In early July, on the sleepy Friday after Independence Day, the USDA quietly signaled its intention to green-light a new genetically engineered soybean seed from Dow AgroSciences. The product is designed to produce soy plants that withstand 2,4-D, a highly toxic herbicide (and, famously, the less toxic component in the notorious Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange).
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Vegetarianism: Celebrating Life
Vegetarianism: Celebrating Life
By Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya
The reasons for becoming a vegetarian are many. Vegetarianism makes sense from every possible perspective.
Health – Vegetarians have been shown to live longer, as well as suffer much less from such health problems as cancer, heart-disease and other illnesses. Contrary to popular belief, meat foods are not a necessary component of the human diet. In fact, evolutionarily and biologically, humans are not designed to be carnivores. Our teeth and intestinal structures are best suited for an herbivorous (vegetarian) diet.
Economic – A cow has to be fed up to 16 pounds of grain in order to produce only one pound of beef. If this grain were to be fed directly to human beings, world starvation could be eliminated. In addition, the meat industry is one of the most heavily federally subsidized industries in America. Your tax dollars are being wasted supporting an industry that produces an inefficient and unhealthy product.
Environmental – Central and South American rain forests are being decimated at the alarming rate of 2.5 acres per second. Much of this destruction is occurring in order to provide grazing land for beef cattle. Every burger we eat represents a tree mowed down in a rain forest. Also, the meat industry has been repeatedly cited as one of the major industries responsible for massive pollution, including the dumping of noxious wastes into our nation’s water supplies.
Ethical – To kill or give pain to any living creature, especially when such actions are unnecessary and not in self-defense, is morally unjustified. Like you and I, animals are sentient living beings, and have been proven to be capable of feeling pain and suffering. Animals, like humans, cry out if cut; they scream if killed; they mourn if separated from those they love. God created animals, not for us to torture and gobble up thoughtlessly, but to cooperate with, learn from and protect. If we are, indeed, vastly superior to animals in both our ethical development and in our sense of justice, should we not perhaps behave as such?
Spiritual – Most of the world’s varied religious traditions are opposed to creating unnecessary suffering. The two most important qualities that many spiritual paths attempt to instill in their adherents are wisdom and compassion. These qualities are impossible to develop as long as we engage in violence of any sort. However insignificant or distant an act of violence may appear to us (such as the killing and eating of animals), it nonetheless contributes to an overall social attitude of justifying violence. Violent minds lead to violent lifestyles. In such a state of consciousness, it is impossible to make any serious advancement on one’s chosen spiritual path.
These, and many other considerations, make it quite clear that the vegetarian alternative is a lifestyle that is both reasonable and healthy for your body, mind and soul. We hope these facts have given you a little food for thought, and that you will consider becoming a vegetarian. For more information on vegetarianism, please visit Dharmacentral.com
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Natural, Organic Items Spread in Supermarkets
There seems to be a race to pure foods among the nation’s largest supermarkets as they ramp up their offerings, even launch their own brands of organics and naturals, and then heavily advertise the healthy choice.
It all makes sense, considering sales of this segment of groceries are outpacing traditional grocery sales.
Nationwide, natural and organic food sales grew 8 percent in 2010 versus the less than 1 percent growth in the $630 billion total U.S. food market, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. It grew at about a 5 percent rate each year from 2005 to 2009.
With that growth and popularity comes a definite consumer advantage: Slowly but surely, the price of natural foods is falling.
“Our whole food culture is moving in a direction of less preservatives, less processed and just the whole ingredient count is so much more on people’s minds.”
Jogging in Nature Twice as Good for Mental Health as Trip to Gym
Researchers found that anything from a stroll in the park to a run through woodland can have a positive effect on people suffering from depression and anxiety.
The study also showed that the positive effect on people’s mental health was 50 per cent more than they might expect from going to the gym.
The researchers at Glasgow University looked at natural and non-natural environments for physical activity, including walking, running and cycling, and found that being around trees and grass lowered brain stress levels.
The study, led by Prof Richard Mitchell, polled nearly 2000 physically active people in the 2008 Scottish Health Survey.
Only activities carried out in a natural environment outdoors were found to be associated with a lower risk of poor mental health.
The Benefits of Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is so much more than just a diet. It is a decision that has tremendous health, political, environmental and spiritual implications. Vegetarianism is a choice to live your life to the utmost ethical degree. In this amazing video, one of the world’s most qualified and authentic Dharma teachers explains the benefits of vegetarianism with more clarity and depth than has ever been witnessed before. Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya reveals the deepest truths about vegetarianism in his famously celebrated style of no-nonsense logic, loving frankness, and striking honesty. If you are interested in exploring vegetarianism, or even if you have been vegetarian for years, be prepared to learn more about this ancient practice than you have ever dreamed possible.
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