November 28, 2011
How Does Our Mental Health Affect our Attitudes Towards Veganism?
I’ve already touched on the subject of whether veganism promotes mental health. I think it does. But I wanted to examine the topic from the other angle: how does mental health relate to BECOMING vegan?
I would define good mental health as stability – one neither falls into depressions, or loses one’s temper, but also has the ability to feel their feelings to the extent they want to. Mental health is resilience – an ability to look at situations straight on, bounce back from failures, and learn how to achieve emotional balance. But mental health goes beyond emotional health, to intellectual health – the ability to allow new ideas to enter the mind and jostle our pre-conceived notions as we strive to be completely honest with ourselves.
I would argue that poor mental health makes it much more difficult for people to become vegan. Follow this train of thought:
My life sucks.
I am not connected to people.
My relationships can’t fulfill me.
All I have are my creature comforts.
My creature comforts are what I know.
I know what I like.
I don’t want to not like these things anymore or I would have nothing.
Please stop trying to take away these creature comforts – they are all I have.
Life is good.
My life is continually expanding and progressing.
I have dynamic connections with people.
I’m learning and growing with others in my life.
I have so much abundance and so many thing I love to do.
My creature comforts are just bonuses.
I know what I like so far, but since I’m learning and growing these things may develop over time, too.
I have so much to give. I want to share myself in the most positive ways possible.
I want everyone to experience the joy I feel.
Please show me how I can live to my maximum ability. I am open to change.
When I was depressed, I had given up on people. No one could understand my pain and so I couldn’t be myself around anyone. All I had were the small things. Milk chocolate, ice cream, etc. If I had been able to maintain a healthy connection to others and to my creativity, those things would have stayed small things and not taken on more weight to relieve me of my sadness. When you truly have a life, your habits fade away as details that can be changed.
When you don’t know your inner power, you don’t know the extent to which you can exert it. You believe that people and objects have power over you. You might go back to a dysfunctional ex over and over again. You might refer to meat as ‘my meat’, indicating an inseparable intimate relationship with the meat you’ve been eating – it’s yours, but it also ‘has you’.
Cravings are what your mind thinks of to soothe it based on neural pathways that you have created. If you think over and over again: sad>milk chocolate, then your brain will reach for the milk chocolate unless you reset the habit. As for chocolate itself, we’re SOL, it’s imprinted in our brain coding.
But just as people in Japan eat things that North Americans may find disgusting (eg. soft boiled fetal duck), we often love what we know and when we understand that we have the power to transcend tastes we were trained to have, then we are free to make ethical choices.
The BodyMind Connection
When our minds are sound, we want the best for our bodies because we see them as one. When in our minds we want to cause no harm, our bodies will carry out this desire and will refuse to be nourished by violence. Clarity of mind leaves no room for inaccuracies in our ethical choices.
I know many spiritual people who radiate positive energy and who devote themselves to living purely, but when it comes to their diets they throw up their hands as victims of a system where everything is made by slaves anyway.
We can’t always control who is indirectly harmed by our purchases, but we can control purchases in which people and animals are directly harmed.
Animal Products as an Addiction
Most of my formerly craved animal products are now pretty gross to me: red meat – haven’t touched it since I was a teenager and I imagine it would be hard to chew and hard to digest. Chicken? All I think of is biting down on a vein in a McNugget, which happened to me several times during my McCruel youth. Milk – sexist animal secretions, eggs – don’t necessarily have to be ‘cruel’ (say for instance if you rescued a chicken from a hatchery) but they can be pretty gross in a multitude of ways.
However some products in which milk is only an ingredient can be hard to forget about. There’s something about a Snickers bar that gives me a brain rush. This could be so easily solved in vegan chocoate bars were easier to get our hands on, like at Nice Shoes.
An addiction is a perceived dependence of something outside our ourselves to achieve a positive inner state. Once we realize how to get the same effect from within, the pattern usually ceases. I used to do ecstasy, acid, coke, smoke weed, drink, etc. but I feel so good on a day to day basis now that I don’t have the need to. I’m not judging drugs at all as they can be useful tools, but for me, I have outgrown them.
It is not the animal products in themselves that give us the feelings of pleasure or satisfaction, it is ourselves. So as we gain self-awareness, and open our minds to revising all that we’ve been told about food pyramids and food chains, our mental and physical health inevitably become stronger.
Whether you choose to go vegan to get happy, or get happy to help yourself go vegan doesn’t really matter.
Many people will argue that they have wonderful lives and consider themselves happy carnivores. I know many smiley, happy, rather amazing people who aren’t bothered about their animal-based diets. But, when you reveal to them the behind-the-scenes of their diets they are not so happy to hear it. They become excusatarians – defensive and unwilling to learn more. The information you’re sharing doesn’t fit with their happy lives, so they reject it.
True happiness can’ t be tipped so easily. I think someone strong and confident would be concerned that their happiness was coming at the expense of others. And they would want to iron out this area of friction so they could get back to enjoying whatever happiness they could.
When it comes to those who support animal agriculture – ignorance is bliss, but true bliss – bliss that can not be exposed as causing suffering – comes only from learning of the damage being done and then choosing otherwise.
November 22, 2011
The Aliens are Coming
And going. They’ve been around for years.
Not the really bad Katy Perry song with original ultra-douche, Kanye, rapping about alien probes.
Intelligent life beyond this planet.
As a down-to-Earth person (not the greatest attribute when you consider it), I have been taught that aliens are where rational people draw the line. The line between the crazy and the sane. But what are UFOs but unidentified flying objects? And what is an alien but a life form from another planet?
The new movie Thrive, discusses a perpetual motion machine called a torus, which is basically a self-sustaining vortex of energy. The film suggests that this model of energy is present and functioning in civilizations beyond Earth, and that clues throughout Earth’s history have offered evidence of this 64 node Gollum-coveted ring of fire.
A friend also recently showed me The Disclosure Project, which features 400 testimonies of former officials who have had encounters with UFOs or related, formally gathering to approach congress about the de-weaponization of space (because you know humans like to say hi by setting things on fire). Some of these witnesses discuss watching nuclear weapons become dismantled by hovering UFOs and report seeing UFO crashes with passengers inside (some humanoid, others humanoid but taller).
Perspective 1: Hallucinating attention-seeking yokels.
Perspective 2: Only 1 of the 10 000 + sightings in question needs to be real to demonstrate that intelligent life beyond this planet has beat us to making contact.
How egocentric would we have to be to assume that if alien contact is made we will be the ones to make it?
The Disclosure Project explains that the suppression of numerous eyewitness accounts of UFO sightings are due to the military industrial complex—that sustaining the current trillion dollar systems of energy in place is why the public is not made privy to this information.
So let’s assume that other life forms have been in contact with Earthlings. If that’s the case, then it’s probably happened more than once in our 4.54 billion years. And if it’s happened more than once, then, I don’t mean to creep you out, but is it so far fetched that aliens are watching us right now?
And if this torus technology that potentially exists is more non-physical than physical, then couldn’t life from other planets also be more non-physical than physical? What are the barriers between human and alien thought? Esther and Jerry Hicks’ translation of ‘Abraham’ is one such example. A plane of thought comprised of non-physical beings who communicate to humans. I mean… where ARE all these ideas coming from?
Our mental barriers could be the main thing blocking us from communication with extra terrestrial life forms. Is the future of our planet really based on the simple “if you build it they will come” paradigm? Wouldn’t that be laughably cliche?
Is there a collective human yearning to make contact with life from other planets, just like how a lonely individual yearns for company? Then why aren’t we attempting to better connect with the other life forms we have on this planet now?
