Friday, April 29, 2005

Why Am I A Vegetarian?

I get asked this question a lot so I thought I should answer it... For what its worth, I don't have any burning desire to convert anyone to vegetarianism, whatever that might be. My hope is that people think more about the food they eat and make responsible choices regarding where it comes from.

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. -Thomas Edison

Environment - Growing animal protein is land, water and resource intensive. For example, much of the destruction of Amazon rainforest is as a result of beef production for the American hamburger market. Producing animal protiens is inefficient, more protein is consumed by the cow than you can harvest from its carcass.

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. -Henry David Thoreau

Health - There are many diseases that are uncommon in long term vegetarians: heart disease, bowel cancer and multiple sclerosis are examples. Further, the higher you eat on the food chain the more concentrated toxins become - pesticides, herbicides etc are much more concentrated in flesh than they are in the surrounding environment. Most animals raised for human consumption are also heavily treated with hormones, steroids and antibiotics.

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

Ethical - Animals raised for consumption are rarely kept or treated with respect. The very clever The Meatrix flash movie probably covers this topic better than I could. I don't believe that animals should be accorded the same rights or treatment as humans but I do believe they are entitled to a life of dignity and should be honoured for their sacrifice.

A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives. -Albert Schweitzer

These are complex topics and my bullet points hardly do them justice, I am just giving a flavour of my reasoning. If you want to read more a place to start is Diet for a New America by John Robbins, also worth reading is Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Firefox Extensions April 2005

Since its been a while since I plugged Firefox here is my current extension list. My only complaint and not a Firefox problem at all per se is that Statusbar Clock doesn't work with recent versions of Firefox and the author seems to have gone awol or at least he has stopped answering email.

  • Bookmark Backup -creates a backup of the bookmarks file each time Firefox is closed.
  • Dictionary Search -no explanation needed and my favourite extension by far.
  • Disable Targets for Downloads -stops target="_blank" opening a new window/tab for downloads.
  • Duplicate Tab -duplicate a tab to a new tab or to a new window.
  • fireFTP - an FTP client in a browser tab.
  • FLST (Focus Last Selected Tab) -Brings focus to the last selected tab when closing the active tab.
  • Link Visitor -toggle the visited status of links.
  • Sage -lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator extension.
  • Single Window -traps links that would normally open in a new window.
  • Plain Text Links -treats selected plain text urls, highlight and right click to open.