“But Nature is Cruel”

pigsNo one will say otherwise.

It may be magnificent and beautiful, and there are of course moments of tenderness between animals, but the Law of the Jungle isn’t known for it’s mercy.

But it’s interesting to me that most people who argue against veganism seem to want to invoke the idea that since nature is cruel, and we’re part of nature, we can’t help being cruel ourselves.

It doesn’t take much to examine this a little more closely and discover that this excuse has no foundation.

For who among humans operates purely on “might is right” and the Jungle Law?

 Criminals do–violent offenders–murderers, rapists, batterers, and every single person we consider dangerous because they operate on the theory that they can and will do anything they want merely because it pleases them and, after all, it’s “survival of the fittest” out there.

It’s all about number one.

Criminals have no sense of ethical concern for others, no desire to abide by man-made laws of civility and justice.

Man created those very laws because he recognized a Higher Law: that of mercy, of compassion, of justice and of fairness to others.

Simply said, mankind created laws of civilization to override the cruel laws of nature.

We can and must do better in our applying the higher law of mercy to all sentient beings and to end the excuse that we can treat other animals without regard simply because nature herself is unkind.

If you haven’t already, please do some research on how we treat animals that we regularly exploit for food, fur and entertainment.

You will be shocked and horrified, and you’ll see that our cruelty, though out of sight, is unacceptable to anyone who considers compassion to be important in our relationships to all other sentient beings.

“But one thing is absolutely certain. Animals used for food, used for clothing, used for entertainment, and in scientific experiments, and all the oppression that is done to them under the sun, they all die from pain. Each and every one.”
—Joaquin Phoenix, Earthlings 

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Blogger Recognition Award

I was extremely and pleasantly surprised to find that a kind fellow blogger had nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award, and I gratefully accepted.

This validation means more to me than words could ever say, and I’m all about words (obviously, being a blogger :-D).

To blog from the heart month after month and year after year, knowing that so many friends and family don’t even read your posts, can be a lonely journey, so getting recognition and appreciation is absolutely heart-warming and affirming.

I received the nomination from disorientedmom (check out her awesome blog ) who explains the award:

“The Blogger Recognition Award is an opportunity for bloggers to connect and recognize one another for their contributions. As part of the nomination, each nominee has to nominate an additional 15 bloggers for the award as well.”

I started blogging initially through my work as a classic rock DJ and quickly fell in love with it, although I had great resistance at first to having a mandatory number of blogs to write each week and constant pressure to engage listeners and get as many “hits” to the station website as possible.

But I’ve loved reading and writing since I was a kid and always knew there was going to come a day when I’d be creating something in written form beyond work requirements.

In my case, it came as a call to write on behalf of animals–our fellow creatures who share so much with us and yet who are so brutally treated in our world (with the exception of pets, of course, including the purring cat beside me right now)…

So of course in this post I have to urge anyone reading this to please check out my writings on behalf of the animals who desperately need a voice to be freed from the suffering inflicted on them daily for food, entertainment, fur and “sport”.

If someone asked me for advice on starting a blog, I’d simply tell them to write from the heart. This is your true voice, and speaking authentically is the most powerful thing you can do.

I would also add to not be afraid to express yourself on topics considered controversial, because there’s something very powerful in taking a stand for what you believe in, regardless of the consequences.

And now I happily nominate the following bloggers:

1. Cushpigsmom at iliketowritewhatithink

2. Vilma Reynoso at vilmareynoso.com

3. Mikayla at caribbeancurl.wordpress.com

4. There’s an Elephant in the Room at theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com

5. Roslyne Smith (Shepherding All God’s Creatures) at shepherdingcreation.com

6. Kathy Dunn (Shepherding All God’s Creatures) at shepherdingcreation.com

7. Marcello Newall (Shepherding All God’s Creatures) at shepherdingcreation.com

8. Jessica Lopez (Shepherding All God’s Creatures) at shepherdingcreation.com

9. Philip Guyott (Wyatt) (Shepherding All God’s Creatures) at shepherdingcreation.com

10. Lauren at ediblemusings.com

11. A Drain on Society at iamadrainonsociety.wordpress.com

12. Aph Ko at blackvegansrock.com

13. Hj Srikanth (Voice of an Earthling) at srikanthhjshankar.wordpress.com

14. Colleen Patrick Goudreau at joyfulvegan.com 

15. Mark Hawthorne at strikingattheroots.wordpress.com

Blogger Recognition Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how/why you started blogging.
  4. Give two pieces of advice you would give to brand new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog letting them know you have nominated them giving the link to the post you have created.

 

Welcome to the Vegan Twilight Zone

kitten and dogTake a moment to envision a scenario in which you are verbally attacked –or at the very least, ignored– for speaking the truth about the terrible abuse and cruelty you know about in dog and cat factory farms and slaughterhouses.

You are living in the West and it was decided– in this alternate reality– that it was perfectly o.k. to treat cats and dogs in the most horrendous ways.

Here, pigs and chickens are considered pets, worthy of protection and care.

