Trash Island

trash_island_#govegan_no plastic

There is a new place that we can all go on vacation…no it’s not the Island of Misfit Toys, though you could probably find some there. It’s a place where we can visit all of our old trash! Wouldn’t you be excited to see it again? Yeah me neither and I don’t think the inhabitants are very excited to see it either.

It’s really sad actually. According to the article “approximately 68% of the beach’s debris is buried in the sediment. Altogether, there are an estimated 37.7 million items, weighing 17.6 tons, accumulated on the island”. Obviously that’s a pretty staggering number and the ramifications for the animals are terrible! Some are eating it; some are using it for their homes; some are getting tangled and it’s also disrupting the sea turtles from laying their eggs.

 

This is gross, yes. We should try to clean as much as we can. We should also create and use more biodegradable materials-this is something we can do in our everyday lives to try to make a difference.

The funny thing is, this isn’t just happening on some far off island. There are places like that right here, of course on a much smaller scale.

My husband and I used to live near a beach and every time we’d go for a walk we’d see glass and plastic and trash that had become visible from the waves taking the sand out to sea. This wasn’t new trash. This was old…years and years old. We watched people walk right by beer cans that were fully exposed in the sand and let their kids play in the water right next to that floating plastic bag, tangled with fishing line. We saw very few people pick anything up.

Next time you see some trash somewhere that it doesn’t belong, think about this crab using a plastic tub as a shell, or that seagull that has eaten so much garbage that it can’t consume actual food anymore, and pick it up. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in your own community.

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Vegans in TV: Update

american-housewife_#govegan_vegan episode_venas in tv

American Housewife just had an episode last week (10/18) where the youngest decided to be a vegan. This is a direct recap which is FULL of spoilers an direct quotes.

Quick show premise: “Regular” family moves into a rich neighborhood where all the PTA moms are stay-at-home, super skinny, and really rich. Regular mom, Katie, is boisterous and does not fit in and she does not care.

Quick background for this episode: Katie’s oldest daughter started dating a boy who is a vegan and his mom (Tara Summers) is the stereotypical outspoken vegan. This mom does not like Katie and vice versa. Now, Katie’s youngest daughter made friends with Tara’s daughter. They had a play date where vegan mom took the kids to a petting zoo and youngest daughter, Anna Kat, came home saying, “I learned some very disturbing things about where meat comes from.” And she decided to become a vegan. Katie is not happy with this because from her own mouth she has to “cook two separate meals for each meal”.

So she decides to go and have a talk with her daughter.  Here is the conversation:

Katie: “Anna Kat, animals are actually happy to be eaten. We’re doing them a solid.”
Anna Kat: “Non-vegan food is full of hormones Mama.  Do you want me to get my period when I’m nine?”
Katie Inner Monologue: I’m gonna kill Tara Summers [vegan mom]
Anna Kat: “I am a vegan. I will always be a vegan and there is nothing you can do to change my mind.”
Katie: “I’ll give you 10 bucks to stop.”
Anna Kat: “Please…”

Leaves the room and her husband asks how it went. “She almost convinced me that cheese has feelings. I had to get out of there”.

(By the way, they have a pig for a pet because in a previous episode the dad ordered a pig for a cookout, went to pick it up and saw it was a young, live pig. He couldn’t slaughter the pig for dinner so he bought some already slaughtered pig to serve instead.)

The next scene Katie says to Anna Kat: “You’re coming with me to shop for your very own dinner”.
Anna Kat: “That sounds like fun!”

They go to a grocery store looks and awful lot like whole foods.

Katie’s inner monologue: Welcome to hell. This aisle is filled with all sorts of vegan nightmares. Here’s some deodorant that doesn’t work, something called yeast butter, and ooo! a guy with his hair in a bun.  He looks homeless but he’s spending 15 bucks on hemp milk.
Katie: “Ok for dinner I was just thinking I’ll fill this thing [eggplant] with this slimy stuff [tofu].”
Anna Kat: “As long as it didn’t have parents I’ll eat it.”

A woman reaches next to Katie for something on the top shelf and Katie sees she has unshaved armpits.

