Monthly Archives: July 2007

Judging others

I was down on myself for awhile for passing judgment on others, something I’m very quick to do, especially when it comes to things in which I believe strongly. I think I’ve finally decided that it’s OK to do this. Comparison is a common way for people to learn, a form of evaluation. (Sesame Street taught me this. Which one of these things is not like the others?…)

Watching interactions between others and determining whether I would take the same or a different action forces me to think about issues I never might have considered, allows me to make choices in advance and often points me to areas where I can see I need to do more research or where DH and I need to have a discussion.

The important thing is to know when to share a viewpoint and when to keep your mouth shut. Judging in my head is a lot different than openly announcing that I agree or disagree. At best it can foster discussion, but at worst…

Highway to Hades

I can’t even begin to describe how disheartening it is to see trailers full of animals on their way to slaughter or making cross-country trips just to participate in the food chain. Recently I was behind a truck full of chickens, rows and stacks of open cages, driving smack into the middle of a thunderstorm with trails of white fuzz wafting back into the cars behind. For a short while I followed a trailer of baby pigs, poking their snouts out the slats in curiousity. Unfortunately where we live, and with me driving interstate near daily, this is a common occurence.

I don’t quite understand why this bothers me so deeply, while others take no notice. I suppose I never noticed either, for a long time. I always try to think comforting thoughts towards the animals.

At one point after going veg I thought to myself that the truck driver hauling these animals is like the mythical ferryman taking people to hell, Charon. What a horrible job it would be if the driver were more aware, an enabler to the deaths of so many animals.

Vegetarian family values

While I was pregnant I often got questions about being vegetarian. Almost every one focused solely on my protein intake. What I always considered questioning in return was, how is your protein intake? Better yet, do you know how much vitamin C you got today? How are your folate levels?

Where we live a vegetarian diet is still somewhat rare. Some of the questions are based in ignorance (I find many people believe that meat is necessary and aren’t even aware protein is also found in vegetables and other foods), but I can also tell that others are being intentionally judgemental. Some see vegetarianism as a personal attack on their values and bring it up attempting to start an argument. (If I was allergic instead would it still be an issue?)

I can’t say for certain, but I’d hazard a guess that pregnant/nursing/parent veggies are often as or more aware of their nutritional status than omnis. While I was pregnant I tracked my diet pretty closely, sometimes every single thing I ate all day (including the stray piece of candy) was recorded to make sure that I was hitting at least 100% of the RDA for most things and more for key things such as protein. I regularly hit 80+ grams every single day and could tell you (or look up) the numbers for any number of the other nutritional requirements. I had done extensive reading on the topic, as well as received professional advice. I’d venture this is a lot more work than the average person puts into their diet.

Now that I’m nursing the babe (a whole separate point of interest that draws nearly as many comments!), I’m starting to get questions about whether or not I’ll feed him meat or let him have it if he shows interest. I like to think that not eating meat is a value for our family, in the same way that relgion or abstention from alcohol may be a value for theirs. We’ll teach him our position, and then once he’s out on his own he can make a determination about whether he wants to continue. Some have postured that it’s not fair of us to deprive him of the chance to eat meat. I’d like to counter with the same argument considered in the context of smoking. If your child shows an interest in smoking, would it be unfair for you to consider depriving him of this act?

Safe plastics

With all the hullabaloo about the dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA), I’ve been looking into the safety of plastic. Talk about a huge topic to tackle! So much in the way of baby gear is plastic these days, and bottles and toys babes put in their mouths are of particular concern.

So I found this article on safe plastics. It’s geared specifically towards food storage and reheating, but good info nonetheless and doesn’t read like a tome. Makes it easy to quickly identify what is and isn’t safe (supposedly). Also check out these tips to avoid BPA exposure.

Family members and friends, if you’re listening, please consider purchasing natural toys for the lad when gift giving. One less thing for us to worry about and just as great if not more interesting for him.

Becoming a parent…

Becoming a parent makes you question even more. When they asked in the hospital if our babe should get the Hepititis B shot now or wait, my immediate reaction was one of caution. (I hadn’t started doing vaccine research yet at the time.) Still, when it came time to release us and they insisted I get a rubella booster I didn’t think twice. The good thing was the whole process got me thinking about shots in general, the practice of medical care and the fallacy inherent in the modern medical establishment.

After reading the general information sheet I wondered whether the shot I had been given had animal ingredients. That soon sent me searching to find out if it was possible to get versions of the vaccines without. (More about vaccines to come in future posts.) I learned more than I ever planned, and more importantly got a wake up call about the need to follow my instincts and take responsibility for our health care.

Good idea, bad presentation

or Just say NO to the Illuminati! 

Sometimes good ideas just need a better spokesperson. Some very logical, reasonable ideas are dismissed because they are championed by seemingly crazy people. It’s dissappointing to find that sometimes the people that share my perspective are the same ones that believe cell phone towers are used for mind control.

Striking a balance

We have been thinking our lad is sensitive to milk protein, so I recently went about attempting to eliminate dairy in my diet. We’d previously discussed going vegan, but determined it would be hard. I figured there’s no way I’d be able to give up cheese, ice cream, etc. Turns out its not been so bad after all. There are lots of replacements and it forces me to eat more fruits, vegetables and unprocessed food in general. All good, right??

Truth is that my biggest worry is that I’m going overboard with the self limiting diet, making eating choices more difficult, and setting myself up for hardship. It creates an extra burden for our family, even my coworkers. The goal is to strike a balance, find a point at which I’m doing the right thing both for myself and the world.

The more you know…

I can see why they say ignorance is bliss. The truth — if you can ever say what you’ve discovered is absolutely the truth — can be frightening and limiting, cause you to doubt previous decisions you’ve made, pass judgement on others. Once you know the wool has been pulled over your eyes once, its much harder to be trusting in future. Sometimes the more you know the scarier it gets.