Tag Archives: go vegan or vegetarian!

Are chickens smarter?

By Heather Moore

Are you concerned about animal welfare? Do you believe that “cage-free” eggs and “free-range” chicken are humane options? Then you’ll be interested in a recent Popular Science article revealing that up to 86 percent of hens on “free-range” egg farms incur broken breast bones – largely because “cage-free” birds are about as “free” as the inmates at the county jail.

It turns out that even so-called “cage-free” birds spend much of their time in crowded sheds with no access to the outdoors — they aren’t given the space they need to develop strong bones and muscles.

And farmers manipulate their food and the lighting in the warehouses to force their bodies to produce more eggs than they would naturally.

Eggshells require calcium, so the nutrient is leached from their bones, which become brittle as a result. Both of these factors lead to weak, fragile bones that break easily.

Scientists are looking for a solution to this problem, but I’ve already got one: Stop eating chicken eggs and flesh.

The market research firm Packaged Facts apparently agrees, saying that the food industry can’t ignore animal-welfare concerns and should invest in plant-based meats.

Memphis Meats comes to mind. The Bay Area startup recently unveiled the world’s first chicken strip that was grown in a laboratory. Laboratory-grown meat requires only 1 percent of the land and 4 percent of the water that conventional meat uses, and it produces up to 96 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions. Clean meat, as it’s sometimes called, is also expected to help stop the spread of bird flu and other animal-borne diseases, which flourish on filthy, crowded chicken and turkey farms.

This is promising news that will benefit us all — but especially the chickens who would otherwise be confined, killed and devoured.

Chickens aren’t even included in the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act, the only federal law that offers any sort of protection to farmed animals.

They’re often scalded and dismembered while they’re still conscious. And that goes for “cage-free” birds as well as those raised on conventional factory farms.

But many people are beginning to understand that chickens need space and have interests and feelings that must be protected. Hopefully soon, everyone will realize that there’s no good reason to eat them at all.

Chickens are self-aware and have complex social structures, empathy for one another and distinct personalities, just as humans do. Male chickens often strut around trying to impress females and show other males who’s boss.

Sound familiar?

Like us, chickens form strong family ties and mourn when they lose a loved one. When they’re not confined to filthy egg farms, hens will lovingly tend to their eggs and “talk” to their chicks, who chirp back, while they’re still in the shell.

A scientific review published earlier this year illustrates that chickens are a lot smarter than most people realize. They communicate constantly and have at least 24 distinct calls to convey information and warn one another of predators. Researchers have found that they can count, anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control. I can’t say that for some humans I know!

When undergraduates at the University of Adelaide were instructed to train chickens as a way to learn about psychology and cognition, one student commented, “Chickens are a lot smarter than I originally thought.”

So the next time someone calls you a “bird brain,” take it as a compliment. And when you’re grocery shopping, make the smart choice: Opt for healthy vegan foods. If you want something that “tastes like chicken,” try Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken strips or Gardein’s meat-free “chick’n.”

Because no one who believes that kindness is a virtue, as we all say we do, can argue that it’s acceptable to be cruel when we have the option to be kind.

Worcester news you can use …🌷🌷🌷🌷

De-escalating Interactions between the Police and People with Mental Illness who are in Crisis

May 16 – from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Bridge of Central MA

4 Mann St., Worcester

Lead by Sergeant William Chanis, Officer James Hodgerney and Officer Angel Rivera – The Worcester Police Department Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

Families, Friends and People Living with Mental Illness will learn:

Overview of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

How the CIT partners with the community

What families, friends and people living with mental illness can expect

The Worcester Police Department is a partner with NAMI Massachusetts Criminal Justice Diversion Project (CJDP) aims to prevent the unnecessary arrest and detention of individuals with mental illness.

The CJDP supports police departments and other first responders in engaging with individuals experiencing mental health crisis, and fosters connections between law enforcement, behavioral health providers, and other community stakeholders.

Parking in back entrance of The Bridge of Central MA

NAMI members will greet you at the door.

Questions: email hannigan01583@charter.net

AT THE FRIENDLY HOUSE!💚

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At the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center in Great Brook Valley:

19 Tacoma St., 3rd Floor Conference Room

Refugee Health Groups in ARABIC

Thursday, May 18

At 11 a.m

Important information to keep you and your family healthy!

