Everyone has that “aha” moment at some point or another. For this San Diego lawyer dedicated to environmental causes, it came after watching the documentary “Cowspiracy.”

After seeing the documentary, John Fiske realized he could no longer refute the facts: animal agriculture is directly linked to climate change. So he transformed his 2.5 acre property into a sanctuary for rescued animals. The sanctuary, named the San Diego Farm Animal Rescue, has a mission of creating “new lives for farm animals in need of rescue.” With such a beautiful mission in mind, after John finishes a day at the firm, he comes home to the ranch and cares for the animals – he’s caring for horses, hens, a German shepherd and, soon, a few goats. Volunteers from the area have even come to help him out!


John’s story proves the power that one documentary can have on a life. By melding compassion and dedication to the environment, we’re unstoppable! After all, animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change. For example, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent. Seems like if we want to truly tackle climate change, we need to start thinking about animal agriculture.

Its devastating use of land resources, freshwater supplies, and sheer volume of greenhouse gases produced by the livestock industry is absolutely staggering. All the while, 850 million people across the world still suffer from lack of food. Not to mention, animal agriculture is also the leading driver of deforestation and habitat loss which has pushed countless endangered species on to the brink of extinction. As our population grows to nine billion by 2050, these percentages are set to grow exponentially, pushing our planet’s finite resources to their limit.

There is, without a doubt, the compassionate component of turning to a plant-based diet. “My goal is promote the concept of compassion,” Fiske told the San Diego Union Tribune. “Now that I’m on the other side with the personal journey I’ve taken, I can show how important it is for a person’s ideas to evolve.”

We’re so glad John’s ideas have grown, but more importantly, we’re sure the animals and the planet appreciate it! We might not all have the resources to start a sanctuary, but we can save the planet and improve the lives of animals by making one simple choice. In the words of John Fiske, “Our food system has become a grotesque, violent industry, and unless we help out those who can’t help themselves, our job isn’t done.” Visit the sanctuary’s website to learn more!


Image Source: Charlie Neuman/San Diego Union-Tribune