Thursday, November 29, 2012

Eating animals -- why do people still do it?

Eating animal foods can be incredibly confusing. We see ourselves as kind, caring, even generous people who treat our friends, family, neighbors and pets with love and respect. Yet day in and day out, we are faced with the contradiction which is sitting on our plates: an innocent creature was killed to bring us this meal.

The example of long-term, healthy vegans shines a light on this contradiction like none other. It's hard to justify the need to eat animals with so many counterexamples out there. Can you really believe that eating animals is good for health when doctors are using a vegan diet to reverse heart disease, reverse diabetes, and slow cancer? When there are hundreds of vegan athletes, many performing better than ever before?

It's hard to conclude that we eat animals for any reason other than cultural momentum. And I expect that this subtly repressed fact rubs most of us more than we care to admit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

War is always a cost to the people

We do have one example in history where there was a dramatic cut in spending. It was after World War II. Because the spending was so high during the world war-- it was cut almost 60% and people worried, the Keynesians said "oh we have to have more jobs programs, more jobs programs". But by that time the malinvestment and the debt had been liquidated, the soldiers came home we didn't have work programs and guess what, the taxes were cut as well and that was finally when the depression ended. It ended not when the war started, but when it ended. 
So don't ever be tricked into believing that so many argue -- because they use this as an excuse, they say that when you're in a depression or bad times the only thing that will get you out of the depression is a war. That is absolutely not true. Don't ever listen to them because morally that's evil and that is the wrong thing to ever try, because war is always a cost to the people.
- Ron Paul in this video

Top 10 reasons why vegan life is better

10. You feel better physically after you eat.

How do you feel an hour after eating a cheeseburger and an ice cream cone? Compare that with how you feel after a salad with fruit and nuts? Vegan food is generally lighter. You experience fewer incidences of "food coma" and a bloated stomach.

9. You feel better emotionally after you eat.

Most of us realize, at a partially conscious level, that an animal had to die if we're eating meat. And most of us care at least a little, whether we openly admit it or not. So after a vegan meal, you experience a little less emotional and cognitive dissonance.

Why vegan and not just vegetarian? You might want to consider  the truth about what happens to dairy animals.

8. You feel better intellectually after you eat.

Well, assuming you know some things about the environmental impact of animal agriculture (including dairy farming!), when you eat vegan meals you know you're doing something dramatically good for the world.

7. You feel better energetically after you eat.

This one might be a little far out for some to understand. But basically, when you eat animals you're also consuming the energy of that animal. And typically, that energy is suffering, misery, and anguish, caused by their treatment as the mere property of a farmer or corporation. When you eat the animal, you are making that energy a part of yourself.

6. Vegan you feels healthier.

Animal foods are not necessary for health, and in fact they cause a lot of problems, especially when consumed at such high levels as has become standard. A well-balanced vegan diet, consisting of mostly whole plant foods and not too much processed junk, and paying attention to a couple basic health ground rules (such as supplementing vitamin b12), is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, a healthy immune system, and tons of energy.

5. Vegan you is healthier.

Think you need meat for protein? Think again. In fact, animal protein has been linked to increased risks of diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis, and a host of other diseases of affluence. Think you need milk for calcium? Again, it's a myth. Worried about heart disease? Not on a plant-based diet. In fact, it may be reversable by going vegan. Ever heard of trans fats? They're in both meat and dairy, and they're avoidable on a healthy plant-based diet. The jury is still out on whether vegans live longer, but it's safe to say that you probably will be happier in your old age without a disease of affluence.

4. Vegan you is nicer.

Being nice to the innocent animals is a strong step towards better understanding human relationships. When you're in the habit of shutting down thoughts about where your food comes from, it's difficult to be sensitive to the full impact of your words and deeds as they affect those around you. By going vegan, you can begin to relax into being nice -- it just comes naturally.

3. Vegan you is more sensitive.

Once you've gone vegan, you may begin to open up to a more compassionate side of yourself. Soon you may find this goes beyond compassion towards animals, and you feel more compassionate towards your fellow humans as well. This is big. I'm talking about world peace here.

2. Vegan you is smarter.

That's right. I said smarter. When you're blocking out certain thoughts because they're uncomfortable---say, the ones about where your food comes from--- you are actively suppressing a part of your mind's natural ability to think. Remove the blockade, and you can think more creatively and clearly.

1. Vegan you is happier.

Once you've opened the door to your compassion, you've begun to allow yourself to feel. Feeling is the process of experiencing your emotions. The more you let yourself experience all your emotions, the greater your capacity for experiencing each one is. In this way, allowing yourself to feel seemingly "subtle" (or repressed) compassion increases your capacity for joy. This aspect is difficult to understand except by experiencing it. Why not give it a try? (or perhaps you prefer the Oprah version)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

On not taking sides

I've donated to Ron Paul, and now I get letters all the time from right-wing organizations asking for money.

The latest one is Judicial Watch, some organization saying that we have to fight Obama's "rampant corruption" and "compulsive secrecy".. which rings some bells related to the Bush administration, but they certainly don't mention that.

I guess they're playing off people's pre-programmed fears, ones that were implanted from years of veg'ing in front of the TV.

But these organizations don't comprehend me at all, so their battle cries don't begin to reach me. To me, the Ron Paul movement isn't about Right vs Left, and it's certainly not about "ousting Obama at all costs", an attitude which by definition leads to sacrificing everything you stand for. It's not even about winning an election, or having political power.

It's about reshaping the conception of government. It's about remembering that government serves the people, not the other way around. It's about being humble enough to speak out for the truth, whether or not it agrees with one's own political "profile". In fact, if Ron Paul weren't willing to call out the massively erroneous and hypocritical record of the Republican party, I wouldn't support him.

In spite of what it may look like to these right wing organizations, I'm not a republican (or democrat), conservative (or liberal), on the right (or the left); I'm beyond even a "libertarian" at this point.

So many of these organizations want to make it out like Us vs Them. Our team versus theirs. Blue vs Red. A horse-race. Or an "epic struggle". Whatever.

I won't take sides, because I have no enemies; I have only friends. We're all on the same team, we all ultimately want the same things; the challenge is not to win power, or even change people's minds.. but to uncover the truth, to reveal how we're all on the same page in the first place.

Monday, February 27, 2012

it's not rocket science

It's right in front of your nose.

Use your head.

Take 5 deep breaths, settle down and decide to watch this video from start to finish, and you will go vegan.