Buzz Off!

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Yeah that was a stupid title…moving on…

Angry California Bees Kill Dog After Hive Owner Harvests Honey.  This article is both sad and a little funny. Maybe funny isn’t the right word. Maybe ironic is a better word.

Basically what happened is in the title. The ‘owner’ of the hive tried to harvest the honey and the bees went crazy and stung him multiple times (he was wearing a suit). Then the swarmed the neighbor’s dogs and ended up killing one.

Because of this of course the bees were killed “to make sure that if there was any aggressive nature within that colony they were destroyed and were not able to repopulate somewhere else”.

That sucks and I’m sorry for the bees and the dogs. A little bit I guess for the ‘owner too’ but where was your smoker dude? It sounds like he was being stupid while trying to get the honey.

Here is my favorite part of the article:  “For an unknown reason, unknown to him or to us, when he attempted to harvest the honey the bees became very aggressive,” said Battalion Chief Rich Scola of the Ceres Fire Department.

“For an unknown reason”…..Unknown?! YOU STOLE THEIR F-ING FOOD! You bust in their hive where the queen and baby bees (ok larva) are living and tried to take all their food. Of course they’re going to attack. Their first instinct is protect the queen. The second is protect the colony. Why don’t people think of that?

Remember Winnie the Pooh always trying to get honey and the bees were always attacking him. Just because people think we’ve ‘domesticated’ bees doesn’t mean they actually are. They’re still wild animals. Maybe one is safe to be around, but the whole hive is still dangerous.

I don’t condone honey. Obviously, it’s an animal product and as a vegan I don’t believe in that. though some vegans are ok with honey and I used to be one.  I learned recently that honey is food for the bees and when humans take it they give the bees corn syrup to make up for their missing food. Then, when winter comes along it is usually cheaper to kill off the hive and get a new one the following spring than it is to keep them alive during the winter.

This article seems to paint bees in a negative light. Is it possibly because the writer is pro-GMOs? Is that thinking too much into it? Maybe…

How to Traumatize Students

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I know this is old news but I was all ready to hop on my vegan soap box and tear this teacher a new one but then I actually read the article instead of just the headline (I have a bad habit of doing that).

So the headline said, “Columbia High teacher kills rabbit as class demonstration”. Another headline said something like, ‘Teacher kills and cooks rabbit in front of class’. I pictured these students screaming as their teacher tore this rabbit out of its cage and killed it in front of them as part of a lesson plan.

Now if that was the full story, I would have flipped out if my child was in that class.

The actual story is that the students asked and it was not a mandatory lesson.

Ok so I wouldn’t have been as pissed knowing my kid was able to leave. Also, I would hope my kid would know if they ever felt uncomfortable in class that they could leave.

“A teacher brought in a rabbit, and did a demonstration about how a rabbit would be prepared as food for a family”, a spokesperson said.  “It’s not appropriate in the 10th grade class,” she said. “It wasn’t approved by the administration, it’s not part of biology [class,] so that judgment is not appropriate for that type of lesson in the classroom at 10th grade.”

Some of the students who stayed were “upset by the display” and some parents “felt killing an animal in the classroom was ill-advised.”

Hold the phone.

This was not appropriate for 10th graders? If people choose to eat meat I feel like they should have to watch where it comes from and how it’s prepared. And by 10th grade those kids had better know and understand how their food gets to their table. Again, if they’re going to eat meat they should know everything about how it’s prepared.

Students were upset. Well no shit Sherlock. Watching something being killed in front of you is traumatizing.

Parents thought it was ill-advised. Why do people never make the connection about where their food comes from? Is it because it was a rabbit and not everyone sees them as food? Would they feel  differently if it was a cow or a pig or a chicken?

Why do we never have demonstrations about vegetables? Call me crazy but aren’t growing fruits and veggies science? Oh, they’re too old for that kind of science? Funny since so many people think their food just comes from the grocery store.

 

 

A Chapter Closes

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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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First Lady Bans GM Foods From White House Kitchen

I don’t care to discuss my politics or your politics. I don’t care what you think of the current president or the last president. I really don’t. That’s not what this is about.

I found this article about the current first lady banning GMOs from the White House.  She says her son’s health has improved since they started eating organic foods.

I think we can all agree that these are some of the richest people in the country; they can afford the best healthcare available and if something were to happen they wouldn’t have to worry about bills.

