Hi! I moved to a new place. I would love for you to visit me there.

How to Increase Your Mind Clarity or What 7 Seconds of Pleasure Cost You and The Planet

concsious livingI honestly cannot believe I am writing this post. In fact, I already have several posts lined up ready to be published. But here I am sitting and writing this one.

This blog is about clarity, following your true calling, discovering your True Self, getting you in the flow. I am here to inspire you. We are talking high material, baby!

“Raising animals for food is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” – United Nations

And still here I am getting ready to write about eating animals’ flesh. How is that for an inspiration and high material?

How does it relate to clarity? Directly actually. I got so much of it now that I stopped eating animals that I cannot believe I haven’t done it earlier. I am also much healthier, have tons of energy and turns out save the planet all at the same time. Enough to get me in the flow.

I just had someone tell me that it is not fun to eat healthy. That’s the most unconscious statement that I heard in a while. And that’s what motivated me to write this post.

Is it not fun to feel good? To have more energy? More clarity? To live longer? To look better? To make more money after all, because that what at the end of the day more clarity means to our bottom line? To ensure you give the best to your kids? Are all of those things really not fun?

Why 7 seconds of pleasure? The term was invented by my dear friend Vicky Shemer, an avid supporter of green and healthy living . Because that’s really how long on average it takes you to chew food before you swallow it.

Am I really hoping to change anyone’s opinion here regarding eating or not eating meat? Not really. But this blog is also about conscious living.  Conscious living involves conscious choices. You cannot make conscious choices if you don’t know the facts.

I’ll give you the facts. No pressure. Just read them.  Whatever you decide – whether give vegan or vegetarian diet a try or not, I am sure that choice will be the right one for you.

I won’t judge either way and still think you are awesome and still would love to go out with you for lunch some day. I hope you’ll feel the same way towards me.

Why?

001I have a pet bird. Little green cheek conure. I love cats and dogs as pets but they are too messy for me at the moment, I have a three year old son after all and have more than enough cleaning up to do.

Getting a little bird for him was a great alternative. They love each other.

Her name is Abby and she has a brain smaller than a walnut. (Why am I talking about pet bird??) I know, but wait a minute.

Abby literally gets offended when I come home and not say hi to her. You can tell it. She needs attention. She has feelings. I bet she would die if all we were doing were feeding her and cleaning her cage.  Hold that thought for me.

vegetarianPeta.org claims that research has proved that chickens are smarter than dogs, cats and even some primates. In a natural setting, a mother hen begins to teach her chicks various calls before they even hatch-she clucks softly to them while sitting on the eggs and the chirp back at her. Unfortunately, chickens in factory farms never meet their mothers.

My Abby gets offended when I don’t talk to her. She is not a chicken of course, but still.

Most small farms now have been replaced by massive corporate run factory farms in which chickens, pigs, turkeys and cows are treated like machines instead of living, feeling individuals.

Chickens raised and killed for their flesh spend their entire lives in filthy, ammonia-laden sheds with tens of thousands of other birds. Ammonia levels in chicken farms are so high that the corrosive substance burns the birds’ lungs and skin. Most chicken suffer from chronic respiratory disease, weakened immune system and bronchitis. I am not even speaking about drugs they are dosed with to grow quicker.

Men’s Health magazine ranked chicken as the number one food you should never eat because of its high rate of bacterial contamination.

After six weeks in these horrible conditions, the birds are roughly thrown into cages and then they are shipped through all weather extremes to slaughterhouse.

I won’t go into details of how they are killed, you got the picture.

I know, living consciously is tough sometimes.

Still reading? Ok.

Birds who are raised for their eggs are packed, five to 11 at a time, into wire cages that are so small that they don’t have enough room to spread even a single wing. Their wings and legs atrophy from disuse and their legs and feet become deformed from standing on a slanted wire cage bottoms.

Their sensitive peaks are cut off without any pain killers.

There is no one single federal law that protects animals in factory farms, while a recent Gallup survey showed that 96% of Americans believe that animals deserve legal protection.

I won’t talk about cows and pigs here and how they are treated. Do you own research if you wish.

You might argue that you buy only cage free eggs and organic grass fed beef.

Look at other facts below:

Health:

Obesity is one of the most pressing health problems in United States and will soon become country’s leading cause of preventable deaths. Despite the growing number of “diets” that are being touted through the country, Americans just keep getting fatter. A government review of all studies on weight loss found that two thirds of dieters gain weight back within a year and 97% gain it all back within five years. This fluctuation is worse than being overweight. These dieters would have been better off if they hadn’t even bothered.