Inner monologue: Everything in this aisle is all so natural, ugh i need a bath and a turkey leg.

Tara, vegan mom, shows up.

Tara: “Katie Otto in my aisle buying tofu!”
Katie: “Give it a rest Tara.”
Tara: “No its still fun. Anna Kat did you know that leather comes from cow skin? Your mother’s purse used to be an animal. (feels fake leather on purse) Oh no not this purse. ”

Katie turns to unshaved woman. “Excuse me, would you please get that blue jar of Veganaise for me?”
Woman: “My pleasure”.

She grabs the jar and her unshaved armpit ends up right in vegan mom’s face.

Dinner:

Katie: “Sloppy Joes?”
Anna Kat: “Sloppy Joes are my favorite.”
Katie: “They are?! Too bad you don’t eat meat anymore. Your dinner is this. It’s called brown-loaf (looks like brown stew with huge chunks of tofu), and it tastes exactly like it sounds.”

Ick-noise from brother.

Katie: “How does it taste Anna Kat? Brown and loafy?”
Anna Kat: “Tastes like dirt…I love dirt!…….brown loaf is my new favorite!”

Katie looks for friends for advice and one friend actually gives good advice:

Friend:  “If you shut your kids down all the time they’ll start doing things behind your back…your kids need to know you as a parent but at a certain age they need to know you as a person. Give them your heart and give them your soul and they’ll know they can come to you with anything.”

Next scene where Katie is taking her friend’s advice.  She talked with her oldest daughter about dying her hair and that got fixed.  Dad comes downstairs and exclaimed that he can’t find his belts.

Anna Kat: “Leather belts are made out of animals so I gave them all a proper burial.”

Katie: “Kids I made a new recipe. Veggie chicken.”
Anna Kat: “What’s it made out of?”
Katie: “Tofu”.
Anna Kat: “And whats the bone made out of?”
Katie: “…also tofu…”

Anna Kat eats it and Katie smiles like shes won.

Katie’s Inner Monologue: Even though I talked things out with Taylor [older daughter] Anna Kat is eight. I don’t have to treat her like a person. Lying to her works just fine.

…..

Ok wow…I don’t know where to start with this episode. I actually liked this show but I’m starting to question it now.

Alright I’ll just jump right in. God forbid your kid makes their own decision. And now you feel inconvenienced…I feel like I’ve said this before…everyone can eat vegan food.

Should I say it again to make it stick?

EVERYONE CAN EAT VEGAN FOOD!!!!

It’s literally food…why can’t people understand that?

Ok so back to the show: The I’ll have to “cook two separate meals for each meal”. Why? Why can’t this mom just make the same meal since it’s too hard for them to give up meat, and use non-animal products in the sides?

is it casserole night? Make the casserole with egg replacer and butter replacer and then put the meat and cheese in separate bowls and add it to the top. Or use a cheese replacer and then only have the meat separate. How is that hard? How is that two separate meals? This would be a way to be more supportive of your child’s choices (yeah she’s only eight but she needs to start sometime) and be a better parent.

That comment: I don’t have to treat her like a person. Lying to her works just fine. Seriously with that shit?! I know she’s your baby and will always be your baby but come on. “I don’t have to treat her like a person”. I don’t really know what to say to this but I feel sorry for your kids. (Yes I know this is just a TV show).

I mean, what is this show trying to say? I’d rather lie to my kid than be inconvenienced a teeny bit? I mean, it’s not like this is the 50s and vegan was very difficult to find. You live in the age of the internet…there is tons of information out there!

I think what really makes me upset over this show is because I don’t want this to happen in my life. If I ask someone what is in a dish I expect the truth, not something I want to hear. If I didn’t care about what I put in my body I probably wouldn’t be asking anyway, but I do care. It’s one of the things that matters most to me and I would HOPE that no one would lie to me.

Yeah so I’m going to go think about this show more…what do you want to bet that they never bring up the eight year old being a vegan again? Though I’d love to see what happens when she finds out her mom has been lying the entire time.

