Posts filed under ‘Anti-Consumerism’

The Story Of Stuff


by Annie Leonard
Sponsored by Tides Foundation & Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

You’ve learned a lot in The Story of Stuff. But of course, there is a lot more information out there on the topics raised in the movie. Click on the resources below and learn more:

Fact Sheet (PDF)

Annotated Script (PDF)

Glossary (PDF)

Recommended Reading

Another Way

Full List of NGOs

You can download The Story of Stuff in its entirity from this site. Simply save the link below to your computer (50 MB).

Download Movie (.mov)


Cited from: http://www.storyofstuff.com

Thursday, 29 May, 2008 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

Ode To Soy

Ahhh, soy. The little bean that could. Today’s sophisticated vegan is no stranger to this multi-faceted marvel. It’s versatility is simply unparalled and we consume it in some form or another on a daily basis, be it soymilk, soy cheese, tofu, mock meat or even soy ice cream. Personally, it’s been my wildcard food of choice for a long time now. (I’m an avid consumer of Silk products.)

The soya bean originally found its roots in the culture of food many a century ago, thanks to Asian diets and lifestyles but its uses have since evolved into something of a recent phenomenon, being implemented in countless modern production processes of not only the culinary kind but also medical, environmental and even automotive. Nowadays, you can find soy fueling our cars, feeding our livestock, preventing and/or reversing the effects of cancer and then some.

Its benefits are outstanding and there’s no denying that the humble soybean has taken the world by storm as of late (especially in the west) but as this well-marketed legume quickly gains its glorified status, one has to stop and ask what’s up with all the hype? Soy has been around for a good few millennia now, so why are the westerners (or, rather, Americans) just recently beginning to sink their teeth into it? Fortunately, you don’t have to dig too deep to find out.

The truth is, there’s been a dark cloud of conspiracy surrounding the recent soy craze for some time now. Despite the firm, popular belief in soy’s unending advantages, naysayers bash the bean as being dangerous and detrimental to our health, as it inhibits the body’s intake of nutrients and minerals, increases the production of phytoestrogens, fucks up our thyroid and stunts our growth. Researchers attribute the diminished stature of the Chinese to the, albeit minimal, consumption of soy in their daily diets. Many, if not most, of these numerous findings conflict with the cool bean’s empowering promise of greater well-being, so who exactly is touting these miracle claims anyway?

Enter, our old friend, the FDA.

Associates of this shady organisation have invested millions in crafting a nationwide marketing campaign for the infamous soybean. Groups such as the United Soybean Board, who are responsible for the Soybean Checkoff, a program that they describe as such:

Like producers of other commodities, such as beef, dairy and eggs, soybean farmers collectively invest a portion of their end-of-season profits to fund research and promotion efforts. This collective investment is called a checkoff. The soybean checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual contributions of 0.5 percent of the market price per bushel sold each season. The efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of 68 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the Board.

The soy industry hired Norman Robert Associates, a public relations firm, to “get more soy products onto school menus”. The USDA responded with a proposal to scrap the 30 per cent limit for soy in school lunches. The NuMenu program would allow unlimited use of soy in student meals. With soy added to hamburgers, tacos and lasagna, dieticians can get the total fat content below 30 per cent of calories, thereby conforming to government dictates. “With the soy-enhanced food items, students are receiving better servings of nutrients and less cholesterol and fat.”[1]

Under the old component system, soy protein could be used in foods, but it couldn’t replace more than 30 percent of the meat in products. For instance, a burger patty could not contain more than 30 percent soy protein; the remaining 70 percent of the patty had to be meat. The soy was also fortified with iron, a requirement that came about as a result of USDA research which indicated that soy inhibits the body’s ability to absorb iron.[2]

Indeed, something’s up and more research is starting to break ground. Whether or not the intentions of the FDA, USDA and the newfound soy industry are genuine (and how often are they?), the fact is there’s all sorts of dirt on the topic. There are two sides to every bean and, until these findings prove otherwise, I’m turning over a new leaf and switching to hemp. Surely a seed responsible for the ostracising of an entire cultural movement and a relentless war on drug abuse can’t be nearly as harmful.

For more information on soy, visit Soy Research Today.


1Soy Alert — Tragedy and Hype: The Third International Soy Symposium, by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig, PhD, 2000
2USDA School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children, Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D.

