I'm sitting outside right now enjoying the warm spring weather and just being thankful for how great everything is right now! There are always things we wish we could change, or improve, but sometimes it's good to just sit back and think about all of the great things in life. I'm healthy, my kids are healthy, we have food to eat and a roof over our heads. What more could we ask for?
I live in a pretty small apartment with basically no yard. I also kill any plant that comes near me. But, this year in an effort to save some money on my new lifestyle I decided I was going to try very hard to grow some vegetables in containers on my porch. My local Rec department also has a community garden where for $30 you get a tilled plot and access to water. I sent an e-mail to the director to see if there was any space available and was told there was a wait list. Yesterday I got an e-mail letting me know that someone had dropped out and now I get a plot!! I'm so excited, but I'm also really nervous. There are a good many rules about maintaining the space, and I've only had a garden one other time in my life and my ex-husband pretty much handled that, so I have no clue what I'm getting into. I'm not going to get fancy though. I'm going to buy already started plants so I know what I'm working with and just go from there. My friend Diane has offered to help and so I'm hoping she knows more than I do, so that together we will be able to reap the benefits of some produce grown by our own hands. Any suggestions would be welcome!
Last night I finished reading Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman. Talk about an eye-opening book. If you are not familiar with him, he is a former cattle rancher who owned a massive commercial farm. He is now a vegan and food safety advocate. If you have heard of him it is probably because he was the man sued along with Oprah by the Texas cattle ranchers for her statements about beef. I know that people often say that you can't really be informed if you haven't experienced something first hand. Well, the way I see it, if you can operate a large scale farm that practices the same methods of farming as other commercial farms all over the country and then go vegan because of that, then you have walked the walk, and can now talk the talk. He knows what he did, he knows what his friends and fellow farms do to raise their animals and so if anyone should know whether or not our food is safe, it's him. He doesn't think it is.
This book is very easy to read, he's a pretty no nonsense kind of guy and doesn't bog you down with a lot of facts or terms that are hard to understand. But he is very blunt and if you really want to continue a life of eating meat then you probably shouldn't read this book. It's not quite as gross as some of the other books I've read on the subject (although there was one part about putting things back in a cow that weren't supposed to come out) but he gets the message across very well. If you can read this and not at least consider what you're eating and how it impacts your health and the environment then there's something a little off in your brain.