Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
From 29 December 1999 Issue

by Greg Lawson

Now is the time many of us are thinking about resolutions for the new year. Whether you plan to do something more, something less, or cut something out of your life all together, show yourself some patience and realize that most changes can't be accomplished overnight. Don't give up if you find yourself backsliding in a few days or weeks, just keep trying to meet your goals. Envision them. Picture yourself living the life you want. This really is the key to lasting change.

Howard Lyman (you know Howard, author of Mad Cowboy, President of EarthSave, former cattle rancher turned vegan spokesman) was in my town a couple of months ago. At a dinner with some of the board members of my vegetarian society, Howard said he wished everyone would resolve to move a step closer to a more compassionate diet in the next year. "If you are an omnivore, resolve to be a vegetarian. If you are a vegetarian, resolve to be a vegan. If you are a vegan, resolve to eat more organic foods."

Let's stop there though. If you are an organic vegan, I don't think Howard would recommend that you become a fruitarian or the step beyond that -- a breathitarian (living on air alone) or the step beyond that (a hold-your-breathitarian).

I am a vegan, a standard consumer of fresh produce with herbicides and pesticides vegan. But I can see the rationale for a diet of organic foods. The only thing holding me back is that it costs a little bit more. But I should make one of my resolutions to eat more organic foods since I believe in environmental conservation and animal rights.

Consider the insects that are killed by the heavy doses of pesticides used on our crops, not only insect "pests", but beneficial insects as well. Consider the fact that herbicides and pesticides are washed off farmlands by rain and cause the death of countless numbers of marine lifeforms in our rivers and in the oceans where the rivers empty.

Buying organic produce supports the small family farm operations, and keeps our money out of the hands of the large evil corporations like Monsanto, which not only is trying to control the world's food supply, but conducts animal testing as well.

Something else Howard said will stay with me. "Every dollar you spend is a vote for the future."

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