witty vegan cartoons

December 29, 2006 at 2:57 am | Posted in Health & Healing, humor, Vegan, why vegan? | 11 Comments

ever found yourself unexpectedly having to defend the “freedom to choose your own diet”? found a witty cartoon of animals (probably from animal farm) promoting a vegan diet to save their own hides…enjoy!

update: i’ve put links to the meatrix 1, 2 & 2 1/2. update 2: there is an interesting discussion happening in this post’s comments. i’m including a few links to articles that discuss opposing sides of the meat-eating and human evolution theory. read & come comment. books/articles: meat-eating & human evolution, meat-eating and human evolution(critique), evolving to mush: how meat changed our bodies, hunter-gatherer diets -a different perspective, human adaptations to meat eating: a reappraisal, what is meat?, meat eating is an old human habit, food and human evolution.

update 3: for those of you interested in learning more about”shady” business tactics and social implications of the meat & diary industrial complex check out the critically acclaimed books: fast food nation and hungry for profit and don’t forget the must have dvd super size me.

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the passing of a “funky president”

December 27, 2006 at 6:04 pm | Posted in environment | 5 Comments

did you know that james brown‘s song funky president was about gerald ford? besides the week of their unfortunate passings, they also shared concern for environmental preservation (see james brown’s efforts in soul power, green power). as the only national park ranger to ascend to the presidency, it can be argued that ford brought a unique appreciation for the environment to the office. his strides into “common sense environmental protection” included his ’76 landmark speech on world environment day, the toxic substances control act, the phasing out of polychlorinated biphenyls (pcb’s), as well as environmental safeguards to protect animals. these policies and others are discussed in the book “politics, pollution and panda” by russell train, an enviornmental policy specialist, who served under both nixon and ford. while some critics believe these policies and ford’s overall stance on ecological issues were merely an “expansion of economic rhetoric” to distract the public from the rise in inflation, it was ford who nationalized the “observance of earth day on the march equinox” (he would later go on to establish earth week). here are several excerpts gerald ford in his own green words:

excerpt from ford’s earth day proclamation march 20, 1975

“the earth will continue to regenerate its life sources only as long as we and all the peoples of the world do our part to conserve its natural resources. It is a responsibility which every human being shares. through voluntary action, each of us can join in building a productive land in harmony with nature.”

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soul power, green power

December 25, 2006 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Activism, Black Folks, environment, Sustainability | 10 Comments

“let’s get together and get some land. raise our food just like the man.” – james brown, “funky president”

for me the above lyrics advises against overconsumption, to become less dependent on corporate production, and to re-establish a functional realtionship with the earth –an understanding james brown developed by watching his father harvest terpentine from local pine trees near barnwell, south carolina for a living.

the prolific elder, musician and human rights pioneer, james j. brown, jr., passed away this christmas morning. i was a bit caught off guard, particularly, since i recently viewed an interview with him on youtube. the interview was not representative of him at his best, so i was left to ponder: besides artistic genius, what did he leave us all with? what can we learn from his example? empowering messages. empowering messages, indeed. and while many of his most memorable songs were created to instill cultural pride and ignite self-determination amongst black folks, the concepts are timeless and universal.

just like a godfather, james brown left us words to inspire our courage. though, in the struggle for spiritual and emotional freedom he fought internal struggles that heavily impacted those around him, he provided us with salient words of wisdom that provoked critical thought and action. “i started a chain of gold platter restaurants…i financed my own line of food stamps.”

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bike pooling?

December 24, 2006 at 1:47 am | Posted in Cycling, environment | 2 Comments

with growing concerns and about global warming, more and more commuters are digging into the garages, layering up and riding their schwinn’s in to work. but soon “green-minded” cities will have to outline an additional “bike”pooling lane for those citizens looking to conserve “human” energy.

