The Green Sheep in the Family

Full disclosure first — I am the green sheep in the family: one of “those vegans” who have the temerity to speak up for “others” — more similar to us than not — who have no voice in determining their own destiny. Today I focus on the multiple billions  living in camps

green.sheep

By this time next year 70 billion will have lived from birth to death in one of those facilities. Factory friendly farms.

Well there must be a good reason then.

Many reasons, but each is specious, spurious and tawdry. We deny inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to “the others.” Is that ethical behavior? Do animals volunteer their own destruction?

Bill, they outnumber us 10 to 1. So it looks like we are the ones endangered here. Do you call that fair? Let us tell you something. life isn’t fair and freedom fries aren’t free. It’s a wonder that any of us are left standing, actually. So it’s self-defense, us or them.

But can we talk about something a little less depressing?

Sorry. Let’s talk about optimal health, vibrance and well-being. In short: those habits that produce a healthy body. There are many ways to become ill: some involve luck, some are viral/bacterial, some are self-induced. I’ve tried many ill-advised styles of life.

Vegan protein icons

To quote my own father “I would rather be rich and healthy than sick and poor.”

Majority rule then. You vegans comprise 3% of the eating public. Why force bunny-salads down our throats? We are not geese. We are designed to eat meat. Some call it stewardship in a dominion over all life. What’s wrong with being top dog? Beats low dog.

3% of human eaters are vegan, 3% of human scientists deny climate-change, 3% is a good guess at the percentage of lifeforms that would survive an extinction event — asteroidal, nuclear or climatological.

Detox is tough because meat is a powerful addiction that is socially acceptable and culturally sanctioned. Secreting toxins is wearying — so is withdrawal from other addicting chemicals. We are living and breathing chemical factories, walking bags of chemicals.

Some very good news: craving for meat and meat byproducts metamorphoses into repulsion.

Why are you vegans always so negative?

We aren’t.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

Question Mercatorian Authority

 

In 1974 German cartographer Arno Peters developed a projection that ignited a firestorm by introducing a map that far more accurately portrays land-area distribution on planet Earth.

Listen Bill, firestorms hurt innocent people. It’s not nice to start fires; however, if we may say one good thing  about firestorms: they just might melt the snowflakes who start them.

 

do_not_question_authority_by_graffitiwatcher

All projections are approximations — you peel the surface of a sphere and press the peels onto a two-dimensional surface. Each attempt compromises something, but that god-awful Mercator (invented in the year 1569) compromises everything except convenience for sextant users in the year 2017.

The higher the latitude, the more profound the misrepresentation. Now what value could that have for propagandists? None I guess.

There must be something worthwhile in a technique that has survived 500 years of history, Bill. We think you have too much time on your hands. Watch some March Madness, Bill.

Yesterday my son turned me on to Cartographers for Social Equality — a cult classic from The West Wing episodes.

Bill, this sounds like something you could put on a business card to alert the innocent of the foolish views that seem to stick in your craw. Can we help you get the help you need?

WordPress uses the Mercator for data analytics by country.  Canadian and Russian visitors make me feel globally successful, simply by dint of all that map-shading.

I’m still waiting for visitors from Grønland (grøn is Danish for green). For no reason at all let me tell you that the German for green is grün.

Stay on task. Do your job. Sit down and shut up. Capiche?

What of those massive islands in Northern Canada? They are actually tiny islands. Take a look at a globe the next time you’re in a furniture store. Observe how the lines of longitude join at the North and South Poles —those antipodes are infinitely distant from the Equator. Literally. Only the places close to 0º depict areas accurately — the North Pole on a Mercator is as impossible to reach as the mythical elvish workshop.

mercator.brittanica

Geography glommed many generations ago into a mash-up called branches of social science. In effect a spattering of soundbites in an already watered-down curriculum.

Here are two of many remarkable cartograms by Benjamin Hennig that you can access on his website: viewsoftheworld.net. You can directly compare area and population density for the insight that this brings — if you’re into this kind of thing.

USelection2016Cartogram

We’re not ‘into’ things. We’re on to things — we’re on to you.
The map on the right resembles a vascular circulatory system, doesn’t it? Perspective matters perhaps.
EUreferendumCartogram
Read Hennig’s blog for more cartograms that portray other dynamics at play.

