Friday, October 28, 2005

Education: Lighting a fire

"Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire."

~ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Irish poet, playwright & mystic, winner of Nobel prize in 1923

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Leaf Cuisine is expanding!! Woo hoo!!!

So excited.

One of my favorite restaurants in LA is opening up its second restaurant.

Rod Rotundi, the brilliant soul behind Leaf Cuisine, has figured out a way to create incredible d-liscious raw food (amazing salads, wraps, smoothies, etc.) at incredibly affordable prices. (And, he should charge for the energy he creates in his restaurants alone! Seriously.)

If you haven't been to the Leaf in Culver City (on Washington just west of the 405) then get over there. If you're closer to the Valley, then cruise on over to the opening day party on November 12th from noon to six. Guaranteed to be a great time with the amazing people and energy that Leaf attracts.

Here's where it's all happenin'

Leaf in the Valley!

We are turning over a "new Leaf" in Sherman Oaks onVentura Blvd!

Grand Opening Party on November 12th from noon to 6 PM.

14318 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(Oak Ridge Plaza- cross street is Beverly Glen)

Congrats, Rod! Keep up the outstanding work!!!! (And the simply d-liscious food!!)

(OMIGOD I can't wait till there's a leaf next to every Micky-D's... :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Erik Marcus: Meat Market &

Just got back from dinner with Erik Marcus of followed up by his book signing in Pasadena.

Incredibly cool guy. Unbelievably passionate about his work and committed to changing the world.

Good combo. I like him.

Check out his new book: Meat Market: Animals, Ethics & Money. Buy a copy thru the link or cruise on over to a Borders to support a guy who deserves to be supported and to learn what's up with the abuse in the production of the meat our world consumes.

First of all, did you know we killed 10 BILLION animals in the US alone last year? Yikes. That number always blows me away...

His thoughts: There are a lot of compelling reasons to become vegetarian/vegan. The three major ones: nutrition reasons, environmental reasons & ethical reasons. His focus is on (and he thinks animal's rights activists' focus should be on) the ethics issue.

His big point: Our farms aren't what they used to be and animals are not treated the way they used to be treated. We now have factory farms. Animals are now commodities--not a whole lot different than scrap metal. The definition of a commodity is that it is essentially undifferentiated, meaning that, as a consumer, I'm just gonna buy the cheapest version of it. Now, if I'm the producer of these commodities, that means that I'm competing to deliver the cheapest price possible--and I'm constantly trying to shave a penny here and a penny there. If I fail to find ways to cut costs, I'll simply be driven out of business by my competitors who do find ways...

That's cool with scrap metal but when you cut costs in the production of animals, you're doing so at the great expense of animal welfare.

Imagine what happens when you commoditize and demand the reduction of cost to the production of animals, specifically to eggs as an example: Now, if my competitors can deliver an egg for less than 10 cents, I better be able to do the same thing. The only way I can do that is to pack as many chickens into the smallest space as possible requiring as little human labor as possible. Among the things you get in this scenario are chickens getting their beeks burned off so they won't peck at themselves and other chickens once they're put into battery cages so small they can never flap their wings their entire lives. Apply it to pigs and you get things like castration without anesthesia so you can save a few cents per, and real pleasant stuff like that.

My bottom line: animals are NOT commodities. They're sentient beings who should be treated with compassion. And, if we're going to consume them and their products, we should do so while creating the least amount of suffering possible. Our current system, is, in my opinion, disgustingly unethical.

I fundamentally believe that if more people had more awareness, they would, as consumers, DEMAND more humane treatment and be willing to pay more for that. I'm committed to raising people's awareness in this and all other domains. As it is, I refuse to contribute to the suffering and hope you'll join me in the effort.

Also: be sure to check out & for some other good stuff.

Thanks for all your hard work, Erik.


Flowing with your soul

A beautiful thought by Rumi from my buddy Dion at Art Quotes:
Inspirational art quotes and fine artists

Art Quotes for October 26

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.
::: Rumi :::

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America’s Favorite Food

Haven't read it yet, but looks interesting.

Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America’s Favorite Food by Steve Striffler

From inside the chicken factory, a report on the real cost of chicken for farmers, workers, and consumers.

Anthropologist Steve Striffler begins this book in a poultry processing plant, drawing on his own experiences there as a worker. He also reports on the way chickens are raised today and how they are consumed. What he discovers about America’s favorite meat is not just unpleasant but a powerful indictment of our industrial food system. The process of bringing chicken to our dinner tables is unhealthy for all concerned—from farmer to factory worker to consumer.

The book traces the development of the poultry industry since the Second World War, analyzing the impact of such changes as the destruction of the family farm, the processing of chicken into nuggets and patties, and the changing makeup of the industrial labor force. The author describes the lives of immigrant workers and their reception in the small towns where they live. The conclusion is clear: there has to be a better way. Striffler proposes radical but practical change, a plan that promises more humane treatment of chickens, better food for the consumer, and fair payment for food workers and farmers.

