The Factory Farming Awareness Coalition is an educational non-profit committed to empowering people to save the environment, animals, and our own health through our daily food choices.

Recent Updates

BART Ads + Fun Contest

Spread the Word!

Our BART ads have launched in 40 stations and on 120 BART cars throughout the San Francisco Bay Area!

To help spread the word about our new ads on BART, we have created a fun contest for you! Join @ffacoalition on Instagram for our “Find FFAC on BART and WIN!” contest. From September 9th - October 7th, we’re giving away a lot of fun prizes.

For the first two weeks (September 9 – 23), share our contest logo and/or an image of our BART ads on your Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter account (tag us @ffacoalition and hashtag #FFAConBART) and receive an entry (or up to three if you re-post the logo and both ads!) into a drawing for a $50 gift Pangea gift certificate!

On the two following Mondays (September 23 and September 30), we’ll announce a challenge for the following week. Complete the challenge and you could win! We will give away great prizes to the winner for each week’s challenge.  This contest is a simple, easy, and fun way to spread the word about issues related to factory farming AND win prizes!!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Follow @ffacoalition on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  2. Complete any or all of the challenges.
  3. Watch the @ffacoalition account for announcements of the lucky winners (it could be you!).

 

So what are you waiting for? Make sure you’re following @ffacoalition on Instagram and start spreading the word today!

#ffaconbart

Click here for official rules and full contest details.

You Little Shrimp

shrimp_cocktailWhen you hear shrimp, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Most likely it’s shrimp cocktail or Thai prawns or, if you’re thinking metaphorically, maybe scrawny. Chances are, you don’t think mangroves.

But those little pink crustaceans impact mangrove forests, which in turn impact everything from Bengal tigers to climate change.

shrimp2Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States; Americans consume over a billion pounds per year. Almost all shrimp in the U.S., 90%, is imported from coastal countries in South America and Southeast Asia.

There, shrimp are raised on shrimp farms. Much like mammal factory farms, shrimp farms confine thousands of shrimp per pond. This causes many of the same problems: dangerous concentrations of waste, rapid spread of bacteria, and feed laced with antibiotics to keep animals alive.

But that’s par for the course as far as intensive animal farming goes. What’s extra fishy about shrimp is the environment in which they’re raised: former mangrove swamps.

Mangroves_in_Puerto_Rico

  • Mangroves are trees that grow in tropical saltwater swamps. The mangrove ecosystem…
  • Shields villages from tsunamis & hurricanes
  • Provides one of the last remaining habitats for wild Bengal tigers
  • Filters water, promoting the health of neighboring coral reefs
  • Absorbs 5x more carbon than rainforests

But mangroves are being cut down in order to build shrimp farms. So far more than 3 million acres of mangroves have been destroyed – over 1/3 of the world’s total mangroves. This is disastrous for local communities, ecosystems, and the global climate.

* * *

If farmed shrimp are so bad, then wild-caught shrimp must be the answer! Think again. Wild shrimp are caught using a method called trawling; boats haul giant nets behind them, scraping up everything in their path.

Trawling catches many other ocean creatures, called bycatch, which are killed by the trawling nets and thrown back into the ocean.

Shrimp fishing kills more bycatch than any other type of fishing; the ratio of bycatch to shrimp is 20:1. In the Gulf of Mexico, one common victim of shrimp trawling bycatch is sea turtles.

But wild-caught shrimp from Southeast Asia isn’t the answer either; the fishing industry there is rife with human trafficking and slavery.

* * *

So the next time you spot shrimp scampi on the menu, think of mangroves and sea turtles and ask yourself – are those tiny crustaceans really worth the devastation?

For more information, check out this great video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KVJbUHGAQg#at=120
Infographic from the Mangrove Action Project: http://www.questionyourshrimp.com/learn-more/
Human trafficking: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1596323/the_slavery_behind_our_seafood.html
Environmental devastation: http://www.nrdc.org/living/shoppingwise/meals-mass-destruction-shrimp.asp
Trawling bycatch: http://www.fao.org/docrep/W6602E/w6602E09.htm

 

Isn’t That Illegal?

One of the first questions people ask when they learn about the treatment of animals on factory farms is, “Isn’t that illegal?” The sad reality is…

piggylegal

There are no federal laws regulating animal cruelty; that’s done at a state level. All states have laws against animal cruelty, but most states have Common Farming Exemptions. CFE’s state that if a practice is commonly done on factory farms, it’s automatically legal.

