a bit of this & a bit of that - mostly from my blog... sorry about the strange characters in some posts - some things just don't 'migrate' well... unfortunately the youtube vids disappear too... you can view them at http://wizewomon.blogspot.com
how? by thinking about your food choices... veganism, animal rights, worker's rights, child labour - lauren ornelas connects all the dots in this short video - perhaps she will make you think outside the box, make you look behind the veil and see the slavery that exists amongst human and nonhuman animals alike... this is not a graphic video, but it is profound...
well, here it is, october now and i still don't have the incentive to get back into blogging - amazing considering there is a wealth of subject matter out there... i often think about it, but then i just move on without doing anything... i've had a lot of personal stuff to deal with over the last few months and it seems to have worn me out... so while i procrastinate a little bit longer and try to find my spark again i'll just share this youtube video with you... blue-sy, rock-y music and nice voice with a message by a young man who goes by the name of evan rock...
i'm almost back to blogging - but not quite... having just moved - yes, time to get my own space again, with shadow and petey of course, and dealing with 'life crap' - the ending of something i should have realised had ended ages ago, a sick mother hospitalised, etc. etc., i just couldn't pass up sharing this brilliant post from the wonderful marla of vegan feminist agitator...
âIt's not what you're looking at that matters, it's what you see.â - Henry David Thoreau
For most of my life, I have walked around in a comfortably fuzzy world; itâs a misty place with blurred, dull edges, and I love it here for the most part. Acclimated to my astigmatism and poor eyesight, I still prefer it this way. I recently got glasses, though, and suddenly everything is so very sharp and crisp. I am noticing faces in a way that I didnât before but this new clarity of vision also means that the dirt on the floor is much more pronounced to me as well. There is comfort in the blurred edges and sometimes the laser-sharp clarity of the world I can see so much better now has me longing to retreat to that old hazy landscape. Itâs better to be able to see but itâs not without its challenges.
I believe that the same could be said about those of us who have altered the lens through which we see the world. This is what happens when you go vegan. I think that once you can truly see life from this new, radically different framework, the lens through which you view the world is likely to be altered forever. For some of us, when the old lens shatters, it becomes obsolete, useless to us. We can no longer pretend to see things the way we did before so we can not go back to living as we did before. Others do what they can to tape the broken lens back together, a piece of tape here, some glue there, in order to not have to discard it. A successfully transformed perspective from a shattered and replaced lens is one that rearranges how we see our place in the world; though it is unsettling to suddenly see things that our culture doesnât want us to see, things that are pervasive and disturbing, we can remedy that disharmony by changing our lives to accommodate our new vision. Whether it was because of a searing epiphany or a more gradual toppling of the excuses we clung to, the end result is that we are not the same as we once were. We are changed in fundamental ways that are often invisible but no less tangible, and this altered perspective can often make us incompatible with accepting what we once did as âthe way things are.â We are vegan.
A fundamental aspect of being vegan means that we now see the world in new ways: we see dead cows where others see hamburgers, we see tortured birds where others see omelets, we understand that we are equals in suffering. Itâs not because we necessarily want to see this way but because we often cannot âun-seeâ it. It is our new lens no matter the challenges because living with a clarity of vision is so essential to us.
As vegans, we are often told that we are insipid or melodramatic for seeing things the way we do, and, implicitly or explicitly, we are asked to stop making life uncomfortable for those who want to continue eating animals unabated. How can we do that, though? Simply by existing and often without words, as vegans, we represent the elephant in the room and the truth about the violence we inflict needlessly. Most would prefer not to see this. We are provocative simply by existing and we canât help that. The dissonance between what we see and what we are asked to pretend not to see is a bizarre tension vegans are expected to simply accept as an unspoken condition of adapting to life.
Needless to say, this is hard to accept.
We are being asked to not see (or to behave as if we donât see) something that would be obvious to anyone who wasnât complicit in maintaining the avoidance of this, and something that we see nakedly, without artifice and without trying. That we see violence and we see killing isnât necessarily a judgment, it is a statement of fact: we see this because this is what is happening. Weâre not supposed to say, think or even see this, though. When vegans, approximately 2% of the population, are told that we are oppressing others because we speak, think and simply see the truth about the horrors that are inflicted on animals, a dysfunctional dynamic is in place. We are being asked to maintain a lie about something when we cannot avoid seeing the truth.
