Core Truths: 10 Common GMO Claims Debunked (link)

36a44a197f91a6cc8e34b8188ada4e9dGMO’s are not perfect. But neither is any other kind of farming. Here are some common claims about GMO’s debunked.

http://www.popsci.com/article/science/core-truths-10-common-gmo-claims-debunked

I appreciate that it acknowledges the faults and potential problems with GMO’s as well, because any industry that claims to be perfect and the only way to do things is being dishonest (including organic!) All farming methods can use improvement, especially when it comes to effective but safe pest/weed control (though we’ve made great progress in these areas).

I for one am looking forward to the non-browning Arctic Apples! 😀 I hate it when my apples get brown and nasty after I cut them. I will certainly be trying these new apples when they become commercially available.

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Woman Gives Up Yoga Pants “For God and her Husband”: Purity Culture & Marital Lust

imagesI found this article, take a look:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/20/veronica-partridge-leggings-yoga-pants-gives-up-lustful-christian_n_6508764.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000022

I’m all for women dressing how they want, including modestly. However, it makes me so incredibly sad to see a woman give up clothes that she obviously used to love because she was shamed by purity culture.

1. This woman was shamed by her husband for his thought life and the thought lives of other men. He blamed women for how he and other men think about women sexually. This isn’t fair, he and he alone is responsible for how he thinks and what he does about it. Men think sexually about women in all sorts of attire; he might personally go for girls in yoga pants, other men are attracted to long flowing hair or have a foot fetish (I know Christian groups that don’t allow open toed shoes or hair to be done up pretty for this very reason). Where do you draw the line? How are women expected to stop all men from lusting after them? Do we wear full body burkas like they do in parts of the Middle East? Even those women get raped, so it’s obviously still not enough.

And why is it my job to make men not think about me that way? That’s not really fair. If I’m sexually attracted to a hot guy, I make no excuses for it- I acknowledge that it’s alllllll me. The poor guy can’t help looking sexy in that tailored suit or in his swim trunks that show off his sexy abs… and that other guy can’t help that his face is just so damn cute and his lips look so kissable… oh and that girl has such a hot butt… where was I? Oh yes, sexual attraction.

2. The harm applies to the husband too. This husband was shamed by purity culture, which unrealistically expects him to be devoid of all sexual attraction just because he’s married. Biologically, men and women (and everybody in between) are hardwired to be sexually attracted to other humans, because otherwise our species would go extinct. Being sexually attracted to other humans is normal and healthy! Purity culture expects people to never even THINK sexual thoughts about another person, but this expectation flies in the face of our biological reality.

Purity culture shames us for unintentionally having and/or causing sexual attractions, even though that’s a completely normal part of human life that shouldn’t be considered shameful.

Being sexually attracted to a human body that our mind considers sexy is pretty unavoidable biologically, and it does not make someone unfaithful to their spouse. It’s what they DO with those attractions that matters. Sexually harassing women, having an affair, etc are unacceptable responses to our sexual attractions; we’ve evolved the ability to control our urges, separate violence from sex, and stay faithful. We’ve also evolved the ability to have a brief sexual thought and then say “ok, I’ve had my moment of attraction but I’m moving on now. I’m not going to fantasize about that woman/man, I’m going to mentally focus on my spouse instead.” Yes, we do actually have that kind of self control.

I support this woman’s right to ditch her yoga pants if it makes her feel more comfortable. I’m just very sad that she was shamed into it, and I hope that other girls are not also made to feel guilty by her example.

Why Abortion is Ok

Why Abortion is Ok

Many people think abortion is murder, that a fetus killed is the same as an adult killed. But is it really? This author really digs into the hypocrisy and lack of logic behind these claims and addressing important issues. I’ve pasted the text below for your convenience, here is the source link: http://www.philipbrocoum.com/?p=402

I hope you find this informative. I know I did!

-Lilly

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An anonymous person posted a comment asking, “What are your reasons for abortion to be kept legal?” It’s such an important question that I’ve decided to dedicate an entire post to answering it. But before I begin I want to address one of his claims that:

“Science has unambiguously determined when a new life begins, and that is at conception… I hope your argument isn’t based only on that weak and unscientific argument of ‘a fetus isn’t a human’.”

Well, my argument isn’t solely based on that so much as it is on the idea that some human lives are worth less than others. Still, I feel obligated to point out the other side of this coin. Science doesn’t unambiguously know much about life. Physics is another story entirely, gravity is pretty unambiguous for example, but as far as biology and life goes science doesn’t even know what life is let alone when it begins.

