Category: Animals (page 1 of 5)

Should We Eat Pork?

Bacon, Ham, Ribs, Sausages, Should we Really Eat Pork and Is It Good For Our Health?

In 2015 The World Health Organization came out in favour of research done by the IARC – International Agency for Research on Cancer which had classified processed meat as a car-carcinogen ( cancer causing), which immediately had the meat industry up in arms

Bacon, the all time favourite food.  You see the research classified “processed” as being any meat that is treated in some way to preserve or flavour it.  So this includes processing such as salting, curing, fermenting and smoking.

Guess what? Bacon definitely comes under that category … and so do most deli meats.

BUT what about pork that is straight from the pig?

Yes pork has protein and it’s the only meat that actually comes with other nutrients like thiamine, selenium magnesium and zinc.  However it, like all animal products, also comes with the baggage of saturated fat, cholesterol and naturally forming sodium plus any sodium added to preserve it’s shelf life.

Now even though you may be able to get away with that baggage, there is a much greater problem which lies in the intensive factory farming style of mass production.

In 2012 the Consumer Reports magazine did a study by purchasing 240 whole and ground pork products.  The results were disturbing to say the least.

  • 83% of the meat tested was found to have E.coli, staph, salmonella and a bacterium called yersinia entercolitica, which can cause fever, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pains as severe as appendicitis.
  • 69% of the samples actually had bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics used to treat human infections.

O.k. so let’s try free range pork.

Well, you see, pigs are the ‘waste disposal units’ on any farm.  They are opportunists and will eat literally anything including decaying animal flesh (including pork), maggots, decaying vegetables and even their own feces.

The problem is that their bodies don’t filter out the toxins, but sends it straight off to be stored in their organs, skin and fatty tissue.  Pigs don’t sweat so can’t remove toxins that way, but they do periodically rid themselves of the poisons if there’s a build up by excreting it through their hooves.
This means that many of these toxins remain ready for our consumption.

Probably explains why some religions (including the Christian Bible) say pork is unclean and should not to be eaten.

Pork also is the slowest of the meats for us to digest.  It can take anywhere from 4 ½ to 6 hours to get the entire amount through your system, and cuts like ribs and bacon are the slowest.

Having bacon for breakfast and ham for lunch, not only is it processed it can also wreak havoc on the digestive system making it difficult to absorb essential micronutrients from other foods that you’ve also eaten.

Because the slowest foods have to be digested first the really nutritious fruits and veggies have to hang around and can start to ferment producing gas, acid and indigestion.  Plus over time if you keep piling in the pork, undigested foods can putrefy in the small intestines which leads to toxicity in the body.

Now did you know that having apple sauce with pork was not for flavour it helps to digest the pork a bit faster, although still not quite fast enough.

My recommendation?
Flag the pork and go whole plant foods – your health will love you for it.

And if you’re thinking that might be a bit too hard … well I have a program called  Try Plant Foods for 7 Days  which is perfect for giving it a test run

Ciao
Fee



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A New Word – Carnism?

Have you ever heard of the word ‘carnism’?

Let me explain:

It was coined by Psychologist Dr Melanie Joy and it means an invisible belief system or ideology that conditions people to eat certain animals.  It is basically the opposite of vegetarism, veganism or whole plant food eating.

The word comes from ‘carn’ meaning ‘flesh’ and ‘ism’ meaning a belief system.

Because carnism is both invisible and the predominant eating pattern of a meat-eating culture, people don’t even think why they eat one animal but not another.  They also don’t realize that eating animals is a choice, just as eating plants is a choice.

People in one culture wouldn’t question eating cows, sheep and pigs, however, those same people are horrified that there are other cultures that eat dogs, cats and horses.
Carnism is currently the dominant belief system.

As Dr Joy says
“Carnistic bias is built into the very foundation of society – when we study nutrition, for example, we actually study carnistic nutrition”

Sadly, Carnism is a violent belief system.  It is centred around the massive billion dollar animal industry of intensive animal farming with over 77 billion animals being slaughtered each year (and that doesn’t include animals like rabbits or aquatic sea life such as fish).
Even the so-called ‘humane’ animal farming of organic, free-range, dairy and eggs have a definite cruel and brutal side of exploiting the animals.

There is hope though because there is a definite rise in veganism as people start to open their eyes to the abusive animal food system.  Not only that, but we are seeing more and more people making changes to incorporate whole plant foods into their diets for their own health.

I may not see it, but I know future generations will see the demise of carnism taking it from ‘normal’ to ‘fringe’. 

