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Hitchhiking Tips

What are some tips if any for being on the road with just you and your
backpack?
thanks,
Oskee


In case you’re wondering what the Old Hippy did during the boring 80’s, I
backpacked and hitchhiked my way around the world. I got to visit some of
the more interesting places on the hippy trail. These included Hawaii,
N.Z. Australia, Bali, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Greece, Italy,
Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

I spent many days on the road in N.Z. and Australia hitchhiking. Probably
the most difficult part of hitchin’ is keeping your spirits up while
waiting for that cool person who stops for you. Especially if the
weather’s nasty. You worry you’ll never get picked up and get stuck in the
middle of nowhere.

My way of coping with this was to put a upbeat song in my head. I remember
using Bob Marley’s Positive Vibration (hey it was the 80’s) a lot to send
out good vibes to all the drivers on the road. A real (not forced) smile
and a wave helps too. Lot’s of backpackers bring walkmans to hear their
favorite tunes, and this can be an enjoyable way to pass the time on the
side of the road.

At some point you get to pay back for those free rides when you get home
and drive around in your car. You get to be the one who does the good
deed. As you get older, you do tend to be more careful about who you give
a ride to. When I’m driving I prefer to pick up hitchhikers with large
backpacks. I realize the load they’re carrying makes it hard to walk far,
and they probably have many more valuables with them than I, so they’re the
ones taking the risk. I am more suspicious of individuals carrying nothing
hitchiking. Remember, hitchhiking has it’s dangers (see below), there are some looneys
out there so be careful.

By far the most enjoyable aspect of hitchiking (besides getting free rides)
is meeting some very interesting people. The people who are kind enough to
stop for you are the cool people. Those who pass you by are probably
uptight and dull – remember this! The most friendly country to hitchikers
for me was New Zealand. Often I would get a ride with someone who would
say,
You in a hurry, mate?
Not really I’d reply otherwise I wouldn’t be hitchiking!
Great, he’d reply, Wanna go see an incredible place?
Sure I’d say.

Then he’d drive an hour out of his way to show me an awesome spot, and then say Since it’s too late for you to reach your destination, how about staying with me and the Misses tonight? She’s a great cook and we’ve got an extra bed! And this happened several times! I stayed in many houses in New Zealand with strangers who later became good friends.

It’s these kind of experiences that make hitchin’ a worthwhile activity.
I’ve found however that if I travel with another guy I don’t get nearly as
many rides or invites as if I’m alone or with a woman. In fact if you
travel with another person, you tend to socialize mostly with that person
and miss out on meeting other people.

You should never undertake a long journey with someone you haven’t traveled
with. You get to know someone too well when you travel together for long
periods. If your relationship hasn’t been tested, it will be. It’s way
better to meet someone on the road, and travel together for as long as it
feels good, then part when your itinerary or vibes say it’s time.

This is true freedom! This is the feeling of the open road. This is
choosing your path (day after day). This is what the hip philosophers
(esp. Kerouac) were after. Everyone should have a taste of freedom on the
road before settling down. Some people (present company included) can
never get this out of their blood.

Now times have changed since the ’80s and things are not quite the same on the road as it was then. The paranoia level of drivers and hitchhikers has gone way up, thanks to so much violence, and so many people carrying weapons, especially in the USA.

That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, but you would have to be much more careful who you accept a ride with. And women of course are more vunerable, and probably should never hitchhike alone in the US.

Elsewhere in the world it’s also gotten to be more of a hassle, and fewer hitchhikers are seen, except for those heading for some big festival. I still see them in Europe trying to get to Glastonbury or Roskilde. The same cautions apply.

It’s really too bad because as I said before it can be a very rewarding experience and you can make so many new friends in a relative short time, and travel on a much smaller budget than any other way.

Remember if people help you, you should do something for them within
your means, or better still, do something for someone else in need.

Pass
on the good vibes!

