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My Libertarian Lifestyle

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Food Freedom

My Homemade Vegan Cabbage Soup

Benefits of Cabbage Soup

Cabbage soup is healthy, vegan, low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, and can even assist with weight loss.  It can also help maintain a healthy weight when eaten on a regular basis.  For centuries, all around the world, people have used variations of cabbage soup to maintain good health and even assist with dropping a few pounds last minute before an important event.

Also, cabbage soup is perfect for warming up and providing much needed vitamins in the cold months like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K that are crucial to optimal health during winter.  Plus, my cabbage soup recipe has just a teensy bit of spice to it, to help warm the old bones, ease digestion, and clear the sinuses.

However, most people just eat cabbage soup any time of year because it tastes great, the ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store and are inexpensive, and it’s very easy to make.  I use all organic ingredients, but you can substitute any of them for conventionally grown veggies and spices, if needed.

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My homemade vegan cabbage soup recipe is savory with just a hint of spiciness, but best of all, it’s cruelty-free and includes only vegan and organic ingredients.

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Whether you’re a vegan or not, give this recipe a try, and if you love it like I do, make it a regular recipe in your household for maintaining good health.

My Homemade Vegan Cabbage Soup

Serves 6  and it’s only 57 calories per serving!

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Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 32 oz containers of Simple Truth organic fat free vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 14 oz bags of Fresh Express 3 color deli cole slaw (with green cabbage, carrots, red cabbage)
  • 1 14.5 oz can Italian style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of organic celery
  • 1/4 organic onion
  • 3 cloves of organic garlic
  • 1 TBSP Annie’s organic vegan worchestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 TSP cayenne
  • 1 TSP paprika
  • 1/2 TSP thyme
  • 1/2 TSP marjoram
  • 1/2 TSP dill
  • 1/2 TSP basil
  • 1 TSP rosemary
  • 1 TSP parsley

Directions

  1. Chop the celery and onion into small pieces.
  2. Dice the garlic.
  3. In a large stock pot, saute celery, onion, and garlic in the extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients into the stock pot and simmer over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes.  Serve it hot for best taste.

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Enjoy!

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This Libertarienne’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

It’s a new dawn.

It’s a new day.

It’s a new life for me.

And I’m feelin’ good.

—Feelin’ Good

This year I’m focusing my resolute intention on continuing to evolve as a free-thinking individual — mind, body, and soul. Here are some of the ways I plan to do just that:

Revitalize My Mind

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Read More Liberty-Minded Philosophy

I plan to read a new libertarian, objectivist, individualist, anarchist, agorist, or voluntaryist book each week. I seek to broaden my horizons even further and learn even more about these philosophies that I love and find so interesting. I want to continue to challenge my long-held views and see if they still hold up. Re-examine old ways of thinking.

I already read these types of literature on a regular basis, but I know I can do more. There’s still so much to learn! And still so much to teach my children, so that they can teach their children, and so on. So little time, so much to read!

Starting this year, I will delve into researching the works of all the great free thinkers, and then tell others about my favorites, and about what I’ve learned from them. I will share the works and writings of those great free thinkers here, and with my family and friends both in person and on social media. These ideas were made to be shared!

Start Brush Fires of Freedom in the Hearts and Minds of Others

Continue to sow seeds of liberty in the hearts and minds of my spouse, my children, my extended family, and my friends.

  • This year, I plan to tell my friends and family about every great liberty-minded book I’ve read—new or old—and give them a copy or send them a link so they can read it themselves and maybe even share it with others.
  • I will open up to my extended family and my friends about what I’ve learned on my quest for liberty, peace, healthy living, and about my transition as a free-thinking individual.
  • This year, I will adopt a willingness to listen and learn. When others have something to say, I will listen to them. Really listen. I won’t assume. I won’t argue. I won’t insult them. And I won’t talk down to them. I will encourage their questions, listen to what they have to say, and acknowledge their concerns. I will do my best to always respond with equanimity and compassion. You catch more flies with honey.

Renew My Body

My body is a temple.  My temple.  The temple of me.

This year, I aim to keep it sacred, to honor it, and quit treating it like a trashcan.

Move Me

Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise or movement each day, without exception.

