Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Long term support over the journey / Animal cruelty, climate change, monoculture...the list goes on.

Topic: Animal cruelty, climate change, monoculture...the list goes on.

  1. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    20 October 2018 in reply to monkey_magic

    Hi Chrissystar and all,

    Beautiful birdy: The compost kit you described sounds wonderful. I haven’t heard of it previously but it’s something that I’ll definitely keep in mind.

    Thank you so much :) Your garden will thank you for it too

    I love how you try to share your knowledge with us, and perhaps even more importantly, you demonstrate and lead by your (own) example.

    I know you might be sick of me saying this but I truly believe you are the kind of person who encourages people around you to do better and be better. To care more and think more, and ultimately, to do more and/or make changes.

    Your committment and passion is infectious and inspiring :) Just keep being you, dear friend...you lift others higher simply by being you xoxox

    Monkey_Magic: what an honour! I’m absolutely delighted to see you here. Thank you so much for writing, what an uplifting and encouraging post :)

    Your words brought a huge smile to my face. I’m betting that dear birdy, and others here, had a similar response.

    I love your open mindedness, receptiveness and compassion. I feel you have a willingness to challenge some common practices as well as reflect upon your own choices, and that is truly inspiring to me...

    I admire how you were (are) willing to remove your own shoes, and walk a mile in animals’ hooves instead. I find this really touching and it reflects your growing compassion for both humans and non-humans alike, and a willingness to reflect and evolve...

    6 year old MM sounds wonderful :) I think she sounds like she was very sensitive, caring and perceptive.

    In this instance, sadly she (you) instantly made the connection between her friend, Lamba, and how he became dinner. No wonder you were as distraught as you were...I wish that I could give 6 year old you a hug...

    About your comment on not understanding how suffering can be dismissed, I feel birdy’s earlier comments about disconnect explains a large part of it.

    Hopefully as you said, attitudes/mentality and common practices will shift towards becoming more compassionate to animals. Sigh, though this might take time...

    Feel free to write in any time. It’s great having you on board :)

    Pepper xoxo

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    21 October 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi everyone 😊

    Dear Monkey_Magic

    I cannot tell you how awesome it was to read your message yesterday. I got a huuuuuge smile on my face & I actually jumped up and down a few times. Thank you so much for opening your heart & being so receptive and open-minded.

    The story of your friend Lamba brought tears to my eyes. 6 year old Monkey understands veganism: animals are friends, not food.

    How awful for you to experience that heartache, & to have lost your friend. I am so sorry. That 6 year old Monkey is still in your heart, I just know it. That is part of why you are so open-minded and open-hearted. She and her compassion live on.

    That connection that Little Monkey made, is the connection that is missing in the general population. People just don't connect what is on their plate with "who" it was. Animal products are seen as just that: products. Not once-living, feeling beings who love their babies & want to live, & experience fear & terror at the end of their short lives.

    If more people made that connection, or if people had to do their own slaughtering (instead of paying someone else to do it) there would be at least a lot less of it for sure.

    I can totally picture you going out fully clothed to collect that plastic bag in the water (you do that while your brother runs down the beach in his undies!). You saved at least one, if not many, lives in the water that day Monkey.

    Thank you again, for your incredibly uplifting message. To know that you now are more consciously aware of what goes on & may influence some of your future food choices is absolutely wonderful news.

    Dear Pepper, of course I never get tired of your beautifully supportive & uplifting words. You always lift me & your words go straight to my heart. Thank you for what you said. Honestly, if any little thing I've said has inspired even a small change in anyone's mind, is wonderful for me.

    There is so much to be done, so much violence being inflicted every single minute of every single day. The more people who awaken and expand their compassion to non-human animals who are at our mercy, the better this world will be.

    I am crying as I write this. Having you be so open hearted & listening & hearing & engaging has meant so much to me. You & M_M are so inspiring! Thank you.

    2 quotes by Alice Walker, to finish up:

    Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored.

    and

    Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet.

    Love & light,

    🌻birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  3. monkey_magic
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    monkey_magic avatar
    3918 posts
    21 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    .....just a quick visit

    A lot of different feelings are being stirred inside.

