Gratefully reblogged from Amanda’s think&thrive blog. Worth your moment, I believe.
I was not a Bourdain follower and did not know how viscerally vegans repulsed him, but it should come as no surprise whatever. Sideshow geeks draw paying customers and repeat business.
Endless memorials and testimonials celebrate a life well lived if decadently conducted. His views were highly respected and acknowledged, they have been immortalized. This video is the first negative review I’ve seen published, but vegan tails do not generally wag the dog, do they?
What happens when sentient beings gaze at each other? They glimpse each other’s soul. You glimpse into a soul and a soul glimpses back. Earthlings with eyes have evolved them, developed them, and loved them since the Cambrian Period — half a billion years ago.
Do the eyes have it? Aye! What about eyeless sentients? Certainly, there are blind and deaf sentient beings. There are strange and unusual sentient beings. Use your senses to understand, to witness and to share.
Vegans do not kill fellow sentients, in person or by proxy. Dealing death by proxy does not remove complicity.
Hey, I didn’t kill the cow, I’m just eating lunch.
Nor is it okay to eat mor chikin. Humans are already eating 67 billion chickens per year. Small and appetizing, grounds enough?
It was self-defense, your honor.
Slaughterhouse managers find it difficult to fill kill-stations. Only 2% of slaughterhouse employees actually pull a trigger or knife the victim. I say “victim” because a meat-processing plant is a death camp. Once the “farm animal” is dead you don’t have to kill it a second time.
Dairy factories and egg factories are torture chambers. Only after they have produced the requisite quantity are they escorted to a slaughterhouse kill station.
Vegans confront the four stages of cruelty — directly and with kindness. It’s a lifestyle that embraces coexistence and a genuinely peaceful planet.
Slaughterhouses are unhealthy for children and other living things.
Thanks for reading.
Breaking news from our time-traveling reporters, recently returned from a special assignment for The Genesis Tattler and World Report:
The 26th verse of the 1st chapter of Genesis (NIV) declares animal rights alienable, subservient to the inalienable rights of mankind (the ones created in His image and likeness). In a single sentence, a sentencing I say, the English translation describes
- the creation of mankind,
- the wild creatures in the sea,
- in the sky,
- on the land,
- and the livestock.
So farmed animals get exiled from wild animals in one fell swath.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
How about this logical leap: encaging every living being from tapeworm to giraffe between two commas — declaring the deed done in fewer than seven words. …Let us make mankind in our image
,in our likeness,
so that they may rule over…
I’m assigning another time-traveling team to the gates of Eden to report on the couple caught trafficking forbidden fruit: advice of a snake-oil-sales demon guised as a serpent, possibly a slitherer subservient (subserpient?) to the inalienably privileged pair. The devil is in the details.
Bill, if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.
It’s not really what I say that counts, it’s what I do. I DO VEGAN.
Speaking of saying something good, is it even possible to be a good person, to eat peas, live long and prosper? Not only to prosper, but to thrive without executing the calf and hardening the arteries, those tubes hat flow lifeblood into and out of your heart, possibly to head off an extinction event named after its instigator. While researching this article I happened upon a quite fascinating site that speaks to a potential extinction event : Misanthropocene
A few thoughts for future posts:
The hegemony of man as misogynist.
Where do humans fit on the scale running from sadism to masochism?
Are humans a selfish specie?
One self-adoring philosopher, Ayn Rand, is my choice for single most influential human responsible for stoking the boilers of the Anthropocene Express. Git ‘er done, Ayn. Here is a Rand quote from 1974:
They (Native Americans) didn’t have any rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using. What was it that they were fighting for, when they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their ‘right’ to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or a few caves above it. Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent.
— Q and A session following her address to the graduating class of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, March 6, 1974 – found in Endgame: Resistance, by Derrick Jensen, Seven Stories Press, 2006, pg 220
I sign off with the words of Anthony Douglas Williams:
When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal, I see a living being, I see a friend, I feel a Soul.
