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Echo of Nature Worship: Yulin's Solstice Feast
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: Human Rights Animal Rights Religion

China. It's a strange and special place throughout history. Religion and conflict over it is about as old as dirt, and China has had plenty of it's share, and it's part of why religion bans that came with communism made sense. Even now, the Chinese are not nearly as unified as one may think without religious divides. Dogs as food is also nothing new, nor was it ever isolated to Asia. When prey animals ran short, a hunting hound may end up dinner any place where hunting hounds were kept, and when the sheep fell to sickness or food shortage, the herding dog would take their place when families had to survive the winter.

This makes the 'dog and lychee' festival rather important, culturally speaking. Food is the center of the solstice festival, making it VERY familiar to pagans. Yes, there is violence too, but in any tradition we can track, violent sacrifice is often part of it's oldest form. For most of the more visible non-christian paths the violent aspects have died out, but bull fighting has not and also comes from very pagan food and fertility rights. Side by side, modern dog and lychee festival in China and bull fighting are not that far removed from each other, and the Chinese word for 'offering' is even written with the character for 'dog' in it.

Naturally, the Chinese government will not admit to any of this because the money made is more important than the religion ban.

Given the suppression that many fertility and harvest based festivals have gotten in the Christian dominated era and China's ban on religion, I find it hard to condemn a shred of traditional worship slipping through the cracks of government control. We are talking about a nation where dissidents, such as Christians and Buddhists, can not only be arrested for faith, but also killed to be carved up as organ donors LEGALY. Yes, the cruelty to the ANIMAL bothers me, but the HUMAN RIGHTS issues bother me more. To me, comfortably sitting in America at a computer and getting outraged over a distasteful spiritual path would be easy, yet in China the notion of a path at all is something of a spiritual revolution.

In days past, a food used since 1700 B.C. would have been bread and well cared for just as any live stock would be. Wounded and underfed animals don't live as long or get as big, so it was in primitive farmers best interest to be attentive. Suppression of the historic context and modern apathy in the meat industry have corrupted what began as a celebration of natures bounty, just as any meat we use for our own holy days may be corrupted if we don't personally know the farmer who raised and butchered it. Despite that, a sense of community and reverence still linger in a feast day for us all.

So it's hard for me to condemn China's feast, no matter how savage it seems on the surface. It may be a loss for animal rights, but in a nation where American Christian Missionaries can vanish into thin air without any questions, this may be a step in the right direction for human rights.


The Joy of Baking In the Age of the Internet
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: Baking internet health-food fails

Once upon a time, if you wanted a really good recipe, you had to almost sign up for indentured servitude to the keeper of the family favorite. These days we just hit up google, check a youtube vid for fancier things, and can learn about ingridients we have never even seen at the local grocery.

So, armed with a plan to learn better baking techniques that allow me to get the flavor without abusing my weight, I tested the penutbutter chocolate eggless muffin.After all, if i can bake health food that only tastes like cheating instead of someting that tastes like card board, it's easier to stick with the plan. It was a good theory....

Unfortunately, not all bakers who post are as...informative as they should be. It turns out that when they said 'oats', they did not mean 'oat flour'. They may mean rolled oats, or they may mean whole oats, and I think I have both.

So now I have some rock hard but rather decent tasing chocolate lumps, and a bit of kitchen experimenting to do to get the promised 'fudge brownie' texture I was hoping for. Sigh...

Little Ones I love to have
Category: Member Blogs

I have to say single mothers have it hard. I spent they day holding my cutest little niece Emily for the longest time and I love babies I only wish I could have another one but I think that boat has sailed for me. Maven was such a wonderful son and I can't believe how old he is I only hope to see him again someday but it doesn't look good for me but there is always a little bit of hope. After that my other niece Katelyn made me take her to the park and experience the hard of taking care of kids when they want you to push them all the way up and around but you body can't do it cause your so week and you have to watch the other mothers try to do it when there younger than you and do a better job but you feel bad for them and try to help but can't feeling like a failure am I really that unhealthy and old? But you don't want to believe it even though you thankful for the little bit of time with them even if it is in the terrible sun and you can barely see and not break a sweat; its all good. I actually had a great holiday today which I wasn't expecting on this day but yes it was great...  

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