REMEMBERING 2013

As we say goodbye to 2013 – I would like to reflect on the stories that I find to be the most inspirational and personal to me.

Saying goodbye to Iringa, Toka and Thika – TORONTO ZOO ELEPHANTS

There has been much controversy surrounding the Toronto Zoo elephant program but it was a controversy that ended with a positive outcome for Iringa, Toka and Thika – the three elephants that have been relocated to PAWS, I 35-hectare sanctuary located in Sand Andreas, California.  The sanctuary has been divided in half to accommodate the African elephants before they are integrated with the other three that are already residing there. 

Bob Barker – who has been pivotal in this relocation, was present when the elephants arrived and indicated that it was about time that the elephants were relocated.  “I have never met with so much acrimony as we did in Toronto,” he said.  “And why I don’t know.”  Bob Barker covered the cost of the move and relocation of the elephants. 

Iringa and Toka, youngsters spared from a deadly cull in Mozambique – arrived at the zoo in 1974, the year it opened.  Thika was born in Toronto and has never known life outside of the Toronto Zoo’s one-hectare zoo.

The elephants will now live on rolling grassland with trees, meadows, lakes a walnut orchard, three heated barns and a Jacuzzi. 

Here is the video of Iringa, Toka and Thika’s arrival:

Iringa, Toka and Thika – the morning after their arrival:

It costs about $70,000+/yr to care for an elephant – PAWS welcomes any donations to ensure their well-being.  To make a donation, please visit the PAWS website at:  http://www.pawsweb.org/donate_online.html

FREEDOM for the ARCTIC 30

Greed speaks loudly when peaceful activists are threatened to be jailed for defending the Arctic waters and wildlife from oil drilling and greedy oil companies.  The 30 activists and crew members of the Arctic Sunrise, were illegally removed from the Arctic waters and their ship (at gunpoint) – for defending the Arctic waters.  Many people supported these brave men and women – government officials from many of the countries the detainees were from spoke out against Russia and demanded their freedom.  As a Canadian – I am ashamed of our government for not getting involved or even making a statement on behalf of the Canadians who were illegally detained in Russia.   Stephen Harper – the Conservative Prime Minister of Canadian supports BIG OIL and has recently announced that it would submit a claim for 1.7 million km of the Arctic seabed, including the North Pole.  The Canadian Alberta tar sands is an environmental nightmare – imagine the damage that will be done if the Conservative and Harper Government are allowed this claim?

The real criminals are not the Arctic 30 – it is those policy makers that ensure that the big oil companies get what they want.  The Arctic 30 should be deemed heroes for protecting our waters and our environment from those the real criminals who have no regard for wildlife and the environment.

The 28 activists and two freelance journalists, including Canadians Ruzycki and Paul, who were illegally detained by Russian forces on board the Arctic Sunrise on September 19th were granted presidential pardon on December 18th after spending more than two months in prison.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/recent/Canadian-Greenpeace-activists-held-in-Russia-for-three-months-arrive-home/

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/Blog/the-true-north-melting-and-oily/blog/47719/

To ensure that Greenpeace continues to protect our planet – please visit their website for past victories and current battles:  http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/  The link will also allow you to make any donation.

The passing of Nelson Mandela

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

There is nothing more than I can say about a man whose legacy speaks volumes.  Nelson Mandela was a pivotal force for equality, compassion and love not only in South Africa, but around the world.  His legacy will live on!

Please read his bio as posted on the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:  http://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography

PETA’s ACTIVISM in 2013

Here are PETA’s 11 Most Important Animal Rights Videos of 2013 *** Please note:  Some of these videos are graphic and will require you to sign into your account to view the video.  In my opinion – if it is too violent to watch – It is too violent to buy or eat!!!

For more information regarding PETA’s activism or to make a donation to PETA – please visit their website:  http://www.peta.org/#/

BRIDEGROOM – A story about LOVE

Watching this documentary put many things in perspective for me.  Some of us should really be thankful for living in a country where all are treated equally under the law.  This is one reason why so many in the LGBTQ community are fighting for equal rights and protections under the law in the United States and around the world.

If we really make it a point to treat others the same way we want to be treated – we can make so many positive things happen for ourselves, for each other, for our environment, for animals and for the planet.  It is time to break the mold of what you believe to be true – think outside the box and enlighten yourself.  Once you are free from what you believe MUST be the truth – then amazing things will happen and have happened.  Don’t let yourself be the obstacle from what good you can contribute.  Let 2014 be the year you create a life that is authentic, compassionate and loving.