The eyes have it.
Thanks for reading.
There is a thick line between veganism and the celebration of violence. The chasm between the desperately impoverished and the decadently entitled widens by the hour. We witness the disparity at broadband speed and with the suddenness of a tsunami.
Africa is an enormous continent that gets depicted as approximately the size of Greenland on the very faulty default Mercator projection, used to depict everything from an extraordinarily specious perspective — one where the North Pole and the South Pole are infinitely large. This is to say that a single point with no dimension gets presented as limited only by infinity. Altogether all you need to know about the specie that finds Mercator’s single-purpose map indispensable to everything.
WorldMapper, it is scaled according to meat consumption.
“Meat, as shown here, refers to all animal products that are consumed by people. Meat consumption per person is highest in Western European territories. Nine of the top ten meat consuming populations live in Western Europe. The anomaly in this ranking is New Zealand, a territory that is famous for its high ratio of sheep to people and the production of lamb. The most meat is consumed in China, a quarter of the world total. A fifth of the world population lives in China, eating on average 510 calories of meat per person, which is above the world average of 432 calories of meat per person.”
Two very different journalists on Korea.
First the vegan, Charles Newkey-Burden, author and journalist. He also writes for Shortlist, the Daily Telegraph and Four Four Two.
Offended by Koreans eating dog? I trust you’ve never had a bacon butty
“Yes, dogs are smart and friendly – but so are pigs. Researchers from Cambridge University found pigs are as smart as three-year-old humans. They can play computer games and recognise people they met several years ago. They develop trust and empathy like we, and dogs, do. Few people relish the thought of any animals being slaughtered so it’s normal for those who eat meat to try to justify it. Just as westerners get angry about people in Asia eating dogs and cats, many Indians get outraged by westerners eating cows. People shake their heads in disbelief at guinea pigs and alpacas being served up in South America.” — Source
How much is your approach to meat a reflection of inculturation? Whom does the culture incarcerate and whom does it traffic?
The next article is by the non-vegan Andrew Keh, an international correspondent, covering sports from Berlin. He has previously covered Major League Baseball and the N.B.A. and has reported from the World Cup and the Olympics.
An Olympic Challenge: Eat All the Korean Food That Visitors Won’t
At a restaurant near Gangneung Olympic Park, a colleague and I slipped on plastic gloves and each grabbed scissors. (When I’m president, scissors will replace knives on everybody’s dinner tables.) We pulled crab parts from a bubbling pot as deep and wide as a witch’s caldron. We broke our busy silence only to marvel at the ribbons of red and white meat dangling between our fingertips: They were feathery soft and, yes, so sweet. When all the legs were gone, we asked for a couple packs of instant noodles to repurpose the cloudy russet broth. The place also serves sannakji, raw octopus so fresh that the slices quiver on the plate. For non-Korean visitors, the dish exists almost exclusively as a dare. — Sourcehttps://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=unknown
The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a laudable mission statement signed in 1948. It’s a worthy list of inalienable rights. Unfortunately they are self-ordained by a single self-admiring specie for a self-admiring specie. There were two billion humans alive in 1948, there were 7.6 billion by 2018. At least 70 billion animals who do not qualify for human rights will become “what’s for dinner” and other consumer products by this time next year.
Universal rights? No. Membership is limited to just one specie.
Inalienable rights? No. I can violate them each and every day, with or without impunity. At a supermarket for example.
Can you name any species as selfish, self-serving, arrogant and violent? Humans excel at both inter- and intra- species exploitation. They are toolmakers who waste no time weaponizing every clever invention they devise into a long list of engineering marvels — to serve man. Damon Knight’s story is also set at the UN and is also a curious take on human rights.
Humans domesticate every creature on this planet: inter- and intra- as well. They are toolmakers who can transmit their will at the speed of light, who recreate by watching blood sports and who domesticate their domestic realms with domestic violence. Do I hint at patriarchy here? Yes, it’s by design and by inheritance. How many matriarchal societies can you inscribe on the head of a pin?