We are looking at the world through a different lens and this lens changes everything. It makes life challenging at times but being able to clearly see and then act on what we see is an incredible honor and privilege. How fortunate we are to have this rare vision. What a responsibility, too. That we could spend a fraction of our lives letting people know what we are able to see and perhaps help them to develop a new lens is a blessing beyond measure."
marla's wonderful 'wordsmithing' never ceases to uplift me and put a smile on my face for her articulation and validation of me and my thoughts - you can't 'un-see- what you have seen, you can't 'un-know' what you know... thank you wonderful womon...
what a combination... and they all come rolled up in this one man, damien mander, ex special operations unit sniper for the royal australian navy - now avid environmental and animal activist and founder of the international anti-poaching foundation (iapf)
the following video is 'doing the rounds' at the moment... i first heard of it on the free from harm blog which states "Iâm always grateful to come across stories of men whose own struggles with received ideas about masculinity and violence have led them to confront, and openly challenge, meatâs grip on the male psyche. How does a self-described extreme meat-eater and former hunter, for example, a professional killer with the words âSEEK AND DESTROYâ tattooed huge across his chest, become inspired to stop eating animals and devote his life full-time to animal rights and wildlife conservation?"
want to know the answer to that question? well, with so many sharing this i felt compelled to share his powerful message too, and to introduce you to one of the most inspiring 'real men' i have ever listened to - damien is a rivetting orator and watching this will be 12 of the most incredibly mesmerising minutes you could imagine - believe me, this is 12 minutes well spent!
oh if only there were many more damien manders in this world - who knows, perhaps this will be the inspiration that will allow others to look into their own hearts and find compassion, search their own psyche and find wisdom... perhaps this will help some make the connection, understand the truth of speciesism and the need to fight for justice for all...
a month since postingâ¦ hmmm, appears i have been âneglectingâ my blog somewhat so i thought it was time to at least add something new to read â although not something i have writtenâ¦ i have been reading many blogs and articles lately so thought i would share something that - as a vegan and womyn's liberationist (although most 'opt' for the term feminist these days) - i found inspiring, refreshing and totally 'in tune' with my views...
she talks of her childhood growing up at âthe tail end of a family of seven children in 1980s Australiaâ¦"
"Life was goodâ¦ until puberty hit. Thatâs when the illusion of equality was shattered.
I first noticed it at about the age of eleven. Whereas before, my brother and I would loiter around the playground hanging off the monkey bars until it started to get dark, my mother began demanding I come directly home after school. The pleas for permission to play a game of touch football with the neighbourhood kids (mostly boys) were treated with open-mouthed expressions of horror.
You want to play with the boys?
By the time I was twelve, I too was being saddled with chores. The chore I hated most, the one that had me seething with unspoken rage, was the task of making the bed of my younger brother.
No longer my equal.
Thatâs when I knew.
I knew that the gap between how my brothers were treated and how my sisters and I were treated was only going to grow, and that the reason was our girl bodies. I knew that my days of freedom were numbered.â
i have to say here that her experience was not much different from a girl growing up in a family that had christianity in the form of catholicism as its religion in the 1950s & 60s - my brother could do anything, get away with anything, never had to take responsibility for anything (and still doesn't!!) hey as far as everyone was concerned 'the sun shone out of his arse' (and pretty much still does!!!) - took me until my late teens to realise patriarchy and religion were inextricably linked... anyway, back to ruby's story...
she goes on to speak of her âdeep discomfort with the practice of eating meat.â
"It all started with a chicken. I am often saddened at the inability of many adults to recall just how much children view animals as equals. At the age of five, I was thrilled to wander in to the backyard one day and find a chicken scratching away in the garden. She seemed to come out of nowhere and I didnât think to ask what she was doing there because there she was and that was good enough for me.. I quickly informed her she was my new best friend and immediately set about chasing her all over the yard. So it struck my five year old self as nothing short of tragic to see myself go, a few short days later, from trying to settle on a name for her to witnessing my father hold her fragile body in his big hands and, invoking the name of God, slice her little head clean off her neck. Yes, itâs true. Headless chickens really do run around likeâ¦headless chickens.
