Saturday, January 30, 2016

Being Vegan is Expensive: How Dare You?

The myth of the plant-based diet aspect of veganism as expensive is rubber-check, three dollar bill false, put forth by mendacious, First World “experts” who have recently converted to the Whole30 diet and silly fads like it. Any vegan, who by definition chooses not to eat or use animals for the sake of the animals, should be downright insulted by the mere insinuation being vegan is expensive.
For me, this accusation of pricey veganism hits home hard. I decided to become an ethical vegan on July 26, 2010, one of the worst personal finance eras I ever hope not to experience again in this lifetime. My husband lost his job through no fault of his own when the company he worked for failed and shut down. Every bill, including running my own small business, keeping a roof overhead, various insurances, and eventually a new car (for him) fell to me and his meager unemployment. If vegan food is expensive as they say, we both would have starved to death. At $18.46, a pair of factory farmed steaks destined for one third of a meat-eater’s meal was slightly more than my food budget for two hearty vegan eaters FOR ONE WEEK. Gwyneth Paltrow may not know how to shop the dollar store and Aldi to keep her family alive on pennies, but I figured it out fast.

A packet of factory farmed chicken’s thighs from my local grocery store costs $5.36. This is after the US government spends $38 billion to help out the meat and dairy industries, with a paltry $17 million put aside for subsidizing fruits and vegetables.
If these subsidies were suddenly removed, the meat and dairy industries would go bankrupt because a steak that previously cost $8 would skyrocket to $45. Animal exploitation industries are that pathetic – though it doesn’t take a genius to know there is no way to make systematic murder easy, clean, or cheap. On the plus side, if meat and dairy subsidies were removed, the average person would see her overall health act as if she had reversed in age by 5 – 30 years, impoverishing countless oncologists and taking away the assumed privilege of numerous specialists to take tri-annual jet vacations. I won’t feel sorry for the former horsey set, as I will remember how they made an industry from the suffering of the ignorant and brainwashed who spent their last dollars on cancer-causing radiation “therapy”, which did nothing but exacerbate the pain and suffering of the Death of A Thousand Cuts. Those parasites would be lucky to get a kick in the stomach from me to speed their demise as they lay flopping in the gutter.
The belief in lies like “vegan is expensive” or “vegan is unhealthy because soy” comes from a necrovore’s need to project guilt and shame on someone who is no longer engaging in dastardly behavior. The construct is very simple. When someone claims that being vegan is expensive, she is desperately scrambling for an excuse that will justify her physical and mental addiction to animal products. Much like my grandma, who clung to emphysema-causing cigarettes until the day she died of complications due to smoking, there’s always an excuse at the ready because a severe addict believes she will die if access to the substance is cut off.
That is why it deeply frightens meat eaters when I say I would rather die if it was between me and a pig on that fabled desert island we are always visiting in hypothetical scenarios. They are terrified by the idea of a modern person being willing to die for a cause, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer. If vegan was expensive and unhealthy, yes, I would still do it, even if it killed me. I am that punk rock! Lucky for me and the growing mass of ethical vegans out there, plant-based diets are neither expensive nor hardcore.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Death and the Fetus

You may wonder just how my convoluted little brain ties together the rise of the American obese, the prevalence of kiddy-diddlers and homosexuals among seemingly innocuous old guys, and a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.  Or perhaps you don't wonder at all.  It doesn't matter -- I'll tell you anyway!  

Statistics have it that sixty percent of Americans are overweight to obese.  From what I saw in the parking lot of a crowded movie theater on a Friday night in my Midwestern neck of the woods, I would say that number is more like seventy or even eighty percent, especially among the current crop of young people.  At forty-one, I was one of the oldest people in the parking lot besides my husband.  An astounding amount of people were so fat, they could barely walk a distance of seventy-five feet from car to movie theater door.  The word “waddle/wattle” comes to mind, not only to describe their ambulation but also the giant, flapping things under their chins where their necks should have been.  Perhaps I will say more about the obesity phenomenon and the car culture fueling it in a future essay.  For now, I will wrap up this part of the discussion by commenting that it’s a damn shame that kids half my age are wasting the best, healthiest, sexiest years they’ll ever see on oversized corn syrup drinks, chemical cheese goo-product, and barbecued pig corpses with fries.  

King James, That Bible Guy, was a flaming homosexual.

What do a bunch of fat people have to do with Josh Duggar, the reality show Christian zealot whose parents swept their teenage boy's serial sexual abuse of his younger sisters and various other little girls under the rug?  And what does any of it have to do with abortion?