  • This year, I plan to walk outside in the fresh air for at least 30 minutes every day to get the blood pumping and boost my heart rate. I used to do this habitually, ritually, and I absolutely loved it. I was also in excellent shape and looked and felt great! I want to get back to that place.
  • Recruit a friend or family member to walk with me whenever I can. Maybe I can even turn it into a regular routine for our mutual benefit.
  • If walking alone, I will consider combining my walk with a mindfulness meditation.
  • Whenever possible, I’ll venture out of my neighborhood and out into the wilderness. There’s so much beautiful untouched desert nearby. I’ll find a path, or forge my own path — the path less taken, where the State is nowhere to be seen.

Eat Ethically

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‘You are what you eat’, as they say. As a freedom-lover, opposed to violence, cruelty, and injustice, I’ve made a steady progression over the years towards eating increasingly ethically. In September of 2016, I made the informed choice to go Vegan. I’m so glad I did!

Some other excellent ethical dietary lifestyles (if you’re interested) include:

Reinvigorate My Soul

Be Mindful

Set aside time for Kundalini yoga or some other kind of mindfulness meditation every single day.

Whether it’s just finding time to meditate for 3 minutes during a hectic day, or luxuriating in a full half-hour of Kirtan Kriya — this year, and from now on, I won’t allow myself to blow off the importance of cultivating my own inner peace and love. This year, I’ll make nourishing my soul a priority and a daily ritual, like my morning coffee. Even your morning cup of coffee can be a mindfulness meditation, if you’re a coffee-lover like me.

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A New Dawn, a New Day, a New Life for Me in 2017

I’m inspired just thinking of all the ways I can shift my lifestyle into greater alignment with my liberty and peace-loving values.

Maybe you’ve already done this to some extent. You probably have. But there’s always room for improvement.

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Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year!

Cheers!

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Why I Decided to Go Vegan

How It All Began

Saturday morning, when I opened up Facebook, right at the top of my news feed I saw that a video was posted in a public Facebook group I belong to called Compassionate Anarchy with the following message:

“Can you find the time to watch this? Please?”

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Hey, why not? It’s only six minutes long and I’m open minded. I figured I could squeeze in a quick video before getting started on my work for the day.

Maybe before we go any further, you should check it out too, just to bring you up to speed.

I also noted in the description under the video it said (among other things):

The hardest part about being Vegan is… trying to understand why otherwise good and caring people continue to participate in needless violence…

The Vegan Activist

That bit really got my attention. I mean, I would never willfully participate in needless violence.

Besides that, the meat, eggs, and dairy I consume and buy for my family are sustainably sourced and humanely treated. That’s the paleo and primal way. They’re raised without added hormones or antibiotics, cage-free, free-range, or backyard raised by local farmers whenever possible, and of course, they are organic.

And after the livestock have lived out their full, happy, healthy lives, they are butchered in the most humane way possible.

Right?

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As I sipped my coffee and proceeded to watch the video, that statement about trying to understand why otherwise good and caring people continue to participate in needless violence turned over and over in my head.

I mean, I really try to be a good and caring person. I’m against violence and coercion. I believe in peace.

I love animals, and take excellent care of my own furry friends. I have even fostered and adopted many animals, and helped find fur-ever homes for others. I’ve fed and cared for strays, and in some cases taken them in.

I always search Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database before buying beauty products to make sure they’re safe for me and cruelty-free for animals.

My typical diet has been kind of a blend of paleo and primal, but some days I eat entirely vegetarian. Sometimes I do Meatless Mondays for my family’s dinnertime meal. I care about food being sustainably sourced, as well as the ethical treatment of farm animals, and I participate in—and advocate for—ethical and local consumerism. In fact, I’ve written a lot about ethical consumerism. I have an entire section on my blog dedicated to it because it’s something I’m passionate about. I care about farm animals being humanely raised and I want to do my part as a consumer to ensure that animals are treated well and that my dollars are spent on positive things.

I also grow a lot of my own organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs for organic food for my family, and I had a pretty awesome plan to incorporate backyard laying hens into it so that my family and I would have fresh eggs from well-kept healthy, happy chickens. This idea delighted me and I have been anxious to put my plan into action as soon as possible! My backyard chickens would be living the sweet life!

Right?

The Thoughtful Discussion That Ensued in The Comments Section, and Led Me Toward The Light

Check out this discussion that took place in the comments under the video that started it all.

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After reading the discussion above, I found this article called, Do Chickens Mourn the Loss of Their Eggs? at a blog called Gentle World. (The name of the blog alone already had a hold on my heartstrings.) I had a pretty good idea what the article would say. I knew I would be confronted with an uncomfortable truth. I knew I wouldn’t like what I’d find, and that it might reveal something to me about myself that might be painful to confront.

