Archive for activism

Reflecting by the lake

Winter has come for many of us. A time for endurance, truth, creativity and most of all, reflection. Have we lived well in 2016? No doubt we have been doing our best in difficult circumstances. Being here is tough!

I love to watch the seasons pass, each has its own characteristics and gifts. Nature offers a beautiful reminder of my own lifes journey, from spring to winter, and guidance in how best to live well in the seasons of this life. In winter I appreciate stillness, learning to forgive and heal, myself and others.

The world is a rocky place, filled with distractions and conflict, but a healthy connection with nature and the earth is central part of contentment, happiness and fulfilment. I have a great relationship and responsibility when I realise that I am an essential part of nature and life cannot be sustained without the vitality of the earth. My life, in so many ways, is a fragile harmony.

I was reading this this morning and found it focused my mind on a simpler path of appreciation (many traditions refer to the earth as ‘her’ or ‘Mother’ and I like it):

‘Every particle of us comes from her
Through the food we take from her daily.

We all start out as tiny seeds.
We have grown to our present state and status
Through what she provides.

She is truly our Mother
And must be acknowledged and respected.’

– Ogala Peace Pipe Ceremony

We once, as a human family on each continent of the earth, lived in balance with nature. With this approach and sentiment maybe our collective love of money and power will be transformed and we can reclaim our own balance with love and respect for ourselves and each other; Mother Earth, wise nature and every living thing.

We are all highly sensitive beings, it is no wonder there is so much fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation and resentment. The way that our societies approach life and treat nature is rotten at the roots. We are treated like cold machines, when in reality, we are warm breezes.

Each morning brings fresh opportunities. So many chances to change, build deeper and more sustaining relationships, making ourselves stronger with unity and love, giving ourselves the strength to ride out even the roughest of times with dignity and respect. An example to follow. Each one of us a great leader contributing to a brighter future.

A crisis sometimes just needs a shift in perspective and appreciation of what we are and have.
This is my wish this mornning reflecting by the lake.

Peace and Happiness from Pokhara, NepalX

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Alan Watts – ‘The House Boat Summit’ with Allan Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Gary Snyder, Allen Cohen

This is an incredible meeting of some real characters from the 60’s, a time when the feeling that ‘anything is possible’ was a driving force behind everyday life and visions of the future were bright, communal and most of all peaceful.

You can hear on this tape, that this was not just some stoned dream, this was real and this group were thinking pragmatically about what could be done.  Its interesting and slightly saddening that the world they are describing is almost identical to the world we live in now.

The 60’s was not this for all folk, my family were working in the mines of North England and had little prospect of getting out of the Industrial model created and introduced so effectively by the powers that be.  But for a few special sorts, who were tuning into something eternally powerful, the times were changing.  The men around this table had a profound effect on the way that Western culture has developed over the subsequent years, especially in the US.  To have them all around one table, trading jokes and concepts is a wonder to hear.   They seemed charged with inspiration and the fact that they are in a sense ‘serious’ academics adds greater credence to their theories and behavior.

I wonder how our children will look back on this generation?  The lessons of the 60’s are all around, we’re recycling, cutting down on food waste, more aware of environmental issues etc, but do we really mean it.  Really MEAN IT like these fellas meant it.  After all its not a lifestyle, but a life choice.  To do something means doing it all the way.  Easier said than done as we all know!

Big business are using the ‘eco’ feel as a marketing tool now and it turns my stomach to see these profit mongering entities (profit at any cost that is) tagging onto what should be a revolutionary/ evolutionary idea, a giant leap back towards nature and further exploration of what it is to be a here now and to be blessed with so many gifts.

Alan was a real maverick spirit, a light for the Western world and his translations of Eastern wisdom will no doubt filter through the ages.  He was also savvy and I am certain had a hunch that this would be of interest in the future and available to a mass market.  He knew what was going on, he’d lived through two world wars and the stifling repression of middle England and now (or then) things were really taking off in and around California, then it went global and things began to fill with love for a while.

Neil Young says on his new album (the song ‘Walk Like Giants’):

“I used to walk like a giant on the land, now I feel like a leaf floating in the stream….

Me an some of my friends, we were going to change the world, we were trying to make it better, we were ready to save the world!……

But then the weather changed and the white got stained and it fell apart and it breaks my heart, to think of how close we came.”  

Here it is actually in all its 16 minutes of glory.

