PDF available here.
The Culture of Vegetarianism
I am not a fan of salad nor most vegetables. Bananas make me wrinkle my nose in disgust. I think the majority of the ways tofu is cooked still results in a boring, bland dish. Despite my distaste for most of the foods typical vegetarians consume, I still practice a vegetarian diet on a daily basis. Vegetarianism often envelops more than simple dietary changes, however. The behaviour of those who practice the diet often extends to similar virtues regarding animal byproducts to other facets of their lives, forming a way of living. This way of life affects everything from clothing choices to what shampoo one is willing to buy. Aside from physical aspects of the lifestyle of vegetarianism, there are also mental and emotional characteristics, teaching everything from patience to wit. The attitude and values of those abstaining from meat have formed a diet into a culture for quite a few of its participants.
Astounding to me is the fact that someone can claim to love animals yet support companies, brands, and food chains that directly and indirectly harm them. Unlike what most people might assume, I am not against people eating meat. Rather, I am against the process the meat goes through to reach people. From factory farm, in overcrowded conditions on a poor diet, to the slaughterhouse– the method in which meat reaches your local supermarket is not a pretty picture. Educational documentaries on the industry such as Food, Inc, attempt to reveal the behind-the-scene reality. Animals are also harmed in animal testing done by hair and body care brands and cosmetic companies.Uncaged Campaign, an anti-vivisection organization, urges consumers to boycott Proctor and Gamble, which produces popular products such as Pantene, Olay, and Herbal Essences. “P&G admit that guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, rats and mice are among the animals used in their ‘product safety research’, as well as cats and dogs in pet food experiments.” (Uncaged Campaign.) Knowing that animals are being harmed unnecessarily makes a commodity extremely unappealing to me.
I regularly hear people complain that they wish others would “practice what they preach.” Going to an environmental school, I have been astounded at the amount my animal-loving friends seem to enjoy ridiculing my dietary choice and pushing me to eat meat, well knowing I refrain from it due to how the meat industry works. They claim that my diet is the cause of everything from low body weight to sniffles, and try to persuade me to eat meat. However, a reduced meat intake has shown to be beneficial. “The chances of developing chronic diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, kidney failure, osteoporosis and cancer, is markedly decreased among vegetarians and vegans by as much as forty percent.” (Wisegeek,) Despite any evidence I bring up that portrays vegetarianism as being a healthy diet, friends are still highly critical, and more than willing to voice their discontent in my choice in a less than respectful manner. Being vegetarian in this society requires a certain amount of wit, tolerance, patience, and knowledge. Exhausting those virtues when dealing with critics, I’ve also learned how to say “fuck off” and tune someone out.
Having a specific diet such as vegetarianism requires some modicum of self control. There are specific nutrients gained in meat, such as iron, which the human body cannot absorb as well from plants or supplements. I need to make sure I am getting enough to support a healthy lifestyle, and that requires me to take active note in what I am eating. I feel as though this enables me to be more aware of what I am eating and putting into my body. Even if one was not a vegetarian they should be aware of what she/he eats regardless, but I honestly doubt I would be if not a vegetarian. Perhaps this concern over my diet also piqued my interest in keeping both my mind and physique healthy. During high school I also became an avid yogi (practitioner of yoga) and cross-country runner, developing flexibility, increased concentration, and stamina. In effect, I took values I learned from these two activities and began applying them to my life. Cross-country allowed me to realize the value in not giving up and finishing strong. Yoga taught me that discomfort means growth, and that the more I stretch myself, my beliefs, opinions, and notions, the more I will benefit.
While it is true that food can shape who you are, I believe who I am also shapes what I eat—or more accurately, what I don’t eat. Vegetarianism has unquestionably played a large part in helping form who I am today, both by igniting my interest in holistic and organic alternatives and in teaching me how to proficiently respond to controversy and engage in debate. I do not believe I would consider myself the same person, or respect myself in the way I do, if I consumed meat. Vegetarianism may not implement itself into the formation of a culture for all vegetarians, but it certainly does for me.
