Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Just Checking In...

(food for thought)

Happy December peeps! I’ve obviously been extra busy. Last week I interviewed at my company and received a job offer for a new amazing position. OF COURSE I ACCEPTED!!! I’ve been getting everything together in my current position to make the transition in a couple of weeks. I’m really stoked that my career is on the fast track to reach my ultimate goals.

I’ve been eating the raw model diet for a month now and I am still very happy with it. It’s still working wonders for my body and I’m excited about the results that I’ve been seeing. More on the benefits later…

Today is the first snow of the season here in NOVA and it’s beautiful, though I think I might leave my office a little early because for some reason people don’t know how to drive in the snow (even though it snows EVERY year)!

I just wanted to check in for a quick update…


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Review & My Deal…

Sorry for the slacking as of late, I still want to discuss the PETA documentary, I Am An Animal. So I guess I’ll start there first before I move on. Overall I was dissatisfied, but again I appreciate any call to attention having to deal with the plight of animals. I think Ingrid Newkirk, PETA founder came off C-R-A-Z-Y. The problem with crazy when it comes to animal issues is that way too many people in today’s society truly believe that ALL animal rights people are nuts. For Ingrid to appear as such, just seems to reiterate that negative notion to the masses. Secondly, I just can’t stand the fact that ONE organization is supposed to be defining such a vast animal rights movement. I don’t believe that PETA is an animal rights group, though I do believe that their original intent should be applauded, yet overall they’ve become an animal welfarist organization like the Human Society (whom I can’t believe had the nerve to even critique PETA…but I won’t even go into that issue right now). Since PETA does such a great job at marketing (they should give up animal welfare and go into marketing/advertising/branding), the media uses them as the patron saint of animal rights! Honestly after watching that documentary I want to further distance myself from affiliation with them. Their affiliation with Peter Singer (the so called father of animal rights) was already enough to make me cut ties forever, this just solidifies it!

Why I think Ingrid Newkirk is off her rocker:

Okay okay…so I have to get this out first. (Excuse me for being hyper-critical!) I was sooooooooooooo disturbed at the opening where Ingrid is preparing food for herself, FROZEN vegetables and some Amy’s FROZEN entrĂ©e. Can you say YUCK??? To top it off, most of Amy’s food isn’t even really vegan as many products are manufactured on equipment that also process animal and animal by-products! DISGUSTING! Amy’s is one issue, showing a vegan consuming FROZEN VEGTABLES AND USING A MICROWAVE in the very beginning of an animal rights documentary is so negative. I mean she is supposedly a vegan (though veganism isn’t really mentioned at all in this film, except when the guy trying to get a sound byte from Pink said he was from a vegan radio show), and if she is a vegan shouldn’t she want to show the many awesome and appetizing UNPACKAGED foods a vegan can eat. Public relations is a huge part of my life so you’ll have to excuse my annoyance once again, but couldn’t she have represented us a little better?? She could have eaten some gorgeous salad and had veggies lying around her kitchen and a cutting board or something. I mean with all the nutritious vegan options she uses the microwave on frozen food…UGH! That so disturbs me, but the lack of vegan representation throughout the film disturbs me even more!

So that isn’t the only reason I think she is off her rocker, her narration was enough to make me declare insanity after only a few moments. She has this empty callous personality which is so different from the people that actually work at PETA. I spent a volunteer work week in the summer of 2005 at their headquarters in Norfolk and experienced the foot soldiers of PETA and their dedication first hand. I understand her passion for animals, but BBQ skin? If she has to say that she should keep it amongst friends. Come on…All these scary marketing tactics and attention seeking campaigns make her look crazy rather than dedicated and selfless (my opinion)! So what if she gets arrested and dragged away…I mean PETA has enough money to bail her out. I don’t think the money spent to bail them out of jail and pay the legal fees is where the donors expect their money to go. I believe all that money for lawsuits, etc should be going to helping animals like the little dog in the film. I mean instead of putting him to sleep they could have paid for the intense treatment that he needed so he could be adopted out. Yeah I know they build dog houses, etc…and I also know that realistically it’s not possible for one organization to save all the abused and homeless dogs and cats, but I definitely believe that money should be spent better to eliminate the use of euthanasia unless the animal is truly dying and there is no treatment or solution that would help them. This was not the case for the dog in the film. Who is Ingrid to decide that this dog should die and that death is a gift for these animals? It’s the double standards that get me to the anti-PETA mode. Like Pink for instance, she eats fish but she is in PETA ad campaigns. Like Dita Von Teese, who wears fur, but who also does PETA ads and wants you to spay and neuter you dogs and cats. RIDICULOUS!

The whole alligator skin tid-bit and the coffin thing made Ingrid sound and look even crazier. She also kept referring to the guardians or care-givers to the dogs as OWNERS!!! ANIMAL RIGHTS 101– WE DON’T OWN ANIMALS!! In my opinion as was the lady from Friends of Animals (not that I wish to be affiliated with them either) was right on, Ingrid seems to be more concerned about being a HISTORICAL FIGURE than focusing on the animals.
Here is a description on PETA's site that had to pass through Ingrid to be published:

"She's tough. She's fearless. She's driven. She's a brilliant strategist. She's perhaps the most famous animal rights activist in the world. Get a glimpse inside the daily life of PETA President Ingrid Newkirk—from the moment she wakes up, well before dawn, until the end of a long day spent fighting for the rights of animals.

Meet the woman who founded PETA. See what makes her tick, see how far she is willing to go to help animals, hear what her detractors say—some who fear any threat to their bottom line and others who are envious of her success—and meet some of the animals who have benefited from her tireless work."

Enough on that…

I also had a problem with them defining what is a more relevant issue in the animal rights (really welfarist when it comes to this particular organization) agenda. No issue whether it revolves around exotic animals or animals used in agriculture should be more IMPORTANT than others.

