Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stop the Mega Quarry!

This is passed on from NDACT. A mega-quarry is threatening the water table for all of Southern Ontario...

Dear friends,

An American hedge fund is about to break ground on a massive mining project that could poison a million people's drinking water and the headwaters for five major rivers, would create an open pit deeper than Niagara Falls and decimate thousands of acres of lush farmland -- and we have 4 days to stop them.

For years, Highland Companies deceived residents, posing as a potato farming company and quietly buying up thousands of acres of land from local farmers. Then, it was suddenly revealed that the massive plot of farmland would be converted into a limestone quarry -- a 2300 acre pit so deep it would seriously interfere with the ground water system in the region. But, in order to start digging, Highland must win approval from Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffrey.

Jeffrey is taking 4 more days to consider public opinion on this quarry before making her decision. We can deliver an overwhelming wave of opposition to Highland's destructive plan. Sign the petition, forward it to everyone and it will be submitted to Jeffrey before the consultation period ends.


Highland's mega-quarry is smack dab in the middle of farmland the whole country depends on for food production. If built, it could poison clean ground water that feeds the lakes and rivers many Canadians use for drinking water. The quarry would require over seven thousand trucks to transport limestone each and every day, upping carbon emissions and requiring new roads to handle the exploding traffic -- further destroying the natural habitat of hundreds of species of animals. The city-sized pit would scar the land long after the mining was finished.

But, residents and environmental activists are working hard to oppose the quarry's license -- even the Environment Minister has called for further assessments. Ontario's Liberal government faces a tough re-election fight in October and Liberal Minister Linda Jeffrey is concerned about public opinion in these key months before votes are cast. A national call will put pressure on Jeffrey and her party to stand up for Canada's environment, its farmers and the fresh water many Canadians depend on for survival.

Let's bring the voice of all Canadians to Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources and force her to kill Highland's plan for environmental destruction. Sign the petition and then forward widely.


Ontario's government should not be allowed to destroy the rivers, forests and farm land we all depend on for survival. For too long, provincial governments have kept key environmental decisions out of the national conversation -- we have a chance to change that. As one country, with a commitment to the environment and the health and safety of all Canadians, we can speak up.

With hope,

Emma, Ricken, Iain, Pascal and the rest of the Avaaz team.


Council of Canadians report on the mega-quarry


Limestone quarry threatens prime farm land (Toronto Star)


Environment ministry blasts mega-quarry proposal (Toronto Star)


The call for open submissions to the Ministry of Natural Resources


Chong calls for federal review of quarry proposal (Guelph Mercury)


Monday, July 4, 2011



... do we continue to buy water in plastic disposable bottles?

... is marijuana illegal when alcohol and tobacco are legal?

... do 'environmentally friendly' hybrid vehicles come with optional leather interiors?

... is there not warning labels on the packaging of any fast food burger?

... is there not a 'sin-tax' on fast food, soft drinks and candy?

... at a zoo where the diversity of life is celebrated, do they serve the murdered flesh of animals in the restaurants and snack bars?

... do we address the symptom and not the cause?

... do we not allocate more funding to mass-transit infrastructure?

Just wondering...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So... Why Are Vegans So Disturbing To 'Regular Folk'?

"Why make a tofu chicken if you are a vegetarian? You have made the choice either live with it or love eating meat."

This was a status update of a family member recently (Not quite original - I corrected the grammar...). Why does not eating meat make so many people angry?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some Observations About a Hypocritical Society

I drive a car. I've been through the drive-thru at Tim Horton's (Dunkin' Donuts if you're American) on several occasions. I pay for the plastic bags at the grocery store despite owning several reusable shopping bags. I don't smoke pot but do drink alcohol and can't understand why one is socially acceptable and the other is not. I think wind turbines are cool.

The following are just some observations on our world that are often spinning around in my little brain. They are somewhat specific to Canada but I'm sure they're fairly universal. It's not that I've lost faith in the human race, I just think we're doomed*!

A government that fights the use of alcohol and tobacco by taxing the hell out of those products and reaping amazing revenue.

A society that says that drinking alcohol is not only acceptable, it is expected yet smoking the dried leaves of a naturally grown plant is a heinous crime.

The vehicle with the bumper sticker that says “Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign” parked in front of Wal-Mart.

An overwhelming portion of the population is concerned about the rainforest. McDonalds and other fast food restaurants continue to be cash cows.

We want to cut out ‘drive-thrus’ yet the guy sitting in his car, polluting the air and getting fat has priority over the walk-in customer.

A hybrid Escalade is still a gas-guzzler.

Your reusable shopping bags are cool. Why did you drive your car two blocks to get to the grocery store?

You charge me $.05 for my plastic shopping bag in the name of being environmentally friendly, yet you stuff my mailbox with a small tree’s worth of paper advertising.

Wind turbines look ugly, make noise and cause imaginary illnesses. Can we drop a coal power plant in your neighbourhood instead?

Remember - you have freedom of speech and rights as a human - as long as you say and do what they tell you! Have a nice day!

* I don't really think we're doomed.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Results Of My 10 Day Raw Vegan Experiment

A 10 day raw vegan diet - my longest ever. Between Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 7:00am and Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 7:00am, I ate nothing but raw fruit and vegetables. I've done this before but never for this 10-day length of time.

First off, I have to say that people that can adhere to this diet at all times must live an energetic and healthy life! So - why would I stop? Good question. That's one I'm still looking for the answer to.

