October 14, 2004, VANCOUVER - October 16 is World Food Day and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking people to participate in this special day. This year's theme is "Biodiversity for Food Security."

"People can participate in any of a number of ways including learning more about our food supply and how it affects the Earth and the various species," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director.


"Intensive farming practices are harmful for animals, people and the environment. Try eating one meal every day that doesn't contain meat, and purchase organically grown vegetables and fruits and free range animal products," continues Hickey.


According to HSC Executive Director Michael O'Sullivan, growing a small plot of your own, organic vegetables is fun, easy and healthy.

"Anyone with a yard can create organic vegetable gardens and plant fruit trees," states O'Sullivan. "This is an excellent way to preserve our health, the health of the planet and to save some money."

According to O'Sullivan, producing some of your own food supply is beneficial in many ways.

"By growing your own food you can ensure that pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers aren't used. You can have a project that involves the family that is fun and interesting. Using plant species that are suited to your region helps to reduce the water needed for your garden."

O'Sullivan encourages people to try various species of vegetables, to use non-hybrid varieties and to keep some of the seeds to use in following years.

"It's fun to try out various types of vegetables. By using non-hybrid varieties you can keep some of the seeds to use each year. This helps to maintain species diversity of vegetable crops, but it also means that you don't have to buy seeds every year. Sharing and exchanging vegetable seeds with others is a good way to celebrate World Food Day," states O'Sullivan.

"For those who don't have a yard to grow vegetables, they might try growing vegetables in containers if they have an outside porch or they can buy organic vegetables which have been grown in the area at local markets," suggests O'Sullivan.

"Scientists are telling the rest of the world that what humans eat will have to change. While parts of the world dine largely on animals, to the detriment of the environment and welfare of other species, millions of people suffer from poor quality and low quantities of food," explains O'Sullivan. "Grains and other crops are healthier for our species and require a fraction of the water and land needed compared to raising animals for human consumption who are fed grain and grasses. By reducing or eliminating our use of meat we are helping people, animals and nature," says O'Sullivan.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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