    Just wanted to say I watched the worst video I've seen in my life- inside the slaughterhouse....lambs specifically.

    The truth about the meat industry and so on...

    Need some time to get my thoughts together and wrap my mind around it.

    I get it more and more...

    :-(

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    21 October 2018 in reply to monkey_magic

    Sitting with you inside these feelings Monkey ... I get it ... we get it .... the hurt in your heart ...

    Just sitting with you in it.

    Hand of peace and gentleness extended.

    🌻birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    21 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi Chrissystar and all,

    Beautiful birdy: I’m relieved to hear you’re not sick of my words, my friend :) Thank you so much for sharing the quotes...they’re both very fitting and meaningful...

    Sigh, to a large extent, I think (some of) us humans can be somewhat species-centric. I think I’ve said this before but I feel, for (some) people, their compassion extends only to those who are “like us”, that is, other humans...and even then, some of us still aren’t particularly compassionate towards one another, let alone non-humans...

    Sadly, I feel she was right (first quote) about how we aren’t always willing to listen to animals. For various reasons, I think it can be easier for some (not all) people to ignore or disconnect, or even trivialise, non-human animals’ plight...

    I like how the second quote was, in some ways, a call to action/ accountability. While I think caring and compassion is moving and powerful, I still maintain it needs to be backed by action. Or as much as we can at least, given our current personal circumstances and knowledge :)

    birdy, your words touch so many, mine included. I think you raise the bar for what constitutes kindness and compassion towards non-human animals, which makes some of us reflect. This reflection then encourage some of us to make positive changes...you make people think and care and do and act.

    Thank you, dear birdy. I keep saying this and I stand by it...just keep being you. Keep speaking up for the voiceless. Keep sharing. Keep telling us about compost kits (lol). Keep opening up. Just be you. Love and friendship xoxox

    Monkey_Magic: I’m sitting with you too...

    Sigh, it’s confronting, yes? Some things just stay with you, and I feel you start looking at things with fresh eyes...a different mentality. An awakening, if you will...

    I would gently suggest taking your time to absorb and digest what you’ve seen...perhaps your emotions will be erratic for a while, and that’s okay... I feel it’s all part of the process...

    I remember, some years ago, when I saw my very first video about something similar (cattle in my case), I felt physically ill...so I’m hearing you and understanding...it’s a lot to take in...

    Hugs and comfort...

    Pepper xoxo

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    22 October 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi everyone,

    Dear Pepper, I agree with you very much. Compassion and caring are not idle words. Compassion is a verb, a doing-word, something we choose to practice or not.

    I think we have been taught to limit our compassion. I think in our pure hearts, we are all like that 6 year old Monkey, of course we wouldn't willingly and knowingly harm an innocent, defenceless creature. But society teaches us to have compassion for some but not others.

    Look at the outrage that occurs when, say, pictures are published of dogs in cages ready to be cooked in Bali, the petitions that are publicised etc. But the incongruence of the fact that every single minute of the day and night, gentle, intelligent pigs are kept in precisely the same condition in our country, and nobody cares. Because ... you know: bacon.

    We've been taught in our particular society to love dogs, but treat pigs as nothing. Pigs are actually more intelligent than dogs, apparently as smart as a three year old human child, and yet they are subjected for their entire lives to worse conditions than the worst criminals.

    It's a cognitive dissonance that we are taught ... depending on which culture we are raised. I think most of us pretty much start out like that loving Little Monkey_Magic.
    But it's those who do their own thinking, outside the cultural guidelines, and question this incongruence, those who expand their practice of compassion who are seen as extremists. Save one animal, praised as a hero; save many (by not using them as commodities), scorned as radical extremists. On the flipside, harm one animal, get charged for cruelty; harm a whole bunch of animals, get paid for it. It's messed up.

    But it's society that mess us up. That messes with our ideas of what's right and what's wrong. It's done by keeping the truth behind closed doors. And when the truth is seen, like Monkey watching that video yesterday, it really shakes you up. Makes you question everything.

