Thursday, September 30, 2010

放生 ! 放生!







曾经有友人问我对放生有何看法?

我当然举手举脚100%支持 , 可我想,最好的放生是天天茹素。 而且要尽量避免在一些民间的所谓放生日或等某些放生庆典时赶去放生,因为一些没有修行概念的生意人,就等这个机会特地去抓一些小动物关起来,等顾客买来放生,我们放生的慈悲心还未开始呈现,已先造成动物的痛苦了,这样子的放生是否有意义呢?值得我们深思和反省。



也有些人是静悄悄的买了小动物,拿到野外去放生,生意人不会察觉他们在搞什么东东,这是很慈悲的做法,不过若是能为盘中的动物再多做一点点,放它们一条生路,我想,这样子的放生将会更有意义吧 !如果我们初一十五去放生,初二至十四,十六至月底都吃动物,那不是很奇怪吗?



放生,也不仅是吃方面而已。如果我们存有放生之心,甚至天天茹素,却不谨慎自己的生活习惯,造成地球污染,连累到其他人类和在地球上生存的众生,恐怕这就变成间接的杀生,也违反了本来想放生爱护生命的心,那就很可惜了。所以学习如何在日常生活中保护环境,其实是非常重要和值得修的一门功课。

表面上看来是帮助地球,实际上是修理自己,在提升自己的灵性,不是吗?

What does it take for AL GORE to turn Vegetarian?

Al Gore Agrees That Going Vegetarian Helps The Environment But stops short of saying he's headed in that direction

By : Michael d'Estries (EcoRazzi - the latest in Green Gossip 4th Nov, 2009)
Source : http://www.ecorazzi.com/2009/11/04/al-gore-agrees-that-going-vegetarian-helps-the-environment/

Ever since Al Gore introduced his famous slideshow to the world and stood up as a leader in the fight against climate change, advocates of the vegetarian scene have urged the former Vice President to acknowledge the link between eating less meat and helping the environment. Yesterday, Gore finally jumped on board saying that reducing meat in one’s diet is “the responsible thing to do” when it comes to the fight on climate change.

Talking to ABC, Gore agreed with the UK’s Nicholas Stern that meat eaters have contributed greatly to increased global carbon emissions.”I’m not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on the meat that I eat,” he said. “It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis – not only because of the CO2 involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process.”

“You could add in the health consequences as well.”

Gore also added that substituting more fruit and vegetables in an everyday diet was the responsible thing to do. “I’ve made those changes, and while I don’t go quite as far as Nick saying everybody should become a vegetarian – partly because it’s difficult enough to get the agreement without adding that on top of it – it is a legitimate point of view.”

Some on this site have criticized Gore for not mentioning factory farming in his new book “Our Choice”. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but Think Progress says that Gore does indeed address the issue. From the site,

“Chapter Ten of Our Choice, ‘Soil,’ discusses the complex range of challenges and opportunities related to food production and consumption, noting in particular the costs of industrial agriculture. The chapter concludes with a series of recommendations, including practical ones for American consumers, like supporting farmers’ markets and eating less meat. And Gore follows his own advice:

There is a serious issue about the connection between the growing meat intensity of diets around the world and damage to the environment. And like a lot of people, I eat less meat now than I used to. I’m not a vegetarian, don’t plan to become one, but it’s a healthy choice to eat more vegetables and fruits. So it’s not a laughable issue.”

So, what do you think? Gore has reduced his consumption of meat — but is not planning on becoming a vegetarian. He also now publicly links factory farming as a contributor to climate change — and encourages people to reduce the meat in their diets. A good start? Or still falling far short of what you expect?

Monday, September 27, 2010

CAN YOU MAKE A SEA DISAPPEAR???


Aral Sea 'one of the planet's worst environmental disasters'
Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7554679/Aral-Sea-one-of-the-planets-worst-environmental-disasters.html

The Aral Sea, once the world's fourth-largest lake, is one of the planet's most shocking environmental disasters, according to the UN Secretary General.

The sea which has shrunk by 90 per cent has ruined the once-robust fishing economy and left fishing trawlers stranded in sandy wasterlands. The sea shrank largely due to a Soviet project to boost cottong production in the arid region.

Its evaporation has left layers of highly salted sand, which winds can carry as far away as Scandinavia and Japan, and which plague local people with health troubles.

Ban Ki-Moon toured the sea by helicopter as part of a visit to the five countries of former Soviet Central Asia. His trip included a touchdown in Muynak, Uzbekistan, a town once on the shore where a pier stretches eerily over gray desert and camels stand near the hulks of stranded ships.

"On the pier, I wasn't seeing anything, I could see only a graveyard of ships," he said after arriving in the city of Nukus, the capital of the autonomous Karakalpak region.

"It is clearly one of the worst disasters, environmental disasters of the world. I was so shocked," he said.

The Aral Sea catastrophe is one of Ban's top concerns on his six-day trip through the region and he is calling on the countries' leaders to set aside rivalries to cooperate on repairing some of the damage.

"I urge all the leaders ... to sit down together and try to find the solutions," he said, promising United Nations support.

However, cooperation is hampered by disagreements over who has rights to scarce water and how it should be used.

In a presentation to Ban before his flyover, Uzbek officials complained that dam projects in Tajikistan will severely reduce the amount of water flowing into Uzbekistan. Impoverished Tajikistan sees the hydroelectric projects as potential key revenue earners.

Competition for water could become increasingly heated as global warming and rising populations further reduce the amount of water available per capita.

FOLLOWING ARE SOME COMMENTS AND INTERESTING OBSERVATIONS TO THE ABOVE REPORT
(Source:http://www.amiiko.com/2010/09/23/can_you_make_a_sea_disappear)

The disappearance of the Aral Sea has ruined the local fishing economy in the the area and destroyed the lives of locals.

The United Nations has called it one of the planet’s most shocking environmental disasters. Just take a look at this…

What happened?
The question can be answered in one word: cotton!

The sea disappeared mainly because of the enormous water demand from cotton production in the area. To produce 1 cotton T-shirt requires about 2,700 liters of water to grow and process the cotton.

To make things worse, the area is plaqued by another side effect of cotton production: the heavy use of pesticides. In fact, more chemical pesticides are used for cotton than for any other crop.

Pesticides in cotton production
In the cotton fields around the Aral Sea, 85% of the population suffer from poor health because of cotton pesticides.

When interviewed in 2006, a rural Uzbek put it like this: “When I was little, people used to tell me about a strange disease called ‘chicken eye’ which attacks people while they work in the cotton fields. They said when you catch it, everything in front of your eyes becomes white until eventually you temporarily lose all vision (…) Years later someone explained that these symptoms were the effects of the pesticides applied to cotton”

The clothes we wear
Do you know where the cotton in your T-shirt came from, or your shirt, or your socks, or … ? (We have no idea where ours came from). It might be from Uzbekistan’s Aral Sea cotton fields (Uzbekistan is one of the world’s largest exporters of cotton).

But we DO know that organic cotton, produced with respect for local water resources, and without pesticides, exists.

"SECRET" Method of Animal Slaughter....???


Blogger's note: Read about this "secret" method which has
" ENGLAND outraged ...". Best to BE VEG, GO GREEN TO SAVE THE PLANET! and all our animal co-inhabitants...

Posted by: MAc McDaniel (26th Sept, 2010 at CARE2)
Source: http://www.care2.com/causes/animal-welfare/blog/england-outraged-over-secret-halal/

Customers and animal welfare groups in the UK are in an uproar over the revelation that much of the meat sold in England is obtained through Halal slaughter practices.

Halal is the traditional method of slaughter used by Muslims. It is similar to Kosher slaughter in that it requires animals be bled to death without being stunned first. In most western countries, cows are stunned before being bled to death.

Customers claim it is unethical that businesses did not specifically inform customers that the meat they serve is Halal.

Animal welfare groups such as PETA, as well as customers, are outraged that the meat they are eating doesn't meet what they consider to be the modicum of compassion that must be given to animals destined to become food.

In the course of the debate, far too much attention has been paid to the cultural and religious aspects of the situation and not enough has been paid to the non-issue that different methods of slaughter actually represent.

