eating sustainably

Gem Class Analysis: Pearls

Prior to the recent Steven Bomb, some of the most divisive fan theory characterisations have been for Blue and Yellow Pearl. Theories would range from their having a close and intimate relationship with the Diamonds, to their being physically abused, to it sometimes being a mix of both.

And we can understand the source of what seems like a contradiction. That these Pearls, in particular, are serving the Diamonds directly puts them in a very privileged position, not exactly in the modern sense of the word.

That Pearls are in such close contact with the ruling elite makes them privy to the goings on of upper Homeworld that other gem classes would remain ignorant to. At the same time, they’re also living objects, dehumanised and treated as utilities rather than individuals.

It’s a unique position of power and powerlessness and, unconsciously, we as fans pick up on that; hence, the muddled characterisations of what their relationship with their Diamonds would have been like.

In the latest Steven Bomb, we got to see more of all of these characters and we know now that their relationship isn’t one or the other but somewhere in between.

“Oh no. It was very serious. When I still served Homeworld, I saw it myself.”

In that regard, I want to talk about how Diamonds and their Pearls relate to each another, and look at the implications this has for our very own Pearl, who admits she served Homeworld at one point.

1. The function of the Pearl class

To get this out of the way as early as possible, Pearls are being dehumanised. It’s not right to limit an entire class of gems to objects and prevent them from having individual inclinations, when other gems can manage some level of individuality. Pearls are individuals with their own capabilities, thoughts, and feelings.

Even before we knew about the Diamonds, the way other gems like Peridot initially treated our own Pearl showed us that Pearls are one of the lowest classes on Homeworld.

Words like “owner,” “stand there,” and “hold your stuff” were being thrown around. Not much was expected from them.

In light of all the new information received, a consolidated understanding of what Pearls were expected to do on Homeworld would help in the succeeding discussions. And what we know is that Pearls were gems created specifically to serve particular individuals. This service did not entail doing a job like other gem classes.

Other gems serve a specific function in servicing gem society as a whole. Like builders, soldiers, technicians, and leaders.

This public- or collective-oriented approach to organising gem society makes a lot of sense considering the way the gem life cycle is perpetuated.

The reason we don’t have gem classes specifically for private affairs, like the home life, is because their concept of “home” is much different from ours. Gems are born as full adults; they don’t need to eat or sustain themselves physically. That means a lot of our human necessities don’t apply to them.

That in turn puts the service sector of Gem society, where Pearls are, as something extraneous to functioning. 

It’s much the same for social constructs. Would the Ruby Squad consider themselves a “family?” Probably, but not in the way we understand the word. Instead of families, gems are groups into classes. And in these classes they socialise each other on what it means to be the gem they are.

The best example of this would be the soldier gems, who train each other and depend on each other in missions.

Leggy, the newbie “just born yesterday,” according to Rebecca Sugar’s early sketches of the Rubies, was being oriented by her more senior teammates.

Even though we felt threatened by the Ruby Squad, and Eyeball in particular, Leggy had absolutely no fears hiding behind the latter and it’s more than clear their shared experiences made them more cohesive as a unit.

In that way, gems don’t seem to spend a lot of time with gems outside their class.

The very “function” of Pearls is very different from that of other gems. Their work is relegated inward into the private sphere. They attend to very specific individuals. They are always with gems who aren’t like them.

And the key to this is the value system on Homeworld.

I talk about the utilitarian nature of Homeworld a lot of the time. So in a society in which utility is one of the key aspects, having work that is visible, like the creation of buildings or the colonisation of planets, puts a high premium on certain types of gems.

Service is invisible.

It’s not as easy to measure the impact of telling people they’re great everyday has on the rest of their lives. But this is the work Pearls do. Their work makes Pearls appear like they’re of even less use, which in turn puts them lower down in the eyes of individuals.

It’s very similar to how the work of medical nurses wasn’t recognised as legitimate until very late on in the history of medicine. Nurses comforted patients, checked on them daily, and attended to them, while doctors stepped in for a diagnosis and prescribed the treatment plan.

