Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Simply Zen ** NEW STORE ** on Locke Street


Simply Zen is a small Canadian company dedicated to providing you with
the finest natural, eco-friendly, organic and Vegan products for every aspect of your life.
Come in to see us and learn more about our complete selection of organic and raw foods, natural body care and wellness tools. We are located at 143 Locke Street S, Hamilton
and can be reached at 905.529.1998 or by email at
Please check us out at

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Vegetarian Friends

- click here

Monday, May 28th, 2007 @ Skydragon (905-777-8102)

8:00 PM Ms Grant,writer, historian and activist based in Toronto, will be discussing her thoughts and experiences in the field of animal rights. There will be ample opportunity to debate and discuss the issues. Her recent book is titled The No-Nonsense Guide to Animal Rights, explains key issues and makes the connections between animal rights and other justice struggles and is published by Between the Lines. The protection of animal rights is more than a modern, western phenomenon. There is a long history of concern for animals around the world, and this is the concern that underlies today’s animal rights movement. . The book will be available for sale, and Catharine will be happy to sign copies. Location: Skydragon Centre , 27 King William Street, Hamilton, Region: Hamilton, Sponsor: Chapman Books, C.A.G.E.D., Compassion for Animals, the Hamilton Vegetarian Association and The Great Lakes Expo Contact Info:

Friday, May 18, 2007

So why do we eat meat?

Talking with a colleague at work this past week, the question was raised why do we eat cows (the greater context of the conversation being about how attached we are to our pets i.e. how do we decide to love one animal and eat another). This made me think about my own many years of buying, preparing and eating meat for myself and my family.

My earliest experience with meat would have been before my earliest memories. I remember my mother and father telling me that the family doctor had recommended pureed meat for me before I was a year old. This I believe, in an effort to build up my hemoglobin or some such, although I can't be sure (and Mom and Dad are both gone now).

When my own children where babies, and I started to introduce them to our food, I had this little hand cranked grinder. My husband and I thought this was the greatest gizmo - we would put a 1/2 cup of whatever we were eating, grind it up and serve it to our baby. Certainly, it was more economical as we did not buy too much jarred baby food from that point on. Somewhere around 7 to 9 months of age, our boys were eating everything from spaghetti with meat sauce to pork chops with vegetables.

The point is, we are served meat from the earliest time in our life. Whether or not our taste buds actually "like" this taste or sensation makes little difference. Right at the front of us, smiling and encouraging us to lap up every last drop is our mother or father. I am not saying this is bad parenting. What I am saying is this is conditioning that has gone on for many generations. We think meat is good. Good to eat, good for our health and therefore good for our children.

Conditioning is first, followed closely by insidious de-sensitization. So where does the "de-sensitization" come into view? At what point do children figure out that beef comes from a cow, pork from pigs, buffalo wings from chickens and on and on... (Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy....). Figure it out we do though, and before long we can completely disconnect the thread between the calf and the veal, the bacon and the pig, etc.

Even more odd is why we accept the whole shebang? Many of us have pets that we adore (most of the time) and consider them parts of our family. In our house alone, along with the bipeds are one dog, three cats, two ferrets and several fish!

Again, I can only explain this as conditioning. As a society, most of us are so far removed from the slaughterhouse, from the farm and so close to the grocery store and the seemingly endless supply of a variety of cellophane wrapped pieces of muscle. Not one of us ever discusses the pain and suffering involved in raising and then killing millions (yes, millions!) of animals on a daily basis. We certainly never discuss it with our children - why would we want to expose them to such horror?

It seems so strange to me now this whole culture of eating another animal's flesh. If I had been born in a Hindu culture, I would never know the experience of eating meat. But here I am - living in a meat-eating culture, living with meat eating people, surrounded by people eating meat, surrounded by mass media about eating meat, keeping meat eating animals, wearing clothing made from the skins of animals. I have spent most of my years eating and enjoying another animal's flesh.

What made the change for me? I was in the right place at the right time and I opened my eyes (believe me I wanted to close them). Once I knew, I could not go back. (I remember vividly one of my co-workers asking me the next day why would I want to watch those kind of images.)

I suspect people don't want to know so they can continue to enjoy eating their meat.

Not long ago I was asked if I had "turned" anyone in the family. I wish... but really, it can't be done (I've tried). The decision can only come from within. But I am encouraged when questioned and even challenged (although that isn't nearly as pleasant) . Questioning is a good thing. It leads to clear vision.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Earthlings (narrated by Joaquin Phoenix)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Famous Vegetarians