I will leave you with a video and song that was released in December of 2012 – “Clown” by Emeli Sandé, enjoy and HAPPY NEW YEAR – much health, happiness and love to all of you!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SOME GREAT ADVICE

A few years ago, I purchased Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s perpetual flip calendar based on his best-selling book, The Power of Intention.  The calendar is filled with daily affirmations to keep us focused on bringing positive energy into our lives.  Here is what Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says about the calendar:

“I’ve put together this calendar because I know that intention is a field of energy that flows invisibly beyond the reach of our normal, everyday habitual patterns.  It’s a force that we all have within us, and we have the power to draw this energy into our lives by being the energy we want to attract.”

Today’s affirmation is:

If life is infinite, then this is not life.  Grasping this concept will connect you permanently to the infinite Source of Creation that intends everything.

A few weeks ago – one affirmation really connected with me.  I don’t follow any religious doctrine and don’t really associate myself with any religion but after reading this affirmation, I really felt that it embraced all that I believe, here is that affirmation:

Practice wanting for others what you want for yourself by being Christ-like rather than a Christian, Mohammed-like rather than a Muslim, and Buddha-like rather than a Buddhist.

It is something we all know but rarely think about.  It’s a simple statement that addresses a behaviour and not rules or laws.  If you want goodness in your life – be good.  If you want to attract positive energy – be positive.  It is really that simple and that is a religion I understand.

You can purchase any of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s books, cds, cards etc via:  www.hayhouse.com

Together, we can make the world a more positive one! 

MISCONCEPTIONS OF CARNIVORES

I used to be a carnivore and had the disposition many of my carnivore friends have today.  I remember asking the same questions many meat eaters ask their vegetarian and vegan friends.  I know that many of these questions come from the lack of education on the topics of vegetarianism and veganism.  Most people who don’t particularly live a certain lifestyle would never understand that lifestyle.  So in order to debunk some of the myths and misconceptions they have on why I choose to be a vegan – I will address many of their questions.  I hope this post allows you to appreciate my choice in becoming a vegan.

Friends – Why did you become vegetarian/vegan?

Me – Like most families, I was raised to believe that we needed to eat meat in order to have proper nutrition and being Portuguese – I ate many types of meat, your usuals like; fish, chicken, beef and the not-so-usual; rabbit and octopus.  I never question why we ate meat – it was something that we just had to do.  I did enjoy chicken and turkey but wasn’t really big with red-meat and fish.  I had vegetarian friends and I remember becoming very defensive whenever they would be invited to parties or dinners.  I thought they thought they were better than me and that we had to cater to their food choices.  It was very ignorant on my part – instead of asking questions, I just judged them and assumed that they wanted to throw their lifestyle choices in my face.  I watched a video of rabbits screaming and that did it for me – I vowed never to eat meat again because if this is the type of abuse I was supporting, I wanted no part of it.  That was over 7 years ago.  I have since become an educated vegan and know that eating meat is not essential to my diet.  So becoming vegan was strictly for ethical reasons, for me.

Friends – Where do you get your protein from?

Protein doesn’t only come from animals.  Here is where my protein comes from:

FOOD AMOUNT PROTEIN PROTEIN
    (gm) (gm/100 cal)

Tempeh 1 cup 31 9.6
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 29 9.6
Seitan 3 ounces 21 17.5
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18 7.8
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.7
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 15 5.4
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.3
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Black-eyed peas, cooked 1 cup 13 6.7
Veggie burger 1 patty 13 18.6
Veggie baked beans 1 cup 12 5.0
Tofu, firm 4 ounces 11 10.6
Tofu, regular 4 ounces 10 10.7
Bagel 1 med. (3.5 oz) 10 3.9
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Peas, cooked 1 cup 8 6.6
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), cooked 1/2 cup 8 15.0
Peanut butter 2 Tbsp 8 4.1
Veggie dog 1 link 8 13.3
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Almonds 1/4 cup 8 3.7
Soy milk, commercial, plain 1 cup 7 7.0
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 7 5.2
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 7 3.4
Soy yogurt, plain 8 ounces 6 4.0
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 6 3.7
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6 3.3
Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 5 13.0
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4 6.7
Sources: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24, 2011 and manufacturers’ information.
The recommendation for protein for adult male vegans is around 63 grams per day; for adult female vegans it is around 52 grams per day.

Sources:  http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php

Friends – If you chose to become vegan for ethical reasons why do you eat plants their alive?