My goals at the start of the 10 day experiment were pretty simple:
  1. Increase my energy level.
  2. Lose 10 lbs. fast.
  3. Kickstart the running season now that hockey was coming to an end for the year.
I met all these goals. Sort of...

My energy level was increased to an unbelievable level. My night time sleep hours did not diminish like some say will happen. This is because I simply love to sleep! The sleep I got was good quality and I didn't feel the need to fall asleep on the couch after work each day.

I exceeded the weight loss goal by two pounds. This might seem dangerous to lose weight that fast but gone was the bloated feeling at the top of my stomach that sometimes made it difficult to bend over and tie my skates.

I did kickstart the running season. I felt like I was running on air the first few runs of the season. However, I played in one final hockey tournament three days after the raw vegan diet ended and was the victim of an extremely dirty move. I was cross-checked from behind across my lower back and I am still certain that I have a cracked rib (my loathing of doctor's offices has prevented me from finding out just what is wrong back there).

Therefore - my running has come to a complete halt because of the pain in by lower back.

With this 10 day raw vegan experiment, I cut out coffee and green tea as well. This resulted in some pretty serious headaches for the first few days. Headaches are also a symptom of simply going raw. I would suggest killing the caffeine first then killing the cooked food.

Is this a great weight-loss technique? Yes and no. It's a great diet to go on if you have a follow-up plan if and when you return to cooked food. Using it as a kickstart to a fitness plan is great - you lose the weight quick then keep it off, and gradually lose more, with the fitness plan.

What did I eat?

I was heavy on avacados, mushrooms and bananas. These were the 'thickest' items I could find to satisfy my appetite. However I also ate:
  • pineapple
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • clementines
  • apples
  • dragon fruit
  • cucumbers
  • grapes
  • onions
  • radishes
  • sweet peppers of all different colours
  • tomatoes
  • lemon
About halfway, I discovered that covering everything in the juice of fresh lemon acted as a seasoning to make the raw veggies a little more appetizing.

I stumbled across an interesting quirk of nature. If you soak radish chunks in fresh squeezed lemon juice for a few hours, the strong tastes of each counteract each other and changes both to a mild sweet flavour.

I also noticed that I could smell everyone around me! I assumed that if I could smell them then I must, in turn, have a unique odor. Not so. EVERYONE had garlic breath! I didn't eat any raw garlic throughout the 10 days and my diet usually consists of traces of garlic in pretty much everything I eat. Apparently, most restaurant food and processed food also contains garlic...

The Aftermath

It's been two weeks. I've gained back about five pounds which I mostly attribute to my in-activity. I will be able to start running again in the next few days. I will be trying a modified diet where I eat totally raw Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and see where it takes me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hockley Valley Provincial Park

If you live in the west end of the Greater Toronto Area and you're looking for a new set of trails to train on, Hockley Valley Provincial Park is your spot.

This day-use Provincial Park that is classified by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources as a Nature Reserve, has no facilities (ie. washrooms, running water, roads...) and only has one main parking lot. However, the trails within the park are exceptional for the trail runner.

The famous Bruce Trail runs through the park and there are several side trails looping off it. With a little familiarity of the trails, it is easy to spend a good 3-4 hours roaming the park without doing much backtracking.

Hockley Valley Provincial Park is located on Hockley Road, ten minutes northeast of the town of Orangeville. The main parking lot is basically directly across from the Hockley Valley Ski Resort on Hockley Road. There is a back entrance with a small parking lot off of third line.

What the trail system provides for the trail runner (or hiker) is some steep hills along the niagara escarpment, so nice flat stretches through shaded hardwood forest and, for the most part, smooth and soft trails.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm back! - the war cry of the blogger who lost interest for a few months (or more) but claims to have renewed interest but will most likely disappear again after a couple of lame posts...

Well - that could very well be true. However, it seems that someone out there is reading the backposts on this site on a daily basis, so maybe people really do want to read about the vegan world.

So, what's been going on? Well, I just finished up a 10-day Raw Vegan challenge and it was a grand success. It's nearing the end of the hockey season and the start of the trail running season. During the winter, I really fell into a rut with processed vegan food (no-meat hot italian sausages are my weakness. smothered in hummus, fried onions and mushrooms, mustard and salsa!). I was constantly bloated and was getting to the point where it hurt to bend over and tie my skates.

The ten days of raw veggies along with no tea or coffee was just what I needed. I lost 12 pounds and began running again like I'd never stopped. I've moved back to cooked food - but NOT processed. I'm also back on my recently rejuvenated coffee addiction.

I had been off coffee for years but in February while on a vacation in Cayo Largo, Cuba, I started having a cup at breakfast and found I really liked it.

Anywho - I will be documenting the challenge and posting it at either Factoidz, Infobarrel or Hubpages with an excerpt and link here.

btw - if you're interested in earning a little cash and you like to write, Factoidz does work. It's free to sign up and it will never cost you a dime to write there. They scrutinize your first 10 articles after you sign up then if you meet their approval you become a staff writer and your stuff is published immediately. You then get an upfront bonus for each article you publish as well as the regular dinero you get for page views. They pay without hassle and without a minimum payout at the start of every month. You may not get rich quick but you will get paid.

If you're interested, go through this link to check it out and sign up. Yes, if you go through that link, I may get paid for the referral - I appreciate it - thank you!

On a closing note - my man Georges Laraque, the former vegan NHL hockey player who last played for the Montreal Canadiens, is playing a prominant role with the Green Party in the upcoming election in Canada. Way to go Georges and good luck Green!

I may be back!