Olympic Level Compassion | Dotsie Bausch | TEDxChapmanU

Olympic Level Compassion | Dotsie Bausch | TEDxChapmanU

Translator: Kay Wang
Reviewer: Ellen Maloney I am an Olympian. A silver medal cyclist from
the London 2012 summer games. I competed at the highest level
of my sport for 12 years, with a voracious appetite for winning. Prior to my cycling career, I was a fashion model,
who walked the runways of New York; all the time hiding a cocaine
dependency and the darkness of a life-threatening eating disorder. Truthfully, I was no better than a junkie, mistreating my body to the point
of near physical and psychological ruin. And after, not one, but two
suicide attempts, I had reached a fork in the road. I knew that I was either
going to die of anorexia, or was going to have to choose to live. I didn’t know if I would pull off
the living part, but something deep inside me
told me that I had to try. And so I did. Three years of intensive therapy ensued. Most days I wanted to quit, but, I didn’t. And towards the very end of that
three year healing journey, my therapist recommended to me that I try
an activity or a sport of some kind so I could learn to move my body
in a healthy way again, which I hadn’t been able to do
for so many years. I really quite randomly chose cycling. Just sounded fun at the time. Freedom, wind in my face, being outside. Well, I just never looked back. And in 2012, I stood
on the Olympic podium. A junkie’s life all but a dust cloud
in my rear-view mirror. And when I stood on that Olympic podium,
I had trained a lot – six hours a day, six days a week,
for many, many, many years. I had circled endless, endless laps,
and high-banked velodromes. Climbed up mountains,
downed twisting descents faster than cars. I did all of this so that
I could try and produce almost 1000 watts of power off
the start line at the Olympic games. Now, that’s enough to power five
47-inch flat screen TVs. And that’s me on the start line
looking a little tiny bit nervous. More nervous than I am right now. (Laughter) I did all of this, all of this training
and so much more, for what I call
“Olympic Level Compassion.” That is, I did it, eating
no meat whatsoever. Zero. None. Now, why in the world, no meat? Most of you are like: What?
Where is this going? Why would you do that to yourself?
What does that even mean, right? Well, let me just tell you
my journey of how I got there and how I coined this term
“Olympic Level Compassion.” One really late night,
we were on the east coast racing and I was up in the middle of the night,
exhausted from the race, yet I couldn’t sleep –
we’ve all been there – and I’m just mindlessly
flicking through the channels and I land on this exposé
that depicts the hidden camera footage of the horrific cruelty that goes on
behind closed doors at slaughterhouses. The images and the video
were showing cows and pigs that were being beaten,
blinded, some burnt, kicked, cut, and some of them with sharp objects shoved up their anuses
to get them to move to slaughter. I was horrified. I was terrified too. And, at the same time, it was like,
I was humbled and ashamed because as a meat-eater,
I was a party to this. Well, that night I said, “I don’t care how hard it is
or what it takes; I’m never eating meat again because
I can’t stand that animals go through this just to make it to my dinner plate.” So now, that same exact
hunger that I had had that drove me to excel in cycling, that same hunger that drove me to excel
in my recovery from anorexia, was now driving me to completely
rethink the way we behave when it comes to our food. Research shows us that 95 percent
of the cruelty to animals occurs at the hands
of the meat and dairy industry. These industries confine,
mutilate, and slaughter 60 billion land animals every year. 60 billion. That’s eight times as many animals
going through slaughterhouses lines as there are people on the planet. And, each and every one of these animals that grinds through
this factory farm system greatly harms the environment. Factory farming is a much larger producer
of global carbon emissions than all of technology combined. All of it; cars, trucks, and coal. Right now in California,
we’re in a historic drought. We’re all trying to save water
here and there, in-between. Scrub-a-dub-dubs in the shower,
however you’re doing it. Well, it takes 16 gallons of water
to grow eight ounces of soy milk. That is, the water that takes to water
those soy beans to grow. That sounds like a lot; 16 gallons of water for just
eight little measly ounces of soy milk. But it takes 850 gallons of water
to grow eight ounces of beef. That burger you had
yesterday is equivalent to 30 average American showers. A plant-based person consumes 200 000 gallons of water less than a person who eats
the average American diet. But just as important to me as
this environmental impact is the emotional toll. Because each and every one of these
animals is capable of feeling anxiety, pain, fear, comfort, and joy. The same exact feelings as the dogs
and cats who are in our homes. So, home, right? Alright. We’re just going to talk for a minute
about the animals that are in our home. Consider for a moment
the Thanksgiving dinner table. It is s common to serve
a Butterball turkey at Thanksgiving because Butterball is the largest
producer of turkey meat in the United States. And I would confess that roasted bird,
with all its trimmings, and “fixins”, as we say in the South,
looks appetizing, it does. But looks can be wildly deceiving. Because, here’s the ugly truth: In 2011, workers at Butterball
were convicted on felony charges of cruelty to factory farm birds. These workers routinely kicked, stomped,
and dragged these birds by their wings and by their necks. They beat the birds with metal bars,
seemingly for sport, as they caught on tape. And as for the baby chicks who don’t
get to make it to slaughter, they throw them in a trough and then they
grind them up while they’re still alive in macerating machines. I know, it sounds so cruel. There has to be another way. Because 96 percent of us say
we’re against cruelty towards animals. Right? 96 percent of you are against
