Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Marriage equality happens. Now what?

Ecstatic is an understatement.

Add emotional and a few other feelings and you have what I feel now and really felt last Friday upon getting the news about the US Supreme Court ruling in regards to marriage equality.

Mike and I were married ten years ago in a ceremony we called " a loving act of civil disobedience" as we married in our home state of Colorado where marriage was not legal. Last year we went to our favorite beach (Torrey Pines in San Diego) and were legally wed.

Watching couples in Michigan, Ohio, North Dakota and Georgia brought on a flood of tears.

Of course not everyone is happy with the decision. The unhappiness began on the Court itself with those who dissented.

From Republican Presidential candidates to pastors to folks who just don't like gay people (including the previously mentioned), I have heard it all.

Here's what I have to say to those who are demonizing gay people and continuing the spiritual genocide against us:

No gay couple would want to be married by an anti-gay religious person in an anti-gay place of worship. So please stop with the fearmongoring about being forced to wed gay couples. No thank you.

We will continue to fight against hate and bigotry. Some of us are seasoned after living through the HIV/AIDS epidemic and dealing with so much bigotry against those with HIV/AIDS and then the ridiculous fight to be equal under the law in regards to marriage. And now we have some free time.

Traditional marriage. From the Old Testament? Multiple wives? Marrying teenagers? What exactly is traditional marriage? Marriage these days determines benefits and rights amongst couples. It shows the highest form of a couple's commitment. That's why I chose to marry my husband. And although we had a religious ceremony, I would be fine with a civil marriage.

Some Christians have said some terrible things about marriage and about gay people. There are more divorced heterosexuals in the U.S. than there are gay people but the hate does not extend to them.

There is something powerful in kindness. There is something powerful in love. I will continue to fight for equality and against bigotry, prejudice and hate. I won't demonize those against me, but I will not remain silent either.

More to come on this topic.

I'd like to close by saying thank you to all of those who have expressed kindness to us. I am truly grateful. The U.S. Supreme Court decision was intense for us for many reasons. We are still smiling.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 19, 2015

In mourning

NOTE: I am just expressing feelings here. This is not a though-out blog post.

I have been watching the news coverage from Charleston, South Carolina and my heart is heavy.

Then the news goes to the Aurora shooting trial here in Colorado.

Nine people murdered while in a bible study.

Twelve people murdered while going to see a Batman movie.

It's heartbreaking.

From here in Colorado all I can do is mourn, and write.

My head is full of thoughts about racism and violence. They are not clear enough for me to write about them yet. I'm sure I will.

Sending big love to all of you. I know that is not enough. Believe me, I am angry. I want to fight back against racism and violence.

I have been on Periscope a lot lately. I end each live video with "please be kind to one another".

And I think of many family members of those murdered in Charleston, who spoke words of forgiveness to the racist terrorist who murdered their loved ones.

What a world.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time to ditch dairy

Watching another video come out showing clear violence and abuse towards cows on a dairy farm in Fort Morgan, Colorado, is sickening.

The video shows dairy employees, who to me are cowards and monsters, doing what has become common in animal production: simple animal cruelty. If you care about any animal, this video will sicken you.

I am very grateful to Mercy For Animals for their undercover work.

The owners of the cows are horrified. The folks from the dairy cooperative that the dairy farm belongs to put the blame on Mercy For Animals. Both groups are pathetic.

Cruelty is inherent in these places.

It's time to ditch dairy.

There are so many other products out there that don't include inherent cruelty. And that don't financially support individuals who look at the animals suffering in the video simply as product, not as living, breathing beings.

In Colorado, all of the cowards shown in the video can be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

I hope the Fort Morgan Sheriff does this.

And I hope dairy milk sales continue to go down.

If you would like to watch the Mercy For Animals click here.

If you would like to read the Denver Post article click here.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Matt Ruscigno's session at Vida Vegan Con

I was thrilled to be able to attend my second Vida Vegan Con,  one of the best planned conferences I have ever been to and one filled with vegan bloggers from all over the world. This was the third (and the final) Vida Vegan Con and was held in Austin, Texas.

I will undoubtedly write more about Vida Vegan Con and wanted to start with one of the sessions I attended. Matt Ruscigno has a Master's in Public Health and is a Registered Dietitian. He is a rock star in my book. We need to know how to get and stay healthy while loving veganism, and people like Matt make that possible.

His session was about looking at the science of being vegan. It was fascinating and I could have listened for hours. I took notes, and would like to share a few nuggets of wisdom that I learned. What I am sharing here is what I got out of his talk. I want to make that clear as just because this is what I got from the talk doesn't mean I got it right!

Matt let us know that there is very little research that compares vegan and omnivore athletes. I have learned while trying to get healthier that research in vegan nutrition is key.

One of the several things he mentioned that really struck me, and mentioned a couple of times, is the phrase "what we do most often matters most". Love this. For me it means it I eat healthy most of the time, forages into vegan junk food and desserts aren't that bad. Yes, at times my life has been the opposite when eating healthy was not common! I have thought about this a lot and really want to focus on doing more around fitness and nutrition so that when I decide not to work out or decide to grab two cartons of ice cream, it's not such a bad thing.

Remember that I am not a dietitian. I do try to pay attention to what people like Matt have to say.

Matt also talked about that there is no one right way to discuss nutrition and science. That sure was  a relief!

He also mentioned that adding one food to your diet is not going to drastically change your health. I sure needed to hear that. What I am trying to do is to make eating lots of fruits and vegetables part of my norm.

One of the most important things he said was to not exaggerate in regards to veganism and nutrition. Be realistic and be careful with using nutrition as the gateway to veganism.

What Matt gets when at the market?  Leafy greens. Whole grains. Berries. Red cabbage. Quinoa. Lentils. Kale.

Check out more about Matt here.