Interview w/ Lawrence Levine: Steps to Save Your Planet

Simple Steps to Save Your Planet

Hi and welcome back to Ria Lives Well!

Happy Earth Day, everyone! 

When I began this blog, I had a lot more than cataloging my food conquests and workouts in mind. I wanted to use it as a tool to make a difference; spark a change in the disconnected; inspire others to get out there and promote animal welfare and preserve our precious environment.

Have I lost most of you?

Hopefully enough have stuck around.

I am no expert on environmental welfare. I know the basics: SUVs are bad; carbon footprints need to be reduced; light bulbs should be fluorescent. My knowledge isn’t enough to inspire…let me think…one single person.

So I’ve turned to an expert: Lawrence Levin from Healing Inspirations, a media producer whose passion for animals and the environment began at a young age when he read The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnu-Devananda.

The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga–Image by Amazon

Lawrence Levin says it’s a book about how we don’t need to eat meat, and how we can progress without meat.

“Finally, I went to a yoga camp and found out that the same author had started that camp–that was pretty unbelievable. And I saw people there who were 70 and 80 and in perfect health–and they were eating completely vegetarian.” 

We all know why becoming a vegan or vegetarian changes our lifestyle, our health and the animals we strive to protect. But how does it help the environment?

“If we were all eating vegan and vegetarian, we would only need to use 1/16 of our land. Originally, we had trees naturally creating new top soil. Then we began moving the trees, and what you see happening is, the roots from the trees are no longer holding the soil in place. The soil moves freely. So the land becomes useless.” “We move on to new land.”

Okay. So what happens if the land becomes useless?

“We move on to new land.”

This process, called desertification, becomes a domino effect. Broken down simply, desertification looks something like this:

  • Loggers come in and cut down the big trees. 
  • They burn the land to clear it for monocrops (soybeans, rice, cotton, etc.).
  • With the use of chemicals, they fertilize the soil. They plant crops and set up irrigation systems. Finally, duster airplanes filled with pesticide fly over the crops to kill the bugs.

So really…how much harm is this causing the environment?

“We’ve run out of land. So now we have to import grains from other countries, like South America. Look at what’s happening there; the current rate of destruction toward the rain forest is 2 football fields per second and we’re losing 1,000 species a week. If things don’t change, we’ll lose the rain forest in 30 years. Just 30 years before the amazon is gone.”

Image Source: Flickr
Image Source: Flickr

I‘ll be honest: I know very little about desertification. But it’s clear, even to the ignorant observer, that desertification is an unnatural, destructive process that’s destroying our environment and it’s ecosystem. But enough about my thoughts and opinions. What else did Lawrence Levin have to say?

“We’re using the forest to produce land and grow 16 pounds of crop for one pound of beef. Then we use 2,500 gallons of water for one pound of beef. Enough water for one month of showers, we use for one pound of beef. So now there’s pressure to build nuclear power plants because there isn’t enough water to create electrical turbine.”

I’ve always wondered about the worst pollutant offender. What is it? How, if possible, can we stop it? 

“The worst pollutant offender is cows because of their manure. We can stop this by eating less meat. The power of change is as close as our plate. If you don’t put meat on your plate, you don’t have to produce cows to kill it. We’re using more energy than all the transportation energy combined just to supply people with meat.”  

According to L. Levin, he says that the most important thing we can do to save this environment, more than any other combined, is to stop eating meat. I wholly agree. But I know a few meat lovers who don’t. So for those of you who can’t pass up on beef or chicken, but want to play a role in protecting the environment, here’s what you can do:

Be mindful of product feed lines. Buy sustainable products that are easy to replace. Don’t buy things, such as plastic, that you can use once and throw away. If 7 billion people have the mindset of using something once and throwing it away, there’s going to be a lot of garbage.” 

Image Source: Flickr
Image Source: Flickr

Now that’s good advice. Rather than bagging your groceries with plastic, take a canvas bag along. Next time you’re at a cafe, ask to use your coffee mug rather than their paper cups. What else can be done to save the planet?

Make your home more energy efficient. Make sure the windows are properly closed. Put energy savers in your shower. Use geothermal energy–buy completely renewable resources that could be used to create electricity, heat and all energy.

L. Levine and I are both strong supporters of a “no-meat generation.” Okay, so maybe that’s not practical. How about a “low-meat generation?” A generation that isn’t willing to give up meat all together, but is aware of the environmental damage caused by the meat industry. This is the generation that wants to make a difference by eating less meat. So, where can you start?

Lawrence Levine’s Top 5 favorite meatless brands

Gardein Beefless Burger

1. Gardein 

2. Yves

3. Blue Menu (President’s Choice)

4. Veggie Patch

5. Veggie Pate 

There are so many {meatless brands}. Just follow me on Twitter where I post lots of recipes. If you follow healing inspirations, you’re going to get a lot of information.

Follow @RisingSign on Twitter, where Levine is always posting delicious vegan recipes like this appetizer from Raw Food Recipes.

According to Levin, these brands are among the best in imitating the look and taste of real meat. So give ’em a try the next time you’re out shopping.

I know the phrase “save your planet” is easier said than done. That’s why little steps make all the difference. Then come leaps. Then comes change.

~Live Well!

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