Susan's Musings

These musings—blog entries—are for the year 2012. Other years can be accessed from the blog's home page, use the link in the upper right.

In plain sight
Continuing my thoughts on men as shooters . . . The Alternet article says that men, especially white middle class men, are socialized to feel entitled to financial success and power, are socialized to disvalue compassion and empathy, and are socialized to see violence as a natural response and perhaps even a right to protest perceived slights and misuse. And that because of this being violent with guns is a natural extension of their masculinity.

Gun control cannot begin to affect the male self-images that are apparently behind the shooters.

Is this yet another central issue that we lack the will to address? How can we—meaning of course white men—admit our use of war, militarism, emphasis on self-sufficiency, self-made, and rugged individualism has backfired in this way? And then take real steps to counter it? (12-21-2012)

Finally, men
Last Friday a man shot 27 people in CT. The news focused on the dead, their families, the town, the gun. But not the shooter as a man. What is there about men that makes them killers? Is it any surprise that in our culture, in which women are second-class citizens in the Republican Party (suitable only for being told what they may and may not do with their own bodies), that the sex of the people who perpetrate horrific actions are ignored? Alternet has an interesting article "What is it about men that they're committing these horrible massacres?" (12-19-2012)
Meltdown in Simi Hills, CA
Did you know? Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Simi Hills, Ventura County operated at least 10 nuclear reactors including the first commercial nuclear power plant in the US. On July 14, 1959, the site suffered a partial nuclear meltdown that has been named "the worst in U.S. history", releasing an undisclosed amount of radiation, but thought to be much more than the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979.

There is an article in todayís Los Angeles Times about it, there are still many radioactive hot spots (no surprise, these are not going to go away on their own). The EPA recently spent three years surveying the site preparatory to "clean up." Wikipedia has a good article. (12-17-2012)

What you get with industrial pork
Another entry for the foodies. "Resistant Bacteria in Pork — And Problematic Pharmaceuticals Too" by Maryn McKenna in Wired magazine. (11-28-2012)
Criticism of Israel now a crime in California
HR 35 from August 2012. Freedom of speech abridged when it offends the foreign state of Israel. Way to go. This is a violation of our American Constitution. Our tax dollars at work solving real problems. Jared Huffman signed on to this, he will be hearing from me. (11-27-2012)
A day from the top of Mt. Tam
The highest point in Marin County, CA is Mount Tamalpais, known locally as Mt. Tam. It is surrounded by the undeveloped lands of the Marin Municipal Water District. The top of the mountain is a state park. The views from the top are not to be missed. Recently a volunteer fireman made a video of his time as a lookout on the East Peak that reminds me (as if I needed reminding) of how beautiful it is here. (11-17-2012)
Centrifugal force
It seems as if the number of countries considering or already involved in fracturing themselves into smaller homogenous states is increasing. Now Catalonia in Spain is talking about independence. And in Belgium, Flanders and Wallonia are facing off. In some countries the split is economic: the richer group no longer wants to help the poorer group. In other countries the split is religious or tribal: different religious/tribal factions want to withdraw by themselves.

What these have in common is the loss of cohesiveness, of an all-for-one-and-one-for-all commitment. Instead they want to take their toys home and not share.

One likely outcome is that after the separation one country will look at its neighbor, the ex-relative, and say they have something I want and Iím going to take it by force. The squabbling so familiar to parents of young children will manifest between countries as war.

Why cannot we all just get along? Because the haves do not want to share with the have-nots and/or groups are tired of negotiating with each other. Itís happening in America. (10-29-2012)

The real Obama
"When Americans Saw the Real Obama" is an article by Peggy Noonan published 10-26-2012 in the Wall Street Journal.
Which gets us to Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics," published last month. The portrait it contains of Mr. Obama—of a president who is at once over his head, out of his depth and wholly unaware of the fact—hasn't received the attention it deserves. Throughout the book, which is a journalistic history of the president's key economic negotiations with Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama is portrayed as having the appearance and presentation of an academic or intellectual while being strangely clueless in his reading of political situations and dynamics. He is bad at negotiating—in fact doesn't know how. His confidence is consistently greater than his acumen, his arrogance greater than his grasp. (10-29-2012)
Elections my way
Iíve been thinking of how I approach elections. First I ask myself what matters to me personally. Todayís answers are: a steady well-paying job, natural foods and remedies I can choose to stay healthy, a way to save for retirement involving real interest, a way to protect my retirement savings, an affordable medical system, affordable high-speed internet access. And then I want a healthy environment capable of supporting healthy people, animals, and plants (which includes pure air and water) and ways for aiding those in need.