I was too shocked to scream. Instead, I fled to the garage, which had been her short-lived home, and lay there trembling for hours, curled amongst the straw and her stray feathers. My parents thought my devastation was sweet but entirely unnecessary. It never crossed their minds that I was grieving the loss of my best friend.
That was my first brush with what Carol Adams calls the patriarchal model of meat consumption. I didnât know it then, but eating meat is, in its very nature, an expression of male power and control over the bodies of others. There is no denying this now. We are all, vegetarian and meat-eater alike, aware of how closely aligned eating meat is with the stereotypical notion of âmasculinityâ. I remember the Australian advertising campaigns of the 1980s urging housewives to âFeed the man meat!â
The reason meat made me uncomfortable as a child was because it was a reminder of my own powerlessness.Much like women, animals suffer because they are treated as commodities. Relegated to the status of objects, their own desires are irrelevant. They simply exist to be used and abused. This is not specific to one culture or religion, it is a global, structural problem that stems from the belief that the powerful have the right to dominate the weak.
Feminists who eat meat may be fighting for their own liberation, but as long as they participate in animal exploitationâFeed the man meat!âthey are propping up the very system they are fighting against.
My early rejection of patriarchal authority and my repeated attempts at living a meat-free life were indeed related. I was rejecting control over both my body and the bodies of animals who I have always identified with.â
âI am a feminist and a vegan because I am opposed to all oppression, to all violence, to all discrimination. I am opposed to the so-called ânatural orderâ that regards perceived inferiority as permission to deny basic rights.â
i hear you sisterâ¦ thatâs exactly how I feel tooâ¦to know there are younger womyn like ruby who have made the connection and really âget itâ is uplifting - that's the sisterhood i align myself with, not the 'watered-down' version of feminism that has lost its connection to natureâ¦
blogging has been one of the last things on my mind while melting through the heat and humidity of an extended heatwave here in melbourne, but that's not to say i haven't been reading the posts of others... i've had ideas but no inclination to put 'pen to paper' - well, fingers to keyboard these days! - i even let international womyn's day go by without acknowledgement...
"... Yesterday, on International Womenâs Day, did we remember the 99.99% of the planetâs population who are non-human? Did we remember all the non-human mothers in the world? Did we consider in particular the non-human mothers we use as resources? If we did not, then we need to include them in our thoughts and our actions and consider that ALL mothers and their children, no matter what species, should be free of exploitation. Because if non-human mothers are not free, none of us are free. In fact there are parallels with how patriarchal society views and treats women, and how we use, exploit and control the reproduction of non-human females. The two are not unrelated. Women are no longer considered legal property as non-human animals are, but violence against women is at epidemic proportions today and violence against nonhumans is greater still."
all womyn - especially those who call themselves 'feminist' or 'womyn's liberationist' - need to make the connection... you can read the complete article here...
why are carnists so upset at finding horsemeat in their meat? whatâs the difference between one species and another? why is the slaughter and consumption of one more acceptable than another?
if you eat flesh, why the outrage? why the shock and revulsion at the mere thought of eating horse rather than cow, or sheep, or pigâ¦?
perhaps you think australia is somehow immune from the 'dilemma', immune from the 'horsemeat scandal' sweeping europe, immune from even thinking about the horse slaughter industry - hey, we love our horses, we're a horse loving nation, we wouldn't slaughter them, we certainly wouldn't eat them! hmmm, 'knackeries' and abattoirs legally slaughtering horses... maybe it's time to think again... according to a recent article in the courier mail...
âSEVEN hundred horses a month - many young fillies and colts bred for racing - are slaughtered at two Australian abattoirs and shipped overseas for human consumption, including to Europe, the centre of the horsemeat scandal.