Its this feeling that amazes me about the 60’s, the collective feel, the global sense of love that was kicking off at that time.  There was hope, and more hope, and infinite holes filled with only hope.  It can’t have gone far…..

We now have this magical tool, the internet, and instead of sitting around a table taking notes, we can get together, all over the world and do amazing things at the push of a keyboard button.  We have so much power we don’t know what to do with it!

Would anybody like to talk about this, maybe we can have our own universal houseboat summit, people from every continent sharing problems and coming up with solutions for all this nonsense that is going on.  Meeting like minds, coming together, making friends and laughing alot along the way. Drop me a line if this resonates.

I’ll stop typing now and let the guys take over, on Alan’s houseboat in a place called Sausalito,California sometime in 1967:

December At Yase

You said, that October,
In the tall dry grass by the orchard
When you chose to be free,
“Again someday, maybe ten years.”

After college I saw you
One time. You were strange,
And I was obsessed with a plan.

Now ten years and more have
Gone by: I’ve always known
where you were—
I might have gone to you
Hoping to win your love back.
You still are single.

I didn’t.
I thought I must make it alone. I
Have done that.

Only in dream, like this dawn,
Does the grave, awed intensity
Of our young love
Return to my mind, to my flesh.

We had what the others
All crave and seek for;
We left it behind at nineteen.

I feel ancient, as though I had 
Lived many lives.

And may never now know
If I am a fool
Or have done what my
karma demands.

Gary Snyder

 

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Let’s Change Our World! – Thrive (What On Earth Will It Take?)

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Mother Teresa

Do you want to live in a better world?  A more peaceful place to be; with less suffering and greater natural abundance; less pollution, corruption, war, confusion, conspiracy……..Don’t we all!

Doesn’t it seem like the systems in place are against us, we; the very people who created them and contribute towards their very existence?  This doesn’t seem to make any sense.  Banks (global economic mafioso) and global corporations are doing anything to create profits, regardless of how it affects people’s lives and the earth.  The super rich are getting super rich and the vast majority struggle on, feeling helpless and without hope.  Things have not always been like this.  Why do we accept this?  More alarmingly, we have the power, we are in control.  At any moment we can say ‘NO’!  Collectively, no ruling minority could begin to control the positive changes we could enact through peaceful protest and stopping (consuming/ interacting/ working for the institutions that control).

Minimising or even better, stopping, our contributions to the systems that are controlling us; robbing us of our hard earned money, reclaiming our family homes, is surely the easiest way to express our discontent.  They need us, let them know we will not stand for this and then change will follow.  By turning our backs on them, we’ll soon realise there is a whole new way of looking at things.

It’s our natural tendency to thrive, to be healthy, love one another.  How have we been so distracted?  How have we created so many systems and social norms that do not reflect these tendencies and lead us further from our true nature.

THRIVE

‘Thrive‘ is a movement for positive change, an incredible movie that shares much information that you will not read about in the mass media.  Many disparate threads of allegedly ‘alternative’ theories and information.  I say ‘alternative’ only because it may be something new and revelatory that has been around for many years (even many thousands of years).

It can be difficult to digest such new ways of perceiving the world, the systems that control us and have done for our whole lives.  People are not talking about these fascinating discoveries for a reason, our awesome potential to live in a state of harmony and peace is REAL news.  Lets get that on the BBC and NBC, or whatever corporate news channel you are exposed to.

The beginning is near….

‘Thrive‘ offers up some type of framework for massive positive changes within our societies, namely free energy for all.

We created the vast majority of our societies problems and we have the ability to change them. “Thrive’ empowers us to make that change, gives us a direction to follow in order to make the world a better place to be.  It will not happen overnight, but influences like ‘Thrive’ add momentum to our evolution towards brighter days.  It is cleanly packaged, over produced you may say, but who cares!  It has many positive messages and is huge at the moment, its clean-cut image is exactly what is needed to get skeptical people on board.  A movie about hairy hippies living in wigwams in Mexican dessert will not cut the mustard in this field.  We are a very judgemental society, whether we like it or not, we like shirts and ties, our teachers and fathers wore them.  What a wonderful thing.

If we are not open hearted and positive about change, how can we change?  I accept the fact that much of the information important to us is suppressed and am open to anything.  Miracles are happening everyday, all the time, miracles are dependent on our perception of what ‘is’ happening around us.  Our very consciousness itself  is a miracle!

