Journeying towards ethical eating while getting along with others - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 91 Old 01-29-2013, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should add that at least one other parent, who has smaller children than mine, wasn't too happy about the way this woman went on and on about the chicken slaughtering and got graphic about it.

 

Also, when we went back the second time, another mom asked me how dd was doing with regard to that incident, and she said that some of them had talked after we left, and they were concerned that after the way the conversation just went on and on, we might not be coming back. So I get the impression that if she'd continued on the same track, others would have supported us by asking her to stop.

 

But as I've already said, we've had positive interactions with her since that time, and I really think it may just be a difference in semantics. I think she sees humane treatment of animals as treating them just like they are human beings, which is probably actually similar to the view of many animal rights activists. So she said you treat chickens "chickenly."

 

We may be at the point someday ourselves of having a much stricter definition of what it means to treat animals humanely, but for now we personally agree with the definition at the following link:

 

http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=humaneness

 

We still eat animals and we don't eat humans, so we honestly can't say that we're treating all animals just like people at this time in our lives. We just want to show compassion and we want them to have happy lives and not to suffer when they die...but maybe someday we'll go even further.


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#62 of 91 Old 01-29-2013, 10:55 AM
 
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marsupial-mom -- I really like the idea of helping dd get involved with animal rights groups!

Great!

 

Here is a great resource for finding people who eat vegan, vegetarian, or part-time vegetarian:

http://vegetarian.meetup.com/

http://vegan.meetup.com/

There are some groups on yahoo, too so check that out.

 

As far as AR groups go, I really think you'd like what these ones are doing:

http://www.bestfriends.org/ (check out the lcoal section: http://www.bestfriends.org/What-We-Do/Local-Programs/ )

They focus mostly on cats and dogs but every so often they deal with an issue that's about farmed animals and at the santuary they have some pigs, horses, cows, etc. They also have a vegetarian buffet at the sanctuary with a vegan option. If you can ever visit it please do because it's so beautiful and peaceful. I'm not sure where you live but if you ever get to the west check them out.

 

PETA really runs the gamut. They do all kinds of things (good and bad) which means there's virtually something for every kind of animal-lover. They have a kids section:

http://www.petakids.com/

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#63 of 91 Old 01-29-2013, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much! I know what dd is really focused on is chicken rights because dogs and cats, and lots of other animils, are already protected by some animal rights legislation, but chickens are excluded.


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#64 of 91 Old 01-30-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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isnt it amazing that we have been eating chickens only these last hundred years or so or even less. their eggs were collected and they were let loose in the land to scratch and peck and aerate the soil. 

 

with the advent of heard disease and obesity chicken became the prescribed bird and the demand skyrocketed and thus the abuse began. 

 

it is heartwrenching what is done to the birds and to me (in my woo wooness) i feel gosh what are we eating? what energy must be passing from their flesh into us - pain and suffering, leave alone everything else. while all the animals face abuse nothing does as much as the poor chickens. 

 

so i am glad that your dd wants to stand up for their cause. 


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#65 of 91 Old 01-31-2013, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really glad too, meemee, although at first it was so hard. Because she'd want to educate every child she met about how horribly they were treated, and explain why nobody should ever eat at KFC, because of those videos she saw on YouTube. And some kids would really make fun of her about it. I know she really needed an outlet, some way to feel like she was helping them, but I tried to help her see that most kids don't have any control over what their parents buy and prepare for their meals.

 

However, about a week ago we were given two chickens by a food pantry, and while the chicken was cooking it smelled so good she ended up deciding to go ahead and eat some. I know we'll never eat at KFC, but it looks like we may sometimes be eating chicken. But I still want to help her find that outlet she needs for speaking out and making a difference in the world.


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#66 of 91 Old 01-31-2013, 05:33 AM
 
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Is there any possibility of raising your own chickens? I'm going to build a coop out of found lumber and raise my own because I have ethical qualms about the meat industry.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#67 of 91 Old 01-31-2013, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there any possibility of raising your own chickens? I'm going to build a coop out of found lumber and raise my own because I have ethical qualms about the meat industry.