It’s proven that protein diets don’t work either. Atkins himself died at 258 pounds.

The only weight loss plan that has been proved scientifically to take weight off and keep it off for more than a year is vegan diet.

I never had problems with weight. The biggest factor for me to give up meat was stronger immune system for me and my son. I go crazy even when he gets minor cold, I’d do anything if it means him getting those colds less and being healthier overall.

Other big benefits for me, just like I said already, were incredible mind clarity that I’ve got as a result and much more energy I have now throughout the day. Just those benefits are enough for me to become a big fan.

But let’s see other facts.

You’ll live longer. Vegetarians live about seven years longer, and vegans (who eat no animal products) about 15 years longer than meat eaters, according to a study from Loma Linda University.

You’ll save your heart. Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the United States, and the standard American diet (SAD) that’s laden with saturated fat and cholesterol from meat and dairy is largely to blame. Children as young as age 3 who are raised on fast food and junk food show early signs of heart disease, according to the Bogalusa Heart Study done at the Louisiana State University.

Today, the average American male eating a meat-based diet has a 50 percent chance of dying from heart disease. His risk drops to 15 percent if he cuts out meat; it goes to 4 percent if he cuts out meat, dairy and eggs.

You’ll help reduce famine. Right now, 72 percent of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. It takes 15 pounds of feed to get one pound of meat. But if the grain were given directly to people, there’d be enough food to feed the entire planet. In addition, using land for animal agriculture is inefficient in terms of maximizing food production. According to the journal Soil and Water, one acre of land could produce 50,000 pounds of tomatoes

You’ll avoid toxic chemicals. The EPA estimates that nearly 95 percent of pesticide residue in our diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Fish, in particular, contain carcinogens (PCBs, DDT) and heavy metals (mercury, arsenic; lead, cadmium) that cannot be removed through cooking or freezing. Meat and dairy products are also laced with steroids and hormones.

You’ll help to bring down the national debt. United States spends between $60 billion to $120 billion annually to treat the heart disease, cancer, obesity, and food poisoning that are byproducts of a diet heavy on animal products.” Source Peta.org

Global warming

According to recent United Nations report, the meat industry causes more global warming (through emissions of carbon dioxide, methane an d nitrous oxide) than all cars, trucks, SUVs, planes and ships in the world combined. Researchers at the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is 50% more effective than switching from a regular car to a hybrid in reducing your impact on global warming.

Water Resources

More than half of all the water consumed in the U.S. is used to raise animals for food. A totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while meat based diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.

Pollution

Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population of the United States. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the runoff from factory farms pollutes our rivers and lakes more than all other industrial sources combined.

There are tons of other facts I could have included here but you can do your own research.

Live consciously

That’s what I believe conscious living is all about – knowing the facts, knowing the risks and benefits and I think most importantly being open minded enough to give something a try to be able to make an informed decision based on facts and personal experience.

I strongly believe that at the end of the day benefits of such diet clearly and loudly outweight the downside of it.  And again I believe that most of the downside comes in the form of you giving up 7 seconds of pleasure you get while chewing the meat before you swallow it.

Are those 7 seconds of pleasure really worth it?

Those are just my beliefs, they are  biased and I was hesitant to write about them so strongly. But again your beliefs might be totally different and I accept them. My main goal here was to educate you, give you facts and tell you about my personal experience.

“If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.”  – Sir Paul  McCartney.

Give it a try or don’t give it a try. And most importantly whatever you decide-  know with your whole fiber that this is the right decision for you. I definitely don’t want you to eat meat and feel bad about doing it. This would bring more harm than anything else. If you are already vegan or vegetarian, let us know about your experience in the comments below.

Own your decision.

Live consciously!

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Is Vegetarianism a Part of a Balanced Diet? | Balance In Me
March 13, 2010 at 4:43 am

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

David February 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

Definitely not worth it! I went vegan awhile ago and never looked back.

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StevenCee February 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” — Albert Einstein

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord February 19, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I watched the movie “Food Inc.” last summer and that was enough to get me off the remaining bits of meat I’d been eating. I went ovo-lacto-vegetarian, and haven’t looked back, either.

I believe that everything is energy, and we are all ONE, so I can’t in clear conscience eat things that don’t represent the greater good. I also recognize that I couldn’t have made that decision until I was ready. I tried in the past to fuss with my diet, but being an emotional eater and former bulimic, altering that part of my life was always tough.

I find, though, that when I choose with my heart – not my head – choosing to eat not only vegetarian, but also local & organically grown foods, is infinitely easier.
Love takes on many forms, and yes, it also masquerades as the choices we make when we eat.

