Posts Tagged ‘violence’
Posted by tinako on October 14, 2015
Posted by tinako on June 1, 2015
The woman in line in front of me was buying a baby chick.
He was dead of course.
And his little mutilated body was displayed in a clear plastic casket.
I could have turned away.
But I felt that to do so would have been one more insult to the short life of this creature.
I had a chance to be the only one to meet him who had ever had a kind thought for him.
And so I stayed with him as he rode the conveyor belt.
And I thought about what his life must have been like.
Only six weeks old, he still had the peeps of a chick when he was sent to slaughter along with everyone he had ever known.
I’m so sorry, I said to him, and I cried.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. – Jiddu Krishnamurti
I’m grateful to the person whose car I was behind on the way home. Her hatchback plastered with defiant vegan stickers, I bet “CHICKIDEE” would have understood.
Posted by tinako on March 6, 2015
I 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 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:
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.
Posted by tinako on March 2, 2015
I’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.
Posted by tinako on November 24, 2014
A local hunter was accidentally shot in the face on opening day here; I guess he’s going to be OK. Some in our AR community struggled with their feelings following this news; how does it make you feel? After about a week of online comments, I offered the following:
With understanding that it is normal and natural to have many different reactions to this news story, but that we can choose which paths to follow, I wonder if anyone would be interested in my understanding of karma, which others here have been mentioning? If not, click delete. Nothing here is new, just hopefully clarity on a concept that is often muddled with several meanings, and how karma can work for us.
By my understanding: Karma was originally Hindu, and that is the idea most modern people have of karma: divine justice, something (“the universe”) or someone who keeps track and evens the score. The Buddha, who lived in Hindu India, found this unhelpful because it didn’t allow room for change. He understood that even good people may have to suffer for their past harmful actions, but that they would be better off because of the good they were doing now (example: Angulimala) – pertinent to any of us who ever screwed up! Anyway, Buddhist karma can be seen in two lights: One is the ripple effect, that the kind acts or speech or even “vibe/energy” we put out, affects others and has a chance of coming back to us – we are making the world a better place, and that’s the place we live, so it’s better for us. Even if the effect is small, we are not making things worse. I think this is pretty evidently true. The second way Buddhist karma can be understood is that no matter what effect our acts have “out there,” they have done something to us on the way out. For example, loving someone who hates us is better than hating them, because we will be happier filled with love than with hate. I have found this “instant karma” to be true as well, and the effect will probably be huge, life-changing. So you see, Buddhist karma is more like a law of nature than a faith in justice.
Celebrating accidental violence may fill us with a much-needed sense of satisfaction that the scorekeeper is on duty, but how does it impact us under the Buddhist understanding? What do we set into the world when we express gladness at others’ misfortunes (what kind of world are we creating), and what does this Schadenfreude (harm-joy) do to us on the way out?
None of this is to say that a person struggling with feelings of joy is a bad person, just that an understanding of the harm it does to ourselves and others may be useful in letting it go. And we can choose to be glad that the man is not hunting right now, without being glad that it’s because he was hurt.
Posted by tinako on September 15, 2014
I went with my family to see Guardians of the Galaxy Saturday, and spent most of the movie in open-mouthed horror. I would have been warned if I had even glanced at the movie poster before entering, but due to my inattention I had no idea what it was about. So I suppose I deserved what I got.
While I watched, I was reminded of something I once read, “When your young children watch television, it’s like inviting strangers into your home to teach them values.” You should take your kids to see Guardians of the Galaxy if you would like strangers to teach your children that:
- Abusing and killing small animals is funny and cool
- Gambling-induced animal fights are very entertaining
- There’s no problem that can’t be solved with a gun. If you can’t solve a problem, your gun isn’t big enough.
- Prison guards are the bad guys
- If the dialogue isn’t working out, just pile on the bodies. On-screen killings are a great diversion.
- It’s really funny when someone somewhat gentle unexpectedly kills 20 people in an extremely violent way.
- Violence is even better with a cool retro soundtrack.
- We just need to get rid of the “bad guys” and everything will be fine.
Here are the footnotes:
- The hero starts the movie off by kicking small animals out of his way, at full force. I wondered if this would be the horrible “before” person the hero changes from, but while the heroes do grow in that they care for some people, they do not grow less violent.
- There is a dog-fighting equivalent with aliens animals. This is at the point in the movie when the heroes begin to be a little nicer to each other, so I was hoping one of them would show, by even a look, that this was not OK. But no. They eagerly participate.
- If you go see this movie, try to spot the scene without a gun. It is non-stop. At one point, one hero blows away his friend’s sister with a bazooka (literally) when she calls his friend a mean name.
- Our heroes are in prison after they break the law on a peaceful planet. We are supposed to cheer when they kill dozens of guards on their way out.
- I couldn’t believe how gratuitous the violence was. They wouldn’t merely injure someone if they could kill him, and they wouldn’t merely kill one person if they could kill 20. I asked my daughter how many people she saw killed in the movie. She guessed a thousand. I think that would be low if you count the one-man spaceships which are destroyed, but shots where you actually see a person killed, probably several hundred. Alas, their deaths were in vain – they failed to distract from the clunky comic-book dialogue.
- A hero who seems quieter and kinder suddenly impales 10 soldiers and then for a good 10 seconds smashes the implement and their bodies into another dozen or so soldiers, smashing everyone to bits. He then looks back at his friends and smiles at their surprise.
- The soundtrack was all old hits. This was meant to help us relate to this guy as he blew people away.
- The bad guys were completely one-dimensional. Why is it OK for good guys to kill them? Because they’re bad. Why are they bad? Because they’re the bad guys. It’s the Myth of Redemptive Violence. I know, it’s a comic book. But when you put it into a live-action movie, it becomes values. I prefer this one: Wouldn’t it be convenient if we could line up all the bad people on one side, and be rid of them? But the line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man, and who would cut out a piece of his own heart?
It makes me very sad that these are the stories our culture tells itself, these are the values our culture admires.