Smile time!

Watch “Epic Funny & Adorable GOATS!! Doing Totally Random & Wierd Stuff!! Just what is on their minds!!” on YouTube

Something a little different to lift the mood!

Stay safe and healthy,

the Silver Sage

of NewFound-Life.com

The Most Laid-Back Guide to Going Vegetarian You’ll Ever Read by Matt Frazier

It went well and I had a great time, but in hindsight, I realize the topic I chose was a tough one.

I spoke about the “no-pressure approach” to vegetarianism that I take with No Meat Athlete. Instead of trying to persuade people that they should go vegetarian (and now, dammit!), I’d much rather just set an example that people can choose to follow or learn from if they’d like. I’ve just never been one for confrontation, and I hope my writing here reflects that.

But after I was done speaking, I thought to myself: Boy, that would have been so much easier if I had just talked about the same stuff I write on the site. 

And so I got to thinking — what’s the gist of my message?

That’s when I got the idea for a series of posts that I should have written long ago. This is the first post in that series, the heart of the message I want to spread about vegetarianism (future installments will be about running and healthy eating, I think).

And as it turns out, it’s pretty much a demo of what I talked about in NYC. So that works out. 🙂

“Should” you go vegetarian?

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want you to go vegetarian or vegan. Compassion for animals was big part of my reason for doing so, and so I’d love it if nobody ate them.

But I’m not going to tell you what’s best for you. That’s for you to decide.

Is a plant-based diet healthier than an omnivorous one?

Tough one.

I believe I’m a lot healthier now that I’m vegan. It forces me to avoid fast food and countless other convenient, but unhealthy, foods that I used to eat. So in my mind, there’s no question that a well-planned plant-based diet is healthier than the standard (terrible) American diet.

But how about compared to a whole-foods diet that happens to include a small amount (say, 10% of calories) of meat, maybe a little dairy? Honestly, I’m not convinced that one is clearly healthier than the other.

There’s a lot of science that says a plant-based diet is better. And there are plenty of people who claim that this science is bunk.

To me, it’s not clear that one diet is necessarily healthier than the other. I’m fine to call it a tie. I just know that passing up a McDonald’s is way easier for me now than it was before I was vegetarian, and as a result, I make so much more of my own food than I used to, and eat so many more fruits and vegetables than before. For that aspect, I like it.

Is a plant-based diet better for sports?

I got faster when I went vegetarian, so much so that I took over 10 minutes off my previous marathon and qualified for Boston on my first attempt after I changed my diet.

But I also changed the way I trained, so I can’t say for sure how big a role each change played. I can say that I lost 5-10 pounds when I went vegetarian, and I believe that was a huge factor in getting faster.

Brendan Brazier and Scott Jurek have both told me they believe they recover from workouts better on a plant-based diet than on

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.nomeatathlete.com/relax-2/

Am I Ready For A Dog? By Dogtime

(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

If you’ve told yourself, “I need a dog,” or “I want a puppy,” and think you’re ready to adopt, take a moment to fill out this quiz. It will reveal the ideal animal choice for you and your family.

The Quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ & READ MORE HERE: https://dogtime.com/quiz/am-i-ready-for-a-dog#orbZTRsrGLJdKWS4.99

 

 

Introduction to Familiar Spirits BY KELDEN

In today’s modern Witchcraft, Familiars are often times thought of as being animal companions or pets. When asked if they have a Familiar, many Witches will often refer to their cat, dog, or other animal. Usually these pets have a predisposition towards Witchcraft, whether they’re always showing up at ritual time or just can’t seem to keep out of the Witchy supply cabinet. Yet, this seems to be a more modern conceptualization and I find that it presents a rather incomplete picture of Familiars.

