Call For Writers!

writers-block

The Rationality Unleashed! Project is expanding rapidly, so we’re currently looking for more writers for our various project. Please see the project and topics below.

Rationality Unleashed!

Racial inequality

Feminism

Israel/Palestine

Economics

Third Parties (New political parties in America)

International Correspondence

Environmentalism (science based, please)

We’ll accept pitches for any other topic. These are simply the primary ones we’re looking for right now.

 

The Foodentists

Diet

Nutrition

Food Fads

Countering Food Babe, Dr. Oz, Natural News, Et Al

 

The Fish Tomato

This site is pure satire. We’re looking for writers to write about topics in science and skepticism in a hilariously satirical way.

 

If you’re interested, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net

We’ll need an email address, wordpress account name, a bio and photo/avatar you want used on your bio and posts, and a writing sample if you have one. If you haven’t written before, that’s fine, just let us know. We welcome new writers.

 

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Bioethics and Ethical Philosophy student at Cleveland State University, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes. He writes about science, technology, politics, human rights, feminism, religion, and any other topic that catches his eye.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Palestinian Activist Casey Kasem Dies at 82

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While I normally stay way from celebrity stuff in my writing, I think this is important. Casey Kasem was best known for his work as a DJ, and rightly so. He had a voice that no one could forget, and it was hard not to feel at ease while listening to it. After a bitter battle between his children and his second wife, he was taken off artificial and passed away, poetically, on Father’s Day morning.

That, however, isn’t the story that I think should be told. Casey Kasem should be remembered more for his activism.

As a Palestinian American, he spoke out for the rights of Palestine and against the occupation by Israel. He even involved himself in active protests over the years. There’s a great article in People from 1990 that discusses his activism, and how much he spoke against anti-Arab nationalism in America.

He was also a longtime vegetarian who refused jobs that supported the meat industry.

So, this is my short eulogy for a radio personality who was known for the top 40 countdown, but should be remembered for his moral activism that lives on through his children.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Social Justice and the Problem With Humans

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I was listening to Citizen Radio this morning and their discussion got me thinking. They were discussing the LGBTQ people who, in states that now have legal marriage, don’t want to be married. They also discussed that there are people even within that community who are not good people, just like there are in every other community. Let me explain why I bring this up.

I once attended a Take Back The Night rally, which focuses on violence against women. Myself, and others, were informed by some volunteers that they don’t need or want men around at all. We’re no use to them, and they don’t want us volunteering.

I once listened to a member of the LGBTQ community very vehemently shame another because they publicized their coming out. When I expressed that shaming anyone is inherently wrong, I was chastised because “how dare you, a straight person, say anything to me? All you fuckin straight people just think it’s cute that we want rights too, but you don’t actually care.” Others agreed with him wholeheartedly.

The thing is, many of us who are very active allies to various causes often make a caricature of a people as a cause, instead of as people. Then, when we encounter people being…well…people, we’re shocked at how they act. Every movement, for every cause, is made up of people. People should be the reason we join these causes. People can also be good or bad. That’s how people work.

At Take Back The Night, we ended up being welcomed with open arms by others in the group, and enjoyed marching and volunteering for the cause. I’ve been very active in the LGBTQ community, as an ally. Even, as in the example from Citizen Radio above, those who don’t choose to exercise the rights they’re fighting for, understand why they’re fighting. Others may not choose to fight at all.

I have an old friend who is a middle aged gay Catholic. We were good friends for years. He believes that if he doesn’t choose to utilize rights for himself, he doesn’t care if anyone else has them. He’s chosen not to remain a part of my life because I speak out against the abhorrent actions of the Catholic Church.

The thing is, even as much as he is against social movements in general, everyone who fights, fights for him too. Rights are universal, whether you choose to use them or not.

In the same way, people are universal, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. People are people, good and bad, mean or nice.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

A Vegan Italian Dinner Spread

Choosing a Vegan lifestyle is not something to be done lightly. It should be a well researched and well reasoned decisions. There is a lot of misinformation from both Vegans and those who are against the Vegan ideology. Here you’ll find evidence based research about Veganism and the impact it can have, as well as some fantastic plant based recipes.