– The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 25579
Topic:3

Friends of Friends Problem & A Porno Question

I’m 23 and getting too old for some of the inconsiderate s*&t that my
friends pull sometimes — actually, I am refering specifically to one of
my extended friends. Lets call him Foul.

My specific problem is that Foul is a coke-head alcoholic misogynist
jerk, among many other things, who is extremely obnoxious and in general
a cause of much grief. I loath to call anyone a typical anything, but he
is the typical Wall Street jackass that he tries to be.

He is also friends with my roomate — they went to college together —
and will show up at alot of parties we go to or if we take a road trip.
Anyway, we are planning to go to an Allman Bros. concert in a few weeks
and then camp for a couple of days afterword, and now Foul has announced
his intention to join us. I doubt that he has ever been camping before
and that he will be able to understand the etiquite surrounding a
campsite (i.e. quiet, respect, cleanliness, etc.) The rest of my friends
are good about this, but can get all drunk and roudy too, especially
when egged on. I’ve tried, even somewhat forcefully, to tell him to be
respectful before, but it is hard to be too insistent without offending
my roomate.

My question, what can I do in this situation? My roomate is a definitely
aware of the situation but says things like — he’s a nice guy, or
oh, he’s just wasted but screw that, man, I say you are what you do
when you do it all time!

Help me, old hippy!

Also, is it wrong to work in the pornography industry in your opinion?


Sounds like you have a problem. I emphasize the word YOU. You are
experiencing a phase we all go through. Technically it’s called cognitive
dissonance. That’s when what you experience is different from that of
those you respect (i.e. your roomate). The resolution to this is either to
alter your perceptions to match those of your roomate or come to the
realization that your roomate and you are no longer on the same wavelength.

Now you’re probably wondering what has all this got to do with Mr.
Foul. Well he is just the catalyst for change. He is the cause of the
cognitive dissonance that exists between you and your roomate. The
solution to your problem is for you to change. Actually you’ve already
changed that’s why you can’t relate to Mr. Foul. You just need to realize
what this implies. First, you have become more sensitive (or perhaps you
always were, but Mr. Foul makes it obvious). Second, you and your roomate
have different tastes in friends (and there’s nothing wrong with that).
Third, your tolerance is being put to the test. Since Mr. Foul seems to
influence your friends in ways you don’t like, you must now decide whether
your friends are really who you think they are. This is another stage of
cognitive dissonance. The solution to this stage is to reevaluate your
relationship with your friends and how that bears upon your own identity.

What this all means is that you have to take a good look at yourself,
your goals, what turns you on and off, and whether you are living a
lifestyle (including friends) that’s complementary with your self image.
Something has to give in this situation. If you can’t change yourself to
accept these friends and their ways, then perhaps it’s time to find some
new friends and new ways. At age 23, it’s a good time to leave the high
school or college buddies and find people of your ilk. They’re out there.
If I were you, I’d do the concert and skip the campout, making sure your
roomate knows your reasons (and giving him a taste of cognitive
dissonance!). Good Luck!

As far as the porno industry goes, it would depend upon just what is being
done. Porno has been with us for millenia and it’s not going away as long
as sex is around. Porno acts as a release valve for those millions who
need it. Certain kinds of porno that exploit people (especially children)
against their will is not cool. Otherwise to each his own.

– The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 45854
Topic:3

Can you be a hippie without taking drugs?

Hi there Old Hippy!
About this drug thing… I wonder, when reading all the drug stuff at this page, do you think you
can’t be a hippie without taking the drugs? I mean, all the time I read stuff
about weed, mushrooms, acid and that stuff. I just don’t think that’s so
important.

I consider myself a hippie, but I don’t do any drugs. Sure, drugs may be
effective when exploring you mind, but I’m sure there are better ways.
With, like, meditation or yoga you don’t risk being caught in a bad trip, you
know.

