Posts Tagged With: humanity



I stole this photo by Ross McDonald from Mother Jones Magazine.

And this quote from Josh Tetrick a vegan and founder of Hampton Foods Company:

United States’ eggs are produced by birds pumped full of corn, soy, and antibiotics in giant rows of cages. “Female birds are packed body to body in tiny cages so small they can’t flap their wings, They never see the sunlight. They never touch the soil.”

Tetrick has two engineers, six biochemists, and 11 food scientists  on a single-minded quest to hack the egg and its 22 functional properties.  The goal is to replace all factory farmed eggs in the US market. The team has looked at nearly 1,000 plant proteins.

These entrepreneurs are determined to realign plant proteins into tasting and feeling exactly like meat. After the egg, the chicken, pork, beef.

He asks, when you eat a muffin, do you know, or think about the fact you are contributing to the way animals on megafarms are treated? Since a third of US eggs are used in prepared foods, muffins, pasta, dressings, breads, mayonnaise, that is their first market goal. Then, egg-beaters style eggs that people will use in their omelets.

He attracted venture capital from Bill Gates ,Twitter founder and other rich guys because they tasted and believe in the product. They also believe that most Americans do not like the corporate megafarm way their food is raised. And if they can realign molecules in plant DNA to mimic animal DNA, it won’t taste like tofurkey, it will taste like the real thing. Getting it to mimic hard muscle is still difficult, but, they are betting on it. There are many companies who have tried beyond eggs and beyond meat, some failed, but many are improving the quality of fake meat. China is highly invested in creating vegetarian meat. It is only a matter of time.  In 2014, whole foods will begin selling meatless chicken strips. It is 55% more economical to produce vegetarian meat than the megafarm way.

Not everyone will give up muscle meat. It is a choice. But, vegans and carnivores can shake hands on some things and share the progress toward a better planet.

Now,  if I can find the company on the Stock exchange? I’m ready.

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At 89 years old, my friend Anne Williams enjoyed the good years. I planned to visit her yesterday. She was moved from the hospital to her house under hospice care to spend her final days at home. That wonderful organization; whoever devised it I do not know. Her caretaker, Tynna, was relieved to have help. Within three days,  before I could make that visit,…she died in Tynna’s loving arms. There are angels in life, and Tynna is one of them.

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I’m thankful we had those last visits, a few laughs, remembrances of a long friendship. Her hands were always warm and she would hold my cold ones to warm them. I’m thankful she was not in pain. We do not choose our time, but we choose how we live.  Anne always did good things for others with a smile on her face. A life well lived. She was her husband’s partner as Square Dance Caller and Tau 25-30 years. After retiring to Toulumne County, she took joy in gardening, making quilts for needy people, volunteering at the Tuolumne County Museum, and always caring for a pound dog.

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With Tynna, she was much loved. What the heart has once known, it shall never forget.







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Rugby is a small town with two major distinctions. First, the Geographical Center of North America right on Highway 2, with good signage. And, the Prairie Village Museum with 30 buildings housing easily over a million artifacts, most of which are in beautiful shape.

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Prairie Village is just that, a village of buildings moved here from various places in North Dakota to represent what life was like. Similar sites I’ve visited were never this big nor as complete. For instance, two schools, two churches, a telephone company office, cook shack, summer kitchen, log cabin, a bank and so on. Above is the Creamery and a Blacksmith’s building.

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Our plan was to just peak into some of the buildings and be on our way. Before we began I told the docent I like to find things I’ve never seen before. She recommended the basket used to remove bodies to the funeral home. A painfully complete behind the scene funeral parlor with embalmers equipment and tools. Definitely a first.

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Her second recommendation was what she called one of the most popular, Cliff Thompson, the tallest salesman in the world. His picture was at the entrance. I never did find the exhibit with his rings, watch shoes, belt and so on. But, I didn’t mind because I found many things I had never seen before.

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You won’t see many buffalo coats with a diamond willow walking stick. There is no such tree as a diamond willow, but a diseased willow forms this diamond pattern and artists take advantage of a naturally occurring phenomena. Plenty of heavy fur coats,  beaver, wolf, fox, horsehide, buckskin, and raccoon.

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A complete  cook shack.

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A real get-out-of-town notice posted on the Sheriffs Office with a two cell jail, door.

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Miniscule describes the Sheriff’s office, just like in those old western movies, only this one is the real thing. The stove pours heat into the two cells and keeps the Sheriff and his coffee warm.

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A telephone company building resemble a one room house on the outside. And, as it turns out, telephone operators had the switchboard in their houses. The kitchen and a bedroom were in back.

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Have you ever seen a phone like this one? DSC09531 (Copy)

Or these. There is about 40 phones in this collection.

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An early chiropractor’s office, his table, and a number of unidentifiable instruments. The completeness of these offices blew me away. A doctor’s office, dentist, nurses school, law offices, land office, a Norwegian House, and a German Family’s house. With, of course, artifacts and history of Russian Germans and Norwegian who immigrated to this area.

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Schools have a lot in common, but, I had only heard of this bit of archaic punishment for students. It, too, is real. Reminded me of Mrs. Gleick at Soo Hill School.

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The back part of the General Store reminded me of Robinettes General Store in Hardwood. Their stove and seating area didn’t have a checker board, a spittoon and ashtray, though. And, very common to small towns, the store owner was often the post master as in this one.

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Early grocery baskets. Never saw one like that before.

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Amazingly complete, with barrel goods, boxed stuff, fabric, sundries,  flour in bags, it had just about everything through various layers of history.

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Can’t say I ever saw wooden barrels like these at Robinettes.

