We want to hear your voice. We can take a highly processed or refined substance and add to it all the vitamins, minerals and other factors that are known to be important to good nutrition and still not have a food as good as nature makes it. Instead the deep sunken eyes have a rather wide-awake appearance. How to be Independently Healthy reader reviews at http: Their daily food requirements, in terms of quantity, are higher. Another CDC study published in December concluded that healthy house cats are generally safe with regard to excretion of Salmonella in the environment.
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We moved to gather food, escape predators and migrate to more forgiving land. Even as humans advanced, our bodies were in motion. Long days of farm work, trudging into town for school or supplies and other factors of everyday living meant there was little time for our ancestors to rest on their laurels. In the mid th century, however, technological advances, a rise in car culture and a shift from physically demanding work to office jobs began chipping away at our physical activity.
Today, at a time when we have more choices than ever in almost every aspect of our lives, most of us choose to be stationary. But how does not moving regularly take a toll on our health? The World Health Organization estimates that a lack of physical activity is associated with 3.
Researchers found the highest level of frailty experienced the most severe impact. A study of more than 80, people found each hour they spent watching TV increased their risk of developing diabetes by 3. Remaining stationary for too long slows blood circulation to the legs, which can lead to swollen ankles, blood clots , swelling and pain. At the scarier end is deep vein thrombosis , when a blood clot forms in your legs.
The clot can eventually break free and obstruct other parts of your body, including your lungs. Ironically, sitting down to work can actually lead to trouble concentrating. This slows down our cognitive functions and leads to brain fog. We need our bodies to maintain lean muscle tissue so we can perform our daily tasks without hurting or taxing our bodies.
With a sedentary lifestyle, that all changes. Ordinary events, like grocery shopping or picking things up, become much more difficult. This becomes especially important in older adults, who are already losing muscle mass and bone strength. The kicker with our sedentary lifestyles is that even if you exercise regularly, it might not be enough to combat all those hours you spend sitting at work or in the car.
Are you standing yet? The good news is that you can prevent the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, even if you do work in an office environment — and none of them include exercising more.
This comes, I think, from their not believing the gods to have the same nature with men, as the Greeks imagine. Pronouns such as 'he' or 'she' cannot be applied to Ahura Mazda who is the creator of all of creation, not our father or mother. God's relationship with creation is understood, as best as is possible, through the very nature, beauty and grandeur of God's creation, and through God's six transcendental, creation-related, abstract attributes called Amesha Spentas.
Possessing Amesha Spenta qualities does not make humans god-like. Possessing these qualities means being in harmony with God's work. Incorporating the Amesha Spentas into one's way of life, leads to a shared sets of traits by which Zoroastrians have been recognized throughout history. In the Vaetha Nask , a Zoroastrian text, a question is asked about how a person can be recognized as a Zoroastrian.
The answer given is through that person's good mind, intellect without deceitfulness, good speech and good actions. Middle Persian texts and travellers' observations about the shared characteristics of the Zoroastrians they encountered, provide us with additional information.
The following are some traits and qualities that contributed to the reputation of Zoroastrians:. The Zoroastrian ethos was developed into a list of guiding principles that is read out during a Zoroastrian marriage ceremony. A condensed list of these guiding principles are provided in our page on marriages. In the chronicles of his travels through Persia and India, Mandelslo writes that he saw the Zoroastrians of India, the Parsees, as 'diligent', 'conscientious' and 'skilful' in their work ethic.
John Ovington, a chaplain in the Royal Navy, reported in his work, Voyage to Surat published in CE, that in the Indian Gujarati city of Surat, Zoroastrians "assist the poor and are ready to provide for the sustenance and comfort of such as want it. Their universal kindness, either employing such as are ready and able to work, or bestowing a seasonable bounteous charity to such as are infirm and miserable, leave no man destitute of relief, nor suffer a beggar in all their tribe.
Zoroastrians enjoy a vivid reputation for honesty. Prices in a shop owned by a Zoroastrian are regarded as the benchmark that competing shops are compared against. Children are told that when arriving in a strange town near dark, seek out a Zoroastrian home to spend the night in. The original Avesta has been destroyed see destruction below and some portions survive. The surviving reconstituted Avesta can be organized in various ways.
One way is to organize them as five books:. Zarathushtra also spelt Zarathustra memorized and conveyed his ideas and teaching through hymns called the Gathas. It is probable that writing was not known during Zarathushtra's time. The verses of the Gathas were memorized and sung by his followers, thereby in turn conveying the ideas to others and subsequent generations.