True to my truth-seeker soul, I trudged on ahead and read the article.

“Although today’s egg-laying hens are the descendants of the Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus) which laid around 60 small eggs a year, most modern domestic hens have been bred to lay over 300 large eggs a year.

If free to behave “naturally,” most chickens will lay the number of eggs they desire for a proper nest and then stop producing more eggs until her chicks are old enough to fend for themselves. The time before her eggs hatch, while she sits on her nest warming and protecting her eggs, is called the “brooding” stage.

If a chicken’s eggs are removed on a regular basis, she will continue to lay, in a futile attempt to follow her instincts and form a proper brood. In fact, a chicken’s nesting instincts are so strong that they will continue to try to build a brood whether or not there is a rooster present to fertilize their eggs.*

* It is believed that chickens cannot tell which eggs have been successfully fertilized.”

Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati for Gentle World, Do Chickens Mourn the Loss of Their Eggs?

I never knew that chickens naturally—when allowed to live free of coercion—actually plan their families and then stop producing eggs. I didn’t know that removing a chicken’s unfertilized egg was stressful to the chicken or unhealthy for her quality of life. I never thought about her eggs being hers. I didn’t realize chickens keep laying eggs that we keep stealing because they’re trying futilely to have the family they desire.

“On this particular morning I was helping trim back some lavender on a farm I was volunteering at. My host and I were well into chopping back the lavender when we suddenly heard an agitated clucking below us. As we moved back one of the bushes we discovered a large black hen who had started a nest. She was attempting to shield her brood from the intruders hovering above her, but this hen was not a rescue. She had been brought onto the farm to produce eggs, and even though she had been clever enough to attempt a nest away from the chicken cage, her eggs were not considered her own.

How we got her to move off her nest is a bit foggy in my memory, but I believe I distracted her while my partner in crime quickly picked her up. And then I snatched her eggs out from under her. I quickly placed the eggs in the fridge for the farm staff to take home, as we didn’t think she had been sitting on the nest long enough for chicks to form.

When I went back outside I found the black hen frantically weaving in and out of the lavender, calling to her fellow chickens, some of whom ran over to her aid as she continued searching for her missing eggs. I tried to push my guilt aside and continue on my day. But when we returned for lunch, hours later, she was still there moving slowly in and out of the lavender and muttering to herself as she searched in vain.

I voiced my guilt to my host and we debated about whether we should put the eggs back. Finally it was decided it was too late, the eggs had been cold too long and we had to let it be.

Each egg laid had in some way drained her body of calcium and other essential nutrients*, unnecessarily shortening her life to feed her captors. And now, no matter how long her small sad eyes searched, all her work was lost.

* Some chickens (if they have not been de-beaked) will eat their own unfertilized eggs if the egg is broken, if they are under stress, to replenish nutrients lost from laying (if they are lacking nutrients), or if there is not enough nest space.”

Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati for Gentle World, Do Chickens Mourn the Loss of Their Eggs?

Libertarians, individualists, voluntaryists, and peaceful anarchists are big on property rights. After all, the philosophy of liberty is that you own your life, your liberty, and your property. You also own the product of your labor, and no one else can lay claim over any of these things because they belong to you and that would be stealing.

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Voluntaryists, in particular, believe that all interactions should be voluntary and free of coercion.

And let’s not forget the Non-Aggression Principle that libertarians, voluntaryists and peaceful anarchists adhere to.

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As advocates for property rights, freedom, and against violence, oppression, and coercion, shouldn’t libertarians, individualists, voluntaryists, peaceful anarchists, and anyone who believes in non-violence consider applying the Non-Aggression Principle to the treatment of farm animals too?

Of course we should. It’s our job to be the change. It’s our job to show others the better way by living it rather than just by talking about it.

We need to confront our darkness where it hides, and carefully scrutinize it. If what we say we believe doesn’t add up with the way we are actually living our lives—and teaching our children by example—then we need to re-evaluate how far we’ve really come as enlightened thinkers and truth seekers.

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Being a truth seeker sometimes takes you places you never thought you’d go. I have experienced this phenomenon many times, but I certainly never thought it would take me down the road to veganism.

Though truth-seeking can be a rough and uncomfortable ride, it’s always worth it.

And you get to meet some pretty cool fellow truth seekers along the way.