This group will discuss healthy tips for the summer and summer programs for youth.

Arabic interpreter available

Bus passes provided

Please call Sousn Imam for more information:
508-852-1805 TTY 800-439-0183

This program is sponsored by Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center. This program is funded by the Office of Refugees and Immigrants Massachusetts Refugee Health Promotion Program.

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The Greater Worcester Community Foundation is now accepting applications for the Youth for Community Improvement (YCI) Class of 2017.

This is a great opportunity for young people…

In its 18th year, YCI is a youth led program focused on creating change through Worcester County through grantmaking in their communities.

High school sophomores and juniors from across Worcester County sit on a youth committee of on average 18 youth, in which they solely decide upon how to distribute funds provided to them of about $20,000 in grants to support community initiatives.

Which programs and how much funding each program will receive is determined by the committee.

Throughout the program, teens enhance and develop skills in leadership, facilitation, negotiation, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.

Committee members are in charge of facilitating conversations, researching community assets and challenges, developing a request for proposals and evaluating applications, and together reaching decisions on how to best utilize their grant dollars.

From the beginning of the program to the end, participants gain a better understanding of grantmaking, redefine their own definition of community, and develop a new passion for work in nonprofits and philanthropy.

This is a great opportunity for any sophomore and junior interested in service, leadership, nonprofits and fundraising, and who is looking to expand their network beyond their school.

We encourage students of all skill and experience level to apply.

We do have limited spots available for this upcoming year and an application and interview are required.

Applications must be received by Friday, June 2.

YCI meets every Wednesday once a week from 4-7pm from September- December at the GWCF office in Worcester.

As the advisor to this program, I am happy to chat and answer any questions! Many thanks for your time and assistance in helping connect YCI with our talented and passionate future leaders!

-Sarah Shugrue, Program Officer
sshugrue@greaterworcester.org

From PETA.ORG:

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An Irresistible New Guide to Vegan Love and Dating!

Have you recently adopted a vegan lifestyle? A new book by Maya Gottfried explores the intricacies of the love-and-dating side of things. This guide explains everything about vegan dating, from whether you should crush on a nonvegan, to where to go on a first date. Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal, With Fashion, Makeup & Wedding Tips is the tool you need to navigate the world of vegan relationships!

Vegan Love is a practical guide for single vegan women who are looking for love, but it’s also a means of support for those already in committed relationships. However, the deeper purpose of the book is key: It will help you develop the skills to give love, compassion, and respect on every level, and this will spill over into your romantic life. Plus, Vegan Love includes guides to shopping for vegan and cruelty-free makeup and clothing.

In the book, author Maya Gottfried discusses the personal health crisis that led her to realize that going vegan would save both the lives of animals and her own. Insights from animal rights filmmakers and authors are featured throughout the text. Some of the bright minds who weigh in include Marisa Miller Wolfson of the film Vegucated, as well as Jasmin Singer, author of Always Too Much and Never Enough, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author and host of the Food for Thought podcast.

A Week’s Worth of Vegan Dinners From Trader Joe’s market – on Rt. 9 – Shrewsbury (just over the bridge)🍞☕🎶

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Cece!🐺 Trader Joe’s sells cat and dog food! pic: R.T.

We do our grocery shopping here and love it! Open ALL DAY, 7 days a week. Fun!💋 They’re located in Shrewsbury, Rt. 9, just over the Worcester line, just over the cool bridge! They sell EVERYTHING, including organic, veggie fare – cheap! Plus plants, cut flowers, greeting cards, soaps, lotions, personal care products – all BEAUTIFULLY PRICED! CHECK ‘EM OUT!

– R.T.

From PETA.ORG:

Whether you’re brand new to vegan eating or a seasoned pro looking for extra inspiration, we’re here to help you find great food.

The wide array of vegan products at Trader Joe’s, for example, makes finding plant-based foods especially easy and convenient.

Check out the sample meal plan we’ve laid out below based on vegan items at Trader Joe’s, where one-stop shopping for an entire week’s worth of dinners is a snap.