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One of the most important things about cooking good meals for other people is presentation. Not only does it really showcase your great food, it’s really fun to do. Here’s a fantastic Vegan Italian dinner spread that’s fun, filling, and healthy.

I usually use a wheat pasta. Start this boiling before you begin making everything else.

Salads

The salads pictured above are the actual result. To make them, you need the following ingredients.

Red Kale

Romaine Lettuce

Cherry Tomatoes

Small Yellow Onions

Baby Carrots

Sliced White Mushrooms

Sliced Radishes

Soy Pepper Jack Cheese

Toss the kale and the romaine until it’s well mixed and fill your bowls 3/4 of the way up. The rest gets arrayed over the top for presentation, as shown above. These are super easy and taste great. If you want to avoid regular dressing, a little olive oil mixed with garlic, oregano, and basil will do the trick.

Pasta Sauce

Now, the sauce.

2 cans/jars Tomato sauce of choice (Any will do, since we’ll season it and add to it. Cheap sauce is fine.)

1 Large Eggplant

1 Small Yellow Onion

5 White Mushrooms

1/2 Green Bell Pepper

Slice everything into 1/2 in. pieces at the most. Saute them with olive oil or your vegan spread of choice with oregano, basil, black pepper, garlic, and parsley. Slowly heat the sauce in a medium sized pot. Once the vegetables are browned, you can add them to the sauce. The seasonings used there will suffice for the sauce, so you don’t need to season it separately.

Once the sauce is done, to present, put into a sizable bowl and sprinkle black pepper over 1 half and parsley over the other half. It makes it look fantastic.

Once the pasta is cooked (should be about done by now), go ahead and strain, then toss with a vegan butter spread so it doesn’t stick.

Serve with a bread of your choice.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Teriyaki Vegan Protein Stir Fry

Choosing a Vegan lifestyle is not something to be done lightly. It should be a well researched and well reasoned decisions. There is a lot of misinformation from both Vegans and those who are against the Vegan ideology. Here you’ll find evidence based research about Veganism and the impact it can have, as well as some fantastic plant based recipes.

 tahu-tofu

Here’s a fun, quick recipe for people like me who work long hours and have very little time to prepare food everyday. I make a batch of this on Sunday that gives me eight 189 calorie servings which I use for a quick bit of protein throughout the day.

Ingredients
1 Block Tofu
1 Package Tempeh
1 Package Tofurkey Sausage (Italian works fine)
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 Baby Bok Choy
1/2 c White Mushrooms

Cube the tofu and chop everything else into small chunks. Stir fry with a teriyaki sauce of your choice. I use the generic kind with almost zero calories per serving. it doesn’t take much. Portion into 8 even portions in freezer safe containers. Freeze, and eat whenever you need all week long.

Health Content (Per Serving)
Calories 189
Carbs 9
Fat 9
Protein 19

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Rational Vegan Research: Water

Choosing a Vegan lifestyle is not something to be done lightly. It should be a well researched and well reasoned decisions. There is a lot of misinformation from both Vegans and those who are against the Vegan ideology. Here you’ll find evidence based research about Veganism and the impact it can have, as well as some fantastic plant based recipes.

blue_wave_of_water-wide

 One of the common talking points in favor of a Vegan lifestyle is in regards to the water requirements of producing beef.  Let’s look at the facts and see if this argument holds up.

First, let’s get a good idea of how much water it takes to produce beef. To make our calculations easy, and set a good baseline for figuring this out, we’re going to work based on a 1000 lb. steer. Now, most of the Vegan sources I can find claim 7 lbs of feed are required per lb of beef, but they don’t break it down much further, so we’re discard those figures for the moment. I’m going to work on a per day basis first.

Over the course of 1 day, a steer of this size will require 5-60 gallons of water, depending on the temperature. The most common average people use is about 25 gallons across the board. We’ll work with that.

Now, let’s look at feed. This varies based on the type of feed used. If you’re using a higher protein grain, you’ll only need about 5 lbs per day. If you’re using the lower protein forage, you’ll need around 27 lbs per day. 1 gallon of water per day is required to produce 1 day worth of forage feed, however, it only takes 30 days to grow. So, 1 day of feed requires 30 gallons of water. 1 gallon of water per day is required to produce 3 days worth of grain feed, however, it takes 103 days to grow. So, it takes about 34 gallons of water per day to product the grain feed. We’re pretty close here on water requirements per feed type, so we’ll use 32 gallons of water per day for food.

