Toward an Ethic of Listening

by Vincent Kelley, a radical activist, student, musician, and meditator who currently attends Grinnell College in Iowa and is an organizer with One Struggle.

Can you remember the last time you just listened? For those of us in this culture, it is often difficult to answer this question. Rarely do we take the time to truly listen to the rhythms and cycles of the natural world, our ever-present breath, or the speech of another human being. Are we missing something when we fail to listen? In the pages that follow, I suggest that listening can provide a foundation for an ethical and storied relationship with the human and more-than-human world. First, I will describe how a lack of listening manifests itself, namely, in patriarchy and the Western scientific worldview. Second, I will give an account of listening as a mindfulness practice. Third, I will explain how an ethic of listening, if you will, challenges patriarchy and scientific epistemology. Finally, I will offer a reflection on how we may develop an ethic of listening.

One of the ideological mechanisms of patriarchy is the objectification of women. Indeed, radical feminist Andrea Dworkin sees the struggle against objectification as the essence of the feminist project: “It is true, and very much to the point, that women are objects, commodities, some deemed more expensive than others — but it is only by asserting one’s humanness every time, in all situations, that one becomes someone as opposed to something. That, after all, is the core of our struggle.”i What, then, does an “object” consist in? Philosopher Martha Nussbaum identifies seven “notions” that allow a person to treat another as an object: instrumentality, denial of autonomy, inertness, fungibility, violability, ownership, and denial of subjectivity.ii These notions are ideologically crucial in the objectification of women under patriarchy: only by inscribing them upon women as a class can men as a class justify their violence and domination.

But there is something else that underlies and is bolstered by these seven notions: the refusal to listen. Two of them merit further discussion in order to make this link. Take inertness. If something is inert, it is reducible to its constituent parts, thereby rendered a mere mechanistic entity as opposed to a being, a legitimate ‘other’ meriting moral consideration. For Nussbaum, an inert object lacks agency. In our context, the capacity to speak can be subsumed under the category of agency. And, as feminist legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon bluntly states, “Objects do not speak.”iii By denying the capacity for speech — which is, in essence, the refusal to listen — the objectifier silences the objectified. This is the core of what I call inertification, a topic to which I will soon return.

The denial of subjectivity is also a manifestation of the refusal to listen. Nussbaum defines this denial thus: “The objectifier treats the object as something whose experience and feelings (if any) need not be taken into account.”iv We could also say that the object’s experience and feelings are subsumed under the ‘objective’ view of the objectifier. In other words, the existence of an ‘other’ with different experiences and feelings is rendered impossible — only the objectifier’s experience is validated. Why listen to others when your experience is all that matters — when your experience is all there is? Obversely, how would you know that other subjective experiences exist if you don’t listen for them?v

As we can intuitively see, when people are treated as objects, normative issues necessarily arise.vi But what if we look beyond the objectification of humans alone and scrutinize Nussbaum’s categories in relation to the more-than-human world? In other words, can treating as objects what actually are objects in the Western scientific worldview also present normative problems? Reflecting on this question, I have found it fruitful to turn to the work of animist philosopher David Abram. For Abram, animism — the worldview and way of being that understands what he calls the “more-than-human world” to be alive, dynamic, and sensate, a world in which spirit inheres in materiality — is intimately linked to the actions of speaking and listening. He maintains that “the animate terrain is not just speaking to us but also listening to us.” Drawing on phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s account of perception as a process of reciprocal, two-way flow, Abram further contends that “to listen to the forest is also, primordially, to feel oneself listened to by the forest, just as to gaze at the surrounding forest is to feel oneself exposed and visible, to feel oneself watched by the forest.”vii Abram’s animism thus throws into question the presuppositions of “conventional scientific discourse [and] … New Age spiritualism,” both of which reinforce “the distinction between human ‘subjects’ and natural ‘objects.’”viii Perhaps the root problem, then, is the category of ‘object’ itself, rather than objectification, the latter which can be understood in this context as an effect of the underlying idea of objecthood.

Here, it is useful to return to the aforementioned concept of inertification, my term, informed by Nussbaum, for the process of rendering a thing or being inert in order to establish its status as an object. For the non-animist, solely the inertification of beings — typically only human beings — presents a normative problem. But for the animist, the thing / being, subject / object binary is understood as a false dichotomy. Indeed, inertification is a prefiguration of objecthood itself; objects do not exist prior to the human inscription of inertness. But is this an inscription that humans must make or have always made? Capitalists, pornographers, and scientists would like us to think so. Indeed, the normalization of inertification is a central facet of ideology that enables these groups to continue to exploit and abuse without mass resistance.ix

Not all cultures have inertified their surrounding environs or, as our culture has gone so far as to do, inertify marginalized groups of humans. Indigenous author and scholar Vine Deloria asserts that “… Indians experience and relate to a living universe, whereas Western people, especially scientists, reduce all things, living or not, to objects.”x He continues:

In order to maintain the fiction that the world is dead and that those who believe it to be alive have succumbed to primitive superstition, science must reject any interpretation of the natural world that implies sentience or an ability to communicate on the part of non-humans. Science insists, at a great price in understanding, that the observer be as detached as possible from the event he or she is observing. Contrast that with the attitude of indigenous people, who recognize that humans must participate in events, not isolate themselves.

Indeed, Western science is not a value-neutral pursuit; its fundamental methodology — a methodology premised on detachment from interrelationship and a concomitant denial of our inherence in the natural world — is diametrically opposed to the indigenous-animistic worldview of which Deloria speaks. But in the twilight of the scientific idol we can find the rebirth of animism and, along with it, an ethics founded on listening.

When Abram writes of the animate Earth “not just speaking to us but also listening to us,” we find an incipient gesture toward an animistic ethics. When the multifarious beings surrounding us can listen, we must be humble in their presence, even if no humans are nearby. Ethics thus becomes a living practice of mindfulness of the voices and perceptive capacities of all the material world in which we live; no actions are out of sight and, therefore, none are out of mind. But to adopt this ethics, we must also listen — relationship, by definition, cannot be one-sided. Deloria maintains that indigenous people can “obtain knowledge from birds, animals, rivers, and mountains that is inaccessible to modern science,” but, for others to also do this, they must first “absolutely reject the idea of forcing nature to reveal its secrets and instead begin to observe nature and listen to its rhythms” (emphasis mine).xi Hence, in a culture already marred by scientific reductionism, our task is one of both unlearning and relearning, a task that is only possible when the scientific control-imperative is relinquished and superseded by an ethic of listening.

As we have seen, listening is fundamentally a mindfulness practice, or what Jewish theologian Michael Fishbane calls “sacred attunement.” Fishbane contends that “[t]he capacity to listen with attention and humility is a spiritual beginning … [of] a gradual growth in religious consciousness.”xii “Attunement” and, attendantly for Fishbane, theology, is “a type of thinking [and] … a type of living,” a form of “perception and performance.”xiii But it is one that is impossible without this initial ethic of listening. He maintains that the practitioner must cultivate a “spiritually pregnant silence” before speaking. In my reading, this spiritual silence “characterized by potentiality and anticipation” is distinguished from what Fishbane calls “natural silence,” silence “characterized by the absence of noise,” by its implicit ethic of receptivity.xiv It is, in other words, an intentional, ethically-infused silence that is closely linked to — perhaps even the essence of — the humble listening praised by Fishbane. Indeed, his project is one of establishing a theology grounded in relationality, and relationality is impossible without listening.

I have argued that listening is an indispensable practice if we wish to live in relation to other humans and the more-than-human world in a rich, reciprocal, storied, and ethical manner. As we have seen, the ideologies of patriarchy and science are supported and reinforced by a refusal and, once such a refusal is normalized, learned inability to listen. Male supremacy is founded on inertification and a disregard for the subjective experiences of women. Similarly, modern science denies our inherence in and dependence upon the natural world in its effort to erect an objective subject who studies an inert, feelingless object. The ramification of these ideologies is systemic violence against, in these particularities, women and the natural world, respectively.

It is clear that misogynists and capitalists, among others, benefit from these narratives of detachment and silencing, but even those who do not fall into these categories often have a difficult time embracing an active practice of listening, a practice that is essential if we wish to move beyond tacit toleration of this culture’s atrocities. Why is this? To conclude, I will offer a brief reflection on the vulnerability that emerges from deep listening and argue that a fear of vulnerability underlies our resistance to an ethic of listening.

Christian theologian, Catherine Keller, in a relational move not unlike that of Fishbane, presents a theology grounded in an understanding of interdependence. She highlights the “as yourself” aspect of the Gospel’s exhortation to “… love God — and the neighbor as yourself,” and, following from this scriptural appeal, suggests a deeper truth: “Because we are radically interdependent, we are unbearably vulnerable to each other.”xv Herein we find the root of our fear of listening: Listening is the basis for a consciousness of interdependence; a consciousness of interdependence entails an acknowledgement of vulnerability; thus, by listening, we open ourselves to vulnerability, which is a sate that our enculturation teaches us to resist. If I have convinced you as to why we need to listen, we can now move to the difficult work of learning how to listen. Following Keller’s insight, an embracement of vulnerability may be the key in reviving an ethic of listening in a culture that has all but driven it to extinction. But to embrace vulnerability we must relinquish what the Buddha calls the “’I’-making or ‘mine’-making,” that leads to our incessant reassertion of the egoistic “obsession of conceit” that underlies our personal and collective suffering.xvi And how do we do this? The practice of listening is one method, or, more precisely, way of being, toward this end. This is a mutually-reinforcing process: We must cultivate selflessness in order to listen and must listen in order to cultivate selflessness. This is a true ethic of listening, one which we should develop if we wish to live ethical lives and put an end to the atrocities that result from the failure to listen on an interpersonal and social scale.

Listen. Just listen.

Bibliography

iAndrea Dworkin, Woman Hating (New York: Penguin Books, 1974), 83.

iiMartha C. Nussbaum, “Objectification,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 24(4) (Fall 1995): 249–291.

iiiCatherine A. MacKinnon, “Francis Biddle’s Sister: Pornography, Civil Rights, and Speech,” in Kelly Weisberg ed., Applications of Feminist Legal Theory to Women’s Lives: Sex, Violence, Work, and Reproduction (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996), 64.

ivNussbaum, “Objectification,” 257.

vWhen I speak of “subjective experience,” I do not understand such experience to be autonomous or unconditioned by (objective) social totality, to use the language of historical materialist theorists.

viThis is more in line with the Dworkin-MacKinnon position on objectification than that of Nussbaum. In fact, Nussbaum argues that objectification, while generally negative, can in some cases be a positive phenomenon. See, for example, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-objectification/.

viiDavid Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (New York: Vintage Books, 1996), 153.

viiiAbram, The Spell of the Sensuous, 66-67.

ixWhen I criticize scientists, I am referring to the majority who subscribe to the hegemonic anti-animistic epistemology that Vine Deloria attacks in his quotations later in this essay. I am fully aware that there are scientists who are not ideologues in the same way, and even some who resist the aforesaid epistemology.

xVine Deloria, “How Science Ignores The Livingworld: An interview with Vine Deloria by Derrick Jensen,” Derrick Jensen.org, http://72.52.202.216/~fenderse/Deloria.htm, accessed December 23, 2013.

xiIbid.

xiiMichael Fishbane, Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 147.

xiiiFishbane, Sacred Attunement, xii.

xivFishbane, Sacred Attunement, 133.

xvCatherine Keller, On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process (United States, Fortress Press, 2008), 80.

xviSee, for example, “SN 21.2: Upatissa Sutta: About Upatissa (Sariputta),” Access to Insight, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn21/sn21.002.than.html, trans. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 1999, accessed December 23, 2013.

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The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 March 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

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The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 June 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by several readers at Amazon. An excerpt follows.

Individuals are able to abandon a fossil-fuel-fueled lifestyle with minor costs, including the disparagement that comes from living outside the mainstream. But, as illustrated by Jevons’ paradox and the Khazzoom-Brookes
postulate, individual choices do not translate to societal choices. An individual change in consciousness rarely leads to societal enlightenment. Jumping off the cruise ship of empire will not prevent the ship from striking the iceberg, and it nonetheless results in near-term death of the individual.

If we’re headed for the exit gate in the near term, the question then arises: What shall I do? How shall I live my life? In other words, now that we have knowledge of the near-term demise of our species, then what? There are more than seven billion responses to the latter questions. Recognizing that birth is lethal and that we have an opportunity to demonstrate our humanity on the way out the door, I’ve chosen an eyes-wide-open, decidedly counter-cultural approach. I’ve opted out of empire to the maximum possible extent, and I practice and promote a gift economy.

Beyond my own actions, I suggest individuals take actions they never previously imagined. I promote resistance against the dominant paradigm, even though — especially though — it appears too late to save our species from near-term extinction. I propose assaulting ourselves and others with compassion. I recommend heavy doses of creativity and courage. I advise doing something well beyond the cultural current of the main stream. At this point, what have you got to lose? Indeed, what have we got to lose?