What is the definition of life? One classic definition is that life is anything that grows, consumes food, and produces offspring. But what about fire, you might ask? Fire isn’t alive even though it fits that definition. Fine, life is anything that grows, consumes food, produces offspring, and thinks. What about plants? They don’t think and they are alive. Pretty quickly you discover that the only definition of life we have so far is, “I know it when I see it.” SETI, the search for extraterrestrial life, is really the search for extraterrestrial life like ours. Who knows what kind of life there could be out there that we could never understand or even recognize?

Since we don’t even know what life is, it’s very difficult to unambiguously declare that life begins at conception. I would argue that life begins at birth. Why? Because before then you only have one living being, not two. In the words of Dr. House, a fetus is a parasite that cannot live on its own. Saying a fetus is a distinct living being is like saying my arm is a distinct living being. My arm is alive, yes, but you can’t murder my arm.

Anyway, my argument doesn’t have much to do with that, I’m perfectly willing to grant that a fetus is alive, I just wanted to point out that things aren’t that simple. For example, cutting off a finger and murdering a person are totally different, as is killing a fetus versus killing a baby.

The crux of my argument in favor of abortion is that killing is basically okay. Human beings kill everything. We kill cows because they taste good, trees because we like furniture, germs because they make us feel bad, deer because we love hunting, cockroaches because they are disgusting, and thousands of other species because we just hate those rain forests so much… Pretty much every species on Earth has been killed by humans at some point for some reason.

“Wait a minute,” I hear you cry. “That may all be true but we draw the line at killing other humans!” No, we don’t. We kill old people (euthanasia, and insurance companies will even pay for it), we kill criminals (capital punishment), we kill ourselves (suicide), we kill each other (war), we kill in self-defense, we kill when we are temporarily insane, and we pull the plug on people who are in comas. I haven’t even started listing all the indirect ways we kill people: drug companies pushing dangerous drugs, insurance companies not paying for lifesaving procedures, people starving in Africa because our fat asses can’t be bothered to share some food, athletes playing dangerous sports, smoking, alcohol, and McDonald’s.

99.99% of the time it’s perfectly okay and legal to kill any living thing you want. The only exception is that you can’t kill another human being for no apparent reason. That’s murder. That’s where the line is drawn.

Why is this? Because we understand that fundamentally some lives are worth more than others. The lives of cows and trees are basically worthless. Besides, what would we do without our hamburgers and chairs? Killing those insignificant beings dramatically increases our quality of life, so we do it.

It’s not just a “human versus everything else” thing, either. Some human lives are worth more than others. Women are worth more than men, and children are worth more than women. If a man kills another man, he’s a dick. If a man kills a woman or a child he’s evil. “How could anybody do such a thing?!” everybody gasps. We also recognize this in abortion: pro-lifers are often in favor of allowing abortions if the mother would otherwise die because the mother’s life is more valuable than the fetus. As for killing in general, we all want to kill terrorists and assassinate dictators (and blow up abortion clinics) and in such a manner ironically spread peace throughout the world.

Although the anonymous commentator didn’t bring this up, lots of people like to mouth off about the sanctity of life and that all life is sacred. No, no it isn’t. All non-human life is basically canon fodder, and as for human life, a large portion is up for grabs as well. The simple fact is that killing, including killing other humans, is necessary and unavoidable in order to make our lives easier.

Have you ever slapped a mosquito? Did you feel bad? No! You hate mosquitoes and they deserve to die! After five weeks, a human fetus is one quarter of an inch long which is smaller than the smallest mosquito in Florida. Given that a mosquito doubles in size when it feeds, it could probably eat the fetus. How has an act as casual as slapping away a mosquito suddenly become murder simply because it’s a fetus? It’s because the fetus is human and a mosquito is not. We should ask ourselves, though, does that matter?

Calling a fetus “human” is very misleading. “Goo” is a more accurate term. A fetus is nothing more than a gooey pile of cells (at least for the first few months). In fact, at this stage in the game a mosquito is far more alive than a fetus. The mosquito can fend for itself, feed itself, procreate, and a fetus can’t do a damned thing. Why then are we so concerned about the well-being of the fetus? It’s because the fetus has the POTENTIAL to grow up into a human being.

In my post Women Commit Murder If They Don’t Have Sex I talk about the treacherously gray area of worrying about the potentials of things. Every time a woman doesn’t have sex a potential life is lost. We don’t care about that. Every time a man uses a condom a potential life is lost. We don’t worry about that (well, some people do). I mean, just think about it: do we throw people in jail for having knives in the kitchen because they could potentially kill someone?