Uncaged Campaigns: Against Animal Testing and Experiments. Web. <http://www.uncaged.co.uk/>.
“Has It Been Proven That a Vegetarian Diet Is Really Healthier?” WiseGEEK Web. <http://www.wisegeek.com/has-it-been-proven-that-a-vegetarian-diet-is-really-healthier.htm>.
An analysis paper I wrote for my environmental writing class, using Linda Bergkvist’s gorgeous work as the subject.
“Spoiling” Mother Nature
“Spoiling” Mother Nature explores the relationship between nature and
humans, as depicted in Linda Bergkvist’s painting, Spoiled. Reviewing
symbolism,“Spoiling” Mother Nature expresses to the audience the
artists’ intent in the production of the painting, as well as the possible
effects Linda Bergkvist might have wanted to achieve. The paper also
investigates the etymology of “mother nature,” relating back to a Greek
myth explaining the birth of the world, as well as deciphering the
significance of nature being considered a mother figure. In addition the
essay touches on how art has been used for persuasion in the past.
Last month, a bear cub was euthanized for it’s friendly affability with humans it met, after receiving food from them for quite awhile.
Of course, more effort could have been put towards placing said cub on a reserve, or even in educating the public about keeping trashcans securely covered, and about scaring away wildlife and not giving it a reason to become more relaxed around humans. Despite the fact that humans are the one intruding on the bears environment, the animal is always the one to pay.
Some people have asked if the public’s reaction would have been the same if said bear had injured a child, or if it had been a less liked animal. My own reaction would not have been different. It was our actions as humans that frustrate me so. As the “superior species” should we not be able to avoid attracting such situations, or at least be able to invent less cruel resolutions of such issues?
There is an undescribable amount of rage inside of me right now. The pit of my stomach is turning in anger. Are you kidding me?! You kill a bear to resolve the fault of humans. I’m sorry, but in my mind that does not make sense. They say that they had warned humans not to feed the bear as the bear would associate cars with food, therefore resulting in injury or death for the bear, then they completely contradict themselves by doing the job anyway. It sickens me to think that out of all the options, such as natural reserve or a zoo, they choose to take it’s life. We as humans are at fault. Aside from giving a wild animal food at such a young age before it can learn to fend for itself and catch food itself, we go ahead and place a great long slab of cement and tar right through THEIR LAND. Nature was here long before us. But no. Let’s just kill the bear, because it’s not humans fault that it didn’t know better.
Read more here.
Saw Beady Eye in concert after winning two tickets to see them perform live for the David Letterman Show. I was able to get VIP seats, shake Gem Archer’s hand, and get a photo with Liam.
Before graduation with Friends.
My awards on display at afterparty.
And being silly string’d by friends and family..
So about six months ago my grandmother adopted a spaniel mix from a very large popular animal shelter about two hours from my house, out of one of their adoption vans. When I visited a couple weeks later the dog attempted to attack me when I sat down on their couch, and bit my mother in the process of trying to get towards me.
We called the shelter quite a few times and finally got a response about two months ago. We explained the situation and they told us to drive there for them to take the dog back, and so my mother and my grandmother went yesterday, I had work.
When I get back from work my mother tells me they refused to take the dog. Here’s the story:
The dog was fine with the woman who met them at the door, and was fine with the two dog behaviorists re-evaluating him until they tried to restrain him on a walk, where he got snarly. Then a kid went by on a skateboard and he flipped out. I had -warned- them that he was aggressive towards minors. He’s also territorial and possessive-aggressive.
One of the staff there told my mother “Your daughter will just have to get used to the fact that he doesn’t like her and visit her grandmother anyway.” It’s not a matter of me GETTING OVER IT. The dog is almost impossible to restrain when I, my brother, or any younger child comes around. It tried attacking her neighbors child, luckily it was leashed and the kid was far enough away that all it did was scare him.
They said our options were to privately place him or employ a behaviorist. We don’t have the money for a behaviorist, we spent all our money driving back to the shelter to get rid of him.