There is a huge misrepresentation here, which is that certain methods of slaughter are "humane", and other methods are not. There is no method of raising an animal to become food that is humane, kind or compassionate. The outrage over a minor difference in technique, not only directs an unfair amount of criticism at Islam, but gives those doing the criticism an undue sense of self-satisfaction.

The prejudice and scrutiny directed at Islam has only increased in the west since 2001. A media outrage over Halal meat offers the public one more point of contention between Islamic culture and the west. This is also an opportunity for proponents of so-called "humane" methods of slaughter to aggrandize the differences in technique in order to claim a moral high ground.

No one who eats meat is in a position to criticize another person who eats meat for not being compassionate enough. If customers were genuinely concerned about the well-being of animals, they would cease to eat animals.

Media groups do more harm than good when they criticize specific methods of slaughter and do not address the larger problem -- which is that animals are being slaughtered at all. By condemning certain methods of slaughter there is the implication that other methods are acceptable.

Do not allow yourself to be swayed by accusations that certain groups, Jews, Muslims, or anyone else is more cruel to animals than other groups. The differences in methods represent only an arbitrary and vapid distinction that has no moral foundation. If you care about animals, take a stand against all methods of slaughter and all methods of animal exploitation and torture.

Dairy Companies to lower GHG emissions...


Posted by : JASMINE GREENE (26th Sept, 2010. CARE2.com)
Source : http://www.care2.com/causes/environment/blog/Dairy-Companies-Hoping-to-Lower-Greenhouse-Gas-Emissions/

Dairy Companies Hoping to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Dairy and livestock companies have been closely scrutinized by environmental and governmental agencies not only for humane treatment of animals, but also to measure the carbon footprint of making something simple, like a gallon of milk. In the past, emissions from dairy accounted for 7 percent of the total US emissions, recent changes and an updated report shows reduced numbers.

The Innovation Center for US Dairy (ICUSD) have made a goal to reduce emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and have identified 12 projects that will reduce emissions by 12 percent and create $238 million in revenue:

**Focusing on nutrient management techniques for the dairy feed system that will produce grain and forage on fairms.

**Energy audits for dairy producers.

**Reduce methane gases in cows by adopting innovative practices and technologies.
Find ways to change methane emissions to viable sources of energy for farmers.

**Coordinate cross-industry efforts to shape government regulation and conduct of markets for digester adoption.
Dairy Processing Carbon through Energy Efficiency (D-CREE) – identify and adopt energy efficient practice for milk processing plants

**Adbot nonthermal UV technology as alternate energy alternative for heat-based pasteurization.

**Assessing next generation Clean-In-Place (CIP) to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions for processors.

**Assess environmentail impact of current packagin and processing technologies for fluid milk products

**Environmentally Sustainable Methods for Achieving Responsible Transportation (E-SMART) – Adopt transportation and distribution fuel efficiency best practices.

**Identify and secure fudinging for greenhouse gas reduction projects.

**Communite strategy and awareness of greenhouse reduct goas, projects, best practices, and results.

Many farms have already begun looking into ways to convert methane into a viable alternative energy source, while others have looked into manure. In fact, China has looked into developing the largest cow manure-fed biogas plant in the world. Huishan Farms has 250,000 cows (compared to 15,000 for the largest US dairy farm) and with help from General Electrics (GE) plan to produce 38,00 megawatt-hours of power annually. Of the thousands of dairy farms in the US, however, only 24 have digesters mainly due to a lack of economic incentive. For many farmers, the investment in these machines may take up to 10 years to recoup losses, and without better incentives (carbon offsets are not a major driver behind projects) like higher rates for renewable electricity as well as tax credits [Source: New York Times]. Other ways to cut back on emissions is for dairy farmers to go organic. According to the "Shades of Green (PDF)" report by the Organic Center, changing to organic would lead to:

*** a 40 million pounds reduction in application of synthetic nitrogen

***nearly 800,000 pounds reduction in pesticides and herbicides

***nearly 1.8 million fewer hormone and antibiotic treatments.

A recent greehouse gas emissions study by the IUSCD reports that dairy farmers have improved efficiency and general farm practices. The 2010 report states that dairy farms and associated products accounts for only 2 percent of the US emissions. This number encompasses the entire process of creating a gallon of milk from the crops grown for cow feed to packaging and delivery. According to the report, carbon footprint for the dairy industry have 63 percent since 1944 mainly due to improved production efficiency and nutrition management [Source: USDA] Introducing more sustainable practices like changing livestock feed to perennial crops rather than annual and adding solar panels or wind turbines will help to further reduce emissions, though focus remains on ways to capture and use the methane gas expelled from the cows.

The study is encouraging, however there are still many problems. For example, how can dairy farmers prevent cows from emitting so much methane? Is it simply a diet change or will it lead to more genetic modificiation? Other issues to consider besides environmental impact is the humane treatment of these animals. For the aforementioned projects to make an impact, there needs to be more transparency and accountability, not only for the dairy farmers, but for the organizations overseeing these projects.

10 Movies that will make you go Vegetarian









Posted by : Jack Richardson (July 7th, 2010)
Source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-vegetarian-movies.html

BLOGGER's Note :
Click on the source of this posting and view the trailers to all the 10 movies.

BABE
A very popular movie, some people say this one moved them so much that they stopped eating meat. Some parts are so well done it is uncanny. It won an Academy Award for Best Effects.


Fast Food Nation
Based on a book of the same title, this dramatization was directed by Richard Linklater. My favorite scene is the students trying to set cows free, but they don’t run away, because they have never been free.

Super Size Me
The core of this movie is the trial Morgan Spurlock puts himself through eating junk food every day, for every meal. The negative impact on his health, while predictable, is still unsettling to witness. Also it has a comical yet informative quality.

The Cove
An award-winning documentary that shows tremendous cruelty to dolphins, but also shows the amazing work and tenacity of former Flipper trainer Ric O’Barry.

Chicken Run
In this animated movie, the main characters are chickens who are trying to escape a farm so they can live, and not be made into pies. Homages are made to The Great Escape.

Soylent Green
This movie depicts an end of the world scenario, where food production and consumption is no longer something the bulk of society has any say in. They don’t even know what they are eating. The movie was actually shown to school children decades ago.

Parents
This is a disturbing, horror style movie told from the point of view of a young boy. It has a similar theme to Soylent Green. It is also a dark satire of the conformist social engineering and materialism of the 1950s.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
A wacky horror farce making fun of fast food chicken chains, using a shoestring budget. One review says, “But the sensibility is definitely current, and the satire targets 21st century hot buttons as the Morgan Spurlock and Eric Schlosser indictments of the fast-food industries (the characters are named after fast food chains).” It may not be for everyone though as it contains a lot of fake body fluids, violence and sexual references.

Blade Runner
At first glance, Blade Runner might seem like an odd choice. Genetic manipulation though is a real concern today, as many people are unsure about the safety of genetically modified foods, stem cell research and cloning. Blade Runner depicts a future when humans are indistinguishable from man-made replicants. Animals in the movie are also made by the human characters, because the real ones have become extint.

I Am an Animal (The story of Ingrid Newkirk, PETA)
A documentary about the founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and animal cruelty. It was shown on HBO.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-vegetarian-movies.html?page=5#ixzz105fPQQJl

Saturday, September 25, 2010

World's coral faces second mass die-off...

Posted By : Debbie J (updated21st, Sept, 2010)
Source:http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=21627&pst=1553061

This year’s extreme heat is putting the world’s coral reefs under such severe stress that scientists fear widespread die-offs, endangering not only the richest ecosystems in the ocean but also fisheries that feed millions of people.

From Thailand to Texas, corals are reacting to the heat stress by bleaching, or shedding their color and going into survival mode.

Many have already died, and more are expected to do so in coming months. Computer forecasts of water temperature suggest that corals in the Caribbean may undergo drastic bleaching in the next few weeks.

What is unfolding this year is only the second known global bleaching of coral reefs. Scientists are holding out hope that this year will not be as bad, over all, as 1998, the hottest year in the historical record, when an estimated 16 percent of the world’s shallow-water reefs died.

But in some places, including Thailand, the situation is looking worse than in 1998.

Scientists say the trouble with the reefs is linked to climate change.

