We can be conscious and avoid the intentional harm of any species, by choosing vegan, cruelty free products, plant based diet and organic vegetables. But what about insects and pests?
While it is true that accidental deaths and injury of other tiny life-forms may not always be avoidable, here are a few simple and non-toxic ways to repel bugs and pests without harming them, your health or the planet.
Garlic: One of the best and easiest ways of repelling insects is garlic. A few peeled cloves of garlic left scattered around the house can keep roaches away. Not only that, garlic water sprayed around the house and garden can keep many pests away. No just cholesterol and heart disease, in some cultures consuming raw garlic has also been believed to ward off mosquito bites.
Cloves: To repel flies and mosquitoes slice a lemon or orange and insert a few cloves into each half and place wherever needed. Cloves and cinnamon contain ‘eugenol’, a substance that repels insects.
Oils: A very popular cure for repelling insects is citronella oil. Tea-tree oil also works to repel bedbugs, ticks and fleas. Oils can be used in aromatherapy diffusion or within a spray.
Citrus Peels: The peels of oranges and lemon rind can be effective at repelling ants, cats and insects so do not simply throw them away immediately.
Mint: Planting plenty of mint in the garden is great for warding off spiders, mice and a variety of bugs naturally. You could also spray peppermint essential oil for the same effect at home.
Bay Leaves: Whole laurel bay leaves in your kitchen shelves, cabinets and wardrobes can keep infestations of ants and bugs at bay.
Neem: Not only does neem prevent germs, cavities and skin infections, it is also fantastic as an insect repellent, both as loose leaves or powder and as essential oil.
Conkers: Spiders are mysteriously repelled by a few loose conker shells placed along the boundary of your property.
Visual Deterrents: If pigeons are getting stuck in your solar panels, try scaring them off with shiny rods, chimes, foil or tape that move in the wind. Scarecrows, owl and cat figurines in the garden also keep pests away.
Copper Tape: Copper makes an excellent barrier against slugs and snails in the garden to protect your plants without using pesticides.
Flower Power: Lavender, marigold, geranium, petunias, chrysanthemums are not only beautiful flowers but also work as natural pest repellents.
Cooking Herbs: Oregano, basil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, fennel, chives, dill, parsley, mint, catnip and lemon balm are but a few herbs reputed to keep infestations out. Their essential oils are great too.
Sunshine: A lot of natural light and strong sun is great for warding off unwanted pests and diseases, so let there be light!
Aeration: Clean and fresh air, especially cross-ventilation with plenty of windows is not only great for health but also keeps germs and bugs away. Stale environments and closed rooms however would attract infestations.
Minimalize: Not only is keeping your house clean and clutter free with minimal objects stacked around good for reducing negative energy but also works to ensure fewer infestations. Keep your home especially free of newspapers, bulky furniture, heavy curtains, carpets, plastic bags and old bedding where insects could hide.
Things to avoid: Salty foods, artificial perfumes, alcoholic drinks, sugary treats, chocolate, dairy products, cans, stale food, leftovers, food particles, junk, overflowing bins, dead animals or meat would attract pests and hence not recommended.
A Petition to Make Illegal the Killing of Animals in the name of ‘Industry’ is underway. Please sign and share it using the link below and feel free to copy the text and send this to anyone who may be of support to this cause, especially to local authorities, NGOs and leaders who may be able to take a decision upon this issue. Thank You!
Fish, chicken, pigs, cows, sheep, goat and all animals are sentient. They feel pain just like we do because unlike plants, they have neurological pain receptors. Yet, farmed animals are abused and killed in cruel ways while humans who are also animals, are protected and our murder is illegal. The time has come for humanity to wake up and for all of us to come together and ask our governments to use good sense and to protect the rights of all animals by making all slaughter and abuse illegal, whether for food, fur, leather, dairy, eggs, hunting or for any reason and using any method whatsoever.