    Because really, it's all arbitrary. Eat monkey (sorry MM, not you) whale, dolphin, dog, cat in one culture, seen as perfectly reasonable. Try that in our culture, seen as wrong wrong wrong. In some cultures cows are considered sacred ... our culture treats them as money making machines.

    I know this has been a rant.

    My wish is for all sentient, feeling, thinking animals be treated with loving kindness, gentleness and respect 😢😢😢

    I'm off to have a massive cry now.

    Love,

    🌻birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  7. monkey_magic
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    monkey_magic avatar
    3918 posts
    22 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Birdy,

    I should be eaten. If it's good enough for me to eat them than it's good enough for them to do the same to me. I was impacted big time by what I saw.

    I respect what u r doing- totally!

    And I agree with Pepper that u lift ppl higher.

    I also want to give u credit.

    It's heavy to carry that burden ( mistreatment of animals etc) but u r doing everything u can and more.

    I feel that u don't have to carry that- u have wiped your slate clean. I don't feel you have anything to feel guilty for. You are doing more than your bit.

    You are a shinning light. Sending you some strength hun. Please don't get too upset by the actions of others. I feel you've been exposed to a lot which grows you but I just want to say all your tears and sleepless nights have nothing to do what you have done. You are carrying more than your share....way way more....

    You are an example by what u do and I really respect and admire that. Please give yourself the credit you deserve and more x

    :-)

    3 people found this helpful
  8. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    23 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Beautiful birdy (a wave to all the kind people here),

    I’m sitting with you in your sadness, dear friend. Offering my company, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on...but above all, offering you a space to talk and freedom to feel...

    I know you feel deeply for the cruelty suffered, and how much it breaks your heart...

    For now, perhaps just give yourself space for your tears...it sounds like you need a good cry, mine and other shoulders are open to you...

    Sigh, I agree with you that the child versions of most people start out with the potential for expansive compassion. But somewhere along the way, as you said, certain norms teach selective “compassion”...

    I read something recently that has stayed with me. This person said s/he believed that (some) people who claim to love animals don’t (necessarily) love animals for their overall protection and welfare, but love how animals make them feel. So this person was suggesting that some of us have a highly conditional, and almost self serving, love for non-human animals.

    S/he was suggesting that (some) people love non-human animals for their own purposes (e.g. as “cute objects” that give us warm fuzzy feelings), rather than seeing them as sentient beings with feelings like grief, fear and pain.

    While I personally don’t think there’s anything inherently problematic with finding non-humans adorable, I do think it becomes an issue if that is the basis for why a person cares. In other words, I think it becomes an issue if we only see their value strictly in terms in what they can “do” for us or superficially (e.g. their “cuteness”), rather than recognising their intrinsic value as feeling beings.

    I agree that cognitive dissonance definitely underpins much of our treatment of non-humans. When that dissonance exists, we can either change our thinking or our actions/behaviour to cope with the inconsistency (or both?)

    But I think what often happens is (most) people opt to change their thinking (rather than changing their behaviour). Thus, they try to “resolve” the inconsistency between their thoughts & actions by using personal justifications (thinking) e.g. it tastes good, discrediting vegans, I don’t care, etc.

    Sigh, in my own way, I get what hurts you, and what I don’t yet understand, I’m willing to learn, be challenged and make changes.

    Perhaps one day, your wish will come true. But till then, we have a long way to go...sitting with you in understanding.

    Much love and friendship,

    Pepper xoxox

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    26 October 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Dear MM,

    Your post brought me tears. In those tears was gratitude for your open mind & heart, & respect for your willingness to be brave & recognise injustice. To be open to the possibility of change.

    It takes courage to do what you do (watch videos, research the truth behind the lies) & it takes people like you to change the world & right the wrongs.

    The world will stay the same unless good people like yourself are willing to open to the horrors & to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable & voiceless victims of those horrors.

    Your words of support mean so much to me.

    Thank you MM.

    Dear Pepper,

    Thank you always for your gentle presence and for always encouraging me to be free to be me.

    It means a lot.

    More than I can say.

    When you said what you don't yet get, you are willing to strive to understand just said so much about you & your heart.

