Humane Educator James Wildman Presents "101 Reasons to Go Vegan" Saturday

Categories: Ethical Eating

If you poll a room full of vegans and ask what their reasons were for deciding on a diet free of animal products, you'll hear a laundry list of reasons.

Many times, it was the first time they made the connection that the cheery Old McDonald's Farm we recited as a kid was perhaps not as advertised and little more than propaganda sing-a-long for the meat and dairy industry.

Others would say it was the first time they made a connection with their companion animal and realized the potential hypocrisy of loving one animal but eating the other.

And other times, initial reasons for going vegan were far less altruistic but still valid - weight loss, better skin, the way to avoid a triple bypass surgery, the gateway to the fountain of youth, you saw Queen Bey and Jay Z do it for 30 days and wanted to give it a go, or you heard it was a way to combat impotency.

For Animal Rights Foundation of Florida's Humane Educator James Wildman, the goal of his work is not necessarily to get everyone to pledge a vegan diet (although, that would be awesome!), but to at the very least start to re-think what they are eating and get people to see that our diet is a learned behavior based on a cultural story (i.e. - you believe you need cow's milk to be healthy and strong because you have been hearing it 'does a body good' since birth).

See Also: Six Places to Get Dairy-Free Ice Cream in South Florida for National Ice Cream Month

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The Organic Hobby Lobby: Eden Foods Fights Obamacare Contraception Mandate, Customers Fight Back

Categories: Ethical Eating

artizone via Flickr Creative Commons
For the past couple of weeks, Hobby Lobby has been all over the news.

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby questioned the role of government in women's reproductive (or really basic) rights and the intended meaning of "religious freedom."

The craft-store chain took its fight against the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and, sadly, won -- because it makes perfect sense that group of old men are making decisions about women's bodies.

Whether you agree with the verdict, disagree, or couldn't care less, there's no doubt you've heard about the company and its efforts.

What you probably haven't heard about, however, is Eden Foods. The widely distributed organic company, available at health-food stores, Target, and Whole Foods, has also sued the Obama administration over the mandate.

As news gets around, customers have been staging a backlash.

See Also: Do You Care About Climate Change? Three Ways to Make a Difference Through Food

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Celebrate Future GMO Independence this Fourth of July

Categories: Ethical Eating

A quick look at the standard American spread at a Fourth of July gathering can be the biggest unintended commercial advocating for the GMO awareness movement.

There are burgers made of cows pumped full of hormones and raised in miserable conditions, genetically modified seedless watermelon, sweet corn grown with trademarked Monsanto seeds that could sit out on that same table and look virtually unchanged days later, and, at the very end, some whipped-cream topped sweetness that's chock full of eggs provided by hens imprisoned in battery cages.

Amuricah! Fuck....yeah???

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Food Not Bombs Hosts "Public Property" Art Show and Food Sharing Event

Categories: Ethical Eating

Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs
Operating under the philosophy that food is a right and not a privilege, the non-profit Food Not Bombs has provided free meals to the hungry in one form or another since the 1980s. The meals are often created out of surplus veggies, fruits, and baked goods from area grocery stores and restaurants that would otherwise be heading to a landfill.

With a loose collective of chapters around the globe, chances are you've run into a Food Not Bombs member handing out burritos at a punk show, leafleting on a college campus, or participating in a meal share at a public park - like locally at Stranahan Park where the Fort Lauderdale chapter of FNB has been sharing meals since 2006.

But the fate of the weekly meal share in the park is up in the air since City Commission decided to proceed with a new law banning the storage of private property in public spaces on May 6th. Effectively the law would keep homeless people (and their possessions) out of the park.

Food Not Bombs is responding to City Commission with a large-scale food share, art show and night of music with "Public Property: A Reclamative Art Show with Food Not Bombs" on Friday.

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Do You Care About Climate Change? Three Ways to Make a Difference Through Food

Categories: Ethical Eating

Alex Berger via Flickr Creative Common
While there has been a long-term so-called debate about the potential effects (and actual existence) of climate change, a report released by NASA last week shows that the ice is melting in Antarctica and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

(Fox News still seems to be denying science.)

