Monthly Archives September 2011

Lifestyle

Weekly Awesomeness: Facebook Changes, No More Bullfighting plus Funny Babies and Dogs

Weekly Awesomeness

Interview with a One-Year Old! Baby Jose Luis discussing politics and nighttime problems. Super funny video!

About the Facebook layout change. The Oatmeal says it all. But honestly, congrats Facebook, I’m absolutely loving the new layout and features.

Also, Presenting the Facebook Timeline Can’t wait for this! A new redesign on Facebook, a new way to share the most special moments of your life, in a story-like mode. It will be available for all on September 30.

Starbucks Pumpkin Season Special that everyone is talking about. Sounds delicious, yumm!

I’m so happy to know bullfighting is history in Catalonia! The ban on this sadistic spectacle officially goes into effect January 1st in Catalonia, but thankfully this past weekend was the last day a bull died in a ring. The law will prohibit bullfighting across the spanish province of Catalonia. It’s a huge victory and an example to follow!

The successful social strategist of the future. What does it take to get ahead of the social media in your corporation?

Cuttest dog video! – Adopt a pet, you’ll both be into something good!

Psssst, girls. Sales! Snag 70% off hundreds of vintage fashion pieces and houseware on Modcloth

 

Rita Fontes ♥

 

Image found on mizingpuzzle
Lifestyle

Do not give up, it’s only the beginning.

Do not give up, it's only the beginning.

If you ever had some overwhelming events in your life, you’ll relate to this. I mean, everyone has faced at least one or two major obstacles in life (consider yourself lucky if you haven’t).
Present is such a blessing, no matter how harsh and difficult it looks to you, those thick dark clouds will always vanish. Always remember that’s when you’re able to tackle life and change its course, the butterfly effect is true.

You’re strong enough to handle even what you didn’t thought you ever could. You have the power to erase and scratch over your mistakes, or forget grudges you’ve been holding for who knows how long, overcome your traumas by focusing on what’s real and good in you. There’s always a bright side to every situation. You’re able to change your future now. Really,  NOW.

Well, sometimes it isn’t. But you have the power to make it beautiful.

Yes, sometimes you’d wish life was way easier for you. I’m gonna be honest, I don’t like it easy. Easy is for losers. And personally, I’m truly thankful for all the shit 2011 has been bringing me, this is becoming the most enlightening year of my life despite all the mess, making me grow as a person, facing life obstacles and, even after all, still having the guts to say “bring it, i can take a lot more”. Drama is for acting lessons and movies, not something for you to be living in.

Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.
Grab life by its hand and be the leader not its follower. Be fearless. Follow your dreams because dreams are the touchstones of your character, they will make you become you.

«If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.» –  Henry David Thoreau

 

Just smile and enjoy the ride,

Rita Fontes♥

 

images found on anangelinthegarden and only-stars
Lifestyle

12 Reasons To Go Vegan


If a cow farts a lot, a gazillion cows will infest our planet. This ain’t a joke, methane gas that comes farming animals as they digest food is the main source of pollution and has the most percentage of impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is also 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide that’s expelled by cars.

Lord Stern is the man behind one of the most influential reports on climate change. Burning of forests, grasslands and agricultural waste associated with meat production releases approximately 100,000,000 tons of methane per year. Combining these figures, 25% of methane emissions are due to animal farming (not including the billions of sheep, pigs and poultry, so the real figure is much higher).
«The greenhouse gas emissions associated with meat consumption has many components, the largest of which is land use change – the clearing of forests for pasture or for the production of soya for animal feed. Other elements that have an impact on emissions include the rearing and slaughter of livestock, and the transport, refrigeration and cooking of meat.
There is also the nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, in the manure of animals reared for meat and the methane, another greenhouse gas, in their flatulence. Molecule for molecule, methane has a much larger warming effect than carbon dioxide.», quoting Dan Bell from BBC News.

According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads.

 
We all share the same bloodline. It’s the one big tree of life that involves all of the living beings on Earth, and it’s not metaphorical, it’s literal. We all share DNA.

You wouldn’t eat your house pet, would you? By going vegetarian you’d be saving hundreds of lives!
That’s why we should take a more comprehensive and sobering look at animal use for food purpose. Animal cruelty and massive slaughtering can’t be denied, simply because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it ain’t real. If you couldn’t do it with your own two hands, it’s because you know it ain’t right.

Millions of animals are suffering each day from intensive farming techniques, being crammed into small-sized cages, where they can barely move, kept away from daylight during their growth while being badly fed and being forced to live in their own feces, vomit and other animal corpses. Confinement at high stocking density requires antibiotics and pesticides to mitigate the spread of disease and pestilence exacerbated by these crowded living conditions. In addition, forced over feeding and antibiotics and are used to stimulate livestock growth. 95% of poultry suffer injuries before being killed and 30% suffer broken bones.

