Reading Farm Sanctuary & Exercising

Reading Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur & Exercising Along the Boise Greenbelt

I spent the morning reading book by animal activist Gene Baur, titled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Good, and went for a walk to search for birds along the Boise River.

First, Baur goes into great detail about the animal agriculture industry, and I find it highly distressing to learn about the crude practices being used at factory farms throughout the nation. In order to produce the numbers of meat big agriculture companies contract with farmers that struggle to make ends meet and these companies demand certain requirements of the farmers, the buildings they must build, and the number of animals they must produce in a certain timeframe.

I knew of the terrible practices because I’ve watched several animal advocacy documentaries including Food, Inc., Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and Earthlings. But I must say that the cruelty described in the book was difficult to read. It validated my decision to eat a plant-based diet. I’ll provide additional details about what I’m learning as I read the book. It’s eye opening to me. It makes me sad. And it makes me very angry.

In my personal opinion (and stepping up on my soapbox), we are allowing these businesses to have too much power in our country and have been blind to the business strategies being used by big businesses. And by eating a diet of meat, dairy, and highly processed foods we in the top 20 of unhealthy nations in the world. I have a master’s degree in public health and have worked in the field of public health since 2001. Our country is in the midst of a obesity epidemic.

I will freely admit that I am overweight and have struggled with my weight in the last five years after battling breast cancer. I do know that a plant-based diet accompanied with exercise is the best approach to achieve a healthier weight – and I’m working on it!

Because it’s Labor Day and I have the day off I multi-tasked this afternoon and walked along the beautiful Boise green belt in order to get in some exercise. I took along my Nikon camera just in case I saw some wildlife along the river.

It was gorgeous and even though I didn’t see as many birds as I usually do I hit the jackpot! I saw a blue heron, a hooded merganser, two swans, and a deer! I must brush up on my photography skills. The photos of the blue heron are too blurry for my liking. I’ll get another tutorial from my father, who is an amazing photographer. The deer was a surprise to me because there were so many people milling around the greenbelt today.

All in all, it has been a fantastic day and I’m grateful to be alive!

Heron and merganzer

Blue Heron and Hooded Merganzer on the Boise River

Labor day deer in Balboa Park

A timid and sweet little doe surprised me along the trail. 

Swan Labor day

I set the same set of swans nearly every time I go to the greenbelt. Today they were eating plants in a pond next to the greenbelt. 

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