Comments 111

  • Do you remember the old James Bond films

    where the bad guy flicks a switch and a trap door opens and whoosh the one who failed disappears through the floor into a tank of sharks

    that’s what I would like to do to Carolyn Baker

  • Well, that’s certainly an interesting “first comment” on an article by a new (I believe) person! Do you think that perhaps you could agree to just ignore Carolyn Baker rather than have her end up in a shark tank? She is clearly not your cup of tea, but she might have helped someone (or many people) in her life, who knows? I doubt very much she is in this business for the financial return. I don’t think any of us are. To the author of the article: thanks for a thoughtful read, and congratulations on having more footnotes than any other writer I can recall reading on this site! Listening is hard. Talking (and ranting) is a lot easier. I have never learned anything by talking or ranting (but I’m sure I’ve driven people away with the latter).

  • Thank you for this essay Vincent Kelly, I can see your heart is in finding a solution to the dangers we face. However if I understand you correctly and these ideas that we have played with for thousands of years through both the matriarch and patriarch, the idea that we can return to a primitive conscious system to heal our current imbalanced psychic system is based on an assumption that we cannot heal through the modern evolved ego conscious system. As I understand it this ego system once balanced is the only way forward for the modern or modernized masses, and few humans have escaped that indoctrination and development in the last one hundred thousand years. This further growth of our psychic system will produce a rebirth in listening powers as you suggest, but they will be through the ego in balance with the psychic system. That is a state of being never before experienced by humans. But to achieve this, the ability to listen to something new, and not try to return to a primitive indigenous system is vaslty important to our evolution. We cannot turn back to that primitive state nor any primitive state at this point. That is one of the most painful things to realize in this process but it is high time we realize it so we can reclaim a new state that equates to a new harmony through conscious choice. That harmony is the key to our best chance to meet our future and the living world we are a part of with all the grace and spirit it is due. We are overdue to be a part of it again, conciously.

  • Thanks, Vincent Kelly, for the timely reminder! My (new) New Year’s resolution:
    Listen. Just listen.

    I’m appreciating the “spiritually pregnant silence” here, as (most of) y’all take a moment to listen and reflect – thanks for the positive vibration, Judith Haran :-).

    @U: Hang in there with the weather – make some music, brother ;-).

    Peace and Happy New Year to all.

  • @Tom: Thanks for the shout outs! I came across Desdemona’s Doomiest photos last night, just before bed. Nightmare invoking-horror…thanks for sharing ;-).

  • Visited Desdemonadespair.net and saw the “doomiest photos” and I wanted to cry. How much more abuse can we inflict on our planet and other living creatures?! We are a scurge.. a virus.. that needs to be cut back or eliminated.

  • What a frightful load of bullshit. Listening above all else requires that something is actually worth listening to. Vince here comes off like a college kid trying to impress his professor with a heaping stew of words, many so ambiguous as to be meaningless. If your goal is simplicity and calm inner peace of mind, then you’re not spouting off nonsense like “inertification is a prefiguration of objecthood itself,” and peppering you thoughts with footnotes.

    Again, I call for clarity. Speak, but speak honestly. Don’t try to dazzle us with your vast knowledge of key phrases that are going to appear on the mid-term exam, don’t name drop needlessly, don’t try to impress anyone with your gifts. It’s the end of the fucking world, kids. There’s absolutely no reason to inertificate anything.

  • @Grant Screiber

    Great news, Grant! Global warming/Climate Chaos is a joke and isn’t really happening! How do I know? It’s going to be -27F here in Minneapolis by Monday morning. See? No global warming, people. That’s what I learned on Fox news tonight. 😉

    Of course, I’m joking. I agree with you, Grant. We’re watching the end of the world (certainly as we know it) as a slow motion train wreck. You speak from the heart. Stay warm down there in Chicago-land!

  • Sorry for the typo on your last name, Grant. I need to get reading glasses!

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #97

    Woodpecker fluffs in
    the afternoon sun, done with
    head-banging today.

  • @Grant Schreiber – Thanks. Vincent needed that. He doesn’t seem to understand half the world will be in flames by the time us common folk can even pronounce half the bullshit he just laid at our feet.

    An activist and an organizer. We are truly screwed.

    PS – the 60’s called – they want their poor Haitian comics back.

  • Quote from essay: “The objectifier treats the object as something whose experience and feelings (if any) need not be taken into account”

    If we eat animal products (flesh, dairy, eggs, honey etc), wear animal products (wool, leather, fur, silk etc), and use animals in any way for entertainment or other reasons (no matter how small the scale), then we are treating nonhumans as objects. There’s no excuse for this because we do not need them at all to survive. We can easily meet all our nutrition needs from plant (and other non-animal sources).

    There’s no indigenous culture I am aware of in human history that haven’t used animals as resources, as “things”, and who have’t objectified them. I’m not sure why so many of us seem to need to hold indigenous cultures up as examples of environmental consciousness or as if they are respectful of other animals. There’s a number of indigenous cultures that have destroyed their environments and destroyed all species in Pleistocene overkill. Closeness to “nature” does not prevent exploitation of nonhumans. Quite often it means awareness of the habits and lives of nonhumans and becomes simply a tool for the exploitation of those nonhuman sentient beings. Indigenous people in Australia knew exactly where and how to get “bait” for fishing, and hunt Dugongs to extinction in their local area, even when they know they are the last breeding pair. The Bardi people in King Sound have used tree bark as fish poison and then poisoned whole Billabongs or part of tidal estuaries for fish. Indigenous people in Australia are certainly probably the oldest indigenous culture on the planet and have been around for 80,000 years.

    Generally speaking indigneous cultures went to war with other indigenous cultures or raided each other frequently. The Lakota people are known by the name other tribes use: The Sioux: which means “The Enemy”.

    We have all kinds of romantic notions about traditional indigenous cultures, but it has little basis in reality. We, as modern people, hold up native peoples as some sort of justification for what we do. We are not living in balance, mainly because we do not die at the rate they did. Their practices seem more “in balance” only because there were so few of them. Simply saying “I respect the animals that give their life..” is not respect. Nonhuman animals do not “give” their lives, we take them. Their lives were never ours to take. And we, as modern people, take them by breeding billions into existence to murder, mostly for food. And hunting does not make things more natural, it simply lets us decimate nonhuman animals in the few remaining semi-natural environments. We as a species have exploited and killed other nations of nonhumans simply because we can. We are bullies. Indigenous people are as speciesist as we are today and have been involved in exploitation, objectification and murder of nonhumans.

    If we want to be close to the nonhuman world, then stop eating, wearing and using nonhumans as resources as we have been doing for thousands and thousands of years. We torture and murder today more nonhumans in 5 days than all humans killed in plagues, murders, genocides and wars in all of human history. We need to stop telling ourselves stories that we are “getting back to nature” by becoming permaculturists (Next Step Seminars) because we are getting up close and personal in our exploitation of nonhumans. We have 2 or 3 decades left before extinction. Can we just stop at this point and at least in our last little time on the planet, and their last little time on this planet, just stop being their enemy, stop being their oppressor and go vegan. It’s really simple. Here’s a good vegan resource http://www.VeganismIsNonviolence.com/becoming-vegan

  • @ Denise

    Thankyou 🙂 Me, still head-bangin’ in the middle of the night.

    @ Vincent Kelly

    You know, in the old days, Native Americans and others would go on vision quests, to the mountains, desert, forest, and Europeans would go on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela or walk mazes, all with the objective of finding themselves. It wasn’t about listening to others it was about listening to themselves, hearing their own inner being.

    Our souls have been stolen. The very word, the concept, has been stolen.

    The idea, the notion, will be ridiculed and disparaged, as absurd, on the one hand, by the materialists. And on the other hand, it will be argued for, as some fanciful poetic nonsense to do with heaven, etc, by those who adhere to institutional religion which requires adherence to dogma and faith.

    This is all ghastly. It’s like being forced to choose between American Capitalism and Soviet Communism, and if you don’t accept one or the other, they’ll both condemn you as a traitor.

    Why would anybody want to listen to anybody else ? Everybody is full of their own shit, that nobody else will listen to. They keep trying to tell their stuff to people but nobody will fucking listen… there’s seven BILLION of them out there. Have I got to listen to ALL of them ?

    Look, my friend. I did what you said. I was empty. My mind was silent. I listened to the one in front of me. They told their story. Over and over again, I heard the pain and the sorrow and the horrible things that happened, the selfishness, the pettiness, the injustice, all the crap..

    In the beginning, I was shocked and sometimes I couldn’t sleep and would go over the events, filled with love, and anger and all the feeling that went with the stories, and I remembered each face and each character…

    Ffs, a woman said she had not seen an earlier ex husband for years, she was in a city visiting, she heard he was in hospital, she was nearby, she called in, on the spur of the moment, quite casually. As she entered the room unannounced greeted him in his bed, he looked up and saw her, had a pulmonary embolism, blood spurted from his mouth, he had a look of terror, and was dead…years later and she is telling me this… do I want to hear EVERYONE’S moments of grief and horror ? yes, they tell ME, because I’m ulvfugl, the man with the silent mind, who listens and listens, does not judge, never flinches, never turns away…

    I couldn’t remember the individuals anymore. I couldn’t separate the stories anymore. I couldn’t identify with the feelings anymore… thousands and thousands of stories and they all blended and merged..

    I am ulvfugl, just one leaf in this vast river of humanity.. we are all this story… I hear all of it… I hear everything…

    Lay on your back in bed with your eyes closed. Find your soul. It’s the bit that is alive inside you. It’s not the bit in your head that thinks. It’s the bit that won’t be there anymore when you are dead. Fill yourself with consciousness. Don’t think about it, be it, do it.

    Fuck the materialists, fuck religion, fuck Descartes. NBL as vision quest. NBL as pilgrimage. NBL as a state of grace. Laying in the gutter gazing at the stars, radioactive rain mixing with your tears…

    ’80’s kitsch

  • There are a lot of people that I CAN’T listen to. I have a violent physical reaction to certain kinds of bullshit. There’s a lot of people spewing evil poison out there and if you listen, well, it can cripple you. Just look around! Way too many regular people, if they can grab your attention will try to indoctrinate you with the same carefully crafted mind control they are unknowingly sickened with by mass media. And I’m not talking about a few people here, I talking about almost everybody.

    The most respected people always try to convince me that I should bloody my soul by supporting war.

    The most successful people want to make me feel abnormal for being negative. “You’re a nattering naybob of negativity” they say, when I bring up global warming. They are the most responsible for NTE!

    The most religious people continually shame their own god while they try to shame me. Almost ALL Christians live lifestyles that shout from the rooftops, “Sorry, Jesus, you were wrong. I CAN serve god and mammon! See I’m doing just fine!” So why listen to them?

    On and on, professionals, military, working class, poor. Most people will happily break you down if you’re not careful. If you don’t know that, maybe you’re one of those contributing to the problem. Maybe you’re a social butterfly that can’t get enough punishment. But for me, I don’t have the time. I keep the conversation lite and move on, waiting for that rare individual that expresses themselves in truth and humor.

  • Dear Kirk Hamilton, “you’re a nattering naybob of negativity” I about peed myself laughing over that. Gawd I will definately use that as a preface to doomer talk..,’ I don’t mean to be a nattering naybob of negativity…,but…, hahhahhahhhhhehhehe. 😀

  • I have to agree with Kirk.

    I listen to the rude youth in the park and the self-righteous religious fundies and I listen to the small-town politicians who want jobs and growth and development. I listen to doctors and nurses lie to me outright. I listen to people who can’t even speak English anymore, their mental functioning is so degraded. I can’t even tell what they are saying.

    I’m tired of listening.
    My problem is not that I don’t hear people; my problem is that I do.

  • TIAA. I’m happy for you. A wise person once said, “It’s so much fun to have a good time!”

    Here’s some background on the phrase. Sorry, but by clicking on the link below you will be exposed to some of the people and the kind of thinking and influence responsible for the vile corruption that doomed us to mediocrity and ultimate failure, socially, morally, intellectually and spiritually.

    I recommend no more exposure than 15 seconds. Failure to comply will lead to PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE!

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Nabobs_natter_about_the_passing_of_William_Safire_1929-2009.html

  • Trish: When an animal eats another animal is it acting to oppress it? Does the fox bully the rabbit? The huge problem with vegan thinking is not just the humorless, sanctimonious preaching, but its rabid misunderstanding of nature. Should people eat less meat? Yes. Are factory farms appalling? Yes. Is hunting an animal with a high powered weapon really a sport? No. Is the vegan life good for the planet? Not if it is taking place in the First World it’s not. It’s hard to be pious writing on a computer made by Chinese slave labor using electricity made by poisoning the planet while eating vegetables picked by Mexican slave labor, but what the hell, we all have faults. On the plus side, most people will be forced into a vegan lifestyle before they starve to death, so there’s something to look forward to.

    Pllot (and others) There is absolutely no reason to ever worry about misspelling my name, it’s been a lifelong occurrence and doesn’t phase me one wit. And with Planetary Death on the horizon, worrying about how my name looks to others isn’t really a concern.

