How many out there categorise themselves as “vegan” or concerned for animal rights? For those who may not understand the terminology clearly, veganism goes far beyond food. There are seemingly many who have recently chosen to eliminate meat and dairy from their dietary intake, but still ingest honey or use other animal-derived products or consumer goods containing such. If this is the case, one cannot honestly convey themselves as adherent to a truly vegan lifestyle. In my case, I don’t just enjoy a plant-based diet, but I am fully dedicated to making life better for all living organisms on this planet (including Mother Earth herself) by choosing veganism as my only lifestyle option for my entire existence. This means I not only shun meat, dairy, honey, and other animal derivatives in plain form, but also take great precautions to avoid pharmaceuticals (prescription and over the counter), cosmetics, chemical household products, clothing and processed foods which may have been tested, made with ingredients derived from, or caused destruction of family units/lives/happiness/livelihood of other neighbouring beings. Ahimsa, or non-violence, is my chosen mantra for the entirety of my stay on Earth in present form.
The following quotes:
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” — Albert Einstein
and “To be neutral in a situation of injustice is to have chosen sides already.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu
…speak volumes to me, whilst providing adequate philosophical reasoning behind my refusal to sit back and watch as others mindlessly destroy everything & everyone in our very interconnected environment. For those of you who consider me to be “judgemental” as a result of my observations, perhaps it is high time for you to take a good look at yourselves and your own life choices in relation to how they affect the world around us. Perhaps you will then realise that I am not judging you, but that your conscience is desperate to overcome whatever it is which comes between you and a truly mindful life.
Personally speaking, I scrutinise every aspect of my own life, so as to create as little harm as is humanly possible in any given situation. Therefore, the only one being judged on an ongoing basis by myself is myself, by my own ethical development path over the past 20 some odd years. Perhaps my standards seem high to many, but I have also taken the time to learn about how things work in our wretched society and formulate ways to simplify my life whilst eschewing harmful behaviour along the way. It truly is a matter of personal choice, but it shouldn’t be that difficult for anyone to choose between love and indifference. Therefore, I challenge anyone to find enough courage to take a good look at themselves and begin weighing their choices mindfully before acting upon impulse or habitual reflex.
Shunning education/valid information when easily found and readily available is the very definition of IGNORANCE. In fact, it is not only lack of knowledge or information, but a deliberate choice made in laziness or for other selfish reasons.
I had already been vegan for many years before seeing the Earthlings film, and avoided it for ages because I thought I knew it all. One day I brought it over to share with a friend who was searching for more conviction to justify what had been a relatively new lifestyle choice for him, and was forced to watch along with him. I was shocked to discover how many things I was actually able to learn from viewing it, and I am now glad that I took the time to do so. It can at times be horrifying, heartbreaking & sickening to view, but truth is sometimes very difficult to swallow. I strongly feel that this film should be required viewing for anyone living in modern society, despite the fact that it is “upsetting” to some people. Human majorities have been the catalysts for every scenario depicted in this film, and it’s about time each of us stood up and accepted his or her responsibility for our roles.
The first step to reaching solutions is properly acknowledging & assessing problems. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Having read through very recent statements posted by Kathy Ireland regarding her blatant disregard for freedom, well-being, and right to life for non-human animals, I realise that there is really no point in feeding her with any more energy in form of appeals to wake up to reality & stop using fur. I recently read through some statements from her which directly attacked several prominent activists who attempted to appeal to her self-professed “charitable nature” by urging her to disengage in use of fur trade activity and related sales. She appears to exhibit textbook psychopathic behaviour by way of attempting to shift attention away from herself (& questionable ethics); at one time praising film icons of the past who engaged in wearing of furs, and subsequently accusing activists of publicity seeking by way of appeals. She then proceeded to perpetuate the debate by engaging in negatively charged exchange with several misguided individuals who were toadying for exactly what she had accused activists of seeking: attention. As to be expected, these frivolous attention seekers seemed more than delighted to receive a virtual pat on the head for expression of disregard for non-human life.
In my opinion, Ms. Ireland is certainly NO Audrey Hepburn! It should also be perfectly obvious to anyone with a shred of common sense that women in the past were far less privy to information related to such matters than we are in present day society. There is simply no excuse for (feigning) ignorance!
