Planted Spring 2015

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FREE Âť Spring 2015

Planted Veg Living and Farm Animal Protection in Greater Lansing

U.S. veg week Kick meat with 7-day pledge

Lobbying in Lansing Speak up for animals at citizen advocacy event

Safe from sacrifice

SASHA rescues chickens from brutal ritual

It’s VegFest Time Festival Preview

Vendor Spotlight

Featured Speaker

Plant-based celebration still going strong

The Old White House promotes green cleaning

Gene Baur on compassionate eating, living


Spring 2015


Planted Volume 2, No. 1


14 6

14 VegFest Preview

Vendor Spotlight Family business finds success with vegan lavender cleaning line Plus: 17 VegFest Preview 19 Q&A with Gene Baur

Dig In

5 Be a Voice for Animals

Produced using 100 percent wind energy and a carbon neutral process. Our paper is FSC certified and contains 60 percent post-consumer waste while the eco-inks are vegetable oil-based with nearly zero emission of volatile organics.



National event a chance to push for humane laws With: Other states’ issues

Animal Rights in D.C. Learn about advocacy at top animal conference 7 On the Farm in every issue SASHA rescues Kaporos chickens 8 Volunteer Spotlight in every issue Lansing musician passionate about protecting animals 10 In Brief

Printed in the United States of America. Please recycle.

commentary 12 Jill Fritz


Tell lawmakers animals need their support 12 Rhea Linn Guest opinion Backyard slaughter a terrible idea 13 Burns Foster Kick meat for Earth’s sake 21 Scott Harris Exchange student makes veganism a tough sell

11 The Art of the Artichoke

Speak Up

Top your tofu with creamy, dairy-free artichoke sauce

Copyright © 2015 by Karma Louise Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited.

Contact us Publisher: Editorial: Advertising:

4 Q&A, Your Picks & more

take note: Tell Subway you want vegan options in Greater Lansing Want vegan subs at your Subway? Let the company know. Through Compassion Over Killing’s campaign, thousands have asked Subway for plant-based protein options. The requests led to vegan test subs in a few locations in Washington, D.C., in 2012 and Los Angeles in 2014. Now, the sandwich giant is rolling out a vegan menu that includes the all-vegan Malibu Garden and Black Bean subs at 300 stores in the district and expanding its vegan test menu in Los Angeles to more than 100 stores. What’s next? Visit COK is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

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Contributors Burns Foster Jill Fritz Scott Harris Rhea Linn Kylen Palmer SASHA Farm Dave Trumpie

On the Cover The Old White House products on display at Detroit’s Eastern Market. Photo by Kylen Palmer



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Speak Up

What you’re doing, thinking and eating



your eats White Bean Chili

What is the biggest misconception people have about your vegan diet, and how do you respond?

A | “Being 19, people ask me all the time where I get my protein. I like to tell them I get my protein straight from the source, rather than pre-digested, and from the same place animals get theirs: plants. The only difference between plant protein and animal protein is that plant protein has no cholesterol or fat, and in turn, causes less heart problems for the consumer.” — Mariah Priest, 19, Laingsburg A | “One of the biggest misconceptions my friends have about my vegan diet is that I will languish if someone serves me food into which non-vegan ingredients were inadvertently included or that was prepared on the same grill as their meat. I am not going to refuse to eat the food that someone (knowing that I was at least vegetarian) graciously prepared for me just because it has eggs, milk or butter in it. Of course that isn’t ideal, but at the end of the day, I make my best effort to avoid purchasing those products with my wallet and to educate people as to why I do so. As vegans, we need to set an example that we are not irrational, difficult people who will have a meltdown if

family or friends accidentally incorporate the wrong ingredients. It isn’t all about us, and we need to set an example that we are kind and cooperative people who love food just as much as omnivores.” — Liz Throckmorton, 28, Lansing A | “The biggest misconception people have about my vegan diet is that it’s a low-calorie diet. I find this a lot with desserts. People assume because it’s vegan that it’s low-calorie diet food, when actually it’s not. It is just as tasty, and the calorie content can be just as high. The difference is it has quality ingredients, instead of the preservatives and animal products (eggs, butter, etc.) that are in regular baked goods. I try to explain that to people as best as I can, and usually, if I don’t mention something is vegan, people can’t tell. — Morgan Rapley, 26, Grand Rapids A | I guess the biggest misconception is that vegans have to work really hard to get enough protein in their diet, when that isn’t the case. When I first became a vegetarian, that dietary choice was considered pretty fringe, and these days it’s mainstream. Still, people aren’t well informed about the nutritional aspects of it. — Chris Moyer, 51, Okemos

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A | The biggest issue I run into is people are really misinformed about nutrition. They assume since I don’t eat dairy, meat and eggs, etc., I am missing some sort of dietary necessity. They don’t realize that all food is made up of all sorts of nutrients. I receive things like calcium and protein from tofu and spinach. Vitamins like B12, which is often assumed only to come from animal products, I find in leafy greens. Whenever I mention I’m vegan, all of a sudden, people around me become nutrient experts. Calcium and protein are the biggest examples they use. They don’t realize we’re overfed calcium and protein because of our animal-reliant diets. Eating too much protein leads to weight gain, and too much animal-based calcium can lead to cancer, osteoporosis, etc. Plant-based diets are cholesterol-free, so while people try to get me to eat animal-based protein or calcium, they don’t necessarily realize they are filling themselves with lots of cholesterol and fats from animals while consuming those nutrients. — Alysa Hodgson, 21, Haslett Our next Q&A question is: What is your favorite farm animal and why? Submit answers along with your full name, age and city to info@ Photos are welcome but not required.

54 ounces canned great northern beans 32 ounces vegetable broth 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes 7 ounces canned diced green chilis 2 cups frozen sweet corn 2 small yellow onions, chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 10-12 small sweet peppers, chopped 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons cumin 1 bay leaf 4 ounces Tofutti sour cream 1 /4 cup all purpose flour 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil 1. In a large stock pot, sauté chopped onions, sweet peppers, corn and garlic with oil until onions are transparent and peppers are slightly soft. 2. Add in vegetable broth, tomatoes and green chilis. Bring to a boil. 3. Reduce to a simmer. Add beans, nutritional yeast, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and cumin. Stir well. 4. Stir in sour cream until well blended. Sift flour in slowly, while stirring, to thicken. 5. Add salt, to taste. Let simmer for about 10 minutes or until flavors blend. — Megan Shoup, 26, Eaton Rapids

quotable “When it comes to animals in the food industry, it’s all about exploitation. I would even argue that it’s bad for everybody.” — Gene Baur, Page 19

Your picks Send us your favorite vegan and/or farm animal protection-related picks. Email

BOOK: “Foods That Cause You To Lose Weight” by Neal Barnard. This book has sound advice by a well-known medical doctor, and simple and good-tasting vegan recipes. It shows how to take favorite recipes and make them vegan. There is a very good strategy in this book for becoming vegan. It answers all the questions about protein, B12, etc., that most people misunderstand about veganism. — Laurie Bischoff, East Lansing

food item: My favorite vegan food item is avocados. I eat at least one a day, not only because they are delicious, but also because they contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. They are a super food, especially for people who choose a plant-based diet, because they are a good source of B vitamins. I put them on salads and toast, and in my smoothies. The healthy fat they contain keeps me full and energized. — Gabrielle Emery, 19, East Lansing

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movie: “Forks Over Knives.” We were inspired by the firefighters in the film who converted to a whole-foods, plant-based diet. That is amazing because many firefighters eat a catch-can diet, and they may suffer from weight gain or obesity after retiring because of that diet and a lack of exercise. These firefighters became healthier and stronger due to their vegan diet. — Valerie and Gary Riggs, 61 and 64, Lansing