Calling a fetus a “human being” is like calling me “dead”. Of course I’m not dead, but I’m on my way there. Of course a fetus isn’t a human being, but it might be in the future. You cannot ascribe a potential future property (being human) to the fetus right now. Right now, the fetus is a pile of goo. Right now, a mosquito is biologically more alive than the fetus. In every way that matters, killing a mosquito is worse than killing a fetus. If you want to quote me on something, quote me on this:

Killing a fetus is no worse than killing a mosquito, and neither are crimes.

Speaking of potential, think how much potential mosquitoes have. One billion years from now they could evolve into hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional cosmic beings that rule the universe. Right at this moment we could be slaughtering the greatest race that could ever live. Doesn’t anybody feel bad about that? No, because it’s just potential! It’s not real!

Here is an interesting thought experiment: what if one day science figures out how to grow a human being from a finger, are we now going to declare that all broken fingers are murder because that finger could have grown into a human being? Ah, the danger of potential.

This is very closely related to the classic philosophical question of whether or not you would sacrifice lives now in order to save lives later. If you were a genius scientist and knew that you could cure cancer at the small expense of performing horrible genetic experiments on 1000 unwitting folks, would you do it? Surely the 1000 lives lost today are nothing compared to the millions of lives that would be saved. Still, I hope you wouldn’t do those experiments. I think it’s morally reprehensible to sacrifice people’s lives, real people living in the here and now, to potentially maybe perhaps save other people in the future who don’t exist yet.

Volunteers are a whole different story. If 1000 people want to volunteer for the genetic experiments, go for it. Remember that abortion is a volunteer procedure. Nobody is going to force anyone to ever get an abortion. If a mother wants an abortion, fine. If she doesn’t, also fine.

How is this for a Catch-22: lots of women get an abortion and then later on in life have a child. If they hadn’t gotten an abortion that child would never have been born (because it would’ve been the aborted child instead). No matter which way you slice it, you are always going to lose a potential life. If you talk to the mother, I think you’ll have a hell of a time trying to convince her that she is raising the “wrong” child.

By now you should have a pretty good grasp of my basic argument. A fetus is barely alive and we don’t think twice about slapping a mosquito, so what’s the big deal about abortion? “The big deal,” I hear you say, “is that even if a fetus is a pile of goo after five weeks, it’s a human being after five months.” I don’t remember what the cutoff stage for abortion is, but you are right and I purposefully chose five weeks for my example. The longer a fetus grows the more human it becomes. It won’t take much to convince me that aborting a child five minutes before it’s born is much closer to the murder side of the line than the slapping-a-mosquito side of the line. If I grant you that aborting a child five minutes before it’s born is murder, will you grant me that aborting a fetus five minutes after conception is fine?

That’s the million dollar question. If I’ve convinced you that aborting a two-celled organism is fine (by the way, you lose approximately 60,000,000 skin cells per day) then we are no longer arguing about whether or not abortion is okay and instead we are arguing about when it’s okay. This is a much more useful question. It means we are finding middle ground. It means we are cooperating. It means we are coming to an understanding. The exact cutoff date isn’t important. What’s important is that we understand there are gray areas and extenuating circumstances.

Philosophically, I’m done; I’ve made my case. However, I’m also going to take a few moments to point out some of the other reasons why abortion is okay (and in fact good for society). What is the alternative to abortion? Babies in dumpsters, babies abandoned, and just the other day a woman stuffed her child into a Wonder Bread bag and tried to flush it down the toilet. Surely these babies would have been better off being aborted months ago.

Letting them live isn’t necessarily a good alternative, either. Is it really “humane” to let the child grow up with a 13-year-old single mother that can’t care for him, can’t feed him, can’t provide for him, is addicted to heroin, and whatever else? In some situations, not having a kid is a good thing. Kids are not always blessings. Is it any wonder that abortion reduces crime? The states with the highest abortion rates also have the highest drops in crime. If we didn’t force or encourage poor families to have kids they can’t afford, their kids wouldn’t grow up to be criminals.

Let me emphasize that I’m not encouraging abortion. Condoms are obviously a much better way to avoid having unwanted kids. The morning-after pill is obviously preferred to getting an abortion. Raising the kid is obviously preferred if you can, if you are happily married and have the means. Unfortunately, sometimes people make mistakes, and shouldn’t we allow them abortions in those situations? It’s cliché, but what about the case where the woman is raped? Let’s also not forget that humans are basically the worst thing that has ever happened to this planet and the last thing the Earth needs right now is more people.

I find it curious that women are overwhelmingly in favor of abortion (perhaps somebody can tell me why?). Women, the most sensitive and caring people on the planet who ooh and aah whenever they see a baby, are totally for killing fetuses. If there’s any group of people in the world against abortion, it should be women. But they aren’t. That should tell you something. Don’t you think it’s a little bit arrogant for us men to be telling women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies, and what is and is not alive inside them?

