10 thoughts it’s time to write down

Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve typed up some thoughts. I mean, I’m engaged to the man of my dreams and best friend, I’m about to graduate with my masters degree, and life is good. So…what prompted this?

A)  Being back in a group I haven’t been apart of for a while has provided an outsider perspective as if I was new to it all again. It always amazes me when to see people openly acting in their own self-interest which causes harm to others, taking about people behind their back, and having a general disregard for people they deem less than themselves.

B) I have been given the opportunity to TA a classed called Ethical Issues in Agriculture, every time I have the change to teach a few simple things come to mind that I feel I must share with students because they are at a huge transition time in their life…I’m sure these thoughts will change again in 10 years, if not I’m not doing a great job at challenging myself. These are not in any special order.

1. Ask questions, no matter what your peers will say, 50% wanted to know what you just asked and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Questions are for you to learn!

2. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, don’t be embarrassed to be wrong when speaking up, it’s better to say something wrong and learn from it, than have missed a chance at knowledge. Being uncomfortable also means standing up for what is right no matter who is watching or what level of embarrassed you might feel. Hard conversations usually need to happen before the fall out, but many times people are too afraid of the uncomfortable emotions that EVERYONE feels when you have to have a tough talk. (I have anxiety, there are awesome tools out there to help manage it!)

3. You are the only one who knows you inside and out. You know what your best it, and if you best is someone else’s C+ who cares? It’s your best and that’s what matters. Be kind to yourself, my sister and my Fiance remind of this everyday.

4. Just because you hold a specific belief in something does NOT mean you have the right to force that belief on another person. You don’t know their personal or cultural history, respect their differences, and instead try to foster conversations. You can stand firm in your beliefs and act accordingly, but don’t judge someone else based on your personal standards….they aren’t you.

5. Search for your soul fire, and when you find it, keep it, feed it and make it a priority. I “notoriously” head to the beach in Feb, every year. I keeps me sane, allows me to think about the rest of the world, the rest of my life, and refills my spirit. It took me a long time to figure out what mine is! For my Dad it’s fixing things, making something complete that was broken….we all are different.

6. There is peace in disconnecting and now a days we have to force ourselves to do it. Students hate when I say, “Get your phones away, the is nothing that will change in the 1h 15min you are in this class that will shatter your virtual world. How do you think great ideas came about? Because human beings once had to talk to one another, now you have the option to block out the world you live in every day. Which gets you no where.”

6a. Don’t be afraid to be alone with your thoughts. Get to know yourself, spend time thinking about a topic and develop your true thoughts, not what you read everyone else saying on FaceBook, twitter or whatever. Develop your mind, then challenge it often. Kids are scared of themselves, but if they only believed in their imagination, mind, and soul what a different world we might have. GET OFF YOUR DAMN PHONES.

7. You don’t HAVE to keep anyone in your life that is causing you harm. You are not the caretaker of your friends, this isn’t your circus, you are not bound by contract to deal with their issues. Friends reciprocate, they share, they reach out, they challenge you, they correct you, they are NOT there to take advantage of you. You get to pick the people around you. It is hard, uncomfortable (refer to 2), but you will feel better for having cut someone who is constantly needing something but never giving anything in return. Also, it’s okay not to be friends with someone. (Took me a while to comfortable with this)

8. Find mentors, create opportunities to spend time with them. It will give you knowledge and skills you will carry for the rest of your life, as well as spectacular networks!

9. Listen to everyone, their story is important, you are not anymore important than anyone else. You only deserve the respect you give to someone you aren’t the biggest fan of. It’s a shame when you see people you consider adults acting like kids, talking behind other’s backs, interrupting people, and walking around like they own the public space we all share. If you’re reading this and you do this (We all have) cut yourself down to size and save getting called out when someone finally has had enough of your crap attitude and rude behavior.

10. To everyone reading this. I believe in you, I will help you achieve your dreams to the best of my ability. You are cared about, you are loved, you are worthy of deep, meaningful friendships, and your dreams can become a reality.

 

The Captain

It had been a tough season, storm after storm after storm, beating down against the already weather hardened hull. The captain stood from the helm staring into the face of another. We all braced for impact. We all chose to be here.