Before they ever make it to the slaughterhouse, they have to endure long, freakishly hot or freezing cold trips confined into overcrowded lotties on top of each other. Many die of dehydration, lack of air and fast spreading diseases. This story never gets a happy ending. It’s a long hard way to get to the place where they’re gonna be brutally slaughtered, many remain conscious during the killing process.

Animals, just like you, should have the same rights as human beings and be respected in the same way as we respect our human friends.

Animals are intelligent. According to Edward O. Wilson, a behavioral biologist (scientist who studies the behavior of animals), pigs, for instance, are on the top 5 of smartest mammals on Earth, categorized as the most intelligent domestic animal in the world, way above our beloved dogs and cats. Pigs are smarter and cleaner than dogs. They lead complex social lives that behaviorists once believed to be true only of primates.
It is proven that pigs have the intelligence degree of a 3 year old and they excel at video games that would be hard for a young child, and sometimes better than a primate. A very interesting fact, and a very awww-moment, «mother pigs sing to their piglets while they are nursing».

Animals may not talk as we do, but they do feel. Like us, they have neurological processes that are similar to humans. They can feel your love towards them, and they can feel pain and fear, we share the same mechanical pain detectors. Cows scream out of pain when they are being beaten and burn to death. Also, research has provided evidence that monkeys, dogs, cats and birds can show signs of emotional pain and display behaviours associated with depression during a painful experience, i.e. lack of motivation, lethargy, anorexia, unresponsiveness to other animals.

Their responses comprise several behavioural and physiological changes: they eat less food, their normal behaviour is disrupted, their social behaviour is suppressed and they may adopt unusual behaviour patterns (typically, highly repetitive or stereotyped behaviours, such as rocking to and fro), they may emit characteristic distress calls, and they experience respiratory and cardiovascular changes, as well as inflammation and release of stress hormones.

I find it superbly demeaning when someone avidly says human beings are supposed to eat other animals arguing “that’s human nature”. Well, it’s not. «Although many humans choose to eat a wide variety of plant and animal foods, earning us the dubious title of “omnivore,” according to biologists and anthropologists who study our anatomic and historical evolution, we are anatomically herbivorous.

Are humans carnivores or herbivores? I encourage you to also fully read the article about The Natural Human Diet, but I will summarize it for you guys by highlighting the most important.

«During most of our evolutionary history, we were largely vegetarian. Plant foods like potatoes made up the bulk of our ancestors’ diet. The more frequent addition of modest amounts of meat to the early human diet came with the discovery of fire, which allowed us to lower the risk of being sickened or killed by parasites in meat. This practice did not turn our ancestors into carnivores but rather allowed early humans to survive in periods when plant foods were unavailable.»

Also, «Dr. Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, summarizes, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that require those large canines.”»

Our herbivorous nature is also revealed in our human psychology. «Humans also lack the instinct that drives carnivores to kill animals and devour their raw carcasses. While carnivores take pleasure in killing animals and eating their raw flesh, any human who killed an animal with his or her bare hands and ate the raw corpse would be considered deranged. Carnivorous animals are excited by the scent of blood and the thrill of the chase. Most humans, on the other hand, are revolted by the sight of blood, intestines and raw flesh, and cannot tolerate hearing the screams of animals being ripped apart and killed. The bloody reality of eating animals is innately repulsive to us, another indication that we were not designed to eat meat.»

«With a projected 9 billion mouths to feed by the year 2050, plenty are wondering: will there be enough food to go around? Can we feed everyone without devastating the planet?» Truth is if we continue to clear American forests to raise cattle at the present rate, by 2050 there will be none left. That is inconceivable.

According to researches from the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Germany, we will only be capable of making it possible if we re-think our food production model. Animal feed and biofuels are currently competing for space with the human food supply. In order to control the destruction purely caused by global corporate greed, a team of researchers has proposed a plan to feed us all without sacrificing the environment.

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That’s a no brainer. A vegetarian based diet may prevent many diseases, including the most deadly. PETA has a great explanation on the health risks of the meat industry.

«Filling your plate with meatdairy products, and eggs could be a recipe for heart diseaseobesitycancer, diabetes, and even impotence. Leading health experts agree that going vegan is the single best thing we can do for ourselves and our families.
Healthy vegan diets support a lifetime of good health and provide protection against numerous diseases, including our country’s three biggest killers: heart disease, cancer, and strokes.

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) states that vegetarians and vegans enjoy a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, and lower body mass indexes, as well as lower overall cancer rates. The ADA concludes that vegetarian or vegan diets “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.»

Living a longer, healthier happy life? We shouldn’t be messing with health, so sign me up!

 


Shouldn’t we know where our meat comes from? Meat industry is the most obscure and dirty business happening in our society, pairing along with drug dealing but in a huger scale. Nobody wants you to see how slaughtering process is done simply because it’s horrifying. They are hiding it from us.

It’s hard for someone to get inside a slaughterhouse and document what really happens in there, if someone does journalists and camera crews aren’t allowed to record. Only a few made it, for instance Earthlings and Food Inc. documentaries.
If you care enough to see them I must warn you the video clips are quite hard to watch, but it is the undeniable truth that’s happening millions of times every day, all over the world, for you to have a steak on your plate that will only do you more harm than good.

