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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sentient Beings

May 18, 2014


cow and pig 4Photo credit: Danel Solabarrieta

Sentient beings, by virtue of their being sentient, have an interest in remaining alive; that is, they prefer, want, or desire to remain alive. We cannot justify treating any sentient non-human as our property, as a resource, as a thing that we can use and kill for our purposes.” – Gary L. Francione

Animal rights can be a touchy subject for many people because it hits too close to home—their stomachs and their lifestyle. Eating non-meat food, or using non-animal based products, challenges their beliefs.

Carl Sagan sums this up nicely in his quote about truth:

“You are a threat to my version of the truth, especially the truth about who I am and what my nature is. The thought that I may have dedicated my life to a lie, that I might have accepted a conventional wisdom that no longer, if it ever did, corresponds to the external reality, that is a very painful realization. I will tend to resist it to the last. I will go to almost any lengths to prevent myself from seeing that the world view that I have dedicated my life to is inadequate.”

Most people don’t like to see any animal abused or killed. Yet we turn a blind eye to suffering that is going on daily—animals bred and killed to satisfy our food, clothing and product desires. It’s not that we’re inherently cruel, it’s that we don’t really think about how our meat, leather and other merchandise comes from living, feeling creatures.

We’ve been taught that using animals is the “natural” and necessary way for us to survive. But we can make different choices. We created this system of animal exploitation and we can change it.

The Ghosts In Our Machine is an excellent documentary that puts a face on animal abuse. Please check it out.

 “The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?” – Jeremy Bentham

Blue Ice

July 12, 2012


melting iceberg

“Global warming sounds so big that it’s hard to imagine that you as an individual can do anything about it (“what I do is such a tiny drop in the bucket it doesn’t matter anyway”). But that’s where you’re wrong: the reason Earth is in peril is because of individual actions—by me, by you, by the person sitting next to you, by the person you bump into on the street.

The bad news is that when we put all those individual actions together, it becomes one huge number—big enough to change climate, big enough to change how Earth supports life. The good news—the very good news—is that, just as the problem is the sum of what each one of us is doing, so is fixing the problem.”
Anthony D. Barnosky, Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming

“Ohhh…you cursed brat! Look what you’ve DONE! I’m melting! Melting! Oh…what a world, what a world!” Wicked Witch, The Wizard of Oz

Be cool. Reduce your carbon footprint.

On Good Taste and Creativity

June 20, 2012


Ira Glass on good taste and creativity.

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

This is great insight for any creative endeavor.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”  – Sylvia Plath 

I’m going to need more paper.