The captain is an interesting fellow, during the sunny days he stands whistling a tune, his face aglow with new adventure and sunshine across his beard. The hope of the journey in his heart seems to bring the ship to life! He is full of stories and encouragement for his crew. He runs a tight ship, with little room for error, but during the fair days we all have a respectful admiration, almost a love for him. During the storms though….he changes. He becomes part of the howling wind, lighting in his eyes, he disappears inside himself as if drawn by a sirens call. It seems that Poseidon himself takes over his soul as he stands strong, steadfast, and blind at the wheel. Unwavering to the opinions of his crew as the ship is tossed about like a cork in a child’s bath. The gray of the skies seem to fill his eyes and the hope that once shown about the ship is stripped away like the water drops across glass, lost into the tumultuous waves.

There isn’t a big crew aboard for many have heard of the Captain’s mysterious behavior. Those who are aboard have been there for many seasons. I, myself, have only recently joined, as a new first mate. I met the Captain during the good weather. I heard about the stories and was willing to experience it for myself. Strange and eerie feelings began to float around me. I realized that on occasion some of the crew began to know more about the course the Captain was on than I did. Seemed different because up until this point he’d flash me his cracked smile and say, “Stay the course, lad, stay the course”. I made it my job to know the course, to have a greater purpose on the ship, then just extra hands at the ropes. I only understood after the first storm that the course I find is useless when the Captain becomes part of the ship during black weather. The ship seems ever on her own course, Captain or not, even when there is no course to be found on a chart. During my first storm aboard, I raced around searching, feverishly for the navigational instruments so we wouldn’t lose our course during the fight. They were nowhere to be found. Relenting I banging on the glass for the Captains attention as the wind threatened me overboard, and the rain became like needles. There was nothing. He seemed at peace in fury, disregarding all of us on deck being thrashed about like ragdolls. I was astounded, as I carefully descended the rickety, slick stairs that seemed so sure moments before the storm. The old crew looked at me, pity in their eyes, quietly they whispered “we haven’t drown yet”.

The storm was over but the tired sky remained heavy with lingering clouds. The Captain even now doesn’t flinch from his post. I cry, “But the storm is over, why doesn’t he move? He doesn’t know the course!! Why does he not ask for us during worst of it? Doesn’t he know a ship has crew for a reason? Doesn’t he realize there is a first mate so during the thundery hell we aren’t lost? What the hell are we all doing here if not for when the storms come?” Sorry faces met my anguish, shaking heads turned to go to their post.

Now you see I know of several ships where the Captain, somber as he might be after the storm, grabs his friend from the shelf, takes a stout swig, passes on the bottle and says “thank God we are good at navigating the storm. Here comes the next one gang, at the ready!” Alas, the crew began a sort of mantra, give it time, give it time. Time for what? Seeing as there was very little preparation for the first storm, most of which I wasn’t a part of, what would time help us with now? He still appeared gone, locked on to something none of us might ever understand. I looked out towards the non-existent horizon and upon bringing my gaze to the gray sea, I noticed parts of ship floating near us. Small but they were there. Apparently, this is common after storms, but there was no rush to replace what had been lost, nor did Captain seem to know they were missing.

They cry, give it time, give it time. Yet do they not know the ship already has holes, water is seeping in, the rats are moving up the decks. Each storm seems to take more and more from her and the Captain clings to what is becoming a skeleton. The crew seemingly aware of things I’m not. But, does he not remember he hand-picked me as his first mate, saying, “Lad the storms have been bad, will you help see us through?” “Aye! To the end Captain” Lest, the end is nearer than then when I stepped aboard. But, isn’t that all journeys? The end is closer once it has begun? Or does it become farther away because the end is never really a stopping point? I cannot say.

A much older Captain once told me, “if you can’t do anything about it, don’t spend your time worryin it back from beyond, look for the fair winds and a following sea”

I have chosen to remain aboard, in hope of a new journey with skies so bright it makes the water look like a million gemstones, a warm salty breeze and following seas that will gently guide the ship to the next horizon.

