Greetings To All Readers,
We want to thank you for all of the wonderful, intelligent comments you’ve left here at VeganReader.com over the past year. There have been excellent discussions, touching personal stories and moments of important insight shared by all of us and we are truly thankful for that.
Let’s bring in the new year with personal resolutions so meaningful, they will change our world. We can do this! Here is VeganReader’s top 10 list of the work we feel will have the most profound and beautiful impact on the quality of life in 2012.
1. Support the Label GMO Initiative
This is definitely #1 on our list and should be the top priority on every loving, caring, humanitarian list of resolutions for 2012. In November of 2011, the California Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act was submitted to California’s State Attorney General. VeganReader is 100% behind this remarkable idea.
We believe that Californians who see a ‘contains gmos’ labels on 80% of the food in the grocery stores will not buy that food (90% of Americans have stated that they want GMO labeling). We believe that other U.S. states will then demand to know why their food lacks these warning labels. And we believe that manufacturers will decide to source their ingredients from non-GMO-contaminated suppliers so that they can avoid that bad label on their products. We believe this will result in the developers of GMOs realizing that there is no money to be had in the production of GMO crops and that they will not continue to pursue an unprofitable business model.
The California Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act will appear on ballots in California in 2012. If you live in California, please support this act. If you live outside of the state or outside of the country, please, do anything you can to support this landmark act. At VeganReader.com, we keep current on many topics and struggles and are convinced that there is no more important issue on the entire world scene than the protection of food from GMO contamination. Please, consider becoming educated and active about this as your #1 New Year’s resolution!
2. Grow Food
From a sunny apartment balcony to a big family yard, make room for growing food. Make 2012 the year in which something that ends up on your plate started in your hand as a seed or start. Maybe you only have room for a pot of herbs or a tomato plant, or maybe you’ve got the whole organic family farm in full swing. Either way, you will experience one of the most significant and intimate acts of being alive – feeding yourself.
If you don’t have any room at all to grow any food, search the Internet to discover if there is a community garden in your town where you can volunteer a little of your time each month in exchange for a share of the harvest. This model of community gardening is becoming increasingly abundant in urban communities and provides the vital service of putting people back in touch with the food on which they depend for life.
3. Grow Your Food Organically
Respect Mother Earth’s needs by growing food without toxins. Feed yourself while protecting water, people, animals, insects, fish, soil and air. Refuse to buy pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizer when you are in control of how food is grown and be glad that, at least within your power, nothing is being done to poison life.
4. Find Farmers
Few people own enough land to grow all that they need. Use a directory like LocalHarvest.org to find the farm stands, farm markets and CSAs nearest you. Meet the people who grow food for a living and glory in the quality of what they can provide you.
Tell farmers you appreciate them in two ways: support them with your dollars and tell them verbally how glad you are they are growing food in your community. Small farms = diversity that protects us from reliance on the monoculture of corporate agribusiness and reduce the risk of mass food borne illness. Some of your happiest days in 2012 may be spent at farm stands and farm markets. Do as much shopping as you can in these venues as opposed to supermarkets.
5. Learn to Cook
Bring in the crops from the garden or the baskets from the farm stands and cook from scratch the best meals you’ll ever eat in your life! Learn to make your own daily bread – whether that’s a wheat loaf or a gluten-free corn tortilla. Master the arts of hearty soups, crisp salads, filling casseroles, stir fries, whole grains, dried beans and more! Cut out the middle man of the food processing factory and make the steps from earth to table as few and light as possible. Your palette and your planet will thank you for it!
6. Honor Indigenous Cultures
North American residents of non-Native ancestry have been intentionally kept in the dark by the public school system regarding the accurate history of the European conquest of the Americas. Thankfully, public libraries offer a solution to this woeful ignorance. If you live in the United States or Canada, your local public library should have a wonderful selection of books about Native American and First Nations history. The ancestors of today’s Indigenous Americans were the keepers of a level of knowledge about life that is unsurpassed anywhere in world history – their love of the land, love of one another and understanding of how to live is precisely what is most lacking in the modern cultures of the Americas today.
