The Power of Brainstorming

This is a classic. A university was having trouble with seagulls dropping their bowel and urine all over the campus. A business class decided to take this on as a class project in order to get rid of the seagulls. First phase is just having a lot of fun throwing out ideas. No matter how stupid the ideas are, they are written down. During the first phase they came up with a lot of ideas some of which were really stupid. For example they knew that birds are afraid of snakes so they proposed putting snakes all over the campus. They also knew that the seagulls were frightened by loud noises so they proposed putting loudspeakers all over the campus with loud music being played. They could poison seagulls. These are just three of the suggestions that they came up with in phase one. In phase one criticisms are not allowed. Laughing about an idea is encouraged but not laughing at the person who came up with the idea.



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How to Become a Vegan

Going cold turkey (an odd statement for a vegan) is not that easy.  There are several ways to become a vegan which are much easier to make the transition and each has its pros and cons.



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What is a Vegan?

Some people are purest and feel that a vegan should only be one for ethical reasons.  I believe that the word has expanded to included people that are vegan for health reasons.  A smaller percentage is vegan for environmental reasons.  We can criticize each of these points of view.  There are health vegans and environmental vegans that will go out and hunt and fish.  That really upsets most ethical vegans since they are vegan in order to save the life of animals.  Hunting and fishing can not be called ethical. 



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CRISPR

CRISPR is something that is evolutionary.  Without going into a lot of technological details I will just say that they can now take out sections of mutated DNA and splice in healthy DNA in its place.  Theoretically it can cure diseases like cancer.  The 19 December 2016 issue of Time magazine has an excellent article about CRISPR.  I can understand someone dying from cancer trying this possible cure but I have a problem with it being used for other diseases.  Why would I say that?  We do not know enough about DNA to understand what might create a larger problem then it solves. 



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Vegan vs Plant Based Diet

Do you know the difference between a vegan diet and a plant based diet?  Actually the difference is very simple.  A plant based diet is a vegan diet without the sugars, salt, and oils.  They are against the mock meats.  I go to a monthly meeting of a plant based group.  We usually have just under 100 people attending.  Of those, about 25% are medical doctors, nurses, or those involved in the medical field. 

Many who say that they are on a plant based diet are actually on a vegan diet.  A vegan diet usually has sugars, salt, and oils in it but they do not have to have those three ingredients.  That does not mean that someone that designates themselves as vegan can not actually eat a plant based meal or meals.  Of course they can since a plant based diet is a vegan diet.  On the other hand, a vegan diet is not necessarily a plant based diet.



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What is a Vegan?

I am back on this blog.  Let me start out by reviewing what veganism is.  Some strict vegans feel that the only people that should call themselves vegan are those that in it to protect the animals and of course not eating them.  Then there are the health vegans who may or may not be concerned with animal welfare.  They are vegan only for health reasons.  Finally, there are the environmental vegans who are concerned with the damage to the environment from people raising animals for food.  There are methane gases, use of antibiotics on them, waste products from the animals going into the rivers and the water table, more water and grains are used to raise a farm animal then to go directly into food for humans, and more.   So which is the proper use of the word vegan?

To answer this question let me put it this way.  I became a vegetarian in 1967 (49 years ago) for ethical reasons.  I did not do it for health reasons since I listened to the science of the time and actually believed that I would shorten my life span.   After 29 years, I realized that animals still suffer from dairy and egg production, so I became an ethical vegan.  Even though I was willing to trade a few years of life to help the animals, I soon found out that the science of the past was wrong.  New studies have shown that vegetarians, on average, live around five years longer than someone on a SAD diet (Standard American Diet).  A vegan lives, or average, ten years longer than someone on a SAD diet.  That is good news and I can accept it. Newer studies are now showing that a plant based diet is even better and has an even longer life span.  In a future write-up I will cover the difference between a vegan diet and a plant based diet.