We also have to ask ourselves what the punishment should be if abortions are made illegal. There is a hilarious YouTube video where a guy goes to a pro-life rally and asks people what should happen to women if they get abortions, and nobody can provide an answer. I can:

  1. Murderers go to prison
  2. Abortion is murder
  3. Women who get abortions should be sent to prison

The logic is beautifully simple. If you are going to take the stance that abortion is murder, you also have to take the stance that we should lock up the 1.6 million women who commit murder every year (there are roughly 1.6 million abortions per year). It’s funny how when you mention that people suddenly say, “Oh, well, I didn’t mean they should be punished for it.” What, are we suddenly going to let murderers roam free now?

The logic is even more beautiful. If you don’t believe women should go to jail then you simply cannot be against abortion. Watch:

  1. Women who get abortions don’t go to prison
  2. Murderers go to prison
  3. Abortion is not murder

QED. I’m sorry, but you cannot argue with logic.

The anonymous poster seemed concerned with spending taxpayer money on abortions. I don’t really care if the government pays for abortions or not seeing as they are very cheap operations, but beyond that abortions save lots of money. Getting an abortion is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper than actually raising the child, and it saves the state thousands upon thousands of dollars it would otherwise have needed to spend educating the child, providing health care for the child, and providing welfare to the mother. Even if abortion is a morally gray subject, it is black and white as far as money is concerned: abortion is good for the economy. Abortions save billions of dollars every year (1.6 million abortions times $1000 per abortion equals billions of dollars, and that’s assuming a child only costs $1000).

In the end, we have to ask ourselves what’s more important: the good of society, the welfare of the mother, and women’s rights, or the rights of an unborn, barely alive pile of goo? Remember that this pile of goo is far less alive than a mosquito and we don’t mind killing them to make our lives more comfortable. A fetus can’t think, it doesn’t feel pain or regret that it was never born, and it’s not going to get mad at you. We pull the plug on people who are in comas, why can’t we pull the plug on fetuses?

 

Abortion is Not a Bad Thing- Medical Professional Speaks Out

http://reproductiveaccess.org/blog/abortion-is-not-a-bad-thing/

Great article from a health care professional on the positive side of abortions and the affect that current negative cultural opinion has on the trauma many women experience after having an abortion.

If you tell a woman she is a monster for having an abortion, then why are you surprised when she gets depressed after having one? How much harm supposedly caused by the abortion procedure is actually caused by how the woman is treated, how she is made to feel by others who disagree with her decision? Of course there are sometimes traumatic experiences not related to public opinion- but I think a lot of harm is unnecessarily done, and much of the distress women experience could be greatly lessened.

Enjoy the article! I copied the text below, here is the source: http://reproductiveaccess.org/blog/abortion-is-not-a-bad-thing/

-Lilly

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When I give a presentation about the abortion services we provide in our family medicine clinic,  people often ask, “Do you have a counselor to meet with your patients to help them?” I’m a bit put off by this question. I want to say, “It’s my patients with a new diagnosis of diabetes or high blood pressure or cancer who need a counselor – they are the ones having their lives changed forever with a diagnosis and disease that won’t go away, whereas my abortion patients are addressing their issue!” But, of course, I can’t say that.   I am perturbed by the implication that women having abortions are somehow being traumatized.  To the extent that they are traumatized, it is the fault of our culture that demonizes women for obtaining an abortion.  The abortion experience itself can be positive.

Affirmation from physicians, telling women that we understand and support their decision, goes a long way towards destigmatizing abortion. Normalizing it – telling them how common abortion really is – helps.    Also, we can encourage women to bring a support person and then make every effort to give respect and praise to that support person, and to the way in which he/she being there strengthens the woman and that relationship.

Last week, for example, I had a 16-year-old couple come in who were really scared, but clearly sure of what they needed.  They relaxed quite a bit after we started talking and they realized that I was very willing to help them and that I was not going to shame them or be mean to them.  She wanted a medication abortion and I asked her boyfriend if he would be able to be with her the day she had chosen to have the cramping and bleeding, and he said, “of course!”  I said how great it was that they had such a strong relationship to help each other through this difficult time and they started holding hands.  It was truly a sweet moment.  I gave them both my phone number (as we always do) and said to call with any questions/concerns.  They left smiling and clearly feeling very relieved.  When she came back the next week for her follow up appointment, he came with her and held her hand during her IUD insertion, and we were able to reinforce how wonderful his support was and tie it all to their goals to finish their educations and be responsible about when to be parents.

