Vegan: Everyday Stories

Vegan: Everyday Stories


(calling animals) – Whoo! Whoo! Two months ago, I was going
to put the chickens up like I do every
night, and they all come running and following me, and she was just down. And she wouldn’t get up. And I thought, that’s weird. And so I went over
and just gently walked over to her and
said can you get up? And she just looked up at
me and did that (whines). And she couldn’t get up. I picked her up and I
just tried to set her down gently and
she just collapsed. And so, evidently she
injured her tendon or muscle, pulled a
muscle, I’m not sure what she did, but I
brought her in the house, and she stayed in Tommy’s office for a couple of days. And I fed her oatmeal and. There’s a, I take this
stuff called zeal, and it’s got turmeric
in it and ashwagandha. It’s got all these
wonderful herbs and stuff in it and foods. And so I thought well,
it’s good for me, it helps my inflammation, so
I can give it to the chickens. So I started giving her the zeal in little syringes two
or three times a day. And she started getting better, and a lot of TLC, and
next thing you know, oh hey, that’s Dixie. You know Dixie. (laughs) But the next thing you
know, she was walking better Even though she was kind
of like Hopalong (mumbles) or Hopalong Cassidy Kid. ‘Cause she’d still
kind of hop along, but she was doing just fine, and then couple days
ago, she was down again. I went to put ’em up
in the chicken coop and she was sittin’
down right there at the edge of the coop. Before I went vegan, I
loved Chik-Fil-A sandwiches, you know, chicken
sandwiches, as much as everybody, and
I would come home with a sandwich,
a chicken sandwich and I’d have my
chickens at my feet. And not everybody gets
the tactile, you know, experience of living
on a ranch like this going vegan. You know, I started
having all these conflicts in my mind, in my soul, that I would be eating a chicken
and loving this one. We never ate our own
animals, even the cows. We never slaughtered
our own cows. We always bought the
pretty pink packages at the grocery store. And she’s going to sleep. And I remember
vividly when I was working on her
leg in the kitchen and giving her a little syringe of that zeal, I remember vividly that I was working on her, and I got the gut feeling of how I used to eat chicken
legs when I was working on her leg, and I just
started crying at the sink. Just started crying,
I mean, I was deep, guttural,
horrifying, just sobs. Because I was working on her leg and realizing that, you
know, everybody eats them. Never even thinks
a thing about it. (loud engine) – Friend of mine called me up, I was working shift
work, I was tired. And he goes hey come out here, there’s this girl that
wants to meet you. And I said yeah, you’re lying. You always are. And he was. And I went anyway. And anyway, I met her. Yeah, Renee’s an
incredible person. She’s, she’s always
done incredible stuff. One of the early
things I saw was she was in a play in Houston,
two or three thousand people, threw the roses on the
stage and all that stuff ’cause she was the main singer. And she was right on
the edge of making it. And it was a wild ride. You could write a book
about her, you know, music career. And for whatever reason,
it never happened. ♪ Oh Shanendoah ♪ I long to see you ♪ Woah, you rolling river ♪ Oh Shanendoah,
I long to see you ♪ Across the wild Missouri ♪ Herman’s very soothed by music. And so I sing to
him all the time. And I see his eyes change when I sing to him, and I
watch his ears perk up. I watch the hair go
down on his back. He was on a concrete floor
at that kill shelter. It was not nice. He had barking dogs
all around him. And so, he was very
stressed when we got him. Very. (saw whirring) Right over there, we’re
building his fences and his home. His little feet
are going to touch the earth for the first
time in a long time. Just gotta get him out of here. I want him out of here so bad. – Herman’s owner
had passed away. He had been left for six months. The kids came and
cleared out the house, cleared out the
furniture, got the dog and the cat, but left the pig. And Herman had been
fending for himself, so the Animal Control officers had picked him up, brought
him into the shelter. And Renee, God love
her, she’s a week out from this event. She has spent all
the money she’s got on this project. Her husband, at the time
we talked on the phone, her husband was out
in the mid-day sun mowing and shoring
up fences to contain the bull calves that
didn’t go to slaughter. And she said I
don’t know Salise, I don’t know if I
can, a pig, I’ve never dealt with a pig, I
don’t even have a place to put him, I don’t know. – When that big
storm came through, everybody lost fence. Lots of Lake Jackson,
lots of Danbury, so we got tons of calls, and
then she called me with this. I couldn’t tell her no. – I think we exchanged
40 or maybe 50,000 emails about how we were
going to get this done and who was going
to hold him, who was going to pick him
up, what were we going to feed him, how were we going to lure him, who
was going to house him, how are we going to
get his pen built, how are we going to raise the
money to build the pen, and it was just like
this beehive of activity. And I came to have
this enormous respect for Renee, ’cause
she really is a, she will just get it done. – The way I look at
it is, what comes around goes around. You do something good, somebody returns the favor eventually. I always try to help out. And Renee does the same. – When she started
talking about sanctuary, I didn’t tell her,
but I was thinking I guess I’m gonna get a divorce. Because this is ridiculous. It’s not gonna work in Texas. She wanted to try it, and Renee is a very strong-willed person, and you can’t tell her
not to do something. – I wasn’t trying to
open up a sanctuary in the state of Texas. It’s not been my goal in life. My goal was to be a famous country and western
singer, hello? That’s what I thought
I was gonna be one day. You know? And that didn’t happen. And I married a farmer, he’s
worked hard all his life. He bought this place to
supplement his retirement. We hadn’t been making any money. Balloon notes were
coming due on tractors. He’s needin’ to
buy another rake, and now I’m telling
him oh heck no, you ain’t taking that red
trailer up the road anymore. We’re not sellin’
any more calves. You send that red
trailer up the road one more time, I’m following it. I’ll go to the
slaughterhouse if I have to. And it was a process for
me, because, I mean I love my husband. I didn’t want to just say
too bad you go up the road. What I’ve been here is a
catalyst for my husband to see a way that he’s
never been shown before because his history,
his culture, his way of viewing the world is
so grounded in tradition. Fourth generation
cattle rancher. His great grandpa herded
cows from San Antonio by horse with spurs, and
they had their own brand. And Tommy still has that. That means something to him,
to restore that history. So this is Tommy’s heritage. For Tommy to say none
of that meant anything is, doesn’t come easy. But watching his wife
change, watching his wife draw the line in the
sand, watching his wife pull in all these people
from around the world that are supporting us
to build a sanctuary in the state of Texas
is changing my husband. That’s what’s
changing my husband. – I kinda laughed at her
and said it’ll never work, and she has actually
put me in my place now. Because the vegan world
came to her rescue. She started meeting people
that allied with her. It was incredible, and
I started watching it, and I couldn’t believe
what was going on. I still, it’s kind
of like a dream. They’re incredible. If she has a problem,
somebody in her network helps her out, and it
magically disappears. – I think that we all
have the power to change and to transform. And we see that every single
day at Mercy For Animals. Someone whose family
owned a cattle ranch decides to give up
everything that they knew to be familiar to become a
vegan animal rights activist. We see every single day the
power that compassion has. – Is it not better
to light a candle, than to curse the darkness? All the darkness
in the world cannot put out the light
of a single candle. I believe another
world is possible. And on a quiet night, I
