Episode 26 – For Animals. For Earth. featuring Brandy Hedye Montague

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Click here for the full transcript, but please excuse any errors as it was automatically transcribed using Otter.ai

Stacey Cordivano 0:07
Hey there, it’s Dr. Stacey Cordivano. I want veterinarians to learn to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for the life that we’ve created. On this podcast, I will speak with outside of the box thinkers to hear new ideas on ways to improve our day to day life. Welcome to The Whole Veterinarian.

Today I get to sit down with Brandy Heyde Montague. She is the creator of For Animals For Earth, which is an online resource hub where people can learn quick and sustainable tips that allowed them to help animals and the environment. Brandy also hosts her own podcast called For animals. Dor Earth. where she dives into all sorts of amazing sustainability topics, so I’m so excited to learn a little bit more from her today. Here’s a quick ad and then we’ll get into our chat.

Questions about finances? Vincere Wealth Management is the solution. Isaiah Douglass is a partner of vincere wealth management and the host of The Veterinarian Success podcast. He is a fee only Certified Financial Planner and he and the Vincere team are dedicated to serving veterinarians in all stages of their careers. Vincere can assist you whether you’re a new graduate getting started or an experienced vet trying to navigate selling your clinic and moving into retirement. You have enough stress in your life, finances no longer need to be on that list. You can find a link to download their free resource called A Financial Guide for Veterinarians on my website at thewholeveterinarian.com/resources. Thanks again to Isaiah and Vincere Wealth Management for their support. And now enjoy the show.

Thanks for joining me today, Brandy.

Brandy Heyde Montague 2:00
Thanks for having me, Stacey. I’m excited to be here.

Stacey Cordivano 2:03
You have a really fun introduction to your podcast. And I was hoping you could start us off that way.

Brandy Heyde Montague 2:10
Oh, sure. Yeah, I would love to, at the beginning of all of my shows, I pause to take a deep breath together. And yeah, I really love doing it. I feel like it helps kind of ground us all to enter this space to have a conversation, I guess for the higher good of everybody involved. So sure, I would love to do that. So if we all want to close our eyes, and take a deep breath. And let’s get started.

Stacey Cordivano 2:42
Thank you. I appreciate that. So tell me a little bit. How did you get involved in this project? What is a little bit about your background, I want to know all the things.

Brandy Heyde Montague 2:55
I think I classify myself as kind of an animal lover, I have kind of my whole life. I first remember saying when I was three, my grandparents farmed, and I decided you know, I remember a very specific day deciding I will never eat meat again it I am out to help animals for the rest of my life. It took me a long time to kind of figure out what that actually meant. I say it’s funny, as I was looking, you know, to come on your show, I think maybe I missed a calling in life to be a veterinarian. I don’t know, you know, like, that would have been a very obvious way to help you. But somehow it never crossed my mind. You know, so funny. Isn’t that funny? I don’t know. But throughout my kind of teenage years, my 20s my early 30s, I did different projects to help with animal welfare. You know, volunteering at the local shelters, different community projects. through school, I built a data model to help animal shelters work together to try to save more lives of dogs and cats. And I found myself eventually in my late 30s, starting a clothing line. I started a clothing line in about 2014. And it was not eco conscious. And it wasn’t focused on helping animals and a couple of years into that we did an event tied with the clothing line where we went into the local shelter and the kids wearing the clothes would read to the dogs and cats and rabbits that were looking for homes. And through that I realized that I really didn’t feel like I was connected enough to helping with animal welfare. And I wanted to do more. So that kind of transitioned into my current clothing line which was specifically focused on helping animal welfare through donations with all of the pieces of clothing. And when I was creating that I was working on like a little t shirt to help whales for kids. And you know, I had Design and I was making it, I was looking for blanks to print it on. And it introduced me to the whole world of helping the environment, it’s it’s kind of crazy. But prior to that it just hadn’t ever really crossed my mind. And then when it was in my decision to say, I’m going to print on, you know, this shirt or this shirt, it really came forefront for me. And I realized, you know, what an impact the fashion industry has on the environment. And then, you know, I was making a T shirt for whales, and looking at all of the pollution going into the water from the fashion industry. And I was like, wait a minute here, like, how do I how do I marry these two things. And so I became, you know, very focused on conscious materials in fashion, and for a couple of years researched around that, and then that led me into just realizing, Oh, my gosh, if I want to help animals, I have to help the earth at the same time and human beings, and we’re all so deeply interconnected, that we, we really have to address all parts of it to try to help us all be a sustainable, strong ecosystem. And that’s, that’s what they ended up bringing me in to, to for animals for Earth as it is now, which is, you know, the hub of simple ideas that any of us can try in our daily lives to make a difference.