The Guardian published an annotated series for comparing map projections in 2009.

Why reinvent something that Mercator already settled 500 years ago? But you have to be different, don’t you?

Thanks for reading.

 

Veganism vs. Cannibalism

There comes a time — quite often actually — when a reader’s “like” inspires me to craft a post from a comment.

Bill, you have a highly overdeveloped sense of your own importance. Is that not a superfluous sentence you’ve just written?

As a vegan, I join with non-such at a restaurant, open the menu and bite my (own) tongue at the overwhelming quantity of non-vegan fare that tastelessly adorns the menu — beef tongue is but one. Hey, why is tongue not among the lurid photographs of dismemberment, decapitation, mutilation and third-degree burns?

Vegetarian_Dating

Wonder no more my friend, you do exactly the same thing with produce — dead on arrival at the supermarket.

Tongue bite: What is the difference between cannibalism, eating body parts from a fellow specie, and consumption of any other highly evolved sentient creature? “Meat” cuts come from an animal with a highly developed central nervous system.

 

It is societally sanctioned. Call it an appetizer, entree, craving, tradition, custom, rite, blessing, a dominion-over thing. We’re talking about a nutritionally healthy and balanced diet. Humans are hard-wired…

vegan.meat

You see, it’s OK — those animal remains on our plate did not have four fingers and an opposing thumb, did they? Nor did they have vocal chords that produce words. So it’s OK, OK? It is OK, Bill. By the way, have you ever heard of the Natural Law? 

Look here, Bill. We’re getting a little tired of vegans trying to stuff kale down our throats all the time. Do you have any idea what that’s like? Do you? Well let me tell you about the Natural Law. It’s what gives us dominion over all the beasts. Scripture tells us that man has an immortal soul, all other animals have mortal souls.

If that isn’t enough to stop your insane raving, we have saved the very best argument for last, so please, if it’s not asking too much. Might you leave us these two words — CANINE TEETH.

canine.teeth

Thanks for reading.

Read by Number or Color by Number?

Before nano-processors in your pocket did all the memorizing for you, back in 1974, a fad whispered and died before anyone knew it existed — memorizing numbers for profit and fun. I wasn’t interested in fun and profit, nor in memorizing my mother-in-law’s phone number,  but I was interested in reading numbers. To cut to the rabbit hole, the concept piqued an interest that is still peaking..

Parlor tricks interest me less than basketball in a mad enough March.

Any of the way, it’s formally known as the Major System.

Bill, you major in minor interests don’t you?

You are correct sir. The more arcane and uninteresting the endeavor, the more profound my fascination.

Let’s say you have trouble remembering an all-important number — such as 42.

The sound of a 4 is R. The sound of a 2 is N. RN ran Iran ron run rune rain

Major-System

But what if you need to remember your towel and don’t have a word/number number/word dictionary at hand. Problemo No-o. W counts as a consonant in Arabic, but not in the language of System-Major.

Identify two (2) consonants — T and L. T sound denotes 1. L sound denotes 5.

15

Wow vowels are not explicitly expressed, so choose the consonantal combo that works for you.

Now turn your word-number/number-word dictionary upside down and look up the number 15. What have we there? What have we?

towel.day

Let me explain something — the number 1 can be a T, the number 1 can be a D. This is something I call the Ta Da phenomenon.

But Bill, does this have anything to do with German language?

Of course it does. When I taught German (a lot) it seemed important to invent a hokey-butt theory to explain similarities between German and English. My theory posits that the original Saxons, on their way to the British Isles, decided to celebrate their immigration by tweaking German into something that could become English. They did this en route. No one has ever reported this language-building event for the simple reason that none of it happened.

 

Map-England-Invasions_c

 

Are you trying to say something, Bill? You lost us in Calais.

Yeah. The language-building team chose phonetically related consonants to do stuff like. I’m like, like you know, like instead of UTTER like say like UDDER — just to be different I guess.

Bill. We’re in the other room watching madness march, we can’t hear you. Titter, titter.

Tidder, tidder.

Let us look at another pair here: B to V.

Über-over oben-above eben-even.

Wer hat eine Frage? (Does anyone have a question?)

 

Could you close the door, Bill. We’re watching the game.

