Does Peace Begin on Your Plate?

1a512464f5e4d9f396beb659faf4f411

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?

26afb1eed9687f1da2fb6d16e5804e15--albert-schweitzer-quotes-compassion-quotes

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.

a5a46cae0d22d12804d9661f6bbb9900--ocean-quotes-daily-inspiration

 

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/

Advertisements

Nope, Not Right Now

coffee123

Last week as I was wasting time on Instagram, I saw a post stating that California was making coffee shops post that coffee was carcinogenic.  Well, my initial response to that news was to swipe right by with the words, “nope, not now” in my mind.  I mean, really.  A few years ago, I tried to give up coffee, but went back to drinking it.  After all, I don’t drink, smoke or eat meat and dairy… and coffee is my little weakness, and even though I know it’s not the best thing, it’s the one thing that I’ve decided to drink that’s not entirely healthy.  But, carcinogenic?

Im-not-addicted-to-coffee-were-just-in-a-commited-relationship

So, after waiting a respectable amount of time (really, just putting it off), I decided to look into the science of this claim.  It turns out that overly roasted coffee beans can contain a chemical called acrylamide, which can cause mutations and damage in DNA, which then can increase the risk of getting cancer.  However, it’s unclear as to if the amount of acrylamide found in coffee can be considered a risk, since the animals that it was found to be a risk in were given levels between 1,000 and 10,000 more then were found in food that humans would ingest.  Therefore, the scientists do not consider this a risk, and have not stated that it is one as regards to coffee.  I’ve left the link below for you to read.  Now, I think I’ll go enjoy my morning coffee…thank you very much!

https://www.livescience.com/62177-california-coffee-cancer-warning.html

 

What About Education?

nelson-mandela-quotes-sayings-wise-wisdom-education

It seems that in America the states have lots of money for building new prisons, but no money for education.  I am talking specifically about Oklahoma, but this is true of other states as well.  In full disclosure, I am the daughter of a teacher, and I also homeschooled my children from grades 3 to 8.  I believe strongly in a good education system where science and math are taught, along with accurate history, literature and the arts.  I well-rounded education is a requirement for a good society.  I’m not alone in this, since many of our ancestors were also in agreement.

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the various teachers strikes, but they were not only striking for more money (remember, a teacher must have a Bachelors degree in teaching, but also a Master’s Degree – that is six years of college), but they are also striking for newer textbooks (some are over twenty years old), there are not enough books for the number of students, there are leaking roofs, moldy walls and ceilings, exposed wires, broken desks and chairs, no paper, and the list goes on and on.

albert einstein

So, my question is this?  How did this happen?  Why is education being slowly strangled due to lack of money?  As a child I can remember when people who were smart were looked up to.  At some point, many parts of society decided to wage a war on education.  Being “smart” became less desirable, with put-downs such as “nerd” and “geek” being used.  Being a “bookworm” was a negative thing.  I wish I knew why education is no longer valued.  I do have some thoughts, including the fact that if people are kept from learning deductive reasoning, they may be easier to trick.  I’m leaving some links below that I hope you will check out.  The videos of the schools are really difficult to watch because they look like third world schools.  Please comment on this subject below.

BBC

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/05/americas-school-funding-problems-state-by-state/?noredirect=on

 

Do You Love Animals?

 

53ebf323453c261c8e7c73bd64015e6a--save-the-rhino-wildlife-conservation

Most people love animals. Who doesn’t love their cats and dogs? But does that mean that you love all animals? Do you also love cows, calves, sheep, lambs, chickens, chicks, pigs and piglets, also? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but if you eat meat, eggs and dairy, you don’t love animals. I know, it’s a harsh statement, and I once “loved” animals, but I also ate them. Most of us who are plant-based were once just like you. We divorced ourselves from the reality of farmed animal’s lives. We lived with the blinkers firmly in place, and simply tried not to think about it. However, there is so much scientific evidence out there showing us how cruel the practice of raising animals to eat is, that we really morally can’t continue to do so.

life-quotes_6129-1

From animals who sing, to the fact that they form attachments with each other, our understanding of other animals continues to grow. The level of animal sentience is much higher than was thought, and the new evidence just continues to grow. I am including links below for your education on these topics. Please read, follow the links within this articles to the scientific studies, and think about your own choices. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

2014_SchweitzerQuote

https://www.alternet.org/food/new-online-calculator-lets-you-see-impact-your-meat-intake-animals-climate-and-your-health?akid=16743.302291.SXinIv&rd=1&src=newsletter1088934&t=8
https://www.care2.com/causes/5-animals-you-didnt-know-could-sing.html
https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/after-researching-how-pigs-are-treated-their-meat-cambridge-professor-went-vegan-video?akid=16710.302291.ez6JQ3&rd=1&src=newsletter1088387&t=8
https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/dog-cow-pig-world-sentience-there-no-difference-video?akid=16710.302291.ez6JQ3&rd=1&src=newsletter1088387&t=6
https://www.care2.com/causes/10-amazing-facts-about-animal-sentience.html

Words of Wisdom – 12 Things to Remember

cbd94af38cfe20d680a616a8a118fb44--things-to-remember-remember-this

I love these 12 statements.  All of them are true.  They apply to all of us.  If we were to read these every few days, think about them and put them into effect, our lives would be more efficient, happier, and more productive.

How much time do you spend worrying about yesterday, and/or other people’s opinions?  Do you let these things, that you can’t do anything about, ruin your today?  Or do you compare yourself to someone else?  Our lives are all different, we’re on different paths, and also different speeds.  What works for someone else, won’t necessarily work for you, and what works for you doesn’t for another person.