can hear the breathing. It will be difficult, I know. But do not be afraid. Remember Mahatma Ghandi’s words. First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you, then they fight you,
and then you win. The brutes and the
bullies have been Goliath. But David is coming. Maybe he’s in this room. Maybe he’s one of you. And if not you, who? And if not now, when? – Here is my daughter
Genesis Butler (applause) – Thank you. Hi, my name is Genesis,
and I am eight years old. I am vegan and an activist like
my uncle Caesar Chavez was. I went vegan because I
don’t believe animals should be put in
slaughterhouses and circuses. People don’t have to
eat animals to live. All my favorite foods, like
pizza and mac and cheese, I can still eat in
a vegan version. I became an activist to
protest for what’s right. To show kids they have a voice. I protest circuses
and other places that imprison animals. I help people who are blinded. They don’t know what’s
happening to the animals. I also leaflet to
give information on what’s happening
and how to go vegan. I even talk to my friends. My goal is to get
them to go vegan. I am here for a purpose. My purpose is to get the
whole world to go vegan. Thank you for helping me, peace. (applause, cheers) Oh my gosh. – Okay, okay. – She wasn’t even
four years old. She always had chicken nuggets, that was her favorite
meal at the time. And so I read all the
parenting books in the world ’cause it was my first child. And a lot of books
said if that’s all they want to eat
and they’re picky, just let them eat
chicken nuggets or whatever it is all day. And I just said okay, well,
I believe the commercials, the white meat and,
you know, if you have milk with it or apples
and the whole kids’ meals and all that. And I would give it to her
because it made her happy and at least I thought
it made her happy ’cause I believed the advertisements,
and it didn’t make her happy. She just finally told
me one day, she said hey Mom, where do we
get our food from? And I said, you know, we get
it from the grocery store. And she said no, that’s
not where we get it from. And she knew, and so I
just, at that moment, I knew I had a tough
decision to make. Do I tell her the truth? Or do I just keep
playing it off? And just my instincts
came, kicked in and I said I’m going
to tell her the truth. ‘Cause I always tell
myself as a parent if my child asks me
something, I’m going to give them the straight truth
because that’s what’s needed. And I told her we kill
animals for the food that she was eating,
and she was devastated. And I didn’t even know she knew what death meant at that age. And she just knew
deep down inside. And she said well, we
have to kill, what is it? And I said well,
chickens and cows, and I was explaining
beef is from cows like the burger? That’s not beef, that’s a cow. And the chicken is
the actual animal, the little bird. And she said you know what? I don’t ever want
to eat this again. – One of the great things
but the maddening things about being an animal
rights activist is for the most part,
we never have to convince people to
care about animals. People already love animals. We just have to convince people to understand that
the dog they love is emotionally the same
as the cow they eat. That’s the disconnect. So it’s aligning
people’s already-existing love for animals
with their actions. And so I look at
someone like Genesis and to me, she just
seems like she’s living her beliefs in a way
that most people don’t. I mean, how many parents
have had the experience with their kid where
their four year old, their six year old,
their eight year old, their nine year old,
is eating a hamburger and says Mom, what is this? And the mom says
that’s a hamburger. Well where does it come from? A cow. And all of a sudden,
the child is horrified. And the child almost
has to, like, be taught to move past their horror. And one of our jobs
is to remind them that no, their
horror was justified. The eight year old
who’s horrified at eating a hamburger,
that’s a legitimate response. That’s a justified response. The 18 year old, the
28 year old who eats the hamburger as if
there’s no consequences for the environment, for
them, or for animals, that’s the mistake. – This is my bunny. Her name’s Charlotte,
and my mom’s friend and my friend named
Nina gave it to me. And this is very special to me because it only has one
foot and I’m on a mission to find it’s other foot. Somebody has it. And I just have
to find its foot. Because, like, I
don’t think it’s right to just have one foot. – She told me about
how the bunny, it wasn’t like a natural
bunny, it had been, like ran through the
mill, but she really was interested in it. And then when she brought
it home and showed me it, and it was kinda
ugly, but (laughs). But it has character
that it made sense to me as far as what animals go. That not all of
them look the same, but they all need
love in their own way. She’s just a sweet girl. Just a sweet girl, yeah. – I don’t feel that
I shouldn’t love her just because she has one foot. All animals should be loved. They shouldn’t be tortured. Charlotte is awesome
because each time I’m crying or sad, she’s
always there for me. And if I need a pal,
she’ll be there. – One day I was nursing my baby, and she came and she
looked at her sister when I was nursing,
and she said Mom, where do we get milk? I said oh man, I’m
going vegan today. I already knew it was going
to happen, it was a wrap. So we went vegan that day. From that point on,
we never looked back. But I did look back a couple
times for a chocolate bar and she caught me. So when she caught me
with the chocolate bar, she said Mom, she put
her hand on her hip, I said uh oh, I’m
about to get lectured. She said if you can’t
handle it, I can. Don’t think you have to go vegan just because I am. She goes, I can do it on my own. – Don’t ever underestimate
your own voice. When you speak with
kindness and sincerity, people will listen. And every single leaflet
that Genesis or I hand out has a potential to change
one person’s life forever. So don’t ever forget,
we just gotta plant as many seeds as
humanly possible. Some of them will grow,
some of them will not, but we just gotta keep
fighting, keep being out there, keep educating the masses. You cannot get the truth
from a corporation. We have to hit the
streets, provide the information, and
people will respond to this message of kindness. So if she can get this,
how can adults not get it? And that’s why I’m
so inspired by her. On her first day
of school, she wore a Love Animals, Don’t
Eat Them t-shirt. And her mother asked her
after her first day of school did they, did kids
make fun of you or say anything during lunch? And Genesis says yeah. And her mom was like
well, what did they do? She’s like, oh well
they waved hot dogs in my face, they rubbed
salami on my cheeks. And her mom is like
well, did you cry? And Genesis is
like yeah, I cried. And then her mom is
like, did you cry ’cause they were
making fun of you? And Genesis was like oh, no. I cried ’cause they
didn’t understand they’re hurting animals. The average person eats about 7,000 animals in their
lifetime if you include fish. So just spending 10
minutes handing out those hundred leaflets,
that’s gonna save over the course of time
thousands of animals from a life of horror
we couldn’t even begin to imagine. But every day, we
go out and leaflet, hand out a few
thousand leaflets. We’re getting tons of
people to go vegan, others to go vegetarian. We’re getting people to
be aware of these issues, a first step. That’s why the first step of
any revolution is education. And that’s what me and
Genesis do all the time. – At first, I wasn’t
really for it, just ’cause I know some adults
can be very rude to children and
adults, vice versa. But as she did it and
her mom’s with her, I think it’s hard to be
mean to a child like that. I just kind of have a
trust that they kind of see a light in her. That maybe it might
happen to other people, but I just don’t think
it would happen to her. Otherwise I wouldn’t
have her do it. It’s just that
she has, she’s so, she opens up people. She makes people
feel comfortable. So even the person that planned on being mean or
usually is rude, they, it’s a weird thing
that they’re nice to her. She’s just, she’s just like
her name, the beginning. Just Genesis. She’s something