STEVE STRIFFLER is associate professor of anthropology, University of Arkansas. Excerpt from the Book:

It is my first day of work in one of the largest poultry-processing plants in the world. I am given “the tour” that all new workers receive. We begin in live hanging. Hundreds of live chickens flood off the trucks, down a chute, and into a bin where workers quickly hang them by their feet onto the production line. It’s surreal. It is nearly pitch black, on the theory that the darkness soothes the terrified birds. The smell and look of the place are oppressive, so I look for something to focus on other than the hanging itself. A worker. I eventually learn that Javier is from Mexico , but the figure is hard to make out at first. He is covered from head to toe in protective clothing that is itself coated with blood, shit, and feathers. Javier’s job is simple, if somewhat gruesome. The chickens have already passed through scalding hot water and have been electrocuted, a process designed to both kill the bird and begin the cleaning. Neither task is accomplished perfectly. The communal baths, popularly known as fecal soups, do clean, but they also pass harmful microbes from one bird to the next. The bath also doesn’t do a particularly good job of killing the chickens: one out of every twenty seems to make it through alive. The birds are in their last stages of life when they reach Javier. For eight hours a day he sits on a stool, knife in hand, and stabs the few chickens that have managed to hold onto life.

While watching Javier, I realize what this book will be about. How did Javier and the chickens arrive in this place, under these conditions? Where do they go once they leave the plant? And what does their experience in the plant mean to those of us who eat chicken? The search for answers led me to study a period when chickens were raised and processed quite differently, and to visit poultry farms, supermarkets, restaurants, and communities in the southern United States and central Mexico . As I learned while doing this research, whereas the chicken’s journey is one characterized by uniformity and predictability, the worker’s path is defined by variation, insecurity, and chaos. Neither experience leads to a particularly healthy outcome for bird, worker, farmer, environment, or consumer.

I do not feel sorry for Javier or the chickens. I have worked in a plant before, and stabbing chickens is a relatively easy job. Many workers would be glad to trade places. And the chickens are there to die. I knew this going in. The problem, which became more transparent as I passed by “evisceration,” the “KFC line,” and the “wing room,” was that no one departed from the plant in particularly good shape. The workers left poor, exhausted, and, in many cases, seriously injured. The chickens not only exited the plant dead, but in a “further-processed” form that was not particularly healthy for consumers. In short, the postwar promise of the industrial chicken—as a healthy, plentiful alternative to beef—has been lost for all of the people involved in its raising, processing, and consumption. There has to be a better way.


"Striffler presents the first in-depth look at the rise of the chicken industry in late twentieth-century America. The story is vivid, engaging, and—in chapters dealing with Mexican and other immigrant chickenworkers—riveting."—Deborah Fitzgerald, author of Every Farm a Factory

“A gripping and deeply sobering view of ‘big chicken’ from the bottom up. Striffler’s experience on the (dis)assembly line, his sympathetic grasp of the hopes, dreams, and origins of the workforce, and of the larger history of the industry, make for a uniquely powerful and memorable book.”—James C. Scott, Yale University

"Modern chicken production and consumption is embedded in a fascinating web of political, economic, social, and even psychological factors that need to be described, understood, and questioned. Steve Striffler, combining scholarly analysis with his remarkable brand of participatory research, has produced a masterful book, one I will recommend widely."—Kelly Brownell, Yale University

"With gripping prose and clear analysis, Striffler's Chicken brings workers, growers, consumers, as well as bird together around one big, unhappy table. His treatment of Mexican immigrant workers at Tyson's, inparticular, is a model of modern-day ethnography."—Leon Fink, editor of Labor: Working-Class History of the Americas

"Extraordinarily powerful. . . . This book will do for chicken what Fast Food Nation did for beef." — Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health

“[A] fast-paced narrative, rich with personal detail.”—Publishers Weekly

Student Suspended After Wearing Penis Costume

Too funny not to share:

Student Suspended After Wearing Penis Costume

(Watch the video for full effect.

What's this world coming to?!? A kid can't wear a penis costume to another school's homecoming?


Ken Wilber on the War In Iraq

Here's the most well thought out analysis of the war in Iraq you're likely to read. (If you find a better one, please let me know.)

The War In Iraq by Ken Wilber.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Integral: WET | Institute | Naked

Just got back from an AMAZING weekend immersion into Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute's integral philosophy.

All I can say is: "OMIGOD."

Brilliant stuff.

And, simply amazing people. Learn more about that seminar here.

If you haven't subscribed to Integral Naked yet, then get on it, would ya?!?! It's the best 10 bucks I'll ever spend a month.

And, get into Ken Wilber as well. I started with Kosmic Consciousness and think you'd dig that as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Consumers with a conscience drink 'fair trade' coffee

Here's a great little article on the trends in "conscious commerce"/"conscious capitalism." Love it.

Consumers with a conscience drink 'fair trade' coffee

"Totaling about a billion dollars per year, registered fair trade remains a drop in the bucket of world trade, about one hundredth of one percent.

Far more impressive is the growth rate of this fledgling commerce with conscience.

Sale of foods stuffs and clothing bearing a label certifying equitable conditions of production shot up more than 40 percent across Europe in 2003. In France -- one of the largest fair trade markets in the world -- and Italy, the jump was 81 and 400 percent respectively, according to an OECD study."

Multitudes and contradictions

I love this by Whitman:

"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Competition? Nah...just a rising tide...

I love Seth Godin's recent blog (below) on competition: "Too often, frustrated marketers believe that they'd do better if they just didn't have any competition...

