Some might wonder why I Reblogged this post to iLook China. The answer is simple—how can anyone decide what freedom means for another person as this post from Catphi proves?_________________

I say happiness and/or freedom are individual perceptions and those perceptions change depending on family/culture/country.__________________

There is what we “need” to survive and then there is what we “want”. Achieving what we “want” may lead to happiness and a feeling that we are free. What we need is air to breathe, food to eat and shelter. Then we may need love but we can live without love. When we reach “want”, after we have achieved “need”, then choice becomes an individual thing. For example, In China, most people want a better quality life now that so many have been lifted out of severe poverty for the first time in China’s history and the threat of death from starvation appears gone. Once the majority of Chinese achieve the better quality of life from material means, what will the perception of freedom/happiness mean then?

Catphi's Curiosities


I have read several posts and articles that ask whether a person would choose Freedom or Happiness?  Why must we choose, unless of course, we are talking about the book by Yevgeny Zamyatin entitled “We”, where the characters in Paradise were given a choice, “Happiness without Freedom, or Freedom without Happiness”, and there was no third choice! But, in real life, why do we have to choose one or the other? What is Freedom? What is Happiness? Are they always subjective? And, why can’t we have both?

Ancient Greek historian and author, Thucydides, says, “The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage”. But, he also states, “The strong do what they have to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.” Aren’t those really the same thing? Doing what you have to and accepting what you have to, are the same thing. I see…

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10 Responses to

  1. merlin says:

    Relating my last comment with the topic, we in the US dont have the freedom to the means of a top quality diet that can alter diseases. Transportation is an issue. In China, one can always find fresh fruit/vegetables that are healthy (otherwise there’s always chinese herbal medicine/acupuncture/foot massage). In the US, for many the nearest location is Mcdonalds, and we rely on man-made chemicals to cure the symptoms (not the disease). We are free to live how we want, but the money in our pocket, and our job tell us we can’t travel far on a whim. Also, we are not free to choose how we want to be medically treated. Many pharmaceutical companies hold our attention with poor Bob trying to get his stick up with Enzyte displayed on TV. Society promotes soda.

  2. merlin says:

    I’d like to have my cake and eat it too.

    • Easy — bake it, add chocolate frosting, and then eat it all while it’s still warm and no one else is around then get ready to deal with an upset stomach and nausea.

      Or (this is off topic but I couldn’t help myself)

      Go for a slice of Earth Cafe’s (non) cheesecakes made from living uncooked organic ingredients. I’ve had some of these, they are costly but worth it, in my opinion.

      • merlin says:

        Sadly, the online store is down for maintenance. The store locator is ironic. Click on the map…OH! IA = 0. CA = 1, 2, 3…10,11…Yea, all we have in the midwest is an endless ocean of corn. It’s like sinner’s gold (sinner = not much health benefits) (gold = $/bushel can be high). Although to mine that gold requires an expensive purchase of land (preferably with buildings), expensive John Deere equipment, and immense patience as you can only earn what you plant by the fall (as long as you dont make any mistakes in the process).

        The website is quite interesting, and yet it leaves me a little confused. First, it states that cooking food creates more work for our digestive system. I’m a bit confused how boiling food is bad for the digestive process? I knew a guy from highschool that couldnt eat the skin on apples (example) because it wouldn’t digest. He told me it was a medical condition he had. So whenever we had the Fresh Fruit/Vegetables from the state grant to push for healthy food, he couldn’t eat half of the time unless the teacher had a knife to peel it for him.

        I claim the site is interesting because what I read is what I find in google searches on how to naturally defeat illness. Yes, cooking kills enzymes. I didnt know our body can only create a limited amount of enzymes. I’ve heard if you boil food (carrots) the vitamins/minerals go into the water. One thing I noticed in China is the Hot Pot way of life. As opposed to the Italian way of cooking noodles (drain the water), the chinese put everything, including the hot water, into a bowl. Most dont drink the water, and there’s no way I’ll be able to drink Ma La Tang as if it’s ice water on a hot afternoon. So I can see where vitamins might be lost in a Chinese diet. Baking anything dries it out. BBQ/Grill destroys the vitamins and when you burn something on a grill the smoke and burn mark (black lines) are placed on the food. I’ve seen in some health websites staking claims that smoke causes cancer. Here’s just one of te many links out there on the web:

        Smoke and the black burnt marks contain certain carbons that have been connected with the increased formation of cancers.

        What is a little baffling to me is the earth food site claims all meat as bad. I’m wondering what’s their negative facts about seafood? Japanese eat it by the boat load, with a lot of dishes that are uncooked. At the same time they’re listed at the top of health and longevity studies. The US is near 35 I think, we’re not the lowest thanks to our modern medicine man that plays God in a lab. We’re not the highest because our diet is the highest in red meat consumption (which I’m going to throw dairy into that statistic because it’s from cows = red meat). I dont remember what China was listed, but I assume not very high on the list because of their excessive use of cooking oil and love of meat dishes (particularly a variety of species).

