Calling Culling Killing

Living a vegan lifestyle is its own reward: it is personally satisfying, it improves your personal health and stamina, it rights the injustice of generational theft and recognizes the inalienable right of all sentient beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Being outnumbered 33 to 1 doesn’t erase that simple fact of life and death.

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Yes the very word “vegan” often elicits quite a reaction from non-vegans — sometimes a shudder, sometimes a groan, sometimes a laugh.

…and y’all make the rest of us sick because we were created to eat meat and to have dominion over the appetizing entrees on the land, in the sea and in the air. That includes hunting, butchering and fashion. All fair game. 

I consider myself a citizen of an Earth without boundaries, a planet where one-citizen one-vote includes all sentient beings — those yet wild and free and those imprisoned without charge in slaughter houses.

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I’ve just finished reading an article by Dr. Will Tuttle. It appeared in a helpful and useful resource —  one written with earthy sustainability as a goal: One Green Planet. There you may enjoy a bunch of greenish suggestions for halting the crime of generational theft

How can spiritual teachers be meat eaters? Well, most people searching for spiritual insight are not yet vegan, but that long arc leading from here to full rights for the 75 billion units served per annum? It’s way out there: way, way — but gets closer with each non-meat bite.

From experience I know that you may have to hit proverbial rock-bottom before turning the train-wreck of your existence around. The clear and present threat to vegans as well as non-vegans is not found in the news. Most news organizations are either corporately owned or corporately sponsored, advertising is their lifeblood.  An endless flow of 40′ containers course their way on the open sea. When you buy cheap eye-candy manufactured of plastic, your purchase triggers an order to a factory. What’s the harm of that?

  1. you are most likely sanctioning human trafficking.
  2. you are contributing to further global warming
  3. you are consuming the limited amount of biomass of a past extinction event.
  4. the eye-candy goes to a landfill, but it eventually ends up in the oceans to maim, kill and pollute: from phytoplankton to the formerly land-based whales. Whales are highly intelligent fellow mammals who fared better in the ocean because their legs didn’t evolve very well.
  5. Old plastics don’t die, and they don’t just fade away —they go on to kill the creatures downstream who were around before “civilization” arrived to kill all not already marked for cull. Culling is killing.

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Generational Theft. It’s as unreported and as stark as the deaths of 75 billion sentient beings each year. Leave the grand kids to fend for themselves.

The futures market is a place to earn a return on livestock before they become deadstock. Pork belly futures go up and down, but the pigs heading to market only go down — they asked for it by dint of yumminess. Don’t forget the little piggy that had roast beef, the little piggy that had none (or tofu, it’s the same thing isn’t it?).

Dr. Tuttle asks a direct question on a puzzling state of affairs. The incredible made credible, the inexplicable explicated.

“Why Are Few Spiritual Teachers Vegan?”

“While it’s relatively easy to bemoan and blame corrupt politicians, greedy bankers, and sociopathic decision makers in the military-industrial complex for our woes, the obvious and undeniable fact is that these leaders and power brokers are, inevitably, an accurate mirror of the consciousness of we the people. Attempting to improve the quality of our leaders without improving the quality of ourselves is an exercise in futility.”

The vast majority of physicians eat meat, but that circumstance is changing rapidly as more homo sapiens arrive at the epiphany that convinces former meat-eaters to eschew body-parts, to realize that we’re on the way to a day when homo sapiens refrain from wiping out entire ecosystems at a time. Ecosystems have died out in five previous extinction events, creating your own such event is not something to brag about. So, what do each of those events hold in common? Carbon dioxide induced glass house effect. Sustainable lifestyles not tied to fossil fuels do not fuel the greenhouse effect.

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In closing, let’s see what the doctor ordered. I found the following in WebMD, the largest pile in the waiting room.

