Vegan Takes on Hiking Challenge for Animal Rights

According to the Pacific Crest Trail Association, it takes an average offive months to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. The last time Josh Garretthiked it in 2009, the 2,655 mile trail took him only 88 days. The collegetrack and cross-country coach now plans to attempt the hike in less than64 days, which is the current record. He will do so with the sponsorshipof Whole Foods CEO John Mackey.

Mackey and Garrett met about a year ago, and found they shared a love ofhiking. Garrett shared his experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail andMackey was impressed with the speed Garrett completed it. “We got totalking and he had this idea that with the right support, I could probablybreak a hiking record. He asked me if I wanted to give the Pacific CrestTrail record a shot. I had mixed feelings. I loved the idea of thechallenge, but didn’t want to let anybody down if I didn’t make it,” Garrett said.

He decided if he was going to take on the trail again, it would be for acause. “Hiking the trail was uncomfortable enough-painful sometimes-evenwhen I wasn’t trying to do it within any particular time limit. But, Iwent vegan about eighteen months ago, and have become more and moreconcerned about what’s happening to the animals…Suddenly it hit me thatI could use this hike as a way to get the word out on their behalf,” hesaid. That realization led Garrett to team up with Mercy for Animals anduse the hike as a way to raise awareness and money for their cause.

Not only is Mercy for Animals the cause for Garrett’s hike, it’s also abig reason he decided to go vegan. “Just two years ago I was a big meateater, wild about dogs but not letting myself think much about otheranimals,” he said. “Over Thanksgiving 2011, I met two turkeys rescued by afriend. They were friendly and fun, and clearly conscious. Then I saw aMercy for Animals undercover video where a slaughterhouse worker was usinglive turkeys, suspended upside down on a conveyor belt, as punching bags.I was sickened. And my own consciousness started to change.”

Garrett said that the transition to a vegan diet was not a difficult oneand that much of the food people already eat is probably vegan. Garrettfeels that his goal of beating the trail record is achievable because ofhow much stronger he feels since going vegan, and is excited about hikingfor Mercy for Animals. “I don’t think there is anything more effectivethan undercover work at slaughterhouse or factory farms, and Mercy does somuch of that so well. Mercy for Animals just gets so much bang for thebuck. I want to do what I can to help them get some more bucks to bangwith.”

If you are interested in following Garrett’s hike progress, you can do soon Twitter (@VeganHiker).


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Shirley P.
Shirley P3 years ago

We in our country need to become much more educated and informed as to exactly what factory farmed animals is doing to our society to our mental health of all humans, and to the despair of the farm animals themselves. The start up of this woeful activity was done by people totally disconnected from our natural world that God provided us with. We can easily remember our family farms, where their animals were treated with respect and value. Factory farmed animals sure do Not belong in America, it is lowering our spiritual connections with animals and with each other. Allowed to continue, it will eventually bring America down, as it is honestly pure EVIL.

Nickihermes Celine
Past Member 4 years ago

thank you for sharing 19-7

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Tamara R Pearlman

I have been a vegetarian for almost 39 years (in November) and now am a full fledged vegan. I am off of 3 medications and cutting down on 2 more. I'm recognized as disabled and what has been affecting me worse are the meds.

I changed my diet, eliminating all processed foods, eating organic when I can, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and my health conditions are all turning around. We ARE what we eat and if you want to remain ill keep eating the wrong things. Have you ever looked on the label of Ensure or Pediasure to see how much refined sugar is in there?

Or, the lunch size applesauce??? It's a crime and no wonder so many young children have chronic illnesses younger and younger!!

Christine Daniels

Thank You

Julie Cordner
Julie Cordner4 years ago

Good luck, Josh. Hope you raise lots of awareness and money for Mercy for Animals.

Alfonso Lopez
Alfonso Lopez4 years ago


Karen Friedman
karen Friedman4 years ago

Mercy for animals a great organization! Good luck Josh! GO VEGAN!

Melissa M.

You go for it because VEGAN is the way to go. I've been vegan since 93 and I believe it really makes me healthier. Healthier than the rest of my family even with the genetic cardiac history I'm still ticking along... I've seen a lot of videos on animal abuse by the "factory farm industry" that "feeds Americans." It is sickening.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you Brandi, for Sharing this!