Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Compassionate Living

Compassion1

There is no analogy to be found in nature for the massive harm we do to animals for pleasure!

In any discussion concerning the ethics of eating animals, it feels important to begin by pointing out a frequently overlooked distinction: that harming and killing animals from necessity is not morally equivalent to harming and killing animals for pleasure. Just as shooting someone in self-defense is not commensurate with shooting someone to satisfy a sadistic urge — killing animals for food when we have no other choice for survival, is not morally equivalent to killing animals when we have plentiful alternatives. Violence committed in order to save a life is never analogous to violence committed for pleasure or profit.

This distinction is crucial for several reasons, the first of which is that it clarifies a serious category error, in the thinking of people who insist that meat-eating is “natural”— and therefore morally neutral — because other animals eat animals. It’s important to realise that, with a few exceptions, when humans kill other animals for food, we’re not doing what animals do in nature. When animals kill other animals for food, they do as they must, in order to survive; they have no choice in the matter. Many humans, on the other hand, do have a choice, and when people with access to non-animal food options choose to consume animals anyway, because they can, or because they like the taste, they are not killing from necessity, as animals (and some humans) do. Whether we’re talking about a lion taking down a water buffalo, or a human in some remote or impoverished location forced to hunt in order to feed their family: these are acts of necessity, and do not equate to, nor justify, wholly unnecessary harm to animals. There is no analogy to be found in nature for the massive harm we do to animals for pleasure.

Another reason it’s important to recognise the necessity / pleasure distinction is that harming animals for pleasure goes against core values most of us hold in common — which is why, for example, millions of us are outraged over dog fighting, and why we oppose dog fighting on principle. The notion of deriving pleasure from violence toward animals is repulsive to us; so how can we justify harming animals for the taste of their flesh? How can it be wrong to harm for pleasure in one instance, and not the other? The same reasons that compel us to oppose dog fighting compel us to abstain from killing animals we don’t need to eat: namely, that it is wrong to harm animals for pleasure, and it is wrong to kill animals for pleasure.

Finally, to harm animals for pleasure is also, ultimately, to harm ourselves. Constantly acting in opposition to our own core values deforms our hearts — and it diminishes our integrity, and hinders our emotional and moral growth. Day after day, and year after year, our lives can be seen as the culmination of thousands of instances in which, equally assured of nourishment and pleasure, we had the opportunity to choose kindness and mercy, or to choose violence and selfishness. What can it mean for caring people to regularly reject compassionate choices that cost them next to nothing, and to instead embrace unnecessary violence that costs its victims, literally, everything? To do so is to destroy kindness in our hearts. It’s a simple equation. Every time we put food in our mouths, we reinforce a value. When we choose, over and over, to activate apathy and selfishness in ourselves, we become different people than the people we would have become had we chosen instead to cultivate compassion and mercy.


Friday, 20 July 2012

I want the world to be better

I_want_the_world_to_be_a_better_place

“I want the world to be better because I was here. I want my life, I want my work, my family, I want it to mean something and if you are not making someone else’s life better then you are wasting your time” ~ Will Smith

I think this quote defines who I am as a person more than any other.

 

 

 


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Feeling Good

Feeling_good

Feeling good is our primary goal in life. We choose foods that we think will make us feel good, we buy clothes that we think will make us feel good, and we choose relationships with people we think will make us feel good. But often, we discredit and overlook the biggest element that will truly make us feel good: thinking good thoughts. It is our thoughts that really dictate the way we feel, so why not choose thoughts that make you feel amazing?

Awareness is the first step to making positive changes, so monitor your thoughts throughout the day. Whenever you catch yourself thinking about something that doesn’t make you feel good, transform that thought into something that does.

Happiness is the result of being thankful for what you have, so make a point of counting your blessings. What you place your attention on grows, so it’s important to place your attention on the good in your life rather than the lack.

Written by Jessica Ainscough


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Alerts to threats in 2012 Europe - John Cleese‏

Cleese

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Regards,

John Cleese,

British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought - Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.


Friday, 1 June 2012

What kind of excuse is “but I like eating meat and cheese”?

Aella

What in the hell kind of excuse is “but I like eating meat and cheese”? Life on this planet certainly doesn’t enjoy your consumption of meat and cheese. Animals do not enjoy being exploited, tortured and murdered so that you can enjoy consuming their flesh or bodily fluids. Your own posterity certainly isn’t going to thank you for placing your personal pleasure above future human continuance.

