Helen of Marlowe's Blog

Losing the Earth

Posted in "North Carolina", Ecology, Environment, Planet Care, Winston-Salem by helenofmarlowe on August 16, 2018

Have you read the NYTimes Sunday magazine, “Losing Earth” by Nathaniel Rich, Sunday, August 1?
It is very long but worth reading. It begins, “Thirty years ago, we had a chance to save the planet.” But, he says,to save life on this earth now will take a revolution, “But in order to become a revolutionary, you need first to suffer.”
The glaciers, he says, are gone. “We are now looking at the tipping of the first domino piece — glaciers — in a complex system of domino pieces, natural systems on earth. And we are losing options for action. It is too late to save the glaciers.”

Rich’s criticism of us, all of us, is distressing. He says, “We know that if we don’t act to reduce emissions, we risk the collapse of civilization. We also know that, without a gargantuan intervention, whatever happens will be worse for our children, worse yet for their children and even worse still for their children’s children, whose lives, our actions have demonstrated, mean nothing to us. Could it have been any other way?”

That’s harsh, and distressing, but what can we say in the face of the evidence.
A harsh indictment of us, and we as a species will be found guilty.

Perhaps there would still be time if nations stopped carbon emissions, stopped cutting forests, required canopy trees in all large parking lots, required green roofs on new construction, banned factory farming of cows, chickens, and hogs, and banned single-use plastics, but they won’t, and there’s not much of that that we as individuals can control. Not much, but some.

Some of these things we can do without our indifferent government leaders. We can encourage our local councils to support
green roofs and to require trees in parking lots, and to provide city property for community gardens. We can stop eating
factory farmed animals and fish and stop using single-use plastic bags and drinking straws. Take your one carry-out containers
to restaurants for bringing leftovers home.

Friends, this is important. Turning out your lights and taking shorter showers is not going to do it.

Major Moral Issue

Posted in "North Carolina", Environment, NC, Planet Care by helenofmarlowe on July 2, 2015

Wrong on many levels

Our local newspaper has recently published articles about industrial chicken farms around Pilot Mountain. These chicken farms are wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to focus on just one.

The Journal stories focus mainly on the financial cost to the nearby homeowners. Families who have lived there for decades, putting their life savings into their property, now have their homes made almost unlivable by “the unbearable stench of death,” putting them into the bind of being unable to enjoy their land and unable to sell it. Surely our legislators can protect taxpaying citizens from what amounts to a take-over of their property by industrial
chicken farms that pollute the land, air and water and destroy the value of area properties.

Even more important, I think, than the injustice done to these individuals is the damage to our children and grandchildren who will have to deal with the environmental devastation caused by CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). Since animal farms are the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, this is an issue we should all care about. Pollution from chicken farms kills fish and other wildlife and makes people sick.

And this does not even take into account the suffering of these sentient creatures who live their entire lives locked in cages so small they cannot spread their wings.

I believe history will show that the way humans treat other animals is the major moral issue of our times.

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Vegetarian Eating in Winston-Salem

Posted in Ecology, Planet Care by helenofmarlowe on October 30, 2010

Winston-Salem doesn’t have a strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurant, as far a I know, since the closing of The Grilled Asparagus (and not for lack of business!). But there are many good restaurants that offer good vegetarian entres. Here are some that I happen to be familiar with. My favorite places are marked with *. This will mean nothing to you unless you know what sorts of places I prefer. Let me know of places I’ve missed.

(Note:  I’m making no great effort to keep up with changes to menus, but if a change/error comes to my attention, I’ll fix it.)


*Vincinzo’s, 3449 Robinhood Road— my favorite at this family-owned Italian restaurant is the spinach ravioli. My husband loves the eggplant parmigiana. The pasta primavera is also good. Music is quiet, for easy conversation.  Booths are comfortable, staff is attentive.

Providence Restaurant, 5790 University Pkwy, 27105.  A few vegetarian entres on menu, and daily specials.  Very good food, good service. All proceeds, as well as additional donations made in lieu of tips, provide support for the program Second Harvest Food Bank.

Ichiban, in Thruway Shopping Center, has very good vegetables tempura.

*Elizabeth’s, Hanes Mall Blvd. — spaghetti with marinara is wonderful. Egglant parmesan pretty good, and pasta primavera. Music is not too loud.  Comfortable if you can get a booth.

