Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why Bother?

Blogging on other sites, the comment or question about animal rights or animal consciousness, sometimes ends in "why bother" or "we should worry about ourselves first", etc., etc., etc. You know, man is the center of the universe.

My comment is that that viewpoint is the viewpoint which has gotten humanity into the state and condition it is today. The Burger King's slogan of the past "Have it your way", has worked its way into humanity. I guess you would call it instant gratification, without any responsibility.

It's the "me first", "me only" game. The truth is, we all depend on each other for our survival. Cars, Planes, Houses, sports, elections - you name it - depends on the help of others. What has happened though is that Madison Avenue advertising has found out what makes you tick, sexually or otherwise, and then candy coats the pill you are given.

For instance, there are a lot of anti-depressant drugs out there. While beautiful pictures of happy people and idyllic settings, there are words telling you that taking the pill can have serious effects, such as death. Music, music, death. Then there is Viagra. Sexual gratification. And yet people go blind from it. Hmmm. Music, music, encore, music...

Fortunately for mankind, there are a few, sometimes labeled 'rightists, right wing proponents' to name a few, that saw that there was a problem. Maybe it's just a guy who loves to scuba dive and sees less fish. Maybe its the fishing trawlers who take extreme risks because the 'ol fishin' grounds are empty. So we keep pillaging.

It is easier many times to look the other way. Thank God for those who don't.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Never Eat Meat?

It is tough on a 'carnivore' like myself to consider being a vegetarian. But is being a vegetarian really dealing with the issues of animal welfare? You can have another group that asks about plant welfare/the environment and plant consciousness. Crazy at it seems, plants do respond to thoughts and to pain. So what do we humans eat - air?

Within the food chain of life, man exists. His only real known predator is himself. That would be on a planetary scale. Aside from his mental prowess, his 'body' requires food. In the animal kingdom there are no supermarkets, no fast-food chains, no health-food chains. The taking of life for another is matter-of-fact.

What separates us from the animal kingdom, experts say, is our consciousness, our mental prowess and our ability to convert the natural resources which exist around us to our benefit and our defense. As a result, man has created time for thought, reflection and consideration of his actions.

At an early age I was confronted with a problem. You see in my new book, "True Tails", I was forced to realize that animals DO talk and the DO communicate. That is an idea so off mainstream beliefs that I have had to deal with it my entire life. I hear them and they respond to me.

Hand that reality to a 2 year-old child. Tell him to ignore it. Tell him it isn't true and then go watch him sit in a field where butterflies suddenly land on him, or wild birds sit on his hand.
Convince him that he is 'just seeing things' and while you are at it, convince yourself , too, because YOU just saw it.

This is not fantasy, like the new movie "Avatar", directed by James Cameron. Here, beings need to 'plug in' to each other in order to have communcation. But my reality is that no one needs to do something to 'plug in' to life. They already are.

There were many wonderful messages in the movie. So much that the Vatican church has 'pooh-poohed' it and China has taken it off the silver screen.

But after the early experiences in my life and as they continue through the present, I have realized that if animals to a greater or lesser degree, eat meat and actually have nothing on that action, why should I? The realization (for lack of a better word) is that where one's actual food chain requires meat for survival and not pleasure (or because it's nice), then in my opinion, and it is my opinion, it's OK to eat meat.

To clarify. Where man eats meat, raises it, cares for it, and because of his understanding and consciousness takes its life in a manner it does not suffer, that to me is acceptable. But, for example, raising foxes only for their fur to line the sleeve of an ice skater (Weir), it is ludicrous.

What about whales? Well, they don't have a lot of natural predators. They are hunted by Eskimos, yes, but that is pretty limited. Certain countries do continue to hunt them en masse
such as the Japanese. But no longer for survival needs. It's a 'taste' need, or as someone put a 'cultural relativism' need. It's that, well we shouldn't interfere with ethnic tradition and the fact that Japan has been fishing whales for a very long time. So we 'should just let them continue'. Or another thought that 'well, whales are no longer endangered - the population is basically safe now'. So I guess that means that as long as it is 'safe', well someone can keep killing them.

Now, like we have in the United States, become semantic freaks - garbage man is now a 'sanitation engineer', we do the same with killing whales. Japan claims killing for 'scientific research'. Yes and my grandmother played football for the Minnesota Vikings!

Japan, doesn't need the industry any more. That is just the fact. Truth be told, it is an expensive delicacy. A nice to have.

My personal feeling is if there is a culture that requires the killing of whales for it's existence, well then, OK. Like the Eskimos. But that is a rather small population.

I think that as our population increases, then we, as a part of this planet, need to look at how we can maintain a balance, rather than rape and pillage life as most of us do.

I am still never going to be a vegetarian, but I won't do the special order stuff. That's a promise.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cultural Relativism????

I have been in a blog conversation with several people about the topic of Japanese Whaling.
A comment was made basically stating that since the killing of whales is part of the cultural tradition of Japan, somehow this makes it right. Another stated that as whales are no longer endangered and 'controlled killing' is the order of the day, that this somehow balances things.

It's amazing to witness individuals justifying the taking of life, especially when it is no longer necessary. Yes, we all eat meat to a greater or lesser degree. As we are at the 'top of the food chain' we do this. We also have the brains to change how we do it.

