Cruelty-free winter clothing (and bedding)

choose cruelty-free

choose wisely 😉

Recently I needed to get a warm winter coat. I was in a discount fashion store and came across a rack with some amazing coats at really good prices. There were all these high-end brands and really cool designs that looked so good.

I ended up getting not one but two coats. But when I got home I read the tag of one of them and it said that the filling was down made with duck/waterfowl feathers.

I thought about this. This is not right. I know that if humans somewhere are taking feathers from ducks to use for clothing, it cannot be good for the ducks. Its not like someone is going along the shore of some idyllic pond where there happen to be ducks nesting and non-invasively collecting feathers that happen to be there.

The reality I’m sure is more like some horrendous prison where unimaginable numbers of ducks are kept in poor conditions with extensive suffering. I cannot consider wearing a garment that was made with the suffering of innocent creatures like that a good thing.

So returned the duck down coat (the other was synthetic!) and went online to a couple retail stores’ websites to look at women’s coats and quite sadly under the viewing options you cannot even select between synthetic and non-synthetic-animal-based downs. To me that is the first step of cruelty. At least give people the ability to choose whether to avoid inflicting suffering! Not giving the choice is itself a form of imposing suffering.

Then I went to REI which did in fact offer a choice. Good for them. I did find a really nice coat made with PrimaLoft™ insulation.

I would not encourage throwing away any existing clothes because of the materials in it, or even not buying something secondhand. But if you are buying a new item, I would encourage you to seek out items which do not contain down made from feathers.

The reality is – and I do not even need to look at any sites with info or videos about this – is that there is a huge part of the clothing industry based on feathers taken from animals that are imprisoned and no doubt living in horrible conditions.  It is wrong to imprison any form of life.

An upside of using synthetic insulating materials is that they may actually be easier and less expensive to care for.

Its sad to me that there is often discussion about the problem with so many people incarcerated in prisons, yet then there are so many other life forms which are being imprisoned by humans just to meet their “needs” which have morphed into cruel “greeds”.

I’m sick of human cruelty which always seems to be based on the attitude that humans have a right to inflict suffering at will on any other organisms.


Dancing tonight on the dance floor – the feeling is like being in heaven. I love it!

I’m so glad people can just be together and experience happiness together.

But there is something that also distresses me. I don’t know how to approach it. I find that some people are pushy. Some guys can be exceptionally pushy on the dance floor. Of course its kind of flattering to be the subject of attention. But aside from that, if one does not succumb to the weakness of wanting to be flattered, what if one just innocently wants to be able to dance with other people and flirt with them?

But it is not that simple. Because in the minds of the guys they see that you are opening to them, they interpret it as if you are assenting to doing something with them. So then, in the end, you have to push them away because they go too far.

This whole climate of what feels like clinginess makes me question such things in myself. But then what if I also feel attracted to someone or, more importantly, inspired by them? Is my feeling any different than the clingy guys?

So I personally feel hesitant to really show any interest because I don’t want to be like the clingy guys. The whole situation is kind of a mess. And basically it all comes down to this kind of greediness, this attachment.

But I thought the teachings about attachment were clear. These are ancient teachings which have been around for a long time. I imagine a different sort of environment that is free from that clinginess.

It feels like nothing is right. I’m not sure about this. I just want to experience good energy but then it seems that the human need for more ruins it, which is the opposite of the way it should be. Shouldn’t we humans be celebrating our connections?

I’m not sure if the world is messed up or I am messed up. I start out with sincerity and just wanting to have a good time but then feel like I get burned all the time.

It makes me feel like I want to go away and live alone on a mountain somewhere. Or find some really humble, low-key kind of person who is kind of the opposite of me externally but similar internally. I feel like an alien on this planet. I wish more than anything that I could be on my home planet.

My Thanksgiving Dinner: Mujaddara

Haven’t had much of an appetite the past few days. Have been mostly picking at things , mostly fruits and some nuts (breakfast/lunch today was a banana, mango, and kiwi). Today went for a short run however and now in the mood for something a little more substantial. What to make?

I haven’t had rice for quite a while, but today decided to get some white basmati as a treat. So I made the white basmati and then reheated some lentils and added in a few shiitakes for good measure. So basically its kind of like a mujaddara dish which I seasoned with freshly-ground cumin, curry powder, and tamari sauce. Also mixed in some scallion.

Simple but wholesome and awesome.

Organic vegan mujaddara Thanksgiving! Love it!

This must be one reason why I love millet and Essene bread

Two foods I like to eat are millet and Essene bread. Millet is my primary grain. I no longer consume rice nor any products containing rice. If perhaps on occasion I encountered some rice dish or product with rice in it I would not refrain from having it, but I never elect on my own to consume rice nor products which contain it.

However I really love millet. It is a very gentle grain and the body can easily digest it. It is high in nutrients. It is fun to cook with and makes many excellent combinations with other ingredients. There are a lot of ways it can be seasoned.

I was also reading about zinc again today. I feel strongly that the importance of zinc is vastly underreported. I find Wikipedia’s page on “Zinc and the common cold” to be one of its crappier pages and basically very much lacking in truth. There is absolutely no doubt that zinc is one of the most significant developments in human health treatments of the past couple centuries. In fact, the other day I was thinking about if I were to transport back in time or to some remote place with no technology, what would be the number one thing that I would try to re-create, and that for me would unquestionably be zinc.

What zinc does for the human immune system is absolutely amazing. Its benefits are extraordinary. Suffice to say that I no longer get colds. Ever. Instead, when my body senses that it is under threat, I take zinc prophylactically and basically immediately knock out whatever infection is threatening my body. There is no question that, in our modern world, there are what seem to be increasingly nastier bugs that are circulating. Humans are so many in number and things are getting transmitted and evolving to high degrees of virulence like never before. Zinc is more important than ever to maintain the body’s health against these serious and continual threats.

But Wikipedia’s crappy page does not state the truth. It fails to state the full effects of zinc and its extraordinary benefits. I did find another page however which does describe more: Zinc—One of the Best Supplements to Help Fight Cold and Flu. In that article they also say that one issue with people who eat a lot of grains is the increased intake of phytic acid:

Grains are high in phytic acids (as are legumes, seeds, and soy) and phytic acids are known to impair your absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. People in Western populations most at risk are those with diets high in unrefined grains, legumes, soy protein, and calcium, and low in animal protein.

I would never recommend not eating a diet high in grains as they do, but rather one with the right grains and with beans that are of course soaked properly before cooking (the longer the better. 8 hours is good but 12 is even better). But nonetheless they state that for people eating diets high in grains there can be an increased importance of taking zinc, whose nutritional absorption and uptake into the body can be diminished by phytates.

Another site,, states this:

Just because you’ve switched from white flour to whole grains does not mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may experience new problems with digestion. That is because whole grains contain phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract.

Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing nutrients for absorption. This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.

— The Two Stage Process A Preparation Method Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Whole Grains

It turns out that millet is one of the grains lowest in phytic acid. I also didn’t know that oats are one of the highest, which inclines me to want to switch to buckwheat, which is also one of the lowest.

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