Thanks for reading.

Martha in the End Times

Martha Stephens writes beautifully about important matters — at nearly 80, she is a gentle, kind and inspired source for all who raise candles in solidarity for the brutally exploited.
Before beginning my own blog I wrote to her about a theme I was considering. To a large extent mine is still a commonplace book — one that contains matters close to my being — in some way all weaving together.
Please enjoy this superb blog. I’ve met many kind and wonderful people here.
Read this nota bene from Martha —

       “NB: If you’ve read this far, my friends, please consider Following this blog.  You’d get a notice about new posts only every month or two — and I don’t always write this long!  Also happy to have your Comments little or big . . . .”

 

marthastephens

ARE THESE the end times, my friends?  Have we fellows on Planet Earth just been waiting, ever since November 8, for the final chaos to overtake us?

I guess we figure, even so, that in the meantime we might as well go on with our lives.   See myself here with my Mexican-American friend Christina at the soup kitchen last month in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

We’d chopped vegetables together all morning, and talked and carried on, and now our guests were about to appear — 250 of our fellow citizens, mostly people without work or with work that does not pay them enough to live on.  All of them just carrying on, too, I suppose, in this richest of all countries in the world.

The Fist

BUT THESE END TIMES, my friends — is this the twilight of the gods?  The last cataclysm, perhaps, as predicted by the ancient writings?  Will we see, in the end, the…

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First Job: 1965 — Steampunked

Well, it’s time to steampunk the time machine again. The one over there. The one in the corner. That’s mine.

Yes. The time has arrived to set its calendar function to a May day in North America — its 1,965th iterations of C.E or A.D. (your choice). My machine, its vacuum tubes warm to the challenge. I click the counter to 2000 + 17. Dial needles slowly sway forward as the tubes warm. I click the destination counter to 1900 + 65.

steampunk.knapsack

Was it…

OK it was McDonalds. My parents dropped me off so I could put in an application while they did journey upon an errand. I shall never disclose the nature of their journey-called-errand because both joined the deceased quite some years before I started writing this account you now read, that is, unless you have already departed from this post.

Dear readers, we are now in that very McDonald parking lot. Do you see the car leaving this lot? Do you see me walking in at the back door?

OK. There was this guy at a corner desk. Did he tilt his head sidelong in my direction? Yes he did. How did you know?

mcdonalds.1965

That guy would utter something of portend the following day. You’ll read about that mere minutes from now. Allow me to repeat his very words, so that you may carefully note them:

“The uniforms are in the basement.”

By gosh there were uniforms in that nether room. And don them I did.

Bill, thank you for recalling the insignificant.

Upon donning the red and yellow vest, upon tilting the paper cap to a jaunty angle, I returned by the same set of stairs.

mcdonalds-ad-1961-cincinnati-enquirer-2

And thus did I learn the milkshake-machine trade. A fellow tradesman was already at our shared station. Few customers demanded shakes that day. We simply stood there and took turns. My associate posed an inquiry:

“Why did they assign two tradesmen to this light-duty trade?”

“Why were we not assigned the task of squeezing mustard and ketchup for the grillsmen?”

Excuse our yawns, Bill. Uh, did you parents return from their quest?

Indeed. They returned. I do not think that they expected to find me in full uniform regalia, jaunty tilt and all. I do not.

steampunk.time.machineDay number two: co-shaker and I are on the job,  waiting for the ever infrequent shake order to arrive. In the mean while the manager and his assistant sat upon a picnic table outside. They watched us as we nervously stood, working hardly at faux cleaning.

Some short minutes thereafter the assistant manager of picnic-table note informed me that my application existed not, one person where only half-ass staffing sufficed.

application-mcDonalds

Fortunately I had a prepared response “uh, yeah. I haven’t done that part yet.” My second day was also my last — pink papers were drawn.

Next job to visit via steampunk: OS&D Clerk at Dance Freight Lines — connecting the north with the industrial south.

 

crackerbox_red_dance_lf_lg

Thanks for reading.

 

Pulp & Politics: Blake’s 7

Today I’m taking you on a field trip to the north and west of Italy, made possible by a friend and fellow blogger— Davide Mana is our host.