what the heck is that? its the “barrett side-by-side” crafted by the ingenious robert barret. one of the many tinker toys he designed back in the 70’s, this biofueled vehicle allows you to ride with another person (or alone) sitting right next to them. compared to the tandem alternatives, it’s more romantic and appears to be safer, too. on tandems bicycles, you could pass out if the person in the front decides to pass you a gaseous gift downwind. mike, brooklyn mechanic at the bicycle station, said that in all of his years repairing and going to conventions he hasn’t seen one in about 30 years. he was lucky to run into the inventor’s son, a student at pratt institute, who said that his dad still had a couple “brand new” still in the garage. but don’t get your hopes up too high. when it comes to the side-by-sides: “dig deep, it ain’t cheap”. a brand new one will cost you a grip — $3,700. (i’ve seen a used one go on ebay for only $300). but if you are looking to have fun this summer, this is the official head turner. not to mention, think of how much would save in gas and insurance co-pays for doctor visits. for a description on how it works –every bike has special powers you know–check out the barret’s patent information.

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good day to ride

December 24, 2006 at 1:36 am | Posted in Cycling, training log | Leave a comment

i almost slept in today —first day of vacation, finals’ stress has subsided, plus i was up till the wee hours of the night transferring files to this external hard drive —but this buzzin’ was killing me. too electronic to be a bug. “awh hell! its the bell”. almost didn’t answer —no disrespect but you know who it could’ve been. it was delivery folks sliding through. ran down flights of stairs in groggy daze, opened the door to be refreshingly awakened to the most beautiful, misty, warm winter morning. i’m definitely riding today.

so i suited up —still need some gear check out my wish list — and in my enthusiasm, flatted my front tire. no spare, but plenty of energy from the miracle reds drink, (tell you more about this later) i walked to vanderbilt to bicycle station for couple of tubes. mike, the dopest bike mechanic in bk, and i shot the breeze about the cycling community’s renewed interest over the side-by-side tandem bikes.

“you’re all set”. good-lookin’, i’m out. 4 laps in prospect park. feeling good. i’m back in motion. depending on courage, i might be down for a new year ride… tomorrow, i think i’ll switch it up –ride and bike. not setting any training goals yet, just enjoying myself. it’s amazing what you can do when there’s no school, work, and that sunday realization of going back to do it all over again.

“i believe” (the fiend’s anthem)

December 20, 2006 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Black Folks, Health & Healing, Hip-Hop | 4 Comments

i recently peeped the video “i believe” — a medicinal dart by stic.man off the dead prez and outlawz album: “can’t sell dope forever”. a little late, i admit, considering it dropped this past summer. now, there aren’t to many joints dead prez put out that i’m not “lickin’ shots for” but this video “righ’ chear”… i won’t spoil it for you. check it out and take a vote.


i believe
1) off the hook
2) its ok
3) not feeling it

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in general, i have an interest in how the aging hip-hop community (artists, fans, etc) deals with topics that most affect it, particulary those issues of health. in an arena where street crediblity is a marketing focus, speaking on health and disease presents an interesting challenge – how fly can you be spittin’ about healthy lifestyles? but at the same time folks are experiencing real health challenges and even death: foxxy brown with her hearing impairment, don’t foget big pun’s untimely death, havoc of mobb deep sickle cell anemia childhood diagnosis… the list goes on. so…

is this you?

December 12, 2006 at 3:14 am | Posted in Active, Cycling | 1 Comment

you do it when know one is looking…you try to hide it…and if someone sees evidence that you did it, before any development of feeling can be made about it (and/or you), you offer a crafty excuse, over-explain, or loose eye contact?

i’ve got it bad! my season ended nov 26th, with my 3rd ever duathlon, but all i can do is find new, and unnecessary, reasons to ride. you would think the cold weather would suffice as deterance….nope. i’ve got the bug…i’ve got it bad. somebody save me…<hr/>

what would fela do-O!