Only after working out my needs will I study the campaign promises of the candidates. Sadly the 2012 Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have not talked about any of these matters.

I am convinced Obama has no interest in or no capacity for addressing the economic problems as experienced by me. There is certainly no evidence in the last four years. I am equally convinced that Romney knows little or cares little about the economic situation that caused and perpetuates the loss of jobs, especially the loss of well-paying jobs. Both seem to be cheerleaders for capitalism without a clue that it is antithetical to democracy (but hey, they only pay lip service to democracy) and in its current state will not be getting robust and healthy for the working class multitudes in my lifetime. Obamaís FDA is determined to deny me healthy natural foods and remedies. The focus on preserving bankers and Wall Street at all costs means that my retirement savings are toast. The inability and/or unwillingness of either candidate to create an affordable medical system is another black mark. Etc.

These guys are embarrassing.

What can I conclude? That the so-called old fashioned independence and rugged individualism so praised by politicians who want to cut programs and leave me to fend for myself are going to be sorely pressed to enable me to live healthy in the middle class. I can expect no help from politicians, only continued threats to what makes my life worthwhile. Thanks guys. Oh, and I get to pay your salaries and benefits. Lucky me. (10-26-2012)

Political contributions unveiled
There is a website that presents the amounts of contributions received by politicians: Wired's campaign widget. Too cool. Find out how much each one has received. Finally! A tool for the cynic. (10-24-2012)
Politicians' concern for rights of fetus trump those of the mother
So, women are forced to carry an unwanted fetus to term and then raise it — with no help, financial or otherwise. Should the child be difficult or worse, it will be up to the mom to cope, you can be sure there will be no government assistance. And they call it family values! I call it shameful. Perhaps this is just another potential customer for the prison industry. (10-24-2012)
Cute kitty video
This is a short video of a cat presumably in Japan (based on the name). You know I do not normally pass these on, but now that I am down to one cat, perhaps I am more susceptible to these cute videos. It's not that the kitty itself is cute, but how she (?) behaves. Now that Blondie is 17 she no longer does these sorts of things. I miss it! (10-22-2012)
Federal study on farm practices shows better yields, less herbicides, more jobs, stable profits
"Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health" is a research article on PLOS One published 10-10-2012. I learned about this study from Mark Bittmanís article in the New York Times today. He noted that "the journals Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences all turned down the study." Bittman also contacted the USDA who declined to comment. I can imagine the corporate resistance which will deny the benefits and/or claim they are too difficult to achieve. What the study proved is that intelligent farmers can do better than industrial managers. Way to go! (10-19-2012)
Halogen torchieres
I do not want to live without halogen torchieres! The quality and quantity of light is superb. I have had several in my home since 2001 when I bought three, inexpensively ($20!) at OSH, to provide generous and general illumination in my living room, office, and bedroom. Mine were 300 watts with about 5000 lumens of light—perfection! And then they died one by one, mostly the victim of poor quality dimmer switches. Unfortunately, these torchieres are no longer available. Yes, I can—and did—replace one with a $600 Italian number, beautiful but oh the price! But there is hope! I found an amazing blog with lots of detailed suggestions for re-engineering broken lamps at "Whither the Halogen Torchiere" a blog started in 2006 and very well attended since then. It makes me realize I am not alone in my preferences—and provides solutions. Just in time! BTW, I found the blog compelling, I've spent the last 8 hours reading it! (10-13-2012)
So, what is a debate?
1. a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints: a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
2. a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.
I listened to the first third or so of Tuesdayís "presidential debate." I did not hear much debating going on. Both speakers relied on imprecision and repeating themselves. The actual details of how their plans differ from each otherís were noticeably missing. Consequently neither man actually rebutted the other or disproved the other. High schoolers could have performed better. "Romney told 27 myths 38 minutes during debate". Why is it that Alternet can debate but Obama cannot? (10-5-2012)
Matt Taibbi's succinct commentary
Think about it. Four years ago, we had an economic crash that wiped out somewhere between a quarter to 40% of the world's wealth, depending on whom you believe. The crash was caused by an utterly disgusting and irresponsible class of Wall Street paper-pushers who loaded the world up with deadly leverage in pursuit of their own bonuses, then ran screaming to the government for a handout (and got it) the instant it all went south. "This presidential race should never have been this close". (9-25-2012)
au revoir Endeavor, nostalgia c'est moi
Please allow me to indulge in a bit of rhetoric: I built the space shuttle.

