Monday, February 19, 2007

Five Great Reasons to Become Vegetarian

Reason #1 - You love animals
Many Americans love their pets dearly yet they still eat meat. It is easy to forget what you are actually eating because the meat we purchase bears no resemblance to the original furry animal with big brown eyes. Make no mistake however, if you eat flesh, you are eating an animal that had feelings, emotions and most importantly a capacity for suffering.

Over 27 billion animals are violently slaughtered in America each year after enduring lives of neglect, torture, and mutilation in cramped, filthy conditions with virtually no laws in place to protect them from cruelty.

The next time you are deciding what to eat picture yourself at the petting zoo.

Reason #2 - You love our planet

Water conservation is a hot topic. You might do your part by using a low flow showerhead or turning off your water while you brush your teeth. What you may not realize is that a whopping one-half of the water supply in the United State goes to animal agriculture.

Our existing air and water supply is also contaminated from the enormous amounts of excrement produced by these animals which is far too much to fertilize the local crops so the excess is disposed of as waste.

America’s forests are being destroyed to raise cattle. Vegetarians only require 1/6 of an acre to grow their food supply while meat eaters require over 3 acres. If the US population switched to a plant based diet, over 20 million acres could be returned to forest.

The next time you are enjoying a low flow shower low flow after eating steak for dinner, please think about the 2500 gallons of water it takes to make a single pound of beef.

Reason #3 - You love being alive and healthy
What is the one lifestyle choice you can make that can reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, asthma, many cancers and even male impotence? What choice can help make your kids taller and smarter? What lifestyle choice can help you live six to ten years longer? Numerous studies have shown a vegetarian diet to increase your chances of these and other benefits.

Human beings can get all the nutrition they need from plant sources. Organic plants offer antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber while meat offers saturated fat, cholesterol, and contaminants like hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics.

In addition, the human digestive tract is much longer, twisted, and pocketed than the smooth, short tract of a natural carnivore. Natural carnivores also have much stronger stomach acid. This inability to properly digest meat could explain why eating any amount of meat can dramatically increase a persons risk for a multitude of diseases and cancers.

The next time you are deciding what to eat, think about the health and lifespan of you and your loved ones.

Reason #4 - You love other human beings
Does it bother you that people are starving to death on the other side of the world? Would you like to do your part to help?

You might be shocked to learn that America could easily wipe out world hunger if we raised crops instead of animals. The world’s cattle alone consume enough food to feed 8.7 billion people.

The next time you are deciding what to eat please think about the 15 million children around the world that starve to death each year.

Reason #5 - You love peace of mind
Wouldn’t it be nice to finally put to rest that little nagging voice inside of you that loves animals? Wouldn’t it feel great to know that you are saving 100 animals a year by adopting a plant based diet? Wouldn’t it be a weight off your shoulders to know that you are doing the right thing for yourself, animals, the planet, and humankind? It is a tough step to take and you may have to face opposition from friends, family, and society in general but what an outstanding feeling to finally do the right thing.

Think Im crazy? Visit a few of these pages and you might change your mind.

I feel terrible remorse for my years of meat eating and question whether its even OK to eat cage-free eggs and organic dairy products.

The Issues

Plenty of reasons to go vegan

Meet your meat

Undercover Investigations

More issues

Why vegan

The list according to

  • Cruelty to Animals
  • Animals are amazing
  • Your Health
  • The environment
  • World Hunger
  • Worker Rights
  • Factory Farms
  • Government Negligence
  • Factory Campaigns

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What to eat if no more meat?

I was not really sure what I would be eating when I finally made the decision to give up meat.
As I mentioned in my other posts I gave up meat as part of an overall decision to live healthier.

I moved deeper into the midwest in November and saw my health deteriorating fast thanks to a typical American diet. I came to the decision to make changes and make them fast if I wanted to make peace with living in middle America.

