Sunday, September 27, 2009

Some Boycotts Are Just Stupid

Boycotting can be a great tactic and can help us, as activists, effectively achieve our goals. However, some boycotts can be misdirected, ineffective, and just waste time and resources.

I came across an article on Vegetarian Star the other day about Brigitte Bardot urging a boycot of Canadian maple syrup in order to protest Canada's seal hunt.  In my opinion, this is just plain stupid.

This reminds me of another misdirected boycott a while back: boycotting Wegmans because of the fact that they do not sell cage-free eggs.  What point were we trying to make with that boycott?  To many consumers it sounded like the animal rights community was saying cage-free eggs were an acceptable solution.  Also, as vegans, we should all know cage-free is a myth and a bullshit PR campaign.

Anyway, I live in Canada right now and I'll still be buying maple syrup.  Why?  Because I think boycotting Canadian maple syrup is going to have zero effect on the seal hunt.

Boycotting is part of veganism because we understand the abuse of animals is tied to supply and demand.  However, let's make sure we stay focused.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Steps to Solving Climate Change

(Cross-posted at Billy Blogs: http://veganedge.com/2009/09/steps-to-solving-climate-change.html)

I'm sick and tired of government, politicians, and corporations dancing around the issue of climate change.  We're sacrificing our planet for economic reasons.  Don't you think that's crazy?  We've also become accustomed to our way of life and are reluctant to change.

We've been destroying the earth for far too long and we need to take action now.

Here's what we need to do to fix climate change:
  1. Adopt a vegan diet
    • Raising animals for food is an ecological disaster.  Eating animal products is the single worst thing you can do for the environment.  It takes far more resources to raise animals for food when we could be using less by eating lower on the food chain.  If you really care about the planet and want to make a change please go vegan.  Take action now: Read more about veganism and even get a free vegan starter kit at Vegan Outreach.
  2. Farm organically only
    • Conventional farming methods are not sustainable and the pesticides, herbicides, and many chemicals are killing us and our planet.  We need to stop subsidizing products that are killing us, ban chemicals, and farm organically only.  Take action now: Support organic farmers by purchasing only organic produce in your grocery store.  Better yet, visit your farmer market and find organic and local produce there.  You can also purchase clothing made with organic cotton.
  3. Green the grid
    • There's a disconnect between flipping on a light switch and understanding how the electricity got there.  Most of the grid is powered by fossil fuels (coal).  We need to switch to solar and wind power and stop using fossil fuels and nuclear power.  If we invest in renewable technology we'll create a sustainable system and many jobs in the process.  Take action now: Invest in solar and wind power or install the technology yourself.
  4. Stop using oil
    • At the same time we're greening the grid we should invest heavily in designing and manufacturing electric cars.  GM created an electric car with a decent range years ago but then pulled it before it went to market (watch the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? for more information).  The technology is there.  We just need to stop letting the oil companies control our policies and our planet.  Those that are smart will switch to renewable energy, those that aren't will die out.  This will also mean people will stop using oil to heat their homes.  Instead, people in colder climates can use electricity from the green grid or something like a pellet stove.  Take action now: Drive only when you need to and buy a fuel-efficient vehicle.
  5. Ban incandescent bulbs
    • We can't just green the grid and still consume the same amount of power.  We ultimately need to use less.  Australia has banned incandescent light bulbs.  Why can't we?  It's such a simple change and uses only 1/4 of the electricity.  Take action now: Switch out your light bulbs with CFLs.
  6. Manufacture only products that meet Energy Star guidelines (where applicable)
    • For the same reasons as above, we need to produce the most energy-efficient appliances.  Take action now: When you need a new appliance look for one that has the Energy Star certification.
  7. Recycle everything
    • I can't believe some areas still don't have decent recycling programs.  We need to be recycling everything we use.  On the same note, we should be manufacturing products with post-consumer material to reuse and cut down on the resources we need.  Take action now: Be diligent about making the most of your area's recycling program.  Recycle everything you can.
Do you have ideas?  Please add your comments.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Price Increasing for Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate

I previously mentioned the fact that eCornell is offering a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate program. Well, I received an email from eCornell the other day informing me that the price for their Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate program will be increasing on October 3rd. The price will be increasing from $795 to $1,065. You have until October 2nd to enroll and pay $795.

This was a good motivator for me, as I called Nancy Barber at eCornell yesterday and prepaid for the certificate program. She was extremely helpful and explained how flexible the program is. I was asked to choose my tentative start dates for each of the three courses but she informed me that I am able to change the dates if I later find out they're not convenient for me (provided I do so with some notice).

Anyway, I'm prepaid and registered for the Plant-Based Nutrition program at eCornell! I decided to take the plunge and fork over the money, as nutrition has been a passion of mine for a while and this program will focus on vegan nutrition.

If you're interested in enrolling or have questions you can contact Nancy Barber at eCornell:

  • nbarber@ecornell.com

  • 866-326-7635, option 2

  • For those of you who are also outside the US: 607-330-3205