this is what I don’t get

some excerpts from a post my friend wrote about a conversation he had:

Pointing to the flowers on my table while I was working and then pointing at my computer he stated, ‘See this and see this? They are different and should be treated different. I wouldn’t water the computer.’ ‘See this,’ he said as he went for a stack of my business cards and began laying each one side by side. ‘They are the same – not the flowers and the computer but the cards.’ ‘We can’t treat them all the same if they are different.’

I stopped working and looked at my friend. I said they are the same and they are different and that when you really get down to it they are all made up of energy and matter… it’s all the same by then. No you would not water my computer or water my cards, but they all have value. Diversity and differences don’t mean that discrimination is necessary. They must all be cared for differently, but not treated with any less respect. The flower has value because it is a flower and we can appreciate that. It is different but not less than a computer. The business cards while each is almost identical will each serve out its own unique purpose that even while I may guide – I cannot control the outcome.

now, I think he tagged me so I would read it. I think he wants me to be more patient with people who say bigoted things. I think I’m as patient as I can be. I am willing to point out to people when they are being bigoted but I don’t have the time or energy to spoon feed them the information. Then pat them on the hand and say “its ok I know its so hard to deal with privilege.. you poor poor thing.”

I need to build my own community so I can feel safe. I want to be able to relax occasionally and not have to worry that on my day off someone is going to make a joke about forcing a penis into some orfice on a woman. (or whatever the hate that day)

but what really gets me. How can someone write the above be the same person who every time we mention food has to tell me how he “needs” his “bloody steak” (or other animal flesh).

they are the same and they are different and that when you really get down to it they are all made up of energy and matter… it’s all the same by then. No you would not water my computer or water my cards, but they all have value.

We are all different, all of us, each of us. None of us WANT to be discriminated against, none of us want to be less than, none of us want to be beaten, abused, harassed, killed, shamed, disrespected… NONE of us… none of us. (I began to tear up and paused for a moment.) We all – ALL of us – want love, and to be loved, and respected and at the very least left alone to live our lives freely.

except for the things it IS ok to kill. it is ok to consume the products of rape and of torture and of murder. because those lives are only there for our consumption. those lives only have value to us for what we can get from them.

The flower has value because it is a flower and we can appreciate that. It is different but not less than a computer.

I have value in the male gaze as an object. I can be beautiful as a flower and be appreciated. but that is not who I am or respect how I want to be treated. as the Dude said in the Big Lebowski “he treats objects like women, man” the comparison just doesn’t work.

yes partly I’m ranting because I’m still mad about everything else. And this note feels like it is supposed to be a lesson to me. I have been patient with the liberal bullshit. but I just can’t take the bigots anymore. because to them, liberal seems to mean, “I pretend I’m joking when I say bigoted things instead of saying them out right, then claim I’m pushing the envelope.”

I don’t want to work for equality with those groups because the I don’t want a world with their type of equality. Where we are all equal but some are more equal than others. I want to build a community that is loving and kind and supportive. I want a community based on personal responsibility. based on love.

I will just build a better life
where we will never feel the need
to chop down any kind of tree
or topple over gifts wrapped up in paper
I would like to see
stockings stuffed with things I can use
tips to prevent domestic abuse
all I want for christmas are the blueprints of community

my different friend’s friend’s band wrote that. fuck yeah.

Tastebetter Rocks! Oh-so-awesome-non-crazy-veganism-Promotion!

In contrast to my feelings about PETA,  I [heart]Tastebetter.com.

They mention the Alicia Sylverstone PETA ad here. While they aren’t speaking out directly against the misogyny, they do agree that objectifying women doesn’t actually get more people interested in veganism.

 Also here they take an extraordinarily reasonable view on the teacher who got fired for “promoting veganism”. The teacher was being a bit of a nut job from the articles I’ve read. whether they are supporting my cause or not doesn’t make them less of a nut job.

My favorite part:

This isn’t some rogue element fresh to the school; Warwak taught art there for eight years (he became vegan in January). It’s unfortunate that he chose to take such a militant stance towards his employers and insist that they make a change that he himself took 43 years to make.

yes, he’s been vegan for less than a year, after 43 years of not being a vegan, and now insists that everyone else make the switch IMMEDIATELY! yeah, because militant tactics are always well received.  The post then goes on to suggest some ways to support the vegan movement which are actually productive.

Yay reasonable people!

Did I mention I can’t stand Peta???

I was tag surfing and someone brought my attention to this article from last month. In general it shows vegans in a very unfavorable light. But The worst part is

While PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has long advocated people give up meat and go vegetarian, the animal rights group has its misgivings about vegans only sleeping with other vegans.

“Sex is a very effective form of outreach and activism,” said Dan Shannon, a PETA spokesman, and 10-year veteran vegan, who thought meat eaters could be converted by their partners.

EWWWWWW. So I’m supposed to sell my body for the cause. Maybe we should support people sleeping with animals so that they see them as lovers not food. Or do the animals get more respect than women?

That said, I’m dating an omnivore at the moment. but he doesn’t eat meat in the house. Although I sometimes find his love of cheese to be disconcerting. I don’t know if I could ever maintain a long term relationship with an omnivore, but I’m planning on leaving the country in a few months, so this isn’t the “big one” so to speak anyway.