In fact, the proximity effect can work in your favor. It usually does if your product or service is special. The proximity effect gives the consumer confidence. It creates a category where no category existed before. It lets you sell the difference, as opposed to the whole thing."

I often hear people sensitive to the idea of "competition." First, to be clear, I don't even think in those terms. My thoughts: Why compete? Just create and you'll be fine. Express yourself authentically and impeccably, create value for the people you serve and you'll do amazing things.

Furthermore, to Godin's point: let your "competitors" help you build the category. A rising tide lifts all boats, no?

ESPECIALLY within the lifestyles of health and sustainability market/alternative health world. Why in the world an acupuncturist or massage therapist or veggie restaurant would ever worry about competition befuddles me. We need to educate the world about these services!!! The more consumer options (aka "competition") the better.


We'll be coming back to this theme and I wanted to make sure I remembered this post:

The proximity effect

By Seth Godin

Booksclutter019Imagine a book publisher being upset because her company's books were being shelved right next to competitive books on the same topic...

In fact, books sell far better at bookstores than they do at trade shows or supermarkets or pubs. That's not news to you, I hope.

What about blogs? Blogs are far more read now than they were a few years ago when there were just a few blogs to choose from. And people visiting technorati are far more likely to read and discover a blog than someone who stumbles onto a blog link on, say, eBay.

And tuna? Tuna sells best in the fish store, lying next to the other, lesser fish, on ice.

Too often we're beaten down by comparison shoppers and companies issuing RFPs and commodity buyers who won't take the time to hear our story. Too often, frustrated marketers believe that they'd do better if they just didn't have any competition.

In fact, the proximity effect can work in your favor. It usually does if your product or service is special. The proximity effect gives the consumer confidence. It creates a category where no category existed before. It lets you sell the difference, as opposed to the whole thing.

At a bar, you don't have to sell vodka. You should have to sell why your vodka tells a better story than the other guy's vodka.

Online, this effect is profound. Search engines add value when they present a collection of choices... because your proximity to the "competition" for your reader's attention benefits both of you.

My switch from Amazon to Barnes & Noble

As part of my own evolution to becoming a more conscious consumer, I recently learned that, according to, Amazon and its executives prefer to support Republican campaigns over Democrats (at least for the election cycles before this year).

Well, I don't need my money going there.

So, I'm now a loyal Barnes & Noble customer!!

Woo hoo!

Yours in consciously circulating my wealth.

Bill Moyers on the environment

The Blind lead the Blind by Bill Moyers


I found the address on this amazing site which states that "The following Keynote Speech was delivered on October 1st, 2005 to the Society of Environmental Journalists at their convention in Austin, Texas. " (thanks to my new friend David for the intro...)

It's long, but WELL worth the read.

In his address, Moyers provides a powerful assault on the current state of environmental consciousness, a pointed attack on our current administration's digusting destruction of our natural resources, the ecological impacts of such action and, ultimately, our responsibility to do something about it.

Read it. Pretty please. It's the best primer you can read by one of our country's most brilliant men.

A few of the more poignant passages:

"President Bush has turned the agencies charged with environmental protection over to people who don't believe in it. To run the Interior Department he chose a long-time defender of polluters who has opposed laws to safeguard wildlife, habitat, and public lands. To run the Forest Service he chose a timber industry lobbyist. To oversee our public lands he named a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional. To run the Superfund he chose a woman who made a living advising corporate polluters how to evade the Superfund. And in the White House office of environmental policy the President placed a lobbyist from the American Petroleum Institute whose mission was to make sure the government's scientific reports on global warming didn't contradict the party line and the interest of oil companies. Everywhere you look, the foxes own the chicken coop."


"So if the environmental movement is pronounced dead, it won't be from self-inflicted wounds. We don't blame slavery on the slaves, the Trail of Tears on the Cherokees, or the Srebrenica massacre on the bodies in the grave. No, the lethal threat to the environmental movement comes from the predatory power of money and the pathological enmity of rightwing ideology."


"Who is left to open the eyes of the country - to tell Americans what is happening? "There is no one left; none but all of us."

Monday, October 17, 2005

All my audio stuff in one convenient place

Check it.

Meet Your Meat (then stop eating it, pretty please!)

As Paul McCartney once said, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian."

Here's a site that makes the walls a little more transparent.

Check it out:

(I was re-introduced to that link when I was reading a great blog post by Umesh, a Zaadz member and new friend. Thanks, Umesh!)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Props from Rajesh @ Life Beyond Code

Just got word from some new members of Zaadz/thinkarete that Rajesh Setty recently blogged about us over at (Great site, btw.)

Thanks, Rajesh!


My friend Alan Lattener of VenArete Growth Advisors points me to two great sites. Great stuff on philosophy, wisdom and a ton of inspiration. Here they are:

1. ThinkArete
2. Zaadz


Listen to some of my Notes! (woo hoo!)

*happy dance*

The guys at LearnOutLoud rock. They just produced the first wave of audio recordings for the little Notes I've written. (And did a great job. Thanks, Jon, Seth and David!)