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It’s always nice to make new friends. 🙂

Shining A Bright Light Into All My Dark Corners

Watching that video and reading through the discussion in the comments beneath it prompted me to do further research. I watched several videos over the weekend and read many compelling articles about veganism.

I also learned some uncomfortable truths about myself, how far I’ve come, and how far I have yet to go.

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I will use this new information, and this new perspective to grow. I will be a good example for my children and others. I will do my best to live in greater alignment with my values and my convictions as a libertarian, and as an animal lover.

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I didn’t realize that I was being willfully ignorant in this area of my life.

I never wanted to watch vegan videos or PETA videos because somewhere deep down I think I knew that I would be faced with an uncomfortable truth about myself. And, boy, I was right.

I am so sorry.

I was so wrong.

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I will do better from now on.

I hereby commit to living out my compassion for animals, and for the good and caring people who—like me—consider themselves to be ethical animal lovers, and are blissfully unaware of their willful ignorance.

It starts with me and how I choose to live my life, and the example I lead for my children and others I interact with.

It’s time for a change. A change towards a better, more peaceful world, not only for us humans, but also for non-human species.

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I won’t ask anyone else to go Vegan. Right now I’m just going to focus on finding my own way. I have a lot to learn. I committed to go Vegan for a week, but each day I feel more and more compelled to dive in and commit all the way. So that’s what I’m going to do. There’s no turning back now. I can’t un-see what I’ve seen. My heart’s changed.

This is uncharted territory for me, but it’s my choice because I believe it’s what I should do.

“We need to realize, like now, it is not about politics. It’s about the change that we can make in the spheres of life that we can control, which is mostly just ourselves.”

-Jeffrey Tucker

If any of you have any great vegan resources you can send my way, please share them with me in the comments. I’ll take all the help I can get. 🙂

I’m not going to push veganism on my family. I want them to ask their own questions in their own time, if they want to. I want them to seek their own truth, and live according to their values and wants and needs (even if they’re different from my own). If my children or my husband have questions about why I’m going Vegan, I will answer them with humility and honesty. I will let them know that I’m learning as I go, but I’m following my heart, and that this is what I believe is right for me.

This is my libertarian lifestyle. And it’s a work in progress.

Thanks for reading.

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PeacefulConnectedHolisticEcologicalCompassionate

 

Live free with me.

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What Will Your Legacy Be? – POWERFUL VIDEO

Please check out this powerful video by Bite Size Vegan. Compassion for non-human animals has been on my  heart and on my mind this weekend.

I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian and I have no agenda here, except compassion—compassion and living out my values as fully and completely as possible.

I don’t want to willfully forget what I’ve seen, or pretend I that I don’t know what’s really going on.

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I just want to live well and live right.

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Promoting liberty through commerce and human connection.

Source: Tip with Cash, Free the World | Peter Kallman

Peter Kallman promotes liberty through cash tipping, and you should too! Check out this awesome Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) article.

“I find that this human connection is far more effective than senseless sloganeering.”

Peter Kallman

How High-Density Urban Gardening Can Change the World

Food Freedom for Your Family

With the ever-rising prices of high quality, fresh, organic produce, there’s no time like the present to start high-density gardening. Even if you live in the city and only have a small space, you can use what little space you have to grow your own food and become more self-sufficient. Many home-owners—and even renters with limited space—are growing their own high-density urban gardens and container gardens in backyards and front yards, on balconies, patios, vertical gardens, and even kitchen windowsill gardens.

We need to celebrate and energize the public to defend the freedom to acquire the food of our choice from the source of our choice. This whole orthodoxy thing we’ve been talking about is militating right now against being able to choose for ourselves the kind of fuel we want for our own bodies. I look at this whole food freedom effort as rectifying something that was missed in the Bill of Rights. We’ve got the right to own a gun, the right to assemble, the right to worship, the right to speak, the right to be secure in our persons without a search warrant. There are all sorts of wonderful rights. But we did not get the right to choose our food.”

—Joel Salatin, libertarian farmer, lecturer, and author

In my own urban desert setting, I’m already growing fruits, veggies, herbs, and even medicinal plants to nourish myself and my family, as well as to cut down on costs and trips to the grocery store. I got started gardening this way a few years ago, and I wish I’d started sooner. I also grow food on my kitchen windowsill, regrowing plants from kitchen scraps that would have otherwise been thrown away. What I can’t regrow, I compost.

