Ethical veganism results in a profound revolution within the individual; a complete rejection of the paradigm of oppression and violence that she has been taught from childhood to accept as the natural order. It changes her life and the lives of those with whom she shares this vision of nonviolence. Ethical veganism is anything but passive; on the contrary, it is the active refusal to cooperate with injustice
We should always be clear that animal exploitation is wrong because it involves speciesism. And speciesism is wrong because, like racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism, classism, and all other forms of human discrimination, speciesism involves violence inflicted on members of the moral community where that infliction of violence cannot be morally justified. But that means that those of us who oppose speciesism necessarily oppose discrimination against humans. It makes no sense to say that speciesism is wrong because it is like racism (or any other form of discrimination) but that we do not have a position about racism. We do. We should be opposed to it and we should always be clear about that.
I am opposed to animal welfare campaigns for two reasons. First, if animal use cannot be morally justified, then we ought to be clear about that, and advocate for no use. Although rape and child molestation are ubiquitous, we do not have campaigns for “humane” rape or “humane” child molestation. We condemn it all. We should do the same with respect to animal exploitation. Second, animal welfare reform does not provide significant protection for animal interests. Animals are chattel property; they are economic commodities. Given this status and the reality of markets, the level of protection provided by animal welfare will generally be limited to what promotes efficient exploitation. That is, we will protect animal interests to the extent that it provides an economic benefit.
So it is always preferable to discuss the matter of veganism in a non-judgemental way. Remember that to most people, eating flesh or dairy and using animal products such as leather, wool, and silk, is as normal as breathing air or drinking water. A person who consumes dairy or uses animal products is not necessarily or usually what a recent and unpopular American president labelled an evil doer.
The notion that we should promote “happy” or “humane” exploitation as “baby steps” ignores that welfare reforms do not result in providing significantly greater protection for animal interests; in fact, most of the time, animal welfare reforms do nothing more than make animal exploitation more economically productive by focusing on practices, such as gestation crates, the electrical stunning of chickens, or veal crates, that are economically inefficient in any event. Welfare reforms make animal exploitation more profitable by eliminating practices that are economically vulnerable. For the most part, those changes would happen anyway and in the absence of animal welfare campaigns precisely because they do rectify inefficiencies in the production process. And welfare reforms make the public more comfortable about animal exploitation. The “happy” meat/animal products movement is clear proof of that. We would never advocate for “humane” or happy” human slavery, rape, genocide, etc. So, if we believe that animals matter morally and that they have an interest not only in not suffering but in continuing to exist, we should not be putting our time and energy into advocating for “humane” or “happy” animal exploitation.
We should never present flesh as somehow morally distinguishable from dairy. To the extent it is morally wrong to eat flesh, it is as morally wrong — and possibly more morally wrong — to consume dairy
If we are ever going to see a paradigm shift, we have to be clear about how we want the present paradigm to shift.We must be clear that veganism is the unequivocal baseline of anything that deserves to be called an “animal rights” movement. If “animal rights” means anything, it means that we cannot morally justify any animal exploitation; we cannot justify creating animals as human resources, however “humane” that treatment may be.We must stop thinking that people will find veganism “daunting” and that we have to promote something less than veganism. If we explain the moral ideas and the arguments in favor of veganism clearly, people will understand. They may not all go vegan immediately; in fact, most won’t. But we should always be clear about the moral baseline. If someone wants to do less as an incremental matter, let that be her/his decision, and not something that we advise to do. The baseline should always be clear. We should never be promoting “happy” or “humane” exploitation as morally acceptable.
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse.
Just like how most if not all poor boys look up to and aspire to someday be rich men, most if not all underdeveloped and developing countries look up to and aspire to someday be developed countries.
I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.
I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
Science is not a democracy. Therefore to try to pass of global warming as real just because 98% of scientists say they agree makes no sense at all. If 98% of psychiatrists said that all mentally ill people needed lobotomized, does that make it true? If 98% of your friends jumped off a building, would you jump, too?
One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why it is a problem, since Christ is returning in a few decades. About the same percentage believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago. If science conflicts with the Bible, so much the worse for science. It would be hard to find an analogue in other societies.
...trying to predict whether global warming will moderate the next ice age is not only impossible but irrelevant. It doesn't help us get through the next few centuries. And one can only imagine our future, shivering, ice age descendants cursing us for leaving them no fossil fuel to create a global warming greenhouse effect when one is really needed.
The dismaying truth is that birtherism is part of a larger pattern of rejection of reality that has taken hold of intimidating segments of one of the two political parties that alternate in power in our governing institutions. It is akin to the view that global warming is a hoax, or that the budget can be balanced through spending cuts alone, or that contraception causes abortion, or that evolution is just another theory, on a par with the theory that the earth is six thousand years old.
Knowledge empowers people with our most powerful tool: the ability to think and decide. There is no power for change greater than a child discovering what he or she cares about. (Speech about Global Warming read on the National Mall for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, 2010)
We should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.
Don’t forget that the land is always out there, making its way, doing everything it can so you can breathe fresh air; so you can eat fresh food; so you can move and see and feel and think, and it’s on your side. The world is out there doing what it’s been doing way before you came here, it’s firm and strong and it takes a lot to bring it down.so from time to time, just go outside and look at this spectacle. This pure painting right in front of your eyes. No one created it. No one owns it. It doesn’t want anything. It doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. It simply is. So maybe, try a little tenderness. Just give it a chance to do what it can do. Just let it help you breatheand eatand moveand seeand maybe just try to live your life in a way that doesn’t kill this force of naturethat is just trying to give you a world worth living in. A clean world. A fresh world. Paths, forests, oceans, animals, oxygen, water. That’s all it takes.Just try a little tenderness towards this world we’ve been lucky enough to build our homes on. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.