Wandering Thoughts from the First Few Days

Here begins the real journey! I’m on a bus from Carlow to Portlaois (Port-Leesh), to catch the train to Killarney and the farm. As always Carlow is just another home so it never really feels like part of the adventure. Last night Fintan was elected a member of Carlow County Counsel! The elections only happen once every 5 years and it is a huge accomplishment for him at 22 to be elected! #aFreshApproach

It’s sunny today! I hope that means that this trip will go smoothly. Everything is lush and green, the little lambies are basking in the flickers of sunshine. Something interesting that I’ve always remembered from the very first time I was here is that the air smell sweet and I can’t measure it to anything else I know.

Last night I also met a wonderful lady who is a teacher at the boys primary school in Carlow who is working on community gardens. We exchanged information so I could give her some resources from school, and maybe I’ll come back my last two open weeks to help in the gardens! I also met a once dairy farmer turned pig farmer who just sold the farm for retirement. He gave me the name of a farmer who just put in two robot milkers for 80 cows! Shoot you could milk 80 on one! Okay this bus driver is crazy and every turn my surface about flys off my lap. Speed racer over here. Tons of farmers also cover their crops with white plastic sheets l, I would imagine to protect them from too much rain eroding the soil, but I could be wrong.

Well I made it of the bus then stood there without a clue to where the train station was. The first man grumbled something and pointed up the road so that’s where I started walking. I ended up asking 10 people where the train station was, 5 knew and I eventually made it. I tell you what, dragging 50lbs and carrying another 25 in the other hand with my book bag on was my WOD. It was a good 15 walk with the wheels of my luggage clicking obnoxiously through the tiny streets…lovely stares from the locals.

When I got to the train station I went up 2 flights of stairs with my crap, only to find out there was no station manager or ticket machine. I went into the waiting area and found two teens who were all over each other giggling, lovely, I get to be that awkward person sitting across the room with nowhere else to look. Then the guy asked me when the next train was, was it to Dublin, and I have no clue buddy. The laughing stopped and from the chatter I gathered they were literally running away from town because something happened. Maybe she was pregnant, or they were told they couldn’t be together? All of the sudden they both got up and left.

I walked outside to see if anyone else was there. A man in an Aussie Rugby polo, huge guy, looks like he enjoyed his fair share of pints had just put his bag down. I asked if he knew where the station master was, or what I should do about my tickets. Then we chatted about what I was doing and where I was headed. Turns out he was just on his way back from the Veterinary Nurses Association meetings. He was delighted that I am headed to Kerry to dairy farm. His warning however included, “stay away from the bull”, “watch the steps on the skelligs”! Then it became God Bless you, enjoy yourself! My train coming on the other side of the tracks from his so I went across after finally getting my student ticket from the station master. We continued to chat across the train tracks God help me, it was hysterical as more people came onto the platform and we kept talking about everything from the Hobbit (I’m reading right now, pretty awesome place to read this by the way), to proper milking times. I’m on the train right now headed to Killarney by way of Thurles, and Mallow.

There are all the pictures up of little Leah from the train, what a little pip! I was letting her listen to country on my phone when I asked if she liked Frozen, with a squeal of delight came my answer so with that we put on Let It Go. I’m sure the entire car heard us and we didn’t care. I let her take the belt it out parts just for good measure. Precious.

I’ve made it to my home for the next two weeks. It’s stunning, just wait until I show you the mountains tomorrow! It really is unbelievable.

My host is wonderful. Long story short he took the farm over from his brother who passed away of cancer in 2011. He was a second grade school teacher, and choose to leave that and farm. His whole family lives close and I’ll meet most of them tomorrow. I’m staying in the main farm house

It’s midnight here with, hopefully a long day of good work tomorrow. Night all.

Dear Matt Lauer and the Today Show, can you imagine the impact the truth can have? I can.

Dear Matt Lauer and the Today Show,

My name is Kendra Earl and I’m a senior at the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources getting my degree in Animal Science and a minor in Sustainable Agriculture. I’m writing to you because it’s time that my generation of educated Ag kids stands up for our industry and stops letting the media portray their version of our lives.