But if your vegetarian co-worker is noshing greasy veggie burgers and fries every day for lunch, is he likely to be healthier than you, who always orders the grilled salmon? Definitely not!” —  WebMD

The WebMD article does not mention that the salmon is culled from an increasingly threatened ecosystem. It probably did not want to end up on the patient’s or physician’s plate in the first place.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

The Hungry Tigress: Mettamorphosis vs. Meatamorphosis

Just before Y2K failed to bring a bold end to global warming, I read a collection of Jataka Tales published by Rafe Martin: The Hungry Tigress — I own a much prized signed copy.  Each brief account centers on seemingly inexplicable acts performed by the Buddha, sudden jabs of insight that make all mystery wonderfully explicable.

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It left quite an impression on me, as the lessons in this collection recalled so very well my personal attempts to instantly make sense of existence before all meaning instantly dissolved into nihilism, decadence or other shades of folly. It seems that life is nature’s way of cleaning house, today fossil-fuel dealers seek to extract as much instant energy as possible from the Carboniferous (300+ million years ago) be disinterred and burned in their entirety at the earliest possible moment. What is the irony there? That the instant energy released by igniting that fossil biomass insures the successful conclusion of a sixth extinction event, appropriately assigned the moniker “The Anthropocene.”

Not to worry, it’s not the end of the world — Earth abides and is in the prime of her life..

Let’s consider that Jataka tale about the tiger and her nearly dead cubs:

“Once, the Bodhisatta was born in a respectable family of the scholars; and mastered several Shastras. Soon he was disillusioned with the worldly life and renounced the same for the spiritual uplift. In course of time, he proved his excellence in his pursuit and became the guru of several ascetics.”

The story of the mother looking into the eyes of her hunger-ravaged cubs tells of dark nights and glaring days of painful death by starvation. Such spirituality speaks to my vegan soul, refusing to consume the flesh and hide of fellow sentient souls is a step toward enlightenment, something that allows a glimpse into the eyes of the beings incarcerated in slaughter houses.

One day, when wandering in a forest along with his disciple Ajita, he saw from the top of a hill that a tigress was lurking to kill and eat her own cubs out of hunger. Moved by compassion he thought of sacrificing his own body to feed the tigress and save the cubs. So, he sent away his disciple in search of some food for the tigress lest he might prevent him from his sacrifice. No sooner than Ajita left the site, the Bodhisatta jumped from the precipice in front of the tigress and offered his body. The noise of the fall caught the attention of the hungry tigress, who in no time scooped over him and tore him off in pieces and feasted upon them with her cubs.  

Meet your meat eye to eye, do not lock yourself into complicity with the dark captains and kings of industry who would assure you that unending war, supremacist incarceration of the inconvenient and disagreeable bright souls and spirits is a seal of quality, that which brings value to the coin of the realm.

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I may be coining a word here: “meatamorphosis” — something to describe the process that transforms non-human creatures who possess the same optically connected nervous systems of the sentient beings that developed eyes during the Cambrian. What do you see when you look into the eyes of chickens, pigs and cows. Let’s ask the meat man.

That website even portrays a pig in cap and gown with a pointer to tap on each cut of cow. Holy wow!

When Ajita returned and did not find his guru in the same place, he looked around and was surprised to see that the tigress no longer looked hungry. Her cubs were also frolicking. But soon, he was shocked to detect the blood stained rags of his guru’s dress scattered there. So, he knew that his guru had offered his body to feed a hungry tigress and protected her young ones as an act of great charity. Now, he also knew why was he sent away by his guru. 

Jataka text extracted from Indira Gandhi Center for the Arts

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Please Don’t Slam Islam

Lisa and I celebrate 25 years together this very year, remarkable marks we have made together: 7 years in the 20th Century and 16 years into the 21st Century. So, two millennia and counting 🙂

We met online at the speed of a dial-up: 1200 baud via a Unix powered bulletin boarding system called TriState Online, a public service of the local phone company. One anniversary I printed a long set of conversations and placed the matrix-dotted leaves  in a binder — it’s in yonder armoire.

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The sound of a dial-up

Human shadows grow long and weary over time. Consider this, consider this: Ibrahim the Patriarch and his family. Lisa knows more about that soap opera than do I, and she knows her sources. She is well versed in Biblical affairs involving affairs, being one who believes the actual teachings of Jesus, something long lost in trampling, trampings and rumors of war) lost or defiled in the translation. Once you die there is no telling how your follows will bend, fold and mutilate the spoken word become Word.

