December 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
If our bodies were liquid
I’d be caressing the under of your shoulder blade
I’d be kissing your breasts
and slowly sinking my face in your chest
With ribs tangled in the back of my hair I’d be
breathing the warm air in your lungs
and the tip of my eyelashes would make you ticklish
You’d laugh and say “ stop it”
and run your fingers slowly through my hair
I can see your heart contracting
right in front of my eyes
Arteries running with crimson
And then I hear whisper in my ear
Goodnight my love
October 17, 2013 § 5 Comments
In the past few weeks animal lovers have been breaking into mink farms and setting hundreds of minks free. One of the cute, little animals wrote a thank you letter to his liberator.
“I am writing this letter as a free mink. It is still hard to believe I no longer live in a cage. Few days ago, on an early morning, the humans came. It was earlier than usual, and these humans were different. They were dressed in black and wearing masks. We paid them little attention. Usually they give us food and water. But not these humans. They started opening the cages and setting us free. I could not believe my eyes. There was great excitement among my brothers and sisters as well.
When one of the humans opened my cage I rushed out without hesitation. I ran as fast as I could and never looked back. I wish I had stopped and thanked that human. He saved me from pain, stress and torture. He saved my life for if it was not her I would have either gone mad or died of a terrible infection or disease.
In the nature we are free, we run and swim and life feels great. But living in a tiny cage was very hard and depressing. Many of my brothers and sisters went insane. They ran in circles for hours, biting the metal bars of the cages or fighting each other. Many went as mad as hurting themselves. It was very sad. I saw my friends biting their paws and tails to the bone. They could not control themselves anymore. When someone got sick others also got sick. We are not used to living together in such small and crowded places and many of us died of infections and diseases.Thank you for setting me free from this awful prison. I cannot describe how happy I felt when I saw the sun for the first time in my life. The green grass under my paws feels much nicer than the dirty, cold metal bars of the cage floor. I can run freely and I can rest when I get tired. Then I can run some more or take a nap in a burrow that I discovered the other day.
I hope that many other humans will have the courage to set free all my brothers and sisters who are locked up in such horrible places. Because no one deserves a life full of pain and suffering. With all my heart I thank you.”
October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
Because mathematically we have proved that non-renewable natural resources are a finite source of energy and will be exhausted in the near future, we have been developing alternatives. Cleaner, greener with little to no damage for the environment, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power are our future.
Scientifically, we are also aware of the destructive environmental element the extraction of petrol, natural gas and coal has. Oil spills, land degradation, water pollution and loss of flora and fauna among many other side effects have been long documented throughout the years. Furthermore the process of extracting fossil fuels is getting more and more cost-efficient as we deplete one deposit after another, digging deeper and moving offshore.
This process is referred to as the Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI). For example, in 1954, the U.S oil production took 1 barrel to find and liquidate 24 barrels. This number keeps decreasing and in 2007 the ration was 11:1. The bigger the number of energy return, the better. A natural resource extraction with a ratio of 1:1 or a negative one where we put into more energy than we take out is not something we should aim for.
A similar analogical argument can be made applied to our food habits. Different foods have different nutritional values. There is also quite a variation in Calories ranging from product to product. An average person who is moderately active and weighs 65 kilograms consumes food with a chemical energy content of about 2600 Calories per day. 2600 Calories is about *3 kWh per day.
*A Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of energy which is the amount of energy converted in one hour at a rate of one kilowatt. (rate at which we use or produce energy). Although many of us meet this unit for energy in the context of electricity they can be applied to our food production and consumption as well.
As I wrote we consume daily about 3 kWh but the real question here is how much energy do we actually consume? The answer depends if we are vegan, vegetarian or carnivore. The vegan has the smallest energy footprint: 3 kWh per day of energy from the plants she/he consumes.
Vegans consume the plants directly, unlike people with a meat and dairy diet. The energy stored in plants is passed by feeding the animals which on their turn are food for meat-eaters. This is a completely unnecessary and wasteful practice and the numbers behind it prove this.
So what is the energy cost of drinking milk, eating cheese, eggs and meat?