The investigator stuff wigged me out a bit; I just couldn’t imagine killing animals even if it was to get groundbreaking footage. It is kind of an ethical situation, which is up for debate if anyone is interested. I’m just unsure of how I feel about it overall. I know that undercover footage has helped in lots of aspects, yet to me I feel like contributing to the death of animals in anyway for any reason is wrong. I won’t make an absolute statement about this yet, as I haven’t read enough about it to be that definitive. I don’t think those investigations are morally consistent with my personal beliefs though…AS IN I WOULD NEVER BE VOLUNTEERING FOR ONE.

Another issue was her adamant support of ALF. When I was younger I was really intrigued by the Animal Liberation Front, but again what they do is morally inconsistent with my beliefs so I can not be a supporter. If they are endangering any lives it is wrong. There are many different aspects to consider and I won’t go into it all. I don’t think breaking animals out is necessarily bad, but fire bombing is. I don’t feel that it’s okay for animal rights people to be lumped in with terror organizations and the actions of some have put all of us under the same cloak. UNFAIR!

Again, pissed about no mention of veganism!!! GO VEG…isn’t enough. GO VEGAN is the only way to go…One of the kids said something like, “well if you aren’t going to go vegetarian at least don’t buy a butterball”. How is that animal rights? NEVER ADVOCATE ANIMAL SUFFERING….and to me that is what he did. If they don’t buy a butterball but buy a different brand of dead Turkey then what good is that for the plight of live Turkeys???? DON’T EAT ANIMALS PERIOD! An absolute statement…
They also left out the facts and statistical information that should always be included to get people interested. If you say it takes X to produce X hamburgers or consuming X is related to X cancer diagnoses per year, people are more likely to have something solid to hold on to and maybe research later.

Okay….so that is my I Am An Animal review. I wrote it really quickly from the notes I had scribbled down while watching it. Everything is going well with my diet though I have slipped down to the 85% percent model in the past few days while getting back to 100 % health. Not to worry though, I was inspired today by some raw blogs!! I am perfectly better and ready and I’m going back up to 95%. I’m really bored of the dressings that I have learned to make. While perusing through recipes online I have been having a hard time finding one that appeals to me. Eating organic beans and organic brown rice shouldn’t make me feel guilty, but it does!!! It’s really funny how my mind works now and I love the challenge…No matter what the fact that I don’t eat any preservatives, additives, or chemicals in packaged food and all organic food is just amazing to me. I feel like I’m right in line with what a natural human diet should be. I’m really upset that I haven’t been able to find an organic mango or pineapple since I’ve been back from Illinois, those were two of my favs!!! NOT HAPPY!! Have a great evening…

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stuffed = NO / Stuffy Nose = YES...

I came down with something gross…I’m almost over it though. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling awful. I really only felt absolutely miserable on Wednesday…thank heavens!! I swear I’ve never been sick and felt as good as I have this time. Usually I can’t even make it out of bed. I think my body appreciates being chemical free and not being forced to take medicine/pharmaceuticals to mask my illness! I’d rather just deal with the problem by loading up on nutrients!!! It’s my 23rd day of eating all organic and raw and the benefits are limitless!! YAY! Though my appetite hasn’t been much of anything this week due to this illness! I usually get sick once a year and I guess this is my once a year (fingers crossed)!!! I was seriously around so many people this past weekend that I could have caught it from many different culprits!! Luckily I’m only in my office until noon today and this morning I tried on my first piece of apparel that didn’t fit me the 2nd week in October and now does! I still haven’t weighed myself but this is a sure sign that I’m losing inches! YAY! I am going to start a fierce exercise routine once I kick this thing. I had already been power-walking on my treadmill and doing Pilates (major slacking lately…I admit), but I need to step it up a notch for maximization. Again, apologies about my lack of posts the past two weeks! I’ll get back into a groove soon! I hope you aren’t out being good little American consumers today…

Monday, November 19, 2007

Refusing to Celebrate Genocide...

Okay peeps! This is post is kind of a "rip off"(meaning not that much writing by me personally, but full of awesome information), but I want to get back to posting every day and have been extremely busy at work and in life. There is hardly enough time to come up for air and stay grounded as well...I kind of like it! Tonight at 8pm on HBO I Am Animal: The Story if Ingrid Newkirk and PETA. As I said previously I am not a PETA supporter though I once was, I have a friend who works at PETA and he advised me that it will show opposing arguments, etc. and confront the hypocrisy. Though I know the spin of this documentary before I even watch it, I will still definitely watch it. It’s advisable to always know both and all sides of a debate. Just like the saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemy closer.” (evil smirk) Not that PETA in anyway is my enemy, I’m sure you can read between the lines! I’ll review it ASAP!

Oh boy, I know there are many issues I need and want to talk about but for today I'm posting the bulletin that I posted on my private Myspace account. I read this awesome blog posting from Vegan Hip Hop's Myspace page today.

I pasted the whole blog in its entirety in my bulletin for convenience.

Here you are:

Date: Nov 19, 2007 12:25 PM
Subject: Celebrating Genocide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Body: My husband and I don't celebrate Thanksgiving and many people often question why. While you can assume that it's all because of the fact that we are abolitionist vegans, there are many other factors that we consider in being morally consistent with all of our values, ethics and beliefs. The blog below from Vegan Hip Hop's page is very on point and describes our disdain with this "holiday" by incorporating the animal as well as human rights implications. I know that many people are apathetic and complacent and have too many important things to worry about like holiday shopping, new cars, designer brands and the biggie 'SELF', but at some point in life you have to start thinking about issues outside of our own existence if we are ever to evolve as a society. A criminal war is waging and our rights are slowly but surely dwindling away while you're celebrating with your family and dining on a well presented dead animal carcass!
Kenya (who is thankful for an open and informed mind and heart but not for a past atrocity!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Celebrating Genocide!
Category: Life

Celebrating Genocide!