'Significantly depressed'
For years they have warned that corals, highly sensitive to excess heat, would serve as an early indicator of the ecological distress on the planet caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases.

“I am significantly depressed by the whole situation,” said Clive Wilkinson, director of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, an organization in Australia that is ttracking this year’s disaster.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the first eight months of 2010 matched 1998 as the hottest January to August period on record.

High ocean temperatures are taxing the organisms most sensitive to them, the shallow-water corals that create some of the world’s most vibrant and colorful seascapes.

Coral reefs occupy a tiny fraction of the ocean, but they harbor perhaps a quarter of all marine species, including a profusion of fish.

Often called the rain forests of the sea, they are the foundation not only of important fishing industries but also of tourist economies worth billions.

Drastic die-offs of coral were seen for the first time in 1983 in the eastern Pacific and the Caribbean, during a large-scale weather event known as El Niño.

During an El Niño, warm waters normally confined to the western Pacific flow to the east; 2010 is also an El Niño year.

Serious regional bleaching has occurred intermittently since the 1983 disaster. It is clear that natural weather variability plays a role in overheating the reefs, but scientists say it cannot, by itself, explain what has become a recurring phenomenon.

“It is a lot easier for oceans to heat up above the corals’ thresholds for bleaching when climate change is warming the baseline temperatures,” said C. Mark Eakin, who runs a program called Coral Reef Watch for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. “If you get an event like El Niño or you just get a hot summer, it’s going to be on top of the warmest temperatures we’ve ever seen.”

Brilliant colors
Coral reefs are made up of millions of tiny animals, called polyps, that form symbiotic relationships with algae. The polyps essentially act as farmers, supplying the algae with nutrients and a place to live. The algae in turn capture sunlight and carbon dioxide to make sugars that feed the coral polyps.

The captive algae give reefs their brilliant colors. Many reef fish sport fantastical colors and patterns themselves, as though dressing to match their surroundings.

Coral bleaching occurs when high heat and bright sunshine cause the metabolism of the algae to speed out of control, and they start creating toxins. The polyps essentially recoil. “The algae are spat out,” Dr. Wilkinson said.

The corals look white afterward, as though they have been bleached. If temperatures drop, the corals’ few remaining algae can reproduce and help the polyps recover. But corals are vulnerable to disease in their denuded condition, and if the heat stress continues, the corals starve to death.

Even on dead reefs, new coral polyps will often take hold, though the overall ecology of the reef may be permanently altered. The worst case is that a reef dies and never recovers.

In dozens of small island nations and on some coasts of Indonesia and the Philippines, people rely heavily on reef fish for food.

When corals die, the fish are not immediately doomed, but if the coral polyps do not recover, the reef can eventually collapse, scientists say, leaving the fishery far less productive.

Research shows that is already happening in parts of the Caribbean, though people there are not as dependent on fishing as those living on Pacific islands.

It will be months before this year’s toll is known for sure. But scientists tracking the fate of corals say they have already seen widespread bleaching in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific, with corals in Thailand, parts of Indonesia and some smaller island nations being hit especially hard earlier this year.

Signs of hope
Temperatures have since cooled in the western Pacific, and the immediate crisis has passed there, even as it accelerates in places like the Caribbean, where the waters are still warming. Serious bleaching has been seen recently in the Flower Garden Banks, a marine sanctuary off the Texas-Louisiana border.

In Thailand, “there some signs of recovery in places,” said James True, a biologist at Prince of Songkla University. But in other spots, he said, corals were hit so hard that it was not clear young polyps would be available from nearby areas to repopulate dead reefs.

“The concern we have now is that the bleaching is so widespread that potential source reefs upstream have been affected,” Dr. True said.

Even in a hot year, of course, climate varies considerably from place to place. The water temperatures in the Florida Keys are only slightly above normal this year, and the beloved reefs of that region have so far escaped serious harm.

Parts of the northern Caribbean, including the United States Virgin Islands, saw incipient bleaching this summer, but the tropical storms and hurricanes moving through the Atlantic have cooled the water there and may have saved some corals.

Farther south, though, temperatures are still remarkably high, putting many Caribbean reefs at risk.

Summer is only just beginning in the Southern Hemisphere, but water temperatures off Australia are also above normal, and some scientists are worried about the single most impressive reef on earth. The best hope now, Dr. Wilkinson said, is for mild tropical storms that would help to cool Australian waters.

“If we get a poor monsoon season,” he said, “I think we’re in for a serious bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.”

(This article, headlined " Extreme Heat Bleaches Coral, and Threat Is Seen," was first published in The New York Times.)

Gibbons Facing Immediate Extinction


Posted by: Mac McDaniel (24th Sept, 2010, Support Animal Welfare, CARE2)
Source: http://www.care2.com/causes/animal-welfare/blog/gibbons-facing-extinction/

Scientists warn that multiple species of gibbon are in immediate danger of becoming extinct.

Gibbons are apes, but superficially resemble monkeys more than they do the great apes. Called "lesser apes", gibbons are not only much smaller than orangutans, but are less studied and receive less attention from the media and conservation groups.

Orangutans and gibbons are both endangered, and are both suffering the effects of the dual dangers of habitat destruction, as well as being highly valued in the illegal Asian pet trade.

Orangutans, however, engender more sympathy from the public, the media, and the authorities. For this reason, many who deal in illegal primates claim they have to be clandestine about dealing in orangutans. This is not the case with gibbons.

Not only do we know much less about gibbons from a scientific standpoint, but we also spend much less time in conservation efforts to save what are becoming endangered species who may become extinct in our lifetime.

The crested gibbons are the group that is in the most trouble, including the eastern black crested gibbon which has only about 100 members still alive. The eastern black crested gibbon is not only the most endangered species of gibbon, but is likely the most critically endangered primate on the planet.

There are two subspecies of the eastern black crested gibbon. One of those subspecies, the cao vit, is faring better now, thanks to efforts by Flora and Fauna International. This is the one piece of good news for the gibbon.

Many places that have a flourishing primate trade have appropriate laws in place to deal with the criminals, but no incentive to enforce them.

Hopefully news of the gibbon's plight will increase scrutiny from the international community of countries with illegal primate trades. Incentive to enforce their wildlife laws would start to reign in the black market for gibbons.

Enforcing a ban on selling gibbons is one piece of the puzzle. We also need more scientific knowledge of the gibbons if we want to know how to save them. Groups like FFI and scientists with the International Primatological Society must redouble their efforts to save the gibbons.

In the west, we must recognize that the exotic pet trade - even when it is legal - is bad for animals. Let wild animals be wild animals. Work to protect the habitats of all wildlife, and don't lock wild animals in cages.

LIVING WITH GREEN MUSIC


Hi all,

Came across this very interesting 'green' article.... GREEN MUSIC??? Take a listen and find out for yourself...

TITLE: LIVING WITH GREEN MUSIC
(Posted by Ronnie Citron-Fink on 23th Sept, 2010)
(Source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/living-with-green-music.html)

Green-leaning musicians have been on the forefront of the environmental movement since its inception. From staging benefit concerts, to converting tour buses to biodiesel fuel, to creating solar recording studios, creative eco-conscious musicians have been reducing their impact on the planet.

My son is a musician, and I’ve been trying to infuse eco-friendly elements into the space where he plays music. I find when I design a living space it’s best to go back to green basics – reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce
Music is sound, and it is impossible to avoid sound that is generated from instruments. Since sound is reflected off room surfaces, creating “soft” walls can help reduce the sound. By putting up wall hangings or an insulating wall for sound absorption, you can also prevent reverberation. Recording studios install acoustical foam to provide complete soundproofing. There are a number of eco-friendly commercial options for soundproofing walls that use recycled cotton and wool fibers. Audimute sells eco-friendly soundproofing absorption panels and wall sheets. Check out Care2’s soundproofing tips


Reuse
My son changes the strings of his many guitars often. Guitar strings are a common sight in our trash. I was so excited to find these ingenious ideas for reusing guitar strings on the EcoMaker website. From hanging family photos to making a cheese slicer, guitar strings can be given new lives. EcoMaker also suggests donating strings to a charity such as, “The Second String Project that gives guitar strings to needy musicians all around the world.”