However, I think it’s OK with others taking drugs, I mean, it’s a choice
you make. But I think being a hippie is more about caring for others, our
mother Earth and doing what you can to create a better world. Peace and Love…

With our LOVE we can save the world

–Pontus


You are absolutely right my friend! It isn’t necessary to do drugs to be a
hippy. Yes, meditation and the various forms of Yoga can bring about
self-awareness and enlightenment. The true hippy spirit is one of love,
peace, understanding and a deep respect for others and the planet. Mind
altering drugs are not essential to reaching these goals.

However, hippies acknowledge that the prevailing systems (economic,
political, religious, cultural, etc.) don’t really support these goals and
in fact keep us from realizing who we REALLY are and from a healthy
relationship with our fellow humans and mother earth. Hippies by definition
are opposed these systems. It takes a lot to break free of the mind control that
society has programmed for us since birth. For many people, it is not until they
try these drugs that they begin to realize the depth of their programming. Seeking to break free
from years of mind control they use these drugs to deprogram and reprogram
themselves into something new. It’s no wonder many hippies rename
themselves
once they assume their new identity.

Yoga and meditation can be successful ways to achieve the same thing, but
they take years of dedicated practice to reach their goals. Certain drugs
can have an even more dramatic effect in one day. The downside is that they
wear off and you come down! Yoga and meditation can keep you naturally high
for the rest of your life if you apply yourself. And since there is no
outside substance involved there is no chance of a bad trip. So it’s
really a matter of personal choice, as you say. There’s no point trying to
judge others. To each his own method.

And as for the Old Hippy, I don’t bring up this subject, everyone else does.
My mail has been full of drug questions since this column began (2 1/2 yrs
ago!). I’d much rather give everyone the straight dope than ignore their
pleas for information. I don’t try to promote these drugs. I just want
people to know what they’re getting into, so they can make informed choices.
I respect those who look before they leap!

-The Old Hippy

 

Posted by: skip
Views: 64350
Topic:10

 

Why use drugs?

Old Hippy,

I like the hippy ways, and even tho I am not a real hippy, I think that you promote a lot of good things. Most hippies are concerned with caring for Mother Earth, keeping the world a peaceful place, preserving forest lands, picking up litter, buying organic foods, and protecting the animals. All of the things that you promote are great, besides drug usage. If all hippies are concerned with being natural, and protecting all of Mother Earth’s creations, doesn’t that include us – human beings? Why use drugs and hurt your body and mind – Mother Earth’s greatest creation? How can you promote all of these good things but at the same time kill some others?


This is a good question. I’ve answered it before, but I’ll try again. You ask this question from a position of innocence. So let me ask you a few questions. How do you define drugs? Have you ever taken any? Is there a difference between illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol and tobacco besides the legality? Are ALL drugs good or evil? Remember just because something is illegal doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. It just means it’s illegal. For instance taking a prescription drug without having a prescription is technically illegal. Does that make the drug taken bad???

You’ve obviously heard the anti-drug message in school, on TV, from parents, friends etc. This is a good message, especially for children. Children don’t need to experiment with drugs. Many children are given drugs in school whether they want them or not! Ritalin is just one drug used to “control” students. This is the point. Some drugs are used to “control” when authorized and issued by the government, schools, even parents. Drugs that affect your mind can either control it or open it! The underlying goal of schools and the educational system is to create “good citizens. Good citizens are productive members of society. That is they work hard, pay taxes, and obey all laws without question.

If this were truly the “American Way”, we would still be a British Colony! No, America has always had freedoms denied to other countries. Freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Freedoms including Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The founders of our country refrained from trying to define this since further definition might limit these freedoms. Several of our founding fathers grew and smoked hemp! Now it is illegal, does that mean Washington and Jefferson were criminals?

You mention that you respect the hippy values concerning mother earth. Which would seem more “natural” to you, ingesting an organically grown plant in it’s native state, or something synthesized in a laboratory, mass produced in a factory, bottled under sanitary conditions, distributed around the world, and priced many times (sometimes hundreds of times) more than it cost to produce?