Today in my societal issues in Ag class we watched two clips, one of you interviewing Dr. Nancy Synderman, on the topic of superbugs. http://www.today.com/health/new-report-antibiotic-resistance-major-threat-2D79607141 I’m in complete agreement up until 55 seconds in. You are asking about doctors prescribing antibiotics too often and that the public takes them too often, the first comment of Dr. Synderman’s is “antibiotics are in our food supply”. Last time I checked, they are not. There are regulations on antibiotics and many places no longer use them. If farms do use them there is a meat withhold period where the animal cannot me milked or sent to slaughter. But where is the farmer, animal scientist, or journalist letting the public know that? Her comment was also off topic of what you were inquiring about, and I promise you our entire class smacked their forehead as once again the media, not journalism, feeds the fallacy of how we produce meat. Yes, she is a doctor, but she is NOT in any way related to the food animal production industry and thus has no background to make that statement. But it doesn’t matter right? Because every day, news outlets fuel what the public wants to hear because that bring good ratings.

2:41, the subtitle, “Don’t buy meat with antibiotics”. Good news world, you CAN’T. It’s illegal, it’s regulated, and there are no antibiotics in your meat. It is difficult to try and rebuild lost trust between the consumer and the farmer. It’s difficult for farmers to be prescribed antibiotics for their animals now a days. When they do get them it is to treat a sick animal, that is removed from the herd until the withhold period of the medicine is up. This withhold period can range from days to weeks!

When there is an outbreak of a disease or incidence of antibiotics being found in animal products this creates the perception that animal products frequently contain disease or drugs. This snowballs into consumer advocacy groups stating that animal products are unsafe, and just like that you’ve lost the trust between farmer and consumer. Now the consumer has a warped perception of animal product reality. This same process occurs when there is an outbreak of antimicrobial E.Coli, or MRSA in domestic food animals. Again, people think that there is frequently antimicrobial resistant bacteria within all of the food animals, people jump a band wagon, and now they think the disease has zoonotic capabilities when it doesn’t. This is from the UK’s 5 year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/244058/20130902_UK_5_year_AMR_strategy.pdf) “Increasing scientific evidence suggests that the clinical issues with antimicrobial resistance that we face in human medicine are primarily the result of antibiotic use in people, rather than the use of antibiotics in animals,” the report reads. “Nevertheless, use of antibiotics in animals is an important factor contributing to the wider pool of resistance which may have long term consequences” I hope you are beginning to see my frustration when every day I watch as respected media sources continue to destroy my passion with their false and out dated claims. I’m only paying thousands of dollars for my education; it wouldn’t make too much sense if I was being lied to by my professors, who have all done research on many of these controversial topics and are nationally and internationally recognized for their contribution to the field.

On to video number two. http://www.today.com/food/today-puts-meatless-meat-test-does-it-taste-chicken-1D79579619 April 25th 2014, let’s talk about meatless meat from, oh man, right here in Columbia, Missouri. Throughout the entire segment, not once was there a question raised about what will this product do to the livestock industry? How will this change global food systems? What do farmers and communities think? How will this benefit international nutrition? I’m equally as curious, as I’m about to embark on a project to incorporate sustainable agriculture practices to a malnourished community in Kenya. What I watched was unfortunately biased, and exactly what the public would want to see. Another great example of media, not journalism.

At 2:59, Craig Melvin says the words “No Hormones”. How interesting, everything has hormones that the animal’s body produces itself and are in meat, milk, and eggs. I’m sure what he meant to say was no added hormones, common slip up, and I’m exhausted from hearing it used. Please, use your power and educate the public, tell them that there are hormones in everything, then there are synthetic hormones. These added (synthetic) hormones previously used in dairy cow milk are produced in the same manner that we produce insulin for diabetics. ( https://kaedk7.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/there-is-no-such-thing-as-hormone-free-milk-2/ Sources are at the bottom) It is the same molecule as the cow makes herself. There is no real test for added hormones because you cannot distinguish the synthetic from the authentic. The growth hormone in cattle, is bovine somatotropin, and is a protein hormone, which means like any other protein is degraded in your stomach and digested in your small intestine. It cannot be absorbed through the skin, nor to humans have receptors in their body for a cow’s growth hormone. Funny that the US has frowned on hormone use in dairy cattle because the rest of the world has, when scientists have known for years there is no human health implication from using them. If we could use rBST the cow would produce 10-15% more milk, we supplement her with higher quality feed to compensate for asking her body to produce more, which in turn mean less cows to produce the same amount of milk, that leads to less feed, less harvesting of feed, less fuel use/exhaust by the tractors harvesting the feed, less land needed to produce feed, less manure/methane from the cattle, and (in a herd of 180 cows) almost $80,000 more for the farmer and his family.
Have you guys ever thought about doing a story on that?

