The Art of Peace

The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba is a book of short philosophical sayings about how to turn conflict into victory, often for both parties. The author is the founder of Aikido, one of the martial arts of Japan. The general principle of the book is that you can achieve victory through non-violent means.

The book begins: “The art of peace begins with you.” I bought this book some years ago and read it sometimes before going to bed. I agree with the general message of the book that we should be in tune with nature and our surroundings, and that we should try to end conflict without resorting to bloodshed.

The Art of Peace is translated into English by John Stevens, a Zen scholar and Aikido instructor. It is a small pocket edition published by Shambhala.

While the sayings in this small book are ostensibly about the martial arts, they are also very applicable to everyday situations where conflict may arise. Reading this book brings a feeling of peace, and many of the points the author makes seem like he is talking about situations at work or in the family instead of on the field of combat. I have read this book half a dozen times and it has helped me be more collected in my dealings with people.

Skinny Bastard

Skinny Bastard is a book about how to lose weight and get into better shape by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It is also a lot of vegan propaganda about how bad meat dairy and eggs are for you and the animals. I actually read this book twice. The authors are fairly rude and crude, but this makes the book a quick read and carries their message in a memorable fashion.

For a while there this book caused me to adopt a vegan diet. I lost a bit of weight but couldn’t stick to this manner of eating. Yes, farm animals have a rough life, but it is the price they pay for having any life at all. A lot of people have a rough life. The fact is that people have been eating animal foods from before homo sapiens even existed, in other words, throughout all the history of human life. Hunting is what caused humanity to develop tool technology. Of course it meant the extinction of some species, but things are different now. For the most part we breed the animals we eat.

Skinny Bastard is the book for men these authors wrote after releasing their book for women, Skinny Bitch. I am not entirely sure what kind of men these women had in mind as their reader when they wrote this, but it was probably some drunk-ass college boy who lives on fast food and cheap beer. Seriously, most men I know are more intelligent than to succumb to some emotional, one-sided pitch for the animals and to be convinced that they should give up the foods that have made humanity strong. Overall I liked Skinny Bastard, but the message it conveys is lost on me. If you are looking for some easy reading vegan propaganda, give Skinny Bastard a read.