Saturday, December 27, 2014

Discussion About Christmas is called an Argument

Husband, proudly:  Did you see my FB post about how Santa is not anywhere in the Bible?

Me:  No.  I’ll look for it.  You're right, Santa is not in the Bible, but Santa actually was based on a real person called St. Nicholas who gave some presents to the poor and was generous.

Husband, sarcastically:  Riiiight. 

Me:  St. Nicholas was giving to the poor and he was a Christian – probably a Catholic.

Husband:  Christmas is about Jesus.

Me:  Yes, but the holiday celebrations started long before Christianity, with the Pagans.

Husband:  It did not.  Christianity was the beginning of any celebrations.  Tell me about any celebrations before Jesus!

Me:  There was the Winter Solstice celebrations, I know one was called Saturnalia long before Christmas.  You know the mistletoe, the Christmas tree and the Yule Log were all Pagan, as . . .
Husband:  Shut up.  It's just your opinion.  Just shut up.  You always want to argue.

Me:  You asked me, so I answered.  It was just a discussion.

Husband leaves the room.

Nothing like asking questions and then telling me to shut up when I give the answer!  Typical Christian who get offended because he just wants the holiday to be for his own particular religion.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How Do You Know ? You Weren't There! (Read in Kent Hovind's Voice)


If you use the technique of “You weren’t there,” to brush off all of the accomplishments, dating methods, fossils, DNA, molecular evidence, etc. of scientists, then you may not enjoy the Karma that will come your way.  What you are really doing is hiding the fact that cannot counter scientific facts because your young earth creationism does not make sense with nature and, thus, you have nothing but blind faith.  Your most popular comeback, therefore, is: “How do you know? You weren’t there!”  It rings of childishness, doesn’t it.

It would only be fair, then, that the same method is used on you.  You were not there when Jesus supposedly walked on earth.  Further, none of the authors of the Gospels were there.  (No, the authors of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John were not there.  In case you did not know, the books in the Bible are named after the disciples, but the authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not those disciples – they were anonymous men.  So, none of the passages about Jesus can be used, since the writers of those books were not there.  Also, Paul only saw a vision of Jesus, but never saw Jesus in the flesh, so anything Paul writes about Jesus beyond a vision cannot be used because he was not there watching Jesus directly. 

Since the people writing about Jesus never met Jesus, and you require that someone is personally there and the event itself has to occur during the witness’s lifetime, then get your scissors and cut out every passage that mentions Jesus in the Bible – because “How do you know?  No one was there!”

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Answers In Genesis and Climate Change - Two Dangers

I just looked at Answers In Genesis' position on climate change.  This is what they are telling all their sheep (gullible Christians) to believe: 

"Because of this passage in the Bible, don't worry about climate change:

While the earth remains,
Seed time and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)."

Compare that with the satellite data, the instruments we have developed that measure temperature increases in the depths of oceans, the ice core measurements that come up from two miles below the surface, the detailed measurements of the amount of CO2 in the air and all the measurements of the chemical compositions in the air, water and soil, the careful data that has been taken on temperature changes, and the computer simulations.  Which seems more applicable to the subject of climate change?

We see alarming increasing temperatures in many parts of the world, with droughts that bring on starvation of huge populations of people. We all are experiencing odd temperature changes and more intense storms, and Christians got wiped out from tornadoes, so AIG’s claim that God will protect HIS people in the article on AIG is already refuted!  AIG (Answers in Genesis) is trying to deflect criticism off themselves by saying they do not deny the climate is changing, but they deny that anything bad will happen to their people and they deny that anyone has to do anything about climate change.

That is the message they are giving.  Do nothing.  See how religion is harmful?

They repeat in this article that man is much more important to God than nature, specifically that God cares for people more than nature.  (How many times do you think I have mentally sworn since I started writing this?!)

The article blames “The Flood” (that never happened because there is no evidence for it), as the reason there is climate change.  Anyone tired of hearing about “The Flood” yet?   Can you see why these people being on our governmental science committees is dangerous?  Guess what – we have them on our governmental science committees.  (And more mental swearing.)

Do nothing and let our oceans rise, people get wiped out by floods, droughts, huge tornadoes, huge hurricanes, hunger from crops failing – or rely on the latest scientific technology to help us survive?  I have shown this several times in the past, and today I am showing again that AIG is a very harmful organization.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How to Ruin a "Good Meal"

Last night we had a guest at our house named Jessica, my daughter’s friend.  Alan, my husband, had made a huge amount of food, and Jessica gladly partook of two helpings of ham hocks, southern-style greens, and a pasta salad with sausage.  The dessert, a peach and cherry pie, was vegan. 

During the meal, Jessica asked why I was vegan.  I explained that it was for moral reasons, not for health, and that I simply choose not to participate in eating animals or animal products anymore.  She was quite interested and asked how I became a vegan, so I told her my personal story. 

After that, she asked one more question, whether I thought it was all right to eat animals from humane, small farms.  I proceeded to explain about the abuse on so-called humane farms, but my husband kept saying, “That’s not true!  You don’t know!”  So, I asked Jessica if she would raise a daughter to age six and then send her off to slaughter, and I went into detail about how dairy cows are artificially inseminated over and over . . . and at that point, Alan yelled, “Don’t you know we are eating?!!!!” 

Unfortunately, the sad irony was lost on the two of them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why I Do Not Believe In God, Part 2 (Standing Before God, Revisited was Part 1)

The other morning on the way to work, as I hurried across a street to avoid traffic and my legs just did not want to cooperate, I thought about what it would be like to be a wild animal and run my fastest to try to outrun my predator. What an awful feeling of muscle exhaustion, where I just can't keep going even though my brain has pushed me through pain and commanded step after step, mentally screaming, "Faster!," until I drop in defeat, failure,and know I will be eaten.