Monday: Meatless Meatball Subs

Tuesday: Black Bean and Beefless Crumble Tacos

Wednesday: Sriracha Baked Tofu Stir-Fry

Thursday: Cashew Cream Tomato Pasta

Friday: BBQ Tofu Sliders with Broccoli Slaw

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Corndog Muffins

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Monday: Meatless Meatball Subs

Costs approximately $1.85 per serving

These four ingredients will cure your case of the Mondays.

1 pkg. frozen Meatless Meatballs
1 jar Traditional Marinara Sauce
1 pkg. vegan hot dog buns
1/2 pkg. Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds

Prepare the vegan meatballs according to the package instructions.

Add the marinara sauce to a skillet and heat over medium heat until warmed through.

Toast the buns and fill with the vegan meatballs (about 6 per bun). Top with the sauce and vegan cheese shreds and, if desired, toast in a toaster oven for 5 minutes or until the “cheese” melts.

Makes up to 5 subs

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Tuesday: Black Bean and Beefless Crumble Tacos

Costs approximately $3.50 per serving (2 or 3 tacos), not including toppings

Grab your favorite oil and fry up these ingredients.

1 pkg. Beef-Less Ground Beef
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix
1 jar Traditional Marinara Sauce
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
5 taco shells
1 avocado, sliced
Salsa, shredded lettuce, and vegan cheese (optional)

Prepare the beefless ground beef according to the package instructions and transfer to a skillet. Add the taco seasoning mix and tomato sauce and cook over medium heat until thickened. Stir in the black beans and cook until warmed through.

Fill the taco shells with the beefless crumble mixture, avocado, and any other toppings of your choice.

Makes 5 tacos

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Wednesday: Sriracha Baked Tofu Stir-Fry

Costs approximately $2.36 per serving

Warning: You may get addicted to this Sriracha tofu!!

Oil, for frying
1 pkg. Sriracha Baked Tofu
1 pkg. frozen Vegetable Fried Rice
1 pkg. fresh broccoli florets or baby broccoli

Cut tofu into strips.

Combine all the ingredients in a lightly oiled pan and cook covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Makes 3 to 4 servings

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Thursday: Cashew Cream Tomato Pasta

Costs approximately 65 cents per serving

Your friends won’t believe how easy this dish is to make.

1 16-oz. pkg. penne or rigatoni pasta
1 jar Organic Tomato Basil Marinara
1 cup cashew pieces
1/2 cup almond milk

Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.

Blend the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Add the pasta and the sauce mixture to a large saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until warmed through.

Makes 8 servings

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Friday: Tofu Sliders with Broccoli Slaw

Costs approximately $2 per serving

These vegan sliders are the perfect potluck dish.

1 pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 cup Organic Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce and Marinade
1 pkg. Organic Broccoli Slaw
3/4 to 1 cup Vegan Spread & Dressing
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1 pkg. Mini Hamburger Buns

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Coat the tofu with the BBQ sauce and bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, vegan spread, sugar, salt, apple cider vinegar, and raisins or dried cranberries, if using.

Toast the buns and layer on the baked tofu and broccoli slaw.

Makes 5 servings

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Saturday: Pizza

Costs approximately $1 per serving, not including extra toppings

This is what pizza should look like.

1 pkg. Regular, Whole Wheat, or Garlic & Herb refrigerated pizza dough
Flour, for dusting the work surface and baking sheet
1 jar pizza sauce
1/2 pkg. Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds (optional)
Toppings of your choice (mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Knead the pizza dough on a lightly floured work surface and then flatten onto a floured baking sheet.

Spread the pizza sauce evenly on top and add the vegan cheese, if using, as well as your favorite toppings. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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Sunday: Corndog Muffins

Costs approximately $2.22 per serving

We’ve got a recipe video ready to help you throw these together.

And of course, Trader Joe’s has plenty of other vegan products that aren’t on this list, too — including fresh produce and beverages.

This list is just a template to help you get started, but there are thousands of recipes on PETA.org, if you want to swap anything out. And if you’re ever feeling stuck in a rut, cooking the same foods over and over again, just pop by the PETA Living food page for some new inspiration.

You can go vegan, and we can help you eat all the same foods that you ate before, just without the animal-derived ingredients. Help create a compassionate, sustainable future by always opting for vegan products when you dine out and shop for groceries!

