Monday, October 27, 2014

FREE!


FREE!

Please read about her story:

This sweet pig who was numbered 2171 had lived her entire life on a crowded farm. She was extremely sick, always being fed chemicals and antibiotics and GMOs. Since pigs are extremely intelligent and aware, as many animals are, she was clearly depressed and perhaps slightly insane, as she endlessly jostled the cage door seeking any shred of freedom. The day the transport truck arrived it was freezing. With no protection from the elements this gentle pig and all her pig friends were loaded up and trucked a long distance to the slaughterhouse without any food or water. Not all of the pigs survived the harsh trip, but this sweet girl did.

Being dragged in to the slaughterhouse she could hear the screams of the pigs before her and she thrashed and struggled to escape. Having never being touched gently, or with any human kindness, her fear was palpable yet ignored by the desensitized slaughterhouse worker. Unexpectedly she felt an extremely hard blow to her face and she collapsed. Within seconds she was fixed and lifted to a meat hook, where her throat was cut. She thrashed for a few minutes while dying, still unable to perceive this happening to her, still hoping for any chance at a normal life, or at some kindness or compassion for her life.

It did not come.

Alas, 2171 is free…from a life as bleak and unnoticed as her death. A life only as a profit, a commodity. I wish things could have been different for you 2171, and for all sentient, gentle, innocent beings. I continue to hope that someday people will awake to the realization that we don’t have to treat anyONE like this. We can live gently, live kind, live nonviolently.

[go vegan!!!]

-----------------------------------
A Little Story about a Pig and a Dog
Romping together on the grass. The sun above.
The afternoon. But the Pig was sad. The dog noticed.
"I have to tell you something," said the Pig. "I will not be with you anymore."
"Why? Don't you love me? Aren't you happy with me?" agitatedly answered the Dog.
"I adore you. We are Brothers," answered the Pig. "But the men. They are coming for me."
"What do they want from you?" asked the Dog.
"I prefer not to tell you. It is too sad."
"I am very afraid..." said the Dog.
"Do not worry for yourself. You are man's best friend. They even write poems about you." said the Pig.
"And not for you?" asked the Dog, not understanding.
"Not for me." said the Pig.
"But we are of the same blood!" cried the Dog. "We have played together, we are equals … you see the world just like me…your heart is like mine!" and he anxiously added: "so then, what are you to them?"
A flock of happy birds passed across the high sky, filling with their song the far blue mountain range and the field.
There was a dense silence and the pig's voice answered, with a drowned sob, with his snout sunken in the grass:
"Nothing."
 (A Little Story about a Pig and a Dog written by The Poet of the Voiceless, Ángel Padilla)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It is SO Obvious


People fought against human slavery and other issues for long periods too…I know how they felt. Something that was so OBVIOUS to them as wrong, being ridiculed or harassed for their beliefs, even ousted for the fight that they KNEW was right.
 
The frustration of knowing something so OBVIOUS that no one else could see.
 
The animal exploiters do not see it the same…yet. But they will. How do I know they will? Because it is so OBVIOUS.
 
[go vegan]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SomeOne, not SomeTHING


Get to know any animal for a few days – go to your local small sanctuary – the sanctuary owners will be able to describe each animal’s personality, their likes and dislikes. Some animals are super-sweet and friendly, some you bond with so closely it becomes an intense relationship, others seem to simply tolerate your presence, or somewhere in between. Personally I have loved every animal I have ever met and appreciated their individuality.

People tend to say “HUMANS feel differently” than other beings - they say "they are not like us" (that sounds familiar in a very unpleasant way). What people fail to realize is that all are unique - they are all individuals. There are not ‘billions of them’ – there is only ONE of them. We can describe unique personalities to each INDIVIDUAL.

They are not yours – my pets are not ‘mine’ - they are EARTHLINGS – their life belongs to THEM. They feel love for others and love for their independent sentient life. We think it OK to bully and destroy, especially to those we do not understand or have not traditionally bonded with…this is nothing but an irrational excuse for our ongoing domination and enslavement of INDIVIDUALS.

I have NEVER looked at an animal with any intent to do them harm, and I never will. I have also NEVER felt an animal was “just like the one next to it” even if their skin was the same color (THINK).

I am NOT living in some unrealistic world…I live in the real world – the world where I am so incredibly grateful to care, to know I want no harm to come to any individual for no rational purpose, and the world in which I confidently know I have absolutely no sociologic or dietary need to harm anyone. Fellow Earthlings will never be my commodities, my meals, or anything but my dear friends. Yes, I know, you “love bacon.” Enough selfish crap already and stop abusing and murdering my friends, destroying our planet, and harming all the humans on Earth.

Animal rights is the next logical step in a slow-moving but continually-creeping-along realization of what discrimination, mercy, nonviolence, and LOVE really means. There is no comparison to a lion in Africa or the ‘circle of life’, so don’t even go there. For humans, feeding life is NOT the consumption of slowly rotting flesh. We are not Intuit. Plants don’t scream. Farmers DO NOT love their animals, certainly not as they enslave, forcibly breed, suck fluid meant for their babies, or kill…that is NOT love unless you are some delusional sicko. Bugs on my windshield or an accident involving a field mouse does not absolve anyone of wanton intentional violent harm to others. Enough of the silliness and let’s align with what we claim are our moral codes.

Nonviolence. Go vegan.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Prefer Feeling


The people I know who have actually killed an animal ALL said, "the first time(s) was/were hard, but then you kind of adjust."

Who WANTS to adjust to taking another's life? Who WANTS to be desensitized? Who WANTS to cultivate what society generally defines as antisocial and psychotic behavior? Who WANTS to murder other individuals for no rational purpose?

Not me. So grateful that is not who I am.
- - - - - - - - -
“Slaughtering an animal, it takes something away from you. It made me physically ill…the first time. The next time around it was a little easier; the next time around it was a little easier…to the point where I didn’t feel anything at all.”
~ Harold Brown, former animal farmer, now works to save lives, not end them
- - - - - - - - -

I prefer to FEEL.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Eating Cat

 

“An Edmonton teen who killed a cat and cooked parts of it in a ravine has been sentenced to 10 months in jail.”

“This was a brutal and senseless killing of an innocent and defenseless animal,” provincial court Judge Donna Groves said, according to the Edmonton Journal. “These activities are so egregious, they fall into the category of unspeakable.”