Dan Brook

En Espanol: Celebrando el Genocidio
on ZNet

Many people annually get as stuffed as their turkeys in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday, so much so that it is not just a holiday, but really is (as the etymology implies) one of our Holy Days, almost universally celebrated by Americans. In its sacredness, families get together to (unintentionally?) celebrate one genocide (against Native Americans) by committing another (against turkeys). Can we celebrate in good faith and conscience?

On Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks. We give thanks for being the invader, the exploiter, the dominator, the greedy, the gluttonous, the colonizer, the thief, indeed the genocidaire, rather than on the other side of imperialism's zero-sum murderous game. As Mark Twain points out in his War Prayer, wishing and being thankful for one's own success and victory is, at the very same time, wishing and being thankful for another's defeat and destruction. Do we want to make these kinds of wishes and give these kinds of thanks?

The Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran declared that "it is the honor of the murdered that they are not the murderers". Perhaps, but it is a very difficult honor to uphold. Native Americans, at least those who have survived the over 500 year genocidal project, are the poorest ethnic group in the richest country of the world. Each year, a group of Native Americans gather at Plymouth Rock on Thanksgiving Day to mourn and fast in honor of their people and in memory of what is lost. What do we want to be honored for? What honors are Americans thankful for?

It was once earnestly asked by Native Americans, "Why do you take by force what you can have by love?" Christopher Columbus reports in his personal diary that when he arrived in the Americas he was amazed. The Arawaks, with curiosity and joy, came to greet the people coming off the ships from Europe. The Arawaks (whom Columbus mistakenly thought were Indians) were a peaceful people, by all accounts, willing to share anything they had, offering both emotional kindness and their physical objects. Columbus describes how remarkable these people were. So innocent of weapons and violence, Arawak people would initially reach out their hands to feel the strange, shiny objects called swords. The Arawaks would only "work" for a few hours a day, "spending" the rest of their time relaxing, socializing, and creating their culture in the ways that people most enjoy. Columbus also tells of how the Arawaks had no "shame", being able to walk around naked or make love whenever they pleased. With the tiny amount of gold on their island, they fashioned jewelry to adorn themselves. As with many other pre-contact indigenous groups, the Arawaks essentially lived in Utopia. Can Americans be thankful for living in a utopian society? Are we thankful for having destroyed one? Should we be grateful for having so many deadly weapons? For being so greedy for gold, both actual and metaphorical?

As Kevin Danaher of Global Exchange is fond of pointing out, Columbus could have done one of a few different things after encountering the Arawaks of whom he was so impressed: (1) Columbus could have quit his travels and lived the rest of his days amongst this remarkable people. In fact, millions of people today spend thousands of dollars and their precious couple of weeks of vacation trying to experience modern conditions resembling these ancient ones. (2) Columbus could also have continued on his journeys, exploring other islands, encountering new peoples, and searching for India and elsewhere with which to trade. While doing so, he could have expanded and developed his writings, perhaps doing valuable ethnographic and comparative sociological research. (3) Another possibility is that Columbus could have rushed back to Europe, declaring the wonders of Arawak society and urging that the best minds of Europe go to visit and study the Arawaks. As a result of doing so, Europeans could have incorporated aspects of Arawak society into their own, if not emulating it altogether. Are we proud of and thankful for our hubris and ethnocentrism?

Of course, Columbus did none of these. Apparently, there was a fourth possibility. With grave implications, Columbus wrote in his diary that with fifty men he could enslave the entire population and capture all their gold. This was no empty boast. The "savage" Arawaks were enslaved, many were tortured, their labor exploited, and their wealth stolen and shipped off to Europe. During this process of imperialist superexploitation, men had their hands chopped off, women had their breasts sliced and their pregnant bellies cut open, babies were thrown into the air, sometimes crashing to the ground and other times being impaled on those strange, shiny swords, presumably all in the name of Christianity, Civilization, and, eventually, Capitalism. The Arawaks were literally exploited to death and they are now extinct, all of them having been killed off through virulent brutality, overwork, and disease. Are Americans thankful they weren't Arawaks? Are we thankful for not being the dehumanized "Other"?

The Pilgrims later came to America to escape religious persecution from the British, apparently in order to commit ethnic and religious persecution against the Native Americans and, later on, others. And this they did, and we in fact continue to do, effectively and mercilessly. At the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, it was also the dawn of another type of genocide. 1619 marks the first year that human beings were brutally "imported" from Africa to become slaves in America, if they happened to survive the cruel capture and horrific Atlantic crossing. So while Africans were being heartlessly torn away from their homes and families, viciously enslaved and dehumanized, tortured and killed, Native Americans were being attacked and annihilated. By the time that President Lincoln re-invented and instituted the Thanksgiving Day tradition in the early 1860s, the US was fighting its civil war. The US Civil War may have been fought over slavery (and labor more generally), though it was certainly not fought for the slaves (or for laborers). Sadly, there is much, much more to the tragic history of genocide and US complicity. Is it for this legacy that Americans give thanks? Are Americans thankful for the results of racism and classism?

In Europe, during the 1930s and 1940s, various demographic groups were being systematically targeted by the Nazis, including leftists and unionists, people with physical and mental disabilities, Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses, gays and lesbians, the Roma (so-called Gypsies) and the small number of Blacks, as well as other misfortunate minorities. Although we now know that the US had accurate aerial photographs of the rail lines leading to and from the death camps since 1941, among other pertinent information obtained even earlier, the US did not enter the war against fascist Germany until almost 1942, only after the US was physically attacked by Japan. Even then, however, the US neither bombed the rail lines or the death camps themselves, nor allowed in large numbers of refugees from fascism. Indeed, just like Haitians in the 1990s and Afghans in 2001, Jews in the 1940s were sometimes turned back to their respective Hell. Millions and millions of people died unnecessarily. Adding insult to injury, the US government even paid war reparations to US corporations, including General Motors, which were supplying the Nazi military with much-needed machinery and vehicles, for the damage done to their German factories due to the Allied bombing campaign. (The US government went further by guaranteeing safe passage for many Nazi officers and even employing a number of them, some of whom helped advance biological and chemical weaponry as well as death penalty technology in the US. Other Nazi officers were supported, especially in Europe and Latin America, as an oppositional force against real or suspected communism.) Likewise, the US was seemingly uninterested in Japan's genocide against the Chinese in Nanking, and then did (and does) little to stop China's genocide of the Tibetans since the 1950s. The US has also never been interested in the genocide against the Kurds or Armenians. The US was interested, however, in setting up concentration camps in 1942 for Japanese-Americans and, to a much lesser extent, Germans and Italians. Are Americans thankful for our hypocrisy and selective democracy?

