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100 Bad-ass Posts

6 Jun

So apparently this is my 100th post. I’m actually surprised that it’s taken 3 years to get this far but I suppose it’s a milestone worth celebrating, especially as it’s been 3 years almost to the day since I began the badlet blog adventure. I started this blog as a way for me to vent my “bad” side, share my journey and search for the truth. I intended it only for friends (and as a creative outlet for myself) initially but have since gained followers on Twitter, Facebook and WordPress.

Some days I feel as though I live two different lives, especially working as a counsellor, feeling the pressure to be a good role model etc. but the Badlet blog has kept the other half of me alive… the half that swears and has strong opinions, judgements, challenges and is a little bit weird.

I’ve complied a list of my favourite posts below with a little description. I enjoy looking back on where I’ve come from and how I’ve grown – I hope you do as well. Thanks to all the readers – I know you’re out there, the stats don’t lie, leave me a comment sometime! Much love, Badlet.

Adelaide July 2009 – Not funny at the time but hilarious later – If it will be funny later, it’s funny now.

Hobart Sept 2009 – Glass O Whine – Trying to understand why people ‘need’ to drink alcohol.

Hobart Sept 2009 – The world would be so much shitter without you Colin – My discovery of the life changing book “No Impact Man”

Hobart Nov 2009 – My favourite kind of people – The realisation that Tasmanians are mostly redneck bogans.

Hobart Dec 2009 – Use what you have instead of buying more crap – We survived for 2.5 months.

Hobart March 2010 – This post is for you – All of you.

Hobart August 2010 – Idiots – Talking about yourself is not the same as having a conversation.

Queensland Dec 2010 – I’ll miss you like a cold shower – The truth about living in Tasmania.

Queensland Feb 2011 – Pieces of paper – Is the receipt really necessary?

Queensland April 2011 – The smart state – First impressions of life in Qld.

Queensland May 2011 – Cast your vote – Voting with your dollars.

Queensland May 2011 – Chit chat – Confessions of an anti-socialite.

Queensland May 2011 – Zuck it up – My take on Mark Zuckerberg’s meat challenge.

Queensland Jun 2011 – I need a big loan from a girl zone – Surrounded by boys!

Queensland Aug 2011 – Love is natural – No matter who you’re attracted to.

Queensland Sep 2011 – 10 reasons why I don’t have a TV – For real!

Queensland Feb 2012 – Judge not – My struggle with eating meat while pregnant.

Queensland Mar 2012 – Bad ass for life – Despite having a baby on the way!

Queensland Apr 2012 – Ask a question – Instead of talking.

UnAustralian

25 Jan

So it’s been a few years since the bombardment of ads from Meat and Livestock Australia telling us to eat more lamb. They have been very successful in their attempts to associate lamb with Australia Day and to bring lamb back as a popular option. The commercials have won people over with their humour, patriotism and jests at minorities and foreign countries – and as a result, thousands of people will be eating barbecued lamb today.

Their campaign has been very successful, and just as with the dairy industry advertising drinking milk for strong bones – people have begun to believe the message without realising that it’s a result of advertising. In this case the message being that it’s unaustralian not to eat lamb.

If “not being unaustralian” means being a drunk, racist, consumption-mad, shirtless meat-head then I’ll gladly choose unaustralianism any day. There will be no lamb (or meat) consumed at our place today not that I consider Australia Day much of a cause for celebration anyhow. Perhaps instead of eating lamb I’ll simply be grateful for the lifestyle and abundance made available to me as an Australian resident and enjoy eating plants, that grew without suffering.

They’re Afraid

9 Jan

Check out this commercial by the USA’s “Got Milk?” campaign. It’s a blatant (and poorly executed) attack on dairy alternatives claiming that if you have to shake it, it must be bad for you (and will terrify your children). The dairy industry has been preaching their false nutritional claims through advertising for well over 50 years but now that they’ve been banned from saying  “we need to drink milk for strong bones” they’ve changed their approach to attacking the competition. How immature.

This simply demonstrates how much they are struggling to advertise a product that is bad for you, cruel to animals and bad for the environment. No surprises there. Watch the video below or watch it on you tube here. The comments in response to this video are FANTASTIC!

#10 – I wonder if people realise…

4 Jan

that even though dairy products contain calcium, they in fact strip the body of calcium in much the same way that drinking a cup of coffee leaves you dehydrated. Don’t believe me?

The countries with the highest consumption of milk and other dairy products (United States, Sweden, New Zealand) also have the highest levels of osteoporosis.  But how can this be?  We have been told that more milk equals less bone loss.  Dr. Mark Hegsted of Harvard University says, “people in the US and Scandinavian countries consume more dairy products that anywhere in the world, yet have the highest rates of osteoporosis.” We see a similar phenomenon with countries that have high animal protein to vegetable protein rations – higher rate of hip fractures and osteoporosis.  Then there are the numerous studies show countries that use almost no dairy products (Hong Kong) or that consume a higher percentage of total calories from vegetable sources have much lower hip fracture rates due to osteoporosis as well as lower rates of cancer and heart disease.