      • From what I’ve learned from a lot of reading is that all meat is not bad (including beef) and I’m a Vegan. For example, our brain is 70% fat, which means our diet needs fat to feed the brain, but the wrong fat may cause damage to the brain/body. From the books and articles I’ve read, cattle fed corn causes the fat to be the wrong kind of fat but if we eat meat that comes from free range cattle fed on organic grasses, the fat is different and healthier for our bodies and brain.

        In addition, most beef in the US comes from feed lots where the cattle are pumped full of antibiotics (I understand that 50% of antibiotics go to feed lots for the animals held in those places to fatten them up before the slaughter due to the spread of disease there) and hormones (so the cattle will grow faster and weigh more) and this isn’t healthy for the people that eat that type of cheaper meat, which is why, from what I’ve read, people should pay more for free range, organic grass fed cattle and eat less–about six ounces a day maximum.

        I have also learned that fats from nuts (and other plant based fats that have not been hydrogenated) are healthier for our bodies and brains and are absorbed easier than animal fats.

        Here’s a site that ranks the healthy and bad fats. Oh, and heating fat during cooking may cause the fat to turn toxic which in turn causes damage to our human cells. However, some fats may be heated to higher temperatures without turning toxic while other fats turn at lower temperatures.

        Source – Kaiser Permanente:

        Click to access How%20Fats%20Compare%20(915800069)_tcm75-14480.pdf

        Most of us have a staple cooking grease—whether olive oil, canola oil or just plain butter—that we use on a regular basis, but it’s always good to know what the best (and healthiest) cooking options are. Most research shows that, if used in moderation, oil, butter and margarine aren’t completely unfriendly towards most diets. However, there are slight differences in intended use and good vs. bad fat content. Below, get the basics for your next pan-handling adventure in the kitchen.

        Source: Woman’s Day

        Every cooking oil has something called a smoke point which is the temperature heated oils reach that causes both the taste and the nutrient level to breakdown. The oil can actually become toxic if it is heated well beyond its smoke point.

        Source: Dina Peace – Dearborn Vegetarian Food Examiner

      • merlin says:

        Thank you for the info and links. Now cooking is looking more like modern chemistry than throwing something on the fire. I better go dust off my old chemistry books in the closet because I’m aching for dinner.

      • According to what I have learned over the years, the more processed most food is, the less healthy it is and this includes the amount of time the food is cooked or frozen. For example, I’ve read that the only healthy breakfast cereal is steel-cut organic oatmeal and not the instant oatmeals that come in flakes and takes a few minutes to cook. As for all the other breakfast cereals, from what I’ve read (several sources linked to studies), forgot them–they are all toxic in one way or another.

      • merlin says:

        Reminds me of my first day back at an American grocer to pickup breakfast cereal (that I didnt eat for nearly 2 years). The front says “Whole Wheat and Heart Healthy!” The nutritional facts contains a large amount of sugar and by reading the ingredients I find corn syrup in there.

        Relating to the topic, our freedom is taken away for the great taste of processed cereals and pasteurized milk. It’s funny how the milk in the plastic (can cause cancer) is void of bacteria, yet on the outside of the plastic container there is dirt from who knows where. Also, as a former dairy employee, there is black mold growing on the fan units and in the back.

        I just returned from the grocer to discover the antioxidant nut mix I usually grab increased in price by $2/lb. Talk about gas prices increasing, ten cents and people are frantic. Here is a healthy mix of nuts that now cost $10/lb. I found Mangosteen juice (mixed with other fruit juices) for $14 for a small glass jar. Mangosteens are sweet, but the real power lies in the bitter rind. I really doubt whoever made it included the rind since most Americans lean towards sweet/salty rather than spicy/bitter taste. Amazing that I could buy an entire Mangosteen fruit from a fresh fruit vendor on the street in Shanghai for a cheap price, and all it takes is to make a little juice and mix it with other fruit juices to sell in the US for $14.99 a jar. It’s mind blowing the high cost to live a healthy life in the US.

      • If you are willing to buy in bulk and pay the shipping costs, you may be able to save some money. I’ve done that over the Internet before and cut the per pound price to less than half of the local market price. But I buy 25 pounds at a time. And if you find a local mom and pop health food store that sells in bulk, the per pound price is usually lower than the packaged price in the chain super market.

        I think this may be the Internet site I have ordered from more than once.

      • merlin says:

        Thanks for the tip and link. I always remember the old days of visiting my grandparents on the farm. Grandpa always had a jar of peanuts and cashews. I didnt know that there are other things healthier than Planters out there in the world. My former boss (or whatever she could be called) always talked about her father sitting down to watch tv every night while snacking on raw garlic. It was interesting to imagine somebody probably older than my grandfather sitting in a recliner in front of a tv with a jar of garlic instead of nuts. Sorry for that story, but wow how the years do fly.

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