  • @ Gntar Shricbnear

    I asked some beets, peppers and pitatoes about your comment, they say they look forward to eating you, when the time comes, suitably composted and garnished.
    Also some mushrooms, who were greatly indignant, insisting that all fungi belong to the Animal Kingdom, complaining they’ve been trying to tell vegetarians this for years but they don’t listen..

  • O/T I’d say Mother Nature is comfortably in the lead at the moment. Batten down the hatches!- you too, ulvfugl! Me, I’ve got my ears to the ground…listening. https://youtu.be/xPL3O7NmgpI

  • When I was a child we lived not all that far from this place. Went there once.

    Nobel Savages?

    http://history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin/

  • I had considered listening but it would be a waste of my time because I already know everything.lol
    Everyone gather round. I’ve got a choke hold on my mortality & some may enjoy watching it turn blue.

  • Coldest winter night in quite a while_ -26C. When I go out (briefly) the cold makes the end of my nose sting. Still cleaning up from the blizzard we had two days ago. The snow looks and feels like white sugar, very fine and ‘dry’. On Monday the weather makers are calling for rain and then back to deep cold. With some luck, this deep cold will knock back some of the invasive insects which have been destroying great swathes of the northern forest. The ticks in particular have been feasting on the moose population which is crashing. 3:30am and I can’t sleep.

  • Extreme hot December in Moskau and in Januar still no oldschool freezing also here in Austria and media still ignoring rising temperatures…no messages about methan bomb happening now and you can feel it! wonder how the people here in russia and europe can ignore running away climate change they are now witnessing! most people are very stuck to their hologram of reality…i think sleepwalk extinction like smith from adbuster mentioned it once will come to cruel reality! humans will go extings and most will not even recognise their death. culture did a great job. we lived in a matrix and even did not take a slight notice. i’am frustrated as a lonley campaigner here. thx for listening to me.

  • Hoo boy, Vincent, could you please translate your essay into plain English for those of us who do not speak academia-ese? I’m quite sure there is value here, but I can’t find it as I pick my way through so many words.

    Communicate. Just communicate.

    If you just listen, mostly what you hear are the sounds of man. There aren’t too many places left on earth where you can sit for 15 minutes or longer without hearing manmade noise. The infernal combustion engine is ubiquitous (oooh, how’s that for a word?!).

    Very cold here in the big mitten. Hawks are really active….both “our” Cooper’s hawk and the Sharpie have been visiting frequently.

    Guy, thanks for the essay on patriarchy. I asked, I got. Perhaps something a bit more real world?

  • Ulvfugl: Make sure the beets know that as an American, my body is soaked in flame retardants, tars, plastics, long chain molecule pharmaceutical drugs, insecticides, herbicides and a host of other toxins due to just being alive in 20th and now 21st century. As much as I’d like to compost cleanly, those days are long gone and most likely impossible to achieve no matter what one ate and where one lived. I do have a pet fungus on my left foot though. Generally speaking, we get along fine. Not sure if there are any studies of various fungi on corpses. I would hate to think my fungus friends would perish with me. Given the choice of burials, I would much rather rot in a field somewhere for insects, birds and mice to enjoy instead of being dumped into the ground but after death what happens to my body is unimportant to me. Come to think of it, not terribly concerned about my body now…

    Badlands: Is that Mother Nature we’re facing currently or Ymir, the Frost Giant? I do like these cold snaps, but then I’m prepared to stay indoors until it breaks. What really worries me isn’t the cold temps but the hot ones like Argentina, Australia and China have had recently.

  • Some may like to peruse a book titled:
    ‘The Knee of Listening’

    I’m on a walk, listening to ‘Country’, but some info just at hand about 2013 downunder here…

    ‘2013 confirmed as Australia’s hottest year on record’

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/2013-confirmed-as-australias-hottest-year-on-record-20140103-308ek.html

    Interesting video embedded by Professor Steve Sherwood at UNSW. This is still research looking at 2100 time-frames, and a little old timer thinking by NBL standards, but worth checking out all the same because it’s about different levels of cloud formation.
    One quote however from the article is:
    “Every state and the Northern Territory recorded at least their fourth warmest year by mean temperatures, underscoring the breadth of 2013’s unusual heat. By maximums, all but Victoria and Tasmania recorded their hottest years, with nationwide maximums a full 1.45 degrees above the long-term average, shattering the previous record anomaly of 1.21 degrees set in 2002…..

    Every state and the Northern Territory recorded at least their fourth warmest year by mean temperatures, underscoring the breadth of 2013’s unusual heat. By maximums, all but Victoria and Tasmania recorded their hottest years, with nationwide maximums a full 1.45 degrees above the long-term average, shattering the previous record anomaly of 1.21 degrees set in 2002…..

    ‘‘These record high temperatures for Australia in 2013 cannot be explained by natural variability alone,” Professor Karoly said. “This event could not have happened without increasing greenhouse gases, without climate change.””
    And you gotta look at the map !!!!

    http://images.smh.com.au/2014/01/03/5051120/hotfriday-620×349.jpg

    Also at the Bureau of Met.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/annual/aus/

    It all reads into the cooking pot for us all down here.

    Thanks to Guy for his support.

    A note for North Americans, there is an annual Elvis festival on in Parkes NSW, Jan 8-12th, (where the film ‘The Dish’ was made). There will be several US news crews there scanning the parade and events. My walk ends there in time to be in the parade.
    You may just see me in the crowd, after Sat 11 Jan.

    See ya’ll on the white line.
    Cheers.

  • @Trish Roberts:
    I agree with almost all of your post, but IMO veganism is more of a gesture than an answer. Especially as things stand, it is simply violence at one remove. As an illustration, do you want to source your protein from fauna directly by visiting violence on them individually, thereby ‘taking responsibility’, whatever that means, or would you rather ‘accidentally’ dismember a different collection of fauna with agricultural machinery in a soya plantation?

    I accept that that is more of an argument against industrial agriculture than it is against veganism, but one way or another, this planet invariably succeeds in making a mockery of our pretensions to ethical behaviour. I was about to suggest that the only truly ethical behaviour is self-starvation, but even that can be problematic ethically…

    One more river:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axNkMWRcrPM River’s Invitation Aretha Franklin

  • From a comment at the preceding post:

    Sorry, I’ve lost my ability to transfer celsious to Farenhite & back again

    °F=(-°Cx1.8)+32

    °C=(°F-32)/1.8

    Can you remember the last time you just listened?

    “Just listened” is incompatible with the “you”. One or the other has to be discarded.

    seven “notions” that allow a person to treat another as an object: … and denial of subjectivity.

    The entire world is a construct from the inputs of the five senses. The construct is all one knows. Consciousness is that which enables you, the reader, to be aware of these words that you are reading at this moment. It cannot be experienced by you in any other mind. You can project a constructed concept called “consciousness” onto another constructed concept called “out there” producing another constructed concept of “someone else” being “conscious”. But you do not experience that awareness yourself.

    Take inertness. If something is inert, it is reducible to its constituent parts, thereby rendered a mere mechanistic entity as opposed to a being, a legitimate ‘other’ meriting moral consideration.

    A rock exists. It is a being. Consciousness is not manifest in it, but is equally present in the rock and an awake human.

    an inert object lacks agency

    Consciousness also lacks agency. Certain configurations of matter & energy produce certain functionalities called the “mind”, which is also insentient. When illuminated by consciousness, aspects of the mind are experienced as awareness. The first of these is the “I”, which in spite of seeming real, is entirely fictitious. It is the poseur with the sense of agency.

    Why listen to others when your experience is all that matters — when your experience is all there is?

    There are two forms of experience. One is indirect experience through the inputs of physical senses, the constructs therefrom and the memories thus derived. The other is direct experience, consciousness itself, masked as the “I”: one does not any input from any of the physical senses or memory to be aware of the “I”. Realising the “I” as fictitious clears the way to direct awareness.

    how would you know that other subjective experiences exist if you don’t listen for them?

    Although consciousness illuminates the many minds, producing awareness, there is no way for one mind to experience the awareness of another. One can certainly harbour a concept of awareness in others, but that is still a concept, in the same category as the concept of a rock.

    spirit inheres in materiality

    And comes in bottles.

    “the animate terrain is not just speaking to us but also listening to us.”

    There are items like rocks that do not manifest consciousness, and are therefore inanimate. Consciousness is beyond time-space-causation: time and space are “within” it, although it has no within or without.

    to listen to the forest is also, primordially, to feel oneself listened to by the forest

    As long as there is the “oneself” the whole situation remains screwed up.

    the process of rendering a thing or being

    The rendering – the construct – is all that one knows of the world. What “out there” produced the rendering is not known.

    objects do not exist prior to the human inscription of inertness

    All that one is aware of are the constructs derived from sensory inputs and memories created therefrom. Whether objects exist or not is an inference – another construct.

    reject any interpretation of the natural world that implies sentience or an ability to communicate on the part of non-humans

    Parts seem sentient, and parts seem non-sentient. The difference is that the consciousness manifests through some and not through others.

    obtain knowledge from birds, animals, rivers, and mountains that is inaccessible to modern science

    All such knowledge, whether or not from science, is indirect knowledge, through the inputs of the senses.

    love God — and the neighbor as yourself

    The problem lies with the “yourself”. Once it is divested, there is no other: not God, nor neighbour.

    the difficult work of learning how to listen

    Listening is also indirect knowledge. The difficult work is following the direct knowledge back to its source.

    We must cultivate selflessness

    Like water must cultivate wetness.

  • @Trish Roberts

    Let’s contrast 2+ millions years of gatherer-hunter’s vs. 10,000 of agriculture and civilization. Your arguments regarding indigenous culture is frankly disingenuous and racist.

  • Grant:

    I agree with you that I would rather my corpse be left in a field somewhere for natural systems to return my body to the living earth. Instead we are embalmed with poisonous chemicals and entombed in concrete vaults. For this reason it does matter what happens after death. I strongly encourage everyone to access the Green Burial Council at http://www.greendburialcouncil.org for suggestions on making your burial as eco-friendly as possible. This is a great, free resource base.

    I now feel much better now that I have implemented the suggestions.

  • Hi Wildwoman,

    Where can I find that essay on patriarchy?

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #98

    The cacophony
    rolls by- like a wave on an
    ocean of stillness.

  • @ Wildwoman

    I guess you’re referring to THIS article? The points on patriarchy are outstanding.
    ————–

    Now and then, based on the title or the comments, I don’t feel drawn to an article. So I didn’t read this article till just now, and I skimmed considerably. Not the greatest conduct, but what’s new?

    I liked the article. If you don’t look you won’t see. If you don’t listen you won’t hear. If we take down the intellectual wall that we construct between ourselves and the phenomenal world, how would it not communicate with us? Is it chopped liver? If existence is miracle, which I believe it is, then everything is miracle, deserving of love and reverence, deserving to be embraced, as it embraces us.

    It’s worth a second read. The point regarding the silencing of the female strikes me as profound.

  • Specifically about the essay, Vincent: I have to agree with WILDWOMAN, I’m sure there is value there, but I don’t feel like doing mental gymnastics to comprehend what could be stated more clearly.
    GRANT stated it perfectly: “Again, I call for clarity. Speak, but speak honestly. Don’t try to dazzle us with your vast knowledge of key phrases that are going to appear on the mid-term exam, don’t name drop needlessly, don’t try to impress anyone with your gifts. It’s the end of the fucking world, kids. There’s absolutely no reason to inertificate anything.”
    About listening in general, KIRK H. I’m so with you: “There are a lot of people that I CAN’T listen to. I have a violent physical reaction to certain kinds of bullshit. There’s a lot of people spewing evil poison out there and if you listen, well, it can cripple you. Just look around! Way too many regular people, if they can grab your attention will try to indoctrinate you with the same carefully crafted mind control they are unknowingly sickened with by mass media. And I’m not talking about a few people here, I talking about almost everybody.”
    COYOTEYOGI: While you are freezing (where you at?) here in so.cal it’s been in the 70’s and low 80’s for the past two weeks. I’m enjoying it while I can, come summer we’ll be baking in 100-115 degree heat from July to October 🙁
    PEAKAUSTRIA: Viele grusse von einer auslandsosterreicherin die auch verzweifelt ist mit der media und mit schlafwandlern.

  • Very nice piece, Vincent Kelley.

    Yours truly is confused by the meanness on display in the comments circus. Wherefore all the complaining, one wonders. This essay seems a strange trigger for such neurotic styles.

  • I’m with you, Bob LaVelle.

  • Hi Vincent – Bet you didn’t think you were dropping your sensitive essay into a tank of carnivorous piranhas, eh? Some contemplating the near term extinction of human and perhaps all life on Earth, seem to be a little testy with any point of view that can’t reduced to that. NTE is a hard meal for anyone to digest, so you can perhaps understand why some of the diners here are a bit dyspeptic, if not also downright splenetic.

    In his book Games That People Play, Eric Berne describes several scenarios that game players consciously but mostly unconsciously seek out and enact, such as gotcha!, boy are you stupid (and it makes me really smart to spot that), I bet you don’t know what I know, which proves I’m one-up, etc. All these games only serve to make real listening and communication more difficult than it has to be. “You just don’t understand NTE as deeply as I do”, gets a little old after a while.