We know that farmers would want to continue farming animals like commodities, and most people would appeal for ‘humane’ slaughter instead of a complete ban on slaughter. Humane slaughter however is an oxymoron as killing can never be a humane act, whether with pre-stunning, with creature-comforts or any kind of method whatsoever to supposedly ‘reduce’ pain or suffering. The lives of animals belong to them and not to us, and hence they should not be treated like inanimate objects or property. We need to ask ourselves if it were us in their place how would it feel and would it be justified in the name of ‘humane’ slaughter or ‘farming’ which is actually all about harming and legalization of murder and abuse just for profits.
The time has come for us appeal to all lawmakers around the world to stop the destruction of our environment and subduing our planet with any kind of intentional slaughter or killing whatsoever. Make abuse and slaughter of all animals illegal and stop this practice immediately by refusing to fund it in the name of ‘industry’, ‘products’ or ‘food’.
These are the reasons:
1. Everything we need can be obtained in plants and farming or killing of animals is absolutely unnecessary for any reason whatsoever. 2. The UN already says that meat animal farming are the worst industries for our planet causing the maximum greenhouse emissions and climate change. 3. British Dietary Association and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have already stated that plant based foods can provide adequate nourishment at all stages of life and all levels of activity. 4. The brutal murder of any creature that is sentient is a horrendous crime and should no longer be legal under no pretext whatsoever. Murder should no longer be given an industry status. 5. Misinformation being spread by industry sponsored and ill-intended research needs to stop as it misleads the public into thinking they need animal sourced nutrients for survival or health when they actually do not. 6. The fact that dangerous infections and diseases such as zoonotic and prion diseases, microbial infections, cancers, heart diseases and diabetes are caused when humans consume or come into contact with animal products such as meat, fish, poultry and dairy has been hidden from public information for too long. No such diseases are transferred from plants to us or caused by plant based diet. 7. We need to all go vegan and stop animal abuse by not funding the killing, not buying animal products or animal tested items and by creating awareness against the use of such products. However laws against animal abuse and slaughter are still necessary and inevitable. 8. Farmers who are engaged in animal abuse and slaughter based ‘industries’ can switch to much more healthier, ethical and economically productive plant based farming that saves land, water, food-grain and ends suffering of both humans and animals alike and of our planet as a whole. Business is something we can choose based on ethics and consciousness instead of merely continuing on a path that is wrong to simply maintain status-quo. 9. Killing and slaughter whether of fish, chicken, pigs, horses, cows or any animal whatsoever is a heartless act which leads to mental health disorders and criminality in not only slaughter house workers but also common public who have been trained to be insensitive to creatures around them. 10. We need to promote organic plant based farming and not use pesticides and harmful chemicals that kill insects and destroy our health. We can be kind to all creatures and at least not consciously and willingly commit or fund murder. 11. From food to clothing, consumer products, personal care, the byproducts of animal slaughter have reached most of our daily consumer goods and people are not even made aware of the fact that most of their purchases contain leftovers of murdered creatures just because these industries like to profit from every bit of the slaughtered animals. We need to ensure that all these disgusting products be replaced with clean and organic plant based items that are eco-friendly and non-toxic at the same time. 12. Consumers have the right to know where their food and products come from. There should be complete transparency. Allow consumers and ordinary public to visit slaughterhouses, factories and factory farms and witness the crimes for themselves instead of hiding the truth and preventing footage. 13. We have learnt the wrong systems, practices and habits from our ancestors, our family members, schools, peers, friends, celebrities, researchers and medical professionals who keep consuming and endorsing the use of animals in food and other products. Through this we have become insensitive, behaved like robots programmed by society and lost all our natural awareness and common sense. We need to stop condoning the evil of killing and murder now. 14. Humans have evolved from apes who are primarily fruit eaters (frugivore). Our teeth, jaws, digestive systems are not designed to process animal meat. t is totally unnatural for us to be ‘omnivores’ as we cannot eat raw animal flesh like other carnivorous or omnivorous animals do by killing other animals out in the wild. Our education system has falsely taught us that humans are omnivores and this has misinformation in our textbooks has to stop immediately. 