Although I have been reading about vegetarianism over the last ten years or so and I knew that I wanted to take that step someday, I had never quite gotten around to it. I was not prepared with dietary alternatives in order to finally make the leap. In my feeble attempts to give up meat in the past I always went back within a few days or a week due to ravenous hunger.

Knowing what went wrong in the past is probably the reason I was able to go through with it this time. Since I knew very well that I would be starving in a day or two, I ate tons of carbs every time I became hungry rather than wait until I became ravenous. That is probably pretty bad advice but quite honestly it worked and it worked remarkably well.

I gained quite a bit of weight. I have been meatless for about two and a half months now and I just started losing the weight I gained initially. I am losing the weight through the other items from my list.

Whenever I got hungry and I recognized it as my stomach missing meat and I would substitute a bagel or toast. I didnt really substitute anything else because I remember from experience that nothing would really replace the filling feeling of meat. A carrot just doesnt quite cut it when you are craving a steak right?

I would love to hear how other people have dealt with this problem. It was pretty tough going and I dont know if I could have done it without eating three bagels for dinner once in awhile. My butt certainly doesnt look any better for it but my stomach and digestive system are already thanking me. Not to mention all of the happy cows and chickens

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pesky Lactating Vegetarian

I have considered giving up meat for years now. This has been much more of a journey than a spur of the moment decision.

Like many vegetarians, I wanted to give up meat for both ethical and health reasons. As it turns out the health reasons finally pushed me over the edge but the ethical reasons have bothered me for the last twenty years. I have always felt uneasy that animals are dying on my behalf but quite honestly it was "too difficult" to give it up for that reason alone. It is not that I don't love animals enough because I really do. It is just exceptionally difficult to suddenly change my way of eating overnight especially when all of your friends and family eat the same way.

I began my quest for all things natural because of my horrific birth experience. It started out as a passion for natural childbirth and morphed into natural fertility, pregnancy, birth, and parenting. I came across so much research as to the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle that it has come to the forefront of my consciousness.

That still wasn't enough to sell me however. In November I moved deeper into the midwest, which I affectionately refer to as the land of hamburgers and ice cream. It is utterly insane how middle America eats as a group, and as horrified as I was (and still am) by a typical American diet, I found the trap of convenience and instant gratification very easy to fall into.

So shortly after I moved here I was aware that I would look like a hippo in six months if I stayed lazy so I decided the first place to start was to give up animal flesh. As you can see in my list there are many more changes that I have made already and I am going to make in the future but meat is a natural choice because I care about animals anyway and I have been going in that direction for the last decade.

I have been a meat "avoider" for a long time. Despite the fact that I love eating out and I have always loved a good meat dish (Ruths Chris steak house.....yum) I still tried to choose fish 50% of the time or so.

I still eat fish, eggs, and dairy. I am just very pleased to say that I no mammals are going to die on my behalf. I am so proud to be able to tell my daughter that when she learns that people kill animals to eat since she absolutely adores animals. I believe all children are vegetarians naturally and I think most kids love animals so she will not be a hard sell when she learns we eat differently than most people.

I am going to have a hard time giving up fish someday but my goal is to be raw/vegan which means no animal products at all. The hardest part will be eating out. "Can I have a plate full of burger toppings please?" As of right now I can still eat out between fish, dairy, and eggs but it is still surprisingly difficult to find more than one selection at any given restaurant.

My next post or two will be about how the experience has worked for me so far. In the meantime, peace.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

More about my quest for a natural life

This blog is about the steps I want to take to try to become as healthy as I can be. They are not really resolutions and they are not things that I have tried and failed at before like some people who go on a diet every January 1st.

These are either products, services, or lifestyle changes that I have read about and I believe have merit, but time and money have prevented me from trying them all at once. And quite frankly I think trying them all at once would be absolutely impossible as well as incredibly frustrating so I think any benefit gained would be lost when I threw the towel in and went out for chicken wings.

