hear about that very often you hear
about the advantages of the Prius but not many people are talking about
plant-based diets as a method of reducing global warming
land scarcity is a big issue reducing meat consumption would help alleviate
land scarcity because grain fed to livestock is the main source of grain
often especially in our state 30 percent of the world’s grain and 66 percent of
the US grain production goes to feed livestock the reason for this problem is
that animals especially cattle convert energy very inefficiently so to produce
one kilogram of meat cattle require seven kilograms of grain pig’s require
four kilograms of grain and broiler chickens require two kilograms of grain
in Iowa if our cropland were not used so extensively for livestock there would be
more land available for conservation areas land for if you wanted biofuel
crops or grasses and also land that you could convert to natural areas to reduce
erosion these are some animals actually that my spouse Paulo consent
photographed in Ames he’s also a member of the board of directors of the Center
for plant based eye development these animals live in the natural areas within
our city which shows that when you have nature the animals are going to be able
to fill it but if we went out into the middle of a crop field I don’t think
we’d find many of these animals how many vegans and vegetarians are
there you might think that with all these benefits there would be a lot but
actually it’s quite rare in the developed world in the United States 2.5
percent of adults are vegetarian which includes vegans and only 1% of adults
are vegan I like being one in a hundred but it would be nice if it were say 10
and 100 in Canada four percent of adults are vegetarian including vegans so given
the benefits why is it that there aren’t many vegans this brings us to the next
part of my talk which is barriers to choosing veganism there are cultural
barriers information barriers economic forces and government actions that can
all make it difficult for you to choose to be vegan here’s a viescha BBQ booth
if you’ve ever been to be show you may remember walking through clouds of smoke
from the burning animals body parts cultural barrier barrier here’s an
example killing animals really is encouraged among children we were at a
resort in Okoboji and there was an arcade there with a little happy pony
with hearts on it right next to Big Buck Hunter – so it was very odd to see a
little child riding on the pony and then right next to her it’d be someone with
the gun shooting at the the Bucks so children really are encouraged to accept
killing animals as good and fun and necessary and they’re shielded from
knowing about the abuse of animals all around us
another type of barrier is in an information barrier such as an omission
of information the Iowa global warming campaign has a flyer that handed out in
2008 and I got it in my hands and it said you can help reduce global warming
pollution it said by cleaner more efficient cars it made no mention of
dietary changes is you live green initiative which we have here on campus
advocates buying food locally through the farm to ISU program which is a great
idea and it does recommend that students share the fridge to help reduce
electricity costs but it has no mention of what you put in the fridge no mention
of reducing meat consumption especially the flesh from grain fed pigs and cattle
and I would propose here that the reason for this is that Iowa State depends
economically on feeding green to pigs and cattle so it will make it much
harder psychologically for people to admit that there’s part of what they’re
doing that doesn’t fit into the picture of living green misinformation is
another type of barrier you can confront here’s a book my dad had it from 2007
it’s made by doctors a doctor cardiology vegan food diets in this book are
portrayed as nutritionally hazardous it says a vegan diet can quote make it
challenging to get the essential vitamins minerals and protein your body
requires and vegans and vegetarians also miss out on the great health benefits of
eating fish so I can only conclude that they were not aware that for several
years now you can get oh maybe 6 to 7 years you can get algae DHA which shows
you that you can never rank-sum knowledge based on their status within
society whether one is a high school graduate or a Doctor of Philosophy all
of us can have knowledge and all of us can lack it an economic barrier here’s
an example of one University research is you research often promotes animal-based
diets funded by animal industries the Iowa egg Council for example spends four
hundred thousand dollars per year on research most of it going to ISU the
executive director of the Iowa egg Council says Iowa State’s research
findings benefit all egg producers especially those in Iowa in 2008 they
made a two million dollar gift to ISU there are many government barriers to
becoming vegan one is that the government subsidizes the animal
industry for example the USDA works to increase exports of beef poultry farm
raised catfish even to other countries through the foreign agricultural
services and the foreign market development program and their goal is to
work with industry to ship the animal products overseas to the rest of the
world where meat consumption is skyrocketing
there’s also legislation made that reduces the cost of animal products by
allowing factory farms to pollute or not making them pay the costs of fixing
their pollution problems also by letting ranchers use public land for grazing
with very low rent fees and legislation fails to protect food animals so it’s
cheaper not to protect food animals which therefore makes meat cheaper and
dairy products cheaper and eggs cheaper the u.s. commodities food program in our
government purchases meat milk and eggs primarily to benefit us agribusiness and
distributes them to schools for hamburgers hot dogs and chicken nuggets
it spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year and in 2005 60% of the
money they spent went on to animal products only 5% was spent on fruits and
vegetables items elementary school or my child goes has a school lunch program I
chose this week so you can see on Monday they had a choice of hot dog or
hamburger Tuesday beef or sell it with pork on
Wednesday that’s tomorrow they get beefy nachos or chicken salad Thursday it’s a
sloppy joe or turkey and cheese and on Friday its cheese pizza or a chicken
ranch wrap if you’re vegan you get a peanut butter and jelly sack lunch every
day and so oh yes CAF a home lunch right like you get and soy drink is provided
if the doctor states there’s a medical need actually October 14th of this month
there is a change in the rules for the USDA now a parent can write to the
school and say my child has a medical or dietary need to have a substitute for
cow’s milk but you still have to say it’s the dietary as a medical need the
USDA makes it quite clear it’s not just for children’s preferences so if your
child happens to have compassion for animals that chooses not to drink cow’s
milk they won’t get any for you and get reimbursed for it because it’s not a
medical need federal livestock legislation supports animals being
killed quickly and often their experience and how horrible it is is not
so much of a factor so there is the US federal humane slaughter Act and it
mandates that livestock must first be unconscious before they’re killed but it
excludes poultry nine billion birds are killed per year in the US and if you see
these hanging there have their eyes open they’re still aware also it excludes
ritual slaughter so slitting the throat can be according to Temple Grandin very
humane if you have the animal position very carefully so it doesn’t know what’s
happening and the pain of the cut isn’t very very intense but if they move
around or if they’re slashed and their esophagus is ripped out as happened in
Agra process there several years ago and they were cited for that and then
they’re dumped on the ground it would be excruciating and traumatic for them so
ritual slaughter can be according to the animal industry people either very
humane or extreme torture there are no federal laws
set to protect standards of daily care because livestock are exempt from animal
the Animal Welfare Act so the day to day care that animals receive is simply left
to the industry standard practices how do we overcome all these barriers we can
support a shift to plant-based diets by providing accurate information to people
acknowledge the benefits of plant-based diets we can also address the
psychological barriers the thoughts that we actually have while we’re choosing
food because of course all this comes down to what you are going to wake up
and eat tomorrow and you’re there you and yourself and your mind thinking so
those are times when you have psychological barriers that may make you
decide not to choose non animal product foods
finally you can advocate plant-based diets on a personal level on an economic
level and a government level here is a psychological barrier I think this is
actually perhaps the most powerful one which is that animal products taste good
if animals weren’t supposed to be eaten they wouldn’t be so tasty so chicken
pork beef lamb mutton moose venison rabbit duck all taste good so we should
eat them and human tastes are good food guide but the vegan view would say taste
should not guide our ethics basting food choices on taste alone is ethically
unpalatable cat and dog flesh for example there’s a strong Asian market
for it you can even purchase that in the US I did a web search and found the
companies from whom you can buy them primate flesh or bush meat is eaten
African very popular there was even an organization trying to set up a primate
slaughterhouse there marine mammals such as dolphins or whales are killed by
Japan and Norway and Iceland and the meat is sometimes exported to Europe
other parts of Europe there’s a cat being barbecued in Africa and actually
if you go back to the pictures of meat to the pictures of meat to the pictures
of meat to the pictures of meat to the pictures of meat to the pictures of meat
to the pic that there was two slides ago the top two
cat meat sigh fillet and kebab cubes ii – our dog meat ribs and top sirloin and
the final one is dog meat sausages these are from WWE beef calm and puppy beef
calm another psychological barrier is that eating animals is natural the
natural order of nature involves predators and prey which is true it’s
acceptable beautiful even and predation is not cruel so these would be ideas