Stacey Cordivano 6:23
That’s great, I think that, you know, for my population of listeners, veterinarians are very obviously focused on care for animals and welfare. But I think that, inherently, a lot of us care about the earth as well, as you said, I think we kind of inherently realize that they’re connected. And I personally am very into as much eco conscious products as possible. I’m excited to learn about easy ways to make changes, I know that you have sort of some lifestyle categories that you cover in the podcast and on the resource hub. So what are some common categories that people might be able to, like lump ways to make changes into?

Brandy Heyde Montague 7:07
Yeah, you know, for us, the categories are somewhat every evolving, because, you know, we, I feel like we continually discover new ways that we could help that it’s like, oh, that doesn’t quite fit into that category. But right now, we work under seven different categories. And we’ve tried to kind of hit all parts of life, because what works for someone, so one of the categories is fashion. Another one is food, we have home goods, we have beauty and health, travel, kids, and then volunteering. And so what may speak to someone in fashion, for instance, you know, maybe in my life, I’m able to make changes on like the materials that are used to make my clothes or I’m able to thrift shop more often, you know, that might not work for someone else. But maybe someone else has access to grow some of their own food, you know, or travel more consciously. So, we’ve really worked hard to kind of say, there are 1000s of simple ideas out there that any one of us can try in our lives, and they really hit every aspect of our lifestyle. And so you can kind of pick what works for you. And once you start by choosing one and choosing another, it snowballs into all of those different parts of your life, but it gives people a place to start.

Stacey Cordivano 8:31
Perfect. Okay, so let’s go through some you gave us some really quick examples. So I’m big into clean beauty. Let’s start there. I love a good clean beauty product. What should people kind of be looking for there?

Brandy Heyde Montague 8:43
I think that I have been learning this as I go to, you know, in the reason I have a podcast is so that I can have on experts from all these different areas and then they teach me

Stacey Cordivano 8:56
Sure I think a lot of us have a podcast for that reason!

Brandy Heyde Montague 8:58
Right? Like we can all learn it. It’s really exciting. So I had a woman named Paige Padgett on my show, she was in episodes three, four, and five. She’s a hollywood makeup artist that has been doing green makeup for over 20 years in the Hollywood space. And her just wealth of knowledge blew me away. And she said what we really want to think about with our products is obviously about the chemicals and the toxins that are in them and how they impact our body but also how they impact you know, like going down the drain into the river into the earth. Also how the products are made, who’s making them, so to be able to kind of navigate through Okay, I’m looking at this bottle, and you know, I’m turning it around, I’m looking at the ingredients, how do I even decide if this is a quote unquote, clean or green product for me to use. What she shared was two different resources which I really I’d like to share with people which is one looking for certifications on the boxes. So the EWG, which is the Environmental Working Group, they have a seal that is pretty new. But if you can find a product that has the ewg seal on it, you know that that’s like a really good to go product for both the human body and for the earth. And for animals, you know, it’s not test, it’s cruelty free, not tested on animals. Another one that she brought up was called eco cert seals are one way. And then another resource that I really love. And it’s not that well known. It’s called skincarisma.com. And they have something called an ingredient analyzer. And so if you go to skin charisma.com, you’ll find their ingredient analyzer. And you can copy and paste all of the ingredients that are in a product, you hit a button, and it pulls up a full report for you of how every single ingredient in that product impacts the earth, and what kind of chemical toxins might be in it that may cause problems for you. It’ll say like, this is not good for oily skin. This is this has UV protection, this doesn’t This isn’t good for dry skin sensitive skin. It’s an amazing Wow, yeah. And it’s free, you just you know, it’s free, it’s easy, and you just pop over there. So it’s skincarisma.com. And I love to refer people to that, because it’s so useful.

