“A BLT, please; hold the B!”

“Were these happy chickens?” daughter who is our baby asks in that cute, smiling way that doesn’t offend, but she really does want it confirmed by the organic farmer that this meat once had a real life.

For the agriculture part of her studies, she has read many books. Initially, just one  (non-sensationalist) book on raising animals for food in America put her off eating meat for years. The average American has NO idea of how inhumanely our food animals are *conceived* *raised* and slaughtered (that is indeed the word to use), and how contaminated they are in the gutting processing.  (In one article I read today, a 2011 report from the FDA says that via processing: 90% of chicken, 91% of ground turkey, 88% of ground beef, and 80% of pork chops are contaminated. With FECAL matter.)

We also have no idea how bad the methane-producing animals are for our environment.  Water and land wise.  It is estimated that if we even went to one meatless day, the result of this seemingly small footprint would be the equivalent of the whole nation switching to unleaded gasoline.

Also, there’s that little matter of our colon cancer — utterly absent in parts of the world where beef cows aren’t consumed. We’ve been sold a bill of goods about how we need protein, calcium, iron, Omega-3 and all other nutrients that can only be found in meat, dairy and eggs. However, that’s false. All those nutrients are found in AS healthy levels in plants.

The WHO says that 80% of all heart attacks, strokes, and Type 2 diabetes can be PREVENTED. And a lesser but real shocker: Chicken actually has more cholesterol than pork chops — who knew??

I was nearly a vegan for 4 years (pre-gall bladder issue days).  I did it because I wanted to be able to look animals in the eye, after having visited some cow farms where I learned that the infant cow is removed from Mom after a WEEK (suckling just enough to flow the milk for US) and is bottle fed (and desperately suckles fingers), all while Mom calls out for the calf.. She will be re-bred/inseminated shortly.  Over and over and over, until she gives out.

Anyway, if only I liked beans and legumes.  Yuck.  I can choke down some lentils… So, it was hard. One of the first things I noticed upon giving up animal flesh (not sea creature flesh, as a waitress snootily pointed out in a restaurant..), was a tremendous need to salt everything WAY more to make it edible. Well, not only are our animals injected with and soaked in salt to add package weight, but of course, blood contains a great deal of salt.

Daughter, like my sister-in-law, will only eat a bit of chicken or beef or whatever from either truly free-range or self-hunted animals (they don’t raise any). Mostly, it is a special occasion only that finds them eating flesh. But it better damned well be formerly happy flesh. And I’m not totally vegan — nutrition is tricky for someone like me — but I’d like to be, so everyone, keep looking to create/alter products that can very naturally (and low-fat-ly!) keep life going until it far more naturally than usual stops, mutually. It is my responsibility to keep looking for this.

Finally, and I know I have not changed any bacon-loving minds — nothing but time ever really does that, and one’s own research, of course — Sir Paulie and his family and millions of others advocate for Meatless Mondays. It really and truly makes a big difference.

I don’t support fish farming, either. Imagine living in a tank. All your life.. it’s neither right, nor fair, and it is definitely not what was meant by man “having dominion” over other creatures. Again, “surf and turf” shall rule the land, I know — but we need to think about it all, and need to develop a plan of lessening consumption, at least, for everyone’s sake. That is truly our responsibility to all who do and who will share this finite planet. It is our responsibility as parents, too.

Our moms said, “Everything in moderation.” They were right — and that was even before the 132-ounce sodas came to be-gorilla our own youths. God, too, would’ve said, “Everything in moderation,” but He already knew we’d have to keep telling each other in every generation — and keep on working toward defining “moderation” in food-rich nations like America.


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They left us Pawtuckaway, Winnipesaukee, and more

It is interesting how a word can have both a glorious meaning when applied to nature, and a dismal one when applied to man.

Shallow water meant my non-swimming mom or friend could come in, too. The shallow part of a pool, lake or even an ocean also meant the water had a warm spot. (In New England, it’s not unusual to shout, “I found a warm spot!” wherever you are and in any season!) If one got out to the deeper parts or to where the movement of the water was mercurial, one could return to the steadily warm(er) — anything to stay in that water ’til one’s body got used to it!

Shallow people, however, are not steadily warm(er). They might even keep the “Warm spot here!” to themselves. I cannot imagine any native Americans doing so; life itself depended upon one another’s sharing bounty. I imagine it was a fairly arduous life, and shouting the word for “Warm!” was enjoyed at all ages.

In the happy shallows of a lake, one can see the little fishes who come exploring even beyond the reedy section. One can always see the sand below sparkling here and there, as if hiding diamond chips. There aren’t many treasures below that one can bring to shore to keep — to bring home as a memento, but it’s alright. One lives in the treasures all — indeed, they cushion one’s very feet (and eyes) — for a time.


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Musing the musers, who put their pants on one leg at at time, too.

Last night, I slept the sleep of the just. I’ll give it back to them, now, but that was so nice! Life-changes are exhausting. Life-changes in the midst of things that aren’t changing are even more exhausting. (That line should be on the front of a brochure right under “WELCOME!” that’s attached to a brand new nap pillow handed to anyone who makes it out of the womb alive.)

Indeed, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I read two opinion articles today, and got pissed off twice. Philosophers, thinkers — when have they ever changed the world for the better without their hand firmly in God’s, He Who gives us our head in every matter — even our eternal one? If St. Thomas Aquinas called his huge thought-saturated body of work “straw” once the reality Who is Truth had made Himself known to him, what makes anyone else think they’ve got more than dead, detached, rust-colored pine needles to offer this poor ol’ rage-filled world?

One article was about how to help physically save the world by personally reducing dangerous footprints.  I was nodding yes, yes, until that last suggestion to limit the size of one’s family. As I would ask anyone who promulgates abortion as a *choice* if they’d be okay with their mom’s/dad’s decision to abort — during their own fetushood, I would ask any population-controller if they’d be okay with their parents’ having limited the size of the family beginning just before their own conception. The shoe jumps to the other foot, doesn’t it?

The second article was an interview with someone I’d call a humanist, because one needs a word sometimes, to go with the education-bought letters after the name.  I nodded yes, yes, until that paragraph which insisted that, no, religion was not and would not be of help to this world that is fixing to detonate nuclearly — “quite the opposite.”

We’re still in the numbskull corner of Eden, covering with fig leaves. Jesus, I’m sorry — You were as ineffective as the tears in Your eyes didn’t blunt, as you gripped the praying-rock and looked out over the Christ-less generations to come, while the tormenter of all that is God’s, knowingly cackled nearby.

A) Limit your family if you want to, but keep your eyes and pointy fingers away from everyone else. The point of life is life. It really gets no simpler than that!

B) Unless we live in, with, and through religion (something that truly defers to all of life’s Creator/Orderer/Reorderer and doesn’t also-God), we can’t see/feel/employ its effect very well on this side of the tapestry.

It’s not nice for someone who slept the sleep of the just to wake up as a crankball. Stop irritating me, smarter people, who disown both man and God.  We’ve proved endlessly that these two trajectories do not work to anyone’s sustained good.


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