that you might find yourself thinking when you’re thinking of course I can eat
these animals but the vegan view is that compassion is natural the natural order
does involve predation and prey but it also involves love and mercy we have
varied loving relationships in which we do not treat others as only a means to
an end we can be our own guide we can reduce suffering in the world we don’t
have to add to suffering even if gazelles are being killed by lions that
doesn’t mean I have to go and eat a chicken we do have food choices and most
people do not need meat to meet their needs or dairy products or eggs finally
I would note that the people who are proponents of predation usually are not
the prey the vegan view is expressed well by
Mathew Scully who wrote Dominion in 2002 he says we are called to treat animals
with kindness not because they have rights or power or some claim to quality
but in a sense because they don’t because they all stand unequal and
powerless before us I will leave you with these bits of food for thought the
benefits of vegan plant-based diets again are that they are good for the
earth good for animals and good for you societal barriers to adopting vegan
diets can be overcome people do overcome them people deserve
complete information about the consequences of their food choices so
that you can make informed decisions about what you eat and finally I hope
that as you continue listening to speakers tonight and
you leave this room tonight you will please continue to give thought to what
or whom you choose to eat for food thank you very much thank you very much Erica okay well I’m
going to talk a little bit about the cultural and social dimensions of this
whole thing and then we’ll take a short break and have some refreshments and I
guess what I’d like to do is kind of just keep this exciting here the world
the world peace diet is the book that I wrote it has a wide range of ideas in
there and I share a few of them yesterday what I’d like to do I think
just to kind of tie this together and that was a really nice overview of the
health and environmental and cruelty aspects there’s a lot more to it and I
want to kind of focus on that a little bit and I think the best way to do it is
to just give you a tiny taste of what I go through when I wrote when I went
through when I wrote this book because I think if we look at this from the big
picture we see that when we choose to eat anything whatever we choose to eat
food is an extremely powerful force it’s our most intimate connection with nature
our most intimate connection with the natural order is eating it’s the most
powerful way any culture propagates its values through the children to the next
generation is through food animal and through Paula just understand this so
the first chapter of the world peace diet goes into the power of food and as
I said yesterday the the book is pretty long its third I made it into an audio
book recently it’s 13 and a half hours of me speaking so in a you know in this
short maybe 15 minutes I’ll this pull out a few main points the power of food
it’s very interesting to look into and the sacredness that has been attributed
to eating in every culture the second chapter goes into the history of this
which I think again is extremely vital very empowering I just wish I had time
tonight to go into the history of why we’re eating animals for food a specific
why we eat the animals we eat cows sheep goats chickens chickens are from Vietnam
you know they’re wild from Southeast Asia and and the mentality that that
came with that at the I believe the last revolution our culture ever experienced
was the revolution when we started eating we started hurting animals that
was a huge revolution and that basically brought with it capitalism as we know it
today the emergence of a wealthy elite that controls basically all the
institutions of the culture controls education media government everything
and the loss of status of women the enslavement of animals this learning to
see the earth as merely a resource to be dominated and used beginning to see
people as resources to be dominated and used a mentality of disconnectedness
exploitation oppression and the beginning of war the first war was the
wealthy capitalist elite who owned the livestock found out is I
know this sounds familiar that you get rich by going to war that’s not familiar
the morning you know we go to war send this and the people to war and you’ll
get you you get capital you get livestock which as well so this system
has spread its spread globally took thousands of years it fundamentally
transformed human our basic me our essential human nature hasn’t changed
but we’ve been all in born into a culture that I think in many ways brings
out the worst in us it brings out this mentality of just connectedness the
numbness that the the sense of not caring the sense of thinking I’ll just
do it I want here and and the competitiveness that we find in our
economic system and the mentality of commodification and reduction of just
reducing beings to themes theme beings as as commodities to be bought and sold
and what I found in my research is whenever we do that to animals we end up
doing it to ourselves and so the irony’s abound the ironies are that what we do
to animals the violence that we meet out to animals boomerangs and comes right
back to us in a variety of ways very interesting that our
mental illness our own physical illnesses are social illnesses the
psycho psychopathologies and sociopathology x’ that we experience
ourselves war and terrorism drug addiction the breakdown of the family
all of these things we force on animals so there’s a several chapters after the
history that go into why do people eat animals actually and what are the forces
that cause that and also the nature of intelligence the intelligence is the
capacity of any system humans animals societies planets to make connections
and respond to feedback and and continue to flourish and as when we when we eat
animal foods we naturally begin to numb ourselves and not want to get feedback
we learn to disconnect and so it’s very important I think to understand that if
we really want to cultivate intelligence real true intelligence we must be open
to feedback and I think a lot of what we just saw you know how in global warming
that issue we just don’t talk about what we’re doing to animals we don’t we just
we just shut down feedback we shut down our intelligence as individuals and as a
culture and so there’s a there’s a lot of amazing to me amazing connections and
information in here about obesity osteoporosis all the problems that we’re
facing as a culture boomeranging back to us we forced these conditions on animals
and we end up experiencing them themselves and we just don’t have any
ability to solve these problems because we are causing them in others and it’s
them to me it’s amazing that I could go through an entire cycle of education
right I could go through my getting a bachelor’s degree a master’s degree a
PhD degree at UC Berkeley which was the number one graduate school of education
in North America and really literally hundreds and hundreds of books and
articles on all kinds of subjects on philosophy and education anthropology
sociology psychology and never once in all this reading of the most progressive
and deep and so forth thinkers and writers come across even one sentence
one paragraph where a writer said perhaps the reason we have
such a difficult time solving our problems is because of the mistreatment
of animals for food the mentality that’s required by that that’s an unthinkable
thought that is the elephant in the living room that’s the thing that we
don’t talk about it’s a taboo and it is I believe the driving fury behind all
the whole Nexus the whole web of problems that we face as individuals and
as a culture and why we are just going directly into global annihilation if we
don’t if we ki if we insist on continuing to eat meat dairy and eggs
then there’s no escape for us my point of view because the violence that we put
out on a massive level towards these beings we create obtuseness
disconnectedness and we can’t effectively deal with our problems that
we are creating so there’s those so those chapters go into the psychology of
this whole thing and then there’s a chapter called the intelligence of human
physiology which really goes into in depth which is again what I think we
have to understand it’s what are we designed to eat what kind of foods do we
have a physiology for and do we have a psychology for can anyone in here you
know any one of the most rabid meat-eater
who could actually you know run around out in the forest and jump on a rabid or
some animal and bite into there you know and through the scan we just don’t have
the physiology for we don’t have the psychology to have the hot blood in our
mouths we’d probably be yeah and like true carnivores they don’t just eat the
meat first they go straight for the for the intestines and just eat the head rye
mean we could never do it so raw fish Chevy you know and with the skin like
bears do you just swallow them down I mean you know it’s it’s so absurd to
think that wah-wah-wah I like my meat you know I mean it’s just totally absurd
so and then when you look at the the incredible I call it in the book the
military industrial meat medical media complex we have this increase of complex
that requires is literally I think not only billions hundreds of billions
probably trillions of dollars have been invested in building hospitals and for
sick people and so when you get people to eat a lot
of meat dairy and eggs you will get a lot of sick people and that’s what how
the whole system goes you have to have a massive and reliable flood of very sick
people – for the bankers to get their investment back but to be healthy you
have vibrant energy and have wonderful glowing health is the greatest thing you
know and I know you’re all young you’re not worried about that but I mean I’m 55
I’ve been a vegan for whatever it is almost 30 years Madeline and I have not
even been to a doctor in 30 years ever ever ever ever you’re just you can be
out of the whole system you can be free of the thing you’ve of this whole what
you know the drugs they’re going to a drug store I got a headache
I got a runny nose I got a sore throat I got to get pepto-bismol I got to get
some viagra or I got to get some egg slacks I’ll get some alka-seltzer I got
to get you know some some right guard I got to get some what you know all this
stuff I mean if we get the pollutants and toxins out of our diets we’re free
and I think that is an amazing wonderful thing and so I really just encourage all
