If I Had A Superpower…

If I had a superpower, it would be to slow down time, while preserving my actions in real time. I would use this ability to write this blog post while freezing everything else that’s going on!

In all seriousness, that would be a pretty awesome “superpower.” Get stuff done with life is on “pause?” But then, wouldn’t the pause affect the stuff you’re trying to do? Ah, the questions…that’s why we love comic books so much, I guess. They allow us to suspend belief in reality for long enough to enjoy a good story.

Any super power I would want would indeed ultimately affect my time management, as well as what I was able to get done. If lifting cars and reading minds was easy, then we wouldn’t need superpowers to do it, right? Still, the idea of a supernatural ability is intriguing; I’m sure science will one day “wow” us with what it can achieve through stem cell research or neurological wizardry.

Until then, time is not paused, so my brief Day 3 interlude must come to an end. A cheap shot, perhaps, but a post nonetheless!

Note: This post is a part of series for WEGOHealth’s “Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge,” which can you read more about here.

Man Is The Animal (#HAWMC Day 2)

The devils of past religions have always, at least in part, had animal characteristics, evidence of man’s constant need to deny that he too is an animal, for to do so would serve a mighty blow to his impoverished ego. -Anton LaVey

Today’s quote comes from the founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey. LaVey was an eccentric character; he easily took the aesthetic value of Satanism to its extremes to grab headlines and get attention, while still preaching the anti-Christian, anti-theist nature of Satanism and its accompanying decadence. Whether Satanism (LaVeyan satanism, that is, not Luciferianism) is valid is not something I want to debate right now. While there may be merit to some of its principles, the quote above deftly sums up the resistance most people have to veganism: our long held belief that we must be above the animals, or else our precious ego might suffer, as LaVey alludes.

Why else is the devil a goat? Why are pigs and pork products considered “unclean” in Muslim and Jewish tradition? If the devil is in them, then it cannot be in “us.” But are we really that much different from the goat, the pig, or the animal with the “cloven hoof?” No, of course not. Sentience is the criteria for moral consideration – whether pain matters – not some arbitrary maxim on high from a divine entity. LaVey’s quote is inspiration to me because it cuts through the bullshit about our relationship to the world. We are just another species, another group of mammals trying to survive, and while we may have done a “decent” job by some standards, we’re wrecking the world for the rest of our fellow animals. Orangutans are being murdered for palm oil, bees are dying from crop pesticides, and the fish of the world continue to die off in massive numbers. Some will say, “so what?” but a healthy earth relies on a diversity of species – us included – and humans have a penchant for saying “me first” almost exclusively.

So remember, we are animals. We love, and want love, just like dogs and cats, pigs and chickens, cows and whales. If we’re going to pet one (see: dogs and cats), why it is okay to breed, abuse, and kill others (see: all farm animals ever)? I would argue it’s not, and to believe otherwise is speciesism. If that topic sounds interesting to you (as it did to me!) then keep an eye out for Speciesism The Movie which should debut later this year.

Note: This is Day 2 of WEGOHealth’s “Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge!” I’m 2/2! Today’s prompt was to pick a quote that inspires me and “free write” for fifteen minutes. Mine  turned into an hour…oh well! Here’s to staying on track! Photo via f. bearclaw.

Health Activism: 30 Days of Inspired Posts (Day 1!)

Over the last year I’ve had a bad habit of blogging less than average; when I started the blog I was averaging 20 to 30 posts a month, which I felt was good, and there is certainly enough content to warrant that every month. But “life” interjects and the truth is my motivation or patience wanes as well. I signed up with WEGOHealth’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, or HAWMC (“haw-mick”) to force myself to blog continuously for 30 days straight, inspired by their prompts and my own feelings on health. WEGO is a social media company whose goal is to ” empower the top 10% of online health social media contributors to connect with each other and with healthcare companies.” Am I in that 10%? Who knows; but veganism needs to be represented, and the whole idea of eating plants as health food (yes, plants, all of them, and only them!) is often lacking in “health activist” circles. Exercise, portion control? Sure, and these are valid, but how about less meat and dairy? We are going to see these mantras repeated more and more in the next decade, and I plan to be a part of that.

So, without further ado, here we are at Day 1! And just barely as it’s almost midnight…ha! The prompt is: “Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you & your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?”

Ah, the time capsule….my town has one that I hope to see opened in 2076 (they buried it in 1976, I think). What we people look back on in 2012 and say “wow…I can’t believe they did that”? Well, eating animals for one. But really, what needs to be documented is the overall status of our health system. We are eating crap, tons of it, and whether this ugly train full of diabetes and heart disease is going to turn around, I don’t know. One shining star is the recent escapade on sugar and the criticism it’s been receiving, but the stigma of a full of vegan diet remains steadfast.

So, in my time capsule, I suppose I’d like to represent the minority; one of the few who “got it” before the tidal wave of heart attacks kills so many people that we really do re-think our focus on eating. My health focus is eating plants, whole fruits and vegetables, grains, and proteins like legumes, nuts, and beans, while still occasionally enjoying the various vegan junk food that exists out there. Fitness, mobility, and exercise play a big role too: walking places, biking, running – these not only play a massive role in health but also in reducing our dependence on oil and cars. And, I’ve as I’ve tried to institute with standing desks, we have to modify the way we simply live. No longer are we out chasing after food on the plains, or working all day at survival. Our lives are easy and lazy; and we pride ourselves on ingenuity that makes things “easier.” To that effect I suppose I could document the fact I still vacuum my own house, mow the lawn, and do my own laundry. Will that be a non-issue in 2112? Will robots do everything? I shudder to think; all that comes to mind is the movie WALL-E with the spaceship of moribund humans kept alive by droids.

But hey, this is supposed to be positive, right? Health is awesome: it’s awesome to learn about our own health, and how we can improve the health of others. I hope that a time capsule relating to my health would show I cared a lot about the one life I get, and that maybe there would be some lessons to pass on to others. Our world will be vastly different in 2112, but unless we’ve completely transformed into robots by then, keeping our bodies and minds clean will still be a priority.

Note: Some “regularly scheduled content” will still appear during the 30 days of April, don’t worry! But a lot of extra health-oriented stuff too.Tomorrow’s prompt deals with a inspiring health quote…and I have a doozy for you! Interested in doing #HAWMC yourself? Sign up

Photo: d76