It really says something when someone like that bans GMOs in their personal life. Sure they may be pushing bills to approve more and more GMOs in the hopes of getting more people sick, and getting more money (OK I have no actual proof but come on, follow the money).

Read into things and don’t just listen to what people say. Look at what they do and how they live their lives.

Original Article: http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2017/jun/1-2

Vegan Baby Shower

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I listened to a podcast the other day, Food for Thought. She was giving advice about how to have a vegan wedding when no one else in your family is vegan. To paraphrase what she said, vegans seem to apologize for ‘pushing’ their beliefs on others.  But when your family is saying “just at least serve chicken” or “don’t you think it’s rude to not cater to how other people eat?”, they are pushing their beliefs on you.  You need to do what is most important for you. People aren’t coming to your wedding for the food.  They’re coming so they can see you start your life with the person you love most.

I wasn’t vegan when I got married but I was pescetarian.  Everyone attending our wedding ate the Standard American Diet so I picked a menu that reflected that. I catered to other people’s wishes at my own wedding, at least when it came to the food.

It was four months later that I became full-on vegan. It was a hard transition for both of our families but the now accept that we are vegan and it’s not going to change. However, we have not always had support.  Even after five years we have people that never make food that we can/will eat when we’re having a family dinner.

So when I was planning our baby shower I went back and forth about what kinds of food I wanted to have. I talked it over with my husband and my mom and finally came to the conclusion that it was a party for me and my baby, plus I’m the pregnant one, so I should be able to eat everything there.

My mom and I made all of the food (picture above and menu below). I even took apart a dish that someone brought that was not vegan (veggie tray with ranch cups) and made it vegan with hummus instead. No one knew the food was vegan until we told them. We got a lot of “this is so good!”, “these are made of black beans?!”, etc.  No one was grossed out when the found out there were no animal secretions in it because you know why? VEGAN FOOD IS FOOD!!! Vegan food is like base zero. Everyone can eat it.

I am so proud that I stuck to my guns and served food that followed what I believe. After all, I’m going to raise my baby that way so I’d say it’s a pretty big part of my life.

MENU (all vegan):

Spicy and mild chili
Veggie tray with hummus
Fruit salad
Cashew cheeses: smoked, garlic herb, sun-dried tomato
Chips
Crackers
Pretzels
Salsa
Chocolate peanut butter balls
Pumpkin oat chocolate chip bars
Rosemary chocolate chip cookies
Black bean brownies
Lemonade
Iced tea

Nature Benefits for Babies

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Special double post week!!

I helped with a photo shoot for a six month old a few years ago and something the mom said stuck with me.

We took the kid outside and was going to have him sit in the grass and asked his mom, “does he like the grass?”
“I don’t know. He’s never been in it,” she replied to me.

Now this was June.  It’s been nice out for at least a month.  BB (Baby Boy) was born in January so it’s not the nicest weather-wise then, however he’s been outside even on the coldest of days, just for a minute.  Now that it’s started to get nicer we’ve taken him out just about every day.  He LOVES being outside and laying in the grass.

I came across this article about the health benefits of nature on young kids. Not that I needed reassurance, but it was nice to see an article like that. I think that being out in nature is so healing.

Every weekend that it’s nice out, I watch our neighbors come outside for an hour to mow their lawn and then immediately go back inside. I used to be like that. But I do remember when I was younger, going out every morning during the summer and reading at least a chapter of Harry Potter. Now I love going for walks with my little family and playing outside with BB. He loves curling his toes in the grass and pulling it out of the ground. I love just watching him watch everything, making connections and growing his little brain.

We get so few nice days when you really think about it, we should spend more time outside.  We would probably be healthier as a society and it gives our kids good habits they can carry with them through their lives.

Pink Pineapples

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Yeah cuz regular fruit is not colorful.

 

I had to rearrange some posts because:

Pink Pineapples Are Here To Bring A Little Magic Into Our Lives

I guess I shouldn’t be super shocked at this (full disclosure, I’m not). There is a growing trend of what is called ‘unicorn food’ which means eating very colorful food. (Google Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino or rainbow bagel and you’ll get the idea).

So GMO companies decided to jump on the train and make pink pineapples, that 1. jumps on the hipster colored food bandwagon and 2. cleverly gets people to eat more GMOs.