I’m welcome people like Mr Gamble who do not accept the way it is and ‘always will be’ but who are empower to effect change, spread vitally important information deeply imbued with hope for us all.  We all need a little more hope, we’re not given enough of it by our media and in the general patterns of living (work, eat, sleep; work, eat, sleep/ occasional party/ recovering).  How many depressed people do you know?  Why are we depressed?  What a terrible modern phenomenon.  What a money spinner for the chemical companies?  All those terrible drugs being pushed on vulnerable people (I, like many, have far too many friends in this boat).  The truth is, I’m the boss, you’re the boss, we’re the boss.  WE are running this show.

If we simply allow people who are power hungry and nepotistic, namely the vast majority of politicians (the civil servants who control almost everything) then they will be inclined to take more.  Our capitalist societies, built around the concept of ‘more is more’, will not stop until resources (be it human or a natural resource) are utterly depleted.  Have you ever noticed that in the vast majority of business’s profits must always grow yearly, costs must always be less, wages decreased.  We’re squeezing the life out of living!  We’re cutting down trees to print money!?  There is enough madness in our present societies to suggest that people are capable of anything; be that positive or negative.

HOW CAN WE CHANGE?

So who’s going to do all of this changing stuff?  I am and hopefully you are and the very first step is educating ourselves and this is where movies like ‘Thrive’ come in.  Watch it and share it with friends on the miracle of the internet, spread the message worldwide, project it on the side of your house, create a web of powerful inspiration and change just by clicking a few buttons on a screen.

The changes needed are urgent and all encompassing.  So how do we go about positively effecting change?  I focus on consuming less, wasting less, recycling more.  This is my mantra for getting my home life in order anyway.  The rest is supporting the local community, neighbours and friends.  Treating all with care and respect.  This all seems fairly obvious, but will make all the difference.  Shall we be the creators or the victims?

Most importantly in this rapid period of change is being open to radical changes, discerning these changes as something positive and realising that most of what we are taught in schools and what seems normal is actually wrong and unfortunately part of the perpetuating problem.  For me, accepting that many of the well meaning people in my life had been misguided themselves was tough.  I have come to realise that all that matters is how I conduct myself.  ME.  I am the change and that is all I can begin to control.

Just to get some idea of the effectiveness of this movement, over 4 million people have watched this on Youtube alone.

We are so bombarded by information at present, there are so  many outlets and opportunities to be something different that we seem to forget who we are, the fundamentals don’t change.  Why we are here is not important (though nice to reflect on once in a while), it is what we do while we are here that is.  How we lead our lives, through thought, word and action.  To begin to see through all the words and concepts and realise what is really affecting us, what lies beneath all this jumbled up knot of dead end knowledge.  Free ourselves from self-made binds.  Focus on the simpler things in life (trust me, the mind will make it complex, its unavoidable!)  Feel our way through this maze towards that which is truly important.  What we really need to thrive in life is love.

Be good, do good, happy Saturdayx

PS – I know I’ve already posted ‘Thrive’ on the blog, but I’ve just watched it again and felt equally moved by it.  

PPS – I love hippies in wig wams.

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Why On Earth Are We Eating Meat?

WHY ON EARTH ARE WE EATING MEAT?

Originally posted on the beach house kitchen

Vegetarianism is increasingly not just a lifestyle choice, eating more vegetables in our diets has far reaching effects on the society and world that we live in. Here is my journey into the heart of what is rightly a contentious debate. Being a vegetarian myself, I will attempt to remain impartial, but the facts and spirit of a new age are highlighting that the days of meat at every meal are numbered. This is no longer a question of being ‘sensitive’ towards animals and their plight, there are many pragmatic reasons and cold hard facts to back these up.

We are evolving at a rapid rate and I see a collective movement towards a more plant based diet being an intrinsic part of our further evolution as a species. Can we continue to crave meat when we realise the massive negative repercussions that its production is causing? I’d like to think not.

So then: Why on earth are we eating meat? That is a very good question and one I feel should be raised, and raised again, until collectively we all have a better idea about why we make this choice; the implications of which affect our environment, economy, society and even involves politics. Eating less meat really makes a difference and even one person changing their diet can have a positive effect.