Me – I know that plants are living things, but they are not sentient (having the power of perception by the senses) plants can’t register pain because they have no nerve endings or nervous system.  Animals have a consciousness and can express emotion, they have survival skills and understand when they are threatened.  This is why I choose not to eat them or buy anything that is derived from their suffering. 

Friends – Why are most vegetarians and vegans so militant?

Me – Like many activist groups, there are those who are so emotionally attached to their cause and they feel the only way to get their message across is to be blatant about it.  My approach is somewhere in the middle.  I do support PETA – they are very direct in getting the message of animal cruelty across, there is no gentle way of showing how animals are inhumanely treated.  I have found it is those who question me about being a vegan that are very abrupt and angered by the choices I have made.  I keep hearing friends say “why do you have to throw your veganism in my face” – I really never do.  What I do have to do is ask questions regarding what is on the menu when I am invited to a dinner party or ask what restaurant people are going to when I’m invited out to ensure I am able to eat there.  This isn’t being militant or disruptive – it is being prepared.  Dinner parties and restaurants cater to those with carnivorous appetites – it is what is known.  

Friends – Aren’t you tired of eating leaves and salads?

Me – Being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t limit you to eating just salads.  There are so many great foods that can be substituted for meat such as tofu, tempeh, lentils, beans, etc.  I can eat meatless burgers, pastas, soups, salads, tacos, pizza, fajitas etc….I just choose to buy plant-based foods that are organic and healthier for than processed foods.  I even drink vegan wine (Yellow Tail, Australian Shiraz).

Like I have said many times and to so many people – I didn’t become a vegetarian (and then vegan) to make your world more frustrating.  I did it to make me feel better.  I no longer contribute to the inhumane treatment of animals, I have become slightly healthier and I have decreased my carbon footprint by becoming vegan.  Here are some facts and statistics on the benefits to a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle:

  1. Entire cultures of people in many regions of the world who eat mostly whole plants—suffer almost none of the chronic diseases that plague the wealthier nations.
  2. Migrant studies show clearly that when the above “peoples” move to the west that after adopting our diet-style, they soon experience the same frequency of chronic diseases as we do.
  3. The animals in the wild with DNA almost identical to human (gorillas and chimpanzees) eat nothing but raw plants.
  4. There is a mountain of clinical and scientific evidence proving disease prevention and/or reversal of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
  5. Not only is eating lots of meat, dairy, eggs and fish taking its toll on our health, it’s also extremely wasteful of our natural resources and harmful to our environment.  For all of these reasons, it is simply unsustainable: not enough land, not enough water and not enough energy.

Sources: 

http://hpjmh.com/2012/06/26/preponderance-of-evidence-for-mostly-plants/

http://www.thechinastudy.com/?s=benefits+of+plant-based+diet

We all make the choices we do in life.  My choice was to ask questions and not just believe that we do the things we do because they have always been done this way.  I never bothered looking for more than one answer and always felt that the reason we did anything was because that it was right.  I am not perfect and my lifestyle choices don’t make me better than anyone else.  What my vegan lifestyle choice has done – is made me a better person for myself.  I love that I have chosen a healthier lifestyle.  I love that I have decreased my carbon footprint but most of all, I love that I don’t contribute to the suffering and inhumane treatment of any animal.

Together, we can make the world a more postive one!

DUCK DYNASTY’S PHIL ROBERTSON IS WRONG!

I am so tired of many Christian-American’s hiding their ignorance, racism, hate and intolerance behind their religious beliefs and freedom of speech.  I have read and seen many debates indicating that we should NOT infringe on people’s right to say what they want.  You can think whatever you want to think but when you spew hate in a public forum you should reap what you sow.

There is much controversy about a comment that Phil Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) made in reference to homosexuals.  Here is his quote from an interview with GQ:

GQ – What, in your mind, is sinful?

Phil Robertson – “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.  Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

First, let me say this.  If he made a statement like this about a minority group like people of colour – the discussion would end.  Why?  Because as we have learned from the past – many celebrities who have been caught making racist comments destroy their careers because of their hateful words, i.e., Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and most recently, Paula Deen.