 

Yes, we want so badly to do this again. As I've mentioned on other threads here, and maybe some on this thread but I'm not sure, we actually did keep free-range chickens for about a year. We have a big, double-lot yard, which is completely fenced in, both front and back, and dh had converted our detached garage into a sort of barn, with hay and everything, which he would clean out and replace on a daily basis, and he kept a space heater in there to keep them warm in the winter, and a big industrial-strength fan to cool them in the summer, and during the day he'd open the door and just let them roam all over the yard.

 

This went well for about a year, and we even had a police officer on horseback who'd come about some other issue in the neighborhood, stop to admire them and ask to take pictures, so dh got pictures of him on his horse and he got pictures of the chicks...but then, a little over a year ago, some city officials came to see our neighbor who'd been buying old vehicles, taking them apart on our street which is not zoned for business, and selling the parts.

 

And one of them noticed our birds running around in our fenced-in yard and called Animal Control. And they came and took them because we hadn't gotten signatures from all the neighbors within a 100-foot radius, and they weren't willing to give us a few days to get the signatures because we should have already had everything in order before getting them, and since dh was quite upset, someone radioed the police in case they needed backup, and a police officer got concerned because our girls were very dirty from playing and digging in the dirt all day, and their hair was messy, and she saw that our house was also messy when she looked through our open front door...so she called the child abuse hotline, and a social worker showed up soon after the police and Animal Control people left...

 

And everything went okay with CPS -- no case was even opened -- but for a long time, I just felt really on edge and didn't want to do anything to attract any more attention to our family. But lately dh and I have been talking about doing everything we need to do to be in compliance, and then starting over again with new chickens, It would be wonderful! Dh would need to obtain some kind of fencing to keep them in just one section of the yard, because Animal Control said they can't just be totally free-range in the city, plus, now that we don't have AC and can't get it fixed anytime soon, we'd need to get a second industrial strength fan because we need one in the house to enable us to sleep on really hot nights. I also think dh said he sold the space heater, so I think we'd need to buy another one. Plus the signatures...this will be a challenge because our next door neighbor is pretty much convinced, for some reason, that dh's been the one who's created all the problems between him and the city...

 

But hopefully we'll still be able to have chickens again in the not too distant future. And good luck with yours!


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#68 of 91 Old 02-02-2013, 09:37 PM
 
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I disagree. My daughter's b/f's son and his family all hunt. And they do not buy any meat - they eat only what they have taken. And they use ALL of the animal, and are respectful of what the animal provides. Nothing wrong with that, IMO.

I never said they were disrespectful of what the animal provides. They may or may not be respectful, like all meat eaters. What I said is it takes a certain callousness to kill and butcher an animal. I could not do it. If I needed to or starve, I don't know what I would do. I'm thankful I don't have to find out.

My point was that the same callousness that enables them to slaughter for food can also blind them to the impact of their talking about it with others.

Some are sensitive to the feelings of those listening, others are not. And, in my experience, those who are not do not become sensitive.
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#69 of 91 Old 02-03-2013, 02:04 AM
 
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I just noticed this thread and want to suggest looking into 4h laws and joining an urban chicken group in your area if you have 4h groups. Some cities have different codes and allow a higher number of animals for animals being raised for 4h purposes. They also don't need a heater or fan in most areas, just make sure the coupe yard is in an area where they can get sun and shade. There is book about raising chickens written for 4h kids that has some very detailed and to the point information on set up and routine care.

I'm glad everything worked out with the group. I hope things continue to go well.
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#70 of 91 Old 02-04-2013, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just noticed this thread and want to suggest looking into 4h laws and joining an urban chicken group in your area if you have 4h groups. Some cities have different codes and allow a higher number of animals for animals being raised for 4h purposes. They also don't need a heater or fan in most areas, just make sure the coupe yard is in an area where they can get sun and shade. There is book about raising chickens written for 4h kids that has some very detailed and to the point information on set up and routine care.

I'm glad everything worked out with the group. I hope things continue to go well.

 

That sounds like a great idea -- but actually, the fan and heater are just what we personally feel a need to provide, because we have cold winters and hot summers here. The laws about keeping chickens in our state actually seem focused just on not spreading any germs or diseases to humans -- not on humane care and treatment for the birds themselves.