The Thing About Millennials

bizarro_comic_millenials_workplace_baby boomers_silent generation_hashtaggovegan_#govegan

I’ve been hearing for the past few years that Millennials are lazy, narcissistic, entitled  people who are ruining everything the previous generations worked so hard for.  Millennials, previously referred to as Generation Y, are the ones who were born in the early 1980’s through about mid-1990’s (some places say early 2000’s as well).  I’m not going to get into social media or the increase in depression/anxiety in this age group.  But I came to the realization recently about the bad-rap we get.

First off, here are the names of the current generations*:

  • Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born 1996 and later
  • Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 to 1995
  • Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
  • Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before

*There are some discrepancies on specific start/end years but for the most part it’s fairly accurate.

This all started when my husband and I were having a discussion about parenting for Baby Boy (BB) and previous generations and their parenting styles.

First I’ll start out saying every generation wants things better for their children than it was for them.  Think back to your childhood.  I’m sure there are things you liked about how you were raised that you want to continue for your children and things you didn’t like that you’d like to stop. For example, spanking.  The Silent Generation used to spank their kids often as a form of punishment. Some Baby Boomers (my parents included) did not like that from their own childhood so they decided not to continue that parenting style for their children.  Now most Millennials (me), wouldn’t even fathom spanking our kids. (Yes there are some people who still parent like that; please see “Share if you (insert childhood trauma/danger here) and lived” section of the internet. This is my personal feelings and viewpoint).

So this Silent Generation either came home from the war or the younger of the generation who didn’t have a war enlisted, served and came back to have their children.  These Baby Boomers were raised under a strict, male-dominated household.  It was a lot of “wait until your father gets home”.  When the Baby Boomers became parents they created more of an equal household. (I know this in’t how all households where run but mine definitely was). Some may have kept the strictness some may have not but the all raised their kids differently. These are the Millennials.  These are the ones who were told they were special.  These are the ones who got trophies for participation.

I keep hearing over and over (usually from the youngest of the Silent Generation) how this is ridiculous-how people my age aren’t willing to work for things and that their parent’s always come to their rescue.  To be quite honest, I’m getting pretty sick of hearing this (hence the reason for this blog post).

Did anyone ever stop and think that maybe the reason we were raised that way was because the Baby Boomers wanted that from their parents? That they were made to feel unimportant. That they wanted more support from their parents.

I’m not blaming any generation for their parenting flaws; each generation wants to do better than the previous, including me. I want my kids to know they are special. I want them to be able to come to me when they need me-when they’re scared, or upset, or excited.  I want them to work at things in their life and make themselves proud of what they’ve accomplished.  But at the same time I wont hesitate to help them when they need it. I want them to play outside like I did as a kid.  I want them to not be addicted to screens like it seems a lot of kids are these days.

It’s a different world than the Baby Boomers were raised in and completely different from the Silent Generation and I feel like I’m going to do a pretty darn good job.  Parents criticize parents, just look at any comment section. We should just try to believe that every parent is just trying to do what is best for their kids, based on their experiences. And our kids…they’re going to conquer the world.

lets raise children who wont have to recover from their childhoods_pam leo_#govegan_millennials

Check out this Buzzfeed article for more evidence!

Also, this article is hilarious!

 

A Letter to the Wonderful Politicians

#govegan_wild horses_trump_environment_national parks_conservation_vegan.jpg

Dear Politicians (all of you…on both sides),

I’m just sick…

Sick after hearing the current administration wants to sell off protected land that belongs to our national parks.

Sick after the approval of the Dakota pipeline which DID end up leaking.

Sick after reading this article and seeing it’s more of the same.

You snuck it into the 2018 budget plan…the removal of the protection of wild horses and burrows because according to the author “apparently, it’s more convenient to kill defenseless horses than to responsibly address a man-made problem in their management.” Yep…that’s not shocking. You’re only about money.

“The BLM’s primary argument – that insufficient rangeland for horses and burros necessitates their inevitable removal and slaughter – is incredibly hypocritical. It’s by the BLM’s own hand that these lands have been repurposed for the cattle industry and other uses, and the BLM has, for decades, been using helicopters to terrify, round-up, and remove tens of thousands of wild horses and burros.