I mean why think about what you’re eating when it’s a fancy color?

“While people are generally pretty scared of anything that’s been genetically modified, the FDA assures that it’s perfectly safe.” Shocking…the FDA says they’re safe. Just like they said partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame are safe. It has nothing to do with who is on the board and what money they stand to get from it. Also ignoring the fact that many countries are banning GMOs.

Another win for the FDA, Monsanto, GMOs, and ‘health’ care industry and another loss for the American people.

Dairy Pride Act

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Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin State Senator, has proposed a bill in which plant-based milk cannot be called milk anymore. The only milk that can be called milk is milk from animals.

Other than this being udderly (see what I did there?!) ridiculous, it’s a good sign! It means the dairy industry is scared! It means people are using their brains and realizing that dairy milk is not good for them!

This article from Huffington Post is littered with sarcasm and I love it! “If the bill passes, we’re eagerly awaiting the alternative names for almond milk. Almond juice? Almond sweat? Aqueous almonds? To be honest, we’re not sure what else to call it.”

The bill states, basically, that labeling these plant-based options as ‘milk’ confuses customers because we can’t figure out what ‘milk’ means without the help of our beloved law makers. It hurts the dairy farmers because people can’t tell the difference between almond milk and cow’s milk when it’s sitting on a shelf at the store.  Hopefully, this bill will pass and help us stupid customers be able to know the difference!

If you can’t tell that that’s sarcasm, then I can’t help you.

“Almond milk sales rose 250 percent in five years, according to a 2016 consumer report by market-research firm Nielsen. Other milk alternatives, such as cashew and coconut, have also seen increased popularity, reports the Financial Times.

Meanwhile, dairy milk consumption has been on the decline for decades. Department of Agriculture data show that Americans drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in the 1970s.”

Since this is the case, how about instead we petition to call plant-based milk ‘milk’ and instead call milk from a cow “cow juice” or “cow secretions”?

The government is scared because they are subsidizing the meat and dairy industry. Why? Because it makes people sick. Sick people equal TONS of money. If they really cared about our health 1. they’d subsidize fruits and vegetables, 2. they’d only allow organic, 3. we would have free universal healthcare. When you really look into things, the people in power just want money. More and more money.

So where does this ‘help’ end? With putting restrictions on cheese too? With not allowing anything other than animal products on the shelves? Or with having only government allowed foods shipped directly to our house?  Maybe this is extreme but seriously, where does it end?

Vote with your dollars. Vote with your voice. Stand up for injustice and for what you believe in.

I think it’s safe to say that the people know what they are buying, are not confused by the difficult word ‘milk’, and know the difference between the two.

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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Would Newt Scamander Be a Vegan?

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I just watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for the first time and I loved it!  I wanted to watch it just because it was a part of the Harry Potter universe and not super excited about it – thinking it would just be about him finding magical animals. I was pleasantly surprised at the story, the magic, and the continuation of this world that I love. I honestly can’t wait for the second!

(I’m going to try super hard not to give out any spoilers so everyone has a chance to enjoy the movie like I did!)

Newt Scamander is an adorable wizard from England who has found his way to America for some reason (real reason has been redacted to prevent spoilers).  His mission is to educate the magical community about why they should help protect these creatures that he loves.

He is similar to the Hagrid character we’ve known and loved for years. (Actually, if you’re not familiar with the HP world, these Fantastic Beasts movies come first in the Harry Potter timeline so Hagrid’s love of magical creatures came from Newt’s work).

Newt has a case full of magical creatures, all being taken care of in a natural-ish environment that he created.  He loves all these animals, big or small, sweet or scary.  There is one point where his case gets taken away from him (not a spoiler it’s pretty obvious) and he yells over and over not to hurt them and that “they’re not dangerous”.

There was one scene with food but I think it was soup and I don’t remember what kind. However, due to his love of these creatures (all of them) I would like to think that Newt is a vegan.

The only reason I’m not 100% sure is because of his case of creatures. To me, it seemed kind of like a zoo environment.  We don’t know how he happened upon these animals.  He could have rescued them and is working on rehabilitation. Or maybe he is working on getting them REDACTED. (See? Doing good at keeping spoilers at bay!)

I’m going to go with the rescue and rehab part and that’s why I think Newt Scamander is a vegan (at least I hope so).

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