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Everything posted by VeganEssentials

  1. There's only one problem with Eco-Dent floss that I don't support - the anti-plaque bacteria that is used in the floss is actually harvested on dairy cultures, so due to that we stopped carrying their floss a few years ago and have been trying to convince them that it is not necessary to keep it in the formula. Eco-Dent recently changed hands from the original company and is now owned by Lotus Brands (a naturals products distributor that's less than an hour from where we're located) and we're hoping that with a little pressure we can get this item changed to be completely vegan-friendly instead of having a questionable ingredient. It is one of those things where there's not any dairy in the final product, but without using dairy the cultures would not exist, so we won't carry it because some people won't be too happy about it. It stinks because Jason recently discontinued their floss and the only waxed floss available is the Eco-Dent (unwaxed options are out there, but I can't use them because they tear apart and get stuck in my teeth!) but hopefully someone else will step into the ring and eventually make a good all-vegan waxed floss.
  2. I chose legs, but I think for me there would need to be an "everything except chest" section to make it completely suited to my feelings
  3. Hopefully this time my reply will work - GymHater, the true problem here lies in that, even though the cat will eat more creatures than, say, an herbivorous creature, it is what nature has intended and I believe it is unfair to discriminate against creatures simply based on their natural diets. We can't put everything into terms of quantity because then we get into a whole new debate. For exampe, it could be said that a cat may only eat a few cattle total over a lifetime when it comes to meat used in their food, but a cow may accidentally step on dozens of fieldmice during it's lifetime. This isn't fact, but I'm merely making an example that if we look long enough, we can find a way to make quantity work either for or against us, and this does not really fare well logically. Death is inevitable, and yes, cats do eat mice, birds and other creatures, but this is not an unnatural thing and therefore we should not hold it against them for it. If so, we may as well decide that it is best to exterminate lions, tigers, and other such animals because they also kill many, many animals during their lifetime. Some creatures are genetically made to live by eating others, and this should not be grounds to consider one more important than another because it is beyond their control. I agree, I wish all animals lived in the wild in their natural habitats, but since we've managed to screw that up considerably it is our duty to care for those which cannot exist in the situation we've put them in. Trying to force-feed them our own ethics is not the answer, and if someone cannot accept what is best for the animal then it is best that they do not take care of it. I wish things were different, but unfortunately they aren't and we must make the best of what there is, even if it means taking care of creatures that cannot exist on our own personal standards of how we choose to eat. My original reply was much more in-depth, but I'm afraid of losing my posts again!
  4. Thanks, Phoenix! Got to meet up with the gang for some strongman event training yesterday, had a lot of fun and I hurt all over today, so I must have been doing something right. Started with log presses, which was a bit tougher for me since the ceiling of the basement we were training in was just low enough that I had to lean back a bit and still couldn't completely lock out my reps: 1x8 @ 110 (or something close to it) 1x6 @ 160 2x6 @ 210 Reps were done with as little push as possible, trying to be fairly strict with each one. Next, did some thick handled farmer's holds (handles slightly over 2"). My hands are too weak right now in that they're soft and don't take well to hard work, which I really need to fix. I preferred it much more when my hands were tough as leather and didn't feel a thing. Nothing very heavy here, just some timed holds for a short bit working up to around 200 per hand for a 30 count. Moved to stones next, but my head wasn't it in when we started. It took me a bit to get going, but ended up fairly well: 1 load to around 52" with 250 1 " " @ 280 Attempted 340, failed to move it. Went to the oversized 300, and I was way off. Went at it 3 times and failed, had to get angry with myself, then I finally made it and lost a crapload of flesh in the process (that sucker was rough!) There's a nice red stain on the stone now where I had to make my blood sacrifice, but eventually it went up on the platform and all was well. Then I went back to the 340 a few minutes later, it went up easier than the 300 did now that I was back in action. The 340 here humbled me last time I tried it a few months ago, but this time it was all mine. Wrapped up the stone work with a few sets of rows, doing doubles with the 280. Every time I went for a 3rd rep I'd lose my grip and drop it, but that was fine for the day. Ended up doing some complexes, first with the log @ 110 doing the following in succession - 10 strict presses, 10 cleans from waist to shoulders, then 10 rows. Kirk and I alternated 3 sets each with no rest between and I was surprised my endurance wasn't worse - the only time I had to pause between any reps was on the last few for the rows on the last set, just enough to catch my breath once and that was it. One last set of tricep pushdowns followed by BB curls (bar only) for 10 each and that was it. Haven't touched stones in a month and now I feel like someone kicked me in the ribs, but that only makes me want to go after them harder next time and finally get 375 loaded in the next month.