Dig In

News, notes & more


Get active for Michigan animals Lobby Day a chance to influence state lawmakers

Photo courtesy of Humane society of the united states


hen animals in Michigan are treated inhumanely, they cannot go to Lansing and tell their legislators about it; a person has to do it for them. That’s the idea behind Humane Lobby Day, a national event that gives citizen animal lovers a chance to put their compassion into action. “Day in and day out, lobbyists for agriculture, dog breeding, and sport hunting and trapping lobby groups are making rounds in the halls of the legislature,” says Jill Fritz, Michigan senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States, which sponsors Humane Lobby Day in 38 states this year. “They’re making sure the wishes of their clients are heard by legislators, and making it clear they are backed by a significant number of constituents or financial support that can make or break a campaign. The animals need a similar force at the Capitol on their behalf.” This year’s Michigan Humane Lobby Day, which takes place from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. May 5, will focus on enacting registration and standards for large-scale dog breeding facilities — also known as puppy mills — and ending the use of gas chambers in animal shelters. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about these issues through a preevent webinar and on the morning of the event when various speakers give detailed presentations about the issues and share tips about effective lobbying. The informational sessions are intended to prepare participants to meet with state representatives and senators from their respective districts in groups or alone, depending on how many people from each district attend. “They’re not as intimidating as you might think,” says veteran animal advocate Holly Thoms, of talking with legislators. Thoms, founder and president of Voiceless-MI, a nonprofit that rescues companion animals and offers spay and neuter

Ready for action Citizens gather in Lansing for 2014’s Michigan Humane Lobby Day, sponsored by HSUS.

programs, says she felt “dead nervous” leading up to her first Humane Lobby Day. “I had no idea what to expect,” she recalls. “I decided I was going to talk to a legislator so I made my appointment, and I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so scared. And I quickly found out, after I got in there, that legislators are just like you and I.” Thoms will speak at the 2015 event about the gas chamber legislation she’s been pursuing in recent years. “I’ll talk about who to contact, where to contact people and cover basic points of the bill to let people know how they can move this bill forward,” she says. “Anybody who walks in is definitely going to be of the mindset they want these gas chambers banned. There’s no opposition to this bill on record.” Between the webinar and presentations, Fritz says attendees should feel confident going into a lawmaker’s office. Plus, she adds, legislators work for the citizens who vote them in and are there to listen to their concerns. “You don’t have to be an expert lobbyist or have memorized a long list of talking points,” she says. “What matters most »

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Michigan humane lobby day When: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 5 Where: Mackinac Room, Anderson Office Building, 124 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing Cost: $8 (includes vegan boxed lunch) Issues: Regulating large-scale dog breeding facilities and ending the use of gas chambers in animal shelters. Schedule summary:  (Before May 5) Study the issues and learn lobbying tips during a pre-event webinar.  Sign in and pick up a packet that includes fact sheets on issues, lobbying tips and an appointment sheet of meetings with lawmakers.  Listen to presentations about the issues and gain tips for effective lobbying.  Eat lunch and strategize with attendees in your district about upcoming meetings.  Meet with legislators at their offices. INFO: For more information and to R.S.V.P., visit

Dig In lobby | Continued from Page 5

In 2012, event participants presented Bieda and Sens. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, and is that you, a constituent, are letting your Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, with the legislator know that animal protection is Humane Legislator Award for their sponof primary importance to you, and you’d sorship of a package of bills to toughen like him or her to vote accordingly.” penalties for people who stage animal State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, an- fights. They then lobbied their own legother featured speaker — called “a cham- islators to support the bills, which were pion for animals” by Thoms — says Hu- signed into law later that year. mane Lobby Day is an effective way to raise “I think it was very encouraging and moawareness about animal tivating for our Humane Lobabuse and cruelty. by Day attendees to be a part “Legislators “Whenever you have a of the passage of that historic need to hear bunch of people who replegislation,” Fritz says. resent different areas meet People who want to parfrom their with their legislator, it has ticipate but don’t want to constituents an impact and brings the meet with legislators may regularly to vote issue to the forefront,” he still benefit from Humane in accordance says. “Even if it’s only for a Lobby Day. couple of minutes that day, Thoms says there are with their love it causes people to think many ways to help, all of for animals.” about these issues and maywhich are covered at the — Read Jill Fritz’s take on be have to take some posievent. “We talk about writHumane Lobby Day, tions on things that may not ing letters, emails and opPage 12 be at the forefront of their eds. We really cover everyown legislative agenda.” thing from the person who Bieda, who thought about wants to make a phone call becoming a veterinarian and got into poli- to their legislator to the person who wants tics partly to help animals, is a longtime sup- to sit down with a legislator and work porter of humane legislation dating back to from that angle,” she says. “So depending 2002 when he was in the state house of rep- on how active you want to be, Lobby Day resentatives. He says although he doesn’t will have something for everyone.” It is Thoms’ hope that people see Huneed to be swayed through lobbying, some legislators might. “Sometimes they’re inter- mane Lobby Day as their chance to be a ested in an issue but may not know exactly voice for animals. “It sounds a lot scarier than it is. It can where to go for an idea, what the needs and demands are, or what shortfalls we have actually be pretty fun, and you’re making in laws,” he says. “So, it’s informative to all a difference,” she says. “If you love anifolks, not only to start legislation but to get mals and want to see change in the way things are running in the state of Michiideas on what we need to do as a state.” Fritz says Bieda was part of one of Michi- gan, it’s definitely good to be there.” p gan Humane Lobby Day’s biggest successes. — By Planted staff

issues around the U.S. Laws dealing with puppy mills, staged animal fighting and the trade of elephant ivory have been popular issues recently for the Humane Society of the United States. The organization takes up these issues through its Humane Lobby Days, held in 38 states this year from January through May. In Michigan, advocates are working to ban the use of gas chambers in animal shelters and restrict operations known as puppy mills. Here’s a roundup of U.S. Lobby Day issues:  Of the 25 states without a ban on gas chambers, 16 have none in use. For the other nine, groups in Utah and South Carolina join Michigan as states addressing the practice.  Stopping puppy mills is one of the top causes this year, with at least 11 states joining Michigan in taking up the issue, including Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  Cost of care acts are on the table in Georgia and Maryland. Passed in 34 states, these laws provide a legal process to collect money for the costs of care from owners whose animals were seized due to cruelty.  Hawaii and Oregon are hoping to ban the import and intrastate sales of items made with elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn.  Arizona, Indiana, South Carolina, Utah and Vermont are pushing bills that strengthen penalties for staging animal fights, with Indiana making it a felony to attend a fight and Arizona adding racketeering charges to people organizing fights for financial gain.  Connecticut and Vermont are trying to ban or restrict gestation crates for pigs. Connecticut also is trying to outlaw battery cages.  Nebraska advocates have four issues on their radar, including banning an open season on mountain lion hunting.

Learn, network at national animal conference and nightly networking receptions. Lobbying and protests will take place the last day of the conference. Registration is $150 through May 15; $200 through July 15 and $250 at the event. Working opportunities and discounts are available to those who are on a tight budget and/or traveling a long distance. For more information and to register, visit The annual conference is organized by Farm Animal Rights Movement, a national nonprofit that works to end the use of animals for food through education and grassroots activism. Visit

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animal leader Mercy for Animals president Nathan Runkle at the 2014 Animal Rights National Conference.

photo courtesy of farm animal rights movement

Join thousands of animal lovers at the nation’s largest and longest-running animal rights gathering. The 2015 Animal Rights National Conference, which will take place July 30-Aug. 2 in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., is aimed at people who want to improve their animal advocacy skills and network with other animal activists. Held since 1981, the conference will include 100 educational sessions on a variety of animal-related topics, 80 speakers from numerous animal protection organizations, 90 free exhibits, video premieres

On the Farm

Chickens spared from cruel ritual

Photo courtesy of sasha farm

SASHA Farm in Manchester is the Midwest's largest farm animal sanctuary. The nonprofit organization provides shelter, food, veterinary care, affection and security to more than 200 farm animals, each with their own story to tell. Visit sashafarm. org or call (734) 428-9617. upcoming Events:  April 19 At VegFest in Novi  May 10 Spring Social  Aug. 2 The Humane Fair

