Happy July 4th!

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I hope you have a wonderful day with your family.

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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/

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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Five Habits That to Extend Your Life

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Harvard has a new study out regarding habits that may help extend your life.  Of course, it’s no surprise that the first item on the list is no tobacco products.  These products have been linked to a variety of health problems, so if you want to extend your life, I strongly suggest that you never begin using tobacco, or if you have, please stop.  Your life depends on it.

Another item on the list is keeping a low BMI (body mass index).  Keeping the fat down is always a good idea.  The other habit that goes right along with this is cardio for at least 30 minutes a day.  How many times have we been told that we absolutely need to exercise?  Not only does it make you feel better but doing so can help you live longer.

So, the last two habits are avoiding alcohol consumption and eating a healthy diet. As far as alcohol consumption is concerned, I recommend watching the documentary The Truth About Alcohol (I watched it on Netflix).  There is a ton of information in this documentary, and will hopefully help you to drink much less, or stop drinking completely.  (That’s what it did to me, and I don’t regret giving up my occasional glass of wine at all.)  The latest nutrition information has changed from promoting a lot of meat and dairy to promoting the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, with only small amounts of meat and dairy.  I myself am vegan, so I just concentrate my diet on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.  If you’re at all interested in the scientific data that supports non-meat/non-dairy consumption, I recommend nutritionfacts.org.

Well, there you have it –  five new habits to add to your daily life!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/a-harvard-study-says-5-habits-can-help-you-live-way-longer-this-one-is-the-most-important/ar-AAwzhiu

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What are “Incels”?

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After the attack in Toronto, I began seeing the term “incel”, and I was curious, since I’d never heard that word before.  So, I decided to find out more about these people (men), who identify as such.  The term “incel” is a combination of the two words involuntarily celibate.  These are men who no matter what they say and/or do, cannot get women to have sex with them.  They have many forums on-line where they share their frustration and hatred toward women.  Their views toward women includes the belief that women are shallow and only interested in “alpha men”, thus, the fact that they can’t get any women to hop into bed with them is due to failings on the part of women.  There is no  failure on the part of the men, instead the failure is the women’s as they are shallow and lacking.  This is a great way to blame other people for your own failures.  These men are under the impression that women “owe” them sex, just for the very fact that they are men.  Women are put here on earth in order to “service” them whenever and wherever.  The unfortunate fact is, there seem to be a lot of sites across the internet that feed into this misogynist thinking.

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This is an example of Incel thought.

There have been a few mass murders committed by men who are a part of this community.  Alek Minassian (Toronto) and Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara).  Both of these men have admitted they are part of the incel movement, specifically what is known as the “Incel Rebellion”.

I’ve left some links for you to read for more information regarding this community.  What do you think of this?  Do you feel that women should be worried?  Do you feel that this the men who act out by committing murder are terrorists?

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/4/25/17277496/incel-toronto-attack-alek-minassian

https://thinkprogress.org/incels-are-wildly-celebrating-the-toronto-van-attack-c57d4702d196/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-letters

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Hermits and Stuff

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I recently read the non-fiction book The Stranger in the Woods – The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel.  This is the true story of Christopher Knight, the man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years.  I don’t know about you, but I often consider the option of running away from civilization and living by myself in the middle of nowhere.  Of course, I’d have to be self-sufficient, including growing my own food, etc., which would require tons of work, and that’s the main reason why I haven’t done anything like that…money being the other compelling reason.

But this account brought up a lot of issues for me.  Do I really consider someone who stole for survival a hermit?  What about his watching t.v. (yes, he stole a t.v., and watched it frequently), he also played hand-held computer games, and listened to a purloined radio.  While living alone and not speaking to anyone for 27 years (with one exception of saying hi to a hiker in the 1990’s) is an accomplishment, it’s not really what I think of when contemplating my own hermitage.  If I were going to become a hermit, I’m pretty sure that I would not want any interaction with civilization.  Actually, to be honest, this is something that I’ve thought about since I was a child and read a National Geographic story about a Park Ranger who lived in the middle of Yellowstone (I think) during the winter and was so isolated that his supplies were helicoptered in for him.  He spent the time that he wasn’t working reading and writing.  That was the life, I always felt – being paid to be alone, and to read and write!  A dream come true!

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At some point I understood that jobs like that just were not available, then I got married and had children.  Even though I am an introvert, I can tolerate being around others for a period of time.  As an aside, my children had the earliest bed-time ever, mainly because I’d had enough of “togetherness” by the end of the day and knew my limits.  I need time alone to “de-compress” after a day with others, although my patience for being with groups seems to be getting smaller and smaller as I age.  Do any of you daydream of the day when you just might turn into a full-time hermit?  How would you go about it?  Let me know in the comments below.

Staying the Distance

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Every day that I wake up, I have a battle with myself.  Wouldn’t it be okay if I just missed this one day of working out?  What difference would it make?  Those are not good thoughts – especially since I’ve gone so many days in a row, now.  Why would I want to jeopardize the good that I’ve been seeing?  Of course, I know why.  My brain doesn’t want to change, my body got really comfortable being overweight and out of shape.  It’s easier to stay on the same path, and change is hard.  Seeing as how staying on the chosen path can be difficult for many people, myself included, I thought that I could share some quotes on determination, motivation, and positivity today.  Enjoy!

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