I cannot imagine the pain of those animals gnawing away on me.  How could anyone claim a loving god after thinking about those last moments of utter failure, sadness and suffering that animals experience every day?  What an awful, humiliating and tragically sad way to die. 

If you are a fundamentalist, how could any loving god torture innocent animals for all of earthly existence for something someone else did?  Your story says that Eve took a bite of an apple, (when she had no knowledge so she did not understand and God purposely put temptation in her way).  He then punished the animal world for her one bite by making them have to eat each other for survival.  (Have you eternally tortured your child, burned him over and over, and tortured all the neighbors’ kids because your child took a cookie without permission?  That is the equivalent of your God.)  The scientific explanation of our system of life evolving from energy eating energy makes a lot more sense, cells evolving and engulfing other cells for energy; and even though it is a cold system, at least it isn’t mean. 

I look out at a beautiful scene and I am amazed by its beauty.  Sometimes it takes my breath away.  But once I realized that death was not always instant for animals, any thought of a god disappeared.  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to ever being religious.  The day I actually allowed myself to watch an antelope taken down by a group of lions and they grabbed onto whatever part of the antelope they were closest to, and started eating, I stopped believing in god permanently. 

I was an adult at the time, and had protected myself from the horrors of life –just as most humans protect themselves from watching factory farm videos because they do not want to see the awful circumstances that are going on allover the world.  We would rather pretend we have no idea, or just say, “That’s sad”; enough to clear our consciences by making us seem sympathetic, but not enough to do anything about the situation.  We are dispassionate toward those animals,using the age old excuses handed down to us by our religion and by our culture.

I now look out at the beauty, soak it in, and am deeply appreciative, but know the hidden view as well.  My mind flits from the glory of the scene to the question of just how many tiny bugs and cute little animals and baby creatures are being killed in that patch of scenery I am gazing at.  How much pain and torture is in that picture window my eyes are taking in?  Birds stealing other birds’ eggs, trees dying from infestations, spiders killing each other – it is overwhelmingly horrendous and my mind is not great enough to imagine it all. Yet it is how our world works - the tragedy of life hidden in the beauty of life.

“Belief in the supernatural is a failure of imagination, including the failure to imagine the immense and tragic elemental drama that goes on planet Earth every day. To believe in the religious narrative one must imagine the unreal and ignore the fullness of reality.”  Pangea Progress.

"Animals are here for our use" makes no sense to me. If things were purposely put here for our use, they would be objects with no feelings. Pain from nerves means the animals' bodies are signaling their brains to get away from us - to flee for their lives - to protect themselves. Nervous systems do not make sense with animals “being here for our use.”  Animals are here to live their lives, as they are our ancient relatives and have the same desire to survive and live a peaceful life.  Nature does not allow it. 

God does not make sense. Only science makes sense with such a tragic way to survive. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Do you want to look at beautiful healthy food blogs, but don’t know any good web sites?  There are many wonderful vegan blogs with gorgeous picture, but finding the best ones is not easy, and whether or not you will like them depends upon your individual food tastes.  What I have below are the web sites I frequent the most and find beautiful, inspiring or useful.  Because of my personal tastes, I stay away from any that are too gourmet, have a lot of sriracha (because it is too hot for me), or if they use too many avocados or sweet potatoes.  The reason I do not choose web sites with a lot of avocados and sweet potatoes is because they are there, in my opinion, to make pictures look lovely with their colors, but it does not necessarily make the recipes taste good.  Most of the following sites are recipe blogs, but I have also listed a few animal rights blogs, some health blogs and some miscellaneous blogs that are enjoyable.

Vegan Recipes Blogs:  This site’s purpose is to find vegan recipes on the Internet each day and post them.  It is a great way to find a recipe you want, click on it, and possibly find a new blog you like as well!

punchfork/vegan (on Pinterest).  This site also finds popular vegan recipes.  Great way to see a lot of recipes at once!  Debbie has a great variety of recipes which look quite tasty.  This is a new site for me, but I already see a few recipes I want to try.  Nancy has beautiful recipes and a top blog.  I think this blog will be a favorite of mine.  I love Sandra’s recipes and her blog, including pictures of her twins.  I have made several of her sandwiches and some bars.  Miriam creates beautiful food!  Many are Indian or Mid-Eastern dishes.  She also has an online magazine she publishes for a small fee.  (This title of this blog is “What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway?” But I could not get it to link to the page.
Pictures and recipes of what they eat every day.  They seem to be very adept at using tofu.  I think I will enjoy this site.  Betty cooks from scratch and also by using packaged foods to make gourmet-like meals.  I plan to make Aloha Artichoke Lave Dip soon!  This is a huge basic site where members contribute their recipes.  Star ratings help me make choices of what to try!  I have made Dump Cake (so easy and divine with the pecans baked on top), Thanksgiving Casserole, Chocolate Chip Cookies - Like They Should Be, and New York-a-like Peppermint Patties.  I have also repeated each of these recipes because they were so successful.  This site has beautiful pictures and Angela seems like a person everyone would want as a friend.  She updates her site almost every day.  Her “Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited” got raves from my co-workers!  Angela does make a lot of gluten-free recipes, shakes and drinks which are not my interest.  I like to eat my food and love my carbs.  This site is not fancy, and a lot of it is advertising for Sassy’s vegan classes, but if you poke around, you can find her very practical and yummy recipes (currently under the “Everyday Cooking” category at the top).  Click then scroll down for recipes.  I love making the vegan Mini Cheese n’ Chive Muffins!

Vegan Foods at the Grocery Store:   This is a very helpful site.  It lists all the products you can buy at the grocery store that are “accidentally vegan,” such as Oreos!

Vegan Athletes:  If you would like to learn about what vegan athletes look like or how they train, this is the web site for you!  Scott is an Ultramarathon runner, a World record holder of races that average around 160 miles without stopping – on a vegan diet!  He has a cookbook and his web site shows scenery where he runs high in the mountains – places most of us never see!