of us to question the baloney that we’re getting from these from the military
industrial meat medical pharmaceutical complex there’s it’s it’s just it’s just
funny really that when you looked into it there’s a chapter that goes into
called hunting and hurting sea life which goes into what we’re doing to the
oceans and what fish actually is that how the toxins concentrated in fish and
anyone who eats fish for health reasons it just doesn’t understand what’s
happening so the whole chapter that I think really is illuminating to
understand what we’re doing to the to the oceans and to the beings that live
in the water then there’s a chapter called the domination of the feminine
which goes into what we’re doing to dairy cows and chickens and the female
animals in general in this whole process of eating animal foods are the most
abused and how that affects us at a deep level by disconnecting us from the
feminine dimension of protection and compassion and kindness and nurturing as
a culture so that as a culture we can completely obliterate species and not
care destroy ecosystems destroy the emotional landscapes of our children and
in many ways allow violence brutality pornography
the all kinds of demeaning and dehumanizing and devastating influences
and just accept it and I think at a deep level is because we’ve disconnected so
then it’s this feminine aspect of wisdom I call it in the book Sophia which is
this inner intuitive wisdom that we all have that gets most violently oppressed
by the culture of eating animal foods there’s then there’s a chapter called
well it’s a it’s a it’s called the metaphysics of food which goes into the
underlying idea that we’re not just eating physical toxins when we eat
animal foods and there’s a lot of them in because all the toxins that are
sprayed on them for example there’s no there are certain standards for spraying
pesticides herbicides and other deadly chemicals on grain and things that are
going to be fed to humans but there’s virtually no oversight on stuff as if
it’s just for livestock so all that stuff concentrates in the flesh and
especially in the milk and eggs of these animals and then they feed they you know
they enrich the feed with the with the corpses of other animals to make them
gain weight faster they slaughter these animals that have enormous amounts of
toxins in their bodies and in the milk and the eggs and so all this physical
toxins that were eating guaranteed to cause high rates of all kinds of
problems cancers and and just and not only that just the the like the casein
the casein molecule the basic protein in milk in of itself we don’t have renin in
our stomachs like calves do to break it down and it’s the driving force behind
most of the diseases and problems that little kids have all the runny noses and
appendicitis and tonsillitis and colic and you know sore throats ear eggs all
that stuff and it’s though it’s what gives the medical industry so much money
so of course they never tell anybody about that so we have to understand but
besides all the physical toxins there’s metaphysical toxins we’re eating grief
and terror and fear and suffering and anxiety and rage and what does that do
to us I mean I just read the other day about how there’s people that want to
attack Barack Obama they want to kill kill kill what are they vegetarians I
think they’re vegans I mean I doubt it they’re eating or eating violence and we
express violence we’re eating anger and we express anger
we’re eating rage and fear and we express rage and fear so we need to wake
up and realize that if we want to create a tower of beauty we will not build it
with bricks of misery and suffering and terror and pain we need to build the
Tower of beauty which is our human body that we’re here to express it’s a
greatest gift we have build it with bricks of beauty and love and compassion
and we will experience joy it’s so simple and yet it’s completely covered
over there’s a chapter called reduction of science and religion which goes into
really understanding science and religion and a deep level in this
culture how both of them are the I call it the them the bickering brothers of
the of the hurting culture they seem to people say Oh out there just against
each other they’re not they’re very they basically are coming from the same place
and they both agree that we should be dominating animals and they both empower
that in dominating nature and dominating women and the fundamental force which I
call Sophia which is this inner wisdom that we all have they both attack her
very much and so it’s very important I think to just begin again to what I call
in the book leave home which is to question the underlying assumptions of
our culture and then there’s a chapter on on the nature of work which goes into
what happens to men in our culture and the disconnectedness from our feelings
and our natural compassion and what the slaughterhouse workers go through and
what the animals go through in this incredibly violent industry which I can
tell you about but it’s beyond your wildest dreams of how violent and brutal
it actually is and then now there’s a chapter called profiting from
destruction which goes into the whole environmental effects of this which are
really important to understand especially today with what we’re doing
to this planet I mean just global warming itself which is again the main
driving force is eating animal foods could very well according to scientists
you know about the feedback loops the for example as as nitrous oxide which
comes from hog farms and other and from manure pits is roughly 296 times more
powerful of a greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide methane which comes from animal
livestock is roughly 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide cutting
down rainforests which we do for animal agriculture is a driving force behind
global warming you know global warming is being driven by far more than
anything else by people eating meat and we’re reaching a point basically if we
reach six degrees of global warming six degrees you know if it goes that the
mean temperature goes up six degrees and right now it’s gone up one and a half
degrees if it goes up six degrees scientists say that 98% of all species
on this planet will be wiped out killed if it goes up six years right now we’re
at one and a half degrees and and these feedback loops are kicking in as the as
the temperature rises the polar ice caps are melting as the polar ice caps melt
there’s more there’s less white up there’s that so there’s more heat is
absorbed and so the they melt even faster as that happens the methane
stores that are in the that our throat in the frozen seabed are melting but
nothing is coming up that’s been locked away for millions of years which
accelerates the global warming as that happens the temperature goes up it
causes more fires which burns more force which accelerates the global warming and
so a point of no return is very easily reached where it can go up two degrees
three degrees four degrees and then it’ll just go to six degrees and there
will be no more life I mean two percent and we’re not in that 2% humans for sure
so if we even care about surviving on this planet this is we’re not this isn’t
just sort of a you know a class exercise folks this is actually what we’re living
on the environmental level and the devastation of species is something we
have to contend with so there’s a chapter on that and then there’s a
number about three or four more chapters there’s a chapter about my life how I
came to write this book and so forth and but the basic at the end of the last few
chapters in the book are really about what I want to emphasize here just in
closing my talk now that the basic position were and even though it is I
would say and everyone understands this I think existentially it is a crisis in
the sense of we really need to make a transformation in this culture
at a deep level but the basic place is positive we can all contribute every one
of us can contribute to the healing and the blessing of our world and we can
find our unique way to contribute to the healing of our world and into the
contributing of the blessing of our world that anyone can do that anyone
everyone and all of us can find our way Madeleine is you know painting pictures
you know we can be writing we can be talking the most important thing I think
honestly is to just first of all go vegan and really I mean we walk when we
walk out this door and we have our next meal there’s nothing stopping us at all
from living the rest of our life every day from now on as a vegan there’s not
one thing stopping us anyone can do it everyone in anyone I don’t care what
your blood type is or your shoe size or your hair color or whatever it is it
doesn’t make any difference we there’s no nutrients in animal products that we
need so if we can move you know I’m not saying you have to do it overnight I
think it’s a good idea but you know just move you know move in that direction
right move you know move but come on like get the electric prod here come on
move and we should move in that direction because honestly it’s it’s
like we’re in a prison with no walls and we can’t see it and we can get out of
that prison the prison has been imposed on us it’s been forced upon us against
our will by a culture that has a profoundly obsolete mentality of war
domination and violence towards life towards females towards babies towards
it’s a it’s a mentality of domination and commodification and once we see that
and see that it’s not our true nature we can create a world that’s not I mean
Bush is talking about endless war we’re talking about I mean just something we
want to live with that is what we will live with we keep the endless war
against animals for food it is an endless war they have no possibility for
escaping from being devastated and destroyed and tortured and killed by us
unless we choose to stop Jesus said blessed are the merciful for they shall
obtain mercy and you might as well understand like
Martin Luther King said violence anywhere hurts everyone everywhere we
are all connected and the violence in the slaughterhouse the violence in the
factory farm becomes the violence of cancers attacking us mental disease
nightmares the the endless war and terrorism and microchipping of animals
will become the microchipping of the human population and Madeline says
benevolence and kindness anywhere blesses everyone everywhere we are all
connected we can make a difference in our lives we are making a difference
every time I pay for a hamburger I am making a difference somewhere because of