15. Killing of animals for food is not part of the food-chain or balancing of the eco-system, infact it is quite the opposite. We breed more than 56 billion farm animals every single year just for food and trillions of fishes too. This has led to a severe erosion of our eco-system, waste of our land and resources and the single largest cause of the destruction of our planet and mass-extinction of species. There is simply no excuse to continue on this path. 16. No amount of argument that ‘it is our life and our choices’ can justify the killing of animals for food or any other purpose, because in this case it is their life, that of animals and it is not just up-to us to decide what to do with them. Just because murder of animals is not considered illegal like the murder of humans is, this practice continues. Going vegan is one part of the solution and creating strong laws against animal abuse and murder is another, including not only pets and wildlife but also farmed animals. 17. No religious scripture or deity can be quoted to justify the killing of animals. It is entirely unethical and we need to look within ourselves and open our own heart in order to feel what is right or wrong instead of letting wrong things happen because of religious beliefs. 18. We all know that plants do not suffer, but they grow back when we take their fruits and vegetables while animals suffer tremendously when they are abused and killed. Fish, chicken, cows, turkeys, pigs…humans, all lives matter. 19. Tremendous video footage has been released over the recent years to highlight the plight of animals that are raised and killed in factory farms and abattoirs. These videos and documentaries need to be seen by every person so that we can be sensitive to what animals go through and to how this has been affecting our health and our planet. Instead of restricting these videos, they should be compulsory viewing for all who have been misinformed and brainwashed into eating meat, dairy, eggs and poultry and using animal products. 20. Children have the right to know what they are eating and where it comes from. Most children are aghast when informed that they are eating the remains of an animal who was killed just for them. Children naturally love animals and are slowly programmed to become insensitive to their plight. We need a mass education of all parents and children so that we can for the first time think for ourselves and open our heart by learning love and compassion for all creatures and towards our planet, something that has been missing from our curriculum at both school and home.
A lot of people believe that religions infuse morality and values in society, yet a proper reading of actual religious literature exposes some shocking quotes and verses that are as far from ethics as can be. While a lot of wonderful sayings are quoted from religious literature and teachings, it is also good for us to take an objective look at what has gone wrong and make a conscious effort to break free from the matrix of religion and replace any scriptural contradictions with good sense that comes from within.
Abuse of Women: Religions often reflect social attitudes based on an inferior treatment of women with rape, domestic abuse and an overall lack of gender equality prevalent even to this day in most countries and cultures. Consider the Biblical passage 1 Corinthians 11.3 ‘the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God’ and Timothy ‘Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. Do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet’. According to Quran, verse 4:34 ‘Men are in charge of women by right of what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend for maintenance from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in the husband’s absence what Allah would have them guard. But those wives from whom you fear arrogance – first advise them; then if they persist, forsake them in bed; and finally, strike them.’ In some Islamic countries women are not permitted to be independent even to this day. Hindu literature such as The Laws of Manu, 9.2-3 state, ‘Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males of their families… A woman is not fit for independence’ and this attitude has been prevalent in many Hindu families. Regarding a woman accused of not being a virgin on her wedding night, Deuteronomy 22:20-21 of the Bible says ‘If.. no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.’
Earth and Environment: Most religions have believed that a ‘higher’ being called God created Earth, making the planet inferior in comparison to God. According to such religions humans beings are superior as they are created in the image of God and that the creator has bestowed special authority and rights to humans over all of earth to dominate over. According to Genesis 1:25 ‘Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth and in Genesis 1:29 ‘The fear and dread of you will fall on every living creature on the earth, every bird of the air, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are delivered into your hand.’ The Judgement and Last Days are prophecies of horror upon earth meted by God and his angels as detailed in Revelations ‘The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.’and in Quran 56:4-6 , ‘when the earth is shaken with convulsion, and the mountains are broken down, crumbling, and become scattered dust.’
