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Neal Barnard, MD

President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

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Non-violence Compassion Sustainability

--- EVEN - Serving as
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since 2005 ---

Veg Wisdom

The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them. - Paul Hawken, Author, Lecturer, Environmentalist

Veg Wisdom

Replacement of all animal-based food products with plant-based alternatives is the clear immediate prescription for mitigating climate change. - Dr. Richard Oppenlander, Author, Comfortably Unaware.

Read more in EVEN's exclusive interview with Dr. Oppenlander HERE.

Veg Wisdom

Livestock account for 37% of human-related methane production. Methane is important because it is a much stronger greenhouse gas. In technical terms, it has a higher global warming potential. Source: A Well Fed World

Read EVEN's exclusive interview with A Well Fed World's Founding Director Dawn Moncrief HERE

Veg Wisdom

If we break it down, species by species, we find that the heaviest water use is by the animals we raise for meat. - Worldwatch Institute

Do you know how much water it takes to create the food you eat?

Click HERE

Veg Wisdom

Grassland covers more land area than any other ecosystem in North America; no other system has suffered such a massive loss of life. - Richard Manning, Worldwatch Institute

Veg Wisdom

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hofmann

Veg Wisdom

Switching to a diet free of meat, dairy, and eggs saves more carbon emissions than driving a Prius. How much more? 50% more! - Mercy for Animals, A Veg Diet


Animal production consumes an amount of water roughly equivalent to all other uses of water in the United States combined. - EVOLVE! Campaigns

See infographic HERE.

Veg Wisdom

Meat-eating is not sustainable at any level. - Dr. Lori Marino, Neuroscientist, Founder and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy


Methane is 23 times more powerful in global warming potential than carbon dioxide (Center for Science in the Public Interest, 6 Arguments for a Greener Diet) and a vegan diet results in eliminating 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Veg Wisdom

The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous. - David Brubaker, PhD, Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins University

Veg Wisdom

I had been vegetarian for a number of years and then one day my son came home and said he was vegan [to curtail the abuse of the planet]...and it was kind of a shock to me because I had never pushed him... And that actually really inspired me! - Michael Franti on being vegan

Veg Wisdom

We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - David Brower, environmental champion (1912-2000)

Veg Wisdom

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. - Iroquois Nation maxim

Veg Wisdom

Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us. - Henrik Tikkanen, Finnish writer (1924 - 1984)

Veg Wisdom

If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That's the single most important thing you could do. It's staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty. - Paul McCartney

Veg Wisdom

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. - Chief Seattle, 1855

Veg Wisdom

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. - John Muir, Scottish-born American naturalist, author, advocate (1838 - 1914)

Veg Wisdom

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future. - Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958 (1904 - 1990)

Veg Wisdom

Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris. - Edward Abbey, American Author and Essayist (1927 - 1989)

Veg Wisdom

There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet. - Brooke Medicine Eagle, Native American Earthkeeper

Veg Wisdom

The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too. - Chief Luther Standing Bear (1868 - 1939)

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Veg Wisdom

Unless you are eating a plant-based (vegan) diet, large scale damage is being caused to the environment by the very food you are choosing to put into your mouth. - EVOLVE! Campaigns

Veg Wisdom

All are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body Nature is, and God the soul. - Alexander Pope

Veg Wisdom

Every second per day, one football field of tropical rainforest is destroyed to produce 257 hamburgers. - Steve Boyan, PhD, University of Maryland (retired), Help Save the Environment

(Ed. Note: ...and the hamburgers are eaten in a millisecond, but the rainforest destruction is permanent.)

Click to enlarge

Veg Wisdom

Animal waste from massive feedlots and factory farms is a leading cause of pollution in our groundwater and rivers. - Peter Cheeke, Professor, Oregon State University

Click to enlarge

Veg Wisdom

Unless we change our food choices, nothing else matters. Because it is meat that is destroying most of our forests. It is meat that pollutes the waters. It is meat that is creating disease which leads to all our money being diverted to hospitals. So, it's the first choice for anybody who wants to save the Earth. - Maneka Gandhi, Indian Parliament Member, Vegan

Veg Spotlight

For me veganism is about looking at the whole picture always, doing research, constantly striving to learn more and incorporate that learning into my choices, and into the way I think, speak, and act. - Julia Butterfly Hill,

Read EVEN's exclusive interview with Julia HERE.