Wednesday, 28 May, 2008 at 2:37 pm Leave a comment

Cold, Hard Truths

After venturing into the lifestyles of veganism, environmentalism and anti-consumerism, D and I seem to be travelling down an increasingly empowering path of enlightenment. The more we read, watch and discover for ourselves, the more educated we become and the better the choices we make on what to eat, wear, buy or how we live our lives in general. It’s true what they say; the truth will set you free. Thanks to books like Skinny Bitch, Body & Soul and The Secret, organisations like PETA and Adbusters and documentaries such as Earthlings , An Inconvenient Truth and Super Size Me, we now know so much more about our world and the industries that operate it than ever before.

All of this newfound wisdom sure sheds some much needed light on the misinformation that the general populace so ignorantly devours and genuinely takes as fact. Everybody knows the entire planet is totally fucked up because of our selfish bullshit but far too few of us are aware of why that is. So, rather than just accept the fact that we are inherently the absolute filth of the Earth and continue on down the road of self-destruction, perhaps it’s time we take an eye-opening glimpse into the actual reasons behind that and fucking do something about it for once:

Zeitgeist, The Movie
Enter, Zeitgeist. More along the lines of a two-hour long slap in the face than a documentary, this film has proven to be the biggest reality check of our lives. Released in June 2007, it’s made quite the impact already and I imagine its powerful ripple is still in effect. Granted, it’s mostly surrounding religious and political conspiracy in the US but these are topics that effect our entire species. Zeitgeist offers a grim reminder that there are some real shitty global forces at play and that, perhaps, you should be aware that their dirty tactics do involve you.

Learn something. Download or watch the video here:
http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com

Friday, 23 May, 2008 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Human Footprint

Everything you eat. Everything you drink. Everything you use. Your entire life’s consumption. In one place at one time.
Sunday, 13th April, 9PM ET/PT
National Geographic Channel

National Geographic Channel hosts Human Footprint next month, a showcase of the average modern human being’s lifelong exploits and the resultant amount of waste left behind.

Green Guide

The Green Guide
Get practical tips on how to live a healthier, greener life.
Visit Green Guide

Carbon Calculator

Clouds covering a blue sky
Calculate your CO2 emissions and learn how you can reduce them.
Go Now

Earth Hour 2008

Earth Hour logo
Pledge to reduce your carbon emissions.
Learn More

Saturday, 22 March, 2008 at 4:13 am Leave a comment

Skinny Bitch

Skinny Bitch

Skinny Bitch
Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers (December 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762424931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762424931

This is the big gun. If ever there was a certain something to really make you stop and think about what you’re eating to the point that you vowed to become a vegan and never look back, this is it. If this blunt and sans bullshit approach to the modern food industry doesn’t open your eyes, then all hope is lost.

Though this hip and fierce little piece of literature has been starting wildfires around the country (U.S.A.) since 2005, it doesn’t look like the flames will be letting up anytime soon. Authors Rory and Kim (former model and model agent) make many a striking statement about what you eat, how you eat it and who puts in on your plate in the first place. They tackle ugly social habits including drinking, smoking and morning coffee binges without mercy and shed some much needed light on conspiracies underlying the FDA, EPA and other governmental and corporate giants. Discover just how mainstream media and the money-hungry execs who operate it convinced millions that milk is beneficial to your body, that Splenda is a safe and natural alternative to sugar and how carbohydrates have been branded with the mark of Satan. And, above all else, discover what it really takes to be a skinny bitch.

D and I finally picked this up this little marvel yesterday after spotting it for the first time at the Harrisburg International Airport and we’re just shy of reading it from front to back. Despite the fact that we’re devout vegans and environmentalists, there always seems to be some grotesque factoid floating about that we have yet to be introduced to and Skinny Bitch has us swimming knee-deep in them. Expect to see a little excerpt from the book on my blog sometime soon.

Thursday, 13 March, 2008 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

DVNO

by Justice

This shit is tight. You simply have to love Justice, there’s no way around it. The hot hot Parisian duo has been churning out blazing mixes and remixes of electro since 2003 and the temperature’s still rising. I came across this video and simply had to post it. I mean seriously — Justice, Electro, Badvertising. It’s screaming my name and I gave in. Also check out Mathematikal‘s Edit right here:

http://www.mathematikal.net/DVNO_(Mathematikal_re-edit).mp3

Tuesday, 4 March, 2008 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Back In Mac

It’s been a long time coming but hey, let’s get personal.

