Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

Humans are animals.  That’s a given.  Humans keep pets.  That too is a given.

“The human being is the only animal that keeps members of other species for extended periods of time purely for enjoyment.”


Is this what makes us human?  Or, at least, one of the things that makes us human?  That we have compassion for other animals?


“I believe that a defining trait of the human species has been a connection with animals that has intensified in importance since at least the onset of stone toolmaking 2.6 million years ago. Defining traits are what makes humans human, what makes us different from all other animals, and they are partially or wholly encoded in our genes. I don’t claim that the animal connection is the only defining trait.. / ..but I do claim that our connection to animals is so deep, so old and so fundamental that you really can’t understand human evolution and nature without taking it into account.”


This is not a comment on veganism .. nothing here to make meat-eaters feel bad or vegans to feel ethically superior.  Its a post about evolution and who we are – or have become – as humans.


The bottom line on both links above is that the human empathy for animals can be dated back some 6-7 million years.  This means that our love of animals is innate, or simply one of the most human of all character traits.


Caring for, loving, having empathy for animals is human nature. Having sympathy for suffering is human nature.  Being soft-hearted when it comes to animals is human nature.  Considering animals as our ‘friends’ is human nature.


And that’s not some moral high ground, or an ethical argument .. its simple science.


Now, if you are one of those vegans who always feels ‘cornered’ to ‘defend’ yourself, your thinking is all wrong.  The burden of proof does not fall on veganism, but on those who contend that factory farming is ‘ok’, even ‘necessary’.  In fact, justifying such activity is a lie .. one that denies our very existence.  Why?  Because all animals feel empathy, caring and compassion:

“All tetrapod vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals) have brains that – despite enormous differences in outer appearance, overall size and relative size of major parts of the brain – are very similar in general organization and even in many details.  /  This means that all structures required for declarative memory [such as] emotions, motivation, guidance of voluntary actions and evaluation of actions are present in the tetrapod brain.”



This means that animals – other than the human type – feel sympathy and cruelty, joy and sorrow, fighting and fleeing, interest and curiosity, surprise and indifference, gratitude and anger, generosity and avarice, love and hate.  This means, all those things we consider ‘uniquely human’, are not.


So next time you feel a need to defend your diet, or otherwise get defensive about what you eat, simply dismiss the counter-point.  When people say animals ‘don’t think’, ‘don’t suffer’, ‘don’t feel’, simply point out the facts.


Don’t raise your voice.  Improve your argument.


Live Deliberately!

Yogini Valarie



A good blog, and a good book review.

40 years Yoga, teach 20+ hours a week in my own studio.

Have been a Vegetarian for over 30 years, Live Vegan for the last year. Started to notice indentations on the tongue’s edges (usually suggesting malabsorption of nutrients); as an Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultant, this concerned me.

Been researching the Paleolithic Diet for a few years; recently, looking into the physicality that matches it. This is what led me to CrossFit.

Decided to try a Paleo format on 16 May – meaning more fats via nuts.  No transitional problems; but certainly appreciated not feeling hungry all the time.

CrossFit Baseline on 23 May (Monday) at CrossFit Iconz:

500 m Row
40 Squats
30 Sit Ups
20 Push Ups
10 Pull Ups
= 7:48

Im 52 and aside from Yoga, run 10-15 miles a week with my running buddy Lilka (dog). I dont have a comparative number for that time, so based it like all other activity, which amounts to: ‘It feels good, so it is good!’

Ive always been a very physical individual – Yoga, martial arts, trail running (Rocks! Roots! Ruts!), hiking/camping, mountain biking, ex-Army (300 club) – so CrossFit felt ‘right’ from the start.

Foundation basics on 25 May (Wednesday). Joined in the Group Drill, then had the basics explained and observed:

Air Squat
Front Squat
Press (Overhead)
Kettleball Swing

Then did 3 Rounds of:
20 Squats
15 Presses
10 Push Ups
10 Deadlifts
= 7:40

Later that day, could feel the Press in the inner bicep, and the Deadlift in the quads.

26 May .. woke up sore, so did some gentle Yoga then went for a 2.11 mile run (very slow, 11min mile). Lol .. now Im more sore!

The day I started eating Paleo I weighed 125. Today, first in the AM, I weighed 129. I know I am enjoying the soaked almonds and blueberries too much! That and am realizing how much I enjoy eating fatty nuts – they can be addicting!

I use Fitday to watch what I eat, am and not exceeding 1100 calories in a single day, so need to watch the fat (which is now 35-50% of my calories, according to Fitday).

Eitherway, Im not overly concerned with weight right now, having a fast metabolism and an active lifestyle. I think my greatest challenge with weight is beer. Gotta work on that.

As to diet, Im mixing a Paleo format into my Live Veganism, which means loads of raw fruits and veggies, with some cooked sweet potatoes, and loads of fatty nuts.  So far, so good.

Day 3 CrossFit tomorrow.

Live Deliberately!