what we just saw. Yet we still torture and mutilate
60 billion of them every year. Do these numbers make sense to you? This doesn’t have to be about hippies
and tree-hugging and tofu eating because, honestly, I’m the furthest
thing away from a hippie. But this is honestly just about
the heart and soul of Mother Earth and the heart and soul of these animals. They are in our care. So, what does it take for us to care
enough to just take action on it? Do we just need to see
what happens to these animals? Do we just need to see,
you know, footage, pictures? Because I can show you. Do we need to smell the disease-infested
hollow halls of the slaughterhouses? Maybe we need to hear the screams
of the animals as they head to slaughter, or as we shove them to slaughter? If you want to meet me after, I’ll take you on a tour,
but be careful what you ask for. Maybe, you say, it needs to affect you
personally, physically; it needs to affect you. Okay; well, it does. Stress is known to promote tumor growth
in many, many types of cancers. Cortisol is the stress hormone
our body produces when we are under feelings of stress. Anxiety, loneliness, pain,
and even exhaustion. The exact same feelings these factory
farm animals are experiencing. And so they produce pretty intensely
high levels of cortisol. When we eat the meat of these
factory farm animals, we are eating their cortisol. In other words,
we are ingesting their stress, to go along with the stress
we already have. Dr. Eric Sternlicht,
who’s a professor of health science right here at Chapman University
and who’s my mentor, says, External stressors promote tumor growth. So, we have all this evidence
I’ve just presented: that factory farming
ruins the environment, that meat and dairy intake promote cancer, and that the animals go through horrific
suffering, as we have seen on tape. So then, what’s the alternative? I’ve got to give you
an alternative, right? After showing you all this. Well, evidence shows that a plant-based
lifestyle is both planet-friendly and can help to prevent cancer. When I went plant-based,
I specifically did it, as I told you guys, because of my Olympic Level Compassion,
and I couldn’t stand that animals had to go through this
just to make it to my plate. But these changes in my body started
occurring that I was just amazed by. My joint pain started disappearing,
my back pain got better, my PMS subsided. Husband was like,
“Two thumbs up on that one.” My mind got clearer and crisper,
and my recovery process, which is the most important aspect
to an elite athlete’s life, sped up so abruptly that I was now
recovering at half the time of teammates who were ten years my junior. As a plant-based athlete,
I stood on the Olympic podium just five months shy of my 40th birthday. The oldest competitor ever in the
Olympic games in my specific discipline. So most athletes,
most athletic trainers too, they associate recovery
or repair with protein. So, 100 calories of beef
has ten grams of protein. 100 calories of spinach
has 12 grams of protein. I know some of you are like, “What?
Why didn’t somebody tell me this before?” It’s true, look it up. Plants, greens, vegetables;
they have protein. They have a lot of protein
because they’re alive, and every living thing has protein. And you don’t just have to believe me, other plant-based athletes
that have adopted Olympic Level Compassion that are right at the top of their game. Mixed martial art great Mac Danzig. How about the abdominals, ladies. Or gentlemen. (Laughter) Nine time Olympic
gold medalist, Carl Lewis. Tennis legend, Martina Navratilova. Houston, Texas running back Arian Foster;
yep, he went plant-based in 2012, and the next season he led the NFL in number of carries
and rushing touchdowns. Popeye. (Laughter) I’m just saying; he was kind of
ahead of his time I think though, right? Alright, quick pop quiz. I’m only giving you two choices
so it’s going to be easy. But the question is: how much protein
do we need on a daily basis? Because that’s important. How much? Because protein is having a moment
right now in the media, in my opinion. Two choices and here they are – if I could get a show of hands,
that would be awesome – How many people think you need
two grams of protein per pound of body weight per day to maintain healthy muscle
tissue and repair after your workouts? How many people
think that’s the right answer? Okay. How many people think it’s one gram of protein per pound
of body weight per day? Okay, more of you think the second one. I’m going to give you a visual
reference because that’s probably helpful. I weight around 135 pounds, and I need 65 grams of protein per day. That’s a half a gram of protein
per pound of body weight per day to repair for my tough workouts. So, still you may be asking,
or I hope you’re asking, “If I care enough to adopt
a plant-based lifestyle, if I maybe just even care enough
to go home and look into it deeper or do more research
or understand it better, how can just I make a difference,
because I’m just one person?” Well, I’d like to encourage you
to go meatless for the rest of the day. (Gasp) How about a challenge? I’d like to challenge you to go meatless
for the rest of the day. And as you do, just think of this: if one person, just one, goes meatless, you will save the brutally
slaughtered lives of 2000 of these land animals
in your lifetime. I’d like to just leave you
with this story of the starfish. After a violent storm at the beach,
an old man walked up to a little girl who was tossing starfish,
one by one, back into the water. Now, the beach was covered with starfish
as far as the eye could see, and all of them were struggling
to get back into the water. But the tide was low
and the sun was really hot, and the starfish, it seemed,
they were doomed. The old man said to the little girl,
“You know, you’re never going to make a difference here
because there are far too many.” And with that, the little girl bent down. She picked up a starfish,
she tossed it back into the ocean and she said, “I made
a difference to that one.” It just takes one. (Applause)