December 6, 2006 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Activism, Black Folks, Culture, fela kuti, Health & Healing | 1 Comment

on sat., dec 2nd, nite*vision and i celebrated my b’earth day @ bam‘s sold out red hot + riot – the illest event featuring an allstar cast of diasporic & continental africans giving soulfull (and i mean soul-full) tribute to the life, music + spirit of fela anikulapo kuti (born olufela olusegun oludotun ransome-kuti).

red hot + riot is one of the many charitable collabos of the red hot organization‘s efforts to build proactive awarness to the pervasive pandemic, AIDS. (check out nite*vision’s post hi five: tribute to fela for a breakdown of the musical experience). the thing was a surprise, but also strange: why was the red hot + riot poppin’ off in bam, of all places in nyc? what’s so special about this weeked? wasn’t tryna be ungrateful, but soon enough all things were revealed. the day before was world a.i.d.s. day and…

as the hypnotic timbres -of shekere with electric bass, djembe with synthesizer – formed a bridge between entertainment and enlightenment, all who attended where ready for the images on the background displaying facts on how AIDS is (still) the clear and present danger realized from the last “media-raid” you may have encountered. statements like: “new york is the epicenter of the a.i.d.s. crisis in the u.s. brooklyn has the highest death rate of all boroughs flashed across the screen. what! brooklyn?…we’re in brooklyn right now, homie! cats wouldn’t even get up to dance to this music, what kind of reaction can we expect as a result of leaving the concert? once “water no get enemy” ceases to be the ringing melody in your head…what do you do? Continue Reading what would fela do-O!…

vegan wushu

December 6, 2006 at 10:59 am | Posted in Active, kung fu, Martial Arts, qin na, wu shu | 4 Comments

so, this past weekend, as a gift to myself, i took a qin na intensive course with world renowned dr. yang, jwing-ming. to be honest, beyond the saturday afternoon “drive-in movie kung fu flick marathons” i haven’t been interested in “pop-culture” martial arts. honestly, how often does someone pull out a sword on you to take your wallet? (not to mention, when you watch those flicks notice how the hero is drastically out-numbered but beats 100 cats as they un-strategically “lunch room” line up, one after another, to get served). yeah, yeah, i know it’s just t.v., but even when i see styles taught i wonder, “what if they were in my neighborhood, would they just get jumped”. well, not if they are vegan – we all carry our carrot nun-chuks and celery sticks to a gun fight! but qin na (also, chin na) caught my attention a few reasons.

for one it was too practical to ignore. the main idea of this art is to neutralize attacks from your opponent. secondly, this master-teacher is very knowledgeable about the art. dr. yang -the keeper of the shaolin white crane, long fist, taijiquan (tai chi) and a list of other traditional chinese healing modalities – is a scholar with over 30 publications (and over 40 DVD’s) to his credit – all of which serve as “biblical” references to the broad martial arts community. qi gong: secret to youth was my first experience to his literary “kung fu” and i instantly became his imaginary student. lastly, he has a non-traditional teaching style that allows participants to learn key concepts without having to spend a lifetime in solitude. so you can walk out of the class and apply things immediately (if need be -don’t go looking for trouble). Continue Reading vegan wushu…

black vegans get no love?

December 6, 2006 at 3:00 am | Posted in Black Folks, Culture, Vegan | 17 Comments

the article below is almost 4 years old, but i found it (only recently) relevant. i’ve truncated it to highlight certain points, but you can read the whole article (and other cool ones) in this sister’s online column. enjoy! update: check out soulvegfolk – a social network for healthy & food conscious black folks. black vegans get love here.

The Soul of Holistic Health02.01.03 – by: Nicole D. Sconiers  

Black vegans get no love. We’re shunned at dinner parties, given mistrustful glances on buffet lines and never asked to contribute to the church potluck. I’ve been told more than a few times that my eating habits are “bourgeois,” as if the deletion of meat and dairy from my diet has somehow placed me in a culinary caste system.

… A good friend hipped me to the “Fit for Life” nutritional principles and I adapted a strict vegan regimen to lose fifty pounds. As soon as I took charge of my health, a state of wholeness–physically, spiritually and emotionally–set in.

Once I embarked on this journey into nutrition and wellness, I became hungrier for more knowledge. I went searching for kinship and community and I found both in Dr. Nathan Rabb, a naturopathic doctor and trailblazer in the holistic health field…He caught my attention because his theme song is the psychedelic Curtis Mayfield classic “Junkie Chaser” …But I would soon discover that junkie chaser is an apt description for the work Dr. Rabb is doing in his neighborhood–trying to rid it of the dietary monkeys riding the backs of many blacks. Continue Reading black vegans get no love?…

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