January, 2013: Livestock donation programs, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
Under the Gift of Hope program of the Foster Parents Plan (Plan Canada), they feature ‘Goat’ and ‘Farmload of Animals’ (pigs, rabbits, goats) donations, among others. We were supporters of Foster Parents Plan but have since discontinued our monthly donations because we do not want to support an agency that exploits one species to benefit another, particularly when there are alternative agencies that achieve the same objectives without harming animals: A Well-Fed World, Food For Life Global, Vegfam, and Help International Plant Protein Organization (HIPPO). http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Donating+goat+helps+least+goat/7841785/story.html
February 2013: Send a Valentine to Animals, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
I wrote an op/ed piece for Valentine’s Day to the Vancouver Sun, encouraging people to think beyond our immediate families, friends and pets, to other animals outside of that circle, such as those we arbitrarily label as food. Humans kill 70 billion land animals annually worldwide, subjecting these creatures who are more intelligent and sociable than dogs and cats to lives of misery and suffering. We need to extend our circle of compassion to other animals, and in turn, they and our own health will benefit. http://www.vancouversun.com/Send+Valentine+animals/7961582/story.html
March 2013: World Water Day – Water Use and our Diet, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
World Water Day has significant meaning to me as I received my Ph.D. in Water Resources Engineering. Thus, I wrote the following article to educate people on the most effective way to conserve water, emphasizing the tremendous water requirements of a diet centred on meat and dairy consumption. Consider this revealing statistic: It takes only 300 gallons of water to provide a plant-based (vegan) diet for one person for one day, but jumps to 1200 gallons for a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and a staggering 4000 gallons for an omnivore. Keep in mind these numbers are only for one person for one day. Imagine the cumulative effect when multiplied by the number of people worldwide over the course of a year or more. http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Save+water+give+meat/8133982/story.html
March 2013: Easter letters, Langley Advance, Langley Times, The Vancouver Sun
Around Easter time, I was too overloaded with projects to write a full op/ed piece, but could not resist taking this timely opportunity to comment via a letter to both the Langley Times and the Langley Advance local papers. My goal was simply at least to put the concept of plant-based diet on the map in a meat-centric town where animal agriculture exists.
April 2013: Earth Day – Environmental Impacts of Meat and Dairy, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
Earth Day is an opportunity to highlight the multitude of ways in which animal agriculture degrades our collective environment, and the plight of our planet as a result of these impacts. I wrote the piece with David Steele, President of Earthsave Canada, by pointing out the environmental damage of the livestock industry and by pointing the benefits of plant-based diets. This piece was picked up by the Calgary Herald, the Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, and the Star Phoenix. http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Earth+time+mull+what/8276219/story.html
May 2013: The Dairy Industry, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed:
For Mother’s Day, I appealed to the motherly instincts of mothers to help people connect to similar attributes in non-human mothers, in particular, dairy cows: “This Mother’s Day, give some thought to dairy cows’ suffering”.
These creatures are kept in a cycle of pregnancy so that humans can harvest their milk, intended for their calves, which they never receive, and who are either sold for cattle, confined in veal crates, or kept for future enslavement to replace spent dairy cows. The response was overwhelmingly supportive. A week later, the Vancouver Sun printed many letters, taking up almost a full-page, with the caption: “Readers get behind column on dairy cows”.
June 2013: Beef and Health, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
In celebrating Father’s Day, the image of a barbecue with slabs of beef steaks is inevitably on many people’s minds, with the rarer the beef, the manlier its consumer. Two of the most pressing health issues for men, of course, are heart and prostate health. So together with David Steele, we wrote our article from the perspective of not only achieving physical health and strength, but also moral integrity by adopting a plant-based diet: Over the next few days comments made on-line were all positive in support of the article. Overall, people who understood the point of our article supported our position wholeheartedly, not to benefit themselves (although that is an integral advantage of a whole food, plant-based diet), but to benefit the environment, the hungry, and the animals with whom we share this planet. http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/manly+thing+dads+plants/8523051/story.html
June 2013: Fundraising through killing animals, Langley Times, Letter
There was a charity event on Father’s Day advertised in the Langley Times. It was a Swine, Wine, and Dog event at a local winery, Township 7, to fundraise for PADS, the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society. http://www.langleytimes.com/opinion/letters/212240121.html
August 2013: Health Care Costs and Vegan Diet, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
The first Monday of August is celebrated as a Civic Holiday throughout Canada, and in BC, it’s BC Day. One of the pressing concerns for all provincial governments in Canada is the rising costs of health care. Hence, David Steele (President, Earthsave Canada) and I wrote the following article for the Vancouver Sun from a health perspective, highlighting the direction government policies need to take to effectively reduce health care costs: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/plants+save+health+care+system/8739250/story.html
September 2013: Our anatomy is designed for plant-based diet, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed:
Since there was so much debate among readers about the necessity of meat and dairy following our last article, I wanted to give an objective view that humans are really designed to eat plants by examining anthropological evidence and anatomical features of humans, as compared to carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Here is the article: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Opinion+Humans+designed+plants/8831255/story.html
November 2013: World Vegan Month – 30 reasons to go vegan, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
World Vegan Month: For World Vegan Month starting with November 1st as World Vegan Day, I wrote an op/ed piece itemizing 30 reasons to go vegan, one for each day of November., Here it is in the Vancouver Sun: This was also picked up by the Examiner in the U.S.
December 2013: Peace – Ethics of Eating Animals, The Vancouver Sun, Op/ed
My strongest, thought-provoking article for Christmas in the Vancouver Sun, published in the Saturday edition, the weekend just before Christmas, titled “Peace on earth – but for whom?”
December 2014: Vegan Diet is both healthy and humane, The Langley Advance, Letter
Christmas is a time to indulge for many people. Vegans are no different, but our food indulgences do not harm animals. I wrote a lighthearted beckoning article for the local papers to entice non-vegans to check out our vegan social group: http://www.langleyadvance.com/opinion/vegans-both-healthy-and-humane-1.764516