So why am I not a defender of ‘freedom of speech’?  Well – here are some reasons:  Adolf Hitler (Germany), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Kim Jong-Il (North Korea), Idi Amin Dada (Uganda), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Nicholas II (Russia), Josef Stalin (Russia), Mao Zedong (China), Bashar al-Assad (Syria).  These ‘leaders’ were responsible for mass genocide for varying reasons such as political affiliation, dissident, race, gender and religious beliefs.  These dictators made people believe what they thought was right and justified their beliefs behind ‘hate speech’.  Today – we see world leaders pass laws that infringe on the rights of certain groups – The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is standing behind his government imposing a nationwide law banning distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”.  Under this statute, it is effectively illegal to hold any gay pride events, speak in defense of gay rights, or say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.   What has happened in Russia since?  Neo-nazi groups are preying on young men and luring them to ‘secret locations’ and then video taping them being tortured and beaten.  Uganda’s government wanted to pass a bill entitled “Kill the Gays” (which had much support from Conservative groups in America) – I don’t think I need to elaborate regarding what this bill entails….

When individuals make such offensive, racist and ignorant remarks – they directly (or indirectly) incite violence on those they are speaking of.  Not so long ago in America – people of colour could not attend the same schools as white people and were treated like second class citizens.  People of colour and those who supported civil rights, were often threatened with violence and many were even killed for wanting equal rights.  Today, people are making statements about homosexuals and are citing the bible as the reason why they can make their hateful and ignorant statements.  To those people, I ask “What makes what you believe to be the truth?”  I have never heard any argument that will satisfy or explain any story written in the bible.  Is my belief any more outrageous than those who believe in religious doctrine?  The difference between what I believe and what many of those who believe in religious doctrine is that I don’t incite hate towards others in my beliefs.  I don’t condemn a group of people because of the colour of their skin, their gender, their right to believe in religion or because they were born heterosexual.

When Phil Robertson made his comments – he may have just as well handed the torches to those religious fanatics who believe it is okay to beat or kill someone because they are gay.  Phil Robertson should sit with the families that lost their sons or daughters to bullies who felt that same way.  Would he blatantly tell these families that their kids are in hell because they were born gay?  What would he say to the parents of Matthew Sheppard, Tyler Clementi, Brandon McInerney, Philip Parker and the countless kids who are no longer with us because they were bullied or killed?  It is irresponsible to hide your ignorance behind religion.  I know many religious people who believe otherwise – they come from a religious belief system that is hopeful, inclusive, nurturing and most of all, loving.

So many Christian Conservatives are offended by those who are calling for the cancellation of the A&E show – Duck Dynasty.  Sarah Palin said the following on Facebook, “Free speech is an endangered species.  Those ‘intolerants’ hat in’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana.  The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.  I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV.  In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive.  But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.  In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment.  It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”  Many Christian Conservatives say that it is the liberals who are infringing on their religious beliefs but what they don’t see is that many of their beliefs are inciting hate against others.

I don’t watch Duck Dynasty but I know of it now and I’m glad.  If this was a publicity stunt – then it worked, people are talking about it.  But more importantly – people know.  If you want to support ignorance and hate – you will stand behind Phil Robertson but not every one of us prescribes to the same religious beliefs as those who stand behind Phil Robertson.  I think more people are inclined to be kind, compassionate, loving and supportive.  I am no God – I can’t make statements based on a book that has no factual evidence.  What I can say is that I am willing to give everyone a chance – even Phil Robertson.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

A TIME TO REFLECT.

This time of year is a time of reflection – a time to look back and reminisce about days, months and years gone by.  For myself – I don’t look at my past with regret as my past was about learning and growing.  Looking at my life now, I can’t believe how much I have changed – all for the greater good.  My blog today is emotionally therapeutic (for me) and I hope that it allows you to perform the same exercise to determine how much you have changed and hopefully for your greater good and for the planet.

Here is a list of what I wanted or desired at the age of 21:

  • To become wealthy.
  • Have a great job that paid really well.
  • Have a really expensive car.
  • Have friends that were influential and wealthy.
  • Buy a big condo or house.
  • Party, party, party.
  • Have expensive clothing.
  • Have expensive furniture.
  • Have a rich partner/boyfriend.
  • Be away from my family.
  • Have the latest gadgets.
  • Travel.
  • Not care for anyone else but myself.

Today – my priorities have changed.  Maybe it’s because I learned that many of the things I wanted would only bring me temporary satisfaction.  I was at a place where I didn’t really like too many people and didn’t really like myself.  I was too busy trying to be liked and to please everyone else but myself.  I only cared about how I looked, what I had and how drunk I was.  Well, that has completely changed (although, I still love my shiraz, but in a completely different way).