Don’t believe everything advertising has told you about health!

#9 – I wonder if people realise …

12 Sep

That animal foods are far worse for the environment than plant foods. Here’s why. (click the dots to find out more).

Have a look around that website, it’s really informative.

If this is news to you, you might want to read my animal products post from a while back.

#8 – I wonder if people realise…..

20 Jul

That chia seeds contain 6 times more calcium than cow’s milk… and that contrary to what we’re led to believe, dairy products are more likely to give people osteoporosis than to prevent it as well as promoting the risk of fractures and cancer. Cows don’t automatically produce calcium, they get it from what they eat: plants.

Also watch this next time you have 40 mins spare.

#5 – I wonder if people realise…

24 Jun

just how evil supermarkets really are…

I avoid them at all costs.

Cast Your Vote

3 May

Money is powerful. Every time you spend your money on anything it serves as a vote for what you want. So are you actually voting for what you believe in?

By spending your money without awareness you may well be casting a vote that you wouldn’t necessarily agree with. For example: buying things at Target/Kmart/BigW/The Reject Shop etc. you are saying “Cheap shit made in third world countries is ok with me”. On top of that you may also be voting for slave labour, unhealthy working conditions, toxic pollution and thousands of shipping miles. But do you really agree with any of it? You certainly wouldn’t wish those things for yourself.

And when you buy an appliance from these sort of places (or from the supermarket, hardware store etc.) you are voting for designed obsolescence. There’s no question about that. In fact it’s difficult to find any electrical device that is actually built to last these days. But is it important to you that your appliances last? If so then why are you buying a toaster at Woolworths?

The system is meticulously planned to program you into being ok with the idea that things just wear out. They don’t. Or at least they shouldn’t but they do… and it’s only because they’re designed that way. They could be design to last (like they used to be) but they’re not. That’s the reason why my Mum still uses the same iron that she had 20 years ago and my iron stopped working after 18 months and I had to buy a new one. And I tried to buy an iron that wasn’t made in china and it was impossible.

Bob’s parents have the most amazing toaster. They’ve used it everyday for the past 35 years and it still goes strong (although needed fixing once). Not only is it a long lasting toaster, it’s the best toaster I’ve ever used! Why? Because it’s a fucking great design. The toaster knows when the toast is ready by feeling the change in the heat reflected off the toast NOT by using a timer like conventional toasters. Bob’s parent’s toaster never burns toast, ever… whereas my toaster always burns toast.

Let’s consider other things like food. If you eat fast food then you vote for fast food and everything that it stands for: underpaying staff, poor conditions for employees, deception, corruption, animal cruelty, genetically modified ingredients, extreme over processing of food, sugar added in everywhere, oil, high salt content, preservatives, artificial colouring, fat people. Is that what you really want for the world? Maybe it’s ok with you…

And what about the votes you cast at the servo…. vehicles running on fossil fuels, carbon emissions, plastic bottles, bullshit food, advertising, air conditioning, brand monopolies, deals telling you to buy more… more is good right? If I buy more I can save 30 cents!

Where’s the local produce, healthy food and recycling stations? That’s what I want to vote for. But how do you cast your vote when your options are so undesirable? This has plagued me for so long…

Basically there’s two options. 1) Accept that you are voting for and supporting the continuation of whatever you’re spending money on, or 2) Seek out the closest thing you can find to what you want to be supporting and spend your money consciously.

If you think that pesticides are bad for the environment and for people then support organic fruit and veg. If you don’t like the idea of eating fresh food that’s travelled long distances then shop at a store that tells you where the food originated so you can buy local. If you’re concerned at the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean then bring your own water bottle and shopping bag. If you don’t want to support cheap imported appliances then buy second hand or good quality new (if you can find it).

Think about it: who would you rather give your money to? Woolworths executives whose objective is to screw over farmers and producers or a green grocer who knows the farmer by name and offers everyone a fair price. The green grocer might cost you a bit more and might not be open at 9pm like Woolworths but  does that really matter considering the good that it will do in the world? It’s more than worth it if you ask me!

Animal Products

26 Mar

I’ve been avoiding writing about this topic for a while now but I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe to avoid being labelled as a preaching vegetarian or a vegan activist. Or maybe because the net is already SO full of blogs and websites about this stuff – and we’ve all had enough of it. Well fuck it. No more excuses. I’m not aiming to please on this blog so I’m just going to share my shit and you can take it or leave it. I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

So here’s my thoughts on human’s use of animal products.

