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Back on board

14 Oct

You might recall that during my pregnancy I had undeniable cravings for meat. You can read more about my journey with meat eating here.

I had never really cooked much meat before this, so I was confronted with the reality of learning to cook it and, you know I love cooking right? So I’m sad to admit that I actually started to get creative with it and even enjoy it a little.

I had hoped that once giving birth that I could give up meat eating instantly but I found that early on the cravings got worse! Breastfeeding left me feeling dehydrated and hungry all the time and I was craving nutrient dense, high protein food, I was after all, making milk! I was eating around 6 meals in 24 hours and my body was going crazy for meat.

So now not only had I begun to feel used to the meat cravings I was actually enjoying cooking and eating it. It went from being a medicinal addition to my diet to a staple. So now that I’m no longer breastfeeding, my body has calmed down and as I’d hoped, my meat cravings have dissipated. The problem is now that I have an appreciation for meat in my life that I never had before. What’s a girl to do?

Thankfully after being a vego for so long it was impossible for me to eat meat unconsciously. I am very aware of what my choices support and had to make peace with that. I’ve recently been inspired by people who do the occasional-ethical-meat-eating thing and I think that for the time being, that’s what I’m going to do. In no way am I going to have it regularly but I have decided that every once in a while I might choose to have some. I am ok with this.

Still, please don’t offer me meat at your place or expect to be served any at my place. I’ll choose when and where I have it or if I have it at all. That being said, I’m SO glad to be rid of those damn cravings!

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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.

Judge Not pt 3

12 Mar

I love to tell the truth. I love to share my stories and my journeys. However confessing to having eaten meat after 6 years without it was far more difficult than I had imagined.

Some of my fellow vegetarians judged me so harshly that they were bordering on cancelling the friendship with me altogether. To them I was just another failed vegetarian. Using pregnancy as an excuse to justify my disconnection from my food. And I must admit, if I was in their situation it’s likely that I might have had a sneaky judgement too.

I remember meeting a woman years ago in one of my classes who told me her story of surrendering her vegetarian ethics during pregnancy. Although I was outwardly compassionate, since then I have always thought to myself “I will never do that. It’s easy to have a balanced diet without meat whether you’re pregnant or not!”. When I finally allowed myself to eat some meat I judged myself for being “one of those people”. For a while I labelled myself as a cop out. And it turned out that my vego friends didn’t see me as much more than a cop out either. So I confessed to some meat eaters…

Remember part 1 of this post? Yep. Most meat eaters just welcomed me back to their side, content that I had finally “seen the light” and stopped being a protein deficient whinger. Thankfully I have a good understanding of the grips of the ego and how fiercely people will defend their truth so I was able to take these reactions lightheartedly. But still, I received very little appreciation for the huge emotional transformation that had taken place within me and the amazing power of my body to accurately tell me what it needs.

I found this appreciation of course in my spiritually aware friends, those who also listen to the needs of their body and make changes accordingly. At the end of the day I realised that all that matters is that I am comfortable with my own actions. I don’t really care whether or not people accept my choices or if they use my actions as a way of justifying their own actions. All of this is beyond my control.

It is my intention to continue having small amounts of meat during my pregnancy and I hope to revert to a vegetarian diet once the baby is born however I now know that I need to listen to the needs of my body first and foremost and I remain open to any changes that my inner voice may suggest.

Read part 2 of this post.

Judge Not pt 2

10 Mar

So I may have found peace with the eating habits of others but I’ve had a recent struggle accepting my own food journey. Since being pregnant I have been craving meat…. severely. I’ve been vego for about 6 years and I had the occasional meat craving in the beginning, but for the past 3 years, I’ve not found meat appealing at all.