Animal Rights and Health Issues: To learn about factory farm abuse:  search the videos.  Any of the “Meet your Meat” videos are informative. Activism from a more radical standpoint (not all approve of his radical nature, even he has turned more to education now, but loads of good information on his site) and a fantastic speech!  Do watch his speech called “The Greatest Speech You Will Ever Hear.” This is the speech:  I like to click on “Education” (title in upper left), then click “Health and Science” (upper right) and then click “Hot Topics” (upper right).  Scroll down – choose a subject about whatever disease or issue you want and click and read many good articles about health!   This is one of my primary sources for information.  Also, click “Success Stories” from the Home page for personal stories and videos.

Video “The Last Heart Attack” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
(Also probably on YouTube.)  Excellent documentary, showing x-ray results of a low fat, plant and starch based diet.  This site is just fun to look at!  It has pictures of beautiful buildings and houses from many countries around the world, and pictures of food from some vegan restaurants too.
.  Various medical and interesting articles regarding being vegan.

Vegucated.  (A movie).  You can rent it from for something like one dollar.  It gives a very good and entertaining introduction to all aspects of being vegan. 

Morality - Standing Before God, Revisited

I wrote a short version on this topic recently, and I am not sure this is better, but it is more thorough!

It confounds me that anyone would stand up for a character, fictitious or not, who took the general concept of the Underworld (believed in Pagan times) and turned it into a fiery inferno called Hell where people burn for eternity, burning these people simply because they do not in their hearts think it is right to worship such a man/god named Jesus or the horrid god of the Bible - again real or not.  

As religious people, your faith demands you worship these examples of badness, and in your book, people such as my wonderful mother, my gentle father and I get to burn for eternity.  You think you are doing right by following commands and converting as many people as possible to try to keep them from the flames of Hell.  I can understand your sincerity in this.  But are you really acting in a moral manner when you try to convert people?  I think not.  You are too busy conforming to a sick god and getting everyone to obey, an avoidance technique, rather than addressing and rejecting the biblical god.

Christians often tell me they pity me because I will have to beg God for mercy to keep out of Hell.  However, you and they miss the point.  If we are punished for our morals and conscience by Jesus and the Biblical god, and you overlook how horrible these two characters really are because you are conditioned to think they are wonderful and are taught you must follow rules to get the afterlife you want, then who really has the good morals?  Who stands up to injustice, real or fabricated?  Who sticks to his/her conscience even though Hellfire is threatened?

I think the whole concept of worship is wrong.  What does worshiping someone say about your own self-worth?  Imagine yourself punishing your own child because he said in good conscience he just could not worship you day and night.  Would you burn him for eternity because he said that?  

I ask that you examine this honestly and do not make excuses of “God is an angry god too,” or “He gave you a chance.”  I have heard those before and they do not excuse this God’s evil behavior.  

Let us look at what you tell me once again: “I pity you because you will have to stand and be judged in front of God and you will be begging for mercy.”  I don’t doubt, if your religion is true, that I may beg.  I will probably be a bit defiant at first and ask a question or two, but this Christian god is evil and I will be very frightened and I will cry and feel so bad that I was wrong, - not smart enough - and I might beg to be saved from the flames and eternal burning of skin.  Does that make you feel better if you are right?  If so, you miss the point that this concept of Hell is evil.  Countless good people while on earth would be begging to save themselves from punishment, and will be sent to Hell because they did not profess love and servitude to an unlovable and unbelievable character, or because they did not believe in worship, blind faith or submissive slavery.  It is not a matter of whether you are right or not – it is a matter of why you worship and profess love to these despicable two entities (Jesus and God) who are torturers.  I do not think we should be commanded to worship anything – we can be grateful and thankful without being required to worship anyone.  If you like traditions, you can perform them because you want to – not because it is demanded. 

Your excuse to brush off the torture by saying, “It is your choice – you have free will” does not excuse the punishment.  I, with this brain which cannot think differently, have no free will, and with my upbringing, I can not excuse the concept of Hell, nor can I worship because it would be dishonest of me. Can you see why I would not be moral if I try to make myself believe in this God and Jesus so I can be rewarded at death?  I do not see that as moral and I do see that as wrong.

Again, would you burn someone for eternity and think it is justified because you are “All loving - but angry too?”  Would you burn someone for eternity because “You gave him many chances” and he didn’t change his mind?  Why would you worship someone because they commanded you to do so?  Why would you worship someone who you knew would let you watch your parents and friends burn in Hell from your view in Heaven?  That is sick beyond belief!  Why would you worship someone whose morals are less than yours?  You would not do the things your God does. 

The obvious answer is that you must change your concept of God.  You do try to do that by ignoring all the evil parts of the Bible where God commands swords be driven through pregnant women.  You make excuses for Jesus when he yells at his mother and kills a fig tree and drives pigs over a cliff and belittles his followers and separates them from their families - and threatens Hell.  You ignore those parts or excuse them because you want your religion to be better than it is written.

I think it is fine to make your own personal religion better than what exists.  It is all about improving as humans on this earth.  It is those who drag the ancient religions along that hold us back as a species.  If you would like to believe in a god that somehow started everything; that is fine.  If you believe in goodness, that is fine, and that is not really religion – most of us do believe in goodness, and it is healthy for survival anyway.  If you want to be thankful, that is fine.  We all are thankful we are here and want to appreciate each day.  But do not think your god will solve problems on earth.  Just look around with honest eyes and you know solving world problems is up to us, and doing so is part of morality.  It would be great if we could solve such problems without dividing into tribes.  As long as your religion does not contradict reality – as long as it jibes with science, it will not hold us back as progressive, good humans.  I no longer personally can envision a god like that, because a god just does not make sense with the world that I see, but there was a time when I did believe in a sunny god, back before I understood how the world is set up, with all its pain and misery.  I will not mind if you believe, as long as you keep your beliefs out of schools and government. 