Hummphhrrrr…Judge Donna probably had a ham sandwich for lunch and has no idea how silly she sounds to those of us who are no longer dissonant! ALL animals are “INNOCENT”, ALL animals are “DEFENSELESS” against human domination, and ALL killing is “BRUTAL”. Most people believe they love ‘animals’ when they clearly are not demonstrating love or compassion for any animals other than dogs and cats. Why does this story bother some people but the sight of the dead flesh of other brutally killed animals does not give them pause for even one moment to consider the suffering involved?

This story and this brutality is no more nor less of what most people are putting in their mouths or wearing on their bodies every day. If this story is as abhorrent as the public thinks it is (and I agree it is awful), then most of society needs to be put in JAIL immediately for the acts of animal cruelty that they perpetuate daily. Irrational groupthink and self-defensive denial doesn’t change the reality of the cruelty nor absolve each individual from responsibility.

Stop discriminating against innocent, defenseless souls - use RATIONAL thought, and GO VEGAN.

There is no difference between a dog and a cat or any other sentient being, except in the unexamined mind.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/10/08/zachary-mckinnon-killing-cooking-cat_n_5953542.html

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Love For ALL

As I have said before, if I were to dedicate much of my life to saving dogs and cats, everyone would just think I was an awesome and dedicated animal lover. But because I work to save ALL animals I am viewed as a bit emotional and maybe even irrational. Personally I don’t think NOT causing suffering or death when it can be easily avoided is irrational or overly emotional at all. I also don’t think NOT destroying our ecosystem and wasting tons of resources ...is overly emotional or irrational. My choices are actually based in science – they ALL feel, we don’t NEED to harm them, our ecosystems are collapsing, and they ALL value their own life and are sentient beings – all facts, sans emotion.

Why harm ANY other when we don’t have to? What is irrational is this persistent discrimination that allows humans to continue to judge the value of another life and exterminate individual beings and entire ecosystems at will by brute force. That is what is irrational.

Might does not make right.

GO VEGAN.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“Whatever your reason is for being nonvegan, recognize that it is not valid.”
~ Diane Dion

Organic? Grass-fed? Cage-free?

What happens when you eat organically raised meat or dairy?

1. Male chickens and/or male baby cows are still killed for being ‘useless’ or for veal

2. Approximate gallons of water needed to produce a pound of beef: 5,000, approximate gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25. Raising animals for food wastes precious resources!

3. Sick animals are infrequently treated because any administration of antibiotics would have the animals considered ‘no longer organic’ and would cut into profit margins

4. Organic farms have no regulations on whether or not the animals are kept indoors or out

5. You waste about 20 times the grain that would be needed to feed you for an entire year if you just ate the grain instead. Organically raised or not, I find it hard to waste so much food when so many are starving to death.

6. Baby cows are still forcibly separated from the mothers or blocked from drinking the milk intended for them to preserve their milk production for humans to consume. It is known that many mother cows cry for their babies, often searching for them for many days.

7. You continue to kill animals for no need other than selfish personal desire.

8. If a baby pig or other animal is sick or is to be killed (a runt, developmental problems, etc), they do NOT humanely euthanize as we do our companion animals…farms are known to hold the animal by their back legs and bash their head against the floor or a post (called ‘thumping’ in the industry), or they use a bolt gun which stuns them but rarely kills them and bleed them out. There is nothing humane about needless slaughter.

9. You continue to risk your own health and contribute to the healthcare crisis, since statistically as you consume these products your risk of disease rises exponentially.

10. The raising of animals for food is still the largest contributor to greenhouse gases and climate change.

11. If everyone bought their animal products from small local farms, these farms would have to TURN INTO factory farms to meet the demand! The amount of resources and land needed is what generated confinement facilities. To raise farm animals with the proper space so we didn’t have to give them so many antibiotics to in turn feed people, would require the equivalent of 2-3 planets. It is impossible & unsustainable.

12. Eating or buying these products does not lower the overall demand for meat and animal products and therefore perpetuates factory-farm raised animals, the pollution, the cruelty, and the clearing of our rainforests.

13. Pigs are as intelligent, or more intelligent, than dogs, chickens have a string nurturing instinct and have been known to coo to their babies while still in the eggs, mother cows have been known to cry for their calves for days…if you really feel that their souls are of equal value, if you really feel they are worthy of life, why do people continue to kill them for no justifiable reason?

14. There is NO SUCH THING as humane slaughter. ‘Grass-fed’, ‘cage free’, ‘free range’, ‘humanely raised’ are all a bunch of consumer marketing propaganda. The reality is people do not purposefully harm or kill those we TRULY love, and these are innocent and gentle INDIVIDUALS being treated as nothing more than mere ‘things’.

Benjamin Franklin: “So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”

Go vegan, or willingly participate in exploitation, violence, abuse, oppression, and destruction.
There is NO third choice.

Why Most of us are Abolitionists

This post has potential to make some people upset, but that is NOT why I wrote it. Seems there is a lot of claiming of words and silly discussions over semantics, so I am just writing to clear this up, at least as far as fact and definitions go.

“Why most of us actually are abolitionists and why you should be proud to be one!!!”

I have heard an awful lot of negative comments the past few weeks about ‘abolitionist vegans’. “Crazy” “Nazi” “Extreme” “Mean” and “Judgmental” were some of the words used.

I talk to A LOT of vegans every day, and I can say with total confidence that accepting and kind vegans are the overwhelming majority, no matter what they ‘call’ themselves. Obviously there are “mean people” in EVERY GROUP, and vegans are no different in that sense. Admittedly, there are also some who come across as a total jerk at times - I get it.

But abolitionism was defined before anyone had ever heard the word ‘vegan’. It doesn’t belong to us any more than the animal’s lives belong to us. The words abolitionism and abolitionist have a clear definition. As an example:

In the era of slavery here in the U.S., there were welfarists. The welfarists may have kept slaves themselves. They probably felt they had always ‘treated them well’, maybe even ‘like members of our own family’. Perhaps some welfarists didn’t keep slaves, but didn’t see a problem with slavery as long as the slaves were kept in ‘humane conditions’ and treated ‘humanely’. That is a welfarist. They failed to see that the problem was THE SLAVERY ITSELF!