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#71 of 91 Old 02-04-2013, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I never said they were disrespectful of what the animal provides. They may or may not be respectful, like all meat eaters. What I said is it takes a certain callousness to kill and butcher an animal. I could not do it. If I needed to or starve, I don't know what I would do. I'm thankful I don't have to find out.

My point was that the same callousness that enables them to slaughter for food can also blind them to the impact of their talking about it with others.

Some are sensitive to the feelings of those listening, others are not. And, in my experience, those who are not do not become sensitive.

 

The friend I mentioned further upthread is a very kind person. To call anyone who slaughters their own meat callous is to label as callous every single one of our ancestors -- plus all the gatherer/hunter groups still living in the world today.

 

I think it's only in modern times that people have been able to obtain all the nutrients they needed from plant protein -- even the gatherer/hunter groups who rely mostly on plants do feast on the occasional animal.


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#72 of 91 Old 02-04-2013, 06:27 AM
 
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isnt it amazing that we have been eating chickens only these last hundred years or so or even less. their eggs were collected and they were let loose in the land to scratch and peck and aerate the soil.

 

Actually, Chickens were eaten in Ancient Rome.

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#73 of 91 Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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Actually, Chickens were eaten in Ancient Rome.

wow this blows my mind. the chicken travelled from SE asia to rome. thanks for this. i went and quickly looked up and found they used chicken for divination too. and they got them probably from persia where cockfighting was a sport. 

 

i came across an ancient recipe book mainly from europe and there was no mention of chicken. this was a book on feasts. i think the recipes dated from 1500 or 1600 and the most common birds were pheasant and quail. 


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#74 of 91 Old 02-04-2013, 05:15 PM
 
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#75 of 91 Old 02-04-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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I found this to be a really interesting read...

 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/How-the-Chicken-Conquered-the-World.html
 

thanks mtiger. that is the exact article i found too where i learnt about the divination. fascinating stuff. 


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#76 of 91 Old 02-05-2013, 12:27 AM
 
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The friend I mentioned further upthread is a very kind person. To call anyone who slaughters their own meat callous is to label as callous every single one of our ancestors -- plus all the gatherer/hunter groups still living in the world today.

I think it's only in modern times that people have been able to obtain all the nutrients they needed from plant protein -- even the gatherer/hunter groups who rely mostly on plants do feast on the occasional animal.

I'm glad your friend is kind. I think you missed the "can" in my comment. And it's kind of hard to kill an animal if you are empathizing their pain. That is the callousness needed.
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#77 of 91 Old 02-05-2013, 03:14 PM
 
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pek64, do you enjoy it when people accuse you of being hypersensitive or hysterical or otherwise emotionally dysfunctional because you do not eat meat?

Well, that's how I feel about being called callous, or having my farmers called callous, because we act like the omnivores that we evolved to be.
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#78 of 91 Old 02-05-2013, 03:58 PM
 
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Smithie, I actually do eat meat. And there needs to be a certain callousness to kill and butcher an animal. I'm grateful that others do it for me, as I don't think I could do it. Maybe, if I had no other options, I could learn to do it and become calloused.

Just because I said callousness is needed doesn't mean I'm vegetarian.
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#79 of 91 Old 02-05-2013, 04:16 PM
 
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To me this is really First World People problems. 

IF you do not have money or food you gratefully eat what is in front of you be it bean or chicken, frogs or lettuce.  I think ti is also important to remember  that you can't control other people . They will eat chickens and talk about it.  

 

 

What you can do in US is to become a vegetarian. Being vegetarian in US is relatively easy and much cheaper than being a meat eater.  If you are poor, you vegetarian food does not have to be organic. Nutrition wise you will be ways ahead of stand art American diet.  If your area has farm co-cops you want to consider that. Years of being a vegetarian made me into a very good cook.

 

On the other hand, it is your child right to eat or not to eat some animal and not other. But it certainly not her right to judje.

 

I eat poultry and beef, but I would not eat a cat unless I was starving or vising some tribal village where is is custom

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#80 of 91 Old 02-05-2013, 04:26 PM
 
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Fair enough, pek. I think callousness is very nearly the OPPOSITE of the emotional state required to responsibly harvest meat for food, but that's just my opinion. 