Each year, sometimes as many as thousands of birds are slaughtered for a Jewish ritual called Kaporos. Kaporos is practiced by some Jews as a way to atone for one’s sins. Although there are alternate ways to practice this ritual, such as using money, some still choose to use live chickens. The birds are swung over the practitioners’ heads, hoping to transfer one’s sins to the chicken, and then the birds’ throats are slit. Many of these rituals take place in the Brooklyn, N.Y., area where there are poor market conditions and protests of the killings have taken place. There have been accounts of birds being crammed into small crates by the dozen with questionable access to food and water. The sanitation aspect of where the birds are housed up until the slaughter is also cause for concern. Their breed is known as the Cornish hen, and these birds are bred primarily to be slaughtered for meat. They have big appetites, which causes them to get so large in size they begin to have severe joint and ligament problems. The birds may ultimately end up unable to walk, and their size opens them up to a host of additional health problems. We were first contacted by Miriam Jones of Vine Sanctuary on the East Coast to see if we’d be interested in a multi-sanctuary effort to re-home these very special birds. Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns worked hard to secure a grant to assist sanctuaries in taking these birds and giving them a new chance at life. Between the activists and the sanctuaries, our mission is two-fold: to educate and to provide a safe place for these chickens to live their lives. The easier part is providing the birds with a safe home, but educating people and changing minds is a far greater challenge. It comes at a price. When we first did a blog post on this topic last year, we were accused by a few individuals as being anti-Semitic. But we also had a number of local Jewish people thanking us

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for spreading awareness about this practice. As vocal activists, we care about all issues of social injustice and discrimination, even those that extend beyond animals. Spreading awareness of this ritual is part of our duty to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We are relieved there are some rabbis who are joining us by speaking out against this tradition and advocating for practicing this ritual without the use of animals. Only by working together can we educate others to embrace the idea that these chickens deserve better. SASHA Farm agreed to take in 30 of these chickens. Each bird has a unique personality, and no two are the same. It can be hard to imagine these sweet birds being tossed around as they are in these rituals. Volunteers and staff have to be very careful handling them as many are not very fond of being held. They are, however, very curious and like to explore. They enjoy a good dust bath and lie next to one another, keeping each other comfortable and warm. Some will climb into your lap and sit with you. Walking into their coops when you are having a particularly tough day can make your frustrations seem to fade into thin air and put a smile on your face. — Submitted by SASHA Farm

religious freedom The 30 chickens SASHA Farm rescued from having their throats slit during Kaporos spend their days exploring and taking dust baths.

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Volunteer Spotlight

Q&A with Lauren Hansen

Lansing vegan inspired by rescued farm animals

Hansen with former dairy cow, Helen, above, and Ricky, a bantam rooster.

dairy-free as of this year as well. It’s something I’ve been working toward since I began volunteering at SASHA Farm last year and something of which I am extremely proud. The farm gave me a close-up look at how the dairy industry feeds into the meat industry and the barbaric practices that occur in both those and the egg industry — many of our animals at SASHA are visual reminders of this — and I just couldn’t in good conscience continue to eat those foods. What do you do at SASHA Farm? I have a regular shift there once a week. The work is typical farm labor: taking care of the feeding and watering of the animals, and cleaning up after them. With more than 200 animals on the farm — SASHA is the Midwest’s largest farm animal sanctuary — it’s a pretty big job. Tell us about some of the animals at SASHA Farm and the effect they have had on you. Oh wow, I feel like I could fill an entire book with stories of the animals. But, I’ll share two stories about animals who had the greatest effect on me.

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Mid-Michigan native Lauren Hansen is a freelance violinist and violist, dividing her time between active teaching and performing schedules. She is in her 14th season with the Lansing and Jackson symphony orchestras, and is a touring member of Lil’ Darlins Vaudeville. A veteran instructor, her teaching studio of 35 students is a staple of the Lansing-area music scene. Lauren holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan and donates her time in the field to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She is a regular volunteer at SASHA Farm. She would like to thank her parents, Kay and Knud, for raising her and her sister, Erin, to be the animal lovers and supporters they are today.

The first is the story of Daisy and Lucky. Daisy the cow came to us last summer from a backyard butcher situation and gave birth to Lucky shortly after. She had no reason yet to trust humans and protected that baby with all the devotion and fierceness you would expect from a mother whose previous four babies had been taken soon after their births. It was touching and yet tragic at the same time. I learned this happens all the time in the dairy industry. Female cows face frequent pregnancies to keep the milk flowing, and their babies are stolen and deprived of the very milk that nature means for them. The male babies are sold for veal, and the females face the same fate as their mothers. I just couldn’t be a part of that anymore and gave up dairy shortly after. Daisy — who has since grown to trust humans — and Lucky have been happily integrated into the SASHA herd and remain wonderful reminders each week as to why I remain dairy-free. The second story is of a hundred rescued battery hens. The ladies, as we affectionately call them, could »

photos courtesy of lauren hansen

You have been vegetarian since age 4. What led to that, and why do you maintain a meat-free diet? Yes, 4 or 5. There’s some discrepancy in the family as to which year it is, but 1985 or 1986, somewhere in there. My mother had come across an article in Mother Earth News or a similar publication on how to slaughter your own chickens, a step-by-step guide type of thing. I guess it was pretty graphic and disturbed her so much that she knew she couldn’t eat meat anymore and didn’t want her family to either. So, she talked with my dad, and he was on board, and they in turn talked with my older sister and I, and the decision was made as a family to go vegetarian. The decision was definitely not a common one in those days, certainly not like today. I mean, we’re talking about a time period when ketchup was considered a vegetable for the purposes of school lunches. As such, my parents definitely encountered some skepticism and pushback from those who questioned the health and safety of a vegetarian diet, especially for children. So, while the decision was made out of compassion for animals, my mother would often tell people it was because a vegetarian diet is shown to help decrease the inflammation that is present in the autoimmune disorders that tend to run in our family. There’s never been a question in my mind as to whether or not I would remain a vegetarian. It was a source of great pride for me to be a young child growing up in a meat-free family. I’ve always felt a great sense of connection with and compassion for animals, and the idea of taking a life for something as simple and ultimately meaningless as a meal is incomprehensible. To be frank, I was so young when we changed, I have no idea what meat tastes like. For me, it’s simply never been food. I am pleased to say I am egg- and

meet Lauren


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Dig In sweet embrace Hansen with Rosie, who came from an emu farm and had a tag pierced through her skin when she arrived at SASHA. “Emus love hugs,” says Hansen.

Spotlight | Continued from Page 8 no longer keep up with completely unnatural production demands, and thus, were due to be destroyed. The condition they came to us in was appalling: feathers missing and combs limp, and beaks horribly mutilated, which is the way in egg farming to keep chickens from hurting each other from stress. They had never seen grass or been allowed to move around in a space bigger than a folder, and for the first few days, were scared to venture out or be too far away from each other. It was heartbreaking. I’m pleased to say the ladies proved resilient, and today are curious, funny and feisty. This is how chickens are supposed to be, not the mutilated, broken and miserable creatures that came to us. I have the ladies to thank for my break from eggs. SASHA Farm is full of these stories. The animals are precious reminders that each life is worth protecting. What inspired you to become involved in animal advocacy? My love for animals was evident from a very young age. When we would go out, if there was an animal present, that’s where I’d be. And I was very fortunate to grow up in a household that really supported this love and helped foster my sense of duty to protect and care for animals. Our family was involved with various


rescue organizations, even opening our home at one point to orphaned baby raccoons for Critter Alley Wildlife Care Center, and I would participate in the fundraising walks and volunteer for the Capital Area Humane Society. We also always had rescue pets and seemed to have a knack for finding injured animals who needed care. So honestly, I think there’s always been an animal advocate in me. I believe when you grow up vegetarian, you think about those issues from a young age, and the desire to help end suffering and raise awareness becomes a part of you. What is your advice to others who want to work to benefit animals? Simply put: follow your passions. My passion is for equal and humane treatment of all animals, especially farm

animals. This led me to find SASHA Farm and keeps me going back, week after week, despite bad weather, long commutes and a busy schedule. This passion also translates into how I live my life: free from meat, dairy and eggs. Because I love my volunteer work so much, it is featured heavily in my social media presence. And you know what? People are interested. They have no idea that pigs are like dogs and that emus love hugs. They want to know more, and they want to come and see for themselves. And while it might not change the behavior of everyone, it has changed the behavior of some and definitely raised awareness for all. If you can find a way to merge your strengths with your passions, even better. A fun example: I am a professional violinist, and one day last summer, inspired by a video I saw of a New Orleans-style band playing for cows, I brought my violin to the farm. The response I got from the cows, horses and mules was astounding. They all came and stood in rapt attention — normally behavior reserved for food — while I played. The calm was astounding. Of particular note was our mule Johann, normally not one to have much to do with humans. He came and stood right in front of me, almost touching the violin. It is an extremely powerful video that ended up raising a lot of online traffic for SASHA and touched a lot of people.