Recycle
Recycled old vinyl records can be upcycled into room décor. This clock made from records is a great way to use warped or unusable records. I was recently in Woodstock, NY in a second-hand store with my cousin going through boxes and boxes of old records in search of cool old album covers to create a record album headboard for her teenage son’s room. My homemade CD cover picture frames made from discarded CD cases completed the rock and roll theme.

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer and educator. Ronnie regularly writes about sustainable living for online sites and magazines. Along with being the creator of www.econesting.com, Ronnie has contributed to numerous books about green home design, DIY, children, and humor. Ronnie lives the Hudson Valley of New York with her family.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dangers of non-stick cookware

Here's a posting by Dr Mercola that many should be awared of:

Children and teens who have high blood levels of chemicals used in the production of non-stick cookware may be more likely to have elevated LDL cholesterol levels, according to a report.

Humans are exposed to perfluoroalkyl acids, such as PFOA and PFOS, through drinking water, dust, food packaging, breast milk, cord blood, microwave popcorn, air and occupational exposure.

Recent survey results reported detection of these chemicals in almost all people in the U.S.

Newswise reports:

“[Researchers] assessed serum lipid levels in 12,476 children and adolescents (average age 11.1) ...


[H]igher PFOA levels were associated with increased total cholesterol and LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol, and PFOS was associated with increased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol.”

DR MERCOLA'S COMMETNS ON THE ABOVE REPORT:

You might have heard that non-stick pans were dangerous to use, but I have to tell you that they are perfectly safe.,. Just so long as you don’t actually cook with them, because the moment you heat them, they start to liberate fluoride vapors that are so toxic they will kill small birds.

Ninety-five percent of Americans, including children, have the perfluorinated compound PFOA in their blood. But that’s not all.

The CDC’s Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, 2009 (which is considered the most comprehensive assessment to date of the exposure of the U.S. population to chemicals in our environment), detected not just PFOA, but a total of 12 different types of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in Americans tested.

It’s easy to see how such a vast majority of people can be exposed when you consider the most common sources of these chemicals, which includes:

Non-stick cookware
Microwave popcorn bags
Packaging for greasy foods
Stain-proof clothing
Carpet and fabric protectors
Flame retardants, and products that contain them
As you can see, some of the most commonly used household products contain these chemicals.

Beware: Your Cookware May Be Poisoning You
Although it may be quite difficult to eliminate all sources of these toxins since they’re so pervasive, you would likely make a significant dent in your family’s exposure simply by swapping out your non-stick cookware, considering you use your pots and pans to cook almost every day of the week.

So-called “non-stick” cookware is a MAJOR source of PFC’s, particularly perflurorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA, and these pans quickly reach temperatures that cause the non-stick coating to begin breaking down, releasing its toxins into the air.

When your non-stick pot or pan reaches 680 degrees F (which takes about three to five minutes of heating), at least six toxic gases are released. At 1,000 degrees F, the coatings on your cookware break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB.

These chemicals are easily absorbed by your body and the food in the pan, turning that healthy, home-cooked meal toxic...

The Many Health Dangers of PFCs
Researchers have already linked various PFC’s to a range of health dangers. Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are just the beginning of the problems these chemicals can cause.

In animal studies, PFOA has been associated with:

"Significant increases in treatment related deaths" in rat offspring at doses that did not affect the mothers
Serious changes in the weight of various organs, including the brain, prostate, liver, thymus, and kidneys
The deaths of a significant number of rat pups of mothers that had been exposed to PFOA
Damage to the pituitary at all doses in female rat offspring (The pituitary secretes hormones that regulate growth, reproduction, and many metabolic processes. Change in pituitary size is associated with toxicity)
Other studies have shown that PFC’s can cause:

Infertility -- A study published in the journal Human Reproduction last year found that both PFOA and another kind of PFC, called PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), dramatically increased the odds of infertility. PFOS increased the risk of infertility anywhere from 70 to 134 percent, while PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility.
Thyroid disease -- Another study published in May of this year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that PFOA can damage your thyroid function. Individuals with the highest PFOA concentrations were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease, compared to those with the lowest PFOA concentrations. Your thyroid contains thyroglobulin protein, which binds to iodine to form hormones, which in turn influence essentially every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Thyroid hormones are also required for growth and development in children. Thyroid disease, if left untreated, can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis.
Cancer -- PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats), and has been associated with increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers. The EPA has ruled PFCs as “likely carcinogens,” and has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.”
Immune system problems -- Several studies by scientists in Sweden indicate that PFC’s have an adverse effect on your immune system. As described in the EWG report on PFC’s, PFOA was found to decrease all immune cell subpopulations studied, in the thymus and spleen, and caused immunosupression.
Increased LDL cholesterol levels – This latest study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine implicates both PFOA and PFOS. Children and teens with higher PFOA levels had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while PFOS was associated with increased total cholesterol, including both LDL cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol. Newswise states that “animal studies have identified the liver as the primary organ affected by perfluoroalkyl acid exposure, with potential effects in humans including alterations in cholesterol levels.”
For more information on the studies linking PFC’s with various health problems, please review the Environmental Working Groups extensive report on this topic.

What is Our Government Doing about These Chemicals?
The answer to that question is: not much...

While the EPA convinced 3M, the primary manufacturer of PFOS, to stop producing it about ten years ago, the chemical still continues to saturate the market – and hence our environment, and our bodies.

PFOS has been found to be a highly persistent, bioaccumulative toxin, with an estimated half-life of four years in humans.

In 2006, the EPA invited eight companies to participate in a voluntary PFOA phase-out program, with the aim to reduce emissions and products containing PFOA and other closely related chemicals by 2010, and to eliminate them entirely by 2015.

However, the key word there is “voluntary.” And according to a report by the Environmental Working Group, this voluntary arrangement has failed miserably in granting consumers any real protection against these chemicals.

The EWG states:

“That the stewardship program is voluntary also means that companies can choose whether they want to opt in at all – and not a single company from China is participating.

Biomonitoring data from China where production of PFOS and other PFCs continues indicate ththat the levels of these chemicals are increasing in the bodies of Chinese citizens. These disconcerting findings are evidence that a US-only voluntary program will likely not be sufficient to protect American consumers from PFC contamination of everyday products given the massive quantity of goods the US imports from China.

This is especially a concern when it comes to food packaging, for China is the third largest producer of packaging in the world, and food packaging is considered to be an important source of exposure to PFCs.”

Don’t Wait -- Take Action NOW to Protect Your Health
I strongly recommend you take matters into your own hands and ditch any products you know contain these toxic compounds. Clearly the industry is not going to make voluntary changes to their business on your behalf.

Granted, this is by no means an all-inclusive list, but eliminating the following products from your home would be a good start:

Non-stick cookware: Replace it with either ceramic or glass. My personal choice is ceramic cookware, because it’s very durable and easy to clean, and there’s no risk it leaching harmful chemicals. For even more in-depth information about non-stick cookware, please review my free special report on this topic.
Microwave popcorn bags
Stain-proof clothing
Stain-resistant carpeting
Flame retardants and products that contain them
Certain household cleaning products
The Environmental Working Group has done a more extensive search for common products containing PFC’s. You can look through their listings here.

Avoiding these products is especially crucial for pregnant women or couples who want to have children, but really anyone who is interested in protecting their health would benefit by avoiding them.

that the levels of these chemicals are increasing in the bodies of Chinese citizens. These disconcerting findings are evidence that a US-only voluntary program will likely not be sufficient to protect American consumers from PFC contamination of everyday products given the massive quantity of goods the US imports from China.

This is especially a concern when it comes to food packaging, for China is the third largest producer of packaging in the world, and food packaging is considered to be an important source of exposure to PFCs.”

Don’t Wait -- Take Action NOW to Protect Your Health
I strongly recommend you take matters into your own hands and ditch any products you know contain these toxic compounds. Clearly the industry is not going to make voluntary changes to their business on your behalf.

Granted, this is by no means an all-inclusive list, but eliminating the following products from your home would be a good start:

* Non-stick cookware: Replace it with either ceramic or glass. My personal choice is ceramic cookware, because it’s very durable and easy to clean, and there’s no risk it leaching harmful chemicals. For even more in-depth information about non-stick cookware, please review my free special report on this topic.