November 13, 2011
Too Pre-Occupied to Occupy?
The Resistance to the Resistance
Blaming the 1% for the vast disparity of wealth distribution is like blaming Hitler for the Nazi regime: if millions hadn’t backed his views he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.
The 1% are comfortable with their wealth and feel they have earned at least most of it, through hard work, or cunning smarts, or being a trophy wife.
What we need to examine now are those among us who, even when the cage doors have been flung open, choose to stay in their cages.
Why are those of us in the most desperate economic situations siding against the Occupy movement?
In an organic nutshell, they are afraid and confused. So let’s break down what anarchy is and isn’t:
1) Anarchy is chaos
Many picture society after anarchy as somewhat like Biff’s futuristic gun-toting casino world in Back the Future II. No laws, everyone is a vigilante, you could get shot at any time.
Anarchism is not about everyone running wild and nothing getting done. It is about decentralizing the power and distributing it equally among the people so that we are living the lives we choose, not the lives others tells us we must just to survive.
There are still systems.
There are still responsibilities.
There are still manners.
We will always be units of a collective and there will always be compromises to make. The question is what type of collective that will be.
2) Anarchy is communism
Many people, including myself, fear that an anarchic takeover would include a loss of personal rights and freedoms for the greater good.
But how much power do you have now over your country’s decisions? The only power you have is to vote for someone else to represent you, so that you can perpetually cross your fingers that this person might maybe have some shred of influence over a government that doesn’t really have power anyway because it’s funded by private institutions.
Once these private institutions (big banks) are taken down, then the discussion can begin anew.
There is no need to fear sharing if there is always enough to go around.
There is no need to fear equality in decision making if we are an intelligent nation.
There is no need to fear a loss of individuality if we collectively value individuality.
3) Anarchy is gonna mess up my life
Many people enjoy their lives. Good news! We look at our loved ones and favourite sports and activities and shows and music and clothes and art and places and homes and pets, etc. and we think: calm down, shit disturbers – life is not so bad. “Sure, the government may be plummeting towards collapse, but I have a lot in my life to be appreciative of – can’t I just focus on that?”
Yes. Keep doing that.
But also pay attention to this movement and what role it is calling you to play.
You can still live your lives as this transformation takes place. Keep playing the violin as the Titanic goes down. But don’t deny that shit IS going down. The more people pay attention to the Occupy movement NOW, the faster all the drama will be over.
If you are above the Occupy movement, it’s precisely your attention that Occupy is trying to capture.
*Now – imagine all those small pleasures possible within a world that is not in debt to itself with 1/6 of its inhabitants starving to death and the rest of them eating away at the Earth’s resources like a cancer. You can live your lives on or off of a sinking ship: which do you choose?
4) Anarchy is dangerous
Many have seen the black block and mistaken them for ninjas, or seen ‘A’s spraypainted onto the places they get their favourite mocha frappuccinos, and felt that this behaviour is too extreme for them to relate to. Fair enough. We have been taught that vandalism is a crime and it took a while for me to understand that destruction of property is not violence (unless it hurts someone in the process).
But while some choose these methods to relay their concerns, others practice other types of resistance. Anything from standing their ground in the face of police presence to documenting the movement, or donating to it.
You don’t have to stand beside those whose tactics you don’t agree with to put forth the same message: the corporate oppression of our governments needs to end.
Show dissent in a way that feels comfortable to you, but do not use the extreme methods of others as an excuse not to act.
5) Anarchy doesn’t solve anything
My grandmother recently told me that Calgary has ‘squatters’ now. When I explained the economic situation that inspired their presence, her reaction was: that’s not the way to solve things, you should just go through government. This is a popular sentiment among those who pride themselves on being law-abiding citizens.
When has standing in the street ever solved anything? Well there was that small historic moment when women got the vote. And pretty much every other radical social change in the history of the planet.
The laws and law enforcement currently in place are there to protect decisions that have already been made by the faulty government, so it makes no sense to go through them to cause economic and social change. Makes more sense to go around them.
To those who look down on the Occupy protesters who take to the streets as wasting their time, acknowledge that at the very least we are talking about their presence.
6) Anarchy is for the young
Many people look at those participating in the Occupy movement and feel that it’s the flower children of the 70s revisited, kids going through their rebellious phase before they realize that it’s better to simmer down and make the best of the ‘real world’.
Look more closely at those involved. It is not just the young (or the mentally ill and drug addicted – although I don’t see why their opinions are not just as valid, lucid or not), it is people from all walks of life – the educated, the uneducated, those who have been to war and those who haven’t. Young/old, male/female/other, gay/straight, all races.
The only ones missing are the rich. And they are participating, too, from a distance.
They are the audience.
November 6, 2011
Are Vegans the Human 2.0?
There is much ado about vegans thinking they’re better than everyone else due to the astute attention they pay to food systems and the environment. But are vegans really ‘better’ than everyone else? (As in the ‘other’ 99%— not the hardworking, low-balled taxpayers, but the 99% of the population who eats animals?)
Let’s take a look at evolution. Evolution is the concept of more desirable traits gradually being carried on as useless traits are left to disappear. Its essence lies in change. Vegans change themselves by exchanging dominant animal-based dietary patterns for new plant-based ones. But is this a more desirable trait in terms of survival? Will vegans eventually replace meateaters?
If you research the environmental impact of a vegan diet versus an animal-based diet – veganism makes environmental sense. If the world made a collective change to a vegan diet, humans would have less environmental impact and be able to feed more of ourselves (not even touching on the subject of how animals are treated).
Health-wise, Forks Over Knives effectively shows how most diseases can be linked to an animal-based diet. Vegans live longer. It’s documented in The China Study.
Will the human race naturally evolve into a plant-based diet when resources start running out, land is scarce, and we are collectively suffering from diseases of over-consumption? Sure, it’s possible. May take a while, though. The current economic system is designed to perpetuate itself, not to constantly update to seek new, more desirable ways to implicate human participation and lessen environmental waste. In other words: the system exists to sustain your suffering – it does not update itself unless it is forced to.
Now, let’s take a look at technology. Technology exists to make things easier. To automate systems to free up time so that we are able to spend it doing things we actually want to do. Although sometimes, it works backwards, making us a slave to it.
Good technology simplifies. If you have a MacBook Pro or similar, you may like it because its battery lasts longer and it’s generally more efficient than the sloppy, choppy PC.
So… so far we’ve figured out that:
- Vegan require less resources to live. (*see above)
- Vegans require (collectively) less health care as they avoid diseases linked to cholesterol and excess animal proteins.
So therefore vegans function on less and need less maintenance, but do they also function better? What is better anyway?
Let’s recklessly define BETTER as:
- More productive
- More conscious (of ourselves, the human race, and the planet)
Well, I can tell you from personal experience that adjusting my diet to not including suffering animals feels amazing. It keeps me pretty karmically clear. Sure, I have small obstalces here and there to face, but in the big picture, I’m not the one requesting these huge sick systems of human and animal exploitation into existence and that feels GOOD. This clears up room for me to apply that positive self-esteem to daily challenges. What guilt are animal consumers stifling and projecting onto others?
What about other vegan people I know? Honestly, opening your eyes to the bright truth can sting, so a lot of vegan people I know have challenging lives that involve a lot of direct action and therefore conflict, but I can also tell you that ignoring these oppressive sick systems would be a lot more difficult than speaking out and fighting back.