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#81 of 91 Old 02-05-2013, 11:17 PM
 
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You know, Smithie, that's the first time I heard/read the word 'harvest' used to describe hunting or slaughtering. That term was used to describe gathering crops from the field, when I was growing up. I guess times change.

It would be difficult to kill an animal if one was empathizing with the fear and pain the animal was feeling. Hence, callousness is needed. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable with the word 'detached' . Either way, that disconnect from empathy can result in a lack of empathy when discussing hunting and slaughtering, in my experience. Not always, but sometimes. And, to get back to the original topic, a person who does not think about how his/her words effect others is not likely to change and become more aware. That's all.

Back to the OP. I hope all goes well for your family and future chickens.
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#82 of 91 Old 02-06-2013, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On the other hand, it is your child right to eat or not to eat some animal and not other. But it certainly not her right to judje.

 

As I've already said, she was upset about the woman talking so much about the act of killing the chickens, and about her statement that chickens don't have a consciousness and there's no need to treat them humanely. She wasn't judging anyone for eating meat.

 

pek64, I can't imagine eating the meat that others kill for me and then setting myself up on a higher level by saying that they can't possibly have as much empathy as me. We eat meat, and it would be very hard for me to slaughter an animal myself -- and yet I do agree with the guy on the Edible City movie who said that if we eat meat, we have a responsibility to be aware of exactly how we're getting our meat.

 

I also don't agree with forever branding the woman at the meeting as "calloused" because she made this one blunder, Or what is in my opinion a blunder -- I realize that some here are saying that there's no problem with someone talking openly about chicken slaughter -- but as I've already mentioned, there was at least one other parent, who had smaller children, who wasn't very happy about how she just went on and on in such detail. So I do see it as a blunder and not an appropriate thing to talk about in that setting.

 

I mean, it's not a setting where I'd just start going on and on about how my deceased loved ones looked after death, as compared to in life -- or about what someone's actual death looked like, if I'd actually been there and observed one of my loved ones dying. And I do think we're all human and death is part of life and all that -- I just wouldn't assume that everyone else's kid was in a state of readiness to hear all that, you know? I also wouldn't assume that even those who were "ready" to hear about it necessarily wanted to hear about it from me, or at that particular moment.

 

But I've made so many of my own blunders throughout my lifetime, and I"ve also reached awareness about some things after years of being in the dark (for example, before having kids myself, I actually thought corporal punishment was a good thing) -- so my own lack of perfection makes me more inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they're really not trying to be jerks and are actually probably pretty decent people, with room to grow. Of course, my 12yo isn't looking at this through my experiential lenses, so it's harder for her to empathize about some things. I really appreciate all the great advice and things are going fine with the group now.


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#83 of 91 Old 02-06-2013, 10:11 AM
 
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She doesn't feel it's necessary to treat chickens humanely, but is not calloused?!? Whatever.
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#84 of 91 Old 02-06-2013, 12:58 PM
 
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It would be difficult to kill an animal if one was empathizing with the fear and pain the animal was feeling.

 

I really think it would benefit you to learn more about how farmers raise and harvest meat (not a euphemism, that's a very old term). You are imagining an industrial slaughter operation, I think. "Fear" and "pain" simply are not part of animal harvest on the small-farm scale. No creature is likely to live its whole life without any fear or pain - livestock animals can get sick, can be injured, can be subject to death by predation - but the actual harvest moment is just not painful or scary, at least not in any way that an observing human can detect. 

 

If animal suffering is a major moral issue for you, then I suggest you avoid industrial meat, milk and eggs. Buy animal products from people whose farms you can visit. If you did that and still believed after dealing with farmers that their ability to raise livestock and harvest meat stemmed from callousness or detachment, I'd be very surprised. Ironically, they'll might think YOU'RE callous for the years you spent eating animal products that you know were produced under industrial conditions - but they'll be polite enough not to say so - and once they get to know you, they'll realize their error. 