So, my dear vegan friends - Is that you? Is that who you are? It is NOT who I am.

Most of us do actually see the problem - the *use* itself, and we seek to end it entirely, e.g. abolitionist.

I am an abolitionist, and I am happy to ‘label’ myself an abolitionist. Actually, I LOVE all my ‘labels’ - vegan, organic, environmentalist, activist, ABOLITIONIST - every single one of those words matters a great deal to me!

I am an abolitionist to the core of my being. It is NOT our word, but it sure as hell means something. Some will disagree, and perhaps some will argue that abolitionism is a certain kind of outreach or theory, but I would argue back with facts and definitions – it is NOT our word.

At the risk of angering some - most vegans ARE abolitionist vegans as an ideal - an end goal.

To reach this *end goal* however, the many contradictions involved with SICs (single issue campaigns), the entrenched speciesism at times found within some *outreach* and orgs, and the mis-messaging and mixed-messaging when attempting to *sell* veganism as a *healthy diet* or to *save the planet* are all subjects worth thinking deeply about and reading some of the many articles available for effective activism.

It can only help our personal ability to both research and discuss the contradictions with others. Keep an open mind. Continue to learn. But if there is one thing that is of utmost importance is that the message is always veganism. As the LEAST we can do. The moral baseline.

Some blogs and sites are super-intimidating, I have seen that for myself. Anyone can talk to me anytime if they have a question or want some support…the only ‘deal’ I make is to expect nothing less than an honest response and don’t get self-defensive and upset by possibly not hearing what you would have preferred I say. Grown-up truthful honest dialogue is requested.

I am so lucky to know so many amazing, kind, intelligent, compassionate, open-minded people, and I am proud to be a part of this movement. I am an abolitionist vegan, I live without *using* animals and want to see *use* ended in entirety. If you are vegan, then most likely, so are you (*abolitionist* vegan).
_______________________

Repost of a snippet of my blog from the other day in case anyone did not know what I meant when I said “contradictions”
_______________________

From Earlier Blog:
What if animal products suddenly were made to be healthy? Or produced in ways that did not negatively affect the environment? Of course that won’t happen, but the baseline questions is “Would you still be vegan”? If all pigs for slaughter ran on green fields and eaten only when died of natural causes, would you still be vegan? I would be vegan no matter what, so giving other definitions to veganism is mixed messaging, because in reality, there is only one reason for being ‘vegan’.

I definitely talk about health, and I definitely talk about the environment, and famine, and all the other great reasons there are to be vegan, but the very bottom line, and the very essence of the word ‘vegan’ embodies a moral stance that says animals are not ours to enslave or oppress, and that we have no rational reason to live violently and harmfully. That must be the baseline message. Is attending a circus any different morally than eating at a restaurant that serves meat? Our message must be as broad as possible to avoid further speciesism, while narrow enough to save individual lives.

When signing certain petitions, such as taking foie gras off a restaurant menu, do the cows, pigs, and other animals served there not get a petition? It is animal ‘use’ too, and certainly entails much needless suffering. If people boycotted the restaurant for menu foie gras removal, do they resume eating there if they stop serving it? Even if the restaurant is still serving pigs, chickens, cows, etc.?

I’m NOT saying never eat out again. I'm NOT saying to never sign a petition. I'm NOT saying not to protest cruelty at every opportunity. I am just talking about the way we communicate our goals to others in the most effective way.

Whole blog post can be found here: http://vegan-evolution.blogspot.com/2014/10/abolitionist-welfarist-why-does-it.html

A great article: http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-psychology/humane-meat-and-veganism/
________________________
The simplest of thoughts can be the hardest to communicate - we have the power to stop suffering on a massive scale, so why wouldn’t we? Why exploit others when we clearly don’t have to?
I LOVE being vegan!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Abolitionist? Welfarist? Why? Does it Matter?


I call myself an abolitionist vegan. I have read debates and analyzed this subject, and for me the bottom line is there is a difference in how abolitionists view issues that go beyond the individual’s personal ‘journey’.

The simplest way to sum up the abolitionist approach is not to send mixed messages. And really, there is only ONE message when we are talking about true veganism.

I'm NOT implying all abolitionists would agree with me, or feel as I do. We are all different and there are differences amongst everyone, I am just going to give some examples of things I’ve read and/or what thoughts come to mind when I think about welfarism vs. abolitionism...

What if animal products suddenly were made to be healthy? Or produced in ways that did not negatively affect the environment? Of course that won’t happen, but the baseline questions is “Would you still be vegan”? If all pigs for slaughter ran on green fields and eaten only when died of natural causes, would you still be vegan? I would be vegan, no matter what, so giving other definitions to veganism is mixed messaging, because in reality, there is only one reason for being ‘vegan’.

I definitely talk about health, and I definitely talk about the environment, and famine, and all the other great reasons there are to be vegan, but the very bottom line, and the very essence of the word ‘vegan’ embodies a moral stance that says animals are not ours to enslave or oppress, and that we have no rational reason to live violently and harmfully. That must be the baseline message. Is attending a circus any different morally than eating at a restaurant that serves meat? Our message must be as broad as possible to avoid further speciesism, while narrow enough to save individual lives.

When signing certain petitions, such as taking foie gras off a restaurant menu, do the cows, pigs, and other animals served there not get a petition? It is animal ‘use’ too, and certainly entails much needless suffering. If people boycotted the restaurant for menu foie gras removal, do they resume eating there if they stop serving it? Even if the restaurant is still serving pigs, chickens, and cows?

I’m NOT saying never eat out again. I'm NOT saying to never sign a petition. I'm NOT saying not to protest cruelty at every opportunity. I am just talking about the way we communicate our goals to others in the most effective way.

Pursuing welfare reform such as larger cages is generally a meaningless gesture designed to soothe people's conscience and is not effective in ABOLISHING (e.g. abolitionist) the death and suffering. (see article posted at bottom of page for interesting reading)

If one truly felt animals mattered morally, then their suffering is of dire need – right now. As noted, we would not say a rapist should rape less nor a murderer should murder less. This is because lives are at stake, suffering can be prevented – right now - and we care about those lives! So, no, we don't advocate for 'journeys' or 'baby steps'. The need is immediate for many.