Now for the answers to the questions I posed before. The important difference between all drugs is whether they affect the mind and how. And yes, some drugs can kill. Alcohol is the most deadly drug we have in our society. Yet it’s perfectly acceptable! Marijuana on the other hand has no lethal dose. That means you can ingest all you possibly can with absolutely no risk of death! There has NEVER, EVER been a death attributed to overconsumption of marijuana.

Are All drugs good or evil? Of course this is a rhetorical question. Yet, you seem to believe all drugs are bad. Your anti-drug programming is so strong, you can’t distinguish between drugs. In more tolerant countries like Holland and Switzerland they have two categories of drugs. Soft drugs and hard drugs. They distinguish between these because the users are either recreational (soft) or addicted (hard). Soft drug use (marijuana, hashish) is tolerated, with no ill effects to users or the society. Hard drug (heroin, cocaine, speed) use makes people addicted and that means they have a problem with drugs. If they have a problem, the governments of both Holland and Switzerland want to help these people, not persecute them! They put their money into medical and social programs to help these people overcome their addictions or at least prevent them from being a burden on society by committing crimes to support their habit. This means that they even give these addicts their drugs!

We at Hippyland do not advocate the breaking of any laws! However we do insist that people know the facts! Marijuana is not a harmful drug. On the contrary, until it’s prohibition in the 1930s, marijuana extract was produced and distributed by 16 major drug companies in the U.S. to cure a wide range of maladies. It was a very popular product then, as it is now. Millions of Americans have smoked it and do so every day. They are all considered criminals and under the threat of imprisonment at any moment. Each year over 600,000 people are arrested for cannabis offenses. Many go to jail and have their house, cars, boats confiscated and never returned, even if they are found innocent! Once productive members of society thus become an expensive burden to society, requiring new jails to be constructed at an alarming rate. Did you know that the U.S. incarcerates a larger percentage of it’s population than any other country? About three times the percentage of the next country!

Recreationally accepted drugs (legal) in the U.S. are alcohol and tobacco. Attempts at prohibition have never succeeded. Likewise the $18 billion to be spent this year on the WAR ON AMERICANS, is not likely to do anything but put more innocent people in jail. Again, alcohol and tobacco have been PROVEN to cause hundreds of thousands of DEATHS each year. Why aren’t these drugs illegal? Why aren’t the users sent to jail? Why do we prosecute people who use far less dangerous drugs like marijuana? These are the questions you need to ask yourself, your teachers, your parents, your friends, your congressmen, and your President.

-The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 43812
Topic:10

My horrible diet

Dear Old Hippy,
I am toxic. I have been on one large binge for the past three years. I
have gained about 60 pounds and I am sick and tried (literally). I want
to go back to being a vegetarian, but my life is full with meat and meat
eaters. I have been having a series of headaches, fatigue, and not so
frequent bowl movements. I have been to my doctor, and she said it was
my horrible diet, but I am other wise healthy. How can I cleanse my
body and start my new diet safely and on a low budget . Please Help!!!

You sound like you’re eating the typical American diet. This usually consists
of fast foods, fried foods, excessive protein, too many sweets and ice cream,
and a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. These are comfort foods that fill you up,
make you fat, and in combination with a lack of exercise eventually lead to ill health.

The best way to start is to begin replacing red meat dishes with
substitutes. They don’t even have to be vegetarian at first. More fish
and chicken grilled or baked, without adding any fat. No deep fried foods,
cook them another way. No gravies or heavy sauces. Between meals snack
on fruits and veggies. These will help fill you up so you don’t eat as
much food at mealtime. Always have a salad course with dinner.

Whole grains and legumes are the start to a vegetarian diet. Don’t
forget tofu and TVP (texturized Vegetable Protein) – a soybean product that
looks and has the texture of meat. You can substitute these things for meat
in your recipes. They take some getting used to, but you feel SO GOOD when
you eat them. Stop drinking sodas! Make your own ice teas (black or
herbal) and get used to drinking them with little or no sugar, tastes great! –
this will save you big bucks too. And no more FAST FOOD, OK?

