Tag Archives: rant

Wherein I Apologize To A Chicken For Being A Vegetarian

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During my tenure as a human being, I discovered rather early on that people don’t seem to like people who are different from them.  Even when they accept your differences, well, they still have to make it known that they accept you even though you’re different.  In fact, you’re not just yourself, you’re actually just a sub-classification of what everyone else is.

I recently witnessed an internet argument wherein someone decided it’d be a barrel of laughs to bash vegetarianism publicly.  The argument had started when a man had posted a link to a captioned picture that basically called any vegetarian who wouldn’t eat a piece of chicken that accidentally ended up on their plate an “asshole”.  Now, I’m not one to get easily offended or back off from things so quickly, so I kind of chuckled to myself and decided to read on to find out why, exactly, I was being called an “asshole” by  someone who’d never met me or most of the people he was insulting.  You see, I would not eat that piece of chicken.

Well, internet, it turns out I am being termed as an expletive, because that chicken would have died in vain because of me.  I preach for the animals, and then I let them go to waste. Apparently.

Firstly, no. No, I don’t preach for the animals.  I keep my thoughts mostly to myself, especially lately in this weird hipster-vegan vegetarian climate.  I don’t want to force my views on anyone, but here I am being called an “asshole” by someone who wants to label my sense of conviction as “hypocritical”.  If I were to eat every single piece of animal that ended up on my plate, I wouldn’t be a vegetarian. I’d be a meat-eater who ate meat very selectively.  Your argument, whoever you are, that it’s my fault that chicken is going to waste is just your way of forcing the issue that, for some reason, you don’t like vegetarians.  We can’t do anything right because you don’t like what we believe, and since you can’t understand why we wouldn’t eat that piece of chicken on our plate… we’re hypocritical assholes.  It’s not my fault that there’s a farm out in the middle of nowhere slaughtering animals, nor is it my fault if some waiter accidentally slips me a piece of chicken or even the completely wrong order filled with meat. I don’t eat meat for an array of reasons, and some of the less important reasons include the fact that the idea of putting that in my mouth makes me want to gag.  So, no.  I wouldn’t eat it.  That doesn’t make me an asshole, that makes me a vegetarian.

Or, you know, just an omnivore who’s choosing not to eat meat… according to some people.

So, after having been called names for sticking to my belief system in times of trial, I went on to read the comments to the aforementioned post.  A woman who seemed to agree wholeheartedly with it, remarked that vegetarians are all ridiculous.  We’re not born vegetarians, we choose to be. Remember how I said that “you’re not yourself, you’re just a sub-classification” of what everyone else is? Yeah, that gem belongs to her.  Apparently, there’s no such thing as “vegetarians”.  Humans are omnivores by nature, and “choosing” not to eat meat doesn’t change that fact.  I would like to address my next paragraph to this woman.

Darling, you see… “choosing” does, indeed, change the fact.  Just having a choice changes the fact.  I have a mind of my own, and I have free will, and I will never eat meat again. You cannot call me an omnivore, because you would be incorrect.  My body may be built to process meat, but I, as a person, am not.  I’m myself, and not a sub-classification of what you are, just because you think what you are is right or better, or the way people are “supposed” to be.  I can think of quite a few other things that would help me along in this argument, but I’ll keep them to myself seeing as how the majority of this rant has been about vegetarianism.  I’ll just leave it at: it must be hard being your friend if that’s how you think.  Let’s hope it doesn’t translate in to every facet of your life, or you must be a very closed-minded and bigoted person.

I am a vegetarian because I choose to be, but that doesn’t make it any less valid… and since I choose to be, I choose to stick with it even if, every so often, it means a chicken has to die in vain because I refuse to eat it.

By the way, I’m sorry about that, Chicken.

How Much Are You Worth, Anyway?

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It has been pointed out to me quite frequently over the past 2 months (by Boyfriend Scott, an Iowa native) that I have spent my whole life living in a tiny corner of the world which, though true, has never really occurred to me so much.  I’ve been surrounded by the same street names, the same antique stores, and the same parks and sidewalks the whole time I have been on this planet.  I know only what I have seen, and I suppose I haven’t seen much.  I’ve been sheltered, and to be honest, I still pretty much live like a teenager.  So, in that way, perhaps it makes a little bit of sense that I am still always surprised by the depth of pure disgusting to which people can sink.

Now, I’m just going to throw this quick question out: When you imagine a struggling family packing their whole lives away in to boxes and having to leave perhaps the only home they’ve ever known because the bank has taken it away from them, is your first instinct to laugh? It really shouldn’t be, and you want to know why? Because, hi there… it’s not actually funny.  Now, the cynics in us may want to rail away and exclaim, “well, they shouldn’t have bought a house that they knew they couldn’t afford!”.  Which, all right, wouldn’t be a completely unfair assessment. There is a level of irresponsibility involved when it comes to people trying to have something for which their budget will not allow.  It’s kind of the law; you can’t have what you can’t pay for.  Unfortunately, there is a very human face to this problem.  Not to mention its variable nature, wherein sometimes unforeseeable things happen (like, say, a homeowner losing his/her job) and a once payable molehill becomes an overwhelmingly daunting bill mountain.  We can’t really blame these people, can we? And in situations where we can blame, who are we to judge or laugh?