I am not talking about not encouraging or helping someone become vegan. I am not unkind to those who state they are "trying." But I do not deceive anyone to believe one form of use/abuse is better than another, nor that time is not of the essence for many whose lives hang in the balance as I type, and certainly I will [kindly but bluntly as is possible] voice my confusion as to why someone would continue to do something nonsensical and cruel.

Why WOULDN’T one stop - immediately - if they were able to grasp that message all at once? That they were critically important to help stop oppression and suffering? That is what I am trying to figure out, as the one thing I know for sure is [so far at least] there is no perfect way to communicate this to others!

I am not saying I know everything, again, these are just some of the things I have thought. Debate on method, approach, and perception is unlikely avoidable and is likely healthy to the movement, but we should be in alignment with the long-term goals and continue to read, learn, and strive for the best ways to make those goals a reality.

I personally feel it is OK to talk about other things (health, environment, etc.), but the message should not be mislabeled. I went vegan a long time ago after reading something PETA sent me, so I certainly ‘get it’ and had to resolve my own turmoil with how they have been known to relay the *message* versus their impact on me personally. I am not currently a PETA supporter despite the positive effect they have had on my life, and I had to really think ling and hard about that - due to the loyalty of hem saving my life. But it isn't about me, it is about what I feel is effective for reaching *most* others.

There are conflicts within, no doubt, but the baseline message needs to be that veganism is NOT difficult, it is the LEAST we can do, and that IT IS NOT ABOUT US. I posted a great article below about how welfarism-type tactics are likely very detrimental. There is a lot of debate about this subject online if anyone wants to read further - and they really should.

Please everyone hug now lol. Thank you.

http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-psychology/humane-meat-and-veganism/

"But your car isn't vegan?!?!"



Nope, it isn't (unfortunately). Vegan cars are not [yet] widely available. HOWEVER, I do not take the concessions I am forced to make in this world as license to be an exploiter in other areas. Being vegan is about doing the best you can to avoid the suffering and oppression of other sentient beings, including humans. It is not about being perfect, which in this current world is impossible.
(If vegan cars ever become available, I'll be the first in line for one!)

GREAT QUOTE:
"People look at me as a vegan and conclude that since I stepped on a snail or because the vegetables I eat resulted in a tractor death for a squirrel somewhere in Paraguay that somehow vegans are hypocrites, which of course they're not since perfection is an unattainable goal and is something to be driven towards, never actually achieved.
The difference between you and the vegan standing next to you is that while you're both going to step on a bug tomorrow, they've decided to dedicate their lives to do as little harm as possible, completely independent from what you do. So in no way does the protozoan life form they step on negate your responsibility for the lamb you're paying a stranger to cut tomorrow. And falling 1% short of an unattainable goal is really good when you're standing next to someone who won't even try."
- Shelley Williams

Decent People Being Decent


People who know me know I am generally extremely kind and respectful to all, but I am NOT going to manipulate truth and tell people it is OK to be cruel to all beings and destructive to the planet for their own selfish reasons.

Some people only surround themselves with feel-good reassuring stories that largely serve to reaffirm all they already think. I am not like that. I expose myself to sadness and suffering almost every day because there is no better way to effectively help others than to be informed and aware of HOW you can help, to understand what the issues actually are.

I freely admit, at times I feel extremely frustrated with the happy-go-lucky and the unseeing eyes of the majority of society destroying all I love. The ongoing groupthink and self-reassuring smugness can be extremely frustrating when many suffer so much. A large portion of society ignores and denies obvious facts…covering their eyes and ears and claiming to love others while they willingly wreak havoc on all.

So yes, I am sometimes frustrated, maybe at times even angry. It does not come from a desire to be hurtful to anyone. Quite the opposite, it is a reaction to witnessing the harming and being unable to stop it.

Many in society, while blindly ignoring the hurt they cause, express flippant and trite phrases such as "don't worry, be happy" and “live and let live”. These ridiculous clichés are a LUXURY. They are sayings of "I can feed my kids tonight" or “I have shelter over my head and food to eat” or "I'm not in line at the slaughterhouse" – it is a LUXURY to be so able to casually shrug their culpability in the suffering of others in trite meaningless expressions.

No, I don’t think most people are bad, but the importance of one individual’s lifestyle in relationship to global affairs is a subject that few actually consider with any degree of seriousness, despite overwhelming evidence. There are also rare, exceptional people who absorb information and are open enough to give the facts and rational thought due consideration.

If most people were informed and not severely dissonant, I KNOW most would change, I KNOW most want to do good, and I KNOW most have not seriously spent 2 minutes checking any facts on the matter, or giving any thought to why it is not their beloved dog on their dinner plate tonight, or why they would wantonly pollute and squander their future generation’s dwindling water supplies, etc.

Ongoing discrimination to others who we deem ‘less than’ us has not yet ceased. It has not stopped with religion, or color, or sexual orientation. Discrimination and oppression are ongoing, pervasive, violent, shameful, and is harmful to all of us.

If there is one thing I can predict with 100% conviction, is that the majority of us WILL realize eventually. Why do I know this? Because it just makes rational sense – IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT!
 
THE EFFECTS OUR DIET HAS ON A GLOBAL SCALE:
  • Land, air, and water pollution
  • New diseases such as Swine Flu/Avian Flu
  • The rise of new strains of virulent organisms like E. Coli 0157H7
  • Excessive chemical/pesticide use
  • Antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance/development of superbugs
  • Growth hormones and drugs in our food
  • Dead zones (areas in waterways with no oxygen content often from farm run-off)
  • Deforestation (animal consumption is the leading cause of deforestation)
  • Extreme animal cruelty (look at factory farms/CAFOs)
  • Loss of biodiversity (such as wolf culling, wild horse round-ups, etc.)
  • Organisms in our water such as Pfisteria, Cryptosporidium, etc.
  • Human health issues such as cancer/heart disease/the increased cost of healthcare
  • Climate change (one of the largest contributor to greenhouse gases)
  • Famine (it takes more grain to make animal foods than if you just fed people!)
  • Extremely high and inefficient use of natural resources such as land and water
  • Farm run-off contaminating our plant foods (such as the spinach recall - the E. Coli did NOT come from the spinach!)
  • Thousands of pounds of wasted food from recalls and multiple food poisonings because of poor farming and soil practices, and the unmanageable amount of manure from CAFOs
  • The unnecessary death of billions of sentient beings who wanted to live and whose individual lives held value beyond what we could ‘use’ out of them
 
What is impossible? It is impossible for someone to be a decent and moral human being AND take a good look at modern farming and the state of our Earth’s resources and NOT change. THAT is what is impossible. Decent humans WOULD change – if truly decent humans actually decided to be decent.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Only Way to Be Humane is to Be Vegan


Personally, in years of research and awareness, I have never come across a truly 'humane' farm. A few reasons why:

1. Forced insemination – farm animals do not have sex! They must put their arms inside female animals and impregnate her forcibly.