Getting others to accept these dietary changes is more difficult.
That’s why you must do a little at a time, not all at once. The place to
begin is the supermarket. Start reading those labels and see what’s inside
those prepackaged food. Once you start, you become slightly obsessed since
everything packaged has lots of additives. If you don’t know what
you’re eating – DON’T EAT IT! Yes, packaged products and fast food save time,
but so what? Cooking should be a joyful experience and it’s the only way to know
just what your getting! Once you’ve reached the limits of
supermarket food, find the Health Food Store nearest you and discover all the
wonderful vegetarian products available. Organic produce and bulk items are
their specialties. For more info about vegetarianism and recipes visit Hippyland’s Vegetarian Page.

Once you get used to making minor changes here and there, you’ll
notice major changes in how you feel. Once the weather starts getting nicer
get that exercise you need outdoors.

A Santé! (to your health!)
-The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 20649
Topic:11

Wannabe Hippies vs Real Hippies

Hey old hippy,
I see in some of your replies to questions you say wannabees (as in wanna be hippies). Do you mean that a young person in the world today could not possibly be a hippy? And would wanting to be a hippy really be that bad? Im sorry if i come off as ignorant, but dont all hippies start from the wanting to break free of the conformity of society? How would you describe a wanna be hippie? I mean.. wanting to change is the first step to changing right? What advice would you give to one who wants to be hippy?


There are two ways to apply the term wannabe hippies. One is a derogatory meaning, that they try to look and act like hippies but really don’t have a clue as to what it’s about. To them it’s just a fashion statement, nothing more.

Then there’s the more positive meaning, indicating that the person(s) wants to be a hippy, but just hasn’t learned and experienced enough yet to truly understand where we are coming from. These individuals are attracted to various elements they’ve seen and are really turned on to the underlying message. These people will soon join the new generation of hippies, which is a very real phenomenon.

Unfortunately the first definition is the prevailing one, used to put down those who really aren’t interested in what hippies really think and aren’t interested in rejecting the existing system, just in looking the part because it’s cool. They usually realize their mistake by the time they’re in high school. Yes, this is a teenybopper phenomenon and is totally meaningless in the scheme of things.

But the Next Generation of Hippies, is indeed real, and important. And their numbers are growing daily. They are idealistic and committed to changing the world, even if only by changing themselves, as you wish to do. Yes, that is the first step.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
– Mahatma Ghandi

So once you find the ideals you support, you must then go and live them. This is a lifelong process and involves every thing you do in life. From eating to thinking to talking to working to shopping to loving to breathing even. When you become conscious of each of activity you perform in your day to day life, you become more aware of the implications and effects your actions have on you, those around you and the world in general. You realize there is no escaping the karmic responsibilities that go along with living in the material world. Hence you must become a more responsible being, living life in balance and harmony with everyone and everything around you. All your experiences are a chance for you to learn a more appropriate response than the one you’ve been programmed with. Reprogramming yourself is a massive challenge, but well worth the effort.

When you have worked on yourself and learn independent thought and action, then you can join your peers and learn how to cooperate and share power and take action to correct the imbalances that plague our world. Many never reach this stage because they are too caught up in self-involved ego trips to be much use to the collective. Many people never succeed in reprogramming themselves. They just pretend they have to assuage their consciences and ignore their many other responsibilities as a member of this planet.

You’re going to have to change the priorities of your life, if you love this planet.
– Dr. Helen Caldicott

So first you must find out who you really are in the scheme of things. Then you must locate your fulcrum, your center, your balance. The place in yourself thru which the universe flows unrestricted. Be there and stay there, and you will find your path thru life easily. There are many ways to achieve this including meditation, yoga, psychedelic drugs, fasting, following a guru, etc.

But ultimately it just comes down to you discovering yourself. That is where it’s at. The rest is just illusion.

Peace in Unity,
The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 50109
Topic:3

Why is there so much hatred towards hippies?