Steven J. Baum law firm, can I admonish thee enough?

There are certain professions of which I am convinced that the desensitization of the people working within those fields becomes necessary.  Healthcare, for instance.  Crime scene investigators, for another.  These men and women need to get past various emotions that most of us have the luxury of being able to feel, because if they didn’t… these emotions might break them down.  I can understand a doctor trying to dismiss a death on their table, consoling themselves with the idea that they’ve saved countless others… but lawyers? Lawyers making light of people losing their homes?  This doesn’t actually make much sense.  People don’t need to be desensitized to that, and we certainly don’t need to make fun of it.

Which is exactly what Steven J. Baum and company did at their cute little halloween party.  The employees thought it would be great fun to dress up as homeless people… as in,  people who had lost their homes. Not only is that not funny, but it’s terribly cavalier if not almost a little sadistic.  I’m fairly certain that “kicking people while they’re down” isn’t actually in the dictionary, but if it were – there might be a picture of this party next to the entry.

Which, anyway, brings me to my point.  It seems like we’re living in a society where simple human decency has become null and void.  We don’t need to be decent to people anymore, guys, because apparently it’s not cost effective.  It won’t make you any money.  The important thing, now, is to learn how to be as inconsiderate and cold hearted as we can be… otherwise, we’ll fall victim to those who have already learned.  Think I’m joking? Maybe we should talk to the guys over at that airline who spent money on research to find out if it’d be more expensive to fix a defect on their planes, or pay out to the families of the victims if something were to go wrong. For the record, they fixed the defect. Because their research showed it would be cheaper.

Scary, isn’t it? Our lives are in the hands of people, every single day, who don’t look at us as human beings… they looks at us as numbers and bottom lines.  What’s a couple laughs over kicking someone out of their house when it got you that huge paycheck, anyway? Nothing. Just like voting one right away is nothing.

It’s always nothing until it’s something.

Which makes sense, don’t you think?

You Have The Right Not To Like This Post

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All right, Internet… Please affix a pair of steel toed boots to your feet, because I am about to step on some toes.

Putting aside the current mess that is our economy and the never ending ditch that patriotic morale has somehow found its way to the bottom of… there are, in fact, a few things that still make this country pretty great.  For instance, I can come online and write pretty much whatever I want, be it mean, racist, ugly, wrong, or what have you.  People may get mad, yes.  People may not like it… but, in the end, do I care? Maybe.  I might care.  But jeeze, at least I had the right to say it.  I can read what I want.  I can watch what I want.  I can wear what I want.  I have a wondrous cornucopia of rights that I probably take for granted every single day of my life.

But you want to know something? Those rights are not guaranteed to us.  We may think they are, but take a closer look at all those fancy ancient documents our country was founded on.  The fact of the matter is that it’s extremely possible to lose our rights one by one.  Is it a conscious thing?  I really don’t know… but is the loss of rights a gradual process? A process that we can actively participate in every step of the way, and not even realize it until we’ve backed ourselves up in to a corner that we have no right to walk back out of?

Yes.  Yes, it is.

There was a law passed in a city nearby me not too long ago, in which was stipulated a nice and long list of places where people were no longer allowed to smoke.  I don’t smoke.  I never have, and I never will.  Personally, I think it’s a gross and unhealthy habit.  Does this law benefit me? Yes, I suppose it does.  It means I don’t have to breathe in someone’s disgusting smoky air.  If I had had the opportunity to vote on this law, however, I would have firmly punched “no” on the ballot.  Ask me why now, Internet.

Because, as small and insignificant as this may seem, it would have been voting someone’s right away.  Somewhere along the line someone, or some group, gets angry enough about something that they take options out of our hands.  We’re left with one option, and it’s their option.  Like I said, the smoking issue may seem inconsequential, but that’s the point.  It’s a small enough issue now, and we let it slip under our radar.  It’s when this becomes the norm, that it becomes a problem.  When we get used to something, bigger and bigger issues seem smaller and smaller.  Our radar gets more and more blurred.

Now, we live in a strange social and political climate.  It seems that you can’t get away with kicking a damn pebble down the street without someone getting up in arms about how that pebble didn’t want or deserve that kind of treatment.  Personally, I think people take themselves too seriously.

Like you, Sasha Houston.