Thank you for writing this. The more awareness we raise, and the more hearts we sway, the healthier our planet will be.
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..Moving Into Unconditional Love On All Levels =-.

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Nadia - Happy Lotus February 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Hi Lana,

You go, girl! Woo hoo! 🙂

I have been a vegetarian for 22 years and a vegan for the last 8 years. It was the best decision I ever made and I swear it makes you younger. I look younger now in my thirites than I did when I was a teenager and I know it has to do with the food.

My theory is if you cannot pronounce an ingredient, then don’t eat it. The more natural the better and our bodies are temples. We need to treat them with respect.

And I love the picture of Abby.
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog ..“Here Comes the Sun” – The Re-Invention Begins =-.

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Lana February 19, 2010 at 6:03 pm

@David, good for you!

@Steven, I didn’t know that quote, thank you. Albert Einstein rules!

@Megan, I so agree with you. I didn’t want to go too deep here but we are all one, we should respect all life. And you are right again, being ready is a huge factor. For someone who is not ready reading this won’t make any difference. I was hoping to impact those who are ready and just need a little push.

@Nadia it does make you look better, no doubt about that and you look fantastic! Our bodies are temples. Everything is interconnected. Thank you:) we love Abby!

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Alex Kronberg February 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I think I might try that!

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Alex Koloskov February 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Great article, Lana! You put all the facts together such convincing way, as usual.
Thank you for this and welcome to our club:-)

P.S If you have enough strength you can see the movie from http://www.meetyourmeat.com
It is all about how they being grown and killed. Not an easy truth though…

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Genia Larionova February 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Lana, great article! Very emotional and heartfelt! I and my family are vegetarian almost 5 years and we are happy with our choice.

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Anastasiya February 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Lana, you’ve done a lot of research to write this article and the information that you share is really important. However, I must say that I am not a vegetarian (in spite of the fact that I am all about balance :-)) and I am not planning to be one.
Making conscious decisions in life is the ultimate way to be satisfied with your life and to gain clarity. And conscious eating is a very important part of it.
As Megan I’ve watched the movie Food Inc. and it influenced me tremendously. I will never look at food the same way again. And before reading your articles I knew most of the facts about meat industry and cruelty towards animals. This is absolutely not right and I do not support it in any way that is why I use only organic, free range, pasture-fed animal products. I think that a lot of problems arise from overindulging yourself when eating meat, fish or dairy products. Most Americans eat meat at least twice a day (lunch and supper) and that’s where cholesterol, blood clots, diabetes and obesity come from.
Moderation in food is the best strategy to stay healthy and lean. Whether you choose to be a vegetarian or not, you can still eat consciously. After all people were made to eat meat but we were not made to eat chemicals. I usually fix some type of meat (mostly fish though) once or twice a week and this is enough for my family.
I also agree with Nadia who said that she does not buy any foods that contain ingredients that you cannot pronounce. You can eat vegetarian junk food and still have health problems or you can be mindful when eating.
It is our conscious decision to choose what food we want to put in our body and it is also our decision to choose how much we eat.
I just wanted to give a different perspective on this topic 🙂 As you, Lana, I also support both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets and I do not judge people by what they eat.
.-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..The Only Way to Bring Your Life into Balance Right Now =-.

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Lana February 19, 2010 at 10:52 pm

@Alex Kronberg, try it, but give it some time, first couple weeks are the toughest, then it gets better. I think to really understand if it works for you or not, you have to give it maybe 30 days or so.

@Alex Koloskov thank you my, dear friend, you were my big inspiration. I won’t watch the movie, can’t stand those and I saw enough I think, but hopefully some of the readers will.

@Genia, hehe, my another dear friend and big inspiration, I wonder why?:) It truly is inspiring how you are giving the best to your twin girls, I think they are so lucky to have you and Alex as parents.

@Anastasiya, thank you so much for your comment and that’s exactly what I mean by conscious decision. Moderation and balance are the key for sure and I am glad that you chose what is right for your family and what makes you feel the best. I think eating organic, free range, pasture fed animal products and not every day is the best way to go if you can’t give up meat completely.

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Jacqui February 20, 2010 at 1:21 am

Hi Lana,
You might find this interesting too. That humans are not actually meant to eat meat in the first place: http://www.upliftantidote.co.uk/wordpress/2009/12/changing-your-diet-can-change-your-life/

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Monica February 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Hi Lana,
I’ve been chewing on a post about diet and food choices for quite some time. I was vegetarian for 10 years and vegan for 3. I know the arguments on both side of the coin and reading your post was a reminder of the passion I once felt being veg/vegan as well.