These actions are in complete contradiction to the spirit of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which was enacted to not only protect wild horses and burros from harassment and death, but also to preserve the federal land these animals inhabit.”

The original Act was enacted was because someone over-hunted the wild bison in this country…who was that again? Oh yeah, the rich white men who pushed the true indigenous people out of their land because ‘everything the light touches belongs to me’. And you call millennials entitled.

The land and national resources belong to everyone and it’s not ok to sell these protected ares to the highest bidder, these horses and burrows are included.

It’s one of my dreams in life to see wild horses in their natural habitat, ever since I watched the Disney movie Horse Sense when I was a kid. And I plan on being able to do that one day and my kids and their kids being able to also. You can’t take this away from us.

I am going to teach my kids to have an appreciation and love for nature. They are going to understand that there are more important things than money, like love, family, friendship, nature, and experiences.

And guess what? One day, you’re going to die. Guess what else? This next generation knows there are more important things than money. The world you think you’re creating…it’s not going to stick, (#sorrynotsorry). These national treasures, some of the most beautiful places on this earth, will be here for generations to come.

Sincerely,

#GoVegan

‘Grade A’ Labrador

vegan_#govegan_all_created_equal_dog meat_festival

I’m sure that reading this article is going to put many people in a tizzy. They will feel physically sick thinking about someone eating a Labrador while they pet their own.

I agree. The thought of eating a dog or cat sickens me…as does a chicken, cow, pig, or any other animal. But I’ll be honest the thought of dog or cat meat is not even in the same realm. It’s all based on how we were raised. In this country, we are raised to believe that certain animals are ok to be farmed and eaten and others are downright disgusting. Other countries may not necessarily follow the societal norms of the US…SURPRISE! (Yes, that’s sarcasm again).

Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals.  (Check out Beyond Carnism for some great info and videos!)

Anyway, this article says that the younger Chinese generation is more against eating dogs and that’s partly why the ban is being talked about (hasn’t been fully confirmed). “The ban is set to last until the festival is over and that there’s no evidence the ban includes any restrictions on cat meat.” (Why not cats?!)

The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival (aka the Yulin Dog Meat Festival) takes place every year since 2009 for about 10 days and an estimated 10,000-15,000 dogs are consumed. Though it looks like less and less are consumed every year. Sound gross? You bet! But I wonder how many pigs and cows are consumed during let’s say…Brat Fest.

The Wikipedia article says that dogs have been eaten in China for over 400 years.  “The local residents and festival organizers claim that the dogs are killed humanely and that “eating dog is no different from eating pork or beef”. Animal rights activists and campaigners, however, claim that the animals are “treated abominably”, based on photographs of the event.”

Which honestly is not any different from the way cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and other animals are treated every day in factory farms across the US.

It seems like the reason for the ban is that some people have claimed that the “dogs killed in the festival are often stolen pets'”. Which is corroborated in the Wikipedia article: “A witness claimed that some of the dogs eaten appeared to be stolen household pets, judging by their collars.”

Back to the original HuffPost article, Peter Li, the Humane Society International China Policy Expert, says that “Dogs slaughtered for food come from suspicious sources. Many are stolen pets and rural guard dogs.” He noted that Chinese activists would protest a beef festival, too, if the animals were stolen cattle.”

I highly doubt as much of a fuss would be made over cows being slaughtered and sold, regardless of if they had been stolen or not.

*Side Note: I wonder if most people in the US know that it’s legal to eat dogs and cats in quite a few states. I didn’t until today. *

To be fair the HSI group does “actively fight for the rights of all animals that suffer in the food industry”. They also say, “Whilst we realize that we can’t stop the suffering of all animals for the food industry overnight, we shouldn’t use the suffering of pigs or chickens in one country as an excuse for inaction to stop the suffering of dogs in another country.”

Bringing attention to this dog-eating festival might get more meat eaters on our side but unfortunately what’s probably going to happen is you’ll get half that will disgusted while they eat their cheese burgers and half will say ‘I’d try it”.

No matter what we try to do there will always be people who will turn the blind eye. Cognitive dissonance is STRONG, my friends. So I leave you with some quotes to help reaffirm the vegan lifestyle! We all need it sometimes.