In 1965, the US supported and facilitated genocide in Indonesia. Under the US-supported military dictatorship, half a million to a million communist-sympathizing peasants were killed in Indonesia. Their lives are considered so worthless that a more accurate number of those killed is nearly impossible. (A more recent example of this mentality is from the Gulf War, during which US bulldozing tanks buried an unknown number of slaughtered Iraqis in the desert. When asked how many were killed and buried in these mass unmarked graves, General Colin Powell coldly replied that he wasn't interested and didn't care. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright followed up that mentality by stating on TV that the hundreds of thousands of additional kids who have died since the war, due to sanctions, are a worthwhile price to pay. For whom?) The US supplied some 90% of the weapons and training to the Indonesian military, in addition to favorable trade and investment, but also provided logistics and specific names of Indonesian activists to be targeted for death. The Indonesian military gladly obliged, taking the US hit list and then accomplishing their task as best as possible. Since 1975, similarly, the US has sponsored and abetted genocide in Indonesian-occupied East Timor, culminating in the latest round of "newsworthy" massacres at the end of 1999. Nearly the same time that the modern Indonesian/East Timorese tragedy began, the US condoned genocide in Cambodia, after committing acts of genocide throughout South East Asia in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, the US supported vicious and murderous wars in Central America, central Asia, and southern Africa, in which hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, were killed, with many more disabled, displaced, and disappeared. The US also sat idly by during the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s, while almost totally ignoring slavery and genocide in Sudan throughout that entire decade. Furthermore, the US persists in continuously building, vigorously marketing, and violently employing chemical, biological, nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Are Americans proud of US foreign policy? Of supporting murderous dictators and regimes? Of maintaining deadly double standards?

At the same time that the US has, by far, the most expensive and powerful military on Earth, it also has a high poverty rate, the largest prison population, a relatively high infant mortality rate, tremendous overconsumption and waste, a stingy and demeaning welfare program, an active capital punishment program, and almost as many privately owned guns as people. Are Americans proud of US domestic policy? Of supporting murderous policies and programs? Of maintaining deadly discriminatory standards?

There are many reasons to celebrate and Americans have a lot to be thankful for. Genocide should not be one of those things. What are we doing on Thanksgiving Day? We would be appropriately appalled if Germany or Austria were celebrating a Holocaust Memorial Day, where Germans and Austrians got together with their families for dinner on their official day off, joyously remembering the things that are important to them, just as American families get together for Thanksgiving Day and think of things to be thankful for. (Similar scenarios, just as ugly, could be constructed for white supremacists, rapists, and murderers.) Some activities and events are inappropriate just because of the context in which they occur and the history of suffering they represent. Thanksgiving Day is clearly part of that history. Are Americans thankful for forgetting their own history, for having collective cultural and political amnesia?

We do not have to feel guilty, but we do need to feel something. At the very least, we need to reflect on how and what we feel. We should also review our history and what it means to us and others, while we must rethink our adopted traditions, including our Thanksgiving High Holy Day. My personal (and therefore political!) resolution for the new year is to stop celebrating genocide. American Thanksgiving may be sacred to some, but it's utterly profane to me.

**Dan Brook earned a B.A. in Socio-Political Economy from Clark University, an M.A. in Political Science from San Francisco State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Davis. Dan's work has been published in various journals from the American Journal of Economics and Sociology to Z Magazine. He lives in San Francisco and is currently a freelance instructor of sociology and social science.

You can read a book review of Michael Parenti's "History as Mystery" by Dan Brook here

Also, Dan is the author of "Sociological Snippets" which can be found in The Sociology Shop HERE

Dan's email address is


and a special note to those concerned w/animal rights, which i hope is everyone reading this: (Kenya did not make this note it was a comment on this original posting but she sure as hell agrees with this dude!)

how is it that one take the stance of modifying a cultural practice that does celebrate genocide by eating tofurky think their act is revolutionary? please be consistent and consider the rights of ALL animals, humans are w/out a doubt included and your protesting the murder of turkeys on "thanksgiving" all the while supporting and perpetuating a ritual that is nothing but a slap in the face to indigenous people and all who stand in solidarity. furthermore, i encourage you all to support by nothing day ( because again, nonhuman and human animals alike are truly exploited in preparation for the biggest shopping day of the year (i.e. sweatshops and factory farms).


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Absence Makes My Soul Grow Stronger...

It’s been a while but I’m still here and kicking! I’m still very invigorated and excited about my new raw life!! I had a great vacay visiting the in-laws. I was so happy to get away from emails and the fast paced life of this DC Metro area! It was nice to see all the beautiful scenery that the autumn offers our country. I can not say enough about all the gorgeous land and places we saw on our journey! It was very interesting to be vegan on the road and in a small town, especially raw organic vegan! You would be surprised the leaps and bounds veganism is taking all over America. I was astonished and proud of the selection in Southern Illinois, even for those processed vegan items that we don’t consume. For someone out there those products could be the beginning of a vegan adventure. I always have hope that more people will decide to recognize the atrocity of using animals as food and as a commodity. I will write more about my "raw on the road" experience in my next blog (hopefully tomorrow)!