There seems so little reason to eat meat except the obvious fact, that a hamburger or a nice juicy steak is quite tasty. Taste can be the only logical reason when you approach this issue from a rational point of view. The concept of eating ‘well’ in the modern world does not actually promote ‘wellness’. There are so many misconceptions when it comes to diet, what we have been taught in schools and via the mass media. The stakes are high here, trends must change if we are to live cleaner, healthier lives and the earth can only take so much. The way we eat says a lot about who we are and the way we choose to lead our lives. We know that we can live (even thrive) without meat, so why aren’t more people trying?

I was not raised a vegetarian, my upbringing was a standard meat and two veg approach to meal times; Mum is a marvelous cook and meat played a major role. I have come to vegetarianism in recent years, it was a gradual realisation of something that now seems quite obvious, namely, that I must eat less meat (it turns out ‘less’ actually meant ‘no’!). My natural movement away from a hectic/ consumerist lifestyle was a major part of this process.

Spending almost a year in India eating a vegetarian diet certainly made me realise that vegetarian food is delicious and I felt all the better for it. Good, organic meat was becoming more and more expensive in Britain, therefore cost was also increasingly a factor. The more I read, the more I was shocked about how meat is being produced (produced is a terrible word for the rearing of animals, but unfortunately, accurate in this case).

I came to realise that a lot was at stake here for the meat industry, which is very big business. Sharing the truth about what is happening to our planet and our health due to regular meat consumption is not something that the ‘establishment’ and media deems pertinent or of concern. When you are aware of the scale of the problem we face, due to an increase in worldwide meat consumption, you cannot help but sit up and listen and surely consider a minor change in lifestyle and eating habits that will have huge effects on the future of our planet. It’s that important!

CARNIVOROUS CRAVINGS

Leaving the comforts of home behind, we recently travelled by car through France and Spain. As we visited more and more places, I experienced first hand that meat eating is still vastly popular and seemingly growing in popularity. Butchers outnumbered bakeries in many small villages and decent fruit and vegetable vendors were scarce to non-existent. I could not find vegetarian options in most restaurants and on the rare occasions that we ate out (we generally made salads etc. in our hotel room or tent) I was served the same simple starter as a main course (only slightly larger!!!). Although this is no doubt amusing, it made me realise that outside certain countries (thankfully Britain not being one), vegetarians are still deemed as second class diners and quite a peculiar proposition! Most people still believing that a vegetarian eats fish and doesn’t mind the odd lump of ham in their soup!

The ‘abnormal’ diet of a vegetarian is put into perspective with these recent figures: only 2% of the British population are vegan, 3% vegetarian, with 5% eating only fish and chicken (figures taken from the dept. of environment, farming and rural affairs). I am shocked that the figures are so low and would imagine they are even lower in France and Spain. This does not take into account those who can’t make their minds up, who are sometimes vegetarian, but probably don’t class themselves as ‘full-timers’. This alone gives me faith that clear information about the positive benefits of a vegetarian diet, not just from a nutritional point of view, is filtering through to the collective psyche and there is always hope, even with a majority of just one person! Still not much seems to have changed over the last 40 years, the wide scale vegetarian movement of the 60’s was a long time ago now! Why such little progress?

Most of us wouldn’t imagine that the food that we choose to buy supports institutions that are hell bent on extracting as much profit from the earth (while they still can!) by controlling the food costs, agricultural techniques and the channels of food supply. What we buy in our branch of Tesco in Basingstoke can have a direct effect on a peasant farmer in Nigeria. These are far reaching, globalised choices that we are making on a daily basis and what and how we consume is an increasingly powerful tool to exact.

I will be highlighting some of the reasons as to why choosing to become a vegetarian, or even simply eating less meat, is so important. I will try a slightly different approach, instead of dwelling on the obvious health benefits and the moral issues relating to the slaughter of animals on a mass scale for sustenance; I will be focusing on the global meat industry and its effect on our worldwide community. Increased meat production is directly linked to the global food crisis that we have been battling with for many years and the global meat industry is making people hungry throughout the world. Billions of people and farmers are suffering and starving due to our desire for unsustainable quantities of meat in our diets.

WHY EAT MORE VEGETABLES?

The primary reason for many is health. By consuming more vegetables you will avoid many unhealthy fats/ cholesterol that are the cause of much dietary illness. A varied, balanced vegetarian/ vegan diet offers a great range of nutrients and inevitably leads to an increase in well being and vitality.