It ain’t Rt. 9…

🎵🎵🎻 to our souls!💛 and … Make your own Easter Yum Yums!🍰

From PETA.ORG:

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Why You Should Celebrate a Cruelty-Free Easter

As Christians remember Christ’s crucifixion as the final sacrifice and celebrate His victory over death in the resurrection, let us resolve to emulate His compassion in our own lives by showing mercy to animals.

There’s no better place to begin than the dinner table. As we break bread, let’s break ties with some of the most violent and ungodly places on Earth — slaughterhouses and factory farms.

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Before they become Sunday’s centerpiece, animals on factory farms are denied everything that God designed them to want and do. They never breathe fresh air, nurture their young, play with other animals, or do anything to live out the biblical concept that “God’s mercy is over all His creatures.”

For example, pigs spend their entire lives in filthy concrete pens, and cruelty is rampant, as witnessed by PETA investigators.

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PETA’s investigation of Belcross Farm, a pig-breeding facility in North Carolina, resulted in the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to animals by farm workers in the U.S.

PETA’s undercover investigation at Seaboard Farms, Inc. has resulted in the filing of felony cruelty-to-animals charges against a former manager at the facility.

Easter is also no celebration for hens on egg farms, who suffer constant confinement to tiny, filthy wire cages. Male chicks are killed — often through suffocation — since they don’t produce eggs, and female chicks have their beaks painfully seared off to keep them from pecking one another.

Cows on dairy farms are kept continually impregnated, and their calves are snatched away just after birth so that their mothers’ milk can be consumed by humans.

At the end of their short, miserable lives, these animals are crammed into trucks, with little protection from the elements, to suffer the ultimate terror of the slaughterhouse, where workers hang them upside-down and slit their throats.

What You Can Do

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Plant-based foods can be found in supermarkets (editor’s note: check out TRADER JOE’S in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, just over the bridge) and on the menus of many chain restaurants.

Since eating vegan is easier than ever, there’s simply no reason for any animals to end up on our plates!

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Homemade Vegan Easter Eggs!🐰🐰

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There are a variety of places online where you can order vegan Easter candy, and finding vegan chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, or jelly beans — just like those you remember filling your Easter basket with as a child — is no longer difficult. However, if you’re like me and you’ve waited until the last minute to plan for the sugar fest that often comes with the holiday, finding these goodies won’t be quite as easy.

But don’t fear! Those of us who tend to procrastinate — or are just super-crafty — can go the homemade route!

Below is a recipe for basic chocolate eggs, which you can then turn into a variety of designs.

🌷💙Chocolate Eggs💙🌷

1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Decorations, e.g., chopped nuts, unsweetened cocoa, toasted flaked coconut

Beat the nondairy cream cheese in a mixing bowl until it is smooth.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until it is well blended.

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls or egg shapes and roll them in the nuts, cocoa, or coconut.

Store the finished chocolates in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 5 dozen chocolates

🌷🌼Some “eggs-traordinary” ideas!!🌼🌷:

Roll egg-shaped chocolate in chopped nuts.

If you can find a cute Easter-themed mold, simply fill it with the chocolate and refrigerate.

Allow the chocolate to cool in a thin layer, then cut out your favorite shape with Easter-themed cookie cutters.

Decorate egg-shaped chocolate with dyed coconut. I recommend adding a few drops of food coloring to water and then adding your coconut. Allow to soak for a few minutes in the water, then remove and allow to dry completely before using to decorate.

Use plastic Easter eggs to get your desired shape, scoop out the center, and fill with peanut butter, nuts, or another favorite candy.

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Close the plastic egg and refrigerate until both sides are firm and have joined together.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with holiday color foils or ribbons.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with vegan nonpareils or another small vegan candy.

You can shape and decorate the chocolate any way you’d like, so get creative with it!

Enjoy!🐰🐰🐰🐰

Worcester news you can use and a song …

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Instead of meat, feast on these mock-meats! Available at TRADER JOE’S, RT. 9, SHREWSBURY (just over the bridge):

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REC-CITY OF WORCESTER EARTH DAY CLEANUPS – this Saturday!

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Dorrie and CENTRAL MASS KIBBLE CONNECTION! Every Wednesday at the Mustard Seed on Piedmont Street! Dorrie gives out free cat food and dog food to people who are struggling – but have pets they love and care for! And need to feed!

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Jett thinks the world of Dorrie!

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THIS THURSDAY!