Because one involved something tangible and the other involved the daily grind of caring for another human being, the “usefulness” of latter was taken for granted.

It was (and in many places still is) very difficult to quantify the effects of their contribution and they were viewed lowly.

2. Servicing the Diamonds

Now to the specific question: What exactly do Pearls do?

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a cog in the machine pt. 2

pairing: yoongi x reader x jimin

genre: robot!jimin, assassin!au, mafia!au, angst, smut

word count: 6,259

warnings: depictions of violence, language, substance abuse

Originally posted by the-rap-man

a cog in the machine:  a small or insignificant member of a larger organization or system

part 1 part 2

You felt their eyes everywhere they went. They stared at you in the hallway. They stared at you through mirrors in the training gym. You hated feeling like it was you vs them. Your new partnership deemed, unbalance and undeserved.

The week’s following Jimin’s debut in the training gym left you feeling more isolated than you did when you first got to the facility. At least then you didn’t know what it was like to have everyone hate you. You had taken to sitting in the very back corner of the cafeteria, in the very last row, in the very last seat. You turned your back on the table where you used to sit, not wanting to see the smiles spread across your former friend’s faces as they teased each other, stealing more than one bit of each other’s plates.

But things were different now, you had a new partner. A new not-so-human partner. Jimin’s true identity hidden beneath secrets and layers of real looking skin. Sometimes, you would watch the way his chest would pant in the training gym and wonder how a body made of metal could be so real. You would shiver at the sight of his reddened cheeks, only imagining what was going on underneath.

Jimin slammed his tray of food on the cafeteria table, but you didn’t bother to look up at your partner as he claimed the empty seat in front of you.

“When are you going to stop acting like a child?” he asked as he moved what was supposed to be mashed potatoes across his plate. Hoping that distractions hid the fact that he didn’t actually need to eat to sustain himself.

“Whenever I get new partner. An actual partner, you know with a heartbeat,” you quipped, actually shoveling a large mound of greens past your lips.

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Seventeen OFD Japan

Scoups: fighting a lion with his bare hands

Jeonghan: scavenging for berries and nuts

Joshua: somehow grows a beard

Jun: catching fish with his teeth

Hoshi: eats sand to sustain himself

Wonwoo: weaves straw into cloth to keep everyone warm in the winter

Woozi: fashions a bow and arrows out of twigs and Dino’s shoelace

DK: frightens predatory birds with his falsetto

Mingyu: the nightwatchman

Minghao: sniper, smuggled a slingshot off ship

Seungkwan: about to send his 356th letter in a bottle out to sea pleading for help

Vernon: started an alliance with nearby geese, they are friendly

Dino: mad because jeonghan won’t let him leave the tent

I almost lost you...

Expect a number of mini ficlets based on kiss prompts from me over the next few days. This first one was requested by a lovely nonnie -  Captain Duckling and “I almost lost you” kiss. (rated T, 1600 words)

The tip of her silver spoon dips in and out of her lamb stew as she tries to conjure an appetite, her mind too full of other things to focus on the meal before her. It’s been much the same each time she’s sat at this table these past few weeks, eating enough to sustain, but too nervous to indulge - even when presented with her favorite meal of warm brie on toast. He left before dawn almost two fortnights ago, taking with him her heart. The truth of this had hit her like a kick to the gut she received once while learning to fight with one of the Royal Guard, feelings she’s been avoiding stealing her breath as his ship grew smaller and smaller on the horizon. A shakily forged alliance between Pirate Captain and Queen Snow had set him on this journey, his task to pretend to be an ally and ascertain The Evil Queen’s plan.

The man she apparently loves is attempting to trick the most dangerous villain in all the realms and she’s just supposed to sit here and eat food and breathe and - oh god - something’s wrong. Her stomach heaves and her spoon chips the china bowl as it falls from her fingers. Sweat immediately begins to tickle at her temples and along the back of her neck as her own light magic pulses to life beneath her fingertips.

“Emma, what is it?” 

Snow is on her feet and kneeling before her in seconds and Emma lets her hand be taken in her mother’s strong ones, knowing her magic will never hurt the ones she loves. 

