By Teresa Bono
When you’ve done as many good deeds as Farm Sanctuary President, Gene Baur, you’re bound to get a good karmic return. So when the Dietary Council Association 2015 report endorsed a plant-based diet for better health and a greener planet six weeks before the release of Baur’s cookbook “Living The Farm Sanctuary Life”, vegans across the country rejoiced on social media.
Getting the feds endorsement was the big kahuna and in a matter of hours, Baur’s book climbed the Amazon charts, securing the top spot in the Animal Rights category and getting as high as number 11 overall following his interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. A month later, it’s still thriving. Not too shabby considering there’s nearly 10 million available titles.
Despite being a little late to class, government researchers were unequivocal in their recommendations. A plant-based diet will dramatically reduce the incidence of obesity, diabetes and chronic disease and create a much smaller carbon footprint.
To this Baur adds a few mind-blowing details like the fact that animal agriculture requires more than half the water used in this country, and that it contributes more to climate change than the entire transportation industry. Even health care costs could be reduced by as much as 70% if people shifted away from meat and toward fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds.
But what about the animals whose horrific existences are hidden from the general population, even made light of with misleading photos of animals frolicking in green pastures? What about the diabolical realities of factory farming where cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats and sheep live lives of unspeakable brutality crammed in pens and pumped with hormones, separated from their young and then slaughtered without an ounce of compassion?
Gene Baur calls these animals his friends and they’re his immediate and primary concern. For those lucky farm animals who miraculously escape execution and find their way to Farm Sanctuary, love always awaits. They’re pampered by Baur and his staff, allowed to roll in the mud, run through the fields, make human and animal friends and get belly rubs. They go from being identified by the number branded on their skin or tagged on their wing or ear to an actual name. And now they even have their photo in a hot-selling vegan cookbook.
Baur’s mainstream credentials are impressive; Ironman triathlete, Ivy League grad, bestselling author, but what makes him truly extraordinary is the impact he’s had on legislation that directly affects how farm animals are treated. He’s testified at the local, state and federal levels and has been instrumental in the passage of animal protection ordinances banning veal crates, gestation crates, battery cages and the sale of foie gras in multiple states. He’s been featured on ABC, NBC and CNN for his expertise and called “The Conscience of the Food Movement” by Time Magazine.
And his cookbook, which features recipes from the best vegan restaurants in the country, is pretty great too.
Gene Baur will be at Darbsters Restaurant, 6299 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Florida on Tuesday, May 12. Tickets are $50 and include a seminar by Baur, a vegan buffet and an opportunity to purchase his book.