Taking action in May

http://www.childrenandnature.org/news/detail/us_environmental_protection_agency_video_explores_the_value_of_urban_wetlan/

May is American Wetlands month. Learn about wetlands by watching the video in the link above.
Then visit: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/awm/ and then take action to protect and restore wetlands near you.

Also in May and happening this week from the 3rd-9th: Be Kind to Animals Week!

http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-animals/special-events/be-kind-to-animals-week/

American Humane is a wonderful website.

If any Roots & Shoots groups take part, please don’t forget to submit project reports online.

Finding comfort in a new place

Moving to a new place can be a little frightening. Everything is so new and deep down you crave something that feels familiar. Even the simplest thing, such as shopping for food at the grocery store, can pose a challenge. I was recently searching for dairy products and was so confused when I didn’t find Lucerne and Tillamook, two widely distributed products in Washington State that I assumed was sold everywhere. I was forced to grab the store brand cheese, which somehow made me worry about the quality compared to that which I was used to.

It is not just food, but other things I had grown to love. In Pullman I had a routine that was perfect; I knew all my favorite places to shop and looked forward to riding my bike to the farmer’s market each Saturday. I was happy with the local non-profits and level of concern over important issues such as the environment and the welfare of animals. I thought that once I moved everything would change and I wouldn’t find the same things I had grown to love; amazingly I found the opposite. Over the course of the week I was able to talk to others about their favorite places to shop and then started searching the internet. I was overjoyed to find a website that listed locally grown food that was available at many farmer’s markets in the area. There is also an organic food store nearby called Trader Joe’s.

With regards to the environment and local non-profits, I have become very impressed at how green the area is and now frequently visit a local park to go hiking with my coworker. I also found a local humane society that is very active in the community and hosting a Walk for the Animals event at the end of the month. I have finally begun to feel a sense of community and connection to this new place I now call home. It is comforting to know that even on the other side of the country there are people who share similar passions and places that allow you to enjoy the things you love about life; all you have to do is get out there and find them.

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.

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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!

Links:

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

Welcome!

Hello blog world,

This blog is dedicated to documenting the travels, triumphs and trivial tid-bits of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots Fellows. David Chase and Shawn Sweeney, youth leadership fellow and graduate fellow respectively, are two of the youngest members of the Jane Goodall Institute’s staff and work around the clock (often literally) to bring a youth voice to an international organization whose arm reaches into 100 countries.

I am David Chase. Originally from Cape Cod Massachusetts, I enjoy a good slice of pizza, a good song and a good pair of birks. But only if the slice does not have meat on it, the song does not belong to the rap or classical genre, and the birks are worn year round despite any amount of snow. I graduated the Sturgis Charter Public School with a full IB diploma and I will attend St Mary’s College of Maryland after this year long fellowship.

I first got involved with Roots & Shoots in my middle school, which was oddly located between a Chinese restaurant and a hair salon in an underground strip mall. I carried on through high school and I was a founding member of the New England Youth Leadership Council. Basically making eight years of Roots & Shoots experience, including two international trips, six summits and two retreats.

I am the second youth leadership fellow, following Chase Pickering (which means I will respond to David, Chase, David Chase Pickering or Chase2). The Youth Leadership Fellow position was created to bring a youth voice to the Roots & Shoots staff. The fellowship is the ultimate form of youth empowerment. As the Youth Leadership Fellow, I am also responsible for overseeing our national campaigns and our Youth Leadership Initiative.

The second member of our dynamic duo is Shawn Sweeney. Shawn enjoys too many TV shows, music that I don’t and blended salads (with orange juice). On a serious note, Shawn has a passion for primates, a degree in psychology from College of Wooster and a skill for graphic design that never ceases to amaze.

Shawn started a Roots & Shoots group at his college and joined the College Leadership Council. He has since become a leader among leaders. Shawn is the first Graduate Fellow and is responsible for not only bringing a youth voice to the staff but also helping to support our college and university groups around the country.

So, welcome to the fellow blog and check it out often to hear about our travels! We are currently in New York City and we will fly out to Los Angles tomorrow morning, we will put up our travel schedule shortly.

For more information on Roots & Shoots go to www.rootsandshoots.org

For more information on the Jane Goodall Institute go to www.janegoodall.org