Conscious Disposal

When we went vegan last February it was partly because of  the way that animals/birds/fish for food are treated. Tony asked me this morning whether we canbuy fat balls made with vegetable suet or fat.  I couldn't find any, so I've ordered 2 litres of coconut oil and will start to make my own.  Not because I want to feed them vegan food - I'll happily add bugs to them - but to not support animal ag, the main cause of zoonotic illnesses that lead to pandemics.

Part of my reason for going vegan was simply to help the planet and all things that depend on it.  This has led me into sustainability, eco-consumerism and zero waste.  I've bought a couple of films - Plastic Paradise - The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, by Angela Sun and The Need to Grow by Rob Herring and Ryan Wirick about how we need to be adding life to soil before it stops growing things completely.  

I don't find it that hard to be a conscious consumer - that's fairly simple - it involves not buying more than you need, cutting the impulse buys, buying second hand where possible and knowing which brands are really sustainable - they'll usually proudly let you know on their website; and which ones are greenwashing - not looking at the beginning of the route of their goods - whether the raw material is responsibly sourced and workers given fair wages, no slavery, child workers etc. etc. - and only start with themselves - once the goods get to them then they're responsibly packaged and shipped, fair wages etc.  There are people who will buy/sell a pile of, say, tee shirts, no questions asked and then deal with them in an eco and sustainable way, and label them as sustainable.

Being a conscious recycler is much, much more difficult.  A lot of clothes that are sent to thrift/charity shops end up in landfill.  Some department stores just throw returns in the bin for landfill - often after spoiling them so that no-one can dumpster dive for them.  The best thing to do with anything for recycling is to try to pass it on to someone who will use it — your rarely used item can be someone else's treasure.  In the UK we have Freecycle - and of course several of the social media sites have market places where you can sell or give things away - sometimes you could even make a little money.  We've started checking whether books, cds and dvds are saleable or of use to anyone before we take them to the charity shop.

Rubbish is another thing.  We moved from tea-bags to leaf tea because tea-bags weren't compostable as they have plastic in, but one or two makes are now home compostable.  We've also discovered where we were going wrong with our composting - we need brown and green, green for nitrogen and brown for oxygen.  This breaks down to food, garden cuttings and cardboard.  The greasy part of a pizza box can't be sent for recycling - but it is compostable, along with greasy kitchen towels, brown paper bags and toilet roll centres.

Blood is thicker than water — only half a saying

I've just learnt that the saying 'Blood is thicker than water' is taken to be the exact opposite of the full saying — which is: 'Blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb'.  In other words the friends etc that we make are more important than the birth family.

I was always told this to STOP me putting friends or my husband over my parents.

The other one I got — a lot — was 'A son's a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter's a daughter for all of her life'.  Yet when you think about it, in most religions the daughter is given to the husband.  His name replaces the birth name, she would at one time have gone to live in her husband's household and so on — so surely it's the other way round and a son is a son for for all his life.

A bit of this and a bit of that

This is just a rough run through of my week last week.

If I'd really thought about it — and had the science been available — I would never have gone onto cow's milk after having TB as a 3 year old— which I caught through cow's milk.  Since going vegan my health has improved — or at least my mobility has.   I'd started going swimming, after not being able to get up and down the steps for 20 years or so, but the pools are all locked down again.  So I bought a manual treadmill to encourage me to walk more and I can't see me walking outside in winter.  I've been struggling with it as it will suddenly stop — I need to get a proper rhythm going.  Last night I did better doing a km in half an hour.  That's about the furthest I've walked for about 10 years. 

I noticed that an area of the larder has forever got green slimy liquid running down it.  Luckily it's an area for tins and jars.  I showed it to Tony and we worked out that above it was a cupboard in our bedroom — we worked that out because the soil pipe runs through it — so I checked it and a small furry creature had bitten a small hole in an unopened 5l container of liquid handwash, which was now empty.

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Volumetrics - in eating

The idea of volumetrics as a way of deciding what to eat is new to me. In a way it's the opposite of keto and fasting - which worked for me, but left me with high blood pressure and the weight going back on as soon as I slackened it off a bit. My diabetes also came back - what I thought was reversal was actually just not eating carbs which meant I wasn't helping just taking an easy way out. Going vegan has caused it to go up - but if I eat whole foods it's fine.

Anyway volumetrics. When measured people eat around the same weight of food a day - 3lb in weight - so if you eat low density foods you get more weight for your calories. For example 1.66 cups of grapes is 100 calories and so is 0.25 cup of raisins. Chef AJ - she has a youtube presence and blogs etc., 500 calories of potatoes is about 600 grams (skin and flesh). 4 rashers of bacon - cooked - is also about 500 calories - and which will fill you up better? 1 tablespoon of oil is 135 calories is a lot of calories for little off our daily weight of food

If you ate 2000 calories in a day then it's a case of working out 3lbs of food to equal it. If you want to lose weight then say 1500 calories in 3lbs of food. Many diets change quantity of food to lose weight - but the answer is to change quality. Water dense foods - fruits and vegetables - are low calorie density. That's why milk is so low calorie - but as of 60% of the population are lactose intolerant not good for you. Take the water away and make cheese - very calorie dense. Muscle - which is what we mainly eat of sentient beings - isn't water dense. Nor is liquid or solid fat - which is 9 calories per gram - alcohol is 7 calories per gram - protein and carbs are 4 calories per gram. Protein needs come down to 0.4 grams per pound body weight, unless you're an iron man, or tri-athlete.