new, something that we haven’t seen before. (laughs) It’s just you
don’t see the stuff that she does. I’ve never seen kids
do those things. So I’m comfortable
with it, yeah. I’m comfortable with it. – When kids are young, they say I want to be so and
so when I get older. Well, I want to be
Genesis when I get older. ‘Cause (laughs). Because just her spirit
and her compassion and to wake up every
day and see her here at my house, it’s just awesome. And to see how it spreads out to the whole family,
everybody has a lot of compassion for
animals, for other humans, for homeless, like
we’ll even see homeless people and
my little boy will cry if we can’t give him a dollar. And you know, it’s all
started with Genesis just reminding us
that we need to be a little more
compassionate, not just to other humans or to
our family members, but to everyone else in the
world, including animals. – Children have a natural
connection with other animals. And then as time goes,
we become acculturated to accept certain things
that don’t feel right. We come to believe
that it’s okay for cruelty to become normal. And we become
adulterated in a sense. Instead of following
our instincts and our humane intuition
and our natural empathy. And so I think holding
onto that childhood perspective and
connection with animals and nature is very
valuable, and it’s a beautiful thing when
children who are young and hold onto that
continue with it throughout their life. (car starts) – I knew that
something wasn’t right. I knew that I wasn’t
drinking like other people. I was passing out,
getting alcohol poisoning, blacking out, getting sick,
drinking before school, things that normal 10th
graders don’t quite do. I had a lot of
trauma in my life, and I think that’s a
common thread with people that develop some
substance abuse problems. The divorce and not
having a present father, and our family was ripped apart. Alcohol, that was the
elixir that helped kind of make things feel
a little bit better. I would go into 7 Elevens
and stores like that and literally steal the
alcohol from the coolers, put it down my pants
and then go drink the alcohol by myself
behind the building. After high school, I
started taking trips to south Florida,
Miami, South Beach more, and I started getting
into heavier drugs on a regular basis. (crowd cheers) After that year or
so, I started getting more into cocaine, and
by the time I was 25, I was a daily drinker and
user and cigarette smoker and very unhealthy. And I honestly should
not be here right now. I should be dead. I did almost
overdose many times. I’ve been in nasty car accidents where the people have
come to the scene of the accident and
they’ve seen the vehicle and they’ve said you don’t
need to go to the hospital? I’ve committed
felonies that I’ve gotten away with
plenty of times. I just acted very immorally
and very recklessly and I just didn’t care. I didn’t care. It was almost like it
was a cry for help. I was just like save me. (rain falling) I called my brother
and I called him in the middle of
the night, and I was crying to him on the phone. And apparently I said
that I needed help. I still to this day
don’t recall that, but that’s what he
said, and I believe him. I love my brother
to death, and so I went to go visit, and
my sister was there, my brother was there, my
sister in law was there, my mother was there, and
my little niece was there. And we were sitting
around and talking, and then all a sudden,
the tone kind of changed a little bit. And I think it was
my mom who said well, the real reason we
wanted to all get together today and talk to
you is we wanted to talk to you about your
problem that you have. And so I was there
with all my loved ones and they all went
around the room and told me how
I’ve affected them, which I didn’t think I did. I thought I’m only
affecting myself. This is my life, let
me do what I want, you do what you want. I didn’t realize,
that’s the selfishness and self-centeredness
of this affliction. So they all went
around and told me, and I was blown away. And they said we’ll help
you if you help yourself. So I checked myself
into a 28-day rehab. You know, like they
say a huge tree can grow from a
tiny mustard seed, and that’s where I began. People want to ask
me so many questions about ultra running or being
vegan or this and that. It’s like, it’s really simple. It’s just simple, you know? It’s just about
the love, really. And that’s really the
void that was filled. (applause) – Great job, buddy. – Ha ha, wow. (cheers) Hi Goose. Hi big boy. How are you? It was such a nice surprise
to see him come up to me. His whole body was,
it wasn’t just like his tail was wagging. It was like his whole
body was just wiggling back and forth. And, oh, it just
really warmed my heart. The relationship
between dogs and humans is quite profound. I didn’t have the
responsibility to have my own pets in the past. So the time was right
now to get a dog. And to be a vegan, you realize more and more how much
animals have been used as commodities. We don’t need to
use them for money. Realizing that this
animal has such feelings and such love. You think just
dogs are like that? Or other animals too? Are cows like that? Are pigs like that? You know? So that was quite
a shift for me. Hey Jen. – Hey Yassine, how’s it going? – Good, how are you? – Good how was the race? – Oh, it was really
fun, but it was tough. – I’m sure you killed it. – I’m looking forward
to a float, definitely. – Awesome, the
tank is all ready. You’re in floatarium,
you can head on up. – Sweet, thank you. – You’re welcome. – See you in a bit. – See ya. (phone rings) (water running) (garage door opens) (engine starts) – Ever since I
jumped into the cab of that truck and
started driving it, it’s actually, it’s pretty cool. I feel pretty bad-ass. It’s a very big truck and
it’s very heavy as well. So it’s not just the size of it, but to brake takes awhile,
cause it’s like 13,000 pounds. It’s kind of cool getting
up there and driving this big ol’ truck. We live in the wine country. So this is our bread
and butter around here. And there’s so many wineries. I don’t think anyone’s ever
physically counted them. There’s too many to count. And so when you’re
looking at that big of a presence with wineries, it’s just important to
utilize the resource there. I mean, why not? This stuff is really good. So the best thing for
me, and that’s why I change up my menu
all the time is to just get in the
kitchen and say I wonder what this will be
like if I added this to it. And this whole wrap
that vegan food has had about being tasteless, you know, is just a bad wrap. People say to me all the
time oh, I’ve had vegan food. It’s not very good. I’m like yeah, me too. I’ve had bad vegan food too. I’ve had bad pizza. If you care, I think,
that the food is good. I really care that not
only the food is good but it’s knee-buckling. That it’s exceptional and it’s, you know, if I’m
making something, I’ll taste it and like,
yeah this is really good, but my knees aren’t
buckling yet. I need something to go ah, yes. – I think that
people just need to come out and try it. The word vegan, they think fake. And it’s not. And the taste is just
out of this world. And a lot of people
say once they eat it they’re like I don’t
even need to go out and have that hamburger
from that place after I’ve eaten her food. – Yeah. – I mean, to get over
the idea that it’s a fake food because it’s not. – And I would say too
that a lot of people have this impression
that, oh, she’s a vegan or he’s a vegan. They eat carrots, right? Like, no, food. Real and good food. And you don’t have to be vegan to come out and try vegan food. – [Voiceover] I noticed
this older gentleman with his veteran’s
hat and all his pins, looking a little out of
place, a little uneasy. With I’m not sure I
recognize half the food on the menu. What is this? I’m not, you know,
a little unease, a little unease there. – I know you told
me not to tell Dad that it was vegan. – [Voiceover] But the
daughter urging him on, usually you gotta get a
partner in crime there. – No, I’ve never tried
vegan food before. Thank you. – [Voiceover] Enjoy. – I have a general idea. It’s non-meat. Basically. It’s pretty good. She was really worried
today for me coming here about vegan. And told me to eat
something at home. Well I didn’t, and I thought,