* Microwave popcorn bags

* Stain-proof clothing

* Stain-resistant carpeting

* Flame retardants and products that contain them

* Certain household cleaning products

The Environmental Working Group has done a more extensive search for common products containing PFC’s. You can look through their listings here.

Avoiding these products is especially crucial for pregnant women or couples who want to have children, but really anyone who is interested in protecting their health would benefit by avoiding them.


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Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/21/compounds-in-nonstick-cookware-associated-with-elevated-cholesterol.aspx

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Famed Climate Change Skeptic changes his mind


FAMED CLIMATE CHANGE SKEPTIC CHANGES HIS MIND
(Posted by : Nancy Roberts, CARE2 - Stop Gobal Warming. 12th Sept, 2010)
Danish political scientist and statistician Bjorn Lomborg, alternately hailed and cursed for claiming that efforts to reduce carbon emissions were not worth the money, now suggests that combatting climate change should be the top global priority. For years, Lomborg did not deny manmade climate change; he simply did not think it important enough, according to his calculations, to do anything about. Now he has come up with a new set of equations (and a new book) and is advocating that the world spend $100 billion a year to mitigate and deal with the results of carbon emissions.

"The point I've always been making," he told the Guardian "is, it's not the end of the world. That is why we should be measuring up to what everybody else says, which is we should be spending our money well."

Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and other works, was never a climate change denier. He attracted a lot of publicity for suggesting in 2004 that fighting climate change would basically cost more than the benefit that would be attained, and that we'd be better off spending more money to cure HIV AIDS or other issues He has since come out with new calculations calling for massive investment in clean energy technology and exploration of the controversial practices of geoengineering, where natural phenomena are manipulated to reverse greenhouse gas effects.

Bjorn Lomborg has been controversial for years. A Lomborg debunking industry sprang up in the wake of his pronouncements, with websites, editorials and an entire book (Howard Friel and Thomas Lovejoy's The Lomborg Deception) dedicated to exposing the faults in his logic and his research. Yet he was also acclaimed for his "practical" approaches to the calculations around human life and risk in tackling global issues. TIME magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people of 2004, dubbing him the "Martin Luther of the environmental movement." Even the left-leaning Guardian included him on their 2008 list of 50 people who could save the planet."

The Guardian quoted Lomborg this week: "This is not about 'we have all got to live with less, wear hair-shirts and cut our carbon emissions'. It's about technologies, about realising there's a vast array of solutions." He is right about the need for a multitude of approaches. The truly complex issue of climate change will not respond to dogmatic, single solutions from anyone, skeptic or believer. We need to pull together -- now -- and consider a variety of ways to tackle the issue, both technological and behavioral, including investment in research, clean energy technologies, conservation, carbon taxes, and more. Let's hope we can make room for anyone, even a latecomer convert, to the big tent of those honestly working for a better world.

Source : http://www.care2.com/causes/global-warming/blog/famed-climate-change-skeptic-changes-his-mind/

Save the Penguins......





Penguin Species in Danger of Extinction
(Posted by : Mac McDaniel, CARE2 -Support Animal Welfare, 12th Sept, 2010)

The Boston Globe reports on the troubles facing the African penguin; unsurprisingly humanity is once again responsible for the damage. The seas surrounding their habitats in South Africa and Namibia have been overfished by commercial boats. Climate change has also driven the penguin's food sources away.

All of this -- in addition to oil spills -- has created a terrifying one-two punch for the African penguin, whose numbers have been dropping at rates so fast they are alarming scientists.

Our desire for seafood has created many problems for the natural environment. Commercial boats have overfished to the point where fish stocks are being depleted. Destroying the food supply of other species puts more than just the survival of sea animals at risk.

Our industrialized culture is also a threat to the penguin on multiple levels
Firstly, human transportation is a large contributor to global climate change, but still smaller than animal agriculture. And between ships and rigs, there have been oil spills in recent years which are also negatively impacting the penguins themselves, as well as their food supply.

Jessica Kemper, senior seabird biologist for Namibia's ministry of fisheries and marine resources says the African penguin is in "big time" trouble, and may go extinct in this century. Scientists are startled by the fact that in the last eight years, the African penguin population has dropped by almost 66 percent.

Firstly, human transportation is a large contributor to global climate change, but still smaller than animal agriculture. And between ships and rigs, there have been oil spills in recent years which are also negatively impacting the penguins themselves, as well as their food supply.

Over half of the world's penguin species are in serious population declines.

I certainly don't agree with prioritizing animals based on their attractiveness to humans, but penguins are very media-friendly animals. Between movies like Happy Feet, March of the Penguins and Madagascar, penguins have engendered a lot of affection from human beings. When an animal that humans care so much about is in danger, it is easy to garner sympathy and action to help them.

But what we have to realize is that all animal issues are interconnected. We cannot help the penguins if we continue to eat seafood. The commercial fishing industry is destroying the food sources of penguins and other species to satisfy our arbitrary tastes. We cannot help the penguins if we continue to farm animals for food, as animal agriculture is a larger contributor to global climate change than transportation. And climate change is destroying the penguins' habitats and food supplies.

Respecting the life of one animal requires that we respect the lives of all animals.

Read more : http://www.care2.com/causes/tag/penguins/

TASTY BUT DEADLY .....

BLOGGER'S NOTE : For those of us who loved to chow on these tidbits and who had missed out on the recent warning, here it is for your benefit. Please alert your friends, especially girls who have a craving for them and often find them irresistible....Take care.


Source:http://dailychilli.com/news/267-tasty-but-deadly

They come in a tasty blend of sweet, sour and salty. They can also be deadly.

Yes, craving for that piece of dried sour plum can kill you, albeit slowly.

Many types of dried fruits imported from China, Taiwan and other Asian countries have been found to contain high levels of lead.

On Thursday, the Government restricted 18 important brands of dried fruits found to have lead content of between 0.11 and 30.3 parts per million (ppm) or milligram (mg)/kilogramme (kg).

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said only dried fruit products other than these brands would be allowed to be sold in the country.

Under Regulation 38 of the Food Regulations 1985, the level of lead accepted is two parts per million. Action will be taken if the lead content exceeds the amount," he said.

Those who distribute food products deemed to be harmful to health can be charged under Section 13(1) of the Food Act 1983. They can also be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed up to maximum of 10 years or both if found guilty.

Liow said the ministry would ensure that the brands of banned dried fruit do not enter the country.

Lead is a metal that can be absorbed into the body over time.

Excess consumption, especially by the young, can lead to serious health problems, including delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies.

Lead also poses risks to pregnant women and infants.

Malaysia’s move to bar the 18 brands of dried fruits comes in the wake of last Friday’s move by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory against eating dried fruits imported from Asia.

Testing results in Texas found that dried plums and products containing dried plums contained lead as much as 300 times the acceptable level.

The FDA doe not have lead limits specifically for prunes, but the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has advised avoiding consumption of any amount of lead.

The warning, however, did not apply to prunes from the US.

Published Oct 9, 2009

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dr Masaru Emoto's Healing Prayer


By now, most of you would know the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico through the media or emails.

This is a serious matter that everyone of you should try to help in your own way. Don't under-estimate that you are powerless -
please read the red highlights below.

Dr Emoto has also proposed a Prayer to recite, incorporating the sacred formula from Zero Limits - Ho' oponopono.

Thank you.

Dr. Masaru Emoto's Healing Prayer for the Gulf

Focusing our energies in response to the Gulf tragedy and for healing the waters and its inhabitants.

Dr. Masaru Emoto is the scientist from Japan who has done all the research and publications about the characteristics of water. Among other things, his research revealed that water physically responds to emotions.

Right now, most of us have the predominantly angry emotion when we consider what is happening in the Gulf. And while certainly we are justified in that emotion, we may be of greater assistance to our planet and its life forms, if we sincerely, powerfully and humbly pray the prayer that Dr Emoto, himself, has proposed.


"I send the energy of love and
gratitude to the water
and all the living creatures
in the Gulf of Mexico
and its surroundings.
To the whales, dolphins,
pelicans, fish, shellfish, planktons,
corals, algae, and all living creatures . . .
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you."