  5. I've tried replying 3 times in the past day but my posts aren't going through. I'll try tomorrow when I have more time!
  6. 2006 goals - 1. 600 lb. raw squat 2. 350 raw bench 3. 600 raw deadlift 4. 340 overhead press (any way I can get it!) 5. 310 overhead log press 6. 1100 lb. quarter squat (I need is a bar that can hold enough weight!) 7. Flip a 1200 lb. tire at least twice in a row 8. Get a 400 lb. stone loaded to a 54" platform (probably will be the first goal met) 9. Yoke walk 900 lbs. for 75 feet without dropping it 10. Farmer's walk with 300 lbs. per hand for 100 feet without dropping it. Just a few things, really
  7. One more quick story. We had a customer years ago who basically forced her cats to go vegan, even after repeated disasters. She loved cats (at least, we believe her heart was in the right place...) but she admitted that she had 3 cats die in 5 years (total time, not from start of diet to death date) after forcing them to eat vegan, all from diet-related complications. How is this any better than just outright killing the cats - if you know that what you're doing is harmful, why would you continue to do it? Does this not go completely against vegan philosphy, to knowingly and willingly do harm to another living creature even thought you could choose to do something better for it? When does someone realize that they're breaking the basic rules of being vegan just because they want to be perfect and force their will on others who may not be meant for it? Like I keep saying, there is no "perfect" answer. Some animals can go vegan, some cannot, but to believe that we can force everything to meet our ideals without harming them is downright irresponsible. And, yes, the alternative may not be the best for purchasing meat products for them, there's no question. But, when we put into perspective that they would eat other animals naturally it becomes less difficult to accept than when we kid ourselves and imagine that cats would live vegan by their own choices and remain healthy.
  8. And, as is common knowledge, a cat will kill other creatures to survive. So do thousands of other species, but why is it okay to say that cats are different? Why is this wrong if it is natural - because it is a cat and not a different carnivorous creature? What if someone adopted a snake that would otherwise be euthanized - there's no vegan snake food I know of, but does that mean that the adopter would have to feed the snake a vegan diet even though it is unnatural (but would make the adopter feel better about his/her self?) We have to stop singling out cats here and put it in perspective as for all creatures - first we complain how we've screwed up their natural habitats and cycles, then we contemplate messing with their natural diet as well to remove them from their true nature as much as possible. Where do we draw the line? What do we do to make things better? To me, the answer is easy - work to correct the current problem to the greatest extent (neuter/spay), and work toward a reversion to a more natural state. At least, that's how I see it.
  9. I never said that. I simply said that 100% purity is unattainable, and I do not browbeat myself because I cannot be perfect. I don't find pleasure in trying to convince myself that I'm greatly faulted - I already know that I am, just like every other vegan because we simply cannot be as perfect as we'd like. That's an entirely different argument. Such a thing is up to each and every vegan themselves. Some will strive for perfection (which cannot be reached), others will put in less effort. What one does vs. the other does not make one better and one worse - it simply makes them different and when vegans start getting into the "you're not vegan enough!" argument it only hurts the credibility of the movement. If that's where your thoughts lie, that is one's choice. So it is better to kill the cat that is from the shelter because it is its nature to kill for both food and entertainment? With that, you condone the killing of one creature to save another, which isn't exactly one that flies with me (and I'm sure many others). Taking an unwanted cat from a shelter is not the same as "buying" a cat that was raised as a commodity. There's a big difference between my taking in a cat that was found living under a porch than one that was raised by a breeder. Anything can happen. The person may decide instead to adopt from a different shelter, or, because they didn't find a cat they like, they may not get a cat at all. Or, they may be despondent and hurl themselves off a bridge into the nearest river - since we're talking hypothetical situations that are longshots here, we can discuss just about anything But, this is your personal opinion and not the voice of the movement overall. Veganism has many interpretations, but there are few core tenets that it all boils down to that can be agreed upon universally. The issue of animal guardianship is still hotly debated, but just because you personally do not agree with it does not mean that it is the concensus of the movement. I don't believe in promoting ideas that are my own variants on the core of veganis without a caveat to let others know that it is my *own* thought rather than what is universally agreed upon. The slippery slope begins when we display our own interpretations as those of the entire movement. You are vegan, but the cat is not. Like Neil has stated, when you drive, you're using products that animals had to die for. When you're at your computer right now, something had to die for this. When you walk on the grass, insects die. Does this mean we must beat ourselves up for every action we take? We should simply do the most we can and accept that it cannot be perfect. Thinking along these lines is the reason I'm still vegan and didn't burn myself out from having a defeatist/perfectionist attitude. Whether or not one wishes to strive for purity is their own choice, but I can live with knowing that I cannot be pefect, and I can live with the fact that my cats still eat meat.