15 Replies to “Olympic Level Compassion | Dotsie Bausch | TEDxChapmanU”

  1. What a phenomenal job! Thank you for sharing your message it means so much trying to make people aware, being an example. What an amazing thing you have done with your life, turned it around and now an epic role model. Here's to Olympic Level Compassion <3

  2. Ms. Bausch, thank you for making this talk. I saw it because Mercy for Animals linked it on their Facebook page. As a person who has seen slaughterhouses, rendering plants and confinement operations, I applaud your compassionate point of view. Never apologize for being vegetarian; it's better to practice mercy than ignore cruelty.

  3. "I was no better than a junkie." I just find this horribly insulting to the people that I work with everyday.

  4. soy milk energy is 0.54kcal/g. Beef is 2.5kcal/g. 8oz is 226g. 8oz of soy milk is 122kcal. 8oz of beef is 565. 1 gallon of water will get you 7.625 kcal of soy milk. 1 gal water = 0.66kcal beef. So soy is more efficient at turning water into energy, right? Maybe not. What isn't accounted here is how much water is destroyed in the photosynthetic process. While water is destroyed when soy turns H2O +CO2 into sugars, the cow doesn't destroy any water. The cow's food will destroy water, but all the water the cow consumes is ultimately recycled. I'm also curious as to which method of production of soy was being used? Hydroponic farming is far more water efficient than soil-based farming.

    But I digress, water to energy efficiency is probably not great justification for being vegetarian. Tilapia requires 2-3 gal of water per 454g of fish. They can be fed using grubs from recycled waste.

  5. we dont need to reduce the amount of meat we eat we need to stop eating meat entirely and humanly kill off all the now useless farm animals that are wasting our food and water im talking overnight mass genocide its the only humane thing we could possibly do to these useless genetic lines of animals that no longer have a place in nature and the food chain

  6. Thank you Dotsie! A great talk about the TRUTH. And from a highly accomplished athlete (AND person) to boot! We are slowly but surely chipping away at the meat myth and building the plant-based paradigm.

  7. As an Olympic Athlete on a majority plant based diet, this talk was super interesting and inspirational!!!!!!!! Thanks Dotsie!

  8. omg seeing the poor animals in those horrific conditions really hurts. I'm going to try my best to eat as little meat as I possibly can….baby steps

  9. I wasn't expecting something like this when I first opened the talk. Very informative. Although, I already consume meat just 2-3 times in a year, I'm definitely going to do away with that too. But going vegan is something I can't afford for now. Thanks!

  10. Dotsie Bausch is a totally over-rated cyclist and a complete basket case.

    The team pursuit in cycling is a 'junk' event where roadies who can't win in road races go to get an easy medal. The competition is very shallow. That's why after winning her silver medal (losing to gold medalist Great Britain by a whopping 5 seconds), no major road teams in the sport were willing to sign her. She's also a complete headcase and a psycho about her self-induced anorexia which she exploits every chance she gets, and tries to sell it to everyone as some kind of disease she was afflicted with. The reality is she gave it to herself.

    Anyone in the sport will tell you her silver medal in the team pursuit is meaningless. It will not get you hired by any pro road team…. except maybe as a mechanic.

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