Witnessing much of this was quite bothersome, and I am incredibly tired of seeing PeTA’s shelter kills being cited as justification for other (completely unrelated) atrocities. While I am no fan of PeTA, I find ignorance of this magnitude to be nothing short of inexcusable. However, I opted to refrain from becoming any more involved in pointless debate and simply researched a bit more:
From what I have read, it seems that the callous, has-been fashion model is presently denying accusations of generating monetary gain from sales of animal fur cruelly obtained from breeding facilities. She claims to believe that fur farming is “humane”, and goes on to state that all proceeds from sales will go to “Kathy Ireland Worldwide”, her so-called “benevolent fund” established with alleged intention to benefit non-profit organisations.
If this is indeed the case, anyone who recognises non-humans as valid beings with rights to their own lives should take the time to find out exactly which “charities” will be benefitting from this blood money so that we may BOYCOTT them. Proposing a boycott on Kathy Ireland’s ill-begotten products is simply stating the obvious, especially considering the fact that she’s been using child labour in Asian countries for YEARS without any sign of remorse. There is simply no reason to buy anything endorsed by this empty minded, shell of an excuse for a human being, though one might imagine that her name would not cross any of our minds for any reason (other than having plead with her to curb these unethical practises). That having been said, there is really no reason to waste time and energy by converting it into negativity and outrage at her seemingly soulless disregard of common ethics toward Earth & other inhabitants. Instead, why not convert this energy and time into something positive by seeking and spreading word on charities of integrity? It seems far more constructive to support those who strive to make a difference without resorting to accepting blood money, who do not endorse, support or otherwise engage in corrupt or unethical activities.
Make a difference for all beings & our planet: Boycott Kathy Ireland Worldwide and ALL affiliated non-profit organisations.
Our human experiences on this planet are occurring on a very limited timeline. Let us use this time to create something positive for ALL, instead of relinquishing our will to the undeserving.
Find out what you’re supporting if you wear fur:
Shortly after this post was made, another blog was brought to my attention by one of the aforementioned activists who have taken it upon themselves to address this nasty business with Kathy Ireland (the others being the Barbi Twins, formerly of Playboy fame). Amy Rebecca (a.k.a. ‘La Belle Nuage‘) primarily focuses her energy on strong opposition to the fur industry by way of her Fur Free L.A. campaign. Her follow-up post contained a great deal of relevant (and priceless) points & information, so I asked her permission to add hers to this blog as a follow-up to mine. Amy very graciously granted my request, so below is another piece of the puzzle related to sussing out exactly where Kathy Ireland’s “benevolence” lies:
Kathy Ireland and the Case of the Twisted Fur Logic
The mention of a different organization is not only irrelevant, but is trying to shift the controversy away from the issue at hand. Now she’s trying to shift the controversy into some sort of twisted positive light claiming that this blood money is actually going to non profits.
I have tried to follow the money, but the trail is twisted. Stay with me now. What Kathy failed to mention is who exactly the money is coming from and exactly where it’s going. She says “an amount equal to proceeds” is being given away. We don’t know if the “proceeds” means wholesale or retail. She touts her worldwide retail sales as $1.9 billion, but her personal income, while still hefty, is actually a mere fraction of that number. She makes her money by selling the use of her name, and she is linking her name to the sale of fur. Her collection of fur for American Legend is sold exclusively to Macy’s Fur Vault. So it’s the price American Legend sells their fur to Macy’s–not the retail price to the public– which they are going to give away.
But WAIT! Now Kathy is claiming “an amount equal to all profits” is going to non profits. Which is it, “proceeds” (the sales amount) or “profits” (a much smaller number)? The problem is that Kathy Ireland Worldwide is a privately held L.L.C. (Limited Liability Company). That means there is no public information about its finances and its contributions to non profits. I could try to dig, and dig, and dig and still find next to nothing about how much is actually going to non-profit.
Here’s something we do know: American Legend is part of the Fur Commission USA, which is a NON PROFIT! With the question in the air of how much is going to non profits, I’m left bewildered about which non profit those proceeds are going to? Because without public record, and no details forth coming, one has to wonder is the money going back to the fur commission? Okay Kathy, why don’t you reveal exactly where the “amount equal to proceeds” from the sale of your fur is going? I don’t mean the list of charities you tout on your website. I mean, this specific amount is going to this specific non profit. I use the word non profit because YOU did. You didn’t say charity. The fur commission is a non profit. So is that where the money goes?