Ritual Slaughter: Popular religious literature are replete with animal sacrifices mentioned multiple times in continuance of pagan traditions. For example, Quran 22:36 ‘The animal offerings are among the rites decreed for you by God. In them there are benefits for you. So mention God’s name on them while they are lined up, then, once they collapse on their sides, you shall eat therefrom and feed the poor and the needy’. Bible’s Exodus 29.10-14 ‘You shall slaughter the bull before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. You shall take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; and you shall pour out all the blood at the base of the altar.’ This tradition of killing and blood sacrifice extended in Jesus’s sacrifice as the ‘lamb of God’ with his blood purifying believers of the religion. Hindu texts such as Ramayana mention Lord Rama hunting animals such as deer while ritual sacrifice of bulls and other animals such as Horses is detailed in ‘yagyas’ such as Ashvamedha or horse sacrifice in Rig Veda Chapter I Hymn CLXII ‘ The four-and-thirty ribs of the Swift Charger, kin to the Gods, the slayer’s hatchet pierces. Cut ye with skill, so that the parts be flawless, and piece by piece declaring them dissect them…Such of his limbs as I divide in order, these, amid the balls, in fire I offer..’ When it comes to ‘blood’ some religious people feel they can drain or wash off the blood and eat the flesh not the blood….some scriptures encourage you to eat animals slaughtered a special way, or to eat specific animals. Originally in Genesis in the sixth day of creation, after creating human God says ‘ Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all of earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food.’ Later after being upset with humans for being evil God destroys everyone except Noah and his ark and then permits eating of animals.
Racial Discrimination: Gods in religion have been partial to certain communities and castes at times, for instance the Biblical deity favors Israel and curses Egyptians with several plagues and wrath including killing of newborns in order to display his power sparing people of Moses who were instructed to smear blood of lamb upon their doors described as the Lord’s Passover in Exodus 12. ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.’ This Passover is a popular Jewish festival. In Hindu texts such as Manusmriti caste system has been detailed which has led to centuries of social stigma and discrimination against what is denoted as ‘lower caste’ or ‘Shudra’ by birth or work while giving higher respect to ‘Brahmins’ or priestly class.
Child Abuse: The horrors of circumcision have been imposed upon babies and the practice is strangely widespread in religious cultures promoting male circumcision as well as in some cases female genital mutilation, both of which are painful and forced upon the child by parents. While FGM has been criticized internationally, male circumcision, in-spite of being extremely painful and in certain cases fatal has been widely promoted by the medical and religious community to preserve the tradition. Child marriages while abolished in many countries are still prevalent in many cultures and ancient texts whether Biblical or Islamic have also included dowry as payment to the bride’s family in return of marrying the bride which may have led to families marrying young girls early to the highest bidder. In Hindu societies a reverse dowry in which women’s families pay large amounts to the groom’s family has led to numerous deaths of brides who are unable to arrange payment. Due to the overemphasis on respecting elders and obeying one’s parents in religious instructions of most cultures, child abuse and pedophilia has been a common social phenomena that often goes unnoticed in families although religious institutions such as churches have been strongly accused of the same. Ritual child abuse and infanticide has not been unheard of in ‘tantric’, pagan, shamanic and tribal rites.
Harmful Superstitions: Fear based ideas such as demons, devil, sin, angry and vindictive gods, hell and eternal torment of the soul and condemnation preached to the masses including children in religious institution can cause tremendous psychological harm. Images of fearsome deities, sacrifice, crucifix, torture and judgement day or apocalypse can be equally terrifying to sensitive individuals. The story of Adam and Eve exposes angry Gods who lies to humans to keep us away from knowledge and curse us, and the story of the Tower of Babel where the same jealous Gods divide us and confuse our languages directly goes against the concept of truth and love as God. Paranoia of witchcraft has contributed to the murder of thousands of innocent women and children for no fault of theirs by simply accusing them of bringing upon misfortune on families and neighborhoods. This practice has been continuing to this day not only in villages of India and Africa but also in certain parts of the western world especially in closed communities with intervention of priests in many a case to exorcise the child accused of being possessed by devil or bad spirits. The Bible clearly states in Exodus, ‘You must not allow a sorceress to live in Exodus 22:17’ and with no clear understanding of who is a ‘sorceress’ any woman could be accused and put to death whether or not actually a witch and even if she had no malicious intentions.