    On a more serious note, your piece made me think of Martin Buber’s I/Thou, and also of Derrick Jensen’s excellent book, A Language Older Than Words. I have spent sufficient extended time deep in Nature to feel the forest listening to me; thanks for reminding me of that precious experience. Your being a meditator comes through in your essay, and gives it a depth it might otherwise not have. Thanks for a thoughtful look at a basic alienating posture that separates us from each other, and indeed from all of the natural world. Denaturing nature, eh? Killing with a materialist glance…

  • Yo, Vinny…

    When I speak of “subjective experience,” I do not understand such experience to be autonomous or unconditioned by (objective) social totality, to use the language of historical materialist theorists.

    In the interest of clarity:

    1) Instead of “…I do not understand…”, try “I do not mean”.
    It’s OK to mean things, really, as long as you’re not mean to them.
    Sometimes ideas have a life of their own, but treating them as the things that they are doesn’t necessarily demean them.
    Don’t try this substitution when you mean “I do not understand demeaning of life.”
    It just upsets the tourists.

    2) So, what *do* you mean by ‘subjective experience’?
    ————————————————————–

    Vegans:

    When this creature polishes off the last available fish and starts experimenting with non-animal food sources, will it survive ?
    If so, will it still be an eagle, or, taxonomy notwithstanding, will it start being something else ?
    Why is it OK for them to eat other animals and not OK for us ?
    If brain size, then why is it OK for dolphins ?
    http://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=9u0cKF23Dfo
    —————————————————————-

    RE/DS
    1) Is there a way to paste a link to a YT clip without doing the ’embed and take up a lot of screen space once the post is published’ thing ?
    2) Is the link policy still “only one link to avoid moderation” ?

    Thanks for all your helpful work.
    —————————————————————

    Grant & ulvfugl,
    Remember, one organism’s toxin is another organism’s caviar.
    The industrial civ molecules that might have done you in may be just what the doctor ordered for a neighboring species…if not now, then maybe down the time line after one or more of Yeats’ rough beasts have been born.

    But wait ! Maybe with Pacific salmon we can now have both in one.
    (In a galaxy/epoch far away/long ago I worked in a couple salmon processing operations in Seattle.
    One had a separate working area where salmon roe was harvested and shipped back to Japan for consumption.
    I wonder if that market still exists.)

    ——————————————————————-

  • Nonhuman animals do not “give” their lives, we take them.

    In the dim beginnings of cellular biology it was not quite clear who took whom. Mitochondria (which burn energy-storing carbon compounds in oxygen to make carbon dioxide, water and energy in plant and animal cells) and chloroplasts (which capture the energy from sunshine to convert carbon dioxide and water into energy-storing carbon compounds in plant cells) are both examples of outsiders that managed to take up residence and set up shop inside cells. They did so before the cells set up communities that ultimately became “Animals and Plants ‘R Us”. Metabolic modifications make for many obligate carnivores, including the order Carnivora in the class Mammalia. Even humans over millennia have developed adaptations that make them dependent on animal protein for optimal health. This is most evident in the Aleuts/Eskimos, who had no vegetable matter in their diets until recent times.

    If we are to define “success” by the numbers of individual members of a species, those species we “befriended”, including cattle, pigs and chicken have done remarkably well. Burp.

    The Knee of Listening

    It would seem that White House interns in bygone administrations had mastered the subject matter.

  • @Robin, plus you are no doubt aware of the recent increased publicity surrounding research on the extent that “we” (humans) are ecosystems, far outnumbered by the bacteria we host (which host us?). Humans and other mammals cannot be raised in a sterile environment, without their bacterial services. Who’s zoomin’ who?

    Michael Pollan talked, in one of his books or essays about corn, I think it was “The Botany of Desire”, about how corn’s enormous evolutionary success in making itself useful to humans. Corn wins (for now) and we might lose because of that, all else being equal. Who’s zoomin’ who?

    If I kill a pig to eat it, there are many millions of seats at the table along with me. Am I feeding myself, or feeding Them? Who’s zoomin’ who?

  • @ TR

    I already know everything.

    What, you too ? We should compare notes some day, to cross check whether the everything that I know is identical to the everything that you know. I mean, could it be possible that there be two everythings ? Or even more than two ? 🙂

    @ Grant

    Yes. I think you should consider a prominent tattoo. ‘Hazardous waste. Do not approach. Alert the appropriate agency advice and disposal’.

    @ Robin Datta commenting on Vincent’s piece

    Bollox. Whatever Vincent said that might be improved upon, it made a hell of a lot more sense than that impenetrable pretentious hogwash.

    @ infanttyrone

    I was pondering the same thing re the YT links, there must be a way, Badlands seems to have accomplished it twice.

    What did you make of Plant and Zappa in the vid I posted up thread ?

    Seemed to me Zappa exuded some sinister malevolence even in his youth.

    Fwiw, I do not adhere to the ideas espoused in this article, but I found it interesting

    When does the Kali Yuga end ?

    Every one of us is passing through a predetermined cycle whose dates are unpredictable. Barring accidents, we are making our way from the Golden Age of childhood, through the bitter-sweet Silver Age of adolescence and the combative Bronze Age of maturity, to the Iron Age of decline and death. Then we may start afresh, but we certainly don’t repeat the process in reverse! Just as one can estimate someone’s life expectancy by their age, state of health, habits, etc., so one can make a guess at that of civilisations and maybe the entire human race.

    The traditional descriptions of the Kali Yuga, and especially of what Guénon in 1944 called the “Reign of Quantity,” fit the modern world perfectly, and that may give us an idea of our position in the cycle. But like an old person recovering from one close call after another, we seem to be holding on and must be grateful for each new day.

    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/12/31/kali-yuga-end/

  • I have been pondering how to respond to the latest fracas over a healthy life for humans and the planet through changing to a vegan lifestyle. Changing to a gentle approach towards other SENTIENT beings which seeks to minimize their suffering. It seems obvious, but apparently another reminder is in order… Plants are not sentient.

    As many of you know, I have been a total vegan for more than 40 years… more than 40 years since flesh or the liquid flesh of dairy crossed my lips. I am not dead (yet). It is not necessary to eat animals, nor does eating them contribute to health – quite the contrary.

    There is so much guilt, habit, misinformation, intentionally instructed confusion, and deep puerile emotional association with food and diet… that even mentioning it to people is a task which is thoroughly booby trapped with defensive aggression. (and a lot of BS) The army knows flesh consumption causes aggressive attitudes, which is why they feed ‘their’ soldiers red meat during wars.

    The whole scene reminds me of that old Camel cigarette commercial… a guy with a black eye says: “I’d rather fight than switch.” Apparently some would rather die from strokes, cancers, heart attacks, diabetes and other preventable illnesses and have a massively destructive impact on the environment than even consider switching to a healthier, happier, diet. The power of profitable mass media persuasion (propaganda), from an early age, is not to be underestimated.

    But, since I respect the intelligence of NBL readers, rather than badger folks about how they should eat so they’ll feel better… which is almost always knee-jerk counterproductive… I will simply assume that the most intelligent and open-minded here will be inspired by this conversation to start doing their own serious research – and watch the sources of the information they are looking at. All too frequently, so called ‘scientific studies’ are sponsored by the industries that stand to profit from promoting unhealthy habits. Just like the tobacco industry practices over the last 50+ years.

    Anyway, here’s an article that speaks directly to one of our most pressing concerns here – Anthropogenic Catastrophic Climate Change and how a meat based diet is the heaviest factor in it:

    How To Fight Climate Change, For Real
    Published January 2, 2014 | By Ocean Robbins
    Source with additional links

    A new study published yesterday in the journal Nature comes to the frightening conclusion that climate change is on course to be “catastrophic.”

    The study predicts enough warming to drive massive increases in starvation, poverty, war and disease, as well as the displacement of up to one billion people.

    But if we’re serious about turning this around, there is something we can do, and do now, that would make a real impact. I’m not talking about changing your light bulbs. I am talking about changing your diet.

    A 2006 report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow”, concluded that livestock production was responsible for 18% of humanity’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) — more than the entire transportation sector. Or put more simply, the FAO report determined that cows have more impact on our climate than cars.

    Then in 2009, a report published in the prestigious journal WorldWatch and written by World Bank researchers Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang made tremendous waves when it concluded that the FAO report had been way off the mark. By overlooking livestock respiration and land use impacts, as well as undercounting the enormous role of methane emissions in global warming, Goodland and Anhang’s report concluded that the FAO had grossly underestimated the real impact of livestock production. The truth, according to their report, was that livestock were responsible for more than 51% of humanity’s GHGs.

    Right now, nations around the world are arguing about how to come up with the trillions of dollars that it is believed it could take to wean humanity of its fossil fuel addiction. But as Goodland and Anhang have pointed out, the reality is that a shift in food production policy could actually save money, reduce health care costs, and improve public health — while being the smartest and fastest action we could take to reduce GHGs.

    Here’s their report (pdf), which includes their summary of recommendations: http://foodrevolution.ontraport.net/d?file_id=1697295&stamp=1388522515

    Robert Goodland passed away last week while completing his annual trek through the Himalayas. He was 74. I can think of no better way to honor his memory, and his scholarly research into one of the most important issues of our time, than to publicize his vitally important work.

    Goodland served for 23 years as lead environmental advisor to the World Bank Group, where he was dubbed the “conscience of the World Bank.” He received numerous awards, and will be sorely missed. Jeff Anhang, who continues his role as a research officer and environmental scientist for the World Bank, carries on with their mutual endeavors through research, writing, and the startup organization, Chomping Climate Change.

    Ocean Robbins is co-author of Voices of the Food Revolution, and serves as adjunct professor for Chapman University and CEO and co-host (with best-selling author John Robbins) of the 100,000+ member Food Revolution Network.

    John Robbins, Ocean’s father, was heir to the Baskin-Robbins ice cream fortune, and turned it down because he didn’t want money from causing ill health and environmental devastation.

  • Ulvfugl: No need for even more toxins to mark my already spoiled skin. My zip code, bank account, and “work” history already tattoo me as toxic waste to the American Dream’ I’ve been ripe for destruction since birth — should such an act ever be required.

    The First Rule of the Empire remains: MONEY is the only thing that matters. Without heaping amounts of cash to make you Worthy, you might as well be living in a mud hut in the boondocks of the Southwest or in a badger din out in Wales. No one cares what anyone without money has to say about anything.

    infanttyrone: How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

  • Vincent
    Remarkable job, but seems to me it is out of time.
    It is not the moment to practice philosophy at this level. It is too late, as it is too late for so many other wrong things that need to be fixed in our modern society.
    Your essay is too complex, too many words with little practical substance regarding modern times. A world where Twitter is the king, and all has to be said in 140 characters.
    More sooner than later, this society will collapse, and after that moment, there will be no time for something more complex than finding food and shelter (basic survival).

    About listening, I usually did more than just listening, I tried to understand why somebody was telling me something, the bottom reason. I mean, the reasons of why that person got to see things in some certain way, and ended with some concept.
    In the end, I got tired of listening. Because most of what I have listened is crap. People full of problems that in the very bottom are no such, or people that do not want to solve the problems. Too much about “me”, my rights, and so. Dead end.
    I decided that I will listen only to somebody that has something to say that I value.
    So listen only is not enough, and so simple.
    Listening and reading, aren´t the same thing?
    I have listened nature, and I keep doing it. There is so much to learn from nature.

    I guess all of us are objects, as all the living creatures of nature. Creatures in general term see the other creatures as objects. To be crude, it has to be such way. For the big fish, the small is an object. Otherwise, all creatures would starve to death.
    The point is that we have to accept as humans that “WE ARE” objects, objects that serve for a purpose, the survival of the community. Some are more gifted than others, and have a greater responsibility. I accept that we are no more than objects.
    I see inertification as a sub product of human ego. We pretend to be superior in a too simple way. We have not reached the wisdom to handle the power that intelligence gives us. To be gifted forces you to be very wise with your gift. Something that as we see, we have not been able to be so far. All we have done with our gift is destroy our home.

    Supremacy of men or women seems to me something that is wrong, I believe that men and women are complementary. They are different. Neither gender is technically superior to the other. They have different purposes, different roles. Patriarchy or matriarchy are both wrong. Human genders are much more. We have to accept that men and women are different, and that difference is essential to survival. The more I live, the more I am convinced that all about human genders relation in modern society is wrong. As most of what we have known as the right thing to do, and think.
    It is the problem of our society, the belief that “it is all about me”. Our enormous ego prevails over wisdom.

  • Posting as Admin

    RE/DS
    1) Is there a way to paste a link to a YT clip without doing the ‘embed and take up a lot of screen space once the post is published’ thing ?
    2) Is the link policy still “only one link to avoid moderation” -I1

    Admin Response:

    1) You could just paste in the database ID code for the Video with a link to the YT home page. EX: http://youtube.com K9O2cPRRLos. The viewer just needs to paste the ID code into the YT search box.