you gotta have something. And I’m quite surprised. It was very good. It is very good. I will finish it. I could use a napkin. – In the evening, when I go by, and I’m just walking by
their table really quick, and the daughter grabs
my arm and pulls me over to the table and she’s
like I gotta tell you, he’s never had vegan food
before and he loved it. And it’s just like, it
makes my heart proud. Because now, vegan food
is accessible, you know? It’s not a weird,
out there thing. (car pulling up) (laughing) Come on. – As far as being
an animal lover, it was nothing that, at the time we first met that
it was, anything that was out there. But now that she has
a vegan food truck, she does a lot of
events for the SPCA and other organizations
like that. And donates to their cause. (baby talk) My wife’s a vegan, so that
means no leather products, no leather shoes,
no leather belts, no leather handbags,
nothing that’s derived from animals whatsoever. And at first, when
she brought this up, especially being a vegan,
because of my ignorance of diet at the time,
you’re thinking okay, where’re you getting
your protein? Where are you
getting your calcium? Where are you getting
all these vitamins and things like that? And it turns out nature
in the plant form provides all that stuff. You just have to eat
a well-balanced diet. – If you’re wondering about
am I gonna get enough protein, go out to the
nearest rural area, pick the biggest
bull you can find. Or go to a race track,
find the biggest, strongest stallion you can see. Go to the zoo, look
for the tallest giraffe, the biggest elephant. All those animals got
those rippling muscles entirely from plant foods. Those are vegans. So yeah. Now a pussycat is a meat-eater, so it’s not like
eating a lot of meat is going to make you big. You get plenty of
protein from plants. Research is now clearly showing that a plant-based diet beats every other diet. And the federal policy makers are taking notice of that. – If Jerry’s cooking
a plant-based diet, I have no problem with that. 10 years ago, I
would’ve gone out to the store and
bought some meat to add onto it, but not anymore. Now that I’m starting
to understand that you can get
all these nutrients, you can get the
protein, you can get everything you need
from plant-based diet, the fears go away. – The dietary
guidelines for Americans are re-formulated every five
years to be the blueprint for what you’re supposed to eat. That means every kid in school, every food assistance program, really every nutrition program is supposed to adhere to
the dietary guidelines for Americans. They’re a big deal. In the year 2000, we
sued the US Department of Agriculture because we found that six of the 11
members of the committee had financial ties
to the meat industry, the milk industry,
the egg industry. We won that lawsuit. That opened up the
process dramatically, and ever since
then, the guidelines have gotten better
and better and better. – To run a business,
you can’t be, you can’t be sitting on your
butt all day being tired. So you have to have
a balanced diet, and I think by
her being a vegan, by having a plant-based diet, her energy levels are higher. – [Woman] Okay. (country music fiddle) (mouth harp) (yelping) – I’m amazed. Renee, she puts her
mind on something and she goes for it. Since she started
this, I haven’t got to visit very much because
she’s been so overwhelmed, but I’ve been following
her on Facebook, and it’s been very interesting. I think, I’m impressed. Good for her, that’s wonderful. You know why? I can’t claim to be
a vegan by any means, but she has inspired
me to change my way of looking at things. And she has opened my
eyes to some things that I did not know existed. They were trained
gentle with kindness. They have no fear. A lot of people go
to their pasture for a horse, and they
run the other way. (laughs) They don’t want you
to be around them. These guys, they’re
okay with it. They’re family, most definitely. Most definitely. I’ve had him 23 years, and
he’ll die on the property. I mean, he’ll be here until he grows old and
sees his last day. Won’t ya? He was an accident. He wasn’t on purpose, but
we love him just the same. – Here we go, Herman! (country music fiddle) – We heard about what
Renee was doing out here for these animals. And when the
opportunity came up, I knew she had all
of this going on. It was kind of a time crunch, but I felt like I had to
be a part of it, really. She’s doing a good thing
out here, you know? And any time that you
get an opportunity to do something
like this, you know, I try to jump on it. Yeah, I’m sure
we’re probably gonna hang around to watch. Yeah, we’ve put a lot
of time and effort into this, and this is
going to be his home. And it’ll make us feel really
good to see him happy in it. ♪ Oh Herman, oh Herman,
we love you so much ♪ We see your soul
behind your eyes ♪ We know you had it rough ♪ Oh Herman, oh Herman ♪ We love you so much ♪ We see your soul
behind your eyes ♪ We know you had it rough ♪ – What resonates
with me with Renee is that she, you see
the motto on my shirt. That’s the motto
of this shelter. Every animal matters,
every single one. And for her, that
is this personified. – [Renee] Look. Houdini’s meeting him
for the first time. Aww! (laughs) – [Man] He’s already
trying to convert me. Alright, Renee, I’m
gonna get out of here. – Thank you for everything. I appreciate you. – No problem, no problem. – So much. – [Man] I’ll be back
here on Monday, take care of a few little things, okay? – [Renee] Thank you. You know you wouldn’t
be doing this project if you weren’t gonna go vegan. So, do your research. – [Man] You got it. (laughs) – None of us had any
options for this pig. She was this pig’s way out. And I just learned
that he apparently went into his house this morning at 9:30 and the gates
opened here at 10. That’s a beautiful story. – If you are here to
be part of the show and watch the entertainment
and the speakers, they only way we’re
going to know you’re here is if you’re in the front. Alright? I know we got vendors out
there and that’s important, but we want to see
who’s here for a moment. I know, right? No 231? 232? 233. 234. You got 234? Alright, you won! Alright, come on (laughs). 97 people showed
up to buy tickets. And with those 97
people, we raised about $8,300. I had people puttin’ thousand
dollars in my hand, cash. I had people puttin’ hundred
dollar bills in my hand. You know, just
me, walkin’ around not to mention what
happened in the office. Not to mention what
happened afterwards. I mean there’s just,
there was an outpouring. (fiddle music) (tambourine) – I’m a surgeon,
but I specialize in weight loss. So I do weight loss
surgery and medical weight loss diets,
and I teach people plant-based diets. The vegan diet
works for diabetes, heart disease, cancer. What, do I have
a bug in my hair? They don’t even want
to kill bugs, so. And it’s just been,
yeah, you know, it’s just changed the way
I treat people in medicine. It’s my first line of treatment. Our number one cause of
death is heart disease. Heart disease is
completely preventable. You do not have to
have heart disease, even if you’re genetically
pre-disposed to it. If you eat a plant-based
diet, you won’t, or especially vegan diet,
you’re very unlikely to get a, get heart disease. Same with diabetes, same
with certain types of cancer. Same with obesity. This is all can be
cured with diet. (cow moos) Children are not really
attracted to eating meat. That’s something that we
kind of push on children. And we let them choose
whatever they want. And pretty soon they
decided they didn’t want to eat animals. When they figured out,
this one was like, isn’t it weird that
there’s a chicken out in the farm and there’s
a chicken that you eat? And I was like, no, well
they’re the same thing. She’s like they’re
the same thing? And then that was, that
was it for eating chicken. – We are a animal
farm sanctuary, becoming the first
ever beef cattle ranch to transition to a
vegan farm sanctuary in the state of Texas. (cheers) So it doesn’t surprise me that we don’t have hundreds of
people here today, honestly. (laughs) But you know, it’s coming. Oh you just wait. It’s coming. Texas consciousness
is waking up. And what’s really cool
is these fine folks, I was talking to
Joy the other day, and I was telling
her what we do. And she said to me
