Climate Control by eating more chicken? An Earth Day Post

An article in the Food Day section of The Oregonian that came out today called “Your Climate-Friendly Kitchen: take some simple steps toward a low-carbon diet” focuses on the small steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint.There are some great points in here, but there’s a few that I have issue with.

The author, Leslie Cole, discusses the now well-known fact that global warming is caused in large part to meat and dairy farms and agriculture. But rather than suggest that we focus solely on a diet comprised on plant-based foods, she merely suggests to modify the SAD (Standard American Diet). One woman she interviews, Helene York, sustainability manager from Bon Appetit Management Co., says, “It’s not that we eat red meat or cheese that’s a problem. It’s how much we eat.”

I beg to differ. Thinking like that tends to let us, as humans who have put our earth in this position, off the hook. As Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson says in The Face on Your Plate, “The very words ‘human-caused greenhouse gas emissions’ terrify us because they contain the implicit criticism that we are the cause of our own impending destruction” (34). Ms York is telling us that we don’t need to drastically modify our lifestyle because that would be too much a hardship on us. Go ahead and continue eating farmed animals–especially chickens. “In fact, based on a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Assessment study, chicken is more carbon-friendly than tofu made from U.S.-grown soybeans and manufactured in the United States.”

What?! Though this sentence implies that it’s better to eat chickens than cows simply because chickens are not ruminate animals*, my main concern in that she compares eating chickens to eating tofu. I have a problem when people assume that you need to pick one: protein from animals or protein from tofu. That is your choice. Tofu is made from a bean, everyone! A soybean. It is high in protein, but check out all these other types of beans out there that are also protein-rich: lima bean, navy bean, black bean, pinto bean, garbonzo bean, kidney bean… hell, just look in a 15 bean soup to see what a variety there is out there. In addition to beans, grains, nuts, seeds and veggies all have protein. It doesn’t need to be an either/or. If you choose not to eat chicken, that doesn’t mean you have to eat tofu. We should all be getting protein from a variety of sources. (And we don’t need nearly as much as we think we do. I’ll have a later post discussing the Protein Myth.)

The article addresses some key issues:buy locally, buy seasonally, reuse your non-plastic bags, compost, and curb your food waste. These are all great starts. I would like to see, however, a more progressive Earth Day article discussing the benefits of a vegan diet for our planet, as well as more focus on growing food in a sustainable manner. Our planet is precious. It’s not going to get better by following the SAD traditions we have a hard time moving away from. Our diet is one of the single biggest ways we can change the earth. It’s up to us.
Happy Earth Day!

*Ruminate animals such as cows, sheeps, and goats have a special process of digesting their food. They can digest fibers and plants that are otherwise inedible, but in the process of doing so, they produce methane, which leads to climate change.
For more on this, visit the EPA website.

Can you imagine?

Every morning when I wake up, I like to follow my little internet ritual.

I check my gmail, following links, replying to friends, starring ones I want to get back to.
Then head to Facebook, where I check in on what everyone’s been doing, see what new pictures are up, comment on friend’s status updates, maybe take a stupid “What kind of drink are you?” type quiz.
Then usually it’s over to Yelp, to see if there are any new reviews I want to read, new events posted I may want to attend, or new Talk threads I’m interested in.
On to BBC News and Google News for a quick summary of what’s going on in the world. Sometimes I’ll check my Myspace, Modified Style’s Myspace, Craigslist for cute puppies (I want a puppy, damn it.) and twitter for updates from my favorite people.

Then it’s right here to Epicurious Veg*n–I like to stay updated on what my favorite blogs are doing. You can see all of them to the right, but my favorites are Healthy Tipping Point, VeggieGirl, VeganYumYum, and now this one recently started called This is why you’re thin!. It’s directly inspired by This is why you’re fat! -a blog that’s been gaining popularity by displaying pictures sent in of foods like a corn dog casserole or a bacon wrapped twinkie.
This is why you’re thin! has reader-contributed pictures relating to wellness-hiking, raw green smoothes, fresh vegetables, kids peeling vegetables, yoga… anything that’s GOOD for you can be included here.

I’ve been checking out the pictures for inspiration, and today came across a picture submitted by a woman named Sheri. It’s a groovy green smoothie with organic spinach, celery, filtered water, flax meal, Brazil nuts, hempseeds, raspberries, bananas, spirulina, goji berries, and a tasty topping of raw cacao nibs.Um, wow!
She wrote that she feeds this to her FIVE raw vegan kids for breakfast most mornings.


Five raw vegan kids? Can you imagine? Holy smokes. I had to check it out. Her blog is here. I encourage you to check it out. It’s so amazing–I love that there’s people like this out there. She and her husband, a professor, homeschool all 5 kids and feed them a raw diet. She uses her stove for fruit and veggie storage!

What an inspiration.

This is one of the reasons I like my little morning ritual: I learn new things, find new sources of inspiration, and even discover some new recipes!

My Personality Type

The Inspirer

As an ENFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system.

ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values. An ENFP needs to feel that they are living their lives as their true Self, walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They’re constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves. Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of the ENFP’s life, and because they are focused on keeping “centered”, the ENFP is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values.

An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving.

Most ENFPs have great people skills. They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships. ENFPs almost always have a strong need to be liked. Sometimes, especially at a younger age, an ENFP will tend to be “gushy” and insincere, and generally “overdo” in an effort to win acceptance. However, once an ENFP has learned to balance their need to be true to themselves with their need for acceptance, they excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivous to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP’s family members.

An ENFP who has “gone wrong” may be quite manipulative – and very good it. The gift of gab which they are blessed with makes it naturally easy for them to get what they want. Most ENFPs will not abuse their abilities, because that would not jive with their value systems.

ENFPs sometimes make serious errors in judgment. They have an amazing ability to intuitively perceive the truth about a person or situation, but when they apply judgment to their perception, they may jump to the wrong conclusions.

ENFPs who have not learned to follow through may have a difficult time remaining happy in marital relationships. Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, they may become bored with what actually is. The strong sense of values will keep many ENFPs dedicated to their relationships. However, ENFPs like a little excitement in their lives, and are best matched with individuals who are comfortable with change and new experiences.

Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendancies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child’s best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they’re doing.

Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.