I got almost teary-eyed this morning looking in vain to see the Endeavor on its sight-seeing tour over San Francisco. I tried to distract myself with doubts about what would be visible, after all the shuttle would be piggy back on a 747, like a child in a back pack worn by a tall burly man.

Okay, the truth is that I helped build the parts database for the space shuttle. (9-8-2012)

Is organic food more nutritious?
Stanford University finds no difference in nutrition of organic foods. A news story on the site of the Stanford School of Medicine introduces the study and its finding. That study concluded "no." How did they do that? I have read several analyses of the nutrient content of organic foods where the nutrients were different, greater, than in industrial versions.

Just think of the biology, how nutrients appear in a carrot, for example. And how the concern about depleted soils is connected. My science classes taught me that just as energy is conserved, so is matter (and this is a highly concentrated expression). What this means for food stuffs is that carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals do not form in a carrot in a vacuum. The raw ingredients have to be present in the soil and the sun has to be able to enable photosynthesis and other metabolic processes. A carrot grown in the dark has less nutrients than one grown in sunlight. A carrot grown in depleted soil has less nutrients than one grown in organically enriched soil.

This explanation is consistent with why wine made from the same grape varietal but grown in different terroirs tastes so different.

Software folks are familiar with the concept of GIGO — garbage in, garbage out. That is not a bad analogy for food. Food grown in depleted soils with artificial fertilizers and herbicides (garbage in) is akin to garbage (out).

I choose to eat organic food, not to be elite (as a New York Times writer asserted recently), but to maximize my health: I need all the nutrients I can get while avoiding industrial poisons. I make the trade-off to pay the premium by forgoing an iPhone, an iPad, and television service.

And while you are considering the extra cost of organic food, consider the real possibility of lowering your medical bills because you will be healthier. (9-8-2012)

Bertrand Russell's explanation
"Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do."
There are more quotations in this vein at Quotations Page (9-1-2012)
Congress, do your job
The people elected Obama to the Presidency. They also elected the various Congress people. Each electee has a job to do outlined by the Constitution. In no place is it written that Congress people should devote their public activities to unseat an elected President or negate the President's actions at every turn. And yet that is what is happening now and has been happening since shortly after Obama assumed office. This devotion to a political party is at the expense of the public and, by extension, at the expense of America. It is simply unpatriotic. (8-29-2012)
Gaultier at the de Young Museum
In April I attended an exhibit of the work of fashion designer Gaultier at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. This, my first review of a museum exhibit, was prompted by an editorial in the May 2012 San Francisco magazine. Many things caught my attention, the standouts were the manikins and the clothes, in that order. I couldn't miss the manikins, one talked to me as I entered while its eyes and mouth moved so realistically I stared for long minutes. When I could drag my eyes away I saw most of the other manikins in this group also moved their eyes and mouths.

Were they mimes or manikins? Definitely the latter. The speaking part wasn't strange, but how did they achieve those realistic facial expressions? I figured it out before continuing through the exhibit: the expressions were projected by a large device suspended from the ceiling, one per manikin. I guess the expressions were moving images photographed of live models while the projector blocked all parts of the image except the eyes and mouth. That's art!

As a fan of fashion and a reader of fashion magazines I've been aware of Gaultier through the years. But was unaware of the body of his work. The clothes I saw at this exhibit were stunning. A lifetime fascination with the corset was well illustrated. By the end of the exhibit I was exhausted by so much standing and visual overload.

I remain in awe of Gaultier's energy, imagination, and firm grip on his inner muse.