So, you walked in to an Urban Outfitters and were upset that they didn’t honor your culture?  It’s a clothing chain.  They don’t honor anything, or haven’t you seen the way people dress these days?  Somehow furry boots go with shorts, and tights are now considered pants.  They don’t care about you, they don’t care about me, and they don’t care about the Native Americans. Why should they?  It’s a free market out there, as well it should be.  They make money off this stuff, as is their right.  Do you have to like it? No.  Do you have to shop there? No.  Do you have the right to complain about it?  Yes, you do.  Do I have the right to call you out on your crappy, self-indulgent, “poor me, poor us” attitude? Yes, I do.

No one is going to go around saying that the American Indians didn’t draw the short straw.  We all know what happened to them, and yes, it was terrible.  Having said that, I don’t think that slapping a synthetic feather on a plastic dream catcher was Urban Outfitters’ way of flipping the Native American culture the bird.   This is not something that they did personally to anyone, nor did they do it to purposely make anyone mad.  This is something they did to capitalize on the fact that, today, teenage girls like feathers and fringe.  Tomorrow, it’ll be something else.

People will keep complaining though.  People will keep playing race cards, and culture cards, and comfort cards, and I-have-this-so-I-may-as-well-use-it cards… and pretty soon, no one will be allowed to say or do anything for fear of being sued, being picketed, being boycotted, being arrested, etc…

There’s that corner again; it’s getting closer and closer.

Anyhow, keep complaining, Sasha.  That’s your right.  My advice, though? Get over it, and shop somewhere else.

Or keep shopping there.  Did you know you could get a dream catcher for five dollars at Urban Outfitters? How can you afford not to buy that?

Link to article:

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/urban-outfitters-under-fire-for-navajo-collection-2582797/

Being A Vegetarian In a Hipster-Vegan World

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So, as a vegetarian, there are certain things I have become wearily accustomed to.  I am used to being offered various meat products by everyone which, when it’s someone I’m hanging out with for the first time seems like a nice gesture, but when it’s my dad whom I’m relatively certain has known me my whole life, it’s just redundant.  That stopped being funny when I was ten.  I say ten because that’s when my memories really start coming in to focus, and if this was ever funny, it definitely wasn’t by then.  I am also used to being asked by every new person who happens to discover that I’m a vegetarian if I eat fish. When I say no, the question is almost invariably followed up by asking me if I eat chicken.

No, Internet.  No, I don’t.

However, while those things are admittedly pet peeves of mine, I can usually just smile and shrug.  This is my lot in life.  No one is forcing me to be a vegetarian.  I can deal with these examples of lameness.  Recently, though, my father repeated a joke that he had heard on the radio back to me: “The difference between vegetarians and vegans is that vegetarians are annoying.  Vegans are really annoying.”

You can’t hear it, but I am sighing audibly.  Jokes like this? They’re harder to shrug off.  The truth is, I know there is a stereotype.  I know there is a stigma.  It seems like whenever a group of people do anything remotely different from the majority, it’s got to be bashed by someone, somewhere. The sad part, though, is that I understand why vegetarians are made fun of. I understand it so much, that I am recently reluctant to tell new people that I even am a vegetarian. It’s all these new hipster-vegans coming out of the woodwork, driving their Priuses and giving all their meat-eating friends that icily pretentious stare that clearly says, “I’m better than you because of my DIET”.

Hipster-vegans, you are DOING IT WRONG.

Just as I learned a long time ago that I don’t like being poked and prodded about what and how I eat, I know that meat-eaters don’t like that either.  You’re not scoring yourself any points with anyone when you stare at your friend’s food and judge them based on the amount of animal they are about to consume. For my part, I figure it’s one of those “live and let live” type deals.  You want to eat cow? Please, eat cow! Eat cow all day, every day.  Enjoy it, dammit. I may not like it; it might even make me sad if I think about it too long… but hell if I will ever mention that aloud to a friend who is about to tuck happily in to dinner.  Hell if I will ever mention it to a friend at all.  It’s not my business, and it’s not my place.  As long as they’re not giving me crap about my heaping plate of broccoli florets and carrot sticks, why should I even care?

Now, the epic level of irony in this post has not escaped me.  I realize that I am more or less stating that I was a vegetarian before it was cool and that I’m better at it than everyone else, which in turn makes me seem like a hipster vegetarian myself.  I won’t deny it. I won’t even argue the point.  What I will say is that I was a vegetarian before it was cool.  I became a vegetarian when I was 5, and that was before anything was cool.  At some point there has to be some kind of line between when saying that is irritating, and when saying that is just true.  I remember when being a vegetarian just meant I didn’t eat meat.  Now, apparently, it means I’m a tree-hugging animal rights activist.  True, the stigma’s always been there, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s significantly worse these days. I partially blame Alicia Silverstone, I partially blame the democratic party. I mostly blame animals.

My point, anyhow, is never get in involved in a land war in Asia. My other point is this: It’s good to have ideals and to stand by your convictions, but it’s less good to constantly throw them in other peoples’ faces.  You extremists are giving the rest of us a bad name.  I don’t want to have to add in my little, “But I’m not crazy” disclaimer every time I tell someone I don’t eat meat.

I’m talking to you, PETA.