The non-profit Silver Lining Animal Rescue’s first target is the dairy milk industry.
Having made history on the Olympic stage as a badass cyclist, silver medal-winner Dotsie Bausch is taking the next step to confirm that she’s also a badass off the bike. Furthering the message of her powerful and persuasive TedEx Talk, “Olympic Level Compassion,” that led to her selection as one of “The 20 Badass Veg Women Who Are Making History” by ChooseVeg, Bausch officially launched her non-profit animal protection organization, Silver Lining Animal Rescue, on Wednesday. Never one to shy away from facing staggering odds – just like she did in the 2012 London Games while riding for Team USA – her outfit’s first initiative is the disruption of the dairy milk industry through an elite athlete-driven campaign.
The global mission of the Silver Lining Animal Rescue is “shining light on the truth” by using education, advocacy and activism to save the lives of millions of animals abused and used for food. Posted front and center on the homepage of the organization’s website is their call to action: “60 billion animals are brutally mistreated and killed every year in our modern agricultural food system. We’re on a mission to change that.”
The Irvine, California-based organization will begin with a letter-writing campaign to “expose the truth of the dairy industry” coined XMilk. An influential team of Olympians, professional athletes and fitness experts was recruited to send letters asking more than 70 prominent athletes to reconsider their sponsorship deals with products that support the dairy industry and milk-related products. While this effort on paper may appear to be a David & Goliath battle – not unlike Bausch and Team USA’s stunning upset of Australia’s heavily-favored team pursuit squad, enabling her, at age 39, to become the oldest person ever to win an Olympic medal in her track cycling discipline – Bausch’s vision for Silver Lining Animal Rescue is founded on the belief that people underestimate the power of their individual choices and voice to impact change.
“A major component to our effort aside from education is to encourage the general public to speak up and out. Often many people don’t take action because they don’t think they alone can have a significant impact. To the contrary! I coined the term ‘Olympic Level Compassion’ to encapsulate our belief that each person has the potential to spread goodness in a unique, far-reaching way. A key section of the Silver Lining Animal Rescue site is devoted to the ‘Impact Model Formula’ specifically to demonstrate the astonishing power of an individual’s impact through the ripple effect. Over time, one person choosing to adopt a plant-based diet can literally stop the suffering and save the lives of millions of animals in their lifetime. And if that one person convinces even just one other person to reject cruelty and endorse love by adopting planet friendly, health-centered compassionate ways of eating, millions upon millions of animal lives will be saved. As an organization, Silver Lining Rescue is only going to be successful if people share the mission and message of choosing compassion,” said Bausch, who is part of Silver Lining Animal Rescue’s six-member board of directors.
A former world record holder, seven-time U.S. National Champion on the road and track, and occasional cycling color commentator on television, Bausch was compelled to adopt a compassionate plant-based lifestyle after seeing an exposé about the routine cruelty of factory farming. She trained for and competed in the Olympics on a plant-based diet. Now retired from professional cycling, she speaks around the world as the voice of farm animals, spreading her message about the numerous benefits – humane, nutritional and environmental – of plant-based eating as a lifestyle choice for athletes and non-athletes alike.