I always have found it interesting that the people who want these “pure”, “organic”, “no hormones added” products tend to be the ones who can pay for them and the ones who care about the environment but don’t take the time to consider all the other points. In my sustainable agriculture classes I am constantly challenged to see things from a worldly perspective and strive to dig down to the facts and accept/promote the right thing even if I don’t agree with it. Back to the video.

Interesting that Craig decides to quote the company at 3:09 and say “it’s healthier ”, “Low fat”, but where are links to the peer reviewed research looking at the health implications of this product versus real meat? Did they say that it is supplemented with vit B 12? Vitamin B 12 is only found in meat http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-QuickFacts/#h3 . When has very little fat been good? Fat is absolutely crucial to body processes (http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Important_Fats.shtml Sources are at the bottom) If this product wants to go internationally and make an impact on global nutrition, having less fat would be harmful not helpful. Starving children in developing countries need sustainable food systems using local species, local inputs, and local people. This system needs to have the ability to adapt during any period of change while supplying a constant nutritious product, benefiting the community, enhancing the environment, and supporting the local economy. Not less fat in synthetic meat. The amazing part is that here are hundreds of thousands, probably even millions of people who know all of these things I have described. Farmers, researches, professors, teachers, and students who have dedicated their lives to food production animals and the process of harvesting milk, meat, and eggs, then have to sit and watch the media embarrass themselves by spewing the most ridiculous “facts” just to turn a buck for the company and improve ratings.

It’s mind blowing how much power and influence the media has over the general public. Did you know on 4/16/1996, Oprah, with one statement vowing to stop eating meat she crashed the cattle market? How many farmers did that effect? Enough farmers for the Texas Cattlemen’s association to sue her for liable, they lost. (http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/articles/hayenga/hay%20aug98.htm) Please stop, please educate the consumer. I’m so sad, mad, and frustrated that the Ag industry as a whole has let this happen. They kept their mouth shut when they knew the truth and I don’t understand why. Example based from the Oprah episode, we feed animal by-products to animals (not ruminants to ruminants, there is a ban on that http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/guidancecomplianceenforcement/complianceenforcement/bovinespongiformencephalopathy/default.htm ) because the amino acid profile of another animal is more useful in supporting the physiological processes of an animal rather than the amino acid profile of a plants alone.

I tell you now, I will spend my entire life sharing openly what production farmers do, and why we do the things that are so controversial to the general public, for the protection of our animals and our food safety. I have been given this opportunity for an education and if I’m not using it to change the world, my community, or myself than by God, I am wasting the precious space of someone who will. Regardless of what I’m doing I will stop and take time to have an educated conversation with someone about why we keep sows crates, why I like hormone use in dairy cattle, how humanely we slaughter animals, and the list is much more extensive than this. My generation will not be quite, we are educated, it is our responsibility to speak out and make a change while we still can. In the meantime all of you working at the Today Show, as journalists and reporters should be resolute in presenting the truth, all sides of it, regardless of what makes good TV. Can you imagine the impact that the truth can have? I can.

Sincerely,
Kendra Earl

There is NO such thing as Hormone Free milk.

Here’s my problem….

People read something then are content to absorb the information offered with no scientific mind to question what they were just told. This is extremely frustrating when animal rights and environmental groups, make claims, write in blogs and so forth, with only a few attached links to supports all of their claims. I have been just as guilty as the next person for reading something and then regurgitating it without a second thought as to where did the information come from, who wrote it, who paid for the research, and was there even a legitimate study done. I’m writing about this because as school stared back up again, my drive to educate non-ag people about the ag industry is renewed.