Some 2,500 gallons of water and 16 lbs. of grain are expended to produce just one lb. of beef whilst 40,000 human beings die of starvation and 6,000 succumb to poor water source related deaths, every single day. Over 20,000 of those dying humans are children…innocent children dying, each and every day.

Animal agriculture, which is directly responsible for 80% of all planetary deforestation, shreds enough rain forest every 5 years to cover the nation of Greece. Humanity has drained half of all wetlands on the planet in favor of sustaining “livestock”. We lose 135 known planet/animal species to extinction each day and generate more CO2 emissions than the entire global human transit system creates through the aforementioned deforestation. This greenhouse gas statistic obviously does not even account for the methane emissions caused by animal agriculture.

“Livestock” animals consume 40% of all the fish(farmed and caught) which humanity touches, as fish are ground-up and added to their grain-feed. Incidentally, 50% of all the grain that humanity reaps is also fed to “livestock” animals. Yes, half of every grain cultivated by humanity is fed to livestock whilst coral reefs die off through temperature rise and ocean acidification, caused by greenhouse emissions mainly originating from the very animals that we enslave.

The planet is sucked dry in favor of our animal flesh/fluid addiction whilst children starve to death, you make up excuses for consuming your own children’s futures and animals suffer horrifically. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t a child’s life supposed to be priceless? Would you not make sacrifices in your life to save the life of a child? What about the lives of 20,000 children each day? What about the future of every child on the planet, as well as the posterity of their children?

Your poor and destructive choices are directly impacting MY posterity and let me tell you something; I DON’T LIKE IT!

It is no wonder that humans care so little for other life forms on this planet, when the majority of our species does not even concern themselves with the future continuance of their own posterity long enough to face reality and evolve into a less self-destructive entity.

Anthony Damiano

Founder of AELLA


Friday, 11 May 2012

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Thursday, 19 April 2012

9/11 Unfinished Business

Dr. Robert M. Bowman

Head of Advanced Space Programs for DOD, Lt.Col for United States Air Force (ret.)

"Why weren't the hijacked airliners intercepted by jet fighters and shot down before they could fly into the WTC and Pentagon? Standard procedures call for any airliner that loses radio contact or goes off course to be intercepted. Four airliners were hijacked almost simultaneously, and it was obvious to air traffic controllers immediately. The transponders on the airliners were turned off. The hijackers were heard on the radio. And the four deviated drastically from their assigned courses. Was NORAD told? If not, why not? What did the air traffic controllers say, and to whom? Why did the FBI impound the tapes of those conversations? Why has the public never been told what was on them? Why weren't the congressional investigators told? The independent commission? Who is hiding what, and why? If it was just a matter of incompetence or somebody not doing their job, why hasn't anyone been fired or reprimanded? If someone ordered the standdown, who? and why? and why haven't they been charged with treason?"

Former employee of Underwriters Laboratories (the company that certified the steel in the WTC towers).

"We know that the steel components were certified to ASTM E119. The time temperature curves for this standard require the samples to be exposed to temperatures around 2000F for several hours. And as we all agree, the steel applied met those specifications. Additionally, I think we can all agree that even un-fireproofed steel will not melt until reaching red-hot temperatures of nearly 3000F (2). Why Dr. Brown would imply that 2000F would melt the high-grade steel used in those buildings makes no sense at all." -Kevin Ryan

WTC janitor who single-handedly rescued fifteen people

"When I heard the sound of the explosion, the floor beneath my feet vibrated, the walls started cracking and everything started shaking... Seconds after the first massive explosion below in the basement still rattled the floor, I hear another explosion from way above ... Although I was unaware at the time, this was the airplane hitting the tower, it occurred moments after the first explosion ... I know there were explosives placed below the trade center. I helped a man to safety who is living proof, living proof the government story is a lie and a cover-up. ... The skin was hanging off his hands and arms. His injuries couldn't have come from the airplane above, but only from a massive explosion below. I don't care what the government says, what scientists say. I saw a man burned terribly from a fire that was caused from an explosion below ... I have tried to tell my story to everybody, but nobody wants to listen." -William Rodriguez


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Science and spirituality

I've often wondered whether there is a conflict between my atheism and love of science, and my spiritual side. I recently came across this quote from Carl Sagan, for whom I have long had a deep respect for. His wisdom triumphs yet again.

Carl_sagan_spirituality


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Monday, 19 March 2012

Britain's Crimes of Honour

Honour_killings

Honour punishment / killing is supported by young Asians,  a poll reveals.

Two thirds of young British Asians agree that families should live according to the concept of "honour", a poll for BBC Panorama suggests.