The term “animal products” is something I’m quite desensitised to but when you actually stop and think about it, it’s pretty fucking gross. Eating, drinking, wearing stuff that came from animals – it seems normal in our society. I find it hard to imagine my leather shoes once being a cow. That’s because we’re programmed not to think about it.

Occasionally you may associate a cut of meat with the animal’s body part: ribs, breast, rump etc but even then it’s easy to detach. In fact detachment is essential if you want to continue to eat meat. Human’s are compassionate beings by nature. I’ve seen meat eaters brought to tears, turn away in disgust and become instant vegetarians after watching footage of animal slaughter for food production. I’ve also seen cowardly meat eaters refuse to watch footage like this or even hear THE TRUTH about the treatment of animals raised for food. It seems strange to me that anyone would prefer not to know the truth about anything – even if that means feeling something that challenges you. I spoke to Bob’s Dad just after I had finished reading Eating Animals and told him about the book. He seemed quite interested so I offered to lend it to him. He declined and said that he liked eating meat and probably wouldn’t want to eat it anymore after finding out the truth so he’d prefer not to know.
There’s only one word for that in my opinion: Gutless.

If you’ve seen the sort of footage that I’m talking about you cannot deny that the whole process feels wrong on every level. I personally have given up watching footage of animal slaughter as it does nothing to enrich my life and I have never encouraged anyone to do so however, if you are curious however (as many are) here’s a few tame vids to give you an idea:
Cows
Chickens

I wasn’t able to find a pig vid that didn’t have the direct audio. The audio is usually the most disturbing part. Anyway I’m sure you can look further if you’re interested. Well let’s talk a little more about the killing process… most animals are “stunned” before being “knocked” by the bolt gun and having their throats slit (or decapitated in the case of birds). Stunned means that they cannot move but can still feel everything. In many cases, the animal is not killed instantly by the bolt and feels the full pain of bleeding to death. Pain that you could never imagine.

Now think for a moment about what pain, fear, anxiety, stress does to the bodies of any mammal… adrenalin and other chemicals run through the muscles/meat. I’ve read about fear and pain being stored in the cells of the meat and seen countless individuals become vegetarian as part of their spiritual journey and find that they can then easily surrender unhelpful fear in their own life. Coincidence?

It’s common for “conscious meat eaters” to only animals that are shot in the head outdoors rather than in an abattoir like kangaroos and deer (venison) or killed humanely. Personally I think that “killed humanely” is an oxymoron although I can understand the reasoning for these choices..

So, animals raised for meat live to die, we get it. So what about their life then?
Well it’s pretty shit.
Pigs and chickens are raised in indoor environments that are so far from their natural habitat it’s not funny. Pigs are kept on concrete floors in stalls that are only slightly bigger than their bodies. Their tails are removed without anaesthetic. They are not able to turn around, roll over, run, stretch lets alone walk on grass, cool off in mud, socialise or form a bond with their offspring. They’ve been selectively bred to be meat-heavy, grow unnaturally quickly and are given antibiotics to prevent disease. It’s a mystery why antibiotics are losing their effect on humans isn’t it?

Chickens beak’s are clipped with a burning hot blade. They do not see the sun. Their factory farms are unhygienic and pungent. Their 45 day life goes so quickly that often by the time they are due for slaughter they cannot walk under their own weight. Many chickens are so abnormally heavy that they go for days or weeks before slaughter with broken legs. It is common for chickens to go crazy in the light/fresh air deprived factory farms and attack other chickens (hence the beak clipping) and a high percentage of birds experience untreated infected wounds while on their way to becoming food.

So what about cows and sheep that get to run around free in paddocks? They have a great life, right? Well it’s arguable whether a life that exists purely to die and be eaten isn’t really much a of a life at all. Cows and sheep are forced to endure weather extremes often without adequate shelter and water. Why waste water on something that’s just going to die in a couple of weeks anyway? In fact all animals have to travel long distances, sometimes hundreds of kilometres to be slaughtered while exposed to the elements and denied food and water.

Certainly cattle that get to roam around in spacious paddocks and feed leisurely on grass have the most stress free life of all animals that are bred in captivity for food. This new wave of “grain fed” animals being a healthy alternative is a bit of a crock. For most non-organic meat, these animals are fed genetically modified, pesticide laden wheat and corn. And, err… why is this good?

If the food given to cows was instead given to people the 1 billion starving people in the world could have something to eat. I’m not making this up, it’s true.

So cows chilling in a paddock might have an arguably decent life, but there are other issues to consider… Like the planet!