This is a really good video to watch which probably explains it better. 

Ciao
Fee



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Factory Farmed Meat And Human Health

How does factory farmed meat affect human health?

Factory farming is a reality … sadly … but hopefully we’ll start to move away from it.  Mind you, with humans voracious appetite for meat, I’m not sure it will happen in my lifetime.

In the UK there are over 800 mega farms and the biggest of these factory farms have the capacity to house more than:

  • a million chickens,
  • 2,000 dairy cows
  • over 20,000 pigs.

Most of these animals are constantly kept inside.  In fact both the chicken and pork industries are incredible intense and cruel because they are crammed in to such small spaces.

It’s not just the cruelty that these animals have to endure, but these farms can be a breeding ground for food poisoning bugs like campylobacter,  E.coli and salmonella, especially in the chickens followed by the pigs.

Because the animals live so closely together diseases spread quickly which means there is a widespread use of antibiotics – in saying the the practice is dropping.  Doctors are realizing that we’ve been over-exposed and the antibiotics just doesn’t cut the mustard any more.
World-wide, more antibiotics are dished out to animals than to humans. … quite bizarre – so the animal will be fit for human consumption.

Well they’re not

These animals also are fed grains that are doused in chemical pesticides and fertilizers, grown on vast amounts of land that are pushing out the wild life and putting a lot of them on the brink of extinction.

How does this equate to human health?

Apart from the fact that animal protein is not good for our health which research continues to back up, those who choose to continue eating meat are getting a lot sicker than past generations because of factory farming and the way the animals fed and housed.  This makes both the animals and the humans really susceptible to diseases.

So the human health is going on a mega slide down because of the massive consumption of this meat.

It really saddens me when I see people refusing to see the overwhelming scientific and clinically back evidence that animal protein (includes all meats, fish, dairy & eggs) is not the healthy option.  It seems to me that people would rather be sick and be on meds with a much lower quality of life than embrace a wholefood plant-based lifestyle.
This attitude is very obvious with my age group who are quite set in their ways – always had the meat and three veg and don’t want to change.  They’d rather get just another prescription than learn how to feed themselves so they can reverse heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc.
The silly part is that not only would they have quality of life they’d live longer on a healthy vegan lifestyle.

However, I am seeing more young people taking on the vegan life, usually more because they have had their eyes opened to animal suffering, but sometimes because they don’t want to end up with dementia, heart disease, cancers etc like their grandparents, parents or older relatives.

If you do want to go vegan … then do yourself a favour and be a healthy vegan by adopting a whole-food plant base way of eating – you’ll be doing it for the animals with the bonus of giving yourself good health too.

Till next time
Ciao
Fee





The Wins Of 2016

Looking back on 2016 … it wasn’t too bad a year and we did have some wins.

There were some wonderful moments for the animals such as a group of little ducklings were saved by awesome firemen after they fell down a grate.  Mumma duck was sooooo thrilled to have her babies back.  And, firemen rescued swans from freezing on ice, not just once, but three times.

However, I want to look back on some of the “wins” that didn’t necessarily make the “headlines” but will make life a little easier on those animals who are constantly abused – that is: animals used for human purposes.  So here’s my top 12:

Let’s begin with a statistic I think shows why many people are turning to a plant based way of eating.

