Your Part Post on Meat: Part 2

29 04 2011

Today, I wanted to post part two of my meat article to facilitate  more discussion from viewpoints across the meat-no-meat spectrum. I hope you continue to post if you agree or disagree with this campaign that is working to promote meat on Mondays. Are their methods effective? Do you have any other suggestions? Is this something you would like to be involved in somewhere else in the country? Let’s make some online conversation.

The Flip Side

In response to the negative publicity, University of Arkansas’ organizations, Block and Bridle and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, began promoting Meat on Mondays—a college-wide educational campaign about the importance of meat in the diet.

Block and Bridle President Crystal Ahrens said, the Meat on Monday campaign is “not so much an attack” as an attempt to stop the campaign before it grows more popular.

The campaign involves distributing free packets of beef jerky and silly bands in the shape of steers and ZIP (zinc, iron and protein) on campus and at the Arkansas State Fair.

The Arkansas Beef Check-off and several other sponsors provide financial and moral support for the campaign. “The support has helped us rally,” Ahrens said. “It let us believe not only in our message but that it can be done.”

Ahrens said, agricultural industries will always attract negative publicity because people aren’t educated. “We can’t ensure success in our industry without educating, and continuously educating.”

Thoughts anyone?

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Four Part Post on Meat: Part 1

27 04 2011

I would like to use this blog as a forum to discuss the Meatless Mondays campaign and the Meat on Monday campaign that has been developed in response. This will be accomplished in 4 parts, following an article I recently wrote.

Part 1 is the perspective of a vegan and vegetarian who support the efforts of this campaign. Please comment on how you feel about this campaign, the statements made in the article, your personal experiences, etc.

An American Tradition Restored

Americans have returned to their World War I roots, reviving the Food and Drug Administration’s Meatless Mondays food rationing campaign with the Meatless Mondays public health awareness program of today.

Meatless Monday is one, non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, an organization devoted to starting and sustaining healthy lifestyles, in association with Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Supporters say reduced meat consumption leads to reduced carbon footprints, reduced climate change and improved health.

“I would like to encourage everyone to learn about the food that they eat,” Meatless Monday proponent Melissa Dion said. “Ignorance is not always bliss.”

Animals are mass produced for consumption at an unnatural rate, said Meatless Monday supporter Brittany Brandon, a senior in sociology at the University of Illinois.

“Because there are so many animals, the amount of methane gas they release into the air is causing a lot of greenhouse effects that affects the ozone layer, which contributes to pollution,” Brandon said. “It is a significant amount contributed.”

Proponents of the campaign state the health benefits include: increased lifespan, improved diet, obesity avoidance and reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

Dion said she saw lots of improvements in her health and lifestyle since beginning this eating lifestyle in 2008. “I feel really great and I have a lot more energy.”

United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry is responsible for almost one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gases. The campaign hopes to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.

“Meatless Mondays is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and become healthier,” Dion said.

Water usage is also a concern of Meatless Monday supporters. A study prepared for the Water Education Foundation estimates 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water is required for each pound of beef produced compared to 220 gallons for tofu.

In addition to health and environmental benefits, there are financial gains to going meatless, said Brandon. “It costs too much to consume meat,” Brandon said.

“Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, rice and beans are cheaper than meat,” Dion said.

Brandon recommends research and making sure it is “something you really want to do” before making the switch to Meatless Mondays. “To give up meat after you have been eating it so long, that’s like throwing your body out of whack,” Brandon said.

“It is a great way to test out vegetarianism before taking the plunge,” Dion said.

Brandon said, “If people raise awareness about the benefits of not eating meat and make it more publically aware, then it will rise in popularity-but as long as people don’t know it will be something people just do.”

Dion said, Meatless Mondays will continue to grow in popularity. “Oprah is now doing Meatless Mondays,” Dion said. “This is just the beginning.”

Is it just the beginning???? What do you think?





How to use an umbrella.

26 04 2011

One might think this is the correct way to hold an umbrella.

And you would be correct if you lived in any of these states:

Did you guess which state is missing?
America’s heartland, Illinois. In Illinois the correct way to hold an umbrella is:
This is due to the fact that Illinois wind is more problematic than the rain itself, as I realized on my walk to class today. No wonder there are wind turbines popping up like May flowers!
What’s the weather like where you are at?




Rural Tendencies

25 04 2011

I realized the other day that I hate walking on sidewalks. I would much rather saunter alongside the road in my established campus neighborhood.

I remember when sidewalks seemed like a luxury. A place where one could ride a scooter and roller blade. Rural route kids don’t need, or can’t really use, roller blades-so I never had any growing up. Good thing too because looking back on my few experiences with roller blades, I probably would have broken my ankle.

I thought to myself, so why today do I have this aversion to sidewalks?