Renee, we have cows here. Texas longhorns. Sometimes the cows,
the little babies would go to FFA kids
and they’d fall in love with these cows. And if they go to auction,
which most of them do, they do get sold and
they do go to slaughter. So we are going to
get to adopt Frosty. And Frosty is going to be our first ever
Texas longhorn here. He’ll be out here in the pasture with Herman and the
rest of the rowdy bunch. (applause) – As she started
making a sanctuary, I started reflecting
back about my whole life and the way I thought
about animals. And I was kind of
relieved, because now that, I was thinking
wow, if this works, I can have a bunch of pet cows and I don’t have to
take ’em to market. And Renee would say
they’re not pets, they’re individuals. And I said okay, we can
have a bunch of individuals. Bullseye, how you doin’ girl? How you doin’? How you doin’, girl? – I wanted to go
to a slaughterhouse and I wanted to see exactly what was happening there. And I wanted to do a
little bit of filming. And so, I asked
a friend of mine, a close physician
friend of mine actually, who I knew his uncle
was a general manager of a large slaughterhouse. I asked him, just, I
thought they would say no. But I asked anyways, if
there was any possibility I could do that, and to my
surprise, they said yes. Prior to being
slaughtered, the animals were so desperately
fighting for their lives. They were so moving
around violently and jerking around
that when they were supposed to be killed, they were really
not even killed. Many times, they were
just injured or weakened. Actually, that’s what
I saw that happened most of the times with the cows. That they would hit the
captive volt more so down the neck instead
of in the head because probably
because of the reason that it’s not easy to hit them in a strategic point
with those conditions. And so the animals would
fall to the ground. And they would put the
shackle in the hind leg. And now these animals
were still alive, the cows were still
completely alive. And they were even making
movements with her. They weren’t as
strong to walk off and leave the place,
but they were still making movements, and
they were still conscious, and their eyes were wide open. And then the
slaughterhouse worker would put the shackle and they would be hanging
by their hind leg and then a worker would come up to like a platform
so that he would be at the same level as the cow. And then he would
get close to the cow, and then he would cut
off the legs of the cow. From the knee down,
the three legs except for the
leg from where she was hanging from. And then the three legs
would fall to the floor. And then he would come
close to her again and lift up the tail of the cow, and from the very
tip of the tail, he would make a
vertical incision. I don’t know how
deep or superficial, but a vertical incision, and
then put the object down. And then he would
pull the skin of the, pull the skin of
the cow down so that the cow’s own skin was
hanging next to her own head on both sides of her head. And then he would
make an incision in her neck and then blood
would come gushing out. And she would start
choking on her own blood. And then eventually,
she would die. (moo) I went to the holding areas. First of all, I saw
that these animals were really really terrified. And somehow, they all
knew what was going on because they would
start walking back and being afraid of us,
even in the holding areas, ’cause somehow they sensed
that something wasn’t right. I think, I think. But at the end of the
holding areas visit, I saw some of the
cows were housed individually, some
of them were housed like in very large groups. I’m not sure why,
but at the end, there was a cow that housed,
there was housed individually. This was a huge, beautiful,
completely white cow. And she was terrified. Like you could see that she
was really really anxious. She was really afraid. I have a feeling that
somehow they know. I don’t know why
they would know, but maybe they can smell
the blood, ’cause it was right adjacent to
the slaughterhouse. So maybe they can smell
it, or I don’t know. But she was really nervous. And we were at the
end of the visit, so I asked the guy who
was giving me the tour if you want to call
that or the visit, was with me, and I asked
him if I could stay there with the cow. So he stayed with
me, and we were talking with the cow for
about 15 or 20 minutes. I was, he was just
standing there. But she calmed
down, and I was even petting the cow, and
she really calmed down, and she was in much
better conditions. But then the next
day, when I went to the actual
slaughter facility, and when I was filming
all these horrible things that I just told you,
it came the turn, of all of the cows,
it came the turn of that white, beautiful cow to go through slaughter. And it was so much
harder because the fact that this
white cow wasn’t, she didn’t even fight
back like the other cows. She could smell the
blood, she could hear the other cows. She knew exactly
what was going on, but for some reason,
I think she thought that I was going to help her. Because she came, she
even like positioned herself, like they didn’t
have to shove her in too much. The workers were, like,
shoving the other cows and the other cows
were jumping, I mean getting on their hind legs. They were trying
to crawl the wall, and this white cow,
she just went straight up to me, ’cause I
was about half a meter away from where their
heads were with my camera. And she walked
straight up to me, and she was just staring at me. And the other workers
were pushing her and then the door,
the metal door closed behind her. And even with all of that,
she was not fighting back. All she was doing was
with her eyes wide open, she was standing still
and she was staring at me. She wasn’t even blinking. Like, she was begging
for me to help her. Somehow, she probably
sensed that I didn’t, you know, for her,
for this to happen. And obviously I didn’t
want this to happen. Obviously. But it was so hard, ’cause
she was just imploring for me to help
her, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. (rainfall) – Don’t give up. You just gotta focus
and find some comfort within the discomfort. Today we’re gonna work on
some lateral movements. Speed skaters, okay? We’re gonna go to the
side, alternating legs. Okay? In five, four,
three, two, one, go! Get a nice T position. And hold ’em out. Four minutes, beginning now. When those little
voices start coming into your head, they
tell you to quit, tell you to give up,
just like in life when it gets tough,
you don’t give up. You can override that. Push past, come out
on the other side. – One, two, three! (screams) – I met Yassine in
Ithaca, New York. This quirky little town where I was on the faculty at Cornell. And Yassine was living
with his brother and sister in law kind
of on the outskirts of the city. And he came to one
of my yoga classes. I was teaching yoga at the time, and that was the beginning. He kept coming
back to the classes and he was really
bad at yoga (laughs). And he would come to the
meditation classes as well and he was worse
at that because he needed like 10 props,
blankets, pillows. My teacher spent like 20
minutes just getting him comfortable because
his body is so tight. He had long, wavy
hair in a ponytail and he was kinda
bigger than he is now. And I started to
think wow, this guy keeps coming to
these classes and he’s really bad at it. I wonder if he likes me. We went away on a
honeymoon to Costa Rica before we got married,
and then right after we got married, we
went to the farm sanctuary in upstate New York and
we stayed overnight there. And we had an amazing
experience connecting with the animals. I also remember
going on a vacation with him to some South
American country, and they asked him why
don’t you eat meat? They didn’t ask
me, but for the man not to be eating meat in
this South American country was really weird,
and so Yassine said because I don’t want
to hurt animals. And the waiters laughed at him. And I thought that that
was just so authentic and brave of Yassine to
show that empathy to others. I think it was a
big moment for him because it was one
of the first times he had been challenged
or asked why. And he didn’t, at
that time, didn’t say all the health benefits. His immediate response was