Do you fear that you will fear death without the Biblical religion?  Why?  You have no control over death – it happens to every creature – and you did not ask to be born.  We are just here for the ride!  Let’s make it a good one!  Ditch the Biblical god!  Create your own good beliefs, or just ditch all gods all together!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Standing Before God

Do Christians ever analyze what they actually believe?  I think not.  Let us look at what has been proposed several times to me by “worried Christians.” 

“I pity the day you are standing before the Almighty God, begging for mercy!” 

Do they enjoy thinking about me standing there, crying, begging to be allowed in Heaven instead of burning in agonizing pain for eternity, all because I did not believe in worshiping a god, especially the horrific one of the Bible? 

If you are a Christian and believe I will be standing before this petty god, I ask you to think about your best friend or your mother, and people who lived good, kind lives, standing before a god who wants them to beg and grovel in front of him -- and then he sends them to a fiery Hell anyway!   

Think about what it would be like for your tearful mother or your terrified friend.  There are so many reasons not to think this god exists, and if this god does exist, keep in mind he would have made my brain and your mother’s brain, and that is how we made the decision not to believe in any god.  That should not seem fair to you.  It if does, are you really thinking or just following how you think your religion would want you to think, out of fear?

Now, I understand Christians are sincere in their efforts to keep their friends, family and strangers from the fiery pits of Hell, because they try to convert their family and friends.  They do want them to avoid this “meeting with God.”  They try to convince everyone that their god is “all loving” and only admit that their god “is also an angry god” when confronted.  They paint Jesus as a peace-loving, welcoming man, in order to try to lure people to the religion. They do not realize that the concept of Hell was made popular by the Jesus story, as prior Pagan gods only had a vague Underworld that people spent time in, and then went up to the Heavens or back to earth.  “Jesus is the reason” really means the concept of Hell was developed by Christianity to be the worst possible place imaginable!

Yet are they really acting in a moral manner when Christians try to convert people?  I think not.  They only look at conforming to a sick god and getting everyone to obey, an avoidance technique, rather than rejecting the biblical god.

If we are punished for our morals and conscience by Jesus and the Biblical god by sending us to Hell, and you overlook the actions of these two horrible characters, following rules to get the afterlife you want, then who really has the good morals?  Who stands up to injustice, real or fabricated? 

Imagine yourself punishing your own child because he said in good conscience he just could not worship you day and night.  Would you burn him for eternity because he said that? 

I ask that you examine this honestly and do not make excuses of “God is wrathful” or “He gave you a chance.”  I have heard those before.  Again, would you burn someone for eternity and think it is justified because you are all loving but angry too?  Would you burn someone for eternity because “you gave him a chance” and he didn’t change his mind? 

If we tell you that a spirit cannot burn and give you the science behind it, will it make you feel better?   We have a more peaceful way than any religion which divides.  It is called death and will happen whether you believe or not!

The Wet Nurse of the Animal World

The Connection
All my articles in Re:Decatur thus far have had some tie to the Decatur area, but considering this post is about slavery, it is better that I had trouble finding a connection! However, when speaking with some Millikin students and Mel and Sue Weinstein of the Decatur Vegetarian Society, the idea formed for a comparison between the slavery of wet nurses from the 1800s and dairy cows today. Thus, my link to the Decatur community is the local citizens who helped bring this article to fruition by talking with me! Thankfully, I could find no data on factory farmed dairy cows in Macon County, so there is no connection in that regard. (Pigs and beef cattle are another story).

What We Were Not Taught
Most of us were taught the basics in school of how Africans were brought to America and enslaved. However, the subject of wet nurses most likely was not mentioned in textbooks or in school because it involves parts of anatomy that are considered private. The truth is that some African-American women were purchased by slave owners because they looked healthy and were fertile. They were bought, separated from their families, and then forced to become pregnant so that their breasts would produce milk. These women were known as wet nurses, and they would nurse the slave owner’s babies, so the slave owner’s wife was freed from that task.

The poor slave woman was torn away from her family when she was purchased and kept from her own baby to nurse another woman’s child. One of the results of nursing the slave owner’s baby is that the slave woman’s own baby did not get her enriching breast milk, nor could she raise and enjoy her own children.
Former slave Katie Jacobs told of being a wet nurse, and said she was forced to sleep on the floor of the dining-room near the bedroom door to be at hand in case the slave owner’s baby wanted another drink of milk. Of course, the slave owners claimed that these women were treated well!

Awaken Our Buried Morals
Hopefully, living in the 21st century, we find these mental images of slavery appalling. This history is embarrassing, filled by racist mistreatment and ignorance. Our morals have evolved to find slavery unacceptable, but these morals are only extended toward the human species. We categorize animals as “property” and “stock” which robs them of any moral consideration.

Now that we have discussed the wet nurse in the 1800s, let us compare the similarities of the life of the dairy cow on most large farms in the United States. Farmers purchase cows, making sure they have the ability to reproduce, take them away from their families, and then force them to become pregnant solely to produce milk. Even on small farms and so called “humane” farms a practice is becoming more common in which nose rings with spikes are inserted in calves so they cannot nurse from their own mothers. Thus, even if the babies are not taken away, they are being punished for trying to do as nature intended. The dairy cows are not seen as beings with lives, but only as property and profit. On large factory farms, one day old babies are taken away from the dairy cow so mother’s milk will go to humans, and her baby is fed formula. The mother cow mourns and cries, but it does no good as no one cares about her life. Three times a day she is milked, hooked up to a machine, and her udder has been genetically altered to hold up to 20 times the milk that udders used to hold before the advent of factory farming. She is given hormones and antibiotics to fight the infections that are commonly in her teats and her foot from all the weight of her udder. And the farmers claim the cows are treated well! When she is too worn out, because all her energy in her body has been used to produce milk, she is sent to slaughter.