2. Kidnapping – for cows, after her baby is born they cannot allow the baby to drain her milk. There are two ways mother and calf can be ‘separated’ and both are awful. One is veal crates. The babies are put in these tiny little hutches with very restricted movement (said to keep the meat tender), being fed a watery diet that makes them sick (said to make the flesh ‘paler’ for consumption); OR; they can putting a nose ring on baby that prevents him/her from suckling. The videos of these babies, so desperately wanting their mother’s milk, is quite heartbreaking. Also, it is widely known that when babies are taken from them, mother cows have searched and cried for their baby for days – these mothers love their babies and these actions are a terrible abuse of motherhood!
3. Bodily mutilations without anesthesia (dehorning, debudding, debeaking, branding, castration, mulesing, etc.). Videos are easy to find of these tiny, family-run farms all over the world practicing the most horrific cruelty as if it were just the most normal of things – because, to them, it IS. To me it is CLEARLY just barbaric cruelty. Watch a few videos and decide what you think (will post a few video links at bottom of page).
4. The brutal disposal of unwanted animals: such as veal calves, as already discussed, or the practice of simply ‘disposing’ of unwanted male baby chicks (the egg industry doesn’t need males like they need females, so billions of male baby chicks are destroyed yearly. They do this most often by throwing them in dumpsters or grinding them up while still alive). Baby pigs that are runts or sick or unwanted for whatever reason can legally have their head slammed into a post or floor to kill them – called ‘thumping’, and many still die a slow death after being ‘thumped’ and are simply thrown in the trash. Any animal activist who is informed have seen the dumpsters and pits full of dead and dying animals, carelessly discarded, thousands of times.

5. Death. Finally, no matter what the circumstances, the end results is death in an awful place (often while extremely ill from lack of attending to their needs), often done in horrific ways, usually after being transported many miles to the slaughterhouse without food or water, in any extreme of temperature. It is a known fact that animals have been found frozen to sides of trucks when unloading after transport in the freezing cold…do you think they gently pulled them off and treated their wounds? NOPE. They RIPPED them off and forced them off to a terrifying and painful death. Regardless of ‘how’ their death is imposed, I object to needless killing, violence, oppression, and death.

Picture in your head someone pulling a carrot out of the ground and eating it. Now picture someone slashing an animal’s throat, covered in blood, while the animal thrashes and quivers until death. Which action is horrific and extreme? Which action would you feel good allowing small children to witness?

6. Being humane to human animals - Science can easily show that no animal farm, no matter how small, is good for the environment or human health or prosperity. What people fail to see is that this irrational ‘habit’ of eating and using animals is detrimental to the entire Earth and its inhabitants as a whole in almost every way it could be harmful, and it DOES NOT benefit us to keep blindly and insistently on the same path of violence and harm and illness and pollution and waste and death.

'Humane' animal products are simply a marketing term - propaganda - they do not exist.

If you were to be murdered, assured it would be quick and rather painless, would you be agreeable to that, or would you try to escape because you place inherent value on your individual life? All sentient beings value their life and all try to escape pain and death because they want to LIVE, because they can feel suffering, because they are individual lives and NOT things.

Let’s just be rational. In our hearts we know there is not a difference. We know mowing our lawns is not the same as killing a cow. We know the slaughterhouse is a bloody, terrible place. We know that animals are not things – they are individuals! In our hearts, those of us with empathy for others do not desire to have them brutalized or killed. In our rational minds we know that ALL animal abuse is morally wrong (not just dogs and cats), but somehow we are able to disconnect that from our own actions each day – the actions that are the very cause the abuse of animals, humans, and our entire planet. This issue is a human problem, an animal problem, and a GLOBAL problem. It only takes a few small steps to begin to open your eyes to the really BIG picture.

VIDEO: Small Family Farms
VIDEO: Pull and Rip
VIDEO: Don't Believe the Lie

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Taking Responsibility



I have seen many vegans debate the methods of approach to vegan outreach. The debate of whether pictures or videos of farm abuse is effective, the debate whether being bold and truthful or soothing and sweet is more effective, etc.

This is irritating. Regardless of personality, vegans should not take personal blame for a ‘bad approach’ if people do not listen to them. This reflects NOT upon the vegan but on the PEOPLE’S refusal to consider some very simple but overlooked principles.

I have seen every story ‘under the sun’ as to why someone went vegan. Sometimes a nice vegan friend, an article, book, a visit to a zoo, a discussion with a protester at a circus, etc., and sometime it is simply a hard kick in the ass.

When I was told I was an animal abuser I listened. I wouldn’t ever want to be that. I wasn’t told nicely, there were no flowers or apologies, just the facts. I went vegan immediately. No excuses. No ignoring my part. No more.

I’ve learned sooooooo much since then. I realize now how much I didn’t know. Now my thinking is so different than it used to be. I would never go back to the person I used to be…why would I want to? Why would I harm anyone or cause another to suffer if I could avoid it?

So, if I feel like posting something that is blunt, I will do so. If I like something lovey and sweet I’ll post that too. If my nonvegan friends want to ignore the posts and continue on this destructive and violent path of oppression and horror? That reflects upon THEM, not upon me.
______________________________

(To be clear, this is about personality., NOT about things like SICs. The message is VEGANISM and no other. Veganism as the LEAST we can do. This is about how people choose to express that message.)

Active Participants Needed



Seems maybe there was some sensitivity to a post I made praising vegans for bringing positive change to the world. Let me say this… I did not exclude anyone from the ability to make positive change in the world. However, there is no other group I can make such a blanket statement about (e.g. all women, all men, etc.).

