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Dec 9, 2012

walking past the fiction shelves in the back room at work the other day - they’re the shelves holding the new novels waiting to be catalogued - a very stunning, yet simple cover called out to me… i opened up ‘the secrets of mary bowser’ by lois leveen and was drawn into it immediately – i reserved it and couldn’t wait to read mary’s story…

this is an historical novel based on the life of mary bowser, a womon born into slavery and owned by a wealthy merchant john van lew... on his death his daughter elizabeth, an abolitionist, freed all of his slaves and sponsored mary’s education at the quaker school for negroes in philadelphia – a ‘free’ but ‘segregated’ community where mary learns valuable insights and questions much...

after graduating she gave up her ‘freedom’ to return to richmond, virginia as part of an underground network transporting 'runaway' slaves to freedom... having a photographic memory, her ability to retain everything she reads, sees and hears, and relay information word for word, soon saw her take her place as an integral player in the union spy network... she eventually gets taken on as a house slave in the confederate white house of jefferson davis – the perfect place to glean the movements of the enemy and feed them back to the union…

very little information remains of mary’s exploits... according to the women in history website “After the war, the federal government destroyed the records of Southern spy activities, to protect their lives -- including Mary … In 1995, the U.S. government honored Mary Elizabeth Bowser for her efforts by inducting her in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. During the ceremony, her contribution was described thus:
Ms. Bowser certainly succeeded in a highly dangerous mission to the great benefit of the Union effort. She was one of the highest placed and most productive espionage agents of the Civil War. ... [Her information] greatly enhanced the Union's conduct of the war. ... Jefferson Davis never discovered the leak in his household staff, although he knew the Union somehow kept discovering Confederate plans."
while reading this book i couldn’t help but think about our modern day slaves – i saw the parallels to those society uses and abuses because of their physical difference – the perception that they are less than – that they are sub-human…
“the ideologies of slavery that kept these human beings as property continue to be used with non-human animals today…
This comparison—between the conditions of slaves and the conditions of animals in factory farms, as victims of the hunt, and in laboratories—may not seem particularly surprising. After all, as Spiegel documents, slaves in the antebellum United States were considered literally sub-human….

Of course, this type of thinking does not only extend to slaves or African Americans. It extends to Jews, who were rounded up by the Nazis into cattle-cars and sent to the camps because they were considered less-than-human viral infections in the Aryan body politic. It extends to women who have been thought of as bitches, foxy ladies, vixens, bats, old cows, and less-than-male (i.e. fully human) for centuries. But, and this is Spiegel’s dreaded kicker, this comparison extends to non-human animals—who continue to be beaten, abused, tortured, confined, hunted, and made the play and work thing of those in power."
 can you see the parallels???

can you really not see the parallels?

there are so many others enslaved - from the fur factories, to the feed lots, the puppy farms, the bile farms, the circuses, the 'bestiality brothels', the vivisectors torture chambers - there's such a long list that makes up the current slave trade in sentient beings... i won't add any more graphics though - i will leave it to your minds eye, your conscience, because surely now you can see them? surely now you can understand the parallels of these modern day slaves???

"We can see quite plainly that our present civilization is built on the exploitation of animals, just as past civilisations were built on the exploitation of slaves." ... donald watson

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Posted: Sunday December 9, 2012, 8:50 am
Tags: politics ponderings passions. [add/edit tags]

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