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Posts tagged ‘Veganism’

Sentient Beings

May 18, 2014


cow and pig 4Photo credit: Danel Solabarrieta

Sentient beings, by virtue of their being sentient, have an interest in remaining alive; that is, they prefer, want, or desire to remain alive. We cannot justify treating any sentient non-human as our property, as a resource, as a thing that we can use and kill for our purposes.” – Gary L. Francione

Animal rights can be a touchy subject for many people because it hits too close to home—their stomachs and their lifestyle. Eating non-meat food, or using non-animal based products, challenges their beliefs.

Carl Sagan sums this up nicely in his quote about truth:

“You are a threat to my version of the truth, especially the truth about who I am and what my nature is. The thought that I may have dedicated my life to a lie, that I might have accepted a conventional wisdom that no longer, if it ever did, corresponds to the external reality, that is a very painful realization. I will tend to resist it to the last. I will go to almost any lengths to prevent myself from seeing that the world view that I have dedicated my life to is inadequate.”

Most people don’t like to see any animal abused or killed. Yet we turn a blind eye to suffering that is going on daily—animals bred and killed to satisfy our food, clothing and product desires. It’s not that we’re inherently cruel, it’s that we don’t really think about how our meat, leather and other merchandise comes from living, feeling creatures.

We’ve been taught that using animals is the “natural” and necessary way for us to survive. But we can make different choices. We created this system of animal exploitation and we can change it.

The Ghosts In Our Machine is an excellent documentary that puts a face on animal abuse. Please check it out.

 “The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?” – Jeremy Bentham

Health Assurance

May 9, 2014


Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 3.54.13 PMPhoto credit:

“During the past two to three decades, we have acquired substantial evidence that most chronic diseases in America can be partially attributed to bad nutrition. More people die because of the way they eat than by tobacco use, accidents or any other lifestyle or environmental factor. The irony is that the solution is simple and inexpensive. The answer to the American health crisis is the food that each of us chooses to put in our mouths each day.

The benefits produced by eating a plant-based diet are far more diverse and impressive than any drug or surgery used in medical practice. Heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, stroke and hypertension, arthritis, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, impotence and all sorts of other chronic diseases can be largely prevented. Additionally, impressive evidence now exists to show that advanced heart disease, relatively advanced cancers of certain types, diabetes and a few other degenerative diseases can be reversed by diet.”
T. Colin Campbell, The China Study

We should not just insure our health, but assure it by eating a plant-based diet. It’s not a one hundred percent guarantee against health problems, but it’s proven to tip the odds in our favor.

Here’s the FED UP movie trailer about the state of health in America.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”Hippocrates

To Serve Man?

July 11, 2012



“A veteran USDA meat inspector from Texas describes what he has seen: “Cattle dragged and choked…knocking ’em four, five, ten times. Every now and then when they’re stunned they come back to life, and they’re up there agonizing. They’re supposed to be re-stunned but sometimes they aren’t and they’ll go through the skinning process alive. If people were to see this, they’d probably feel really bad about it. But in a packing house everybody gets so used to it that it doesn’t mean anything.”  – Gail Eisnitz, Slaughterhouse

There’s a classic episode from The Twilight Zone called To Serve Man—where humans lose their place at the top of the food chain. Alien visitors come to Earth with the seemingly peaceful intention of ending war, improving our agriculture and creating the ideal environment for our species.

We’re wary of them at first, but their actions and the title of a book that they brought—“To Serve Man”— gain our trust. Eventually thousands of humans are being transported to the aliens planet for “vacations” and to learn more about their culture.

However, as one of the head scientists is entering their spacecraft—a colleague, having translated the rest of the alien’s book, rushes up and yells: “Don’t get on that ship…To Serve Man…it’s a cookbook!”

This plot twist is shocking to us because our species is the one who raises animals for food—and the idea that we humans are on their menu—is a nightmare.

The only difference between the aliens and humans in this story is that they showed more compassion towards us than we do to our fellow animals.

“Poor animals, how jealously they guard their bodies, for to us is merely an evening’s meal, but to them is life itself.”  – T. Casey Brennan

Evolve—moove on.

Fellow Travelers

July 7, 2012


bees honey

“So the next time a bee hovers above your breakfast toast, attracted by the sweet jam, gently shoo her away. For she might be a fellow sentient being, experiencing her brief interlude in the light, shoehorned between this moment and eternity.”  – Christof Koch

This reminds me that a life is a life—something we seem to forget when we get too wrapped up in our own.

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”  Albert Schweitzer

Bee aware.

Confessions of a Flesh Eater

June 27, 2012


I ate dead animals. I didn’t kill them—but I consumed their carcasses—I liked it. Cows, pigs, chickens, fish—it was open season. I never really questioned it—that was just the way it was.

Why not eat them? Everyone else did—I learned this from my parents who learned it from their parents. It’s what humans do to survive—it’s necessary and natural for our species. Or is it?

I wanted to know. How would I feel without beef, pork, fish or fowl? Could I survive? Would I thrive? The only way to find out was to stop eating animals for a month and see what happened. So after a lifetime of using animals for food, I decided to eat differently—not out of guilt, but curiosity.

My thirty day vegetarian experiment evolved into a vegan diet when I and stopped eating dairy and eggs—that was almost five years ago. A plant-based diet works for me. I feel better physically and mentally. It reduces my risk for disease and clears my conscience—no other animal needs to die, for me to live.

By questioning my eating habits, I discovered a new truth about what kind of food I needed to eat to survive and thrive—vegetables, beans, nuts, grains and fruits—it’s necessary and natural—for me.

Challenge your habits—there are alternatives.

If you’d like more information about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, I recommend The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.

“Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore.”
Franz Kafka, while admiring fish in an aquarium

I don’t have a bone to pick with anybody—it’s about personal choice.