But cats and dogs?

Only a sentimental fool or radical extremist would care about these animals, who are merely here to satisfy our desires and our wants (not our actual needs) for “delicious” meats.

You see no difference in any of the animals as far as the ability to suffer, to want to live, and to be affectionate.

When you try to defend the cats or dogs, you’re met with derision, ridicule, hostility and “mmmm…dog bacon”.

There are times you want to scream, to sob, to awaken from this nightmare.

All around you are images of meats from dogs and cats being advertised as tasty and irresistible.

You can’t escape the bombardment of ads that effectively force you to look at pieces of the corpses of the beloved animals you deeply care about.

All you can see is the poor animal behind the remains who wanted desperately to live.

Welcome to the vegan Twilight Zone.

We are like Gods or like Devils

cow being beaten

It’s true, you know.

To the animals under our control, we are either like Gods or like Devils.

We literally hold the power of suffering and death or love and mercy in our very hands over the billions of animals trapped in our machine of exploitation.

We have such power over other sentient beings who share our world with us that we can choose benevolence or cruel domination (aided and abetted by simple apathy).

We can follow the examples of the wise spiritual masters and show mercy and love to all living beings or we can allow the darkness that we reign down upon the animal kingdom to continue.

To allow the cruelty, all we need do is simply buy meat or other animal products.

The brutalities shown to innocent creatures each and every day are inflicted for nothing more than a piece of leather or a cheap burger or a glass of milk.

I do not know of anyone who would consciously choose to represent darkness by supporting industries that routinely and methodically torture and kill innocent animals every day.

And yet, evil finds power when we are apathetic, when we are unwilling to confront the truth, when we choose to pretend we aren’t participating in the darkness.

No doubt this saying is profoundly true:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

For the triumph of good, let us choose the path of compassion.
Gandhi quote

The “Natural Order” Doesn’t Align with our “Natural Conscience”

pig in crate

I find it very curious that many humans will defend the mass confinement and slaughter of animals as “the natural order”.

Let’s examine this for a minute.

Out in the wild, animals at least have a fighting chance to elude their attackers. Sometimes the predator wins, and sometimes the predator loses.

In wild nature, animals aren’t bred specifically for exploitation, they haven’t developed at least a certain trust towards their predators, and they are only killed and eaten by those animals who are instinctively driven to predatory behavior.

But there is a bigger problem with casually equating the “natural order” with the “right way of doing things”, and that is that if we truly believed that nature was the example we should use for how we treat other living creatures, man and animal alike, we would find ourselves defending the indefensible.

“There is no predetermined “natural order” of the Earth, some animals eat other animals, some don’t, some people eat other people……

If we are to solely use nature as a guide for how we live our lives in the modern human world then it will not only leave us confused but also allow for unending contradictions as there exist multiple natural occurrences in the animal kingdom which our human morality and consciousness may find abhorrent, such as rape, murder, cannibalism and incest.”

~ Vegan Megan (The Happy Cow)

If we are in fact “morally superior” to the animal kingdom (because we can act in ways that are in contradiction to the “Law of the Jungle”), than we cannot use nature’s “natural order” to justify our exploitative actions.

In fact, it should be obvious that man has developed a system of human laws to override the ruthless laws out in the wild–thus, we defend the weak, abhor senseless murder and violence, object to savagery in all its forms, including rape, child abuse, spouse battering, assault, etc.

The “natural order” simply does not conform to our “natural conscience”.

Study Links Most Amazon Deforestation to 128 Slaughterhouses

All environmentalists should first and foremost understand that the biggest contributor to global climate change is animal agriculture. I’m glad to share this article to spread the message.

"OUR WORLD"

Jul. 28, 2017 08:58AM EST
Beef cattle awaiting slaughter in a corral. Fabio Nascimento
Study Links Most Amazon Deforestation to 128 Slaughterhouses

By Eduardo Pegurier, Translated by Bruno Moraes

Satellites are mechanical reporters of the Amazon deforestation process. By documenting the degradation and gaps created by the clear-cutting process over the years, they deliver the verdict: Two-thirds of the Amazon’s deforested area has been turned into pastures.

From the ground, the cattle count reveals that the Amazon is home to more cattle than people. By 2016, the region’s cattle numbers amounted to 85 million head, compared to a human population of 25 million—more than three cows per person. In the city of São Félix do Xingu, which contains the largest herd in Brazil, this proportion reaches 18 cows to 1 person.

The Brazilian Amazon covers 61 percent of the nation’s territory and harbors 40 percent of the national herd. Cattle…

View original post 1,530 more words

My Beliefs Are Also Yours

turkey-being-huggedI was just thinking about something very powerful–something I hear all the time……from many different people…”I admire your beliefs” or “I respect your beliefs” or “I would never criticize your beliefs”…all appreciated and received warmly by me.

But what is powerful about those statements is that in fact being against animal cruelty is something pretty much everyone already believes in!

