Friday, April 25, 2014

Words and Actions.


If what you say isn't what you do...then it's confusing both for others...and...even for yourself. One way that we can avoid clearly comprehending things is to be confused.


Never forget that your standing up for our fellow Earthlings...no matter how you do it...has an effect. You might not see it right then....but it does.


Veganism isn't a diet...it is a profoundly transforming way of living in relation to your planet and her children. It is the single most important undertaking you can ever hope to achieve. It is the only way to be a cherished and honorable member of the community of life.

The real harm is done by those who passively accept what is and "go with the flow". You risk nothing except some discomfort and some changing of habits in order to join the community of life. Ms. Scholl paid with her life to speak up against wrong...for you to opt out of injustice means behaving a bit differently at the store.

Are you one of the oppressors or are you one whose way of life is that of a just being? There is no in-between...and...it is all up to you. You are/will be one or the other. There's no getting to sit this one out or to not take a side. You either harm the innocent...or you don't.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Contradictions...

I saw this online and thought it was very very apt. I got a major hoot out of it...maybe you will too.


I'm profoundly impressed by those brave and excellent humans who are raising their children as vegans. Doing that takes a special kind of fortitude and courage and I salute and honor each and every one doing this service for their child and...in the process...for all the rest of planet Earth.

Think of it this way, there are many many more humans out there who are raising their children (usually the boys, but sometimes girls too) to "hunt". Now think of whether these parents...who are teaching their children to kill other living beings...beings who are doing them no harm and are simply trying to live their lives. Think of these parents and consider whether they ever receive any flack about "brainwashing" their children. Or any sort of negative feedback whatsoever. I betcha it is either minimal or nonextant.

I'm not even going to address the obvious absence of any negative feedback to parents who raise their children to eat the dead bodies of beings who lived briefly in horrid conditions and were then killed for "profit". Who says a word about such "normal" parenting? (aside from maybe us "weird" vegans)

So...raising a child to be kind...to be consistent...to show respect and to be non-harmful to others likely elicits accusations of "brainwashing" and raising a child to harm others and support oppression and horror is...well...normal.

If that doesn't make you reconsider whether "normal" is necessarily a positive...well...you might want to take your reconsider engine in for a tune-up.

In the meantime...if you are a vegan parent raising vegan children...wow...I'm in awe of your courage and your determination. Thank you. Please give yourself a pat on the back and a hug from me. You are amazing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Prophets and bathroom walls...

Way way back in the mists of time, when I was profoundly younger than now, there were many many songs floating around that carried themes of discontent about human society. For instance there was a children's song in 1963 called "Puff the Magic Dragon" (by Peter, Paul and Mary) that was reputed to have all sorts of hidden and subversive meanings associated with it.

A couple of years later Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song that was and is one of my favorites of all time, The Sounds of Silence. In the song, one passage has these words:
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
I recalled that particular passage when I ran across a photo included in this post over at the blog called The Sistah Vegan Project (written by Breeze Harper). The  photo was of some writing on a bathroom wall in a building where she was attending a conference. (I'm placing a copy of the photo below but if she doesn't want me to use it I will remove it...you can also see the photo if you click on the link to the post)


Bathroom wall...photo by Breeze Harper
The various scribblings/writings include both the words "vegan" and "speciesism". Maybe, just maybe...the "words of the prophets" are also written on the bathroom walls.

The vegan meme is spreading...in the way too few years I've been vegan I've seen a tremendous change and having those words show up on a bathroom wall...well...that's actually pretty impressive. Of course this bathroom wall apparently was at a fairly erudite place...but still.

Do your part...not by writing vegan on the bathroom walls (or subway and tenement walls)...live vegan...and while you're at it...quit bowing and praying to the neon gods too. (what the heck, go ahead and write on the walls too if the urge moves you)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Afflicting the comfortable...

is part of a phrase I like that describes one of the effects of a protest on behalf of victimized Earthlings. A second part of the phrase is "...comforting the afflicted". I didn't know the author until doing some research via the magic of the internet. It is attributed to a fellow named Finley Peter Dunne who was writing about the power of newspapers (according to the wikipedia article). You can read some of his writing online if you want.