Veg Wisdom

Becoming vegetarian is one of the most important and effective actions you can take to ease the strain on our Earth's limited resources, protect the planet from pollution, prevent global warming, and save countless species from extinction. - Mercy for Animals

Click to see full size

Veg Wisdom

On a personal basis, perhaps the most important thing you can do to stop climate change is change your diet to a more vegetarian diet. - Dr. James Hansen, World-Leading Climatologist and Chief of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA

I pledge allegiance to the world, to cherish every living thing, to care for earth and sea and air, with peace and freedom everywhere. - Lillian Gensler, Pledge to the Planet

Veg Wisdom

They took all the trees---and put them in a tree museum---Then they charged all the people---a dollar-and-a-half to see them.---They paved paradise---and put up a parking lot. - Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

Veg Wisdom

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. - Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White (1899 - 1985)

Veg Wisdom

To speak of environmentalism as separate from the spirit of peace is counterintuitive, for the spirit of peaceful evolution is the most natural environment. - Brian Bogart, MS, Peace Studies, University of Oregon

Veg Wisdom

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. - Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (1887 - 1948)

Veg Wisdom

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. - Ancient Native American Proverb

Veg Wisdom

Our environmental problems originate in the hubris of imagining ourselves as the central nervous system or the brain of nature. We're not the brain, we are a cancer on nature. - Dave Foreman, Harper's, April 1990

Veg Wisdom

The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. - Buddhist Proverb

Veg Wisdom

We're finally going to get the bill for the Industrial Age. If the projections are right, it's going to be a big one: the ecological collapse of the planet. - Jeremy Rifkin, World Press Review, 30 December 1989
(1945 -)

Veg Wisdom

So bleak is the picture... that the bulldozer and not the atomic bomb may turn out to be the most destructive invention of the 20th century. - Philip Shabecoff, New York Times Magazine, 4 June 1978

The Scoop > Articles > Sustainability

Sustainability - A Closer Look

In the wake of world climate crises, the public's interest in sustainability is gathering momentum. Can the increasingly severe weather patterns we are seeing be made to subside? And what is the true cause, the very source, of the problem? Let us examine the core issues involved.

What is sustainability?

Let us begin with the definition:

Environmental Science: The quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance: the ability to be sustained. (Source:

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability is important to making sure that we have, and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

Sustainability is about harmony with the Earth and its inhabitants... now and into the future.

For an action to be sustainable, it must allow future generations to enjoy the same opportunities that we have. The native Americans said that the test of any action is that it must be good for seven generations. What in our modern society could pass this test?

In the video "The Corporation" it was stated that none of the major Fortune 500 companies is currently operating sustainably! Is there any doubt? Could we name one company that is sustainable? Let that be our homework!

Green vs. Sustainable

Many companies claim to be "green". This claim suggests that they operate greener than their competitors. Does this mean that they are sustainable? No not at all! "Green" has come to be a relative term. For example, one company could be greener than another but both could be operating unsustainably!

Whether a company is operating sustainably or not is answered either yes or no and is not relative to what other companies are doing. So we see that actual sustainability is an absolute measure (it is either true or false) while "green" has become a relative measure that can be tossed around by even the most unsustainable offenders.

What this means then is that even the most destructive companies can turn off their lights at night, write on the back of used paper, and recycle, and then still claim to be "green"! This is at the heart of what has come to be known as "greenwashing".

Why is it so difficult to be sustainable?

Western society has a long history of being unsustainable. The very tenets that our society is built upon, that we live by, that we believe and accept, are actually unsustainable. And therein lies the problem!

To become sustainable, we would have to question and give up most of our values, most of what we believe and cherish, what we were taught by our parents, teachers, religions, and governments, and even much of what we have fought wars to protect.

Actual sustainability is so difficult to achieve because its success would involve a "paradigm shift" — a complete revamping of our world view — what we currently consider good and bad, right and wrong, true and false. Sustainability would tell us that our current set of values is wrong... and not one that just a tweak could fix. It would involve a complete and total change in the way we think.

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
- E. B. White (1899-1985)

Deep Ecology

The necessary changes consistent with sustainability are contained in the inherent values of Deep Ecology. This phrase was first introduced by the Norwegian activist and philosopher, Arne Naess, in 1973, when stressing the need to move beyond superficial responses to the social and ecological problems we face.

