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itsasecrettoeverybody:

Of all the convoluted rationalizations for eating meat in an age when eating meat is not at all necessary for our survival or health, many people today are borrowing a popular slogan I like to call “the personal choice self deception.” It goes something like this: “My decision to eat meat is a personal choice.” And it is usually followed by a statement sympathetic to their vegan and vegetarian friends, acknowledging that they too are making personal choices that are right for them. Sounds great on the surface, but it’s what lurks beyond the surface that I find deeply disturbing for five key reasons.

1. Eating is a communal, multi-cultural activity until the vegan sits down at the table

First, let’s take a closer look at what personal means in the context of the highly social human activity of eating. Personal food choices had never been discussed at the dinner table until a growing number of vegans and vegetarians — by their very presence at the table — question the legitimacy of eating animals. A person who tells you that their meat eating is a personal choice is really telling you “stay away.” They don’t want you to question their highly-coveted moral beliefs or perhaps they object to exposing their unexamined moral quandary over how one can justify using and killing animals for food in an age when it is completely unnecessary. In other words, They have made this issue personal precisely in response to you making it public.

2. There is no free choice without awareness

The irony is that while meat eaters defend their choice to eat meat as a personal one, they will nonetheless go to great lengths to defend it publicly when confronted with a vegan or vegetarian. Like some apologetic white liberals who defend themselves by defiantly exclaiming to a new black acquaintance, “But I have black friends too!”, some meat eaters will go to great lengths to explain how intimately they understand veganism since they have vegan friends, have already heard and evaluated their reasons for going vegan and respect them dearly.

They’ve considered being vegan carefully, they will assure you, and have concluded that it’s just not for them. But instead of arriving at some novel new understanding of why humans should eat meat, they simply revert back to the traditional arguments that are all pretty much centered around what social psychologist Melanie Joy calls the three N’s of justification: eating meat is normal, natural and necessary. (1) But their reasoning reveals the fact that they have sorely overlooked the big idea behind veganism which author Jenny Brown points out so eloquently in her book The Lucky Ones: “We can become prisoners of our earliest indoctrinations or we can choose to look critically at our assumptions and align our lives with our values. Choosing to live vegan is how we re able to do that best.” (2)

3. The choice has a victim and the victim is completely ignored

Let’s take a look at the issue from the animal victim’s perspective which has been completely denied by the meat eater’s unexamined assumption that animals have no interest or understanding of the value of their individual lives. Does the animal who is being bred, raised and slaughtered for someone’s food care if the person who is eating meat has given the prospect of becoming vegan any serious moral consideration? Of course not.

The notion that these conscious meat eaters think they have done their due diligence by examining the pros and cons of eating animals means nothing for those that value their lives as we do. The fact is the animals we raise for meat have at least as much of an interest in staying alive, avoiding pain and suffering and seeking pleasure as these meat eaters’ pets. As activist Twyla Francois so aptly puts it: “All animals have the same capacity for suffering, but how we see them differs and that determines what we’ll tolerate happening to them. In the western world, we feel it wrong to torture and eat cats and dogs, but perfectly acceptable to do the same to animals equally as sentient and capable of suffering. No being who prides himself on rationality can continue to support such behaviour.”

4. Many personal choices we make have dire consequence for ourselves and others

Now let’s take a closer look at the meaning of choice itself. The act of making a choice implies that the actor has free will and awareness of the options and their consequences. In the spirit of justice, we live in a society where our actions and choices are governed by what society deems acceptable. We can make a personal choice to maim, rape or kill someone, but these actions will have consequences that serve as a deterrent. It is generally accepted in a democratic society that we are free to do what we want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else or infringe on the same rights and freedoms of others.

Yet, for the meat eater, the choice of eating animals is completely disconnected from this concept of justice since justice does NOT for them apply to other species, only to humans (how convenient). In other words, there are no visible, negative consequences to eating meat. The victims remain invisible and silent to those who eat them, and that is perhaps the greatest deception of all.

5. Atrocities are never personal

In reality, the choice to eat meat negates the very meaning of choice because the animal that had to be killed to procure the meat had no choice in the matter at all. And the notion of characterizing such a choice as a personal one is even more problematic since the choice required the taking of another’s life, not a personal sacrifice. Nothing could be more public than the taking of a sentient life that cares about his own life, particularly when the act is not necessary and therefore not morally defensible.