“I…I…I’m not sure, I just feel, something has happened…” 

A loud crash and muffled voices cut off her ramblings and soon Grumpy is barreling into the dining room, his face a mask of annoyance as he shakes off one of the palace guards. 

It’s here! The Jolly Roger, it’s back!” 

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anonymous asked:

You claimed that glassfed beef produces more gas than grain. Can you explain why? And does that mean that letting cattle graze on a natural grassland or pampas unsuitable for crops is bad?

What a good question! Again, you could write a whole paper on this, or a thesis, but let me try to hit the major points. I’m  going to have to break up the answer into two bits here:

1) Grass-fed animals, on an individual animal level, produce more methane per day than grain-fed ones. But why is that?

Let’s start with a view of what’s going on inside the animal: 

  • Herbivores like cattle and sheep have a very complex ecosystem of microbes in their gut, particularly in the part of the stomach called the rumen. 
  • The rumen is like a giant fermentation vat - it’s anaerobic (no oxygen), warm, and has a pH ranging from neutral-ish to slightly acidic. 
  • Feed goes in, gets regurgitated and chewed to break it down into smaller pieces, and then the rumen microbes break it down.  
  • While some nutrients exit the rumen into the acid part of the stomach without microbes getting a hold of them, the majority of nutrients in feed go to keep the microbes healthy and happy. 
  • The byproducts of the microbes’ actions on these feeds help feed the animal

The basic equation is this: 

Feed + microbes -> VFAs + CO2 + methane +microbial protein

  • VFAs, volatile fatty acids, are short-chain fatty acids that get absorbed by the gut and used for energy - in fact, these account for >70% of a cow or sheep’s energy!  
  • Rumen microbes use nitrogen in feed to grow and make more microbes, and when they get washed out of the rumen into the acid stomach, become a major source of protein to the animal, especially on low-protein diets. 
  • Waste products like carbon dioxide and methane get burped out and become greenhouse gases.

Methane is what the rumen does with excess hydrogen. 

  • There’s been research that shows that the level of hydrogen in the rumen affects the rate of certain chemical reactions, especially ones needed for microbial function, and too much hydrogen can make it harder for some microbes to function.  
  • So methane production by specific methanogenic microbes reduces hydrogen in the rumen, allowing microbes to go on their merry way. 

What you feed cows alters how much hydrogen microbes produce as a byproduct of fermenting feed.  

  • The major VFAs, acetate, propionate, and butyrate, are always going to be produced, but the ratios differ depending on diet. 
  • When acetate or butyrate is produced, so is hydrogen, and hydrogen levels rise in the rumen.  
  • When propionate is produced, the reaction uses up hydrogen, and hydrogen in the rumen decreases.
  • Pasture-based diets contain lots of cellulose, which produces mostly acetate when fermented.  
  • This is good, because cellulose is one of the things that humans definitely can’t digest, so cows are turning human inedible food into tasty meat and milk
  •  But it also means that there’s more hydrogen in the rumen because of the higher acetate levels.  
  • Mostly-grain diets, which have more starch, favor propionate, so less hydrogen and therefore less methane gets produced by the animal itself

There are other more complex effects involving different microbial groups, plant compounds, and pH effects, but let’s stick with this for now. 

There’s also the factor that methane production is driven by how much feed enters the rumen, which is driven by how much feed the animal needs to meet its energy requirements.  Forages usually have lower energy per pound of feed and are less digestible, so an animal needs to eat more. This, combined with acetate being the major VFA, means that on a per day basis, a grass-fed animal will in general produce more methane than a grain-fed one. 

However, the nice thing about grass-fed beef is that the inputs to the system are lower.  On native pasture, the only inputs are often rain and manure.  On managed pasture, there may be irrigation, seeding, fertilizer, etc.  

For grain-based diets, you have to add on the energy (and greenhouse gases) from producing the feed, processing the feed, and transporting the feed, versus the greenhouse gases from managing pasture.  But grain-fed cattle eat a lot of byproducts from other industries that would otherwise go to waste (beet pulp, distiller’s grains, barley hulls) so you need to consider that. Emissions from feed can make up a good chunk of the overall emissions associated with animal production, so the answer gets even more complex fast.  