that choice a being is stabbed when I choose some milk somewhere because of
that choice baby is stolen from her mother we are making a difference if you
live on this planet and you eat anything at all you are making a difference what
kind of a difference do you want to make that’s the question we all have and the
beauty of it is that once we understand this and we change our behavior and
bring our lives into alignment with our values our values not the values of the
culture that has this spinning fury at its core we will be the foundation of a
new world and I think that’s a beautiful thing and the there’s and I say there’s
nothing stopping us and I think each one of us can find our unique way of
contributing so I just want to thank all of you for the efforts that you’re
making I know everyone in this room if you’re here in this room and you’re
hearing these words you have a story that got you here and that just just
feed that story water it love it water that little plant because I know when
you go outside the door it’s like we’re just bombarded with just the opposite
message of it Oh eat this it tastes good and don’t worry and this is what it’s
you know you order ribs at the restaurant and the waitress goes yep
good choice the ribs are good today yeah good choice she doesn’t say huh you
brute you’re paying for someone to stab an animal what are you doing it’s just
the opposite so we have to understand that you know as Jesus said we have to
we have to adopt a higher level of mentality than the priests and Pharisees
if we want to transform this culture that’s what we’re called to do and the
beauty of it is really like like like Gandhi said we must be the change we
want to see in the world and the beauty is and it is delicious it
really is delicious I mean it is so delicious
Madeline and I and well hidden Harold the three of us today had lunch together
I mean what do we have it was coconut milk with tofu and quinoa
and millet and vegetables I mean telling you it’s gets incredibly delicious every
meal gets more delicious than the one before the the idea that well it must
not be very much variety or you got to give up something it’s not about
deprivation at all it’s just the opposite really
the I can go on and on about that but I won’t so the further the food is
delicious and as we understand this more and more we can we will find it easier
and easier it’s not difficult to be a vegan it’s just simply difficult being
in a culture that’s not vegan so I’ll close with this little poem by shel
silverstein it goes like this Thanksgiving dinners sad and thankless
Christmas dinners dark and blue when you stop and try to see it from the dinners
point of view Sunday dinner isn’t sunny Easter feasts are just bad luck when you
see it from the viewpoint of a chicken or a duck oh how I once loved tuna salad
steak and lobster lamb chops too till I stopped and looked at dinner from the
dinners point of view so I think this is that it’s basically getting out of
making the effort to get out of the culturally induced trance of looking at
our lives in a certain positive way and looking from a larger point of view that
includes all beings in the sphere of our compassion and as all the spiritual
traditions say as we love and give we will be loved and we will be given to
and I have seen this over and over again I mean the health the happiness the
harmony the beauty the joy the love the people
it’s beyond its we will we will regain our purpose we have a purpose on this
planet if we steal the animals purposes and take it for ourselves and say that
animals born for us she has no purpose we will lose our
purpose and that’s what’s happened in this culture we are under a pseudo
purpose of consumerism that we’re just here to consume
and I’m delighted to say actually that the world peace diet the book is in now
in its fourth printing there are people around the United States teaching
classes on this this is being taught in college classes it’s being taught in
churches in community groups peace groups you can teach a class yourself if
you want facilitated course on the world peace diet the fellow who actually wrote
the who actually coined the word vegan Donald Watson was on his deathbed about
I guess was about four three years ago my book had just come out and this
friend of mine Joe Connelly who who is the publisher of veggie news magazine
was going over there to interview him he was 92 years old he was still healthy
and strong the first year times he went the last time he went he got there and
Donald Watson was in bed and Don and Joe called me he said I just wanna let you
know Donald Watson who coined the word vegan he’s he’s in bed in he’s he’s not
he’s basically preparing himself to make his transition and he said he’s very
clear he’s very alert and he’s had a great life bed he said I just wanted to
let you know well that all he does every afternoon is he just has his son-in-law
read to him the world peace diet read him your book and he’s in basically what
Joe said to me is that he feels that he can now die in peace the book has been
written and and in a way I don’t feel like I wrote this book and this was a
book that had to be written someone in the culture had to write it and for some
reason I volunteered I had against the unique whatever background to do it but
it’s a the book that creates the foundation for our culture to be able to
make the next step if we’re going to survive on this planet so please do the
research get the understanding spread the message and we can create a
beautiful world on this planet we can do it together there’s nothing
stopping us there’s literally nothing stopping us it’s just on the the inertia
of the old obsolete mentality much left you thank you we’ll take a short break
and we’ll come back and hear Harold Brown and then we’ll have a question and
answer period after the break and we have refreshments and ghurabaa is there
anything else I’m supposed to say oh yeah I’m happy to sign books we have
books here thank you and also if any interested in looking at the paintings
by Madeleine she has a whole a lot of those paintings back there
I have CDs of music we have the one I played from here and books and audio
books and books out here and so if you want to you know bring any of this home
I really recommend reading the book because I’ve had so many people say it
helped them to transform their lives in a very positive way so we’ll come back
in about five to seven minutes maybe 10 minutes and we’ll continue on thank you can I have your attention everyone
I think we should resume the second part of this session and I just wanted to
make a quick announcement iousy vegetarians and vegans Club is meeting
tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Memorial Union and if you guys are interested in
participating making helping has put together this kind of events you are
very welcome and we would love to see you at that meeting tomorrow please look
at the face our Facebook page for more information about there exactly we are
meeting and just come to the meeting tomorrow ok and let’s get started with
the second session yeah that’s really an important thing
you know that I encourage anyone who is interested at all in in promoting
veganism and vegetarianism to become part of this local group is you
vegetarians vegans and get grab your last little items of food there we’re
going to be going into the second half of our program we’ll be hearing from him
from Harold Brown one of my favorite speakers really extremely fortunate to
have Harold Brown with us here he is a very unique background he’s a person of
an enormous understanding and knowledge about ecosystems about animal
agriculture pretty much about anything you have any question about anything at
all you just ask Harold you’ll have the answer for you that’s what I’ve
discovered and and I’ll let him he’ll maybe say a little bit about his trend
his journey to be with us this evening and from he was born and raised on a
cattle farm in south central Michigan he has spent three years in dairy as a
dairy farmer and he is now his story is one of transformation from animal farmer
to vegan animal advocate and works as an advocate for animal rights sustainable
independent family farms environmental justice social justice and peace through
non-violence he’s also one of the main figures in the movie if you have a
chance to see peaceable kingdom there’s actually a new one go to tribe of
heart.org this is a new one coming out piece of peaceable kingdom the journey
home and it’s a very excellent movie and we’ve seen some of the some of the clips
of the of the new movie that’s coming so there’s an awful lot for us to
understand we are still just sort of scratching the surface but I’d like to
turn it over now to Harold Brown thank you thank you thank
you and thank you guys for staying I know how colleges can be food air out of
here okay I think I promised some of you last
night that I would tell my story a little bit and I don’t have a lot of
time but I there’s a lot of stuff I’d like to cover but my story is I did grow
up on a beef farm in South Central Michigan it was a family operation and
all the farms around us were owned by my great uncles my uncle Kenneth he had the
farm across the road from us he raised sheep primarily for wool but also for me
any given time he’d have about a thousand head of sheep and we raised
registered Black Angus and my uncle Ken hi uncle George had a dairy farm down
the road so I grew up in this culture know it very well
I’ve spent over half my life in agriculture and then in the 80s I worked
in I worked in the dairy industry I didn’t actually I worked on my great
uncle’s farm somewhat but it was like spare time I didn’t I had from either
our farm or the sheep farm his farm so you know it was a community effort which
is something you don’t see in rural America much anymore is this idea
community of shared labor it’s every man for himself now
that’s the way Agriculture’s gone but I I had a series of crisis’s in my life
and you know being human we don’t tend to pay a lot of attention to what’s
right in front of us and for me it took a Oh three or four to life whores upside
the head before it got my attention that I need to make change my life but it was
for health reasons and Erica if you don’t if you if you’re skeptical about
the stuff Erica shared with you I’m living proof that it’s true I had heart
disease I reversed my heart disease with a change in my diet and my lifestyle am
I going to a totally plant-based diet and exercise and meditation I reversed
my heart disease there are doctors doing this on the world dr. Dean Ornish dr.