Are vegans more productive? Everyone defines productivity differently. At times I think vegan people get caught up in defining themselves by their diets or their causes and forget that they have other flavors of creativity – that they are more than just their ethics, but generally, vegan people are active. They don’t lie at home and hide (well, sometimes we all do), they don’t bite their tongues much, and while they may be carefully productive (trying not to cause harm in the process) they are certainly as productive as ‘normal’ people. I personally have more physical and mental energy on plant-based energy.
More conscious… ? Well this one’s simple. One diet reflects a desire to live as non-violently as possible, the other diet reflects violence (that strives to dissociate itself from its violent nature). I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I think we can all agree that if those with animal product based diets could continue to eat how they’re eating and not harm any animals in the process – they would.
Ideally none of us really want to cause pain, suffering, mutilation, isolation, confinement, rape, bloodshed, and death. One diet allows us to live in line with these values, the other doesn’t.
So in conclusion, are the 1% of the population that consists of vegans ‘better’ that their animal product consuming counterparts?
Is it elitist to think that your diet is better than everyone else’s? Not if your main intention is trying to reduce harm to the most minimal level possible. Vegans don’t think they’re better than anyone else – they know that they’re not, that’s why they’re vegan.
But vegans don’t want to be the 1%. They want to be the 100%!
Great, I’ll see you in the comments section.
October 17, 2011
Another Weak Attempt from Esther Hicks
at Justifying Animal Suffering
In watching an animal themed ‘Abraham’ video on You Tube the other day by Esther Hicks, I was once again disappointed to hear Esther Hicks referring to animals as ‘beasts’ and trying to strip them of their likeness to humans.
She told a story of a hen whom she named Henny Penny and explained how she was so sweet and loving, then a wonderful mother to her chicks, and then when the chicks grew up, she pecked each one on the head and made them make their own way.
Esther Hick’s point was to show that animals are really not like humans, suggesting that a human mother would never do this to her child, and therefore when we see animals as having human qualities, we are simply imposing our own humanity onto them.
I object to this faulty logic in two main points.
1) Humans ARE like Animals
I can tell you that when I turned 18, it went from being ‘our’ family home to ‘my parents’ home, followed by a barrage of ‘what are you going to do with your life’, ‘move out’, ‘get a job or pay us rent’, etc. This post is not to judge my parents, although there are harsh and gentle ways of helping your kids through this transition. I could also point out that a few of my friends whose parents over-supported their kids through this transitional period ended up with kids who had drug and alcohol problems, depression, or self-esteem problems.
My point is: on some level, it’s normal for parents to ‘peck their young on the head’ to push them out the door. The more successful the parents are in doing this right, the better the relationship with their kids will be afterwards, but in some way, all parents (whether chicken or human) must go there.
2) Animals ARE like Humans
“When they are separated from their families, friends, or human companions, cows grieve over the loss. Researchers report that cows become visibly distressed after even a brief separation from a loved one. Cows are especially dedicated to their young and the bond formed between a mother and her calf remains long after the baby has grown to adulthood. Separation causes them tremendous stress and agitation. If mother and calf are separated by a fence, the mother will wait for her calf, even through harsh conditions like intense heat or cold weather, hunger and thirst. Cows have even been known to break fences and walk miles to be reunited with calves that were sold at auction. One can imagine the trauma a dairy cow must feel when her calf is taken from her shortly after birth. It’s well known to farmers but rarely discussed that mother cows continue to frantically call and search for their babies for days after the calves have been sold off to veal farms.
Not surprisingly, studies have found that cows recognize and respond to kind treatment from humans. Edmund Pajor of Purdue University said that cows will actually produce significantly more milk when they are spoken to gently than they do when shouted at and handled roughly. According to Purdue’s findings, it doesn’t take much for the cows to feel badly – they reacted poorly to even a simple slap on the rump meant to keep them moving. Cows don’t forget being hurt and seem to hold grudges not only against other cows, but also against people who have hurt them or their family members.”
Esther Hicks contiually tries to make the point that even if every human were to go veg, animals would still eat animals (forgetting that many animals don’t eat other animals). But why does this matter? She says that animals do not have the ability to reason like humans, implying that there is no point in humans bothering to use reason in the way we interact with animals. But Esther always lectures to not worry about what others are doing, that the only thing that matters is if YOU feel good. So who cares what the animals do? It’s about what we do, as a collective human race, and as individuals.
Straight up: Esther Hicks’ handicap in addressing any and all compassionate people who come to her with questions about animals is in my opinion based on her inability to consider giving up meat and other animal products. She reasons that animals don’t feel pain in the way that humans do, and purports that that this knowledge is coming to her from Abraham.
I would challenge Esther Hicks to examine – then why does it make you FEEL uncomfortable to watch animals being slaughtered? Isn’t it all about how you FEEL? Why do you, Esther, eat other people’s chickens and not your own? (as she admitted in another lecture). And how can you, Esther, justify that animal agriculture is creating widespread famine and environmental destruction? Would these not be dips in the emotional guidance scale that inspire us to set forth rockets of desire that in turn create a better reality? Why do you never remind people of the law of attraction when it comes to animals, Esther? You try to make people feel helpless on this topic. Just accept it, you instruct. But all the rest, you can change on a vibrational level. All except this.
Sorry, Esther. You’re busted.
August 30, 2011
Why Animal Rights Activists are “Crazier than the Rest”
Someone recently remarked to me something I’ve heard before, along the lines of: “why are animal rights activists so (effin) crazy? You know your crazy is giving the movement a bad name”.
Allow me to explain.
An 8 Point Guide to Understanding Crazy Animal Rights Activists
1) The voice of the voiceless
What would one say who was made to endure a lifetime of confinement in filthy, crowded living conditions, unable to even turn around, separated from their peers and offspring, parts of their body hacked off with no painkillers, humiliated by being hung upside down, or shaved, or castrated, pumped full of drugs just to keep them alive, sick and dying from lack of care, abused by numb, begrudging workers, treated as products from birth until death, raped, anally and vaginally electrocuted, and then killed sloppily and unceremoniously?
What would these voices say?
They would be upset. They would be angry. They would be sad. They would feel disrespected. Betrayed. Lonely. And hysterical. How is it that we are made to face such atrocities? They would ask.
This voice would demand answers and change.
This is what the collective animal rights voice calls for.
2) Until humanity ceases to nourish itself from violence, violence will prevail
Some people find it ‘crazy’ that animal rights activists place animals ‘over’ people. But animal rights activists see the widespread, systematic animal abuse in our world as the root of all other problems.
The Tolstoy quote goes: “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.”
Animal rights activists do not place animals above people, they see them as equal (but different) to people in that they, too, have a right to live.
3) What is violence?
99.99% of animal rights activists are pacifists. We are so upset to see violence towards animals because we are disturbed by violence in general. Violence meaning physical and emotional harm and abuse to others. Violence does not mean: yelling and breaking stuff. Violence means gore. Expressing anger and sadness is not violence.
While animal rights activists may pay you a home visit to protest you testing a make up line on baby monkeys, we are not going to show up and torture you or murder you – that is exactly what we’re protesting against. And for those who think home demos are acts of intimidation, compare in contrast the animals in labs who do not have homes, who are kept in cages their entire lives in isolation, only to be taken out to have painful experiments performed on them. They don’t get to go home.
4) No measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society…
Animals rights activists usually adopt a vegan diet since it doesn’t make much sense to fight for some sentient beings and torture others. There is some discrepancy as to what veganism is among activists, which is okay, as most of us are on the same page about most things. But from a vegan standpoint, ARAs find themselves among a very small portion of the population, making us, for lack of better terms… freaks. We are used to being the odd ones out.
