Clean Eating. ~ Karen Wallo

Via elephant journal
on Feb 8, 2012
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What we put into our bodies has ramifications not only for our health, but also for all of the Earth’s inhabitants. A large part of the reason countless wolves are being systematically executed is because of conflicts with cattle ranchers. If you have a conscience about  how your food choices affect more than just yourself, here are some informative tips to make the transition a little more palatable.

First of all, make the changes gradually if you plan on making this a true, lifelong change. Many give up beef, chicken, turkey and lamb first while still eating eggs and fish. Of course we all know that is not a true vegetarian or vegan, but again, gradual change is more likely to be permanent.

There are some wonderful substitutes available at health food stores and even regular supermarkets that actually taste delicious. Let’s talk about dairy first, because I personally have found that to be the easiest to give up. It is terrible for the body anyway, and most people are allergic and do not even realize this. Earth Balance makes a yummy butter substitute that I hear is great for cooking.


Years ago, soy cheese was the only substitute for animal based cheese.  Now there is daiya, which comes from a root vegetable and is completely vegan. I eat daiya every other day and it actually tastes very good. It also melts easily and that is a real plus. One does not have to load up on potentially unhealthy  soy products all day long to be a vegetarian or vegan. With my cereal in the morning I use almond milk which not only tastes delicious, but happens to be good for the body. Rice milk is also another tasty alternative. Humans are the only animal on the planet who continue to drink milk after being weaned from the mother.

If you are a sugar junkie like myself, there are plenty of tasty vegan desserts like vegan chocolate chip cookies and vegan red velvet cake. These products contain no animal products, but tasting them you would never know it!

Years ago it was hard to find a meatless burger without soy. Today you can find several made up of brown rice and vegetables. They also taste quite good and even smell like meat when they are cooking.  If you do not have a problem consuming a lot of soy, there are a ton of possible meat substitutes made from soy that taste great.

My motto is always to do no harm or the least amount of harm possible to all sentient beings. While I do not condone eating eggs, if you must, eat them responsibly. The torture chickens endure on their way to our plates is unconscionable. The best choice would be to find a local farmer, not a factory farmer, and go and see the conditions for yourself. Cage free does not necessarily mean humane! The chickens could be sitting on top of one another in filthy conditions in a dark warehouse — that is considered ‘cage free.’

Do yourself, wolves, wild horses and burros a favor and make the change to cruelty free eating. You will live a healthier, longer life and save the very Earth you live on for future generations to come.

edited by Greg Eckard


Karen Wallo is a second generation Czech-Slovak and comes from a long line of artists originating in Prague, Czech Republic and Smolenice, Slovakia. As a child growing up in New Jersey, Karen’s imaginative mind lead to creative natural talent. When she was ten years old, she won her first gold medal for a drawing of a dog. Currently Karen lives in Colorado and New York City and is an animal rights advocate, particularly for endangered wildlife like wolves, wild horses and burros. You can check our her website at


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of Questions? Send to [email protected]


24 Responses to “Clean Eating. ~ Karen Wallo”

  1. Jill Barth says:

    I posted this to the Elephant Green Facebook page. Thanks for sharing!

    Jill Barth, Green Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Green on Facebook

  2. Karen W. says:

    Thank you, Jill! 🙂

  3. Teri B says:

    Great article, Karen! I am definitely consuming far less dairy than I used to and have recently been trying out soy-free alternatives like coconut and almond milks. While I am not a vegetarian, I always look for free-range and cage-free options…thanks for the heads-up on what those conditions may actually look like. Do you know of any online resources that review and report on farms and facilities that claim to be humane, so consumers can make the best choices?

  4. Rhonda Lanier says:

    This is a great article Karen and certainly should make everyone think about their food, where it comes from, how the animals are treated, is the facility clean, etc. I stopped eating meat years ago and poultry about five years ago. Not only for the incredibly inhumane way the animals are "harvested" but it simply cannot be healthy to eat the meat or by product of an animals (eggs) when they are raised in cramped, filthy quarters and constantly pumped full of antibiotics to keep them "health". With reagard to Teri B's question. I found this an excellent source of what is truly organic, free-range, etc.