    2) I do not think the moderation function is set that way here. Far as I know you can drop in as many links as you want,especially if you are Registered as a User to avoid the Captcha.

    RE

  • @ Grant

    No one cares what anyone without money has to say about anything.

    But c’mon, Grant, what USE are poor people ? Push them out of their homes and let them die in the streets. Make room for some other people with some money. I mean, it makes sense, can’t you see that ? What’s the matter with you ? They are going to die anyway, sooner or later, aren’t they ? Why be sentimental about it ? I mean, money is money, everybody knows that, where would we be without it ? All very well for you to be romantic and talk about caring what they say, but if they can’t pay ? They should have thought about that before they were born, shouldn’t they…

    The problem of social housing tenants falling behind on rent will get much, much worse shortly, when the “universal credit” scheme is introduced — a massive change in the way benefits are paid that has delayed by massive IT problems.

    The hardest hit groups of tenants are elderly people and single mothers, as well as people who are too disabled to work.

    http://boingboing.net/2014/01/04/english-mega-landlord-evicts-a.html

  • @ulvfugl,

    I don’t think that is Zappa in the Plant video.
    Oh, sure, he had some serious edge pretty early and he kept it.
    But here he is in 1963, early, charming, earnest, and still very funny.

    http://youtube.com 1MewcnFl_6Y

    I think you’ll have to copy/paste the ID # as shown in RE/DS’s post above.

    But speaking of strings in rock/pop music…
    I heard a short piece on the radio a few days ago.
    It seems someone paid almost 200K USD for a notebook of Springsteen’s that included handwritten notes that became the lyrics to “Born to Run”.
    A music historian was interviewed and he provided outtake versions of
    recording sessions, one of which had a very prominent string section.
    Another alternate, unreleased version had a choir.
    Glad those versions were relegated to the eventual Big Box Sets.
    They probably wouldn’t have been the beginning of a positive feedback loop,
    spawning Mantovani Plays Black Flag or 101 Strings Play Butthole Surfers.
    That would have been The Jukebox from Hell on the Beach of Doom.
    Thankfully the suits at Bruce’s record company weren’t risk takers.
    ————————————————————————-

    @Grant,
    Yes, they will, won’t they ?

    Before “The Prisoner”, Patrick McGoohan starred in a series called “Danger Man”.
    http://youtube.com cLgNPYw9QMw

    When it was to be exported to the USA, a new name for the series was needed.
    TV suits mulled over a number of titles and almost chose “Secret Vegan Man”.
    Wiser heads prevailed when it became obvious that SVM was an oxymoron.
    But they kept the rhythm and meter, and Johnny Rivers took it to the bank.
    http://youtube.com bG0u3-Gbu88

    Full length with nice guitar work (not Johnny Rivers)
    http://youtube.com K7CigTrabuw

    Let’s see if Admin’s protocol is working.
    Thanks in advance, Admin.
    —————————————————————

    @Badlands
    I’m chasing down a lead on an alternate version of “Badlands” with accordion.
    If I locate the master tape, rest assured I’ll shred it…y’all breathe easy.
    http://youtube.com hANtM1vJvOo

    ###

  • Vincent: thanks for taking the time to compose your essay. I read it, but won’t comment as I’m more concerned with the increasing rate of collapse, disease, unusual global weather, and now (especially) Fukushima – since it looks like we won’t have to wait for 400+ plants to melt down, this one may do it all by itself!

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921014000267

    Underground Nuclear Explosion at Crippled Japan Atomic Plant Shocks World

    TEHRAN (FNA)- An edict issued from the Office of the Russian President said a series of underground nuclear explosions occurred at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Aomic plant on 31 December.

    The edict issued to all Ministries of the Russian Government ordered that all “past, present and future” information relating to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster now be rated at the highest classification level “Of Special Importance”, stressing that this condition is “immediately and urgently needed” due to a series of underground nuclear explosions occurring at this crippled atomic plant on 31 December as confirmed by the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

    [concludes with this]

    The MoD further reports that evidence that these underground nuclear explosions were about to occur began after mysterious steam plumes were first spotted on 19 December for a short period of time, then again on 24, 25, 27 December, and confirmed by a report Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) published on its website.

    Most curious to note, this report continues, is that the United States appears to have had a more advanced notice of these underground nuclear explosions as evidenced by their purchase earlier this month (6 December) of 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, to be delivered before the beginning of February 2014.

    With experts now estimating that the wave of radiation from Fukushima will be 10-times bigger than all of the radiation from the entire world’s nuclear tests throughout history combined, and with new reports stating that dangerous radiation levels have been detected in snows found in Texas, Colorado and Missouri, this MoD report warns the US, indeed, is going to face the severest consequences of this historic, and seemingly unstoppable, nuclear disaster.

    And not just to human beings either is this nuclear disaster unfolding either, this report grimly warns, but also to all biological systems as new reports coming from the United States western coastal areas are now detailing the mass deaths of seals, sea lions, polar bears, bald eagles, sea stars, turtles, king and sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies, and sardines due to Fukishima radiation.

    As to the American people being allowed to know the full and horrific mass death event now unfolding around them, this report warns, is not be as the Obama regime has, in effect, ordered all of their mainstream news media organs not to report it, and as recently confirmed by former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur who was told not to warn the public about the danger posed by the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant during his time as a host on the cable network.

    And with Russian experts now warning that as Fukushima pollution spreads all over Earth (as large amounts of fish, seaweeds, and everything in ocean has been already been polluted, and these products are the main danger for mankind as they can end up being eaten by people on a massive scale) this report warns that Putin’s order to classify all information relating to this nuclear mass death event “Of Special Importance” is vital to protect the economic and social stability interests of the Russian Federation as this global catastrophe continues to worsen by the day.

  • one more you might be interested in (the first comment hasn’t appeared yet, so I hope this one takes):

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/01/top-10-proofs-people-can-completely-manipulated-without-hypnosis.html

    Top 10 Proofs People Can Be Completely Manipulated Without Hypnosis

  • @logspirit

    “I’m not talking about changing your light bulbs. I am talking about changing your diet.”

    Again a consumer choice is touted has the solution to our problems. So we can keep doing what we are doing, but we just need to stop eating meat and all will be well (as if that is the only option). Also, I like how your n=1 experiment for diet choice must now become the diet for everyone. Let’s of course ignore everyone else who has failed on a vegan diet.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #99

    Egret soaks up noon
    sun, glowing white on the bank’s
    worn, gray mat of reeds.

  • @logspirit

    Spot on as usual.

    The Bodhi is right when he says “Chopping water, carrying wood” although you may have to live north of 45° latitude to appreciate it.

    @Vincent

    Listening is important.

    Minor Swing – Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli

  • @ U: Batten down the hatches, brother- Christine is heading your way!

  • Waited overnight…retrying now

    @ulvfugl,

    I don’t think that is Zappa in the Plant video.
    Oh, sure, he had some serious edge pretty early and he kept it.
    But here he is in 1963, early, charming, earnest, and still very funny.

    http://youtube.com 1MewcnFl_6Y

    I think you’ll have to copy/paste the ID # as shown in RE/DS’s post above.

    But speaking of strings in rock/pop music…
    I heard a short piece on the radio a few days ago.
    It seems someone paid almost 200K USD for a notebook of Springsteen’s that included handwritten notes that became the lyrics to “Born to Run”.
    A music historian was interviewed and he provided outtake versions of
    recording sessions, one of which had a very prominent string section.
    Another alternate, unreleased version had a choir.
    Glad those versions were relegated to the eventual Big Box Sets.
    They probably wouldn’t have been the beginning of a positive feedback loop,
    spawning Mantovani Plays Black Flag or 101 Strings Play Butthole Surfers.
    That would have been The Jukebox from Hell on the Beach of Doom.
    Thankfully the suits at Bruce’s record company weren’t risk takers.
    ————————————————————————-

    @Grant,
    Yes, they will, won’t they ?

    Before “The Prisoner”, Patrick McGoohan starred in a series called “Danger Man”.
    http://youtube.com cLgNPYw9QMw

    When it was to be exported to the USA, a new name for the series was needed.
    TV suits mulled over a number of titles and almost chose “Secret Vegan Man”.
    Wiser heads prevailed when it became obvious that SVM was an oxymoron.
    But they kept the rhythm and meter, and Johnny Rivers took it to the bank.
    http://youtube.com bG0u3-Gbu88

    Full length with nice guitar work (not Johnny Rivers)
    http://youtube.com K7CigTrabuw

    Let’s see if Admin’s protocol is working.
    Thanks in advance, Admin.
    —————————————————————

    @Badlands
    I’m chasing down a lead on an alternate version of “Badlands” with accordion.
    If I locate the master tape, rest assured I’ll shred it…y’all breathe easy.
    http://youtube.com hANtM1vJvOo

    ###

  • @ Denise

    Ooooh, does she know I’m looking down at her as she roars around this mountain and blows me and batters me and splashes me every time I try to peek outside ? 🙂

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=0.14,48.06,355

    They have no words in their language for “body” or for “world.” Everything is connected to everything else energetically.

    Ikpeng Shamanism

    http://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/54#.UshVwQZ0TPt.tumblr

  • Some observations on Veganism, sure to please no one, but possible practical:

    Veganism is the right practice to observe. It is kinder and gentler to animals and to the planet than other eating practices. It will take off weight and make us healthier. Not the least important in these times, it will save us money.

    But some people have tried it and concluded it didn’t work for them. Some others claim it has many downsides in how it interfaces with industrial civilization (IC), and we know that nothing interfaces well with IC. Being that we live in the age of confusion, nothing is too clear, and few behaviors call out to the people, even well intentioned ones, to subscribe to them.

    Sill, Veganism remains a fabulous beacon to guide us in a better direction. It is especially important to meat eaters who have a conscience. It confronts their practices and offers a way to modify, if not altogether eliminate, them. If we are to proceed in any way post-collapse, Veganism will be a far superior alternative to eating the pets and other humans. And even though there are few immediate *external* pressures within IC to switch to Veganism NOW, we had best start soon practicing to make the switch for when those pressures DO arrive. The more we can switch on our own, and the sooner, the less pressure from the panic-stricken and unprepared, and the more social resilience, there will be.

    Meanwhile, vegetarianism does not hold much sway with Vegan purists, but it sure looks like an improvement over the mainstream diet to me.

  • Okay, I waited all day to see if my first comment would appear. It didn’t, so here:

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921014000267

    Underground Nuclear Explosion at Crippled Japan Atomic Plant Shocks World

    TEHRAN (FNA)- An edict issued from the Office of the Russian President said a series of underground nuclear explosions occurred at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Aomic plant on 31 December.

    The edict issued to all Ministries of the Russian Government ordered that all “past, present and future” information relating to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster now be rated at the highest classification level “Of Special Importance”, stressing that this condition is “immediately and urgently needed” due to a series of underground nuclear explosions occurring at this crippled atomic plant on 31 December as confirmed by the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

    [further down the article is this conclusion]

    The MoD further reports that evidence that these underground nuclear explosions were about to occur began after mysterious steam plumes were first spotted on 19 December for a short period of time, then again on 24, 25, 27 December, and confirmed by a report Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) published on its website.

    Most curious to note, this report continues, is that the United States appears to have had a more advanced notice of these underground nuclear explosions as evidenced by their purchase earlier this month (6 December) of 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, to be delivered before the beginning of February 2014.

    With experts now estimating that the wave of radiation from Fukushima will be 10-times bigger than all of the radiation from the entire world’s nuclear tests throughout history combined, and with new reports stating that dangerous radiation levels have been detected in snows found in Texas, Colorado and Missouri, this MoD report warns the US, indeed, is going to face the severest consequences of this historic, and seemingly unstoppable, nuclear disaster.

    And not just to human beings either is this nuclear disaster unfolding either, this report grimly warns, but also to all biological systems as new reports coming from the United States western coastal areas are now detailing the mass deaths of seals, sea lions, polar bears, bald eagles, sea stars, turtles, king and sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies, and sardines due to Fukishima radiation.

    As to the American people being allowed to know the full and horrific mass death event now unfolding around them, this report warns, is not be as the Obama regime has, in effect, ordered all of their mainstream news media organs not to report it, and as recently confirmed by former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur who was told not to warn the public about the danger posed by the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant during his time as a host on the cable network.

    And with Russian experts now warning that as Fukushima pollution spreads all over Earth (as large amounts of fish, seaweeds, and everything in ocean has been already been polluted, and these products are the main danger for mankind as they can end up being eaten by people on a massive scale) this report warns that Putin’s order to classify all information relating to this nuclear mass death event “Of Special Importance” is vital to protect the economic and social stability interests of the Russian Federation as this global catastrophe continues to worsen by the day.

  • @Logspirit:

    Your capitalisation of ‘sentient’ makes me think you may have misinterpreted my post- jan. 4, 7.45am (or you may not have?)..
    I wasn’t suggesting Soya is sentient – I was thinking of the small mammals which might be ‘collateral damage’ in an industrial Soya-harvesting operation, for example? I know that’s not something to lay at the door of vegans specifically, but if you are aiming for high ethical standards it’s best to do what you can to ensure that they ain’t double-standards? Like I said, it is more the fault of industrial agriculture, which I guess does not aim for high ethical standards..

