Rotarian Kris Cameron is a passionate advocate for switching to a plant-based diet
Retired Wenatchee educator and Rotarian Kris Cameron grew up in the farming community of Ellensburg and has fond memories of working with livestock and participating in the local 4H program. Agriculture was life and she spent much of her childhood helping friends on their family farms.
A life-long learner and someone committed to making a difference in her community and the world, Cameron has become a passionate advocate for switching to a plant-based diet to address climate change, environmental degradation and enhance personal and public health.
She also is deeply concerned about animal welfare and is horrified by the treatment of animals in our industrialized food system.
Over the past year or so, Cameron and her husband Ken have switched to a mostly plant-based diet and have reported measurable results, crediting that change with weight loss, reduced cholesterol, increased energy and a greater sense of well-being.
For Cameron, it has been a wonderful journey of discovery and of a growing commitment to doing what she can to help the community and the world become a healthier place. Cameron loves to share about the small steps that one can take to reduce our impact on natural resources and improve our health in the process.
She and her husband have embraced the opportunity to create tasty, healthy and nutritious meals without the use of animal products like meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. Along the way, they have been having fun swapping plant-based recipes, tips, and grocery store finds with a growing community of like-minded individuals locally and globally.
“A year ago we had no idea that what we eat has such a huge impact on climate change, environmental degradation, and human health,” Cameron wrote in an email. “I feel so fortunate to have opportunities to share how a plant-based lifestyle has added so many incredible benefits to our lives. It’s been an easy and fun adventure!”
She participates in the International Rotary Action Group’s Plant-Rich Diet Task Force. Rotary International has become a leading advocate for addressing human-caused climate change through the Rotary Climate Action Group. Rotary took this, what some would consider surprising, step because the effects of climate change were making its humanitarian work around the world more difficult.
I watched a recent Rotary Climate Action Group presentation citing researching showing that 57 percent of greenhouse gasses are connected to our food system in the production of meat. For those concerned about the long-term impact of human-caused climate change, reducing our animal product consumption can help mitigate the substantial greenhouse gas emissions from our industrial food system.
What I appreciate about Rotary’s work in this area is that they’re simply encouraging people to consider eating in a way that has less impact on the planet, to whatever extent they feel comfortable. They are not trying to force anyone to do anything.
Like in most things, perfection is the enemy of the good. That’s why I think the Rotary approach to encourage more plant-based eating is constructive. It’s a choice that any of us can make. Recently, I experimented with a vegan paella recipe which substituted artichoke hearts and tofu for my usual sausage, shrimp and chicken options. It was delicious. As Cameron told me, you can eat an amazingly flavorful and nutritious diet without using animal products.
Cameron’s Confluence Rotary club presented the film Eating Our Way to Extinction at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center last fall and then organized a follow-up discussion of plant-based eating. More than 80 people signed up to participate in Rotary’s two-week plant-based eating challenge.
Cameron and her club created a resource guide for plant-based eating in the Wenatchee Valley, featuring restaurants, grocery stores and farms. I’m looking forward to eating a more plant-based diet thanks to the inspiration of Cameron, Rotary and others in our local community. To get more information, contact Cameron at [email protected]