¬ See Lauren play her violin for the animals: in brief ting and staying fit on a plant-based diet, and is meant to bust myths that a vegan diet prevents this ability. For information or to help leaflet, email

a transformational healing retreat July 10-12. The center provides accommodations and vegetarian or vegan meals for the retreats. Visit

Vegan potlucks every month The Greater Lansing Vegan Dinner Club’s monthly potlucks are from 6-8 p.m. the first Sunday of each month at the Clerical Technical Union of Michigan State University. Visit

Animal advocacy camp for teens Each summer since 2009, YEA Camp has run weeklong camp sessions for 12to 17-year-olds who want to make a difference in the world. This summer, the organization will offer its first animal advocacy camp. The session will take place Aug. 9-16 at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York. Campers will learn how to be effective activists in their schools and communities, receive mentorship from animal advocacy leaders, and care for neglected and abused animals. Visit

Spots open for healing retreats The Michigan Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, a resort facility in Bath, has spaces available for upcoming retreats. Retreats include a two-evening session on conquering exam stress April 16 and 23; a relaxation event May 9; a technology break retreat June 6-7; and

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photos courtesy of lauren hansen;;

VO coming to MSU, makes history John Oberg, director of communications for Vegan Outreach, will leaflet at Michigan State University and other Michigan campuses this spring to raise awareness about the plight of factory farmed animals. Vegan Outreach is a national nonprofit organization whose members distribute pamphlets at hundreds of schools across the country, in addition to many in Canada, Australia and Mexico. In Fall 2014, VO leafleters reached more than one million students in a single semester for the first time in the organization’s 20-plus year history of grassroots animal activism. Recently, the organization added a new booklet to its repertoire, The Compassionate Athlete. Oberg says the booklet is catered to people who are interested in get-


The amazing artichoke

Your new best bud Artichoke-Lemon Sauce 1 shallot, sliced 8 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup white wine 1 cup water Juice and zest of one lemon Pinch saffron 8 ounces canned artichoke heart 1 cup extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 8 leaves basil, chiffonade (or other fresh herb like chervil, parsley or cilantro) 1. Over low heat in a small sauce pot, cook shallots and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until lightly golden. 2. Add the next 5 ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and purée in a

Quick & Easy snack

Artichokes 101

blender until smooth. 4. While the blender is running on low, slowly drizzle in olive oil until sauce is fully emulsified. 5. Salt and pepper to taste. 6. Stir in fresh herbs. Chef’s note: This sauce embodies artichokes and has a creamy consistency without the use of dairy. It is great served with potatoes, tofu, pasta, mushrooms, root vegetables or anything else you can think of. You can even use the cold leftovers as a salad dressing for spring greens. — Submitted by Lansing area chef James Sumpter

One simple way to enjoy artichokes is to bake or fry sliced artichoke heart, and then dip the slices in vegan mayonnaise, vegan butter or aioli. Just coat the slices with flour, then non-dairy milk, then panko bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, pop the coated slices into the oven or fry them in a pan with oil until the breading is browned. Happy dipping!

 Rinse under cold running water.  Pull off the small petals near the base.  Trim the stem. Leave some; it is edible.  Cut off the top quarter of the artichoke, and if desired, the thorny tips of the petals. If the tips are left on, they soften during cooking.  Put into lemon water to prevent browning.

Cooking (once prepared)

Boil  Put artichoke(s) in a deep saucepan or pot with three inches of boiling water.  Cover and boil 25-40 minutes, depending on size, or until a knife goes through the base with ease.  Invert to drain. Steam  Place prepared artichoke(s), stem side up, in a steaming basket slightly above boiling water.  Cover and boil 25-40 minutes, depending on size, or until a knife goes through the base with ease. Grill  After steaming or boiling, slice in half lengthwise.  Spoon out the fuzzy center (the choke).  Brush with olive oil and add seasoning.  Grill, turning once to get color on both sides.

Eating (cooked)

Did you know?  Artichokes are a significant source of vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium.  California produces 100 percent of the U.S. artichoke crop. The U.S. produces less than three percent of the world’s supply; Italy produces the most, at 32 percent.

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 Pull off the outer petals one at a time.  Dip the tip — the part attached to the heart — into sauce. Then, pull it through your teeth to remove the soft, pulpy portion of the petal.  Spoon out and then discard the choke.  Enjoy the heart — the most prized part.


 Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to man.  The artichoke is technically a flower bud that has not yet bloomed. In full growth, an artichoke plant can spread nine feet in diameter and stand five feet tall, and one plant can produce more than 20 artichokes per year.



Jill Fritz Urge lawmakers to vote for compassion If you’ve ever met with your state legislators, chances are they have assured you of their love for animals. They and their staff were probably eager to show you photos of their pets. They regaled you with stories of how they found their cats, dogs or horses, told you how much they mean to their families, and may have even shared the heartbreaking details of end-of-life decisions they’ve had to make for a beloved animal companion. And they probably meant every word of it. With very few, notable exceptions, I really do believe most legislators sincerely care about animal suffering and want to protect animals from harm. But sometimes, a legislator’s personal feelings of empathy, compassion, reason

and even common sense may be suppressed when facing political pressure. For example, he or she may abhor the idea of dogs being raised in inhumane puppy mill conditions or homeless pets dying in humane gas chambers, but when lobby day asked to vote in favor  Read about the of a bill to prevent the May 5 event on growth of puppy mills Page 5. in our state, pressure from dog breeding lobby groups may cause the lawmaker to vote contrary to his or her better judgment. This doesn’t happen by accident. Each day of the legislative session, lobbyists for animal breeding, agriculture and trophy hunting/trapping groups are at the Capitol, ensuring their concerns are heard when new legislation is written.

