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Monday, August 11, 2003

After three or four days of posting to this Blog I felt it was appropriate to say a bit about myself and something with regard to my views about the content herein before I continue.

I have been a vegetarian for just about 3 years, but I’ve been devoted to animal welfare as long as I can remember, probably since my 3rd grade teacher read to us the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, now before anyone says wait a minute that novel is about politics not pets I just want to point out, how would 3rd graders know, we just enjoyed listening to a story about animals, if a little politics sank in during the process so much the better. Now I do not think of animals as pets or even companions just as fellow creatures; some of whom choose to live among us, and some who do not and in any circumstance it should be their election, maybe animal politics is not as far fetched as we thought.

We enjoy being vegetarian on a number of levels and for a number of reasons they are in order of importance

1. Ethical: I am not aware of any ethical standard that would incorporate as one of its tenets the deliberate mistreatment of a living, sentient creature. Ethic can be skewed to condone bad behavior but I do not believe that ethics may contain it, that would render the concept of ethics useless.

2. Health: Not always as obvious a precept as ethics but still an important benefit. Shortly after we started the journey toward vegetarianism I was perusing some bulletin boards on veg web sites and I came across a posting by a young lady (she had just begun college) who asked for help; in ill health for a variety of unstated reasons throughout her life she had recently fallen in with a group of vegetarian friends at school, these people were sympathetic to her plight and eagerly suggested she change her life style and try eating vegetarian, she did and her health improved. That in and of itself proves nothing, maybe her mother was a bad cook, maybe she was allergic to something in her previous environment. Cause and effect are rarely joined at the hip in that manner. What was important about her letter however is what followed: she went on to say that although she was feeling better and now she was happy, she was worried that if she fell ill from this new diet and had to be admitted to the hospital that the doctors would force her back on to a diet of the 3 basic food groups, including meat.

I thought about this for a time realized that what this woman had done was to take a leap of faith in herself i.e.: that vegetarianism was her choice, not her parents, not her friends, nor societies, not even in the face of renewed illness would she willing return to eating meat. This is the only provable health benefit that I can muster; making your own choice …is good for your health! Iv'e added a new link to my sidebar VegRd if you have health concerns, it's a good starting point.

3. Domestic environment; We got rid of our hood fan and we no longer
Have to use powerful chemical toxins to clean work surfaces in and around the kitchen (this is a personal benefit – it doesn’t work for

4. Dogs and Cats: That’s right I claim vegetarianism is a benefit to me
Because of our dog and cat live-ins, they still get their regular dog and cat food, we benefit because for the most part they have quit begging for table scraps … cats hate carrots and that makes life in the kitchen much easier. We have three, cats, not carrots and three dogs all from various pounds or shelters. One shelter in particular that I admire is Animal Rescue in Maryland Line, PA, If you go there Duncan would like to say ‘HI’ to his alma mater.

We live on the inner coastal waterway, gulf coast of Florida and while we do not own a boat we do enjoy breathtaking sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico and an astonishing variety of water fowl, one in particular the Moorhen, that inhabit the inlet and our back yard. bfn


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Sunday, August 10, 2003

The seals are a wonder, while we were there we encountered a woman who belongs to La Jolla Friends of Seals their .org seems to be down presently, I sincerely hope that this is a temporary state, she was explaining the history of the Children's Pool controvery (story follows) when she suddenly pointed to a small sea lion clambering up the rocks to the beach area. The dozen or so harbor seals, adults and pups, who have shorter flippers and maneuver on their bellies, have accepted him into their colony. The sea lion was orphaned earlier in the spring when its mom succumbed to a red tide (algae blossom that impacts marine mammals and causes large fish kills). Anyway, here was this perfect young sea lion safe and presumably comforted within the colony of his smaller and so very tolerant cousins. If you would like to contact La Jolla Friends of Seals they are at P.O. Box 2016, La Jolla, CA 92038 and 619 687-3588 or see their year 2000 award as Environmental Hero on the NOAA web site. http://www.bayarea.com

Posted on Sat, Apr. 12, 2003

La Jolla residents want seals out of pool
By Barbara Whitaker

SAN DIEGO - It is man versus seal in a battle for a patch of prime protected beach in the affluent La Jolla section of San Diego, and it appears the seals are winning.

A recent effort to show that the two could share a section of the beach known as Children's Pool ended badly when a swimmer was attacked by a seal, ending up bruised and scraped. About 30 swimmers had set out from La Jolla Cove to swim to the nearby Children's Pool, but nearly two-thirds were diverted as seals rushed into the water when the swimmers entered.