I’m confused as to why there is so much hatred towards hippies in the past few years. Everybody in my school is all like oooh hippies, stupid f*ckin tree huggers. I just dont get why they’re so ignorant. Just recently I’ve noticed a surge of hatred though, actually as of this year. I think it’s fueled by the hip-hop crowd. Their values totally collide with ours. They are greedy, capitolistic, rude and not to mention violent. And we are peacefull, non materialistic beings. What do you think old hippy? I hope you can inspire me.

Peace


This is a question I’ve asking myself recently. I think you hit the nail on the head when you pointed out how our values collide with the hippie haters. Our mere existence not to mention colorful presence causes what’s known as psychological dissonance. We represent an alternative to mainstream thinking and values and thus a challenge to all those who accept the status quo.

The pressure to conform, especially in American society has never been greater in my lifetime. It’s similar to the 50’s when everyone was expected to graduate high school and college, get a 9-5, get married, have 2.5 kids and move to the suburbs. Back then there were far fewer options around too.

Now we have a Republican administration, and this kind of thinking thrives when the country’s leaders are conservative cowboys who promote war and violence as a solution to the world’s most intractible problems. Add to this the terrorist hysteria, the fucked-up economy, the broken dreams, the ecological catastrophes just around the corner, and you have a situation ripe for dividing the country into opposite camps.

The media is also to blame. I cannot believe how much violence I see everyday in TV, rock videos, movies, even on my street (today it’s endless loud fireworks for New Years). This has taken its toll in several generations, who now see violence as a normal human expression, something to be expected and returned, tit for tat.

For a real contrast, I recently watched the movie Mary Poppins, which I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. I was amazed at how slickly they had inserted such now extinct values in the movie as respect for elders, politeness, anti-capitalist values, in fact it’s a complete homage to personal freedom and creativity. You rarely see that anymore in the movies or on TV.

The level of violence and the sheer quantity of it blows me away. The public has been led to believe that violence in the media doesn’t translate to actual violence. This is A BIG LIE. It is pure brainwashing, and so it doesn’t surprise me to see so many people willing to kill others, even innocent people, just out of revenge. It’s truly sick.

Of course hippies will always be in the minority, but again, just the fact that we exist, that we are willing to explore and present alternative ideas and solutions means that all these war-mongers and greedy capitalists must address these very important issues that they would rather ignore in their quest for money and power.

So don’t dismay that we are hated by some, (perhaps feared is closer to the truth), because we serve to enlighten and challenge the status quo. As long as we speak out and don’t hide our true feelings we can preserve our freedoms to do just that. If we retreat in silence we may never again have the right to stand up to the powerful and tell it like it is.

The next few years will make a big difference for our collective future. We are almost beyond the point of no return. Many of those young people with their short hair, (some bald now), waving their flags, shouting patriotic slogans, will soon end up dead on some distant battlefield. So feel sorry for them, and pray we don’t all end up dead.
Peace, hopefully,
the Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 26353
Topic:3

Burned Out on Pot

Dear old hippy,
I have smoked weed for about three years. At first it was great but for the past year or so it hasn’t been very pleasant. Everything gets distorted and I’m so nervous I can hardly talk and I get weird beats in my heart area that almost make me twitch. I would really appreciate your help on this. It got so bad I stopped smoking all together.
Thank you


It’s not unusual for smoking to become unpleasant at times. It’s a burnout syndrome which occurs after prolonged use. You’ve done the right thing by stopping. I recommend you lay off for at least a month or more. Perhaps you’re under more pressure than you used to be. Job and other responsibilities can make getting high less enjoyable and smoking adds to your stress rather than relieving it (thanks to paranoia and guilt).

If stress is a major factor in you life then you need to deal with it, rather than try to mask it with mj or alcohol (I’m not saying you do it, just that it’s not a good thing). As far as your overall health goes, perhaps it’s time for a checkup. As we age we go through physical changes, and smoking certainly isn’t good for our health. Some people are more sensitive to smoke and you might be one.

In any case it’s always good to give ourselves a breather from smoke and let our body recuperate. It’s nice to get another view of life now and then (remember – that’s why we smoke in the first place!). Respect the herb, and respect yourself and everything will work out.