(Note: Deep ecology's core principle is the belief that the living environment as a whole should be respected and regarded as having certain inalienable legal rights to live and flourish, independent of its utilitarian instrumental benefits for human use. It describes itself as "deep" because it regards itself as looking more deeply into the actual reality of humanity's relationship with the natural world arriving at philosophically more profound conclusions than that of the prevailing view of ecology as a branch of biology. Deep ecology takes a more holistic view of the world human beings live in and seeks to apply to life the understanding that the separate parts of the ecosystem (including humans) function as a whole.) >> See More Here

Of course, the Native Americans could have taught us this back in 1492 had we listened and had we not felt our way of thinking superior in every way. We labeled them as savages, took what was theirs, and unleashed our greed and violence on an unsuspecting people and their sacred land. We were so blinded by our own greed that we did not stop to consider how or why these people were living in such untouched abundance and how they managed to maintain it after millennia of living here. It was a Paradise!

What could we... should we... learn about Man's proper relationship with Nature? What could Deep Ecology teach us about such a relationship?

The tenets of Deep Ecology involve Oneness, Harmony, and the Health of the Whole. It teaches that Nature has a Wisdom that is always moving toward the Health of the Whole. There is no place for Greed and Self-Interest in this framework.

Once the Health of the Whole replaces Self-Interest as the primary motivation, as the prime axiom of the new way of thinking, Harmony then becomes the all-encompassing movement.

Deep Ecology vs The Current Worldview

Let us examine the two different views:

Two Views of the World





Working Together













Seeking Advantage/ Using
















Illusion (that our way is superior)

Freedom – to help the Whole

License – to maximize our personal gain



Inner Peace/Joy



Animal Consumpton/ Exploitation

(Notes from Robert's Presentation, Interconnectedness and the Impact of our Daily Choices)

How Does Veganism Relate to Sustainability?

Veganism is the consistant, logical way of eating that flows naturally from the Deep Ecology worldview. Veganism is, in fact, the only sustainable way that 7 billion people can continue living on this planet.

(See Cowspiracy infographic >> HERE)

However, veganism (while necessary) is not, by itself, sufficient to bring about sustainability. While veganism is essential, it is a means and not an end.

Sustainability requires that the Deep Ecology worldview become the prevailing motivating factor of the human consciousness and become the very core of our consciousness. Then Compassion, Love, and Harmony with the Whole will be our guiding principles. All movement would then emanate from this center.

If we examine it, we see that the heart is as big a factor as the mind in accepting and living the Deep Ecology tenets. We must feel its truth from the very depths and the soul of our being. Only then will it become who we are, making a life of Compassion and Harmony with the Whole natural and effortless.


Dr Richard Oppenlander

Dr Will Tuttle

John Robbins

Tell them [students] the truth. That these animals being slaughtered for us to eat are every bit as smart and lovable and sensitive as their own dog or cat. Then ask your students if they think shooting these cows, pigs, chickens, or turkeys in the head, hanging them upside down, and slicing their throats is a cool thing to do. Instead, we could eat all plants, which are infinitely healthier for your students to eat and for our planet to grow. - Dr. Richard Oppenlander

The revolution implicit in veganism is a revolution of universal love and inclusiveness and its energy of joy can wash the planet clean and transform ugly human folly. Give thanks every day for the joy in your heart and that you see reflected in the birds, flowers, trees, and in the whole web of celebrating life, for that is what you are. - Will Tuttle, PhD, World Peace Diet

While 45 percent of the land on earth is used to raise animals and food to feed them, it is estimated that only 5 percent is used to grow plant-based foods consumed directly by humans. This 5 percent, though, supplies 80 percent of the calories consumed by humans. - Dr. Richard Oppenlander, Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work

Meat and the Environment:
Climate Change, Water Use, Pollution, Land Use, Oceans

Our current choice of foods is the leading contributing factor for Global Depletion—detrimental climate change, the loss of our land and fresh water, devastation of our oceans, rapid loss of biodiversity and mass extinctions, world hunger and food insecurity, and loss of our own health. - Dr. Richard Oppenlander, Comfortably Unaware

There is one connected choice that sometimes gets overlooked. It's one of the most far-reaching personal, practical and ethical choices you can make. With this choice we can help:

  • feed ourselves and every hungry person on the planet.
  • end deforestation — replenish the deep woods of the North and save our disappearing rainforests.
  • revitalize our rural landscapes and save family farms.
  • stop the number one polluter of water and the number one waster of water.
  • return our oceans to thriving underwater worlds teeming with life and wonder.
  • make cancer and heart disease a rarity instead of a common occurrence, and
  • return wild lands to their rightful owners.

A Life Connected (Video) by NonViolence United

10 Reasons Why the Meat and Dairy Industry is Unsustainable

Food Choice and Sustainability by Dr Richard Oppenlander (youtube video)

Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.     - Ban Ki-moon