Stacey Cordivano 9:01
That is amazing. I did not know that. I do feel like yeah, you can spend a lot of time searching around and still not be 100% sure that what you’re getting is actually you know, organic or clean or good for anybody or they’re just packaging it really nicely to look that way. Those are super helpful resources, which we’ll definitely link those in the show notes. Okay, let’s move to travel because I love to travel. But I have to say I have not considered more eco friendly travel options.

Brandy Heyde Montague 11:59
So travel is one that I am really digging into this year myself, because this is one that I I find like an internal battle happening within me. Because travel is something that has been honestly a huge part of my life. I’ve spent most of my younger years traveling around the world, just seeing places if I could pick one thing I could do with my time right now it would be go to some foreign country I’ve never been to before explore, right? I think there’s so many benefits of travel, because I think it brings cultures together societies together, it helps us understand each other so much better. So I certainly don’t believe we should stop traveling, you know. But the the downside, obviously is all of the carbon emissions from you know, the planes, the cars, do everything that we’re traveling in. And then the way that our travel impacts the local economy that we’re visiting. And so I’ve been digging into it more. And I’m actually looking to bring somebody on my podcast to teach me more about just finding ethical eco conscious places to stay when I travel. But I have been I have found a little bit. So again, it’s that that certification happens with hotels as well. So there’s a certification, there’s like eco hotels, there’s green travel, there’s I could give you a list of these for your show notes. But there are different seals for travel that we can find. But they’re not that easy to find. And that’s why I’m I’m hoping to dig more. But the seals, they’ll take into account how the hotel or resort or activity is impacting the local economy, or people being paid, you know, a fair living wage, and what kind of things are being done to protect the land there, you know, a lot of the places that we like to travel, they have beaches and things like that are destroying, obviously the reef underneath. And so there are different initiatives being done to try to combat that. And so I’ve been looking for, like, how can I find places that are involved in supporting that. And it’s a journey that I’m still very, very much on. There are also booking aggregators, places like Expedia, where you can go online and you can search for only lodging or places that fit these different criteria, but they’re nowhere near as robust as Expedia or something like that. And so, you know, it’s, it’s tough. It’s tough. It’s funny, just over the holidays, we were trying to book travel with my family, and I find myself being the difficult one sitting there saying, Well, what I don’t know how this is like this place is impacting the water in the animals right there around it, you know, everybody’s like, Oh my god, you know. It’s a really hard battle. To try to figure it out. One other idea that I will share is that, for the past couple of years, when we travel, I’ve been looking for a sanctuary to visit versus like the big zoo. So I’ll look for a wildlife sanctuary or a wildlife rehabilitation center or a Nature Conservancy, you know, if it’s in the US or outside, but you know, I look for some sort of sanctuary to visit into take my kids to, and that helps because my kids are still getting to see the animals, they’re still getting experience, but they’re getting they’re getting it through the lens of we’ve we’ve rescued this animal because it can’t be in the wild. And that’s why it’s with us. And here’s why we want them in the wild, that sort of thing.

Stacey Cordivano 15:46
Yeah. And a lot of those I do feel like are run by local community members also, like maybe outside the US, the ones that we’ve interacted with.

Brandy Heyde Montague 15:54
Yeah, that’s a really good point.

Stacey Cordivano 15:56
That’s a great tip.

Brandy Heyde Montague 15:56

Stacey Cordivano 15:57
Okay. Can we talk about some ideas for kids?

Brandy Heyde Montague 16:01
Yeah. So you know, I think with kids, a lot of it is they are going to follow us, right. So the more simple things that we are bringing into our daily lives, the more our kids are going to pick it up. First off, I would just say that I’m amazed how much my kids will jump in and say different things like oh, put that in the recycle or something, you know, when just just from me saying that, and I try not to create monsters as well, you know, we’re all trying our best. One thing that I have started doing when I buy gifts for birthday parties, or, you know, holidays, I’ll either try to gift an experience rather than a theme. Or if if it’s like, we definitely need to get a toy. I tried to find wooden toys, instead of plastic toys. Those are just like simple little things. Or, I mean, a really good one is also secondhand. If there’s a way as you get secondhand things, you know, we just did snowboards like snow equipment, we’re able to get it off of Facebook marketplace, you know, so it’s there’s a lot that we can get secondhand, which is better than any sort of purchases if possible.