Look at the Elephant in the Room as it looks back at you. The eyes have it.
Built-in optical systems for locating sustenance and for detecting danger are not trivial physical characteristics. Eyes are something that homo sapiens have in common with other sentient beings who developed them during the Cambrian — about half a billion years ago.
Creatures with eyes possess an astonishingly complex central nervous system that channels cognition to intention. Sentient creatures share a long list of extraordinarily similar organs, systems that pump lifeblood from the heart to each organ and back again — sentient beings possess extraordinarily similar oxygen-breathing mechanisms and waste elimination processes. Glance at the corresponding organs found in pig and in man.
If this all sounds a bit like a rant, initiating a discomfiting mood, I provide the following bit of reading material that contains much more “conventional wisdom” on the state of bacon in contemporary American thought on comfort food:
Thanks for reading.
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.
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.
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?
- you are most likely sanctioning human trafficking.
- you are contributing to further global warming
- you are consuming the limited amount of biomass of a past extinction event.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Of course “it” will get you down if you keep thinking about it.
What’s this shit?
The things you can change. Epictetus (circa 65 c.e.), a Greek slave, is often quoted, usually without attribution, on such matters. You may know it by its most familiar incarnation: The Serenity Prayer. Epictetus represents the more stoic side dreamt of in philosophy, a view from the complement. The other side of the coin features the much better known Greek philosopher: Epicurus. Eat, drink and live as comfortably as possible.
A coin has two sides, you won’t encounter many one-sided coins in the agora. Any of the way, imagine a coin with the names of those two philosophers, may each take a side.
There’s nothing new under the sun, even Earthly extinction events; in fact, we live and love in the shadow of extinction possibility number six. The sun abides however. No wonder so many worship. Sol so.
We will return to tet and cur following these words from our sp*ns*r.
We’re whispering because Bill is hard-of-hearing (we have switched off closed captioning too). He can’t hear us. Please don’t spill the beans. It’s just us, just us.
Who are we? We are an apocryphal (in your dreams!) den of con-artisans who conspire to keep the population glued to a shiny entertaining crystal, one with innumerable facets, like a diamond formed from coal under heat and pressure — a distillation of a rich biomass: a rapid metamorphosis: life to death at nearly the same time, and without a funeral service. Ironically that biomass is organic matter long dead but now continually pressed into the stuff of instant energy, such as coal, such as oil. Bringing it to the surface quickens carbon dioxide accumulation in Earth’s thin atmospheric. Lungs like yours breathe it. Take a deep one and hold it.
Don’t forget: we don’t exist. We’re more gravy than grave. Relax and enjoy, enjoy and relax, relax and repeat….
…Hold on a second. Did I fall asleep during a nightmarish commercial? I don’t feel very well, actually quite nauseous. What the freak?
Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt. Er lag auf seinem panzerartig harten Rücken und sah, wenn er den Kopf ein wenig hob, seinen gewölbten, braunen, von bogenförmigen Versteifungen geteilten Bauch, auf dessen Höhe sich die Bettdecke, zum gänzlichen Niedergleiten bereit, kaum noch erhalten konnte. Seine vielen, im Vergleich zu seinem sonstigen Umfang kläglich dünnen Beine flimmerten ihm hilflos vor den Augen.
One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place. His numerous legs, pitifully thin in comparison to the rest of his circumference, flickered helplessly before his eyes.
Thanks for reading.
In regione caecorum rex est luscus — a proverb from at least as early as 1500, authored by Desiderius Erasmus. A short story by H. G. Wells.
My father once mentioned to me that a curious aspect of growing old is a realization that you no longer fit contemporary society, and that immortality wouldn’t help you socially adapt. My dad was a sagacious fellow, he often told me that he would rather be healthy and rich than sick and poor. A little sage makes the dressing. That’s what I think.
