In this new series, “Caregivers Corner,” I sit down with caregivers from different sanctuaries to talk about their work as caregivers. Joy Gomez is the farm manager and a caregiver at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag, New York. Joy and I discuss their recent…
Episode 22 – Jonathan Brant – Discussing the Surging Plant-based Market and Growing Competition with the Animal Agriculture Industry
Jonathan Brant is an animal rights activist, a writer, an artist, a musician and singer, a student at Eastern Michigan University, and author of
In this episode, Jonathan and I are back together again discussing important issues surrounding animal agriculture, the surge in plant based foods, and a recent article about a Nebraska senator wanting to change the way plant based food labels and speaks about the their products. “Senator slams ‘fake food fad,’ introduces bill to crack down on fake meat labeling” was an article on aol.com in December of 2019 about a senator who is also a cattle rancher who introduced a bill to change labeling on plant based products. Jonathan and I discuss and unpack the many things that are wrong with this and talk about the growing demand of plant based products and how this has the animal agriculture industry running scared.
We discuss this and much more in this episode.
*Audio typo correction!! – In this episode I say 100 billion animals have died in Australia wildfires. I meant 1 billion. Sorry for the audio typo! Happy New Year! This episode is different from others in that there is no guest. In this raw and…
Mike Barootijian is the owner and head chef of Party Animals Catering – A vegan catering service and meal plan service in the Hudson Valley in New York. It was a pleasure to sit down with Mike and discuss his work, his vegan story, and…
Sarah Beth is an animal rights activist and avid volunteer living in upstate New York. After learning about the many deaths of horses associated with horse racing, Sarah began protesting with Horseracing Wrongs, an organization founded by Patrick Battuello, that exposes the many wrongs in the horse racing industry. After meeting Nicole Arciello, Vice President and Patrick Battuello, Sarah began to participate in more protests and to help out at events with Horseracing Wrongs.
Sarah talks about her work as an animal rights activist, the first protest she attended, and the people she met who supported her on her journey to veganism. Sarah shares her personal testimonial – her story about becoming vegan, and how her experiences with volunteering and visiting sanctuaries made a huge impact on her that she hopes to share with others.
We discuss the importance of understanding not just animal rights, but also human rights and the impact animal agriculture industry has on humans working in dangerous and horrific conditions.
To take a tour and volunteer with Sarah at a sanctuary in New York, Connect with Sarah on Facebook!
Cows Come Home Sanctuary located in Talbott, Tennessee is such a magical place filled with lots of love and a very inspiring story. Randie and I sit down on her front porch overlooking the cow pasture, and have a heartfelt conversation. She shares her story…
This is a question that is asked often, and I believe there is more than one answer. Becoming/ being vegan looks different for each individual person, and I feel very strongly that we are to respect where everyone is on their journey. I know that some vegans feel adamant that you absolutely do not wear leather or any other animal product, but that’s not where I stand. Personally, I don’t wear anything leather, fur, with feathers, etc. but that’s my personal decision and it took a little while for me to phase out those things.
I still wore leather for a little while after becoming vegan, but wasn’t fully comfortable doing so. My favorite boots (pictured above) were the hardest thing to stop wearing, but every time I put them on, all I could think of was the cow that they came from. I now have strong bonds and relationships with rescued cows and can’t imagine wearing their skin. Another thought is that I don’t want to wear something that someone else would see as appealing and want to go out and buy the same thing. For example, my leather boots were purchased (years ago) solely on the fact that my friend had a pair and I loved the way they looked, so I bought a pair. I wasn’t vegan yet and had no connection whatsoever to what had happened to the animal I was buying…. I just knew I wanted the boots. This is one of the reasons that my personal decision is not to wear animal products. In no way am I judging anyone else for wearing animal products. My friend Kelsey who is vegan, is a business owner of a wonderful vintage shop in Wilmington, NC, (The Wonder Shop) and sells vintage leather, silk, etc. This is a great way to shop and not buy into fast fashion, while also supporting small businesses. There has been controversy in the vegan world about selling these products, but again, I believe we all need to respect where people are on their journey and not judge. Buying into fast fashion is worse on many levels than buying used/ vintage clothing, and this is something to think about before going out and replacing everything we have. There are many ethically sourced cruelty free products, but we have to be diligent about finding those companies.
In 1944 Thomas Watson wanted to come up with a word other than vegetarian for those who didn’t consume dairy or eggs. He coined the term “vegan” along with some friends from The Vegan Society, and they defined the word as this: “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” – The Vegan Society
When we become vegan (unless we are born vegan) we usually have products that are not cruelty free. For most people it can be a process to eliminate things from our wardrobe, our pantry, and our household. It’s not conducive to everyone to just get rid of everything “non” vegan right away. The words “as far as possible and practicable” are important to remember, as well as the fact that no one is perfect and hopefully everyone is doing their best with what they have to work with. We live in a world where we can find a cruelty free item to replace anything made from animals, yet some of these products can be pricey, and worse, some are not environmentally friendly. Not everyone can afford to replace everything they have with vegan items, and to shame them for not doing so doesn’t exude compassion, which is to me, the tenant of veganism.
What do we do with items that are not vegan? This too can be a very complicated subject. I once heard someone say they burned their leather sofa when they became vegan. I’m not here to judge anyone for their choices, but feel strongly that I personally do not want to waste, burn, or throw away something that was made from an animal. To me that is just throwing more disrespect to the animal that has already been exploited and killed for human use and deems their life totally worthless. There are so many thrift stores that we can donate items to, and finding a homeless shelter to donate old coats, boots, and blankets is also a great way to pass on the items you no longer wish to use.
In a nutshell, there isn’t an easy answer to this question. The bottom line is to do our best and to be compassionate and non-judgmental towards all living beings.
After years of experience working with animals at different sanctuaries, Rebecca started her own “micro-sanctuary,” Institute For Animal Happiness. She and I sit down in her home in Woodstock, New York to discuss micro-sanctuaries, Hudson Valley Vegfest, and much more! Rebecca explains what a “micro-sanctuary”…