  1. 94% of Americans believe it’s important that animals used for food aren’t abused.  The way the industry is with factory farming, this is a good sign that people are starting to become aware.
  2. In New Zealand battery cages are to be phased out by 2022, a great “win”.  Unfortunately the egg industry managed to still have the cages by convincing the government to legalize the colony cage … still a cage, will be able to put more birds in – the campaign continues.
  3. Around the world many groceries, restaurants and even fast food outlets no longer support caged eggs.  In New Zealand, McDonalds announced its switch to only free range eggs in all outlets in 2017.  Many others committed to a particular date.
  4. In Australia the Woolworths supermarket chain went cage free and in N.Z. a campaign was launched for Countdown to do the same … Countdown is a subsidery of the above mentioned Woolworths.
  5. In North America the “Right to Farm” is a law that was brought in to deny nuisance lawsuits against farmers who use accepted and standard farming practices.  Well, the U.S. Humane Society along with other organizations set out to expose this law for what it really is : allowing farmers to use reprehensible measures like extreme confinement, mutilation with painkillers etc.  They were able to stop this Right to Farm measures from being introduced into some State legislatures.  Still a lot of work to be done.
  6. The Blackfish Bill was passed banning SeaWorld and other corporations from imprisioning Orcas for profit.  SeaWorld also announced that it would no longer have the Orca breeding program.  I believe that the movie “Blackfish” has had a huge role in getting both these “wins”.
  7. France became the 1st country to totally ban Neonicotinoids – the bee-killing component in pesticides.  This measure goes above and beyond the E.U. ban put in place in 2013.  The German company Bayer is not happy and, in fact, has a lawsuit pending against the E.U. Learn more  It’s almost like France has put up its middle finger to Bayer.
  8. And on the subject of bees, Canada is also trying to put in place a ban however, again Bayer has their lobbying hat on tight and the pressure is on.  You can help by signing the petition: Save The Bees
  9. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ended their elephant performances and took the elephants off the road in response to growing public concern over how the animals are treated.
  10. The number of  Tigers, Pandas and Manatees all increased quite substantially which, if this keeps going, these animals will be able to come off the endangered list
  11. On another note – the environment … 40,000 New Zealanders, who opposed the secret giveaway of community water resources, celebrated when The Ashburton District Council backed out of negotiations with NZ Pure Blue – a deal that would have allowed the corporation to extract billions of litres of waters from the aquifers beneath the town.  The message was loud and clear – the last thing the community needs is a bottled-water company sucking the town dry for profit, especially in a drought-prone region.  Mind you, this applies everywhere – as is being witnessed currently in U.S.A. with the town of Flint as well as the Dakota Pipe Line.
  12. This was a story that absolutely delighted me.
    The Australian mining company, OceanaGold, had a contract to build a massive gold mine in Cabanas, a country in El Salvador.
    Now this would have used the last remaining water source, so the country of Cabanas refused to issue permits.
    OceanaGold filed a lawsuit against El Salavdor.  However, because of worldwide people power, the lawsuit was dismissed.  But wait, there’s a bit of icing on this cake – OceanaGold had to pay El Salvador compensation and cover their court costs.

So I’ll end this post on that absolutely corker win … showing that the little guy can take on the giant.

You’ll be able to find lots of other stories on the internet, but these ones were either close to my heart, or a little different to the usual.

All my heartfelt thanks for supporting me with my journey this year.  May your 2017 be blessed for you and your family and may we have many more “wins” so we can ease the suffering of the many animals who endure so much for us.

Have wonderful wholefoods and enjoy life.

Ciao
Fee



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The Story About A Sheep

Once upon a time there was a sheep who was all alone.

Well, the story goes like this.  While I was in the country (yes, I’m back in the city now), I would take a morning perambulation to survey the countryside around me and take in the beautiful refreshing air.

In the paddock that ran alongside the road, the sheep meandered, munching on grass, heads down as sheep do, until I walked past.  Then it was heads jerked up, ears attuned and when I got too close it was off with a race to put a bit more distance between us.

But, at the top of the road where there were no sheep, there, on his/her lonesome was a single sheep just sitting, doing nothing, almost like he (we’ll call it he – saves on me having to type the letter “s”), was waiting for something – or maybe someone?

The first couple of mornings he bleated when he saw me and actually wandered over to the fence.  However, I couldn’t get to him as there was a double fence line with quite a gap between, so I have no idea if I could have pat him as I would have liked to have done.

He was there every morning for a couple of weeks.  Then just as quickly as he’d appeared – he was gone.

Now, I’m going to make up the story that he had been feeling a little depressed and had wanted some “time out”.  Then, on feeling back to his old self again (maybe my visits helped), he’d gone back to join his mates in the flock.  That is a far better image than him having been singled out to fatten up for the Christmas table.

Oh, and just so you know that I really was in the country …. I photo bombed the sheep and the chooks where I was staying.

At time of writing I had, in fact, left the country and was already ensconced in the first of the house-sits for 2017 … actually had Christmas here.  Read about it in the next post.

Ciao
Fee



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Are Free Range Eggs Ethical?

I’ve spoken about the egg industry before, but it’s time to ask again are free range eggs ethical and this time I’m going to re-visit this topic and look at it from a slightly different angle.

Let’s start at the beginning – and, no, I’m not getting into the argument of which comes first – the chicken or the egg nor about battery eggs verses free range eggs.

Have you ever wondered where the Hatcheries get the eggs from?  You see the Hatcheries are big business.  This is where the eggs are incubated and hatched.  The chickens are then sold to the egg farmers, be they caged or free range.