Caldwell l-cysteine at the Cleveland Clinic there are people doing this and
you can there are people the through diet meditation exercise reverse nearly
all forms of cancer the Kushi Institute is well known for
this through macrobiotics there’s and just about anything there’s other
doctors who work in plant-based diets like there’s a guy named dr. Robert
Young who works in this and he works basically from working on alkalinity but
he he claims on his website that there hasn’t been a disease that’s walked into
his clinic he hasn’t been able to reverse so the power the healing part it
isn’t so much food food is important right but it’s like it’s allowing our
body to heal the human body is an amazing mechanism that is able to
overcome just about anything but you got to give it the right fuel to do it
you’ve got to create the right environment for it to do it now when I
came to all of this I thought you know I made these changes through these
crisises but it was a matter of information it wasn’t until I ended up
leaving the farm because I got injured when I was working
in the dairy and when they did blood work on me they found out I had some
real problems so they straighten me out like first visit to the doctor but then
right after that he calls me up and he says I got your blood work back we need
to do a consultation I got oh crap that isn’t good when you hear that work
consultation you got a problem so I went and met with a doctor and he asked who
is your dog is there heart disease in your family said oh yeah my dad and my
mom my grandparents and they said well who was your doctor’s attending
physician and I my dad had just had a bypass operation and he I told him and
he had my dad’s preoperative bloodwork faxed over compared them and all the
indicators of my dad had were exactly the same but mine were twice as bad and
the doctor said if you don’t do something now he says you will probably
have a bypass by the time he was 35 and I said well that’s not good news and I
said what do I do and he gave me this little pamphlet well he happened to be
an osteopath AMD’s in the United States on average give four hours of training
and nutrition they really I mean I’m not casting aspersions but they really don’t
know anything about nutrition and how it impacts the body and a healing basis
they just look at it from a how enter you’ll gives you energy and supports the
body to move you forward but it doesn’t they don’t go they don’t really follow
the Hippocratic teachings I mean the every doctor in the United States has
taken the Hippocratic oath when they graduate but the number of the first
teaching of Epocrates is is let food be your medicine that your medicine be your
food and there is hardly any doctors United States that observe that but he
was not your past and they do get more training in nutrition so I got this
pamphlet and for my problem wasn’t cholesterol was triglycerides so I had
to give up ice cream well this plant I worked at hmm made
premium ice cream and I was eating I mean that was my downfall if I had any
addiction in my life it was ice cream and I was eating about 3 gallons a week
so I had to give it up well I was addicted to it and there’s a
reason dairy products are addictive the industry’s known this since the 30s
that’s because as well was talking about yes think casein the main protein in
milk that’s what makes milk white there’s a constituent in casein called
kaizo morphine’s morphine you guys heard that well kaizo morphine
so kala a friend of mine in Michigan has actually done a lot of cutting-edge
research on Kazon morphine’s and they that’s why they market cheese to
children because they know if they can get them hooked with chucky cheese or
with string cheese or whatever they’ve got a customer for life the National
Dairy Council did focus groups to determine and it works because if you
talk to a vegetarian who wants to be a vegan what’s that last hurdle I got to
get over cheese and why is that because cheese is a very efficient use of fluid
milk it takes ten gallons of milk to make fluid milk to make one pound of
cheese so it’s a ten to one concentration of all the constituents in
fluid milk big problem that’s why it’s so hard to give up luckily I always
hated cheese my whole life the reason being ok because I still
think like a three-year-old see I never grew up
see three-year-olds and this is the way I was thinking is we’d have a container
of milk we always had at least two who dairy cows on our farm for our milk for
all news but when a container of milk went sour you know he pulled out of the
fridge smell who dumped it down the drain but it’s a little kid I’d smell it
and I’d go okay you pick up this brick of cheese
his smelled as bad if not worse he dumped the one down the drain and this
is the Owens called food well from the perspective of a kid that didn’t make
sense why would I not eat this or sour cream sour memory excretion of bullvine
why do you recall that food on I would love to go back in history and
find out who made the call that bovine mammary excretion of bovine is food well
anyway I’m being away from my story anyway
this set me on a trajectory of being in conflict of my family because the two
things I had to give up was ice cream and red meat well I was a
fifth-generation beef farmer well when I went to Sunday dinner and I didn’t eat
the roast the pot roast that didn’t fly with my family especially my mom and
over the next year I was doing this for heart health my dad already had a bypass
he should have been something he understood but that didn’t because that
is how ingrained he gets in your culture how indoctrinated we were so a year
later my grandmother was ready to sell the homestead and my brother and I were
to go into a joint partnership and I said screw it I said it’s all yours I’m
out of here and we packed up her stuff and ran away to Cleveland where I worked
as a mechanic and the very first car I worked on was this young black woman and
I fixed her car but this bumper sticker really troubled me I couldn’t figure it
out and when I delivered her car to her and I explained everything I did and I
said okay you can go into the office and pay for but I said can I ask you a
question you know she said sure I said this bumper sticker it says I don’t eat
my friends dot dot dot I said like he said a joke I mean like is essaying
you’re not a cannibal and she said no I’m a vegetarian
I said what’s a vegetarian now I went to four years of a land-grant college
albeit er was in the 1980s I’d never heard the word vegetarian this is 1989 I
had not heard the word vegetarian before in my life so she explained it to me and
one thing led to another and I got involved into a in a vegetarian I went
to a vegetarian potluck and hooked up with these people and they became my
little family my what I call my chosen family
got a biological family but I also have a chosen family this chosen family are
my vegan and vegetarian friends that became my support group that I was able
to work through some stuff because I had a lot of stuff in my life because I have
been indoctrinated with a while I made these changes I mean I was only a
vegetarian for a year I read everything I could get my hands on about nutrition
and heart health and we were fortunate and Cleveland to have this doctor dr.
Caldwell Esselstyn who had a 20-year program in Reverse he’s a thoracic
surgeon first off he does bypasses on people but he also takes people who are
scheduled for bypass he says I’ll give you an option if you can change what you
eat you can get in my program that guarantee you I’ll reverse your heart
disease without surgery you know a lot of people say well you know change what
I eat oh my god you mean eat fruits and vegetables and no oil in my diet he you
know that’s drastic and he says what’s more drastic changing what you put in
your mouth or me opening up your chest and cracking your ribcage open tell me
which one’s more drastic and they go well yeah maybe I’ll try changing what I
eat because I don’t walk walk around with a zipper on my chest rest of my
life so you know he was a great source of information for me and after a year
of being a vegetarian I ate like toe vegetarian I gave up eggs when I went to
Michigan State University because one of the people my senior year that I was
commuting with was in poultry science if she was a grad student poultry sciences
and she invited me to go down see the barns that did it for me I was off eggs
nectar assault battery operation so my last thing that was a lacto-vegetarian
and after reading and listening to the doctors and reading this stuff yeah it
was a no-brainer if I wanted to create homeostasis in this organism I call a
body I needed to be vegan so I went vegan it
was an easy choice and my Vista of a foods I ate expanded ethnic cuisines see
my family by and large and our spice rack
consisted of three things bay leaves salt and pepper real inventive British
cuisine so you know now I’ve got all this ethnic cuisine I mean my food arise
my foods I’d have expanded ten a hundredfold I kid you not
problem is is now eat too much hmm so I made these changes and I got better and
I felt better and felt better and better and better and then I was getting sick
anymore and I’ve had the same health experiences as well you know I’ve been
vegan now for eighteen years and have been the doctor you know it’s great I
can’t overstate it but you know I key for those of you who aren’t vegan I can
stand up here all of us could stand up here and share experiences and stories
and so on but it won’t make a damn bit of difference to you because the one
thing I do prescribe to is one teaching of Buddha who said that the only truth
in life is that you hold on through and you know for damn certain this is truly
in your life are the things you directly experience all the rest of it is just
information it’s it’s just stuff you’ve read stuff you’ve been told and you can
believe it if you believe it’ll know you know strong enough it can be a cup of
faith but it’s just a belief it’s just information you’ve got it directly
experience before you can say something is so or not so so if you think well
veganism isn’t for me how do you know and nobody’s come from this issue
farther than I have I unfortunately I’ve spent more than my
fair share of time in meat packing – and slaughtering animals I’ll tell you it
takes a part of your soul but you can heal you can bounce back I have and if I
can be an old farm boy from Michigan that is basically seeing it all and done
it all and now I’m a vegan and well advocate anybody can do it anybody can
do it just you’ve got a choice to me no I
became did this because of health reasons but the ethical and moral aspect
of it that was an intellectual pursuit I read stuff I read things on animal
rights theory and philosophy and stuff and it all gave you a warm fuzzy
feelings but because I was eating in the vegan style but veganism is not a
lifestyle it’s not a diet or it’s not strictly a dietary choice it’s now
Watson puts it it’s a moral imperative it’s a moral and ethical imperative it’s
how you show up in the world it’s not just what you eat the shoes you wear or
any of that that is part of it those are only parts of it what veganism is is
it’s a moral in the ethical way of living not a diet so forget veganism
you’ve got to deconstruct that veganism is not a diet it’s a way of being in the
world so when I understood this I still had all this pre-programming
of my relationship to non-human animals and I fortunately was involved with a
vegetarian Club that also did stuff in something called attitudinal healing it
was started by a psychologist named John Paul ski from California and they
created a safe place for me to deconstruct my past and I did that did
that and that was very helpful but it’s funny that the final stuff that I needed