The majority are slaughtered in Queensland at Caboolture's Meramist Abattoir, where 500 horses are processed each month.
A further 200 a month are killed at a South Australian abattoir, Samex Peterborough (formerly Metro Velda).
Thousands more are processed at 33 knackeries across Australia for petmeat and hides each year, with industry reports indicating the annual cull totals around 40,000.â
if horses are 'prcessed' here, it's only logical to assume some of them end up here... do you really believe you haven't 'inadvertently' eaten horse, or kangaroo, or camel, or some other 'unacceptable' flesh at some time in your life? i was told many years ago by a 'friend of a friend', a butcher, how commonplace substitution was, that horse and kangaroo were often 'hidden in mince' - how flour was a wonderful lightener of colour, a perfect mask...
if that shocks or horrifies you, then i have to ask again, why is the flesh of cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc. etc. acceptable â why do you eat some, and not others?
according to melanie joy, author of âwhy we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cowsâ¦'
"... in meat-eating cultures around the world, even though the type of species consumed changes, people tend to have only a small handful of animals they have learned to classify as edible. All the rest they classify as inedible and thus disgusting and often offensive to consume.
So when it comes to eating animals, what is striking is not the presence of disgust -- disgust is the norm, the rule, rather than the exception. What is striking is the absence of disgust. The question we would do well to ask ourselves is why are we not disgusted by the select few species we have been taught to think of as edible. And why don't we ever ask why? When the stakes are so high -- our food choices are truly a matter of life and death, particularly for the 10 billion sentient individuals in the U.S. every year who are no less sensitive and conscious than those we consider friends and family yet who subsist in abject misery, as their bodies are unnecessarily turned into units of production. Why do we leave our choices so unexamined? Why don't we consider that so-called edible animals have lives that matter to them, just as horses and dogs and cats do?â read more in âWhy Horsemeat Is Delicious and Disgustingâ
i got a phone call from my mother the other night and on answering was told "something terrible has happened..." many scenarios raced through my mind in a few short seconds, but none involved the suicide of my 'cousin' that took place on thursday evening...
my first thoughts upon hearing were 'why?', 'how?' - shocked, stunned, numbing disbelief really - surely i'd heard wrong - but then reality kicked in, and it didn't matter the 'why' or 'how' but that he was dead, and my major concern became how 'aunty eileen' was coping - the death of a child no matter how it has occurred is not something a parent is expecting to hear... not blood relatives to me, but closer than most that are, eileen and her kids have been part of my family all of my life, eileen being my mother's best friend of over 80 years...
identification had to be made and the coronial inquest was over quickly on saturday morning - there was little to be analysed, it was a 'cut and dried' suicide with a letter left for the family... adrian was the youngest of all of the 'kids', only 48 years old, but sadly his life had taken a path he felt he could no longer walk down...
we all came together to deal with our sadness while sorting out the 'practicalities' of death, and to celebrate the lovely, funny, but lonely young man that was adrian... that's what 'my family' does, accepts and then moves on, albeit with heavy hearts, but that weight lessened by shared memories, laughter and tears (although the funeral is still to come).... some need someone or something to blame initially, but that soon dissipates... oh how sadness comes in many shades...
being in to astronomy as he was, what more can i say but fly high and shine brightly mate, you will always be in our hearts...
ha, if i had a dollar for every time i heard or read that about veganismâ¦
having had that 'spat' at me again just the other day it was fortuitous that i had recently watched a presentation by social psychologist and professor of psychology and sociology melanie joy, author of âwhy we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows : an introduction to carnismâ and her words were fresh in my mind...
