Vegan and ‘cruelty-free’ products causing Orangutan extinction?

Palm+oil+labellingIf a key ingredient of vegan cheese is solidified vegetable oil (which could be palm oil) and raisins can also be coated in vegetable oil… Would vegans be better off eating organic dairy cheese, from a local farmer?

If you know the cows, or better, have your own, I would argue this is potentially more of a vegan option than funding companies which are in turn purchasing ‘conflict palm oil’ for use in their vegan and cruelty-free products.

The key is ‘locally sourced’.  If you are buying organic raisins, from grapes in the US, and they are coated with vegetable oil.  You will need to contact the company from whom you purchased them to ask where their oil came from.  If it is any kind of palm oil, it is leading to rainforest destruction and the extinction of many wild animals, along with their habitat, poor working conditions for labourers.  Not to mention soil and water pollution from pesticides and fertilizers.

Indonesians have been driven from their homes to make way for palm plantations.   Most of these plantations are not owned by Indonesians, but by foreigners, so the profits are taken out of the country. (more…)

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Should we take pictures like this?

Should we take photos like this?  http://www.boredpanda.com/animal-children-photography-elena-shumilova/

Of course :)  If I had the photographic skills this woman clearly possesses, it would be a travesty if I didn’t.

However, I am really not a good photographer. Is enough for me to work out getting the light behind me, sometimes even in focus :)

I always therefore have left it to whoever I am with to take the pictures, then ask them if they would mind emailing them on to me, or to do me some copies.

Until I had kids, I never took many photos. Now I snap them all the time. Them dressed up, their art work, funny stuff they do.  Seeing children grow daily is a living example of impermanence.  I want to capture that cute moment to treasure forever, as I know it will never be that way again.

Between the age of 18-21, I traveled for 18 months, and took about 3 films of pictures, from 13 countries and no videos. Not a great deal of footage. (more…)

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Flying with Babies (20 Top Tips)

Annie and I in Sicily.

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That trip was a cruise, which is definitely the easiest way to travel with multiple children.  If you just get on a boat and go!  It was also the cheapest option for a one-week holiday by far, for us.  An all inclusive deal cost the same as most flights!

However, if you do need to fly, below is an article about how to make it easy on yourself.

Flying with babies, especially two, is no easy feat.  But it does not have to be hellish, or even difficult, if properly planned and executed :)

By following my twenty top tips, I reckon you should find most of the stress can be removed.

I flew with our twin babies when they were just under 7 months, 10 months, 14 months, 18 months, 20 months, 2 and a half, 2 and 3/4s and next week, when they are just over 3.

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Ultra-marathon ambition !

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This is a great article, about fear, meditation, ‘The Zone’ and preparing to run 50 miles… My ambition :)

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/raising-rippers/Fear-Is-Your-Friend-What-Sitting-Still-Can-Teach-Us-About-Running-Fast.html?page=2

In Malta I struggle to find anywhere to run where I can be alone, but when preparing for a marathon in the UK, I remember running country lanes in the dark and feeling slightly fearful.  That fear does speed you along sometimes, so is a double-edged sword.

I have been hearing a lot lately about runner’s knee, and how running is hard on your joints, bad for your metabolism in the long run, especially for women etc.  True, it can be, it is not great for your structure or gentle on your skeleton, but it is necessary to be a good runner for survival, feeling safe and like you can protect yourself in a dangerous situation.

Exercises can be and must be done to lessen and ease the effects on the muscles and bones, you can find some under the exercise and running categories on the right.  Barefoot running, which I am new to but hope to continue responsibly, is said to be able to help combat the knee damage of running in trainers.

I am aware some cite more damage to joints after barefoot running, however, I will be experimenting with this more in coming months.

As well as survival benefits, the mental, structural, muscular and cardiovascular benefits are the reasons why I intend to keep running as long as I feel fit too, and hope to be running ultras someday soon!

Watch this space and please feel free to leave a comment about the article or any of the above points :) cheers!

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