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Food, Inc. August 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
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My primary goal as a writer is to get people to think.  I don’t expect readers to adopt my view of the world.  But I do want to encourage them to be a bit more conscious in the choices they make in their daily lives.

Especially in the food they eat.

The way we produce food in this country leads to horrific suffering on the part of the animals, tremendous environmental damage to the planet, and increased health risks to consumers from improperly handled food.

For an excellent overview:  Food, Inc.

Mass produced food may be cheaper at the supermarket than more humanely raised food . . . but that statement doesn’t really go far enough because it ignores the hidden costs.

When the REAL COSTS (to animals, our health, and the planet) are factored into the equation . . . mass produced food definitely is NOT cheaper.

The solution?  We need more education.

Once educated, people realize they can eat far more economically and healthfully by switching to a LESS-MEAT or MEAT-LESS diet ~ improving their lives, the lives of animals, and the future of the planet in the process.

It is increased demand for meat and dairy products that pushes the food industry to cut corners by raising animals inhumanely.  When the demand for beef drops, we can go back to raising cows in a humane manner.  Same goes for chickens and hogs.

Sure, the meat will cost more, but if families only have meat a few times a week (or month) . . . they’ll hardly notice.

We need to ignore the Beef Industry’s rallying cries of “BEEF . . . it’s what’s for dinner!” and Hillshire Farm’s marketing slogan, “Go Meat!” and rally round the good stuff ~ fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, beans, and chocolate!

To improve your health, and reduce the demand for inhumanely raised animals (cows, pigs, sheep, and chicken):

Tip #1:  Become a vegetarian or vegan.

Visit the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) for delicious and healthy menu ideas and recipes.

Order a Vegetarian Starter Kit (or view on-line) at: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

Download a Guide to Vegetarian Eating (PDF file) from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Tip #2:  If you must eat meat, reduce your consumption  to avoid ingesting chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics at every meal.

Tip #3: Purchase meat produced in the most sustainable manner you can find and afford.

As indicated in The Truth Behind Meat Labels, the best choice is Certified Organic.

Tip #4: Buy meat from local farmers so you can ask about their practices and observe their operations.  This keeps money in your local economy and away from huge conglomerates (e.g., Perdue, Hillshire Farms, and Tyson).

Related posts:  Join a C.S.A. * Become A Voice of Compassion * A Trip to the Farmer’s Market Health Benefits From Greening Your Life * Got Milk?  Toss It Out!Go HSUS!  * All The Gory Details * Top Ten List ~ Vegetarian * Gradual Change


We’re Older, But Are We Better? August 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
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I’m a better writer/singer/painter/person today than I was yesterday.

Hmm . . . I’m not sure that’s true.

That type of positive affirmation assumes that we are always applying our best effort to the task at hand and that we are using our experiences to improve in a continual linear fashion.

In my experience, that often is NOT the case.

The statement also assumes that we’re not getting lazy and complacent and jaded with the passage of time ~ when that often IS the case.

Positive affirmations have their place, of course . . . but sometimes they’re just a bunch of hot air.

Related post:  A Change Would Do You Good

5 Ways To Make Work More Fun August 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People, Sustainable Living.
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WORK is a 4-letter word.  But so is PLAY. 

When employees are asked what makes WORK  enjoyable, two items consistently top the list:

1.  Being appreciated for their efforts.

2.  Humor in the workplace.

If you want to have more FUN on the job, see if you can incorporate these two chart toppers into your work week.  Here are 5 tips to get you started:

Monday:  Make someone feel valued.  Give them a pat on the back, a bravo, or a kind word.  They’ll gladly repay you on Tuesday.

Tuesday:  Make someone laugh.  Humor goes a long way to keep energy levels high throughout the day.  Working hard, and working smart doesn’t preclude having a sense of humor about what you do.

Wednesday:  Look for opportunities to thank someone for their assistance or effort toward team goals. 

Thursday:  Ask someone for their opinion, and follow their advice.

Friday:  Offer to help someone with a work assignment, and follow through.

If you manage to get five out of five, you’re going to have a GREAT WEEK!

Need more ideas?  Go FISH!

LIVE Now ~ We’re A Long Time DEAD August 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness.
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Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead. ~ Scottish Proverb

One thing that gets in the way of our happiness . . . worry.

If your brain is constantly churning with worry, give yourself a much needed break: 

Challenge your mind to solve a puzzle that actually has a solution!  

In FUN with WORDS, I tossed out a few doublet challenges for you from the Guinness Book of Words.  If you haven’t tried one yet, there’s still time. 

Here’s a solution to #8:  from LIVE to DEAD:


Did you have this solution?

A different one?

A shorter one?

Please share your solution below. 

More challenging transformations on the way!

Aphorisms from Aa to Zz: Ww August 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
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Whatever will be, will be.

Revel in uncertainty.

The “what is” is . . . It is What it Is.

What you resist, persists. ~ Adage

Accept what you cannot change.

Get comfortable not knowing.


Wisdom and love are always connected. ~ Lama Surya Das

What if seekers need only ask:  How well do I love?

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.  To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. ~ Bertrand Russell

The poor seek comfort and happiness through riches; the rich seek comfort and happiness through  possessions; the wise seek comfort and happiness within.

Riches are not from an abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind. ~ Mohammed

An open mind learns more in an hour than a closed mind learns in a year.

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, or a Hell of Heav’n. ~ John Milton

“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.”  ~ Orson Scott Card


There is only one trait that marks the writer.  He is always watching.  It’s a kind of trick of the mind and he is born with it. ~ Morley Callahan 

Whether or not you write well, write bravely. – Bill Stout

Writers reside in a world of imagination, where creativity reigns.  

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. ~ Jules Renard

To succeed in writing, or life, follow the Path of P’s: Purpose, Passion, Patience, and Persistence.

Writing is a solitary occupation.  Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer.  He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking. ~ Lawrence Clark Powell

Writing is a dialogue between inner and outer worlds.

The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business. ~ John Steinbeck

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well.  It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over.  Getting Happy, okay? Getting happy. ~ Stephen King

“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.”  ~ Edwin Schlossberg