Apparently you had to be in Britannia between 1978 and 1981, or you missed the whole thing. So bring along a device that is YouTube capable. If your ears are as bad as mine you might also pack a voice-captioning device that mishears words as often as I do. Allow me to share one word match in the dictionary-database — the verb “trump” rendered as the (proper?) noun “Trump.”

Please bring your hands (or tentacle equivalent) together and welcome the guy who makes this all possible. Join me in welcoming Dr. Mana!

Karavansara

The joys of Youtube.
I’ve spent the last few nights watching old episodes of the BBC’s Blake’s 7, a space opera series that aired between 1978 and 1981, and that was never distributed in my country.
And I must say I’m positively impressed.

blake1_2530865b

Because it’s an old show, and produced on a very short and frail shoestring budget, but what the heck, it’s good fun and great storytelling.

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Veganarchism and Crows Head Soup

 

crows.head.soup
Source

Peter Schreiner leads Crows Head Soup, a vegan touchstone. Peter brings strong vegan stew to the table  —  you’ll find poetry that skewers the skewering, photographs of hanging carcasses, the blood slurried into storage tanks for unspecified ends. Here is the post that inspired me to write this post: Lamentations of a Veganarchist.

That’s not very nice, Bill. Where are your manners? We don’t talk about hanging cows in polite company.

Sorry. I’ll get my mind right now.

Take the scenic route on your family vacation and remark on those grass-munching cows. Talk about the time a cow escaped from a truck and ended up on the highway. Remind all that it was adopted by a nice local family. Did you know that two turkeys are presidentially pardoned every year — that it adds up to a whole lot of birds over the years. Stop at a Dairy Queen to nod approvingly on its storied history.

Thank you for opting a little common decency, Bill.

Think death camps the size of Mordor behind the hills of rural America.

 

 

Each In-N-Out Burger consumed (or tossed) triggers a supply-chain decision. Breed another cow. How now.

in-n-out-burger-216

inventory = inventory minus one. When inventory reaches a certain level a replenishment order is issued.

Folly, arrogance and confusion gone long wrong.

Mr. Bill, do you have any idea how many blessed jobs depend on all those animal molecules you talk so long about? So long.

Do you know how many jobs are lost through extermination events of the planetary kind?

 

Family tours are never offered at “meat=processing facilities” but jobs are offered to the über marginalized in this economy.

The machinery grinds “resources” into hoppers for added value down the line. Marketplaces require workers’ willingness to press each shoulder to each wheel. From hopper to shopper — a lifestyle that assigns each party a horror, the insatiable appetite for more “resources”, more uses for each mighty molecule. 

What is the nature of evolution? Species developed over several billion years result in predators and prey surviving in a delicate balance, absent the actions of a single specie hellbent on tipping the scale. If you are not a human, or not a specie domesticated by humans, you thrive and perish at the razor edge. 

Meat_Atlas_2014_subsidies_animal_products
Direct Subsidies for Animal Products and Feed

Enter the indifferent world of commerce — the scale-tippers. Tippers so cunningly successful that their own numbers increase by the billion and wild species are driven to extinction. Domesticated species are bred for extermination camps — the demands of the most insatiable homo sapiens require that the slaughter houses produce enough turnover in daily carcass units to make them economically viable processing centers in a modern society.

Thanks for reading.

 

Sugar Comes From Arabic

Nothing melts my heart so thoroughly as receiving a kind letter from a favorite author.

sugar.comes.from.arabic

Recently, I suggested, kind readers, that you visit a link to a valuable resource. To a book that inspired me to learn Arabic well — Sugar comes from Arabic by Barbara Whitesides. It is as sweet as Arabic coffee. I encourage you to obtain a copy as early as humanely possible.

Select a tea or Arabic coffee and get ready to savor marvelous things. Fetch a writing instrument and some lined paper, or the back of an envelope. The book is comfortable to the eagerly flipping hand. Very often overlooked by lesser binders — it has a freely moving ring-binder format. Lay it open, lay it to one page. It doesn’t fall to the floor. It doesn’t require paper weights — a very important feature in a language book!

