Sunday, December 28, 2014

Vegan 2015 for the Environment - watch Cowspiracy

I am recommending a plant-based diet…again! I just watched Cowspiracy, to be found on! It shows how fossil fuels etc account for 13% of global warming but animal agriculture is responsible for up to 51%. (It doesn't mention Ireland in the film but here, animal agriculture is responsible for about 35% of Ireland's emissions already, so don't go thinking that because we don't have massive factory farms we're not doing any harm. The environmental damage is caused by the methane gas they release and the muck running off into the waterways…let alone all the water the industry uses - 100 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk! So please don't go expanding a herd! More intensive farming makes matters much worse for everyone). I'm serious now, we've really got to all chose the vegan lifestyle asap. Actually nothing else will really sit right once you've watched it! I've got my last vegan guests of the year, for Harmony Hall BioArchitecture Retreat, coming tomorrow from France. And I'm just back from an exceptionally gourmet vegan Christmas in Oxfordshire. So there is a world-wide movement to join in too once you make the change!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


When we hear the word hedonism, we picture wild excesses in the bedroom and of booze and rich food. This was evoked again when I went to stay in a resort in Jamaica called Hedonism 2. There were mirrors over the beds and pink sofas, Bob Marley cocktails and wet T shirt competitions. We were all asked to join in with whatever skills we could. One friend offered scuba diving instruction, another tennis coaching. The original friend who had arranged the trip was doing a documentary on the whole thing. The ultimate overcoming of inhibition was to have last drinks in the nude jacuzzi. This was a small lake covering about a quarter of an acre bubbling away by candle light, but still a challenge for the Irish contingent as no clothes were allowed!

I wracked my brains for what I could offer. As usual, my vision was a little deeper than intended. I had just finished an Ethics module on Hedonism at Queen's University Belfast. I was dying to offer a philosophical discussion group on the beach. A chance to share the real and important definition of hedonism: The purpose of human life is the pursuit of happiness. Even now, I fully agree that our objective should be to seek out the good. See the beauty in ourselves and others. Perhaps this week's homework can be to cultivate our senses - appreciation of art, literature, music, touch and scent. This is different from the possible dulling of the senses that can happen when we anesthetize ourselves with drink or food - maybe its just a conscious version of that! Even as Bob Marley said 'If you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth…And now you've seen the light, Stand up for your rights!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Interpretation of Christmas

I think that whatever we know about Jesus, we know he was a merciful man. He would not have wanted turkeys' throats cut and hung upside down on gates or en masse, no matter how farm fed they were. He would not want cows, sheep and pigs killed. They were all around, warming the stable for his arrival and Jesus himself was the vulnerable one that night, just an infant. The sacrifices are too great and Christmas is now a blood bath…unless, that is, you're planning to be kind, compassionate and Christian and don't plan to eat anybody, to celebrate?! I know its radical but just reflect on it for a moment - all life is EQUAL: Man, beast, bird, fish, bee, spider, criminal, saint. Lets rekindle that warmth of inter-species, inter-gender, inter-personal recognition now, while we have the chance; the warmth of forgiveness; the warmth of fun and friendship. Each of us has the choice. Don't let habit or indifference be it!

Just found these quotes from the bible!
1. “And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” —Genesis 1:30
2. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; the lion shall eat straw like an ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain.” —Isaiah 65:25
3. “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you.” —Job 12:7
4. “I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety.” —Hosea 2:18
5. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.” —Luke 12:6
6. “Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.” —Psalms 36:6
7. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” —Matthew 5:7

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