We got in very late last night (or early this morning to be exact) and I’m very exhausted and have a very packed week ahead of me! A funeral and a wedding…just so much to deal with right now! I will continue my regular daily blog starting Monday, until Monday I can't make any promises. I’m still doing the 80-95% raw diet model. It’s been pretty easy though one day last week on vacay I totally wanted something cooked that was not on my list…I totally got through it and I’m so over it! I’m really doing about 95% raw with the only things cooked being organic short grain brown rice and beans from a slow cooker (only a couple times a week or so). Unfortunately for me I ate a small serving of organic whole grain pasta once in my 14 days of being raw; it is on the 80-95% raw model list (see below). It was a treat for my two weeks of being 95% raw, but after eating it I felt like total crap and I am not eating anything else cooked except for my chosen 5% of non-stove top organic brown rice and beans (slow/rice cooker). Seriously, even though that pasta was on my list I just shouldn’t have eaten it…I felt sick almost immediately and still do a little (though it could be all mental)! I think it is because I have been so heavy on the veggies that something solid and heavy like that just through my digestive tract for a loop. I don’t think it’s a fair game to play with my body…it was more like a trick than a treat! Straight up raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, granola, brown rice, beans and legumes is enough for me...I think following the 100 % model with only a slight adjustment with the rice and beans works perfect with my body. Thanks for reading!!!!!!!

Ann Wigmore’s Raw Model Diet Chart

I noticed today that the DC veg society's monthly raw vegan potluck is no longer meeting regularly as of April. BOO! I guess I decided to jump on the DC raw wagon a little late. Someone should try to start it up again...maybe me!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Restricted To Happiness...

Such a busy day...I love the pressure of deadlines and intensity. It’s the trained journalist in me. I have so much to accomplish today but the sound of freedom is ringing sweetly in my ear so all the hard work is well worth it!

I’ve been thinking a lot in the past couple of days about the social politics of eating. For generations people have been gathering around food in joy, comfort and celebration. I understand that…completely, it just doesn’t do anything for me anymore personally. I constantly “did dinner” and lunch with my friends for years up until recently, but now that I’m only consuming organic WHOLE foods and not many restaurants (even ones that cater to vegans in my area) have organic (raw) vegan I’ve decided to cater to my diet with my own two hands PROUDLY and NATURALLY. Why bother eating out…especially when I can whip up the safest and tastiest natural food right at home. Eating a nutritious raw diet enables me so many take along options that come in their own natural packages, making it easy to bring anywhere with me. I mean everyone likes being served…right? Though (I always consider) at what risk? I no longer feel comfortable eating out with such a high risk of contamination. It is just not worth it to me at this point. Every time there is an event people feel as if they have to cater to us, but we don’t care nor do we EVER expect that. Many think that EVERYONE in the world is focused on food, well…my life is sustained by food but my world doesn’t revolve around EATING IT. I have separated greed and hunger and I know that food is beneficial for health and being around friends and family is enjoyment enough. Don’t think we aren’t happy because you are eating a huge steak….and we aren’t. WE DON’T CARE. We don’t feel left out, we are vegans by CHOICE and we aren’t missing or losing out on anything! We see it exactly opposite! While you’re (the royal you) gorging yourself on animal parts and pesticides, we aren’t jealous…we are thinking of how lucky we are to be well informed enough to care for the one body that we are given while here on earth. We are thinking of our future and how healthy and non-toxic our bodies will be so we can spread the knowledge of health and cruelty free diets to our children… It’s no longer our issue at this point, it’s yours. I just wish that people could understand that we do this because we want to, we aren’t restricted. We feel that the SAD (Standard American Diet) is a hindrance and a restriction on life and what it could and should be…veganism is a gift we gave to ourselves. Honestly, I’ve never received something so amazing in my life.

We watched the Australian movie Rabbit Proof Fence on Sunday and it made us think of our time in Australia where we lived while I got my Masters Degree. It was a surreal and a great learning experience for us. Australia was the most beautiful land but there was such a lack of respect and representation of the Indigenous culture that were almost completely and strategically “wiped out”. These native people were considered Flora and Fauna (NOT PEOPLE) until the 1967 Flora and Fauna Act was passed. This movie was a true story of 3 little Indigenous girls that found their way home on an expansive voyage (they are referred to as half caste-meaning half Aboriginal and half white), after being stolen from their native land and family in the bush to be assimilated into the white Australian culture in hopes of eventually "breeding the black out of them". POPULATION CONTROL anyone!?! This was a very emotional film, I’ve studied a lot about Indigenous cultures and they’re portrayal in society and the media. It is something that I hold very close to my heart after living and experiencing racism first hand while living in Australia.

Reminiscent of what happened here…

Lucas came across this article (I don’t agree with the angel/spin of the article suggesting that sheep aren’t as important…but it’s the stats/facts that get me- last night which correlates the racism/specism model. Animal and Human rights are one struggle. Disadvantaged people are treated poorly unless they serve as some kind of economic incentive (just like non-human animals), as you see in the article sheep serve the Australian economy so there was this concocted uproar about live export (but it’s def not for the sake of the sheep). Unfortunately, most of the Indigenous people do not serve as good and model consumers to provide an economic incentive so they are treated unfairly and are forced to live impoverished while others make money on land that their people have been on forever (there is much speculation that they’ve been there since beginning of time…as the ORIGINAL MAN). The similarities in the struggle are so similar that I couldn’t be morally consistent as a “black” person and inflict the same sort of injustices on other animals. If you believe in human rights you believe in animal rights…one struggle…one fight!

I'm off to IL tomorrow...I'll blog if/when I find the time until I'm back next Wednesday. Have a great week!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Morally Devoted To You...

