Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Foreskin: Don't Go Commando Without It

Just wanted to share some anti-circumcision graphics that I came across recently and a quick anecdote.

First the anecdote: So I'm recently divorced, and have started dating again for the first time in eleven years. Since I began dating, I've quickly come to the realization that early-twenties me knew who she was and what she wanted and talked openly about those things.  Mid-thirties me really knows who she is and she'll talk about anything important to her including intactivism, even on a first date.
Hey, I just met you, but this ain't crazy. Circumcision's wrong for babies.
Here's kind of how the conversation went:
Date: Tell me some things you are passionate about.
Me: Of course my kids (that's pretty much a given), health and wellness, natural living, eating organic/whole foods, vegetarianism, avoiding toxins, libertarianism, circumcision . . .
Date: You're passionate about circumcision?
Me: No, I'm highly against infant circumcision. Are you circumcised?
Date: Yes
Me: Did you know that when babies are circumcised they don't receive any pain medication and the foreskin that is removed, for no medical reason whatsoever, has 20,000 highly sensitive nerve endings?
Date: I had no idea. 20,000 nerve-endings gone? 20,000 nerve endings cut with or without pain meds sounds horrific.
Me: I know. That's one of the reasons why I'm so against it and why I feel so passionate about it.
Date: I heard they circumcise baby boys, so they are easier to clean.  That has never made much sense to me.
Me: One of the reasons that infant circumcision continues is because doctors, heedless of their vow to do no harm, make big money off the procedures, and then they can sell the removed foreskin tissue to labs and cosmetic companies for even more profit.  It's all about the money.
Date: That is really messed up.
Me: I know, right?
Then, the date proceeded like we had just been talking about movies we liked or something equally benign.  Later, he asked me out again.  I'm not sure if I'll go, but I like that I was able to speak my crunchy, little mind to someone I had never met before, and he didn't say I was crazy. HE ASKED ME ON A SECOND DATE!  The End.
Now on to the graphics:   
This great anti-circ graphic is from Intact OH.  "Foreskin: don't go commando without it.  The foreskin protects the glans from injury, and the urinary meatus from contaminants.  So play outside with no pants on.  It's got you covered." 

And, I found another anti-circumcision someecard on Mama's Milkies to add to my collection.
 "He's circumcised and has had no problems!" said the parents of the boy who had a normal penis at birth that had no problems either.
Ash writes, "This argument has always confused me. 'My son is circumcised and he is just fine!' But... He was just fine at birth too and you still had him restrained and had part of his penis amputated, so... You can't really use that as your defense. That's MY defense. He was JUST FINE when he was born too. So why mess with it? 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'" I agree, Ash, I very much agree!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fair Trade Cloth Diapers?

I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.  ~Benjamin Harrision
This morning I was reminded of this Benjamin Harrison quote, that I first saw on my friend Christy's facebook wall a few years ago. It really struck me as being timeless . . .a bit of wisdom from a 19th century American president still very relevant to our 21st century society.

I don't have a lot of money, so I really have to make the money I do have count. I understand the desire to be frugal, I really, really do.  However, for me, the peace of mind of buying fair trade and knowing where what I buy comes from is well-worth it. As I've said in previous posts, I believe that every dollar I spend casts a vote for the way I want things to be.

In a world where your purchases have more influence than your political vote, it's imperative that you take all factors into consideration before pulling out your wallet.
Quote: Scott Umstattd     Image Source: Fair Trade Wire
Here's how I want things to be: I want all people to have the opportunity to make a fair living.

Here's what I don't want: I don't want to purchase items that were made by child labor, slave labor, workers working in deplorable conditions and/or making pennies a day.  I don’t want anything that allows the few to get extraordinarily rich on the backs of the very poor.  If I can’t afford something fair trade, I’d prefer to go without than to buy something cheaper that I know was produced by an exploited labor force.