So I am just going to make a rough list and I will come back to the master list frequently to update the order in which I am going to take on a new projects, or to provide links if you are interested in more information about what I am doing or how to try these things for yourself.

I was hoping to implement a few of these items every month in 2007 but money precluded me from trying as many as I wanted to in January so I am a little behind schedule. I will figure out a system to mark up the ones I have already implemented so you can track my schedule.

I am aware that my list may seem a little daunting and lots of people will think I am a total kook (I dont really care). I am only going to do what is comfortable for me. If I find anything too convenient then I am going to give it up. I just dont have time in my day. Everything needs to be as seamless as possible.

I think this list will probably extend well past 2007 but again this project isnt to stress me out or make me uncomfortable. I am trying these things to improve my health but only if I am able to implement them painlessly into my modern lifestyle.

I welcome your comments or suggestions.

Things I am currently doing :

  • I eat (and so does my 20 month old daughter) tons of fruit and a fair amount of vegetablesWe never drink tap water (but we do bathe in it)
  • We never eat or drink anything from a microwave
  • We believe in a raw-living diet and I try to eat as much raw, organic as possible
  • I still breastfeed, cosleep, and wear my daughter in a sling. I will do the first two as long as she wants and the last as long as I can.
  • I try to do yoga in the mornings and pilates at night but I end up doing yoga about every other morning and pilates once or twice a week
  • I never ever drink soda (and will not let my daughter touch the stuff)

My current struggles & issues:

I have tons of mercury fillings which I desperately want out. I was poisoned with Pitocin (laced with Thimerosol) during my daughters birth and have an excess of mercury in my system which i will blog about more than you probably want to hear. Much of this program is to detox my system

I have experienced rapid and accelerated aging and discoloration in my face due to the chronic mercury toxicity. I have sagging in my jaws and my eyelids only in the last year but it is very noticeable. I have tried all sorts of things and while I think the real answer lies in mercury removal, I will continue to experiment with diet, vitamins, & minerals.

I want to have another child but cannot while I am toxic.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Steps I am Taking for a Healthy Organic Life

?= why
P= Related Posts
Stage 1
(?) (P) Give up meat (except fish, dairy, & eggs)
(?) (P) Daily Smoothie
Incorporate raw fruits/veggies
No microwaved food or drink
Give up soda
Sleep 8 hours a night in total darkness

Full moon light
Give up fried foods
Natural deoderant

Stage 2
Vitamineral Green
Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
Flax Seed Organic
Operation Hydration
Grow Wheatgrass
Juice my Wheatgrass

Stage 3
Facial Toning Exercises
Switch to raw dairy
Give up processed/refined sugar
Light Therapy Device
Urban Rebounding
daily salad
vitamins & supplements
Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vit C Ester, DMAE

Stage 4
Chiropractic therapy
Plant therapy
Feng Shui
Wild Alaskan Salmon & oil
Organic, natural dental products
Organic cosmetics

Stage 5
Give up pasta
Coconut Oil
Tai Chi
Daily Soup
Only organic bath products
Shower& bath filters

Stage 6
Give up bread
Only organic cosmetics
Intestinal cleansing
Drinking water filters
Grow my own veggies
Music therapy

Stage 7
No packaged food at all
Fresh raw eggs
seaweed, algae, chlorella
more organic clothing (all is not possible)
organic home cleaning products
Clay baths

Stage 8
Raw honey
Magnetic bedding & jewelry
No grains, wheat, or soy
Only organic coffees & teas

Stage 9
Dehydrate food
Only organic produce
Daily meditation/breathing exercises

Stage 10
Massage therapy
Grape seeds
Grow herbs & aloe
Only natural first aid kit

Stage 11
Only Penta water
Only organic wine
Organic pet food
Dry brushing
Vinegars/Apple Cider Vinegar

Stage 12
whole foods
Support group/friends
Dental health
Hydrogen Peroxide

Stage 13
Fresh Flowers
Himalayan sea salt & salt lamps