I am passing this request to people who I believe might be willing to participate in this prayer, to set an intention of love and healing that is so large, so overwhelming that we can perform a miracle in the Gulf of Mexico.


We are not powerless.
We are powerful!!!
Our united energy,
speaking this prayer daily ...
multiple times daily....
can literally shift the balance of destruction
that is happening.



We don't have to know how......
we just have to recognize that
the power of love
Please often repeat this healing prayer of Dr. Emoto's. And feel free to copy and paste this to send it around the planet.
Let's take charge, and do our own clean up!

Consequences of a Tragic Oil Spill













Blogger's Note : This human-caused tragedy happened half way across the globe from where we are BUT affects our environment and, consequently, each and every one of us nevertheless....


Dealing with the Tragic Oil
Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico


Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.
President
International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education,
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

In accordance with the Natural Law there is a cause and a purpose behind every disaster that takes place. This includes the tragic oil disaster that took place in the Gulf of Mexico during the spring 2010. Needless to say, the cause of such a tragic disaster was due to a serious drilling leak, which popped up deep down at the bottom of this huge sea that was operated by British Petroleum, commonly known as BP. After more than two months the oil is still leaking amounting to thousands of barrels a day.

Confronted Challenges
There are many lessons to be learned from this dangerous event. In the first place, we must keep in mind that, no matter how much hard we try such an episode could be repeated. Hence, we are faced with two types of challenges, which we should face boldly and courageously. The first immediate challenge is to find a way in stopping this further oil leaking, which is killing the entire good habitat of this huge sea in this global area.

This oil spill is now polluting the shores of eastern Mexico as well as those of the southeast portion of the United States. As a result, people are forced to evacuate these shores areas and to refrain from enjoying their vacations on such well liked beaches. This means putting immediately out of work many hotels, fishermen and numerous small businesses of one kind or another. A legitimate question here needs to be raised. What was the original purpose for BP to drill for oil in the midst of such deep ocean?

The reply is easy to realize. It was the making of unlimited corporate money even at the cost of taking vital environmental risks that may even jeopardize human life. However, regardless of what happens in life, we should always be optimistic. We should always preserve what is good and try to learn from what goes wrong. In view of this, we may certainly turn a crisis into a good opportunity. This way we may achieve great benefits in the long range.

One of the lessons we inherited from previous generations goes like this: Prevention is better than cure. This means it is far better to avoid getting a malignant tumor from the outset, than to get it and then try to adopt the best means available in the hope of curing it. This is crystal clear and does not require any explanation or elaboration. Another lesson we learned which seems to follow the one just stated naturally and automatically, may be stated as follows: To err is human and to persist in error is diabolical.

Governments’ Primary Responsibility
Very often people wonder what their governments are doing in order to provide them with a safe and healthy environment. Some of them, while they enjoy the sense of power and prestige attached to their job, they seem to have abdicated totally their sense of responsibility to big industries or corporations. Hence, the primary job of such government officials becomes to boost the industrial and financial interests of such entities whose ultimate purpose is to control the natural resources wherever they could be found.

From the very beginning of human existence, there was a supernatural plan that was meant to serve as a vital guide to provide all humans with security, happiness, serenity and peace. This would involve viewing the entire world as one global community where people learn from early childhood the wisdom of helping each other like brothers and sisters. To this end, we were provided with both the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law for purpose of guiding ourselves properly and effectively to global peace and harmony.

To illustrate all of this with some examples, in the Divine Positive Law we find that we should not kill anyone, a sacred law that has been often transgressed by every single nation that becomes engaged in wars. There is no such a thing as waging a war to bring about peace. This would be a contradiction in terms. Over the past 6,000 of recorded history we find out, with no exception whatsoever, how wars always cause the destruction of the infrastructure of cities where many are left miserably homeless.

Besides, in wars we also observe the ruthless and merciless killing of tens of thousands of innocent people consisting mostly of children, women, the elderly and the sick. In addition, wars force many people into becoming refugees where they mostly live in tents lacking all the vital needs and necessities of life. Finally, wars create tens of thousands of orphans that inflict in children a trauma which they will have to carry with them all their lives. The Divine Positive Law also prohibits us to say lies, and exhorts us to honor our parents and to respect others’ property. The job of every government is to safeguard these laws.

The Natural Law deals directly with anything that affects nature. That would include the environment and human life as well. Let us keep in mind that our greatest enemies are those that abuse us in one way or another. They could be government officials, big industries or corporations that do not attach top priority to our vital needs of life. The topic of this write-up is on Dealing with the Tragic Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. We have already outlined two approaches which should be followed by all means and without any hesitation.

Avoiding Similar Disasters

The first approach seems now to be beyond our control because the harm that is being done to our entire habitat in the Gulf of Mexico is virtually going out of control. However, we should continue to find a solution to bring this oil link under control, no matter how long it may take. In the meantime, all those that were responsible for the drilling of this oil-well in the Gulf of Mexico should be held fully accountable. That would include BP and also government officials that eventually allowed BP to go ahead with this venture.

The second approach to this disastrous and tragic incidence lies in our ability to prevent a recurrence in any sea or ocean in the future. The only way to achieve this, which is still fully under our control, is to have all oil drilling places in the water to be immediately closed down for good and never to be touched again. Those that are opposed to this give only one reason: “there would be great loss of money and besides people need oil.” Statements of this nature reveal lack of responsibility, which may lead us to greater catastrophes.

Which is better to have in this world: “loss of money or loss of human lives?” We cannot have it both ways. If drilling of oil is needed in some way or another, it should not be procured from the bottom of our seas and oceans. We have had human brains that worked hard and successfully to develop weapons of mass destruction included nuclear weapons. Surely we should have also human brains that may work hard and successfully to make human life progress forward with considerable less dependence on oil.

What is keeping this from happening? Is it being prevented by big corporations for fear of making somewhat less money as a result? Also, what causes some governments to view this off-shore drilling as a “right” of big corporations even when proven to be detrimental to the environment and to human life itself? An enemy of ours is generally viewed as one who is a threat to our very own life. If that is the case, those involved with off-shore drilling and those who support such ventures must be brought to their senses as to enable them to review this precarious situation, which we can eventually control.

A VERY INCONVENIENT TRUTH







The following article was written by Captain Paul Watson (05,September 2010)
(Hare Krishna Centre,Leicester, UK)
Source: http://www.prasadam.co.uk/environment/128-a-very-inconvenient-truth.html?ref=nf

The meat industry is one of the most destructive ecological industries on the planet. The raising and slaughtering of pigs, cows, sheep, turkeys and chickens not only utilizes vast areas of land and vast quantities of water, but it is a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions than the automobile industry.

The seafood industry is literally plundering the ocean of life and some fifty percent of fish caught from the oceans is fed to cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc in the form of fish meal. It also takes about fifty fish caught from the sea to raise one farm raised salmon.

We have turned the domestic cow into the largest marine predator on the planet. The hundreds of millions of cows grazing the land and farting methane consume more tonnage of fish than all the world's sharks, dolphins and seals combined. Domestic housecats consume more fish, especially tuna, than all the world's seals.

So why is it that all the world's large environmental and conservation groups are not campaigning against the meat industry? Why did Al Gore's film Inconvenient Truth not mention the inconvenient truth that the slaughter industry creates more greenhouse gases than the automobile industry?

The Greenpeace ships serve meat and fish to their crews everyday. The World Wildlife Fund does not say a word about the threat that meat eating poses for the survival of wildlife, the habitat destroyed, the wild competitors for land eliminated, or the predators destroyed to save their precious livestock.

When I was a Sierra Club director for three years, everyone looked amused when I brought up the issue of vegetarianism. At each of our Board meeting dinners, the Directors were served meat and only after much prodding and complaining did the couple of vegetarian directors manage to get a vegetarian option. At our meeting in Montana we were served Buffalo and antelope, lobsters in Boston, crabs in Charleston, steak in Albuquerque etc. But what else can we expect from a ‘conservation’ group that endorses trophy hunting.

As far as I know and I may be wrong, but my organization, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the only conservation organization in the world that endorses and practices vegetarianism. My ships do not serve meat or fish ever, nor do we serve dairy products. We've had a strictly vegan menu for years and no one has died of scurvy or malnutrition.