Jane and I live in rural Wales and when walking the hills, come to be around many herds of fine cattle, impressive creatures who are at first nervous and then inquisitive. However once they are used to our presence, whole herds of large black bulls will run around the field, following us and playing games. Their movements are powerful and noble, equally as impressive as most things you will see on a TV nature programme (although you will rarely see nature programmes about domesticated/ farm animals). These fine animals are ‘fit’ for the slaughter at the nearby abattoir and this leaves me with a heavy heart whenever we encounter these herds of proud, intelligent creatures. I cannot equate the desire to eat beef, with the death of these bulls anymore.

Animals are sentient beings and many are treated in terrible ways in a factory farm/ industrialised environment. This seems to stick in many people’s throats, but dog lovers, imagine a battery farm filled with puppies being fattened to be processed into food. This is a difficult, and to some, harrowing realisation of what is a clouded moral and ethical issue. The mass production of meat leads to animal suffering and that cannot be right.

I find vegetarian food creative and inspiring to cook. Greater thought and experimentation must be applied to preparing tasty dishes and the combination of flavours and textures. The idea of eating food to stay healthy appeals to me also, with a more preventive approach to battling sickness and ailments; after all, we are living in the age of the ever ‘proactive’ mind. It seems that we are not applying this to our own health and lifestyles. Life is there to be enjoyed with vibrancy, energy and enthusiasm. Eating mainly vegetables makes for a lighter feeling in the body and allows more nutrients to be absorbed through the digestive system. Vegetables are also easier to digest, allowing for vital energy to used in different areas of the body; for healing, and rejuvenation, and most importantly to recharge our brains, which our hectic modern world loves to drain and leave flagging.

INDUSTRIALISED MEAT MADNESS

Industrial farming practices have robbed Britain of its nature diversity, it’s flora and fauna much reduced, our vast swathes of forested countryside and majestic old trees have made way for flat, square boxes where mono-crops and livestock now grow and graze. A wild island has been tamed, now a pale, patchwork imitation of our indigenous ‘wild’ nature. The same can be said of all industrialised countries. Now we import carrots from Spain and the whole island is disappearing under a toxic concrete blanket where everything has a price. Industrialisation doesn’t seem to be making things better for the masses, the negatives far outweigh the positives as we continuously throw nature out of balance with practices that rob natural resources and take no care to replenish them. Can we tolerate a society that takes more than it gives?

Industrialisation was a man’s idea (groups of them anyway) and has been applied to all facets of human existence, mostly to our detriment. There have been many amazing advances, but at what cost? Man is moving away from nature. Industrialisation has led us into a situation whereby we are consuming, more than we are thinking and it shows.

The global meat producing industry misuses vast quantities of the world’s food resources. Resources that would be better used in combating the horrific levels of global hunger, billions of people are struggling to feed themselves on a daily basis and the situation is getting worse. The facts are very clear:

Massive quantities of grains and pulses

produce

relatively small amounts of meat

It is said that giving up meat is ‘a conscientious objection to a system with waste at one end and starvation at the other.’ People are protesting all over the world about the lack of food and it’s excessively high cost. There have been vast protests in Mexico (known as the tortilla marches), food riots in Haiti, farmers strikes in Argentina, in fact most of Latin America is embroiled in something resembling a food war.

This has historically, in recent times anyway, been a problem with the southern/ poorer parts of the world. These developing countries are a comfortable distance for many in ‘West’ but this changed drastically with the global economic crises of recent times and we see the red cross giving out food packages on the streets of Athens et al. Is this the future that we want? When will the West wake up to the fact that our model is not working? Capitalism as it stands has a finite lifespan and its beginning to wind down.

THE FACTS AGAINST CURRENT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

– Livestock production accounts for 80% of greenhouse gases (regardless of whether or not you believe in mans effect on global climate change, that’s alot of harmful gas for a relatively small quantity little meat), 37% of methane production (23 times the global warming potential of 100 years), 65% of nitrous oxide (265 times global warming potential for 100 years).

– Production of 1 kilo of beef consumes 169 megajoules of energy, enough to power a 100 watt lightbulb for 20 days. Add to this the fact that meat needs refrigeration, transportation, storage, excessive packaging, cooking at a high temperature for a long period of time, plus alot of fat and bones are wasted.

– Farmers can feed 30 people on 1 hectare of land, growing vegetables, fruits, cereals, vegetable oils etc. The same are growing meat and dairy can feed between 5-10 people.

– 1/3 of the world’s cereal harvest and 90% of its soya production is used as animal feed.

– 10 kilos of grain = 1 kilo of beef, 4.5 – 5 kilos = 1 kilo of pork, 2.1-3.3 = 1 kilo of poultry.