Here's a sneak peak before we officially put em up on the site:

Business Stuff
* 80/20 Principle
* Writing Your Goals
* Love Is The Killer App
* The One Minute Manager

Philosophy Stuff

* Buddha
* Carlos Castaneda
* Krishna
* Marcus Aurelius
* Rumi
* Seneca
* Socrates

Friday, October 14, 2005

Zaadz Artist

Speaking of circulating wealth, go check out (and buy!) the amazing art from one of our poster Zaadz members:

BAD! Kitty Art Studio artist blog: Art with A SOUL Saucy Bold Joyful Real

Heather epitomizes the idea of discovering what you're here to do then having the courage and faith and all that good stuff to get paid to do it.

Her art rocks and she has these unbelievably cool things to say about Zaadz:

"Go to to see where I get a lot of my inspirations...Brian Johnson the modern day guru, is a terrific guy, one of my hero's really, and just a really great HUMAN...well I give his little web site a lot of the credit for three years ago pulling me from the depths of despair and moving me back onto the path. I was so lucky to have found him, and then he was kind enough (later) to befriend me as well. It's only THE best place for finding yourself again. Check it out, and join the community, it's THE most supportive place for inner growth I have ever found."

Blushing from the comments on me and THRILLED about the italicized. That sums up what we're all about: providing a community that inspires and empowers people to get paid to do what they love while giving their greatest strengths to the world.

Go Heather!!!!!

Have I mentioned how excited I am to show you the stuff we're working on?

Fun. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Conscious capitalism: an intro Vote with your wallet!

Great site that I checked out after the last election. You can search by industry, company, etc. and get an idea of how they treat their people, the environment and where their political donations go. I Just re-acquainted myself with the site as we develop a sort of grassroots "conscious capitalism" concept here at Zaadz.

Main point of our brand of conscious capitalism:
- I contribute to organizations/people/political causes in which I believe.
- I DO NOT circulate my cash to those organizations/people/political cause in which I do not believe.
- Therefore, why would I spend money at places who will use profit from my money to support organizations I would never support?

Hmmm...Doesn't make sense for me to do that. So, I'm choosing to be a more conscious consumer.

Strong recommendation that you consider doing the same thing.

Case in point: I recently blogged: Albertson's Says: Vaginas Are Bad! (Not so) Shockingly, Albertson's is a significant Republican supporter; and more here.

Whole Foods (obviously) and Alpha Beta are much better options if you're interested in consciously channeling your cash to organizations who share your politics.

Bottom line: never forget you're voting with every dollar you spend.

I'll be sharing more of my thoughts on the idea of conscious capitalism over the weeks and months ahead.


Self-Reliance & As a Man Thinketh as read by me!

Woo hoo!

I recently spent quite a bit of time working with my buddy Jon and his awesome crew (nice work, Seth!) over at to produce an audio version of two of my favorite essays: James Allen's "As a Man Thinketh" and Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance." (Actually, my job was pretty easy: I just sat down in their awesome studio and read a couple of brilliant essays. :)

They're both written in some rough 19th century-ish English, but there are some powerful passages that I think make it worth the listen (and the read).

So, check em out along with other stuff I've written and/or narrated!

Self-Reliance and As a Man Thinketh.

We've got a LOT of other stuff in the pipeline that we'll be releasing soon.

Fun fun fun.

Who says a justice has to have any relevant experience?!?

Hot places in hell

Found some notes from the RFK documentary I watched awhile ago and thought this quote from it was worth sharing:

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crises, retained their neutrality."
~ Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Italian poet & statesman
More quotes about: Crisis, Hell, Time

Are you taking a stand?!?


Get knocked down? No Problem. Get back up.

"Inside the ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong."

~ Muhammad Ali, boxing champion

(Just got that one from one of Brian Tracy's newsletters. Check em out.)

And, Teddy Roosevelt said it another way:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the
man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
American statesman (26th US president: 1901-09)
from "Man in the Arena" Speech given April 23, 1910
More quotes about: Achievement, Deed, Defeat, Effort, Enthusiasm, Errors, Failure, Soul, Timidity, Victory

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A message from Robert Redford about the Arctic Refuge

The message below, a letter from Robert Redford urging concerned Americans to protest President Bush's plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to massive oil development, was sent to you by Kriss Kevorkian from

Dear Friend,

No one voted on Election Day to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

But President Bush is now claiming a mandate to do exactly that.

Congress will soon cast a decisive vote that could turn America's greatest sanctuary for Arctic wildlife into a vast, polluted oil field.

Even worse, they are evading public debate on this devastating measure by hiding it in the "budget reconciliation" bill.

Please go to right now and send a message telling your U.S. senators and representative to reject this sneak attack on the Arctic Refuge.

Don't believe for a second that the president is targeting the Arctic Refuge for the sake of America's energy security or to lower gas prices at the pump.

President Bush knows full well that oil drilled in the Arctic Refuge would take ten years to get to market and would never equal more than a paltry one or two percent of our nation's daily consumption. Simply put, sacrificing the crown jewel of our wildlife heritage would do nothing to reduce gas prices or break our addiction to Persian Gulf oil.

But if the raid on the Arctic Refuge isn't really about gas prices or energy security, then what is it about?

It's the symbolism.

The Arctic Refuge represents everything spectacular and everything endangered about America's natural heritage. It embodies a million years of ecological serenity . . . a vast stretch of pristine wilderness . . . an irreplaceable birthing ground for polar bears, caribou and white wolves.

It is the greatest living reminder that conserving nature in its wild state is a core American value. It stands for every remnant of wilderness that we, as a people, have wisely chosen to protect from the relentless march of bulldozers, chain saws and oil rigs.