PETA should be euthanized: you know, what they do to the domesticated animals they “rescue”

Well the comments from this got me thinking and internally ranting. So here goes.

Now I didn’t actually experience the video that was posted to the full extent as I don’t have sound on this computer. So I don’t know if I’d be terribly offended by it specifically or not. But, what does offend me in general is PETA and the effect they have on non-vegetarians/vegans. Oh and their apparent disregard for human life and animal life outside this country (and sometimes in it).

One of the most offensive things I can recall them doing in my city was “tofu wrestling” like jello wrestling but more beige. It was to promote tofu. Because the Men oggling the young girls in bikinis really cared what substance they were wrestling in.

But let me list the problems with this scenario, Because I like lists:

  1. Objectification and Oppression of Women 
  2. Waste of Food and Resources in general
  3. Lack of thought as to how this affects the rest of the world
  4. No effect on peoples eating habbits

Objectification and Oppression of Women

Well, it’s pretty obvious right? Well the objectification is.  But many, including the women involved, will argue these “bikini clad babes” that they made the choice of their own free will because they believe in the cause.  But I maintain this is a sympton of growing up in a society that rewards women for being merely objects.  When the choice is praise for wearing a bikini while fitting nicely into male fantasy of what women look like, or critiscism for saying, “I’m a person too!”, what choice is there?  Should we blame people for giving into not wanting to be ostracized from society?  The Patriarchy is at work here.  These women are probably not as empowered as they claim.

Waste of Food and Resources in general

This one is a big “no-duh.”  That food they were wrestling in, could have been eaten.  yeah….

 Lack of thought as to how this affects the rest of the world

Now this one is interesting.  How does this affect the rest of the world?  Well, lots of rainforests are being chopped down to grow soybeans these days.  was the tofu they used locally produced? Locally grown?  if not then not only may it not be ethically produced, but you also have to factor in the cost on the environment of shipping the product to the states.  How much fossil fuel was consummed to bring you tofu wrestling?  Because the more we harm the environment, the less we can sustain ourselves and other species.  So this stunt may indirectly contribute to the system that continues in the hurting of lots of animals, including people.   Well Done.

No effect on peoples eating habbits.

What does wrestling in a substance have to do with promoting the consumption of it?  People wrestle in mud and we don’t eat that.  It serves to titillate gthe patriarchy and demean women.   Even if in some way this promoted tofu, it would not stop people from eating meat.  Many people enjoy tofu and still eat animal products.  

 It’s tough.  I personally believe we should strive to eat as few animal products as possible so that we can have more of a chance of sustainability.  how many resources went into growing that cow you’re eating?  A lot more than it took for my equivalent vegan nutrients.  They had to feed the cow, and use land to grow the cow.  We could have been growing food for people in that land.  We could help feed the hungry in the world if we all went to legumes and nuts and seeds.  

But people who don’t care about the cow, or don’t care about their health, won’t care about the environment either.  They don’t care about themselves, why should they care about other people?  So I don’t know what the answer is.   I mention my view to anyone who listens, but generally the response is: Oh, yeah, I guess meat really is bad for the environment, but I’m still going to eat it. 

that’s when my brain breaks.  You agree with me but are still going to fuck with the sustainability of the world.  AAAAGGGHHHH!

Why I’m not an animal rights advocate

Firstly, I’m not against animals.  I’m VEGAN.  In my personal life I minimize my use of animal products.  When I buy clothing new, I try to find vegan clothes.  Used clothing I’m recycling, so my ecological foot print is still smaller, and the cow has probably been dead for 10 years.  (no use crying over spilt (soy)milk)  I don’t agree with cruelty to animals and I avoid products that have had animal testing.  

That said, I don’t consider myself an animal rights person.  I only have a finite amount of time to focus on promoting ideals that are important to me.  The bottom line is that I have other ideals that are more important to me.

 Here’s where I disagree with some animal rights people: I think humans are more important than animals.  If I was (in some bizarre set of circumstances) forced to choose between ending the life of an animal (even an endangered species) or ending the life of a human being, I will always choose the human life.  Even if the person is a liar or cheat.  (don’t ask me about a murderer… I haven’t thought it through that well yet).

( Now Meat-Eaters tend to rejoice at this news.  Using poor logic they assume because I value human lives over other animals they think I’m completely ok with killing animals.  That’s not true.  I always try to end as few lives as possible in my daily living.  This includes saving lost spiders, snakes, and beetles.  Just because not killing animals is lower on my list of reasons to be vegan, doesn’t mean its not on the list. )

Back to the topic at hand.  I just can’t get all worked up about bunnies getting mascara shoved in their eyes when people are living in war zones, or the rate of HIV infections in Paupa New Guinea is has incresed by 30% in the past year.  Or Thousands of women in America live in abusive households fearing for their lives.   (and we’re the progressive 1st world?).  Nestle and other corporations are marketing baby formula in third world countries that have contaminiated water sources which then poison the children.

 I don’t disagree that Vick should be punnished for his role in dog fights, but why are people who beat their wives allowed to continue playing in sports and get off with fines instead of jail time?

Human beings are suffering, beaten, abused, starving, diseased and dying.  I’m not sorry I can’t expend the energy to get that upset about another species when mine is in such a sorry state. 

Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 12:14 pm  Comments (6)  
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