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Freedom April 26, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Nature.
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Freedom is both a right and responsibility.

To be free, we must make conscious decisions ~ not act like ostriches sticking our heads in the sand while remaining ignorant of the true impact our actions and choices have on the planet.

Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time on the issue of animal rights and animal advocacy.  I watched the Genesis Awards and visited the Humane Society of the United States to see what HSUS has been doing lately.

To encourage others to get educated on the conditions at factory farms, I posted links to HSUS articles both here and on Facebook.

I watched a few very disturbing videos shot under cover on factory farms, and posted links to them on my Facebook page, with preambles:

VEAL PRODUCTION:  If you choose to eat veal . . . you are contributing to this shocking cruelty. Boycott veal today. Stop Factory Farming!

To view video:  Abused Calves at Vermont Slaughter Plant

EGG PRODUCTION:  This is not the case of one ROTTEN egg ~ but an industry that is out of control. Before you crack open another egg . . . watch this and see the suffering that hens endure on factory farms.

To view video:  Appalling Cruelties in Egg Production

I’ve never argued that eating animals is morally wrong or a sin ~ but the way we treat animals on factory farms sure is.  The way some factory farmers have chosen to exercise “dominion” over animals is horrifying.

Even if I didn’t have an ounce of compassion for animals, and cared only for human health and well-being, I would still urge our legislators to shut down factory farms.

The way our food is being produced is disgusting and unhealthy.

Animals walk around in their own feces.  Animals too sick to walk are slaughtered and sold to consumers.  Geese are force-fed with tubes stuffed down their throats to produce Foie Gras.  Eggs are laid in germ-riddled environments, next to the mummified remains of dead chickens which haven’t been removed from battery cages.

Factory farms are able to confine large numbers of animals in squalid indoor facilities only through the continuous use of antibiotics.  When we choose to eat animals raised in these deplorable conditions ~ we are ingesting those antibiotics.

Animals on factory farms are also fed growth hormones in order to get them to the table as quickly and cheaply as possible.  When we choose to eat the animals, or feed them to our children ~ we are ingesting these growth hormones along with the meat.

For more information on how our food is being raised, check out Food, Inc.  or The Food Revolution by John Robbins.

Processing plants and slaughter houses are no better than chicken houses and puppy mills in terms of lack of sanitation.

If someone loves eating veal ~ they don’t need my permission to keep eating veal.  I’m certainly not going to try to stop them using physical force.

But if they want to exercise their right to free choice in a conscious and deliberate manner, they need to look beyond the shiny supermarket packaging to see what’s really in that veal ~ they need to look long enough that they actually see the suffering they are contributing to.

Then, if they still want to eat veal, they can quote Ayn Rand while doing so.

Quote:   The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. ~ Ayn Rand

Related Posts:  Go HSUS!  All The Gory Details * Top Ten List ~ Go Vegetarian

What The World Really Needs April 26, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Less IS More, People.
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Time and energy are limited resources.

Attempting to help out with every “good cause” that comes our way is not an effective use of our limited time on this planet.

If we all attempt to “get involved” with every problem facing the planet, nothing will ever get done ~  none of us will be educated enough (or have time enough) to find workable solutions.

Instead, we’ll just spin our wheels until we become exhausted . . . long before sustainable solutions are reached.

In contrast, when we choose to focus only on those issues we are passionate about (and refuse to get sucked into every problem tossed our way), that concentrated inner passion energizes us to educate ourselves about the issues so that we can work  effectively with others of like passion to find workable solutions.

Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses.  We should all care about the world, but we can do so in different ways.

We can’t all be Mother Teresa . . . that was her job.

We need some people to care about animal welfare, while others focus on developing sustainable energy solutions, improving health care, ending poverty, and promoting fair trade.

If we each select only the causes which interest us most, the ones that touch our hearts, we funnel our energy (instead of diffusing it) ~ increasing the odds that we will contribute to creating effective solutions for the planet.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  Don’t worry about what the world wants from you, worry about what makes you come more alive.  Because what the world really needs are people who are more alive.  ~ Lawrence Le Shan

Related:  Generosity of Spirit * Live Your Life * Creating the Essence of Feeling Alive (T4D)