The Great Money Delusion

The Great Money DelusionThe capitalist system in western society has caused many of us to become addicted to wealth and be dominated by the pursuit of money and power.

This is at the expense of fairness, sharing and compassion. We are all constantly being measured, to all intents and purposes, by what we own or what we earn, rather than who we really are as a person.

A society that has sacrificed so much to material wealth that it has forgotten the human heart and the best of human aspirations, degenerates into something compassionless, doctrinaire, ignorant and ultra-conservative. When this happens, fundamental solutions to the issues of that society become impossible. If we protect the truth and are resolute, we are capable of creating peace and prosperity, and the truth that we should be protecting has to be high and great.

The great truth of Nichiren Buddhism, the thing that we must do our utmost to protect, involves ethics and the very best of human nature. At the very heart of this lies our duty to protect the truth of life, the truth that we are all one with the universe, and that every single human thought contains the entirety of universal life.

The sooner we realise that this addiction is destroying our human nature, the sooner we can start to right the injustices in society. Failure to take steps to redress the balance of wealth will result in more of the kind of riots and protests we saw across the country in the last few years. We all knock the bankers for their greed and avarice, but we are all to blame to a greater or lesser extent for letting the system continue, and we must do better.

If you would like to help change the way money is controlled and how it dictates the structure of society, you might like to join Positive Money and find out how money really circulates. We need to change the money mechanism in order to make the world a fairer place. The sooner that process begins, the better for all (but the richest) of us.

Still Completely The Wrong Emphasis

How much is life worth?NICE, the NHS drugs watchdog, is set to refuse to provide the £90,000 Kadcyla breast cancer treatment to patients on the grounds of cost. As many of you will know, my daughter had breast cancer, had treatment, and has now been tested clear several times, so I have a vested interest in such issues.

How much is life worth? How much would you pay to spend a year, a month, a week or a day extra with your loved ones? Life is priceless, but the greed of the pharmaceutical industry knows no bounds. They are beholding to their shareholders and are driven purely by the profits they can make from people who find themselves stuck between a huge rock and a very hard place.

The really annoying part of all this, is that the cancer industry, those who make a living from researching, isolating, diagnosing, and treating cancer cases, really have no interest in halting the growth in cancer incidence, it’s their livelihood. When you think of all the millions of pounds and hours put into research over decades, there has been virtually no progress in preventing cancer.

Rather than trying to find cures or treatments for cancer, which like the common cold, has thousands of variants, they should be concentrating on finding the cause. But finding the cause doesn’t make you rich, and once it’s found, what will you do with the rest of your working life?

We know that cancer is caused by any number of things, but we also know that it stops developing in the absence of animal protein in the diet. So why are we all still so keen to fund research and treatment when we know how to stop cancer in its tracks?

Money, that’s why. Like the meat and dairy industries, the cancer industry would collapse overnight, with the loss of thousands of jobs, if the truth were widely known. Not exactly a disaster if we look a the bigger picture though. A world without cancer would be a better world, and all the money saved, could be used to fund more worthy schemes.

So let’s stop looking down the wrong end of the microscope, let’s embrace the changes that will make a difference, and give the Big C the heave-ho once and for all.

For more information, take a look here …

Getting The Message Across

People Queueing For The Bournemouth Vegan FairThe inaugural Bournemouth Vegan Fair was held today at the Highcliff Marriot hotel in Bournemouth.

Lizzi Shaw, aka Dorset Vegan, did a magnificent job of putting the event together, and was rewarded today by a torrent of visitors, all keen to discover what veganism could offer them.

The exhibitors list read like a who’s who of proudly ethical vegan companies, organisations who put their actions ahead of their profits, service before their shareholders and ethics before anything else.

The first couple of hours saw over six hundred visitors coming into the arena. At times there was a queue as the organisers adhered to the rules of health and safety, but the sun shone and everyone was patient.

Crowds At The Inaugrual Bournemouth Vegan FairMany of the exhibitors actually ran out of products to sell within an hour of the doors opening, just a single example of the success of the event. Everyone I spoke to was glowing in their praise of Lizzi, and expressed desire to attend the event in 2015, before the dust had settled.

So success for the exhibitors, those whose products adhere to the ethics of veganism, empty boxes and full tills. Success also for Lizzi and all of us who are working so hard to get the vegan message out there. Success too for Bournemouth, which now has a long overdue Vegan fair as part of the Food Festival.

The Wrong End Of The Stick

CaspulesNICE, the NHS drugs watchdog, is set to refuse to provide the £90,000 Trastuzumab Emtansine breast cancer treatment to patients on the grounds of cost. As many of you will know, my daughter had breast cancer, had treatment, and has now been tested clear, so I have a vested interest in such issues.