We all are travelers traveling on a very big spaceship called Earth. Let's not ruin the engines of our very own spaceship in the name of development.
A poet can imagine an iceberg singing a melancholic song while the world leaders find it difficult to imagine proper solution to global warming.
We, of all the beings that we know of, can think. We can eat, write, build, save. We can predict, estimate, and count. We can preserve food for lifetimes, and in times of crisis, we can find ways to ensure our survival. With each passing generation, our sphere of control of our existence is larger. What if the earth is hit by an asteroid or there is no way to stop global warming? We look to colonize other planets. The fate of our species, in a few years, will not be tied to the fate of the earth. Our home planet must be cared for ... but as we go interplanetary and then interstellar, our control on our lives and the evolution of our species grows. As far as we know, we are the only species that has a say in the development of its future.
The future of the next generation relies on astronomers obtaining a full understanding ofthe rapidly changing human environmental conditions and the halting of biologically toxic corporategovernment policies. The overloading of the electromagnetic environment is one of these disastrouspolicies that must stop.
She asked another question: What does it matter if the rhinos die out? Is it really important that they are saved?This would normally have riled me... but I had come to think of her as Dr. Spock from Star Trek - an emotionless, purely logical creature, at least with regards to her feelings for animals. Like Spock, though, I knew there were one or two things that stirred her, so I gave an honest reply.... to be honest, it doesn't matter. No economy will suffer, nobody will go hungry, no diseases will be spawned. Yet there will never be a way to place a value on what we have lost. Future children will see rhinos only in books and wonder how we let them go so easily. It would be like lighting a fire in the Louvre and watching the Mona Lisa burn. Most people would think 'What a pity' and leave it at that while only a few wept
There is a name for the tsunami wave of extermination: the Holocene extinction event. There's no asteroid this time, only human behavior, behavior that we could choose to stop. Adolph Eichman's excuse was that no one told him that the concentration camps were wrong. We've all seen the pictures of the drowning polar bears. Are we so ethically numb that we need to be told this is wrong?
I thought that you would be frozen in awe when you found the sequence, when you heard a bird's song repeating my Morse code, my cry for help, my S.O.S, when you saw the same numbers in the petals of a flower and the structure of a pine cone, when you saw with your own eyes the interconnectedness of all things.But I was wrong.You searched for a male god, a creator, an intelligent designer, or you banished the beauty and mystery of the world beneath the cold concrete grave of closed-eye skepticism. The few of you who could still hear my music felt tortured and misunderstood; you reached out for any conspiracy theory large enough to explain your alienated despair, your sense that the Earth was dying and no one cared.But listen to me -- you are not alone. Run your fingers through the grass and grab it in your fists, feel my pulse echoing through your blood. You. Are. Not. Alone. And I -- I am not dead yet.
he writer has a grudge against society, which he documents with accounts of unsatisfying sex, unrealized ambition, unmitigated lo neliness, and a sense of local and global distress. The square, overpopulation, the bourgeois, the bomb and the cocktail party are variously identified as sources of the grudge. There follows a little obscenity here, a dash of philosophy there, considerable whining overall, and a modern satirical novel is born.
Once our family was very small and we used to say, ‘’our planet has enough resources to feed all of us’’ but today, we are not that family and it is a burden on our planet to feed us. We have to reconsider our views and confess ‘’our planet has not enough resources to feed all of us anymore’’.
[T]his readiness to assume the guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs—whatever—just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the soccer fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game's outcome.
The current climate change is an outer mirror of our inner consciousness. It is an outer mirror of our attitude to try to conquer nature, instead of being in harmony with nature, but in the end the part can never conquer the whole.
The winters were getting colder, starting earlier, lasting longer, with more snows than he could remember from childhood. As soon as man stopped adding his megatons of filth to the atmosphere each day, he thought, the atmosphere had reverted to what it must have been long ago, moister weather summer and winter, more stars than he had ever seen before, and more, it seemed, each night than the night before: the sky a clear, endless blue by day, velvet blue-black at night with blazing stars that modern man had never seen.
Claiming that a person who views the Bible as nothing but a compendium of myths is thus denying the existence of a Creator is like claiming a person who rejects the junk science behind ‘man-made global warming’ is denying the existence of atmosphere.
I find it very sad that by the time corporate science realizes the value of nature, that it may be too late
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic… asshole.
Try as you might, you'll never be able to please an environmentalist. You can stop using coal to heat your house, you can stop throwing out bottles and cans, you can have every factory in Canada shut down and you can buy only organic gluten-free non-GMO food, you can give up your favorite station wagon for a weird electric hybrid, you can stop developing film and buy a never-ending cycle of digital cameras, you can give up your job at a refinery or mill, and they'll still get after you for not enjoying yourself while doing so.
I have been speaking to you all of your life. In the gurgle of a tide pool, I breathed myself into you. I drew you down from the trees and I lifted you onto your feet. I freed your hands to become your tools so that you would cradle me in my old age, but you have turned on me. My strongest warrior for life, you have been transformed into an insatiable messenger of death. Only a few of my children are still listening when I howl to them, crying in the night, sending the oceans in great surges to cleanse my land -- to cleanse, and to warn you who no longer listen. I WILL BE HEARD.