Most importantly, things change.  They don’t stay the same.  During difficult times this is a good thing to remember.  But, it’s also true of the good times.  Sometimes things just work, and sometimes they don’t – that’s life!

Are you too judgmental?  Remember, when you are negative and judging, it says much more about you than it does about the person you are judging.  Check your own behavior/habits before you judge another.

Overthinking (worrying) is something I excel at.  And yes, most of what I worry about doesn’t come to pass.  It also prevents me from accomplishing what I could be doing instead of overthinking things.  Be aware when you do this, and try to curtail it.  It doesn’t have any positive effect, and can lead to depression and anxiety.

Happiness doesn’t come from others, “things”, or “more”.  It comes from yourself.  This is one of the hardest things to remember.  Our society tells us from a young age that happiness can be bought, or found in another.  No, only you can make yourself happy!

Positivity comes from focusing on being positive.  Seriously, it’s that easy.  If you consciously reflect on the positive, it helps chase the negative away.  Which leads to the next thing on the list – sharing smiles.  Try to smile at other people.  The cashier, the mailman, the person next to you at work.  It doesn’t cost you a thing, and as science has proven, it makes you happier to simply smile.  Along with smiling, try being kind.  Ask others about themselves, be helpful.  Again, it doesn’t cost you anything, and leaves you with a positive feeling.

One of the hardest things to remember is that failure isn’t quitting.  If plan A doesn’t work, go to plan B.  Think of how long it took others to invent a new anything.  Think of all the failure that came before they finally got it right.  If they had quit, the steam engine, telescope, etc. etc. would never have been invented.  Failure is not quitting, stopping is quitting.  Don’t stop.

And, last, but not least, what you put out into the world comes back to you.  If you’re negative and judgmental, that’s what you’ll get back.  If you worry too much and don’t find happiness within you, you won’t be happy.  So, work on the positivity, the happiness, the kindness.  Focus on your goals.  Smile at others.  Your life will change for the better.

 

Voting Day is Tuesday, November 7th

Voting-Quote-7

This year’s vote isn’t as exciting as last year, however, it is important that you get out and vote.  Who gets elected in your state will have a direct impact on your life.  Get out and vote!

is your vote valuable

 

 

What are “Family Values”?

family-values

As we all know, the Republican Party of the United States claims to be the party of “family values”.  So, I was wondering what, according to the GOP are these “family values”, and how this political party is supporting them.  Here is the official statement from the GOP, link provided.

“The family is the bedrock of our nation. When American families flourish, so too does our country. Our Party’s economic and social policies, including tax reform, education, health care, and the sanctity of life, should always promote and strengthen that most sacred bond.”  https://www.gop.com/issue/family-values/canonical/

My next question is how is the Republican Party supporting these family values?  My answer is not too well.  Let’s take this consecutively.  As far as economic reform is concerned, the Republican party has worked overtime to decrease the economic power of the regular wage-earners.  Minimum wage increases have been over-turned; many republican politicians have stated that they would like to get rid of any minimum wages and let corporations pay whatever wage they feel like; and corporate welfare has been running rampant while at the same time individual citizens who are on welfare and/or food stamps have been demonized.

icKGvEL

As far as social policies, minorities, whether classified by ethnicity, race, or gender/sexual orientation have again been demonized, denied legal standing and/or been violently oppressed.  There are cases where legal citizens have been picked up by ICE and detained, sometimes for months with no legal representation allowed.  Other examples are the ability of business owners to deny service to those who don’t follow the owner’s beliefs; and corporations to deny employees access to certain types of health care.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/14/republicans-cuts-programs-food-stamps-welfare-veterans-238314

As far as tax reform is concerned, the agenda that has just been introduced to Congress contains the biggest tax cuts of all to businesses, corporations and the richest 1% of people in the country.  The rest of it still seems unclear.  I’ve included links for you to look this up for yourself. However, while lowering taxes on corporations, businesses and the richest of the rich, this is going to increase our total debt by anywhere from 1 to 2 trillion dollars.  That’s okay though, because of the fact that these tax reductions on the rich will “prime the pump” and create a “trickle-down effect from the rich to the poor”.  Unfortunately, we are now deeply in debt because that did not work before.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/tags/tax-reform

How does the party of “family values” help regarding education?  Well, we can just go ahead and say that they’re all for getting rid of public education (the bedrock of a democracy), and pushing public money into for-profit (charter) schools.  These schools have been found to have various questionable practices from segregation to non-college educated “teachers” to not teaching science or higher-level mathematics.  Here is a quick link for you on problems with these schools.

http://www.businessinsider.com/john-oliver-charter-schools-2016-8

The health care issue is quite interesting.  According to the “family values” quote above, the Republican Party claims to worry about health care for families.  However, as the last few months have shown us, they “care” by trying to take away health care from as many families as they can.  Just one example of that is the refusal to renew the CHIP program.  Now, up to 12 million children will have no health insurance.  I’ll leave this paragraph at this point, since my post is getting quite long.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/8-million-kids-lose-health-insurance-chip-program-isnt-renewed-heres-looks-like-one-state/

As far as the sanctity of life is concerned, the family values party seems to believe that such sanctity ends at birth.  Why would I say that?  Well, as we have all become aware, through health care reform, the GOP has pushed for denying people who have almost any pre-existing condition off health insurance; along with taking welfare and food stamp programs away from the disabled and poor.  Also, if we add in the effort to dismantle any form of minimum wage, there doesn’t seem to be a value for life after birth.

2ae90d3240c4c061e90543529931e478

So, what are your views on this?  Let me know in the comments below.