*Golden India — lots of vegetarian entres. My favorites are malai kofta, navratan curry. Quiet Indian background music makes for easy conversation. Attentive staff.

Senor Bravo,  corner of Marshall and Brookstown.     —   Chile rellenos,  chile poblanos,  cheese enchiladas.  Good service.

*Amazing Thai – Reynolda Manor.  Almost all the dishes are offered with either fish or tofu.  I especially like the panan curry.

Bayberry Bistro, 420 High St. (at Hawthorne Inn) – 777-3000   Signature Dish: Fish & Chips

Christopher’s, 712 Brookstown Ave. – 724-1395
Signature Dish: 3 Course Dinner for $45
Main course options include Honey Lavender Glazed Salmon with a Dijon peppercorn sauce

Downtown Thai, 202 W. Fourth St. – 777-1422
Pad Woonsen: Stir fried glass (clear) noodle with mushrooms, carrots, baby corn and scallions in a delicious sauce with tofu.

Foothills Brewing, 638 W. Fourth St. – 777-3348   Signature Dish: Fish & Chips

*West End Cafe, 4th Street —  veggie burgers, portobello sandwich, veggie pita.  Really really good vegetarian reuben sandwich.

Fourth St. Filling Station, 871 W. Fourth St.- 724-7600 —  Asiago & Pesto fettuccini,  Absolut tomato pasta, Portobello sandwich

Hutch & Harris: 424 W. Fourth St. – 721-1336
Salmon filet in a spicy pecan crust w/ horseradish sauce- w/ pasta & veggies;  White bean cake w/ tomato sauce.  Menu changes, but I’ve always found something good without meat.

Honey Pot –  Fourth St.  —  not entirely vegetarian, but lots of delicious — really! — vegetarian dishes to choose from.   I’ve had the falafel  over couscous, and the  Farmer’s Plate, which on the day I was there was bok choy, cooked not too much,  several other vegetables, served with a warm and delicious carrot sauce (mostly pureed carrots).

Mooney’s Mediterranean Cafe: 101 W. Fourth St. – 722-4222
Lots of vegetarian dishes including  Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Falafel, Jeweled Coucous, Tabouli, more

Diamond Back Grill, 751 N. Avalon Road  –Vegetarian black bean burrito, tomato pie, enough sides to put together a vegetable plate.

Mozelle’s Bistro: 878 W. Fourth St. – 703-5400  ’til 10 pm    Pan Seared Scallops, tomato pie, vegetables

Lighthouse Restaurant, Burke Street– Soups, salads, or put together a vegetable plate.  Great crabcakes,  bleu cheese dressing.

*Trido’s, North Point  –Japanese, lots of fish, also rice with vegetables. Or just get the very good salad and miso soup. Nice quiet music, attentive staff

Alex’s Cafe 750 Summit Street. Salads, falafel, hummus, spinach and vegetable pies, veggie pitas

Jason’s Deli, 1005 Hanes Mall Blvd    Vegetarian sandwiches, salads

Breakfast of Course, 723 Trade St. 336-725-5764 — omelets with tofu, tempeh; vegetarian sausage, a vegan burger, or choose items for a sandwich from a fairly long list.

Sweet Potatoes, 529 N. Trade St. – 727-4844  Lunch : 11- 3 Mon – Sat. Dinner: 5:00 – 10:00 Tue – Sat   Pan-fried catfish fillet topped with spicy Creole sauce served over rice

Willows Bistro, 300 S. Liberty Street (336) 293–4601    — Black bean burger, seafood, vegs, pimento cheese, salads

Mellow Mushroom: 314 W. Fourth St. – 245-2820   Offers vegan and vegetarian pizzas and sandwiches.  Pizza dough, which is also used for pretzels, is vegan.

2520 Tavern    2520 L-Clemmons Rd, 27012    vegetables, portabello sandwich, seafood

Roselli  109 E Main St 5:30 to 8:30 pm     East Bend, NC 27018    Straight out Reynolda Road for 20 minutes.  699-4898 vegetables & veg. entrees, tiramisu  Very good reviews

La Botana 25 vegetarian entrees;  Kester Mill Village Shopping Center     1547 Hanes Mall Blvd., 11:a.m to 9:00 pm   336-768-6588

Mizu  Japanese restaurant–  3374 Robinhood Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106,  good food, nice quiet music.  The Mizu salad (greens, avocados, pecans, etc.) is delicious and filing enough to be the entire lunch.

