Sunday, May 11, 2014

when thoughts turn to mothers...

my mother is on my mind a lot these days... i'm watching a once strong, feisty, vibrant, active womon become the womon she never saw in her future, never expected nor wanted to be... feeble, confused, depressed, unable to make solid decisions for herself, unable to find much joy in life anymore... it's a hard, painful, frustrating transition for her, and one she often tells me she wishes would end... her dream these days is to lay down, go to sleep, and never wake up... 

i understand that dream... she turned 85 last month and has just had enough... chronic, degenerative illnesses and age have robbed her of her spark, her confidence, much of her vision, and her mobility and short term memory are failing by rapidly rising degrees... what lies ahead for her is hard to think about, harder to deal with... she is fluctuating between coping and crumbling, sometimes telling me she doesn't think she can live independently and look after herself anymore, then fearing the next step, entering a care facility, deciding now is not the time to start making those plans yet... being a working class womon with no assets, no money apart from a government pension, limits any option of the type of facility she would be able to afford...

i am concerned for her, and fearful of what lies ahead too... i have no sanctuary to offer her, i have no assets myself and no way to make her safe... i never want to have to make the decision as to where she will go, having heard some of the horror stories of many of the government funded facilities due to under-staffing and under-funding... i hope her dream comes true...

i have my ups and downs, guilt visits occasionally, but depression is a friend and foe that regularly comes to stay these days as our roles are reversed in our mother/daughter relationship, the daughter now the mother, the decision maker, the mother now the daughter, seeking protection and guidance...

my mum (1951); with me (1958)

my friend sailor lily wrote a beautiful essay, letter - i'm not sure what to call it - and sent it to me on my birthday last month - she knows the rocky mother/daughter relationship judy and i have shared, has seen the weight of it over the last few years, knows my fear and concern, understands my desire for my mother's life journey to end with dignity in her own familiar surroundings, with her memories enveloping her... i thought now was an appropriate time to share her words...
"Hey Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

Hey Judy! We’ve never met, but I’ve known your girl, your daughter, this amazing womon for well over a decade. Yeah not as long as you, hardly a moment in your life with her, just a blink really, or as long as a cigga takes.
But she’s hurting for you, Mother. She’s caring and crying for you Mother, and she’s doing it alone.  So Judy, so Mother, let’s have a Mum to Mum chat…

You have a river to cross, and you don’t have to swim hard or long. You don’t have to fight, and you won’t drown. Hey Judy, who I’ve never met: You’ve always been able to swim and keep people safe on your back, now is your time to float. When the burden is great know it is your time to float and be carried.

There is a great body of water, salty with life’s tears and spunk, with babies and friends and love, and its sole purpose, this river, is to take you a little downstream until you get to say “Yes, stop here, that’s my place.”

It will be your place. Not anyone else’s. In that place that you recognise you won’t be beholden. It’s just golden and dappled, or maybe a crazy club you once went to…Maybe a friend’s home.  Maybe a view you tasted when you were four.

No matter Judy - you will know it. You’ll be glad and grateful. When the time and the river take you there jump in with all the glee of a kid into the river. With all the happiness of a woman stepping forward into adventure or love, perhaps swept away in the currents, or perhaps quick to swim to the excitement of the other side, the embankment that beckons with green ferns and friends waving.

Hey Judy, be excited. This is it. Your time, your time at long-last.
And from me? By hook and by crook and default and error; you raised a child that became a girl that became a wonderful and powerful womon. Be proud! But when it’s time be nothing but that foot that carries you on, into the water, to take yourself back and forward and in and out to all the space and time of was and is and ever-ness."
----------------------------------------------

there are other mothers on my mind too... unlike my mother who has lived a long, full, mostly happy life and had the benefit of raising her children and watching them grow up, make their own decisions, choose their own paths and follow their journeys, there are many mothers who have never known that pleasure, never been allowed to nurture their babies and watch them grow, never known the wonder and joy of nuzzling, touching, sharing, only ever knowing pain, suffering, heartache and grief... these mothers deserve thought too - they deserve to be known and acknowledged - they deserve respect - they deserve the right to their own life and happy memories... all of us can do something for these mothers - one simple act can change their world, the world they have had no choice in... you have a choice - please, choose compassion, go vegan...


Thursday, May 1, 2014

all of them are vulnerable...

from evolve campaigns...

it's time to end the fallacy of human superiority that allows untold crimes to be committed against the voiceless - the holocaust needs to stop... by embracing veganism you can save countless lives...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

the interconnectedness of oppression...

i'm reading a book titled "eternal treblinka" by charles patterson at the moment - it "examines the origins of human supremacy and describes the emergence of industrialized slaughter of both animals and people in modern times"...  it is a powerful exposé of the human capacity for horror that's way beyond anything i thought could exist in the human psyche, let alone reality - it is not an easy read, i shed tears every time i turn a page, yet it is something i am drawn to, repulsed and repelled by, but need to read to its final sentence...