Cut off a puppy’s tail without anesthetic? Felony animal cruelty. Cut off a piglet’s tail without anesthetic? Legal on a factory farm.

The only federal animal welfare law that applies to farm animals is the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. This states that animals should be unconscious prior to slaughter in order to ensure a quick and relatively painless death.

But chickens and turkeys are exempt from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Since chickens & turkeys make up 8.75 billion of the 9 billion animals killed in the U.S. every year, this law applies to less than 3% of all farm animals.

And it turns out the USDA isn’t enforcing this law even for the 3% of animals it applies to. A recent report found that even slaughterhouses with gross violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, such as a live pig being scalded to death, faced no consequences.

* * *

What about the environment? If animal treatment on factory farms isn’t regulated, surely the pollution from factory farms must be?

In 2005, the EPA struck a deal with factory farms. If a few factory farms allowed the EPA to monitor air pollution levels, the entire industry would be immune from all past and future violations of the Clean Air Act.

cleanairexempt

Factory farms also became immune from the Right-to-Know Act, which gives workers and communities the right to know what toxic chemicals they’re being exposed to.

So what kind of pollutants are workers and surrounding communities exposed to? Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide levels 10x higher than legal levels for the oil industry.

* * *

It’s disturbing to realize that we can’t rely on the government to ensure that food is humane or just, but there is some good news.

goodnews

 We can take matters into our own hands by boycotting factory farming and switching to plant-based proteins. It’s never been easier or tastier to stop supporting the factory farming system.

To educate your friends and co-workers about this issue, e-mail info@ffacoalition.org to schedule a presentation for your business, organization, or class. To learn more about plant-based diets, visit www.chooseveg.com

Sources for Further Reading:
USDA Audit Report for Pig Slaughterhouses - http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/24601-0001-41.pdf
Lack of Farm Animal Welfare Laws - http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others/?_r=0
Clean Air Act - http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/eip-analyzes-epa-cafo-data/
Number of Animals Killed Per Year - http://www.humanesociety.org/news/resources/research/stats_slaughter_totals.html
Legal Analysis of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act - http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ddushmsa.htm

Updated – BART Ads Unveiled

Here are the designs for our 2013 ad campaign on the San Francisco subway system!

car ad final

Car Ad
The ad pictured above will run on 120 BART cars across the Bay Area, drawing attention to the often-overlooked plight of chickens. Chickens are the most commonly slaughtered animals in the U.S., with 240 killed every second.*

People who are concerned with animal welfare often choose to eliminate red meat from their diets. Chik-Fil-A exploited this tendency with their “Cow Appreciation Day” campaign, encouraging consumers to save cows by eating chickens instead.

Some people consider chickens little more than walking brainstems, but in fact studies have shown that chickens are smarter than toddlers. Chickens are also the worst treated of all farmed animals. 99% of chickens are raised on factory farms in deplorable and dangerous conditions.

Thankfully, millions of people are now choosing to spare both cows and chickens by shifting towards plant-based diets. Whether it’s via Meatless Mondays or Vegan Before 6, more and more Americans are choosing to help animals (and their health) by choosing plant-based options.

FFAC BART Station Ad

Station Ad
This ad, which will run in 40 BART stations, is designed to help people save their own lives by emphasizing the many health benefits of plant-based diets.

From cancer to heart disease to diabetes, plant-based diets have been scientifically proven to prevent and even reverse some of the deadliest health problems in the U.S.

For a thorough (& surprisingly hilarious) overview of the many health benefits of plant-based diets, watch Dr. Michael Greger’s video Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, and check out the documentary Forks Over Knives.

The Impact of Our Ads on Animals & the Environment
Since 366,000 people ride BART everyday, if only 1% of one day’s worth of riders decide to adopt a veg diet one day a week, it will save 100,000 animal lives and be equivalent to not driving 1 million miles!

 Thank you so much to everyone who donated to the indiegogo campaign to fund the design, to everyone who shared and filled out our content survey, and to all of our amazing supporters and members.

*According to figures from http://animaldeathcount.webnode.com/

Thank you!

Thanks to all of our fantastic supporters, we reached our fundraising goal of $2,000!

