Caryn Hartglass '80
Through EarthSave television and radio, Caryn Hartglass hosts a variety of programs exploring many aspects of veganism, which range from gourmet cooking to global warming.
Advocate for the earth
What influence has Bucknell University's meal plan had on the world? Just ask Caryn Hartglass '80, executive director of EarthSave.org. When she came to Bucknell University as a first-year student, she was welcomed with a vegetarian meal option, a rare sign of enlightenment in days when meat was the unquestioned staple of the American diet. She had become a vegetarian at the age of 15, yet making such a lifestyle work was not always practical or easy until the University made it so for her.
While at Bucknell, Hartglass became a chemical engineer; however, her passion for sustainability led her to EarthSave, an organization started by John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America. A pursuit of a plant-based diet culminated in veganism and, ultimately, her taking the helm of the organization. Through EarthSave television and radio (www.earthsave.org), she hosts a variety of programs exploring many aspects of veganism, which range from gourmet cooking to global warming.
According to Hartglass, demands of our changing planet will lead to "veganism becoming the lifestyle of necessity" during the 21st century. One of her goals is to let the public know that 50 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions — in the form of methane — come from the emissions of animal factory farming. Aside from the by-products of mass agriculture, such as pervasive use of chemicals and agricultural waste that seeps into groundwater, she says, this type of factory farming is accelerating global warming but garnering little press coverage.
During her career as a chemical engineer, Hartglass worried about chemical clean-up not being adequately considered in long-term projects, as if the residues of such activities might vanish magically. She says that mainstream media showed little interest in addressing these burgeoning concerns. The question of the long-term outcomes of human commerce still motivates Hartglass' investigations, as she and her group expose the ramifications of many of modern life's conveniences, tastes and traditions.
Posted January 2010