Peace,
The Old Hippy.

Posted by: skip
Views: 77036
Topic:10

Why Be A Vegetarian?

Why be a Vegetarian?

The Vegetarian Page

Why be a vegetarian? What do vegetarians eat?
What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? Find the
answers to these and many more questions plus links
to other vegetarian pages
and some great recipes. Need more reasons?
Check
this out!

All artwork and content copyright ©1998,
Hip Inc


Health Reasons
Despite all the rhetoric and brainwashing we have been exposed
to by governments and the media, courtesy of the meat and dairy industries,
you don’t have to eat meat to survive and be healthy. On the contrary,
if you follow the most valid scientific research you’ll find there is far
more unhealthy about meat than you ever dreamed. Besides cholesterol,
and fat there are some wonderful other ingredients that make up commercial
meat today.

Antibiotics: Modern science has seen to it that animals
are given a healthy dose of antibiotics before they reach us to minimize
losses due to illness. By eating this meat, we ingest these antibiotics
and by being dosed when we don’t need them, they have less effect when
we take them because we are ill.

Bacteria and Parasites: Meat is a magnet for some of the
most dangerous bacteria and parasites. Does E-coli ring a bell?
How about Mad Cow disease? Trichnosis? If you are a vegetarian, you
NEVER need to worry about getting these diseases.

Putrefaction: Fruits ferment into alcohol like wine.
Vegetables likewise ferment or decay creating gases. Meat on the
other hand putrifies which means it creates poisons that are toxic to humans.
Fruit and most vegetables are easy to digest and don’t stay in your digestive
system as long as meat does. This gives it more time to putrify.
It also gives those nasty bacteria and parasites (above) more time to multiply.
Digestive problems such as constipation are often due to a heavy meat diet.
Doctors recommend fruit and vegetables (roughage) as a cure for constipation
(when will they just recommend becoming a vegetarian?).

Antioxidants the cancer fighters: Do you ever hear about
beef or pork being a source of cancer fighting agents? No, it’s always
some fruit or vegetable containing antioxidants or some other factor that
is seen as being a cancer fighting agent.

Chemical toxins: Animals are higher on the food
chain and thus concentrate toxins contained in the food they eat.
Thus one ounce of meat will usually contain far more chemicals than the
equivalent amount of grain or legumes. Plus some animals are fed
animal parts that already have concentrated the toxins of their diet.


Ecology

The numbers are staggering. The amount of land required
to grow one cow to maturity versus the amount grain that can be produced
in the same acreage. By raising cattle on arable land, our species
is being inefficient in it’s use of resources. By choosing to be
at the top of the food chain we consume unwisely, making it difficult to
feed our ever growing population.

The rainforest: The Central American and Amazon rainforests
are being destroyed to provide farmland and cattle grazing. The farmers
can only raise a few crops before the thin soil is depleted, causing them
to burn more virgin rainforest. The land is then only suitable for
cattle to graze the thin grasses. This is the real reason the farmers
are allowed to burn the forest. They are the pawns of the cattle
industy in Brazil. They do the dirty work, and the ranchers get more
land for their herds. This endless cycle spells doom for the lungs
of the Earth and perhaps for all of us.

In many countries the taste for meat has been introduced
by companies like McDonald’s or Burger King. People whose diets consisted
of fruits and vegetables now see meat eating as a sign of affluence and
status. Densely populated countries whose land is under intense cultivation
and where pressure to urbanize has reduced that cultivation are also pressured
to raise beef. This inefficient use of their land will one day doom
them to starvation.

For more info on how being a vegetarian can help the environment
check out Tipping the
Scales for the Environment.


Economic
Meat is more expensive than vegetables. It takes
more protein to feed animals than they yield. They require more water.
Meat is more perishible, takes longer to harvest, requires refrigeration,
is transported over vast distances, uses more resources, so of course it
costs more.

