Here are a few things I believe.
I believe there is enormous power in our fork. Every time we sit down for a meal, we are given an opportunity to improve our health, support a farmer, reduce our carbon footprint, champion for animals, build up our local economy, and contribute to a movement bettering our food system.
Our food choices are really one of the most influential things we do every day and do not even realize it.
I believe that art can be used to do good in the world and create social change. Art can be used as a vehicle for expanding public awareness of environmental and social issues, and help us emotionally connect to movements creating a greater good bigger than ourselves.
Art captures the heart and expresses the soul, makes visible what we cannot put into words, and is a calming influence in a chaotic world.
I believe that business can be used to do good in the world and create social change. A purpose-driven business creates benefit for a higher good of all – people, animal, and planet.
As a social entrepreneur, I make the same vow as doctors to first do no harm, and I am committed to practicing progressive approaches to business that create social and stakeholder prosperity.
Putting all those beliefs together, I created Healthy Stock which is a brand of my parent business Vibrantly, an indie, woman and artist owned mobile publisher that builds tools and community inspiring consumer food and climate change activism.
The purpose of Health Stock is energizing the plant-based movement to help stop climate change through art.
The intention behind my photography is to make plant-based eating look delicious and aspirational. Healthy Stock has the distinction of being one of the first royalty-free, stock photography sites dedicated purely to plant-based eating.
As an artist, I wanted my photography to be used as a force for good that other activists, advocates, bloggers, writers, social entrepreneurs, and non-profits could utilize in their efforts to help stop climate change and to help energize the plant-based movement which I think is a higher good for humans, animals and the planet. I myself am a Flexitarian in the process of becoming a full-time plant-based eater. I’m 90% there.
Healthy eating, organic agriculture, and creating a better food system has always been a passion of mine that I blogged about in Noshtopia, my food blog about eating Flexitarian. After watching the documentary Cowspiracy which sparked me to do my own research, I was shocked to learn more about climate change, and more specifically animal agriculture’s impact on climate change. In 2016, I was a California delegate for Bernie Sanders in his presidential race, and that experience ignited the activist in me and taught me more about grassroots movements than politics.
Animal agriculture is not only the second leading cause of Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHGs) impacting climate change more than all of transportation, it has become the one industry that is causing the most destruction to our planet – climate change, ocean dead zones, fisheries depletion, water depletion, species extinction, deforestation, world hunger, and food safety. Over consumption of meat and dairy is also a leading contributor to top chronic health issues of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Please read this eye-opening piece in the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It.“
Another issue that has recently become important to me related to stopping climate change is the end of animal factory farming aka CAFOs – Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. CAFOs exist only to mass produce meat, and simply put is systematic violence and cruelty against animals raised for food. There are Federal laws to protect the humane slaughter of these animals but no laws to protect the humane raising of them during their life.
The more millions of us reduce our meat, dairy and egg consumption, the closer we get to shutting down CAFOs.
Also, not commonly talked about, beef is also a form of food waste because of its resource intensity. The beef industry reaps massive profits for Big GMO Agrichemical and Big Pharma. CAFOs also generate massive amounts of waste adding to the pollution of air and water in nearby communities.
There is a big difference between cows raised by your local farmer versus cows raised in CAFOs. But whether a cow is raised in a small farm or a CAFO, that sentient being is still slaughtered. I stopped eating chicken in 2010 after seeing the documentary Food Inc, and this year after seeing this video called, “The White Cow,” showing the experience of a humanely slaughtered cow, I decided that I no longer want to contribute to the death sentence of fellow warm-blooded sentient beings.
If you are like me, I can no longer not do anything. I’ve been awakened as many have to answer the call to action because climate change is real and we are consciously contributing to our own extinction at an alarming rate. There is no Planet B. This is the only earth home we have.
The good news is that we can stop the destructive path we’re on and move in a direction that benefits humanity, animals, and Mother Earth.