because of the animals. And that’s really representative of the kind of
person that he is. – Not only are
our runners vegan, but they’re actually
performing at a high level. I think that it’s out
there on the table now that you do get enough protein. That’s not a question anymore. Us vegan runners kind
of stick together and kind of know of each other, and are kind of proud
of each other when we do perform on a high
level on a big stage. (knocking) One thing I really
do enjoy is cooking for vegans and
non-vegans in my home and seeing their eyes light up about how good it is
and how full they feel. Because I think a lot of
people have a misconception. They feel like
they’re not going to get satiated or
they’re not going to be filled up
because they don’t have a big hunk of meat
to fill their belly. I love when people
come over and they’re just like wow, that
was an amazing dish. Oh, I feel so good and
it was all plant-based. Hey before we start eating
I want to make a toast. I really want to thank you guys for coming over and
cheers to everybody. Good luck this weekend. – [All] Yeah, cheers. – Run strong. After dinner, the
night before a race, I love to go out for a nice, slow shakeout run
with my friends. – The first time I met
Yassine was a 50 mile race just outside of Seattle called
the White River 50 Miler, and I was running along,
and all of a sudden this guy comes up
to me and he starts talking my ear off,
like hey I went vegan, you really inspired me. And he was just going nuts
and like, who is this guy? And at the same time,
I’m like wow, he’s really got an energy to him. And he, I thought would
drop off eventually, but he just hung
with me for the next five miles up this brutal climb, and he had as much
energy in his voice as he did in his
heart and lungs. Yassine is just one
of those charismatic runners, ultra runners. Where, we’re an
interesting and odd bunch, but we also kind of,
like, you know, we can pick up wherever we
left off, and I think that’s the beauty of our
sport as well as a vegan diet. Again, we’re connected
by a certain thread, and that is running
and being vegan. So it’s always
great to come back and just hang out and
hang out as buddies as if nothing, as if no
time has really passed. We’re just the same
individuals at the core. So in 1999, I’m lined up
for my first western states 100 mile race,
probably the biggest race I was competing
in in my life. And I just transitioned to
a vegan diet that winter. And there’s still
doubts in my head. Can this really work for me? And I was thinking, I probably
need to eat some meat. Here, even a week
up to the race. And after I won that race
on a plant-based diet, there was no looking back. And never doubted myself
and went on to win seven consecutive western
states 100 mile races. – Scott Jurek was the
pioneer vegan runner, and now we’re starting
to hear more and more it being more mainstream. Last year Scott, after
running the Appalachian Trail, which is over, like 2,000
miles across 14 states, covering elevation
changes of 500,000 feet, broke the Appalachian
Trail record by over three hours. There are a lot of parallels
of ultra-marathoning and becoming vegan. You don’t just
jump right into it. Sometimes you need to
find that community, you need to try it
out for, I tell people to try it out for
at least a month to give it some time
for your body to adapt to a different cuisine,
different diet. Your body’s not
quite used to it. It takes a few weeks
for the human body to adapt to things,
that’s usually why they tell people to
go to rehabilitation, for example, for 28 days. Is so their body can adapt
to the new lifestyle. Oh, you just want your
belly rubbed, don’t you? You just want your belly rubbed. (child laughs) There’s definitely a correlation between the spiritual
practice of non-harming and veganism. And the way I’m
living today compared to the way I used to live. The way I used to
live was very harmful to myself, to my body,
to my loved ones. Essentially, I’m trying to
live a more spiritual life. And for me, that
involves trying to cause as little suffering as possible. And to try to just do my best. And this is very
much an alignment with how I’m living today,
and how I want to live. – This idea of eating
animal product. Nothing more harmful
than that shit. What’s more harmful than
destroying the planet and taking all the resources
and then poisoning yourself? You know, the first Chakra,
don’t poison yourself, right? Take care of self so you
can serve the planet. So the first thing you
do is you poison yourself because the way animal product is being manufactured, for one. Aside from the fact
that plant-based diet is safer and healthier
no matter what. But the way they make
the animal product. The way it’s born into,
talk about suffering. 100 billion animals made
to be born into suffering. So yeah, we don’t want
to cause any harm. So if we really examine ahimsa, it’s meaning, or if we
want to be people who practice ahimsa or
cause less harm, the one thing we shouldn’t
do, I mean the first and most important
things we should do is get away from
eating animal products. – [Genesis] You can
do whatever you want. – You can create
any world you want when you’re painting, right? Nothing’s wrong when
you’re painting. See this little vine over here? You can make a monkey
anywhere you want. Genesis, what’s your favorite? – A pig. – [Man] A pig? – Mhmm. – [Man] So you guys know
what abstract art means? – [Genesis] Uh, no. – Art For Animal’s
Sake’s mission is to teach art classes with
an animal empathy theme. So we try to instill
compassion for animals through art projects. And the reason we use art,
it gives youth especially a meaningful way of
looking at the issues that we’re talking about. So we try to get kids to come to their own conclusions
about animals and how they should be treated. Somebody once famously
said if you gave a kid a bunny
rabbit and an apple, they’re going to eat the apple and play with the
bunny rabbit, you know? So it just sort of,
like, this thing gets knocked out of
us as we get older. One of the projects that we did was a lantern project. And basically, protesting an
animal experimentation lab. And so we just made
these beautiful hand-made lanterns. We had over 280
people from across the United States
ship them to us, and we put them
in a public place, and people saw these
lanterns, and they gravitated to it
because it was such a beautiful display. And they said what
is this all about? And we said well
actually, every one of these lanterns represents
one of these animals that is going to
be experimented on in this lab that they’re
going to be building soon. And so by putting
something beautiful in the world and
enticing a conversation, I think brings people in instead of revolting them or
putting them on the defensive. With Genesis and her age group, I think they’re
really benefiting from this age, because the
information’s out there, and it’s whether they
want to recognize it, they want to see it, and she has become such a
good spokesperson because she has
a strong feeling, but she also sort of
has the background and the education,
whether she’s gotten it on her own or
through her parents, to put it into practice. And it think that’s
why she’s become such a powerful
spokesperson at this age. Because people see the innocence but they also see the maturity and the intellectual maturity that she brings to the subject. And it’s really hard
to talk to a kid and have them say these things that are so basic
and so unfiltered and refute it. You just can’t. – He was spending
the night one night. And he was like what
are we going to eat, because you guys are vegan? And we were like,
well, what do you like? He said I like meatball subs, so we said well,
we’ll serve you that. So then, I was talking
to him about veganism, and then my mom made
his sandwich, he ate it, and he’s like mmm
this is really good. So then after that,
he left, and then his mom called back, he’s like,
Tahir wants to go vegan now. And that was the happiest
thought I’ve ever thought. – David Carter, NFL
defensive lineman. 300 pound vegan. – Genesis Butler, quarterback. 75 pound vegan. (intense fanfare music) – I’ma crush you
like a little bug. But I don’t crush
bugs, ’cause I’m vegan. – Got insurance? Because you gonna need it. (crowd cheers) – What the? Doesn’t make no sense. Hey good game, Genesis. – [Genesis] Thanks. Those were just some