This specific kind of analysis, of assigning greenhouse gas emissions and summing them up for a product, is part of a technique called Life Cycle Assesment - that is, looking at the life cycle of a product to determine the inputs and outputs and the emissions associated with them.  I’m doing one right now on sheep production in California and it’s utterly fascinating, but it shows that in these situations, there often isn’t an easy answer, and it depends a lot on where you set the boundaries and what you define as an impact. The debate is ongoing, and there really isn’t one clear-cut answer right now. 

So, moving on to part 2 of your question:

Is it bad to let cattle graze land unsuitable for crops because the animals themselves produce more methane than the same cow on a grain-based diet? DEFINITELY NOT.  

Cattle grazing on rangelands is definitely sustainable if managed right.

 I discussed this on my previous post here but grasslands need large herbivores to survive, and given how much land is grassland, not producing livestock on grasslands wastes a lot of land that could feed people. Removing herbivores also changes ecosystem balance for many other species that rely on herbivores to clear out excess brush, provide manure, or alter habitats.

If we don’t graze these native rangelands with something, then we risk habitat degradation and impacts on the other species that live there.  Large herbivores are an important part of the grasslands’ circle of life, and help promote ecosystem health if managed sustainably.  Grass-fed systems are also important for using land responsibly to feed everyone. 

Methane is just one part of the big picture. We need to look at ecosystem health, and the methane and other GHGs needed to produce what we’d feed these cattle if we didn’t feed them pasture.

So to answer your question, Both grain-fed and pasture-based systems have their place in modern agriculture, and neither is strictly better than the other.  And the fact is: all systems have the potential to be sustainable!

Thanks for staying with me this long. Here, have some cute Herefords as a treat (one of my favorite beef breeds). They have such sweet faces. Image credit: Irish Hereford Breed Society

Spiritworker's Protective Amulet (Example!)

See the post on how to do this for yourself [here].

I select a hag stone (or holey stone) from my collection. I purify it with herbal incense and receive visions of the rock and the sleeping spirit within being gently scrubbed and cleaned by diligent plant spirits.

I cast a protective circle around myself and get settled in.

I send the spirit call to the being, who awakens gradually and appears to be a mighty earth-water elemental. He is made of stones gathered together in thin air, with beachy plants growing from him and water trickling down from his forehead. We observe each other for some time.

Finally I ask how he is. He nods to me, perhaps still a bit groggy. I cannot imagine stones wake up quickly. I say I am interested in having him protect me, as a guardian. This spirit waves me away; he is not interested. He wants to go back to sleep. I put him back in his resting place with the other hag stones.

I find a piece of hematite and try again. As I cleanse it in more incense, I have a vision of a dark black and red gargoyle waking up, irritated. I say I will speak to him in a moment if he is willing. He seems grumpy; he did not mind the astral “clutter” that I am cleansing away.

Once ready in my circle I begin again. I say, “Good Sir, I am seeking a guardian and protector. Are you who I seek?” He straightens up and wishes to know more of the terms and conditions. I say I seek protection from spirits who wish me harm or have ill intent towards me. He thinks, nods, and stretches his wings. “This I can do,” he says. I say I wish protection against spells and malicious energies that could harm me. I see a vision of how he can stretch around me with a solid hematite shield, easily protecting me from these things. With his iron content he will be especially good at protecting me from witches. I do not seek protection from humans at this time so I do not bring it up.

I ask if he will be always watchful. “I will be ready and alert, but you may always warn me if more danger is quickly to come our way,” he says. This suits me very well. I ask how often he will require cleansing and cleaning. “The cleanse I do not like. Once every two or three weeks only, and no more.” I ask if he will like a different method of cleansing. “No. It is all horrible. Once every two or three weeks only.” I agree. I ask how often he would like food. “Daily is my desire.” I say I will never be able to keep up with feeding him daily. “If you encounter things which I must protect you against, I can eat them and sustain myself; but I would like to be really fully fed at least every time I am cleansed.” This seems more than reasonable to me.