Religious Bias and Prejudice: Some religions preach that those who accept and follow their faith are righteous and forgiven while those of other faith are unrighteous and condemned. This gives right to biased and prejudiced attitudes even if unexpressed verbally and a superiority complex based on a belief that followers of the said religion are special people of God or the chosen ones for heaven while non-believers are inferior. These attitudes are openly conveyed by believers of popular faiths whether through churches or religious literature which are in continuous circulation despite of the perpetration of religious tensions, fundamentalism and hate crimes in many parts of the world. Multiple passages in religious scriptures speak of killing and judgement of pagans, idol worshipers, those who practice divination, work with spirit or practice magical arts. Believers also prevent others from saying anything at all regarding any of the unethical aspects of their faith so that we respect their religious sentiments even though they seem to not have much respect for any other views except that of their religion. In the past Blasphemers have been executed or killed and till date there are countries where the national faith has to be respected regardless of ethics if one does not wish to be severely punished by law.
Wars: Not only has the history of earth been marred by religious wars such as jihads and crusades, religions have also been tools for controlling the minds of people with an aim of political domination by monarchs and dictators. Royalty, Nations and Parliaments have had many conflicts, civil wars and fights for defending their religious sect for example Protestantism in Britain, and the continuous wars in the middle east. Religious texts are replete with glorification of war crimes, for example Psalm 137.9 of the Bible, the popular song By the rivers of Babylon goes, ‘O Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, blessed is he who repays you as you have done to us. Blessed is he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks’ while Isaiah 13.16 states ‘Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be ravished. Bhagvad Gita was dictated on the battleground to motivate Arjuna to fight in war against his own relatives by Krishna who displayed his enormous form and delivered a mesmerizing philosophical speech to convince his disciple to participate in war. Quran chapter 9 says, ‘fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)’ and verse 8.65 ‘Prophet! Rouse the believers to wage war. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will subdue two hundred: if a hundred, they will subdue a thousand of the disbelievers’
Animal Husbandry: Treating animals as possessions and slaves against their will, kidnapping them, forcefully breeding them, stealing their milk and eggs and finally killing them for food has been the largest continuing problems of human society yet legalized as an industry. Regardless of ample scientific evidence concerning health, nutrition and environment to support transition to plant based and vegan living, people still justify the abuse and murder of dairy cows, male calves, hens, male chicks and billions of farmed animals year after year. The common religious excuses are that Krishna loved dairy, Rama and Sita ate meat, Jesus ate fish and that popular texts such as Bible and Quran state that God allowed humans to eat ‘every moving thing’ with very few exceptions. No amount of nutrition education or documentary evidence of animal suffering seems to move the hearts of some people who are brainwashed by religion and culture and addicted to taste.
Human Slavery: Religious scriptures have promoted slavery, sexual slavery and apartheid as stated in Peter 2.18 ‘Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.’ Exodus 21:7-11 ‘When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again’, and Leviticus 25:44-46 ‘you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.’ Verse 33:50 of Quran ‘ We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom God has given you as booty. We all are aware of the terrors of Boko Haram in Nigeria and Daesh in the middle east with women and children captured and taken as slaves.
Plagiarism: Many people are now beginning to examine how religious scriptures may have been influenced or plagiarized from other historic sources predating the common era by thousands of years. Similarities exist for example Biblical Seven Days of Creation to Mesopotamian Seven tablets of Creation called Enuma Elis, the Genesis flood and Noah’s Ark is strikingly similar to the flooding and ark in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Exodus to the Ipuwer papyrus, Ten Commandments to Babylonian Code of Hamurrabi, the Biblical stories of devil being defeated resembles visions of deities such as Durga overcoming ‘asuras’, the story of Christ and Second coming bear semblance to birth of Krishna and his return as Kalki Krishna avatar at the ‘end times’. The claim of western religion that it is the one and only true religion and their scriptures are from God, or that their God is the only true God are not usually regarded as factual with the diversity of rich and complex mythologies from Egypt, India and from all over the planet enriching our understanding of religious history.