This money will pay for graphic design for our ads on the San Francisco public transit system, which will reach over 300,000 people per day. Keep an eye out for the 2013 design, coming soon…

The rest of the funds will support our educational outreach campaign. We have presented to over 1,500 people so far this year, and plan to double that number by the end of the year.

To our many generous donors and supporters, we say:

bartthankyouRemember, it’s not too late to donate! There are still 6 days left, and it would be great if we could surpass our goal.

The United States of Progesterone: What’s Really in Your Chicken Sandwich?

Even lawyers are concerned about the state of food today, working on the issue from the standpoint of product liability. We received this article from a law firm that’s working to shed light on the secret and sickening ingredients in our food supply

The Scandalous Evolution of Animal Protein

Americans consume 31 percent more processed foods than fresh food, according to a 2010 article in the New York Times. We also ingest more processed meals than just about any other industrialized nation. Japan eats a higher percentage of ready-to-eat meals, the data suggests, though these products of choice tend to be near-fresh items such as seafood or dried seaweed. On the whole, healthier options than what U.S. residents choose to put in front of them.

Doctors agree that diets with high amounts of processed foods, which contain large quantities of fat, salt, and sugar, lead to increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Processed animal protein, including meat and dairy, contributes the lion’s share of manufactured meals that Americans inhale every day. We’re eating a combined 481 pounds-per-capita of this stuff every year, according to the New York Times. We’re literally eating ourselves to death.

Questions we should all be asking: what’s actually in these items? Should chicken breast bought in a supermarket really have a list of ingredients?

The Tale of the Ballooning Poultry

As early as the 1930s, hormones assisted the food industry by increasing production levels for food companies, according to the Sprecher Institute at Cornell University.

Photo Credit: Food, Inc.

Chicken farmers today raise poultry that grows to weigh twice as much as similar birds in 1950, in less than half the time. Hormones, specifically the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES), administered to young poultry and other animals allow them to gain more weight in less time. Shorter life cycles from birth to the frozen food section lead to larger-scale production and higher profits. Pharmaceutical companies even used synthetic estrogen in pills to help menopausal women manage their symptoms.

Then scientists in the 1970s discovered a link between increased cancer risks in those using DES. Food companies promptly phased the compound out of their regular animal “treatment” regiments, but the damage was already done. The processed food industry in the United States wasn’t about the stop its use of synthetic compounds to stimulate growth and production. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given approval to six different hormones for use in food production:  estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate, and melengestrol acetate. Two of those compounds – progesterone and estradiol – are female sex hormones commonly found in prescription birth control pills. What quantities of these chemicals are present in the processed food we eat? According to the Sprecher Institute at Cornell University, there’s no way to measure levels of progesterone or estradiol in animal productsbecause scientists can’t tell the administered portions from what the animal creates naturally. In an Italian study, researchers discovered a link between steroid hormone residues in beef and poultry with breast enlargement in young students – girls and boys.

If you’re consuming mass-produced beef or poultry, chances are you’re consuming estrogen and testosterone in high quantities. How much? The FDA has no idea.Photo Credit: Flickr

Hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, remain active in the body after consumption, and can persist in food products post slaughter. Do we think it’s actually safe to ingest compounds that make chickens grow to twice their natural size and force cows to produce twice the amount of milk?

Frankenstein’s Monster in Your Grocer’s Freezer

Finding animal products, meat or otherwise, that haven’t suffered manipulation in some way is harder than it sounds. Even foods baring the “natural” label can still have added estrogen and testosterone in them because the compounds are not “synthetic,” according to Web MD. Furthermore, the United States Department of Agriculture only regulates the labeling of items as natural when it applies to beef and poultry. Food companies could label glow in the dark fruit-like paste as natural and there’s really no way to prove otherwise because the regulation is completely absent.

Frozen meals are hot spots for processed foods with chemical preservatives and modified ingredients. Photo Credit: Flickr

Genetic alteration of animals in our food supply is increasingly common. Genetically modified organisms or GMOs have had their structures changed by scientists to produce varying effects that food companies believe will be beneficial to consumers.