– Living a vegan lifestyle for 70 years will pump 100 tonnes less CO2 into the atmosphere compared to a meat eating person.

John Lennon once said:

“The more rational you get, the more irrational the world gets.”

If we look at this debate rationally, I feel there is no way that we can condone the current trend towards the increase in global industrialised agriculture and meat/ dairy production. I am not saying give up meat totally in all cases, but certainly eat less.

RISING MEAT CONSUMPTION?!

Cheap mass produced food, fast food, junk food etcetc have already had a huge consequence on the environment in which we call home. Yet meat eating is growing worldwide, we are eating on average five times more meat than we were in the ‘50’s. All over the world meat eating is rising and the trend is looking like continuing, as developing countries become richer.

Meat consumption per head (kg per annum)

                           40 years ago                 Now

US                                 89                             124

Spain                          22                              119

Europe                      56                              89

Brazil                          39                              68

China                            4                               54

Japan                            8                               42

Due to these huge rises in meat consumption, global feed demands will require the doubling of meat/ dairy production by 2050. The increased demand will see the number of farmed animals leap from 60 billion to 120 billion worldwide. 70% of the world’s agricultural land is already used for feed production and 30% of the worlds land area is given to livestock.

The livestock industry is a major contributor to global warming. Cattle produce alot of methane via farts, therefore: fewer hamburgers=less farts=better world (a crude equation, but accurate non-the-less). UNFAO (the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation) has published reports that show ‘livestocks long shadow’ affecting the global climate, naming meat and dairy production as major contributors. This report by Dr Henning Steinberg caused uproar and led to the F.A.O. losing alot of its funding. This goes someway to highlighting the political importance of the issue and the control the meat and dairy producers posses with major global institutions. People are certainly not being encouraged to give up meat, the opposite is true, with money and power being the key factors (as always).

Dr Rajendra Padwari (chair of the intergovernmental panel on climate change) made a personal presentation in London recently supporting a move away from a meat based diets. Headlines followed stating ‘UN chief says eat less meat to stop global warming’. Queue more uproar from the majority of the ‘establishment’ and recriminations.

The closer you get to the heart of the matters that are really affecting us, those that relate to a brighter future for all, the closer you get to lifting the veil of mass delusion and confusion, getting a clearer picture of what is really going on in the world. The problem is, the closer we get to this stage, the tighter the institutions, corporations and ‘powers that be’ hold onto their control of information and its mass dissemination. It seems that the phrase ‘We are what we eat’ could be modified slightly to ‘we are what we are told to be’!

The information is there for us all to see, it can be viewed widely on the internet; whether we act upon it or not is the tough question to face up to. We are all conditioned to believe that the ‘way it is’, is just that, and cannot be changed, but history shows us that this is not the case and change is inevitable; collectively and individually we are responsible for this.

Amazon deforestation
The global meat eating trends are unsustainable for feeding increasing populations and are causing a huge strain on our environment. Vast swathes of rainforest are cleared daily in Brazil alone to meet the demands for animal feed and livestock ranches. A vegetarian/ vegan diet or a decrease in meat eating would eradicate many of these problems.

AN INDIVIDUALS CHOICE

From a more individual standpoint, what we eat can change the way we feel about ourselves and life in general. How we interact with the world is so important and food production is often deemed as quite asinine point, when it is anything but, for ‘he who controls the food, controls the people.’

A normal life (meat eater) and an abnormal life (vegetarian) are merely matters of perspective and purely subjective, what is unusual today can become usual tomorrow, depending on the way mass culture/ media chooses to portray it. Why the media in general doesn’t support or condone a society that puts people, animals and nature first is clear for any person to see. There’s no money in it!

Many people seem obsessed by the compulsion to invest financially in their futures, but that will only get us so far. What kind of world will we inhabit in 40 years? Will money still guarantee ‘security’ and a better life? Will there be any food/ water to ‘buy’? Will money actually be worth the paper its printed on?

I prefer the approach of investing in body and mind now by eating nutrient-rich vegetarian foods. I hope for a vibrant old age with a lessened chance of illness, ‘a young heart leads to a long life’ after all. I am saying, invest in your future the right way. Take care of your vehicle in life (your body that is) and fuel it with the cleanest, highest grade produce.