A fundraiser to benefit the military veterans of Veteran Homestead!

Get your friends and colleagues together for a FUN night of go-kart racing, food, drinks, music, prizes, networking and of course mingling with our veterans at the Second Annual Veteran Homestead Star Spangled …

… Go-Kart Challenge!💗

Where:
F1Boston
290 Wood Road
Braintree, Mass.

When:
Thursday, 6 April
5 pm to 9 pm

We have only one team available, so act NOW and tickets are also on sale if you don’t want to race – so don’t miss this opportunity and the fastest way to help our heroes, the veterans who are responsible for our freedom.

Compete for a place on the podium and the 1st place trophy or come and cheer on your comrades. Either way, you’ll have a blast and help support our veterans through the great work of Veteran Homestead.

Event Details

There are two ways to participate:

1. WE HAVE ONE TEAM LEFT TO FILL – Sponsor and organize your 4-person team to race in the 90-minute endurance race. We have corporate and individual sponsorships available.

It’s fun and safe and each of your drivers take turns at the wheel of the F1Boston racing kart. You’ll race against as many as 11 other teams all for the glory of supporting our veterans and winning the illustrious 1st place trophy.

2. Buy a ticket and attend the event to cheer on your favorite team, enjoy food and cocktails, music, networking, shoot a game of pool (all included in the ticket price) and of course meet our veterans.

Tickets are $150 per person and all proceeds go to Veteran Homestead.

For more information on Veteran Homestead visit veteranhomestead.org
For more information on F1Boston visit f1boston.com

Your health and animal rights – always in fashion!

But first …

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Rise in colorectal cancer in young people should be a wake-up call

By Heather Moore

The new American Cancer Society report showing that there’s been a sharp increase in colorectal cancer in people in their 20s and 30s might just be the kick in the pants that young people need to eat more vegan foods and less red and processed meats, which are linked to colon and rectal cancers.

According to the report, which compared different generations at similar ages, people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer of those born in 1950 when they were the same age. Experts aren’t sure why the rates have been rising, but they are confident that people can reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by eating lots of fiber-filled fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

In October 2015, the World Health Organization announced that bacon and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat, including beef, pork and lamb, is probably also carcinogenic.

Soon afterward, scientists from Oxford University reported that eating one steak a week increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer by more than two-fifths and that people who eat meat twice a week have an 18 percent higher risk than do vegetarians.

This wasn’t exactly new news — a number of previous studies had shown that eating meat could raise one’s risk of colorectal cancer — but it caused an uproar anyway. Some people defiantly insisted that they weren’t going to change their unhealthy eating habits no matter what — a peculiar reaction considering that colorectal cancer can cause abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms.

Changing your diet can be daunting — I know. But in the end, it comes down to this: Would you rather undergo surgery, chemotherapy and other costly medical treatments or eat tasty vegan foods? Many physicians believe that colorectal cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if you follow healthy living recommendations. According to Kim Robien, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at George Washington University, “It is absolutely recommended to decrease — if not completely eliminate — processed meat intake to prevent cancer.”

Study after study has shown that ditching meat is an effective way to ward off colorectal cancer. A 2015 Loma Linda University study involving more than 77,000 men and women, for example, suggests that a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by at least 22 percent.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine asked 20 African-Americans in Pittsburgh and 20 rural South Africans to “switch diets” for two weeks. At the end of the swap, they performed colonoscopies on all of the study participants. Those who had eaten the traditional African-style diet, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables, beans and cornmeal — and very little meat — had less inflammation in the colon and more of a particular fatty acid that may protect against colon cancer, while those who had eaten the typical American diet, high in meat and cheese, showed changes in gut bacteria that are consistent with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Just this month, a study in the journal Cancer Science revealed that Japanese men who eat lots of meat in general, and specifically red meat, are 36 percent and 44 percent more likely, respectively, to develop colorectal cancer than those who don’t eat much — or any — meat.

No matter what your age, race or nationality, you can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer—not to mention heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems—by eating plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones.

And since March is National Colorectal Cancer Month, it’s the perfect time to ditch unhealthy animal-based foods and start eating delicious vegan meals instead.