Cheap Knock-off Cloth Diapers from China

The discussion that spurred my memory of Benjamin Harrison’s wise words was about knock-off cloth diapers from China. It seems some cloth-diapering mamas are frustrated that they can no longer get inexpensive, Alva diapers from China, because they violate a Pending U.S. Patent held by Julie Ekstrom of Kanga Care the designer of Rumparooz, Lil Joey, and Eco-Posh cloth diapers. While I applaud them for choosing cloth diapers over disposible, my questions to these moms are these:
  • Is the little bit of money you saved by buying knock-offs from China, really worth it  knowing that 
    . . . the design was stolen from a working mother from Colorado? 
    . . . the labor practices and conditions where these knock-off are produced are questionable at best?
    . . . the quality and fit is not as nice as the real thing?  
    . . . they are made in china? 
  • Do you really want to trust something made in china to lay against your baby’s skin night and day?
  • Why not spend a few more dollars, have a few less diapers in your stash, make your own or buy your diapers second-hand?  

Want to know more? Here's a more detailed explanation from One Lucky Mama about  why not getting knockoff diapers from China is not a bad thing: Why I Won’t Sell Chinese Cheapie Cloth Diapers

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

35 Uses for Coconut Oil

Crunchy Mamas Do It With Coconut Oil!

35 Uses for Coconut Oil

  1. Body Lotion
  2. Oil Pulling -- This is a great way to detox!
  3. Splinter Removal -- Put on a small amount of CCO and cover with a bandage. The oil soaks in and the wood pops out overnight.
  4. Shaving Cream -- Leaves skin feeling so smooth and soft.
  5. Deep Conditioner for Hair and Scalp -- Rub into hair and scalp, leave it for as long as you can, then wash it away.  You may have to rinse and repeat to clean away all the excess oil. 
  6. Cuticle Oil
  7. Diaper Rash Ointment. It's cloth diaper safe!
  8. Rub on Newborn's Bottoms to Keep Meconium from Sticking to Baby's Skin
  9. Massage Oil
  10. Ditch the K-Y and use it as Lube!  You're going to come back and thank me for this one :-)
  11. Feed it to Cats to Alleviate Hair Balls
  12. Feed it to Dogs for a Healthier, Shinier Coat
  13. Face Wash and Moisturizer in One
  14. Lip Balm
  15. Topically CCO Helps Heal Canker or Cold Sores
  16. Hemorrhoid Cream
  17. Use on Underarms as a Natural Deodorant
  18. On Baby Bump or Stretch Marks
  19. Make Miracle Soup when your not feeling well --saute a small sliced onion with at least 6 cloves of garlic in 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, stirring occasionally, until soft and as brown as you like. Add 4 Cups Veggie Stock and 4-6 peeled, cubed potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through, then mash with a potato masher until smooth-ish. Salt and pepper to taste.
  20. Spread on Toast instead of Butter
  21. Replace Unhealthy Oils like Vegetable, Soy, Corn or Canola Oil in Recipes
  22. Use it to Make Homemade Body Scrub -- Here's my recipe: Organic Grapefruit Body Scrub
  23. For Dry or Cracked Heals -- Rub it in at night, put on wool or cotton socks, go to sleep, wake up softer.
  24. Hair Gel -- This works well for short wet-look styles.
  25. Hot Tea or Coffee Creamer
  26. Make-up Remover
  27. Natural Sunscreen - SPF 4
  28. Use on Perineum for Healing after Childbirth
  29. Athlete's Foot Ointment
  30. Use with Apple Cider Vinegar to Kill Head Lice
  31. Whiting Toothpaste -- Just Mix with Baking Soda
  32. Natural Laxative and Stool Softener
  33. Whip 1 Part Cocoa Butter: 4 parts CCO for a Soothing Body Butter
  34. Use it to Make Natural Vapor Rub
  35. Cure Thrush -- Apply to Breastfeeding Mom's Nipples and in Baby's Mouth