Try as I might, the information about the “parents” (where these fertilized eggs actually come from), is very scarce, especially in N.Z. – Which makes it even more worrying.  Just the mere fact that there appears to be no data available creates a feeling of mistrust.  In fact even SAFE said it is a very secretive industry and virtually impossible to find out anything – very suspect.

I did find out that we do import breeding birds from both the Netherlands and U.S.A.  They do this in order to keep the flock healthy …. no in-breeding.

I also discovered that there are not that many breeding bird farms around the world as it’s quite a scientific operation.  These farms do genetic tests and selection based on progeny testing to ensure they have excellent breeders.

In Australia, the fertilized eggs are imported, so it appears that there are no “parent” birds there.

So looking at the U.S.A. parent bird situation (N.Z. does tend to mimic the USA practices).  Again information is scarce but what I did discover was pretty abysmal.
On average the “parent” birds are housed in sheds.  They have about 1.88-2 square feet per bird and  quite often the ratio is one rooster for every 9-11 hens.  In saying that, I also discovered that generally the roosters are not actually put with the hens, instead the sperm is removed and artificially injected into the females.

But wait, there’s more.  Many of these birds are beak-trimmed and de-spurred, the roosters can even have their combs cut off and de-toed … all this to prevent aggression and usually done without anaesthesia.

On to some facts:

  • Birds are fed once a day.
  • Their eggs are collected three times a day to go to hatcheries.
  • Usually at the end of their first laying cycle they are sent to slaughter.
  • Roosters can survive slightly longer than 18 months, but then slaughtered.

Now I can understand why this industry is so tightly shut.  They do not want any light shone on them and are probably quite happy that there is more angst around caged egg producing hens.

But this must be a huge industry.  Just to put it into perspective how many layer hens per year is required for the egg industry (including free-range):

  • N.Z. = over 3 million.
  • Australia = around 11 million.
  • Britain = 29 million.
  • USA = 302 million.

So the number of fertilized eggs would have to be at least double these numbers just to be on the safe side because of the male chicks.

If you are eating eggs, be they free-range or other, please try to reduce the number.  Try committing to two or three days a week going completely animal free in all your food choices.  It’s not that difficult to do once you get into swing of it – and there’s always plenty of help if you need it.  Please spare a thought for those mummy birds.

Ciao
Fee

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Mayhem And Madness – All In A Day’s Work

O.k.  Yes, I do start work at 9 a.m.  I know, Lucky Me!!!  I get an extra 1/2 hour in bed.  What it means is that I’m the last one to arrive at the office.

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How could you not love that face!

But enough about my little perks.  It’s the Thursday before Easter and I arrived at work raincoat and beret on because it’s raining.  Let me say here, that me and umbrellas do not go together.  Even if there is no wind the umbrella just seems to turn inside out, or won’t go up or, alternatively, come down.  So my excellent Macintosh and beret is my rain wear.  On really rainy days, I do have to take my glasses off and put them in the pocket which doesn’t bode well for me crossing roads!!!!

Back to today.  So I get to the door and there to greet me is Floyd.  Floyd is one of the designer’s (Matt) best mate and it had been decided by he, (Matt, not Floyd), and his wife that it would be best for Floyd to come to work as there was a severe weather warning issued for the day and they didn’t want Floyd being on his own …. at this point I encourage you to say “Awe!”  You can do so under your breath if others are around, or out loud – your choice.

dogs 3Now Floyd is a Border Collie crossed with a Tramp going North and was on death row when he was rescued by Matt and his wife …. I should be hearing another “Awe!” – feel free to beef it up with a “bless them”.  Point is, Floyd is delightful.  Smart too.  He entertained us with “shaking hands”, “begging”, “rolling over”, “turning around” and his latest trick, “crawling”.

Of course my camera came out and pictures were taken in between the patting and mussing of his coat…it’s sooooo soft.  Naturally I had to post his photo up onto Facebook – why shouldn’t he get a bit of viral coverage?  As I was doing this I made the comment about which dog my “friends on Facebook” would think was the cutest – Floyd or Otto – both have now graced my page.

The challenge was taken up.  It was decided that Andrew would bring Otto (the Schnauzer), back after lunch.
Hey, it’s Easter – it’s raining (hard) – a bit of levity in the office would work wonders for the soul.Dogs

dogs 02OMG – what havoc was reaped after lunch when Otto arrived at the office.  Now Floyd had been happily ensconced and kinda figured the office belonged to him.