On the same day, we cared for two mother/daughter pairs. We told the moms how great it was that they were there, that their daughters could come to them, and that they supported their daughters’ goals for finishing high school and getting more education, etc.  Again, it made the moms so proud to be acknowledged by the doctors as great mothers. They held their daughters hands for the procedure and it became an important bonding experience.

There are some days in our lives that we remember forever, and the day we had an abortion is often one of them.  We can make a huge difference in what kind of a memory is laid down that day. I find that even activists for abortion rights sometimes imply that the most important thing is to lessen the number of abortions.  I disagree.  The most important thing is to expand access to abortions while decreasing the stigma associated with it.  What needs to be decreased is unwanted births: that is the real tragedy!  I think there is a huge unmet need out there for abortions and that women (especially teens) sometimes continue their pregnancies rather than go through the “scary and shameful” abortion experience.  Although more than 82% of teen pregnancies are unplanned, only 31% end in abortion (Guttmacher).  Talk about an unmet need!

We really need to reframe how we talk with patients about abortion.  That means telling teens, whether they come for birth control or a URI, that we can help them if they get pregnant by mistake.  We can list it like any other part of heath care that we provide: pap smears, prenatal care, IUDs, abortions, immunizations, blah blah.  Make it normal!  We need to let teens, their moms, and as many of our patients as we can know that abortion is incredibly common and a normal part of life.

While we are at it, we need to let our patients know that we think making decisions to finish high school or college or to find a stable partner or get a good job before having children is a totally rational and healthy approach to life (duh!).  It’s amazing how many women have had abortions already and are carrying around a tiny piece of shame that we can lighten for them by just normalizing it all, once they have had us clear the way for them to talk about it.  ”Well, I would say that having that abortion when you were 17 was a good thing, because look at what you would not have been able to do for the family you have now.”  Or, “It’s enough of a struggle to be working and going to school, you made a good decision back then to postpone having children. You’ll be a great mom when you are ready for it.”   Amazing how often tears flow when just a few sentences like this are spoken.  We forget how much our patients look up to us (deserved or not), so it’s important to put that power to good use by giving respect to those hard decisions women made.  And by the same token, when they do have kids and are in your office for their well child checks, telling the moms what a great job they are doing, how healthy their kids look, thanks to their huge efforts, is also super important.  This world that shames women having abortions doesn’t really do much to help mothers when they do have kids, so hearing from their doctors that the tough job they are doing is acknowledged and appreciated and praised is very special and needed.

I’m not saying that there are never women who need counseling after an abortion, and I do refer women to Exhale or Backline from time to time.  But I find that 99% of the time, women are relieved and ready to move on with their lives. I think we can help that process enormously by respecting their decisions, celebrating their supportive relationships, and being present with a supportive ear for whatever they need to talk through related to the whole experience.

You Are a Good Woman (Dealing with Abortion Reactions)

You Are a Good Woman (Dealing with Abortion Reactions)

http://www.abortioncarenetwork.org/considering-abortion/GoodWoman-1.pdf

This article addresses women who have had or who are considering abortion and it explains what they may face from anti-abortionists. It kindly and respectfully explains how the anti-abortion mantra can cause a woman to doubt her choice after the abortion and begin to believe that she is bad. This is something everyone should read.

-Lilly

 

Feminists Are Sharing Abortion Horror Stories. And That’s a Good Thing.

Feminists Are Sharing Abortion Horror Stories. And That’s a Good Thing.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/11/15/abortion_stories_in_new_york_magazine_and_the_drawbacks_of_the_birth_control.html

Preserving a woman’s right to choose doesn’t mean that they don’t sometimes experience pain or remorse from abortions- especially if they were pressured into it or their care provider was not very good- or that birth control doesn’t sometimes affect women with side effects. Every woman is different emotionally and biologically, and every situation is different- that’s why they need to be able to choose for themselves and also be aware of any risks. They need to make the best decision for THEM- sometimes that means birth control or abortion, sometimes it doesn’t. Prepare them, educate them, let them grieve and share their stories even when they’re not positive- but don’t take away their right to make their own decisions.

Not every woman has the same experiences. For some women, having an abortion was ok- a bit emotional, but not a depression causing event. For others, it was their only option and without it their lives would have been much worse. For others, it was a very traumatic event that they regret. ALL of these women’s stories are valuable and should be heard.

Hopefully someday we will live in a world where a woman’s choice is not judged, where she can be fully educated and prepared before making any choice to lessen distress and harm. The point of feminism is that every woman’s choice and experience is valuable, each voice should be heard, and every woman should be free to choose her own path.

-Lilly