When priests, the Magi , were introduced to the religion, their task was to memorize the hymns. The method proved very effective in preserving the teachings - so effective that the hymns continued to be faithfully memorized, shared and transmitted even when the language of the people reciting the verses changed and the meaning of the verses was lost.
Successive invasions of Persia Iran resulted in the destruction of the bulk of the Zoroastrian scriptures, the Avesta. The first was Alexander of Macedonia's invasion in BCE accompanied by senseless devastation and the mass killing of priests who carried the verbal tradition.
Between CE came the Arab invasion bent on mass conversions and the burning of the Avesta. What fragments were left or secreted away were further destroyed by the extremely violent Mongol and Turkic invasions with the extermination of entire communities. Today, out of the twenty one books of the Sassanian era Avesta, only one complete book and fragments of others survive.
The surviving texts are nevertheless one and a half times the size of the Koran, and are and arranged as five books plus fragments. A verse of the Avesta, and more specifically a verse of the Gathas, was called a mathra or manthra - insightful thoughts thoughts for reflection, contemplation and meditation. Reciting a manthra today, even when the ancient words are poorly understood, has a calming, soothing effect that allows the mind to refocus itself.
Zoroastrianism is a name given to the religion by the west. A more complete Avestan name is found in the Fravarane , the pledge of faith, namely, Daenam Vanghuhim Mazdayasnim or, Daena Vanguhi Mazdayasni further modernized as Behdin Mazdayasna , meaning the highest discerning belief in worship of God. Since other religions are commonly ascribed to a person, non-Zoroastrians are puzzled by the lack of use of Zoroaster's name.
The covenants made by Zoroastrians in prayer are to a belief and to a way of life - not to a person. Zoroastrians hold that a religion focused on a person is a cult rather than a religion based on spiritual, personal and societal development. Zoroastrianism is a way of being and is not focused on the personage of Zarathushtra also spelt Zarathustra.
We will use the name 'Zoroastrianism' in these pages since it is the common English language name for the religion. The name Zoroastrianism and labels such as monotheism, monism, dualism, pantheism and panentheism have been imposed on the Daenam Vanghuhim Mazdayasnim by those seeing or seeking to understand the religion through western frames of reference. However, these labels have become value laden, and can cause misunderstandings and confusion about the religion.
In addition, the labels produce a confirmation bias on the part of those who wish to prove their understanding of 'Zoroastrianism' must necessarily fit one of the models. This invariably leads to divisiveness and a change in focus from what Zoroastrianism means in every thought, word and deed, towards the need to prove someone's point of view embedded in a label.
The Daenam Vanghuhim Mazdayasnim has its own philosophical and belief system which is unique and for which western labels do not apply. Zoroastrians have always been known and recognized not by the labels imposed on them or their religion, but by their upright character, generous community spirit, and their reverence for all of creation. The efficacy of their beliefs is not found in thoughts relegated to a life of philosophical enlightenment in seclusion, or words consumed by futile and divisive debates, but rather by beneficent and constructive deeds.
We suggest that the reader suspend assumptions and prejudgments while seeking to understand Zoroastrianism for what it is - a religion understood by its adherents not by what is found in books or philosophical arguments, but by the way of life and principles passed down through the generations as a heritage.
The Zoroastrianism that has lived from its inception, and, which lives in the heart of its adherents is a way of being and living. It is quite different, indeed alien, from the supposed 'Zoroastrianism' that is labelled and debated in western literature. The former is authentic. The latter is manufactured. Zoroastrians turn towards a flame or a source of light when they worship.
At the heart of a Zoroastrian place of worship burns a fire - and where possible the fire burns continuously as an ever-burning flame symbolizing an eternal spiritual flame. The temporal fire represents the spiritual flame within us, the divine fire of creation, and the undying ethical values of Asha: The symbolism of the eternal flame in Zoroastrianism can be compared to the symbolism of the Olympic flame - it symbolizes core ethical values and principles.
The ritual in lighting the Olympic flame and in its installation, the reverence with which the flame is treated, and the awe the flame inspires, are all very Zoroastrian-like. While it is the values behind the flame that are at the core of its symbolism, the flame in this context acquires an aura of sacredness, for to harm or sully the flame means harm to the values represented in a fashion similar to the manner in which a nation's flag acquires an aura of sacredness.
Desecrating such a flag can cause great offense for it is not the cloth of the flag being desecrated but everything the flag represents. In Zoroastrianism, light represents wisdom while darkness represents ignorance. Ignorance and darkness are the absence of wisdom and light.
Indeed, a contemplation of the fire reveals all the values and principles at the heart of Zoroastrianism. For a further discussion, please see our pages on Fire and the Olympic Flame.