When 60 billion land animals and another approximate 60 billion marine animals are killed every year across the planet for “personal” food choices made by a single species that are based on palate pleasure alone, eating meat ceases to be a matter of personal choice; (4) it becomes a social justice movement to protect the rights of animals. To deny animals the right to live their lives according to their own interests is wrong and to attempt to defend our choice to eat them as a personal one is delusional.

See Seven Reasons Why Man Has NOT Evolved to Eat Meat

Vegan Starter Kit

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Key Quotes From Day 1 of Same-Sex Marriage Supreme Court Proceedings
Day 1: State Ballot Initiative (Proposition 8) [Hollingsworth v. Perry]
The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the first of two gay marriage cases it is considering this week. Below are some notable quotes from members of the high court at today’s hearing:
MORE: Full audio and transcript of Tuesday’s arguments
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy

“There’s substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more.”

Associate Justice Elena Kagan

“Suppose a state said that, Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional?”

Associate Justice Samuel Alito

“You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cellphones or the Internet? I mean we — we are not — we do not have the ability to see the future.”


Chief Justice John Roberts attends an event at Rice University in Houston on Oct. 17, 2012.(Photo: Cody Duty, AP)
Chief Justice John Roberts

“I’m not sure that it’s right to view this as excluding a particular group. When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say, ‘Let’s have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals.’ The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.”

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia

“When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868, when the 14th Amendment was adopted?”

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor

“Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision-making that the government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?”

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Key Quotes From Day 1 of Same-Sex Marriage Supreme Court Proceedings

Day 1: State Ballot Initiative (Proposition 8) [Hollingsworth v. Perry]

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the first of two gay marriage cases it is considering this week. Below are some notable quotes from members of the high court at today’s hearing:

MORE: Full audio and transcript of Tuesday’s arguments

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy

“There’s substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more.”

Associate Justice Elena Kagan

“Suppose a state said that, Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional?”

Associate Justice Samuel Alito

“You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cellphones or the Internet? I mean we — we are not — we do not have the ability to see the future.”

none

Chief Justice John Roberts attends an event at Rice University in Houston on Oct. 17, 2012.(Photo: Cody Duty, AP)

Chief Justice John Roberts

“I’m not sure that it’s right to view this as excluding a particular group. When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say, ‘Let’s have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals.’ The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.”

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia

“When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868, when the 14th Amendment was adopted?”

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor

“Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision-making that the government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?”

(Source: thepoliticalfreakshow, via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)

Being unAmerican, Murder, Polygamy, Cruelty to Animals, Prostitution, Heroin Use, Incest, Adultery, Obscenity, Child Pornography and more…

  • 1996: Ron Portman co-sponsors Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage, even if performed in a state where it is legal
  • 1999: Votes against allowing same-sex couples to adopt children in Washington. D.C.
  • 2002: ACLU rates him at 7%, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record
  • 2004: Votes YES on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage nationwide, which would have nullified same-sex marriages in states which had legalized it
  • 2010: Says to let the military decide on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell instead of overturning it.
  • 2010: Tells the Christian Coalition that he still supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide
  • 2011: Ron Portman’s son tells him that he’s gay and would like to be able to get married someday.
  • 2013: Gay marriages for everybody!

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As it stands, it feels like giving a gold medal to someone for not spitting on homeless people.

I wish there was no disease or inequality; but since there will be I wish it all upon our Senators and Congressmen/women and their families. Because thats the only time things change. 

During the military dictatorship in Argentina, the new pope openly criticized liberation theology’s combination of religious teachings and calls for social justice. When he was elevated to cardinal in Argentina, In 2010, he called the government’s legalization of gay marriage “an attempt to destroy God’s plan” and opposed adoption by gay couples

It’s not the kind of Catholic conservatism that you’re going to find in the United States, with this emphasis on the individual salvation… it’s much more socially loaded. [Probably] the most important point of Horacio Verbitsky’s work—is … [the] paradox between the kind of social conservatism and an opposition to social agenda that has been pretty successful during the last years is very important.

In Argentina 75% of people consider themselves Catholic. The last and most important decisions made by the Kirchner administration that Bergoglio opposed was the same marriage law—that is, matrimonio igualitario in Argentina, egalitarian marriage.

motherjones:

Surprise, surprise: members of Congress with daughters vote better on women’s issues. 

Along the same lines, look at which Republicans in the Senate voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Personal experience makes a difference.

After Tweets like…

"Lena Dunham is the voice of a masturbatory, hyper-self & her pathological titty baring represents Generation Shit."