The bigger issue is not how much is going to a non profit or a charity, but the fact that this money is tainted. You can’t make up for violently killing minks by giving away money to “non profits,” whatever they are. And could it be that these donations are being made to the non profits that were responsible for killing them?
Nothing justifies the death of those animals. Not even throwing your pro life beliefs into the conversation. If you want to talk about the sanctity of life, how does 30 million fur farmed animals being killed for fur coats fit into that?
Whether or not Ms. Ireland & company continue to callously deny the value of non-human life, voices compassionate individuals should weigh on her conscience (or ego, at the very least) if driven in great number. Even if only to appeal to her sense of avarice, please support the campaign against this cruelty by signing this petition at Change.org. Each & every voice makes a difference for animals, human and non-human alike.
Peace, blessings, and much gratitude to all for having cared enough to read both of our posts.
It has recently come to my attention that there seems to be some great divide between many of us in relation to our work in promoting free speech as well as animal welfare. To date, I have received numerous requests asking me to participate in an online campaign to have YouTube prohibit video uploads bearing questionable content (to which has been broadly referred as “animal cruelty”).
As an activist/advocate for civil liberties unbiased by speciesism, I truly believe that this “cause” is a terrible idea for a single, yet multiple-factored reason: Censorship.
As the petition seems to be gaining more and more attention, I felt it an appropriate time to speak up; especially since I suspect many of those who have been posting in support of this to be quite well-meaning.
Looking away (attention diversion) does not make bad things disappear; most times it serves only to make them grow bigger, stronger & more horrifying in the shadows.
As a child, I chose to renounce consumption of animal matter because I did not care for the idea of destroying other sentient beings. I knew no other vegans, vegetarians or even a single animal activist; I had not yet discovered the phenomenon which was once Skinny Puppy. I made the decision based on my relationship with the world around me, knowing nothing of senseless atrocity & unspeakable cruelty occurring in laboratories, factory farms, etc. If it weren’t for my accidental discovery of of such by way of musical interests a bit later on, I cannot honestly say how long it might have taken me to learn about vivisection & other such applications of slavery/manipulation/torture. If it weren’t for music videos (Skinny Puppy’s ‘Testure’ comes to mind) & associated (though not easily found) footage/images/journalism on the subject, I might not have taken such an interest in what toiletries, cosmetics or even foods were morally acceptable to me for use and consumption. In fact, I may not have become so concerned with or active for animal rights until much later… if at all.
I loathe bearing witness to suffering of innocents as much as anyone (possibly more so than most), but if these barbaric acts are not seen by the general public, how will those presently living in the dark become aware enough to stand up for the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves?
Censorship is criminal.
I honestly feel that YouTube already censors & interferes enough with first amendment privileges of people who choose to post there (I have since moved on to alternative media hosting sites – Vimeo, for example). Any further filtering may cause a great deal of damage to organisations (such as Mercy For animals) who have been exceptionally effective in spreading the word about cruelty, illegal handling & other unsavoury circumstances related to factory farms, fur ranches, etc.
All aforementioned bills are Draconian bastardry at work.
If YouTube becomes even more strict about banning/censoring videos, they will then be more likely to also ban undercover investigation videos from fur farms, factory farms & other footage important to the cause of keeping the public informed & abusers in check. It could essentially shut down free speech & the animal rights movement as we presently know it, thus rendering all past efforts & achievements utterly useless.
We are unified in our desire for peace & justice.
We strive to abolish cruelty & suffering on Earth for all beings, human and non-human. If the lunatic fringe continue to post the terrible shit they have in the past, this will only make it easier for them to be recognised, caught & prosecuted.
Additionally, I feel the need to make mention of the fact that this particular campaign may very well have been introduced by the likes of Sparboe Egg Farms; just about any of so many other similar factory farms/fur ranches who have lost revenue (or fear losing such) as a result of such “bad press” would certainly wish to persuade YouTube to ban the upload of such content. “Animal cruelty” is very broad terminology, so at which point will lines be drawn? There could be a great deal more at stake for animals as far as justice & awareness is concerned, which seems an unacceptable risk even if it would mean a small achievement for those eager to completely eliminate “crush” videos from ever offending their consciousness. As someone with a fairly lengthy past of involvement within the “fetish community,” I feel fairly confident in stating that those who get off on that type of thing are actually not all that plentiful. There are certainly some who do, but for the most part it’s not exactly the most common kink. It should remain the task of those who are offended by such content to simply flag as inappropriate, which then allows YouTube to review these uploads by-case instead of creating an entirely new set of dangerous guidelines.