Native Peoples have survived the genocide of the 1500-1800s and many of today’s Indigenous Americans are doing tremendous works of power to preserve what is best in their cultures. Many are looking outside of tribal circles to the whole of the Earth and staging outstanding conferences to promote the rights of Mother Earth. Resolve to read up on the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth that was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly in December 2010.
European immigrants’ most devastating mistake was in failing to ask the Native peoples of North, Central and South America to teach them how to live so that life could be different from what it was back in the polluted chaos of Europe. We can’t undo the past, but we can resolve to learn all that we can from Indigenous peoples today, wherein we will discover that their ancient ways of shaping the land, feeding people and caring for the Earth can sustain human life as they have done since time beyond recall.
7. Find A Wilderness – Or The Closest Thing To It
Spend as much time as you can in the least human-altered setting you can find. Few of us live close enough to true wilderness to be able to escape entirely from the things of man, but regional, state and national parks offer the next best thing. If there is nothing like that within reasonable distance, can you find a field somewhere, or even a vacant, unpaved lot?
Take off your shoes and feel the warmth of your planet on the soles of your feet. You may not have done this since childhood. 2012 is the right year to cut out the concrete middle man between you and your feet, for at least a few minutes. Don’t be surprised if your whole body suddenly calms down with an, “Ah, this is my home,” feeling.
Look around. What does the soil look like? Are there rocks? What plants do you see? Insects? Birds? Animals? What do you hear?
My happiest times in 2011 were spent either sitting on the ground on the family farm at eye level with grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies and other gorgeous visitors or out walking in the wildest lands I could find, visiting with bobcats, coyotes, muskrats, foxes, rabbits, turkeys and a host of beautiful birds. I would like every brother and sister to know these feelings of the simplest and best of Earth-bound happiness. May 2012 be wild for you!
8. Think About Animals
Many vegans take on their new non-harming lifestyle after having a good think about the feelings and needs of animals. If you are not vegan, maybe 2012 would be a good year to have a think about this, to read up on the subject and to see if it makes any sense to you. I’ve been a vegan for some 20 years now, and continue to recommend John Robbin’s Diet for a New America as the best book for people interested in this subject.
If you are already a vegan, is there something you can do in 2012 for the cows, pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, turkeys, game birds, ducks, fish, fur-farmed animals, silk worms and beetles who live in a state of enslavement? Or perhaps for the wild animals? Your non-harming lifestyle has already done a significant amount of good, but perhaps, with consideration and creativity, you will think of something more you can do for our animal brothers.
9. Abandon Unnecessary Products
Look down the aisles of the typical U.S. grocery store and you will find hundreds of products that can be cheaply and green-ly replaced with basic soap, vinegar and baking soda. Throw out the detergent, the chemical cleanser, the polish, the fragrance spray, the scented junk. We don’t need this stuff and most of it is toxic to our water, our air and our bodies.
Ladies, scrub off the cosmetics and learn to love the real you – the way the Creator made you. Your smile will be just as bright and your eyes clearer when they aren’t weighted down with totally unnecessary cosmetics. In 2011, spend that time you would have otherwise spent fussing in the mirror doing something truly honoring of your true self. Sing, play music, dance, pray, walk, read. Beauty is soul-deep.
Gentlemen, are you using toxins in your yard or to clean windows, cars or other possessions? Find green, eco-friendly alternatives. Pull those dandelions or learn to love them as nice accents in your lawn. Get tough on dirt with baking soda and a scrubby. Make a safe environment for yourself and your loved ones.
10. Love Life
Those who love their own selves and the people in their lives are best suited to become stewards of the precious gift of life. Love is the antidote to pollution. It is the antidote to hunger. It is the antidote to isolation, war and greed. Love is the power that can make right all of the things we feel are so wrong in the way things are going in our communities, cities, countries and on our planet. This feeling of love for life – this is the thing that empowers us to say no to wrong habits, wrong products, wrong systems and wrong ideas. It all starts with us – with each of us and our ability to live and act in love.
May your 2012 be sacred and loving!