If we cared about what people thought of our unwillingness to consume products derived from suffering animals, we would throw in the towel. But clearly, we like it over here, and we are willing to give up being normal for inner well-being. So standing on street corners and being vocal are really just a few more steps in a direction we’re already confident in.
5) They’re not ‘beliefs’, they’re understandings
Nothing annoys me more than when people start talking about ‘my beliefs’. If you watch the footage, if you read the statistics, if you go to the factories and smell the putrid, rotting smell of death, you will know that factory farming is not a concept one needs to believe in for it to be true.
Animal rights is not something certain people engage in to be different; it is not something that defines us (just like some people like the colour blue, or fencing, or Buddhism, or clogs) – it is about paying attention to a mass component of the state of the world.
“It takes all kinds”, is a cop out used to explain that well, some people like to be vegetarian and others just like meat—we’re all different. No. While it takes all kinds, we don’t need to all be different in this sense. Just like we don’t need for there to be some murderers, some child molesters, some serial killers, and some normal people to provide a lovely rainbow of variety within society. We can all eat a plant-based diet and celebrate our millions of other differences. Meat is not part of anyone’s identity. Although some rednecks have no other personality traits, so they make websites and TLC shows about bacon fetishes and the extreme barbecuing of flesh.
6) You think we’re crazy?
While animal rights activists stand outside with signs or megaphones, do crazy shit, or write controversial pieces, those who consume animal products willingly are actually signing the slip for horrific animal abuse to occur.
What’s more crazy? Standing on the street naked, or ripping the skin off an animal while it’s still alive? (Common practice in the fur industry)
What’s more crazy? Screaming at the top of one’s lungs in public, or hanging a cow upside down and slicing it open so its innards spill out while it’s still conscious?
What’s more crazy? Talking about the horrors of factory farming at Thanksgiving turkey dinner, or sticking your arm up a cow to impregnate it against its will and then putting its baby inside a dark box for the entirety of its life?
If you wear fur, if you eat meat, if you drink dairy – you are the reason why these acts of cruelty are happening. You are paying for these industries to exist. They exist only because of you.
7) The truth is persistent
When you feel good, you want to share it with others. Although there is a lot of misery expressed by animal rights activists, it is not our personal misery – it is misery that we are strong enough to know about and not take on ourselves.
The only reason that we are strong enough to persevere in looking at these images and teaching others about what goes on behind closed doors is because we are doing it from a place of confidence and strength. We feel good in our path. We feel good in our diets. We are not being vocal about animal suffering to ‘recruit you to our side’ like missionaries; we could care less about your inner beliefs. We just want you to know what’s actually going on. Someone else told us, and we, at our own pace, changed. We are so glad they told us.
Thank goodness a plant-based diet is a karmic superfuel or we wouldn’t have the energy to keep doing this.
8) A bad name
Okay, part of the purpose of the animal rights movement is to educate and bring people together to form new, conscious communities. Excellent. The other part of the movement is to simply: stop the killing. By any means necessary (except violence).
So while it’s great to see a plethora of tactics being used, from PETA’s porn site to vegan potlucks and bake sales and leafletting at high schools, the other part of the movement is just as necessary. Making it known that animal abuse is politically incorrect. Setting free confined animals. Hitting these business where it hurts: the profits. These means of direct action have nothing to do with winning the support of the general public.
It’s a choice of getting in where you fit in. Joe Backwoods might not have the best people skills, but he may have a crowbar and some spraypaint to do some serious liberation for the ALF.
August 23, 2011
August 18, 2011
Thou Shalt Not Procreate
There is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) rule that goes with the vegan thing. And you know how I feel about rules. One lifestyle choice that many vegans seem to follow that doesn’t have anything directly to do with animals is the choice not to procreate.
Many of my vegan friends have waived their human right to have children in a belief that the world is already taxed by human overpopulation. I completely see where they’re coming from, I support their decisions, but for myself I do not believe that having no children will solve the problem of human population.
To me, moving away from the monetary system to equally distribute knowledge and wealth, allowing more advanced technology to monitor our resources, and of course, a planetary movement towards a vegan diet will be the larger solutions in solving this little problem of humans as Earth’s cancer.
I’m completely open in telling other vegans that I want to have a biological child (we’ll start with one…) And I have been judged for it with comments such as:
“Well I’m not vain enough that I need another of me running around in the world.”
“You don’t care? You don’t CARE? That’s what meateaters say.”
I have no problem defending my decision, since it wasn’t a decision – it has been a part of me since I can remember. I have been learning how I’ll raise this child since I was a child. And I’m not going to let anyone’s freak fertility accidents, crazy Bible thumping super families (how many now and counting?), or even my own vegan community deter me from my future family.
Now, my vegan friends have obviously suggested: why not adopt? Adopt someone else’s child? Maybe. Eventually. But what I really want is to go through the whole experience myself. I want the unmatchable bond. It is the bond that we fight for when we advocate for cows – we cherish the mother/child relationship, we grieve when we see the mother being separated from her child. And not only that, but the experience of creating a life out of two people’s love is a beautiful concept that feels too good to be wrong. Is this an ideal? Yes. But a very tangible ideal that many get to experience.
For me, having a biologocial child is part of the FULL life experience. It is not this way for everyone. But the argument that: too many people have already had this FULL life experience and it is ruining the planet does not deter me from living my life and offering the life experience I enjoy to a new human.
If I were made to sacrifice this experience, I would honestly give up in life. I would not have the drive to create this new world we all want to live in. I would not be myself.
I could say that having a child is my way of passing on a new conscious being into world. Sure, whatever. That’s not why I want to do it. My child could end up a meateater, for all I know. (Fingers crossed not…)
Now, who wants to knock me up?
…in 5 years….maybe 10. Did I mention I have other big dreams, too? Well, vegans live longer, so I have lots of time.
August 14, 2011
Do Vegans Compete for Sainthood?
I have always found the animal rights community to be an extremely caring group of people where everyone is treated as equals. Sure, there are conflicts surrounding tactics, but even the activists who personally dislike one another can still work together for the movement. Just as we believe that animals can and should be treated equally to humans (though in some cases, as required, differently), the animal rights community has been a place where all hierarchies are put aside as we work to manifest a non-violent world.
Until the other day. I’m new to this whole Facebook thing, so I’m not sure about proper etiquette for ‘friend’ing people (although I have a personal policy to never unfriend anyone (unless they are trying to kill me, or sue me, or equivalent). And so carefully treading, I added Colleen Patrick Goudreau with a message passing on my previously mentioned compliment about her plenary speech. My basis for adding Colleen was that she has almost 5000 friends, and was also friends with a few of my friends. Clearly a popular lady sure to have some interesting discussions on her wall.
I received an almost immediate reply from a woman managing her account who called herself Colleen’s “Fan Manager”, saying something along the lines of: thanks for the compliment but what makes you think Colleen has time to receive it? This is a PERSONAL account. If you want to praise her, go to the fan page. She also mentioned that Colleen has been trying to cut down on her friends (!?) and turn them into fans, so any further friends were out of the question. Seriously? I was having images of the Queen of Narnia turning her subjects into statues.
The first thing that came to mind was: hmm, a compliment does not a fan make. I’m nobody’s fan; it’s not my style. So I replied that I prefer to communicate with people as equals.
Now. I have nothing against Colleen – quite the opposite. I could never bring myself to hate any animal rights activist. But this experience caused me to question: is animal rights a popularity contest? Is it ever okay to use our success in the movement as a way to promote ourselves for personal gain? Before I continue, I’d like to state (again) that this is not a personal rant against Colleen. That would be ridiculous; I mean how awesome is it that she reaches so many people? It is a post meant to explore our motivations (and possible distractions) as individuals within the animal rights movement.