    I think we need to stay mindful of the distinction between a) The possible personal health benefits of a vegan diet, (which I don’t dispute), and b) The idea that it’s widespread adoption would be likely to lead to a decrease in aggregate animal suffering, which I’m not so sure about? Not to come across as an apologist for factory farms and battery hens and related horrors, but I suspect, (without concrete evidence) the suffering may just get distributed elsewhere- externalised to a location (further) beyond awareness of responsibility?

    In connection, your remark about the aggressive attitudes fostered by meat consumption made me wonder… who gets to define ‘malnutrition’ anyway? If I was feeling cynical I might suggest that for BAU purposes, ‘malnutrition’ is a label which can be applied whenever diet is likely to compromise continuation of a worker’s allotment of alienated labour in the service of economic growth… Not to suggest that a meatless diet is energy/nutrient deficient. fwiw I’ve been vegetarian myself for about as long as I’ve been in a position to excercise any choice in the matter.. I know there is quite some distance between vegetarianism and veganism. I’m also keenly aware that as a result of that choice, some of my ‘staples’ may be more vulnerable to supply-line failure than those of the omnivorous culture that surrounds me..
    ———————–
    @RE/DS re Video linking/embedding:

    The last time but one I posted a video, I cut/pasted the link, expecting it to appear as a link, but it appeared as an ’embed’. The last time I posted a video, I followed exactly the same procedure, and it appeared as a ‘link’….? I’m not particularly bothered by this.. just to let you know (if you didn’t already) there may still be a few glitches in the system?

  • Testing to get past the damned CAPTCHA Code

  • I’ll try again. You can monitor the radiation levels across the United States at http://radiationnetwork.com/. Great map! It’s a nationwide volunteer organization that keeps the radiation map updated. If Sorcha Faal was correct (she rarely is), the radiation levels would be near, at, or above the “alert” level, which is 100 (explained at that site). Right now, on Sunday afternoon, the west coast radiation level is very low, the highest radiation level is at Denver at 59, well below the 100 alert level.

    I no longer pay attention to anything Sorcha Faal reports.

  • RadCast is also a citizen’s network of people monitoring radiation. Today’s radcast shows highest levels at 93, right here in Western SD. Likely brought in by the jet stream and NW winds. http://radcast.org

  • Ulvfugl: Scoff all you can at a winter storm with a name, but a bigger storm is headed your way…. fans of Dylan Thomas.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/05/dylan-thomas-centenary-south-wales-prepares

  • This is the current Bill Moyers video. I got the sense that the people trying to turn North Carolina back to the bad old days are patriarchs, and that the lone woman shown supporting them is a patriarch shill. I wonder how others see this?

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-state-of-conflict-north-carolina/

  • @ Barry Curtis

    Hi, yes, agree, Sorcha Faal is fake woman’s name concealing some shitty disinformation agency, always tells lies. Not to be taken seriously, not ever worth reposting, Tom.

    That said, seems to me something happened at Fukushima and the fact that MSM say NOTHING says a LOT

    @ Grant

    Bloody poets and Thomases, Wales is full of ’em.Tourists ? Send more !
    We’ll smile and pick their pockets, as we always have, and they’ll go away happy and robbed, wishing they lived in a beautiful country like ours, and we’ll be counting their money so we can stay living here.
    We generally treat them like imbeciles, you know, the way people talk to people in wheel chairs, slowly, in a louder voice, as if they were deaf, even though they can hear perfectly well, and they are in the wheel chair because they have no legs. That sort of thing. We are particularly condescending toward Americans, who are typically very fat and dress as if this was Hawaii, with flowery shirts and straw hats and wear flip flops. We never warn them before hand that the wind usually blows at 80mph and it rains all the time and there’s 6 inches of mud everywhere and fierce dogs that bite and chase foreigners, and when they ask the way, we pretend we can’t understand any language except Welsh, and point and wave in random directions…

    Why do you mention Dylan, Grnat ? Are you intending a visit ? I could probably fix you up with a whore. Someone recommended a Miss Whiplash, in Swansea…but that was years ago, she’ll be in an old folks home by now, or a villa in Spain. Or dead from the pox. Or something.

    This video has nothing to do with anything, but I liked it…

    Oh, Vincent Kelley, do you know how to keep a silent mind so you can listen ? Breath from the belly, the diaphragm, the tanden, hara, in gaspy short jerks rather than a full complete in out breath, clears all thoughts, then slower complete breaths or half breaths there, will keep the mind still, keeping attention there, it’s the second brain in the belly, about the same intelligence as a cat or an octopus, where emotions and such like arise, an older wisdom with intuitive knowing, that can over-ride the jabbering egotistical monkey mind in the head…

    Just a handy tip, if you get weary of listening to your own mind, as I do from time to time. Mushin.

  • U, what’s with that big red spot in the cyclone that’s bearing down on ye? Could it be the Wrath of God? What a way to go, m’lad! Beats the snot out of slowly rotting away while radioactive poisons melt your gonads!

    Tom, thanks for the timely info, looks like we’re totally Fuked to beat the band! If only we had listened to the harping of the nega-toads a generation ago, maybe we could have survived. But noooooo, once the special interests manipulated the goodie-goodies into forever focusing on the pie-in-the-sky, it was game over. I’m kinda’ glad the shit eating dogs that allowed this, all the good old boys and girls, will die slowly. Sort of payback for all the positiveness they felt while they were napalmeing children in Nam. Payback! For all the little ones who had to hear the bombs get closer and closer, while the best sort of people were all busy looking on the ‘bright side of things’.

    To me, if the Antichrist is anything, it’s the collective consciousness of Christians and the other goodie-goodies that allowed all this evil to prosper. If their philosophy of life could be named, I’d call it, “Antichristism”: the ability to believe that you’re the BEST while you’re actually being the WORST!

    Anyway, Tom, I got so upset by the news that I popped open a Coke to have with dinner tonight. May as well live it up while I can! 🙂

    Thanks, Badlands for the cool Radcast site.

    Here’s to glowing in the dark! CIAO!

  • Ulvfugl,

    Interesting to hear how the Welsh treat tourists. My mom is Welsh (she came to the USA in 1962) and told me the story of some Californians asking a local in North Wales where to go for Welsh “culture.” The local replied go to Rhyl. If you know Rhyl, it’s not about Welsh culture.

  • I need help. I can’t find a reference to a, Sorha Faal, in previous posts. What is Sorha Faal and how does it’s unreliability effect a previous post?

    Thanks! 🙂

  • @ogardener
    Thanks

    @18000days
    Of course it would be better if we all grew all of our own food organically, without harming small mammals by plowing and harrowing right through them. That silly incomplete ‘argument’ to attack and close out veganism (for the profits of a few), is an old canard that I have been hearing repeated for at least the last 20 years, stated in nearly exactly the same way by people who have never met or spoken to each other… uh, can we say centrally pushed meme? I wish we would start thinking for ourselves. By the way, most of that ‘food’ grown out there on those mass factory farms is for livestock, at a loss of about 90% of the energy value when converted into the flesh that is finally consumed by humans. It would also be much better if none of that food and landscape was repeatedly drenched with tons of toxic poisons that cause cancer and other severe long lasting health impacts to us and other species. Better if the widespread use of antibiotics to artificially augment the raising of livestock, while destroying their medicinal utility, was stopped. Obviously, it would reduce the number of animals that suffered if people chose to kill and eat fewer of them. The connection between aggression caused by eating red meat and ‘malnutrition’ – is literally ‘bad nutrition’. I usually refuse to discuss these details, consider it a favor — again, do your own research! Do your own homework. Don’t be lazy and expect others to expend their time to explain it all to you. Think for yourself. Meanwhile, it doesn’t make sense to me to allow the pursuit of (impossible) perfection to become an obstacle to achieving good. These are massive concerns… the longest journey starts with the first step.

    @ mass
    I ask you kindly… Please don’t put words into my mouth! I never said “we just need to stop eating meat and all will be well”. Of course what we are facing – the miseries of the collapse of civilization and the end zone of human extinction… well, there are no easy sound bite solutions. However, given that a major portion of human induced GHGs are from raising livestock and consuming their flesh… What I am suggesting is simply that people do the research. I’m not asking anyone to take my word for it, rather to open their eyes and discover for themselves. That if they then take charge of the reins of their own lives and choose to take well proven, appropriate actions, that they can enjoy a better state of health, have less impact on the living environment and reduce suffering in general. This is a choice that does not require a political movement to alter laws or appropriate money, or the cooperation of corporations, or the permission and approval of ‘authorities’ religious or otherwise. This is a positive outcome empowering choice that ordinary people can make, immediately.

    For those who have ‘tried’ to be vegans, and then given up and returned to their former unhealthy habits… It takes time to change. It takes time for the body to rid itself of toxins that have accumulated over the years, perhaps over an entire lifetime. It takes time to start feeling better. This isn’t about instant gratification like eating a candy bar. It takes knowledge, patience, fortitude, determination, and some discipline… always keeping in sharp focus the goal of improved well being — which is the reward. Exercise is also paramount to balancing the appetite and metabolism. Proper rest is important. So to those who have ‘failed’… all I can say is study more and get a better understanding of the nutritional aspects… factors like live enzymes which are required for proper nutritional absorption, etc. And try, try again. Each step gets you a little closer to achieving real health and vitality. Of course, NTHE may make the whole effort moot. However, I encourage the practice of always getting up again, dusting yourself off, and making a fresh start. I offer you my sincere encouragement for your achievement of great vitality – and happiness.

  • @ Kirk Hamilton

    Sorcha Faal was the original source of Tom’s info re Fukushima

    @ Ken Barrows

    If you know Rhyl, it’s not about Welsh culture.

    Hi Ken, yes, I know Rhyl very well, I used to live at Colwyn Bay for a few years, and got to know the whole north coast all the way to Holyhead very well. I’d say Rhyl was a bit too much like California to be very interesting for Americans, you know, laundrettes, alcoholics, police sirens, probably best to push on into the hinterland toward somewhere like Llanberis, find the true authentic welshness, here’s a typical Welsh lassie worshipping the goddess as we do every morning and evening (weather permitting).

  • Climate Change Can Be ‘Mitigated’ By ‘Reducing Demand’ On Livestock, Scientists Say

    …for a long time, the amount of methane produced by livestock was grossly underestimated. In November, a study emerged that suggested livestock are producing about twice as much methane gas as scientists previously believed.

    Researchers note that about one-fourth of all land area on Earth is dedicated to livestock grazing. The world’s population of livestock numbers in the billions, and nearly 33 percent of all arable land is used to grow feed crops for livestock. According to the study, the global production of cattle and sheep is responsible for 19 to 48 times more greenhouse-gas emissions, based on pounds of food produced, than the global production of protein-rich plant foods like beans or soy products.

    “Because the Earth’s climate may be near a tipping point to major climate change, multiple approaches are needed for mitigation,” William Ripple, a professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University and study leader, said in a statement. “We clearly need to reduce the burning of fossil fuels to cut CO2 emissions. But that addresses only part of the problem. We also need to reduce non-CO2 greenhouse gases to lessen the likelihood of us crossing this climatic threshold.”

    Complete article with links here: http://www.ibtimes.com/climate-change-can-be-mitigated-reducing-demand-livestock-scientists-say-1526806

  • @logspirit

    Why not attack factory farming and modern industrial agriculture (they go hand in hand) as the source of GHGs? The ‘choice’ you offer is ultimately a consumer choice (an empowering individual choice!). Why not encourage people to buy from local traditional organic farms with pasture-fed animals?

    Of course the fault is not with the diet but because people did not try hard enough, they were not committed enough. Your way is the healthy way. The light has been revealed to you, thank you for sharing. Of course, a diet with animal products in not unhealthy. I respect your diet choice. Not hating, just saying.

    This is what all farms could be like, http://www.polyfacefarms.com/

  • logspirit: so if I cut down on the amount of meat I eat, I get to drive my car more, order more plastic goods from China and cut down trees in parks? It’s a win-win! Less cows, more fracking! Yippie!

    Ulvfugl: Of course, everyone knows that “Wales” was created by Terry Jones and John Cleese in a Monty Python sketch in the early 1970s. If nothing else, it is still a lot funnier than the “Shock and Awe” road show the US has been playing since the fire bombing of Tokyo in 1944.
    Nonetheless, the idea of earnest young men from Canada, France and Germany tramping about Wales looking at various spots where Dylan Thomas pissed himself and fell over covered in vomit has a high entertainment value. You should start making signs reading “Dylan Thomas Got Drunk Here” at various places. Since most Americans have no clue what poetry is and have never heard of Wales, I doubt there will be many in the Thomas Tour Bus, apart from a few who have confused him with Bob Dylan.

