"Earth Save"-Salem Chapter by Carolyn Berry
“Imagine a world where the land is fertile, the water is clean, the air is fresh, and all are fed. In this world, nature is treated as a community, not a commodity, and our food is healthy for us as well as our planet. We all wish for this—but how do we get there from here?”
These words start the mission statement for EarthSave International. They certainly represent a picture of what a better world would look like!
One simple step each of us can take is to move toward a plant-based diet, for our food choices profoundly affect the whole web of life on Earth. The good news is that the healthiest way to eat is also the most economical, the most compassionate, and the least destructive. What’s best for us personally is also best for the planet.
Consider these facts:
The risk of death from heart disease by the average meat-eating American man is 50%. Compare this to the 5% risk for an American man who does not consume animal products.
220 million acres of U.S. land have been deforested for livestock production.
For every American who adopts a meat-free diet, nearly one acre of U.S. land could be restored to forest each year.
It takes 2,500 gallons of water and the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of beef.
Worldwide, 20 million people die of malnutrition each year. If Americans reduced their meat intake by just 10%, the savings in grains and soybeans could adequately feed those starving people.
A reduction in meat consumption is probably the most potent single action that any one of us can take in the effort to halt the destruction of our environment and preserve our precious resources. Reducing meat consumption conserves water, saves energy, preserves topsoil, reduces our dependence on chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and protects forests. All this while improving our health.
John Robbins is the Founder and President of EarthSave International. Heir to the Baskin & Robbins ice cream fortune, he gave up that legacy after a long battle for health — choosing instead to express his personal convictions by establishing EarthSave International and writing the Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America and more recently Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the source of True Healing. John Robbin’s writings are thoroughly documented and extremely revealing. They are excellent reading.
EarthSave is an inclusive health and environmental education organization, open to all people who embrace this basic message: that what we eat affects our own health and that of the planet. People come to more plant-based food choices for many reasons — their health, the environment, the animals, or spiritual considerations. EarthSave is not a vegetarian organization, per se. It is also not an animal rights organization, per se. Rather, EarthSave’s role is to provide clear, clean facts and information so the listeners can come to their own conclusions and make individual choices — free of judgment. We provide a safe place for everyone, no matter where they fall on the food choice continuum. Our purpose is to empower individuals to take responsibility for their own choices.
EarthSave potlucks are comfortable, informal affairs. They are an opportunity to experience new food choices with friends, followed by an educational presentation. We welcome your participation! Salem’s monthly potluck is regularly scheduled for the last Sunday of each month, starting at 5:00 p.m. Currently, we are meeting at the Reed Opera House on the 2nd floor, in the Cyrus Reed Room. For more information about EarthSave Salem, call Peter Moore at 315-8277, or Wil Broadbent at 743-3406.
EarthSave is a nonprofit organization doing valuable work internationally. Annual individual dues are $35; family dues are $50 per year. However, you don’t have to be a member of EarthSave to attend EarthSave monthly potlucks or other meetings!
For more information about EarthSave International, call EarthSave’s headquarters in Santa Cruz, California at (408) 423-4069.
Carolyn Berry teaches voluntary simplicity and is a coach for INOKA, (503) 581-4188. She lives in Salem with her family. This article first appeared in The Oregon PeaceWorker and is reprinted here with permission.