So – is an animal rights activist higher status because she’s published and on TV? Or do the animal rights activists in masks setting free caged animals have just as much of an impact on the movement? I believe that it is extremely important to maintain a level of equality within the movement or we risk becoming ourselves exactly what we are trying save the animals from being: products.
If we are writing books, and speaking publicly, and creating brands for ourselves with any intention in mind other than helping the animals, then aren’t we just emulating the icky media-saturated world that already exists where people follow blindly the lead of those who pretend to know and be more?
This is exactly why I do not only advocate for change in animal rights, but for the end of all oppressive systems (ie. Veganarchy).
I’ve had the chance to meet Will Potter and Nathan Runkle, other busy, successful “famous” activists. They didn’t emit the same “untouchable” vibe, and that affirmed for me my lifelong place in this movement. Joanne Chang, Glenn Gaetz, and Brian Vincent are some of Vancouver’s most known animal rights activists and are all media figures… and yet they are totally accessible. approachable. “touchable” (hey now, not in that way). But my experience with Colleen’s “fan manager”? (Again, really?) sort of reminded me of elementary school. “Oh, sorry, I already told Steph, Lexy, and Megan they could eat lunch with me… there’s not really enough room for any more people, ie. you.” (Hey – we all have to learn that we’re not followers somehow).
Many vegans hold themselves above “mainstream” people as being more intelligent and more evolved (don’t lie). And this holier than thou attitude can also translate amongst our own community. Let’s not measure our successes. Let’s not develop complexes about who we think we are. Let’s remember that in order to treat the animals as equals, we must always treat each other as equals, too.
In a movement where the process often depends on some who lead and others who follow, let’s not label those who follow as fans, or even as followers. Our ideas would mean nothing if others did not gather to listen to them.
August 10, 2011
Veganism Feels Good
So how’s that working for you? I’m often asked by curious people, understandably resistant to the concept, but genuinely curious.
Some people might go vegan overnight, but most don’t. I was raised on weekly steak dinners, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, baloney, and other lunch meats that stick to the wall, electric cheese, and yes even veal, as I’ve mentioned. My favourite vegetable was pickles. I was Albertan and my parents were born in the 50s, what can I say.
Honestly, when I went vegan, I was doing it out of guilt. I felt horrible for the cows and chickens. I couldn’t turn a blind eye anymore. I wouldn’t want to be treated the way they were, so I stopped after attending my first foie gras demo with Liberation BC. What I didn’t know was that going vegan was going to change my whole way of looking at food. Cutting out animal products was essentially cutting out junk food. I couldn’t so easily reach for a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, ice cream anymore – I had to read ingredients. I had to take a moment to think before I ate.
It was hard for me to give up dairy. I let Glenn Gaetz in on my process, explaining to him how I’d cut it down to 2ce a week, 1nce a week, etc. And, bless him, he didn’t (outwardly) judge my process. I told him how it wasn’t working because I’d buy a tub of yogurt and have to eat it every day for a week just to finish it.
But having vegan friends, they showed me alternatives. Have you tried soy ice cream with granola? Coconut ice cream? What about vegan yogurt? Go to this website, try this recipe, shop here. Meat has been flesh to me for a long time. Inedible. Sick. But dairy used to be a craving in its many forms. Now it’s just a liquid stomachache.
The way I’ve changed my diet now… it’s incredible. I eat salads and smoothies every day. I experiment with recipes. I eat a lot more raw foods. I eat more organic and fresh than ever. And bonus – I eat no misery.
When I do eat junk food now, I feel AWFUL. I ate a whole pack of Twizzlers last week (which are vegan – props for that, just don’t eat the whole mothaf-in bag) while feeling sorry for myself about somethingr’other, and it seriously ruined my whole day. My body rejects junk now. I am the pinnacle of health, with indulgences of course in moderation. And I love food more than ever. I feel so accomplished to love healthy food. I did it! It’s like learning to love a good man and not the asshole who’s going to use and abuse you. Sometimes you have to reach beyond what you were conditioned to choose.
Now, my body loves me. I love my body. And karma loves me, too. I feel like I need to eat this way for another 4-5 years now until my cells entirely regenerate to full vegan form. Then I’ll full-on morph into… I don’t know, a mermaid or a cartoon character or something.
When I only had one or two friends who were vegan, I thought they were freakish and annoying, with their little self-promotions here and there. Now, I see that they are still crazy hippies, but I get why they’re so gung ho on their diets. Veganism Feels Good. It is the be all end all of guilt free diets. Guilt FREE, do you hear that people? What more can you ask for? Less cellulite? Better skin? A toned ass? It can give you that, too.
July 26, 2011
I Love Direct Action
I’ve been wanting to attend AR2011 for 2 years, so I cashed in my AirMiles and went for the weekend (United Airlines is a suckfest with planes from the 70s still with the ashtrays that will probably kill you and your family in a horrible plane crash if you fly with them, just saying). I was immediately greeted by friendly (albeit drunk) vegans in the lobby, and there was that familiar sensation from Let Live that everyone had a secret we all shared: we are all vegan(ish) and we are all on a path we feel inwardly very proud of but can’t always express in the animal-consuming world.
Shirts read: “Ask Me Why I’m Vegan”, Or, “Don’t Ask Me Why I’m Vegan, Ask Yourself Why You Aren’t.” Or “Compassion is Not Terrorism”
The plenary began on Saturday morning with a strong speech by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau of Compassionate Cooks. She expressed an importance of not using the terms ‘fake meat’ or even ‘meat alternatives’ for things like Tofurkey and seitan, etc. because vegans don’t see them as alternatives – we see them as the only ideal way to eat – plant based. She referred to items like dairy and eggs as ‘animal secretions’ (I will so be using that). And she closed with a statement that we can use the traits of animals to win the animals their rights back. This induced emotion (even in me). The animals are brave in their struggle and we can use their bravery as our inspiration.
Also featured as a speaker was vegan Simpsons creator (!) Sam Simon, who was effortlessly funny and talked about how Real Housewife, Kyle Richards, was recently made aware of the elephant abuse that occurs in Ringling Bros. circuses via Twitter. (Sidenote: 600 activists showed up to protest the circus in downtown L.A. on July 20th and there was an activist presence all week, right up until they ran the elephants back into their trains/trailers – whatever insufficient transportation device.)
For those who know me, I’m not the best passive listener, so I only did the conference one day. I went to a great talk on speaking our message by Josephine Bellacomo, a super fantastic speaker and activist. I want to be prepared to speak to media (and other interested parties) so this was very useful and Josephine was inspiring in her clear, sincere speaking manner. And I also went to a great discussion lead by Stephan Kaufman (who I see now is from the Christian Vegetarian Association… interesting cause I was bashing anti-abortion) on the grey areas of animal rights ethics: Can we ever justify cheating, stealing, subordinating other social justice goals?
This was a pertinent talk because we had all types of activists joining in from marines to teens, some preferred direct action, others preferred outreach. We talked about the new Pig Farm Investigation video from Mercy for Animals and discussed whether it is ever okay for an activist to kill and abuse animals (even if for the sake of capturing the realities of the industry on film). Very interesting because I often say: healing can never come from violence. But how would this video have come to be without an infiltrator? I can honestly say that I’m still mulling this one over.
We also talked about using women as sex symbols to get attention for animal rights issues (Peta, we’re talking about you). It seems almost silly to confuse the issues – animal abuse and sexual arousal, but on the other hand, veganism is the sexiest thing out there. Being healthy, compassionate, and self-respecting truly radiates beauty and sex appeal, and maybe some want to show this off while backing important issues. Not all sexual displays are degrading.