to take to finally put it all together to put my head and heart together was an
interaction with a steer at Farm Sanctuary they adopted this deer and I
figured I’d opted him to buy off some karmic death well I don’t think you can
buy off karmic debt but I had an experience a year and a half after I had
adopted him that changed my life and that’s stories told in peaceful kingdom
and he we had this interaction that woke me up there was just a
physical bump in the chest that woke me up and took away that last layer of
emotional armor I’d built since I was a kid because I went through I went
through 4-h FFA a land-grant school I had everything validating what I did for
a living and how I ate but then a steer was the
one who became my lesson giver and showed me that that steer his name
Snickers the Snickers is a subject of a life that he has a biography not just a
biology that he is someone not something and that made the difference and that
woke me up and then my life became really complete now I looked at all this
and I said well you know again I thought vegans were like Christ like you know
they walked on water and they came from another planet or something
but I found out they don’t they’re there me but then I thought you know this is a
recent phenomenon it’s not a recent phenomenon and there’s a bit of wisdom
how many of you ever heard of Leo Tolstoy yeah Leo Tolstoy was a vegan you
know that and he wrote as long as we have slaughterhouses we will have war
and this goes back to what we’ll was saying it’s violence is systemic and
after working in meatpacking I can tell you by lence is systemic what we do to
want we will do to another in that step if you think that step for violence to
an animal is a is a huge leap to violence to humans all we have to do is
go to some recent history of the Second World War Charles Patterson he’s a
professor at Columbia University wrote a book called eternal Treblinka and one of
the takeaway messages in his book is that during the Second World War the SS
was having trouble running these death camps they set him up to be very
efficient they were actually the based on
proto factory farm systems and then the factory farm systems then learn lessons
from the death camps and they evolved actually confinement agriculture evolved
from them too and the biggest problem they had was is finding people to do the
killing and the cleanup that didn’t psychologically break down they had SS
officers who were psychologically breaking down because they couldn’t do
this work but they had to find somebody to do the killing do you know what they
found they went out into the countryside of Poland of Jeremy and they got the
local butcher the local butchers could do the work to this day in most of the
countries in the EU butchers are not allowed to serve on juries because they
learned a lesson in Second World War that they lacked a certain measure of
empathy that precludes them from serving on a jury of their peers especially in
capital crimes so that’s I think it’s a it’s as if we think that they’re not
linked that they’re not together they are there’s the that’s a very small step
from one to the other and I thought well this and then when I heard about Tolstoy
and I go wah blow there must be other people well found out the ancient Greeks
the great philosophers like Aristotle Socrates they were vegans and their
academies their colleges we would call the prerequisite to be a student was
being vegan so there’s a very long history of this we’re not a new
phenomena we’re not a foe new phenomena you know those of us that are vegan or
vegetarians we’re not from outer space this isn’t a new thing that’s happening
in our culture it is been around for a couple thousand years or more the Janes
of India five thousand years at least this is not a new phenomena so you’re
not like it’s not a brave new world for you you’re just falling in line with a
lot of really great teachers and great examples just learn from them okay real
quickly I’m supposed to be giving you this trend
from animal to plant-based agriculture well it takes a little history lesson
and will encapsulated this pretty good we have a 10,000 year history of hurting
and everybody in Western civilization is a product of a hurting culture even
though most people in the United States 99% of the people in United States are
not farmers we now have a full generation of people in the United
States that are totally disconnected from animal agriculture and from farming
and large according to the USDA national agriculture Statistics Service any SS
just up until the second world war just over 50% of the population of the United
States farm right now we’re at just less than 1% but yet of that 1% 16 percent of
that 1% produces almost 70 percent of all the food in the United States we are
seeing a corporate consolidation of food production this kind of consolidation if
it happened in any other industry the Federal Trade Commission would be all
over it but they’re not all over this because it’s food they’re farmers it’s
apple pie you know it’s the warm fuzzies again and it’s a very powerful lobby in
Washington it’s it’s also in endemic deep psychology that runs through
herding culture and what we have been taught is and that we believe may be
intrinsically is we had it isn’t something we as a group as a group
consciousness have made explicit but it is that with our relationship with the
natural world is where we don’t have one we just don’t
and then reason being is because the deep psychology of this is that the
natural oil is chaos now when you go to a land-grant school your education is
predicated on that as agriculturalists our responsibility is to bring order to
the chaos to bend nature to our will so we can feed a hungry world well that
idea of an kind of Natural Balance or homeostasis
has is gone at least in the institutions in America and we’re globalizing that
particular kind of agriculture and there’s dr. Ford said last night so
brilliantly in his PowerPoint presentation we used to call it the
Green Revolution he says no it’s called now called the livestock revolution
because that’s what we’re globalizing we’re globalizing the world to the
Western diet because everybody wants to be like America it’s a love-hate
relationship they hate our politics but they love our lifestyle and everybody
wants to eat and live like us well that’s not a good thing first off it’s a
violation of their culture but the second thing is it’s not sustainable in
any way shape or form it takes as mmm Erica pointed out animals are livestock
are hugely inefficient of turning plant kilocalories into flesh and excretion
kilocalories it’s a net loss the right now.we well nearly 80% of everything we
grow in the United States he’s put down the throat of farm animal nearly 80
percent it’s between 70 and 80 it depends the latest research I saw from
na SS is about how we’re like seventy-eight percent of everything we
grow goes into a farm animal that’s not sustainable but the thing is the problem
is is we are already – the land-use deficit for agriculture in North America
and we’re making up for that by dredging the seas and a full one of the biggest
industries especially in China is fish meal and 50% a full 50% of everything we
take out of the sea is fed the farm animals or use this fertilizer for their
crops but mainly is feed supplement because we are high energy feeds we need
protein supplements whether it comes from a rendering plant or it comes from
the fish mill industry but we are at a land-use deficit and we’re making up
whether it was a aquatic life and they’re all I mean if you read not
in the United States but you read like The Guardian or The Scotsman or the any
of the UK papers or the papers out of Brazil all the fisheries are in collapse
right now they’re in collapse the cod off the Northeast are gone but yet it’s
used as a false flag thing for why we got to keep clubbing seals because the
seals are Union Cod seals don’t eat cod I don’t know where they get that so
what’s the solution what’s the solution well basically five corporations control
all the food in North America or in the United States as you say basically five
corporations and these are transnational corporations what we have basically what
is basically happened is we have lost the democracy of our food we don’t want
you how to say and how food is raised and grown processed packaged and sent to
us we are mediated and I caught media – we’re mediated at this relationship with
our food the food industry noses I mean they hire the most expensive slick PR
people on Madison Avenue to create this matrix type world that we live in where
in the PR industry they don’t call it public relations if you go in house
these people don’t call what they do public relations they call it public
perception management that’s the matrix folks and they know this and the thing
is is that their research in the food industry has shown there’s only two
reasons eat people eat what they do in the United States
number one is taste number two is convenience that’s it
and the research is always also shown that 98% of people in the United States
get their nutritional information from advertising is that where we should be
getting it don’t think so but you know the interesting thing what about that
other 2% that’s 98 percent of you what about the 2 percent well as Erica
pointed out about 2 percent of the population or vegans a vegetarian
see we’re a unique species on this planet because we have to teach
ourselves how to eat non-human animals they’re hardwired they know what they
need not us it’s a cultural thing we have this thing is real problem called
frontal lobes and get us in trouble all the time
so what we need to do is reclaim our food and what this is means is going out
supporting local agriculture independent family farms now don’t get fooled by the
term family farms because nearly every corporate farm out there is run by a
family but they are incorporated they’re LLC’s mostly and they will sit there and
Farm Bureau I’ll say I’ll tell you right now I think part girls all the most evil
institutions in America but Farm Bureau let’s say they’re the voice of American
farmers do you know that the majority of their memberships live in cities you
know if you buy a Dodge pickup and you get that $60 $60 road side assistance
package you’re automatically a member of Farm Bureau it’s a really slick thing
and the thing is this Farm Bureau will go to Washington they’re one of the most
powerful voices in Washington in agriculture and they’ll say we’re
representing family farmers well at the local in your County Farm Bureau it
sounds like they are that’s what they’re telling their members but when you go to
the national level and you see what they’re doing was with congressmen with
senators what they’re saying behind closed doors and how what they’re
proponents of they’re proponents of industrialized agriculture period the
only good thing that I’ve seen come out of Farm Bureau in the last 10 years is
that they are advocating for industrialized hemp cultivation which
I’m a big supporter of because that could really help out American farmers
but independent family farmers are the people we need to be supporting these
are your organic farmers these are the good folks at your farmers markets your
CSA s computer community supported agriculture these are the things that we
need to be supporting and we are learning in leaps and bounds how to
improve more efficiently in the organic method we’ve had permaculture we’ve had
bio dynamics we’ve had you know straight-up organics but now we have
something new which is called they’re calling it animal free organic
techniques they were calling it veganic because there’s no animal inputs at all
because organic the Organic Standards allow for blood meal and bone meal but
