On Friday, August 31, a group of standup paddlers will circumnavigate Lake Tahoe to promote the Vegan One Day challenge. The goal is to paddle the 72 miles around Lake Tahoe in a single day and inspire people around the world to adopt a vegan diet for one day out of the year.

John Merryfield, the man behind Vegan One Day, conceptualized the international challenge four years ago with the hope that others would have a better understanding of the positive impact a vegan diet has on the world. The vegan believes that if people around the world adopted a meat-, dairy- and egg-free diet for a single day, the positive effects on the environment would be gargantuan.

"We're going to standup paddle around Lake Tahoe in just one day to inspire people to go plant-based," Merryfield said on the Tahoe Tonight Show. "Making changes sometimes are difficult and I acknowledge that, so that's why we're just trying to do one day," he said.

It is the belief of Merryfield– and others– that the dietary change of eliminating meat, dairy and eggs would drastically reduce the use of land and water resources, as well as greenhouse gases that promote global warming. Merryfield explains that raising livestock for consumption is an unnecessary and astronomical impact on the environment that will continue to encourage global warming if changes are not made.
"According to a United Nations 2007 report, livestock's long shadow, the livestock industry is responsible for as much as 18% of all greenhouse emissions, while using more than ten times the amount of land and water resources than plant-based agriculture. By the year 2048 it's estimated that most large marine ecosystems in the ocean will collapse from overfishing," Merryfield said. "So, the real inconvenient truth is that the meat industry is one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems," he added.

Tomorrow at 6 a.m. Merryfield will embark on his day of paddling from King's Beach with a small group of paddlers, as well as bicyclists pedaling along the shore around the lake. "We're going to paddle all day and all night," Merryfield said, "and really, when you think about how difficult it is, you know, going vegan is easy." – SC

For more info about the Vegan One Day challenge, visit: Vegan1Day.org