What is important to me today and what do I really want……

  • I would love to have friends who don’t judge me on my lifestyle choices (especially being vegan).
  • I want to be more connected to the planet and help her heal.
  • I want people to be authentic about who they really are.
  • I want to live a more sustainable life.
  • I want people to start a REVOLUTION OF LOVE.
  • I would love if people turned off their televisions.
  • I would love if people really thought for themselves and not be distracted by government and corporate lies.
  • I would love if people spread love and positive energy.
  • I love that I value family more than ever before.
  • I don’t need MORE, I need LESS.
  • I am satisfied in whatever I do.
  • I am not plagued by wanting or needing more money or financial wealth.
  • I don’t need a BIG car.
  • I don’t need a BIG house.
  • I don’t need superficial friends who only care about themselves and being distracted.
  • I love those who are eccentric.
  • I love people who don’t conform.
  • I love people who think outside the box and without judgements.
  • I love being GAY.
  • I love being authentic.
  • I love ME.
  • I love animals.
  • I love the planet.

There is no point in thinking about the past anymore – it is gone and there is nothing any of us can do about it.  The past has passed.  There is nothing I can do about the future – I have no idea what will happen.  I don’t enjoy making long-term plans.  I don’t want to work my life away to save money for a future I can’t foresee.  What I can do – is live for this moment.  The moment that is happening right now.  I love that I am expressing myself via the words I am typing right now.  I feel alive, I am in the moment and I am enjoying every minute of it.  Should I die right now – at least I  would have died doing something I love.  I am doing what I am meant to be doing – at this moment, right now.  I am writing these words, every once in a while – glancing at my dog and feeling the warmth of my fire.  I am so glad that I have changed and am living the life that is no-one else’s but my own.

What will you find out about yourself by reflecting on your past?

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

THE TRUTH ABOUT HEMP

DEFINITIONS and GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT HEMP

HEALTH CANADA

Industrial hemp is a tall, leafy plant with a strong fibrous stalk.  Although Industrial Hemp varieties are members of the cannabis plant family, they contain very low levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC (delta-9 tetrhydrocannobinol).  Industrial Hemp plants contain 0.3% THC or less in their leaves and flowering parts.

Although the growth of industrial hemp crops was previously permitted for scientific research purposes, the first licence to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes was issued in May 1998. 

Fibre from stalks can be used in making paper, textiles, rope, twine, anc construction materials.  Grain from industrial hemp can be used in food products, cosmetics, plastics and fuel.  In other countries, industrial hemp has proven to be a hardy, fast growing, resilient and high yield crop.  In Canada, industrial hemp has shown good potential as an alternative to be included in rotation with other, more traditional crops.  It’s short growth period of 85 – 120 days, makes it well suited for cultivation in many parts of Canada.  If planted at the proper time, it reportedly suppresses most weeds.  Insect and disease problems must be managed like any other crop.

THE TRUTH ABOUT HEMP

From The Truth About Hemp – Hemp is a variation of cannabis sativa.  It is the most useful plant known to mankind.  In fact, cannabis sativa means useful (sativa) hemp (cannabis). 

Hemp is used to make over 25,000 consumer products.  From hemp apparel and accessories to house wares and hempseed oil cosmetics, hemp is an eco-shopper’s dream.  Some of the products made are:  clothing, shoes, diapers, rope, canvas, cellophane, paints, fuels, chain lubricants, biodegradable plastics,paper, fiberboard, cement blocks, food, cosmetics, and soap.  Hemp is the longest and strongest natural fiber known to man.

HEMP PRODUCTION AROUND THE WORLD

The world-leading producer of hemp is China, with smaller production in Europe, Chile and North Korea. Over thirty countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.

UNITED STATES

Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law because of its relation to marijuana, and any imported hemp products must meet a zero tolerance level. It is considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (P.L. 91-513; 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Some states have made the cultivation of industrial hemp legal, but these states — North Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, California, Montana, West Virginia and Vermont — have not yet begun to grow it because of resistance from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.  In 2013, after the legalization of marijuana in the state, several farmers in Colorado planted and harvested several acres of hemp, bringing in the first hemp crop in the United States in over half a century.  Colorado, Vermont, California, and North Dakota have passed laws enabling hemp licensure. All four states are waiting for permission to grow hemp from the DEA.  Currently,North Dakota representatives are pursuing legal measures to force DEA approval.  Oregon has licensed industrial hemp as of August 2009.