We are, by all standards, raping and pillaging our oceans. As the population on Earth grows exponentially, the need for food follows. By some good fortune, there are and have been a few people who have stuck out their necks to make a change, against powerful odds.

I am writing and started this blog because, for whatever reason, I have been sitting on something very real to me. Something others have experienced as a result of being around me. Something that changed my life for the better.

There has been arguments for and against the 'conscioussness' of all creatures. In my personal experience and at a very early age, I came to realize that all creatures, great and small, think and communicate. Maybe not the same as we do, but they do.

Some of us hear them, many don't or don't want to. Some just don't care. But as for me, I do care. I've been shouldered with the responsibility of talking about it and then doing something about it, cultural relativism or not.

The book will be released within the month and available through all major and minor bookstores. A good portion of the proceeds will go to helping and protecting our friends.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do Japanese eat Akitas?

You know, I just was on a blog site which was talking about Japanese Whaling. Some were for it, some against. Some were just busy doing nothing - you could see by their comments that it wasn't about whales. They just had nothing better to do!

I had this thought. You know, we all have our taboos, what is OK to eat and what isn't. Well, if every animal was 'fair game', I don't hear of Japanese eating Akitas, do you? What is the difference?

I don't think the Japanese take a long time to change their minds. I think it's just a choice. But honestly it boils down to dollars and cents. In this case, yen.

People Who Care

I have been doing a lot of research work just to locate animal rights, animal protection, pet lovers and pet who just care a lot about animals, any animals.

There are millions of them. How many people have a pet, had a pet, loved a pet? How many, when confronted with Nature, made a beeline to not just see trees, rocks, canyons, and oceans, looked to see if they could find an animal in the wild?

We are closely bound to Nature. Living in big cities and going to the grocery market, sitting at home and watching televion, National Geographic, ice-skating or tennis, removes us from the world around us. But there is always a time in our life, when we look outward. We become moved by the great land around us, and the creatures that inhabit it.

Sometimes I wonder why we have pets, why we love them and care for them. It's almost like we use them as a bridge to Nature, to remind us who we are and what we are a part of - the bigger picture.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do You Agree?

"Society is evolving to recognize that animals are sentient and deserve to be treated as more than just property. We have the power to create a better world in which animals will be guaranteed certain rights. In the meantime, everyone can do their part by speaking out for animals and making lifestyle choices that do not support animal cruelty." –Doris Lin

"The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?" – Jeremy Bentham

What would you do?

There is a group on the web called animal There is a comment made that activists for animal rights have put animals ahead of humans. That such a group would have you eat beans and lettuce if they had their way.

It's a nice diversion to generalize and point fingers in another direction, but there are many animals who don't have a choice to be killed or maimed.

What if a whale fought back? Or for that matter an Orca? Yes, there are cultures that really depend on their existence as a way of life, like the Eskimo. But they are pitted against these mammoths one on one. However, look at Japan. They are one of the richest countries in the world. They have the ability to feed millions. Whale meat is considered a 'delicacy'. Is it needed? No. Does it have documented healing properties? No. Does it cure anything? No.

Well, jobs will be lost. Hmmm... let me see. How many jobs? Thousands? No. Maybe Japan does not have the technology to train people for other jobs. Hmmm....

It really boils down to money and profits. What a person will pay and what can be made from whale meat. Unfortunate but true.

What do you think?

Why Not?

Daniel C. Dennett stated that "A better understanding of consciousness in humans is needed before the discussion can be extended validly to animal consciousness. Consciousness requires a certain kind of informational organization that does not seem to be 'hard-wired' in humans, but is instilled by human culture. Moreover, consciousness is not a black-or-white, all-or-nothing type of phenomenon, as is often assumed. The differences between humans and other species are so great that speculations about animal consciousness seem ungrounded. Many authors simply assume that an animal like a bat has a point of view, but there seems to be little interest in exploring the details involved."

But how many people out there, people in life and with their personal interaction with creatures of every size and shape, disagree with Dennett's ideas? Such writings lessen the possibility of animal consciousness, which then ignore animal rights.

So why then are there so many groups of people out there in favor of animal rights? Groups like the ASPCA, PETA, IWP and animal protection people like Doris Lin, who care for the legal rights of animals.

Why is this?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What do you think?

I did some research today. There are papers published by the University of Stanford which look at the 'possibility' that animals have consciousness. In another report forwarded by Donald R. Griffin, there are documented and observed actions by various animals which has left the author suggesting "the fact that animals are capable of such versatility has led to a subtle shift on the part of some scientists concerned with animal behavior".

But the real question remains, do animals talk, and if they do, what do they talk about?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Truth about Whales

I have seen a television series called Whale Wars, which shows how some groups are trying to protect whales. It is pretty gross that they are still being harvested. I believe they are sentient beings and think that they do communicate. Why else would people try to stop the insanity? I wonder if anyone out there has personal experience with this.

Real life Avatars

I just saw the movie "Avatar". Although it is a Science Fiction movie, I wonder if there are other people out there who have the ability to communicate to animals. It's not "Hi, how are you" but actual communication. Where you know you are communicating to the animal and you know it hears you. Where a question or a problem was resolved and where, sometimes, there has been one of your friends with you that observed this.

Do animals really talk?

I am wondering how many people out there have had personal and direct communication with animals. Where they have actually heard their thoughts and, where they have had learning experience from it. Do animals talk? What do you think?