  5. Lorin says:

    Posted to Elephant Food on Facebook and Twitter.

    Lorin Arnold
    Blogger at The VeganAsana
    Associate Editor for Elephant Food
    Editor for Elephant Family

  6. Karen W. says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Rhonda! It means a lot to me!! :))

  7. Pete Braun says:

    When you really think about it, even if you’re not a full-blown vegetarian or vegan, if you have any non-animal product in your diet, your at least semi-vegetarian.

  8. JEN says:

    Thanks for this article Karen. You are also saving the Yellowstone buffalo by going vegan! Also, recently, the Department of Livestock in conjunction with other gov't agencies started harassing the elk! There are more than adequate meat and dairy alternatives to satisfy our nutrient needs, and palate. There is no reason to continue to put money into the livestock industries blood-lined pockets. check out and post punk kitchen, and so many more for amazing recipes.

  9. Linda says:

    Karen – thank you for this informative and compassionate article. Consuming animal products causes many problems, aside from the glaring one of the animals, themselves, being terrified and suffering. There is a toll on the environment by the agri-industry – a huge one – with the methane gas from cows contributing greatly to Co2 levels, contributes to world hunger by feeding millions of food-animals the grain that could be given to 3rd world countries, and of course the toll on human health. Thanks for the reminder for some and the wake-up call for others! Bravo!

  10. Karen W. says:

    Thanks Lorin! 🙂

  11. Karen W. says:

    Wow, thanks for the great reply! I cannot agree more! There are a multitude of benefits from changing from a meat based diet to a planet based one..My greatest motivation lies in knowing that I am not contributing to the torture of both farm animals and animals in the wild, particularly wolves, wild horses and burros! I remember how badly I felt when I used to eat dairy, in particular..Now I can eat all the daiya cheese I want and have no ill effects!

  12. Karen W. says:

    Thanks, Jen..I will check that out for sure! Great to know I am also helping buffalo!

  13. Karen W. says:

    So true, Linda..I am glad you brought up the methane gas issue, that is a very important thing for people to realize!

  14. lindaschilling says:

    Karen makes a strong case for one of the most important things we can do for our health and earth. Not so long ago, we didn't really understand all the implications. It is a subject that can't get enough press. Thank you for going into such detail, Karen. Cruelty Free Eating sounds like a worthy challenge for all of us.

  15. Karen W. says:

    Thank you so much for the insightful comment, Linda!! 🙂

  16. Kira mimita says:

    I love this! I just became a vegan and it feels so good! It helps with skin also!

  17. Karen W. says:

    Thanks Kira!! That is awesome..:)

  18. Billy Angus says:

    Well done and very well written, Karen.
    And the food options are sooooo yummy!! 🙂
    Gotta love ya'.(((mmmmmmmmuah!!!))).
    You're so cute.<3

  19. Billy Angus says:


  20. patty barnes says:

    I found Karen's article to be right on filled with great info. I have not eaten meat or consumed any dairy products in almost 9 months now. I switched to cooking with coconut oil and have found many healthy alternatives. My mentor, a vegetarian for 52 years is a good support system when I feel like I start to slip back into old habits. I made the choice to change my eating habits due to health reasons and I do feel better. It is a lifestyle change and at first was abit hard but I kept at it. I recommend everyone to try it. You look better, you feel better and Mother Earth's animals thank you !!!!!

  21. Karen W. says:

    Awww..thanks ya too buddy!! :))

  22. Karen W. says:

    Thanks Patty!! Glad you liked it! I have been using coconut oil for years..It is so healthy, contrary to what they used to think. There are even recent studies about it preventing or reversing Dementia!!

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