So as you can imagine, I was completely baffled when my body started telling me that I needed desperately to eat meat. I know that my nutrient, vitamin and mineral levels are all good but just in case, I tried eating iron rich foods and ensuring my protein intake was abundant. I did this for a month while I dealt with daily cravings and nothing changed. During that month I went on an amazing emotional journey which began with a fierce attachment to my version of “right” and “wrong”. My values were being severely challenged by these cravings and some days I shocked myself when I realised that I was actually considering eating meat. What the hell was wrong with me?

I kept thinking about all the reasons that I don’t eat meat in the first place and it felt as if I had a war going on inside my head. Listen to my body or listen to my values… that was the choice I had to make. It’s not often that we’re torn between to two.

So the question I had to ask myself was, “Will I be able to cope emotionally with the impact of my actions if I do try some meat?”. This is not an easy question to answer. I thought of all the people who mindlessly eat meat at every meal and I thought of all the ways in which I am environmentally conscious in comparison to the general population. I could sense that I was trying to justify my desire to eat meat but the inner voice telling me to eat it was becoming too much to bear.

With all of my medical struggles over the past year I have worked with some amazing professionals, all of whom have encouraged me to listen to and trust my body. As I developed this communication with my body I have become intuitively aware of what foods I need to include and what foods I need to avoid, so this whole meat thing was really testing my relationship with my body.

After weeks of emotional turmoil I finally concluded that I would not know for sure unless I allowed myself to try it and see. I knew that my body would tell me if if wasn’t right. Realising this allowed me to find peace with it all. I knew I couldn’t consume meat if I felt terrible about it so I had to reach a point of acceptance. What a transformative journey.

So, yes I tried some meat. (this is where staunch vegans unfollow me on twitter) I didn’t struggle with it. My body was fine with it. I gave thanks to the animal that had suffered and I approached the entire process with openness and peace. And the next day….. ALL OF MY RANDOM DIGESTIVE SYMPTOMS WERE GONE. Completely gone. All of the weird gas, burps, tummy aches and nausea had vanished without a trace. Until this point I was not consciously aware of how unpleasant those symptoms actually were and how much grief they had caused me.

After about a week the symptoms returned and I tried some meat again and once again, I felt instantly better. I don’t understand exactly how or why this was happening but it allowed me to see a potential weekly meat dish as something amazingly therapeutic, and I let go of any remaining concerns about whether or not I was doing the right thing. I have to trust my body on this one. It wasn’t until I started to tell people about my journey that I was struggling again, this time with the judgements and values of other people. More on this in part 3 of this post.

Read part one of this post here.

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!

Bold Native

8 Jan

Watch here for free! It’s a feature film about animal liberation activists. It’s good!

Find out more here http://boldnative.com/

Garbage Warrior

3 Nov

This guy is a pioneer in sustainable architecture and environmentally friendly housing. He built the first “desert houses” in New Mexico in the 1970’s. Really cool doco. This is the full film. Watch it next time you’ve got some spare time.

#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.

#6 – I wonder if people realise…

29 Jun

that the plastic waste and litter that gets washed down drains and waterways (particularly in the Northern hemisphere) ends up here

The plastic breaks into tiny pieces that are eaten by fish and birds as well as contaminating the water. If you’d like to see some quick vids to learn more please watch this and this. I also highly recommend this documentary. It’s free to watch it.

Don’t give up!

27 Jun

I recently heard someone say that recycling is pointless, that we should just put everything into landfill and be done with it.

You’re probably about as dumbfounded right now as I was when I heard this. I couldn’t believe it. People, even now, believe this. It’s terribly sad. Firstly, let’s look at how this common misconception starts and then spreads….

With the exclusion of people who for whatever reason simply cannot participate in recycling household products it’s widely believed that everybody should recycle. We’re taught that recycling is good and ethical and that we should do it. Most people accept this and have no problem with the act of recycling in fact they enjoy it because they know that they’re making a contribution to a better planet. But there are still many people who are able to recycle yet choose not to. This comes down to one or any combination of these three things:

Laziness – I can’t be bothered recycling

Self Righteousness – I shouldn’t have to recycle

Misinformation – I believe that recycling is a waste of time

So, lazy and self righteous people have probably had an entire lifetime to develop these habits and are unlikely to change anytime soon without intervention. There’s not much we can do for them. The misinformed people on the other hand have the potential to do some serious damage because it’s more likely that they’ll be passionate and motivated, unlike the other two… we can help them!