They attend committee hearings to give the thumbs up or down on proposed amendments, and they hover outside the House and Senate chambers to make sure legislators know they’re watching how they vote. Animals deserve — and need — that same relentless representation of their interests in the halls of the Capitol. Legislators need to hear from their constituents regularly to vote in accordance with their love for animals. I do understand some animal advocates are reluctant to get involved in the political process, or think what happens in Lansing doesn’t affect the work they do for animals each day. | Continued on Page 22 Jill Fritz is the Michigan senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States.

guest opinion

Backyard slaughter bill bad for livestock, public By Rhea Linn What does it mean to be an engaged animal activist? To me it means getting involved in my local community to raise awareness about the issues innocent animals face in our ever-changing, 21st-century culture. When I learned Michigan House Bill 4012 had been presented in January of this year, I felt compelled to act by creating a petition against this legislation. HB 4012 allows for a ‘reasonable’ number of poultry, livestock or other farm animals to be raised and sold for food in residential areas of Michigan. I share the local food movement’s enthusiasm for growing fruits and vegetables and have planted and nurtured my own organic garden for many years. However, I strongly oppose allowing animals to be raised and slaughtered as backyard livestock. When it comes to breeding, keeping and slaughtering animals such as rabbits,

Online petition  Visit Reah’s petition at:

sheep, goats and others, I have deep concerns about: Public health: Basic veterinary care, feed and housing costs can far outweigh the worth of an animal in regard to the eggs, dairy or meat they yield. Therefore, many animals may lack proper food and shelter, and will go untreated for parasites and other health issues. Sick animals attract predators who carry and spread disease quickly throughout close proximity neighborhoods. Public nuisance: Complaints about stray animals and noise could overburden animal control. These complaints may increase if livestock animals are allowed to proliferate. While some neighbors will find noise and odors from backyard livestock offensive, most will be horrified by the sounds of a fearful animal being killed just feet from their homes. Animal cruelty: According to Animal

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League Defense Fund, backyard animals “suffer immense cruelty, starvation, botched live slaughters, and are kept in disgusting and diseased yards. Humane slaughter laws, which require animals to be rendered senseless before slaughter, are not followed; instead animals are sloppily shot with handguns and experience excruciating agony from being mishandled. No governmental inspection protects these animals or the sanitation of the yards.” I believe we have the ability to create a sustainable and equitable food system in Michigan, but we simply cannot do this by allowing backyard livestock and slaughter. A focus on plant-based eating is a more compassionate, healthy and Earth-friendly choice. Rhea Linn is VegMichigan’s Greater Lansing Area coordinator and promotes awareness of a plant-based diet through local advocacy. A Lansing-area resident, she also manages the Greater Lansing Vegan Dinner Club. She and her husband, Walter, adopted a plant-based diet in 1990. Their two children, Morgan, 17, and Connor, 15, are lifelong vegans.


Burns Foster Use your fork to protect the planet, animals This year marks the 45th routine abuses we perpetrate against the anianniversary of Earth Day, mals are so cruel, they would result in criminal the worldwide celebration of prosecution if those same abuses were inflicted environmental protection held upon the dogs and cats with whom we share on April 22. While Earth Day our homes. events often focus on pressurEgg-laying hens, for example, spend their ing lawmakers to stop global warming, the lives crammed inside barren wire cages so origins of the event were rooted in something restrictive they cannot even spread their wings, quite different. In 1970, Earth Day was, first let alone nest or perch. Female pigs on breedand foremost, about empowering individuals ing factory farms are typically immobilized in to take meaningful actions in their everyday narrow metal gestation crate stalls that prevent lives that collectively would contribute to the these smart and highly social animals from preservation of our planet. even turning around. So what are some simple steps we can take Without a doubt, what we eat matters. That’s to make a difference? Sure, we can use enerwhy, this April 22 is not just Earth Day — it gy-efficient light bulbs, install low-flow toilets also falls during U.S. VegWeek, April 20-26, a or switch to a hybrid car. But perhaps the nationwide campaign empowering people to single most important action each create a kinder, greener and healthier of us can take to protect the planet world by taking a 7-Day VegPledge. is to switch from a meat-based to a U.S. VegWeek was inspired by more plant-based diet. Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin The scientific consensus is clear, who was the first lawmaker to sign and it is time we consumers face up for a weeklong VegPledge in the facts: raising animals for food 2009. That pledge continued past Take the 7-day is a leading cause of pollution and the first week, and he now refers to VegPledge resource depletion. his vegetarian diet as “aligning my Learn more at According to the United Nations, morals with my menu.” animal agriculture is responsible for Following Sen. Raskin’s lead, 65 nearly one fifth (18 percent) of all elected officials — including U.S. global human-induced greenhouse Sen. Cory Booker and 14 U.S. Representatives — have signed up for the pledge gas emissions, and “livestock are one of the in past years in an effort to promote sustainmost significant contributors to today’s most ability, community health and animal welfare. serious environmental problems.” The U.N. also reported that a “substantial reduction of Moreover, 16 jurisdictions have officially impacts (from agriculture) would only be posdeclared U.S. VegWeek in their communities sible with a substantial worldwide diet change with proclamations or resolutions. In the words of late Wisconsin Sen. Gayaway from animal products.” lord Nelson who founded Earth Day, “Our Similar conclusions have been made by researchers at the University of Chicago, who goal is not just an environment of clean air reported that the average American can do more and water and scenic beauty. The objective to reduce global warming emissions by reducing is an environment of decency, quality and their animal product intake than by switching to mutual respect for all other human beings a hybrid car. And according to the Environmenand all other living creatures.” Using our forks, each one of us has the power tal Defense Fund, “If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted to help protect the planet and animals simply vegetables and grains … the carbon dioxide by shifting toward a more plant-based diet. savings would be the same as taking more than There are 52 weeks in a year. Why not make half a million cars off the road.” one of them meat-free? In addition to wreaking havoc on the Burns Foster is communications manager at environment, raising animals for food causes Compassion Over Killing. Promoting conscious immense animal suffering. Each year in the plant-based food choices through her position at COK United States, 9 billion chickens, pigs and fulfills what she considers to be her life’s purpose: to cows are killed for us to eat. Without adequate serve on behalf of those without voices. A vegan for laws to protect them, most are tormented for five years, Burns shares her home with her dog, Yoshi. months prior to slaughter. In fact, many of the Planted | 13

By the



Number of days people give up meat when they take the VegPledge.


Number in billions of chickens, pigs and cows killed each year for human consumption.


Number of elected officials who have signed up for the VegPledge in past years.


Percentage of all global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, according to the U.N.


Number of jurisdictions that have officially declared U.S. VegWeek in their communities with proclamations or resolutions. — Compassion Over Killing

ABOUT COK Compassion Over Killing is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that works to end the abuse of animals in agriculture and promotes plantbased eating. It was founded in 1995.

VegFest Preview

A Family Affair With:  Festival offers food, education, shopping  Q&A with Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary

line art ©

The Old White House is a fixture at Detroit’s Eastern Market. There, Theresa Hein exhibits her line of lavender cleaning products (above) and repurposed jewelry (at right).

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Teamwork, love of Earth grow The Old White House into green cleaning success


heresa Hein may be the face of her growing brand of Earth-friendly lavender cleaning provisions, but running the business is truly a seven-person show. Duane, her husband of 29 years, has been on board from the beginning, sweet-talking their products into booked shows and making soap by the gallon. And her five children, ranging in age from 12 to 28, do everything from sewing to selling to spreading the word. “Everybody’s involved, and that’s the best feeling in the whole world,” says Hein. “Every family member got behind it.” The Old White House, which the Heins operate from their Portland home, boasts a variety of natural, vegan products that are true to the family’s collective love of the environment. “Every ingredient we use comes from the earth so that it can go back into the earth,” says Hein. “You can flush it down the toilet, and it doesn’t matter. Everything is safe for our environment, which is absolutely important.” The business came to fruition about four years ago when Hein, a stay-at-home mom, started making laundry soap for friends and family. “I found a couple of recipes online, and thought, I really just need to tweak these. So, I tweaked them to make my own, and I found everybody loved it,” she recalls, adding that the timing was perfect, since her family was looking to add an income to the household. “So it was, you know, we’ve got soap. That’s what we’ve got.” Hein soon signed up for a spot at the local farmers’ market and found success selling soap by the scoop. Shortly after that, she and her husband discovered the Fulton Street Farmers’ Market in Grand Rapids where The Old White House became a regular vendor, exhibiting three or four times a week. Then, thanks to Duane, their products started popping up at craft shows all over the state. “He got us into all these shows that said they didn’t have any more room. He’d say, let me tell you about what we have, and they’d say, OK, we’ll make a spot for you,” she says. “Because nobody

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VegFest Preview

else had it. He’d send them pictures, and tell them we have a natural product that’s not a body wash or body soap or lotion, which is what they mostly get.” Working the show circuit quickly led to the business’s big break. At the Farmers’ Market at the Capitol, which takes place once a month each summer, a manager from Detroit’s Eastern Market discovered The Old White House and encouraged Hein to bring her products there. Once their application was approved, she and Duane packed up the car and went. “We were blown away. Just the amount of people down there, the diversity of the people down there, it was fabulous,” she says. “We love it.” The weekly gig in Detroit has proved lucrative and keeps the Heins busy. Every Saturday, Hein and one of her family members hit the road at 6 a.m. to commute to the market with their expanding lavender product line that includes dryer sachets, carpet freshener, and linen and room spray. Hein also brings along her repurposed jewelry, which meshes with her Earth-friendly mantra and fulfills her creative side. When it’s Duane who comes with her, the outing serves a dual purpose. “We consider it our date because we don’t get out on dates very often” she says. “We just have a blast.” Hein says the couple, who met 29 years ago at a restaurant where

Theresa Hein mans her booth at Detroit’s Eastern Market. She says her products are so safe and natural she even uses the linen and room spray (left) as a body spray.