In a word, patriarchy.  In two?  Abrahamic religions.  

Christianity is one of three nature-hating death worship cults that sprung to world domination after the fall of the Roman Empire.  Judaism, the least of the cults, has been persecuted for reasons I'll never truly understand, so maybe someone can inform me.  Islam is a brand of Abrahamic religion that claims to be about peace but is really about submission or the not-so-nice term for it, slavery.  Islam is Christianity's equal in hypocrisy and oppression.  Muslims just do a better job of following their insane orders than Christians, hence the animosity between two who are clearly fraternal twins.

All three Abrahamic orthodoxies enforce a pathological hatred of Gaia by placing mankind (with womankind at his beck and call) at the top of a pyramid scheme rigged for Apocalypse.  The trees?  Cut them down; there will be more of them in the next world, where they will be taller and sparkly and produce fruit constantly.  The animals?  They are here for our use, so we can skin them and eat them and make them haul our loads of chopped-down trees, or dance for us when we are bored.   Nature and its complex majesty is nowhere near good enough is what the three fatherly religions say: it's all about Heaven and what hoops one must jump through to get there.  Also, it doesn't really matter what you do while you're on Gaia just as long as you truly ask for forgiveness right before you die, even though there is supposedly a rule about doing unto others.  There are also rules about persecuting gays, Hindus, shellfish eaters, female teachers, or anyone else who doesn't fit into the Bible's mold of Golden City-bound righteousness.  

The whole mess is fueled by a pathological fear of death.  Almost all human beings come to the precipice of psychotic break when they are faced by the idea that they might completely lose their current idea of consciousness when they physically die.  In order to avoid the extreme dissonance of such a possibility, most people's egos go insane with rationalizations.  Patriarchal, zombie unigod religions are currently de rigueur.  Atheists and agnostics, or those who apparently have overcome a fear that is supposed to be innate and chronic, are thusly hated by the faithful, much like an alcoholic on his last three viable liver cells resents the happy teetotaler bicycling around the nursing home.  

Christians have a conveniently packaged dogma that, much like a video game, gives them an imaginary set of rules in book form that enables them to get to the Final Boss so they may escape Eternal Death.  When you dwell in a reality that is merely a pathway to another level with a bigger payload/boss, you may cherry pick which rules you think will get you to the better, more luxurious level.  

The only rule that is an absolute must for avoiding Eternal Death is faith.  Faith, or the deliberate act of sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming "No-no-no-no!" when presented with evidence contrary to your beliefs, is the sine qua non of all successful religions.  Any of the other rules can be bent, modified, or perverted according to whim.  Especially one as silly as overeating, to which Proverbs 23:2 suggests:

"And put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony."

The Bible, book of love and peace, tells us in no uncertain terms to attempt suicide if we cannot help a habit of compulsive binge eating.  Okay.

The Bible also condemns homosexuals, lumping them in the same general categories as overeaters and adulterers, labeling them as just another set who cannot control their Earthly longings.  So one might find it surprising that one of the most revered editions of the Bible, the King James Version, was compiled by a flaming homosexual.  Often affectionately referred to as Queen James, "the wisest fool in Christendom" paraded his lusty homoerotic exploits to the chagrin of his court and his country.   For a group that has made a sport of murdering witches and persecuting gays, Christians seem awfully unapologetic about stamping the name of a known Sodomite on a prized edition of their holy book.  

The reason it's hunky dory to become the Greyhound bus version of yourself in 'Murica is because you are allowed to immolate yourself without dying the true death.  Mortification of the flesh and overconsumption of the non-boss level planet you are stuck on for now is encouraged.  Why tread lightly when you can personally collect all the gold coins and mana?   It's all going to get blown up in the end, at any rate.  

Christianity is a capitalist's religion: even in its sheepherder beginnings, the point was to be born male and to amass as many heads of cattle/goats/women as possible.  The big problem there is when you don't think of women as actual human beings and when your admiration of them is confined to awe of the power they lord over you with their beguiling, concave genitalia and mammary glands, you are going to inevitably turn to children, animals, and even other men when your demonic male hormones gain the upper hand (with no lack of assistance from your meaty, milky GMO-rich diet).  I would venture a bet there is not a single Christian child-molester or closet buggerer who views women as sentient equals.  

A sentient equal would be entitled to control what happens inside her own body, even when the biological process is as important to the species as birth.  None of the patriarchal, capitalist sects want any part of that, so they seek to enforce control over the fetus growing inside the female drone, though they will hasten to abandon the offspring once it is born and requires social services and welfare.    

