Does Peace Begin on Your Plate?

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There are many choices that we can make.  What you choose to put on your plate is definitely one of them.  While almost everyone who has chosen to forgo animal products grew up eating those same products, however, at some point these people made a choice to not add to the violence and destruction that is so pervasive in the world.  After all, if you can choose to not cause harm to anyone else – including other species, why wouldn’t you?  When I finally confronted that question myself, I knew that I had to get off the Vegetarian diet and become Vegan.

This was a hard decision, not because of myself, but because of the other people in my life, and others in general.  The meat and dairy industries generate a lot of money, approximately $864.2 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  Think of the incentive there is to vilify vegans, along with doctors who speak out against these industries, and you will see where the pervasive negative attitudes come from.  Not only are vegans portrayed in various media outlets as being slightly insane and/or obnoxious, but there are numerous examples of how extreme veganism is.  Why being vegan is considered extreme is beyond my understanding.  Isn’t raising an animal for the sole purpose of killing and eating that animal extreme?

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Not only are there the ethical questions regarding killing an animal that doesn’t want to die, but if you add to that the environmental damage done by the massive world-wide meat and dairy industry, you can see how the destruction becomes unsustainable.

Now, back to my question, does peace begin on your plate?  My answer is yes, of course it does.  There is only so much in the way of sustainable food, and when one country has a problem with consumption that causes others to suffer peace also suffers.  I’ve left links below for you to read.  Look up other information and decide for yourselves whether or not you believe that peace begins on your plate.

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https://www.google.com/search?q=How+much+money+does+the+meat+industry+make+a+year%3F&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjknMjQ4djbAhWs6IMKHZpCBUIQzmcIQQ&biw=1366&bih=654

http://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2016/03/the-representation-of-food-on-television

http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

https://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/team-news/2016/10/10-reasons-why-meat-and-dairy-industry-unsustainable-0

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cutting-back-on-meat-consumption-could-help-end-hunger-by-2030-experts_us_55f3424ee4b077ca094f27a5

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/world-hunger-population-growth-ditching-meat/

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Who Are We – Do We Know?

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I can’t let silence speak for me.  I don’t want to stay quiet on what is happening to children in this country.  I do understand that the U.S. has a long history of genocide, slavery, stealing children from indigenous peoples, stealing children from slaves, separating Japanese families.    This is who we have been, but I had thought that we’d finally grown up and learned from our mistakes.

I have been proven wrong once again.  We are continuing to our past in our present, and most likely into our future.  This is appalling, and against all human rights.  The U.N. council was correct in condemning this outrageous behavior.  Not only are we taking the children, but we are refusing to tell the parents where the children are.  (And, in many cases the government has simply lost children).  We are at a point in our history where there are two paths we can go down.  One leads to less rights and justice for everyone, and the other leads to empathy and compassion.  Please don’t tell me you are a Christian while also telling me that taking children away from their families is an okay thing to do.  The two do not go together.  “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”  James 2:8. Many of the people coming to our borders are seeking asylum, they are not illegal.  Yet, we are treating them as such.  By the way, illegal entry is a misdemeanor, not a felony, so it is comparable to getting a speeding ticket.  Did you lose your children when you got a speeding ticket?  No, of course not.

If you are upset and outraged by this policy, please let your congressmen/women know.  Make your voice heard.  Don’t be silent, lest your silence be assumed to be agreement.

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Positivity and Photos

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I’ve been feeling in need of a little positivity lately and thought that I’d share a few quotes along with some photos of nature that I’ve taken over the past few weeks.  Enjoy!

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Telling Me What I Can Wear?

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The other day while walking through the Walmart parking lot, I noticed a woman who was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Leggings are not Pants!”.  Since I was taken aback by this slogan, and I was wearing the seemingly outlawed leggings, I simply pivoted as I passed her, so that she could see that I was indeed not only wearing leggings but using them just like pants!  (On a side note, maybe I should have been wearing them as a headscarf? – I’ve always assumed you wore them as pants.  Have I been mistaken all this time?)  – Oh, the horror of it all.  This of course reminded me of the school and airline bans all aimed at leggings and yoga pants.  We also have had legislators who have tried to make not only leggings and yoga pants illegal, but also female nipples – now don’t get too cold, women, you might get arrested!  I have a problem with other people telling me (or anyone) what we can and cannot wear.  The interesting thing about all these bans, is that, of course they have to do with what women and girls are wearing.  This is not about banning clothes that men wear.