If I meet 100 people randomly, many of them are not terribly engaged in the world, and most only see their small circle of reality. If I meet 100 vegans I guarantee you 98% (often 100%) are engaged and aware in many important world issues. Many are not only advocates for animals, but many are fighting against huge corporations, trying to protect your ‘right to know’, to ban or label GMOs, trying to force the media to report the truth, rallying for food safety, trying to save our oceans, spreading the word about preserving our future, saving lives, and fighting the encroachment of a complete takeover of our most precious resources – our food, our water, and our planet, amongst many other activities that indicates an involved, compassionate citizen. Vegans are CLEARLY fighting on behalf of all the NONvegans, even if the nonvegans are still sleeping.

Our government does not work for us, and hasn’t for a really long time, regardless of current party or power. Our system does not work for us. The media blatantly lies to us and often doesn’t cover the subjects critical for people to understand. People would not want to be a part of it if they knew. If people only let themselves understand…they wouldn’t want to be a part of it. Only the completely heartless would continue forward as if nothing were different, if they knew.

So, I am quite fed up with so many vegans being viewed as ‘negative’ or ‘extreme’ for telling the truth. Yes, it sucks to be told you are responsible for such horror, such devastation and destruction, and it sucks to be told you are wrong. The normal reaction of most is to rationalize or deny and absolve themselves of responsibility by explaining their irrational behavior, with the sentences all vegans have heard thousands of times (“it has always been like that” or “farmers love and respect their animals” or “you can’t get adequate protein from plants” or “God put the animals here for us to eat them” or “humans are born carnivores” [not scientifically true] or “if we stopped slaughtering, we’d be overrun by farm animals” [yes, really, we hear that all the time], or, just “yum, bacon”). There are others, too, but those are generally the most common EXCUSES. Yet, the true merit of these excuses is rarely analyzed (they are all empty, unscientific, and completely irrational).

Vegans grow tired of the excuses people make to convince themselves that it isn’t their fault, and are completely fed up with willful ignorance (inexcusable). We are frustrated in knowing what is happening with the other beings on Earth, and to our land, water, and air on a massive scale, and that this just isn’t very important to so many people. It is maddening at times, to see the pain and destruction people inflict with their ignorance.

I could not fathom having children or grandchildren and NOT wanting to know, NOT wanting to change the path we are on. I wonder to myself ALL the time - don’t parents feel responsible for their family’s future? I sincerely do not understand. Future generations may be struggling to survive in a violent, war-torn land where little clean water exists…or adequate soil, or pollination to grow crops. It is all a vicious cycle, and the only way anyone can break the chain is to STOP BEING A PART OF IT. Not by a little, not here and there, but in EVERY WAY one has control over.

There is cruelty is nature, yes. But there is less often rape, murder out of no physical necessity, enslavement or ownership. There is not planetary destruction nor the utter eradication of Earth’s resources. We confine and enslave and dominate and ‘own’ and destroy and pollute…we proclaim we are against cruelty and violence while we support it, we insist that we have a right to clean water while not knowing what dangers lurk in it, and expect that the food we buy is safe, when in fact it isn’t.

Here’s the facts: Animal products are detrimental to your health. Period. There is plenty of protein in plants and beans. Plant-based whole foods is the most optimal diet for the human frame. Killing NEVER equals love or respect. It should equal survival (e.g. unable to avoid, generally for purposes of sheer necessity). It does not equal survival in humans, so any killing is a poor excuse for being unable to quell your taste for flesh, pus, and blood. The water supplies are being heavily polluted and the ocean is on the verge of collapse. A huge portion of our ocean is a plastic soup. Algae blooms grow larger every year and there is mass pollution. We are turning our soil into a toxic mush with fertilizers and sludge, and the run-off is killing the few remaining viable water supplies. The bees are dying in massive numbers. They crop dust us with chemicals. Some plants are registered pesticides. GMO crops are cross-pollinating and changing the DNA of food. All this, yet there is so much more.

We are happily selling off the last remaining items in an “Everything Must Go” sale. Furthermore, we have no need to do any of this but seem to simply enjoy the experience of killing and using and dominating and destroying, which is utterly irrational.

I know most people don’t believe anyone would intentionally harm their family or Earth, but they WILL and they ARE. It is imperative that people check facts, and check them carefully. The reality is there - and it’s kinda awful - but there is nothing like empowering yourself with knowledge and taking back your power.

Humans anger me every day, and I make no apology for my frustration… the horrors and hurt I witness in the name of ‘human’ are abhorrent. The excuses I hear are empty and without depth or true meaning. But I would fight for you (and I do fight for all), I would sacrifice my time and my never-ending energy and enthusiasm to aide you. I would go without to help you, and I would share all I have willingly. I simply refuse to soothe the overblown human ego, and I refuse to shy or look away from the truth. However you define me is up to you, as I have nothing I feel I need to prove to anyone.

You shift the power by caring. You shift society by being an active part of it. Vegans are an active part of it, and I have only rarely met another vegan who was not a caring, involved, knowledgeable, compassionate soul who often humble me with their overall love and kindness, so I make no apology for praising them, and thanking them for generally being the leaders in the movement to bring peace and nonviolence, to bring appreciation for our Earth and all others (both human and non), standing steadfast with love for all beings, and to ending discrimination in all forms.

I LOVE being vegan! Positive vegan love to all!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yes, It is Ridiculous, I Agree


A typical vegan conversation with a few words changed to emphasize the point of how ridiculous our conversations are:

Person 1: "I love all ‘people’ and I think we should act nonviolently to each other."

Person 2: “I love all ‘people’ too but I can’t stop killing Mexicans.”

Person 1: “Well, that is not love! You can’t kill something and proclaim love!”

Person 2: “I don’t kill a lot of Mexicans, only a few times per month. I do so love all people.” [now getting angry]

Person 1: [still trying to be nice] “That makes no sense! Mexicans value their life and are just as aware as other races. It is discrimination and false beliefs that lead you to kill Mexicans. If you were raised in another country you might prefer killing Americans or Africans…you make NO SENSE whatsoever.”

Person 2: “You always push your belief on others, and you should respect my personal choices. How dare you suggest I don’t love people just because I like killing Mexicans? You are a self-righteous jerk. I’m going to go kill 3 Mexicans now, just because you pissed me off so much!” [storms off]

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Roadkill :(


Out today – dead animals all over the road.