  • In 2011, scientists in Argentina transformed the genes of dairy cows to produce milk that mimics the makeup of human breast milk, according to the Daily Telegraph.
  • Genetically-modified fish – salmon spliced with eel DNA – grow much faster and larger than their naturally-born counterparts, says the Huffington Post. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considered the first transgenic salmon for approval for nationwide sale in 2013.
  • AquaBounty, a private fish developer responsible for the creation of the first GMO salmon, estimates that the release of just 60 GMO salmon into a wild population of 60,000 would cause the extinction of the wild population in less than 40 generations.

Consumers can find GMOs in more than just cow’s milk and the seafood section. At least 70 percent of processed food products in the United States have GMOs in them; everything from soda to frozen waffles. How these compounds interact with our bodies remains largely unknown. In the case of genetically altered salmon, no long-term studies exist on the effects the consumption of so-called “Frankenfish” might have on us because its creation is so new. It is more interesting or frightening that the FDA believes AquaBounty’s GMO salmon to be safe despite the absence of this information?

Consumers wanting to buy non-GMO products can visit this website for a continually-updated list of items that do not intentionally contain modified ingredients.

The Economics of Our Food

Eating healthy is often seen as a function of our privilege. Those with higher incomes can afford to buy products raised in the wild that haven’t been genetically manipulated to grow faster in shorter amounts of time. The rich can absorb the cost of fresh produce, while the working poor have to buy frozen meals with artificial ingredients.

Spam, the ubiquitous canned meat sold in grocery stores around the world, has actually fewer artificial ingredients than some fast food meats and other products.Photo Credit: Flickr

Organic farming is also less efficient than conventional systems. According to CNN Health, organic crops yield only 75 to 90 percent of the amount harvested from fields using GMO products that resist disease or artificial pesticides. This means more land is necessary to produce the same quantity, which leads to higher costs.

Then there’s the higher price to consider at checkout. A study from researchers at the University of California-Davis indicated that U.S. consumers who consistently buy healthy foods spend 20 percent more on groceries than those who do not. The higher price associated with these items, researchers say, can gobble up 35 to 40 percent of the grocery budget for low-income families. Many simply cannot afford to pay $4 a gallon for organic milk when there are cheaper alternatives. Consumers commented to UC Davis researchers that price was a barrier to purchasing organic products 70 percent of the time.

We want healthy food, but we don’t want to blow the entire budget in the process. Because organic farms produce lower crop yields than others, there’s a premium supply for those interested in buying them. Couple low supply with increasing demands and it is basic economics to find the reason for the higher price.

The Dirty Ingredients in Cheap Meats       

So we buy cheaper products, including meats, because we don’t want to hand over the cash for the healthier, more natural options. Do we fully understand what it means when we buy processed foods, including low-cost proteins in fast food meals? Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients in the average McDonald’s chicken nugget as reported by the International Human Press:

  • Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone – dubbed TBHQ, this petroleum derivative is a form of butane, the very same gas used in fuel blending for gasoline and propane. McDonald’s sprays the compound onto its chicken nuggets as a preservative, which the FDA claims is safe if used “sparingly.” Consuming one gram of TBHQ can cause vomiting, delirium, and diarrhea. A five gram dose is usually fatal.
  • Dimethylpolysiloxane – try saying that three times fast. An anti-foaming agent, this chemical keeps nuggets from leaking…yes, leaking. It’s a polymer of silicone, a suspected carcinogen, and was one of the main ingredients in Silly Putty.
  • Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate – this buffering agent helps maintain color in frozen foods, particularly potatoes and cured meats. It also has applications in the leather working industry for its ability to remove hair when incorporated into scalding water.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Ignoring the very real health implications of synthetic compounds in our food supply has resulted in negative consequences across the board, from skyrocketing cases of juvenile diabetes to a ridiculous rise in obesity rates in young people as well as adults. If more people demand lower-cost, healthier alternatives to affordable, yet potentially unsafe, genetically modified organisms, we can compel real change in our national marketplace. Vote with dollars. Spend money on products with short lists of ingredients that look like actual food and not a college chemistry exam.

If we can’t pronounce it, we shouldn’t eat it.

Read more: http://www.consoleandhollawell.com/law-blog/the-united-states-of-progesterone-whats-really-in-your-chicken-sandwich#ixzz2YfBUgsYS

Forging Connections

This past weekend, FFAC members attended the National Animal Rights Conference in Washington, D.C.

