Ebola is like the best thing ever for the media, fodder to keep their fear-based ratings on fire. Meanwhile, more Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from the virus this year. And in the U.S., about 136 million hamburgers are eaten per day—and those are pretty much chock-full of disease-causing virus and bacteria.
In the back (front) of my mind, I associate animal products with disease, so when I heard on my car radio that the current outbreak of Ebola has been traced back to bushmeat, I banged my fist on the steering wheel because...I. Knew. It.
Not shocked, bushmeat being any wild animal hunted for human consumption—rats, squirrels, antelope, monkeys, etc. It's not just factory-farmed animals who carry disease.
The first Ebola victim, dubbed "Child Zero", died in December 2013 in Guinea after the family had been hunting bats, known to carry the virus. The virus doesn't easily jump the species barrier, but it happens. And in Ghana, over 100,000 bats are killed and sold every year for food (BTW, want to see a rescued baby bat respond to loving care? See the video below).
In many interviews, people ask me about my vision for the future of veganism. My answer is this: I believe that eating animals is so entirely unsustainable, that it will eventually collapse—either because the masses become educated and stop funding the market, or because of some unstoppable "food"-borne virus that shuts down the system.
And as for countries and cultures that rely on bushmeat for survival? Whose lands are not conditioned for plant-based crops? There are non-toxic, organic methods of "pedogenesis" (building soil) and products in the works that essentially turn dirt—and even toxic land—into rich soil.
Read about Michael Meléndrez and his humid acid/soil work. This is the future.
P.S. Speaking of bats...watch a sanctuary-rescued baby bat respond to loving care:
Do you think an all-vegan coffee shop in L.A. is a damn good idea? (You'd have to come by, imagine the crowd you'd run into! I'll be holding all my meetings there, haha!)
This Sunday, November 2, 2014, from 11am to 3pm, visit me (I'll have books) and a bunch of amazing vegan beauty, apparel, and cosmetics vendors at the Fall Vegan Market Popup, hosted by the forthcoming Evolution Coffee Bar (please support it's existence here: www.GoFundMe.org/EvolutionCoffeeBar).
So...your Sunday to-do list:
• Rise and shine to get veggies at the Hollywood Farmer's Market.
• Hop into Space 15Twenty (between the Farmer's Market and Urban Outfitters).
• Make new vegan friends.
• Get awesome, conscientious holiday gifts for self and friends!
Sunday, November 2 | 11am to 3pm
Vegan PopUp Market at Space 15Twenty
1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
More info here.
My 6-hour solo drive on the barren Highway 5 from L.A. to the San Francisco World Veg Fest last week was surprisingly full of vegan-related sightings and news (wait until you hear my favorite):
• First, a roadside sign advertising an Indian vegan food stop (this, in central California farm/trucking/fast food territory is quite outstanding).
• A chance landing on a live Seventh Day Adventist radio show interviewing the awesome Dr. Gregor, who was promoting veganism...and the host was already on board—joy! (This, amidst several other bible shows encouraging "compassion" was also outstanding.)
• I passed Harris Ranch, the largest West Coast cattle feedlot (150 million pounds of beef per year—the stench is radical, even miles away), and then heard about them on the news moments later...the pollution they cause has created a "hot zone" in the atmosphere, one of the worst over the entire nation. The host's take: the environmentalist critique of the cattle industry and methane pollution is likely a coverup for the "ulterior motives of people like Paul McCartney, who want us all to be vegetarians." Dumb-dumb didn't take his thinking any farther to consider what the ulterior motives of veganism might be. Regardless, I'd say he was kind of right, except most "environmentalists" leading the movement are not even vegan (yet). We work for the day when they are.
• My favorite: a morning radio show's report that a Swiss wildlife park is serving up their overpopulated animals on the cafeteria menu. Of course, the public is outraged and disgusted, ha! The radio hosts took an opinion call from an L.A. Zoo volunteer, who said he would never eat the exhibition animals. Why not? they asked. Not even the hooved animals? What's the difference between them and a cow?
The volunteer's answer was really revealing. He said, "Uhh...hmm...errr...because, well...the exhibit animals are animals, but they're not part of ouuuurrrr food chain."
You know I just love this stuff, right? I figuratively squeal with delight when the media exposes the poor rationale that shapes all public thinking.
The zoo volunteer (representing most people) takes for granted our consumption of cows, pigs, chickens, and fish as a kind of God-given, a naturally ordered system in human life—like photosynthesis. Cows are to humans as the sun is to the grass.
The truth is that the four main animals in our "food chain" are arbitrary and culturally relative—the result of history unfolding, not natural order. Our offense at the thought of eating some animals but not others is just evidence that we are not true omnivores.
If we were, then when our bodies "crave" or "tell us" that we need meat, we'd lick our lips at the bounty around us—our dogs, our neighbor's cat, the spiders on the wall, ants, worms, grub. The gates at the zoo would be necessary to keep us out, not the animals in.
Change will never be fast enough, but the best things are happening now—the word "vegan" is rapidly making its way into mainstream consciousness, environmental and animal issues are in the news more than ever, and you, *|FNAME|*, are pointing out the relationship between the two to all your friends and community...right?
Go do it!
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