Change the World Wednesday – 16th Apr


Oiling Brazil’s internet

The internet needs oiling, had trouble loading this page this morning, kept sticking.

All oiled and running smoothly again.

Now it’s 3:30am (making graphics takes time), do I need coffee or do I need more sleep?

Sleep now, coffee later.

I woke at 6am, still too early.

It’s now 9… Boy, did I sleep. I need more coffee.

Clorinha is not ‘green’. She likes plastic.

Clorinha thinks clear plastic is fun

Clorinha thinks clear plastic is fun

She also likes boxes and empty bottles, they are so wonderful to roll around the floor.

After admitting on last week’s CTWW that I used a squirt of air freshener, I saw the suggestion of orange peel in vinegar as an alternative air freshener on another blog, Living Simply Free, I am trying that. I have the first orange peels in a small jar of vinegar. I have perforated the lid, hopefully during the process it will allow the smell to spread.


Small jar of orange peel and vinegar in the corner

I will have to buy a small spray bottle to try the full effect of the infused vinegar as suggested.

So another example of how blogs can change habits.

Click the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

A health issue this week. One that I didn’t know about.

Small’s CTWWs are often full of surprises.

This week, for at least one full day, go vegan. That means no animal products … no beef, chicken, pork, or fish … not even milk, cheese, eggs, or honey.
OR … If you are vegan or find this challenge too easy, please share a recipe with your readers and encourage them to try meatless meals … for their health and for the planet.


You’ll have to zip across to Reduce Footprints for the preamble to know that we are specifically talking about kidneys…

Wanting to know more, I googled it, and found a site that confirms Small’s preamble, although I rejected what the site said about saturated animal fats, which more recent studies have debunked. Natural fats are good for you, it’s the trans and hydrogenated fats like margarine and vegetable cooking oils (canola, soya, etc) that are the killers. But that’s another story, already posted on here.

Animal protein does make the kidneys work harder, a lot harder.

So the suggestion is to go for a vegan diet to avoid the risks.

I have in the past written that I am a carnivore, and I still am. Meat is a major part of my diet, although I have reduced my beef intake dramatically not because of my health, but on discovering that beef takes more natural resources to produce than other meats.

Animal protein also features high in my diet. I eat half a dozen+ eggs weekly, I drink at least a litre (nearly a quart) of milk daily, my cheese intake would be higher than most people’s, I use butter and I use lard or dripping for cooking.

Now, my health is generally good, albeit that I am a little overweight due to my sedentary life style inflicted on me through a motor accident. Touch wood I have never had kidney stones or any such thing. The only malady that I can attribute to animal products is gout (high uric acid because the kidneys can’t process it all), in my case not serious, manifesting slightly at times and going again.

So, I thankfully consider my lot. For those who don’t know, I am 62 and rapidly (all too rapidly) heading for 63. So health-wise, I haven’t fared too badly.

I would no more think of a vegan diet than fly to the moon. Although, occasionally, unconsciously, I do eat vegan meals. Not because they are vegan, but that’s what I feel like eating. I am more likely to eat a vegetarian meal like yesterday, curried beans on rice.

Some observations: Do vegans use margarine instead of butter, being under the illusion that it is inline with a vegan/healthy diet? Do vegans use vegetable cooking fat or oils (canola, soya, etc) for the same reason? I don’t know, I am asking. If you do then you are far more at risk of heart disease and obesity than using natural fats. These products are amongst the most dangerous in the western world, if the governments weren’t so cowardly (quivering at the feet of the corporations), they’d ban them. Having said that, the US government is taking a close look at new research results.

I don’t consider vegan to be the whole answer.

Nor is it the answer to saving the planet because meat takes too many resources to produce. The problem there is simply too many people, that’s what we have to look at, over population.

We are living on a dirt ball that can support 500 million people, and we are stretching resources to feed 7 billion; we are 13½times over capacity.

Therein lies the problem.

Vegan is not the solution.



10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smallftprints on April 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Yep, I agree … vegan is not the complete answer. But then, neither are any green-living ideas by themselves. As a part of the package, yes … a vegan diet can improve health and help the earth.