It is indeed strange that all these religious texts no matter how violent or unethical are still legal and widely circulated as ‘holy’ and ‘noble’, and taught even to children. Children are considered to be ‘born into’ faith by parents and often ‘baptized’ as if they are bound to the beliefs of parents by default. We are required to respect religious beliefs for fear of how strong minded adherents of these beliefs could react, having seen tremendous violence and terrorism from religious believers and fundamentalists in the past. We continue to appreciate and accept religious scriptures regardless of what is actually written in them, either because we do not have time to read every line the voluminous texts or because we would rather not use our own minds when faced with grandiose authority of religious preachers and elders. In either case when it comes to ethics, we can only heal our planet by rejecting those parts of religion that have been very harmful and focusing instead on only liberal, positive and equality based messages from all sources, religious or otherwise, especially the voice of our own hearts.
His Master’s Voice (science fiction) was one of the three books (other two were non-fiction and highly recommended – Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss and Drive by Daniel Pink) I had selected for bedtime reading as the clock winds down to the new year and must confess, Stanislaw Lem is the name I missed out coming of age, as a fan of hard science fiction! This story easily o’er-leaps the credibility meter (as is wont of any good science fiction writer) but surprisingly, turns into critical non-fiction and although the story isn’t big, it isn’t what one can read in a go (see Amazon reviews).
I was drawn to it by this post on good holiday books for tech pros (second in the list) and indeed what starts as an attempt to decode a neutrino signal by a cross-section of scientists becomes an impossible Rorschach test not only for mankind but possibly for conscious life that may arise in the universe.
The irony is the very act of trying to understand that message can itself lead a civilization towards new technology and scientific discovery if not sweeping socioeconomic and cultural changes yet one can never ascertain the fact or say exactly, who sent the message, why or what it is about. More importantly, a non benevolent race is unlikely to even get that far…
I found last couple of chapters the most compelling (feel free to skip right to it) as not only it brings out the cherished world views of scientists involved and their final arguments front and center but reminds us philosophy is to be studied not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true but for the questions themselves because they enlarge our perception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and minimizes the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation, whenever we find beliefs challenged.
From the opening chapter of His Master’s Voice: “We stood at the feet of a gigantic find, as unprepared but also as sure of ourselves, as we could be. We clambered on it from every side, quickly, hungrily and cleverly with our time-honored skills like ants. I was one (sic). This is the story of an ant.”
We all know about the impact humans have had on the environment, whether by cutting down trees, filling our oceans with plastic or polluting our air with greenhouse gases leading to an human-made climate change. Fortunately there are somethings that we can all do right from the comfort of our homes.
Food: A planet friendly diet of fruits and vegetables, especially organically farmed is sustainable and cruelty-free. Animal farming has been contributing more greenhouse gases than all our vehicles put together and has also added to severe shortage of land, grains and water. Sourcing our food from organic farmers who do not use plastic packaging or growing your own food in your allotment or backyard, and cooking or raw-eating at home can dramatically reduce garbage created by food processing industry and supermarket shopping.
Personal Care: Much of our garbage consists of toiletries, makeup and personal care items encased in plastic and filled with harmful chemicals as well as extracts from killed animals. You would be surprised that fruits called soapnuts or soapberries such as shikakai and reetha, tied in muslin and soaked in a cup of warm water can totally replace all of our shampoos, detergents, dish-washing or cleaning liquids. Similarly neem, licorice, babool or meswak sticks that can be chewed and rubbed on teeth after each meal can completely replace all tooth-cleaning products to leave us with healthier and squeaky clean teeth,while reducing cold and flu at the same time by their natural medicinal juices.
Cleaning Aids: Plastic brooms, brushes and scouring pads can all add to non-biodegradable waste. These can be easily replaced with pure cotton or coconut scrubbers, traditional plant based broomsticks (traditional besoms of the west and jhadus of India) and cloth wipes (pochas used in India) with metal buckets for cleaning floor and surfaces. Loofahs made of dried up fruit called gourd are a fantastic biodegradable replacement for kitchen sponges too. Biodegradable bin liners are already replacing plastic bin liners all over the world and we can use metal or bamboo bins for containing our waste instead of plastic.
Menstrual Hygiene: Napkins, pads and tampons are not only expensive and single-use, they also can add to plastic and non-recyclable waste. Menstrual cups are an inexpensive option that can last a lifetime as you simply empty, wash, fold and reinsert it and vegan cups that do not have animal testing are in vogue.
