Food for Thought: The Joys and Benefits of Living Vegan

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January 2008
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Today's story demonstrates the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love. In her stories and plays, Susan Glaspell (1876-1948), bestselling novelist and Pulitzer-prize winning playwright, created many sympathetic characters who make principled stands. And that is why I chose this story for today's narrative; it is about a little boy named Stubby who takes a very principled stand to protect his dog, Hero.

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Vegetarians learn pretty quickly that when they "come out" - when they declare their vegetarianism publicly - they become the recipient of some statements or questions that are, let’s say, not very well thought out, such as "If everyone went vegetarian, the world would be overrun with farm animals!" or "Don't you care about plants? They have feelings, too!" or "So you're vegetarian? Do you eat fish?" In the spirit of effective advocacy and good communication, I offer some strategies for responding and some coping skills for staying sane when confronted with the same jokes and retorts again and again again ... and again. Sometimes it's helpful to clarify things by first asking: "Are you serious?"

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Though in many ways we admire so much about chickens (the maternal instinct of mother hens, the irresistible "cuteness" of baby chicks, the iridescent plumage of rooters), unfortunately our admiration doesn't translate into kindness towards them. Chickens born, kept, and killed for their flesh and for their eggs may very well be the most abused animals on the planet. Of the over 10 billion animals killed for human consumption in the U.S. every year, over 9.4 billion of these animals are chickens, including those killed once their "egg production" drops. This mass slaughter affects not only the victims themselves but those who are paid to do this difficult and bloody work. Please join me as I explore the effects of eating "only white meat."

Direct download: chickens.mp3
Category:Food, Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST
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Joanna Lucas is a gifted and beautiful writer who devotes much of her time and talent to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary in Colorado (www.peacefulprairie.org). Joanna knows all the animals at the sanctuary intimately and writes about them on the Peaceful Prairie blog. In today's episode, I read Joanna's essay called Portrait of Marcie... A Beautiful Soul. Marcie, and so many animals who have no reason to ever trust a human again, has much to teach us about forgiveness.

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Lest I offend the good people of Florida and Montana, I humbly offer my sincerest apology. Except for that one mean lady at the bed and breakfast (whose name shall remain anonymous), we enjoyed many wonderful meals in the fair state of Florida.

Direct download: apology.mp3
Category:Food, Health, Society & Culture, Fitness & Nutrition, News & Politics -- posted at: 2:01am PST
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Everything we know about the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (ca. 580 B.C.- ca. 490 B.C. - he died when he was 90 years old!) comes from those who lived many years after him, and fortunately, his philosophy of vegetarianism is beautifully memorialized in Ovid's great epic poem, The Metamorphoses. Early vegetarians were called "Pythagoreans," and 2,500 years after his death, his admonitions against slaughtering animals for human consumption still ring true.

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