  1. “May all that have life be delivered from suffering.” -Buddha
  2. “Life is too short to make others shorter.” -Anonymous
  3. “Compassion is the best side effect of being vegan.” -Anonymous
  4. “Animals are my friends. And I don’t eat my friends.” -George Bernard Shaw
  5. “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong in the world.” -Dr. Paul Farmer

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If Done Correctly…

vegan_baby_raising_healthy_no_cows_milk_#govegan

 

*This entire post is dripping with sarcasm. Please be advised.*

New article called:

Breast milk in, cow’s milk out: Vegan diet can be healthy for children

Saskatchewan pediatrician says vegan diet not a concern if done correctly.

 

Before we delve into the article, let’s just look at the words chosen shall we?

“Vegan diet CAN be healthy”… meaning the standard American (Canadian) diet is the most healthy even with all the cancer, heart disease, diabetes, the list goes on and on…but diet isn’t the cause of that…no it’s genetics…

Next: “if done correctly”…isn’t that true for all diets whether they be short-term or a lifestyle? I mean if you’re going to eat only processed junk food that’s obviously not correct. So thanks for that insight.

 

Now for my comments on the article:

First off, why is this even an article? Choosing to go against the social norm now requires news coverage? Well then my whole life should be reported on! (I kid I kid!) If anything it does get out the word out about vegan diets.

“Millham’s son Xavier, who is now 21 months old, has never drunk cow’s milk nor eaten meat. He hasn’t had a bowl of yogurt or a spoonful of ice cream.”

Oh that poor deprived child! There are vegan replacements for all of these things and in my opinion they are better than the ‘original’ (Shout out to Coconut Bliss ice cream!)

“A pediatrician agrees it can be a healthy way to eat, even for a growing child, as long as parents are able to provide all the child’s nutritional needs.”

Sure because Froot Loops and Pop Tarts provide nutrition for kids…

She [the mom] said she isn’t worried that he doesn’t drink cow’s milk, despite a recent study saying it makes children taller. Last time she took her son to the doctor, Millham said, Xavier was in the 84th percentile for height and weight.

Who funded this study? The failing dairy industry?

“My doctor’s known that I’ve been vegan the whole time I’ve been vegan. She had no concerns,” Millham said. “It’s really common for pregnant women to be anemic. Everyone always assumed that, ‘Well, Alyx will be anemic because she’s vegan,’ but I wasn’t and my doctor was shocked that my numbers were so good.”

I got that too throughout pregnancy from people who were suddenly nutrition experts. “Are you getting enough protein?” was mostly what I got. I don’t understand why a doctor (or anyone) should be shocked because her iron level were so good. There is tons of iron in greens which (hopefully) is a big part of a vegan diet (though we eat tons of other foods #notjustsalad). And besides, cow’s milk has iron and vitamins added back into it which are synthetic and there is some skepticism about if the body absorbs them in the same fashion as naturally occurring vitamins. But I’m sure the doctor already knew that with their advanced nutrition degree. Oh wait….

Plant protein sources aren’t as easily digestible as meat, according to Kurji, so more has to be eaten to reach the required amounts.

What?! Where is the source on this? Oh, it came from a doctor with one semester of nutrition classes, oh yeah. I have never heard this in my life. Meat is one of the hardest things for your body to digest. How else do you explain feeling light after eating a vegan meal versus having to take a nap after meat (see Thanksgiving)?

Those who eat a common Western diet tend to get iron, zinc, calcium, omega 3 and B12 through animal sources, but it is possible to get all nutrients needed through fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts and grains.

No shit Sherlock.

For those who say feeding children a vegan diet is too extreme, Millham said it’s not different than anything else.

“I think everybody forces their way of life on their family. That’s what parents do, they parent,” she said. “As long as a person’s not hurting other people — and vegans clearly are not — you’re OK.”