    It is set to be 1000 below in Chicago, the frozen corpses of dreams found on street corners and in the darkest alleys. We are urgently warned, alerted, and cautioned to stay indoors and do nothing on Monday and we’ve made plans to make sure nothing takes place. Random homeless people are being forced to freeze to death because that helps fill up newspaper inches somewhere in the back third of the paper, and there’s a lottery for which drunken young person goes out for a pack of cigarettes and isn’t found until Spring with heavy favoritism in the Irish sections of town. But all is well.

  • I accept that we are no more than objects.

    How about the “acceptor”? Is it a “what” or a “who”? A subject or an object?

    If we had not deviated in dietary habits from most of the Hominids, we wouldn’t have been around.
    The Critical Role Played by Animal Source Foods in Human (Homo) Evolution

    And in the making of human communities, the specialisation into hunters and gatherers had much to do with gender roles.

  • Good morning: it went from icy and ~ 29 degrees to 58 overnight; the fog that’s resulted is stunning – like a blanket, I can’t imagine trying to drive in this stuff. Here’s a fun read to start off your day:

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/from-onion-book-of-known-knowledge.html

    Monday, 6 January 2014

    From The Onion Book Of Known Knowledge

    Global Warming

    the Onion,

    Global Warming, gradual heating of the earth’s temperature caused largely by mankind’s emission of greenhouse gases, and a process that can only be reversed if, oops, never mind, because we actually just now passed the exact point of ever being able to undo the horrifying effects of climate change.

    According to climatologists, rising CO2 levels must be contained before it is too late, which it now is, or the world populace will experience severe food shortages, widespread drought, and the mass extinction of thousands of plant and animal species.

    (ends with)

    In order to reduce one’s own impact, experts recommend using energy-efficient products, carpooling to work, and not relying on air-conditioning so much, though they may as well recommend taking out a gun and shooting yourself in the fucking head right now, because by the time you finish reading this, any fleeting hope of somehow changing this collision course with global destruction will be forever lost, and we all need to face the fact that everyone and everything we’ve ever loved will soon be annihilated by the raging forces of nature, and that civilization itself will either be wiped out or plunged into anarchy as we all stand by helplessly, waiting to drown, die of starvation, or burn to death.

  • I remember following this story, (never to be seen in the MSM):

    and watching this movie:

  • I’m not sure what diet has to do with the topic of this essay, except that if you think plants are not sentient, you haven’t been listening to them. As one of those people whose decades-long commmitment to vegetarianism and veganism resulted in serious health problems, and who recovered by eating paleo, I am pretty sure that different people (and their intestinal flora) require different diets. Those who find others getting emotional over diet might ask themselves if they are doing anything to trigger that reaction, such as making it into a quasi-religious issue. It’s true that there’s a lot of misinformation out there; for example, the gas produced by livestock may be a factor in climate change, but it’s the result of feeding them grains, which is not their natural diet and causes them to become unhealthily fat. When we feed animals the foods they evolved on, they take things that we find indigestible (like grass) or distasteful (like worms and bugs) and turn them into high-quality protein and healthy fat. These are the only macronutrients we need to survive; ask any good nutrition textbook. We evolved our big, smarter-than-your-average-chimpanzee brains by eating meat. It is pretty ironic that, by eating meat, we became smart enough to feel guilty about doing it. Maybe eating meat makes people more aggressive, but maybe the big push for everyone to go vegan is a plot to make us easier to push around. If you want to learn more about the health aspects of this issue, I recommend Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes; Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter; and Wheat Belly, by William Davis. If you want to learn more about animals and global warming, read Michael Pollan’s books. For all other aspects, go out into the wild, be still, quiet your mind, and respectfully ask the plants to talk to you. Then listen.

  • With thanks to Vincent Kelley for his contribution, I’ve posted a new essay. It’s Jack Adam Weber’s second essay in this space, and it’s here.

  • “Capitalists, pornographers, and scientists …”

    Them scientists sumbitches is all crazy.

    Thier crazy philosophies is what is making for all the pestilence, sin, & corruption.

    Capitalists & scientists is bad terribl, but pornographers is the worsest of the worse with thier goddamn tits, asses, dongs, & tattoos everywhayah.

    Scientists with thier goddamn objectifer speariments & shid.

    JUST TAKE INERTNESS, HEY.

    “If something is inert, it is reducible to its constituent parts, thereby rendered a mere mechanistic entity as opposed to a being, a legitimate ‘other’ meriting moral consideration. For Nussbaum, an inert object lacks agency. In our context, the capacity to speak can be subsumed under the category of agency. And, as feminist legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon bluntly states, “Objects do not speak.”
    By denying the capacity for speech — which is, in essence, the refusal to listen — the objectifier silences the objectified.”

    YEAH.

    Nussbaum, Fishbane, & U. of Chicago are deep in the spirits.

    U of Chicago costs a fortune, but you have to pay big to get the inertness(es) message(s).

  • Artleads, I can assure you that Andrea Dworkin wrote in plain English. She is not hard to understand. Agree or disagree, you still understood her because she cared about communication.

    You seem to specialize in assumptions, sir. Please stop directing them at me. I would appreciate it.

    In general:

    When did thinking critically become a bad thing? I dunno, but it seems to me that the current situation calls for MORE critical thinking, not less. So does love and compassion and miracles and acceptance and all of that mean we have to switch our brains off? I don’t see criticism as negativity…..you have to CARE to engage, yes? Indifference is the worst thing.

  • Wildwoman,

    Please! I said nothing to contradict or to criticize you. In fact, it was due to your post, mentioning patriarchy, that I read the article at all. My “liking” it had nothing to do with anything you said. How strange. I’m grateful for your comment, then get told that I’m making some unjustified assumption or other.

  • thank you, Deb! 6/2014/6:36

  • @ Red Eft

    Yoordjeele’s soonee-in munya, Red Eft. Lʹesk mwīlša a hu ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelta

    @ Gnart Scehrinb

    ..everyone knows that “Wales” was created by Terry Jones and John Cleese in a Monty Python sketch in the early 1970s.

    Naah, I checked the wiki page you’re WRONG, as usual, Gnrat, you’re thinking of BRAZIL, which wasn’t even on the map when the world was mapped, so it couldn’t have existed, could it, until it was invented by Gillima, and it’s a well known fact that it was Cameron’s favourite dvd when his daddy gave it to him for Xmas when he was five and he told his bestest friend Osborn that when he grew up to be big and had his own bank and his own country he was going to make it just like in the Brazil dvd, and, call me fucking Nostradamus if you like but Lo, It Has Come To Pass…

    And if you think I sound pissed off, Gtanr, you are right, because I am listening to the sound of water, dripping, dripping, dripping, into my house, into various receptacles that I have placed to catch the dripping, that I have to empty from time to time, and it’s sort of gloomy and gollumish, so I watch this to cheer me up.. Of course, in Cheekargoo, they’d freeze and form stalactites and stalagmites and you’d boast that you had the biggest and charge people to admire them…

    https://youtu.be/FRRS7Ak4xlg

  • @ mass
    You ask: “Why not attack factory farming and modern industrial agriculture (they go hand in hand) as the source of GHGs? The ‘choice’ you offer is ultimately a consumer choice (an empowering individual choice!). Why not encourage people to buy from local traditional organic farms with pasture-fed animals?”

    Because ‘pasture-fed’ is just as bad for human health and only insignificantly less damaging to the environment. Think of all the natural ecology, all the other species, that have been destroyed and replaced with ‘pasture’. That ‘pasture’ covers about 33% of the Earths land surface these days. A major driving factor in the 6th Great Mass Extinction. Don’t be deluded, or connived into thinking that eating flesh by any other name is good for you or the ecosystem. It just isn’t.

    The choices that consumers make drive the whole system. The corporations can’t sell things that people don’t buy. It is time to start taking responsibility for choices and actions that are within our own jurisdiction. I know that the system is dominated by control freaks at the top… and that a lot of the problems we have are beyond the scope of ordinary disempowered individuals to deal with. That is why I particularly emphasize the power that ordinary individuals still have – which is to choose what they buy and eat. And as I have documented, the human herd eating livestock, any livestock, is a major cause of Catastrophic Climate Change. The choice, my friend, is yours.

    @ Grant Schreiber
    Really? Who would give you permission to do that? Oh… forgot… in this society nobody needs approval to mess things up. Yup, we’re all encouraged to be hell bent on self/other destruction. So profitable. So win-win. Until lose-lose. I realize that you were just being tongue-in-cheek… Hey, I’m also skeptical on the likelihood that the masses of humanity will go positive and affirm life… or I wouldn’t be at NBL. I just want to point out that perhaps the most powerful means of resistance is our choice of food. We don’t have to buy into the Death Culture.

    @ She who didn’t have the courtesy to mention my name:
    Your ‘pretty sure’ references to those who promote the flesh eating lifestyle… is like referring to the fossil fuel industry about the implications of their products on Catastrophic Climate Change. Look further. Venture a peek beyond your zone.

  • Erm, re personal views on the stuff we put into our mouths, dare I venture an opinion ? I know this is a minefield, but here is NBL where we have a tradition of knife fights and walking people to the gallows (e.g.me) and despite Guy’s appeals for kindness, some issues have to be sorted by giving them a vigorous kicking because that’s the only way to find out what’s hiding inside. If anything.

    So here’s my take.

    First, this is all self-indulgent bullshit and fussing by rich privileged bourgeois educated people, when there’s around a billion who are seriously hungry and malnourished ALL THE TIME, and will devour anything edible they can get their hands around.

    Second, the premise of this blog, is that we get NTE. It’s not going to make any difference what you eat. The mass extinction event is still going to roll out whether anybody likes it or not, because the stupid fuckers are not going to stop doing what they are doing, and the climate is ALREADY wrecked and cannot be retrieved and the positive feedbacks have ALREADY kicked in and cannot be reversed.

    That said, the second premise of NBL is that, the first premise does not mean that we all commit suicide or that we sit around being miserable.
    Well, I can’t say that, can I, I can only speak for myself, but for me, it means living with the fullest possible realisation of this reality, which means being intensely ALIVE, and fighting like hell, just for the fun of it, because…why not ? Fuck it. If you want to be dead, go and be dead. You will be, soon enough, no doubt. I’m not quite dead. Yet.

    So, while alive, we have to eat… to remain alive…

    Thoughtful people have been considering the issues.

    There’s the

    Freedom argument, my body, my right to put into whatever I want to put. I used to think that this one took precedence. Kinda like everyone’s right to dance around swinging a frying pan. Your right to do that stops when the frying pan starts getting close to my head. Then my right to jump up and grab your arm and take it off you you prevails.
    If you don’t like that, and if you want fight me over holding the frying pan, yeah, then we’re into fisticuffs, or aikido or calling the cops or swords, Colt .45s, the funeral director, etc.

    But I’m beginning to think it’s not so simple any more. Because if you’re beating your kid, or your dog, to death next door, that is not your right to do, I have an obligation to intervene. If I just stand by and watch someone drown, when I could throw a lifeline, I’ve forfeited my fundamental humanity and moral standing as a full man (or woman).

    And if that’s correct reasoning, what about if you over there next door, are killing my planet ? By driving your SUV and burning your fossil fuel and eating your intensive industrial factory farmed feedlot beef that’s inflicting the most monstrous cruelty ? Maybe I’ve a moral obligation, a duty, to go and intervene ? Self -defence ? How far does that extend ? Suddenly I’m into D. Jensen territory, and Lierre Keith territory, and the story that L K got pied in the face with pepper pies and death threated by vegans, for stopping being a vegan… or something…

    Evolution argument, we evolved with a system designed for certain foods.
    Seems to me this is highly technical. The one vegan guy -whose name momentarily escapes me- argued that our large brains could only have evolved on a diet of forest fruits, not meat. Seems the time line matters there, because the date he mentioned was all wrong, by my memory.
    Also the gut microbia. Also the fact that we have changed genetically, to be able to digest dairy products and alcohol. Not sure how much weight this argument should be given, under the circumstances.

    Save the planet argument, some foods cause more harm than others, methane, whatever.
    This is tricky, because here, on NBL, there is the view that the only way to ‘save the planet’ is to crash industrial civilisation immediately. This conflicts with many other ‘green’ folks who are desperate to ‘save’ civilisation, and several voices on this blog, e.g. Artleads, who are basically clueless, don’t understand the issues and argue for both at the same time.

    The only comprehensive and properly thought out global food policy that I know of is that of Colin Tudge, which incorporates meat and grazing animals, and which, personally, I’d argue strongly in favour of.

    Health argument, we feel better, are nicer, less aggressive, sexier, whatever.
    I think this links back to the freedom argument. If someone wants to live on chocolate and cocaine, that is their right and their business, and if they think they feel great or they think they feel dreadful from eating certain stuff, I don’t really think it’s my business to tell them what they should do, unless they consult me for advice.

    Compassion for sentient beings argument, and how far that extends.
    I feel very strongly indeed about this. The way that animals are treated, historically and worldwide, is, mostly, an absolute crime and an outrage and if I had my way, much of what occurs would be made illegal immediately and any infringements punished with utmost severity.
    I mean that. Under my aegis an adult who raped a child would be hanged, and anyone who tortured an animal, likewise. However, you may be surprised, I am not against farming domesticated animals, nor killing them to eat them.