Now I am a vegan for ethical, health, and environmental reasons.  We should not be tearing down fellow vegans if they are not just like us.  For example, if someone is eating a vegan diet for only health reasons, they are also saving animals.  So who cares if they are using the word vegan for one of the other two reasons to be vegan. Let us respect them for what they are doing.  They are helping to bring about a predominately vegan world by 2050.  So let us stop being elitists and instead embrace our fellow vegans.



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McDonald's Decision

 McDonald's has dropped an egg supplier after Mercy For Animals, an animal rights group, exposed cruel treatment of the chickens.  Their investigation of Sparboe's facilities was conducted over three month in their facilities in three States.  That then caused the Food and Drug Administration to start an investigation.  They also found filthy conditions and unacceptable rodent activity.  Sparboe is the fifth largest egg producer and marketer in the United States.  You may remember that last year that more than a half billion eggs were recalled after Salmonella sickened more than 1,000 people.  That was the largest egg recall in U.S. history.  Sparboe's eggs were involved in that recall.



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Great Vegan Meals

I discovered a company that makes fantastic vegan meals.  The company is Macro Vegetarian.  So far I have tried four of their meals.  They were all great.  Their meals are distributed by One Stop Natural. 



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Can A Vegan Be In Favor Of War?

Can a vegan be in favor of war?  Here is what I believe:

It is estimated that over 30,000 people were killed in the war in Libya and over 50,000 people were injured.  Less than a thousand people were killed under Qaddafi during the uprising before NATO entered the war.  I am not saying that he was a good man.  Actually he was a horrible dictator. 



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Tai Pei Meals

I have been a vegetarian for 44 years and the last 15 years of that time I have been a vegan.  I keep learning something new about veg'nism every few weeks.  Recently I found a great tasting meal.  It was Tai Pei's Mini Vegetable Spring Rolls.  I purchased them at Wal-Mart for $2.50 for 11.4 ounces.  They were delicious!  I was going to buy another package and they were out of that package.  I saw another package that was a little larger and was a little more expensive.  On the front of the package it said the same Mini Vegetable Spring Rolls and it was the same company.  After eating the entire package I noticed that on the larger package there was an ingredient that was not vegan.  I can not remember right off hand what that was.  I called the company to find out why both said the same thing but had different ingredients.  To my surprise I found out something



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Still 2050

In 2000, I predicted that we would have a predominate vegan world by 2050.  It is now 11 years later and I still believe that we will see it within 39 more years.  If we look at 1972 which was 39 years ago you will see what I mean.  Of course we did not have an Internet or even emails back then.  I had been a vegetarian for five years and was taking a college course in nutrition which was a biology requirement.  I fought for the course since as an ethical vegetarian I refused to take a normal biology course that required me to cut up animals.  Even when they said they would allow me to skip the dissecting of animals I still refused.  It came down to the college eliminating the biology requirement for those with moral issues or I would just not graduate.  We finally came up with a compromise. 



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Prius vs Volt vs Leaf


The hybrid was a great improvement over the internal gas engine cars and the Prius is the best of the best.  In the past I have owned two electric cars and because my first degree is a BS in electrical engineering (electronics), I see the value of the electric car.  It is much simpler so there is much less to go wrong with them.  The main limitation is with the batteries which limits the distance traveled.  It is, in my opinion, the next step.



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Veganism & the Heart

Here is something that will help convince others why veganism will help them.  I have two leaky heart valves!  My cardiologist stated that I would have to have mechanical heart valves if I was not on a vegan diet.  You might ask why a vegan diet will keep me from having to have mechanical heart valves.  That is a valid question.  I will tell you why.



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My Trip to Veganism.

In December 1963 I became a Buddhist because a friend challenged me to read a book.  Because of the teaching of Ahimsa (non-cruelty towards all sentient beings), I decided to become a vegetarian.  I tried several times and I failed several times.  My first attempt was my eating cottage cheese and cheese to almost the exclusion of everything else.  I got very sick.  I was a steak and potato man so I did not like veggies.  I did manage to cut back on my consumption of flesh but that was not enough for me.  I wanted to become a vegetarian.  My next major move was to not eat flesh most days of the week.  When I did eat flesh it was usually a large steak.  That was not enough but I just did not know how to make the final step.  Then I remembered that when I was about ten, we had a landlord that was a Seventh Day Adventist vegetarian.  He was not very strict but his wife was.  My mother kept tempting him with her baked rabbit baked in wine.  He would eat it and when he left we made fun of him.  His wife would not give in to the temptation and we somewhat respected her. 