According to the study that was released last Monday, warm ocean currents and geographic changes have helped lead to a chain reaction at the Amundsen Sea-area glaciers, causing faster melting than previously believed, taking them "past the point of no return," NASA glacioligist Eric Rignot reported.

Quite frankly: it's pretty freaking scary.

Even so, we can all do our part to attempt to slow it down.

We spoke to registered dietician and founder of Plant Strong Nutrition Adrienne Bolten about foods to avoid and sustainable alternatives, if you care about climate change.

See Also: New USDA Study Finds Bee Populations Not Dropping as Steeply, Names Possible Causes

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New USDA Study Finds Bee Populations Not Dropping as Steeply, Names Possible Causes

Categories: Ethical Eating

Louise Docker via wikimedia commons
We've been hearing a lot about dwindling bee populations for quite some time already.

While the thought of a world without apis' might soothe horrifying childhood memories of stings, it would be an utter catastrophe for many of the foods we eat; those buzzing little insects pollinate many of our flowering fruits and veggies.

Yesterday, the USDA released a report on winter honey bee losses. Turns out we're not losing quite as many as last year, but we're still not in the clear.

See Also: Beekeepers, National Honey Bee Advisory Board Suing the EPA Over Pestcides

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GMO Free USA Pushing Petition Encouraging Publix to Label GMO Products

Categories: Ethical Eating

Alexf via wikimedia commons
A large portion of the population is becomingly increasingly aware and concerned with what they put into their bodies -- others are still fine with consuming copious amounts of fast foods. (To each his own.)

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are a big part of the conversation.

While the biotech industry asserts the products are safe to swallow, activists are concerned with the lack of long-term studies on health effects and environmental impact.

Many just want to know what is contained in their food.

GMO Free USA is now pushing a petition encouraging Florida-based grocery chain Publix to label GMOs in all of its products.

See Also: Jeremy Ring Sponsors GMO-Labeling Bill in Florida Senate

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Vote for Local Hot Guys and Gals in PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door Contest

Categories: Ethical Eating

Courtesy of PETA
Meet Jennifer from Wellington. She's a sexy vegan.
Sure, you can make all the jokes you want about "hot sausage" and "makin' bacon," but when it comes down to it, vegetables and fruits are pretty darned sexy too.

First of all, cucumbers and bananas are pretty raunchy (you heard the ol' banana-in-my-pocket reference), and there's nothing sexier than feeding your significant other some ripe strawberries.

Plus, it looks like eating a vegan diet attracts an insane amount of gorgeous people.

Which is why PETA hosts its annual Sexiest Vegan Next Door contest. Each year, the hottest herbivores on the planet compete for the title and a trip to Hawaii (sans roast pork luau, we presume). Best of all? There are plenty of beautiful local men and women to vote for.

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Do Lobsters and Crabs Feel Pain? New Research Says Yes

Categories: Ethical Eating

Thumbnail image for lobster_creative_commons_pinkin.jpg
pinkin via Flickr Creative Commons
Anyone who has ever been in the same room as a lobster boiling knows the distinctive sound of its scream as it's cooked alive.

The sound is not actually a scream -- lobsters do not have vocal cords -- but for many, the question about whether they feel pain remained a cause for concern.

If anyone remembers the PETA protest, complete with giant lobster costumes, in front of Linda Bean this fall, further research indicates that, yes, lobsters, crabs, and other invertebrates do feel pain -- contrary to popular belief.

See Also: PETA Descends Upon Delray Beach's Linda Bean in Protest (Video)

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Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida Hosting Day of Action for Genetically Engineered Foods

Categories: Ethical Eating

Killlermart via Flickr Creative Common
Genetically Engineered (GE) also known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) have been one of the biggest debates in the world of food for the past year.

Activists have been pushing for labeling laws citing potential health issues and lack of peer-reviewed studies deeming GE products as safe.

GE proponents, on the other hand, assert that in order to feed the world, these products are a necessary component.

As activists have been slowly making headway in educating the general public on their concerns, states have begun to pass legislation mandating labeling for all food items containing GE or GMO material. (The most recent wins for activists have occurred in Connecticut in Maine).

With bills in both the Florida House and Senate, Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida are calling for a statewide day of action next Thursday.

See Also: Jeremy Ring Sponsors GMO-Labeling Bill in Florida Senate

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