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Vegan: Who, What, Why, Where, When

Posted by tinako on March 23, 2015

by Harold Brown

The five W’s are the basic of journalism and education. Hopefully this essay will provide enough information that the reader can be better informed and moved to seek out more information on veganism.

Vegan: Who, What, Why, Where, When was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Speciesism and the Violence of Euphemisms

Posted by tinako on March 16, 2015

by George Payne, founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International

Our species clings to the concept of Human because it provides an easy, relaxing and affordable sensation of superiority over other sentient
beings. The schism between human and animal (we share 98% genetic
similarity with chimpanzees) however, is not only artificial but
dysfunctional. Calling a pig that has been kidnapped, tortured,
slaughtered, packaged and consumed after being grilled over burning coals a hot dog, for instance, stems from the same ego driven
attitude that produces racism, bigotry, classism, elitism and warfare. In order to treat a pig so miserably, it must be viewed as an inferior creature…

Speciesism and the Violence of Euphemisms was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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On Smushing Bugs

Posted by tinako on March 6, 2015

16MENAGERIE-blog480I think this book excerpt from The N.Y. Times, “On Smushing Bugs,” is just beautiful.

I love his wording – a “karmic broken-window theory,” “the oubliette of the vacuum bag,” and his natural compassion tested by “the tiny black turd in my mug.”

I love the picture; this man is about to kill, but he is looking, peeking even though it is painful, and he sees.  He sees an anthropomorphic cartoon ant, but… more metaphorically, he sees himself in the ant, as the Buddha said:

All beings tremble before violence.
All love life.
All fear death.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?  What harm can you do?

But mostly I love his humility, his questioning, his looking deeply into himself, looking for the truth no matter where it takes him, even to a cliff or dead end of choices he doesn’t want to make.

This isn’t a how-to essay, and claims only to ask questions, not answer them, so he doesn’t mention that prevention adds a choice between re-washing all your dishes every day or pulling on your executioner’s hood.

I must admit to mixed results with prevention.  But maybe we don’t need all the answers right away.  Maybe looking, within and without, is the path to figuring out how we want to be in the world.

 

Posted in Animals, AR, Buddhism | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Earth Companions

Posted by tinako on March 6, 2015

by Linda DeStefano

It’s time to expand respect for animals.

Koko, the gorilla, communicates with people through American Sign Language and her understanding of a large vocabulary of spoken English. She is gentle with her kitten, and hugs people she likes.

Although he can escape from the killer harpoons, a whale returns to his wounded mate and stays with her until he, too, is killed by the whalers.

A cow manages, incredibly, to jump a fence at a slaughterhouse. The media and people sympathetically follow her escape as she wanders the streets of New York City and cheer as she is brought to a sanctuary, where she can live out her life in peace.

During animal behavior experiments at Cardiff University, in Wales, a monkey stops pressing a lever that provides him with food when, at the same time, the lever administers a shock to another animal.

We humans sometimes deny in members of other species the existence of intelligent interspecies communication, self-sacrifice for another and the powerful will to live and enjoy life, even though the aforementioned examples are just a small part of a larger body of knowledge. Progress has been made in expanding our circle of understanding, compassion and justice when it comes to race, ethnicity, religion, sex and disabilities. That circle needs to be expanded to include other species.

…Click below to read more…

Earth Companions was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Ringling to phase out elephants by 2018

Posted by tinako on March 5, 2015

I don’t usually just repost news stories, but this one is so close to my heart and so exciting I just have to share:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/df575148221544f4adaf3bea2adbb635/apnewsbreak-ringling-bros-eliminating-elephant-acts

Mr. Feld says they’re reacting to the changing public mood.  Thank you to everyone who told him what you think of Ringling’s use of elephants.

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Faux animal products and veganism

Posted by tinako on March 2, 2015

By John Carbonaro

It seems that a plant-based diet is more popular than ever if the growth of the non-animal products industry is any indication. It is not always clear if people are doing this based on the tenets of veganism…

Faux animal products and veganism was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Revived AR website with local bloggers

Posted by tinako on March 2, 2015

aralogo521x521I’m in the local AR group Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate N.Y.  We just re-launched our website, arauny.org, with a schedule of local writers contributing to our blog a few times a week.

