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All The Gory Details March 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance.
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Earlier today, I posted my Top Ten List of reasons why I became (and stayed) a vegetarian.

This post addresses Factory Farming.

Now, despite the title, I am NOT going into all the gory details about how we produce meat in this country in order to get you to convert from “Go Meat!” to “Go Meat-Less!”

Instead, I’m merely going to share a brief overview with you, and direct you to other resources for the nitty-gritty details.

Factory farming causes extensive environmental damage and inhumane living conditions for animals produced for human consumption.

The images shown on television commercials do not accurately depict the state of farms today.  For the most part:

* There are no cows grazing peacefully on a beautiful hilltop, calmly chewing cud.

* There are no chickens pecking around a little red barn.

* There are no calves kicking up their hills at play.

* There are no pigs rolling around in the mud, biding their time until the slop arrives.

Instead, factory farmers grow as many animals as possible in as small a space as possible.  Due to these crowded conditions, disease is rampant.

To counter disease, animals are fed massive quantities of antibiotics from birth, along with growth hormones designed to get them to the table as quickly as possible, before they succumb to disease.

Since humans are higher up on the food chain than these animals, we  ingest everything fed to those animals ~ including the antibiotics and growth hormones.

To get further educated on the “meat of the matter,”  check out the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG), or the Humane Farming Association (HFA), and they will educate you about all the gory details . . . if you can stomach watching.

The more educated you become about this small planet of ours, the more likely you are to realize that being a vegetarian is better for you, better for the planet, and better for the animals you would otherwise be consuming.

Aah . . . that’s better!


Top Ten List ~ Go Vegetarian March 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
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In previous posts, I’ve explained a few reasons why I became a vegetarian.

For those of you toying with the idea of switching teams, here is my Top Ten list of reasons for being a vegetarian:

10.  Animals should not be exploited for human consumption.

9.  Animals produced for human consumption should be raised humanely, and aren’t.

8.  Eating animals, especially those raised on growth hormones and antibiotics, is unhealthy.

7.  Animal waste from factory farms is harmful to the environment.

6.  The living conditions for animals on factory farms are deplorable.

5.  The method used to transport animals to slaughter is equally appalling.

4.  The manner in which we slaughter animals is cruel.

3.  Eating grain is a more efficient way to feed this small planet of ours.

2.  Vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains are healthier (and taste better!) than beef, pork, or chicken.

And the number one reason that I have been a vegetarian for so many years:

1.  As an adult, I can have my pudding, even if I don’t eat my meat.

Instead of Hillshire Farms’ rallying cry of Go Meat! . . . consider adopting a healthier slogan for you, the planet, and the animals you would otherwise be consuming (at least a few nights a week):

Gather round the Good Stuff ~ Go Meat-less! 

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Go HSUS!  All The Gory DetailsFreedom

Little Purple Puff-Balls March 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Magick & Mystery, Nature.
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A pair of Canada Geese arrived on our lagoon this week, and set about building a nest.


While large congregations of Canada Geese can be somewhat . . . um . . .  messy (especially on golf courses), a single pair, floating around on the still surface of the lagoon, is rather majestic ~ a pleasant sight to see as we watch and wait for their Little Purple Puff-Balls to arrive on the scene.

When we lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we drove through miles of marsh to and from work each day.  Along the way, we saw herons, egrets, osprey, and the occasional fox.  All lovely sights, to be sure, but our favorite sight appeared each Spring when a few pair of Canada Geese hatched their babies.

If you’ve never seen a baby gosling of the Canadian variety, they are adorable ~ all fluff and nonsense, in a light violet shade, parading single-file behind their proud parents.

They look a bit like softball-size cotton balls that have been dyed for Easter ~ fluffy orbs of the purple persuasion.

Stay tuned!

I’ll let you know when they make their first appearance, by posting a photo.

No rules.  Just write!

Attack of the Killer ANTS March 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Mindfulness.
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Years ago, while taking the NC Bar Exam, we stayed in Raleigh NC with BFF’s cousin, Dave. 

Knowing that I would need to unwind after Day 1of the 3-day exam, Dave or Sandra (probably Dave) rented the movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

This B-rated Horror/Comedy/Spoof is a campy movie with an implausible premise:  Tomatoes become public enemy No. 1 when they turn murderous, preying on humans. 

Enough said.   If you rent it . . . you are on your own.  Watching it does NOT come with a money back guarantee ~ not from me, anyway.

What about ANTs?  Could ANTs become Public Enemy No. 1?  Absolutely.

ANTs are Automatic Negative Thoughts which arise  unbidden when we confront situations similar to those we have faced before:

* I can’t lose weight ~ I am destined to be fat.

* I’m no good at sports ~ no wonder no one wants me on their team.

* I can’t give a speech in front of a group of people ~ I get too nervous.

Our ANTs lie to us daily, filling us with self-doubt rather than encouraging us to see how awesome and groovy we are . . . for good reason.

Our brains have so many thoughts streaming through at the speed of light they would crash if we could not rely on stored information about related subject matter to fill in gaps about the subject at hand. 

It’s an automatic, sub-conscious process that dates back to the time when woolly mammoths roamed the Earth.   

When confronted with an enormous beast, there were only a few critical pieces of information the caveman’s brain wanted ~ it didn’t have time to play “21 Questions” (or sit down for a game of BlackJack).

It needed to know, as quickly as possible, answers to two questions: 

Is it a carnivore, an omnivore, or an herbivore?” 

Is it hungry?” 

Even though the days of cavemen and sabre-tooth tigers are long gone, our ANTs encourage us to be conservative as we move through our daily lives,  following the cautious maxim:  Once bitten, twice shy.

What happens when we listen to our ANTs? 

Our list of fears and feelings of self-doubt grows longer and longer with each passing year ~ shrinking the pool of opportunities we could choose to pursue if we ignored our ANTs. 

As noted by Robin Sharma, in The Top 200 Secrets of Success and the Pillars of Self-Mastery:  

Although the chance of stubbing your toe increases the more you walk, it is always better than going nowhere by standing still.”

An easy way to drown out a few of your ANTs is to repeat the mantra used by The Little Engine That Could as it chugged over the mountain-top:

I think I can.  I think I can.  

Quote:  Don’t believe everything you think! ~ Bumper Sticker

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Using Stereotypes to Your Advantage (My Literary Quest) * Limiting Beliefs (Think Simple Now) * You Are NOT Your Brain (Always Well Within)