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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Sharing a bloggy link

Good morning. April Fools day today, and although I am a bit of a joker, I cannot think of a suitable mickey take, so I'm going in the opposite direction and posting about something which I think is deadly serious. A blog which I dip into from time to time, written by Leo Babauta, is called Zen Habits. I usually pop over there from the Lovely Grey Day blog, on my rounds through blogland as I drink my morning coffee. I have now installed a link to Leo's blog on my sidebar, as I definitely feel a connection with the writer.

Today's post has struck a chord, I could have written it myself, so instead of making a joke, I will share Leo's words with you. First of all, there is no copyright on his blog. Please excuse big writing, that's what happens with copy and paste.
This entire blog, and all my ebooks, are uncopyrighted (since January 2008).That means I’ve put them in the public domain, and released my copyright on all these works.There is no need to email me for permission — use my content however you want! Email it, share it, reprint it with or without credit.

A Call for Compassion for the Defenseless

By Leo Babauta
We don’t like to think that our way of living is wrong, that our beliefs are untrue, that we participate in cruelty or injustice.
We want to think of ourselves as good people.
I know because I reacted with anger and defensiveness the first time I heard criticisms of the sweatshop clothing I owned, of the consumerism I participated in, of the sexism and homophobic culture I’d grown up in. I know because I ridiculed vegetarians and vegans when I first heard about their ridiculous abstaining from meat and animal products.
And yet, we can be good people … and close our eyes to wrongdoing.
This is when those who see the wrongdoing have a duty: to speak up, and call for conscience, and call for change. And call for compassion.
Today I am calling for compassion for animals: defenseless, suffering, feeling animals.

Our Food System

I grew up in the modern world, with food brought to me already prepared, ready to eat. Microwave dinners, chicken nuggets, cans of chips, packs of beef jerky and candy: it was all the same to me. It was just Food.
I knew nothing of where that food came from. If I ever thought of animals, it was animals on peaceful farms, living happy lives. But mostly I just thought of the food, the delicious, nourishing, yummy food. It wasn’t living beings, just food.
Of course, if we really open our eyes, these are fellow sentient, feeling beings that we’re eating. And they’re not happy or peaceful: they’re suffering, in mass factories of hormone injections, daily beatings, lives of living hell, and murder.
We rightly feel compassion when humans are subjected to mass murder and genocide, under the Nazis and Pol Pot, of the Kurds, in Rwanda, and other incidences of horrible suffering and injustice. And yet, we participate in the mass torture and murder of other beings, simply for our pleasure.
And sure, I will concede that human and animal lives are not equal. But that doesn’t mean they are worthless or unworthy of our compassion. It doesn’t mean we can treat them like unfeeling objects.
If you wish to read the full post please click on the link to his blog. 
I'll be back later with the day's news. Toodle pip.  


  1. I've read a lot of his writing and yes, he does speak for me too. Especially when it comes to food production, having watched dvds filmed in cattle rearing establishments and at abattoirs I could never, never again eat meat. How we think we have the right to treat living creatures in this way I'll never know nor understand. True in America it is even worse, but these days we are not far behind unless you buy your meat from the smallest traditional farms that really look after their animals.

    Bigger is not always better, and when it comes to living breathing creatures we need to stop and think and better inform people where their food comes from, and how it's journey goes from birth to death to produce the food that they want on their plates for next to nothing pricewise.

    A good Blog post Ilona.

  2. He makes some valid points, though I gather that some land IS only really usable for "growing animals for food" and is not suitable for foodgrowing and there are other ways to "grow animals" without using up the worlds resources or treating animals badly. However, I still don't eat animals personally, because I have no way of knowing whether this would be true of the particular animal concerned. However, he does live in a "glasshouse" when it comes to ethical behaviour, as way back I recall him commenting that he has six children. The "glasshouse" he personally lives in children numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6. I used to read his blog regularly until I realised that fact and thought that it does somewhat invalidate the rest of what he says unfortunately...


  3. I will add the corollary there that it is virtually impossible to avoid "glasshouses" totally and one can only minimise them. I am aware personally that some of the foodstuffs I buy are in plastic (rather than glass bottles), I don't own a car (but do accept occasional lifts in other peoples cars), am unable to prevent part of my taxes being spent on wars/handed to other purposes and people I do not agree with and we can only do what we can. But a Full Blown "glasshouse" is doing something that we DO have control over and CAN realistically prevent.


  4. So glad I've lead you to Leo Babuta who is an inspiration to me. Just to say that even though I soak up all this wonderfully inspirational stuff like a spone I am way off perfect. Hence I try not to throw stones. It goes with living in the grey zone. What I try to strive for each day is a life that's a little kinder and a little less judgmental towards those that don't deserve to be pilloried. Meanqueen - this is an early invite to my 50th bash. You'd be a very welcome to the party! xxx

  5. I`ve read some of Leo`s work before. Highly recommendable stuff!


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