And that's why the Bush administration is dead set on destroying it.

By unlocking the Arctic Refuge, they hope to open the door for oil, gas and coal giants to invade our last and best wild places: our western canyonlands, our ancient forests, our coastal waters, even our national monuments.

This is the real agenda behind the raid on the Arctic Refuge and the entire Bush-Cheney energy plan: to transfer our public estate into corporate hands so it can be liquidated for a quick buck.

Tom DeLay (R-TX) admitted as much when he said this battle over the Arctic Refuge is really a fight over whether energy exploration will be allowed in similarly sensitive areas in the future.

"It's about precedent," Rep. DeLay said.

I take him at his word. If we let the president and Congress plunder the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the sake of oil company profits, then no piece of our natural heritage will be safe from wholesale destruction.

Please go to and tell your senators and representative to vote against any budget bill that would destroy the Arctic Refuge.

And thank you for speaking out at this critical time.


Robert Redford

A Polluter's Feast

If this doesn't piss you off I don't know what can.

From a Rolling Stone article:

A Polluter's Feast: Bush has reversed more environmental progress in the past eight months than Reagan did in a full eight years

What can you say about the environmental record of an administration that seeks to test pesticides on poor children and pregnant women? That argues in court that a dam is part of a salmon's natural environment? That places a timber lobbyist in charge of the national forests and an oil lobbyist in charge of government reports on global warming? That cuts clean-air inspections at oil refineries in half, allows Superfund to go bankrupt and permits the mining industry to pump toxic waste directly into a wild Alaskan lake?

Only this: It's about to get even worse.

The Meatrix

If you haven't seen The Meatrix yet, check it out. :)

Audio Learning Is Cool

Support a buddy of mine, will ya?!?!

My friend Jon Bischke is the Founder & CEO of He needs some help.

Here's his recent blog post:

Help us Change This!

By jbischke on Audio Learning

There's a cool website called that I've been a fan of for quite a while. They invite authors to write "manifestos" that propose new ideas and ways of looking at the world. In the past they've had some pretty cool manifestos from the likes of Tom Peters, Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin.

I have a proposal listed on their site right now. It would be a manifesto about audio learning and its ability to revolutionize peoples' lives. If you have a minute (it won't even take a minute), please cast a vote for the proposal at the following URL:

The more votes the proposal gets, the more likely that it will be turned into a full-blown manifesto.

Thanks in advance for helping to support the Audio Learning Revolution!

Discuss this post in the LOL Forums!


So, cruise on over to that site and vote for him!

Then cruise on over to and check out all the cool stuff he's got goin' on! :)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

World Beyond Borders

Gotta love Native Foods. I just had lunch after a little work out and met Jane--the women who started this great organization: World Beyond Borders. Cool stuff.

Check it out, yo.

Albertson's Says: Vaginas Are Bad!

Hah. Just read this article on how Albertson's recently pulled Seventeen magazine b/c it had an article on vaginas (OMIGOD! did I just say "vaginas"?!?) aimed at educating women about their health.

So, it’s OK to have magazines with nearly-naked chicks and directions on how to get in their vaginas, but OMIGOD don’t talk about a woman’s vagina and pubic hair and stuff! (And DEFINITELY don't show colored drawings and a couple of little pictures.)

An Albertson's rep says: "It's the corporation's right to decide what goes on our shelves and what doesn't. They're our stores; we own them."

Good point!

And, it's the consumers' right to decide where we're going to spend our money.

I don't know about you, but out of principle I won't be spending another dollar at Albertson's. As much as I love to imagine how much of my money they'd be able to contribute to the next right wing politician's campaign, I think I'm gonna pass on giving them any mo' of my money.

Go Whole Foods!

I'm going to be coming back to the idea of consciously spending your money with business owners who share your values. In fact, that's at the heart of what we're up to at Zaadz.

And, another OMIGOD!:

OMIGOD! I can't wait to show you the stuff we're gonna start rolling out this month. Fun. Fun. FUN!

Ken Wilber: Integral Naked

Holy sh*t, Batman!

As I mentioned before, Ken Wilber is a genius.

Check out Integral Naked, an online community/resource/content site where he interviews all kinds of amazing people--from Tony Robbins (the energy between these two in a dialogue is incredible) to Andrew Cohen (the enlightenment teacher and publisher of the great magazine What Is Enlightenment?) to Larry Wachowski (the elder of the two brothers behind The Matrix).

Membership is $10/month and you get access to an archive of INSANELY cool content you can download straight to your iPod and enter nirvana.

Don't walk. Run.


Life is a splendid torch!

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations."
~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
British playwright & novelist
More quotes about: Brevity, Community, Complaints, Death, Force, Future, Generations, Happiness, Joy, Life, Nature, Privilege, Purpose, Selfishness, Work, World

Biographies of the Great Ones

I haven't had a TV plugged in for the better part of the last 7 or 8 years. Recently got one, plugged it in and hooked up the ol' DVD (well, actually a new one) to it. Then signed up for Netflix.



Anyhoo, I've been living on a regular diet of biographies. Thought I'd share some of my favorites.

Just watched Tupac: Resurrection. Wow.