I have to rebut the idea from Jacqui that “humans are not meant to eat meat.” It has taken a wide variety of cultures and practices to get to where we are now in this modern era where we have a choice to not consume meat. Meat has played a critical role in getting to this point for many cultures. Imagine living in in subzero temperatures for your entire life and then being told that for ethical political reasons you should eat only fruit and veggies. Meat has allowed cultures to flourish and science regarding the ill effects of eating meat are failing to address the larger modern day issue of CONFINEMENT and INDUSTRIALIZATION. The health studies have major gaps on both sides so I don’t get swayed by either, but saying that we are not “meant” to eat meat is a bit of a stretch.

One other aspect of food choices that I find interesting having been on both side is the coin is the ethical position of “do no harm.” For this, we as conscious beings choose not to kill another living thing. For sure, the cruelty is astonishing with the industrialization of our food. However, I think there is a way to eat that is in alignment with the cycle of life. We are part of this cycle after all. To suggest that we can avoid doing any harm at all takes us outside the cycle. It’s not realistic. Do less harm, YES! But to say that we are not part of the cycle of living and dying does not make sense. Life and death is reality on earth. The plains Indian would laugh if I suggested that the Elk was not there for him to eat. Let’s focus on ethical consumption while still being realistic that extremism on both sides is flawed logic.

Watching Food INC did not swear me off meat, rather it raised the importance of civilization eating in a manor that sustains us all. There is a way to eat moderately and in variety without being cruel or disrespectful. Cows and vegetarians consume grains, and one would argue that neither should as corn, wheat and soy are at the root of many of our health woes. Vegetarians also need to be mindful of whether they are supporting the monoculture of these grains or not.

Each of us has a different body chemistry and adopting any diet fails to address this individual capacity for foods. To be really healthy, we must honor what our body needs regardless of fads. I am so much healthier for eating a little meat and totally avoiding wheat, for example. My concern is that “this is the right way to eat” can undermine a persons health because they don’t account for food intolerance, whether they be peppers, tomatoes and citrus, or dairy, walnuts and shrimp.

I loved your post and commend you for staying true to yourself.

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Marc Winitz February 20, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Hi Lana,

Although I am not a vegan or vegetarian I am aware of the impacts and minimize the amount of animal products I eat. I think that direction alone is a good step for most people in the US to take. Our culture won’t withstand a “Zero Tolerance” approach to this topic. However, for many reasons, we can all learn alot about getting closer to our food, how it is produced, and understand that on a very local level or choices in food production and selection matter. One excellent way to start this process is simply to stop eating fast food. That alone will contribute massively to what you are saying here in a very easy to understand “conscious” way.
Also, if you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” you should as it deals with your entire post on a very factual level.
Nice post, your passion is noteworthy.

Marc

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Lana February 21, 2010 at 2:47 am

@Jacqui, thank you for the link, dear!

@Monica, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comment again! All or nothing attitude is my weak side and I tried changing myself but it never really worked, love extremes, have any -ism, gotta preach it:) That’s just how I am. But I can totally relate to everything you’ve written. I agree that at certain stages of our evolution eating meat was necessary and inevitable. I also think if you buy meat it should be grass fed for sure, cows are not designed for eating grains. And I am very aware of the risks of wheat, soy and corn, I don’t eat them either, but if I tried to cover that here as well, that would have been too much for this post.
I struggled for awhile with a concept of “we are all different and need different diets”, as all other species seem to have a general diet that fits the whole specie. It would have made logical sense if humans were the same. But probably you are right, we are different. All I can say is that at least we should be open minded to try something if we see all the potential benefits to ourselves and the planet. I know lots of people who wouldn’t even consider the idea of trying. If it works for you-great, if not then you can always go back.

@Mark I am with you regarding fast food. I know we can’t eliminate it all together from our society right now, but I truly believe that it should be illegal to advertise it on radio and TV just like cigarettes. That would have taken care of so many problems we have. I’ll check out the book, thank you!
.-= Lana´s last blog ..you won’t love THERE if you don’t love HERE first =-.

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Evelyn Lim February 21, 2010 at 7:34 am

I don’t know if I necessarily want to live longer but I certainly want to live healthy. The direction is clear for me. I am already progressively dropping meat. Knowing that it can potentially help me gain mental clarity is a huge draw. I have to go watch the movie “Food Inc”!
.-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..Universal Studios Singapore Pictures for Vision Board =-.