Is it because during the winter the roads were plowed more often than people shoveled the walks? Not relevant now. I thought is it because there are puddles when it rains? Not so right now (but maybe if I wait an hour or two…). Finally, I realized that for almost 19 years I never had sidewalks at my disposal.

The road was where we would walk, ride bicycles, sled in the winter and even play tennis in the summer–keeping a careful eye and ear out for any cars that might drive by. I guess today old habits die hard and I don’t like be relegated to my own, devoted space for such acts like walking to my car–that is on the road.

Its funny how these rural tendencies carry through today, in such an utterly bizarre way.

Google Maps Picture of My House. Take note: there is no sidewalk parallel to the road!





21st Century Bambi

22 04 2011

Today is all about the green movement. It is all about the safe treatment of animals (as it should be).

And now, we have a product that combines these two opportunities: a recycled cardboard deer head.

"Bucky" Cardboard Trophy by Cardboard Safari

The perfect decor addition for any home, especially a rural route abode. It even comes in two color options to correlate with any color scheme! What a creative use for an agricultural resource (trees).

"Bucky" Cardboard Trophy by Cardboard SafariNow, I’m just wondering, is this something I will be seeing at dinner parties in the near future?

 And is there an addax version?





Single Out Country Singles

21 04 2011

We all know about the big ones: E-Harmony and Match.com. But what if your criteria are even more precise than the 29 proven dimensions of compatibility? What if you want a cowboy rather than a city boy? What if you want “the farmer’s daughter?”

These are dating needs E-Harmony and Match.com simply cannot provide, at least not conveniently. Which is why Jerry Miller started farmersonly.com, take a look, even if you are taken it is super interesting–recommend it to a friend!

It should be noted, this painting (American Gothic) was originally of a father and daughter... just FYI

The website states:

Instead of asking what your astrological sign is, at FarmersOnly.com I ask if you raise or breed alpacas, horses, cattle, chickens, dogs, goats, rabbits, sheep, grow crops, or if you’re an organic farmer, student farmer, cowboy, cowgirl, or just a farmer wanna be! How many singles sites do that?

It goes on to say:

One farmer told me the story of her frustrations in trying to find her match. She thought trying online dating may be the answer and joined some of the big national online dating sites. What she found was that the city folks that dominated these online dating sites couldn’t relate to her lifestyle. They wanted to meet at 9:00 p.m. for a cup of coffee when she would typically be preparing (going to bed) for the next day, which started at 5:00 a.m. Caffeine at that hour was the last thing she needed!

My viewpoint:

Now my Dad is single and in the winter and summer this isn’t a problem, but I can definitely see lots of women not understanding the demands that the spring and fall bring. Dating on mother nature’s schedule is not acceptable to many. I can’t count the number of times I have heard “maybe if it rains…”

So if you are under mother nature’s thumb half the year, this dating website might be just the ticket! Now the only question left is will you till their farm or yours?





Discourse Based on the Roundup Ready Hoedown

20 04 2011

This movie-the Roundup Ready Hoedown (and all the others like it)-are disturbing to me. The need for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is upon us with a population that is growing exponentially. Few have the luxury to choose to eat 100% organically, and I’m sure there are those out there that would venture to say it is impossible.

However, I wonder why those waste the money on eating organically, thousands of tests and studies have shown it to be absolutely safe. Spend that money on the poor, the truly hungry. Instead of wasting it on the product of a golden marketing campaign (similar to the brilliant marketing campaign of Angus beef).

I feel that:

A.) GMOs are absolutely necessary to feed our nation and the world–which we haven’t even achieved yet, mostly due to the refusal to put GMO’s in most African countries.

Finally, Miss Americas’ dreams to “end world hunger” is a reality through genetic engineering!

B.) GMOs are vital to improving the food to not only save lives by eliminating starvation, but my solving malnutrition through golden rice and other genetic improvements.

C.) GMOs allow us to have the lowest food costs in the world and the safest food supply, for ourselves and the environment. Through GMOs  resistance to pests can be put inside the pest-removing the need for pesticides to be applied… allowing farmers to protect the innocent lady bug depicted in the movie through the USE of GMOs similar to Roundup Ready.

We all have the same end goal: feed everyone, healthy, nutritious, safe and affordable food. Farmers care. They feed their families the safe, affordable food they grow–because they know it truly is safe and see the value in its genetic traits to make the end goal (of providing for BILLIONS) possible.

To me, those who oppose GMOs are uninformed. And when I see the debates that say GMOs are unsafe, blah, blah, blah… I actually hear this (speaking of Miss America):

Make the right choice: support America’s farmers, support our effort to feed the world, and yes-trust the scientific authorities and the organizations deemed to protect our food sources (the USDA, FDA, etc) and EAT GMOs.








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