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Gas Prices at the Pump

On a past ABC Evening News segment it showed where gas was a few cents below $5.00 per gallon.  Across the street was a service station with gas about a dollar less.  It is obvious that there was, and maybe it still is, a lot of gas gouging going on in the USA.  The good part is that people are starting to conserve.  People are starting to combine trips to the supermarket, shopping centers, etc.   Some are even driving slower which saves gas.  Some are checking the air pressure of their tires which also saves gas.  Others are driving with less jack rabbit starts.  This is something that everyone should have been doing all along.


More wind and solar energy production is



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WWVD

In Pecos, Texas many years ago the Whites had been treating the Hispanics almost like slaves.  The Hispanic population continued growing because they continued having large families.  Then one day when they had about 50% of the population there was an incident that changed Pecos' history.  What happened is still in dispute.  The Whites have one story and the Hispanics have another.  There was a fight where a few high school kids got into a fight over race.  I can not remember how many of each race was killed.  I just know that when I bought what was called "Al's Drive In" I heard the story.  Well, it was the beginning of the Whites rule.  Soon the Hispanics starting integrating the all White areas of the city.  Whites started fleeing the city and when I moved there in 1989 the population was about 84% Hispanic.  Today it is somewhere around 96% Hispanic.  I thought about this when I saw what unfolded in Egypt.  Hopefully the Egyptians are now going to be free.  You can not put people down forever.  We see this all over the world and it even happened in the USA.  It even happened in Pecos, Texas.  Now WWVD.



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An Intelligent Dog

Tonight (9 February 2011) on ABC Evening News they had a segment about an amazing dog.  He can listen to his psychologist companion human and then find dolls and stuffed toy animals which he was told before what their names were.  Even in a pile of dolls and other toys he can find the toy that he was ask to find.  The reporter decided to check it out and found that he had a 100% correct find over many tries.  The talking head on ABC had to find out for herself if it worked.  It did!  Oh, I can not leave out something that was even more amazing.  The reporter brought a toy that the dog never saw before.  He then placed the new toy in with other toys that he knew.  When ask to find the new toy which they gave a name to, the dog found it after two tries.  The first attempt he just looked over the other toys and finally came back to the reporter without bringing anything.  When the reporter again ask him to find the toy by its name, he found it.  He did it by eliminating the toys that he knew and picking the one that he did not know.



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Heart Problems

On a Barbra Walters special on ABC, they covered open heart surgery.  Most of the problems were clogged arteries.  I have two leaky heart valves but the difference is that I am vegan.  That has kept my arteries clean so I do not have to have mechanical heart valves (I would refuse pig valves).  My cardiologists all said that my veganism has kept my arteries clean.  I ask each of them if they were also vegan and they also said no.  I ask them why they were not vegan if they know that the vegan diet keeps most people from having heart problems.  They all said that they should be vegans but they just did not have the discipline to eat vegan. 

(continued...click on read below)



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The Upcoming Depression

You can now see the beginning of the changes that has to be done to keep our country from going bankrupt.  It is only going to get worse before it gets better.  I have a suggestion to help keep vegans vegan during the upcoming hard times.  We need to set up classes to teach vegans how to cook and eat food for less money that are also nutritious than non-vegan meals   This way when things get really tough they will not resort to eating a non-vegan diet because it is less expensive.



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Debt Free & Veganism

For years I have been asking my friends and other people that will listen that they should work to become debt free.  I ask them to get rid of their credit cards.  I also ask them to build up a reserve fund (also known as an emergency fund) in case they loose their job they would have enough money to live for no less than six months.  Well, almost no one listened to me.  Today we have an unemployment rate of 9.8%, not counting those that quit looking or took part time work or became under employed.  Those few that took my advice today are in a much better position than their fellow citizen. 



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