Discover a world where mere writing takes on the freedom and skill of the gymnast. A language a world away from the 26 offerings of the English you are reading now.  Latin letters of Roman device (Latin Alphabet A-Z).

qawa

Did you know that a proper Latin alphabet possesses not the merest of minuscules? Have you observed that curved lines are quite literally ANATHEMA to the words of Latin? Writing with ALL CAPS connotes shouting in the language Troll.

Somehow I feel it likely that you are reading this while attached to the internet.

Might you have read this far, I admire your patience. Perhaps you’ve only now viewed this olde bloge o’ mine. I thank you for reading, and I’ll thank you again at the end of this post.

Roman numerals are now seen at the opening frames of older films, e.g. MCMIX (quite a number of famous Hollywood releases in 1939 (to have already given away conversion of MCMIX). The only other use is to promote a bowl of befouled fowl body parts in the cold cave of early February.

Proceed you now to several pages:

sugar.k

Mnemonics aids learning, it’s one way to hold onto fragile new knowledge while it attempts to land safely and securely in long-term memory.

Here I am quoting myself in a letter to Barbara —

Quote:

Your kind letter has made my year 🙂 Thank you so much for reading my article. You never know just how far your words can travel.
I am writing a series on my discoveries in Arabic and I want to share how much Sugar Comes from Arabic helped me overcome the daunting challenge that mastering its script represented. Now I find myself enthralled by each encounter — from the unexpected thrill of gently pulling the pen along the paper rather than plowing into the paper, then immediately covering it up in the “normal” way that my left-handedness dictates in left-to-right English.
I taught German for many years and know how limited and mundane many methodologies simply are. Bringing language alive doesn’t just happen. My introduction to Arabic began with one of my Palestinian students. I still have the slip of paper that became my introduction. Finding your book was the next discovery that piqued my interest and resolve to keep at it.
Well it seems that I am already writing the next in that series of Arabic discoveries by composing this reply. So I return to the SaFaRi into the desert that is the blank page — a SaHaRa 🙂

:End Quote

Let’s check out another page:

sugar.j.png

Here’s a rhetorical question: Why do so many books on Arabic use small and grainy fonts?

Arabic script is a joy. Barbara Whitesides’ book is both beautiful and inspiring.

Thanks for reading.

Veganism as Enlightenment: What Gives?

Today’s fortune cookie papers:

  1. Choose to eschew animal flesh, choose to chew plant nutrients.
  2. Make good lifestyle choices,
  3. A vegan diet a day keeps an extinction event at bay.

This is another in What Gives? — a series of articles designed to promote intellectual curiosity on a range of healthful topics.

 

michael-pollan

Caution: today’s post may not be suitable for all audiences.

Veganism and enlightenment go together like birds of a feather in a lush wetland — a match made in heaven. Allow me to entertain a wild guess, to estimate a ballpark figure on vegans’ good taste in matters of truth and beauty. In a word — legion.

Lisa informs me that my web search has led to Mark 5:9 — the one in which Jesus exorcises demons from a haunted soul, sending each demon into the souls of unfortunate pigs who drown themselves rather than suffer.

Veganism recognizes the right of all sentient beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s not a matter of lions laying with the lambs. No, a lion is a carnivore by nature. Canine teeth not withstanding.

vegan-we-are-legion

Veganism argues for the inherent right of animals to live by their own device — not a life ordained and enforced by a single specie, one with a storied history of arrogance. Homo Sapien might look into the eyes of another specie and imagine stretch-wrapped plastic slabs resting on styrofoam tubs in a super-duper market — factory-farm fresh from the slaughter house. Live and let live (in a Tyson death camp perhaps).

OK Bill, you are indeed “one of those vegans.” QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM, ERGO SUM.

Legion — the number saved, not the number served.

Bill, before you go back to your bunny diet, take a goose and a gander at the highlights on Sunday’s grand buffet:

  • foie gras,
  • veal cutlets (let’s cut),
  • bottomless meat bowls

Why do you not slaver?

ex-carnivore

Today’s reading is from Rama Ganesan:

Enlightenment and Speciesism: On the domain-specificity of awakenings

From Rama’s byline:

Vegan and former vivisectionist. BA (Oxon), PhD, MBA, Humane Educator. Mother of four, two humans, one dog and one cat. From Tucson, Cardiff and Chennai.

Highly recommended because it’s well written and inspiring.

Thanks for reading.