Of 500 young Asians questioned, 18% also felt that certain behaviour by women that could affect her family's honour justified physical punishment.

These included disobeying their father, and wanting to leave an exisiting or prearranged marriage.

The results come as women's groups call for action to stop "honour" crimes.

The poll, conducted for the BBC by ComRes, interviewed oung Asians living in Britain between the ages of 16 and 34.

Asked if they agreed that families should live according to "honour", 69% agreed, a figure that rose to 75% among young men, compared with 63% of young women.

Root cause:

They were also asked if they felt there was ever a justification for so-called "honour killings". Only 3% said that it could be justified.

However, when divided by sex, 6% of young Asian men said that honour killings could be justified, compared with just 1% of Asian women surveyed.

Experts interviewed by the programme argue that the root cause of "honour" crime lies in forced marriage.

Jasvinder Sanghera, a campaigner on behalf of Asian women, fled her parents' home after they attempted to force her into an arranged marriage when she was just 14.

She said it was time for Britain's Asian community leaders to speak out about the honour code, also known as "Izzat" in Urdu.

"I've yet to see community leaders, religious leaders, politicians, Asian councillors give real leadership on this. They don't because they know it makes them unpopular."

Ms Sanghera said the reluctance of community figures to speak out was "extremely irresponsible, it's morally wrong and it's morally blind".

A survey of police forces by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) found there were 2,823 incidences of honour crimes a year, or almost eight a day. But those figures are considered a vast underestimate given that 13 of 52 police forces did not respond to the charity's request for a breakdown in November 2011.

Nazir Afzal of the Crown Prosecution Service said the degree of honour crime in Britain - including murders meant to preserve a family's "honour" within their own community - was unknown.

"We don't know the true figure of honour killings. It's anything between 10 and 12 a year in this country. I don't know how many other unmarked graves there are in this country in our green and pleasant land."

Mr Afzal estimates that there are 10,000 forced marriages in Britain every year, and said a measure of multicultural sensitivity was likely part of the problem.

"Forced marriage is the earthquake and what's followed is a tsunami of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child protection issues, suicide and murder.

"If we can tackle forced marriage then we can prevent all these other things from happening."


Friday, 16 March 2012

Native American legend

Native_american

I came across this Native American legend recently and thought I'd share it. It would be lovely if this were true. Karma!

According to Native American legend, when a human dies, there is a Bridge he or she must cross in order to enter Heaven. At the head of this Bridge waits every animal that the individual encountered during his or her lifetime. Based upon what they know of this person, the animals will decide which humans may cross the Bridge and which will be turned away.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Privacy betrayed: Twitter sells multi-billion tweet archive

Twitter_privacy

Twitter has sold billions of archived tweets believed to have vanished forever. A privacy row has erupted as hundreds of companies queue up to purchase users’ personal information from the new database.

Every time you use social networks you become mere product – it’s an idea we will all have to get used to. So, should we give up worldly goods and hide in a Tibetan monastery till the end of our days, or start putting up a fight to protect our privacy? In the latest in a long series of scandals over social networks that profit from our private data, the UK-based DataSift firm has announced that is has bought every tweet posted since January 2010. The business intelligence and data-mining platform will be the first company to offer the archive for sale.

DataSift’s Historics is a cloud-computing social data platform that enables businesses to extract insights and trends that relate to brands, news, public opinion and … actually anything you could ever need… from Twitter’s public tweets. Now entrepreneurs will have access to billions of tweets, which literally means they will purchase every Twitter user along with all his secrets, GPS-location included. Thought the law protected you from thieves? No, on the contrary – it actually helps thieves to abuse you and steal your personal data. DataSift now brings to the table what it calls “an invaluable information source” with 250 billion tweets posted in 2010 alone. Historics is available today as a limited release to existing customers and is scheduled to be generally available in April 2012.

Do you agree your tweet is priceless?

The idea that months- or years-old tweets are of no value is a false one. DataSift says almost 1,000 companies have joined a waiting list to access the service. No complicated surveys needed – the firms now have the feedback at their fingertips.

Twitter turned out to be craftier than most users suspected.

“You thought that tweets you posted months ago had vanished, or were simply hidden away so deeply and awkwardly on the Twitter website that they would be too difficult to uncover? Think again,” Graham Cluley from security firm Sophos says, as quoted by The Daily Mail web edition.

It turns out that Twitter had archived every tweet and will now be rewarded for its ingenuity. Datasift, for instance, will charge companies up to £10,000 a month to analyze tweets posted each day for anything said about their products and services.