Stacey Cordivano 17:14
Yeah, this past Christmas, another equine vet, a colleague of mine, she has kids just a little younger. And I know she doesn’t want a bunch of stuff at her house. But she was like, do you have any gifts for the baby for Christmas, because I just don’t want to buy anymore. And but like, I also can’t give him his older brother’s stuff, because that would be so obvious. So I had a bunch of wooden toys saved and they were perfect. And I didn’t have to, you know, throw them away. And I got them out of my house and she got some stuff for free. And it was reused. And we were so happy. We’re gonna try to do that every year.

Brandy Heyde Montague 17:48
I you know, I really love I love that. And I love that you’re thinking of like perpetuating it every year. Because it’s, it’s such a good simple thing to do. And something I’ve seen here is like community boxes. So in a local community, people will put you know, all their toys they want to donate, and then kids in the community can take and put in that box throughout. You know, over time. I’ve seen them a lot of time on beaches with a lot of the kind of beach type toys. Yeah.

Stacey Cordivano 18:17
Oh, cool. That’s a great idea that would be fun to get your kids involved with actually starting one in your own community, that would be a very cool idea.

Unknown Speaker 18:25
For sure. Yeah, I really think it would in the local library may host it or you know, just like a local business, because you’ve got people that are going to you’re going to have foot traffic coming in if your business hosts that box there at the front. So I think it’s a really cool idea.

Stacey Cordivano 18:39
Great. Well, I love all these ideas. And I know that people can find a ton of other ideas. Your podcast episodes are super actionable. You always leave people with ideas. If you had to tell someone that just walked up to you and said, What are two things I can do tomorrow to help animals or the environment? What were the top two things that popped into your head be?

Brandy Heyde Montague 19:02
Well, the first one, I would say is to start sparking more conversation with the people around you. And in a very open, accepting way. So I think the more that like you did with your friends with the Christmas gift, I think the more that we can talk to each other about these topics and just keep them top of mind. But also do it in a very non judgmental way. In a very leading with kind of discovery and learning and I want to find things that will work in my life. What works for you. I feel like the more we have these conversations just in our daily lives, the more it snowballs into a constant conversation in our head, I guess. Yeah, things we could do. So I think that would be the first thing I would share. The second thing what would be the second thing I would share. I mean, if people are really looking, I would love to have people come find us. You know, we have, like you said, we have the podcast, I have just started a five day conscious lifestyle challenge. It’s just a free way to kind of jumpstart. If you are thinking, yeah, this kind of sounds cool, I’d love to find some ideas that will work in my daily life, but I don’t really have a lot of time to put towards this. We designed this, you know, five day challenge for you so that you can kind of jumpstart get five ideas on five different days, and then that might trigger the next idea for you. So I think the second thing I would say is to just pick one idea whether it’s from the lifestyle challenge, whether it’s something I shared today, whether it’s something a friend tells you just to pick one thing that you feel like could realistically work in your daily life. And just go ahead and start doing it. And if it works, keep with it. And then once it’s like a habit, pick another one. And if it doesn’t work, it’s okay. Just pick something else and see if it works. And and when it becomes a habit. Pick another one, you know, so just that very simple, gradual, again, non judgmental on ourselves way of just taking it on taking on helping animals in the environment, but in our own little way in our daily life, just with simple ideas. I feel like that would probably be my second thing to share.

Stacey Cordivano 21:33
That’s perfect. I think that advice could apply to a lot of life. But, but I love I love that advice for getting started with kind of more environmentally friendly living. I really appreciate the time that you’ve spent talking to me about this. I find it really interesting. I know some of the listeners will also find it helpful to their lives. I ask all of my guests, what is one small thing that has brought you joy this past week?