Other favorites:

- Tiger Woods (This is a must see--golf fan or not)
- Benjamin Franklin
- Teddy Roosevelt
- Malcolm X (well, not a biography but Spike Lee's genius story)
- Einsten
- Fidel Castro
- Napoleon
- When We Were Kings (Ali)

The audacity of these peeps is so ridiculously inspiring.

Other notable selections I highly recommed:

- Guns, Germs and Steel
- The Elegant Universe (OMIGOD! Who woulda thunk string theory could be so cool?!?)
- David Blaine (Fearless)

You got any recommendations for me?!? Thanks in advance. :)

Bono & Sachs: A Lecture on Changing the World


Saturday, October 08, 2005


Just read this quote from a Tom Peters rant.


"In classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke,’ but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, ‘LET US MARCH.’”
~ Adlai Stevenson


My GOD that's hot.

What are you passionate about?!?

What are you here to do with your own precious life?!?

Well, what are you waiting for?!?!


Friday, October 07, 2005

Ken Wilber's a Genius

For some reason it took me this long to finally get a taste of Ken Wilber.

The man's a genius.

Just listened to Kosmic Consciousness. HIGHLY recommend it.

Will be providing some details once I read some of his stuff.


Protect Organic Standards!

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) needs your immediate help to stop Congress and the Bush administration from seriously degrading organic standards. After 35 years of hard work, the U.S. organic community has built up a multi-billion dollar alternative to industrial agriculture, based upon strict organic standards and organic community control over modification to these standards.

Now, large corporations such as Kraft & Dean Foods--aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are moving to lower organic standards by allowing a Bush appointee to create a list of synthetic ingredients that would be allowed organic production. Even worse these proposed regulatory changes will reduce future public discussion and input and take away the National Organic Standards Board's (NOSB) traditional lead jurisdiction in setting standards. What this means, in blunt terms. is that USDA bureaucrats and industry lobbyists, not consumers, will now have more control over what can go into organic foods and products.

This week, acting in haste and near-total secrecy, the U.S. Senate will vote on a "rider" to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that will reduce control over organic standards from the National Standards Board and put this control in the hands of federal bureaucrats in the USDA (remember the USDA proposal in 1997-98 that said that genetic engineering, toxic sludge, and food irradiation would be OK on organic farms, or USDA suggestions in 2004 that heretofore banned pesticides, hormones, tainted feeds, and animal drugs would be OK?).

For the past week in Washington, OCA has been urging members of the Senate not to reopen and subvert the federal statute that governs U.S. Organic standards (the Organic Food Production Act - OFPA), but rather to let the organic community and the National Organic Standards resolve our differences over issues like synthetics and animal feed internally, and then proceed to a open public comment period. Unfortunately most Senators seem to be listening to industry lobbyists more closely than to us. We need to raise our voices.

In the past, grassroots mobilization and mass pressure by organic consumers have been able to stop the USDA and Congress from degrading organic standards. This time Washington insiders tell us that the "fix is is already in." So we must take decisive action now. We need you to call your U.S. Senators today. We need you to sign the following petition and send it to everyone you know. We also desperately need funds to head off this attack in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for your support. Together we will take back citizen control over organic standards and preserve organic integrity.

Take action here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bet on your ideas! (pretty please)

I just heard this quote from my friend Dan Millman as we discussed the challenges of getting Zaadz off the ground:

"Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one's better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk--and to act."
~Maxwell Maltz (1899-1975)

So true.

Are you willing to bet on yourself?



Wednesday, October 05, 2005

On Veganism

As I write a little essay on why I'm vegan, I'm trying to figure out why anyone wouldn't be. I honestly can't imagine how a thinking, aware, compassionate individual couldn't look at what's up and not decide to become vegan...

Anyhoo, here are my four reasons why someone wouldn't be vegan:

1. Lack of awareness. These people just don't know about all the disgusting stuff/suffering that goes on at a factory farm and/or how meat and dairy affect our bodies and/or how consuming the amount of animal products we consume is destroying our environment, etc.

2. Lack of compassion. These people know or have been exposed to the truth but think "hamburgers taste too good to give up" and don't want to look too closely at slaughterhouses b/c it might just force them to change...

3. Lack of courage. These guys and gals know what's up and have some compassion but don't want to offend mom and dad/friends by no longer eating hot dogs at the family barbecue or Turkey at Thanksgiving. I guess it's not easy (?) but come on.

4. Lack of discipline. These people know what they should do, they actually care about their world and want to see less suffering but they don't have the will power to actually create new habits and create a lifestyle that supports what they know to be true...

I've personally been through each of the four reasons, so I speak from experience...

So, I understand #1. If you just don't know, you just don't know. (And, I'm excited to see the surging shift in awareness that's occuring...) But if you're thinking, care about life and strive to match your behaviors with your beliefs, I honestly don't see how you could possibly not adjust your lifestyle.

Am I missing something here?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Laws, Good People and Stuff

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, While bad people will find a way around the laws.”
~ Plato (427-347 B.C.)

Cool quote my friend Devlyn shared with me over lunch today during an awesome chat. Thought I'd share.

The times they are a changin'

Nice work Erica and Co. over at Compassion Over Killing. Nice work.

Federal Trade Commission Announces End to Misleading Egg Logo
: Egg Industry to Discontinue Use of "Animal Care Certified" Seal

Monday October 3, 7:43 am ET

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that the United Egg Producers' (UEP) "Animal Care Certified" logo will no longer be stamped on egg cartons nationwide. This decision ends the egg industry's three-year national advertising campaign that misled consumers concerned about animal cruelty.