The passing of Zoroastrian ideas and values from one person to the next is symbolized by a new flame being lit from an existing one.
When these ideas and values are passed from one generation to another without interruption, we have the notion of an ever-burning 'eternal' flame, one that will endure the passage of time and our mortal lives. The concept of an eternal flame is now widely used throughout the world - as are other Zoroastrian concepts and ideas. Were Ancient Zoroastrians Vegetarian? China Sugd Uzbekistan Sugd Tajikistan 3. The birthrate in Singapore plummeted from 4.
How Kenyan Women Live with Profound Childbirth Injuries Across the world, there is an estimated two million women and girls who live with vaginal fistulas. There are up to new cases each year. In Kenya, at least new cases are reported annually but research shows that only 7. By , Kenya only had three internationally renowned fistula surgeons and less than 10 surgeons who could perform simple obstetric operations. One in five girls worldwide is estimated to be married before the age of 18, including even in parts of the United States.
At births per 1, women aged , South Sudan has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy in the world. South Sudan also has one of the world's worst maternal mortality rates at deaths per , life births. Did God kill Onan because he wasted his seen and spilled it on the ground?
They just read snippets. This leads to people dreadfully misinformed about biblical events. Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. What Happens When Abortion is Banned? In Brazil, where abortion is all but banned, experts estimate there are about a million illegal abortions each year; around half of them are induced using abortion drugs.
In the 45 years since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, states have enacted more than 1, anti-abortion laws. Half of the abortions in the United States take place among women below the federal poverty line.
However, in most developing countries, change is not occurring fast enough and funding for this cause is inadequate. Worldwide, approximately one in five girls under 18 are married or in a union and many are already mothers. Now that the economic costs are clear, this is a good time to address the problem. Ensuring access to safe, quality education is a key to ending child marriage. Girls must be given the tools for success. In order for this cause to be successful rich countries must join the fight.
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, has vowed to make gender equality a theme in discussions with other G7 ministers.
Even though the number of girls married is declining each year, change is occurring too slowly. If the world does not act now and invest more in this cause, population growth will overtake gains and the number of child brides will be on the rise again.
The Berkeley City Council addressed the issue of over-population as it relates to global warming in its declaration of a climate emergency. The author called it a "breakthrough" that CO2 emissions are being considered, not only as a per capita function, but also as a function of the number of people doing the emitting.
In the campaign to reduce emissions the role of population has largely been ignored. Hybrid cars, solar energy, and using gas instead of coal are often the main topics of discussion.
The world now has 7. This isn't the case, however, CO2 emissions now measure 36 billion tons. This is largely due to countries with large populations, like China, becoming industrialized. China is now the world's largest emitter at 10 billion tons of CO2 annually. Assuming half the world is still agrarian and half is industrialized, the author hypothesized that emissions will fall to that level only if the world's population decreases to 2. For this reason, professional environmentalists advocate for both family planning and per capita carbon reducing.
The need to reduce population is often denied because many think it interferes with economic growth. In fact regions often pursue growth to stimulate their economies. In fact, "growth without end-point is unsustainable. This would effect expand the middle class and eliminate some of the factors associated with social and political instability. To erase inequality, all women should have access to health care, proper nutrition, and safe and effective learning environments throughout the educational process.
Also important are upholding sexual and reproductive rights and combating sexual and gender-based violence, including harmful practices like child, early or forced marriage. Women need to be given access to land ownership, credit, insurance, and savings, and the social norms that "relegate" women to lower paid professions need to be changed.
It is imperative that the priorities of women be put at the forefront of the consideration of all governments and international entities. Canada is one country that has done this with its Feminist International Assistance Policy that seeks to ensure equal rights and economic opportunities for all women and girls.
Another initiative that addresses inequality is the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, which is based at the World Bank and supported by 14 governments. It loans money to women-owned or women-led businesses in developing countries. A recent Wilson Center event focused on the development of a more resilient world through sustainable development. And, he believes "tailored education campaigns" are necessary for change. One of the biggest hurdles to achieving resilience is water security.
Water is essential for life, and each person in the developed world uses enough water to fill an Olympic swimming pool every year. As the population grows so does the demand for water. The ongoing water crisis in Pakistan, where the population is predicted to reach million by , "has brought the population issue also on to the table," said Zeba Sathar of the Population Council.
Changing farms to feed families is another way to contribute to the stability of communities. Seventy percent of water usage goes to food production, so Africare is encouraging farmers to plant drought-resistant plants to feed livestock. And, to address the problem of population growth exceeding food supply, family planning is being promoted along with changes in agricultural practices that increase nutritious food production.
