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This could hasten the decline of the animal agriculture industry.

Animal agriculture is in trouble. For years, people have been aware of the connections between animal-derived foods and a whole host of diseases. More recently, scientists, governments and organizations have been sounding alarms about the connections between animal agriculture and a variety of devastating environmental problems including water shortages and global warming. And thanks to the efforts of many dedicated advocates and entrepreneurs, large numbers of people are starting to become aware of both the shocking abuse and horror inflicted on animals and also the amazing plethora of wonderful vegan products that are rendering animal products obselete. All this has taken its toll on those who profit from animal suffering. Meat consumption in the US has fallen sharply in the last decade.

Now the animal industry is panicking over the latest recommendations of the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
One particular line from the 571 page document that has them upset is this: "...A diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet."

Not only does this line, and the recommendations in general, call for Americans to limit their consumption of animal-based foods for the sake of their own health, but for the first time it is also drawing attention to the devastating effects of animal agriculture with the understanding that a degraded environment can affect people's health in numerous ways.

Here is what is at stake. Most people won't be immediately affected by these recommendations, but they could have a huge ripple effect. If they follow these recommendations, the Dietary Guidelines will likely reduce the amount of meat and other animal products that will be purchased for schools and all other federal meal programs. Many states and other institutions would follow suit with their own food purchases. Some financial experts have been warning investors to sell off their shares of meat company stocks now.

You can bet Big Animal Ag is fighting this.
Their spokespeople are calling this a direct attack on their industry, and will be pulling out all the stops to have this language stripped from the final document.

Here is where you come in. There is a public comment period that runs through midnight April 8, 2015 (EDT). They need to hear from all of us that the recommendations must continue to include the language about the environmental impacts of animal foods. Big Ag has a lot of supporters, and we need to expect that they will flood the comment section. Those of us who care about animals and the planet need to counter their voices with a flood of comments of our own.

Send a comment to health.gov now

We suggest that you download the recommendations and read at least the 11-page Executive Summary. There is no need to comment on the totality of the report (though there are a lot of other good and bad things in it, and much you may wish to comment on). We suggest that you keep your comment brief, thoughtful, informative and respectful. You may wish to read through some other comments before submitting your own.

Here is the address for sending comments
Here is the address for reading comments
Here is the overview page about the recommendations
Here is the 571-page dietary recommendations report
Here is a review of the recommendations from Dr Neal Barnard

Note: The recommendations are far from perfect. They still advise people to eat dairy and seafood, and they have removed some earlier language about the dangers of cholesterol. Again, it's good to read up and understand it the best you can.

2015 Vegan Street


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