Adventures on the Elliptical, Part I: Where’s the Beef?

Abundant Table

Walking the Stations of the Cross at the Abundant Table Food Project in Oxnard, CA.

By Tommy Airey, co-editor of RadicalDiscipleship.net

*This post kicks-off a new series on Wednesdays exploring the movement of Spirit during mealtime.  

Give us meat for our food.
Numbers 11:13

Sometimes I sneak inside the local gym here in Ypsilanti and spend thirty minutes on the elliptical. The AC is on and a half dozen TVs are right in front of me.  A few weeks ago, I was sweating to a sports talk show host lamenting his wife’s newfound veganism. It is the oldest, most tiring go-to in the counterfeit masculinity playbook. I knew exactly what he was going to say next: “I just want to go out and have a steak with my guy friends.” And then he droned on about the whole pathetic ordeal for the entire segment.

Seven years ago, Lindsay and I became vegetarians after watching the Academy Award winning documentary Food, Inc. and then reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals.  I attribute this conversion mostly to Michael Smith, a former traveling salesmen now living in Iceland snapping photos of the Northern Lights with his girlfriend Inga.  I was Michael’s freshman basketball coach.  I taught him how to ball fake and skip pass.  Now he feeds me the latest on the state of the heavily corporatized meat and dairy industries.  I got the better end of the bargain.   Continue reading

Fresh Stop Markets

Fresh StopCompelling work going in Lexington, KY.  Click on and scroll down for a great interview on Food Justice Radio.  

Fresh Stop Markets are “pop up” farm-fresh food markets set up at local churches and community centers in fresh food insecure neighborhoods. The food has been paid for in advance so that farmers don’t face the same degree of risk as they do with a standard farmers’ market. People in the community describe Fresh Stop Markets as welcoming and happy—like a family reunion where all five senses are engaged and there is lots of laughter, food and fun! Continue reading

Shareholder Activists Take On Exxon-Mobil

Sister Pat

Dominican Sr. Patricia Daly. (Courtesy of Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment)

An important report from National Catholic Reporter’s Brian Roewe on shareholder activism:

When ExxonMobil shareholders overwhelmingly voted in late May in favor of a resolution aimed at shedding light on the impacts of addressing climate change on the oil company’s long-term assets, Dominican Sr. Patricia Daly was among those beaming brightest.

“This was very sweet,” said the director emeritus of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, which spans Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Through investment groups like the coalition, which comprises 40 Catholic institutions, and the larger Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, she and other faith-based investors have been working for two decades to bring about change at Exxon in how it recognizes and responds to climate change.

At the annual ExxonMobil meeting in Dallas May 31, the shareholder resolution, co-filed by the New York Common Retirement Fund and the Church of England and joined by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and 50 other institutions representing $5 trillion in managed assets, received 62.3 percent of the shareholders’ vote — the highest ever at Exxon for a climate-related measure.

The resolution, which Exxon opposed, seeks for the world’s largest energy company to produce an annual report of the long-term impacts on its oil and gas reserves from global climate policies aimed at restricting average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and as low as 1.5 degrees C — the primary goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which calls for drastic cuts in carbon emissions and a global shift toward a zero-carbon economy in order to meet the 2 C target and avert the worst climate impacts.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Disrupting a System of Wealth Extraction

exodusA report on Exodus Lending from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Exodus Lending, which launched two years ago from a Minneapolis Lutheran congregation as the first alternative to  payday loans, has made its 100th loan, including to 41 working-poor borrowers who were refinanced from the “payday loan debt trap” and repaid in full.

“We had no idea the program would grow this big and help so many people,” said Exodus co-founder Meghan  Olsen Biebighauser. Continue reading

#BUYNOTHINGXMAS

nobuyFrom Adbusters:

This year, why not take a path less traveled?

Opt-out of the consumer fest that the holidays have become, the weeks of overconsumption that leave you feeling empty. Quit performing out of habit.

Think back to your fondest memories, those moments of real joy.

What might the holidays be like if you refused to hit the mall … let your friends know that you’re not accepting gifts (and not giving any either) … give back to people in real need … and if you do have to give a gift go indie or go rogue … make it yourself … inject some life back into that sedated and automatic sense of time.  Continue reading

Healing as Liberation from Crippling Debt

DebtBy Ched Myers, on Luke 13:10-17, for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Note: This is part of a series of weekly comments on the Lukan gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary during year C, 2016.

This part of Luke’s gospel offers two symbolic stories about the healing of “political bodies” that signify pathology in the body politic: the “bent over” woman (13:10-17) and the “too big” man (14:1-6). Sadly, the second of these is (literally) skipped over by the lectionary. These intimately related healings bracket a series of Jesus’ sayings concerning the Kingdom as surprise and mystery (13:18-21), the “narrow Way” (13:22-30) and the cost of prophetic discipleship (13:31-35). Continue reading