Thursday, September 19, 2013

Andras Forgacs: Leather and meat without killing animals: TED Talk

"Today we maintain a herd of 60 million animals worldwide. By 2050, it will take 100 billion land animals to provide the world's population with meat, dairy, eggs and leather goods. Maintaining this herd will take a huge, potentially unsustainable toll on the planet. 

"What if there were a different way?"

Andras Forgacs: Leather and meat without killing animals

TED Talk:

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Not so hard to get your protein on a plant-based diet

How to get your protein

From “On becoming a vegetarian” (Carolyn Herriot in her column On the Garden Path in Common Ground, August 2011):

It seemed to me from conversations at dinner parties that people were anxious about getting enough protein in a vegetarian diet, but I assured them this was not a problem. 

Our bodies are composed of 20 percent protein by weight and adequate protein is important for tissue growth and repair, metabolic functioning and the formation of disease-fighting antibodies.

Protein molecules are composed of building blocks called amino acids. There are 22 known amino acids, most of which are synthesized in the body. However there are eight that cannot be synthesized and they are referred to as essential amino acids.

All eight essential amino acids must be present at the same time and in the right proportions for protein synthesis to occur. Grains, beans, nuts, seeds and dairy are valuable sources of these essential amino acids and, when combined, ensure an adequate intake of amino acids for complete protein synthesis.

One of the three combinations below--along with fresh vegetables from the garden--means you can quit worrying about getting enough protein in your diet:

1.Grains combined with beans;
2.Grains combined with dairy products;
3.Beans combined with seeds.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Compassionate Diet

The Compassionate Diet: How What You Eat Can Change Your Life and Save the Planet by  Arran Stephens with Elliot Jay Rosen.

"Sparing life through dietary choice is an act of compassion by and for the individual person, as well as for mammals, birds, fish and other animals used for food; in actuality, it is having compassion for one’s own self!  Many teachers and traditions indicate that the eating of animal foods carries heavy karmic penalties.  It may be every soul’s ultimate urge to reunite with its Source, but according to many great spiritual traditions, meat eating delays the process."

It's kind of a karmic double-whammy because he also writes:

"Vegetarianism is kinder to the earth and offers hope for saving the 60 million people who die of starvation each year – 15 million of them children.  If the grain used to fatten livestock were fed to humans, starvation could be completely averted, not to speak of the folly of growing corn to fuel cars." [my emph.]

Article is at: 


Friday, March 04, 2011

Hail the Avocado!

Jen is so right about avocados being a vegan's saving grace. They are our 'butter,' the basis of so many dips and dressings, a grab out of the fridge snack, and all that good stuff. 

And The Vegan Project is an all round great resource.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Whole Lotta Gobblin' Goin' On (mainly ours): The annual slaughter of turkeys is underway

As I write the annual Christmas Dinner turkey slaughter--a holocaust for those birds--is underway around the Northern Hemisphere.

Here's an article headed "The Shocking Secret That Will Put You Off Your Xmas Dinner" that makes you hope this 'practice' is not too common - but with the millions of turkeys being slaughtered worldwide right now, and in such a short time period too, you have to (sadly) wonder...

And here's an Esquire magazine piece on how to slaughter your own turkey. At least reading this, and looking at its photographs, one can't maintain that conscious denial--the disconnect Jeffrey Masson talks about in The Face on Your Plate--about what really has to occur to get that creature on the table.

Lastly, a little poignant little song my daughter learned in Kindergarten which sums it up from the turkeys' POV but which trivializes the turkey holocaust by trying to make it sound 'cute:'

  I heard Mr. Turkey say
    "Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.
  Soon it will be Christmas Day
     Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.
  People say that it's such fun...  
  But I think that I will run...
  And hide until the day is done
     Gobble! Gobble! Gobble......"


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cat's milk, mmm-mm

I’ve been reading an argument that goes it’s okay to milk and slaughter cattle because the people who raise them "take care of them all their lives" and that is the cows’ and beef cattles' due -- return payment, for their feed and housing.  And that’s why it’s okay to drink their milk, kill them, and eat them.

Well, I’ve been chewing that one over.  I don’t live on a farm or really anywhere near beef cattle and dairy cows so I don't have any cows that owe me.  But I do live in relationship with a cat and some squirrels.

So my cat owes me, right?  Now, I probably wouldn’t get enough milk from a 12 pound cat for daily requirements, so what about those squirrels?

I live in a really old house with places where they can get in the attic, and they do.  Though I like the squirrels, they can be pretty annoying in the autumn when they're collecting the chestnuts and  between forays also apparently use them in a 10-‘pin’ bowling alley situated in the attic above my bedroom.  They tend to bowl at sunrise before they go to work, just like my neighbours who go to the early bird aerobics class, only thankfully, those people are not 7 ft.  over my bed.

Between my cat (who owes me big time) and the squirrels, I should be able to get a few glasses of milk a day for me and my family, I figure-- -- What?  Why are you recoiling?  You have a problem with cat and squirrel milk?  But you’re udderly okay with cow’s glands?  Hmn.  What is the basis of your revulsion and discrimination amongst the nipple areas of other-than-bovine mammalian species?

Isn’t that a bit like the people who say they “only eat chicken & fish” (I did this for years)? So what are fish & chicken, chopped livah?  What did chicken and fish do to get on our Okay-to-Eat list, that cows, pigs, sheep, bunnies, baby seals, lambs, ducks, geese, shellfish, and horses didn’t do?

How come it’s okay to devour one species but not another?  Not okay to bludgeon baby seals to death, but okay to throw baby chicks, alive, into the grinder?

And I was there.  I was an “only chicken and fish” person for years and years - and my daughter kept asking me that question.  It’s one to think about.

There is a move afoot to take certain parts of  rat and mouse milk to put in human baby formula. Why? Worth thinking about.  What about all the cool stuff for human babies in human breast milk? 

And what about saying sayonara to milk around 2-3 years old anyway?