"It came to me in a flash," said Jared Warner, founder of Plant Parenthood, "when a homeless man asked me for a dollar for a hamburger. I told him, 'You should really go plant-based, the meat industry is destroying our eco-system.' For the sake of our planet, I couldn't in good conscience give him that dollar but as I walked on the idea came to me immediately: give the homeless the knowledge they need to find plant-based refuse."
While Warner feels he is doing his part to help the homeless community and the planet simultaneously, he has garnered a lot of criticism for his approach. Jan Lorimer, who finds actual homes for the homeless, calls Warner's nonprofit "benevolent negligence."
"How does it help someone without a home to eat plants if it's freezing and raining, they're covered in their own feces and nobody shows them any love?" Lorimer asked Warner at a recent symposium on homelessness. "So they eat some kale - then what?"
"Then they haven't contributed to the murder of animals, who by the way feel pain just like humans do," Warner replied.
To date, Warner has taught hundreds of homeless the benefits of a plant-based diet. "'Better to go for the rotten vegetables than the discarded meat," he tells homeless people before he goes home to his family and four bedroom house in an affluent suburb.
"I just want to help people help themselves," Warner told Egobaby. "They're going to be eating garbage anyway, might as well be eating the healthiest garbage they can scrounge up."