I ask if there is a name I may know him by. He gives me one immediately, before the thought is even finished. I will call him here Dak. I walk with him through his castle until I get to a window, through which he can view “outside” the stone. I observe myself through this window. I ask Dak how he would like to be carried; he is a piece of raw hematite, with no drill hole for a necklace or braclet. I see a vision of him in a cloth bag, carried around my neck. However I get the sense that a nice wire wrap will certainly do the trick, but if I could carry him near my throat or heart, this would certainly be best.

Feeling that all the details are worked out, I now ask Dak if I can see some more examples of how he functions in the astral. He readily agrees. I ask to see how he may protect against a spirit attack. Dak shows me that he puts a solid shield around me, with wicked spikes on the outside. He then exits the stone in a gargoyle form and attacks the enemy spirit, until it is quickly chased away. Then the stone wall is brought down and Dak returns to his vessel. Since I have already seen how I may be protected against spells I have no further questions.

I shake Dak’s hand. As we shake I spontaneously hear, “I will protect you.” The deal is done. A sense of peace and comfort is washing down over me as I type this.

Scribble-Doodle: The Weaver of Dreams

This is set after ep 210. It’s a Malec and Lightwood family feels story with a smidgen of parabatai feels. Longer than is usual for me, so please excuse all the mistakes, I’m exhausted.

Alec hasn’t always hated spiders.

As a little child, Alec saw spiders as weird looking creatures - alright, ugly, ugly creatures - but he didn’t see their weirdness or ugliness as a reason to fear or hate them. He was simply… respectfully wary of the hairy beasts.

And then…

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anonymous asked:

What’s your opinon on Sarah Wilson (I Quit Sugar lady)? She seems to know something, she’s very popular and claims to have helped a lot of people. But she’s totally not vegan. How come her diet works?

What do you mean by “it works”?

Keeps her slim? yes (for now)
Keeps her healthy? No
Keeps her alive and running? Yes with the help of stimulants…

Ive answer this many of times, but simply put, the low carb, low sugar, paleo people all follow a similar diet that requires the body to go into ketosis.

Ever since Sarah said that eating a mars bar is the same as eating a punnet of blue berries I couldnt take anything she said seriously…. 😑

For those that don’t know or haven’t seen me rant about this many times, here it is again. Carbohydrates are the bodies primary fuel source, it’s super easy for our body to turn carbs into glucose and every cell in our body runs off glucose.

If you remove the carbs and only eat high fat/protein foods then your body has no choice but to use fat instead, it breaks down the fat and converts it into ketone bodies which can then be used to fuel the body. Obviously a much harder and less efficient way of getting glucose.

This state of the body is called ketosis. In other words “starvation mode” putting stress onto the body, making it use fat as fuel rather then feeding it what it needs. Long term, the build up of ketone bodies can be dangerous and lead to organ failure and other problems in the body. Not the mention the amount of saturated fat, cholesterol, animal protein and other nasties which are directly linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancers, auto immune diseases and more.

Now if you are on a paleo/low carb diet like Sarah recommends, you are going to lose weight but only if you are eating under a certain amount of calories. Because when you aren’t getting enough calories from food your body will turn to the body fat you have and eat away at that to use for fuel. NOT a healthy or sustainable way to lose weight.

This way of eating isn’t sustainable because you are depriving your body of something it NEEDS, carbs, and eventually you will hit a wall and fall off and binge like crazy. (People call this “ lack of self control” and then begin the diet over again)…. Any diet that evolves calorie restriction will fail long term. Low carb diets often rely on coffees every day because they need stimulants to get through the day 👎🏼

Why do all that to your body when you can thrive on a vegan diet, with the carbs, without calorie restricting, without stimulants, with NO side effects. A diet you can do forever and only get healthier!

Paleo is a trend that will die, veganism is the future for the people, the plant and the animals ✌🏼

Supportive Soay is just checking in to make sure

  • have you eaten lately?
  • have you gotten up and stretched recently?
  • have you had water lately?

Supportive Soay knows that people are busy right now and wants you to know he thinks you can do it! All animals need food and water to succeed, and eating and stretching and hydrating on a regular basis helps you do your best!