So… I’m at work. Sitting in the office once again with absolutely nothing to do but just that. I’m stuck here without a supervisor, a shallow and sleazy British co-worker who doesn’t say a word to me, a dinosaur of a PC and oh, look… my new MacBook Pro has just arrived over the weekend. With nothing better to do, I decided to unravel its chic, glossy packaging to reveal the wonder that now lays on my office carpeting, humming quietly like a spring breeze under the surrounding fluorescent haze. Three weeks into my new job, it’s finally here and still, I can’t do jack with the poor thing. Look at its shiny eagerness. Suffice it to say, I’m not one of those stereotypical designers who goes gaga over Apple products but there’s an appreciation there, sure. I’ve always said they’re designed for simpletons (and I still stand by that statement) but people usually minconstrue that connotation. It gets the job done, hassle-free but they’re still hardly my first choice. Oddly enough, this time, it was.

After hand-picking the hardware, software and other doodads to accompany me in my own, confined area of office space, it’s slowly coming to my attention that, maybe, this job isn’t so bad after all. The pay’s a little lacking but we can get by, I suppose. Though, considering all of the baby products D and I have been scouring the web for lately, the figures do seem a little grim. And you should see this list, by the way. We’re nowhere near complete but it’s already pretty grandiose. We’ve found flushable, biodegradable diapers, couture, organic baby decor and all sorts of vegan-friendly options for our babe and we’re loving it. Thinking about posting said shopping list soon but that won’t be for a while.

We want the best for our little man, naturally — and yes, I really do mean “naturally” in every sense of the word — but (naturally) it comes at a cost. At this point in time, we might put the small dream of our own place on the back burner for another month or so just so we can save up to prepare for our forthcoming guest. I guess we can deal with a few more days of lecturing, tension and drawn out periods of awkward silence in order to accrue some much needed monies for him. I’m just becoming a little ill from swallowing my pride so often.

Speaking of which, I’m considering starting a new HRT regimen with the aid of selected items from The Phoenix Project. Those of you fellow TGs out there who may have had a little experience with them, please offer your guidance and wisdom if you’re so obliged. From all the homework I’ve done though, it seems like a good decision. And of course, they’re all natural so you know that’s music to my ears. No prescriptions necessary, way less expensive and good for you taboot! Come next paycheque, there’ll be some serious changes around here…

Speaking of paycheques, we’re broke again. My first one in months and we’ve just about spent every cent, save for a few bucks in my pocket and some loose change. Oddly enough, we didn’t waste it all partying our asses off this time either. In fact, most of it went to food and necessary organic and/or natural care products, all not tested on animals (which reminds me, I need to post something about that). Oh and damn, please watch Earthlings, everyone. It’s seriously something every single person on this planet needs to witness. We finally managed to catch An Inconvenient Truth last nite too and honestly, the emotional impact is on an even greater level. This planet’s in peril. People just need to give up the meat.

I’ve noticed that my blog is getting far more traffic lately so I’m hoping someone’s listening to me. I’m aware it’s mostly due to my recent posts of the Sweeney Todd soundtrack and Ministry of Sound compilation but if you happen to read this, walk away with something a little more meaningful if you can. I’m so close to going over the edge and mighty morphing into one of those raving activists running circles stark naked around big buildings. If not for your health, do it for mine. But don’t worry, I’ll continue to post more free music, tranny talk and whatever vegan goodness I happen to stumble upon. Spread the happiness!

Monday, 25 February, 2008 at 3:11 pm 2 comments

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Misadventures Of A Vagrant T-Girl

There's plenty fun to be had. From the Cayman Islands, to London, to Phoenix and back again, Silky's been there, done that. But life's for the living and I ain't dead yet. Making vegans look cool, trannies sound sexy and delivering shit hot Electro is my deal. Loving my beautiful wife, nurturing my baby boy Phoenix and making my small mark on this jaded world of post-consumerism is my mantra. Friends, welcome. Guests, indulge. There's plenty fun to be had.

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Birthdate: 19th February, 1983 Nationality: Caymanian Star Sign: Aquarius/Pisces Orientation: Bisexual Diet: Vegan Occupation: Graphic Designer WiiMail: w8848634343789919@wii.com
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