HEMP PRODUCTS (in Photos)

Hemp Shoes Hemp Car Hemp Clothing Hemp Cosmetics 1 Hemp Cosmetics Hemp Food Hemp House Hemp Jackets Various Hemp products Hemp Adidas

RESOURCES:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/consult/_2013/hemp-chanvre/index-eng.php

http://www.truthabouthemp.org/

 

AN IMAGE TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA

Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to me – he was a man who believed that everyone should be treated equally and he fought passionately for this all of his life.  A man so encompassed in his beliefs that he spent 27 years in prison for them.  Mandela was and will continue to be a huge and inspirational voice for those who are deemed less equal than the ones who oppress them.  The world has lost a man who was compassionate, fearless, brave, loving and inspirational – he may be gone but his legacy will live on in all those whom he has inspired.  Here is my YouTube tribute to Mr. Mandela.  Please note:  The images I used were images from the internet and I take no credit for any of them.  The song I used is entitled “The Rivers Divide” from Kristine W.  This song can be found on her albums ‘Stronger’ (Japanese Import) or the version I used – from ‘Straight Up With A Twist’.  Her voice and the lyrics of the song bring so much more emotion and life to this video.

You can purchase the song via iTunes or via her website:  http://www.kristinew.com

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

THE REALITY OF MODERNIZATION

How many times have we stood in a line and thought that you could be doing something else that was more productive.  Many of us complain when we are waiting in line to do our banking, buy our groceries or get our driver’s licences renewed.  We also complain when we try to reconcile an error on any of our household bills when we call the company in which we are having a dispute with.  We wait on the phone patiently to speak with an agent, only to be told that there is nothing that can be done.  I love to shop online, do my banking online, pay bills via the internet and access government services via the internet only because I don’t have to wait in long line ups.  I’ve been thinking about automation/modernization a lot lately and I have found that as good as it is – there are many pitfalls to modernization.  Before I talk about the drawbacks of automation/modernization – we must look at how the Industrial Revolution affected society and paved the way for the current IT revolution.

Here is a brief synopsis of the birth of the Industrial Revolution as indicated on http://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution:

The Industrial Revolution, which took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, was a period during which predominately agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban.  Prior to the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in the late 1700s, manufacturing was often done in people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines.  Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production.  The iron and textile industries, along with the development of the steam engine, played central roles in the Industrial Revolution, which also saw improved systems of transportation, communication and banking.  While industrialization brought about an increased volume and variety of manufactured goods and an improved standard of living for some, it also resulted in often grim employment and living conditions for the poor and working classes.

Industrial Revolution Timeline from 1709 to 1858 – Britain (key points)

  • 1712 – The first workable steam-powered engine was developed by Thomas Newcomen.
  • 1730 – The seed drill was invented by Jethro Tull.  This was a critical point of the agricultural revolution which freed labour from the fields and lowered crop prices.
  • 1759 – The first Canal Act was passed by the British Parliament; this led to the construction of a national network of inland waterways for transport and industrial supplies.  By 1830 there were 6,500km/4,000 miles of canals in Britain.
  • 1763 – The spinning-jenny, which greatly accelerated cotton-spinning, was invented by James Hargreaves in Blackburn.
  • 1765 – James Watt produced a more reliable and efficient version of the Newcomen engine.
  • 1785 – The power-loom marked the start of the mechanised textile industry.
  • 1802 – The first electric battery capable of mass production was designed by William Cruickshank in England.
  • 1811-16 – Textile workers known as Luddites staged widespread protests against low pay and unemployment in Nottinghamshire, which involved destroying new machines.
  • 1813 – Industrial employment overtook agricultural employment in England for the first time.
  • 1825 – The first regular railway services started between Stockton and Darlington in northeast England.
  • 1831-52 – British industrial production doubled.
  • 1833 – The first effective Factory Act was passed in Britain regulating child labour in cotton mills.
  • 1840-42 – George Hudson built the first railway station in York.
  • 1858 – The ‘great stink’ of London dramatized the increasing pollution in the cities.

