Is a Composting Condo In Your Future?

A few days ago I attended a vermicomposting class. There were about 20 of us who gathered to learn more about worms, how they compost our discarded food scraps and magically create fertile soil for us to grow even more plants! I was a newbie to vermicomposting, but not to the idea.

I have known about composting since I was kid – we used to have a huge pile of leaves, kitchen scraps, weeds, etc. on the side of the house that was surrounded by chicken wire. My stepdad would go out, toss it around a bit every once in a while and that was that. It seemed like an easy thing to do, assuming you had the outdoor space, a pitchfork and some muscle.

As the years went by, I didn’t think about composting for quite some time because I didn’t have an outdoor space. But when I became vegan it became a huge issue for me. It killed my soul to be throwing away all of those kitchen goodies – because there was so much more of it. I knew they could be recycled into even more veggie goodness. Instead they were going in the landfill. Lame.

So I tried a number of different indoor composting tactics. Invariably, the scraps became super gross and stinky so I would end up tossing them in the trash anyway. Obviously, composting wasn’t as easy as I originally thought!

That’s where vermicomposting can help!

These crazy worms are quite the amazing creatures and need little supervision. Plus, you can keep them under the kitchen sink!

If you set them up nicely in their own little composting condo, they will serve you well . . .

. . . but that’s for another post my dear readers.

Have you tried composting? Share your thoughts on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Is The Yes Men’s reBurger Idea More Ironic Than They Thought?

I recently watched The Yes Men movie (the one released in 2003 NOT The Yes Men Fix the World)  and was struck by an ironic bit of activism that was included near the end.

If you don’t know who The Yes Men are, they are Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno. They aim to raise awareness about problematic social issues in unique and very public ways.

The movie follows them as they impersonate World Trade Organization spokesmen on TV and at business conferences around the world.

Their final act of activism (in the movie) was a lecture to a group of students from The State University of New York at Plattsburgh. The students were told that they were going to hear a lecture about ways to reduce starvation in third world countries by representatives of The World Trade Organization (WTO). What they got was something entirely unexpected:

What struck me is that their idea isn’t really far from the truth.

The beef that is used to make hamburgers is ‘produced’ by feeding cows waste products like chicken excrement, toxic heavy metals, antibiotics, the flesh and bones of dead cattle and even nails and small shards of glass (source: Grist.org). As the cows excrete massive amounts of their own waste (because their food has so little nutritional value) they are forced to stand in it along with thousands of pounds of waste from other cows. That waste eventually runs off into surrounding water supplies that can eventually be used to irrigate farms that grow food for human and animal consumption. I don’t really see a difference. Do you?

If you would like to learn more about The Yes Men, please visit their website.

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Words of Wisdom from The Vegan Table

I picked up a copy of The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau at my local library the other day. Mainly because it had some wonderful pictures of vegan recipes for entertaining and they looked easy enough that I could hope that my final product might actually resemble the picture!

When I got home, sat down and had a closer look, it only took a couple of flips of the pages to be totally impressed and inspired. Not bad considering I hadn’t even made it to the Table of Contents!

Here’s the dedication that she included in her book that made me smile, think and tear up just a bit.

My hope is that we can all navigate through this world with the grace and integrity of those who most need our protection.

May we have the sense of humor and liveliness of the goats, the maternal instincts and protective nature of the hens, and the sassiness of the roosters. May we have the gentleness and strength of the cattle, the wisdom, serenity, and humility of the donkeys. May we appreciate the need for community as do the sheep and choose our companions as carefully as do the rabbits. May we have the faithfulness and commitment to family of the geese and the adaptability and affability of the ducks. May we have the intelligence, loyalty, and affection of the pigs and the inquisitiveness, sensitivity, and playfulness of the turkeys.

May we learn from the animals what we need to become better people.

Awesome. Simple. Profound. I hope it inspires you too.

If you want to learn more about this book, her other books, and ways to help animals please visit The Vegan Table website.

Have you read The Vegan Table? Share your experiences on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.