Author of this article, Nathan Walker, says…

For years now, my wife has insisted that I’m a feminist despite my arguments that I’m not. She says that since I believe a woman has the right to work for the same pay as any man that I’m inherently a feminist. My half-hearted response was that I couldn’t possibly be. I’ve never read any feminist literature, never participated in a rally, and I certainly can’t stand behind the idea that a woman can do everything a man can (or vice versa). To be clear though, I do believe in equal rights, equal pay for equal work and that, intellectually men and women are equals. I also totally love the way women look naked. So, I couldn’t possibly be a feminist, right?

Then he talks about Girls taking a humorous look at people transitioning from childhood into adulthood, being the only TV show that allows women to be naked, and privilege/money

He asks whats unique about Girls and the lightning rod of hate? Hate for her body, the lack of diversity, her fantasy scenarios having sex with men out of their league? The only truly unique thing is it’s written and directed by a young woman.

He points to another HBO show, Game Of Thrones, who’s only characters of ethnicity are bloodthirsty, shirtless primitives and main characters are overprivileged kings and queens. The Playboy worthy Daenerys showings her tits all the time. But there is no scrutiny for creating an imaginary realm where old, fat men fuck teenage women in every episode.

Nathan finishes…

If you can point me to one single thing that sets her apart from her numerous counterparts making television entertainment beyond the fact that she’s a young woman, I’m all ears.

So, Lena Dunham, you’ve managed to do a few things here: You’ve managed to make me laugh; you’ve managed to make me cringe at that Adam character too many times; but more importantly, you’ve proven my wife to be correct (as usual) and confirmed that I am indeed a feminist. The sheer volume of public outcry over your show has pulled off my blinders to the reality of how our culture deals with a successful woman. I apologize that I’ve not caught on sooner, but, thankfully, it’s never too late to change. Now, I’m going to settle in and watch a nation of internet police tweet, blog, Facebook, and, hell, maybe even pinterest the ways that I and you are completely wrong. But don’t worry, the number of people fighting for your right to have a job making television shows just increased by one.

The real way that I became a model is I won a genetic lottery, and I am the recipient of a legacy for the past few centuries we have defined beauty not just as health and youth and symmetry that we’re biologically programmed to admire, but also as tall, slender figures, and femininity and white skin. And … it’s a legacy that I’ve been cashing out on. … unfortunately … in 2007 … of the 677 models that were hired, only 27, or less than four percent, were non-white.

… when I was writing this talk, I found it very difficult to strike an honest balance … "Look I’ve received all these benefits from a deck stacked in my favor," and it also felt really uncomfortable to follow that up with, "and it doesn’t always make me happy." But mostly it was difficult to unpack a legacy of gender and racial oppression when I am one of the biggest beneficiaries…

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How did Mothers and Others of Virginia begin? 

In December 2006, following the passage of the so-called “Marriage Amendment,” two Richmond mothers pledged to create an organization to fight for their children’s rights.  The amendment, approved by the majority of legislators in the General Assembly and ratified by voters in Virginia, denies LGBT citizens inherent rights guaranteed by our country’s Constitution.  

In January 2007, the two, Joyce Scher and Ellen Shelton, invited supportive friends and family members of LGBT persons to a luncheon discussion to share their plans and invite membership.  A steering committee was formed and began meeting weekly to create Mothers and Others of Virginia (MOVA). 

Today, MOVA is a grass roots organization combining the power of motherhood, family, friends and fair-minded people to secure equal rights for our beloved lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning children, relatives, and friends. We promote: 

  • * Emotionally healthy families by educating people about the need for legal recognition for committed intimate relationships between consenting adults and all other legal institutions that support marriage.
  • * Equal treatment for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
  • * Standing up for justice whenever it is denied because of sexual orientation or gender identity
  • * Recognition of the overwhelming conclusion by the scientific community that sexual orientation and gender identification are not determined by choice but instead occur naturally in a variety of forms.

cognitivedissonance:

politicalprof:

The real face of American inequality. Cost increases of consumer goods, poverty rates, child poverty rates, social program effects to reduce poverty, and growth in income and consumption.

It’s bad to be at, or even anywhere near, the bottom in the US.

From Thomas Edsall, NY Times

Hello from the bottom.

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)

doctorswithoutborders:

A ‘Potential Game-Changer’ for drug-resistant TB treatment
The first new TB drug since 1963 has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.