The stories of the wet nurse and of the factory farmed dairy cow are nearly interchangeable. Why do we not feel outraged at our treatment of dairy cows? It is slavery, but it is not even seen as animal abuse. Our culture’s lack of respect for animals is shameful.
dairy cows housed
It is shocking to learn about the wet nurses of the 1800s, and I wanted to tell their story, even though my purpose is to highlight animal rights. The idea for comparing our past treatment of humans to our present treatment of animals developed and felt right to tell in this manner.

Causing pain and ripping apart animals’ families is an accepted, every day practice on our farms in America. Legislation to improve conditions for farm animals, such as giving them one inch more space, will take years, and laws of this nature are often rescinded. The only way to win against these huge businesses is to stop using dairy all together.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stop Eating Plants, You Uncaring Vegans!

Many people seem to be worried about vegans eating plants, with memes such as: “You’re Killing Plants!!!!” sent to vegans on Facebook. I have been the recipient of several emails with links to articles entitled: “Plants have Feelings Too,” “Do Plants Think?” and “Plants Can Hear Themselves Being Eaten.” I do read each article sent to me, and amusingly, the words in the articles are at odds with their titles! Within each article it states that there is absolutely no evidence that plants feel pain, nor do they actually see, smell or hear. It is important to know that there is no published book or paper in a scientific journal that makes the claim that plants feel pain.

As most people will not be convinced that easily, I will give the solution to anyone worried about causing plants pain. The answer is to eat more plants! It may seem nonsensical, but here is the explanation: Farm animals consume huge amounts of plants, many more than humans would consume. Eating meat causes more plants to be killed in order to feed those animals. Over nine billion livestock animals in the United States consume seven times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population. So to save plants’ lives, eat as closely to vegan as you can. Fill up on starches, and enjoy the many fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts that are readily available!

It is fascinating to find out what plants can do, as well as what plants cannot do. Plants cannot feel pain because they do not have the equipment to feel pain. People should breathe a collective sigh of relief that farmers all over Illinois are not causing any pain when they harvest corn and soy! Instead, a lot of people will downplay their commonality with pigs due to their great intelligence, yet find articles and videos about plant pain and revel in their “commonality” with plants!

From my experience in dealing with this topic on plants, I have come to the conclusion people are more emotional than rational. They strongly proclaim that they do not care what the experts say, because even when they were young they thought plants felt pain. Perhaps this feeling comes from picking flowers such as dandelions as a child and then feeling guilty by how quickly they wilt and die! Flowers are so beautiful that we transfer our emotions to them, precisely because they give us such good feelings!   People do not feel this way toward fungi, although we humans are more closely related to fungi than to plants! There are no Facebook memes about “Screaming Fungi!”

Why are articles written in credible magazines such as Scientific American with titles that suggest plants feel pain? The answer is that articles often have titles contrary to the content to draw in viewers. The same tactic has been used for this article! At some point in each article, however, the author always states that plants have no brain, no spinal cord, no neurons and no nociceptors, and therefore do not have the ability to be able to hear, see or feel pain. One possible reason plants are not equipped to feel pain is because plants are rooted to the ground and cannot move, so there is no need for them to feel pain because they would not be able to get away from it. The purpose of articles giving human characteristics to plants is to show that plants and animals have many traits in common, but the consequences of showing our commonality through anthropomorphism is that the casual readers misunderstand the articles! Worse yet, people use these articles with their misleading titles about plant pain to create an imaginary battle, using plants to try to thwart animals’ rights.

The following is a summary of plant capabilities:

Most plants bloom due to length of daylight known as circadian rhythm. They can sense the sun because they need it to survive, and will turn toward the sun. Responding to light is not the same as seeing by forming images as humans do; when plants bend toward light it is because cells gather on one side of a plant which elongates that side and makes the plants bend. In strong light, a plant can store excess light and use its energy for its own immunity.

There is one plant that is being touted as having a memory, but that memory is more of a response that conserves energy. The mimosa plant uses electric signals to move rapidly, closing quickly in response to danger. If a substance is dropped on it over and over and is not dangerous to the plant, the plant stops closing for that substance, and for up to a month it continues to not close for that substance. This one plant’s response is quite similar to memory, but most scientists still put “memory” in quotes, and admit further studies need to be done. Certainly these pathways can be seen as rudimentary structures similar to humans since we all came from one source originally. However, plants branched off the evolutionary tree very early in the development of life on earth, and progressed in different ways than humans.

Plants produce electrical signals in response to light. An electrical response can travel throughout the plant and it can take a couple of hours to get from the cells on one side of the plant to the other. Some authors call this “memory,” but this is simply slow movement of energy. Plants can transfer signals through roots to each other, and while these distress signals can warn other plants of danger, it is not known whether these signals through roots are intentional or not. Many plants make ultrasonic clicking sounds, so the world is noisier than we realize! The reason we do not hear these clicking noises is because human senses, especially smell and hearing, are weak.

Some plants can feel vibrations, but they cannot hear. Recently an article called “Plants ‘Hear’ Themselves Being Eaten” has been published, but again, the title is misleading. In the article, it simply says that plants react chemically to seal up the area when they are damaged, and they sense vibrations such as the vibrations from insects chewing. It does not mean they actually hear nor does it mean they feel pain.