Check it out and subscribe by email or social media for updates.

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It’s Time for the Canadian Seal Hunt to End

Posted by tinako on February 28, 2015

by Anonymous
As February winds down and we look forward to spring, a grim reality disguised as “tradition” comes forth. The annual slaughter of baby harp seals begins as soon as the pups start shedding their white coats and ice conditions permit. A white, pristine nursery where hundreds of thousands of seal mothers nurse their young becomes a horrifying, bloody killing field.

It’s Time for the Canadian Seal Hunt to End was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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I was an Omnitarian

Posted by tinako on January 29, 2015

Gary Francione with his rescued pound puppies

Gary Francione with his rescued pound puppies

I’ve been listening to old podcasts by Gary Francione while I clean, and while I don’t agree with everything I’ve read of his, I’ve found an awful lot of sense in these audio commentaries.  One of the points he makes is to stop telling people that vegetarianism is morally better than omnivorism.

This has sunk in, and a concrete effect is that when people ask how long I’ve been vegan, I have made a personal choice to stop mentioning when I went vegetarian, which was 15 years earlier.  I’ve also removed it from any social website bios.  I had been taking credit for that 15 years, but the dairy cows and egg-laying hens are unimpressed, and I no longer want to trumpet it.

I’m vegan.  I’ve been vegan since Easter 2008, full stop.  Before that I was an omnivore.

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The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of our Food

Posted by tinako on January 17, 2015

chainI just read half of The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of our Food by Ted Genoways.  It seems well-researched, and though I personally found the history of slaughterhouse labor unions tedious, that does explain how we got the system we have.  Having read Fast Food Nation years ago, much of the material was not new to me.

I expected this book would explore the social justice issues around Big Meat, and I was hoping that would include justice for non-human animals. Halfway through, I seemed to have already passed the chapters dealing with inhumane treatment, and it became pretty clear that this author is only appalled by a factory killing 13,000 pigs a day in that it is unsafe for workers and consumers; as long as we can stop workers from beating or sodomizing the pigs (doubtful), he seems more-or-less OK with the pigs lives and deaths.  I have all compassion for the workers, both American-born and immigrant, and am grateful that their story is being told, and I greatly appreciated the paragraph that found compassion even for abusers, caught up in the system themselves. From other reviews, however, it seems as though I am justified in putting down the book, that I would read in vain for even a passing thought given to asking: Is this system not working because it’s big and fast, or because it’s inherently, *inescapably* violent.

For example, the author indicates understanding that, when you have to move a mother that has been immobilized in a cage no larger than herself for months, and she finds it difficult or painful to walk and doesn’t want to, you have to make her, and that probably means hurting her. He seems satisfied that as a result of being caught abusing pigs while moving them, the business decided to move pigs less.  So… the solution to crippling animals by not allowing them to move is: to keep them from moving even more. What he doesn’t mention is that, on top of the obvious cruelty of immobilizing an animal even longer, the pigs do have to move at least once, to the truck and off the truck to slaughter, and that is where a lot of abuse happens, for exactly the same reason: crippled, terrified pigs. But he never makes the connection that we have another choice.

I didn’t expect this to be an animal rights book, but there was no acknowledgement of this choice, and the omission was glaring. This author is subtle, and often seems to let the facts speak for themselves rather than editorializing, but while you can often infer his discomfort with certain things, there is no hint given that he is not 100% comfortable with the killing.

Violence is arguably never useful, and in this case, it’s so unnecessary, so transparently frivolous: Spam. I was hoping that a compassionate author would make this connection, and my disappointment is why I didn’t like the book.  Would you want to finish a book about injustice written by a racist?  Perhaps an investigation on how difficult life in the southern slave states was for the poor whites, a book which only seems to be bothered by slavery if there’s beating involved?  Being a non-speciesist, that’s how I felt about this book.

Posted in Environment, Social Justice | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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