If deeds done in the past life become karma in the current life as a means for balance, then I do not want to know the being I was and shit won’t be right until the next life. Blah.
I have observed that many Africans, specifically West Africans, share this idea that there is a checklist of things one must do in order to be a “real African.” Some things on that list may include eating jollof, azonto-ing and having read Things Fall Apart. I most recently found out that eating meat is also on that list. Being that I am a vegetarian, my African pass as I jokingly say, went into questioning when I revealed this to many of my African associates.
“You are a vegetarian and you are African?” I often hear. “How can you be a vegetarian and an African? That is unnatural.”
My decision to become a vegetarian is a part of my African identity and not separate although many have argued that “I am not a real African because real Africans eat meat.” My decision to become a vegetarian had nothing to do with animals or the environment. It really had nothing to do with health either, as I’ve always been conscious of the food I eat even when they included meat. I became a vegetarian because of my views on immigration reform, the meatpacking industry and how it directly relates to Africans. About 3% of all undocumented immigrants in the United States are from Africa. Almost a quarter of the workers who butcher and process meat, poultry and fish are undocumented. We always hear the stories of those Africans who immigrated to the United States and worked their way to the “American dream” but what about the others whose voice we never hear?
About 1.1 billion years from now, the sun will begin to change. As the hydrogen fuel in its core is used up, the burning will spread outward toward the surface. This will make the sun grow brighter. This increased radiation will have a devastating effect on our planet. Here’s what that might look like.
The mean surface temperature of the earth will rise from about 68°F to 167°F. The earth’s oceans will evaporate. The planet will become a stark, lifeless desert.
Finally, at the age of almost 1.1 billion years, the sun will run out of hydrogen almost entirely. When the sun uses hydrogen to create energy, it changes it to helium. After all these years, the core of the sun will be filled with left-over helium. This helium will become unstable as it begins to collapse under its own weight. The core of the sun will become even denser and hotter. As this happens, the sun will swell one-and-a-half times its normal size and grow more than twice as bright as it is now.
Over the next 700 million years, it won’t grow any brighter . But it will continue to grow larger. It will swell to more than twice its present size. As it does so, it will cool down a little. From the parched surface of the earth, the sun will look like an enormous orange ball hanging in the misty sky.
At the age of about 1.2 billion years the sun will blow off more than a quarter of the mass of its outer surface. With a less massive sun to attract them, the planets’ orbits will change. Venus will become as distant as the earth is now, and the earth will move even farther away.
Eventually, the ever-swelling sun will become a red giant. It will become 166 times larger than the sun we knew. This is almost as large as the orbit of the earth today. The planets Mercury and Venus will be devoured in the flames of the giant star. The mountains of the earth will melt and flow like red-hot molasses into vast, flat seas of lava. A bloated red sun will fill more than half the sky.
While this spells the death of the inner planets, it will bring new life to the more distant worlds.