It’s not in any way uncommon to be against animal cruelty and unnecessary killing–it’s shared by everyone except a small segment of humans who do not believe in the idea of “being kind to animals”.

This is one of the messages I always hope to convey–my beliefs are not something distinct–if you examine your heart, you’ll see that love for and concern for cows, pigs and chickens is simply natural and innate in just about all of us when allowed to come to the surface of our awareness.

The only reason it seems like a foreign belief is that we have been conditioned to cut off our compassion at the “pet” level.

Our society demands that we turn off the switch of caring about animals we exploit.

Most of us were taught to “be kind to animals” and most of us do indeed believe that is a good thing.

My “beliefs” aren’t really any different from most people’s beliefs.

I know of no one who would be happy to see an animal beaten, intensely confined and brutally killed.

Yet most people pay for these very things to happen.

Inside all but the hardest of hearts is compassion for all living creatures.

Look within and see.

A Letter From Emily Deschanel

Farm Sanctuary supporter Emily Deschanel.jpgI receive updates and support requests on a regular basis from a wonderful rescue and educational organization known as Farm Sanctuary, and in a recent mailing I found this touching note from actor and vegan Emily Deschanel:

“Dear Barbara,

When I was on the TV series, Bones, my character was all about solving crimes. But there is one mystery that even Dr. Brennan wouldn’t be able to solve: why billions of farm animals continue to suffer each year at the hands of the factory farm industry.

As a fellow member of Farm Sanctuary, you surely understand why I have so much trouble with this awful reality for farm animals. It seems impossible that we could live in a world that treats living, feeling animals with such cruelty.

Thankfully, people like you are making a difference–through Farm Sanctuary’s rescue operations, shelters, advocacy efforts, educational programs, and more.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit all of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters, and the experience changed me forever. I already knew that farm animals have feelings and intellect like cats and dogs, but to see them up close was pretty incredible. Every hen had her own personality, as did every goat and pig.

They’re individual creatures who have their own little souls and personalities and quirks. I jointed Farm Sanctuary in 2006 and have since become a Friends of Hilda Club member so that I could help even more of these little souls.

If you’re considering joining the Friends of Hilda Club, I encourage you to do so especially now when your gift will go even further. It is the very best way for us to show we believe that every farm animals is an individual creature who deserves compassion and love.

Sincerely,

Emily Deschanel

P.S. Give hope to the millions of cows, goats, sheep, chickens, pigs and other farm animals who are suffering right now from cruelty. Please give them the second chances they deserve today.”

To learn more about Farm Sanctuary and their Friends of Hilda Club, please visit their website.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Hard to Understand the Double-Standard

BroilerChickensSweden-JMacI’ve been searching for a bird-feeder online and in noticing all the different comments and reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that there are many kind people who love birds.

So many people delight in watching and feeding birds, offering them a nice, safe and clean place to get nourishment; and so many bird-lovers are genuinely concerned about their feathered friends’ well-being.

It’s no stretch to say that all or most of those commenting and enjoying wild birds eat chicken (and/or eggs) on a regular basis.

I think of the intense suffering of “poultry”, whether raised for meat or eggs, and I wince.

Chickens are routinely brutalized while being raised, on the journey to their deaths, and in the slaughterhouse. They have no protection from intense cruelty. Those who aren’t born to a life of suffering and horrible, violent death, like male chicks, don’t live long but face being ground alive in “macerators” soon after hatching. In what world is it o.k. to essentially put innocent baby chicks in a giant blender? It’s truly unbelievable, but it’s standard practice.

People love wild birds, but give no thought to the ones they eat, who suffer unimaginably.

I will never be able to wrap my head around it, and it’s high time the double-standard towards different birds ended.

Chickens deserve our mercy, just like wild birds.

Documentaries: The Key to Change

Farmer Brown with cowOne of the most heartbreaking of things an animal advocate must face daily is the lack of a shared concern for all creatures by so many, including dear friends and family.

We understand that we can never force someone to feel something they don’t feel, or to have concern for animals other than their own pets, but because we know how much it means to have as many people fighting to end animal cruelty as we can, and when otherwise kind and compassionate people don’t share our vision, it’s deeply painful.

We have to make an effort to keep silent, to stuff down our distress, to hide our angst.

In short, it’s exhausting, frustrating and just plain sad.

I wonder, wish and hope each day that more and more people have an epiphany and understand their role in contributing to the unthinkable animal suffering and death that’s thrust on innocent animals each and every day.

How I wish that something, anything, would cause someone to suddenly refuse to be a part of it.

A wise and loving friend of mine who shares these feelings said the one thing she tells people when they ask her why she’s a vegan is “watch a documentary”.

I realized she was right: that’s the most powerful way to understand why animal advocates are so desperate to wake people up from the grip of social conditioning, habit, traditions and their own denial.

We can beg, plead, share our stories of our own changes, try to inform and educate, but it’s far more powerful for someone to see and hear for themselves.

If you haven’t yet seen a documentary on animal use, please check one out from the many films out there, which I’ve posted below.

The animals need each and every one of us.