Hello!! AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW I ABSOLUTELY LOVE AUTUMN (tree at my parent's this weekend)!!!! It sure is the perfect time of year and the perfect time for change! It’s great to be back even though being back means being back to the daily grind. I’m still feeling great and I’m loving the way my body is reacting to me treating it sooooo kindly with my new organic raw diet!!! I seriously have never felt better, I think my body has been thanking me for years for my veg lifestyle but now that I’m not only vegan but eating organic and raw I feel that it’s rewarding me even more! You’re welcome body…enjoy! This diet isn’t only improving my health but my spirit too. I have been in the best mood ever for the past week…and I know it’s because I’m nourishing every aspect of my body in just the right way. I’m usually in a good mood and in high spirits, but I’ve just been so elated about EVERYTHING!!!! I really think that my good vibrations are making great things happen in my life, I received some awesome news at work today and it’s only 1 o’clock so my day is only going to get more fab!!!!

We were listening to the Vegcast pod cast from back in January of 2007 this weekend as we traveled to my ‘rents house, it was an awesome (as usual) interview with Gary Fracione a Law Professor at Rutgers who supports the abolitionist approach to animal rights. My animal rights platform is very in line with what they were discussing near the end of the pod cast. Though I have discussed health in my previous two entries and the health platform is sure to come up in future entries, I want you to know that is not my original agenda for animal rights or becoming vegan. All the interesting health aspects and environmental information are things that I have picked up along the way in my journey to harmonious living; the original spark was all about my moral stance. Professor Francione stated that despite the evidence and statistics of the health and environmental implications of animal rights very few people are able to grasp those concepts. He basically states that animal rights is a moral dilemma and if people aren’t moved by the moral implications it will be hard to get them to grasp the health and environmental links. The morality of it all is what pulled me in to the movement at 13 and it is definitely the thing that keeps me grounded.

We also listened to the pod cast with Dr. McDougall, a physician and nutrition expert who advocates a total plant based diet and even has his own healthy vegan cuisine line on the market ( McDougall discussed how it is time to stop being polite and it’s time to start being more frank and speak the truth as loud as we can. As a doctor he has being advocating a plant based diet for years and is frustrated that people just aren’t listening to the FACTS or their own bodies. If board certified physicians are advocating a vegan diet and you don’t take their advice….who’s advice will you take??? I feel the same way; if people are offended and feel vegans are being morally superior it’s their problem. I get that all the time “you think you’re better because…” when in all actuality the people making that statement are the ones who feel that my diet/lifestyle is morally superior. Though I have never said anything about being morally superior, I am morally consistent with my values about all different realms of existence and eating a sentient being is definitely not morally acceptable. You can say you love animals, but what you mostly likely mean if you’re not vegan is that you love YOUR cat/dog. Really what’s the difference between your companion animal cat/dog and the cow that you served to your whole family for dinner last night? That’s right…THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. Professor Francione talks about being morally consistent with your views and I know many people who are not. If you believe in peace and being environmentally sound then don’t eat animals and if you do eat animals don’t get mad at me for calling out your inconsistencies. Watch the documentary Earthlings if you haven’t, it’s visually intense and I don’t see how anyone can watch this video and not make a change in their lives. The moral implications run rampant throughout this documentary. You can watch it on Google Video, it’s a great learning tool and it’s not made by PETA, which makes it even better!

This weekend we went to Pangea an independent vegan store (has a huge online store too in Rockville Maryland. We had been wanting to go forever and finally did, it was very close and we will def be going again. They have a ton of random vegan products from food to make-up and household cleaning items. My favorite item I bought was this frosty blue nail polish and Lucas’ was probably his vegan belt! His old one was falling apart. Many people probably don’t realize how hard it is to find every day items like ties that aren’t made out of wool or belts not made out of leather (and not from sweatshops). We are constantly on the prowl for vegan items and we love it when we don’t have to plan ahead of time and order them online. So “YAY” for Pangea.

I will be out of town visiting my in-laws in Illinois from this Wednesday until next Wednesday so my posts will be sparse during that time. I might write one or two blogs while there if I find the time. When I get back I’ll definitely be writing about my experiences being “raw on the road”, which should be fun!!!

Today I have to post this article ( from a book by Dr. Patrick Walsh and Janet Farrar. While researching my husband found this article from the book, What a prostate does: A Brief Anatomy Lecture. It is quite interesting as a whole, but I want to highlight this section:

“Lately, scientists at Johns Hopkins have begun exploring the relationship between the prostate and seminal vesicles. What we have learned from their work is that the saga of human evolution is also a story of two male glands-both of which produce fluid that makes up semen. One gland, the prostate, is prone to cancer. The other, the seminal vesicle, is remarkably free of it. In nature, animals that are carnivores-meat-eaters like dogs and lions-don't have seminal vesicles. The only animals that have both prostates and seminal vesicles are herbivores-veggie-eating animals like bulls, apes, and elephants. There is only one exception to this rule: humans. Men have seminal vesicles, too. In other words, man, a meat-lover, has the makeup of an animal that should be a vegetarian.”

It’s very interesting because this doctor doesn’t have an animal rights or vegan affiliation or agenda, but he too comes up with the common correlation that human anatomy is not that of a carnivore. Just some more evidence against the argument that HUMANS WERE MADE TO EAT MEAT and IT’S NATURAL…

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Evolution Includes Breakfast...

I am back and energized this morning, I think with my new diet I’m able to ‘do morning’ way better than usual. I’m totally the kind of person who hates getting up before noon, even though I’m usually at my office around 8:40am during the week. Every morning I go through the usual struggle of dragging myself out of our comfy bed, especially while Luke and Star are so perfectly cuddled together…without me! They look all warm and snugly while they basically take over the warm spot that was once mine. Unlike most women, I can get ready for work in an instant…like 15-20 minutes. For the sake of all my friends out there…I have to admit that HAS NOT always been the case (so shut it) and it is not always the case when I go out …but usually (since A. I never wear make-up like foundation and B. I don’t have to do much to my hair because I have dreads (which I absolutely love and changed my life)) it doesn’t take very long at all.