Between food and water requirements, a 1000 lb steer requires around 57 gallons of water each day. The FDA reports that the average time to slaughter a steer is at around 45 months. That will be roughly 1,350 days that you will need to feed and water the steer. So, to bring a steer up to the point of slaughter, we’re looking at a requirement of 76,950 gallons of water.

Ok, that’s a lot of water. How much beef does that produce? Well, since we’re really looking at the commercial farming use here, let’s look at retail cuts. For a 1000 lb steer, that amount to about 430 lbs of beef in retail cuts. That amounts to about 178 gallons of water per lb of beef produced. Wow, that’s even worse than the conservative numbers being used on most Vegan information sites, and I only used mid-range averages.

How does this translate on a national scale? In 2013, there were 29.3 million head of beef cattle in the US. That amounts to about 5.2 billion gallons of water required in 2013 to raise beef cattle.

There are, however, initiatives around the country to reuse wastewater. The tend to yield around 40% reuse for agricultural water. Of the 5.2 billion gallons, let’s be generous and say 3 billion are used for agriculture and we can reuse 40% of that for the next planting. That will leave us with about 4 billion gallons of water required for the year for beef cattle.

The question is, what does this mean? Yes, it sounds like a lot of water, but what effect does that have on anything?

Currently, meat production worldwide consists of 22% of the the world’s water use. At our current rate, we’ll be looking at serious problems with freshwater availability by around 2050.

In the end, the water used for meat production is huge, but it’s not the end all problem. It is, however, something that can be very detrimental to humans in the future, and is worth investigating. Will the solution involve people moving more away from a meat based diet? Will it involve more efficient water filtration techniques? That’s for the scientists that are hard at work on this problem. For me, I’ll simply do my part.

Sources

Animal Nutrition Handbook http://www.ag.auburn.edu/~chibale/an14beefcattlefeeding.pdf

University of Nebraska – Lincoln http://beef.unl.edu/web/cattleproduction/forageconsumed-day

UoN – Lincoln NebGuide http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/g331/build/g331.pdf

Noble Foundation http://www.noble.org/ag/livestock/waterconcerns/

Futurebeef http://futurebeef.com.au/topics/nutrition/water-requirements-for-cattle/

Mississippi State University http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p2490.pdf

Victoria Department of Environment and Primary Industries http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farming-management/soil-water/water/solutions/how-much-water-do-i-need and http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farming-management/recycling-and-waste-management/reclaimed-water-use-in-cattle-production

University of Georgia http://www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/fieldcrops/forages/Ga_Cat_Arc/2002/july02.pdf

Texas A&M http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/publications/E-273.pdf

University of Idaho http://www.extension.uidaho.edu/drought/irrigatingalfalfa.pdf

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, & Forestry http://www.ok.gov/~okag/food/fs-cowweight.pdf

United States Department of Agriculture http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3062519

Montana State University http://waterquality.montana.edu/docs/irrigation/100bushel.shtml

Washington State University http://css.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Schillinger_WGY.pdf

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/scales/bushels.html

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association http://www.beefusa.org/beefindustrystatistics.aspx

Virginia Tech http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/452/452-014/452-014.html

United States Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/recycling/ and http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/

USGS http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/rt

National Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/watersustainability/

AAAS http://news.sciencemag.org/2012/02/agriculture-sucking-fresh-water-dry

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Vegan Chili Recipe

Featurette.Chefs

Like most people, I love good food. I’ve come up some great plant based recipes for a healthy and balanced diet. This is my recipe for Vegan Chili.

Ingredients

1 can condensed tomato soup

1 cup water

1 cup red quinoa

1 can (or bag of dried) dark red kidney beans

1/2 English cucumber

1/2 red onion

1 yellow squash

Chili powder, garlic powder (or garlic pepper), crushed red pepper

Directions

Chop onion, cucumber, and squash to a size of your preference. Mix in a large port with the kidney beans (hydrate them first if dry), tomato soup, water, and quinoa.  Bring to a boil. Once boiling, simmer covered for 2 hrs, seasoning to your preference and stirring regularly. Then, simmer uncovered for 1 hour to thicken.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.