Plants do not smell either. A few plants sense chemicals and prefer one chemical over the other, but it is not by the sense of smell because plants have no olfactory receptors. “Silent screams” is an example of extreme anthropomorphism for the sake of a catchy title, when the “screams” are simply a chemical released to protect the plant. It is not known whether the chemical is to protect just that plant or other plants as well. Either would make sense from an evolutionary standpoint as a method of protecting a plant or a species. Sometimes the chemical is noticed by bugs that respond by eating their predators, but it could be more of a learned recognition on the bug’s part rather than an intentional signal from the plant to the bug. In all of the instances with plants giving off chemicals, the plant has no idea what it is doing since it has no brain for reflection and acknowledgement.

What about those studies that show plants grow better with music? When analyzing the results, researchers found out the plants grew best to the type of music the researcher likes. Perhaps the researcher takes better care of the plants because he likes the music! Much of the early research on music and plants was not carried out using the scientific method, so these tests did not have merit.

There is a shortened version of a Mythbusters YouTube Video called “Plants Have Feelings” which is often sent to me. It gives a totally different impression about plants than if the entire episode is watched.   In the full episode the Mythbuster staff realize they might be recording their own reactions instead of those of the plant, because of the way they hooked up the machine to the plant. Also, a “response” was detected less than 1/3rd of the time, yet on the shortened version it looked like a response was detected every single time. Proper controls were not used for this experiment, yet the short version of the video has been spread to make people think plants feel pain.

Since plants, with all their capabilities, do not feel pain, they make a wonderful and healthy source of food. At some point, a person should start thinking logically and realize that animals, with their highly evolved nervous systems very similar to ours, are the ones who need protection from pain.

Again, the solution to all the worries about plants is to eat more plants. The more you stuff yourself with healthy, energy providing starches and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, the less room there will be for fatty animal consumption, and more plants will be saved.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Homosexuality Article (Repeat for Forwarding Purposes)


I was the person at the Westboro Baptist Church protest who was older and had on a Vegan shirt.  That may help identify me.  You may all know this information, but it seemed to me, from talking with some people there, that some homosexuals do not know the amount of research that supports the position that homosexuality is epi-genetic and is formed in the womb (given by the very parents who may not accept you)!  It's some cool research and I expect all of this information will be 100% confirmed in the future.  Meanwhile, see if it makes sense to you!  I think information gives peace of mind. 
Epigenetics is difficult to test in humans because it is not ethical to experiment on a fetus, but models and tests done on animals (as if that is ethical) show that homosexuality can be formed by chemicals before birth.  Perhaps you might want forward this to your GLAAD members. This article will show that homosexuality is passed down from the parents and is not a choice.  (I would not care if it were a choice, but my writing is an attempt to explain why laws denying homosexuals rights are wrong and are prejudicial or simply from ignorance.)  I took all this information from about 12 articles and study abstracts.


INTRODUCTION:  There are many ways people are born homosexual, and we are in our infancy in researching this subject.  Conservative websites downplay the number of gays in the world, because they are trying to discourage further research into the subject, to hide the results from us.  They skew the results of past tests, claiming that because gene sequencing is the same when one identical twin is straight and one is gay, then it “proves” it is not genetic and that’s the end of the story.  (Actually, that’s just the beginning of the story.)

In the studies the word “environment” is used, but the conservative sites see that word to mean the social environment, when in the experiments the environment often meant the chemical environment in the womb. 

The conservative site never mentions the huge subject of epi-genetics, which is research that is currently exploding with new information about genes.  Epi-genetics involves epi-markers that are on genes (epi-markers wrap around DNA and make the decisions for that part of the DNA – whether it is turned on, turned off, partially turned off and when it is expressed).  So even though the gene sequencing is the same (order of adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine), amino acids such as cytosine can be turned on or off depending upon whether an epi-marker is wrapped around it or not, regulating it. 

Parents are the reason babies are gay.  Here are two ways fetuses develop to become homosexual.

1.   HARDEST PARAGRAPH TO UNDERSTAND, BUT IT IS COOL!  The embryo gets genes from the mother and father, and the epi-markers that were on the mother and father’s genes are supposed to be destroyed when the sperm and egg join to become a blastocyst, so that new epi-markers can be made in the fetus during development.  Every once in awhile, an epi-marker from the mother or father slips through to the developing embryo.  If the father passed on his epi-marker to a girl embryo, she will develop more masculine tendencies and be likely to be attracted to women.  If she gets a huge amount of testosterone in the womb, she will get some masculine physical characteristics, such as more masculine private parts.  Now this is interesting:  If a woman passes on her epi-marker which wraps tightly and suppresses or shuts off the signaling from the developing brain of the fetus to absorb excess testosterone, the fetus will not absorb it as much.  If this epi-marker from the mother goes to a female fetus, she will tend to grow up to be very “fit” and fertile and have a lot of babies.  They have noticed that families that have a lot of homosexuals also tend to have sisters and female relatives who have a lot of babies!  Now, if the mother is having a boy, the fetus gets the pre-natal epi-marker from the mother, and he will tend to be feminized.  He may or may not be gay, depending on the amount of testosterone that is suppressed and resisted. 

If the father passes on an epi-marker from his prenatal genes, the son will grow up to be a straight man, but if the epi-marker goes to a girl in the womb, she will most likely be lesbian.  He gave her his epi-marker that wrapped loosely around the DNA that is thus “turned on” and signaled in the brain of the developing fetus the absorption of a lot of testosterone in the womb. 

  2.  Mothers who have many sons are more likely for each successive son to be homosexual. The female mother ends up with male chemicals in her system while pregnant because the male fetus produces H-Y antigens, and since she is female, those are seen as a foreign substance.  She gets them in her bloodstream and builds up antibodies to fight these male substances, and then the antibodies can travel across the blood brain barrier to the fetus’ brain and altering sexual orientation. 
These antibodies get stronger with each pregnancy and the H-Y antigens of subsequent male fetuses have a decreased ability to masculinize the brain, thereby allowing the fetus to be more feminized.



