you can find out more on the food empowerment website or check out her appetite for justice blog...
and while on food choices, i just had to share this graphic from vegan street
|from vegan street's daily meme 7/11/2013|
|from vegan street's daily meme 7/11/2013|
marla's wonderful 'wordsmithing' never ceases to uplift me and put a smile on my face for her articulation and validation of me and my thoughts - you can't 'un-see- what you have seen, you can't 'un-know' what you know... thank you wonderful womon...
“It's not what you're looking at that matters, it's what you see.” - Henry David Thoreau
For most of my life, I have walked around in a comfortably fuzzy world; it’s a misty place with blurred, dull edges, and I love it here for the most part. Acclimated to my astigmatism and poor eyesight, I still prefer it this way. I recently got glasses, though, and suddenly everything is so very sharp and crisp. I am noticing faces in a way that I didn’t before but this new clarity of vision also means that the dirt on the floor is much more pronounced to me as well. There is comfort in the blurred edges and sometimes the laser-sharp clarity of the world I can see so much better now has me longing to retreat to that old hazy landscape. It’s better to be able to see but it’s not without its challenges.
I believe that the same could be said about those of us who have altered the lens through which we see the world. This is what happens when you go vegan. I think that once you can truly see life from this new, radically different framework, the lens through which you view the world is likely to be altered forever. For some of us, when the old lens shatters, it becomes obsolete, useless to us. We can no longer pretend to see things the way we did before so we can not go back to living as we did before. Others do what they can to tape the broken lens back together, a piece of tape here, some glue there, in order to not have to discard it. A successfully transformed perspective from a shattered and replaced lens is one that rearranges how we see our place in the world; though it is unsettling to suddenly see things that our culture doesn’t want us to see, things that are pervasive and disturbing, we can remedy that disharmony by changing our lives to accommodate our new vision. Whether it was because of a searing epiphany or a more gradual toppling of the excuses we clung to, the end result is that we are not the same as we once were. We are changed in fundamental ways that are often invisible but no less tangible, and this altered perspective can often make us incompatible with accepting what we once did as “the way things are.” We are vegan.
A fundamental aspect of being vegan means that we now see the world in new ways: we see dead cows where others see hamburgers, we see tortured birds where others see omelets, we understand that we are equals in suffering. It’s not because we necessarily want to see this way but because we often cannot “un-see” it. It is our new lens no matter the challenges because living with a
clarityof vision is so essential to us.
As vegans, we are often told that we are insipid or melodramatic for seeing things the way we do, and, implicitly or explicitly, we are asked to stop making life uncomfortable for those who want to
continueeating animals unabated. How can we do that, though? Simply by existing and often without words, as vegans, we represent the elephant in the room and the truth about the violence we inflict needlessly. Most would prefer not to see this. We are provocative simply by existing and we can’t help that. The dissonance between what we see and what we are asked to pretend not to see is a bizarre tension vegans are expected to simply accept as an unspoken condition of adapting to life.
Needless to say, this is hard to accept.
We are being asked to not see (or to behave as if we don’t see) something that would be obvious to anyone who wasn’t complicit in maintaining the avoidance of this, and something that we see nakedly, without artifice and without trying. That we see violence and we see killing isn’t necessarily a judgment, it is a statement of fact: we see this because this is what is happening. We’re not supposed to say, think or even see this, though. When vegans, approximately 2% of the population, are told that we are oppressing others because we speak, think and simply see the truth about the horrors that are inflicted on animals, a dysfunctional dynamic is in place. We are being asked to maintain a lie about something when we cannot avoid seeing the truth.
We are looking at the world through a different lens and this lens changes everything. It makes life challenging at times but being able to clearly see and then act on what we see is an incredible honor and privilege. How fortunate we are to have this rare vision. What a responsibility, too. That we could spend a fraction of our lives letting people know what we are able to see and perhaps help them to develop a new lens is a blessing beyond measure."
"I’m always grateful to come across stories of men whose own struggles with received ideas about masculinity and violence have led them to confront, and openly challenge, meat’s grip on the male psyche. How does a self-described extreme meat-eater and former hunter, for example, a professional killer with the words “SEEK AND DESTROY” tattooed huge across his chest, become inspired to stop eating animals and devote his life full-time to animal rights and wildlife conservation?"
|ruby at edgar's mission|
"Life was good… until puberty hit. That’s when the illusion of equality was shattered.
I first noticed it at about the age of eleven. Whereas before, my brother and I would loiter around the playground hanging off the monkey bars until it started to get dark, my mother began demanding I come directly home after school. The pleas for permission to play a game of touch football with the neighbourhood kids (mostly boys) were treated with open-mouthed expressions of horror.You want to play with the boys?By the time I was twelve, I too was being saddled with chores. The chore I hated most, the one that had me seething with unspoken rage, was the task of making the bed of my younger brother.No longer my equal.That’s when I knew.I knew that the gap between how my brothers were treated and how my sisters and I were treated was only going to grow, and that the reason was our girl bodies. I knew that my days of freedom were numbered.”
"It all started with a chicken. I am often saddened at the inability of many adults to recall just how much children view animals as equals. At the age of five, I was thrilled to wander in to the backyard one day and find a chicken scratching away in the garden. She seemed to come out of nowhere and I didn’t think to ask what she was doing there because there she was and that was good enough for me.. I quickly informed her she was my new best friend and immediately set about chasing her all over the yard. So it struck my five year old self as nothing short of tragic to see myself go, a few short days later, from trying to settle on a name for her to witnessing my father hold her fragile body in his big hands and, invoking the name of God, slice her little head clean off her neck. Yes, it’s true. Headless chickens really do run around like…headless chickens.I was too shocked to scream. Instead, I fled to the garage, which had been her short-lived home, and lay there trembling for hours, curled amongst the straw and her stray feathers. My parents thought my devastation was sweet but entirely unnecessary. It never crossed their minds that I was grieving the loss of my best friend.That was my first brush with what Carol Adams calls the patriarchal model of meat consumption. I didn’t know it then, but eating meat is, in its very nature, an expression of male power and control over the bodies of others. There is no denying this now. We are all, vegetarian and meat-eater alike, aware of how closely aligned eating meat is with the stereotypical notion of ‘masculinity’. I remember the Australian advertising campaigns of the 1980s urging housewives to ‘Feed the man meat!’The reason meat made me uncomfortable as a child was because it was a reminder of my own powerlessness. Much like women, animals suffer because they are treated as commodities. Relegated to the status of objects, their own desires are irrelevant. They simply exist to be used and abused. This is not specific to one culture or religion, it is a global, structural problem that stems from the belief that the powerful have the right to dominate the weak.Feminists who eat meat may be fighting for their own liberation, but as long as they participate in animal exploitation—Feed the man meat!—they are propping up the very system they are fighting against.My early rejection of patriarchal authority and my repeated attempts at living a meat-free life were indeed related. I was rejecting control over both my body and the bodies of animals who I have always identified with.”