Toilet Hygiene: Wipes and rolls of paper take a toll on our environment too by using trees. Bamboo paper is being used by some manufacturers to save trees as it is more sustainable than virgin or recycled paper rolls. However the traditional Indian system of washing with water and soapy solution and wiping with a personal towel could save a lot more trees. While ‘jet-spray gun’ attachments are normally fixed in Indian toilets adjacent to the toilet bowl, they are new to western loos where bidet attachments are being introduced within the toilet seat itself.
Medicine: Most of our healthcare needs can be handled at home with a few kitchen herbs, clean environment, rest, yoga, meditation, energy healing and a healthy plant based diet. Simple home remedies such as cloves for pain relief, cinnamon and turmeric for antiseptic, licorice for cough, cumin, carom and fennel seeds for digestion, holy basil for fever, eucalyptus oil and mint for cold and aches can greatly reduce clinic visits and make us less dependent on synthetic, animal tested drugs and environmentally toxic pharma products. Make your own medicine by grinding a few kitchen herbs such as cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, licorice, fennel, cardamom seeds, cloves and dates to make ‘churan’ rolls for digestive health and to ward off common ailments.
Accessories: Carry bags, shoes, table-mats, home-decor, laundry and waste bins, and curtains can all be easily made with jute, bamboo,hemp and other sustainable plant based fibers that are completely eco-friendly and cruelty-free while looking beautiful at the same time.
Clothes: Synthetic clothes have filled the marketplace in the last few decades and not many people realize that they are not planet friendly or skin friendly as compared to plant based and less industry intensive options such as ‘khadi’ cotton or hand-loom and hemp fabric.
Kitchen and Tableware: In addition to eliminating single use plastic straws, disposable cutlery and bone china or ceramic that contain animal parts and hence not cruelty-free, we can also use eco-friendly storage containers, serving dishes, spice jars and bottles of water made of glass, bamboo,terracotta or earthenware.
Furniture: Instead of wood, plastic and synthetics that are harmful for environment or leather upholstery and feathered cushions which are animal intensive and cruelty based, we can opt for environment friendly cane and bamboo furniture with natural plant based fabric for cushions and seats.
Stationery: Environment friendly and sustainable paper such as bamboo paper and bamboo stationery that saves trees, plant based plastics for scissors, paper instead of cello-tapes, vegan glues, plant based brushes and canvas, non-toxic crayons, eco-friendly pens instead of plastic are some of the everyday items that we can be more mindful of while shopping.
Electronics: Instead of plastic intensive laptops, tablets and phones, some manufacturers are introducing environment friendly electronic gadgets including recyclable laptops to eliminate the sizable e-waste that is threatening our planet.
Toys: Plastic toys have been far too prevalent in the market, but we can now choose wooden and environment friendly toys even as toy manufacturers have started to think about plant based plastics to replace conventional ones. Eco-friendly handicraft toys are beautiful and give children a chance to appreciate creative crafts too.
Travel: From simply walking, cycling or jogging down to work, school or shopping whenever distance permits, to using public transport instead of private cars we can drastically reduce fuel consumption and our carbon footprint. Shopping locally and using homemade products can also help us be carbon neutral by avoiding unnecessary transportation or import of goods. Electric and solar powered vehicles including solar air-crafts have already been introduced.
Housing: Sustainable and environment friendly homes include those built with recycled material, terracotta tiles and roofs, home on wheels or boats as well as quirky tree-houses incorporating rainwater harvesting, recycling water and sewage for growing trees, growing your own food, natural ventilation and solar paneling. Earthship Global for example specializes in sustainable housing.
Plastics have invaded our homes, our soil and even our oceans and rivers to such as extent that it looks almost apocalyptic.
Ordinary plastic, including some sugarcane plastics may be recyclable but not thoroughly biodegradable. Some countries such as India which have difficulties in recycling have attempted to ban plastics already. While eliminating plastic products is the ideal solution, we can get closer home by creating more environment friendly bio-plastics.
Here are a few alternatives:
While using banana leaves for plates is an ancient tradition, in India leaf plates or ‘donas’ have been used since centuries as bio-degradable and environment friendly utensils that are very affordable.