Duane was a manager and she was a waitress and bartender, “kind of knew we were made for each other.” Duane kept asking her out, despite her repeated assertions that she doesn’t date co-workers. “He is the most persistent person ever,” she says. “So we went out on a date, and 18 days later he asked me to marry him.” Hein says Duane is the top salesperson at shows, with the exception of her 12-year-old son, Max, who helps make the products and loves to promote them. “He’s like putting a puppy in front of people,” she says. “I had a customer who had come to the booth when I wasn’t there, and she told me she met my son, and he was so proud of what we do, and was

“I feel fortunate to have found a healthier lifestyle before illness forced me to do that,” says Hein. “Being a vegan can be a challenge sometimes, but it is a challenge I embrace.” Planted | 16

Thousands expected at VegFest

Photo courtesy of VegMichigan

Annual celebration features Gene Baur, Alicia Silverstone An event that began in a small facility in metro Detroit 17 years ago with only a few hundred attendees has grown into Michigan’s biggest celebration of plantbased living. This year’s VegFest, hosted annually by the state’s largest pro-veg nonprofit organization, will once again fill up the expansive Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi with veg-friendly food, exhibitors and activities. “People are beginning to have a quest and thirst for knowledge about eating healthy from healthy sources,” says VegMichigan President Paul Krause of the festival’s growing momentum. Krause says he expects up to 6,000 people at the 2015 event, which will feature a wide variety of speakers. The lineup includes actress and activist Alicia Silverstone, Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur, television news journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell, registered dietitian Anya Todd, environmentalist Jeff Hampton and nutritionist Vera Hampton. “We always like to include at least one or two celebrities because they appeal to mainstream people and they do help influence decisions, especially when they’re activists in the vegan community,” says Krause, who gave up meat more than two decades ago and joined VegMichigan in 2008. “We also like to provide speakers with medical and environmental backgrounds because our mission is three-fold: certainly it’s health, and then, secondly, is environment, and third, of course, is the abuse animals take in factory farming.” Baur, who will speak at 2 p.m. during the event, says he loves traveling to different communities that rally around healthy, plant-based, compassionate living. “I’m excited to

Festival-goers line up for vegan fare at VegFest 2014. This year’s event will showcase 70 food vendors, including national-brand companies.

If you go VegFest is from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 19 at Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River, in Novi. Visit

come to Michigan. I see these (festivals) all over the country, and it’s incredible to see the sort of enthusiasm and creativity people have, and the good work people are doing,” he says. “It’s just inspiring to see all the positive things happening.” In addition to speakers throughout the day, VegFest will showcase more than 70 food vendors, including local restaurants and bakeries as well as national-brand food companies, and at least 80 exhibit booths stocked with everything from cruelty-free fashion items to pro-veg literature. Vegan Outreach, a national animal advocacy group, will return as an exhibitor this year to promote plant-based eating and compassion for animals with informational pamphlets and merchandise. “We got involved with the event because we think it’s an excellent opportunity to reach individuals

who already have some level of interest in veganism,” says John Oberg, VO’s director of communications, who will be on hand to discuss VO’s work and the mistreatment of today’s farm animals. “It’s a rarity to have such a large number of people who could be considered ‘low-hanging fruit’ together in the same place, so it’s a great opportunity for us to make a difference in a small amount of time.” Cooking demonstrations and children’s activities will round out the festival, which Krause says is intended to entertain the whole family, despite its weighty subject matter. “This is a serious issue for us, but our goal is make this a fun event,” he says. “All the way from the top, to the healthcare issues to free food and a children’s activity center where children can watch puppet shows and dance with fruits and veggies, it’s all related to our theme. Parents can bring their children, and we try to make it a fun event in general.” The only requirement? “We ask that the people who come, that they be hungry,” says Krause, “because we’re going to have a lot of free food samples for them to enjoy.” — By Planted staff

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VegFest Preview going on and on about the products.” Hannah, Hein’s 16-year-old daughter, shares that same enthusiasm. She makes product, too, and sews all the dryer sachets, which are one of The Old White House’s most popular items. “We had to wake up at 5 or 5:30 in the morning, so she was exhausted,” Hein says of a recent drive home from the market. “And she just says, that place makes me so happy. And it’s so true. That’s how we feel about going down there.” Hein’s other children, who don’t live at home, help from afar or when they’re in town. Danielle, 28, lives in Charleston, S.C., and sells The Old White House line at shows where she exhibits her own selection of natural, vegan men’s shaving products. Cameron, 23, a fisheries and wildlife major at Michigan State University, helps with production and sometimes works a booth. And John, 26, who graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in environmental science and now lives in New York, helps with marketing. He’s also the one who convinced Hein to adopt a vegetarian diet three years ago. John gave up meat in high school what’s in because of a school project and lata name? er introduced Hein to movies like ”Forks Over Knives,” “Food, Inc.” When Theresa Hein and “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” started her line of natural cleaning “It was just an awakening of, products, she and we need to take better care of ourher family lived in selves,” she says. “We already took an old white house. good care of ourselves, I thought, “The idea of the old until you start doing that, and white house,” she then you say, OK, there’s more we says, “is that it repcan do. And then it’s always one resents a simpler more step, what can we do, what time when products were made without can we do.” including harsh Even though the rest of her famchemicals — an old ily still eats animal products, Hein white house filled sticks to her now-vegan diet bewith a family using cause she believes it’s the best thing what they had on for her health. “This is more medihand to create cine for me than taking medicine I items they used evdon’t want to take,” she says. “I just eryday, along with simple repurposed know I can be a better mom to my items to decorate kids and a better human being by their home.” taking care of myself.” Hein, 54, says she’s noticed customers her age are seeking natural approaches to wellness, too. “Many tell of people they know who have become ill and no longer want chemicals in their home cleaners,” she says. “I feel fortunate to have found a healthier lifestyle before illness forced me to do that. Being a vegan can be a challenge sometimes, but it is a challenge I embrace.” This April, Hein will exhibit her products at VegFest to a crowd that shares her sentiments about plant-based eating. She was invited by a festival representative who found The Old White House at the Detroit market. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us,” she says of Michigan’s largest veg-friendly celebration. “Everybody who’s coming already understands why you need to use (our products). When you do a show like VegFest, everybody walking in the door is looking for something healthy.” In addition to VegFest and Saturdays at Eastern Market, Hein will be at Fulton Street Artisans’ Market on Sundays starting

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Made with lavender essential oil, organic lavender buds and other Earth-friendly ingredients, The Old White House products are an alternative to home cleaners with chemicals.