They refused to take him back, saying he was dangerous. I just called and left a long and angry message on their answering machine, telling them we don’t have the money for a behaviorist, it’s irresponsible to privately place a dog that has extreme aggression issues, not to mention anyone willing to take him most likely wouldn’t have the experience to handle such a dog. I also ranted to them about how irresponsible they were to not thoroughly evaluate the dog before adopting it out, and how now my grandmother’s liable for an aggressive dog and could lose everything if it were to bite someone besides family.
My mother’s called a few shelters, but none have been willing to take him because of the aggression. My next step if they still refuse to take him back is to talk to the police in charge of animal control here, and while legally they can’t take in dogs unless they’re strays he can tell me if I’m legally within my rights to have my grandmother demand they take the dog back.
I went to the local dog warden today to ask if the shelter was under any legal compulsions to take an aggressive dog back.
What I got was a 7 ft tall dog warden telling me it was all my fault that my grandmother was still in possession of an aggressive dog, and if I wanted to fix it all I need do was hold the dog in the air by it’s collar until it gets close to passing out while yelling at it, and then it won’t try to bite me anymore!
I told him that some people, including myself, would argue that such a thing is unethical and cruel. He told me that when I go to college that I should have a bonfire and burn all my dog behaviorism books.
He back up his experience by telling me about how his Doberman growled at him when he told it to get off the couch one day. He brought it outside and told it to sit in the snow, and it didn’t. So he told it to again and it lunged for his throat. So he picked it up using the leash and hung it by it’s collar until it almost passed out and was gasping and choking, and then told it to sit again. It sat! Dog friendly again!
I wanted to argue that if his punishment-based training worked as well as he was claiming then his dog would never have tried to kill him in the first place. But I didn’t feel like being arrested for talking back to someone who is legally also a cop, so I nodded until he stopped talking, and thanked him for his time before walking out.
Of course his Doberman didn’t attack him after he hung it in the air by it’s collar, it’s called oxygen asphyxiation.
I was basically shaking by how intimidating this guy was, which is why I only argued against him a few times. He told me to bring the dog down to the shelter and he’d choke it for me, if I wasn’t strong enough to hold it in the air by it’s leash. I told him I’d rather bring it to one of the training centers that he “swore by,” as my grandmother needs to learn to control it herself. He argued that I’m here now, and I can do it for her. Completely missed my point.
I just feel completely.. angered. I came in asking for legal information and was taught how to strangle a dog.
Went hiking with Kira and brought my journal and camera with me. Had to get away for a few hours and this did it perfectly.
I’m trying to figure out how to write this without contradicting myself hundreds of times in an utterly unorganized and confusing fashion. I don’t even know what I want to write, as of this sentence.
My perception of the world just keeps changing and updating, and half the time I think I’m losing my mind. I go through one day wanted to wear bright colors, or something loose and white and try to make people smile, and the next I want to be invisible in black, and just be quiet and listen to the hum of everything going on around me, while I try to figure out why anything is worth something.
I go from wanting to cry because the world is moving to wanting to just wrap my arms around you from behind and think of something that makes your eyes light up and a smile grace your mouth.
I want to be strong and independent, but soft and bright. I’m so childlike, spinning in circles makes me happy. I talk a lot about nothing, just babbling nonsense. I guess it’s all left overs from not talking at all throughout middle school days. My thoughts are that you should keep quiet unless you have something important to say, but I guess my constant babbles are comforting to me, in the sense that cats purr when they’re scared or in pain. I just talk and live, I suppose.
And because of this nonsense that constantly comes forth out of my mouth, everyone thinks me a fool. This is okay, I guess, although you probably think so as well. Half the time I think so. I have no sense of what to do in social situations, I lack some common sense, and make an idiot out of myself when things fly right over my head that even the slowest kid could catch.