  10. Madcat, Actually, Jed (the guy who wrote the Obligate Carnivore), eventually stated that he thought that perhaps it was not ideal for all cats to be on a vegan diet due to the fact that some will inevitably have health issues from it. To my knowledge he's never retracted this statement since he made it about 6 months ago, which has definitely made me question the notion of having cats go vegan. Even though it was his business to sell vegan cat food he went against his own industry, which to me means that he must definitely feel strongly about his statement.
  11. Unfortunately, a certain brand of vegan cat food has also been said to contribute to life-threatening urinary tract blockage in some cats. This has been posted about repeatedly on some boards by people who have fed their cats vegan diets for years only to have them develop horrible complications or that they simply die from the blockage. It just goes to show, a food can be ethically sound on the vegan side, but there is still potential for it to be harmful to the animal you're feeding it to. The cats we adopted from the shelter in town are our surrogate children - I'm not willing to sacrifice their well-being because I want to make them eat the same way as I do. I live in the city and they likely would be hit by a car in the first few weeks they were allowed outside if I were to let them come and go as they please and eat what they would naturally in the outdoors. I have a few choices - feed them food that I know is coming from animals that have been likely been treated poorly, or feed them a diet that is more ethically sound but put their health in jeopardy. It is a lose/lose situation any way you look at it, but I've made my choice because as was stated here in an earlier post, you can't always be perfect all the time because 100% purity is completely unattainable. When the man who wrote the book on turning your cats vegan retracts his beliefs due to evidence that it may not be the healthiest way for them to live, it really has to make you wonder whether or not it is the best choice for them. After all, if we were to feed our children food that we knew had a high risk for injuring them, would that not be considered abuse? Like I said, there's no right or wrong here. You can make yourself feel good or you can offer your cat a healthier option - what you do is your own choice, and the ones who have to live with the decision are you and your cat. Dogs, as has been said, are much easier to change to a vegan diet. If it were only that easy for cats to be vegan and be healthy... http://www.veganrepresent.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6748 is a thread that can shed a bit of light on issues arisng from feeding cats a vegan diet. Some cats can thrive on it, others just aren't designed to go that way.
  12. Bad day today - nothing went well all afternoon, and in the evening I end up getting into a squabble with a semi-well-known person in the vegan community that turned out to be kind of a jerk (which confirmed my suspicions that I've had for some time), but at least I made it to the gym for some deadlifts. Warmed up with some 1-handed barbell deadlifts, 1-arm cleans and a few power snatches first, then hit the good old deadlifts. I've lost a lot of strength in these, but there's no better time to get back into doing them! 1x5 @ 225 1x3 @ 315 3x5 @ 405 1x2, followed by 2 singles @ 455 I originally just planned on doing the sets @ 405, but I heard the 455 calling out to me so I had to do a few more with that weight. A year ago I'd have been knocking out sets of 6-8 with 455, but now I'm starting from the ground up again. A few monts of consistent work and it'll come back to me! That was it - I only had around 35 minutes to lift before closing time so I didn't get to bench as I'd expected. Tomorrow is rest day, strongman event training on Saturday will follow! Ryan
  13. Milwaukee isn't great, but it could be worse compared to other large cities out there. There are a few places that recently expanded their menus to offer a selection of vegan dishes, but most of them are deep-fried type things so if you want to eat healthy it just isn't happening. But, there's getting to be enough to where a vegan doesn't have to worry about not having enough choices, particularly if you like Japanese, Chinese, Middle-Eastern, Thai, Indian and other ethnic cuisines. Standard American vegan fare is slim, but hopefully this will get better. Oh yeah, there's also this shop called VeganEssentials here. I hear the owners are pretty decent people
