I usually increase my reading during the winter months and recently finished three books that left me contemplating many things. But mainly, they left me with the question - what is my time worth? The books I read were, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Meet the Frugalwoods. I have read many motivation, self-help, or find yourself type of books over the years, but these three stood out to me.
The subject of food and eating animals, even though emotionally difficult to discuss sometimes, is an easier topic for me to cover. You can observe personalities, habits, and see connections by interacting with different types of animals. It is from those observations that someone might take a different perspective on how they look at and understand animals. But how do you do that with the environment? Our planet provides and sustains life to all living beings. It provides water, air, and the resources that create almost everything we see, touch, taste, and hear. But humans have tipped the balance of our environment into a downward spiral. We are using and depleting the earth’s resources faster than they can be renewed. Growing pollution, swelling waste, mounds of trash in the ocean, and stripping of earth’s natural resources can only go on for so long before a breaking point is reached. It is just like, how long can humans go without food, water, or sleep before we have to recharge and replenish to keep going. We can agree there are more environmentally friendly ways to live.
Have you seen this article?
I recently saw this article in my local newspaper, the Columbian. The article talks about Josiah Zayner, founder of The Odin company, and his use of green tree frogs in genetics-altering experiments. He uses tree frogs to see if he can genetically alter their genes, and to grow additional tissue and muscle mass. But that is not the unsettling part for me; it is that his company is selling kits in hopes of teaching kids, families, schools, or anyone about gene-editing. Each kit contains six tree frogs, two cages, and all of the paraphernalia to alter the frogs genetically.
Rainbow week is continuing and today’s theme is all about making your food look black & white. Hot chocolate seemed like an easy thing to make today! But it also carries an important message. Chocolate is big business for many companies and several countries. The majority of cacao beans are grown in Western Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with more than 70% being grown in the Western African countries of Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
It’s that time of the year when every commercial is lined with glitter, snow, mittens, and warmth. All of which are wrapped up in the latest fancy tech product, a shiny piece of jewelry, or the hottest toy to hit the market. Sale! Sale! Sale! The holiday frenzy has begun!
It is so hard not to get wrapped up in the twinkle of giving holiday gifts to our family, friends, coworkers, bosses, neighbors, book club members…and the list goes on. But when you step back, are those gifts needed, making a difference, or enhancing their lives? Are they appreciated or would that person prefer to have a handmade gift or even to spend quality time with you instead?
Soy is part of my diet. Whether I am eating air fried lemon pepper tofu, soy curl tacos, tempeh bacon sandwiches, or using soymilk in my lattes. Soy has been a staple ingredient for many cultures for eons. Soybeans are cheap to grow, a great source of protein, and can be formed into countless culinary uses. For those reasons, it is also the main ingredient in food given to farmed animals.
Cows, pigs, goats…oh, my! Those are just a few of the animals we were able to visit while at the Farm Sanctuary. During our road trip to Maine, we were able to stop at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glens, NY on the way home to learn about the sanctuary and the many residents.
We took the first tour of the day. I was happy to see a large number of people on the tour with us, even several families. We started our tour in the main building, which includes educational information, a kid’s information corner, and the gift shop.
I just returned from a week-long residency program in Surry, Maine. Call it a residency, call it adult summer camp, or call it a retreat…it was 20+ humane educators (most of us in training) from around the world coming together for one week for an intensive learning experience. Residency is part of the master’s degree I am earning through the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). "The Institute for Humane Education believes that education is the key to creating a just, humane, and sustainable world for all people, animals, and the environment,” as stated on their website. We learn about very tough and emotional subjects that revolve around animal protection, human rights, environmental ethics, and how all of it (and us) are connected. The classes I have taken opened my eyes to new issues, defective systems, and new ways of thinking, acting, and educating. It has deepened and fueled my passion for leaving this world a better place. Something my grandmother started teaching me when I was very young.