It takes about 1000 days for a cow to “turn into” steak — 33 months from conception to slaughterhouse. For pigs that period is around 400 days and for a chicken — 50 days. All these animals have to be kept alive before being slaughtered and eaten. This costs energy (Kilowatt-hours per day). By energy I mean only the crops they are being fed with.
Last year, the average meat-consumption of a North-American person was 322 grams per day. Few years earlier it was 227g. With the latter number, David MacKaY, the Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge calculated that if you consume 227 grams meat made up of equal quantities of chicken, pork and beef, the power required to fuel the meat habit is 8 kWh per day.
Two eggs for breakfast require a power of 1 KWh per day. Each egg contains about 80 calories which is around 0.1 kWh, rendering egg production to 20% efficient from energy point of view.
Any additional cost that comes with farming, fertilizing, processing, refrigerating and transporting the meat and dairy products is not taken into consideration. It is safe to assume the numbers are likely to grow higher if we are to add the extra expenditures into the equation.
In conclusion, numbers speak for themselves. It makes no sense whatever to keep a meat and dairy diet in order to obtain your daily 2600 Calories — 3kWh per day. You should reason with anyone who is willing to listen and accept new information, turning carnivores into vegans slowly but gradually.
October 4, 2013 § 1 Comment
Many discussions on being a vegetarian/vegan start and end with the ethical and moral treatment of animals. The never ending battle between carnivores and herbivorous whether or not “ animals are ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment” tends to exhaust the discussion and keep the gap ever so wide open between the two groups of people.
I believe that we as vegetarians/vegans can approach our fellow omnivore friends, family members and colleagues from more than one possible angle when discussing animal rights. After all, if one of our life goals is to end all animal cruelty and extend the rights of humans to these of animals, we should pick our choice of weapon accordingly.
One thing must be clear — we can’t afford to be aggressive in our politics and actions. Otherwise we risk distancing ourselves by alienating future fellow vegetarians and vegans. And most importantly we do not want to force anyone into becoming a person free of meat and dairy consumption habits. This transformation must be accomplished voluntarily. We can speed it up first by being a good example and second by educating those around us. And often for both of those to happen, it takes time.
Arguments for and against animal rights depend largely on one’s system of values placed either in the ecocentric specter or in the opposite corner where the human being is the center of life. Therefore people who consider that nature and its products and services have no intrinsic value and exist only and only to satisfy our human needs are mostly likely to disagree with the idea of a pig having equal to their rights.
On the topic of animal rights where I stress that they too have feelings and suffer from mental and physical distress when abused, I am greeted with ridicule or at best with apathy. My experience has thought me that it is of little to no success of having a dialogue with such people. Therefore a change in tactic is a must.
If we set aside the moral and ethical implications of the way we currently are treating animals, we are left with plenty to work with. The advancement of animal rights can be achieved through economic, environmental and health leverages that can have a significant power over individual’s choice of diet.
In the following chapters I will be specific, demonstrating and providing examples how we can positively influence on people and change their thinking on this matter.
September 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
“All development is ultimately about expanding human potential and enlarging human freedom. It is about people developing the capabilities that empower them to make choices and to lead lives that they value.”
“Freedom means having power; not the power to control other people but the power to control the circumstances of one’s own life”
One of the quotes is by Ted” Kaczynski also known as the “Unabomber”, the other is from the 2007/2008 Human Development Report published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Judging only the quotes, they seem (un)surprisingly close to one another.
August 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
” the area dividing the brain and the soul
is affected in many ways by
some lose all mind and become soul :
some lose all soul and become mind :
some lose both and become :
– Charles Bukowski
August 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
I got inspired by an article that explains the meat paradox : how is it possible that people who love animals, take care of pets and have absolutely no desire to hurt them are nevertheless meat eaters.
Here is an extract of the article :
” Americans eat animals as a regular part of their diet. In recent research, Brock Bastian and colleagues refer to this as the “meat paradox,” and they propose that people attempt to reconcile this paradox (and reduce the cognitive dissonance associated with it) by reassuring themselves that the animals they consume (unlike their pets) do not really have minds – that is, they cannot think, feel, and understand their fates, and therefore they do not really suffer. ” You can read the full article here.
This is my visual interpretation of cognitive dissonance in this particular case.