  14. Done tonight. One step closer to the goal of 600 before the end of the year!
  15. Leg day today with some quality PRs! Started with squats - 1x5 @ empty bar 1x8 @ 135 1x5 @ 225 1x3 @ 315 1x2 @ 405 1x1 @ 455 1x1 @ 475 1x1 @ 525 for a new PR! The 525 went up pretty easily, and I was coaxed into going up to 545. Went down, came up about 8-10" but stopped cold. Give me 2 months and it'll happen. Wound down with one more set of 3 @ 475 and regular squats were done. Did a few front squats at the end to finally get a heavier one set. I've never made more than 285 before because my form is crap, but I'm going to start front squatting regularly since they need a lot of work and I'd like to be hitting 405 for reps in a few months. Tonight I just did 2 singles @ 315, but the 2nd one went pretty well (first one was kind of ugly) so there may be hope for me here yet. Time was up, headed home happy to have hit 2 new PRs for leg day.
  16. Unfortunately, attempts to be cautious for me when doing any sort of DB presses don't work out too well. I work to make every rep as fast as possilbe on the concentric part since that's what will develop strength the greatest - unless the weight is to where I can manage no more than 3-4 reps at most it just moves too fast for me to control how hard the DBs will come into contact with each other. I guess it isn't a big issue for me since I won't be buying any Powerblocks but rather will acquire some good plate-loadable DBs once I have the room for them.
  17. Biggest gut - I'm a shoe-in for the winner and I don't even have to do anything for it. Any chance that it'll be the next comp? That, or most pairs of pants/shorts blown out in the gym from squatting. I think I could pull that one off as well. Just TRY and beat me on that one!
  18. Yes, there's definitely a lot of crap out there! Oddly enough, I considered getting myself the Sauna Belt for one reason alone - if I'm getting close to contest time and need to drop a last pound or two in weight, it may come in handy the morning of the event to make my class . Other than that and as a semi-therapeutic item it is absolute junk, but in odd circumstances such as what I'm considering it might have a very limited usage. Though, let it be shown for the record that I have no intentin of getting a Bowflex, Total Gym, Ab Wheel, Electric Muscle Stimulator or any of the other silly gadgets that you'll find on late-night TV
  19. With Powerblocks, aren't your hands somewhat trapped inside the blocks when lifting? I thought that's what I remembered with them, and that kind of scared me. Every so often I need to bail out of a lift quickly, and I don't want my hands going along with the weight when I try to toss them aside.... I used to want a pair, but they seem to be a bit limiting in some aspects. That, and when I do DB benching and overhead pressing I tend to clank the DBs together, and I have this fear that it would release the weights and send them down on me. I guess it just boils down to the fact that those things freak me out!
  20. Bump the push press to 295! Most people don't do much overhead pressing, or do dumbbells-only, which is unfortunate. DBs are great, but it just isn't the same as pushing a nice heavy bar overhead By the way, excellent work, Jonathan!
  21. Thanks, Richard! Fantastic pic, by the way! Inspired by some flak I've been catching at the Vegan Fitness board regarding my lack of benching, I decided to do a some chest work today and threw in some long-awaited arm work as well just to do a few things I don't normally touch. Started off with close-grip benching, hands about 16" apart - 1x8 @ 135 1x3 @ 225 1x2 @ 255 1x2 @ 260 1x2 @ 265 1x2 @ 270 2x2 @ 275 The heavier sets @ 275 felt very easy, much moreso than expected. I almost contemplated asking for a spot, but after the first rep I knew it'd be no problem. My benching needs a lot of work, but since I don't care much for standard style I pretty well only work narrow grip since it'll transfer over to overhead pressing far more. 1x6 for a backoff set @ 225, each rep about 3 seconds down and 1-2 seconds paused at bottom Next, did a few sets of barbell curls, just because I haven't done them in ages - 1x5 @ 135 1x5 with reverse grip and a bit of cheating @ 135 Regular BB curls don't feel comfortable, so I don't like to do them often. even EZ bar curls don't feel comfortable, so it is rare that I toss any of them in. Next up, close-grip half benches to lockout in the rack (about a 10-12" ROM, half of my usual distance for a full press) 1x3 @ 225 1x2 @ 195 1x2 @ 315 1x1 @ 325 1x10@ 225 Finally, last set was one run at DB curls as I headed out, did 1x8 @ 60 lbs. and that was it. I even capped the session off right by flexing in front of the mirror on the locker room, just to keep the chest/arm theme running in the vein of how most of the goons at my gym handle their business. Very silly. Felt good today, felt strong, hopefully it'll carry over on Tuesday once I go for a 525 lb. raw squat!