And I want a facial projector at home to wow my guests! (8-17-2012)

Obama provides secret American aid to Syriaís rebel forces
How does this happen? On what grounds does he have the authority to do this? Why would the CIA respond? Do they care nothing for legality? Oh, what is legality? (8-13-2012)
From the archives
While cleaning out my files, I found this from a Feb. 18, 1993 newspaper, a quote by President Bill Clinton: "There is no recovery worth its salt that doesn't put the American people back to work." (7-27-2012)
It takes a girl
to imagine a different kind of car. (7-18-2012)
Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) issues report
The executive summary has been translated into English and published at slideshare. This report declares that the "accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant cannot be regarded as a natural disaster. It was a profoundly manmade disaster—that could and should have been foreseen and prevented." The report found the causes in "the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to Ďsticking with the programí; our groupism; and our insularity."

"The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nationís right to be safe from nuclear accidents. . . . There were many opportunities for NISA, NSC [the regulatory bodies] and TEPCO [the operator] to take measures that would have prevented the accident, but they did not do so. They either intentionally postponed putting safety measures in place, or made decisions based on their organizationís self interest—not in the interest of public safety."

With regard to the current situation, the report states "There is no foreseeable end to the decontamination and restoration activities that are essential for rebuilding communities." Chris Williams in today's CounterPunch article, points out "What an utterly appalling way to make electricity. No foreseeable end to decontamination and restoration activities. Even without considering the issue of nuclear waste, the staggering cost of building and operating nuclear plants, or the umbilical cord that indelibly connects the nuclear power industry to the nuclear weapons and defense industry, can anyone honestly say that as a highly technological society, we have no better alternatives to generating electricity than operating nuclear power stations?" He continues "there are a few broader conclusions to draw from this report and the litany of similar cases of accidents . . . Firstly, this is not about a few bad apples or irresponsible, corrupt people. This is about how capitalism operates." He goes on to suggest "within capitalism, there are certain essential economic activities which need to be thought of as they were before . . . Activities where we are not seen as customers for a commodity that we buy from a for-profit corporation, but rather as citizens, with a right to a service from the government that we elect to represent our interests." And one such service is the provision of electricity.

Japan is offering us a mirror that illuminates one area of human endeavor, the production of electricity, that is not safe while it is the exclusive product of capitalism. It is up to each of us to exercise our responsibility to our country and move electricity production from the private sector to the public one. What is at risk is our own "no foreseeable end" to the destruction of the environment and communities. (7-11-2012)

Smokers under attack in California
California's 2012 Proposition 29 would have imposed a $1 tax on each pack of cigarettes and used most of the money to fund cancer research. This is primarily a jobs proposal. I thought it a bad idea for several reasons: (1) The arguments I heard in favor of it seem to strongly view the tax as a deterrent to smoking. The public desire to constrain smoking and smokers seems to be getting more rabid, and approaches the fervor with which the country once opposed alcohol and passed Prohibition. I am increasingly disturbed by this trend to use laws to control personal behavior. (2) Cancer research has yet to make a dent in the rate of new cancer cases and the cost and effectiveness of cancer cures. I think it is a handy way to duck the real issues of why we get cancer in the first place and why more and more people are getting cancer. We know the reason for this: environmental pollution. The food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the buildings we occupy, not to mention being downwind of Fukushima. But those problems are too difficult to address, let alone acknowledge. Better to just tax those smokers. (3) Jobs bills can be valuable in the present economic state of high unemployment and underemployment, but why should California smokers bear the brunt of funding these jobs? Why should it only be cancer researchers who get the jobs? And why should we fund jobs in other states? This makes no sense to me. Fortunately, this proposal did not pass.