From my own observations, it is quite obvious that the problem isn’t so much what women are wearing, as it is the male reaction to those articles of clothing.  Lest you think that it only has to do with what we’re wearing in our day-to-day lives; our clothing is used to shame us as well.  You get catcalled?  Well, look at what you’re wearing – you deserve it!  Raped?  Well look what you were wearing – you were asking for it.  On a personal note, after I was assaulted, beaten and left for dead, one of the responding police officers offered up the observation that my extremely large sweat pants and hoodie were somehow to blame for the assault.  There was no skin to see other than my face and hands, but that was the problem.  My face and hands were somehow “asking for it”.  This shaming and focusing on women and girls is the problem.  Boys and men need to step up and realize that they are sharing the world with females, who have a right to dress as they like.  Just get over it already – after all, we have to deal with your Speedos!

I’ve left some links below.  Look into the situation and let me know what you think.

http://www.thejournal.ie/ban-yoga-pants-leggings-united-states-1935822-Feb2015/

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/04/more_schools_moving_to_outlaw.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/united-banned-girls-leggings-flight-article-1.3010391

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Choices Do Exist

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With all the insanity and worry that’s been happening lately (school shootings, lost immigrant children, trade wars, White House issues, etc.), life seems to be way too overwhelming, and it’s too easy to become depressed over things that we really don’t have any control over.  As a matter of fact, there are a lot of things that we have no control over – our children/spouse’s actions, work issues, unexpected bills, etc.  So, how can we react when we’re depressed and overwhelmed?

It may sound too simple, but the only thing to do is to concentrate on what you can change.  I literally sign at least 50 petitions per week, and the number seems to keep on growing.  There is only so much that I can do, and petitions and letters to my congress people are just about the best thing I can accomplish.  I have no power (other than my vote/voice), so I try to use it every chance I get.  However, there is so much going on, and I can do so little.  This is just something that I have to realize that my power to make these kinds of changes is minimal, however, I keep doing what I can.

So, depression is a problem for me, and probably for a lot of people.  How do I handle it?  I try to spend time practicing gratitude (and, as I say myself, it is a practice).  And, finally, the last and best thing, is to follow the simple quote: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”  These are the words that I try to live by.  I’m not saying that I succeed all the time, but when I go out into the world I try to be as nice and friendly as I can.  One thing I don’t want to do is to make someone else’s life miserable.  So, I’m always trying to be as upbeat and friendly as I can manage.  Sometimes it’s easier than other times, but I’m always trying.  What are some things that you do?  Please share in the comments below.

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1,475 Missing Children

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We’ve all heard about the missing “illegal” immigrant children.  I thought that I’d give you a few links (found below) for you to read.  But, I wanted to talk about this:  many of these children are showing up at the border, alone, without their parents, seeking asylum.  There are many abuses alleged, and the ACLU is taking the administration to court over them.  Also, children, regardless of age, are being torn away from their parents and placed in jail-like facilities, even if their parents are also here at the border requesting asylum.  This is not a law, this is a new policy change put in place by the Trump administration.  Please, educated yourself and think about what this means.  We have a policy in place that takes children away from parents and “loses” those same children.  We are keeping children in jail-like facilities, there is alleged physical and sexual abuses going on, and the administration is okay with it.  What does this say about us, as a nation?  My thought is that for a country that loudly proclaims to be a “Christian” nation, I don’t see much in the way of what Jesus taught here.  What do you think?  Let me know in the comments below.

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https://www.npr.org/2018/05/29/615079848/following-up-on-1-500-missing-immigrant-children-in-the-u-s

https://www.salon.com/2018/05/25/americas-missing-children-over-1000-immigrant-minors-have-vanished-since-october/

https://www.aclu.org/

 

June Goals

June 2018 Goals

Here we are, into a new month already.  It kind of snuck up on me.  Apparently, I thought that the month of May was going to last forever.  Part of my confusion was due to the crazy weather that May brought – one day it just might be hot, but the next had us all wearing winter clothes again and having a fire to stay warm.  The month of May was not productive at all, and with the advent of a new month, I’m hoping to turn that all around.  Here are my goals, humble though they be:

  1. Finish Spring Cleaning – I’ve got the nastiest bits left, and just want it to be over!
  2. Work on my coaching – read some of the books that I’ve bought and get that certificate.
  3. Write more fiction. Work on my novel.
  4. More organizing – files to be gone through and filing to be done.
  5. Continue working out and add Tae Bo to the mix.
  6. Try to have some fun!

Have you made goals for the month?  Share if you’d like some encouragement.  May we all accomplish what we set out to do!

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