  22. Hey, Rob! Thanks for the kind words - this year is the breakthrough year for really putting the strength on, so I'm giving it all I've got. 2005 was good, but with months of injuries and illnesses I didn't gain as much ground as I'd hoped. We'll see where 2006 takes me, and I've got plenty of contests lined up to get myself in gear and work harder than ever! Today was an unusual day in that I've actually lifted two evenings in a row, definitely not common for me. Had a good time, though, so it was well worth it. Started with overhead push presses in the rack - 1x10 @ empty bar 1x6 @ 135 (strict press) 1x3 @ 185 (strict press) 1x2 @ 225 1x1 @ 255 1x1 @ 275 1x1 @ 295 for a 10 lb. PR! 1x5 @ 225 There's no question that 300 would have gone up, but I'm holding out for another month to try and hit 310 or 315 once I get a little more lockout power under my belt. The 295 went up nicely - hit the groove right, didn't slow down until the last 5" of lockout and then the triceps kicked in and capped it off. Very nice. Next, did some Hise shrugs in the rack - 1x6 @ 405 1x6 @ 495 1x6 @ 585 After that, it was time for bottoms-up 1/4 squats with about a 9-10" ROM - 1x3 @ 585 1x1 @ 675 1x1 @ 765 1x1 @ 855, walked it a few feet forward afterward and re-racked it. Can't do any more weight than this at my gym, so until I get my own rack and 1000 lbs. of plates I'm not going any heavier. Next, it was short (2") ROM standing overhead lockouts in the rack - 1x1 with a 10 second hold @ 225 1x1 " " @ 315 1x1 with a 5 second hold @ 365 Just missed 405 by a hair - moved about an inch, lost stability and it went back down. How the hell does anyone hold that much weight overhead and keep stable?!? Wrapped up with 2 sets of Kelso-inspired shurgs, one set on the cable tower at head height, pulling in from the side one arm at a time for 20 reps with the full stack. Next set was V-handle low row shrugs, one set of 20 shrugs with a full forward stretch @ 170 lbs. Good enough for now, next lifting will be Sunday or Monday!
  23. Even past the ethical and business side of GMO production, GMO fruits and veggies taste like absolute crap in my opinion. Hell, I didn't even know what a real strawberry tasted like until I finally started buying organic produce about 6 years ago. Far, far better than the super-sized produce I used to get that was larger in size but lacking in flavor.
  24. I don't get soreness too bad all that often, but if I had to pick for a "favorite", it would be chest because it has the least interference with normal movement while recovering. I don't particularly like having it feel like I'm getting spasms or cramping due to DOMS, so I can't say that I'm particularly fond of any part feeling that way, but it comes with the territory. Nothing fun to me about turning around in your chair and having your lats seize up or bending down to tie your shoes and realizing how much your arse hurts from squatting.... Anyway, thanks for posting the explanation on DOMS, Daywalker - it's quite true that soreness is not necessarily an indicator of a good workout, else I'd have grown like a weed when I was doing 15 sets per bodypart back years ago. Now I do 3-6 sets and rarely feel too sore, but progress keeps on coming. Ryan
  25. It's after 3 AM and I'm off to bed, but here's a quick little article I found with a quick search on Monsanto (the leader in GMO seed products) http://www.geocities.com/northstarzone/MONSANTO.html I've read all this elsewhere and in more detail, but this is at least a quick bit to show the problems that come with GMO products in the food supply!
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