Gladly, there are many animal rights activists and reporters wanting to expose the ill-treatment of animals in slaughterhouses through secret cameras, which is the only way to get a true glimpse of it. One of the suggestions made by UK’s Animal Aid avoid the inconformity seen on the process is to put CCTV in slaughterhouses.

Warning: This video contains graphic images that viewers may find disturbing.

«CCTV alone will not stop abuses, although it may bring more to light. Eliminating mistreatment, and hygiene failures, in meat factories will require systemic change. But in well-run factories, good training and working conditions that do not push the human links in the chain beyond their comfortable limits ensure that killing is achieved humanely and efficiently. The best guarantors of animal welfare are humane management and fair economic returns.», according to The Guardian’s Felicity Lawrence.

With any luck, people will watch these films and be inspired to reject and prevent this kind of cruelty from occurring in the future. I know I did, and I know most of the people who had seen them changed their point of view on meat and other animal product eating.

 

We are the only species that drinks milk from other animals. Crazy enough, we only need breast milk when we’re babies so why do we persist on drinking cow milk? Female breasts are designed to only lactate months after pregnancy, and not throughout your life.

It’s not natural and healthy to your body drinking cow milk. Have you ever wondered why the milk we buy at the supermarket has to be previously pasteurized?

Pasteurization kills pathogenic bacteria which occasionally may be present in milk, including those causing tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes), Q fever (Coxiella burnettie), brucellosis (Brucella), campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter), salmonellosis (Salmonella), and several other food borne illnesses, such as E. coli.

 

“We’ve known for a long time that raw meat and poultry purchased in supermarkets can be contaminated with bugs that can make us sick, like salmonella and E. coli.”, said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

What is the method used to prevent a world wide E.coli pandemic then? Figures. If they have to clean the meat, they have to use an efficient cleaner. So, ammonia it is! You know, the harsh chemical we use in fertilizers and oven cleaners? It kills E.coli really well. So, they invented a process where they pass the hamburger through a pipe where it is doused in ammonia gas. And you probably never heard about it, other than those times that batches of meat stink of ammonia so bad that the buyer returns it.

«Lessons on the food system from the ammonia-hamburger fiasco» is also a must-read article, which overviews the previous excellent report from The New York Times on a South Dakota company called Beef Products Inc.

Well, if your Big Mac ever tastes like pee, that’s why. Is this what you want your kids to eat?

Did you know the water used to produce 10 lbs (4,5kg) of steak is equivalent to the average consumption of water for an entire household for an entire year? Or that you need 2500 gallons (9500 litres) of water to produce only 1lb of meat, and only 25 gallons (4,5 litres) of water to produce 1lb of wheat? This is happening when potable water is falling short and hundreds of people die each day from it.

When everybody tells you shouldn’t be wasting water, shouldn’t we consider to cut on our meat production?

We have a mind of our own, which leads me to wonder why people don’t question what they have in their plate. Where does your food come from? What is exactly that we’re eating? I truly believe that people should see through what’s beyond their habits, rethink tradition and question what’s right in front of their eyes, our eyes. Does it seem right? A decomposing piece of nasty bloody flesh, muscles and bones that comes from a tortured innocent animal lays now in your plate. Simply put, that’s pretty much about it. Well, I didn’t even mention the amount of bacteria and poop a steak or drumstick contains. Yes, traces of poop.

Dead flesh is packed with E. coli, Salmonella, Lysteria, Campylobacter and Clostridium Perfringens.
Do you really love rotten corpses that much?

 

Vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals and nuts provide us with all the nutrients and vitamins that we need, AND we won’t be consuming the cholesterol, saturated fats, antibiotics, chemicals and contaminants that are found in meat, eggs and dairy products. That is fairly enough for anyone to change your diet. 

 

The image is pretty much self explanatory. Vegans eat what everyone else eats but instead of choosing a meat-based diet, we go for the vegan version of it, a plant-based diet. And I got to tell you, I turned into vegetarianism in 2005 and never looked back, it’s way more delicious than the meat and fish dishes.
Remember that what gives food its flavour always was the vegan component: spices, salt and herbs.

Additional resources:

There are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegetarian diet. Here are some additional resources and articles that might help you find the answers you’ve been looking for, from acknowledging what vegan brands you should buy and some will answer any of your additional questions:

• PETA will always be the ultimate animal rights organization

• 101 facts to make you go vegetarian

• Earthlings: a mind-changing documentary A must see, rated 8.5/10 on IMDb.

• Also, the Academy Award Nominee, Food Inc. will give you a new perspective on what we’re being fed.

• Accidentally Vegan Products. Oh, wow!

• Vegetarianism 101

• A very useful Vegan Candy List

 

Be better, not bitter. Live healthy, live consciously.

Rita Fontes's signature

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