in June and the Farmers’ Market at the Capitol one Thursday each month in July, August and September. She’ll also travel up north to do a trunk show with her jewelry at Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island, and to Grand Ledge for the Island Art Fair. Hein’s hope is to one day hire people to help with production and sell products at other markets around the state. “We can’t be everywhere, and we’re missing the west side of the state by going to Detroit all the time,” she says. She also would like to get The Old White House into more retail stores; right now, the products are in Foods for Living in East Lansing, Old Town General Store in Lansing and a few places out of state. When it comes to future employees, Hein says her goal is to hire single and stay-at-home moms so they feel empowered by bringing an income into their home. That’s what The Old White House did for her. “It’s really more than I’ve ever contributed, besides raising amazing people, which is my number one goal. I love being a mom,” she says. “But I’ve always just done part-time work here and there, and this has already helped me to bring more into the house than I’ve ever brought in. It’s a very rewarding feeling to know I’m also contributing in that way.” p — By Planted staff

Q&A with Gene Baur

Photo courtesy of farm sanctuary

President and Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary You’ve been active in the animal protection movement for about 30 years. How has the movement changed, and what have you learned is the best way to influence people’s attitudes about eating animals? The movement is growing and becoming more mainstream. Our messages are resonating with a broader audience than ever before, and we have a convergence of issues that are helping people think about their food and the fact that billions of animals suffer, and that we need to change. So, I think we’ve come an awful long way. Personally, I’ve witnessed a maturing of the movement and an understanding of how to create change. Years ago, we felt if we could just explain the problems and give people information, they would understand and decide to make choices that are logical, rational and compassionate. But humans are emotional, and we have habits and attachments, and oftentimes, change takes time, so we need to speak to people where they are. Encouraging people to take small steps ultimately builds momentum to additional changes, and those changes can lead to profound transformation. Incremental shifts are, I think, the way sustainable change ultimately happens. We can’t just wave a wand and expose what’s wrong, and expect change to happen overnight. Also, working through institutional reforms, like the food industry and food system, to make plant-based food more widely available and convenient, is having a big impact. So, our movement now recognizes we need to do more than just explain the problems; we need to explain the solutions, and make those solutions convenient, and also, feel good. We tend to do things because of the way it makes us feel, and to some extent, that has created a resistance to change because people don’t feel good about factory farming; they

“We model a different kind of relationship (with animals), one based on companionship and friendship, not on commodification, callousness and killing.” don’t want to think about it and just sort of ignore it. People need a positive way to go forward that they feel good about — eating good food, for example, or feeling healthier or knowing they’re not contributing to the suffering of animals or the destruction of the planet. You seem like a born activist. Do you think people are born activists or can anyone become an activist? I think anybody can become an activist. All of us are products of our upbringing, genetics and environment, and in some cases, some folks may be more sensitive or have a harder time ignoring certain things in the world. As a kid, I remember feeling very

Longtime vegan and farm animal advocate Gene Baur will speak at 2 p.m. in Room 1 at VegFest. He will be available at the event to sign copies of his new book, “Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.”

bad about the harms humans were causing to nature and other animals. I grew up in the Hollywood Hills and remember seeing animals hit by cars, and that really bothered me; and I remember a deer getting stuck in a chain-link fence in a neighbor’s backyard, and that really bothered me; and I remember a beautiful old oak tree being cut down for a house to be made bigger. So I had sort of a visceral reaction to the harms people cause others, and part of that is empathy, just being able to look at someone else and feel the suffering they’re experiencing. If we are causing harm, then we have a responsibility to address it. I’ve always felt that way, and I think most people ultimately feel that way, too. I believe people are humane and would rather not support cruelty. There are times, though, when we can sort of harden our hearts and do things that are not aligned with our values and interests. All of us are human beings, all of us have empathy, and all of us live on this planet. We grow up in a system, though, that sometimes discourages us from allowing our empathy to grow, and to define our lives and who we become. What does vegan mean to you? To me, it reflects our relationship with other animals, with other people, with the planet. The question is, is the relationship one of respect and mutual benefit, or is it one of exploitation? When it comes to animals in the food industry, it’s all about exploitation. I would even argue that it’s bad for everybody. The animals are the more obvious victims, but the perpetrators of this violence also suffer because we eat food that makes us sick, and we lose part of our empathy and our humanity by mistreating other animals. It is impossible for anybody to be perfect; even the most vegan vegan is not perfect. It is not an ingredient list. It is a process toward living in a way that is aligned with — By Planted staff

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VegFest Preview compassionate values. So, for me, being vegan is trying to be the best I can be. It is an aspiration. You’ve described Farm Sanctuary as a place where vegan is normal. How does Farm Sanctuary work to promote this concept so mainstream society embraces it as well? We present an example of what our relationships with other animals could look like. Farm animals are animals most people don’t think about, and literally kill and eat. At Farm Sanctuary, we treat them like our friends, like part of our family. We model a different kind of relationship, one based on companionship and friendship, not on commodification, callousness and killing. We also rescue animals and tell their stories. We tell stories about how living animals are thrown on piles of dead animals or in trash cans and completely disregarded; how they’re put in cages and crates their whole lives where they can’t even turn around; and how they’re mutilated without any painkillers. In the factory farming industry, dairy cows’ tails are cut off, pigs’ tails are cut off and their ears are notched, and chickens are debeaked and have parts of their toes cut off, and it’s all done without painkillers. It’s completely disrespect-

ful of the animals, and then, of course, they’re slaughtered for food to eat. Can you imagine working in a slaughterhouse for eight hours a day? It is a violent, bloody business, and it’s bad for people, too. So that is one way animals are treated, and we contrast that with how animals enjoy their lives at Farm Sanctuary, and show how it is good for animals and for people. Farm Sanctuary is a transformational place because when animals come to Farm Sanctuary, they are no longer just an inanimate commodity; they are a living, feeling member of the community. Farm Sanctuary has rescued thousands of animals. Please share a story about one of them. The first animal we rescued was Hilda, who we found left on a pile of dead animals behind a stockyard in Pennsylvania. She was just thrown there because she couldn’t stand or walk, and she was left for dead. So we rescued her and brought her to a veterinarian thinking she’d have to be euthanized, but as he started examining her, she started perking up and then stood up. She ended up living with us for more than 10 years. Her life and her story are examples of what is possible, and show that these are animals who have feelings, and deserve to be treated with

Hilda, Farm Sanctuary’s first rescue, was left to die on top of a pile of dead animals at a Pennsylvania stockyard.

respect and compassion. They’re not just commodities, and they’re certainly not garbage. I think most people would agree that animals should not be thrown away like trash. Hilda was our first rescue, and thousands of others have followed. Founded in 1986, Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s largest farm animal rescue and protection organization, and cares for thousands of animals at its shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland and Los Angeles, Calif. Visit

Baur’s new book a guide to humane living Enter to win Preorder “Living the Farm Sanctuary Life” to enter a Farm Sanctuary raffle. Prizes include a stay at its New York shelter. The drawing is April 7. Visit

“Living the Farm Sanctuary Life” features 100 animal-free recipes contributed by chefs, cookbook writers and fans of Farm Sanctuary, the farm animal rescue and protection organization Baur co-founded in 1986. Baur, who co-wrote the book with “Forks Over Knives” author Gene Stone, says the recipes are intended to show eating

vegan is not a sacrifice. “It can be very tasty and satisfying, and you don’t have to really give anything up by making the choice to eat plants instead of animals,” he says. Baur’s first book, “Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food,” released in 2008, is a national bestseller that creates a narrative of Farm Sanctuary and examines the ethics of the modern factory farming industry. His current book is more of a lifestyle guide. “The new book really gets into solutions,” he says. “What we can do to make a difference, and how our daily choices have an impact on other animals, ourselves and the planet.” — By Planted staff

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In his second book, “Living the Farm Sanctuary Life,” veteran animal advocate Gene Baur hopes to empower readers with the tools they need to live in a more humane and healthy way. “It’s about living in a way that’s aligned with our own compassionate values, having a mindful relationship with animals and our food, and eating plant-based for our own health and the well-being of the planet,” Baur says of the book, which comes out April 7. “It’s practical advice for living well and living compassionately and being our best selves.”