âwhat we call natural is simply the dominant cultureâs interpretation of historyâ¦ it references not our fruit eating ancestors, but their flesh eating descendentsâ¦ we only look as far back in history as we need to justify current carnistic practicesâ¦â
"I noticed the frequently stated notion that eating meat was an essential step in human evolution. While this notion may comfort the meat industry, it's simply not true, scientifically. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus at Cornell University and author of The China Study, explains that in fact, we only recently (historically speaking) began eating meat, and that the inclusion of meat in our diet came well after we became who we are today..."
alas, it is this very argument that is trying to entrench carnism as the norm in the guise of "humane meat", which, according to melanie joy is
âa backlash against the vegan movementâ¦ anytime a movement becomes powerful enough to challenge the status quo, thereâs a backlash against it. Itâs important to dispel the myth of humane meatâ¦â
now, as an ethical vegan, eliminating the use and abuse of our earthling kin is whatâs important to meâ¦ so this notion of âhumane meatâ is definitely something i find unbelievably frightening - and an oxymoron if ever i've heard one - a threat to real change in this world... according to harold lyman, ex cattle rancher, now vegan, author and animal advocate
"My life experience has given me a better understanding of what is happening, and what a mistake it is to believe there is anything called "humane" slaughter. Animals have families and feelings, and to think that kindness before killing them is an answer is totally wrong. Humans have no need for animal products. And when we consume animal products, we're not just killing the animals. In the long run, we're killing the planet, and ourselves.
I'm sure that it will take many years before the majority of humans learn as I have that actions, and not words, are the true proof of our understanding of the term humane. Living my life as I do now, as a total vegan, gives me great joy in knowing that no animal has to die for me to live."
humanemyth.org is deconstructing the myth of humane animal agriculture and has information and articles well worth the readtoo...
do you believe the myth? then check out melanie joy's presentation and see if she gives you something to think about...
walking past the fiction shelves in the back room at work the other day - theyâre the shelves holding the new novels waiting to be catalogued - a very stunning, yet simple cover called out to meâ¦ i opened up âthe secrets of mary bowserâ by lois leveen and was drawn into it immediately â i reserved it and couldnât wait to read maryâs storyâ¦
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 maryâs education at the quaker school for negroes in philadelphia â a âfreeâ but âsegregatedâ community where mary learns valuable insights and questions much...
after graduating she gave up her âfreedomâ 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 â the perfect place to glean the movements of the enemy and feed them back to the unionâ¦
very little information remains of maryâs exploits... according to the women in history website âAfter the war, the federal government destroyed the records of Southern spy activities, to protect their lives -- including Mary â¦ 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 couldnât help but think about our modern day slaves â i saw the parallels to those society uses and abuses because of their physical difference â the perception that they are less than â that they are sub-humanâ¦
âthe ideologies of slavery that kept these human beings as property continue to be used with non-human animals todayâ¦
This comparisonâbetween the conditions of slaves and the conditions of animals in factory farms, as victims of the hunt, and in laboratoriesâmay not seem particularly surprising. After all, as Spiegel documents, slaves in the antebellum United States were considered literally sub-humanâ¦.
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 Spiegelâs dreaded kicker, this comparison extends to non-human animalsâwho 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
I got the idea for this
from a recent post in
really listened to any
podcasts and very few
audiobooks. Generally, I
prefer to read - ordinary
paper books, and tv
series and movies.
However, I think I could
get into podcasts (or
Please visit her web site
and vote for her on the
Thank u so much!
A big hug and
that is a direct link
where your friends can
read about our
(I know this is old, but
it's so funny, I can't
help post it again.)1.
Thou shalt not jump onto
the keyboard when thy
human is on the
computer.2. Thou shalt
not unroll all of the
toilet paper off the
roll.3. Thou shalt not
project hairballs from
I'm in love - again. This
time it's not my iPod
Shuffle (but I still love
that). It's a dog. This
weekend I went to a dog
show. Just like the last
time it was cloudy and at
some point during the day
it rained, but this time
I also got to see the dog
Describe your dream house
(even if it's not a
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It will be in the
countryside and something
like an Earthship(but
adapted to Sweden and our
conditions here). No
neighbors, just me and my
family and, hopefully,
How many languages do you
Submitted By 40alatariel
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French, Spanish, Italian,
German. I understand a
bit of Norwegian, Danish
and Portuguese too.
I think I have a
stalker.:) My sister and
I were walking back from
the store. We'd bought a
few things, among others,
cat food, and it seems
this little cutie knew
that from a distance. She
(I think it was a she,
though she was quite big,