of my basic moves. Next time, I’ll show
you my real moves. – [David] You know, you
talk a lot of trash. – These boys challenged
me to a push off, and my mom sent me in
this cute, little white sparkly blouse. And then her boys did
like, 10 push ups, and then, like, oh I
can’t take anymore. And then I’m like,
okay, so I can do more. I did 100 push ups. And then I come home,
my shirt’s all dirty. It’s all like black and my
mom’s like what happened? I’m like, I did push ups,
and I did it on the blacktop. And she’s like next
time, scoot over to the grass a little bit. And she had to throw it away. It was just. – Ah man. I feel sorry for those boys. It must have been a real
shot to their ego, huh? When I first
started going vegan, I met this 72 year old guy. His name is Viktoras Kulvinskas, and I was doing like
a hundred push ups and I thought I was doing a lot. Or for me, that’s what I thought at that time was a lot. But he was doing 200 push ups. At 72 years old, at one time. So that was like our
little competition. And now I’m doing
like, 500 push ups. So they were messing
with you, huh? All the guys thinking
that ’cause you were vegan you couldn’t do push ups? And you beat ’em,
you bettered ’em. Yeah, that happened to me. See, everyone was thinking
because I was going vegan that I was going to be all
weak and small and stuff and never be able to play again. But I did lose some weight. I got down to 265,
but then I put on another 40 pounds
of solid muscle, and now I’m stronger
than all of ’em. So, vegan is clearly
the best way to go. You know that, too. And those little
boys that you beat in the push up contest,
they know that too now. Oh, so, another thing
your mom told me about was the football game
where you showed up in ballerina shoes? – Oh, so. I came from a circus protest. And we thought it was
my brother’s game. So it was going to be alright, he was in his jersey. He was ready. I come, my team’s all like,
come on, where were you? I’m like, and then I had my save the elephants shirt
on, I had everything on. All my protest stuff. So then, they make
this 12 alligator rule. It was like, five
alligator first. So now it goes up to 12, because I was pulling flags like that. – I remember when I
was playing Pop Warner, it was, the defensive
line had to wait five alligators before we could go rush the quarterback. So they had, they pushed it up because of you to 12 alligators? – Like, we were supposed to do for five alligators. One alligator, two
alligator, three alligator, all the way to five. So then they pushed it up to 12. So that’s like,
half of the game. The game’s almost over. – Genesis, count
two more alligators! – Hike! – One alligator, two alligator, tree alligator, four
alligator, five. So then I do 12 alligators. – [Man] Go get ’em! – But I still catch their flags. So couldn’t do nothing about it. – [David] So they tried
to cheat to stop you from stickin’ them,
taking their flags. And they still ended
up looking bad? – There was some big guys, too. – [David] Man, how
many touchdowns did
you score that game? – Five to zero. – So the score was five to zero? Who scored all those? You scored all those touchdowns? So you scored (laughs). You scored, and this
is all boys, right? You’re playing against all boys. – I’m the only girl. – All meat eaters and
you’re the only girl and you’re the only
vegan and you score all the touchdowns. And they had to push
the alligators up to 12, from five alligators
to 12 alligators? Just to stop you from
snatching all the flags. Man, shoot, you’re
doing a better job than me with all
this football stuff. That’s right, girl. (om chanting) – [Genesis] We shall overcome. We shall overcome. We shall overcome someday. Oh, deep in my
heart, I do believe. We shall overcome someday. – [Two Children] We’ll
walk hand in hand. – We’ll walk hand in hand. We’ll walk hand in hand. We’ll walk hand in hand someday. Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome someday. – You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone today. Deep in my heart I do believe we shall overcome someday. We shall overcome. – [Boy And Girl]
We shall overcome. We shall overcome someday. Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome someday. (slow piano ballad) – I also don’t like to use
the word typical vegan. I don’t know what a
typical vegan is anymore. I don’t know if
there’s such a thing. I think that sort
of ’70s version of the tree-hugging,
crystal-powered, Birkenstock-wearing unicorn
rider is sort of nonsense and has been for a long time. – I left home right
after college, and I ended up walking actually all the way from New
England to Tennessee. And ended up in
Tennessee at a community called The Farm,
which at that time was the largest hippie
commune in the world. It was almost
1,000 people there, and they were all vegetarians. In fact, we would
today call them vegans. No one heard of the
word vegan in 1975. – I fought competitively
for many many years. I still train and I, there’s
nothing more satisfying than getting into
the ring with a guy who’s 20 years younger than I am and just completely
handing him his ass. – Nine years later,
I shaved my head, and for the second
time in my life, I found myself in a
community that was vegan. This was Songgwangsa Zen
monastery in South Korea. And I went there and
became a Zen monk with the idea of doing
an intensive meditation. And I realized though
that these people in this monastery
had been living what we would call a
vegan way of living for 750 years. – I can remember one
of my old coaches who was super
traditional, he was about a thousand years
old, old Chinese guy, who used to say you
gotta be more aggressive, you gotta eat more
meat, you know. You gotta eat more meat
and be more aggressive. – So there was no meat,
no dairy, no eggs, no wool no silk, no leather. Even mosquitoes, you wouldn’t
just, you know, kill. You would put ’em outside. – And then at the same time, he would sit us all down
for two hour meditations and say walk the
middle path and embrace freedom and balance. Now get in there and
kick that guy’s ass and bring home a
trophy for the school. – The whole idea was
that if we want to evolve in consciousness and
become more awake, then the fundamental
most important thing is kindness to others. – And it’s that same sort
of cognitive dissonance that says I can
pet my dog and love my Golden Retriever
and then I can eat a double bacon cheeseburger. And it simply never
made sense to me. – We are all interconnected. The interconnectedness of life is the fundamental
spiritual teaching, and from understanding
that more deeply, we liberate ourselves
as we liberate others. – We are all on this crazy rock flying through the universe,
and we’re in it together. And I know it sounds a
little crystal-powered, but it’s really the only thing that we know for sure, which is that we’re all adrift in
a sea of chaos, you know? And the mountain is not there, and me and the trees are here. I am the trees and
I am the mountain, and we are all on
the rock together. And that is the more
sublime change that happens after one realizes that we can’t slaughter and eat our
fellow earthlings. – The whole idea of veganism is really a social transformation but also a personal
transformation based on waking awakening out of the delusion of
being a fundamentally separate self and
competing with others to get something. Rather to see that
as we bless others, we are blessed. (piano music) – Four Amys with no cheese. That would be completely vegan? – [Worker] Um, yeah, but we also could do four vegan Amys. I can do them with vegan cheese. – Oh, okay, well
actually you know what? I think I’m fine
without the cheese, vegan or not, but that,
wow, that’s great. That’s good to know. – [Worker] So four
Amys with no cheese? – Four Amys, no cheese. And then I need two
non-dairy chocolate and two non-dairy strawberries. – Back in the day in 1970, when I first became
a vegan, you know, a lot of those veggie
meats, I won’t name the brand ’cause
they’re good people that tried hard, but they were, I’m not sure if that veggie meat was good for your body, but it certainly wasn’t
good for your soul. It was just kind
of like, well I’m just going to eat this anyway. That was kind of
the inner-monologue like whenever you would