Miami’s Cafe, Cuban, Caribbean Restaurant ·     2225 Old Salisbury rd, 27127      Thur- Sat. 11-8 and Sun 12- 6    (336) 788-9440

Sakura Japanese Restaurant  548 S Stratford Road,  Veg. tempura, vegs.,  (336) 777-8744    can’t find hours on web page

Village Tavern til 11 pm     221 Reynolda Village   vegs, veg pasta, veg sandwiches  336-748-0221

Bonefish Grill  300 S Stratford Road 4 pm – 10 pm   seafood, vegs, desserts  Phone: (336) 724-4518

For thoughts on the virtues of plant-based eating, see my post “Planet Care” and consider that we are destroying our planet as we turn our rain forests into grazing land for cattle.   And consider the unbearable fear and pain endured by the animals that are raised in misery and then slaughtered in terror so that human animals can eat them.


We cannot eliminate suffering from this world, but we should not contribute to it unnecessarily, and factory farming of animals for meat is an unnecessary cruelty.

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To Justify the Ways of God to Man (and to other animals as well)

Posted in Ecology, Planet Care by helenofmarlowe on September 24, 2010

Introduction:  Our grandson sent email to my husband and me with a link to a New York Times OpEd, and the message, “Your thoughts?”

Here is the link that he sent us,


and here is my reply:


Bob and I finally — finally! — got the last of our tax documents off to the accountant late last night,
and so we both printed a copy of this to read.

Bob was reading it when I fell asleep, so he will likely send you comments today too, comments more philosophically sophisticated than mine.  The article is interesting for sure,  and some of his comments about animal cruelty at the hands of humans seem, surprisingly, new to me.   Surprisingly because when I read them they seem obvious.

I do not believe the author is serious in his suggestion that we might try to eliminate carnivores from the planet.
So why does he explore the idea? I guess to explore the outer limits of the observation that

Our own form of predation is of course more refined than those of other meat-eaters,
who must capture their prey and tear it apart as it struggles to escape.  We instead employ
professionals to breed our prey in captivity and prepare their bodies for us behind a veil of
propriety, so that our sensibilities are spared the recognition that we too are predators…

I think he cannot be serious, not because it would be “playing God” (his second response to that
accusation is good enough for me) but because it simply makes no practical sense.  (I can speak more to
that upon request but my guess is that you agree.)

Or maybe he explores the idea of eliminating carnivorous species as a way of mocking the arguments that I do take seriously,
The main one (to me) being

The reality behind the veil is, however, far worse than that in the natural world.  Our factory
farms, which supply most of the meat and eggs consumed in developed societies, inflict a lifetime
of misery and torment on our prey, in contrast to the relatively brief agonies endured by the victims
of predators in the wild.  From the moral perspective, there is nothing that can plausibly be said in
defense of this practice.

And this, for me, is the crux of the matter.  We cannot eliminate suffering from the world, but we should not contribute to it unnecessarily.   And factory farming is unnecessary.  (I would go further and say eating animals is unnecessary, but that argument is not necessary for this particular point and might lead us toward than infamous tangent.)

Your thoughts?


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Planet Care

Posted in Ecology, global warming, Planet Care by helenofmarlowe on January 24, 2009

Mike Tidwells’s article in the January-February edition of Audubon magazine brings to our attention a serious problem that gets far too little media coverage: the environmental damage caused by a meat-centered diet. For the sake of our children, our grandchildren, of children the world over and of all the world’s living species, moderation of American meat-eating extravagance is needed.

The scientists have told us, but few of us have heard: If you are a beef-eater, switching to a vegetarian diet will do more good for the environment than changing your SUV to a hybrid car.  And raising pigs for human consumption causes water pollution, soil erosion, and wasterful water and land use.

In addition to compassion for animals and concern for human health, the preservation of our natural environment requires serious modification of our eating habits. We are destroying trees that remove air pollution and lower air temperature, and turning our rainforests into grazing pasture for cattle.

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