I believe that there are, in actuality, really two types of Familiars. The first, is that which I have just described, an actual material creature. The second type, and that which will be the focus of this article, is the Familiar Spirit. As the name suggests, this type does not take an actual physical body but instead appears in spectral form. The form which the spirit takes is typically that of an animal (such as a cat, toad, rat, or crow) but it may also take human form as they did for Witches Alice Kyteler and Bessie Dunlop. There are many interpretations or theories as to what the Familiar spirit is exactly and Emma Wilby notes that traditionally Familiar Spirits were variously thought of as being imps, demons, fairies, angels, or even the Devil himself.*

(From WikiMedia)

According to folklore, there are a number of ways a Witch could obtain a Familiar. Probably the most prevalent method was the Witch being gifted a Familiar, usually by the Devil and typically after undergoing an initiatory experience. Other cases include Witches inheriting their Familiar from another individual, such as a family member. Elizabeth Francis, a Witch from Chelmsford, supposedly received a Familiar named Sathan from her grandmother and she in turn passed onto another Witch named Agnes Waterhouse.* In fact, according to some stories, a Witch had to successfully pass her Familiar on before she could die in peace. If the Familiar could not be given away properly, they supposedly hid in hedgerows waiting for a passing Witch to hopefully adopt them.* Additionally, there are cases of Familiars appearing of their own accord, such as the case of Essex Witch Joan Prentice who claimed that she was simply preparing herself for bed when her Familiar spontaneously appeared.* Regardless of the specific method, it is typically the Familiar that finds the Witch, not the other way around. That being said, I do believe there are certain ways to be proactive if one wishes to find a Familiar to work with.

The first step is to consider why you want a Familiar, what type of qualities would you like them to have, and what type of relationship do you want with them. For example, do you want a Familiar to act as a mentor or do you want them to be a servant to do your bidding? Once you have a clear idea, put your intentions out there and let it be known what you’re specifically looking for. One suggestion would be to petition your deity and ask them for help. The next step would be to spend time out in nature, dreaming, or journeying to the Otherworld. Keep your senses open as these are places where you will likely have your first communication with a Familiar Spirit. Once you are approached by a Spirit and begin conversing, it’s important to inform them what exactly you’re looking for in terms

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.patheos.com/blogs/byathameandstang/2016/11/introduction-to-familiar-spirits/

Why Are Black Cats Considered Bad Luck? BY KATE ERBLAND

ThinkStock
THINKSTOCK

Feline friends and fans know there is nothing to fear from the world’s most cuddly creatures (sorry, red pandas, corgi puppies, and fluffy bunnies, this is a cat’s world), but the persistence of the pesky belief that black cats are somehow bad luck has endured for centuries. Sure, back during the heyday of Egyptian rule (around 3000 BC), all cats were notoriously honored and worshipped—killing one was even a capital crime—but the rise of good, old-fashioned witchcraft in Europe put the kibosh on any trace of goodwill towards the inkiest of felines, and the all-black brethren are still trying to distance themselves from the bad press of a witchcraft affiliation.

Black cats pop up frighteningly frequently in all sorts of culturally based bits of folklore, and though much of their mythos is actually of the positive variety, Western tradition has so maligned the critters that black cats as bad luck have become something of a given in various circles (at least, that’s what it looks like once Halloween decorations start popping up, “scaredy cats” and all).

The Middle Ages

It seems that the association between bad luck and black cats dates all the way back to the middle of the fourteenth century. It’s not known exactly how and why cats became associated with the Devil in the Middle Ages, but the belief was so persistent that they were all but exterminated during the Black Death pandemic around 1348 CE. (Pause to cry.) Ironically, killing off the cats only worsened the plague, which was often spread via rodents, which all those dearly departed cats could have helped kill. Oopsie!

Scottish Folklore

Scottish folklore includes a fairy known as the Cat Sith, a giant black cat (with a small white spot on his chest) who was believed to have the ability to steal a dead person’s soul before the gods could claim it. That belief led to the creation of night-and-day watches called the “Late Wake” to guard bodies just before burial. The Scottish also employed such tried and true methods as “using catnip” and “jumping around a lot” to scare off potential Cat Sith soul-stealers. (Some things never change, even when you’re dealing with possibly fairy-infused felines.)

The Age of Witchcraft

Blame black magic. As chatter about nefarious witchcraft began to spread around Europe in the sixteenth century, cats (particularly black ones) found themselves tangled up in the hunt, simply because many presumed witches had taken in alley cats as companions. Somehow, the concept of “companion” turned into “familiar,” and the belief that witches could turn themselves into their (typically black) cat companions became

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