I was recently given a book about rethinking how we treat animals, as soon as I opened it, the pages fell to a section about growth hormones in dairy cows, the more I read the hotter face got with anger. There was no sources, just what people think is going on when someone gives a cow a shot of growth hormone. I’m going to walk you through what happens physiologically and why there is no such thing hormone free milk.

First, growth hormone (Somatotropin) is not a lab developed, “genetically” engineered chemical compound, that money grubbing scientists came up with for the ag industry. Bovine growth hormone occurs naturally in dairy cows (how do you think they grow?), and is being produced by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. From here the hormone travels through the blood to the liver as well as to muscle cells and bone cells for immediate action to increase amino acid transport to cells, and increase fat metabolism.  The growth hormone that goes to the liver stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor, which induces protein making and block muscle from breaking down. It is the insulin-like growth factor that goes to the udder to increase milk production as well as growth hormone directly.

From when a cow calves and produces colostrum to when she is in late lactation (months after the calf) the amount of IGF and growth hormone fluctuates.  Scientists have been studying the insulin-like growth factor levels in milk, and have found that cows treated with growth hormone exhibit the normal range of IGF that exists in a normal lactation period. When it comes to distinguishing how much growth hormone is in the milk of a treated cow, there is no way to distinguish lab made growth hormone from her natural hormone she produces….because they are the same thing. Just like insulin is produced in a lab for diabetics to use.

So why is everyone worked up about hormones in milk? Because the media enjoys indoctrination of the masses with flashy ideas of the food system, based on fear, and what will make them a buck. When I say the food system I’m talking everything from production to consumption. It is silly for farmers to pick up milk and see a label that says hormone free, they all know that it has hormones in it. (side note) I just finished the book The Food Police by Jason Lusk. It does a great job at displaying how so many people are trying to tell us how to eat, how to view food, how to be around food, how to purchase food. While it is written with a nice dose of sarcasm it’s worth a look through. I’ll also post my book review I had to write for class if I get any requests.

Second, there are many different types of hormones, growth hormone is protein hormone, which means it is water soluble, large, and has a charge associated with it, (different components of molecules have positive and negative charges). Since it has these qualities it IS digestible, once again… it is IS digestible. What does this mean? It means that it is broken down, just like other proteins that are eaten and is not active in the body. The only way that it could have an effect on the body is by direct injection. This was tested in the 1950’s when children suffering from hyperpituiary dwarfism where injected with huge amounts of bovine growth hormone….guess what? There was no effect on the children. However, when human growth hormone was used, then there was an effect. Pasteurization also destroys growth hormone.

What do injections of bovine growth hormone do for the dairy cow? She produces 10-15% more milk by an increase in nutrients being directed to her udder. How does this help the farmer? If a dairy produces on average 3,360,000 lbs of milk per year with 12.5% increase of that, the new yield is 3,780,000 and increase of 420,00lbs…if milk is $19 per hundred pounds that’s an extra $79,800 a year for the farmer.

If you click on the last link it will display diagrams of both the cows own pathway and how we make rbst!!

I’m currently searching for the official write up from the study done in the 50’s on the children. I’ll post as soon as I find it. I wrote it because all of the sources mentioned it. ( I should really find this article now, but a few professors have heard of it, so I’ll keep looking)

http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/FN-250_6.pdf
http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm130321.htm
http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/90/4/1126.full
http://www.agribiotech.info/details/2010%20rBST%20article%20for%20NABC_Bauman%2009-15%20Final%2004.pdf

bstpathway

Happy people are like magnets, well this just got exciting, where will the next adventure be?