REC Worcester Earth Day clean-ups … Vegan St. Patty’s Day yum yums … and music 🎵🎶🌹🎵 to our ears!🌸

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From REC:

Saturday, April 8

8 am – 12 pm

We are excited to invite you to join us for this year’s REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

This is truly a community-wide event in which residents come together every year to give Worcester the Spring-cleaning it deserves.

Last year, more than 1,000 volunteers came together to pick up more than 50 tons of trash at over 60 sites in Worcester!!!🌸❤

Let’s do even more this year to make
Worcester cleaner and greener🌻🌺!

WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU❤💛💜❤!

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If you would like to help us coordinate the cleanup of a particular site, we encourage you to sign up as a Site Coordinator.

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Otherwise, please sign up as a Volunteer (or group of volunteers) and we will connect you with a site in your area!

This event is only possible because of your volunteerism and commitment to our city. The REC, along with many partners including city government, non-profits, and businesses provide the materials, pick-up services and logistics.

We look forward to working with you!

Please feel free to contact Pat Barnosky with any questions or concerns
– earthday@recworcester.org – 508-799-9139

Thank you for joining with your neighbors and friends to support the 28th Annual REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

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GO VEGAN THIS ST. PATTY’S DAY!🍻🍏

Irish Cabbage Salsa!

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1 cup shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 carrot shredded

2–3 green onions chopped

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight.

Makes about 2 cups

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Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

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1 large onion chopped

3 ribs celery chopped

2-3 cloves garlic minced

1/2 head cabbage chopped

4 carrots sliced

1-1 1/2 pounds potatoes cut in large dice

1/3 cup pearled barley optional or substitute with gluten-free grain

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon rosemary crushed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6-8 cups vegetable broth

3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt to taste

Place vegetables, seasonings, barley and broth into a large stockpot.

Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary.

Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

*****
😄😄😄❤

We crucified the Lamb of God — Why do we still slaughter sheep?

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By Dan Paden

As I read Exodus and Leviticus this Lent, the ritual sacrifices of lambs, oxen and other animals strike me. Imagining how the offerings of these slaughtered animals looked, sounded and smelled fuels powerful meditations on the death of Jesus, the “Lamb of God.” It also makes me wonder: Why do the faithful still have countless lambs and sheep — among other species — killed so violently for us?

Christ’s death, after all, made animal sacrifices obsolete. According to Saint Paul, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, no one else — including lambs and other sheep — need die for our sins. But need they die for us at all? God put animals’ fate into our hands only after He lamented our ancestors’ wickedness and flooded the Earth. This likely left Noah’s family with little to eat and wear but animals. That’s a bleak position to be in: Kill, eat and cover oneself with God’s creations — or perish.

I don’t face such desperation. Very few readers do. We don’t need to eat lamb — hundreds of healthy, happy Trappist monks and nuns across the U.S. can attest to that — or wear wool.

And yet, in a nation where more than 70 percent of the population self-identifies as Christian, around 37,000 lambs and older sheep are slaughtered every week at federally inspected plants. Nearly 190,000 lambs and sheep were killed on U.S. farms from 2014 to 2015.

In Colorado, my friend documented a shearer who twisted one such victim’s neck, breaking it, and then kicked her headfirst down a chute, where she died.

That horrible treatment cannot be considered an isolated incident. In 2014, another colleague of mine documented that workers in Argentina cut the throats of conscious lambs and started to skin some of them while they were still kicking. Months earlier, PETA had revealed that in Australia, workers beat sheep while shearing them.

All that pain and agony was inflicted on God’s creations here and elsewhere simply so that someone could buy a lamb chop or a pair of socks made of wool. The U.S. produced more than 25 million pounds of wool — and imported millions of pounds more — in 2015.

So we must ask ourselves: Are the sheep and lambs who are slaughtered today dying because of our sins?

Sin “is an offense against … right conscience … caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods” (Catechism of the Catholic Church). If we wouldn’t slit a conscious lamb’s throat or break a sheep’s neck ourselves, can our conscience rightly accept having others do so on our behalf?

Isn’t it only our stubborn attachment to mere taste preferences — whether for a particular dish or a certain sweater—that keeps us buying lambs’ flesh or wool in the face of such endemic cruelty?

