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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Letter from Publisher

Visiting the ever-more-plentiful farmers’ markets this time of year begs for enjoyment of their local labors of love. Paul Arsenault’s painting, Farmers’ Market, on our cover represents a favorite spot of mine in Naples, a city lovingly represented throughout his local gallery, which I love to visit.

I met Paul, a notable environmental steward, in 1982, when he was a patron of my Rainbow Café health food bar, where I juiced fresh veggies and served wraps topped by alfalfa sprouts grown in my commercial sproutery. My sprout production was located in the same Crayton Cove building where the Arsenault Gallery is today, once again showing how we’re all interconnected.

Speaking of interconnectedness, recently I attended a talk by Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, while working on this month’s Animal Welfare and Healthy Eating issue. He drove home for me, again, how inextricably interwoven these two issues are.

Steeped in years of research, Tuttle examines how animal agriculture has laid a violent foundation for worldwide environmental devastation, epidemic human disease and cruel disregard for animal life. He advocates humankind’s return to the garden and a simpler way of being, to cooperating with the cycles of nature, nurturing the dominance of herb-, fruit-, nut- and seed-bearing plants. In so doing, we may reclaim our feminine intelligence, which Tuttle defines as the ability to make connections, by which we may remember who we truly are and celebrate our connections to the Earth, each other and all living things.

Tuttle backs his view with numerous reports pointing to the extreme inefficiency and associated pollution of animal agribusiness (e.g., we feed cows 16 pounds of corn and soybeans to yield one pound of beef). I agree with him that the single most powerful action we can take to benefit planetary health is to eat less meat.

Shifting to a plant-centered diet becomes easier as those embracing a more conscious, compassionate diet now have many more options not only in grocery shopping but also when eating out. This month’s Healthy Eating Guide, on page 40, shows where to find whatever our palate desires. When I recently hosted a vegan catered party, my guests, vegan or not, commented on how tasty everything was.

I’m excited to again have the opportunity to hang out with 2,000 compassionate, loving vegans on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise this month. Last year, I was inspired to fine-tune my diet to a new level of health and vitality while getting to joyfully unplug and float about the ocean. Their coconut bliss ice cream parties are the best. Maybe I’ll send notes from the ship in next month’s letter.

I invite you to not only support, but also be supported by the bounty of resources you’ll find in this month’s issue, including practitioners and business owners working hard to make your home and world a compassionate, healthy place to live.

Compassionately yours,
Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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