I read a couple of interesting blog posts the other day, written by the Change.org bloggers.
The first is a post called Animal Rights is a Mainstream Movement, by Stephanie Ernst on the Animal Rights blog. She discusses how she doesn’t like the way people, including herself, dismiss her concerns about animal rights as too extreme or radical to take seriously. I know where she’s coming from – I do it myself sometimes, playing down the seriousness of veg*nism and other animal rights issues because it’s too confrontational for most people. I had a rant the other day about how people were all wigged out about cows loose on the Gateway bridge after a cattle truck turned over. Considering they were probably going to be slaughtered for meat anyway I found that incredibly hypocritical, (not that I can talk, what with the cheese I still eat), and I said so to my co-workers. The got a funny glazed look in their eyes and sort of nodded and smiled until it was over.
It’s not normal to talk about things like that, and I know I often try to present the friendly veg*n face as I’m of the opinion that you catch more flies with honey, so to speak. I understand where Stephanie is coming from though, and empathise with her frustration. I also find it interesting that it’s far more socially acceptable for me to be an outspoken tree-hugging leftist greenie lesbian than it is to be a hardcore vegan, even though going veg is one of the most important things you can do for the environment, and you would think it would be standard for ec0-friendly folks. I guess we’re a fringe group within a fringe group.
Pigs should live happily, like this cute piggy I saw in Mooball, NSW. He came when I called to him! So cute.
The second post is called Living the Animal Life, and it’s by Natasha Chart on the Sustainable Food blog. The topic is different to the Animal Rights post, but having read it immediately after Stephanie’s post, I got a similar message from it. Whether that was the message the author intended to convey is debatable, but one particular line sounds so like something I have said in my ‘carrot or the stick’ approach that it kind of hit home to me, especially in contrast to the horrible descriptions that followed. Natasha was talking about a law that would limit the use of anti-biotics in cattle, which Obama supports, and she said:
‘It won’t pass. Even that’s okay I suppose, considering how the discussion is off to such a good start.’
Later in the same article, she talked about how the animals are living in their own effluence – conditions so bad the anti-biotics are all that’s keeping them alive – and so introducing laws limiting anti-biotics really means changing the way animals are farmed, which is why the bill is so contentious. Now, remember the line from the start of the article? She doesn’t think it will pass, but that’s ok because it’s sparked off good discussion. Isn’t that awful?
At the same time, that’s so something I would say. (I promise I’m not dissing you, Natasha).
Taking the middle road is a valid action in some cases. I’ve been known to tell people who are against same-sex marriage that all I want is my legal rights. That’s not true. I want to get married – I want the social status that comes along with marriage, all those intangible things that have nothing to do with law. I’m not going to convince anyone with that argument though, so I water it down. I do the same with the environment at work. I tell people if they have to print, to at least do it double-sided. Really I want to tell them to read on the screen, gosh darnit, since they have their computers turned on anyway. There are some people who still review on paper. Seriously. I tell people it’s a great effort if they just cut back on meat one meal per week, when I really wish everyone would give it up for good.
I’m very good at taking the middle ground, and there are times when that’s appropriate. When we’re preaching to the choir, however – even just talking to ourselves – why can’t we be upfront? Sometimes, I want to have the freedom to say what I mean and not get that funny, glazed, nodding and smiling look.
So! Onward to same-sex marriage, reading on-screen and giving up meat for ever!