***above information can be found on the following link:  http://westerncivguides.umwblogs.org/2012/05/01/3195/

Industrial Revolution Timeline from 1732 to 1830 – United States of America (key points)

  • 1750 – Potmac Canal, surveyed by George Washington, opens by-passing waterfalls on the river.
  • 1762 – David Rittenhouse and Dr. William Smith survey route of what will become the Union Canal, linking Philadelphia with interior of Pennsylvania.
  • 1763 – John Henry, the son of an Irish immigrant, reputedly builds a steam-powered paddle boat which he sails on the Canastoga River at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Boat sinks after accident.
  • 1774 – Britain passes law banning export of cotton-spinning technology and emigration of cotton workers to America.
  • 1775 – America enters the steam age as New York firm of Sharpe and Curtenius cast the country’s first-ever cylinder for a steam engine.  David Bushnell builds one-man submarine, The Turtle.
  • 1776 – Declaration of Independence adopted by Continental Congress (July 4th) and signed by the 56 representatives (Aug 2nd).  Bushnell’s submarine fails in attack on British blockade ship HMS Eagle in New York harbour.
  • 1782 – U.S. and Britain sign preliminary peace articles in Paris.
  • 1783 – Treaty of Paris signed by U.S. and Britain, ending War of Independence.
  • 1785 – America adopts the dollar – world’s first decimal currency.
  • 1790 – Southern States produce first major crops of cotton.
  • 1801 – James Finley builds world’s first chain suspension bridge, 70-feet wide, over Jacob’s Creek, Pennsylvania.  Philadelphia uses steam power to provide city water supply.
  • 1812 – U.S. declares war on Britain, aiming to annexe Canada.
  • 1824 – First school of science and engineering in United States – later New York Polytechnic Institute.
  • 1827 – Incorporation of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad – first freight and passenger-carrying line in U.S.
  • 1829 – William Austin Burt of Worcester, Massachusetts, patents early version of the typewriter.

***above information can be found on the following link:  http://www.cottontimes.co.uk/timeline1.html

These timelines really represent a time where those who had power and financial resources – had the ability to control the world and dictate how governments would work to support their best interests.  With mass production comes more money – with more money, comes more control.

As with the Industrial Revolution – the new IT Revolution will profoundly have a huge impact on employment (or lace thereof) and living conditions for the poor and working class.  Governments and Corporations see modernization as a way to save money but replacing people with computers and machines.  Today, we are being bombarded by ‘self-serve’ options every where we go.  Governments and corporations indicate that this is what the public is demanding (Obviously those who have financial security).  There will a huge influx in unemployment (as you are now witnessing) because companies will be laying off workers because their clients don’t have to see a ‘live body’.   As the unemployment rates soar – the economy will suffer because those without jobs will not be able consume.  Many people will be forced to work in service-related jobs that pay minimum wage increasing financial inequality.

Look around you – the results of society wanting things faster and more efficiently is everywhere; you can go to the grocery store and bag and pay for yourself, you can bank online, you can shop online, you can apply for health care online, etc.  In Canada – The Canada Post Corporation has indicated that they will be laying off over 5,000 employees because they could save millions of dollars implementing post office boxes where clients pick up their own mail.  Service Canada – the branch of government that offers employment insurance, grants and contributions, pension and old age security  has indicated that due to the public demand for more ‘self-serve’ and online services, many of their remote locations will close due to this modernization.  Automobile companies replaced many of their workers with robots, machines that can build cars – which was better for the industry because robots or machines are faster, don’t get hurt, are never sick, don’t require benefits and never take vacation.

I believe that my generation has a ‘love/hate’ relationship with modernization.  We love technology for social reasons – we love the internet, email, Facebook, Twitter etc….but we also like the option of being able to call a company and talking with an actual person.  I love that I have the option of going to a bank or government office and having someone explain a process to me.  I don’t want to check myself into a hotel, I don’t want a car that drives me, I don’t want to be strapped to a cell phone all day long, I don’t want to be a slave to modernization, automation.  I don’t want governments and corporations to dictate what I have to do in order to help them with their bottom line.  I want a choice.  The way I see it – our choices are being made for us in every aspect of our lives.  Those with money are dictating everything we must do, say or buy – soon there will be no choice.  What will the world look like then? 

We don’t need another Industrial Revolution.  We don’t need modernization or automation.  We do not need to create what corporations and governments want – more power for those with more money.  What we need now is an ENVIRONMENTAL REVOLUTION and a LOVE REVOLUTION.  We need to help heal the planet and help heal each other and only then can we create a more positive world.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

THE BEST OF 2013

Here are some of my favourite moments of the past year………

PEOPLE/EVENTS

THE ARREST, DETAINMENT and RELEASE OF THE ARCTIC 30

The crew of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise took part in a peaceful protest at Gazprom’s oil rig to call attention to the threat of oil drilling and climate change. The ice is retreating and oil companies are moving north to drill for the same stuff that’s driving that melting in the first place. It’s madness.