The price we pay for this is to be accused by other conservation organizations of being animal rights. Like it's a bad word. They say it with the same disdain that Americans used to utter the word communist in the Fifties.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not an animal rights organization. We are exclusively involved in interventions against illegal activities that threaten and exploit marine wildlife and habitat. We are involved in ocean wildlife conservation activities.

Yet because we operate our ships as vegan vessels, other groups, and now the media dismiss us as an animal rights organization.

Now first of all I don't see being accused of as an animal rights organization to be an insult. PETA was co-founded by one of my crew-members and many of my volunteers come from the animal rights movement. But it is not accurate to refer to Sea Shepherd as animal rights when our organization pushes a strict conservation enforcement policy.

And secondly we do not promote veganism on our ships because of animal rights. We promote veganism as a means of practicing what we preach which is ocean conservation.

There is not enough fish in the world's oceans to feed 6.6 billion human beings and another 10 billion domestic animals. That is why all the world's commercial fisheries are collapsing. That is why whales, seals, dolphins and seabirds are starving. The sand eel for example, the primary source of food for the comical and beautiful puffin is being wiped out by Danish fishermen solely to provide fish meal to Danish factory farmed chickens.

This is a solid conservation connection between eating meat and the destruction of life in our oceans.

In a world fast losing resources of fresh water, it is sheer lunacy to have hundreds of millions of cows consuming over 1,000 gallons of water for every pound of beef produced.

And the pig farms in North Carolina produce so much waste that it has contaminated the entire ground water reserves of the entire state. North Carolinians drink pig shit with their water but its okay they say, they just neutralize it with chemicals like chlorine.

Most people don't want to see where their meat comes from. They also don't want to know what the impact of their meat has on the ecology. They would rather just deny the whole thing and pretend that meat is something that comes in packages from the store.

But because there is this underlying guilt always present, it manifests itself as anger and ridicule towards people who live the most environmentally positive life styles on the planet - the vegans and the vegetarians.

This is demonstrated through constant marginalization especially in the media. Any organization, like Sea Shepherd for example, that points out the ecological contradictions of eating meat is immediately dismissed as some wacko animal rights organization.

I did not set the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society up as an animal rights organization and we have never promoted animal rights in the organization. What we have promoted and what we do is oceanic wildlife and habitat conservation work.

And the truth is that you can't practice solid and constructive conservation work without promoting veganism and/or vegetarianism as something that promotes the conservation of resources.

A few years ago I attended a dinner meeting of the American Oceans Campaign hosted by Ted Danson. He opened the dinner by saying that the choice he had to make was between fish and chicken for the dinner, and what was the point of saving fish if you can't eat them?

Guest speaker, Oceanographer Sylvia Earle put Ted in his place by saying she did not think that he was being very funny. She said that she considered fish to be her friends and she did not believe in eating her friends. So neither Sylvia nor I ate dinner that night.

I met Sylvia again at another meeting, this time of Conservation International held at some ritzy resort in the Dominican Republic. Harrison Ford was there and the buzz was what could be done to save the oceans. I was invited as an advisor. I sat on a barstool in an open beachfront dining plaza as the conservationists approached tables literally bending from the weight of fish and exotic seafood including caviar. I looked at Sylvia Earle and she just shook her head and rolled her eyes.

The problem is that people like Carl Pope, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, or the heads of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and many other big groups just refuse to accept that their eating habits may be just as much a part of the problem as all those things they are trying to oppose.

I remember one Greenpeacer defending his meat eating by saying that he was a carnivore and that predators have their place and he was proud to be one.

Now the word predator in relationship to human beings has a rather scary connotation having nothing to do with eating habits, but for any human being to describe themselves as a carnivore is just plain ridiculous.

Humans are not and have never been carnivores. A lion is a carnivore as is a wolf, as is a tiger, or a shark. Carnivores eat live animals. They stalk them, they run them down, they pounce, they kill, and they eat, blood dripping, meat at body temperature. Nature, brutal red in tooth and claw.

I've never met a human that can do that. Yes we found ways to run down animals and kill them. In fact we've come to be rather efficient at the killing part. But we can't eat the prey until we cut it up and cook it and that usually involves some time between kill and eating. It could be an hour or it could be years.

You see our meat eating habits are more closely related to the vulture, the jackal or other carrion eaters. This means that we can't be described as carnivores. We are better described as necrovores or eaters of rotting flesh.

Consider that some of the beef that people eat has been dead for months and in some cases for years. Dead and hanging in freezers, full of uritic acid and bacteria. It's a corpse in a state of decomposition. Not much that can be said to be noble about eating a cadaver.

But a little dose of denial allows us to bite into that Big Mac or cut into that prime rib.

But that one 16 ounce cut of prime rib is equal to a thousand gallons of fresh water, a few acres of grass, a few fish, a quarter acre of corn etc. What's the point of taking a shorter shower to conserve water as Greenpeace is preaching if you can sit down and consume a 1,000 gallons of water at a single meal?

And that single cut of meat would have cost as much in vegetable resources equivalent to what could be fed to an entire African village for a week.

The problem is that we choose to see our contradictions when it is convenient for us to see them and when it is not we simply go into a state of suspended disbelief and we eat that steak anyway because, hey we like the taste of rotting flesh in the evening.

Have you ever thought why it is that with a person, it’s an abortion but when it comes to a chicken, it's an omelet?

Does anyone really know what's in a hot dog? We do know that the government health department allows for an acceptable percentage of bug parts, rodent droppings and other assorted filth to go into the mix.

And now tuna fish comes with a health warming saying it should not be eaten by pregnant women or small children because of high levels of mercury. Does that mean mercury is good for adults and non-pregnant women? What are they telling us here?

Eating meat and fish is not only bad for the environment it's also unhealthy. Yet even when it comes to our own health we slip into denial mode and order the whopper.

The bottom line is that to be a conservationist and an environmentalist, you must practise and promote vegetarianism or better yet veganism.

It is the lifestyle that leaves the shallowest ecological footprint, uses fewer resources and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, it's healthier and it means you're not a hypocrite.

In fact a vegan driving a hummer would be contributing less greenhouse gas carbon emissions than a meat eater riding a bicycle.



Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (1977)
Co-Founder - The Greenpeace Foundation (1972)
Co-Founder - Greenpeace International (1979)
Director of the Sierra Club USA (2003-2006)
Director - The Farley Mowat Institute
Director - www.harpseals.org

Eating Less Meat Is More Islamic

This article was written by JOSEPH MAYTON ("Gardian" -August 26th, 2010)

Cairo, Egypt - For most of the billion-plus Muslims who sit down each evening to break their Ramadan fast, meat will be on the menu. Lots of it. But how Islamic is eating meat?

Not very, according to Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, who argues that historically Muslims ate so little meat they were almost vegetarian. "Meat is not a necessity in sharia, and in the old days most Muslims used to eat meat – if they were wealthy, like middle class – once a week on Friday. If they were poor – on the Eids."

In today's world, meat-eating has taken on a new fervour, with many Muslims demanding animal flesh as part of their daily diet. Just the other day, an Egyptian journalist was relating to me how he attended a dinner at a local organisation here in Cairo. When people arrived, questions began to fly across the hall: "Where is the meat? We aren't going to have enough for everyone."

According to a recent study by the Egyptian cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre, 89% of Egyptians eat more than 2kg of meat monthly. This figure rises along with social class. The study revealed that wealthy Egyptians often consume more than 8kg of meat each month.

The prophet Muhammad was not an advocate of daily meat-eating. Instead, the Islamic Concern website says, he warned his followers against constant meat consumption as it could become "addictive". It seems that 1,500 years later his concerns are not being heeded.

Early Islamic leaders and scholars repeatedly emphasised that animals were to be cherished and treated in a humane manner, but many Muslims nowadays view animals as the dominion of people. A sheikh at the Egyptian ministry of religious endowments told me: "Animals are slaves for human purposes. They were put here for us to eat, so talk of vegetarianism is un-Islamic."

This statement by the ministry official goes against everything the prophet stood for, in the opinion of Gamal al-Banna, a prominent Islamic scholar who has come under attack in recent years for his "liberal" stance. Al-Banna told me that being a vegetarian and Muslim does not break any tradition and is in no way un-Islamic.