If religions eventually die of their own hypocrisy, which I believe they all do, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are in a very extended hospice.  Unfortunately, I suffer from a belief that the patriarchal mandate to overpopulate Gaia with 7.3 billion and counting will result in the sort of nastiness that occurs in a Petri dish of yeast when a spoonful of sugar is introduced.  Unlike when Christians try to produce proof of the non-existence of the true death, my suspicions keep being bolstered by hard, concrete evidence.  Unlike the good and righteous faithful, I hope my assumptions are wrong.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

An Open Letter To My Friends Who Have Kids

Guess what?

I don't care that you had kids.

 I know you think the world has stopped so it can start revolving around you and your child, however, not much has changed since you added another member to the human race.

Nobody cares that you don't sleep anymore, except perhaps the spouse you yelled at or the person you cut off in traffic. Nobody cares about your breast milk decisions. Nobody cares that your life got a lot harder when you decided to procreate.

In fact, I don't even care that you no longer have time to hang out with me like we once used to because your priorities are so radically changed. I don't judge you -- the reason I did not have children is because I, just like you, realize it is a full time job.

You wanted that job. I did not.

What's going on here is pretty simple. People change. Friends grow apart. It's a sad reality of life, but it's not abnormal. You have embraced a lifestyle I do not understand. It's as if you decided to take up an odd, all-consuming hobby, and if you are honest with yourself, you don't have time for me either.

Imagine I become an avid collector of nineteenth century watercolors. Where you see a lovely picture, I foment an obsession. Suddenly, I eat, breathe, and poop nineteenth century paintings. They're all I can talk about and I spend inordinate amounts of money on them. Often, it is money I don't have because I love them so much. My habits change. I hang out mostly with friends who are passionate about Romantic-era portraiture and landscapes like me. I go to chatrooms and attend conventions.

I love nineteenth century art but I do not expect anyone else to embrace my crazy passion for it. Why would I? You get the idea.

This is what you have become, except of course the art in question is small human beings. There's nothing wrong with your hobby, but don't expect me to understand when you complain about spending your last dollar on a lifestyle you chose. If you have half a brain, you knew what you were getting into and you readied yourself as much as possible.

However, to me, childrearing is a weird, expensive hobby of yours that frankly I don't want much to do with. Please don't presume I hate children because I chose deliberately not to have them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Would I assume you hate all nineteenth century art if you did not devote your life to collecting it like me?

You are not a hero, either, unless you purposefully chose to adopt or foster instead of having babies. Why? The writing is on the wall. Humans are overpopulated. For every human baby added, there are measurable costs in resource depletion and ecological devastation. You've done something that is ultimately self-indulgent and driven by biological urge and the fear that you will die.

I don't admire you for kowtowing to societal pressures. I know what the pressures are because the same ones were on me. If I had a dollar for everyone who asked me when I was having children or if I did already, I would be quite wealthy.

You are aware of the pitfalls of your decision to bring children into an already-overcrowded world. If I ignite your cognitive dissonance by reminding you that there are other choices you might have made, that's on you.

The reason I did not become a parent is because it isn't for me. If it isn't for you either, and that's exactly what it seems like when you spend all of your time telling me how hard parenting is, then you've got yourself a real problem I cannot help you with. There is no miracle in what you've done. You are going to have to face that.

The decision you have made is a common one, smiled upon by an insane society that fails to recognize ecosystems we all depend on are falling apart at the seams because there are too many of us. We cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. Your progeny, not mine, is going to have to deal with the consequences of your cornucopian attitude and from the way things are going, it's not looking like it will end well for them.

If I have value to you, then you will have to make a little time for me every once in a while between vomit-cleanup and Mommy & Me yoga class.

Please try to talk about what we still have in common -- don't be one of those frightening dead-inside slaves to your child. Please ask yourself if you absolutely must become a zombie? I could be wrong, but I don't think the kid is going to perish if his wails go unanswered for a half-hour. You're not a monster for telling little Madison or Tyler an outright NO, sans explanation. Maybe, just maybe, she'll learn that crying for no good reason doesn't get her anywhere.

There have been plenty of eras of history that weren't completely handed over to kids and their needs, i.e. the eighteenth century, which just happened to produce the Enlightenment thinkers and J.S. Bach. In fact, many societies still exist today where kids aren't coddled for every bruise or scrape and chaffeured to half a dozen after-school activities every week. Those kids don't seem unhappy about it. Maybe you can start a trend.

Or maybe not.

At any rate, I'll see you when I see you.

Good luck.