The "Animal Care Certified" logo first came under scrutiny in June 2003, when Compassion Over Killing filed petitions with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the FTC, as well as other federal agencies, asserting that the logo is misleading. Under the "Animal Care Certified" guidelines, egg producers are permitted to intensively confine hens in "battery cages" so small they can't even spread their wings, among other abuses.

In 2003, and again upon appeal in 2004, the BBB deemed the "Animal Care Certified" logo misleading because it implied a greater level of humane care than is actually the case. Despite these rulings and the BBB's subsequent referral of the matter to FTC for potential legal action against the UEP, the logo continued to appear on cartons across the country-and consumers continued to be deceived.

According to the FTC, by March 31, 2006, the "Animal Care Certified" logo will be gone from grocery store shelves, and consumers can expect to find it replaced with an alternative logo reading "United Egg Producers Certified."

"This victory is important for both animals and consumers," explains COK Executive Director Erica Meier. "While the egg industry's husbandry guidelines still permit routine animal cruelty, at least the new logo will no longer convey a false message of humane animal care. The industry's next step should be to amend its guidelines to prohibit battery cages."

COK's two-year campaign to expose the truth behind the "Animal Care Certified" logo has included undercover investigations inside certified farms, media exposes, consumer polls and outreach, petitions, as well as the filing of a lawsuit in the District of Columbia Superior Court against two retailers and an egg producer for their continued use of the misleading logo.

Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, and other advocacy programs. On the web at

Saturday, October 01, 2005

(Lots of) Awesome Veggie Quotes

Animals are my friends-and I don't eat my friends.
~ George Bernard Shaw

It is the fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed. It was once considered foolish to suppose that black men were really human beings and ought to be treated as such. What was once foolish has now become a recognized truth. Today it is considered as exaggeration to proclaim constant respect for every form of life as being the serious demand of a rational ethic. But the time is coming when people will be amazed that the human race existed so long before it recognized that thoughtless injury to life is incompatible with real ethics. Ethics is in its unqualified form extended responsibility to everything that has life.
~ Albert Schweitzer

The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.
~ Albert Schweitzer

A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.
~ Leo Tolstoy

If he be really and seriously seeking to live a good life, the first thing from which he will abstain will always be the use of animal food, because ...its use is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to the moral feeling - killing.
~ Leo Tolstoy

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
~ Albert Einstein

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

If man is not to stifle his human feelings, he must practice kindness towards animals, for he who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
~ Immanuel Kant

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
~ Matthew 5:7

To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.
~ Buddha

May all that have life be delivered from suffering.
~ Buddha

One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures.
~ Bhagavad Gita

A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is a bad as an act of cruelty to a human being."

~ Prophet Mohammed

Killing animals for sport, for pleasure, for adventure, and for hides and furs is a phenomena which is at once disgusting and distressing. There is no justification in indulging is such acts of brutality.
~ The XLV Dalai Lama

Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight. ...Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God's absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.
~ Rev. Andrew Linzey

There were no Slaughterhouses in the Garden of Eden.
~ Unknown

One day the world will look upon research upon animals as it now looks upon research on human beings.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

In all the round world there is no meat. There used to be. But now we cannot stand the thought of slaughterhouses.
~ H.G. Wells from Utopia

Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? It is certainly not lions and wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless,tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches. No, for the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.
~ Plutarch

The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of 'real food for real people,' you'd better live real close to a real good hospital.
~ Neal D. Barnard, M.D

People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.
~ Isaac Singer

Cruelty to dumb animals is one of the distinguishing vices of low and base minds. Wherever it is found, it is a certain mark of ignorance and meanness; a mark which all the external advantages of wealth, splendour, and nobility, cannot obliterate. It is consistent neither with learning nor true civility.
~ William Jones

What is it that should trace the insuperable line? ...The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?
~ Jeremy Bentham

I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't...The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.
~ Mark Twain

Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid.
~ George Bernard Shaw

The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism.
~ George Bernard Shaw

You're thinking I'm one of those wise-ass California vegetarians who is going to tell you that eating a few strips of bacon is bad for your health. I'm not. I say its a free country and you should be able to kill yourself at any rate you choose, as long as your cold dead body is not blocking my driveway.
~ Scott Adams (Dilbert)

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian. We feel better about ourselves and better about the animals, knowing we're not contributing to their pain.
~ Paul and Linda McCartney

The medical argument for animal testing doesn't stand up. Even if it did, I don't think we should kill other species. We think we're so much better; I'm not sure we are. I tell people, We've beaten into submission every animal on the face of the Earth, so we are the clear winners of whatever battle is going on between the species. Couldn't we be generous? I really do think it's time to get nice. No need to keep beating up on them. I think we've got to show that we're kind.
~ Paul McCartney

How can you eat anything with eyes?
~ Will Kellogg

You ask people why they have deer heads on the wall. They always say, “Because it's such a beautiful animal.” There you go. I think my mother's attractive, but I have photographs of her.
~ Ellen DeGeneres

People get offended by animal rights campaigns. It's ludicrous. It's not as bad as mass animal death in a factory.
~ Richard Gere