the title is taken from a short story, 'the letter writer' by isaac bashevis singer, polish-born jewish-american author and nobel laureate, in which he states "in relation to them (animals), all people are nazis; for the animals it is an eternal treblinka"... the book is actually dedicated to him...

according to lucy rosen kaplan, former attorney for peta and daughter of holocaust survivors, "in eternal treblinka we are presented for the first time with extensive evidence of the profoundly troubling connections between animal exploitation in the united states and hitler's final solution"...

jane goodall says "charles patterson's book will go a long way towards righting the terrible wrongs that human beings, throughout history, have perpetrated on nonhuman animals."

i'm still reading it, so not yet ready to write about it, but i felt it was time for a new post, however i am so totally pissed off with the human species and their treatment of our nonhuman kin, and so very ashamed to be part of a species that is capable of such horror that i am unable to write a post without rage and hatred, so instead i have opted to share three videos by three womyn i find inspiring and who passionately believe in feminism and nonhuman animal rights... here they 'join the dots' between the oppression of womyn and the oppression of nonhumans...

ruby hamad... "feminism, veganism and patriarchy"...


ashley maier... "violence against women and animal rights"...


both make reference to the wonderful carol j adams... "politics and the absent referent in 2014"...


i hope you find them inspiring... i hope. i implore, you make the connection... it really is time to change the world... 'animal rights' is, without doubt, a fundamental feminist issue... womyn's liberation and 'animal' liberation go hand in hand...

from 'animal rights is a feminist issue'

Saturday, March 8, 2014

sisters all...

i was reminded today of an article i read last month titled commodities and cages... i thought it fitting to share an excerpt this international womyn's day as a tribute to Betsy, Lucy, and Anarcha (and so many more) who were enslaved and brutalised in the 1800s...

"Montgomery Alabama 1846 -1853. Dr. J. Marion Sims (1813-1883) is now known as both “The Father of Gynecology” and “The Father of Vaginal Surgery”. Sims was born in South Carolina and practiced there, in Alabama, New York City, and throughout France. He is widely recognized for laying the foundations for modern gynecology, pioneering the use of surgical steel sutures, and developing several techniques in vaginal surgery. What is less known about Sims is “the fact that many of his accomplishments ….were obtained at the expense and the surgical exploitation of Black women”.

While Sims went to some length to hide his use of slave subjects, featuring white women in anatomy articles and texts, his primary research subjects were three female slaves – Betsy, Lucy, and Anarcha. He operated on each of these women as many as 30 times without anesthesia, believing that blacks did not have the same capacity for pain as whites. Sims even went so far as to purchase Anarcha in order to continue operating on her. In addition, he addicted all these women to opiates in order to facilitate their post-operative recovery and expedite another round of surgeries.

After moving to New York in 1853, Sims continued his exploitation of poor and African American women, exposing them to dangerous experimental surgeries at the Women’s Hospital of New York City. Describing the death of an African American woman after such a surgery, MacGregor (1998) writes:
“Clearly from Sims’ point of view, the life of the patient in this case was expendable. Her body in many ways had become his even before she died… While he placed his findings at the altar of science, her class and her race placed her at Sims’ disposal.”
Because these women were deemed less than human.

They were only animals, and above all, they were property."

their story is one of many echoes from the herstory of slavery, a reflection of the enslavement that exists today, those subjugated and brutalised now our sisters (and brothers) of other nations, other tribes - "because they are deemed less than human... they are only animals, and above all, they are property' ... you can read the full article "commodities and cages" on vine sanctuary's website...


Sunday, February 9, 2014

heat and tears...

as i melt in the sweltering heatwave we're experiencing here in melbourne, i watch petey and shadow constantly on the move inside to outside, outside to inside, finding refuge in all sorts of places, continually visiting their water bowl as i continue to top it up - and my thoughts shift to other nonhumans, and i start to weep for all those enslaved in tin sheds with no opportunity to move away from the crush of bodies in the oppressive heat, with only stagnant (if any) water to slake their desperate thirst... i weep for those in paddocks with no shelter, with no water and no way of getting to the dam on the other side of the fence... i weep for those chained in backyards, and those confined to cages... i weep for those incarcerated in feed lots forced to defecate where they stand, lie and sleep, with nowhere to move to escape the feces filled pens.. i weep at the brutality that humans continue to perpetrate against our nonhuman kin... i weep at the compassion that seems to be so lacking in so many... i weep for all the victims of human abuse, and i weep for the victims of human apathy...
"If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth - beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals - would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?" ... George Bernard Shaw, playwright, Nobel prize in literature 1925
so, while i continue to melt and weep, i thought i'd share this video that popped up on my google+ stream the other day... simone reyes is vegan, an activist and a wonderfully passionate orator... although i don't agree with her view on peta or their 'naked activists on the corner' misogynistic campaigns - the only point we disagree on (because you can't subjugate one to free the other, and that's what peta's campaigns do - you can read more on that point in ruby hamad's article 'the problem with peta') please take the time to watch this inspiring young womon...



and here's some dark vegan humour to end this post... on those rare occasions i go to a restaurant with necrovores i want a waiter just like this one...