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The log cabin was very similar to the one I lived in, but smaller. One familiar item, a bucket with a dipper. Every day, the bucket had to be filled from the well. We all drank water from the same dipper as though it were a huge spoon. Mom dipped in her measuring cup to fill the coffee pot or to cook something. We had baths in front of the stove in a big wash tub, once a week. Sometimes, I’m glad we burned out and moved to the city.

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The law office was also part of the lawyers home.

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But, he had an indoor toilet and a little gas stove to heat water for their baths in the same room. I guess lawyers made a lot of money in those days, too.

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He may have started small, but he eventually became a well know N. Dakota Judge.

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There are two buildings filled with rolling stock. I would not have recognized this funny machine as a tractor. Each building held dozens of pieces and for anyone interested in old machinery, this is a must stop.

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Plan to spend half a day at this amazing place. We spent a scant two hours. I’d rate it as one of the best museums I ever seen.

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Yesterday, we drove south to Menominee, Mi. where two of my brothers were born, again looking for the old homesteads. Parked at the VFW, the bartender, Ken, turned out to be a distant cousin of mine.  It was close to lunch time and he pointed to Colonel K’s Pasty shop and we gladly indulged. DSC08534 (Copy)

The owner, Becky was making the pasty and wanted to know in detail how we liked her pasty. For me, it was missing some onion flavor. She shrugged her shoulders and said, some people think it has too much onion. We talked about pasty and what happens to all of us is we each have our favorite recipe from “mom” and nothing ever compares. The crust is so good, you feel quite happy to have a near perfect pasty. Above she is making a breakfast pasty with egg, cheese, potato and probably sausage. I couldn’t believe how fast and perfectly she rolled and pressed that crust.

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Anyway, the choices are many, our pasty delicious and Jim learned how to pronounce pasty.

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In Menominee, my dad worked at Lloyds, still going strong since 1906. The company makes wicker furniture.  My parents and two of my dad’s sisters and their families all lived within walking distance of Lloyds. No one could afford a car during the depression.  I came here with my oldest brother and sister in 2006 and we walked the area and found two of the places,  but like idiots, we didn’t take pictures. I decided to make up for that shortcoming, without any certainty of the addresses.

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My brother Bill was born at home with a mid-wife in this remodeled house that is over one hundred years old. It was Phillips Ave. then. The city changed to a numbering system about 50 years ago.  In 2006, you could  see some of  the names imprinted in the sidewalks. That’s how we found it. Now, much of that sidewalk has been replaced.  Without the names, it took awhile to recognize the place from an old picture. Phillips Ave is now 30th Ave. He was born here in a small apartment over the garage in 1938. My folks moved to Hardwood where I was born and then back to Menominee again in this neighborhood, working for Lloyds in 1943.

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The house we lived in on Broadway, (now 13th St.) had been replaced by this beautiful church. It was a big old house on a slight hill. I remember my neighbor digging a hole in his yard and throwing pennies in the hole and jumping in to fish them out for me and telling me he was digging his way to China. I picked wildflowers in the neighborhood with my aunt when my brother Dan was born here in 1943. People moved around to follow the work in those days. It seems we were all over the map. By 1943, my folks could afford to have a baby in a hospital.

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My great-grandmother Erieau was born here along with my great-uncles and aunts. My mother would sometimes make reference to the horrible Pesthigo Fire, but it wasn’t until I visited a Fire Museum in Arizona when I learned how horrific this fire really was. On Oct. 8, 1871, the same night as the Great Chicago Fire, Pestigo, Wi. was struck by a five mile-wide wall of flames borne on a tornado like vortex of 100 mile per hour winds that burned through 2,400 square miles of land, killing more than two thousand people in four hours. It obliterated Peshtigo in one hour and burned through, Oconto, Brown, Door, Kewaunee Counties and parts of Manitowoc and Outagamie.

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Only part of a building was left standing in Peshtigo. A tornado follows a swirling path and it indiscriminately killed people in strange ways. Families heard the fire coming, and hid down inside their wells.  Alll died. Survivors reported a family of six rushing away from the wall of flame and two people vaporized in an instant, even their ashes blew away while the rest lived with severe burns.  Areas of sand beneath a tree were melted into glass which takes 1,800 degree heat. A train filled with wood was left as  melted wheels and a blob of melted metal where the engine stood.

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Plaques in the cemetery tell a part of the story.

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A man sent his family across the river to a boarding house thinking they’d be safe as he helped others. He survived, the boarding house and all of its occupants did not. A man named Baggnall discovered the body of a young girl who looked perfectly formed, lying as though asleep. She was dead from one whiff of the scorching air but nothing was singed or burned under her.  He cut a lock of her hair and carried it the rest of his life. He never found out who she was. The heartbreaking story of fire was only the beginning. The many maimed and burned in makeshift hospitals cared for by volunteer and neighbors. The Press arrived on the scene after the event and heard such horrific stories, they didn’t believe them and claimed they were made up.  Thousands of people had no homes, clothing, food or tools.  The disaster began to be taken seriously. When the Governor of Michigan allotted money to help the relief effort, he was criticized by members of the legislature for not getting permission first. These people needed everything to make it through the winter and then they needed to rebuild their lives. No fire in the United States ever compared to the violence and destruction of the Peshtigo Fire. The Museum in Peshtigo is full of wonderful artifacts of the period, but very little of the fire since…everything burned. In those days, no Red Cross nor organized relief organization came to their aid. They had to build it from this horrific experience. I bought two good books about the fire, one I bought in 2006 that was written by a priest taking notes directly from families that lived.   Yesterday, I bought Firestorm Peshtigo, by Denise Gess and William Lutz. It is purported to deal with the causes and politics involved in ignoring this fire over the Chicago disaster.

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