Your Weekend To-Do (Good) List!

The weekend To-Do (Good) List returns this weekend to give you some suggestions for ways to include altruism and activism, introspection and evolution, compassion and connection during your weekend! And, this being a long weekend celebrating the contribution of workers in the U.S., there is a special emphasis on support for entrepreneurs and innovators around the world.

1. Good for the Animals

I think the concept of “armchair activism” has gotten a bad rap. I refuse to criticize online petitions and letter-writing as being impotent or lazy. For some people it’s the easiest way to enter into the world of activism and differences really are made through strategies like these. So try it out…maybe it’s the first time you’ve signed an online petition, maybe it’s the hundredth. Either way, PETA is giving you the chance to make a difference for captive exotic animals in Louisiana. Click on the image below to find out more.

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2. Good For Others

To celebrate Labor Day, we are excited to bring your attention to Kiva.org. Many of you may have heard of this organization and perhaps you have even supported them in the past. If this is the first you’re hearing of Kiva, it is self-described as a “non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.” In other words, Kiva connects lenders–like US–to entrepreneurs around the world who don’t have access to traditional banking. Check them out via the link below and consider what YOU might be able to support a stranger working hard to make a living.

 

3. Good For You

Ever notice how a good book is often part of our description of a relaxing, rejuvenating day? “I’m just going to relax and read a good book,” we say. But sometimes it’s challenging to remember to seek out books that are out of our standard genre. Well one of my favorite new sites is Bookperk and I think it’s going to help me do just that. Through Bookperk, I get an alert every day from Harper Collins with a small list of books that they are selling for $1.99! Sometimes they are old classics, sometimes current, sometimes autobiographies, sometimes romance novels. I love the variety! I kind of feel like I’m shopping at a thrift store; while some items are clearly not my style, suddenly a treasure reveals itself. I’m always thinking of which ones might make good gifts too. Get that holiday shoppping started early! Or, just stock up to help yourself relax for your next long weekend. Click on the picture to find out more:

 

 

4. Good For Earth  

Here in California, we are all facing a severe drought. There is a lively conversation going on about what the individual can do. Some say that we should reduce our showers and our flushing. Some recommend making sure to only do full loads of laundry. Some are reducing the water they use for their landscaping. But, there is another factor that more and more of us are becoming aware of…the water required for animal husbandry. For large farming operations, and for especially Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) (like the Harris “Ranch” outside of L.A. and pictured below), the water usage is astronomical. Just as an example, consider that “humans drink less than one gallon of water per day, but a cow can drink up to 23 gallons of water a day.” To learn more specifics, visit One Green Planet which has presented the information clearly. As a result of these statistics and the fact that factory farming operations are notoriously inhumane more and more people are choosing to reduce or eliminate their meat and dairy consumption in addition to making lifestyle changes. Let’s face it, every one wins here…well except for those poor CAFOs. Click on the image below and see how your meat and dairy intake can be a positive (possibly crucial) step against climate change.

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Have a wonderful weekend, waves! Make sure to report back on any other good things you added to your To-Do (Good) list. I would love to hear them!

And as always, make sure to follow us on Facebook as well where you can see more frequent thoughts and reminders to support you in your life as a wave.

www.facebook.com/LifeAsAWave

My best to your best,

~~~S Wave~~~

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A Side of Veal With My Sundae?

“…boycotting veal…is a pointless gesture if dairy products aren’t boycotted as well.”

– James McWilliams, Forbes, 10/25/13

I had a revelation in 2009 that spurred me to transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. The revelation was basically that cows don’t make milk unless they have a calf. It seems like something that makes a lot of sense. How had I somehow  forgotten that fact? I guess I had never thought much about it at all and walked along in a blissful milky haze thinking of cows as perpetual milk machines, even though a moment’s pause to look at all of mammalian behavior would tell me otherwise. There’s one purpose for milk.

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Once I had that realization, there was an emergence of oh so many of questions that needed to be answered:  “What happens to all those calves?” “How do the cows keep getting pregnant?” “What are male cows used for?” “Does my vegetarianism matter?” Etc., etc. After time spent considering all these aspects I finally came to this conclusion:

I can’t eat dairy without also supporting the meat industry.

Calf being transported from his mother to his veal crate.  Photo credit: I wish I knew.

Calf being transported from his mother to his veal crate.
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur

This conclusion has gone through not a few philosophical obstacle courses over the years, which are always valuable processes for evolving your viewpoint. I still believe that the vast majority of dairy that we consume comes from inhumane methods of acquisition and is inherently complicit in the industrial meat complex as well. I also believe that as a general rule, cow milk is for baby cows, goat milk is for baby goats, and human milk is for baby humans. I believe the calcium argument is something we’ve been force-fed by the meat and dairy industries and that we are actually healthier if we stay away from dairy. I know that we are the ONLY species that drinks milk past weening and find that weird and kind of gross. For now, that’s where I stand.

Here is one of the most brief yet thorough descriptions I have seen in a long time that illustrates the relationship between large-scale dairy and meat industries. I thought I would share it with you in case you are also a vegetarian having a revelation about milk as an accessory to animal slaughter. Or, maybe this article will serve simply as a another reminder to be humane this holiday season by swapping out some of those dairy products you’re used to for easy-to-find vegan alternatives. It will take 2 minutes to read and is not graphic. It was written by James McWilliams and appeared in Forbes magazine last month. Here is the link:

Milk of Human Kindness Denied to Dairy Cows