Commentary/the vegan view

Scott Harris Big ag a mighty foe of animal liberation In the most recent issue of Planted, I teased a future story — seeking the best responses to veggie-phobics’ knee-jerk defenses to their continued animal eating. My intentions, while pure (of course), were waylaid by what I figured to be a somewhat rare opportunity: a Russian. Kirill, a 16-year-old boy, came into our world (Holt) via Yekaterinburg, Russia, and Foreign Links Around the Globe. While exposed to whatever the Russian equivalent of American propaganda is, Kirill hadn’t had the pleasure of hearing all the dogma force-fed to American kids from the moment they start playing our version of “life.” No McDonald’s commercials. No food pyramids provided by our friends at the National Dairy Council. No Future Farmers of America (FFA) or 4-H. No “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner.” When my then-16-year-old son — Sawyer is now a healthy, strapping 17-year-old — and I filled out the paperwork last year to apply to be a host family, we were totally transparent. We disclosed that we are vegan and that we cohabitate with eight cats. We shared that while we wouldn’t restrict what a foreign exchange student ate outside of the house, we wouldn’t allow meat in our house. We looked forward to deep and thoughtful conversations about vegetarian philosophies and history and practitioners. Heck, with Leo Tolstoy in our corner (“As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields,” “A vegetarian diet is the acid test for humanitarianism.”), this should be a wonderful experience. Shouldn’t it? Sometimes lost in looking at where we are is remembering how we got here. I’ve been a vegetarian-in-training since 1975 and an actual vegetarian since 1978 (one month apart from my parents at Camp Tamarack) and vegan since 1993. As a nerd, I read a lot. As a loudmouthed activist, I’ve surrounded myself with the best and brightest and most passionate of farmed animal advocates. I’ve attended meatouts, meetups, rallies and conventions. If asked, Penny Wharvey McGill from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” would concede, “I’ve got my bona

fides.” That said, I have found myself at a distinct disadvantage. Maybe it’s hubris or maybe naiveté to have assumed that through a calm yet consistent and firm exposure to this ethos, the veil would be lifted and the matrix would be exposed for what it really is. Maybe the story isn’t done being written yet, but Kirill is no closer to being a vegetarian — let alone, a vegan — than he was when he first arrived here about seven months ago. Honestly, I would love a world where humans would stop eating meat and using non-human animals for entertainment,

“That’s what finally left me reeling, as I realized these ag-gag bills were about to make it impossible for us to show the world just how horrible farmed animal abuse is.” research, sport or tools. I would also love a world where sexism, racism, homophobia, classism and every other stupid “ism” that exists stopped existing. When it is so clear and evident to some of us that oppression and torture are oppression and torture no matter what the rationalizations are, it is inexplicable to us that it persists. The fact that Kirill has, despite his current home surroundings, joined FFA and attended FFA leadership conferences, and volunteers to look after the farmed sheep at the school’s barn, reinforces that the deck is tremendously stacked against “us.” There is an assumption that Mason High School sits in the shadows of Okemos and East Lansing’s academic behemoths. There is another assumption that MHS pales in comparison to the greater diversity of Lansing schools. These assumptions are wrong. There is a further assumption that MHS, when compared to her sister school districts, is still heavily agrarian in mission and composition. This assumption is fair. The school property literally nestles the Ingham County

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Fairgrounds. The school’s FFA and the community’s 4-H are very strong in Mason. As Mason graduates often stay close to home, it’s common for generations of residents to come together in support of animal husbandry. Kirill arrived in Lansing on Sept. 1 last year, the day before Mason schools reconvened. Due to a perfect storm of bureaucracy and random unluckiness, his was the last schedule to be completed. Subsequently, many of the classes that might have been available to him, were not. Kirill ended up with three consecutive trimesters of botany and greenhouse management and three consecutive trimesters of zoology and veterinary science. The former brought us fresh greens in the fall and maple syrup in early spring. The latter brought Kirill into the barns of Mason. Both classes brought him into FFA. As Kirill would become more engaged and active in FFA, I would find more literature in our house and notes on our computer about raising chickens, cows, pigs and sheep. I would find articles about dairy and egg production. The articles would be well-written and a matter of fact. Initially our conversations about animal agriculture were give-and-take, and respectful. I am a seasoned advocate, capable of delivering responses sincere and humane without sounding rehearsed or fanatical. “I’ve got this one.” But I didn’t. Upon first becoming a parent early in the first Clinton term, I came to learn that the period of time my wife and I would have unfettered influence over our kids would be far more limited than I could have imagined. By the time Maddie, our eldest, started kindergarten, she spent far more time during her day hearing voices other than ours. With Kirill arriving the day before school started — after 16 years growing up in a country where some Russian | Continued on Page 22 Scott Harris is a single parent of two awesome vegan kids and cohabitates with eight cats. Besides being an animal rights activist, he owns an independent bookstore and insurance agency, both in Lansing. Scott enjoys baseball, classic rock, clever banter and laughing at his own jokes. Contact him at

Fritz | Continued from Page 12

harris | Continued from Page 21

But nothing could be further from the truth. For example, the shelters and rescues in your county may provide the best possible care for their animals and use only the most modern and humane method of euthanasia by injection, but if your neighboring county uses a gas chamber to kill animals, there is little to protect stray or lost pets who may wander across the county line from facing a horrible fate in that county. Similarly, as long as puppy mills operate free of oversight, animal shelters, rescues and county agencies across the state will continue to pay the price when law enforcement must intervene and remove large numbers of sick and neglected animals from inhumane conditions. The cost of veterinary care, sheltering and transport for these animals is a tremendous burden on shelters and rescues that are already filled with homeless pets. We desperately need a law for uniform standards of care in these facilities. Your support for humane legislation is vital. Please contact your legislators to introduce yourself as a constituent who cares about animals. Then, be sure to attend Humane Lobby Day on May 5. The animals are counting on us to be their voice in Lansing.

psychiatrists consider forms of vegetarianism to be indicators of mental illness* — my window was impossibly small. When Kirill would come home from school, or a meeting or FFA event, we would talk. I would ask questions, and he would offer answers. In turn, he would ask me questions, and I would offer answers. For awhile, that worked. It stopped working when I realized that each question answered gave birth to another series of questions. Kirill is a very smart kid. His experience with the farm at the school and at other visits to local farms were that of witnessing — while not ultimately idyllic for the animals — a small family farm where compassion was visible. As the answers begat more and more questions, and as his responses came back crisp and clean from the hours spent with the animal husbandry world, I realized I was up against a megalith ... a juggernaut ... a very well-oiled and well-funded entity. An entity comprised of big farm, big government, special interest groups with deep pockets, and families whose income (or a relative’s income) depends on maintaining practices that are very anti-animal. Kirill has asked me to provide him evidence that portrays the horrors of animal agriculture: battery cages; chicks being ground up alive; tortured cows and pigs being raised in barbaric environments only to be brutally

killed in slaughterhouses. Not the videos or articles — those he suggests are either being manipulated or are anecdotal — but an actual field trip to a factory farm. When I explained to him we couldn’t, I realized I sounded like a conspiracist. No matter how calm and rational I was, I realized that in this “bizzaro world,” I sounded ridiculous. “You see, there is this Steve King (U.S. Representative for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District) guy who wants to make certain no one ever finds out what occurs on these farms. And if someone speaks out ... they are criminals!” That’s what finally left me reeling, as I realized these ag-gag bills were about to make it impossible for us to show the world just how horrible farmed animal abuse is. As I seem to be far better at teasing than I am about delivering (sorry), I suppose the only logical thing for me to do is to, well, offer a tease. Our foes are smart. They are silver-tongued and persuasive. They are tenacious, and as they are driven by profit motives, they are far better funded than we are. They are especially good at one thing in particular, though: they know how to put on a unified front. That is what will help us to win the day for those exploited, tortured and dependent upon us. And how can we do that? Well, that’s what future issues are for. *Titova, Irina Russia’s Vegetarians Thrive, Despite Prejudice. St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Russia), May 16, 2012.

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The Kitten Nursery, a Williamston rescue facility (517) 862-5931 • • Planted | 22

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