Brandy Heyde Montague 21:59
Oh, gosh, so many little small things. I feel like the fact that you know, I live in Los Angeles. So my family, we’re all still like quarantined inside the home and don’t go anywhere. And so I get a lot of little small things because my kids are saying funny things all the time. Right. But I will say last night I went to bed listening to a sound bath. I don’t know. Do you know what a sound bath is? Or have you heard of that?

Stacey Cordivano 22:26
I’ve heard of it. Itsounds very LA. Haha.

Brandy Heyde Montague 22:31
It really does. There is a couple, they go by the name of Wakes, out there in the world. And they’re incredibly talented, this couple and they play like 25 different instruments and they sing and they create these immersive sound experiences that you can use as a meditation, they really blow my mind. But last night, I went to bed, you listen to it with headphones so that you can really kind of feel the vibrations of the music. So I went to bed with my daughter laying next to me with her little sound bath and her years and be with the sound bath and Byers and we hold the answer went to sleep last night. I just thought that was so sweet. It’s like those little moments. That was a moment of joy.

Stacey Cordivano 23:16
Yeah, that is sweet. I have to try that one with my older kid who could do some calming down.

Brandy Heyde Montague 23:22
It really helps them sleep. My kids really struggle to sleep and it really helps just lull them into sleep. It’s about an hour long, but it’s amazing.

Stacey Cordivano 23:30

Brandy Heyde Montague 23:31
They do them for free. I can give you a link to that too.

Stacey Cordivano 23:34
There are going to be so many links, it’s great.

Brandy Heyde Montague 23:38
It’s loaded. It’s loaded, but they’re free. So some anybody could try it which is amazing.

Stacey Cordivano 23:42
Perfect. Awesome. Okay, so let’s recap on where to find more about you. I know there’s a blog, you guys have the fashion line, and the podcast. Where’s the best way to find you?

Brandy Heyde Montague 23:55
Everything is at foranimalsforearth.com.

Stacey Cordivano 23:58

Brandy Heyde Montague 23:58
If people go to foranimalsforearth.com, they’ll find a link to the podcast, a link to the blog and a link to shop on social media. We are also pretty much on all social media channels @foranimalsforearth. I, for the most part hang out on Instagram, if you actually wanted to come say hi, I’d love to hear from you. You can just DM me on Instagram. We do a lot on Pinterest as well. So like all these different ideas, I do a lot to try to curate constantly new ideas on Pinterest. So if you’re looking for something, yeah, there’s 1000s of ideas on our Pinterest page.

Stacey Cordivano 24:33
Awesome. Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. I didn’t know you had that. Perfect. I’m gonna go check it out. Well, I really appreciate it again. I am really excited for this one. It was nice to chat with you and I definitely learned a few things. Thank you.

Brandy Heyde Montague 24:45
Thank you so much for having me here. I’m so excited to just have the chance to talk to you about this.

Stacey Cordivano 24:51
Thanks so much to Brandy from For Animals. For Earth. for joining me today. I really enjoyed our chat and I hope you gained as much insight as I did in listening to her ideas. Her website is amazing. There are so many resources, I highly recommend you go check it out. She also recently partnered with a really cool clothing subscription service called wear Well, I’ll put the link in the show notes. I also wanted to mention that she has a free ebook on her site as well that she didn’t mention in the episode. It’s called the 50 simple ideas ebook. You know, if you have any interest in learning more, get that free resource. So happy Earth Day 2021! I would love to challenge you to improve one aspect of your life as far as sustainability for the earth goes. I think that would be amazing if everyone who listened made one small change and I know Brandy would love to hear about it. So please reach out to her on Instagram or me @thewholeveterinarian; tag us in anything you find or do and we would love to share it. As always, I’m so appreciative when you share this podcast with a friend or leave a review on Apple podcasts. And thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Thanks, guys, and I’ll talk to you again soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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I’m Stacey

I want veterinarians to become happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for this life that we’ve created.

I understand the struggles of a stretched-too-thin veterinarian. I have also learned that with some individual work, there is a brighter side to veterinary medicine. Personal and financial development strategies have helped me find a happier place in my life and in my work. I hope to share resources that will resonate with my fellow veterinarian to allow you to become a more whole person.

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