We have the technology and intelligence to create a new way of growing and supplying food globally; nobody on earth should go hungry, no farmers in India should contemplate suicide due to high food prices, people should not have to take to the streets across the world to protest against a lack of food. As a species, we are not looking after our own and if we do not love our neighbour and cherish their lives, how can we begin to cherish our own? Food, one of the basic requirements to live, is denied to billions due to the means by which we feed ourselves, by our actions and our eating habits. The way we eat actually makes others go hungry!!! This is ridiculous.

THE FUTURE OF FOOD

What does the future hold for the world and its food production? Something must change and change soon. The governments cannot continue their support for the industrialised approach to farming and food production, it is not sustainable and we must be sustained! The increase in meat consumption must be addressed, starting with the vast subsidies from which meat/ dairy producers benefit.

I believe in my lifetime there will be a dramatic re-think in how we approach food production. With better managed global food prices, people in developing countries, many of which have agriculture at the heart of their economy (for example: the growing Indian economy is still driven by the traditional agriculture of its interior) will head back to the countryside, leaving the poverty of the slums of cities behind. This will have a huge effect globally as millions begin to work the land and produce food locally, turning barren earth into food rich earth and bringing many people back in touch with nature. Food will be sold more locally, localised trade will be stimulated and diversity will increase with costs naturally decrease. A more localised approach will benefit communities and help to teach children about the importance of living closely with and respecting nature.

Farmers in western countries will adapt, as they always have done, to the demands and trends of markets and society. Industrialised practices will recede and more indigenous crops will be re-introduced and grown. Farming will move towards a more organic, small-scale approach generally, with governments being forced to educate people about nutrition, subsequently, people will be better able to feed themselves on less quantity food with a higher nutritional value and all will be encouraged to grow their own produce. With this greater awareness of nutrition, nature and food; consumers will be inclined to buy less, higher priced, organically produced food, therefore supporting the change in farming trends.

Altering diet will become a necessity, along with other practical changes such as insulating homes, minimising water consumption, reducing air and vehicle travel. We cannot delay the inevitable shift back towards a natural way of living. We will still eat meat, but it will become a prized commodity again, something reserved for holidays and special occasions.

We’ve all heard of these ideas and ideals before, much of this may seem like repetition. I hope with more repetition and resistance to our present trends in behaviour, positive change will come about. Man has been making great financial gains since the industrial revolution, consumerism has flourished with the amassing of greater material wealth, the basis has always been systems that propagate human sufferiIt is time we thought more about our responsibilities; sustaining our planet and nurturing future generations. The key in our consumerist societies relates directly to the way that we consume (that goes for all that we buy and eat). I say that it’s time to stop, think clearly (rationally even!) and make changes. To view ourselves more as global citizens. The ‘majority’ of the world is poor therefore ‘we’ are poor our problems are shared. How can ‘we’ be richer in a sense greater than merely financial? A world that is collectively richer and balanced, resources are shared evenly and costs are minimised.

The way things are progressing, the problems mentioned above are on the increase. The time is now to act. Leaving meat off the plate is a positive first step towards a brighter future and a more sustainable approach.

This is a contentious issue and one that is open for hearty debate. I’d love to hear from you if you are on the other side of the fence, leave me some feedback below, all perspectives welcome!

Much of the information above comes from articles in the magazine the ‘New Internationalist’, especially those by Chris Brazier.

Here are some websites that share a similar view on the world food crisis, vegetarianism and food production:

UK

http://www.coroporatewatch.co.uk

http://www.soilassociation.org

http://www.farmideas.co.uk

International

http://www.grain.org

http://www.vivacampesino.org

http://www.pan-international.org

http://www.focusweb.org

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When We Grow….This Is What We Can Do (Documentary)

Fascinating documentary about the awesome potential of the hemp plant.  There are thousands of positive uses, fuel for cars, paper, clothing, a healthy snack, even building material.

Why are we all not growing hemp?  Watch on:

 

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Thrive – What on earth will it take? (Full Movie)

THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream — uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.

Thrive is a movie that informs and empowers us relating to our roles as humans sharing the earth.  Find out more on their site:

http://www.thrivemovement.com/

I cannot upload the clip onto this blog, to watch the full documentary for free, you will have to enter you’re email and join the site.  Initially I found it a little slick and hollywood, but it soon settles down into a fascinating expose of the way things are and how and why we are being oppressed and who is behind this madness.

It is well worth a couple of hours, ‘Thrive’ opens the doorway to so much diverse knowledge about our history, our infinite potential and those who would take it away from us.