My biggest problem habit that I picked up in high school out of my disdain for morning activities was not eating breakfast. Seriously folks, I can go hours without eating. This is not a good thing, and definitely not a weight loss method. Basically not eating has caused my body to store fat. After 10 years of not eating breakfast I am on morning 2 of ‘EAT SOMETHING STUPID YOU’RE SLOWING DOWN YOUR ALREADY SLOW METABOLISM’. Yes, I know many of you have been saying this for years. Both my husband and best friend Erika have been badgering me for years about this problem and they both have been severely disturbed by my daytime eating habits, or lack there of. I am now ready to make that change because I know my health isn’t at the optimal capacity with me doing things like that to my body. Just because I don’t feel hungry doesn’t mean my body doesn’t want its fuel for the daytime. I am obviously not perfect and this is something I’m still struggling with because I truly don’t get hungry until around 5 when I get home. I am basically forcing myself to eat fruits these first few days and then I will add in natural granola, homemade muesli and nuts into the daytime equation. All these things are easy to store and carry with me to the office. I also am on the search for the perfect power juicer to add yummy veggie and fruit juices to my mornings as well. If anyone knows of any awesome juicers to suggest let me know. I plan on deciding on one in the next two weeks.

This is all the yummy food I ate yesterday, organic and prepared in various raw ways:
Green-Leaf Lettuce
Flax Seed
Red Onion
Garbanzo Beans

I promise you people I’ve never felt more connected to the earth, animals, nature and my true self. To me nothing is better than fresh fruit and vegetables. This has not always been the case; I used to be a big candy person and junk food vegetarian. In the past year we have completely eliminated all refined and unlabeled sugar (and now sugar in general) and you know what…I don’t miss it for one second. If I want sugar I am happy to chow down on some raisins or a beautiful mango and that satisfies me way better than those pesky little Sour Patch kids I used to crave. I call dried fruit ‘nature’s candy’ and I much prefer it. I think when people look at going vegan and going raw as well, as GIVING SOMETHING UP. I think of it in the opposite way…GAINING SOMETHING BETTER. If you consider things like, “what nutritional value does this fried potato or artificially flavored candy add to my body?” it is so much easier to feel perfectly satisfied with only consuming foods that are completely natural and come from the earth with no blood, guts or gore.

There are tons of unhealthy vegan friendly foods out there, like all those products with isolated soy proteins (mock meats, soy sour creams, cheeses and ice creams). These things aren’t ALL bad with moderation, but I think they should be used as transitional foods rather than a diet’s staple ingredients. The best way to take in soy is in its most natural form like edamame. Tofu and tempeh aren’t bad because they aren’t processed the same way as those other isolated soy products. I have given up tofu and tempeh for now, though I may introduce them back into my diet eventually as they are not harmful to your health, but not really a part of the raw diet I’m going for right now while getting in maximum form for my child bearing/rearing years.

Our old vegan Saturday lunch-fast (I'm over "brunch" and it can't truly be considered breakfast when we didn't wake up until 1pm) complete with tofu scramble w/ veggies and nutritional yeast, soy sausage, sauteed potatoes, fruit, and multi grain toast w/ Earth Balance spread...I will never touch MOST of this stuff again, especially in this was totally vegan 100%, but not what I'd call healthy and definitely not raw...I won't say it's bad like once every two months or whatever...just not for me, anymore! I love regular vegan cooking so don't read me wrong...I plan on feeding my children some cooked foods as long as there are no preservatives, artificial flavors/colorings, pesticides, etc....

Most all of us have been eating artificial flavorings and ‘natural flavorings’ that aren’t really natural at all, since we were children, starting with the breakfast cereals and the 'mac and cheese' and all of these unwholesome processed foods. As an adult I can’t consciously continue to put these things in my body when I know for a fact that they are unhealthy and unnatural. Our house is unhealthy packaged food free and no microwaveable crap either (we are highly against using microwaves as well), no more random words we can’t pronounce from unknown sources going into our bodies. Same thing goes for meat (as in animal flesh), yes I know most people have been consuming bacon and eggs since they were toddlers but these are things that hinder your body’s ability to prosper. I keep forgetting to mention the perils of of GMO foods (genetically modified foods)...this is another big problem facing all of us vegan and non vegan alike. Most fruits and vegetables (ESPECIALLY CORN AND SOY) are genetically modified now, so unless you are buying organic you never really know what exactly is in your food or what your food has been bred with because manufactures/farmers aren't required to label it. 'They' have mixed tomato and fish DNA to produce a more sustainable tomato crop for one example. This is a very scary practice and it's even scarier that this kind of practice will no doubt be extended to humans (and already has been to some extent).

A brief overview of what Genetic Modification from Wiki (btw-in my opinion wiki is not a great source for MOST things you want to be able to back up factually, but it does the job explaining this in a simple and concise manner!)

" A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using the genetic engineering techniques generally known as recombinant DNA technology. With recombinant DNA technology, DNA molecules from different sources are combined in vitro into one molecule to create a new gene. This modified DNA is then transferred into an organism causing the expression of modified or novel traits. The product is also known as an Genetically Engineered Organism or GEO.
The term "GMO" has historically been defined as organisms whose genetic makeup has been altered by conventional cross breeding or by "mutagenesis" breeding, as these methods predate the discovery of the recombinant DNA techniques. However, this term is now interchangeable with Genetically Engineered Organism."

Yesterday there was this article in USA Today about the cancer-fat link. The USA Today doesn’t have a vegan agenda people, I know I do…but they don’t. They won’t even take a vegan/vegetarian stance for that matter. This is basically a gloss over article which I do not approve of, but I know this is the kind of article that everyday people read. In a way it’s ‘good’ (I use this term loosely as well) because at least part of the story is getting out, in other ways it’s bad because the subject is glossed over and the ‘eat vegan’ stance is completely eliminated. There are studies and trials that PROVE that eating meat is unhealthy, but yet for some reason people still consume it. The usual answer we receive is, “IT TASTES GOOD”! When I hear that answer I immediately think of a Neanderthal on one of the Discovery Channel shows. When I hear the answer “IT’S NATURAL TO EAT MEAT”, it’s a whole different vision…but I’ll save that for another time. It’s unhealthy on such a large scale because people are dying everyday of cancer and heart disease largely due to consumption of animals and their by-products. This article is nothing profound to me; I’ve seen many and way more in-depth articles about the correlation of animal products and cancer. It was posted yesterday so it is timely for my forum today….