I think many animal lovers are saddened by what people commonly call ‘roadkill,' including me.

That got me thinking:

Scenario 1) You accidentally hit a baby deer, and it breaks your heart. If the deer was able to run away, you worry about the suffering involved in the likely-dying animal. If the baby deer is lying there, alive but dying, you ache to have it be over as soon as possible, so this poor sweet being doesn’t have to endure any misery. You feel sad and you offer comfort and love as best you can, and you try to relieve suffering.

Scenario 2) You swerve to ENSURE you hit the baby deer, intentionally harming him/her. You stab the frightened animal until dead, throw him/her in the back of your car and haul him/her home. You then feast happily upon the corpse of this animal, or make a ‘pretty’ coat, and claim you are peaceful and/or respectful.

One is a vegan (occasions of inadvertent harm with no violent intent), the other is non-vegan (intentional violent aggression to another). Make the connection. Love and non-violence to ALL.

Are You Sure That's Safe...?



Every day I see more and more people with ‘allergies’ and ‘food intolerances,’ often along with the statement(s), “I’ve never been like this before,” or, “It keeps getting worse.”

Makes me sad for people, seriously. I always want to obnoxiously interject: “Have you ever tried avoiding the hormones and/or pesticides and/or dangerous organisms and/or blood and/or pus and/or chemicals and/or antibiotic residue and/or genetically-modified frankenfoods and/or the poison air and/or contaminated water?”

Why can’t people see? I simply do not understand. The minimal research it takes to protect themselves and their family…???

1) GMOs have NOT been proven safe for consumption and almost every person in the USA eats them many times per day. There are other countries that have been smart enough to ban GMOs. Corporations like Monsanto (and many others) lie about biotechnology ‘feeding the world,’ when in fact it has been proven we can achieve greater crop yields with less water use and less soil degradation by way of conventional farming. The GMO crops are resistant to certain pesticides and therefore the crops are heavily sprayed with that pesticide, killing off surrounding life forms and important soil microbes. Pesticide-resistance to weeds is becoming a real issue and causes even more pesticide application. The pesticide run-off then goes into the water and we further drink the pesticides, along with the rest of the trace drugs in the water. In many cases, the crops THEMSELVES have been genetically modified to produce pesticides. The DNA of GMO crops have been altered and therefore their DNA is unlike anything on Earth that has EVER been grown or consumed. Many studies are demonstrating they are potentially very harmful to both human and nature. New laws enacted to hush people trying to tell the truth could have me arrested for even talking about this (yes, really - if they wanted to). Until we establish FACTS to the contrary, GMOs are NOT GRAS! (‘Generally Recognized as Safe,’ as the industry calls it – what that actually MEANS is that science has NEVER PROVEN them safe!!!). I REPEAT: These crops have NEVER been proven safe for consumption, or even to be on our skin (BT cotton, etc.).

2) Even non-GMO crops are victims of pesticide applications. Glyphosate and other toxic chemicals are on our food, for the most part - even if the food itself is not GMO - the food is likely covered, saturated, or packaged using chemicals and/or pesticides.

3) People were lied to when desperate utter survival turned into commercial profit. Animal products are not food for human except possibly in severe extremes, which no one reading this is dealing with. Humans flourish on a plant-based diet, disease often disappears or simply never manifests, and conclusive proof exists that a plant-based diet is what humans should follow if that human desires to be in alignment with a non-violent, peaceful, healthy, environmentally-friendly, love-one-another, respect other beings, and love-your-own-body kind of way. What we do to farm animals even on the ‘smallest and nicest’ farm is still not ‘pretty,’ and often the natural predacious species in the area are exterminated to protect farm animals. This leads to this ongoing imbalance and ‘overpopulation’ of other animals and leads to even more killing…a society based on killing and exterminating anything in its path, even if the ‘anything’ is an ‘anyONE.’

4) Farm subsidies from our government in the USA are shameful and if I were a parent I’d be PISSED off. Not only about the persistent misinformation about nutrition, but the crap they call food that they shove down your throat all the time (and people say vegans ‘shove their thoughts down their throat’ – REALLY? Ever watch TV?). They subsidize the foods that are unhealthy and are an utter disgrace of humanity and make it harder for the average family to buy foods that will keep their loved ones out of the hospital or doctor’s office or cemetery.

Everyone has an Uncle Joe who smoked 5 packs of cigarettes for 94 years and died at the ripe old age of 106 eating nothing but bacon and lard (!), and certainly a plant-based person could die at 40 from a heart attack – it could happen – but those are not the norms, odds, averages, or statistics. I have heard and researched a lot - the reality is NOT that…people are dropping dead like crazy, the drug companies are making BILLIONS off people being sick and keeping them sick, and ALL chronic diseases are on the rise, including what got me started on this – ‘allergies’ and ‘food intolerances.’

…I went ‘vegan’ for completely ethical reasons. I love all creatures on Earth and I am extremely happy to live my life trying to avoid harming or abusing them. But learning for so many years since that fateful day? I have analyzed all angles I could discover, the evidence, and the motivations (One must always look WHERE the study is coming from – most “pro-GMO” studies come FROM the biotech company themselves – that’s believable, eh?). Although I continue to consider any and all views presented - facts, science, love, non-violence, deep respect for Earth and nature, compassion, and morality keep me coming back to the exact same conclusion.

This is science and the reality. Regardless of what non-vegans or non-plant-based or GMO-apathetic people do, this is science (or, in some instances, the lack of science). These issues, especially ‘using’ animals, is NOT ‘personal choice,’ it is a moral decision. However, a true decision can only be made when someone takes the time to be educated on the issue. Just as most of us would not open our wallet and give money directly to an animal abuser, or chemical company making us sick, or an unethical industry; we should not give them money INDIRECTLY either (we give it to the store, the store gives it to them). Many people resist learning the details of these issues because they think it will turn their lives upside-down, they simply don’t know what else to eat, wear, or do. Additionally, they don’t really believe they are being violent or cruel or destructive (although they are), or, what I used to think, “It wouldn’t be legal to do that” (it is) or “It wouldn’t be legal to poison me)” (it is).