Displacement due to extreme weather has caused additional instability in undeveloped regions. In Nigeria droughts have contributed to this problem, and in Pakistan flooding has led to destroyed homes and livelihoods.
Zeba Sathar reported that the African Union has seen success "linking the reduction in fertility, and favorable birth spacing patterns, with a demographic dividend Jason Bremmer of Family Planning believes that to achieve resilience "it is really critical that we understand these interlinked challenges and we find new ways of doing business, as business as usual - standard family planning programs, our standard efforts of reaching communities with water and environmental issues - are going to be further stressed.
Since the last edition 20 years ago , soil loss and land degradation have increased dramatically, and the the new findings highlight an urgent need to correct land usage worldwide. Worldwide, a total area of half the European Union is degraded annually. Soil degradation for the EU alone costs tens of billions euros a year.
An uptick in deforestation makes it difficult to minimize climate change. And, by , million people are estimated to be displaced due to land issues. On the global level, under the United Nations' Sustainable Development Agenda, world leaders have committed to "combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world" by Local solutions and cooperation are also needed.
Increasing farming yields, changing to plant based diets, and eating animal proteins from sustainable sources only are advised locally. Many in undeveloped countries like Kenya relied on that aid to provide women with birth control. Without it many cannot afford contraceptives, are becoming pregnant, and are then resorting to backstreet abortions to terminate the pregnancy. In Kenya, where abortion is illegal, Khadijah Dija used to visit a family clinic to get free injectable birth control every three months.
She is still bleeding a month after taking the pills. Wilson Bunde of Family Health Options Kenya FHOK reports that women who were coming to clinics for contraceptives are now coming to be treated for botched abortions instead. That forced FHOK to stop offering free or reduced cost contraception, close a clinic, and cut a community outreach program.
Because of those cuts, Bunde estimated that 36, women went without family planning last year. The Mexico City policy, otherwise known as the 'global gag rule', has been in place on and off since President Ronald Reagan introduced it in Generally over the years, it has been rescinded by Democratic administrations and reinstated by Republicans, but it has never before been applied to this extent.
A Stanford University study found that, when the Mexico City policy is in place, women were up to 2. Trump is also considering similar changes in the US.
Recently his administration proposed a new rule that would bar abortions or abortion advice at facilities receiving federal family planning funds. Those who don't comply would lose federal funding. It would be a domestic version of the global gag policy. Jennifer Molidor, writer, professor, and wildlife advocate, said that "there's no such thing as sustainable beef with our current rates of consumption and its impact on the planet.
The beef industry has been trying to convince us that beef is the new "eco-friendly" food. The USRSB's framework "lacks transparency and teeth needed to hold beef producers responsible for the damage they do to our land, water, air, climate. The truth is the beef industry is riddled with waste and is a model of inefficiency. The average American's annual hamburger appetite adds up to 1, pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents C02e 2, 2. To gain a pound, a cow has to eat about 6 pounds of feed.
Grass-fed beef requires about five times more water to produce than industrial beef. The beef industry is currently pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to do away with the Clean Water Rule, which hold farms accountable for polluting waterways, and are against pollution reporting requirements.
Molidor believes that "a lot can be done to make meat production less destructive to the climate. However, the only way to make the beef industry truly sustainable is for consumers to eat less and decrease production.
India's first census counted million people in - one-seventh of the world's population. Nearly 9 million kids had married before age The population was projected to grow by , per year. How could India feed all those people? Better to sterilize anyone with three or more kids. Sterilization seemed simple, safe, cheap, and effective. Chagla, a former ambassador to the U. It must be voluntary.
The police "literally dragged people in from the fields to the vasectomy table," one medical officer told the New York Times. In all, more than 6 million people were sterilized that year, causing violent protests and stalled measures to reduce birth rates for decades. The population now is nearly 1. India has been more successful at reducing death rates than fertility rates. Since the sterilization policy began, growth has vastly exceeded projections. An old man stated that when he was a boy a cholera epidemic would kill up to 50 people in his village every ten years.
I have lived here almost 70 years. The biggest change in my time has been health. We've learned how to keep from dying. Today, programs have returned to incentives. But in the district of Bilaspur, a sterilization procedure sickened 60 women and killed Authorities first charged the doctor for failing to sterilize the sterilization instruments. But the doctor blamed "the village quacks who gave them antibiotics. However, according to USA Today, the doctor, who was trying to meet the demands of sterilization quotas mandated by local authorities, had spent only minutes on each patient, doing 83 surgeries in six hours.
He is under pressure to complete 15, sterilizations and was recently praised for performing 50, laparoscopic tubectomies. Local residents now distrust the program.