Once Upon a Vegan Podcast 2 ~ Animal Rights Heroes

>>  Thursday, July 30, 2009

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Yes, there's more to my "trigger event"... I suppose I need to fully vocalize everything that happened so I can "move on". The first few weeks were very painful. Each morning I'd awaken from a nightmare - only to find that it was all true. That overnight (as I slept through "my watch") millions of animals were brutalized - "legally". This shock stays with me even now; but my consciousness has learned to accept it more. My first aware thoughts always include: "Oh yeah, we butcher animals"... And then my day continues with this information, as in accepting the loss of a loved one... Only it's harder because it's not the same death... of the one; but countless ones, executed by deliberate means and for frivolous reasons.

This quote from Once You Know Something, You Can't Not Know It”: An Empirical Look at Becoming Vegan by Barbara McDonald sums it up: The emotions felt during the catalytic experience were typically negative ones: pain, shock, guilt, sadness, or depression. Lisa, like Michelle, cried as she first learned about animal cruelty. Lena told about her emotional reaction to a video about vivisection, saying, “It affected me so dramatically. It just broke my heart. I have never had [anything] to [have] such an effect.”

Healing through this trauma is in 5 stages- This is the process that I never could get a therapist to help me through:
1. Trigger event
2. Appraisals of assumptions
3. Exploration of alternatives to current assumptions
4. Developing alternative perspectives
5. Integration of new perspectives into daily life (go vegan)

I am so grateful to Roger Yates at Human Nonhuman Relations for his essay regarding this study.

I talk more about "Liz" and why the extinction of farmed animals would not distress me in the least.

While I'm glad she's alive... and wish the other billions could be spared too; These beings are nothing that nature would ever have created. They are products of an industry and a "science" that made them into non-functioning freaks.

If anyone is interested in knowing about these special, beautiful birds, here's more.

I apologize for the quality in the clip from the re-recording of Jordan Wyatt's podcast "Jay Wont Dart" episode #9. Jordan has a great sense of humor... lots of interesting bits about his vegan experiences and if you haven't listened yet... you're missing out. Episode #9 also includes an interview with Elizabeth Collins of NZ Vegan. And both Jordon and Elizabeth are interviewed on Sam Tucker's NZ Teen podcast. That effort for "down under" advocacy really seems to be working! :)

This clip of Jordan's reflects my feeling too - that I wish I'd never eaten meat. And to say children raised on vegetarian or vegan diets are "brainwashed", works the other way too.

Of course parents disguise and avoid telling their children the truth - Kids are not geared to "eat their friends". And the sad fact is, that most parents/adults haven't reconciled themselves to doing such either.

Although I don't mention it in the podcast, ever since going vegan I've begun a "search" to find out where/how children are indoctrinated via story books. I frequent the libraries and thriftstores collecting books with animal and farm themes. They are all so cute, and naive. Each one elaborates on the "happy" lives of cows, pigs, chickens and other barn "pets".

It would be an odd child to not fall in love with these cuddly companions who "give" us milk and eggs...

Some books even say "From pigs we *get* meat", or have illustrations of objects like footballs, leather shoes, feather dusters, woolen mittens, and so on. And they present it in such an innocuous way - None but the most depraved child could ever imagine the truth about such "giving" friends.

Now, I know many would say - that "It's common sense" to know (as adults) where/how these objects came to be "from" these animals. But I think common sense only applies to what you were allowed (or allowed) your mind to comprehend. I think most people push the reality as far back into their subconscious that it's never really dealt with... Well, until a video, a story or an animal rights advocate brings it to focus.

Then there are those who block the information so thoroughly that they "think" they "know"... But haven't dealt with any of the issues at all. Because if they had done so, they would not respond to conversations by shutting down. They would be able to voice their opinions and beliefs. Instead, they figuratively hide their faces - and block their minds (and hearts). And their "common sense" is to pretend that the matter does not exist. They place their heads upon the pillow, numb to the reality of where the feathers originated.

As a result, these well meaning adults (in denial) also raise emotionally crippled children. And that is a very unkind thing to do. So Jordan, and any others like me, who have some anger against a system that fosters this laming - I think the regret is with good reason.

And the last issue I bring up... is one that really has more questions than answers. And these questions come after reading this from Screaming Wolf: A DECLARATION OF WAR Killing People To Save Animals And The Environment

I want to clarify again that I'm not advocating violence, it's just that I don't know how much pacifism one can sanction before non-action becomes "complicity"? And how much tolerance to animal enslavement and murder do we accept before we are "speciesist"?

I don't know much about the ALF's activities... only that in 30 years they've never physically harmed anyone. I know that the simple act of removing the worthless factory hens, (scheduled to be gassed), would make me a "terrorist". I know that in the bull ring in Barcelona - dozens of animal rights activists disrupted an "event". They had bottles thrown at them from hostile spectators in the stands. ARA are labeled as "aggressive" even in the defense of a victim.

With human rights... I always believed that my rights ended where an other's began --- And in my mind, animals DO have rights - they are just not recognized or enforced by society. And if aggressive acts are done (physically harming none) - to protect those ignored rights of animals - Then it is justified, no matter how much monetary loss is incurred. For me the destruction of "things" accounts for nothing in comparison to the infringements of life. And those who seek out thugs who assault and injure the innocent are my heroes, even if their tactics aren't seen as "peaceful".

I suppose there are no clear answers to what is or isn't "force"... But I do know that I see the ALF as being justified in their actions because they are doing what it takes to save victims against real terrorists. Perhaps it is meant to be that some champions battle in the fields, while others work in ways they can, to reshape ideology making it easier for them to do such? But in that case, we've really compromised these heroes by allowing the AETA to exist, and should do all we can to dismantle this oppressive legislation.

I think it's fitting to end this with another "vegan story" as told by freedom fighter Keith Mann...

Thanks for listening/reading... If you have any answers or further comment to my questions - of course I welcome all the help I can get in resolving these queries. I do want to do the right thing...

And I am my brother's keeper And I will fight his fight, And speak the word for beast and bird, Till the world shall set things right. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)


Serenity August 5, 2009 at 11:50 AM  

Bea, I love your new blog! Right now in environmental science we are talking about veganism and eating more fruits and veggies as opposed to meat products. In my thinking, it's good for everything and everyone!

Bea Elliott August 10, 2009 at 10:12 PM  

That sounds great Serenity! Of course veganism is the way towards "environmental science"! Hooray for the road towards tommorrow's enlightenment! I miss reading your insightful blog... where did you go? :(

Warwak August 16, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

Great podcast Bea! Way to go

Bea Elliott August 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

Thank you Dave... And it goes without saying - that you're one of my Animal Rights Heroes as well!