On the other hand, recently Marin County passed a law prohibiting smoking within residences in unincorporated areas. The opponents of smoking, and apparently they are legion, rejoiced. Now the taxpayers will be asked to pay for the arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of people whose only "crime" is smoking in their own homes. This foolishness leaves me speechless. (7-11-2012)

Rolling Stone's top guitarists
I love rock and roll guitar, grew up on it, and apparently it with me. Rolling Stone has a 100 greatest guitarists list which I could not resist. In #1 position is Lindsey Buckingham. What? I loved Fleetwood Mac, but never heard anymore about him. Which only proves how out of it I am. He still rocks. And . . . #73 is Dick Dale. This guy played Orange Coast College (in Costa Mesa, just inland of Newport Beach/Balboa where he played the Rendezvous Ballroom, a venue I never entered to my regret) when I was there in the mid 1960s, I loved surf guitar, OCC was the surfers' junior college. And he still plays. I will dust off my vinyl and play it for us. (7-9-2012)
It is common practice for politicians to denounce public aid as socialism. In doing so they denigrate society itself, as real socialism is the shared commitment by society's members to preserve and protect it. Read the full essay. (7-9-2012)
Mitt the twit
I could not resist this. (6-29-2012)
Lion hugs
A friend just sent me the link to this video, very delightful! Worker At Lion Park Gets Hugs From Sweet Lion Cubs. A similar video is on You Tube from January 1010. Both videos are of Douglas Hamilton while he was working at Seaview Lion Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. All I can discover about Douglas is that he is Scottish, sings, and worked for a Glasgow bank in 2011. (5-23-2012)
Local politics, a plea
My local federal Congresswoman, Lynn Woolsey, has the nerve to retire (she was one of almost none who protested the Iran invasion). Her seat is being sought by a number of people, including the state Assemblyman Jared Huffman. I replied to a recent email of his:
Dear Mr. Huffman,
I am glad to hear you are disturbed by the JPMorgan Chase debacle.
I agree: Glass-Steagal's separation of retail banking from investment banking has to be resurrected.
I agree: federal regulations are needed to limit the losses of banks with federally-insured deposits.
In addition: the concept of "too big to fail" meaning that when a business faces big losses it can call on the American taxpayer for relief, is totally bogus. And needs to be prevented. Maybe industries that want insurance of this type can fund their own insurance pool.
In addition: the asset-to-liability ratio required for banks has to be raised. What sense is it that a bank need only hold 10% of its liabilities in reserve? This is not a bank in any real sense of the word. (This is a speculator in sheep's clothing.)
And in addition: we need an overhaul of the role of the Federal Reserve Bank. At present its role is to lend big bucks to commercial banks so they can buy securities that pay more than the interest they have to repay the Fed. Why do we need to do this? Why not just lend me, and all other taxpayers, lots of interest-free money? I can invest it wisely, pocket the interest, and repay the Fed. I win. Why should the Fed let only the BIG banks win? Is this really the American Way of Life?
The stock market is run amuck. It has lost any meaning that it might have had. It is clearly solely a vehicle for speculation by big investors, us little fish are just bait. So quit supporting it. (5-17-2012)
I admit to errors in thinking and writing here. It is easy, too easy, to imagine a single bogey man in all the problems. But the reality is that many players are looking out for number one. And they do not necessarily collaborate with each other. The banks don't act with the health insurers who don't act with the military. Ad nauseum. There are many actors who are only in it for themselves. I was right in 2008 to state that the financial crisis happened because the banks forgot that people needed jobs in order to make their mortgage payments. They never noticed that the off-shoring of jobs endangered domestic employment.

Rich corporations will likely continue their narrow-minded views and interests and not notice the movements that will hurt their sales. To me this suggests more than ever the imperative to not leave the state of our economy in the hands of the rich. (5-11-2012)

