Friday, February 4, 2011

Forced choice? ....

Consider these viewpoints. According to one author:
In many Native American spiritual traditions, nature is not seen as being subordinate to humans. Rather there is a sense of egalitarianism: humans and nature are seen as equals. Spirituality often needs the harmony of humans and nature, the ability of humans to become one with nature.
Notice how similar this notion sounds to one advanced by Albert Einstein:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Now consider this quote taken from an article about children and their raising animals for "projects" for culturally supported organizations like 4-H and FFA.
Emily Kosky said her final goodbye Saturday morning, stroking the neck of her goat as it gobbled up a breakfast of protein-fortified pellets and alfalfa.

"This is one of the most difficult days for me. He is heading to auction and I know he's probably going to end up on someone's table," said Kosky, a member of Turlock Hoof N Horns 4-H. "I've spent a lot of time with Hobby, but I know that I can't get too attached."
Or this quote from a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture employee:
One day when I went out to the suspect pen, two employees were using metal pipes to club some hogs to death. There had to be twenty little hogs out there that they were going to give to the rendering company. And these two guys were out there beating them to death with clubs and having a good old time. I went to the USDA vet, my supervisor, to complain. He said, ‘They’re of no value because they’re going to be tanked [rendered] anyway.’ So, according to my supervisor, it was all right to club those little hogs to death.
Living as an ethical vegan indicates some sense of concordance with the spirit and meaning associated with the first two quotes. 

Living as what is currently considered to be a "normal" American (as well as most of the world's dominant cultures) would include acceptance and agreement in spirit and meaning with the latter two quotes.

How are you living?

Here is a video of a woman in Australia (her name is Norma) who appears to be living in spirit with the first two quotes...the video also presents some of our fellow animals that we here in North America don't often see.

Here is a link to a video (contains graphic images) of folks participating in and supporting the worldview promoted by the second two quotes.

Oh, by the way, often it is the case that we can opt out of participating in activities or ways of life. This is not the case, however, in terms of the contrasting worldviews presented by the two sets of quotations.

Your food, clothing and entertainment choices proclaim your agreement with one or the other...whether you want to opt out or not or whether you want them to or not. This is a forced choice which choice are your making? Which choice do you want? Are you living the choice you want?

The way you live contributes to forming the world you inhabit, no way to avoid it. Is your circle of compassion expanding? Or do you not want to "get too attached"?


Murph's mom said...

What a wonderful video. Norma's house is a magical place, an oasis.

How sad for the kids who were part of the 4-H and other programs like it. The memories of tragedies like the one of the goat never leave them. Teaching kids not to feel for the animals that they would naturally love is so wrong. What dandy programs those are - adults desensitizing kids to pain and suffering of animals. It is a terrible thing to do to a youngster - animal and human alike. Becoming aware of what goes on in the slaughterhouses is a very painful and extremely disturbing process. Shocking beyond belief. Knowing what we know about what happens to the bunnies keeps us awake at night. They are given no mercy, no guarantee of a sudden death blow before the awful........

We need more Normas. Hoping for more Normas.

Denbeath said...

There are still angles among us. This woman is a blessing

Harry said...

Great video of Norma and her temporary children - thank you. We have a Sylvia 3 properties up who regularly helps us out with injured wildlife. Her lounge looks identical! The Normas and Sylvias of this world are incredible people and we, and the non-human animals, are lucky to have them.

'Vegan is the cornerstone of non-violence.' You bet.

veganelder said...

Thank you Patty and Harry for commenting. I agree, the world would be better if there were more folks like Norma and Sylvia.

veganelder said...

Thank you Murph's mom for commenting. My initial response to you apparently disappeared into the ether (apologies).

More Normas (and Jeannies)...yes, yes, yes.

Bea Elliott said...

The point that most people fail to see is how this detachment as in the 4H kids and the absolute violence on the kill floor affect everything in our culture. To think these acts, done with a callous, yet common absence of regret DOES reflect in everything about US!

How much better of a world would we have if efforts such as Norma's would be the rule and not the exception to it? If only!