For rich countries and well off populations eating meat
is normal. But in developing countries it is seen as a sign of affluence.
Owning animals is status.


Humanistic
Food Factories: That’s where meat comes from.
No one likes to think about where that hamburger or hot dog or chicken
nugget comes from, much less what’s in it! As a species we have lost
touch with the source of our food. In our hunting/gathering days
we were very much in touch with nature, animals and their spirits.
If we had to hunt or raise and slaughter our food ourselves we could appreciate
what it really is – a living animal that we must kill to satisfy our hunger.
Nowadays a big mac means you won’t have to cook tonight.

To provide this convenience, multinational corporations
have setup food factories around the world that take the worry and fuss
about having that next meal off your mind. What you don’t see can’t
hurt you – or can it?

Certain animals are raised in appalling conditions.
To produce veal – a very young cow, the animal spends it’s whole life caged
up in a pen no bigger than itself. This prevents it from moving and
developing strong muscles thus keeping the flesh tender. It’s short
life is spent standing in its own urine and feces, never to graze fields
of green grass, never to see sunsets, never to live the life a cow is meant
to live. Because of the conditions under which it lives it must be
given massive doses of antibiotics to stave off sickness, which are then
passed on to those who love to eat these poor animals.

Chickens: Little chicks are hatched and sent on conveyor
belts where they are examined for sex and deformities. Like the station
at Auschwitz they are then either routed to the growing area or ground
up to feed their siblings. The lucky chick survivors then have their
beaks burned off to prevent them from pecking the hundreds of other chickens
they’ll be cooped up with. Most chickens in America never see the
light of day. They are kept in huge rooms where the density of chickens
per sq. ft. is maximized. The lighting is controlled to maximize
their feeding and growth. Since they are so densely packed, they
are highly prone to infection and must be given massive doses of antibiotics
to suppress illness.

Pigs: One need only visit a pig farm to grasp the
horrifying conditions under which they are raised. Once the inhabitants
of forests, they are now penned up and fed just about anything. Is
it any wonder nobody wants a pig farm in their neighborhood?


Political

Meat is big business. The cattle, dairy, pig, and chicken
industries all have powerful lobbies that keep Congress in their camp.
It takes a total disaster like Mad Cow disease before people even think
about what they eat. What a political mess that was! No other
country wanted British beef, yet the British were still stuck eating it!


Traditional

Most Western countries have had meat in their diets for centuries.
You eat meat because your parents eat meat, because their parents eat meat,
etc. Yet most Eastern/Asian countries have little or no meat in their
traditional diets. What meat is consumed is considered a treat.
Of course now these diets have changed due to western influences like hamburger
chains.

But why not reverse our centuries old habit? New
cuisines have combined food ideas from all over the world, and with such
a varied assorment of ingredients available nowadays, let’s take advantage
of the many vegetarian options. It’s not necessary to become a strict
vegetarian overnight. It’s easier to eat less meat, more grains and
vegetables more often. First stop eating red meat, especially fast
foods. Then cut back on poultry. Finally eat less fish and
soon you’ll be a vegetarian. I can guarantee you’ll lose weight (absolutely
a great benefit!), you’ll feel better, and have more energy. You
won’t get that heavy bloated feeling after eating a heavy meat meal.
And of course you won’t get all those illnesses meat eaters get.
You might notice more gas, but that is the only negative side effect.


Other

Did you know that the most dangerous job is working
in a slaughter house?


For a good Q&A about vegetarianism check out VEGETARIANISM:
ANSWERS TO THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For More links go to our Vegetarian
Links page

Posted by: skip
Views: 27888
Topic:13

Vegetarian Links

Vegetarian Links

Let’s save our animal friends and our planet from the multinational meat industry. Keep ourselves free from toxic chemicals. Feed the hungry. Stop eating meat NOW! Please visit our Vegetarian Page for Reasons to be a Vegetarian!

To buy Vegetarian and Cookbooks visit Hipplanet’s Bookstore!


 

Posted by: skip
Views: 20405
Topic:13