this uses no animal and puts it all I’ll tell you a quick story there’s a guy by
last name of Bustos who’s got a CSA on California in Los Angeles and he was I
forget how many shares he has but he was supplying all of his shares on 15 acres
organically he was certified by the USDA and then he
heard about this so a couple years ago he switched over to this animal freer
they also call it stock free organic techniques and now he’s supplying
all of his shares on three acres rather than 15 so now we’ve got something in
them this is the first book and the only book out there on this comes us from
some folks Jenny Hall on the end Tolhurst from England they’ve been
working on this for nearly 30 years and the book is finally written it’s finally
out this is for sale if anybody’s interested so see me afterwards because
I want to get in people’s hands and share it if you buy a sheriff you know
let get in the hands of your organic farmers or anybody’s considering going
organic because this is a way for the future this is how we’re going to change
things and this is how we go work toward a vegan world if we’re going to have
vegan food we grow organically without animal inputs and it’s way more
efficient and it works nearly everywhere the last Oriole the
ray of hope I’ll leave with you is that there was a farmer in Ontario two years
ago I was doing some tabling up at a the vegetarian food Fair in Toronto this guy
was going around to the tables and the they help they put all the nonprofit’s
under 110 he was going around Neversoft I could hear him getting really loud
with somebody and then eventually got to the over to my table and he’s talking to
my wife and she says why I can’t answer his questions you better talk to my
husband so we got talking and he is a registered Demeter biodynamic farm has
been for 15 years and he says you’ve got to have animals for soil fertility and I
said saying that is basically making the in the admission that all animals are
ambulatory compost bins because that’s what they are and he says wow you know
you’re on ran track and so for about an hour we’re going back and forth and I’m
trying to share some stuff when I’m told said you ought to get in touch with
these people the book wasn’t available I said get in touch with him I gave him
the website and he walked away and I thought you know he was just basically
there he was so stubborn and stuff I thought man well he’s gone he came back
the next year and he came up to me and he says you know he shook you grab my
hand we shook and he says you made an impression on me last year I said what
do you mean he said well I contacted those people I got the information he
says from September to September he said I did an experiment I turned half my
acreage over to this began Achmed and he lives in the gray highlands of Ontario
and it’s just high altitude rocky land it’s poor soil fertility and he
struggled he barely makes a living biodynamically but he said that and they
were in the period this is last year so it was the second year of a two-year
drought which we were also having in western New York and he said my veganic
or stock free animal free acreage is all producing my biodynamic by 50% so it’s a
no-brainer I’m gonna turn my whole farm over to this but I got another question
he says would Farm Sanctuary take my animals
and I said I’ll ask I think they will and they said I wasn’t asked he said yes
two weeks later I’m driving a 24-foot stock trailer up to Ontario I’d pick up
his animals and take him back to Farm Sanctuary see this guy had made the
connection he saw that he isn’t here as an agricultural technique that works it
works very well he had a shift in consciousness that he
became vegan and then the moral and ethical shift that these animals do have
worth they do have their own self-interest and he couldn’t sell for
auction and he couldn’t eat them so he turned them all into sanctuary so things
are moving forward we just have to keep that message going so do whatever you
can I have some information sheets back there if you want to learn more about
agricultural issues and animal issues and you know I appreciate your time and
look forward to your questions a little bit thank you
Erica are you here are you ready so we’ll just have a closing panel for a
few questions I know we’re running a little late here it’s already a little
bit after 9:00 but we’re happy to answer questions and and just let Miriam ffice
eyes that if there’s really some great information those nice bright green
fliers back there from America and what in the work she’s doing make sure you
take some of those we have also sheets we have a sign-up sheet for our website
which is world peace diet org and Harold has information as well so if you have a
question please come to the microphone and address it to us we’re happy to
answer your questions I have a question for each of you for Erica I want to know
if pinto beans give you protein for mr. Brown I’d like to know what are their
five corporations that control food production and for mr. Tuttle why isn’t
there an index in your book yes pincha beans do give you protein I
believe if you had a can of beans per serving it’s usually around seven eight
or nine grams of protein depends on the bean and I know you know they have beans
because your spouse cooks pinto beans every week and you’re still eating them
and surviving okay well the the probably the biggest five
biggest players would be Cargill and just for your information Cargill is the
world’s largest privately held corporation there is nothing no other
corporation in the world comes close to Cargill
it’s Cargill ConAgra Kraft ADM March of Dana’s Midland and Monsanto Montana
those are your big five that’s the doing a lot of damage yeah that’s a good
question about the index as I said that we’re up to issue number Edition number
four and originally there was going to be an index but the book is printed on
100% post-consumer recycled paper soy-based inks and the price of the book
was high enough for the for the publisher which is Lantern books in New
York and he was if we put in an index was he’s going to make the book thicker
take up another 16 pages and was gonna have to raise the price from $20 to $24
and he really we really argued about it quite a bit I really wanted an index in
there and he said no no it’s gonna be too expensive and too big so there is an
index online I paid an indexer to make an index and there’s an index if you
just go to world peace diet org and just click on index you can download a PDF
file 16 page or 15 page index that’s very well done very good index online
and Martin did prompt the publisher did promise that the next issue dition of
the book will have an index in it so it is coming because I know it really helps
there’s so much information in there and it’s good to have an index
it’s just the name of the book world peace diet dot-org and actually I’ll
just mentioned there’s a new website we were just starting called world peace
diet net which has forums and discussion groups and there’s a place there for
people who want to facilitate classes on the world peace diet to talk with each
other and I think it’s really helpful to work together using all the resources we
have like the internet to discuss these issues and things yeah any other
questions for people so it’s just such a huge business Eric and I talked about
this how you know nationally and globally
it’s just a huge get from using animals and I mean if everyone would become a
vegan right now throughout the world in your throughout the United States those
people lying animals to for their incomes
how would that transition occur or you know it’s Iranian studies been done on
how that would occur or how do you see that transitioning to that so I guess
I’ve wondered about that right right yeah great question and I think it’s a
big question and I think it’s one that deserves maybe more attention I talked a
little bit about it in the world peace diet in the chapter on profiting from
destruction that really it’s somewhat like the military you know you put
you’ve put a lot of money into it you don’t get a lot of jobs out of it yeah
actually you get a lot more jobs when you put money into things like
reforesting and other thing so I think it’s natural for us for a
culture or for society to evolve and and some jobs are lost but new ones are
gotten you know that happens my great uncle I think he was up guy named Putnam
he owned the Putnam nail company and they made their living he made his
living by making horseshoe nails and you know when people switched over from
horses to cars he was out of a job you know and that was that happens but he
found a job you know and something something else that opened up so as as a
culture evolves it won’t it won’t happen overnight I mean there will it will I
mean I’d love it in a way if it would happen overnight but I think it’s going
to take at least 10 20 years probably and be great wouldn’t be great to be
vegan in 20 years the whole I mean that would be great wouldn’t it that’s just
go for it but but in that 20 years of change or whatever it is
there’ll be transitions that will happen and I think some people had the idea
that we couldn’t do it because we couldn’t go vegan because what would
happen to the farmers I mean like we couldn’t stop war because what would
happen to the war machine but all the people you have you know we couldn’t
stop you know drug running because what about all the people that make other
money Andresen it’s a violent horrible thing and and that’s not a reason to
keep it keep doing it so I think there are so many things that are just
yearning to be done and our government for example if if it had if we had some
intelligence which I think going vegan well it would entail could support
programs that we could we could Solarize the the country right we could replant
forests we could do so many things we could we could use it we would we would
be we don’t have to work so darn much I mean we have these long work hours
creating a bunch of mostly stuff we don’t even need so we could I think
gradually would be transforming our entire worldview I think we have to
realize that imagining a vegan culture is imagining an entirely different
culture we are we are looking at something completely different and it’s
a wonderful exercise to do just take a moment I mean just take maybe you know
five minutes sometime and just sit down and just start thinking about what would
happen if sometimes people ask ask us this I’m
sure he’ll change this question out there what are you gonna do with all
those cows you know they’re gonna take over the earth they’ll probably eat us
all up you know we’re gonna kill them before they kill us what we’re gonna do
with all those cows you know that kind of idea but just it’s a beautiful
question just stop and think about what would happen when people stop eating
cows and chickens and pigs and then we wouldn’t need to rape fewer you know
cows and to get more cows so we were just gradually there’s a really reason
there are all these cows because we forced them into into our lives by
impregnating them so has that happened there would be less need for so much
grain we could start to bring back wildlife habitat the streams would runs
more clear people could have different jobs that weren’t so violent and
destructive we could begin to rebuild our whole world education creativity our
music I mean do we have enough we have too many artists too many musicians too
I mean too many people restoring the environment there’s so many jobs that
need to be done that we are not doing because we have so many people in the
medical industry stabbing people who are eating animals that have been stabbed
you know so I think it’s a just think of the positives of it and yeah on every I
