Celebrate World Vegan Day!

On November 1, 2007 we will be celebrating World Vegan Day! Actually throughout the last week of October (27 Oct – 1 Nov ’07) people and animals alike all around the world will be celebrating vegan lifestyles.

I myself am an aspiring vegan, meaning that I try as hard as I can to eliminate animal products from my life. It’s not always easy, definitely an adventure and a journey. I have met a lot of people (and animals!) that have been great inspiration and guides for me along the way.


One of my animal inspirations: Rudie the pig. Rudie is a resident at Farm Sanctuary near Ithaca, NY.

If you are interested in becoming a vegan or are a little skeptical I highly recommend reading a little about veganism and how you can begin your own journey. I have included many links below that could help you begin. Dr. Jane herself writes about her journey towards mindful and compassionate eating in her recent book Harvest for Hope: A guide to mindful eating. I also learned a lot from reading the book Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Like I said, it is definitely a journey, however a worthwhile one. I have enjoyed increased energy and just a general better feeling of wellbeing.

Should you choose to become vegan you can know that you are not only showing care and concern for animals, but also the environment! The livestock industry draws a great deal of resources from water to fuel, and much of the time these practices are not sustainable. With the organic movement (and people like you) however things are starting to change, and more humane and sustainable practices are coming as a result of a great deal of grassroots pushes from people all over the world. It’s become my own personal Roots & Shoots project! Maybe it can be yours too!


Harvest for Hope on Amazon.com

Veg for life: A Farm Sanctuary Campaign

Vegan Action: For animals, for the planet, for our health

the all knowing Wikipedia on Veganism


the Jane Goodall Institute’s 30th Anniversary Galas

Over the last year the Jane Goodall Institute has been celebrating its 30 year anniversary. The year’s celebrations culminated with two wonderful galas, one on 28 September at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California and the other on 10 October at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Both of the galas were green events featuring an organic and locally vegetarian menu. These two events also inaugurated the Jane Goodall Institute’s Global Leadership awards. Our very own Chase Pickering was one of the recipients for Youth Leadership. Way to go Chase!

Dr. Jane and the Fellows at the Los Angeles, Gala: From left to right: Shawn Sweeney, Dr. Jane Goodall, David Chase.

Jeff Corwin and the Youth Leaders at the Washington gala. From left to right: Chase Pickering, Shawn Sweeney, David Chase, Mitch Paine, Jeff Corwin, Chelsea Gross.

Roots & Shoots Day of Peace – Los Angeles, California

After our adventure with International Day Of Peace David and I traveled to Los Angeles to join Dr. Jane for the Roots & Shoots Day of Peace at Griffith Park on Sunday 23 September 2007. The celebration was a huge festival including hundreds and hundreds of people who came together to promote world harmony and understanding. It is important to note that the day calls for peace between all nations and people and is not an anti-war rally.

Shawn Speaks at Peaceday

For us the day started with many volunteers arriving at the park before the sun had even peaked the horizon. In the dark the volunteers worked hard to set up tents and tables, post banners and signs, and finish up the final details of months of hard work and planning. Later in the morning we were joined by more than 15 very active Roots & Shoots group from Southern California. Each group was assigned a table and was asked to bring information and pictures to display and show-off all of their hard work. It was so inspiring to see everything that they are doing and how much energy and activity is going on there.

For instance a group from Rancho San Diego has been working for the past five years to plant some 800 trees, which are native to southern California. The trees are vital for the ecosystem as they do not require much water and are virtually sun resistant. The group has been measuring the growth of the trees and their impact on the ecosystem.

Also joining us were several local organizations from Save Darfur to a local exotic animal sanctuary. All of these organizations brought with them materials and volunteers to help link Roots & Shoots members with ideas for ways they can get involved in their area.

There were a number of fantastic musicians on hand to entertain and help promote world harmony. From a middle school jazz group to a rock n’ roll band, Roots & Shoots covered the spectrum taking its holistic view into it’s choice of music.

The climax of the day came when Dr. Jane led a parade of 45 giant peace dove from the top of a hill down through the crowd. The giant peace doves, made of entirely recycled materials, flapped in the wind while being carried by Roots & Shoots members from all over California. Following the parade was a truly inspiring talk from Dr. Jane, ending with a call to action.

Dr. Jane walks with the Peacedoves

Many area Roots & Shoots volunteers worked together over many months to plan this day. A great deal of work went into making this day a success and so we say kudos to all of you who helped and we hope to see you there next year!

Roots & Shoots Youth Leader, Mitch Paine, Rocks the UN!

Mitch Paine rocked the UN in his two plus minute speech on the UN International Day of Peace. Speaking right after greats like Jane Goodall, Micheal Douglas and Elie Wiesel might make some people nervous, but not Mitch. Like a pro, Mitch delivered a perfect speech nailing all of his points without breaking a sweat! Way to use those leadership skills Mitch!