eat some of that stuff. But it got so much
better over the years, and now you can go
to any restaurant, they have vegan
dishes, you know, nearly any restaurant has that. And they’re delicious and people realize just ’cause
you’re a vegan doesn’t mean you
don’t like flavor. Garlic is just fine. Cayenne pepper is just fine. Ginger is wonderful. Put some flavor
into it, and that’s what I do when I cook. I make a number of
wonderful dishes. Spicy Thai basil
eggplant I make, I make a wonderful
curry, I have a chicken with peanut sauce with fake chicken, of course. Trinidad squash, Greek potatoes. I have all these wonderful
dishes filled with flavor that people, big
meat-eaters that come to my house, they love it. And they begrudgingly
go meat-free for the day. But then when it’s done,
when the meal’s done they go you know, I
could do this again. I may do this a
little more often. – It’s exciting. I’m a vegan sitting
in a drive-thru ordering a burger and
a shake and fries. Very cool. – I didn’t fully
understand the green aspects of it back in 1970, but by the early ’90s I did. It takes so much
more land and water and energy to create
a pound of beef than it does a pound of broccoli or a pound of grain. So it’s the green
choice in many ways, land use, energy,
water, you name it. – Right now on my
truck it says vegan. I’m really considering
re-branding into plant-based. ‘Cause I am finding that that
is more accessible to people. They’re, it’s the same
thing, it’s the same food. But unfortunately, I think that over time, vegan has
created a whole other layering of meaning,
which sometimes can mean militant and
people get defensive, like, you know, oh you’re going to tell me how to live
my life or whatever. – There’s no joy in being right about climate change
or being a vegan or single-use plastic. Some of these things that we’ve been talking about
for many years, but I would hope that
people would be more open to these points of view now that there’s been a
great success rate about a lot of the things
we’ve been talking about. Right here in LA and in
several other cities, solar power is now on a par with the traditional
grid power of coal and natural gas and all of that. It’s now cost
effective to do solar. So that’s a big
game changer, so now maybe people will
be open to these kinds of things
and dietary choices that you can make that will be good for the environment and
good for your own health. – When I use the
term plant-based, I find people just open up. You can just, oh yay,
yeah I love plants. That’s good, you know? And when I use the
term vegan oftentimes, I just see them
kind of close up. So it’s, hey, I’m going
to use what works. I mean, if people are
going to be more open to the word plant-based
or words plant-based, as opposed to the
word vegan, sure. I’ll do it. As long as they
eat my food, that’s all I care about. I don’t care how they get there, I just want them to get there. And then understand
what it’s about. And then the discussion
about veganism can hopefully come into play. Baby steps, right? Whatever works. – What do we do
as activists that actually reaches people and
actually changes the world? Screaming is fun. Throwing fake blood
is really satisfying. But it doesn’t change the world. It doesn’t make the world
a better place for animals. It just satisfies our
emotional need to scream and throw fake blood, you know? So being a vegan
activist and being an animal rights
activist, the criteria by which my actions
are judged is how effective am I at being
an activist for animals? Not how much I enjoy
it, not how much I want to scream,
’cause I just want to scream at everybody,
but am I making the world a better place through my
activism for the animals? (straw slurps) – My grandfather’s a butcher. Grew up in Kansas. Meat eating, meat eating,
meat eating family. And here it was almost in
the middle of the night, and I hear this wailing coming from the barn. It’s pouring down rain, and so I put on my
big ol’ rubber boots and go on down there. (rain falling)
and storm’s happening outside and it’s
cold and it’s dark. It was an experience
like you can’t imagine unless you lived
through it, I think. I’ve birthed my own babies. But I’m a little distracted. But here, I’m watching
the miracle of life just happen right
in front of me. And my hands are right there and I’m in there
and I’m actually inside this, this lamb,
pulling out the baby. It was just a really
beautiful moment. (hopeful music) Watching the baby
grow up, you almost feel a connection like I would with a child of my own. It changed me and my
thoughts about food. Especially the day
that she was killed, I wasn’t home. By design. I knew she was going to be. That was the plan
from the beginning. That was our structure,
that’s what we did. And so it was tough that day. But my background
has always been this is life. This is the way things are. So my feelings were wrong. I needed to buck it up. I needed to, um,
get with the program and stop being so
emotional about it. And feed my family, and that was kind of the attitude of things. And so I cooked dinner a short
time later using this baby. And cried for days. (soft folk guitar) ♪ I’m resonating to the sound ♪ Of the spirit in the
forest and the streams ♪ Vibrating to eternal rhythms ♪ Where the mysteries
unfold magically ♪ – Every year for Thanksgiving, we do a celebration
for the turkeys where the turkeys are
the guests of honor. The turkeys dig in,
they love pumpkin pie. And they stick their
face right into it (audience laughs)
and splatter it all around. ♪ There’s a memory of
another space in time ♪ I’m on my way to
soaring into the light ♪ – She said Mom, I got
the pig, I got the pig. Oh, well good. And she says and
I named it Herman. I said oh you did not. After your dad. She said I did too. I said well, it’s your pig. ♪ Brace your heart, go
forth, share the mystery ♪ The world’s ready now for you
to do what you’re here to do ♪ The planetary
signs are in line ♪ Girl, you’re right on time ♪ – Some children
want to go vegan, but their mom and dad don’t have enough courage to do it. So I’m very very blessed
and lucky to have them. And I think these
are the best parents that a child could ask for. ♪ There’s a memory of
another space in time ♪ I’m on my way to
soaring into the light ♪ I’m resonating to the sound ♪ To the sound ♪ To the sound ♪ Resonating to the trees,
to the breeze, to the waters ♪ To the oceans, to the
streams, to the sea, ♪ To the sound, to the sound ♪ Sound ♪ – The cage of chickens
fell off a transport into Memorial Park
and broke open. And all of them but
one were killed. One of them had one of
their wings ripped off and was lying there mostly dead. ♪ To the sound ♪ – So I went and
picked this chicken up and took her to the shelter, took her to our vets, took her to an avian vet, and
she, we fostered her. We named her Isabel
and got to know her. It became impossible to ignore that we had to
take the next step, and my partner
and I had both had brushes with being vegan. We’d been vegetarian for years, but this for us,
Isabel’s face was on it. ♪ To the sound ♪ – This isn’t a
question about eggs, this is a question about Isabel. And that’s a really easy answer. ♪ (sings in foreign language) ♪ – Could you look an
animal in its face and simply say to it
that your appetite is more important
than its suffering? That your desire to eat it is more important than
its desire to be alive? – Houdini has fallen in
love with Herman the pig. – Oh, yeah. – I was out there earlier,
nobody else was around, and they were just nose to nose. I watched them a little while, and they just, I don’t know what they were saying to each other, but they were, they
were communicating. – To have the
experience of somebody that gets dragged to
my truck by somebody else generally that understands. And then they try it and
it’s, it’s just so cool. And then they always
come to the window. That’s why we have
the best customers. Because they’re always
coming to the window after they eat saying
thank you for being here. It was so good,
things like that. They’re just very
generous people. It’s nice. – I’m 65 years of
age, and I ride my bike all over LA still. I’m in great shape,
and I’ve been to my high school reunion,
and I can tell you, it’s better to be a vegan.

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