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Therese Miu February 21, 2010 at 8:35 am

I’m a newbie Vegetarian I have noticed tremendous amount of changes within my body, moods, emotions, mind clarity, inner awareness. Everything is just wonderful! I have also felt the connection with everything that is ONE: Mother Nature, Animals, Plants, Ocean, Sky….All our beautiful. ALL needs our respect and honor.
Thanks for shedding light Sweetie!
I appreciate you so much this is such an INCREDIBLE POST =)
.-= Therese Miu´s last blog ..Living Your Passion with Iman Rizky =-.

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Tess The Bold Life February 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Lana,
I quit eating meat over 25 years ago however I still eat fish, poultry and too much junk. I’m thinking I’ll reduce the junk as a first step! Also I know a lot of overweight vegetarians…
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Dream An Impossible Dream =-.

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J.D. Meier February 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I like the way you share your stories and research.

I especially like your point on where you focus for the fun — the 7 seconds or how you feel later (which becomes your now.)

I think Dr. Fuhrman has an interesting focus – “nutritional density.” I think this adds a lot of precision because rather than a blanket of “meat” or “veg,” it’s a focus on matching your nutritional requirements with nutritionally dense foods.

At the end of the day, I’m a fan of testing your results and knowing what you’re measuring against. The challenge is knowing what to measure and how to get effective feedback along the way.
.-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Three D’s for Motivation – Direction, Decision, and Dedication =-.

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Stephen - Rat Race Trap February 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Hi Lana, this was an interesting article. I’m a meat eater and intend to stay that way. I hate cruelty to animals and I do not support the way many factory raised animals are treated. I try to buy wild caught and free range meat when I can.

I disagree and I actually believe one is healthier eating the right kinds of lean meats than going all vegetable. You can’t compare vegetarians and meat eaters and conclude going vegetarian will make you healthier. It’s likely people who are vegetarian are on average more health conscious to start with and just eat and act healthier all the way around. Sugar is vegetable after all.

It was a very informative and passionate article and I’m glad I read it. I’m just going to stick with my meat eating ways.

On another note I think cats are extremely clean and birds are messy even though I love birds 🙂
.-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..Getting To Freedom by Working the System =-.

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Lana February 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

@ Evelyn, I am with you, I want to live healthy too.

@Tess, dropping junk will definitely never hurt:) I am sure there are tons of vegetarians out there who are overweight, what I was referring to is that on average they are much less likely to get overweight. Not that its is impossible, it’s just significantly less likely to happen.

@Therese, thank you my dear, I appreciate your incredible presence here:)

@J.D. matching your personal requirements with foods is definitely the way to go, cannot agree more.

@Stephen, good for you for sticking to what feels right to you. I accept and understand your position. All I was suggessting in this article is for people to try something for say 30 days and see how they feel. I think 30 days is a fair deal considering all the potential benefits not only to us but to the planet. But if you know for sure that it won’t work for you, then,of course, you shouldn’t try.
Birds are messy. Green cheek conures are not that bad though, I did an extensive research before deciding which bird to buy:)
.-= Lana´s last blog ..How to Increase Your Mind Clarity or What 7 Seconds of Pleasure Cost You and The Planet =-.

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Phil Bolton February 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

Lana –

I love your starting point for this argument – living consciously.

I’m a meat eater, yet I try to live my life thoughtfully and it has been bugging me for a while that meat has many complications. I’ve massively cut down my intake of animal protein and probably eat vegetarian five days a week on average. I’m massively into my running program at the moment and I find it hard to take on enough calories without eating at least some animal protein, so this is part of my dilemma on completely stopping. I also admit that I do really enjoy those 7 seconds of pleasure quite a lot – and I’ve cut out or back on many of the other bad things I do. Hmm – food for thought here and I’d love to hear your take on how I can get 5,000 calories per day without eating meat.

Great post,

Phil
.-= Phil Bolton´s last blog ..Friends – Will they Really be There for you? =-.

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Kaushik February 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Great post. We can consider many reasons for our food choices–spiritual, health, ecological, and so on, but whatever choice we make, we should be aware of the institutionalized cruelty to animals. Growing animals for food is a macabre business and there is not getting away from that.
.-= Kaushik´s last blog ..The Basics — 13 key points about the flow of awakening =-.

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Robin August 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

Facts?

You’re only giving a one-sided story about how eating meat is killing the earth, and positioning it as just “giving you the facts.” If you really had any desire at all to be accurate, then why not present both sides of the story?

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farouk July 11, 2011 at 8:57 am

thank you Lana 🙂
the post with its comments opened my eye to new facts
i never thought of it that way

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