You will recognize (maybe) that line from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is part of a work he wrote that was called: "Ode, Inscribed to William H. Channing."
I found myself thinking about Emerson while I was reading an essay by Chris Hedges titled "Let's get this class war started". I strongly urge you to read his essay and while you do or at least on a second reading pretend that you are not reading about oligarchical domination within humankind but rather that you are reading about humankind's domination of all other living beings. I would be greatly interested in your thoughts on it.
Back to the title of this piece. There are two words in that little line that represent oppression, that epitomize precisely what both Emerson and Hedges are rejecting. Saddle and ride. Saddles are instruments used to assist in the subjugation of living beings...mainly for the purpose of "riding" them and "riding" is the stealing of efforts of one being to benefit the "thing in the saddle".
And yet...as eloquent and as perceptive and as good intentioned and Mr. Emerson and Mr. Hedges seemed or seem to be. With all their gifts and their talent neither, as far as I know, have (or did in the past insofar as Mr. Emerson is concerned) arrived at a life-path of living vegan. For instance, this thought was written in a deconstruction of his Ode: "Tactics that rely on force can never, in Emerson's view, add anything to
the sum of human virtue; they may control behavior superficially, but
the sickness remains and will find other outlets when denied this one." Mr. Emerson apparently strove and strove hard to live virtuously...but he was profoundly marked by "the sickness" if he didn't live vegan.
I find it almost impossible to wrap my mind around the persistent and pervasive ability we...including me...have to believe we are trying to be good and kind and wonderful creatures while behaving as if we were monsters. It's a very frightening thing. It scares me about other humans and it scares me about myself...and it makes me fearful for mother Earth and her children. For instance, as much as I find to admire about Mr Hedges and some of his ideas and writings...as far as I can see he's only making a call in this essay to resume the old old dance. Maybe it hasn't been said well enough...I don't know. I have hope that veganism offers the opportunity and path to opt out of this old dance of destruction that plagues us...and that we plague our fellow beings with. If nothing else, veganism offers a way of reducing the number of innocent casualties...and that's a good thing.
Living vegan and thinking vegan and seeing vegan is a dismal choice as a way of being...in some ways. Dismal because of the awareness of the killing, the hurting, the slavery, the imprisonment of most of mother Earth's beings that goes on each day. All by humans. And mostly by humans who believe they are good and kind and wonderful beings who are doing their best to live good lives.
Dismal though it may be...living vegan is the best way of avoiding "the sickness" that I know of. You too can step a little further along the path of "virtue" (for want of a better term) by going vegan...if you haven't already.