There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think there will come a time, and this is down the road a great many years, when civilized people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that have preceded it: the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them! The people of the future will say, meat-eaters in disgust and regard us in the same way that we regard cannibals and cannibalism.
~ Dennis Weaver

Animal factories are one more sign of the extent to which our technological capacities have advanced faster than our ethics.
~ Peter Singer

I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.
~ Dean Ornish, MD

It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation, that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion; and that the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Your choice of diet can influence your long term health prospects more than any other action you might take.
~ Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car.
~ Harvey Diamond

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
~ Froude

When we kill animals to eat them they end up killing us because their flesh...was never intended for human beings, who are naturally herbivores.
~ William C. Roberts, M.D

If you look at the course of western history you'll see that we're slowly granting basic rights to everyone. A long time ago only kings had rights. Then rights were extended to property-owning white men. Then all men. Then women. Then children. Then the mentally retarded. Now we're agonizing over the extension of basic rights to homosexuals and animals. We need to finally accept that all sentient creatures are deserving of basic rights. I define basic rights as this --the ability to pursue life without having someone else's will involuntarily forced upon you. Or, as the framers of the constitution put it, the ability to have "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." By what criteria can you justify denying basic rights to any living thing? Realize that by whatever criteria you employ someone could deny basic rights to you if they objected to your species, sexual preferences, color, religion, ideology etc. Would you eat your housecat, or force a mentally retarded child to ingest oven cleaner? If not, then why is it ok to eat cows and test products on sentient animals? I believe that to knowingly commit actions that cause or condone suffering is reprehensible in the extreme. I call upon you to be compassionate and treat others as you want to be treated. If you don't want to be beaten, imprisoned, mutilated, killed or tortured then you shouldn't condone such behavior towards anyone, be they human or not.
~ Moby

To be a vegetarian is to disagree---to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars---we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Vegetarians always ask about getting enough protein. But I don't know any nutrition expert who can plan a diet of natural foods resulting in a protein deficiency, so long as you're not deficient in calories. You need only 5 or 6 percent of total calories in protein... and it is practically impossible to get below 9 percent in ordinary diets.
~ Nathan Pritikin

The person who is afraid to alter his living habits, and especially his eating and drinking habits, because he is afraid that other persons may regard him as queer, eccentric, or fanatic forgets that the ownership of his body, the responsibility for its well-being, belongs to him, not them.
~ Dr. Paul Brunton

The standard four food groups are based on American agricultural lobbies. Why do we have a milk group? Because we have a National Dairy Council. Why do we have a meat group? Because we have an extremely powerful meat lobby.
~ Marion Nestle

An important fact to remember is that all natural diets, including purely vegetarian diets without a hint of dairy products, contain amounts of calcium that are above the threshold for meeting your nutritional needs....In fact, calcium deficiency caused by an insufficient amount if calcium in the diet is not known to occur in humans.
~ John McDougall

When you see the golden arches you are probably on your way to the pearly gates.
~ William Castelli, M.D.

I don't have any understanding of a human being who doesn't respect the beauty of life and that goes for all creatures that have thoughts, feelings and needs.
~ Alicia Silverstone

I know what it feels like to be hurt, and I don't want to cause that pain to any other person or creature. But somehow, in society, we numb ourselves in order to make money or to feel better about ourselves, such as with cosmetics or food. We say to ourselves, I'm going to use this animal. I'm going to say it doesn't have much worth so that I can allow myself to do these cruel things. And that just isn't fair.
~ Alicia Silverstone

Not that I say, "Oh, I'm not going to associate with certain people," but I have my world, and I only want to be around people who I feel stimulated by. I have to be honest I do have a new quest: I want to meet more vegetarians, people who are more like minded. There's something real neat about that feeling. It makes you feel so settled to know there's somebody else sitting right there, being so passionate about what I'm passionate about. I don't want to be around selfish people. I try to keep myself surrounded by deep people who will move me.
~ Alicia Silverstone

Nothing's changed my life more. I feel better about myself as a person, being conscious and responsible for my actions and I lost weight and my skin cleared up and I got bright eyes and I just became stronger and healthier and happier. Can't think of anything better in the world to be but be vegan.
~ Alicia Silverstone

I'm a big health food freak and a vegetarian devotee.
~ Chelsea Clinton

We don't live the lives of Eskimos. We don't need to kill animals for fashion.
~ Charlize Theron

The person I love would never wear fur. Fur just makes me think of shallow women who have no conscience. The fur industry belongs to a time when people were selfish beyond belief. If you were some ancient tribal chieftain, and there was not a department store nearby 350 years ago, I'd understand. But now, we have synthetic fibers, and it's not necessary. The elitism of fur makes me wanna puke.
~ Gavin Rossdale

I've been vegan for about 10 and a half years. It's been all good. I'm obviously much healthier
~ Woody Harrelson

I take vitamins daily, but just the bare essentials not what you'd call supplements. I try to stick to a vegan diet heavy on fruit, vegetables, tofu, and other soy products.
~ Clint Eastwood

MLK on True Compassion

"True Compassion is more than throwing a coin to a beggar. It demands of our humanity that if we live in a society that produces beggars, we are morally commanded to restructure that society."

~ Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968)
American civil rights leader, clergyman, youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize in 1964

(thanks, Jill, for the awesome quote. :)