One of my next goals towards food freedom for my household is raising backyard chickens. I hope to get started raising chickens this year, but first we have to build an enclosure to house them, keep them cool in our intense desert heat, and keep them safe from predators (including our 3 dogs).

Buying healthy food for a big family like mine is very expensive, but now that our little organic urban garden in the desert is producing more, we are starting to really reap the benefits! Our peach harvest this year was amazing! I still have tons of peaches to use up. Soon our bumper crop of pomegranates will be ready.

My primary goal with backyard gardening is achieving food freedom for my own family, and we’ve already started down the path towards that end. High-density urban gardening is the vehicle we’re using to get us there fast.

Check out this amazing high-density tropical fruit garden in the Arizona desert!

The homeowner in the video above planted her mango trees in her Phoenix, Arizona garden starting in 1992. She has actually succeeded in creating her own microclimate, along with producing so much fruit she gives much of it away to nearby restaurants.

Just imagine having so much fruit you have enough to give it away to restaurants!

Even better, imagine having produced so much food, you can sell it and make a profit, and then your community can also reap the benefits of your labor, while you earn extra income! Like Joel Salatin says, “Backyard gardens and multi-speciation are far more productive per acre.”

Many of us already consciously support local farmers as ethical consumers seeking healthy, natural, organic, fresh food. Why not take this effort even further and actually be the local farmer, even if only in your spare time?

Food Freedom for Your Community, Food and Financial Freedom for You

What if there’s a way to move beyond just achieving autarky (economic independence or self-sufficiency) for individual households? What if there’s more to be gained than just food freedom for a single family?

One of the major advantages of high-density urban gardening is that not only do others in your community benefit by enjoying access to your locally grown, high quality, fresh organic produce—you benefit even more from your efforts and investment. Not only do you and your family have access to the same fresh organic healthy food you grow on your property, but you also get to know the members of your community—particularly like-minded individuals—and become valuable to them. What’s more, you can have an ethical influence on your local market, and you can earn greater financial freedom! Food freedom for your local community, food and financial freedom for you!

Have I got your attention?

The meaning of private property in the market society is radically different from what it is under a system of each household’s autarky. Where each household is economically self-sufficient, the privately owned means of production exclusively serve the proprietor. He alone reaps all the benefits derived from their employment.

In the market society, the proprietors of capital and land can enjoy their property only by employing it for the satisfaction of other people’s wants. They must serve the consumers in order to have any advantage from what is their own. The very fact that they own means of production forces them to submit to the wishes of the public.

Ownership is an asset only for those who know how to employ it in the best possible way for the benefit of the consumers.

—Ludwig Von Mises, chapter 24 of Human Action

Why not capitalize on the space you already occupy by planting a high-density, high-profit urban garden? In doing so, you can also influence your local food market by reshaping it to be more organic, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible. Why stop at being an ethical consumer when you can also be an ethical marketer? Why not get back to neighbor-to-neighbor food commerce? We can create a whole new ethical food system right where we live, based on our own values and our community’s unique needs.

Benefits of High-Density Urban Gardening

SPIN Farming (Small Plot INtensive farming) is a unique methodology of farming allows people to grow crops in the city in small areas, requires less work (can be done with hand tools), and has higher earning potential by planting high-value crops based on what your own local market demands.

SPIN Farming’s Advantages and Key Characteristics

  • Production based
  • Sub-acre in scale
  • Low capital investment
  • Entrepreneurially driven
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Close to markets
  • Easy-to-learn

Even those with no gardening or agricultural background can make money growing food right in their own backyard.

By making efficient use of your space, a nominal investment, and a little physical effort—which also doubles as a combination of light exercise and free therapy—you can make a significant step in the right direction of obtaining food freedom for yourself and your family, and towards better health. But you can also make a positive impact in the lives of individuals in your community, while you profit from just doing a good thing!

Why not put your space, your ethics, and your money to work for you? You really can make a difference in the world, starting right in your own backyard.

“If you’re disenfranchised about the way things are in society right now—the Occupy Wallstreet movement and all these things—there’s something you can do that has way more power of an impact than… asking the government to subsidize… Let’s create the world we want to live in. And, that means getting our hands dirty. We all have to get involved. We can protest ’till we’re blue in the face, and the government in most cases isn’t in the position to actually change it for us because they’re just as much of a slave to the system as we are. So, I feel like we need to bring labor, food production, production of goods back to our country and our cities.

—Curtis Stone of Green City Acres

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