Why do non-vegans think veganism is extreme for their kids? Seriously. Christians/Jewish/Buddhists who raise their kids in a Christians/Jewish/Buddhists household aren’t seen as extreme. People who love reading who give their kids tons of books aren’t seen as extreme. People who love biking who take their kids along aren’t seen as extreme. So why is it that it’s not extreme to eat animal flesh and secretions? …

Although one day Xavier might choose to get off the vegan bandwagon, Millham said she isn’t too worried. In the future when she sends him off to birthday parties, she said she’ll be ready with vegan options for him to take.

Oh that’s right…because our vegan kids are deprived of good-tasting food. I forgot that all we eat is grass, twigs, and berries.

I’ve been asked this question too: “What happens if BB eats pizza at a friend’s house?” To which I ask you a question: what happens if your kids watch a movie at a friends house that you don’t think is appropriate? At a certain time we have to let our kids make their own decisions and hope we raised them to make good choices. Like any good parent ever. (See my Raising a Vegan Baby post for more details).

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Engage

hashtaggovegan_animal uses_facebook_vegan

A family member posted the photo shown at the beginning of this blog on Facebook.  Alarm bells went off in my head “THIS IS SO WRONG!!” This is nothing new.  Posts happen all the time without people looking into them and just assuming that they’re true, especially from this person.

I said to myself, Don’t engage…just scroll past…don’t engage...Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to myself.  I engaged.

I was the pushy, sarcastic vegan (I’m naturally sarcastic so that’s nothing I can help). I posted:  “Yeah you’re right. we shouldn’t try to find vegan alternatives to all those things (which exist) or at the very least try to minimize our contribution to animal suffering and do what’s best for our health.”

Then he claimed he was not against veganism in general but that organic farmers still use animal products to fertilize, etc.

My husband then intervened and posted a link to http://veganorganic.net/ which is a website that aims “to research and promote vegan organic (also known as stockfree organic) methods of agriculture and horticulture throughout the world so that green, clean and cruelty-free food becomes widely available.”

Which got no response.  What did get posted were bible verses about how God put animals on this earth for us….I’m not going to try to argue with someone’s religion (and I’m sure they knew that).  And frankly at that point I was done arguing anyway. (I posted a few memes but wasn’t going to get into it more).

The point is, that there are always people who will disagree with you and tell you why you’re wrong, from both sides no matter what you are arguing-politics, health, religion, movies, etc.  Every one of us slips up and wants to tell someone else why they’re wrong. I did this time and EVERYTHING was telling me to ignore it.  Next time I’ll probably ignore it but I do believe that we should stand up for what we believe in but also know when to stop.  Maybe next time I’ll be less snarky (which is pretty hard) and just post a fact about finding vegan alternatives and let others come to their own conclusion.  If someone is not ready for new information there is nothing you can do to change their minds about it.  It’s just going to make them stick their heels in and say “bacon” to everything you say.  We have to be accepting of other’s viewpoints just as we would want them to be accepting of ours. Yes, I totally agree that we shouldn’t be the ones called ‘zealots’ because we want to end animal suffering but that’s where all change started. With a group of zealots wanting to make a difference.

A Chapter Closes

change_qoute_life_go vegan_hashtaggovegan_#govegan

I recently had a big change in my life. Baby Boy (BB) came and changed everything.  I was working for a high-powered company for a few years when I found out I was pregnant. Everything went great with work and maternity leave. I decided I would take the full 12 weeks allowed off and come back full-time.  Well as I’ve heard hundreds of times but didn’t believe, babies change everything.  There was one day around BB’s six-week mark when he was crying in his crib after a nap.  I went to go pick him up and he immediately stopped crying. I looked at his face and it hit me – I didn’t want anyone else to be comforting him when he was upset. I wanted to be the one.  So I made the incredibly difficult decision to leave my job and even more, my friends.  Though I miss my friends terribly, I have not regretted my decision for a second.