Lisa:

I am always moved by my husband’s compassion for the “underdog.” I know the Palestinians have religious customs we may find archaic. I had a close friend whose belief was performed daily with 5 prayers from the 5 aspects surrounding her, the knowledge that God’s eyes were on her always.

Allow me to quote a descriptive text from the pen of John Walton, a soul seeking balance rather than judgement, understanding rather than divisiveness.

John Walton:

…please be patient and take the time to read — realizing that as Christians we share in the same salvation offered to the Arabic people whose religion grew up around that God — with their own Prophet to guide them in the dogma — the same as as with Pauline doctrine… Later, Hagar bore a son to Abram and named him Ishmael, as the Lord had told her to (Genesis 16:15). Hagar’s story resumes fourteen years later when Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21). Shortly after Isaac was weaned, Sarah saw Ishmael taunting him and took the matter to Abraham: “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac” (Genesis 21:10). Although it grieved Abraham to do so, he gave Hagar and Ishmael some provisions and sent them away, and Ishmael and his mother wandered in the desert (verse 14).

When Hagar’s food and water ran out, she did not know what to do. She put Ishmael under a bush for shade and then went a few paces away so she would not have to watch him die (Genesis 21:16). As Hagar wept, the Lord called to her from heaven with words of comfort (verse 17); God then gave her a promise: “Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation” (verse 18). The Bible says that God “opened her eyes and she saw a well of water” that she had not seen in her distress (verse 19). God rescued Hagar and gave her hope and direction. God was with Ishmael as he grew up in the desert (verse 20).

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Abraham’s sin with Hagar has resulted in centuries of sorrow and bloodshed, as the descendants of Isaac (the Jews) and Ishmael (the Arabs) have been mortal enemies since Bible days. Mohammed, the father of Islam, is said to have been from the line of Ishmael, which is one reason Muslims claim a right to the Promised Land, Israel. Hagar is a revered woman in Islam since Ishmael is the father of the Arabic people. The Qur’anic version of the Genesis account twists the story to make Hagar the heroine of the story and her son, Ishmael, the child of promise instead of Isaac.alhamdulillah

The apostle Paul uses the story of Hagar and Sarah to teach a spiritual truth concerning our salvation. In Galatians 4, Hagar represents the Old Covenant, based on the Law (given at Sinai in Arabia) and human works. Sarah represents the New Covenant, based on grace and the saving work of God. In Paul’s analogy, believers in Christ are like the child born of Sarah—we are free, products of the Spirit. Those who try to earn their salvation by their own works are like the child born of Hagar—they are slaves, products of the flesh. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman” (Galatians 4:31). Paul counsels believers to “get rid of the slave woman” (verse 30)—that is, cease trying to earn salvation, because the inheritance of the children of promise can never be shared with those who live under the dictates of the flesh.

The story of Hagar is full of God’s goodness, and we can learn from the way God worked in Hagar’s life. She was a nobody, a foreign slave girl. Yet the Lord of Heaven saw her in her distress, provided for her need, and blessed her son because he was the child of Abraham. Hagar gave us the term El Roi, which means “the God who sees.” And her story reminds us that, no matter who we are or where we are, the Lord God sees us.

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Thank you for reading and I hope the desperation of a people being forced into a ghetto, with dwindling resources and constant raids by military police may remind you of something the current Israeli government seems unable to recognize as the same forest they survived — for its blind focus on the trees. God bless all of us and may we share the security and peace we enjoy with those less fortunate, at home and abroad.

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Whisper Alhamdulillah softly and reverently in an aircraft, or suffer slings and arrows. Speaking at a conversational volume and you may find yourself immediately and roughly removed from the company of some very nice people. Very nice indeed.

“Is Islam a religion of peace?”  91,400 results (0.36 seconds)
“Is Christianity a religion of peace?” 5,970 results (0.44 seconds)
“The Rosary is an assault weapon with a 50 round clip.” Philosopher Dave.

Thanks for reading.