The other day I was watching an episode of Law & Order SVU. The perpetrator in this case was outwardly a clean-cut pillar-of-the-community, but behind that mask was a psychopathic killer (which is an apt metaphor for many corporate executives, but that’s a different rant). But one of the clues someone noticed was that he never referred to his wife or son by their names, it was always MY wife and MY son, and it was clear he meant those in the possessive sense.
This reminded me of something that has been lingering in the back of my mind for some time. Many years ago I knew someone who’s husband published a book which did not contain the verb “to be”, this was done for a specific reason which I forget and didn’t quite get at the time. But this got filed away in the back of my mind and years later it popped back up and I though that “to be” isn’t the problem, “my” is the problem, that is, “my” in the possessive sense. Ever since then, this idea has lingered in the back of my head and whenever I am about to use the word, I try to think of ways to avoid it, and do so when possible. But, as is so often the case with english, the word has two senses: possession and relationship, e.g. “my computer” versus “my uncle”. The latter is almost impossible to avoid. I know this is a weird thing to contemplate (let alone do), but language and culture go hand in hand, and one can influence the other. So maybe avoiding the words that imply we own other beings may help to get our culture to a place where such ideas are repugnant. Maybe wishful thinking, but it can’t hurt to try.
His only mistake is saying “Don’t watch it if you are queasy”. If you eat meat you must watch it. You must be able to look at all parts of the production of your food and be prepared to not only watch but to participate. If you are not willing to hold that captive bolt gun and watch it slam into a cow’s head, if you are not willing to gut that chicken, if you are not willing to cut up that corpse, then you are a coward and a hypocrite. The vast majority of people in the developed world are happy to let others engage in this horrible, brutal (and dangerous) work so that they can pick up their meat, neatly wrapped in plastic, from their grocery store, and remain blissfully and willfully ignorant of the full reality of what goes on.
Speaking for myself, I grew up on a farm, I’ve worked in the fields and harvested the fruits and vegetables. I would be happy to do that for any of the food in my kitchen. I am a member of a CSA, I have visited the farm and I wouldn’t mind working in the fields. Can you say the same about what is in your kitchen? If not, maybe you should reconsider what you eat.
Now that I have completed my 41st orbit around the sun, I figured it was about time I got my act together and got a blog going. I have been waffling between wikis and blogs for some time. This site was a blog about 4 years ago, and recently I’ve been messing with wikis. Neither of them is the ideal solution for collecting and organizing the various ideas and things a person runs across. It seems to me that the wiki doesn’t work so well for random little thoughts and such, but the blog doesn’t do much for helping organize things. But, it’s been years since I last tried blogging, so we’ll see.
Anyway, this blog is simply a way to sort out and store my thoughts on subjects that interest me. Who knows, there’s a small chance there may be other people who think like me out there.
The Vegan Militia is a group of six-toed hillbillies who really love animals… well, not really.
This blog is the ramblings of a recumbent bike riding leftist abolitionist vegan nerd and all-around weirdo. This blog is just a place to put my random thoughts, meditations and rants about things of interest to me. Whether anybody else finds them of interest remains to be seen.
My fossilized web pages can be seen at http://www.cs.pdx.edu/~trent
You can also see my reading list.
I’m on many other web sites, and I’ll eventually add a list or add badges to the sidebar.