After leaving, I got a chance to reflect on my position and I realized that I wasn’t happy with what I was doing; it went against all my morals and the way I live my life. I had ignored all of that, pushed it out of my mind so I could do my job.  My job was to help win work for our company by impressing other companies by showing them our past work.  Most of these companies we were trying to impress were the lowest of the low in my opinion.  Companies that create GMOs; companies that create pesticides that pollute and kill our environment, food, and bodies;  companies that create and distribute completely unnecessary pharmaceuticals and vaccines; and companies that test on animals.  Seriously, we had information (meaning our past work in our portfolio) on companies who had facilities that housed mice, rats, fish, dogs, horses, pigs, cows, chickens, and primates (big and small) for testing whatever the hell they were testing.

I know…it’s horrible.  I did the same thing as people who say they love animals while they eat their steak.  I feel sick about it.  It’s amazing how easy it is for our brains to ignore something that is right in front of you so you can keep doing what you’re doing.

And even so…looking back, I feel like I was meant to have that job.  I feel like I was meant to meet the people I did.  I was meant to go through this dissasociation. Possibly to understand others better.  Possibly to re-inforce my beliefs and remember how I want to live my life.

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Gorilla Dies of Heart Disease

A 32-year-old gorilla at the Cleveland zoo has died from heart disease.  He and the other gorilla at the zoo were diagnosed with heart conditions since 2008.

“Veterinarians had said earlier that little information exists on the heart health of the great apes and possible treatments, and the zoo largely relied on human medical information, according to The Plain Dealer, a Cleveland newspaper.”

This seems like just a normal article.  I bet most people will not even give this article a second thought but of course it made me stop in my tracks – shocking, I know but that’s why you’re here! To read my rants!

Gorillas don’t get heart disease.  Gorillas eat only leafy green plants and a bit of fruit. That diet does not produce heart disease.

The zoo said “their health improved after they were both given medication used to treat high blood pressure in humans, placed on high-fiber diets and made to forage for food scattered in their enclosure”.  Shocking (she said sarcastically). When the gorillas were allowed to actually act like and eat like they do in the wild, their health improved. Again, shocking…

How often do we hear of pets dying from cancer or kidney failure? Animals are not supposed to get these human illnesses. You will never find an animal in the wild, eating a wild diet that dies from cancer (and don’t give me the ‘they’ll die from predators first’ argument). They get these human illnesses from eating like humans and eating the food that they’re not meant to.

And of course they had to give extra money to the pharmaceutical company while they were at it. Most zoo animals are already on antidepressants. We take animals out of their natural habitat, away from everything the know, put them in a cement enclosure with painted walls to make it look like the place they left (actually it’s really only for the visitors. The animals are not that stupid), and then place a bucket of food in front of them that they are not meant to eat, well duh they’re going to be depressed.

We’ve got to stop acting as if more research about these diseases and animals is necessary. We know the cause, so stop contributing to it. *Mic Drop*

Link to the original article

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Weeds Are Just a Social Construct

 

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Remember as a kid you’d go out and pick the biggest bouquet of dandelions your little hand could hold.  Then you’d run as fast as you can to give them to your mom, so proud of yourself for finding this gift.

Then as you get older you learn that dandelions are considered ‘weeds’ and your heart sinks realizing that the special gift you picked with pride wasn’t as special as you thought.

I remember that.  I felt so stupid when I learned the ‘truth’ about dandelions. My son isn’t quite old enough to do that yet but just thinking about him running up to me with a fist-full of dandelions makes my heart smile, imagining the pride on his face.

I never want that pride to be erased from his face just because of societal ‘norms’.

Weeds are a social construct. It’s even in the definition:

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“A plant that is not valued” or “one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants”. Who deems them less desirable? Honestly, if you think about it, they’re yellow flowering plants. How is it different than purple flowering plants (crocuses) or the white flowering plants (daisies)? They’re all flowering plants. They all grow in yards, parks, and brush.

Dandelions are the bees and butterflies first food.  Spraying lawns and parks to get rid of them takes away this necessary food item and they’re already struggling (I Speak For the Bees).  All in the name of a perfectly manicured lawn.

Maybe instead of teaching our kids to see these as weeds, we can teach them to see the beauty in them; teach them to see the usefulness in otherwise ‘useless’ things; teach them that something that may not be important to could be a life-line for another.

I certainly don’t want to be the one to wipe that pride off my son’s face.  I’ll make sure he knows just how important and special those flowers are.