At long last, consciousness is beginning to spread.
In closing, I would like to make mention of the fact that I have encountered many petitions for prosecution of animal abusers spring up as a result of animal cruelty videos which had previously been posted on YouTube. Some of these petitions have drawn appropriate media attention which in turn influenced officials & private citizens to pursue maximum sentences to those committing these acts of atrocity.
I implore everyone considering or already backing this campaign for compassionate reasons to please reconsider joining, signing or donating any time or money to this poorly thought out crusade. More censorship on YouTube (and other public sites for independent media hosting/broadcasting) can most likely only hurt those we’ve been working so tirelessly toward liberating.
Nearly a full lunar cycle has passed since incurring broken bones & shattered knee.
Two weeks of fasting at the start (circumstances made this necessity), followed by a move into a makeshift (temporary) location for recovery as of two weeks ago: a room bearing special amenities for wheelchair accessibility. Upon completion of relocation I promptly began to consume far more fresh, organic farm-direct produce (kale, avocados, persimmons, tomatoes, etc. than usual (even for me) – much of it blended to perfection in Vitamix 5200 along with coconut oil & herbal prescriptions). MANY thanks to Ricardo from Pedro’s Avocado Ranch (in Fallbrook), along with several other amazing growers in the Los Angeles area & other wonderful friends of LORAX Community for so much generosity, thoughtfulness & support during these strange times!
Thankfully, the pain has subsided quite a bit & I seem to have mastered the wheelchair I’ve been using. As of last week: return of almost entire range of motion in left wrist & forearm. Next I will begin working on strength & rehab. Knee still looks completely flattened, right leg looking quite atrophied & also in need of some serious muscle toning…
Current goals: Must locate an EXCELLENT (& ethical) orthopaedic practitioner + rehab specialist experienced in working with professional athletes & dancers…
This is PRECISELY what I have always meant when telling others of our strong community ethic & “One Big Neighbourhood” approach to everyday living. This is why I stayed for so long, fighting against numerous obstacles in order to create something positive & sustainable to leave behind as a service to my community first and foremost.
Here’s my perspective on how things work, not just in the 5 Boroughs, but also statewide (and throughout the tri-state area as well, to a certain degree):
New York has encountered & efficiently dealt with so may crazy obstacles, attacks & disasters over the years, including the unspeakable incident at the World Trade Center. The PEOPLE of New York do NOT back down in the face of opposition or corruption, despite any stupid, crappy decisions which happen to be made by idiotic (& often unfairly appointed) bureaucrats (*cough*Bloomberg*cough*). The above article caused my heart to leap joyously upon first read, and I found myself feeling incredibly inspired to post something in response. The events described in Brad’s Blog appear to me as a shining example of courageousness, consciousness (in relation to their own families & the greater good) and true dedication to constitutional service oath by those who are expected to follow orders as would be any other military/law enforcement personnel. Say what you will about the system in general, but New York cops are something of a special breed. In fact, from what I’ve observed & overheard over the passing years, it seems that there are generally always 10 or more incredibly decent officers to make up for each single douchebag who happens to slide under the radar…
New York State has always been a collective of tenacious motherfuckers from all walks of life, steadfast & determined to handle whatever strange new element or obstacle which may happen to dare surface. New Yorkers are a formidable force to be reckoned with; forthright, resourceful, noble & true. I am SO PROUD to count myself amongst so many strong individuals yet so SAD to be so far away from you, my neighbours & family, during these strange times.
In closing, I can only say: Your unwavering fortitude is so very empowering, even though I’ve once again found myself so far from home during such critical moments. PLEASE continue to stay strong & grow stronger still.
I will return again, as always. The Atlantic is my mother and you are the shining beacon which will always be: My forever home.
Click image or link (* below) for full EN journal entry
"There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears so to speak. Producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution."
–Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961
* Please click this link to read full post with commentary.