OKC circus protest...3-29-2014

This past weekend saw the Shriner's circus make their swing through Oklahoma City and because of the efforts of a few dedicated folks in the area a group of us got together to ensure that the event didn't happen without some accurate information being presented to those attending.

Standing and holding up a sign while car after car goes past gives you a lot of time to think. I noticed that many people would stare intently at the signs and the protesters. After awhile the whole experience became a little surreal (we stood at the entrance before the start of 3 scheduled shows). Having that many people staring at you while moving by must be a little bit like what happens to the prisoners in zoos...no wonder they often appear to be bored and spaced out.

Many looked disturbed as they drove by and that's when it occured to me that one of the things we wanted to happen is described by that phrase "afflicting the comfortable". It just is not ok for something based on fear and pain and confinement and misery to happen and that happening be promoted and publicized as a happy, festive event without some countering voice. Challenging culturally supported distortions, lies and untruths is an obligation we all share. At least that's what I believe. Protesting on behalf of circus prisoners kicks a cultural fantasy in a tender place (reality). And...it is another way of trying to say something "well enough".

Some people honked, some gave a thumbs up, some stopped and took literature we were passing out, most ignored us but some shouted some really really peculiar things. One fellow shouted out that he was a hunter and liked to kill animals. Someone noticed that this same shouter had a confederate flag sticker on his bumper. Killing the innocent and support for human slavery do seem to go together. The most interesting yelling came from a disturbed looking older woman who shouted at us to "get a job, get a real job". It struck me that maybe she was saying that if people were enslaved intensely enough by their work then they wouldn't be objecting to anything...much less cruelty. Maybe that's true.

While driving up to the first protest last Saturday I found my self getting sadder and sadder and what I realized that this was a sad sad thing. What is done to the elephants and tigers and lions and all the other prisoners of that circus is sad, that such things can be done is sad and saddest of all is that the great majority of us see nothing sad at all about it. And rarely does anyone object.

But we did and in the midst of all that sadness something very uplifting and happy making occurred. I met some people who seem to feel very much like I do about hurting others...and that was exciting and nearly giddy making. Several of us talked about why we were there and why we were vegan and it felt phenomenal to know there were others (besides the very very few that I know or have met) who felt much like I did.



That was a very unexpected bonus. The only other AR protests I've participated in were organized by Mercy For Animals and they were fine and welcome but they were also very scripted and, I don't know, sort of stilted or something. They weren't homegrown like this one was nor was there much interaction between the folks that showed up to object to how we treated our fellow Earthlings. This one was all Okie, and the fine folks that pulled it together, who put together the signs, who coordinated the where, when and how were energetic young people from Norman and OKC and Edmond and Yukon and Midwest City and and. It was, in those respects, just fantastic...even though what caused it was not a good or happy thing (a circus "using" living beings without their consent).

So. The bad (a circus) resulted, in an odd way, in a good...a little convocation of rather like-minded human animals and that was an enjoyable and lovely aspect to what was/is an otherwise bleak and sad and dismal thing (harming those with less power). One of the young women there was quite vocal and would ask people to not take their children to see cruelty or ask them if they wanted literature. She was quite energetic and managed to never tump over into being obnoxious or objectionable. One loud remark that came out of her cracked me up, enough so that I smile as I write about it, she shouted at someone: "Do you want to see me hug a tree?" That was a gem.

I'm very very grateful to everyone who came out and participated, to everyone who helped in ways small and large. We didn't stop any cruelty, but we were there and we spoke out...and somewhere....somehow...maybe those prisoners in that circus knew they weren't totally surrounded by humans who could care less what they felt but there were some who objected to what was being done to them. And maybe that was a small, very small, plus for them. And even if it wasn't...at least some of the comfortable had a taste of discomfort.

Want to do your part to help? Go vegan...and...if you get the chance (or can make the chance) go protest. Maybe somehow...someway...those for whom you protest will know...and...for certain you will know that you didn't stay silent when faced with injustice. And that's a good thing.