We also discussed whether animal rights can clash with other social issues, putting animals before people. But most activists in the room agreed on this: treating animals with kindness leads to treating humans with more kindness, whether it be the slaughterhouse workers (ending cycles of violence and oppression), the consumers (reducing food-borne illnesses and dietary diseases caused by animal products), or those facing issues of poverty and hunger (veganism can provide more food for more people).
Saturday evening ended with four successful home demos against L.A. based vivisectors. Edythe London, a UCLA primate abuser, stood outside and watched 66 activists express sorrow and outrage at her practices while DRINKING A CORONA AND LAUGHING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Her neighbours did not take the matter as lightly. I didn’t take pictures as I didn’t want to have any trouble at the border (one of my friends is currently flagged as an eco-terrorist for having activist literature with her while crossing the border).
Conferences are great to remind us that we are not alone in this growing movement, which is the epitome of all non-violent movements. So many amazing hearts and minds were there building an indestructible energy – Will Potter, Nathan Runkle, Vancouver’s Brian Vincent, to name just a few. (A complete stranger from Band of Mercy lent me his Prius to hit the Ringling demo – what a guy.) All types of people (and animals) are now connected at a closer level and have new ideas for how to give the animals of this planet the freedom and joy they deserve.
But I just found this quote: As Dylan Powell from the Vegan Police is fond of saying “Talk – Action = Nothing”
As we convene, we must remember to act on what we’ve learned. As my new sticker says: “I <3 Direct Action”.
What we feel compelled to do, we must follow through
Git. Er. Done.
June 16, 2011
Wearethey Examines the “They”:
The Link Between Inspiration and Caring what People Think
At times I’m so motivated towards creative projects that I neglect my social life to work on ideas. But WHY am I working towards greatness? To stand back and admire my own work? If that were the case, then I should be perfectly happy to live on a desert island. I like alone time, but dude – that’d suck.
I create art to be recognized. I strive to create greatness that others recognize as great. But who are these ‘others’ whose admiration I hope to gain? Because most of the people in my life, while I admire many of their particular traits and skills, are slightly to severely morally lacking and there are very few people whose full validation I aim to capture. Sorry, friends.
Flakiness is tricky. Some of the people who I consider highly evolved are flaky. By this I mean: most people do not keep their word. They will not return an important text or phone call, they will not show up to important events, they will not remember something important in your life – they will leave you in a bind. And they will not apologize, because if they apologized for flaking once, they’d have to do it all the time. (I do have 1 or 2 people in my life who are reliable right now and they are extremely sexy to me.)
When I tabulate how often people let me down, it unmotivates me. What’s the point? I ask myself. I have nothing in common with these people: I keep my word.
But these same people could very well be saving the world at their own pace. Some of the bravest activists I know: flakes.
Integrity is About more than Keeping your Word
There are other components to integrity besides reliability. Integrity is about more than just doing what you say you’re going to do. Morality entails examining the state of the world and truly stepping up to be a leader. Identifying priorities: eg. taking a cause to the street over color coordinating your dishware (guilty)…the natural world being bulldozed while we hide at home vacuuming perfect putting green stripes into our carpet. Some of the people I know who are the most reliable are lacking in morality, their eyes squeezed shut to the ways they could be applying themselves to live BIGGER. I know – life is stressful. And acting on a larger scale requires taking larger risks. But with these risks comes exhilaration.
When I think of the flaming apathy in so many who I vibe with on a daily basis, and who show up for me, I feel alienated and… unmotivated, once again. If they don’t really care about the big pic, will they care about what I have to offer? Or will they simply feel uncomfortable by it? Like I’m raining on their parade?
The Flasher Was Right
I once had a debate with a friend (…who flaked so bad once that he is now only referred to as “The Flasher” for his episodical vampirical trenchcoat attire) regarding the question: is it better to make art for as many as possible to grasp, or to make art only grasped by a few twisted souls strangely similar enough to you?
Dumbing it down vs elitism.
He was of the school of thought: if you only reach one person…
To quote one an animal rights chant: “We will never compromise.” And yet “the Classics” are universal.
Do It For God
God is dead to me after he flaked on Armageddon, or whatever. Actually I didn’t even hear about that until after because I just joined Facebook 2 days ago. But they say you do whatever it is you’re trying to do better if you do it for and from “The Source”. So go ahead and do it for God, or Santa, or Abraham, or whatever you like to call that patriarchal force in the clouds.
Do It For No One?
Dance like no one’s watching, they say. That would suck if no one was ever watching!
I strongly suggest dancing as though everyone is watching. You’ll keep better rhythm.
Do It For Your Friends. Or Your Enemies
You may have figured out by now that there is not one single ‘opinion’ of you. Everyone’s opinion about you is sightly different and most people care less than you think – this should be liberating, not depressing.
I would be honored to capture the attention of my peers in the animal rights community, the writing community, the attention of the innovators of the new era… whether or not they would strand me on a mountain top or not. Even if my fellow creators are assholes, I still want their attention.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Do It for Fame
Gaga… (She lost the lady title after the meat dress.) What she does, she does directly for attention and to me this is not art. She is willing to be ugly – for fame. Willing to be freaky over sexy – for fame. Whether you love her or hate her, there is a yawn factor to Lady Gaga for those who see through her shtick. The saying: “reeks of effort” comes to mind.
Do it because it’s easy. Not because you must be the FIRST AND BEST AND ONLY. Otherwise, you’ll look desperate and attention seeking and victimized and insecure and played out and lookatmelookatme.
Do It to Lead. Not to win the praise of leaders. (Cough*Obama).
Do It For the Universal Stranger
The more you value humans (human life, human opinion) in whole or in part – the better art you will create. When you create art, you assume that we are more alike than different, and that the part of you who listens as a stranger is also alive in other listening strangers.
One of my favorite authors, Miriam Toews, was a huge motivator for me because her twisted sense of humor was written in a way that I would never have dared to write – too odd, too convoluted, too subtle for others to get, I thought – and yet A Complicated Kindness was a bestseller. I didn’t know that people would get it if I went there with my own writing. She went there, so I knew I could go there, too.
The risk is in being misunderstood. Risk it.
When we write in a genuine voice, we create in others a genuine listening ear.
June 6, 2011
Drum & Bass – Let it Love You
1) On A Good Day (J Majik & Wickman Remix), Above & Beyond
2) Contour – Desire
3) High contrast-Pink Flamingos
4) PH – Nice One
5) John B – Numbers (Camo & Krooked Remix)
Be sure to click HERE for dawnofanewera’s DNB collection
May 27, 2011
Who’s that girl?
10 Things You May Not Know About Isla
10) Isla once drove a steamroller. She was not good at it.
9) Isla used to wear a rainbow magnet belt everyday as a child – over her bathing suit, nightgown, and rainbow crinoline tutu. She would accessorize the accessory with a rainbow Carebear, otherwise known as Cheerbear.
8) Isla’s legal name is Isla Michelle Lauren Kay. Isla means island.
(Isla’s go-to make-believe name used to be “Jean” because she thought blue jeans were cool, lame!)
7) Isla has been an imperfect vegan for 2 years and began progressively giving up animal products at the age of 14 following a friend’s lead in becoming a “white meat vegetarian” (no red meat). True vegetarianism began at 18 when forced to choose all meat or no meat during a summer as a counselor at Camp Chief Hector. And vegan cred goes to Glenn Gaetz. Cred for this post idea, too, while we’re on the topic.
