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Northwest VEG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Portland, OR that works to educate and encourage people to make vegan choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.
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Fascinating Q&A with VegFest Speaker Ed Begley, Jr.

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August 3, 2014

By R. J. Dannemiller, Contributing Writer

1. When and what caused you to become an environmentalist and eco-activist?
Growing up in smoggy L.A. for 20 years. After 2 decades of difficulty breathing that foul air, I got motivated by the first Earth Day in 1970. I started recycling, composting, riding my bike & taking public transportation. And, most importantly, I became a vegetarian.

2. What has your activism encompassed over the years?
All of the above, and much more. I eventually bought a wind turbine, installed solar thermal and solar electric panels on my home.

3. I have enjoyed viewing your "Living with Ed" reality series. How did that concept come about?
I must give my wife credit for that. I thought a reality show was a bad idea. She argued otherwise, and she proved to be correct.

4. Your upcoming Reality series, "On Begley Street", on Evox TV is very educational and entertaining (I viewed seven episodes online). How many total episodes will there be this Fall?
I think there will only be the 7 episodes on Evox. BUT..we have another show on called "Our Green House" and that is available right now, as well.

5. I understand that you will be one of the two keynote speakers this Fall, at the upcoming Portland VegFest. When will you be speaking and what will be the title of your talk? What will it be about?
"Living sustainably in a rapidly changing world" It will highlight ways to protect our environment AND save money!

6. What future projects and activism do you anticipate being involved in?
I am doing another episode of "Portlandia" in your fair city. I LOVE coming up to Portland!

7. As an eco-activist/environmentalist in America over the years, what are your thoughts about America's environmental progress in comparison to other nations globally?
We are doing well in some ways. We have four times the cars in L.A., but we have a fraction of the smog since 1970. But, we have to get a handle on our over dependence on more and more "stuff" We all have material possessions in our lives but the less time we spend in the quest for more and more, the more happiness we seem to find.

8. As research suggests, being a vegan is one of the best choices a person can make in terms of their health as well as for the environment for many reasons. What are your thoughts about veganism and your personal experience with it?
Being a Vegan is one of the most important environmental choices I've made. It requires far less land, energy and water to grow a pound of broccoli, than it does to grow a pound of beef. The fork is one of the most powerful weapons that we wield.

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