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I am currently buying my beef from a small farm, where the animals are living in as natural conditions as possible, eating grass that is chemical free. Once again, assumptions have been made that are erroneous. I have talked with various people who live and work on the farm. My opinions about callousness remain.

All is not black and white. Good or bad. Callousness is needed by doctors to stitch wounds. I could not do that, either, but was glad there was someone able to stitch my deep cut so it could heal properly. I hope I have traits that are advantageous to others, as well. To say that Mozart had an ear for music does not mean no one else ever had or has. It does not change the fact that he had an ability or trait. It is not me who is judging. I am pointing out a trait that I see. I could be wrong, but the thread was started so the OP could get opinions from others. I am puzzled why there is an effort to convince me that my opinion is wrong. What if it is? No one need take it to heart. It is simply put forth, in a moment of compassion, to attempt to help. If it does not help, simply move on. I will not be changing my opinion. All attempts to influence me on this subject are most likely futile. Especially as I do not intend to return to this thread to continue this, for lack of a better word, conversation.
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#86 of 91 Old 02-06-2013, 05:54 PM
 
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You might get a more charitable response if you didn't choose a term like "callous" to describe people whose emotional landscape differs from your own. I find your choice of words offensive and disrespectful. I paid you the compliment of assuming that your attitude was based in a lack of information. 

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#87 of 91 Old 02-06-2013, 07:27 PM
 
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Callousness is needed by doctors to stitch wounds.

 

Wow. My grandmother was a doctor - and she was anything but callous. Same with most doctors I know. And vets. Most people go into these professions from a deep desire to help those in need. That's hardly callous.

 

As for hunting/killing animals for food... Do you know nothing of how most native societies "thanked" the spirit of the animal they killed for food? How is that callous?

 

I have, myself, put an animal out of its misery on more than one occasion. Not a one of those situations was from callousness - each was out of a desire to end the suffering. Was it pleasant? Not at all. Each time, I was as gentle as possible under the circumstances. And each time, I sat with the animal afterwards, in tears and in prayer (for them as well as myself). before burying the body. It is extremely offensive to have someone like you sit on a high horse and proclaim that anyone who kills an animal is callous.

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#88 of 91 Old 02-07-2013, 01:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

All is not black and white. Good or bad. Callousness is needed by doctors to stitch wounds. I could not do that, either, but was glad there was someone able to stitch my deep cut so it could heal properly.

yikes i hope you do return to answer this question of mine. 

 

are you sure you are using the right word? callousness? from what you write i feel callousness is not what you are meaning to imply. 

 

i did a quick dictionary on the word and this is what it means : 

 
unfeelingness: devoid of passion or feeling; hardheartedness.

 

is that really were you trying to say? i mean comparing stitching a wound with killing an animal are two different things. i feel stitching a wound or even a big gaping wound is like not fainting at the sight of blood. 

 

are you talking about detachment? detachment in such a way that the sight of blood, or flesh does not wig you out.

 

does it have to be blood and gore that leads to callousness? or does it have to have eyes and blood. i know this is an age old argument but to eat you also kill plant life. it is still life right? and maybe now we have decided - well plants dont feel pain - not that we know, but that we dont know. would that make you and me callous too. 

 

i have a feeling you are using the wrong word to express what you mean to say. but if you do mean hardhearted or unfeeling - that is a judgement call you are making. then in essense we are all that coz we unconciously kill bugs all over the place. 

 

dunno. one gives up life to let another live. whether they have eyes or chlorophyll, a life is lost. man does the same thing too - even though no one eats us (sorta). i mean in a sense we 'eat' each other - but on such pathetic grounds. war. the soldier gives up their life for an ideology - so others can have freedom. so shouldnt we the people who let war happen also be termed callous. or even worse. instead of killing with our own hands, we are choosing a representative to do the killing on our behalf. so a butcher, farmer and soldier are the same thing right?!!!


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dunno. one gives up life to let another live. whether they have eyes or chlorophyll, a life is lost. man does the same thing too - even though no one eats us (sorta). i mean in a sense we 'eat' each other - but on such pathetic grounds. war. the soldier gives up their life for an ideology - so others can have freedom. so shouldnt we the people who let war happen also be termed callous. or even worse. instead of killing with our own hands, we are choosing a representative to do the killing on our behalf. so a butcher, farmer and soldier are the same thing right?!!!

