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Posts tagged ‘health’

Your meat or your life, sir

“The National Cancer Institute study is one of the largest to look at the highly controversial and emotive issue of whether eating meat is indeed bad for health.”

So, once again, in a study not sponsored by the American meat and dairy industry, eating meat (particularly red meat) has been linked with increases in just about every disease, including heart disease and several types of cancer. (Read the full article here.)

They’re right, though: as much as vegetarians and vegans are criticised for being “overly emotional” when it comes to animals, in my experience, few things will get a person more riled up than daring to suggest that eating meat is bad for them, bad for the environment, and it goes without saying that it’s the worst for the animals.

Sure, I’ll get annoyed when people won’t back off, and continue to criticise me for my choices. I’ll get downright angry at people who think there’s some big joke about torturing and brutalising animals. But if I turn around and question their ideals (or, rather, total lack thereof), I’m the worst thing to happen to this country since the Labor party was elected. (If you don’t see the blatant sarcasm there, you’re in the wrong blog.)

From the perspective of meat eaters, why is it a controversial issue? And why the hell is it an emotional one? I understand that you don’t want your civil rights infringed upon, but we’re not forcing you to stop eating meat, we’re trying to educate you so that, hopefully, at some point you’ll be smart enough to see that it’s really the only good choice here. Are you that addicted to the taste of a fatty, lard-dripping cheeseburger that you’d shed tears over it’s loss? Personally I’d cry over the senseless and brutal killing of thousands of animals every day, so that western society can continue to destroy itself through its own gluttony.

As for controversial: it’s only controversial because the meat and dairy industries, who’ve done nothing but cut back jobs instead of profits, and destroy the environment in their quest to spill as much blood as possible, tell us it is. It’s a non-issue. Anyone – who can be bothered getting past their own self-indulgent “But I wanna eat a steak!” bullshit – can see that not eating meat is a logical choice.

And this isn’t even considering the spiritual/humanitarian issues in eating meat. Personally, as a NeoPagan, especially one with strong Wiccan influence, I don’t think you can believe in an ethos of “harming none” and eating meat (this is a topic I’ll write more on, one day). I don’t think you can consider yourself “enlightened” or “progressive” as a species, when you still inflict unimaginable pain and suffering on other animals, based on your own absurd belief in your superiority. And all for no real reason.

Hopefully this is something to think about.

The Psychoactive Properties of Incense

It’s well known, throughout the history of religion, that burning incense acts as a “psychopomp” – i.e. if you do it every time you practice any kind of religious rite/ritual, your subconscious then associates it with that special purpose, and then when you burn the incense your subconscious automatically takes over and you achieve an altered state of consciousness much more easily.

But according to this news article, studies are being done (incidentally, on mice, which is abbhorent – there is no reason this study can’t be done on people) that indicate that incense made from frankincense resin – a scent long associated with religious practice, and still widely used in Catholic and Orthodox rituals today – actually physically affects channels in the brain:

“…burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression… They found that the compound significantly affected areas in brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs…”

Of course, this effect has largely been well documented in numerous ancient texts, as reflected in contemporary NeoPagan knowledge. Scott Cunningham, for example, who is well known for his extensive writing on herbalism and aromatherapy, describes the properties of the scent of frankincense thus:

“The aroma of frankincense also reduces stress and tension… (by pointing out that our lives are bound up with more than one “reality”.) This knowledge is soothing in the face of adversity and hardship.” (Magical Aromatherapy, 1989.)

(A brief note on part of that extract – the idea of multiple realities is in accordance with contemporary psychological views that disorders such as depression and anxiety often represent the individual being trapped within their own (bleak) perspective.)

So, it’s nice to see that modern medicine has once again made a catch up with ancient religious knowledge! But sarcasm aside, it’s interesting.

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