So why would people believe that plastic, glass, metals and other waste that could be recycled is better off in the ground?

Because it takes more energy to recycle items and turn them into something new than it does to just ‘create a new one’. And the output is significantly less than the input. And many recyclables are shipped overseas to be processed. So why bother?

The above is only true for certain materials. Some things use less energy to be recycled than to create from new and some materials, like aluminium have the equal outputs to inputs. Regardless of the specifics, it’s thinking like this that has gotten humans into all the trouble that we currently face and it’s less than helpful. Here’s why….

Energy is only one part of manufacture. It’s not that simple. First we need to consider where the materials for the product are coming from and how easily they can be replaced. As it turns out, the items that we normally recycle have been selected because they are not made from renewable resources. Plastic (oil), glass and metals all come out of the ground and are finite. This means that one day they will run out (probably not in the misinformed person’s lifetime which is likely to be why they do not care). This is a good reason to recycle them regardless of the energy used to do so.

So we can’t keep making new stuff forever. And what about the REAL costs of making things from virgin materials in the first place? The statistic above about recycling using more energy than creating new products may be true of the actual energy used in a factory that spits out glass bottles. But what about everything that needs to happen BEFORE that factory can start producing the bottles? Example:

First of all, glass is made from limestone, sand, sodium carbonate and aluminium. These materials come from all over the place and even before they are transported long distances to the factory to be made into glass they need to be mined out of the ground first! This involves huge amounts of energy, resources and infrastructure and don’t forget that these materials are non-renewable!! Glass requires the materials to be processed/crushed using powerful machinery and to be heated to very high temperatures BEFORE the materials are again transported, processed, heated and combined to create glass. AND mining usually results in the destruction of irreplaceable natural habitats.

So even though the factory that recycles old glass bottles to turn them into new ones may use more power than the factory that combines all the mined and transported materials to make new glass, this comparison is by no means realistic when all the other factors of creating new glass are considered.

Also landfill is not a magic place that makes problems disappear. There are numerous issues with burying waste in the ground. Public health, emissions, space not to mention environmental damage and pests. Land needs to be cleared to make way for landfills, habitats are destroyed and pests invade. Sites need to be deep, protected and away from highly populated areas leaving few desirable options in already occupied areas.

Transporting waste (that could be recycled) further away creates unnecessary pollution which will only increase as existing sites fill up and new ones are built even further away again. As many recyclable items break down they release carbon dioxide and methane even moreso if they have not been cleaned and still contain food. Items like glass will never break down. Buried forever when it could be recycled. As the content of landfills breakdown they also release toxins into the atmosphere, the soil and into precious ground water.

Bob has been looking into technology whereby old landfill sites will be mined to sort and recycle the contents. This is now becoming a common practice as humans recognise the mistakes that we’ve made and try to do something to fix them. Imagine how much energy and resources could have been saved if those recyclable items were never buried in the first place.

Just because it can’t be ‘perfect’ now doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t at least make an attempt at doing something that’s on the way to perfect. This is how humans work. We start with an idea and then we improve on it and make it better. If we decided that recycling was too inefficient now and gave it up then you can imagine how much extra waste humans would produce and how quickly we would run out of resources?

Consider this: We continue recycling even though at this stage it is inefficient due to the carbon miles and energy involved. As we progress we find more efficient and local ways to recycle AND before too long renewable energy is available which reduces (or eliminates) the environmental impact that recycling used to have. As we move into the future we will continue to improve both production and system design resulting in an efficient (near perfect) approach to sustainable recycling.

THIS  WILL  HAPPEN. Isn’t this a reason to try instead of giving up now?