How much is life worth? How much would you pay to spend a year, a month, a week or a day extra with your loved ones? Life is priceless, but the greed of the pharmaceutical industry knows no bounds. They are beholding to their shareholders and are driven purely by the profits they can make from people who find themselves stuck between a rock and a very hard place.

The really annoying part of all this, is that the cancer industry, those who make a living from researching, isolating, diagnosing, and treating cancer cases, have really got the wrong end of the stick in my opinion.

Rather than trying to find cures or treatments for cancer, which like the common cold, has thousands of variants, they should be concentrating on finding the cause. But finding the cause doesn’t make you rich, and once it’s found, what will you do with the rest of your life?

We know that cancer is caused by any number of things, but we also know that it stops developing in the absence of animal protein in the diet. So why are we all still so keen to fund research and treatment when we know how to stop cancer in its tracks?

Money, that’s why. Like the meat and dairy industries, the cancer industry would collapse overnight, with the loss of thousands of jobs, if the truth were widely known. Not exactly a disaster if we look a the bigger picture though. A world without cancer would be a better world, and all the money saved, could be used to fund more worthy schemes.

So let’s stop looking the wrong way down the microscope, let’s grasp the right and of the stick, and give the Big C the heave-ho once and for all.

For more information, take a look here …

A Piggin’ Dilemma

PiggiesIt’s been a beautiful day, blues skies and bright sunshine, although the breeze had a little autumn nip to it. Because the weather forecast has been warning that it will all change tomorrow, we decided to take a trip out to the Frome Valley farm shop at Frampton Cotterell.

It would be a lie to say that I am a vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat these days. But as Bumble has been suffering from a lack of iron, we went to the farm shop to buy some ‘happy’ lamb’s liver. I say ‘happy’ because the butchers in the farm shop know exactly where their meat comes from, and more importantly, that is has been reared in an ethical and humane way.

As we arrived, we could see that there were a lot of people feeding scraps to the pigs who live in the enclosure next to the shop. But as we got out of the car, we could smell the unmistakable aroma of frying bacon. There are few things that smell quite as nice as bacon in the pan, but it did seem a bit sad when you could see the parents and siblings, the relatives of the rashers that were sizzling away.

Now I’m not saying that we should stop meat production, or that it is unethical to rear animals for food, but seeing the livestock rooting in the mud, whilst smelling the results of their slaughter being fried so close by, I did wonder whether they associated the smell with their recently missing relative.

Pigs are pretty intelligent animals, by all accounts, and although they clearly happy to wallow and root around in the mud of their nice little field, I really hope they are unaware of their ultimate fate. If not, I doubt that ‘happy’ would be the right word to use.

The Wealth Delusion

False ValuesSitting reading William Woollard’s book Buddhism and the Science of Happiness, he talks about the way western society has become addicted to wealth and is dominated by the pursuit of money and power. This is at the expense of fairness, sharing and compassion. We have become, to all intents and purposes, what we earn or own rather than who we really are as a person.

A society that has sacrificed so much to material wealth that it has forgotten the human heart and the best of human aspirations, degenerates into something compassionless, doctrinaire, ignorant and ultra-conservative. When this happens, fundamental solutions to the issues of that society become impossible. If we protect the truth and are resolute, we are capable of creating peace and prosperity, and the truth that we should be protecting has to be high and great.

The great truth of Nichiren Buddhism, the thing that we must do our utmost to protect, involves ethics and the very best of human nature. At the very heart of this lies our duty to protect the truth of life, the truth that we are all one with the universe, and that every single human thought contains the entirety of universal life.

The sooner we realise that this addiction is destroying our human nature, the sooner we can start to right the injustices in society. Failure to take steps to redress the balance of wealth will result in more of the kind of riots we saw across the country last year. We all knock the bankers for their greed and avarice, but we are all to blame to a greater or lesser extent and we must do better.

Awkward Questions

Facebook-ZuckerbergThere was a really thought provoking program about Facebook on BBC tonight. Emily Maitlis interviews Mark Zuckeberg, the founder of the social networking site, and asks some rather awkward questions about the underlying psychological issues and advertising practices facing subscribers.

As one of those subscribers, I had become rather concerned about the way commercial companies are now much more prominent and that they have access to all my details as well as all my friends if I choose to Like them, so I tend not to.

Nobody can argue that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the like haven’t changed the way we keep in touch with family and friends forever. But we should all pause to think about quite how comfortable we are, letting these companies have such easy access to our personal details as well as our spending patterns, simply in order to promote their products or persuade us to part with our cash.

Watch the program, via the link above, and then you decide.

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