think on every level the economy would be much much healthier having healthier
people you like get a lot more done you know you won’t need so many
pharmaceuticals and so forth and people that’s a lot of people think what are
you gonna do with all those doctors listen to forget about the farmers I
mean it’s the doctors though the ones are really scared they’re really
terrified of this you know we got armies of doctors that you know they need a lot
of sick people what are you gonna do with all in you know and about the whole
war machine we won’t need that anymore really I mean if we if we get the
violence out of ourselves so we have to start thinking of another way of living
it’s it’s big it’s a good question you know I know everybody’s a lot so this
one’s gonna go on forever here but I’d like to add a word on that topic Paul my
spouse and I talked about this I work at Iowa State so I can give a view of what
I see happening at Iowa State with progress toward
plant-based foods there have been changes over the last 10 years my
general impression like I said in the slideshow is that most of the money is
supporting animal agriculture at ISU they have in pork Center of beef Center
all affiliated with is you but in our department food science and human
nutrition there is a dr. Wilson he calls himself dr. tofu and he works all on
soybeans mostly and works on research to make the products more palatable so that
is the one person I know on campus who’s really striving to make plant-based
foods more prevalent the Center for crops you know utilization research at
ISU is doing some work on plant-based foods however they are growing at zukie
beans in Greene County which is west of us here and their intention for the
adzuki beans is to export them to Japan where more people eat the tofu they also
have done some corn research to show that corn that’s grown in Iowa actually
is suitable for tortilla use so you can ship it to Mexico so they are following
the rules of supply and demand which is why it is so important to encourage
people to figure out why they should start eating plant-based foods because
if people eat them supply and demand will quickly turn around and you will
have people providing what you want and what you buy well part of my my activism
is is actually working with farmers to get them to switch over to plant-based
and one of the first challenges is when a guy is raising animals
he’s usually raising crops too he says all I crazes hogs all I can raise the
cows all I can raise are chickens and say this is all I know
and I challenge see is that all you know you know is you mean tell me you only
know one kind of farming so what I try to do is I challenge them to think
outside the box and that there are other ways to do it but the thing is is I’m
not saying we should become Luddites and turn agriculture back 50 60 70 years
what I’m saying is is we got to create a new paradigm in agriculture in other
word we’ve got to look at you know maybe get
away from futures trading all together because that’s destructive in and of
itself and the thing is is if we go back to a more agrarian lifestyle when we put
the people at 50 percent that disappeared from our landscape get them
back on the land that’s gonna get create more jobs just by sheer numbers you’re
just going if you’re doing organic agriculture and you’ve got CSAs and
you’ve got people you know doing the labor on the farms or allow people
because I get a lot of people to email me and say I want to get back to the
farm or I want to start farming how do I do that well there’s this huge huge
silent movement of people that want to get back to the earth and there was a
recent study I thought was really interesting that came out not long ago
about where they did some tests on people blood tests and brain mapping and
they found out that humans are hard-wired to enjoy getting their hands
in soil that going on getting your hands and so actually has a center crown
response with us that releases dopamine and serotonin
it’s act we actually find it a therapeutic and restful to get your
hands in the soil get your hands dirty there we have this innate primal
connection to the earth that we’ve broken you get that’s why CSAs are so
darn popular right now people want to get back out even though they may feel
it can’t for a farm they want to get out there get connected their food and get
their hands dirty and that’s a great thing we’ve got a we’ve got to take that
and run with it because it’s a you know it’s healing for us to farm it’s healing
for us to garden we need to do right yeah it’s very it’s very positive
powerful work yes yeah can you go to the me thank you don’t mind sorry but we I
guess this is being recorded something that’s great thanks you talking about
advertising locally as opposed to trying to do some big huge transition that it
would be more manageable and oh I can’t shake my head I gotta talk it’s being
tabled yeah exactly that’s what it’s about it’s
about directing developing direct markets it’s getting away from this food
production system where like they’ve looked at pasta you know if you’ve got a
wheat pasta and you’ve got a guy’s growing wheat if he was selling that
wheat directly at a farmers market either in flour or whole because some
people like to grind their own if he was selling either his flour or whole wheat
at a farmers market he every dollar he gets is giving him a fair return on what
had caused him to do it but for that same farmer if he’s selling it to the
market to be processed into pasta for some you know like ippolito pasta his
return is two cents on the pound on average I think I think that Michael
Pollan went into that in his first book is how the more processing there is
believe the less the farmer makes so what we need to do is support our local
farmers into you know and go out there ourselves and make the direct market for
them because they may not know how to do it because we got a generation of
farmers that are in you know commodity markets and futures markets that don’t
even can’t even conceive that they could create direct markets and that’s what we
need to do is help them and just I mean this could be a whole new cottage
industry is setting up a cottage industry that built direct markets and
facilitates that I have a comment about farmers in Iowa
the irony of Iowa of course is that we have the most fertile topsoil in the
world other we’ve lost half of it since 150 years ago as a vegetarian though you
would think that somewhere in Iowa they’re actually growing legumes for
people if you go to wheats field grocery or natural food store which I do and ask
the source of their legumes none of them come from Iowa if you look at the USDA
list of dry bean production in the US they mentioned Nebraska they mentioned
other states but they don’t list Iowa at all because the legumes are not being
grown here for people I talked with a professor in the agronomy department who
works for the USDA and he said part of the problem is if people want to grow
the legumes here they don’t have the processing facilities available so you
have to get the hard structure in there to process the crops and of course to do
that you have to have the demand for the beans
I asked Wheatsville grocery how often do you get through one of the bins that
they have there of soybeans you know those dispenser bins and the person who
worked there said it might take about three weeks he wishes it would go faster
so I think that being people who grow beans could do a much better job of
advertising so that instead of having you’ve got milk in our heads you could
have got beans or something else so that we would think beans are wonderful and
delicious well the other the other problem with that too is a subsidy
market I mean the subsidy programs we have for crops bean farmers that are
growing like adzuki beans they can get possibly if they get any kind of relief
it’s in crop disaster subsidies but as far as straight-up subsidies there’s
basically five crops to get the lion’s share of subsidies in United States and
three of them are feed stuffs four amplify actually for our feed stuffs for
animals healers cotton but even cotton meal was used for poultry so but by and
large most the bulk of cotton is made for a fabric it’s a fiber but the other
through for our feeds for animals not food for humans so it’s everything the
whole system is skewed toward that and that’s all I spend my great for about
subsidy program the United States every year or every five years when the
subsidy program comes up I’m always arguing why don’t you invest in
communities rather than commodities and they won’t do it because they don’t care
about community rural communities all they care about is commodities and
that’s what we got to do we got to take the system here in the United States we
got turning on its head we’ve got to get people that are
representing our agricultural states politically I’m bored with this luckily
we’ve got one guy in Virginia now who is a farmer and he will consider this and
then Cameron was named a representative the guide with Virginia’s web with a guy
from Montana he’s an organic farmer and he’s on he sir he’s on the Senate and
he’s an organic farmer you know there’s a perfect opportunity we need to get
more guys like him in office in these AG states to so that we can create a new
paradigm you know I want to thank all of you for coming it’s almost 9:30 and it’s
been just I know the time is flying by and we just love to keep this thing
going probably all night here but I also feel some responsibility to everyone so
I just maybe just to wrap up here that we’ve thrown about if you were here
especially both nights we’ve discussed a lot of different angles on this whole
thing please continue the adventure and exploration and the discussion and the
conversation because this is just the beginning and this is them I believe is
the absolutely most vital questions we can ask how do we live what do we eat
and and in this idea of connecting with Whole Foods organically or veganic ly
grown and and just spreading the message of of compassion for all life and living
that in our own lives the benefits are enormous so keep up the great work
please don’t forget to be in touch with gurov and the is you vegetarian vegans
be on the lookout for any opportunities you have to serve and to create
communities realize that the only reason we ever eat animal foods was because of
the communities and really for me and thank for pretty much all of us who go
vegan the reason we do that is because of communities it’s because of this is a
community right now we have it in sort of a temporary from you know two-day
community but we can keep these communities going work with the local
people you know work with Erica we’ve got lots of possibilities and actually
just to let you know we out on the foot back here on Saturday night I’m giving a
concert at the Unity Church here in Ames and on Sunday a workshop on developing
intuition right after the service at the Internet and there’s gonna be a vegan
the first time the church has ever had a vegan meal so we’re gonna so you know
come on that come on over you can if you want take a flyer on Sunday after the
service is serviced at 10:30 and then popping around new we’ll have a vegan
meal and and just kind of you know keep the momentum going in whatever way and
whatever way and whatever way and whatever way and whatever way and
whatever way whenever way you can plug in because there’s nothing again as I
say that’s more health affirming and life-affirming than to do that and
there’s so much more we could talk about but just thanks again for coming much
love to you all keep up the great work and we look forward to our paths
crossing again thanks again much like thank you

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