Thinking and swimming

I've started swimming for an hour most days.  Due to coronavirus you have to book a set hour and as it's only a small pool in a hotel only 10 people are allowed in at a time, and only 5 in the changing room.  For some of the people — mainly the women — it's a social time for chatting while swimming gently up and down.  I've worked out that 15 lengths is about 100 breast strokes, so I do 15 and then walk the length of the pool.  Im trying to improve my muscle tone — and trying to ease the trapped nerve in my neck.

Yesterday, either when I was swimming or getting changed afterwards, I can't remember which, it came to me that a good side to this virus and the new normal is that we notice others.  It used to be that we walked round without really seeing those around us, okay we were conscious enough to not bump into people, but now, with masks and social distancing we have to project our consciousness outwards.  I wish face masks were transparent then I could smile at people, but I do what I can.  I would like to be living more 'with' people.  We're very isolated here and I like people — just not crowds of them.


Someone I follow — Earthling Ed a vegan activist — makes me think.  One of the things I've read recently is: How can you love animals and still eat them.  

Where's the difference between eating one of the lambs that we see playing in the fields at this time of year (in the UK anyway), a cow, pig, chicken or your dog or cat.  Cats have to eat meat — we don't.  Put a human baby with a rabbit and the baby will try and cuddle/play with/kiss the rabbit.  Put a baby carnivore — eg a cat or most times a dog — and they'll try to kill it.  It's in their nature and not ours.  They are also capable of following through too.

I'm trying to persuade Odi to stop giving the kids — and herself — cow's/animal milk.  A lot of the milk in the shops comes from pregnant cows and are full of pregnancy hormones.  It is known that upwards of 65% of populations are unable to digest dairy — of Africans it's upwards of 85%.  Plus there is evidence that drinking dairy brings puberty on younger in girls and diminishes sperm counts in boys.  Christa — who is 9 — is already developing a bust and hips, and one of her friends has started her periods — at 9!

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My thoughts on Black lives Matter

I've not posted before about Black Lives Matter, not because I don't care, but because words are not my strong suit — unlike Tony.  I live by feelings and sometimes they're hard to express.

Some people have been saying 'All Lives Matter', but I think that needs an extension — All Lives Matter Equally.  Too often white lives are valued above any other, and as you get more parochial — English lives matter more or American lives matter more — depending on your tribe — though white ones, of course.

For me personally, it comes down to Your Life is as Important as Mine, and really if it came down to you or me; I should put you first.  It's difficult, but something that I'm working at.

76 Days eating Plant Based Whole Food

It's been 76 days since we decided that a vegan way of life would be better for us, for animals and for the planet.  I've read several books and watched lots of videos.  A vegan diet can be really bad for you — lots of fat and processed food.  That stuff's expensive too.  So I joined the PBWF people — Dr T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. John McDougall mainly — and in a lot of ways it's worked.

My weight is down by about 4 kilos, blood pressure is down, so I've been cutting my amlodopine tablet in half.  Blood sugar though — I'd reversed my diabetes on low carb — is riding high. So much so that I asked the doctor — via phone, of course, for Metformin -and it's still in diabetic levels.

Health in general though — I was taking 8 tramadol and 2-4 codeine 30 mg a day, with the occasional top up of paracetamol, celecoxib an anti-inflammatory plus sundry other tablets.  I'm still taking the celecoxib and sundries, but I'm only taking either 2 tramadol OR 2 codeine — OR if I have a coffee to go to bed off just 2 paracetamol and I'm feeling good.  I'm moving more and feeling more alert.

Moan warning  —  Unfortunately, that means that I'm noticing more — and bothering more — like ants in the kitchen, I hate them, especially when I'm trying to prepare food.  I've just been round with grapefruit oil and then peppermint oil when I ran out of grapefruit.

We need to stop factory farming - now

The Spanish flu in 1917 started as an avian flu.  It crossed to humans because humans were stressed — due to war — living in disgusting conditions — especially soldiers packed in trenches, living in their own filth, frightened of dying, malnourished.  It was very contagious and mmany millions died.  Perfect conditions  for disease and its transmission — especially viruses of the lungs.

Fast forward to how animals are now kept — stressed, living in disgusting conditions — packed in together, living in their own filth, frightened of dying, malnourished — the perfect breeding ground for disease, as above.  

Covid-19 is only the latest in a list  — thought to be caused by a human eating a wild animal (probably a bat).  HIV — started by humans eating chimpanzeesswine flu (2009, Mexico), Other covids are: SARS (2002, Hong Kong), MERS(2015 S. Korea), Ebola (2014, W. Africa), NIPAH (1998 Phillipines) — kills a lot of people (40% death rate), but not very contagious, kept to pigs and their farmers.

Luckily covid 19 isn't a particularly killer of a disease — 5-10%.  Next time it may be one that spreads as quickly and easily as Covid 10 but with the death rate of NIPAH or Spanish flu.  Then you're talking about 1 — 4 billion deaths.

Yet no media outlet is complaining about factory farming — is it because the meat lobby is so powerful, and rich?  Also because people like meat and it's traditionally powerful for most people.  

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