6) Isla has never kissed a girl… but she probably would – PM me! ; )
5) Reason for this being that Isla is Boy Crazay-zy. Every time she considers kissing a girl, she gets side tracked by hot men.
4) Isla has been told that her best and worst quality is that she’s a free spirit.
3) When Isla was a child her favourite food was veal : ( : ( She would dine with her parents at a German restaurant named The Black Forest in Invermere and when once told it was a baby cow, her little brain could not make the correlation.
2) Isla is a Type 4 Individualist in the Enneagram
1) Isla became an animal rights activist due to her true love for her deceased puppy dog, Turbeau – a cuddly bijon frise stuffed animal soul mate doggy.
May 13, 2011
5 Dnb Trax
for Your Music Receptors
…and I cave – a dub track
1) McLean – Finally in Love (Camo & Crooked remix)
2) Zarif – Box of Secrets (Cyantific and Wilkinson Remix)
3) Chase & Status – Let You Go (Brookes Bros. Remix)
4) Forward – Fury
5) B Complex – Beautiful Lies
6) The Streets – In the Middle (Nero Remix)
Be sure to click HERE for dawnofanewera’s dnb collection.
April 27, 2011
Can We Compare Animal Rights to Abortion?
“But what about the little babies…?”
…a woman asked my friend during our seal hunt protest during the Olympics last year.
“What babies, lady?” my friend Chuck replied. “I’m not even getting laid.”
It was the perfect reply. Chuck was admitting she wasn’t pregnant, wasn’t a parent, and hadn’t been directly affected by abortion, so why should she stand in the street to fight about it?
Animal rights affect us all in terms of health, the environment, and perpetuating cycles of violence – abortion seems to be more of a case-by-case personal matter.
However, what interests me about the comparison is the potentially violent aspect of abortion after a friend told me that she’d seen footage of babies ‘clawing their way back up into the womb’ during a suction-abortion. I watched a video of this procedure and naturally felt that it was not an ideal situation for any mother or fetus to undergo, but I could not separate the child from the mother to see it simply as violence to a fetus or a new life since their bodies were essentially connected. To me, it seemed just as much as process of self-violence as violence inflicted to another life. I did not feel as though I was witnessing murder or slaughter as I do when watching videos of factory farming.
More importantly, I felt that any violence inherent in abortion occurred way before the surgical procedure and lay instead in our society’s flawed methods of controlling birth. This “violence”, too, upon examination is not violence at all but simply lack of knowledge. To the best of my knowledge, we don’t know how to ensure 100% safe sex yet. And therefore our sexual freedom will inevitably have causalities.
I’ve been completely taken by surprise the few times anyone has asked me if why I’m not defending “the little babies” alongside my animal rights work. Usually they are implying that we should be fighting for the rights of humans (born or unborn) above those of animals, in fact the more common comment is: “what about the starving people in _____?”, where my reply is usually one of “I value and respect all life and choose to fight for those without a voice.” But that’s where the tricky part comes in – technically fetuses do not have a voice.
Now – I come from a generation where it was more taboo to be against abortion than pro-choice. The culture in which I grew up did not speak openly of abortion, but I was raised to understand that it was a woman’s right to handle accidental/unhealthy/dangerous pregnancies to the best of her ability and that this was an essential human right that kept women equal to men and that defined the evolution of our humanity.
In animal rights, my colleagues and I recognize animal suffering based on our experiences with animals and the evidence we observe of their pain, and we fight for the end of animal oppression.
In terms of abortion: anti-abortionists fight for abortion to be illegal, which essentially means punishable by law (since a woman can technically inflict harm of her own body and whatever it contains in discretion anywhere she chooses as long as she doesn’t get caught).
I’m almost exasperated at having to list the differences between these causes because to me they are entirely unrelated. One deals with the matter we ingest and use in daily life (sentient beings who are bred to be killed) – the other deals with the beginning of human lives, which naturally occur in immeasurable numbers daily. To try to control it, especially with laws, is overwhelming.
Goodbye Slutty Pioneer Girls
In many countries, abortion is illegal. It was illegal in early Canadian history.
Breath of Life
When a new life is extracted from the female body – it becomes a person.
I call this bottom line: the breath of life. Until then, it shares a body with its mother who has the right to decide for it, not because it’s right but because it is inseparable from her.
Those crazy Catholics argue that it happens at conception, but then they also believe that Mary was a virgin and a bunch of other wack shit.
It’s a grey area, acknowledged.
A fetus may feel an instinct to survive in early development, but so do plants.
And then there’s this rather fundamentalist article from the Robert Cohen of the ALF which comes across as sexist (the mother is the murderer of a fetus – not mentioning any man involved who may have played a part – wrap it up, homeboys). It’s ironic that when vegans are so militantly against violence, they loop back around to… violence (implementing by force).
Why is it that the only people I know who are anti-abortion are Christian? I have perused websites likening current day abortions to a holocaust. The creator of these sites? Mark Crutcher – hardcore Christian.
Taking the power of creating human life out of female hands and back into the male-dominated church allows for women to spend a lot more time chaste or pregnant and therefore economically dependent on men, and men to continue to make the lion’s share of the decisions while overpopulated families (*cough* 19 Kids & Counting) brainwash their litters with Bible stories. How convenient.
The Male Voice
I used to live in Kelowna where they had anti-abortion billboards and picketers at the hospital every day. It always confused me to see men there in the middle of the day, not working. Men do not give birth, so how could they hold such strong opinions on the topic? Was it their place?
I think that’s exactly why so many fundamentalist Christian men speak out against abortion: because it is an act that is out of their control. They are not fighting for complete compassion (if so, they would fight for other human and animal rights, as well as compassion for mothers), they are fighting to conserve the way it was in the past when men did have control over women’s bodies.
What Would Illegal Abortion Look Like?
Since only women could be punished for attempting to commit abortion on their own if it were illegal (and any accomplices, but mainly women), then we would see a huge spike in incarcerated women. This could essentially have detrimental effects on the woman’s other children and/or future children that the woman is actually prepared to have.
In animal rights, we do not focus on what punishments should be for animal abusers, we focus on asking people to stop using animal products.
Instead of making abortion “illegal”, shouldn’t anti-abortion activists devote at least 75% of their time to… babysitting unwanted children?? And creating the support for these potential lives to exist and prosper? It seems like those who “fight for life” should be waiting there when the baby pops out to raise the child.
After a life is born it needs 80-100 years of resources to sustain it. Better get on that shit.
The bottom line is that society/the government/collective thinking/majority agreement will NEVER be able to get inside the female body. The female’s body is hers to do with it what she pleases – violent or not, unless we choose to live in a very surveilled society – a police state is what it would take.
Even if we are anti-abortion, we are only really supporting dirtier, more dangerous abortions compared to safer, cleaner ones.
All rational thought aside, does it disturb me to see pictures of tiny little hands and feet? Personally, it doesn’t. I can not give a good reason for this and can only explain that I see it as what could have been a life – not yet a life.
It doesn’t sit well with me to hear of mothers with drug problems who have multiple abortions, but it also doesn’t sit well with me to hear of drug-addicted mothers who give birth to babies with fetal alcohol syndrome and other life-long debilitating disabilities.
In an anti-violent society, we would optimally aim to treat all sentient-beings, partial or full, with gentle compassion. So then, one would naturally contemplate whether there is a gentle and compassionate way to abort a child. Those who support euthanasia like myself may not see a painless abortion as violence. But that’s a whole other topic.
Is Something Wrong with Me?