I confess that I once cherished the wool sweaters that my grandparents gave me each Christmas. But when I learned of the agony woven in with that yarn and the blood washed out of it, I could no longer in good conscience wear them or any wool. To do so would be to support all the terror and suffering that exist in the interconnected wool and sheep-flesh industries.

This Lent, as we strive especially hard to turn away from sin, may we also take up Christ’s instruction to “proclaim the gospel to every creature.” We can start to bring His good news to all creation by leaving lambs and sheep off our plates and their skin and fleece off our backs.

For the faithful — and indeed, for all kind people — our choice is simple but stark: We can work toward God’s peaceable kingdom to come, in which no animal will be harmed or destroyed — or pay others to harm and stab these docile, fellow living beings on our behalf.

Which will you choose?

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Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan in 2017

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Rose stopped eating red meat, pork and lamb 30 years ago, after her sojourn at a hippie-veggie commune💙! She used to eat chicken dinner 3x/year. Fish maybe 1x/month. She gave up chicken for the New Year. She’s hoping to cut poultry out of her diet FOREVER. So far, so good … Mix her mostly plant-based diet with her two hyper-active, LOVE-THEIR-DAILY-WALKS dogs + one crazy little rag and Rose has lost and kept off 25 lbs … and feels pretty good for an old broad!😉

From PETA.ORG:

Many people’s New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, eating better, getting healthier, and doing more to make the world a better place. The good news is that you can accomplish all these goals by switching to a vegan diet—and you’ll enjoy delicious, satisfying meals as well.

Here are our top 10 reasons to go vegan this year:

1. Slim down and become energized: Is shedding some extra pounds first on your list of goals for the new year? Vegans are, on average, up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters are. And unlike unhealthy fad diets, which leave you feeling tired (and usually don’t keep the pounds off for long), going vegan is the healthy way to keep the excess fat off for good while leaving you with plenty of energy.

2. It’s the best way to help animals: Did you know that every vegan saves more than 100 animals a year? There is simply no easier way to help animals and prevent suffering than by choosing vegan foods over meat, eggs, and dairy products.

3. A healthier, happier you: A vegan diet is great for your health! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. Vegans get all the nutrients that they need to be healthy, such as plant protein, fiber, and minerals, without all the nasty stuff in meat that slows you down and makes you sick, such as cholesterol and saturated animal fat.

4. Vegan food is delicious: So you’re worried that if you go vegan, you’ll have to give up hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and ice cream? You won’t. As the demand for vegan food skyrockets, companies are coming out with more and more delicious meat and dairy-product alternatives that taste like the real thing but are much healthier and don’t hurt any animals.

5. Meat is gross: Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids—all of which make animal products the top source of food poisoning in the United States. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested supermarket chicken flesh and found that 96 percent of Tyson chicken was contaminated with campylobacter, a dangerous bacterium that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

6. Help feed the world: Eating meat doesn’t just hurt animals—it hurts people, too. It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals. In fact, it takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used much more efficiently if it were fed directly to people. The more people who go vegan, the better able we’ll be to feed the hungry.

7. Save the planet: Meat is not green. Consuming meat is actually one of the worst things that you can do for the Earth. It is wasteful and causes enormous amounts of pollution, and the meat industry is also one of the biggest causes of climate change. Adopting a vegan diet is more effective than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against climate change.

8. All the cool kids are doing it: The list of stars who shun animal flesh is basically a “who’s who” of today’s hottest celebs. Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Al Gore, Flo Rida, Tobey Maguire, Shania Twain, Alicia Silverstone, Anthony Kiedis, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Alyssa Milano, Common, Joss Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Carrie Underwood are just some of the famous vegans and vegetarians who regularly appear in People magazine.

9. Look sexy and be sexy: Vegans tend to be thinner than meat-eaters and have more energy, which is perfect for late-night romps with your special someone. (Guys: The cholesterol and saturated animal fat found in meat, eggs, and dairy products don’t just clog the arteries to your heart. Over time, they impede blood flow to other vital organs as well.) Plus, what’s sexier than someone who is not only mega-hot but also compassionate?

10. Pigs are smarter than your dog: Although most people are less familiar with pigs, chickens, fish, and cows than they are with dogs and cats, animals used for food are every bit as intelligent and able to suffer as the animals who share our homes are. Pigs can learn to play video games, and chickens are so smart that their intelligence has been compared by scientists to that of monkeys.