Leave me a comment: What are your favorite healthy uses for coconut oil?
Let's see how many different uses we can come up with!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Human Rights are for ALL Humans

. . . and a few other thoughts about circumcision. I know last night I said I was done posting for GENITAL INTEGRITY AWARENESS WEEK.  The week may technically be over, but it turns out I still have more to share. As you can probably tell, this is an issue about which I am quite passionate. I think many people really haven't taken the time to research or even consider the pain and violation circumcision inflicts on babies and the life-long damage circumcision causes. Human Rights are for ALL Humans, male and female, young and old.  Our bodies are our own and no one else's.
Image Source: Anita Cleaver via The Whole Network
Image created by Kimberley Smith. Also available in a handy printable format: http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o311/MissSpiderSmith/obviousprintable_zps585c2f27.jpg
Strapping down a NEWBORN to RIP APART fused tissues so they can be CRUSHED & SLICED away from his HIS GENITALS WITHOUT medical cause while he is AWAKE & can FEEL IT is WRONG!!! Even if that poor, sweet baby was sedated or numbed so he couldn't feel it while it was being done (which is not how it's done), it is still wrong, wrong, wrong!!!  
Image Source: The Whole Network
Another Circumcision Somee-like-card . . . "I loved comparing penises with you as a child, father. Thank goodness we match. Said no man ever." 

I'm going to go back and add this one to my post from the other day. Since I already knew long before we met, no child of mine would ever be mutilated, violated and tortured via routine infant circumcision, my ex-husband and I discussed circumcision before we were even married and many years before we had children. This very thing was one of his first objections to leaving our future sons intact. He wanted his sons to look like him. Fortunately, with a little discussion, science and logic, I brought him around to my way of thinking pretty quickly.    

A quick, but staggering visual to help convince the future father of your children or anyone else who thinks circumcision is a quick snip, just cosmetic, minor, painless, removes just a little extra skin, etc. You don't even have to have the card.  Just about anyone can picture the size of an index card in their mind. 
image source: www.norm.org/lost.html
An index card is 15 square inches.  Would you like to be missing that much tissue (not to mention up to  20,000 sensory nerve endings) from your genitals? That's how much the average adult man is missing thanks to circumcision.  Bring your son home whole.  Find out what else is lost: www.norm.org/lost.html.

Changing the way you've always thought about things can be so difficult.  If you or someone you know has hit an obstacle along The Road to Crunchville, I want to leave you with one last thought for tonight:
"Just because something is ingrained in you doesn't make it true. Remember, we once believed the world was flat.  ~Louise L. Hay
Image Source: http://www.Facebook.com/TraceyRoseLIVE
"Just because something is ingrained in you doesn't make it true. 
Remember, we once believed the world was flat."  ~Louise L. Hay

Babies Speak out about Circumcision


From the Mouths of Babes . . .

Who would honestly think circumcision is a good idea?

They want to cut off  my WHAT!?!?

I find circumcision to be . . .ILLOGICAL

Did you know over 100 Babies Die Every Year From Circumcision in the US? 
68% of Baby Boys in the US are now left Intact.
Image Source: ? Not sure who turned this photo of Branded Babies by Dietrich Wegner into a Circumcision Meme 
Do we look like daddy now?

10 Out of 10 Babies Vote NO to Circumcision

His body. His Choice. Stop Infant Circumcision.

You Wanna Cut off What?
Circumcision is unnecessary

Circumcision is an assault on the bodily integrity, genital mutilation and child abuse.
(This one breaks my heart.)

I pity the fool who tries to cut off my foreskin!
Okay, so that's Mr.T not a real baby, but after that last one a I needed a lift :-)

Just Remember:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Breastfeeding on the Go?

Earlier tonight, I came across this photo of a woman breastfeeding her child while riding sidesaddle on what appears to be a scooter or possibly a motorcycle. My first thought (because I speak sarcasm so fluently that even my unfiltered thoughts to myself are sarcastic) was, “I know breastfeeding protects children from so many things, but traffic accidents are not one of them.”

