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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Nope, Not Right Now

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

 

Do You Love Animals?

 

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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.

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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.

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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

Yes, Your Diet Is Related to Your Health!

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We keep hearing “all things in moderation”, and other silly statements meant to placate us into thinking that we can eat our cake (meat, dairy,) and be healthy all the same.  It’s a nice thought, but is it true?  Is the “typical” American diet keeping you in good health?  Well, it certainly doesn’t seem to be, given the amount of people with diseases that are caused by the “typical” American diet.   Frankly, our food choices are killing us.

Diet accounts for the following diseases:  cardiovascular; diabetes; obesity; and most (if not all) cancers.  So, you would think that your doctor would let you know that you need to make better food choices.  However, that is usually not the case.  Instead, we run into the typical “all things in moderation” type of advice.  When it comes to choices that actually cause death, there shouldn’t be any discussion of “moderation” in consumption of them.  We’ve been told for years that we should not smoke, since that leads to death, why not the same with food?

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Since I am a cynic, I more than suspect that this negligence on the part of the entire health industry has more than a little to do with profits.  After all, the following people/corporations profit from your illness:  doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and drug companies.  They are making a tidy profit off of you, and Americans are getting sicker at a younger and younger age.  This is simply ridiculous and really should stop.

I’m leaving some links for you to follow in order to educated yourselves, since the health industry isn’t going to do it for you.  Change your diet, change your life!

https://www.alternet.org/food/poor-diets-are-killing-more-americans-anything-else?akid=16594.302291.tdJuEv&rd=1&src=newsletter1087425&t=34

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1710486

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24742395

Here is a link that can answer all of your possible questions regarding diet and health, and they are much more qualified than I am.  Please go to https://nutritionfacts.org/ for your answers.

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Ginger – What is it Good For?

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I’ve recently started drinking ginger tea.  There are reportedly major health benefits to having a cup of ginger tea daily.  Unfortunately, my local grocery store hasn’t been stocking ginger root, so I’ve been using ginger paste.  The preparation is really simple.  I add about one teaspoon (or more) of the paste to hot water, let is steep for three minutes and then strain it into a mug.  I will add a little agave and lemon juice.  I’ve never been a huge fan of ginger; however, I am really enjoying drinking it this way.

Some of the reported benefits include relieving nausea and benefiting digestion; cold and flu relief; reducing muscle pain; reducing inflammation; and reducing cholesterol.  Ginger has nutritional values, including vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, riboflavin, and niacin.

Since, as you know I have Fibromyalgia, I’m all about reducing my inflammation.  However, I am looking forward to seeing how a consistent use of ginger helps my over-all health.  Do you use ginger, and if so has it helped with any health issues you may have?  Let me know in the comments below.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php

Words of Wisdom – 12 Things to Remember

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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.