Have you ever felt enigmatically drawn to people who just look like are on top of the world enjoying everything life has to offer? Just thriving, bursting at the seams with excitement for everything around them, I feel like that for anyone as excited about life as I am. It really doesn’t matter who you are, if you find passion in the mundane, or in the extraordinary things of this world I want to be around you. You have something to share, some piece of knowledge or experience I couldn’t reach on my own and I want it. I want to be filled up with everything around me, teach me, I’ll learn, or fail, and learn from that failure. I say, go, be, do, experience, fail, learn, and move to the next adventure, open in your heart and mind to everything new and wonderful. Wonderful however, can mean scary, and nerve racking, but that is when you begin to find pieces of yourself and put together your puzzle. My puzzle won’t ever be complete even when I’m old, death is another piece, the last piece to one puzzle and the first to another. Because I want to see the ships come into port flowing with the sunrise, I want to deliver the first calf to a family in need, I want to see the mist roll off the Andes mountains and chase a storm across the plains of Africa, I want an old soul in some faraway place to teach me the meaning of life…And in turn I want to change lives. I can offer love and joy for those are things I carry with me at all times. My fears of this life and world exist only in my imagination for my faith in God cover all bounds. I am still very young and have so much to learn from every person who I encounter on my journey.

Tonight while I was writing this, sitting next to a man in the airport… he looked at me an joked “oh since you have that out can I check my email”…with that I felt pulled to start a conversation, that he would be someone I wanted to talk too. Lo and behold…he was. We began with him asking if I was writing my first novel, and I started to explain my blog, and the majority of people who read it are my crossfit family. Then I began to mention about how I’m ready to be somewhere I’ve never been to do something out of the norm, travel overseas again, and he said there are so many places in America just like what you’re describing! He told me about the first time he climbed a mountain, I told him about Ireland. From there the conversation progressed, to passions, and I brought up heifer international, being a vet in third world countries, then on to Right Whales. Whales, now that made him stop and he said open up your computer, and look up the Sea Shepherd. He has been a part of that organization for years and years, what do they do… sink whaling ships. Then he goes… you know things just don’t happen for no reason right. I smiled my big Kendra smile. No things don’t, we exchanged information. He is a mountain climber, his son is a scuba diver, has a 7 year old daughter and a wife. Whole family is vegan except for his wife. He was an RN for 25 years, and has given me a list of books to read. I also shared with him my love of dairy cows, and the Ag industry, and my semi paleo life style. I honestly believe great things will come from this.

My friend wrote this the other day, “Never let fear prevent you from going for that you want. Sometimes that is in the form or direct action, others it is in the form of patient stillness until what you want come to you. “I replied, “ For your dreams are precious and embody the soul of you, the dreamer. A calm soul makes the opportunity for great things to happen, and a clear mind gives the change for direct pursuit.”

So if anyone has read : Reclaiming our health, Diet for New America, The Food Revolution, or Living beyond 100 I’d be interested to hear your thoughts as well as on anything else I wrote about. Guess what? I hope you have an awesome day!

Do you wish you were blind?

What if we were all blind. Blind to others physical attributes. What if the only way we could see someone is by their personality, their passions, their heart. And by those things, we would then develop their image. 
It’s always so much fun to get dressed up and go out in Columbia! However, since probably middle school, when girls get dressed up, the first thing they do is look at other girls and guys and make judgements, whether to themselves or out loud it still happens. I am just as guilty of this as the next person. But, it goes deeper, sort of, than clothing choice. We tend to look at their face, their body, their actions/attitude and deem them to be better or worse than us. If they are “worse” we then feel a smug proudness of ourselves, and if they are “better” then we feel belittled, and unworthy. Both are wrong in my book.

I was talking last night with a good friend and he mentioned a story where a man dressed up as a women, to try and understand how we feel about ourselves. During an interview the man began to cry, so overwhelmed with emotion, feeling in his heart how many women don’t fall into the standard of what this society things is pretty, yet they have so much to offer. I meditated on this story pretty much the whole night. So sorry if I seemed a little distant while we were out and about, but I was literally looking around the bar and wishing that people appeared as their souls not as their body.

What a different place the world would be. I yearn for the ability to see others as God does. To see them for the awesome things they can offer, teach, and do, not for the jeans that were 3 sizes too small, or the excess makeup, or gross food they were piling into their mouths. (Examples of things where I tend to judge others).

I always say measure your beauty in your strength. Today, and as best as I can, from now on, I will try and measure beauty not only in the strength at the barbell but the strength of the spirit. Do you wish you were blind?

“Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story…. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be a greater and lesser person than yourself.” -Max Ehrmann Desiderata