They have so many studies going right now with twins with blood samples, tissue samples, DNA methylation sequencing (methyl groups attach to cytosine as epi-markers and can suppress them) and Next Generation Sequencing(very fast mapping), High Density Resolution Images of the epi-markers themselves and studying the epi-genomes of semen of fathers of lesbians.  There have been hundreds of studies on rats and primates and plants (because you can’t ethically pour chemicals on human fetuses). They are currently working on the International Human Epigenome projects that will map all markers, so results should become more known to the public soon.


***We know from studying rats that exposure to sex hormones in the womb during a critical period in brain development affects future sexual orientation. By manipulating hormone levels during this time, scientists can make rats engage in homosexual behavior later on.  So you can see this is physical! 
Not chosen at all.

***In mammals, a group of geneticists altered the sexual preferences of female mice by removing a single gene linked to reproductive behavior. Without the gene, the mice exhibited masculine sexual behavior and attraction toward urine of other female mice. Those mice who retained the gene were attracted to male mice.  Physical!
In a Swedish study, they used an MRI Scanner and discovered that the brain of a homosexual is symmetrical where a straight man is asymmetrical.  A lesbian brain is like the straight man’s brain, asymmetrical, and the straight woman is like the homosexual with a symmetrical brain. Physical!
They have measured in “adrenal hyperplasia” where there are high levels of testosterone in a female, the women are more masculinized with more same sex attraction.  That should prove that chemicals such as testosterone affect sexuality.  Physical!

1. There is more blood flow to the brain of one twin.

2. The nuclei in three parts of the hypothalamus are different in gay men than in straight, either larger or smaller.

3.  The cells and neurons are more densely packed in homosexual brains than straight men’s brains.

4. The number of nerves in the homosexual brain is more similar to straight women.

5. Gay men's brains respond differently to a serotonin inhibitor.

6. Lesbians do not blink as much when startled and are the most similar to straight men.  Straight women have a much stronger startle response.  This response is in the limbic system and cannot be controlled. Totally physical!

7. Gay and non-gay people's brains respond differently two pheromones.

8. Finger length ratios between the index and ring fingers have been reported to differ, on  average, between straight and lesbian women.

9. Gay men and lesbians are significantly more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous than non-gay men and women;Hand preference is observable before birth.

10. Gay men have increased ridge density in the fingerprints on their left thumbs and pinkies.

11. Length of limbs and hands of gay men (white men only) is smaller, in general, compared to height.

Can anyone say at this point in reading this information that homosexuality is not physical and biological?

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Explanation of Cain Being Sent to the Land of Nod

One of my relatives put on my FB page that there were no other people in "The Land of Nod" and that it did not say Cain lived there in the Bible. 
This is my answer.  I wrote it quickly, but if it is confusing in parts, that is because any justification for the story is confusing! 
You are right that Genesis 4:16 says Cain "dwelt in the land of Nod."  Of course, some versions of the Bible do not say "dwelt" but say "settled" in the land of Nod, which makes it sound even more like Cain stayed
there. (I am answering as if I am taking the Bible’s words seriously.)
The only problem with Genesis 4:16, about Cain living in the land of Nod, is that it is followed by Genesis 4:17, which starts out with the word, “And” as if it is a continuation. “And Cain “knew” his wife and she conceived, and bore Enoch, and he builded a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son Enoch.” So, after going to the land of Nod, a woman was around and of birthing age, and Cain had many people around to build a city.
Some apologists say that Adam and Eve were not the first people on earth. Others simply say that Adam and Eve lived a long time and Eve had daughters who simply were not mentioned. But there is a problem with that: If you follow the story in Genesis, a lot of things happened after Cain left and before Eve had another son, Seth, in Genesis 4:25. No daughters were mentioned for Eve, yet later on, daughters of Enoch’s descendents are mentioned, so the most logical reason Eve’s daughters are not mentioned is that she did not have any, at least up to this point!
Adam was 130 when he had his third child, Seth. Therefore, if Adam and Eve were the first people, when Cain left, there was only Adam, Eve and Cain in the world for a long time, until Eve gave birth to Seth, because Cain was not around and no one else was around to impregnate Eve and they had to wait 130 years before Eve had another child (Seth).
I hope this is not getting too confusing!
Let’s backtrack on the story a bit. In Genesis 4:9. God says, “Cain, where is Abel? What have you done? I can smell blood under the ground.” God apparently does not know that Cain killed Abel. God is supposed to know all, but has to ask questions? But Apologists will say that God is just giving Cain a chance to fess up.
God said Cain will be a vagabond and fugitive for life wandering (Nod means wander) as punishment for killing Abel, so he is not coming back to the Garden of Eden to mate with Eve. Interestingly, before starting out for his wandering life, Cain told God he was afraid he would be killed by everyone he met. This seems to mean there were people out there, but apologists who subscribe to Adam and Eve being the first people claim that “Adam lived to 930 years and he and Eve populated the world. Poor first women in the world, having to give birth over and over! (In reality, half of the babies born died back then from horrid diseases, and the actual life span of men was about 27 years.)
As a solution to Cain being killed by all those people he would meet in Nod, God put a mark on Cain so that anyone who killed Cain would receive 7 times the punishment (notice God did not protect Cain from dying – he only punished those who killed). Apologists will say that Cain and God were talking about the future, and that’s why they talked about “everyone killing him.” There are an awful lot of excuses that have to be made to make this story make any sense at all! (With Founder's Effect, it still does not make any sense.)
Such a convoluted and confusing story should not be how “inspired writing by God” should turn out!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Will You See Your Aborted Fetus, Embryo, and/or Blastocyst in Heaven?