 

This is so powerful, and has really had me thinking for the past couple of days. I'm a beginning practitioner and student of yoga, and two things I've been learning about are our connectedness to everything and everybody -- to the whole multiverse -- and our connectedness to our own personal dharma. I see my dharma as my unique calling, which corresponds to the particular form through which I'm currently experiencing universal life and energy. As a human mother, a huge piece of my dharma in this life is nurturing the lives of my human children. Universally speaking, my chidren and I are not any more important than a cow or a pepper plant -- but dharmatically speaking, our lives are exceedingly precious to me.

 

Of course, as a lover of kundalini yoga, I've also been learning about how vegetarianism is a very important part of today's kundalini lifestyle -- and yet, from some reading I've done (yes, I actually looked for it), it sounds like the original kundalini practitioners in Vedic times may have been meat eaters.

 

Lately, I've been growing more aware of yoga (or connection) as being about so much more than just the asanas or postures (or, in Kundalini, kriyas) that open up the channels within our bodies, and between our bodies, souls, spirits, and Universe and enable the energy to freely flow. Yoga is really about living out, day to day, our unity with everything and everybody, so living this way is bound to have huge implications on what I put into my mouth, how I treat the people, plants, and animals around me, and what I support with my time and energy.

 

I recently heard my daughter telling some people that she's "not really eco-friendly," and I've been quietly paying attention to learn why she feels this way. I learned that they've been talking in her Sunday School class about the need to reduce our carbon footprint -- and, of course, the aspect of dd's carbon footprint that she has the most control over is the amount of time that she spends "plugged in." And she is honestly saying that she is not willing to change this aspect of her life. She's a big gamer, and she's also become increasingly interested in discovering new music on YouTube, and also in splicing movies and creating music videos (which she's really good at).

 

So I really do respect her honesty, her realization that being "eco-friendly" is about more than just spouting some ideals. I'm hoping and believing that she'll eventually find her own path and spiritual connection. After all, lots of people who consider themselves eco-friendly do also spend a lot of time "plugged in," so it's not so cut and dry. Maybe her realization that everything's not cut and dry or black and whilte has something to do with ther recent decision to go ahead and eat chicken. Who knows?


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I recently heard my daughter telling some people that she's "not really eco-friendly," and I've been quietly paying attention to learn why she feels this way. I learned that they've been talking in her Sunday School class about the need to reduce our carbon footprint -- and, of course, the aspect of dd's carbon footprint that she has the most control over is the amount of time that she spends "plugged in." And she is honestly saying that she is not willing to change this aspect of her life. She's a big gamer, and she's also become increasingly interested in discovering new music on YouTube, and also in splicing movies and creating music videos (which she's really good at).

 

So I really do respect her honesty, her realization that being "eco-friendly" is about more than just spouting some ideals. I'm hoping and believing that she'll eventually find her own path and spiritual connection. After all, lots of people who consider themselves eco-friendly do also spend a lot of time "plugged in," so it's not so cut and dry. Maybe her realization that everything's not cut and dry or black and whilte has something to do with ther recent decision to go ahead and eat chicken. Who knows?

mm - my dd is 10. she is coming into her own. i am so enjoying watching that and seeing who she is turning into. 

 

i am learning how 'diverse' she is. i am discovering how many layers exist in her - and how i limit who she is in my mind thinking of her as a 'child'. i kinda was a little sad that she was so into popular music. till i discovered that is just one part of her. she so digs so many different kinds of music. i had no idea she knew and enjoyed slave songs not just for the music but about the story they told. and how much she knew what the lyrics meant. how much she knows of the true 'history' of the black people. AND she realises that the blood of probably their perpetrators course through her veins and thus its even more important to her to treat people well to undoe probably what her forefathers might have done. 

 

i so so so respect who she is and i learn so much from her. 

 

i just loved hearing about how your dd really 'gets' ecofriendly and how buying a reusable grocery bag is just one tiny part of being eco-friendly. just considering the poor chicken is helping your dd learn so much about herself. 


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