    As you know, I’m vegan. I don’t use margarine … it’s not healthy! I don’t use common vegetable oils, either. I actually try to cook without oil. If I really, really need something along those lines, I’ll use a very small amount of olive oil or coconut oil. In truth, though … I find that I can use water/broth for sauteing … it just takes a bit longer, and a bit more attention, than using oil/butter. In baking, I use other things like applesauce, mashed fig, or mashed bananas. Works a charm! I have (maybe) 2 recipes where some kind of fat is necessary … that’s where I use olive oil. I do think that natural fats are important to our health. I get them from avocados, nuts, seeds, natural nut butters, etc.

    Thanks, AV! Always appreciate your insight!



    • >Small, thanks for answering my question about what vegans use, apart from olive oil, I had no idea. I often use it myself.

      My views are not always run-of-the-mill, and I often go off on a tangent. But tangents are worth considering.

      I understand that you are a vegan, without espousing a holier-than-thou attitude about it, not only you, but others too, I recognise that; but there are others that do, and that gets up my nose.

      As for margarine not being healthy… it’s damned poisonous.

      I agree that many earth-saving ideas are not the whole answer individually, but when added together, they make a difference.

      Thanks, as always for your comment.




  2. Do vegans use vegetable cooking fat or oils for the same reason? I don’t know, I am asking. If you do then you are far more at risk of heart disease and obesity than using natural fats. These products are amongst the most dangerous in the western world…

    Really? Olive oil is one of the most dangerous products in the Western world? This just sounds like nonsense. I use olive oil all the time and lots of of it.



    • >Rachel, on re-reading it appears as though I say that, but NO, olive oil is one of the safest. I use it. I meant canola, soya, etc, that type of vege oil. I would have thought you would have realised that I wasn’t that stupid.




      • Ah, ok sorry. But what’s wrong with canola and soya oil? What about rice bran oil and sunflower? I use the latter two sometimes as well.


      • I would add sunflower to that list. Rice bran oil, I’ve never heard of, so I can’t comment. The only oil I use is olive. I won’t have others in the house.



  3. I wondered if you would accept the challenge of a completely vegan day. :-). I am shocked by the amount of animal products you eat without any I’ll effects. I don’t claim to be vegan, although I do eat vegan meals. I don’t eat meat, cheese poultry, fish or dairy. Where I make exceptions are to allow myself occasional eggs honey and real butter. These must be organic and/or grass fed sources.

    I looked at the vegan margarines but after reading the labels didn’t want soy, palm and some of these,oils in my diet along with some of the other questionable ingredients in these margarines. Being raised to believe margarine was an abomination I still carry that opinion. I cook with unrefined coconut oil mostly or water/broth.



    • >Lois, I am not beyond a vegan day. I just don’t plan it, they happen, as do more frequent vegetarian days. However, most of my meals are animal products. I don’t consider that my intake of animal products to be abnormal and therefore don’t suffer any ill effects. I would love to guarantee that all my animal products are grass feed, but that information is not widely available in Brazil, but I am going to look into it. I too was raised in a butter household, when margarine hit the market, my mother would have none of it classing it as poor people’s food; not that we were rich, but we never wanted.

      Furthermore, I look at the info I now have regarding kidneys working harder, and may reduce my consumption somewhat in light of that, being fully aware that I am not getting any younger and entering a phase in life where body parts may be beyond their ‘best-by-date’.




      • “Best buy date” love it 🙂 Your consumption seems high compared to anything I was ever able to eat but not high compared to most I know, sorry didn’t mean to sound like I was judging.

        I am very fortunate to live in and around farms that don’t use pesticides, hormones etc. The only thing I can’t get locally is butter. It is federally regulated (unlike milk, meat, and cheese) with the cost of getting approval to sell their butter too high for a small farm to ever recoup.

        There’s another one for your stupid rules. Can’t sell butter without federal approval.


      • >Lois, I didn’t take it as judgmental, so don’t panic. You are lucky to live so near fresh produce. When mentioning milk I was also aiming at other dairy produce. I agree there has to be regulations because there are shysters around, but farm produce should be available for those who opt for it.



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