Even if the babies were not aborted there are still so many factors needed for them to survive. A baby needs a mother to survive, two parents – even better. It costs about $30, 000.00 to adopt a child. Many cannot afford this.
I also question: why is the child being aborted? Did the parent do it out of compassion? (ie. preventing the child from suffering from a syndrome or disfigurement or other?)
Pro-Life… What kind of “Life” Are We Fighting For?
When people say that they are pro-life, I would question what type of life they are fighting for. If a “pro-lifer” fights for the rights of a female fetus and this little girl is raped by a family member – should she have to go to jail if she aborts the child she conceived?
When people say they are pro-life, they mean that they support the rights of an unborn fetus over the rights of woman with an unwanted pregnancy, usually compensating for any unfairness in this by offering consolation that the woman can always choose adoption. But pregnancy is a huge life-changing experience and when one claims to be pro-life, they are in effect arguing that women’s bodies are vessels that they do not have the right to control. There are two problems with this stance. 1) Men can control their bodies, so to ensure equality between sexes, we must offer women this equal right. And 2) The life that pro-lifers are pro could eventually be that of a woman, and this woman who has been ‘saved’ would surely want full freedom and not just the guise of freedom smothered by societal pressures.
Mixed message: we fight for your life so we can take it away.
20 Questions to Ask About Abortion
- If abortion is made illegal – what should the punishment be?
- If mothers who aborted their fetuses were put in jail, who would take care of their other children?
- Is it not just as cruel to deny children a mother as it is to deny an unborn fetus a mother?
- If women were punished by law for having abortions, should it also be law that the men who made them pregnant are punished accordingly?
- Is a fetus a life, or the possibility of a life, since it could miscarry at any time, especially without a willing mother?
- When one human and another potential human are sharing the same body, do they have equal rights?
- Since there is no 100% sure form of birth control available, should women be forced by law to give birth if they become pregnant? Does this make their rights equal to a man’s?
- Should a man who fails to pay child support be condemned in the same way as a woman who gets an abortion? (Since he is essentially endangering the life of his child.)
- What about incest? If the child is forced to be born genetically disabled, who should by law have to care for the child?
- Is severe child abuse/neglect as equally wrong as having an abortion? Crushing your child emotionally or physically? If so, can this abuse be measured? And should it be punished in the same way as those who would be punished for attempting abortion?
- Should unfit mothers (mentally disabled or ill) be allowed to be mothers when they are not fit to take care of themselves? Who should pay to raise unwanted children?
- Should men have an equal right to women in determining the proper treatment of women’s bodies?
- How does it affect society when the state has final control over women’s bodies?
- Should it be illegal to practice unprotected sex unless you have the financial and physical means to have a baby?
- How are miscarriages and abortion different? Does the fetus suffer in both cases?
- At what point does consciousness begin? Can we suffer if we are not conscious?
- How is suffering measured?
- Is birthing a living being with the purpose of killing it the same as preventing an accidental potential life from continuing to grow?
- Can you end a life before it has begun? When does life begin?
- If making abortion illegal compromises women’s rights, then what type of humanity are we protecting?
April 18, 2011
Top 5 Dnb Tunes for 5 People I Have Not Yet Met
1) Diode – Space Express
2) Brookes Bros – Drifter (feat. Furlong)
3) Ruffride – Drive Me Crazy
4) Steve Angello and Laidback Luke – Show me Love (Blame Remix)
5) DJ Entity – Stargazer (feat. Amy)
Make sure sure to click NML Radio to listen to dawnofanewera’s dnb collection.
April 15, 2011
Jenna Marbles is Vegan… 6 Days a Week
Who can make a complete ass of themselves and still have a pretty exquisite ass? Why Jenna Marbles of course. And how does she keep her bod in shape?
She’s mainly vegan!
Clearly Jenna Marbles loves animals, since her dogs are her best friends, but she also describes herself as “not some animal freak”, which is okay with me.
People sometimes say to me: “wow, you must LOVE animals”. And I’m all: “I just believe in treating sentient beings with respect”. I don’t have any pets at the moment and I don’t primarily identify with being an “animal lover”, though I guess I am. I see myself as someone who believes that evolution includes respecting the sentient experience across species. But there are other reasons to go vegan besides compassion for animals. Having a hot bod and not destroying the environment, for example.
And as for Jenna Marbles being vegan only 6 days a week because she feels a need to cheat, I say go for it. (She does say she wants to go vegan full force). For me, I don’t crave meat anymore because it’s not food to me, but I understand how people have cravings for foods they used to eat. There are substitutions for just about every animal product based comfort food in existence, but if all that’s stopping you from going vegan is the thought that you can’t do it a full seven days a week, you are still making leaps and bounds of change by going 6 sevenths of the way.
*It should be noted that Jenna recently went on a fatgirl meateating binge (March 2013), which she bragged about for 10 minutes while cradling her dog in her arms. I like the vegan 6 days a week Jenna better. Snap out of it, girl.
April 12, 2011
Major Stars Who’ve Been Majorly Duh Lately
1. Natalie Portman
Black Yawn. Seen it. America’s Sweetheart. Yeah, yeah. But Natalie Portman went vegan after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals and even tried to create a vegan shoe line. Whether she annoys you in a “Girls say the darndest things” type way (copyright Hilary Henegar) she’s a famous, pretty cool vegan. Except when she’s pregnant.
“I actually went back to being vegetarian when I became pregnant, just because I felt like I wanted that stuff. I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy and that sort of stuff.”
Maybe your body was telling you that you were starving because you went sickly thin for Black Swan. Like too thin even for a bulimic hallucinating ballerina.
“If you’re not eating eggs, then you can’t have cookies or cake from regular bakeries, which can become a problem when that’s all you want to eat.”
I’m all about being vegan for yourself and not to set an example to others. But Natalie Portman is not just anyone. She’s extremely influential, and I was really excited for her to show the world that you don’t need to eat animal products to have a baby.
If anyone in the world can afford a vegan chef to make them vegan desserts, or have enough money to not have to work to have time to bake cool stuff in the kitchen herself – it’s Natalie Portman.
Weak. White swan, in fact.
2. Kate Middleton
Princess Diana she is not.
Am I the only one who thinks Prince William could do better? You’re choosing not only a wife, but someone worthy of a princess title, Hot William.
Naturally I’m about to call Kate out on her fur headgear.
It just screams (at the pitch of a dying animal) “I will do whatever it takes to lock down a royal title. I will pay to have animals skinned alive. Look out world. There’s a new People’s Princess in town. And by people—I mean human supremacy.”
3) Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon sits and cries in her car and mourns the loss of her privacy. After spending 3 hours getting styled and revealing details about her personal life to tabloid mags, while molesting an elephant who might be more at home in the privacy of the Savanna. She has a place she likes to go and park. On Rodeo Drive.
“I mean, I feel like an ingrate for even thinking anything isn’t good. I’m very, very, very lucky. But . . . umm . . . probably that I parted with my privacy a long time ago. We went different ways. And sometimes I mourn it. Sometimes I will sit in the car and cry. Because I can’t get out. That’s the only thing: I mourn the loss of my privacy.”
(Make sure sure to click NML Radio to listen to dawnofanewera’s dnb collection.)
0} Zubes – Change Your Mind
1} DJ Die & Interface Feat. William Cartwright – Bright Lights (Netsky Remix)
2}DC BREAKS – HALO (HALO EP) [Viper Recordings]
3}Grace – Not Over Yet (Metrik Light Mix)
4} L.A.O.S. feat. Kaleb – GTGD
5} Danny Byrd – We Can Have it All (Sigma Remix)