"When someone becomes vegetarian they do so for a number of reasons: compassion, environment and health reasons," he began. "As a Muslim, I believe that the prophet would want the followers to be healthy, compassionate and not destroy our environment. If someone believes not eating meat is that way, it is not like they are going to go to hell for it. It may be the right thing to do."

Al-Banna continued, when I asked him about the Eid al-Adha sacrifice (which many argue is obligatory), that any Muslim who believes in being vegetarian does not have to slaughter a sheep. "In today's modern world, ideas and religion change and Islam is no different. We must not remain rigid in our understanding of faith to mean the blind acceptance of anything, killing living beings included. There is no obligation to kill."

Others disagree, arguing that meat-eating is part of the Islamic tradition and, thus, vegetarianism is a foreign notion for the Middle East. Muslims who eat meat at every iftar (fast-breaking evening meal) this month undoubtedly believe they are doing the right thing. On the other hand, the idea that animals are merely slaves to humans is not only abhorrent to animal-rights advocates, but seems to be at odds with the prophet's teaching.

Some would argue that the prayer said before halal slaughtering is part of Islam's humanity when animals are killed for food. This may have been true historically, but in today's "halal" slaughterhouses, a pre-recorded prayer often blares nonstop as the animals are lined up and killed. That is a cop-out from what Islam teaches about "humane" slaughter.

Ultimately, the argument is simple. The Qur'an reveals that all living animals are sentient beings, just as human beings are.

"There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings – but they are communities like you." (Qur'an, 6:38)


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The Truth behind your glass of MILK .....

"HAPPY COWS??? HARDLY" .....
A new article by JOHN ROBBINS (author of DIET for A New America)

This past week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will essentially prohibit, starting in 2015, any egg from being sold in the state that comes from caged hens. This bill became law 20 months after a majority of California voters approved Proposition 2, making it clear that concern for the living conditions of livestock is no longer the province of animal rights activists alone.

Recognizing how widespread concern about the humane treatment of farm animals has become, the California Milk Advisory Board has recently ramped up its ten-year "Happy Cow" advertising campaign with a new series of ads proclaiming that "Great milk comes from Happy Cows. Happy Cows come from California." These ads are now being shown across the nation.

Unfortunately, there are a few problems with the ads. For one, they weren't filmed in California at all. They were filmed in Auckland, New Zealand.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Current Milk Board ads claim that 99 percent of the state's dairy farms are family owned. But in order to arrive at this figure, they count as "dairy farms" rural households with one or two cows. Meanwhile, there are corporate-owned dairies in the San Joaquin Valley which have 15,000 or 20,000 cows. It is these far larger enterprises that produce the vast majority of California's milk.

My concern, let me emphasize, is not with small-scale family farms. I have no problem with the many hard-working families who treat their cows well, take care of the land and try to bring a healthy product to market. My problem is with the much larger agribusiness enterprises, the factory farms to whom the animals in their care are nothing but sources of revenue.

Thanks to the practices they employ, the amount of milk produced yearly by the average California cow is nearly 3,000 pounds more than the national average. This increased production may seem like a good thing, but it is achieved at great cost to the animals. The cows are routinely confined in extremely unnatural conditions, injected with hormones, fed antibiotics, and in general treated with all the compassion of four legged milk pumps. Roughly one third of California's cows suffer from painful udder infections, and more than half suffer from other infections and illnesses.

Although genetically engineered bovine growth hormone is banned in many countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and much of the European Union, it is widely used in California's largest dairy operations to increase milk production. Unfortunately, it also increases udder infections and lameness in the cows, markedly raises the amount of pus found in milk, and may increase the risk of cancer in consumers.

The natural lifespan of a dairy cow is about 25 years, but one-fourth of California's dairy cows are slaughtered each year (typically at four or five years old), because they've become crippled from painful foot infections or calcium depletion, or simply because they can no longer produce the unnaturally high amounts of milk required of them. The Milk Board ads present the California dairy industry as a bucolic enterprise that operates in lush, grassy pastures. Some of the ads employ the slogan "So much grass, so little time." But California's dairy industry is concentrated in the dry and barren Central Valley. Here, the cows are typically kept in overcrowded, dirt feedlots. Some never see a blade of grass in their entire lives.

The ads show calves in meadows talking happily to their mothers. But the calves born to California dairy cows typically spend only 24 hours with their mothers, and some do not even get that much. Here is a video that reveals what actually happens to the calves.

The ads propagate the image that California dairy cows live in natural conditions and the practices of the dairy industry are in harmony with the environment. But the amount of excrement produced each year by the dairy cows in the 50-square mile area of California's Chino Basin would make a pile with the dimensions of a football field and as tall as the Empire State Building. When it rains heavily, dairy manure in the Chino Basin is washed straight into the Santa Ana River and some makes its way into the aquifer that supplies half of Orange County's drinking water.

The large-scale factory dairies in California's Central Valley produce more excrement than the entire human population of Texas. About 20 million Californians (65% of the state's population) rely on drinking water that is threatened by contamination from nitrates and other poisons stemming from dairy manure. Nitrates have been linked to cancer and birth defects.

The Milk Board defends the ads by saying they are entertaining, and are not intended to be taken seriously. But the Milk Board is not in the entertainment business. It has not spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this ad campaign to amuse the public, but to increase the sales of California dairy products. Besides, does misleading the public become legitimate just because it is done in an entertaining way?

The Milk Board knows that showing calves being taken away from their bellowing mothers and confined in tiny veal crates won't sell their product. Neither will showing emaciated, lame animals, who have collapsed from a lifetime of hardship and over-milking, being taken to slaughterhouses and having their throats slit. But this is the reality for animals in the large-scale factory farms that produce most of the state's milk. Covering up this misery with fantasy ads of happy cows who are actually in New Zealand is not amusing. It is perpetrating a sham on the public.

This is why I have joined with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a lawsuit that challenges the Milk Board's ads as unlawfully deceptive. Thus far, the Milk Board has prevailed in court, even though it's obvious that the ads lie to the public. Why? Because the California Milk Advisory Board is the marketing arm of the California Department of Agriculture, a government agency. And in California, in a truly Orwellian twist, government agencies are exempt from laws prohibiting false advertising.

Should we hold our advertisers, even if they are government agencies, accountable to reality? Should we require that what they tell us have some resemblance to the truth?

This month, PETA has erected billboards throughout the state that read, "California Cheese Comes From Miserable Cows." PETA, of course, is an animal rights group, but this issue is increasingly being recognized as one that concerns not only vegetarians and animal advocates. Consumers who want the animal products they buy to be from humanely raised animals can be found in every segment of society.

Consideration for the plight of animals is a central part of the American character. It is an essential part of who we are as a people. The "happy cow" ads are an insult to the legitimate humanitarian concerns of millions of people. As consumers, do we want to reward this sort of behavior with our hard-earned dollars?

Abraham Lincoln was speaking not only for vegetarians or for animal rights advocates when he said, "I care not much for a man's religion whose dog or cat are not the better for it."


To learn about steps you can take towards greater physical health, social conscience, and economic freedom, read John Robbins' latest book, The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Durian Ice-Cream

DURIAN - God's beautiful creation. Easily turned into ice-cream, simply put them into a container, keep it overnight in the freezer. Voila! The next day you'd have delicious DURIAN ICE-CREAM, with no artificial flavoring !!!



DURIAN - Ciptaan Tuhan yg menakjubkan. Mudah dijadikan aiskrim. Letak dlm bekas plastik, masukkan ke dalam peti sejuk / pembeku. Esok harinya, nikmatilah AISKRIM DURIAN yang Sedap, tanpa bahan tiruan / pengawet!

AISKRIM DURIAN = AISKRIM PEMALAS :)


榴梿-是上天美好的创作,很容易制成冰淇淋。只要把它们装进容器,放进冰箱上层冷冻一夜。。。。。噹噹噹噹。。。。。隔天您就可以品尝到美味又没有人造调味的榴梿冰淇淋咯

榴梿冰淇淋 = 懒人冰淇淋!



DURIAN (PAHANG) 彭亨榴梿
video

TA DA !!! Durian Ice-Cream 噹噹噹噹榴梿冰淇淋
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