When you find something that feels right, feels good and feels desperately important, once you believe in something, you push it forward everyday, in some way. You give all you've got, to drag it and drive it forward! You do this because you can't stomach the idea of living your life without seeing your vision materialize. Surely this is what it is to have a dream and to have a dream come true.. Once you find something that makes you feel this way, you've found your calling, I believe. To live all of your days without honoring this 'purpose' is to live unnoticed, unchallenged, un-celebrated, immemorable, but most importantly, it is to leave this life no better than you found it. It must be, ultimately, to die as though you never lived at all..
Animal lovers, vegetarians, vegans, you don't need to defend yourselves. It's not us against them. It's not even right against wrong. It's simply the known against the unknown. The massive majority of people are good people but they either don't know what goes on or they don't know what to do about it. The simple truth is that we're shielded from factory farming and slaughterhouse processes. It is hidden because it is horrific and if the good majority saw it they would not buy or eat the produce of the industry. If all was okay within the industry and if such scenes were natural, acceptable, etc. Then these practices would not be hidden. They would be instead for all the world to see. There is no battle here. Forgive people their reactions. Denial is the first necessary phase of grief.
Is there any reason why I shouldn't be friends with a black guy or a Muslim? Is there any reason why I shouldn't be friends with a big dog, a rat or a fox? Because one has been said to attack somebody once? Well, no, that's not a good enough reason. There's no doubt that somebody my height, my colour, my shape attacked somebody once. That doesn't make me bad. I can be a friend wherever I find a friend, regardless of what clothing, skin or body that someone is wearing. Is there any reason why this is wrong? No. Not at all.
I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends - the fear, the terror, the pain - and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being.
It is a federal system of sadistic torture, vivisection, and animal genocide, which has been carried on for decades under the fraudulent guise of respectable medical research. And nobody on the outside knows, or wants to know, or is willing to find out. My parents, my friends, my teachers, wouldnt listen to me, or suggested that if it was bothering me that much I just had to quit the job. Just like that. As if that would have solved anything. As if I could ever live with such cowardice. You can't imagine, or maybe you can, how many people are convinced - without knowing the first thing about it - Animal research is essential. Americans have been hopelessly brainwashed on this issue. The animal rights people, by and large, acknowledge the essential futility of trying to change the system. So they address the smaller issues, fighting for legislation which would provide one extra visit per week to the labs by a custodian of the US dept of agriculture. Or demanding that a squirrel monkey be given an extra 12 square inches in his holding pen, before being led to the slaughter. That sort of thing. For whomever, and whatever it's worth, I hope my little write up is clear. I dont have the guts to do whats necessary. I pray there's someone out there who does. God help all of us.
I remember one bobcat they had in here - now bobcats are an endangered species in this neck of the woods - they'd caught it somewhere and they must have put that cat through a dozen rounds of burn experiments before they finally determined that it was utterly useless to them. Like an empty beer can. And then you know what they did to it? Claudius was late for a lunch date so rather thanput the destroyed but still breathing animal to sleep, he picked it up by its hind legs and simply smashed its head against a wall repeatedly until it was dead. How can I forget it: I was the one told to clean up the mess. The head dented in. The eyes slowly closing. The once proud claws hanging down, stunned and lifeless, the utter senselessness of it all, and the hate, a hatred that was consummated in me which is as dangerous a hormone, or chemical, or portion of the brain, as any neutron bomb. Except that I didnt know how to explode. I was like a computer without a keyboard, a bird without wings. Roaring inside. I wanted to kill that man. To do unto others what they had done unto me. I was that bobcat, you better believe it.
I have been impressed by the realization that a few men have virtually 'decided' what experiences count and even exist in the world. The language of Western science--the reigning construct of male hegemony--precludes the ability to express the experiential realities it talks about. Virtually all the actual experiences of this world, expressed through the manifest and mysterious characteristics of all the different beings, are unrepresented in the stainless steel edicts of experts. Where is the voice of the voiceless in the scientific literature, including the literature of environmental ethics?
Some animal rights activists are demanding vegetarianism, even veganism now, or nothing. But since only 4 or 5 percent of Americans claim to be vegetarians, 'nothing' is the far more likely outcome. I ask these activists to weigh the horrors of Bladen County's industrial farms and the Tar Heel slaughterhouse against the consequences of doing nothing to alleviate the hour-to-hour sufferings of its victims. Is not a life lived off the factory farm and a death humanely inflicted superior to the terrible lives we know they lead and the horrible deaths we know they suffer in Bladen County today?
Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destory; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.
At the same time we see the phenomenon of successful women adopting the standards of men with a vengeance. Will women's march to power ascendancy, won against all odds, mean that they too will choose to flaunt their preferences for red meat, animal skin, sport hunting, and even bullfighting? As women are swelling the ranks of biomedical science, many have adopted the practice of animal experimentation. Will animal exploitation become the ultimate symbol of equality with the white male?