The conference was especially inspiring because it included prestigious speakers from a wide array of backgrounds who are all working on the issue of animal agriculture. Some of the highlights:

  • Wenonah Hauter from Food and Water Watch gave a brief history of U.S. agricultural policy, which has become increasingly centralized and monopolized by a handful of corporations.
  • Amanda Hitt of the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign spoke about their work providing legal support for whistleblowers. They were featured recently in a Kansas City Star front-page story about a whistleblower at a Tyson pork plant who complained about stun gun levels being set too low, resulting in pigs that were still conscious for the slaughtering process. In response, rather than fixing the illegal and torturous practice, Tyson transferred the worker 120 miles away. GAP is suing on the worker’s behalf.
  • Many different speakers, from the Humane Society’s Paul Shapiro to journalist Will Potter, addressed “Ag-gag laws” that seek to criminalize undercover investigations on factory farms. Thankfully this legislation has backfired; consumers have started thinking about what factory farms have to hide, and major news outlets are showing the very undercover investigations that factory farms want to squelch.

FFAC’s executive director, Katie Cantrell,  spoke as part of a panel discussion on Lessons from Agriculture Campaigns. She told the audience about FFAC’s huge successes; presenting to over 3,000 people in just a year and a half, and winning advertisements on San Francisco’s subway system two years in a row.

AR tabling collage

FFAC also tabeled at the conference and met hundreds of people from around the country, many of whom are interested in using our presentation to educate their local communities.

Mexican Success!

The amazing final numbers are in – Justice Without Boundaries and Anima Naturalis gave the FFAC presentation to 550 people in 11 different cities, and provided speaker/activism training to 92 people across Mexico.

mexicocollage

Special thanks to Israel Arriola from Anima Naturalis, who singlehandedly gave the presentation eight times, and to Justice Without Boundaries presenters Gerardo and Lalo.

April Rocked!

The month of April was our biggest month of outreach ever! We gave 13 presentations and tabled at 11 separate events, reaching thousands of people with a message of sustainability and compassion.

tablingcollage

Volunteers tabled at Earth Day events in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento.

presentercollagePresenters spoke to high school and college classes, and community organizations about the impacts of animal agriculture on animals, workers, the environment, and our health.

Thank you to all of our incredible volunteers who made this unprecedented outreach possible! If you would like to get involved, or if you know of any venues that would like to host presentations, please e-mail info@ffacoalition.org.

Mexico City – A Personal Reflection

Written by FFAC’s Executive Director, Katie Cantrell, who traveled to Mexico for the first week of the Justice Without Boundaries tour. If this article is TL;DR, check out this post that sums up the highlights of the tour.

jwb-banner

As activists, the work that we do is at once personal and global. The mindsets that lay the foundation for oppression begin on an individual level and are expressed on a systemic scale. Likewise, the solution to these problems starts within ourselves; by addressing these issues internally, our compassion can resonate around the world. This has never been more obvious to me than while on the Justice Without Boundaries tour.

The Beginning

Justice Without Boundaries was primarily organized by a single activist, Gerardo Alvarado, who was raised in Mexico and now lives in the United States. He brought together a coalition of organizations and individuals to form the first ever Justice Without Boundaries tour.

Gerardo originally contacted FFAC to translate our presentation into Spanish for use with Latino communities in the United States, and for the Justice Without Boundaries tour in Mexico. I was thrilled when I heard about the project, and wanted to be personally involved in the tour. Thus, six months later, I found myself on a plane to Mexico City.

The Issues

Much like FFAC, Justice Without Boundaries strives to highlight the intersection of many different justice issues. There are very direct connections between factory farming in the U.S. and Mexico:

  • Smithfield Foods, a U.S. company and the world’s largest pork producer, has expanded its operations into Mexico. This has profound consequences for local communities, driving small-scale farmers out of business, causing severe health problems, and polluting and depleting local resources. Humane Society International details Smithfield’s effects on Mexico.
  • Free-trade agreements like NAFTA have resulted in a flood of cheap products into Mexican markets, driving local producers out of business and shifting the food system from its traditional base. U.S. corporations further exploit this situation by recruiting unemployed Mexican farmers and workers to work in U.S. slaughterhouses. The Nation has a wonderful article on this topic.