“THRIVE is more than a documentary relevant to the times. It is more than a well-researched and alarming insight into who really controls how the world works. It is a recipe and blueprint for how we can, each and every one of us, thrive in the way that the rest of nature does – easily, naturally and with expansive grace. For this last point alone, it is more than worth the time to see.”

-Odyssey Magazine

If you like the message of ‘Thrive’, please pass it on……

Peace and LightX

 

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Let’s Save the Amazon – AVAAZ

Taken from the AVAAZ website:

Our petition is being delivered to the Presidential Palace in hours! Let’s hit 2 million before the meeting — sign below and forward this email to everyone

Brazil’s Congress has just passed a bill that gives loggers and farmers free rein to cut down huge swaths of the Amazon. Only President Dilma can veto it. Domestic pressure is mounting, but a massive global outcry will prove her international reputation is at stake. Let’s tip her over the edge to stop the Amazon chainsaw massacre — sign the urgent petition and tell everyone:

Sign the petition

Dear friends,

Brazil’s Congress has just passed a bill that gives loggers and farmers free rein to cut down huge swaths of the Amazon. Only President Dilma can veto it. Domestic pressure is mounting, but a massive global outcry will prove her international reputation is at stake. Let’s tip her over the edge to stop the Amazon chainsaw massacre — sign the urgent petition and tell everyone:

The Brazilian Congress has just passed a catastrophic forestry bill that gives loggers and farmers free rein to cut down huge swaths of the Amazon. Now only President Dilma can stop it.

Fortunately, the timing is on our side — in weeks Dilma will host the world’s biggest environmental summit and insiders say she cannot afford to open it as the leader who approved the destruction of the rainforest. She’s facing mounting domestic pressure, with 79% of Brazilians rejecting this new bill. Now, if we join them we can turn up the global heat and push her to axe the bill, not the rainforest.

Dilma will make her decision in the next 48 hours! Let’s get her to veto the bill. Click below to sign the urgent petition to stop the Amazon chainsaw massacre and if you have already signed — send this to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/veto_dilma_global_final_push/?vl

The Amazon is vital to life on earth — 20% of our oxygen comes from this magnificent rainforest, and it plays a key role in mitigating global climate change. Over the last decade, Brazil has vastly reduced deforestation rates, achieving a 78% decline between 2004 and 2011. The reason? A world-acclaimed forestry law, strong enforcement and satellite monitoring.

But this dangerous new bill would open up an area larger than the size of Rajasthan and Maharashtra combined to clear-cutting and gives loggers amnesty for all past deforestation crimes. This would not only spark total forest devastation in Brazil, it would also set a bad precedent for other countries. That’s why it’s so crucial that we all protect it.

Brazil is a rapidly developing country, battling to lift tens of millions out of poverty. Despite evidence that growth does not require deforestation, Dilma is under pressure from the powerful agriculture lobby that helped her get elected to cut down rainforest for profit. And it is an ugly battle — activists are being murdered, intimidated and silenced. But ex-Environmental Ministers and people across Brazil have sent a clear message to Dilma that they want to save the Amazon. Now, it’s up to all of us to stand with them and urge President Dilma to remain strong.

The fate of Brazil’s rainforests is dangling by a thread. But, with President Dilma so vulnerable to public pressure right now, we can bring the global force of people power to get a win for our planet! Sign the urgent petition below and tell everyone — the petition will be delivered by Brazil’s former Environment Ministers directly to Dilma:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/veto_dilma_global_final_push/?vl

In the last three years, we have won battle after battle against the odds. Now, let’s come together before it is too late to stop the destruction of the Amazon, protect our planet and herald Dilma as a true international environmental leader.

With hope and determination,

Luis, Pedro, Maria Paz, Alice, Ricken, Carol, Lisa, Rewan and the entire Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

Brazil’s Congress approves controversial forest law (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17851237

Brazil Forest Code Passes In Defeat For Dilma Rousseff (Huffington Post)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/brazil-forest-code_n_1457149.html

Revised Brazilian Forest Code good for environmental criminals, bad for forests (IB Times)
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/20120501/revised-brazilian-forest-code-environmental-criminals-forests-common.htm

Amazon deforestation record low (BBC)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8358094.stm

Brazilians reject axing of forest protections (WWF)
http://wwf.panda.org/?uNewsID=200698

Avaaz.org is a 14-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 19 countries on 6 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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