With a bit of Googling, I discovered that worldwide, breastfeeding on the go like this seems to be somewhat of an accepted practice. Here are some more photos of moms nursing their babies on a motorcycle, a moped, a motorbike taxi, and on a sofa in the back of a pick-up truck?!?

While I applaud them for breastfeeding (Nursing does protect both and mom and babe from so many things. See below.), in my five-point-harness, rear-facing world, moms and with no helmets nursing children also without helmets while hanging onto the back of moving vehicles seems very dangerous ... kind of like when my grandfather let me ride standing next to him in the front seat of his pick-up truck or when my brother and I rode in the back of my dad’s pick-up truck . . .different times, different worlds.

Image Source: Man on the Lam
Image Source: http://blog.bummis.com/2012/09/breastfeeding-stories-by-guest-blogger.html
No matter where I first find an image, I usually try to use Google Image Search to find the original source and the full story. As it turns out this image is not as crazy as it first seemed.  It looks like that truck is driving, tailgate down, with mama in the back nursing on a matching couch.  I was totally wondering if that sofa was mounted to the truck bed somehow or if they might go flying off the back of the truck at any moment.  As it turns out, that's crunchy and committed, breastfeeding mama, Mariah and baby Achilles, grandson to the owner of Bummi's Cloth Diapers, taking a nursing break on moving day. Go, Mama, Go! You rock! 

And now more about the protection and benefits that breastfeeding really does afford to babies:

...and the protection and benefits that breastfeeding really does afford to toddlers:

... and the protection and benefits that breastfeeding affords to babies, mothers, and our planet:

Circumcision Someecards

Because sometimes sarcasm, irony and snarky comments really get the point across, here's a collection of some of my favorite someecards and other similar cards about circumcision.  

If you've noticed me posting a lot lately about circumcision, 

it's because it's Genital Integrity Awareness Week.

I made this one :-)

"I loved comparing penises with you as a child, father.  Thank goodness we match," Said no man ever.

"He's circumcised and has had no problems!" said the parents of the boy who had a normal penis at birth that had no problems either.

Do you have another someecard about Circumcision that you really like?
Please share a link in the comments.  
Want to make your own?  
Check out: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/create

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Circumcision & Foreskin: Did You Know?

Circumcision: Did you know?
  • No medical organization in the world, not even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommends infant male circumcision.
  • At least 117 baby boys die from circumcision each year in the United States. (Death can occur from only 2.3 ounces of blood loss.)
  • You can watch a video of circumcision being performed on YouTube.  This will allow you to see the actual procedure first.
  • It's easier to care for a baby's intact penis than a circumcised one.  Don't retract the foreskin, just wipe the outside only -- like cleaning a finger.
  • Infant Circumcision removes a male's right to decide for himself whether no he wants to be circumcised.
  • Circumcision is medically unnecessary, risky, and extremely painful (even with anesthetic).
The Foreskin: Did You Know?
  • The majority of men in the world have a foreskin, and the rate of circumcision in the United States continues to fall each year  :-)
  • The male foreskin has more concentrated, specialized nerve endings than anywhere else in the human body. 
  • The foreskin needs no special care or cleaning.  Up until puberty (or later) the foreskin is fused to the penis and doesn't not need to be retracted to be cleaned.
  • The foreskin has important roles in sexual function and is the most sensitive part of the penis.
  • The card (graphic) above is equivalent in size to the amount of tissue missing from an adult's penis after circumcision. It represents 1/3 to 1/2 of the skin covering the normal penis (about 15 square inches or about the size of an index card).  That's a whole lot of sensitive skin to be senselessly cutting off.

March 26th -April 1st, 2013 is Genital Integrity Awareness Week.
Please consider sharing the information above with those who may not know.