Writing annoyance of the week
I've decided to indulge myself regards the misuse of the American English language. Today's complaint is about the plural form of acronyms. The correct plural form of many words, like "car," is to add a final "s": "cars." This does not change when the word is an acronym. We are all likely familiar with "ATM" which is an acronym for automated teller machine. The plural of machine is machines. The plural of ATM is ATMs. Notice there is no apostrophe! Way too often people write plurals of acronyms with an apostrophe—this is an incorrect usage. Just stop it! (5-4-2012)
Carbon footprint
For many years I have enjoyed eating a rye cracker (the manufacturer calls it "crispbread") that is made of rye, sesame seeds, and nothing else. It tastes good, keeps well, and has no ingredients that I avoid at any cost. This cracker has, until now, been sold in a simple carboard box with a flexible plastic inner bag that holds the crackers. Recently these containers were replaced by one polypropylene wrapper. I complained to the company because there was no more cardboard box to put in my paper recycle bin. Their response was that "by removing the outer carton we have reduced our packaging by 82% which has reduced our carbon footprint." Yes, my original complaint was a little off, given that I had forgotten about the inner wrapper, but . . . with our attention to "carbon footprint" are we ignoring the environmental expense of contributing to landfills? (5-4-2012)
Oligarchy and 1%
I have neglected to express my appreciation for the Occupy Wall Street movement. I admit when I walk past them on the sidewalk on the way to the office job I am grateful to have, I think they have a disconnect with the people they most likely want to connect with—corporate employees. The disconnect has to do with appearance. Office workers are generally groomed and dressed in suits (surely someone still wears a suit!) or the corporate-casual alternative. The Occupy people I pass look like bums, and that may be giving real bums a bad name. I do not "see" any relationship between them and me. And those folks sleeping on the sidewalk when I walk by at 9am? Get real! Wake up and meet your constituency.

Enough of that rant. My gratitude to these people is that they have single-handedly brought into the public awareness the concept of 1% and 99%, that the overwhelming majority of citizens of this country are not RICH. Some of us are lucky to be comfortable, even I am busy downgrading "comfortable" to my current, lower income which has slipped from its six decimal days. Thanks to OWS (and it took me a long time to get this acronym) it has become clear that "us" are 99% and "them" are 1%. (Well, do the truly rich write blogs?) Now that we get it, when are we going to get that if 1% run the country, we have an oligarchy, not a republic. The ability to vote is not enough, the elected ones have to do OUR bidding. And that is patently not the case. (5-1-2012)

Women and ideology
Today's New York Times website has an article by Richard W. Stevenson with the title "Focus on Social Issues Could Shape Battle for Women" and the lead in as "The election could present women with ideological choices about their rights and place in society." OMG! This is an alarming suggestion that ideology trumps the Constitution and the law where women are concerned. And why is this about women and not men also? Or is this simply a sales product of the Times? I then read the complete article which presumably was focused on the presidential campaign "issues" and the recent spate of noise about controlling women's rights, which is really controlling women's bodies. There was no discussion of comparable men's issues, and no discussion of gender equality. This is bad. It may sell newspapers, but it is not helpful for women. Why is it that men talk down to women, in public and private—with no retaliation? (2-24-2012)
Corporations as people
This legal fiction did not begin with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010. The earliest action was the 1886 decision on Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad by the US Supreme Court. That case involved the taxation of railroad properties and grew out of the California Constitution of 1879 (the first post-statehood) which denied railroads the right to deduct the amount of their debts (i.e., mortgages) from the taxable value of their property, a right which was given to individuals.

In the 1886 decision, the justices avoided the question of whether corporations were entitled to the same rights as individuals granted by the 14th Amendment. The 2010 decision held that the First Amendment prohibits government from placing limits on independent spending for political purposes by corporations and unions. (2-8-2012)

What you NEED to know about the Canadian tar sands
Please watch this video of a presentation by Garth Lenz titled "Provincial Distance in a Tar Nation." This was given at TEDxVictoria, an independently organized TED event, on October 21, 2011. Garth is a Fellow of the International League Of Conservation Photographers, one of only sixty photographers worldwide to receive this honor. The slideshow is on his website. (1-19-2012)
The PC argument for vegan
Yet another article listing recent instances of bad food and inhumane treatment of food animals, with the conclusion to just eat vegan. There is something intrinsically wrong with this argument. Let me see . . . Okay, let's recall the plight of the people confined in Nazi concentration camps. Some were Jewish, some were not. Can we infer from the camps that, because Jewish people were murdered en masse, we should avoid Jews? Or Poles? Neither conclusion has any logic, or merit. If something or someone is being abused, are we meant to look the other way? or try to stop the abuse?

Another weakness in the pro-vegan argument is that while it poses itself as an alternative to meat-eating, which requires the rearing of livestock for food, it totally ignores the plight of the abused vegetables. Bashing cattle over the head with an axe is bad but spraying strawberries with poison is okay? Not in my world.

If the vegan diet has any worth, it has got to be something that it accomplishes directly. Moral pride does not qualify. (1-12-2012)

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Revision: 3-16-2015.