As we fast approach Christmas and the New Year, we are reminded that this is a time of compassion and good will and yet another opportunity for the resolve to improve our lives. Every January many customers come in to our stores looking for products that support New Year’s resolutions to achieve better health. As always, and in the spirit of compassion, we encourage them to adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle and consider the idea of going vegetarian or eating less meat. Why? At Down to Earth, we passionately believe and promote the vital truth that the single most important thing an individual can do for their health, for the environment, and for the sake of the innocent animals is to adopt a vegetarian diet. There are a number of reasons why adopting or moving towards a vegetarian diet is important:

Better Health

Virtually all the major scientific and medical institutions in the world agree that the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a host of other diseases is linked to a meat-based diet consisting of highly processed foods laden with fats and artificial ingredients. These institutions further agree that the risk is greatly reduced by adopting a healthy low-fat, high-fiber diet. We believe this result is best achieved by adopting a healthy vegetarian diet consisting of fresh organic produce and organic and natural foods.

Better for the Environment

America’s meat addiction is poisoning and depleting our clean air, potable water, and arable land. More than half the water used in the United States goes to animal agriculture. Farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the entire human US population, and factory farms don't have sewage treatment systems as our cities and towns do. As a result, this concentrated slop ends up polluting our water, destroying our topsoil, and contaminating our air. In its 2006 report, the United Nations stated that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. Most of it comes from manure and billions of belching animals. Many leading environmental organizations, including the National Audubon Society, the WorldWatch Institute, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, have recognized that raising animals for food damages the environment more than just about anything else we do. Whether it's the overuse of resources, unchecked water pollution, global warming greenhouse gases, the widespread use of pesticides to treat crop grown for feed, or related soil erosion, raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on Mother Earth. Therefore, the most important step you can take to reduce global warming and save the planet is to go vegetarian.

Better For the Innocent Animals

Animals on today's factory farms have no legal protection from cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted on dogs or cats. This includes neglect, mutilation, genetic manipulation, drug regimens that cause chronic pain and crippling and—at the end—the infliction of gruesome and violent slaughter. Yet farmed animals are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs and cats we cherish as companions. If we truly want to live a compassionate life, it follows that we do our best to never unnecessarily harm other living beings. While we may not be able to change the world by ourselves, each individual can do what they can in their own lives to improve their health, help the environment, and cause less pain and suffering to other living beings. Therefore, we encourage everyone to adopt or move towards a plant-based vegetarian diet. On behalf of all the team members at Down to Earth, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! And as always, thanks for shopping with us! Mark Fergusson