"For nearly 70 years, man and seal shared this beach successfully," said Anne Cleveland, who participated in the event. "But now I think the balance has been tipped because people have been banned for so long."

Generations of people have grown up swimming in the pool, which opened in 1931 through the largess of a local matriarch, Ellen Browning Scripps. The construction of a half-moon-shaped sea wall created Children's Pool, where youngsters could swim in the ocean safe from heavy surf.

In 1997, city officials were forced to close the Children's Pool section of the beach when unsafe pollution levels -- attributed to seal feces -- were detected. The City Council created a temporary reserve around Seal Rock to protect the seals, which are also protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

In the absence of humans, the seals, now numbering about 200, have become entrenched. They use the Children's Pool part of the beach for mating and giving birth. Since February at least 14 pups have been born there, observers said.

About 20,000 tourists now visit the area each month to watch the seals bask and play.

But residents trying to reclaim the Children's Pool beach section say the increased tourist traffic is just one more reason to move the seals. The concerns of residents increased last winter with two shark attacks on seals off the beach, which the residents say may mean the seals are attracting sharks.


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Well, we're not sure how informative a correspondent I will be, but I'm happy to join in. Harlan reminded me of the harbor seals we were privileged enough to see on our trip to southern California a few weeks ago. I must say that visiting those seals was the highlight of our trip, in my opinion. With the Pacific Ocean waves splashing against the wall while the seals and their babies rested in the protected, calm waters was a site to remember. I hope anyone who reads this agrees that the area must remain preserved for these beautiful mammals. Harlan will be adding the link to the Friends of Seals organization later today, so please be sure to visit their site. If you ever get to La Jolla, I highly recommend you drop in at the Children's Pool and see the harbor seals for yourself. You won't regret it.


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Saturday, August 09, 2003

Nancy, a 2-syllable girl's name of Hebrew origin, means: Graceful one.
We are joined by a new correspondent today, Nancy, whom I am very happy to say is my wife and best friend, among her many charms she is an astute observer and very keen on animals, so I expect we will see a number of contributions in the category: animal rights and welfare. Welcome Hon…we used to live in Baltimore home of the Orioles, The Ravens and people who say HON… Nan found this …

Post: enter – Tech vs. Technique: A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Broni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the shepherd, "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?" The shepherd looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?" The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his AT&T cell phone.
He surfs to a NASA page on the internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1586 sheep."
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my sheep." says the shepherd. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car. Then the shepherd says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my sheep?"
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"
You're a consultant." says the shepherd.
"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"
"No guessing required." answered the shepherd.
1) You showed up here even though nobody called you
2) you want to get paid for an answer I already knew
3) to a question I never asked
4) and you don't know anything about my business.
"Now give me back my dog."

Nancy is the reason that I found my way to one of yesterdays links, she travels occasionally for work and often has difficulty finding a decent vegetarian restaurant this link: Happy Cow, is a great way to locate and then comment on eating places away form home, therefore I will link to them from time to time as a way of saying thank you.


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Friday, August 08, 2003

Welcome to my first post to this Blog, actually more an online filing cabinet disguised as a Blog, my desk being piled over with mounds of clippings, notes, scribbling, doodles and such, if I am unable to locate it in my office or it gets carried away by one of the dogs as a fresh play thing; 'the dog ate my homework, honest', it may in future (fingers crossed) be retrieved here. A few years ago I had a notion to start a web page for all the flotsam and jetsam that washed up on my desk based on a theoretical point in space, specifically the focus of gravity waves that trail earth several hundred thousand kilometers behind its orbit, something like the eddy in a stream that collects all the floating bits and pieces. The theory is that all the 'stuff' that falls off the earth or out of orbit would eventually be deposited at that point, this junk yard in space, and moreover, follow us throughout eternity. I'm not sure that the theory will hold, but then I'm equally not sure that this file cabinet in the sky will work, but it's worth the effort even if only to post for now some random notes, news, scribbles, faq, or fable that have in common the idea that living green is simple at worst and essential at its’ best. For now I will continue to file and post like some old style newspaper columnist and when I think the files are ripe or sufficiently unwieldy I’ll add a link and invite a forum of correspondents. bfn

FILE; 1 post 8/8/03 header News: 8/7/03 St. Petersburg Times:
"Judge to owner: No dogs - ever..."
The problem is a "bad, bad owner," not aggressive animals that bite, a judge tells a Pasco man.
By BRIDGET HALL GRUMET, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 7, 2003


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