I used to eat burgers, I used to eat cheese, I used to wear leather - but the reality is I never been happier than I am now. I communicate with thousands of other vegans and generally that is a common statement (“never been happier”). Besides being sad that many loved ones are unwilling to see facts due to extreme fear of change and set-in traditionally accepted rituals, and besides the fact that vegans are acutely aware of ‘the screaming’ going on everywhere, and besides the fact that it breaks a vegan’s heart to know some people are just cruel and do not care, and besides the fact that vegans are aware their safe food options are in danger because people are letting chemical corporations take over the food industry, and besides the fact that we are aware people are currently destroying our ecosystem at a lightning-pace, most of us would say (and completely mean it), “We’ve never been happier.”

Don’t blame a vegan or any activist for being frustrated at times, or having normal human emotions. People need to blame themselves for giving activists something legitimate to be hollering about. Right now people are lucky enough to have a choice, a chance to stand up for what is right and just, and to give a crap about others…that opportunity may be diminished in the future.

Avoid animal products. Avoid GMO. Avoid any food that bacteria won’t eat (that infers it is heavily laden with preservatives and/or should not be considered as food). Avoid glyphosate and other chemicals. Eat organic. Insist on maintaining strict guidelines for how organic food is produced (they keep relaxing the organic laws, soon it will be just called “the same shit food as everyone else’s shit food”). When you can, grow your own food from organic heirloom seed varieties. Don’t be afraid of change, especially when it is for the betterment of all. And don’t be afraid of knowledge – it really IS power!

IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

An Apology to PETA [of sorts]



Unfortunately because of some of the actions and contradictions with my own views, I am not a huge fan of PETA. They do not package the message in a way that is acceptable for many people, and in some ways gives nonvegans excuse not to bother to change because they write PETA off as quite nuts and inappropriate at times. I find this sad, for many reasons. Mostly because I think they could be much more effective utilizing different outreach methods than they currently employ (not saying all their efforts are bad, just a lot of mixed messages and tacky stunts), but it is also personal for me - PETA changed my life.

I was young, stupid, and naïve, and I had a few extra bucks, so I sent a donation to PETA. I didn’t know that much about them, but I "loved animals" dearly (no, I didn't - I just THOUGHT I did). I got back a "thank you" and a copy of their magazine. Late that night I happily settled down to read 'happy' stories about rescued dogs and cats...

...mind blown...

...this can't be real...

...why would they say these things?...

(the first story was about turkeys)

...go to computer - Google please save me... Is it true? OMG it is true. Wait a minute - what did I THINK I was eating? [now freaking out as thinking things I had never considered before] – Did I ever really ‘see’ them at all? Visions of many times snapping photos of wild turkeys in my yard with their babies – loving them and feeling so honored they visited me…CRASH!?!*%!*?

Went to bed, feeling sad and anxious and discomforted. Amazingly I slept deeply, but woke up a different person. Feeling calm, totally confident, already feeling a sense of happiness and relief. I was going vegan. NOW. Come hell or high water.

I would have lived quite happily on hummus and broccoli if must (vegans have great food, but I didn’t know that then), but I wasn’t going to participate anymore. I don’t want to kill animals or cause them suffering. I LOVE animals. I was going vegan and would never be anything but, ever again. At first hubby and mom probably thought it was some sort of phase, but because they are awesome people they supported me, and we’ve never looked back. (We’ve learned so much since those long-ago days, and we are NEVER going back.)

So, back to PETA. I have some love for them – they changed my whole life in the most awesome way possible. They have shown me a whole new way of thinking and feeling. They pushed me to a place where I am now extremely well read on subjects I was not – such as agriculture, nutrition, environmental issues, multinationals, chemicals, how our system works to our detriment in general, etc. They have given me a deeper meaning where I live consciously and ethically rather than selfishly or ignorantly. Yet they also embarrass our cause at times, they have done some ‘activism’ that reflects poorly on many of us and some of their ‘positions’ are unacceptable to me and belie some of the *message*.

Sorry PETA, as I am unable to be an aggressive supporter (but I remain a closet hopeful and recognize you HAVE changed lives). I truly am sorry – I could never thank you enough for what you have done for me. The day I really woke up and realized what love for *ALL* really means.
I LOVE being [non-welfarist abolitionist] vegan!

[GO VEGAN]

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Be the Change You Wish to See



Everyone argues we have this long history of ‘eating and using animals’, as if somehow that justifies this irrational ‘tradition’ to be continued, but the reality is, we have a long history of VIOLENCE – of killing and using EVERYTHING, including animals and other humans.

Our ‘human’ history is decidedly violent, I don’t think I even need to elaborate on this. From wars to genocide to slavery, we have never really learned sustained peace. Maybe that is because we don’t actually practice it.

The animals have not been spared our brutal and violent tendencies. We decided to confine, raise, and kill animals for ‘food’; then we needed to protect farm animals so we killed off all the predators – the wolves, bears, big cats, etc. When imbalances in nature then occurred, and through our assertion of ‘overpopulation’, we kill the other species too. Then countless numbers die for people to eat the products that will ultimately likely lead their own deaths and suffering. These same people, while slowly killing themselves or cultivating chronic diseases will continue to fund unethical corporations - propaganda machines that are largely responsible for the clearing of our rainforests, the pollution of land and water throughout the world, the rise of superbugs and new diseases, and toxic ‘food’ - all adding up to…you guessed it…more death. A whole society based on killing and violence and suffering and using and death, yet vegans are considered EXTREME?

Maybe if we all acted peaceful we would find peace.

Might...Right...??...?...


If I were to dedicate much of my life to saving dogs and cats, everyone would just think I was an awesome animal lover. But because I work to save ALL other animals I am viewed as a bit emotional and maybe even irrational. Personally I don’t think NOT causing suffering or death when it can be easily avoided is irrational or overly emotional at all. I also don’t think NOT destroying our ecosystem and wasting tons of resources is overly emotional or irrational. My choices are based in science – they ALL feel, we don’t NEED to harm them, our ecosystems are collapsing, and they ALL value their own life and are sentient beings.

Why harm ANY other when we don’t have to? What is irrational is this persistent discrimination that allows humans to continue to judge the value of another life and exterminate individual beings and entire ecosystems at will by brute force. That is what is irrational. Bunch of bullies.

GO VEGAN.


“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society”
Jiddu Krishnamurti