It probably doesn’t count, but I could tell you how the color amber reminds me of happiness, how it’s warm and comforting. I could tell you that when I sip tea I feel like it’s seeping into me, it’s warmth traveling down my throat and spreading throughout my body. Or I might describe to you why I enjoy being underwater, because you’re surrounded by muted colors and sounds, suspended in something where you’re sensory deprived and can just be enveloped and exist.
I think you’re smart, more than in the obvious sense. You don’t tell secrets, you don’t ramble out every single idiotic thing that passes through your head like I do. If you don’t speak it, you can’t regret saying it. No one knows who you are, because you just listen, you don’t speak. If you do, it doesn’t reveal anything that could ever hurt you.
I want people to know who I am, though. I don’t always want to be invisible in the background. I want to leave some small mark on what’s happening around me, something that says I was here even if no one but the record of time remembers it.
I like living in the past and in my head, despite every inspirational quote you can find these days advises living in the present. I just like remembering.
For those who don’t know of the new admin’s first actions, it was implying change and banning Equilibrium/Hajo. Greg also introduced a new rule, saying there were to be no sexual comments on the site, even in a joking manner. Hajo was banned because of this rule, to my knowledge.
I was in chat, expressing discontent that the new administrator was a new face and that their first actions seemed somewhat drastic. I was answered with that she was doing so only through Greg (Onision)’s request. At one point she insulted Netunesa, saying she (Draculoh) would never do anything as degrading as porn (not a direct quote, from memory.) Boredgeek and I took offense to what we perceived to be a closed-minded and wrong viewpoint and were clarifying to her, when she decided the mature discussion we were attempting to have with her needed to stop. She left chat eventually and a few members cheered. I started a discussion about people’s feedback towards her, and the general agreement –for all but two members, one being an avid fan of Drac that I’d never seen before and the other being Alyssa/Aeraly– was that they were unhappy with the change and disliked her. The general consensus was that if it got to the point where more members were banned, they would leave.
When Draculoh walked back into chat about 10 minutes later with everyone’s rebellion in chat for her to read, they scattered and either left or went idle. She then took Final’s global moderator status back, members in chat who were Final fans went into an uproar, and Final left with promises of secret mod pages to be revealed at a later date and a forum for anyone else who was banned.
I requested an explanation and soon after Greg’s post about Final being banned was up.
Soon after Final used his powers on cyriously.tv to delete the members, which has since been restored to before Final wiped it.
Boredgeek left the forum, I left the forum (Myst), I believe theNYWinterBreeze (Rose) left as well.
However, despite the new rule Greg himself made, he was caught being a hypocrite and violating it in chat by one of the members:
Draculoh is the singer Shiloh under a new account. For those that do not know who Shiloh is, Shiloh is a musician and Greg’s friend. Her twitter can be found here. Some have speculated that she’s the reason Greg divorced Skye, but that’s none of my business and there is no support that can prove it.
Draculoh also claims to be a hacker
Later upon clarification she said she said it only in anger and wasn’t serious about it.
Later in chat members were allowed to post sexually-related content for 10 minutes, which doing in the past few days warranted a ban or kick.
Now, that was just what happened as people have been asking me what went down. Here’s my personal opinion on it:
Greg is rarely on the forums. The members have made numerous attempts to try to get him to improve the forum speed by culling old inactive member accounts, upgrading to a more devoted server, changing forum software, and using an external CSS instead of loading it on every page. All posts have been ignored. He’s already proven himself a hypocrite of his own word by posting sexual-related content in chat. He didn’t give enough interest in the forum in the first place to make sure Final was the kind of character he wanted moderating his forum and Final just continued acting as he always had and his conduct was deemed unacceptable only now. Greg should have gradually introduced change instead of throwing it on us. I dislike a community I appreciated and enjoyed being referred to as “sarcastic, condescending individuals”. This “divine community” stuff is shit. We liked our community. It’s ridiculous for someone who has never taken an active interest before in something HE created to suddenly pop in and decide he doesn’t like it.
Links that may be of interest:
Includes his side of things and uploads of the threads in the hidden moderator forum on onision.net