2. Potato Starch can be used to create edible bags and cutlery.
3. Edible cutlery made of wheat, millet and rice can be either eaten or decomposed
4. Cassava or Tapioca starch can be fashioned into plastic bags too
5. Hemp Plastics can replace ordinary plastic to create a range of products
6. Corn Plastics are already being used in a range of products to replace non-biodegradable plastics
7. Sugarcane Bagasse is a waste product of sugarcane that can be fashioned into eco-friendly plastic-ware too
8. Rice plastic has also been developed
9. Peels of fruits such as oranges and bananas could also be used for manufacturing plastic
If we are pained by descriptions of how humans were treated in Nazi gas chambers and concentration camps then there is no reason why we should not be pained by this which is far more inhuman. For the World Vegan Month, in this free documentary filmed in Australia as well as UK, US, China, India, Canada and many parts of the world, we see the shocking truth about how animals have been treated every single day, even till now in the highly profitable meat, poultry and dairy industry.
The filth, infections, poisons and diseases in sheds and the blood baths in slaughter houses will make you think twice before consuming meat, if not for the sake of animals then at least for the mental and physical health of your own family. Learn how many of the practices that are labelled ‘humane’ and declared ‘legal’ by authorities and animal welfare organisations are actually so cruel that most of us are not even able to see the videos without being brave. For those unable to watch the transcript is educative https://www.dominionmovement.com/transcript, however watching this film helps us understand what suffering is beyond our own so that we can awaken our heart and take action by educating the masses and campaigning to protect the innocent.
As we focus on world peace, spiritual ascension and earth healing, we know that this is impossible without improving how we are treating other creatures on our planet. This is why this documentary is a must watch for all humans on earth so that we can stop supporting industries that abuse and kill animals and call for a global ban on slaughter and meat which is long overdue. After-all, we have known for a while how all of our nutritional needs can be fully met without harming any creature and with cleaner and greener ways of living.
We all know that smoking, alcohol and processed meat all are listed as top contributors to diseases such as Cancer, Heart Ailments, Diabetes, Asthma and many more. Yet we find there are absolutely NO laws whatsoever against any of these. Most ignored of these health risks is that of the animal meat industry. Although we still have awareness campaigns to help people quit smoking and alcohol, speaking against meat and animal products is considered taboo even within families and invites criticism not only from healthcare experts but also your own friends and colleagues.
We are constantly sold more meat, poultry and dairy by packaging and marketing them as ‘good for health’ while we are told that vegans and vegetarians could be deficient in nutrients and therefore more likely to die early, even though in countries such as India it is common to see people who are totally vegetarian since birth with absolutely fantastic health. Those of us in the healing and well-being service have heard from people who halted or even reversed cancer by simply eliminating meat from their diet, and I have such received testimonials personally some of from my clients. It is easy to understand that killing and abuse of animals in industries can ensure that we get all kinds of animal feces, pus, diseases and germs in our diet which has excessive vitamin B12 just like feces has. In contrast plant diets can provide all of our nutrients in much healthier and cleaner ways. Most of the strongest animals on our planet such as elephants, rhinoceros, chimpanzees, gorillas, bulls, horses are primarily herbivores or plant eaters which should be a clear indication that our researches that tell us we need animal proteins and dairy calcium for strength or health are not entirely true.
This well made free documentary can help us understand how many of the researches we read about in media and online that claim that non-vegetarian diet is essential for health and longevity have been actually sponsored by meat, dairy and poultry producers which is why laws against them are never passed, or any health warnings ever provided on meat and animal products. Reading such research on benefits of milk, eggs or meat is more like reading on the health benefits of cigarettes in research sponsored by the tobacco industry. What is even more lucrative for governments and corporate profiteers is the money to be made through the pharmaceutical industry in keeping us ill instead of healthy simply to sell more drugs which is why doctors and medical professionals are brainwashed in their education to prescribe drugs and to not promote a vegan diet.
As expected many criticisms ‘debunking’ this documentary have been released in popular media and by health or nutritional professionals in a clear demonstration of how truth is covered up out of fear by the organized industry cartels and sponsored research. You could view this documentary yourself and take your own stand.