Outrage over privacy

The question is whether an estimated 300 million Twitter users should be classified as victims whose personal data has been sacrificed on the altar of global marketing. It has been reported that private accounts and tweets that have been deleted will not be indexed by the site. Nevertheless, privacy campaigners are alarmed.

The Daily Mail website quotes Justin Basini of the data privacy company Allow as saying: “Marketers will stop at nothing to get hold of your data. This move shows all those throwaway tweets have suddenly become a rich new revenue stream for Twitter… It has taken a stream of consciousness, analyzed it, bottled it and sold it for a profit. And the worst thing is, you never knew it was going to happen.”

DataSift claims it is planning to tap into another goldmine of information – Facebook – in just a few weeks. The latest data from comScore, an Internet marketing research company, says the average Facebook user spends around 6-7 hours a day using the social network. Now that the relatively laconic Twitter has turned dangerous, just imagine how much riskier it is to post something for six hours a day.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

I wish to clear up one or two things regarding veganism

I_am_vegan

I often get told that people respect my opinion and therefore I should respect theirs. I'm sorry, but no. I will respect any opinion of yours that does not lead to the imprisonment, abuse and murder of 65 billion land animals every year and literally countless sea creatures. However when you ask me to respect your right to contribute to a system of abuse, particularly on such a terrible scale the answer will always be no. I can no more respect that opinion than one who believes it acceptable for a man to rape his wife. I can no more respect that opinion than one who finds child abuse acceptable.

Do not ask me to respect your right to abuse those without a voice.

I also strongly object to the word 'opinion' when it comes to veganism. Even if you do not care about species other than your own, veganism is not an opinion.

It is not my opinion that there are 7 billion humans in this world, over a billion of whom are starving.

It is not my opinion that the population of the world is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050. 

It is not my opinion that it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef.

It is not my opinion that the amount of grain it takes to produce a single steak could feed between 40 and 50 starving children.

It is not my opinion that many African governments are corrupt and sell their nation's grain to the West as cheap cattle feed.

It is not my opinion that it takes around 2500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef but only around 290 to produce a pound of soy beans.

It is not my opinion that around 51% of all greenhouse gases can be directly attributed to the meat, dairy and egg industries.

It is not my opinion that 70% of destroyed rainforest is used for grazing hamburger cattle.

It is not my opinion that around 95% of the remainder is used to grow soy for cattle feed.

It is not my opinion that the WHO and the UN have stated that there is not enough space on the planet to feed everyone such an animal heavy diet and that we need to make the transition to veganism to ensure the survival of the human race.

It is not my opinion that human beings are the only animals on the planet who suffer from excess cholesterol. 

It is not my opinion that processed meat has been proven time and again to increase the risk of cancer.

It is not my opinion that a plant based diet has been shown to actually reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes. 

It is not my opinion that on the whole vegans are less obese than those who consume meat.

It is not my opinion that vegans are less likely to suffer heart attacks than meat consumers. 

So please, don't say anything about respecting my 'opinion.' Just look at the facts.

If you don't care about animals go vegan for other people in countries less affluent than our own.

If you don't care about people on the other side of the world go vegan for the planet and to ensure that your children and grand children have a good quality of life.

If you don't care about anything other than your own little bubble, go vegan for yourself.

Thaks to Jess Crisp for this

 


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Watch Me

Watch_me

My mind is clear

My intention is strong

My commitment is growing

My excuses are gone

 

Watch me!

 

I am letting go of the old

I am making way for the new

I am happier today

I have a new attitude

 

Every step is a victory

Every fall is a lesson

Either way I'm a winner

Because I am taking action

 

Watch me!

 

I am meant to be happy

To satisfy my dream

I am exactly where

I am supposed to be

 

~Patricia Moreno


Monday, 16 January 2012

The Importance of Change

Change_ahead

"When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it too seemed immovable. 

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me. But alas they would have none of it. 

And now as I lie on my deathbed I suddenly realised: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement I would have been able to better my country and, who knows, maybe even change the world.”

Anonymous. Written on a tomb in Westminster Abbey.

 


The Importance of Change

Change_ahead

"When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it too seemed immovable. 

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me. But alas they would have none of it. 

And now as I lie on my deathbed I suddenly realised: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement I would have been able to better my country and, who knows, maybe even change the world.”

Anonymous. Written on a tomb in Westminster Abbey.

 


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a fantastic New Year and all the best for 2012!

Happy_new_year