Other connections are slightly more abstract. Neo-colonialism is in effect in Mexico, where U.S. corporations like McDonalds and KFC spread conceptions that traditional Mexican foods are inferior. As a result of cultural and economic imperialism, healthier, local staples are becoming increasingly more expensive and difficult to find. To make matters worse, they’re being replaced by products that cause the same health crises we are seeing in the United States: heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

The Goals

Tour member Eduardo Siller giving the FFAC presentation in Guadalajara.

Tour member Eduardo Siller giving the FFAC presentation in Guadalajara.

Justice Without Boundaries seeks to educate people about the impacts of animal agriculture, while also providing tools to address these issues. Activists presented a Spanish-language version of the FFAC presentation, vegan cooking demos using traditional regional ingredients, and workshops on effective activism skills like public speaking and organizing.

The education is not just unidirectional. Tour members were encouraged to spend as much time as possible talking with local residents and activists to hear their stories and learn about their work, their passions, their challenges, and their perspectives. Mexican voices are often so marginalized in the U.S. that gaining a firsthand understanding (or rather, a first step towards understanding) was one of the most valuable outcomes of the tour for me.

The People

For the week I was there, the tour crew consisted of 6 members from Mexico and 7 members from the United States. Together we had quite a range of activism experience. There were several members from animal activism groups, two members who came directly from the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas, and two others from an organization they started in Guadalajara that provides bicycles to the Huichol people of Central Mexico.

ITESM

JWB crew at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Cuernavaca campus.

Israel Arriola, a member of Anima Naturalis, a Spanish animal activism group that now has a large presence in Mexico, was the Mexican tour coordinator for the week that I was there. He graciously hosted us in Texcoco, a town 45-minutes outside of Mexico City, and organized many of the speaking events.

The Challenges

One of the most difficult elements was group dynamics. We were a group of a dozen people who share the same passions, but come from varying ideological and experiential backgrounds. Establishing a common understanding of how to organize our daily activities and create accountability was difficult but essential.

We knew that in order for our work to have any credibility or viability, we had to begin by honoring our ideals within ourselves. The anti-oppression nature of our work had to begin by ensuring that the group followed a consensus process and created a safe space for all voices to be heard. Even the smallest details, like what hand signals to use during meetings, were important for establishing a sustainable foundation for our activism.

The Lessons

I could probably write another blog post of equal length with the many things I learned while in Mexico, but these are a few of the most relevant points:

  • Activism is thriving in Mexico.
    • One common misperception I’ve encountered since returning to the United States is that Mexico doesn’t have much activism. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
    • The activism training I led was attended by over 30 people, of all ages and backrounds. Every single one volunteered to practice speaking in front of the group, which is a feat I’m not sure I would have encountered in the U.S.treeprotest
    • There are at least two large organizations working on animal issues in Mexico City.
    • There is also a good deal of direct action. While we were there, one of the tour members participated in a protest in which people chained themselves to trees in a park that was going to be demolished. The mayor later agreed to save the park.
  • Vegetarianism is popular and easy in Mexico City
    • The term “vegan” isn’t widely known, but “vegetarian” is used to represent both vegetarian and vegan. People didn’t give us strange looks or snarky comments for requesting food sin queso or sin crema.
    • There are many vegetarian restaurants.
    • With delicious fillings like potato, nopales (cactus), black beans, and avocado, it’s easy to get vegetarian options from street vendors.
    • In certain parts of Mexico, fruits and vegetables are much more abundant and affordable than in the United States
      • In Texcoco, we could walk 50 feet from our hotel to a small mercado that soldstreetvendor fresh-squeezed orange juice, a wide variety of vegetables, and all the mango and avocado we could eat.
      • Street vendors sell flavored nuts and dried fruit.
      • However, as mentioned under the “issues” section, in other parts of Mexico fresh fruits and vegetables are becoming increasingly harder to find and more expensive.
  • People are eager for cross-movement collaboration
    • Through events and discussions, we made connections to a huge variety of people. Everyone from environmental activists to vegan pop-up restaurant chefs wanted to talk about these issues and collaborate.
    • In fact, there were so many offers to have us come speak that if we had accepted them all we would have had over 100 events in less than 50 days.
    • There was such a strong positive response that the plan is to make JWB an annual event.

The Results

There will be a write-up of the whole six-week long tour soon, but for now you can view this post that summarizes the events we led and attended during our week with the tour. You can also view photos from the tour on our Facebook.

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