Put down the bacon! Report emphasizes cancer-fat links

Did reading/skimming the article have any affect on your ideas/thoughts? Does factual evidence change anything for those of you who consume an animal based diet?

This chart is from the article…..

The American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend:
• Maintaining a healthy body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9.
• Limiting consumption of red meat to no more than 18 ounces (cooked) a week.
• Eliminating processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and lunchmeat.
• Eating five servings or more of fruit and vegetables a day.
• Limiting consumption of alcohol to no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women.
• Exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
• Limiting consumption of salt.
• Limiting processed foods high in added sugar

Of course I ONLY ADVOCATE 100% VEGANISM, to me cutting down is a white-wash and will ultimately make no difference for animals or your health. This chart highlights “eating five serving or more of fruit and vegetables a day”, though it should read “Eat a plant-based diet”, plain and simple. Every site you read about cancer prevention and maintenance tells you to eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Instead of waiting until you’re already sick it’s best to be proactive and eliminate the risk as best as you can.
(I don’t advocate all the tips on this page; it is just a tool to show you how cancer prevention always pushes the fruit and veggie tip.)

Don’t think that it’s only meat/flesh that carries these deadly carcinogens, processed foods, preservatives and pesticides are also very dangerous and must be eliminated. Organic fruits and veggies make a lot of difference. I know this is a lot of information and a lot of ideas that may be foreign to you, but seriously there is a plethora of studies, statistics and information out there for you to discover on your own. Choose what sources you trust and scout out the information, you don’t have to take my word for it…I didn’t just take anyone else’s.

A great resource that I find to be credible is the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. They are a great point of reference and a jumping off place.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A New Beginning...

Now to introduce my life.....

Today is the beginning of a new, healthier and evolved me. I have had a great lifestyle as a vegan for some time now, but I feel it is time for metamorphosis to wash over this beautiful vegan life. I am introducing myself to the blogging community with excitement as I delve into the world of raw veganism. I am starting off with the 80-95% raw diet model from Ann Wigmore's Chart for Raw & Living Foods.

Chart -

There are very few “NOT VEGAN” (for those who listen to The Vegan Freaks podcast) items on this chart…OBVIOUSLY I won’t be including any of these things in my new diet.

Being a vegan is already very healthy (well unless you are a french fry/junk food vegan) but after reading articles and being inspired by the raw vegan film by Storm Talifero “Breakthrough Documentary” ( which can be watched on Google Video) I am ready to make the transition into the organic raw vegan world. Like the transition from vegetarian into veganism, it takes in-depth research time and effort, but the overall result will be well worth it. I know switching to an ALL ORGANIC diet (which has been in the works for months) is the absolute best decision for my body, soul and mind. Oh yeah…and not to mention it will no doubt help me maintain my already great cruelty free lifestyle while getting my body in top healthy form to become a mother (my ultimate goal).

Being able to share my experience through writing is cathartic for me and it can also be a teaching and information tool for the public. I have always used resources like Myspace as a platform for my abolitionist approach animal rights rants and raves, but I figure why not take it to a broader medium. I want the public to be able to share ideas and ask questions and even give me tips on how to perfect my raw vegan endeavors.

I am going all organic but doing the 80-95% raw model as a transition into 100% percent raw model. Change starts within the self, from the first piece of literature I read about animal rights I knew that I couldn’t consciously eat animals and be true to myself and my ethics. I first became vegetarian (I use this term loosely as I still consumed animal by-products like dairy…which in my opinion (garnered through years of intense research) isn’t truly vegetarian or respectable at all! All apologies if I offend any ‘vegetarians’, I support your efforts but insist that you GO VEGAN to be in line with your moral standpoint if it is that of ANIMAL RIGHTS!) at 13 and now at 28 I’m ready to take my veganism into the next and ultimate step. My husband and I hope to one day be as self sufficient as possible. We'd love to live off the grid using alternative methods of energy, have a house made out of enviromentally friendly materials that is built around the earth and live off the land by growing and storing our own food. When I saw Storm and his wife Jinjee in the documentary raising these free-thinking, active, diverse and intelligent children I couldn’t help but want the same preservative-free, pesticide-free, natural living lifestyle for my own family. I want my future children to be intellectuals and have a firm grasp on the true beauty of nature and animals…all animals, not just humans. I don’t want my children to be solely influenced by the media that I have studied for years or the government’s censored educational curriculum. I don’t want them to think that their worth comes from name brands, cars, houses, or electronics. We refuse to produce a "good consumer" in order to keep pockets lined with cash. Our value system is very different from those we are surrounded by on a day to day basis. I would love to engage people with similar ideas and concepts about the world and animal rights. Everyday I acknowledge the differences a little bit more because of the intensity of marketing and branding that has taken over. We are eating to live and not living to eat. We are living for happiness and responding to our bodies and their need for natural food for survival. I reach out to and applaud those who are here for the true glory of life without all the extra trimmings of selfishness and DEATH.

I will try to write daily during the weekdays. I might even write more than one blog daily…who knows?! Random situations always come up that I would love to vent and write about right then and there…so who knows??? I'd love to keep this blog running through my raw transition and even through my future vegan pregnancy, delivery, and even the adventure of raising a vegan family (we aren't trying to conceive quite yet, but I'll let you all know). My goal for this blog is to get more people on the side of animals and the abolitionist approach (Gary Francione’s amazing site! Thanks for reading my first entry…there are always cruelty free seconds available around here…so keep coming back!!!

All sides of the equation are welcome here!!! I'm open to all ideas, debate and comments even from over there...because what was once over there is now over here!