Otto, of course, has visited the office a few times and strutted in as if he owned the place.  Luckily the two dogs do know each other so the territorial stamping didn’t eventuate.  But, oh boy, the playing was definitely all on!  Their dads finally decided that the kids had played enough.  Otto was taken to his side of the dividing half wall and his lead was hooked up and Floyd was banned to his bed on the other side.
The look on their faces – priceless!

The rest of the afternoon carried on relatively quietly with the occasional lapse by Floyd who’d go round to see what Otto was doing, find him incapacitated but try and play until his dad, hearing the commotion, called him back.  Alternatively, Floyd would wander over to me ’cause he knew he’d get plenty of scratches.

dogs a

dogs ab

 

 

 

 

 

!@#@%^&#  BANNED!!!!!! NOT FAIR!!!

 

 

 

 

dogsss

 

 

Get a gander at this I discovered on Floyd’s lead …. now that’s a classy way to carry poop bags!  For a muttly dog – he’s one cool kid.  Of course, Otto is a class act as well.

 

millieOne last thing – Millie has really warmed to me …. This is how you spend a wet

Easter Thursday evening – laxing out on the couch watching T.V. with a friend.

 

 

 

Ciao
Fee

Dairy Farmer Tries To Take Calf

Some cows do fight back!

Way to go Mumma!!!!
Ciao
Fee




Milk Companies Are Just Getting Desperate

I haven’t really talked much about the dairy industry and the different types of milk that’s on offer, mainly because I know that most of my readers still use dairy.

Plus the fact it’s like “where do I start”?  There are so many dairy products out there, that I’m just glad I don’t have it because I wouldn’t know where to begin choosing which milk would be right for me.

However, I recently learned about a new product that’s been launched that has me shaking my head with skepticism …. which meant, I felt the need to blog.

Currently there has been quite a dramatic drop in the consumer purchase of dairy which is effectively creating a downturn in the dairy industry.  This appears to be happening world wide.

So dairy companies are trying to come up with ways to increase market share and this latest thing just cracked me up!
“Sleep-boosting dark milk” coming from a New Zealand company.  Something that’s not too new as scientists in Finland have been working on this and it’s also now available in Britain.

It appears that if you milk the cows after sunset and before sunrise, the milk produces a higher level of the hormone melatonin which is known to help regulate sleep.
Oh, the shed has to be dark as well.

This melatonin found in the milk after dark can be upwards of 10 times higher than that found in day time milk.

So let’s see.  Our choice of milks here in New Zealand are:

  • Fat free
  • Added calcium
  • Added protein
  • Lactose free
  • Help you to sleep
  • Organic
  • Full cream

That covers a vast array of consumers doesn’t it?

My feeling is that milk is no longer “straight from the cow”.  It is bastardized until it’s pretty much unrecognizable, all for the health of the consumers … well, that’s what they want you to think.  What I think is that it’s all for the profit.

I have a whole chapter on milk in my Nutrition book where I talk about calcium, wrote the book before this new type of milk came out … I’ll have to include it when I do the update.  (not that it makes much difference – animal milk isn’t as good for you as it’s made out to be – so I recommend plant milk).

And, one last thing ….. what about the poor cows having to be milked in the dark?  Spare a thought for them!
Ciao
Fee

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Cecil – Do I Need To Elaborate?

I think by now you have all heard about Cecil the lion who was lured out of his sanctuary, shot with a bow and arrow by an idiot dentist.

Wounded, it took the hunters 40 hours to find him when he was then put out of his pain.
Here’s a video just to refresh your memory:

Now this has outraged the world community, and I’m not just talking about the vegans and vegetarians among us … oh no, many a meat eater is up in arms about Cecil – and rightly so.

So what has prompted me to blog about something that you all know about?  I mean Cecil has been widely reported both on the internet and on mainstream media.
Well, it was this young lady … Sabrina Corgatelli (and I use the term “lady” very, very loosely!)

So let’s go with another video:

“Giraffes are very dangerous”  duh!  so are you!!!! The difference is, you’ve got a gun, the giraffe doesn’t …. the giraffe, or any other animal for that matter, can’t stalk you the way you stalk them.

I don’t care what reason these trophy hunters have.  I don’t believe they respect or love animals.  If they were that keen on “hunting” with a love of animals they would be carrying a camera not a weapon.

A person who “hunts” with a camera, in my opinion, has far more courage than all these trophy hunters put together.

Africa needs to be promoting the “camera hunt” far more – make it just as expensive!!!!!

And kudos to the airlines who have banned the shipment of trophies ….. just need the shipping companies now to follow suit!

I can feel my blood boiling – so signing off.

Ciao
Fee



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