This has been a PSA from Supportive Soay ^^

(Good luck with finals, all of you)

( Photo credit: The Soay Sheep Project,

“The Fast and the Flavorful” — A stop-motion short film, brought to you by Passion for Pasta.

Campanelle pasta is the perfect vehicle for lentils (a type of pulse) and porcini mushrooms. Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, and they’re healthy, nutritious and easy to cook with. Growing pulses also promotes sustainable agriculture, as pulse crops help decrease greenhouse gases, increase soil health and use less water than other crops. So, drive some pulses to your dinner plate tonight with this tasty Campanelle with Lentils and Porcini Mushrooms pasta dish.

Something I say to myself to power through eating disorder urges is:

I’m going to have to recover someday. It’s not like my body is going to stand for the torture forever. I know that an eating disorder isn’t a sustainable way to have control of my body. I have to take care of it now, even if only this once.

  • Democrats: Climate change is so DIRE we all need to talk about it and do something about it NOW.
  • Scientists: Meat and dairy farms are the number 1 producer of greenhouse gas. They cost more in food and water than they produce, so it is not sustaining itself and takes resources away from hungry children and people. Promoting the importance of changing norms and habits, conscious consumerism and food shopping, and eating a sustainable, plant-based diet.
  • Democrats: There has to be something we can do, but the republicans are hopeless!
End of Semester Tips

1) Now isn’t the time to cut back on caffeine, but make sure you are able to get good sleep. Magnesium is your friend.

2) Eat healthy fats to sustain your energy. Cook meals ahead of time so that you’re fueled properly. A salmon fillet takes ten minutes to prepare. Salads take like zero time.

3) Don’t form a study group, you’ll just end up complaining to each other for three hours before going home to stress out about it. Study alone, study hard.

4) Don’t glamorize stress, find ways to manage it. Meditate, practice mindfulness, end your night with a cup of tea instead of a bag of chips, and plan your days down to the hour if you need to.

5) Ask family and friends to give you grace. Tell them you won’t be available. Carve out time for yourself and not for others. This time is for you.

anonymous asked:

You seem like an intelligent and compassionate gal, I was curious about what you thought of veganism? Why are you not vegan if that's not a weird question?

“why are you not vegan” is definitely a weird question. Really, the answer is simple–on the base level I don’t have an ethical connection to meat or eating animal products, although I admit that contemporary farming conditions need to be changed. I could talk circles around why I do or don’t agree with veganism in the environmental or economic sense, but there are arguments on both sides and really, at the end of the day, the difference between myself and a vegan is that I don’t mind eating animal products. I have gone vegetarian before but my relationship to eating regular, cost-effective meals is tenuous as it is so keeping myself fed has been historically more important to me than cutting out various ingredients. If I did go vegetarian or vegan it would be to lose weight and be healthier, but I’m already not the healthiest eater, even with animal products in my diet to provide easy sources of protein, etc, and as I said before, I think that philosophical difference always prevents me from sticking to a vegan diet. I would like to be mostly vegetarian some day because it certainly helps my brain to function better. 

That said, I do have some convictions about vegan culture specifically. I don’t really subscribe to the idea that veganism is only accessible to wealthy white people. However, I genuinely don’t believe an individual’s consumption impacts a larger structure, or rather, that this is the most effective way to change a structure.  and further, I believe that the large number of issues with American food culture are not caused by meat consumption, although meat consumption certainly is a system that is bloated and harmful–– I would argue that this is a capitalism thing, not a meat industry thing. I believe in sustainable local eating, putting an end to overproduction of ALL food goods, fair pay for farm workers, and the preservation of indigenous or cultural food traditions (THIS is one issue where radical white vegans and I tend to loudly disagree; I am extremely opposed to the idea that everyone should be vegan because there many traditional dishes and cuisines that are cultural and should be respected and preserved). I think that it’s important to work with the land you’re on; American food culture does not do this, and I believe that having soy products instead of meat products in every grocery store will not solve this problem.

tl;dr I’m not vegan, we all should eat the rich