40% of the worlds forests have been cleared for cattle grazing. Hello? Trees absorb carbon!
Cattle grazing destroys topsoil. Nutrient rich topsoil is essential to sustain plant life. Once it’s gone, it takes years to reform – and that’s only if erosion doesn’t continue which it normally does.
One third of the planet’s surface is dedicated to livestock. Imagine if that land was dedicated to growing crops of food for people.
Animal agriculture creates 40% more carbon emissions than all transportation in the world combined and is the number 1 contributor to climate change.

Do you need to read that again?

The highest contributor to global warming is meat/dairy production. Environmentalists who eat meat are a joke.

These are real stats – check em.

Getting back to animals having shitty lives, let’s think about animals that aren’t farmed for meat but for milk and eggs.
Let’s start with chickens. Battery hens surely have the most tortured existence of all. You’ve all seen photos of them, crammed into multi-level cages, no light, no space, no standing, flying or stretching. Just sit, eat and lay eggs. That’s it. And after 12 months as egg production slows, you guessed it… dead.
So you think you’re doing you’re bit by buying only free range eggs? Until last year the term “free range” was not regulated and could be used to describe just about any battery conditions, including hens that were kept inside but given access to a tiny outdoor area for an hour per day. This is now changing and the rspca give certification to legitimate free range eggs. But guess what? Even free range, organic “happy eggs” come from chickens which are kept purely for the purpose of making money and after 18 months the chickens reach their expiry date.
So even if you have your own chickens or choose free range eggs for home, whenever you eat out or go shopping and choose a product that contains eggs, you can almost guarantee that the eggs are not free range. A slice of cake, a bottle of mayonnaise… unless specified you can bet the eggs used were from an evil battery farm.

Now finally to the poor, old dairy cow. Their story is heart wrenching. Why? We’ve all seen the cute black and white dairy cows having a chilled out life in the paddocks next to the dairy. It doesn’t seem so bad…
The cows are continually artificially inseminated to keep them in a constant state of pregnancy/lactation. If you think human women have gruelling birth experiences, imagine giving birth to a cow! LOTS of cows! Then the minute after she gives birth her calf is removed instantly from her. Cows are programmed to care for their young and experience grief and depression in the same way that a human losing a newborn would. Male calves are slaughtered for veal (if you are a vegetarian who consumes dairy – you are still a supporter of the veal industry). Female calves are separated from their mothers “to avoid attachment” and are fed GM soy and corn as well as antibiotics and other medications to prevent illness.
How fucked up is that? The offspring never get to drink the milk that is produced by their mother for them.

Humans are the only species to drink the milk of another animal.

Here’s another situation where we’ve been brainwashed and desensitised to the idea. Think about it. Drinking the milk of a COW is fucking gross.
You would cringe at the thought of sipping on the milk of a cat or the milk of a monkey or even the breast milk of another human… but drinking the breast milk of a cow if perfectly fine?
It is common practice for milk producers to milk cows with sores/wounds on their teets meaning that blood and puss end up in the final product. And dairy products do not have to contain any information about additives, preservatives added to them during processing (in fact the same goes for meat and supermarket/non-organic vegies).
So milk is one thing but what about other dairy products? Cheese is SO far removed from it’s original state that it’s incredibly easy to forget that it comes from a cow (and rennet from stomachs of cows, sheep and pigs). The further away a product is from it’s source, the easier it is to forget about where it comes from. Cheese on toast may seem like a mouth watering, quick, easy snack but it actually at some point involved a significant amount of cruelty, not to mention a whole lot of processing and many kms of travel. Are you willing to accept that?

So why should we even care about these animals? Humans have been using them for so long that it just seems normal. Let me ask you this?
Why do you have a love of birds but have no trouble eating a duck?
Why do you protect your children and not respect the cow’s desire to protect her children?
Why do you love your dog and feel fine eating a pig? Did you know that pigs are more intelligent and more loyal than dogs? In fact they are more intelligent than 3 year old humans!
A question I often ask myself is: Why are there so many vets and animal lovers who are so fine with eating meat…

The answer is: selective information filtering and LOTS of conditioning.

It would just be WRONG to go to a cafe and not see bacon & eggs and cafe lattes on the menu. Would it?
I can’t imagine a Christmas without ham/turkey/chicken. Why not?

Excuses. I’ve heard them all on this topic. We get hung up on ‘tradition’ and can’t see past the ‘convenience’ of animal products. Considering the MASSIVE cost to the earth, meat production seems far from convenient.
In fact, while inflation has seen price rises in just about everything over the past 20 years, meat prices have stayed about the same. The meat industry uses low prices to keep us eating it. So who’s paying for the inflation? The animals living their short, tortured lives in factory farms and of course, the planet.

I haven’t even touched on seafood. This post is already long enough so I’l save that for another day. If this info has made you want to learn more or create change then here’s some books, websites and films that I recommend:

More info of milk
Eating Animals Book
Food Inc Documentary
Home Documentary
Food Matters Documentary