    Other arguments I havn’t thought of.

    There are probably plenty..

  • @logspirit

    “Because ‘pasture-fed’ is just as bad for human health and only insignificantly less damaging to the environment. Think of all the natural ecology, all the other species, that have been destroyed and replaced with ‘pasture’. That ‘pasture’ covers about 33% of the Earths land surface these days.”

    This is absolutely untrue. Your arguments are ideological in nature and not fact based. I will not argue weather eating meat (never mind factory farmed grain fed vs. pasture, ie. grass fed!) is healthy or unhealthy. But are you seriously saying that 33% of the earth is pasture?

    Again the ‘choice’ you offer is absurd and only make sense withing the logic of industrial agriculture.

  • Other arguments I havn’t thought of.

    There are probably plenty.

    As many arguments as there are fish in the sea. Oops.

    My wife and I were walking home the other night, talking about asceticism, as one does, and she brought up Simone Weil. She said she’d read recently that Weil had had a reputation for denying herself much pleasure, but in a way that lacked grace. On a visit with some friends, she had refused the bed that had been offered to her, choosing instead to sleep on the floor, as was her custom. She also wouldn’t eat this, that or the other thing.

    Those poor friends, I thought, surely regretted their generosity. I asked my wife, “Have you read Orwell’s essay Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool?” She said she had not. I said, well, you know Tolstoy famously, like Weil, embraced a vigorous form of Christianity. Then he renounced his aristocratic privilege, gave away all his possessions, and took a vow of poverty. Orwell’s verdict was damning. Tolstoy, he said, had not given up power, but had chosen instead a “roundabout” way of acquiring it.

    I wouldn’t call this a particularly piercing insight, but perhaps it really is that obvious.

  • Hmm.

    I suppose Tolstoy would be long forgotten if he’d remained a typical Russian nobleman.

    However, did he do those things because he sought power ? I don’t know.
    The Buddha and Gandhi did much the same. I suppose all three could have avoided fame and remained obscure, powerless and unknown if they’d made just a trifling bit of an effort to do so 🙂
    But then so could Orwell.

    I see Nick Griffin has been declared bankrupt. I’d say he had, or has, the typical ‘will to power’. It must be confounded by bankruptcy, I’d guess. Perhaps a ploy by his adversaries. Or a plot by rivals. Is he not financially astute ? He’s an MEP, I’d have thought that covered basic costs of living plus a bit left over…

    These people probably have more arguments than I can shake a stick at.

    http://www.animalliberationfront.com/

    Are there still fish in the sea ? Jelly fish ? You have the luxury of a wife, Martin ? Do you sleep on the floor and let her sleep in the bed, or vice versa, or take it in turns ? Sorry, I shouldn’t intrude, you see what a rude uncouth fellow I am, and my prose style… what would Orwell say.. not to mention Tolstoy… didn’t all his papers get burned by his careless relative in mid Wales in a fire accident ?

  • @ mass
    From the report which I quoted above, which obviously you didn’t read: “nearly 33 percent of all arable land is used to grow feed crops for livestock”. Argue with them. Redefining a diverse wilderness as ‘pasture’ and turning it into an ecologically short circuited atrocity of mass extinction… for the profit of a few and the ‘pleasure’ of misinformed and ever more frequent morbidly obese humans, is insidious – and suicidal. Believe the corporate lies and ignore the facts at your peril. Go ahead, placate yourself with pre-manufactured neatly packaged fantasies, and be duped right into your own demise. Just don’t ever say I didn’t warn you. And for those who wonder why I say we’re doomed… isn’t it obvious?

  • @logspirit

    “Redefining a diverse wilderness as ‘pasture’ and turning it into an ecologically short circuited atrocity of mass extinction”

    Again you are misrepresenting facts to suit your ideological agenda and completely ignore what I have written all along. That previous “diverse wilderness” is a vast mono crop plantation of wheat, corn, soy (annuals), which are vegan staples. Because of the vast surplus industrial agriculture produces it becomes feasible to put animals in cities (aka. Factory Farms), since they are no longer needed in traditional farming, which has become non-existent.

  • “The Poetics of Space (French: La Poétique de l’Espace) is a 1958 book by Gaston Bachelard.

    Bachelard applies the method of phenomenology to architecture basing his analysis not on purported origins (as was the trend in enlightenment thinking about architecture) but on lived experience of architecture. He is thus led to consider spatial types such as the attic, the cellar, drawers and the like. This book implicitly urges architects to base their work on the experiences it will engender rather than on abstract rationales that may or may not affect viewers and users of architecture. It is about the architecture of the imagination.

    Sometimes the house of the future is better built, lighter and larger than all the houses of the past, so that the image of the dream house is opposed to that of the childhood home…. Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it. For a house that was final, one that stood in symmetrical relation to the house we were born in, would lead to thoughts—serious, sad thoughts—and not to dreams. It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality.

    —Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space”

  • @ mass
    If you really think that before the advent of humans there was “a vast mono crop plantation of wheat, corn, soy”… Then there is no point in attempting to discuss anything with you. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. The natural world has been devastated, and put into a mass extinction (which will include us) especially by the displacement tactics of humans… aka habitat loss via the artificial raising of livestock. Alteration of the atmosphere, oceans and lands with toxic pollutants, agricultural pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers… to feed livestock… are also pertinent… Go ahead, deny it, and the whole world will see your willfully blind ignorance. Who are you anyway, and why did you suddenly appear in this discussion?

  • @logspirit

    “If you really think that before the advent of humans there was “a vast mono crop plantation of wheat, corn, soy”… Then there is no point in attempting to discuss anything with you.”

    Are you serious? That is not what I said.

    “Then there is no point in attempting to discuss anything with you. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.”

    So industrial agriculture producing mono crops of wheat, corn, and soy is not a fact? All the things you describe are from industrial agricultural, including factor farming. So to say habitat loss is from raising livestock, really means, we mono crop wheat, soy, and corn, to feed livestock in factory farms.

    I simply have said again and again that we have other options besides, as consumers not buying meat, and that a diet change will not get rid of industrial agriculture.

  • @ ulvfugl,

    We Westerners focus on a personality and try to hang everything on it. Tolstoy was fooling himself or he wasn’t, and a man’s actions, whether of commission or omission, are what matters. Or so we think. Of course it’s fatuous to say that Tolstoy was a power-mad friar. No doubt I did a grave injustice to Orwell’s essay. His point was that Tolstoy’s bitterness at what life dealt him after, and as a consequence of, his act of renunciation, reveals that Tolstoy’s heart wasn’t in it. It was theatre. But the one word I remembered from the essay, which I put in quotes, “roundabout,” suggesting the cyclical, is perhaps a better hook on which to hang an argument.

    I was thinking of introducing logspirit to William Irwin Thompson, went to his blog, and read this:

    Long ago Gautama looked at his wife and child in the palace, saw that the wheel of life turned, but did not spiral up to another level, and decided he wanted off. He became a mendicant, overcame Mara the temptress, and was hailed as Buddha, the Enlightened one.

    But Mara had her revenge by turning Buddha into Buddhism–a new and more enticing form in which the followers could be caught on the wheel again with the temptations of religion with all its worldly possessions of temples and monasteries and all its attractive ornaments of incense and robes and the arrogance and pride that stick to the hierarchies of the spiritually perfected as barnacles to a great whale.

  • @ Martin

    I have not read Orwell’s essay on Tolstoy. I have read quite a lot by both.

    I’ve been reading so much in the last few days. How does one frame anything ?

    Stories..

    I think that is a very different take on Gautama than the one I have in my head, which would be that he grew up and lived in extreme pampered luxury… ventured out, saw the rest of the world was very different, poverty, suffering, death, disease, and so decided there was a problem, a question, that he must address…

    I don’t see Mara as female, or a temptress, and I don’t see him ‘hailed as the Buddha’, it just meant that he had found what the sought, the insight, the answer, his enlightenment, it means the enlightened, the awakened one.

    He had a choice, whether to keep the knowledge to himself, or to share it with others. He thought of those he’d met previously who were sincere seekers and thought he needed, was obligated, to tell them, so he became a teacher, and I suppose one thing lead to another.

    If people gather together to learn, then somebody has to cook and somebody has to look after children and somebody has to organise sleeping arrangements..etc.

    People are grateful. They bring gifts. They die and leave their property to the monks. It’s like a snowball effect.

    Pat O’Leary said he admired my crazy wisdom. Sometimes. I quoted the story of the famous crazy wisdom guru whose teaching was to roll huge boulders down the mountainside whenever anybody came near his cave, so that they would run away in terror.

    Do you see why he did this ?

    To prevent barnacles sticking to the whale.

    A zen master sent me gifts today. I have written a thankyou letter.

    Have you read the Picatrix ? A treatise on the invocation of demons.

    I think it is relatively easy to be spiritually perfected. People like mike k and Robin Datta make it hard for themselves. I also think it is easy to invoke demons. And the many other ‘thingees’ that can inhabit a human form.

    When I look at a human form, in my presence, I see it is inhabited, animated, moment to moment, by transitory presences, of various qualities.

    I have an expertise in this area. I have refined my expertise and taken it to the highest order that is achievable. I live on the Mount of Angels.

    It is said that Crowley opened his inner self and invited in demons of various natures. Years ago, before I lived here, I had a lot of trouble with all kinds of stuff like that. I shan’t go into it, it would take too long to explain. I have a very simple answer, which takes care of the whole matter, and resolves everything, although I shan’t talk about that either.

    I found this interesting, re Devills, Ellevs, Firadrakes 🙂

    http://www.academia.edu/3127796/Devills_Ellevs_or_Firadrakes_Genius_Loci_Magical_Technologies_and_the_Occult_Philosophy_of_Landscape

  • @ Ulvfugl

    A quick note of thanks. I read the article. Enjoyable, dense, particularly at the end. I am nonplussed at exactly how digital media, digital daemons, “impress” upon the soul. His clever faux-woodcut illustration (Fig. 8) is, I think, pure make-believe.

    and reified through the mediation of ‘enchanted’ technologies.

    I’ll settle for The Funeral of Phocion, thank-you. Or this by Monsù Desidereo.

    It so happens I am reading Lon Milo Duquette’s Low Magick: It’s All In Your Head; You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is

    Now that I think about it, I suppose magic IS reification.

    When I look at a human form, in my presence, I see it is inhabited, animated, moment to moment, by transitory presences, of various qualities.

    Genuinely, genuinely scary.

  • @ Ulvfugl

    A quick note of thanks. I read the article. Enjoyable, dense, particularly at the end. I am nonplussed at exactly how digital media, digital daemons, “impress” upon the soul. His clever faux-woodcut illustration (Fig. 8) is, I think, pure make-believe.

    and reified through the mediation of ‘enchanted’ technologies.

    I’ll settle for The Funeral of Phocion, thank-you. Or this by Monsù Desidereo.

    It so happens I am reading Lon Milo Duquette’s Low Magick: It’s All In Your Head; You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is

    Now that I think about it, I suppose magic IS reification.

    When I look at a human form, in my presence, I see it is inhabited, animated, moment to moment, by transitory presences, of various qualities.

    Did a bomb just go off in my head?

  • @ mass
    You still have not identified yourself, or why you suddenly appeared out of the blue just for this particular discussion. You seem to be intentionally refusing to acknowledge the most obvious facts, or you are quite thick… or both. Like a troll.

    Redefining, reallocating land that was diverse and wild, as ‘green pasture’ so that the denuded spectacle is hidden, ignored, unnoticed, swept under the rug, the change denied, attention redirected… is a sickening, brazen defense of ecocide. It isn’t a dam ‘pasture’ – it was natural land and environment that’s been raped into ‘pasture’ posture.

    Reduced. Simplified. Exploited. Withered. Wasted. Habitat destroyed. Fatally wounded. Rendered into pet food, obesity, and mass extinction.

    If you refuse to see that, then you are a hopelessly addicted fool… or a despicable mercenary. I’m beginning to comprehend why you supposedly ‘failed’ at a vegan diet… if you ever actually tried it. At first I gave you the benefit of the doubt… perhaps you were simply being duped by powerful forces beyond your imagination… however, I am getting the unhappy realization that you are probably just a spinner of perception.

    This isn’t about monocropping or factory farming, bad as they are. It is about a severely damaging flesh eating habit that you refuse to acknowledge. Like all other addicts, you’re trapped in the blinders of your own denial… with the encouragement of the bloody flesh dealers. Or perhaps you are a bloody flesh dealer?

    Who are you and why are you here? What is your perspective on NTHE?

  • @logspirit

    What does it matter why I am here. I disagree with you, what’s the big deal? I am not the one making ad hominem attacks or telling people what to-do. I am happy to discuss industrial agriculture in an objective manner. I agree with this statement from Jared Diamond that agriculture is “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race”. It’s not about taking a meat-eating vs vegan side, but getting to the very cause of NTE, civilization and technology, which have their origin in agriculture.