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On May 19—less than one month from now—I’m running 13.1 miles in the Palos Verdes Half Marathon to raise money for Compassion Over Killing. While I am a long-time runner, I rarely race. So what’s motivating me to get up at 5:00 a.m. to train for 2 hours before work each day for the next 30 days?
It’s the 9 billion birds, pigs, and cows raised and killed each year for food in the U.S., the overwhelming majority of whom endure unspeakable abuse on factory farms. Contrary to public perception, farmed animals are denied adequate legal protection, at both the state and federal levels. This allows factory farmers to treat these animals in ways that are so cruel, it would lead to criminal prosecution if those same abuses were inflicted upon the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes. Farmed animals are perhaps the most abused for the most prolonged periods of time, while having the least legal protections.
And so, I’ll run—and run and run, to raise $1,310.00 to:
- Conduct powerful undercover investigations, drive landmark litigation, and take animal agribusiness to task for unethical business practices.
- Promote VegWeek, a seven-day celebration encouraging people to take a Veg Pledge and discover the many benefits and flavors of choosing vegetarian foods.
- Place hard-hitting 30-second pro-veg commercials on MTV, Comedy Central, Animal Planet, and Hulu.com, reaching millions of viewers.
- Encourage restaurants and national corporations, including Subway, to offer more vegan options.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of vegan athletes to model for inspiration. In fact, I’ve been drawing lots of it from the awesome documentary series Day in the Life, which in 10-minute webisodes chronicles the training process of athletes choosing plant-based foods to improve performance. Created by registered dietitian Matt Ruscigno and filmmaker Sasha Perry, the motivating video shorts prove that meat-free foods not only help improve health, but push you to new heights.
And that’s exactly where I intend to go in an effort to alleviate the suffering of billions of animals on factory farms. Please visit my fundraising page to support my Race for Compassion!