Saturday, December 11, 2010


is the title of a book that I just finished. Suzie Gilbert, a wild bird rehabilitation practitioner writes about her experiences with bird rehabbing and trying to balance the demands of caring for birds and the needs of her well as her own needs.
It all reinforced my belief that humans were perverse and their decisions arbitrary, that animals were always true to themselves but at the mercy of a species not qualified to be in charge. p. 9, Flyaway
As you can see from the quote above,  the author is apparently a thoughtful and insightful person. She later writes, in reference to an encounter between her and a goshawk:
Theirs was a world in which I longed to play a part, in which could witness the transcendent and perhaps even begin to atone for the sins of my own kind. p. 77, Flyaway
 She feels a connection with animals, admires and cares for them. She also seems to be quite tuned in to the individuality of each living being. She writes on page 127:
What rehabilitators learn all too quickly is that each animal, each bird who comes through the door is unique. Species may have general traits, but each individual is different, each one is memorable and as soon as this becomes clear, the enormity of what humankind is doing to the natural world becomes all the more harrowing.
Ah, she gets it! Right?

Nope, as the book reveals the author is neither vegetarian or one point she writes about shelter animals and their plight and then turns around and writes about searching for and finding and buying a puppy from a breeder.

She writes about rehabbing a wild turkey at home and going out to thanksgiving dinner and eating a turkey drumstick....apparently while being admonished by her daughter for being inconsistent in her caring and her behavior.

And finally she writes about anger and dismay about hunting and then adds an exception for deer hunting....justifying it because she says there are too many of them and starvation is a bad way to die. Apparently it is better to be blown apart with an assault rifle.

It is disappointing and a little astonishing to read how a person that cares, obviously and deeply, for nature and animals is.....even with multiple pieces of evidence available to her...unable to struggle through the indoctrination and contradictions and understand that our fellow animals are not ours to cause harm to or to cause suffering to or to use.

The book is well written, her style of writing is engaging and often humorous.....this is a compassionate, aware and caring person......look again at the quotes above.....she knows human animals are wreaking havoc on their fellow animals....she knows it and then she goes right on and continues to blithely contribute to the mayhem....without pausing.

She is caring and compassionate.....up to a point....then it stops and stops dramatically and somebody better help you if you are an animal that is in the road after her caring and compassion stop....factory farms, hunting, deliberate breeding of animals that are being killed by the millions because they are "unwanted" compassion at all if it involves animals and something she wants to do. There is a blindness exhibited here that it is a blindness akin to that of a black blind that awareness of the blindness is hidden too.

In a way, the author exemplifies billions of human animals......caring, compassionate, intelligent, sensitive, aware.........until nature or an animal gets in between them and something they want to do......then all that sensitivity and caring count for naught and animals die for no good reason and nature is destroyed and obliterated because....well, just because.

And if you say something about the suffering, the blindness, the lack of caring, if you object....why then you are just being weird.......or mean or.....something.

It seems to me to be the height of absurdity to be someone that is devoted to saving animals, to caring for sick and injured animals and to be also someone that eats animals or exploits animals.

Humans do not have to eat animals to live. Humans do not have to exploit or use animals to live. Hello?

It is astonishing, so weird that sometimes I think somebody is putting me on....some cosmic joke or something. But not a very funny joke........

By the way, the book received lots of great reviews over on Amazon, and the book is very readable and enjoyable......and a good example of the black-hole-like, culturally created and maintained,  blind-spot that hides awareness of the horrors that we human animals inflict on the other earthlings and the earth herself.


Krissa said...

I just erased a very long and not-yet-finished comment. I can not find words for this. The level of hipocrisy... But instead of the rant I was about to leave, I will try very hard to believe that this woman (and others like her) will one day truly see the light. Because I myself was still eating "free range eggs" at the beginning of this year. It took me many years to get it right and maybe it's going to take her more years to get it right. I can't very well look down on someone like this since I used to be like that someone. But humans like this do disappoint me more than the ones who just flat out don't care and make no apologies for not caring. Maybe I see some of myself in the hipocrisy since it took me 41 years to wake up...I don't know. And I'd just like to add that not only do humans not have to or need to eat other animals - we really shouldn't. Not only because it is wrong on every level in relation to the beings we are/were consuming, but it is BAD for our health! If a person doesn't care about other animals, they should at least care about their own health. The brainwashing has been very effective. ... Sigh. People ARE weird. But it's not us - it's them.

Krissa said...

By the way, I agree with everything you said in your post about what the author and those like her exemplify. My original comment was very 'forceful' and then I realized that I was always one of the ones who 'loved animals', but I still wasn't there yet. And that is something that I am not proud of. Not all of the people like this woman will wake up - and those are the ones who my anger is directed at. So I tried to focus on the ones that will someday get there.

veganelder said...

Thanks Krissa, for your comments.

As I noted in the post, I didn't find myself being angry so much as I was...I guess flabbergasted is a good description...except I wasn't surprised, the blatant contradictions don't surprise me anymore, but they still astound me.

You know, I titled this blog "veganelder" but really...I don't care if people are vegan...I just want them to stop hurting and using and killing animals...that's all. They can eat what they want...just leave the animal folks alone...that's all I am interested in really.

The author of that book did and does a lot of good for birds...but she participates in killing others...I really don't get it. Amazing.

So I'm Thinking Of Going Vegan said...

I think the conditioning and brainwashing that the human animal is the most important one of all (and therefore justifies animal use) is so strong that even people who generally care about other non-human animals still have numerous blind spots. To me it's kind of like a giant compassion puzzle where people may see some of the pieces initially, but it takes time to see more and more of them. And of course, some never do. I also think that when compassion is in direct conflict with an action that is beneficial or pleasurable for a human (e.g. I don't like the idea of suffering but I don't want to give up my steak), then compassion sadly takes a backseat.

veganelder said...

Thanks for commenting SITOGV. Amazing isn't it, how many atrocities are dismissed with phrase "just an animal". If you get identified as an "animal" (non-human type) then you are lucky to even get the backseat....more likely you will be tied to the bumper and dragged.

Bea Elliott said...

I don't know what's worse... People who totally don't "get it" - Or those who "get it" to the degree that their awareness won't have any effect on their behavior. I mean, some people never have given animal justice a single thought - Totally blind... But others, who have obviously pondered the valid issue, yet still remain unmoved and deliberately blind. I just don't understand the latter at all.

I guess it's true that man is not the rational species... But the "rationalizing" one.

veganelder said...

Thanks Bea for commenting. I like that...we are the rationalizing species..not a rational one. Very good.