One paragraph below is a status I put on my Facebook, and some comments.  A few people "liked" it, but one was a friend who had a stillborn child years ago (I don't think about those things when I am inspired on a topic), and I think she took the post seriously instead of with the sarcasm intended.  With 7 billion people and no signs of slowing down (not even at 10 billion because people have not taken controlling population growth seriously), I really do not care if fetuses are aborted before 26 weeks.  Even though conservatives claim fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks, all they use for justification is reflex and also developing nerve fibers.  But the two hemispheres of the brain are not connected yet, so there is no way they can feel pain!  All these people who want to prevent abortion should support all forms of birth control, and also they should offer up their homes and take care of the babies that the women do not want to give birth to and pay all hospital expenses. The Right wants to make women slaves to childbirth again.  They are nipping away at women's rights all the time.  This "sacred" stuff is ridiculous.  The word "sanctity" was first used in the 1300s, so this is not a Biblical theme.  Yet, the Right and the USA does not rely on facts when enacting their laws anymore.  Hence, my post below on Facebook:

"I checked with several sites on the Internet, including Answers in Genesis. Aborted fetuses will make it to Heaven. I can picture them floating around in Heaven in their various stages – some looking like fish fetuses, some like little aliens. Can’t you picture it too?
Just think, some women's fetuses will be waiting for the mothers to reunite with them in Heaven! I wonder what they will say to each other.
If a fetus was forced to develop and then was born as a baby with some painful abnormality which caused it to die, it would be judged when it reached the Pearly Gates; which might just have a worse outcome than terminating the pregnancy when he/she was just a speck. I guess I don’t understand the frenzy to force women to give birth to them."
  • Comment: If it is true that dead babies get an instant ticket to "heaven", then every Christian mass murderer of children is a "holy" martyr for sending those children to "heaven" before they could be corrupted by the world.
    Me: Yes, they do get that free ticket. But I think it would be a holy martyr only if the mass murderer claims he did it in the name of God to save them from this world. It's all in the interpretation, you know.
    Believe, me, I have heard repeatedly how corrupt our world is, and how awful it is to pay attention to "the things of the world." It's a recurring theme, so in a way, abortion is "saving babies!"

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fake Meat Controversies Explained

(This is an article I wrote that was posted to my town's online newspaper.)

Why do people have such strong opinions about vegans eating fake meat? The criticisms do not come solely from meat eaters; they also come from fellow vegans! Commonly, people ask:
(A) Why imitate the taste of meat when you say you don’t like meat?
(B) Fake meat isn’t a “whole food,” is it?
I answer:
(A) Most vegans could be happy on a vegan diet without any fake meat, but having it is one more added texture and flavor. Even though mock meat can taste a lot like real animal meat, there is none of the greasy or gamey taste and no gristle.
(B) Sometimes vegans are just in the mood to slap a fake burger on a bun and call it a meal rather than make a bean burger from scratch. Vegans tend to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains, but we do not have to eat them exclusively! We’re just like anyone else; we like variety. The only rule for a vegan is no animal products.
Field Roast Frankfurter – Vegan
A meat eating friend commented that she would never eat a soy product because it might contain hexane. Hexane is a chemical that is used to separate oil from peanuts, corn, olives, and from the whole soy pod. Hexane is used at ADM, but ADM claims that hexane is used only in the initial stages of processing and is totally rinsed off. There is one study that disputes that, but only a trace of hexane was found. It is important to note that a person would have to eat about 1.4 million veggie burgers per day for 90 days to feel any neurological problems if there were that tiny bit of hexane! I am not too worried.
Further easing any concern is the fact that many of the main fake meat brands such as Tofurky, Field Roast and Amy’s are not made from ingredients that require hexane!
There are far more potent substances in real meat to worry about. Fats in meat are a serious health hazard as their effects quickly accumulate in the body. Three year olds have striations of fat on their hearts now because of the meat and dairy diet we think is “feeding them right.” We see the results of too much fat with the rise of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The American Diabetes Association states that a low fat vegan diet is better at reducing heart disease and diabetes than the American Diabetes Association diet. (Re-read that last sentence and let it sink in!)
When critiquing the effects of fake meat on the body, it is important to note the amount that is consumed. It is rare to see fake meat mounded on a plate as a main course. Mock meats are a treat rather than the norm with most vegans.
Phytoestrogens and Soy Protein Isolate 
This is a controversial subject and research has shown positive and negative effects from both phytoestrogens and soy protein isolate. Phytoestrogens simply means plant estrogen and soy protein isolate is concentrated soy that is separated from the rest of the plant. Skip the protein powders and high fat protein bars, eat whole foods in general, and these will not be an issue. They certainly are safer than the growth hormones found in factory farmed animals.
Real Meat vs. Fake Meat: The Comparison
Here is a comparison of one of my Field Roast Frankfurters to an Oscar Mayer Hot Dog. I chose my favorite mock meat with the “good brand” of hot dog I ate when I was a meat eater
Field Roast Chili Frank
Filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, organic expeller pressed palm fruit oil, barley malt, naturally flavored yeast extract, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, paprika, sea salt, onions, spices, whole wheat flour, garlic, natural liquid smoke, caraway, celery seed, ground yellow mustard, paprika oleoresin. Contains 0 mg of cholesterol.

Oscar Meyer hot dog ingredients: mechanically separated turkey, mechanically separated chicken, pork, water, corn syrup, contains less than 2% of salt, sodium phosphates, sodium diacetate (fungicide and bactericide), sodium benzoate (preservative), sodium ascorbate, flavor, sodium nitrite (additive, can form carcinogenic nitrosamines and trigger migraines).Contains 35 mg of cholesterol.
“Mechanically Separated” means pureeing or grinding the carcass left after the manual removal of meat from the bones and then forcing the slurry through a sieve under pressure. What is in the hot dog includes bone, bone marrow, skin, nerves, blood vessels in addition to the scraps of meat remaining on the bones.
Hopefully, this article has shown that a little fake meat is not worthy of the huge amount of criticism and ostracism that is given to a vegan who will admit to occasionally eating it!