I didn’t wait for old age to know that feeling of disorientation, confusion and re-disorientation that the inexplicable brings. The only thing 100% predictable in life is the unexpected.
Let me tell you about my friend from Edinburgh, from that town north of Hadrian’s Wall that isn’t Glasgow. Well, he met my son around 1981, said son was going on three — it’s what happened to earthlings born in 1978.
Any of the way, that Scot spent some time with my boy and proclaimed that he liked him because the youngster recognized the essential absurdity of life. Recognizer of essential absurdity, ‘twould make a fine line on a business card, would it not?
These are the confessions of a guilty bystander, to borrow a few words from Thomas Merton, a philosopher I heartily commend to your attention. He died young and he died tragically, but his works are immortal and always fresh. I wish to confess generational theft: squandering limited resources for a lifetime and lifestyle of self-absorbtion by elders who do know, or should know, far better. If the glove fits, don’t acquit. I must remember to have “generational thief” included in a future obituary.
We’re supposed to leave the planet better than it was when we inherited it. You don’t improve a tightly shared planet by chowing down on the products of animal husbandry, that’s what I believe. No eyeball-equipped planeteer should consume similarly eyeball-equipped planeteers for the dining pleasure that meats you from the inside out.
You don’t just have a law passed that decrees husbanded animals as free of pain, so that you can just get on with it all legal-like by saying “So there! Now let us serve man.”
You’ve inspired us to write ad-copy, Bill —
“The only grass our cows eat spring from the fruited plain.”
“Our contented cows eat only amber waves of grain.”
Let’s talk about the creatures who developed eyes during the Cambrian Era. Eyes improve your odds of surviving, you see something dangerous and you get out of the way, you see something nutritious, like an apple, you eat it and you’re better for it.
Creatures with eyes also possess a highly developed nervous system, complete with complex nuanced nerves from brain to brainstem to tailbone, from tailbone to brainstem to brain. Back and forth, forth and back. Creatures with eyes are not interested in ending up on a plate next to peas and potatoes, or transformed into Andy Capp’s Hot Lardy Fries and Pinker Pork Rinds, Perky Pig Ears? Would you?
Thanks for reading.
Call me Left-Over Man — Feeder of Raccoons.
We’ll call you Ishmael. Waste is the birthright of might, the backbone of a God-fearing society. Raccoons spread rabies and babies, so keep your cans closed and your trap shut, pal.
I once attended a team-building session at Procter and God: marketing lion. Spoiler alert: I am not much known as a team player. Any the way, each team member was to reveal their inner animal. I chose raccoon. Quite unsurprisedly I drew beg-to-differ comments from the tigers and bears in the room.
Are you a dumpster-thriver, Bill? A social-justice warrior? Sharing and caring leaping gnome? A cow-worshiper from India who would die before eating a cheeseburger? It’s survival of the fattest now, Bill. You lose — bigly.
I follow a lifestyle that fits me as well as the knapsack on my back. It also suits my societal role of iconoclast and vegan (several percent of humanity, we vegans). Competitive sports lure me not, particularly the concussive world of American football. I hug trees instead.
To the victor go the spoils. God loves US most because our unimpeachable forefathers, originalists to the man, trusted in Him. You’re rewriting history, Bill — an imprisonable offense.
Yes, I understand that criticizing the Oval Office tweeter can land you 20 years.
Advertisers sometimes lie about their products. Advertising lingo leans on ambiguity, truth in advertising has left the building along with business ethics. Gone south, now approaching Antarctic waters.
All’s fair in love and lotion. We brought civilization and faith to the Indians. We gave slaves a free ride to faith and civilization.
Today I celebrate something that a counter-advertising team in Canada started promoting in 1989: Buy Nothing Day. I step back from the freneticism that troubles my spirit often enough. Borrowing a tidy phrase from Bartleby the Scrivener: I would prefer not to.
Thanks for reading.