How to save your planet

August 2020

200 SPECIES WILL GO EXTINCT – TODAY! That startling pronouncement came from the United Nations Environmental Program Report. According to a major study produced by World Wildlife Fund, Humanity has wiped out 60% of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. 60%! As if that was not devastating enough, the first ever UN Study on Biodiversity Loss (released 5/6/19) determined that there are an additional 1 million species at imminent risk of extinction. “We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.” “This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” he said. “This is actually now jeopardizing the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system”.

I don’t know about you, but I am Horrified by these findings. I am dumbfounded and have a hard time comprehending the scope of damage that we have caused. I first became aware of what has now been coined “The 6th Mass Extinction” in 2014 and I wanted to understand it better, so I began a frantic search to determine the major factors driving this mass extinction. My first clue was deforestation, and specifically, the deforestation occurring in the Amazon, which is home to approx. 30% of the planet’s flora and fauna. I can’t say that deforestation was a big surprise, but I was definitely shocked to learn the primary cause. An international study, undertaken by Greenpeace, found that the chief reason for deforestation in the Amazon was to support the Cattle Industry. WHAT? It turns out that 91% of the over 60 million acres destroyed each year is to grow crops for the cattle industry! Adding insult to injury, the Amazon, which produces 20% of our oxygen and has been called the “Lungs of the Planet”, is now being devastated by an average of 600 fires each day to “clear cut” the Rainforest in order to grow these crops for cattle.

Since the election of Brazil’s President Bolsonaro, deforestation in 2019 was up by 30%!

Learning about the link between our Diet and Extinction actually gave me hope, because I realized that our Diet was one thing we could control! If we ate less – or no beef and dairy, rainforests would be saved- species would be saved – we would be healthier, and of course, the poor cows would not have to suffer and die. This was the inspiration for the Planet Rehab International Plant-based Food Festival – an event we have hosted each year since 2014 engaging 1000’s of people and giving them the opportunity to relish plant-based cuisine from as many as 30 countries!

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions. (

The grain we feed animals is the leading driver of deforestation in the tropics. And it’s a hungry beast: our cows, pigs, and poultry devour over one-third of all crops we grow. Indeed, the grain we feed to animals in the U.S. alone could feed an additional 800 million people if it were eaten by us directly — more than the number of people currently living in hunger. (

Fortunately, the message is being heard and it is changing hearts & minds AND Eating Habits. According to The Economist, “2019 is the Year of the Vegan”. Interest in a way of life in which people eschew not just meat and leather, but all animal products including eggs, wool and silk, is soaring, especially among millennials. Fully a quarter of 25- to 34-year-old Americans say they are vegans or vegetarian. After the advent of Covid-19, and the correlation to eating animals, even more people, worldwide, are moving to a Plant-based diet. (

Transitioning to a Plant-based diet has never been easier. It is also one of the healthiest choices you can make for your body as Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease and numerous other life-threatening diseases are directly related to eating animals and animal products. There are a myriad of products on the market that are very close to the taste and texture of meat. Among my favorites are Gardein (100% Vegan- available at Walmart, Target & most Grocery Stores), Field Roast (100% Vegan- Walmart, Grocery Stores), Morningstar (Vegetarian, some Vegan - same stores as above). The “Impossible Burger” is available at some restaurants and looks and tastes like the real deal! (Umami Burger, Red Robin, Burger King and Fatburger are some of restaurants you can find them at) and Carl’s Jr’s “Beyond Burger” is fantastic! Soy Chorizo is preferred to the real thing by most people. For tips and ideas, as well as the occasional Vegan Cooking Class, drop us a line! Truly, going Vegan is one of the Best Things you can do for your Body & your Planet! You may be surprised at how Delicious a Vegan Diet is, how Healthy you feel, how Clean your spirit is - Delicious, Nutritious, Sustainable, Great for the Planet - oh, and nobody has to die!

How you can help:

-Transition to a Plant-based Diet

--This is actually much easier than it sounds. If you feel overwhelmed, start by setting aside 1 or more days of the week such as “Meatless Mondays”. Here are some resources:



-Plant Trees

--Planting Trees is one of the most important “actions” that we can take. Don’t have a place to plant trees? You can SPONSOR a Tree through Planet Rehab’s “Just One Tree” Campaign! For more info click here!


--There are countless organizations that are trying to help save our planet and we would be thrilled to have YOU as one of our Volunteer Team Members! For more info see our Volunteering Page.

Certainly, we are tasked with the most challenging issue since Humans have walked the Earth. Now is the time for us to come together and do all in our power to save this beautiful Planet!