Standing up for animal rights by paddling nonstop around Lake Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Standing up for animal rights by paddling nonstop around Lake Tahoe

Special to the Sun

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — Standup paddling is supposed to be fun and relaxing, so why would someone SUP non-stop, 72 miles around Lake Tahoe in one day?

On this July 31, on the evening of a Blue Moon, Kings Beach resident John Merryfield will embark on a solo, non-stop paddle around the entirety of Lake Tahoe to help end animal cruelty.

This is the seventh consecutive year Merryfield will make the paddle around the lake to speak out for factory farmed animals with the Vegan 1 Day Project.

Vegan 1 Day is a grassroots effort to encourage the public to adopt a vegan diet for at least one day out of the year, for health, the environment, and for animals.

"People are used to eating meat, dairy and eggs even though they've heard about the horrible conditions animals experience on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, so sometimes they need a little inspiration to make that healthier transition to a plant based diet," Merryfield said. "That's why I keep paddling around the lake!"

Using the full moon to navigate at night, when the lake is the calmest, Merryfield usually completes the paddle in less than 16 hours.

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"Paddling alone all night 72 miles around Tahoe is difficult, but pales in comparison to what pigs experience in metal crates, which are crammed in so tight they can't turn around for most of their lives," he said.

The Vegan 1 Day Project believes that people  can get all of the protein and nutrition needed in a whole food, plant-based diet, Merryfield said, and going vegan for even just one day has a positive effect on our consciousness, setting a powerful intention for better health, a cleaner environment, and a more compassionate world.

There will be a vegan potluck celebration on Sunday, Aug. 2, at 5 p.m. at Adrift Tahoe in Kings Beach. Visit vegan1day.org to learn more.