These brave activists looked at the scientific evidence of man-made global warming and the threat it poses to the Arctic, and decided to do something about it. A freelance photographer and videographer were there simply to document their protest. Just as in years past, the resolve and courage required to win a better future for our children requires personal sacrifice, a sacrifice the Arctic 30 are now making. They made their stand in the interests of us all.

Here is a list of names of those HEROES who were brave enough to peacefully protest climate change and drilling for oil in the Arctic:

Peter Henry Willcox (United States), Miguel Hernan Perez (Argentina), Camila Speziale (Argentina), Colin Russell (Australia), Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel (Brazil), Phil Ball (United Kingdom), Kieron Bryan (United Kingdom), Alexandra Harris (United Kingdom), Frank Hewetson (United Kingdom), Anthony Perrett (United Kingdom), Iain Rogers (United Kingdom), Alexandre Paul (Canada), Paul D. Ruzycki (Canada), Faiza Oulahsen (Netherlands), Mannes Ubels (Netherlands), Anne Mie Roer Jensen (Denmark), Sini Saarela (Finland), Francesco Pisanu (France), Cristian D’Alessandro (Italy), Jonathan Beauchamp (New Zealand), David John Haussmann (New Zealand), Tomasz Dziemianczuk (Poland), Roman Dolgav (Russia), Denis Sinyakov (Russia), Dima Litvinov (Sweden), Marco Weber (Switzerland), Gizem Akhan (Turkey), Ruslan Yakushev (Ukraine), Andrey Allakhverdov (Russia), Ekaterina Zaspa (Russia).

The above, and additional information about the Arctic 30 and Saving the Arctic is posted on Greenpeace’s website, here is the link:  http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/arctic-impacts/Peace-Dove/Arctic-30/

BARACK OBAMA’S SPEECH at THE NELSON MANDELA MEMORIAL SERVICE

YEB SANO’s CLIMATE CHANGE SPEECH AFTER TYPHOON HAIYAN

MALALA YOUSAFZAI – INSPIRING STORY and ADVOCATING FOR WOMEN’S RIGHT TO BE EDUCATED

ENTERTAINMENT

Some of my favourite cds of 2013: 

M.I.A. (Matangi), Nine Inch Nails (Hesitation Marks), Daft Punk (Random Access Memories), Kanye West (Yeezus), Atoms For Peace (Amok), OMD (English Electric), Alison Moyet (The Minutes).

Some of my favorite videos:

LADY GAGA and RUPAUL

DAFT PUNK featuring PHARRELL WILLIAMS

ATOMS FOR PEACE

NINE INCH NAILS

MADONNA – SECRET PROJECT REVOLUTION

LGBT ISSUES

The powerful story of love as told by Shane Bitney Crone in the great documentary – BRIDEGROOM (A hopeful Oscar contender).  Here is the movie trailer:

Edie Windsor (LGBT activist) on shortlist for TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ along with:  Bashar Assad (President of Syria), Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder), Ted Cruz (Texas Senator), Miley Cyrus (Singer), Pope Benedict Francis (Leader of the Catholic Church), Barack Obama (President of The United States), Hassan Rouhani (President of Iran), Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of Health and Human Services) and Edward Snowden (N.S.A. leaker).  President Barack Obama was TIME’s 2012’s Person of the Year.

COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET and LIVING THEIR AUTHENTIC LIVES

Jason Collins (NBA player), Tom Daley (Olympic Diver), Raven Simone (Actress, The Cosby Show), Bob Harper (The Biggest Loser), Wentworth Miller (Actor, Prison Break), Earvin Johnson III (NBA’s Magic Johnson’s – of son).

Not only are these individuals risking their careers by issuing a statement that they are gay, bisexual or lesbian – they may be empowering other individuals who are gay to do so.  Many LGBT people are shunned from their friends, families and communities because they are born gay.  This leads to high rates of suicide and homelessness in the community.  So if these people – empower others to live their authentic lives, I applaud them whether they intentionally or unintentionally wanted to become role models for others in the LGBT community.

What were your favourite moments of 2013 and how have they helped create a more loving, compassionate and positive world?  Let’s make 2014 the year of the peaceful protest!  Let’s start our REVOLUTION OF LOVE and be more compassionate to animals, our planet and to each other!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

 

NELSON MANDELA – GOODBYE

R.I.P.  – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013)  – Despite the threat of violence and death – Nelson Mandela faced the greatest odds fighting apartheid in South Africa and became a beacon of hope, justice, peace, love, compassion, human rights and equality around the world.  May his legacy live on!  Here is his inspiring speech after his release from prison after 27 years:

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!