That’s great however, after Bin Laden’s Murder, Pakistan distrusts humanitarian aid from the fallout from U.S.-Led Vaccination Plot
deancasstilesderek:

Let me tell you what is happening in this picture, because you’d think the pope is just blessing a random believer. But no.This picture was actually taken the day before yesterday and the Pope is blessing Rebecca Kadaga. Rebecca Kadaga is a politician from Uganda. She promised to pass a anti-gay bill, also known and internationally condamned as ‘Kill The Gays’, which would punish homosexuality with death penalty. She’d like it to be a ‘Christmas present’ to her country. You can sign the petitions against the bill here and here. 
But things got loud today, after the pope said that gay marriage “consists in an offense against human nature, a deep wound inflicted to justice and peace.” 
This resulted in the very first collective reaction from Italians against the homophobia and pure, blinded hate spread by the church.At the moment we’re trending #vergognasulpapa (shame on the pope) on Twitter and it is already the 4th top trend of the country.
They tell us Italy is a secular state, but it never acts like one. Many people are really sick and tired, but just as many follow the church’s ‘example’. 
Last month, Andrea, a 15 year old from Rome killed himself because bullies at school were making his life a living hell because they thought he was gay. The Vatican website ‘pontifex’ (same name the pope uses for his Twitter account) wrote an article and suggested that Andrea ‘should have been cured’.
We still don’t even have a law against homophobia.Please, join us! Use your own voice, spread the news, make a post, tweet #vergognasulpapa or write it in your own language…whatever you do, just don’t let this go unnoticed. 

deancasstilesderek:

Let me tell you what is happening in this picture, because you’d think the pope is just blessing a random believer. But no.
This picture was actually taken the day before yesterday and the Pope is blessing Rebecca Kadaga. 

Rebecca Kadaga is a politician from Uganda. She promised to pass a anti-gay bill, also known and internationally condamned as ‘Kill The Gays’, which would punish homosexuality with death penalty. She’d like it to be a ‘Christmas present’ to her country. You can sign the petitions against the bill here and here

But things got loud today, after the pope said that gay marriage “consists in an offense against human nature, a deep wound inflicted to justice and peace.” 

This resulted in the very first collective reaction from Italians against the homophobia and pure, blinded hate spread by the church.

At the moment we’re trending #vergognasulpapa (shame on the pope) on Twitter and it is already the 4th top trend of the country.

They tell us Italy is a secular state, but it never acts like one.
Many people are really sick and tired, but just as many follow the church’s ‘example’. 

Last month, Andrea, a 15 year old from Rome killed himself because bullies at school were making his life a living hell because they thought he was gay. 
The Vatican website ‘pontifex’ (same name the pope uses for his Twitter account) wrote an article and suggested that Andrea ‘should have been cured’.

We still don’t even have a law against homophobia.

Please, join us! Use your own voice, spread the news, make a post, tweet #vergognasulpapa or write it in your own language…whatever you do, just don’t let this go unnoticed. 

(Source: ifuckingmissmcr, via starmichael)

think-progress:

Faith leaders SLAM Rick Perry…
Even though Texas has the highest uninsurance rates in the nation — nearly a quarter of the state’s population lacks health insurance — Gov. Rick Perry (R) has refused to expand the Medicaid program, prioritizing his continued opposition to Obamacare over the opportunity to extend health coverage to an estimated 2 million low-income Texans.

think-progress:

Faith leaders SLAM Rick Perry…

Even though Texas has the highest uninsurance rates in the nation — nearly a quarter of the state’s population lacks health insurance — Gov. Rick Perry (R) has refused to expand the Medicaid program, prioritizing his continued opposition to Obamacare over the opportunity to extend health coverage to an estimated 2 million low-income Texans.

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)

"

Anarchists, I discovered, did not believe in anarchy as it is usually defined — disorder, disorganization, chaos, confusion, and everyone doing as they like. On the contrary, they believed that society should be organized in a thousand different ways, that people had to cooperate in work and in play, to create a good society. But anarchists insisted, any organization must avoid hierarchy and command from the top; it must be democratic, consensual, reaching decisions through constant discussion and argument.

He continued, ‘What attracted me to anarchism was its rejection of any bullying authority — the authority of the state, of the church, or the employer. Anarchism believes that if we can create an egalitarian society without extremes of poverty and wealth, and join hands across all national boundaries, we will not need police forces, prisons, armies, or war, because the underlying causes of these will be gone.’

"

- Professor Howard Zinn at 90: Lessons From the People’s Historian

(Source: lunaseas, via starmichael)