Oh, shit, I’ve got one of these things.
Oh, shit, I’ve got one of these things.
I’ve given this a lot of thought now, so hear me out: The traditional Christian hegemony teaches that the plants and animals of the earth are here for us to exploit, and as a society, we do so terrifically.
We are also taught that we are somehow special, that we have a monopoly on consciousness. I’ve come to realize that consciousness isn’t anything but a human construct to rationalize the supposed disconnect in between our physical and mental or spiritual selves according to religious thought. There is actually only one entity, and it’s just a living bag of water and chemistry designed to effectively propagate DNA.
But we have feelings, right? So it wouldn’t be right to subject a human being to unnecessary suffering. Well, as we don’t have a monopoly on being alive, and therefore don’t have a monopoly on consciousness, it stands to reason that a cow probably doesn’t enjoy the slaughterhouse any more than a death row inmate. Pigs definitely have feelings, and like dogs can make great pets and companions. So, we don’t hold the monopoly on feelings either.
So where do we draw the line? If we don’t have a monopoly on feelings or consciousness, do we draw scientific boundaries such as the complexity of an animal’s nervous system to determine the ethics of its consumption? There is still some natural imperative behind the foods we eat, just as there is a natural imperative for the fox to hunt the rabbit.
We can’t all opt out of the corporate farming of meats entirely and become a nation of hunter-gatherers, but we can take steps to increase our self-reliance and contribute less to corporations that treat organisms as means to a bottom line.
In short, I believe eating meat is ethical, and tasty, and as an omnivorous species, important to our health. But I know that when I hunt or fish for wild animals, that animal has had as fair a shot at whatever that animal’s idea of happiness as could be expected of it. It’s not going to be factory farmed in a pen, or live in its own shit, or get fed food provided by the lowest bidder. I could ensure that the animals I hunt are taken humanely, and experience the humility of a person who has to take the steps between taking an animal and turning it into something you eat, instead of going to the corporate supermarket and skipping all the steps from something that lived to something that exists in your mind only as an ingredient.
“The flaw in the pluralist heaven is that the heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper-class accent.”
It is with my sincerest apologies that I cannot demonstrate in person as often as I’d like to offer my personal presence. I can, however, offer my words, and I hope that some people will find meaning in them. I hope you will share them, and help others find meaning and purpose as well. To each according to his ability.
Thank you, -Gabriel S.
"I’ve been following the occupy protest for some time now, from before the media was in blackout mode to the full-on circus surrounding it today. It’s gone from a very small movement to something very real, something larger than we probably could have imagined almost a month ago. There is a growing sense that the masses of the disenfranchised, the working poor, the increasingly destitute and those who have found themselves thrust out of the middle class my finally be collecting together and crying out: "Enough!"
Success comes with some unfortunate side effects, however. I’ve heard from several friends that the Occupy Tucson planning meeting turned into a circus, with every group with a grievance against the government and corporations vying to make Occupy Tucson about their specific source of grief.
Occupy Everything is not the war. It is, in fact, barely the first battle! It is a shot across the bow of the corporate institutions that have hijacked the checks and balances that our government relies on to operate fairly for its own citizens. The United States has a long and often times embarrassing history, as any country does. On the other hand, we’ve made a lot of progress as a country towards making things fair for everybody. There’s no doubt that there’s still progress that could be made, and some historical grievances that merit some sort of compensation, or at the least, an honest admission of culpability. But I would wager that nobody alive today who is participating in Occupy Everything has ever owned a slave, taken the land of a Native American, forced anybody into indentured servitude, annexed part of another country, exploited a group to build a railroad, or any other number of very real grievances against the United States.
Occupy needs to remain a movement with a united purpose towards reestablishing rules of fairness in terms of corporate regulation, tax reform, campaign finance reform, and the growing chasm between the emerging oligarchy of the wealthy over the huddled masses.
The wealthy elite have been throwing around the charge of “class warfare” now for several weeks. I say we have been in class warfare for decades, and by keeping the masses distracted and fractured, the class war has been terribly one-sided! It is tempting for every person with a grievance against the ruling elite to use Occupy Everything as their personal platform to get that message out there, and the inclusiveness of the Occupy Movement has encouraged discussion of a number of social ills that have caused very real harm to all of us, admittedly some worse than others. But in order for our voices to be heard, we must all cry out in unison, as one people!
Let’s not forget that this isn’t a movement to an end. This is the beginning of a more honest democratic process that strives to succeed where corporate oligarchy have taken advantage of all of us. There will always be injustice, there will always be some wrong that needs righted. We have now before us a very real opportunity to effect real change, to right the corruption of a political system taken hostage by corporate greed. Steady your guns, and help send this shot across the bow.”
No more shall the injustices perpretrated on the many by so few be tolerated idly standing by! In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and Occupy movements across the United States, and indeed, around the world, we shall come together on this October the 15th for a national day of action: A day of nonviolent protest against the financial inequity and manufactured scarcity that every day robs us of our jobs, our lives, our peace of mind, and our dignity!
The time has come to stand together with the 99% across our Nation, to demand change and reform, to demand economic justice. We must demand that the 1% pay their fair share of taxes, that corporations no longer be allowed to avoid paying income tax in the US by sheltering their earnings offshore at a time of national financial crisis. We must demand that all Americans wake up to their own government’s control by multinational corporations that would see us all ground to dust.
We live in the richest nation on the planet, yet where are our riches? concentrated at the top, to buy power and perpetuate cycles of ignorance, poverty, and misery. All the worlds riches, and most people I know can’t afford routine medical care, and many more live under the crushing weight of debt with no foreseeable way out to happiness.
We’ve buried the old American dream. The two car garage, the picket fence, the happy nuclear family.
The new reality and the new American dream is a much simpler one: Happiness. A fair justice system, regardless of your financial status or color of your skin. The happiness that knowing that if you are injured or maimed at your job you won’t drown in hospital bills hoisted on you by a for-profit medical system that knows you can’t pay. A new American dream, where all men are truly created equal, from those born into no opportunities to those who were born on third base. Where all men truly have the right to be take risks, to be innovators and usher in a new social paradigm where we can truly reap the benefits of what we sow.