    You have encouraged me to speak up in this space, and be brave. You nurtured me into the discomfort & apparently that's the price of legendary.
    I can't thank you enough.

    Pepper, your really salient point about so many people only relating to non human animals on the level of what feelings they give them, how cute they are, is so very true.

    There seems to be these switches in cognisance that many people use, to protect their own feelings.

    Like, these videos that are free to be seen on you tube etc, the videos that you & Monkey have had the courage to watch and endure ... these have been taken down off some social media sites because of their "distressing content".

    Which in a way is understandable, as it's exceedingly distressing content!! Dreadful content! ... but the fact that the distressing content is just another minute in another day of "producing our food" should create an outcry to stop the practice that is being filmed! But no, it creates an outcry to stop the publication of the practice that is being filmed!! How messed up is that?!

    Just because one refuses to watch it does not make it go away, does not make it stop happening.

    They say the best way for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And refusing to open our eyes & see how our food screams is one really efficient way of allowing evil to be perpetuated.

    If the production of "food" is so distressing to watch, maybe we shouldn't be paying for it, creating a demand for it, accepting it, tolerating it!

    If we are upset about innocent creatures being harmed, we need to stop paying for it to be done on our behalf.

    🌻birdy xo

    2 people found this helpful
  10. monkey_magic
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    monkey_magic avatar
    3918 posts
    26 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Exactly Birdy,

    Really well said. It's triggering when you learn the truth about what these lives go through before you buy them. As consumers I feel people should know. It's only right.

    Thanks for shinning a light on the subject, I've been your student.

    :-)

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    27 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi Chrissystar and all,

    Beautiful birdy: The world needs people like you, dear friend...we really do...

    You put a big smile on my face when you said that you feel I encourage you to just be you :) But, really, that’s all you need to be...we love and admire you for you...

    I’m proud of you for speaking up more. You light up the pages with your deep compassion and conviction in what you believe in...

    I think it takes a huge heart and courage to talk about something that is so close to heart, especially if this topic is not always very popular...

    Sigh, in my opinion, I don’t think there’s such a thing as a truly “comfortable” vegan. Or a truly “comfortable” animal rights activist or a truly “comfortable” environmental lawyer either, for example. Etcetera. Etcetera...

    I suppose a degree of discomfort comes with pushing for any major change or trying to advocate for someone else’s rights. Change and comfort generally don’t mix in my eyes...

    I think the animal videos that were taken down are a great example of misdirection of action (in my opinion). I wholeheartedly agree with you if some people find the video content so (understandably) confronting. Then an alternative course of action could be to re-think certain purchase/consumption behaviours rather than request that the animal videos be taken down...essentially, what you suggested...

    I feel part of the reason this happens is people, and even if they are generally kind hearted and well meaning, don’t always make the connection between supply and demand. Certain food items are for sale (supply) because we buy them (demand)...

    As long as there is money to be made, i believe that the inhumane conditions will continue. But, as consumers, I believe we can “vote” with our dollars...

    I know how much animal cruelty hurts your heart, and how important it is for you to voice all this...

    I am caring, listening and feel your sadness and pain...many warm hugs, my friend...Love and friendship xoxox

    Monkey_Magic: your expanding compassion and open mindedness is heart warming and inspiring.

    Perhaps we can all learn and grow together...I’m learning too ;) xoxo

    All:

    On a somewhat lighter note, I saw a quote recently and I feel it is relevant to the loving and compassionate spirit of this thread :)

    If you are moved to

    such a degree,

    that you feel the pain,

    and that you can

    feel the tears

    running down your face,

    then you’re looking at

    an opportunity to

    make a change,

    to make a difference

    to the world.

    - unknown

    3 people found this helpful
  12. Unbeliever
    Unbeliever avatar
    265 posts
    31 October 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    The quote above is something that I completely agree with.

    Interestingly, this quote deals with exactly one of the points I having been trying to make on my thread (Although my thread is somewhat darker than this one, this thread I consider to be the "shiner" side of the same coin).

    I worry about how "depression" has been interpreted as a "dragon that needs to be slain" when it quite possibly is just the voice inside us that is screaming for something to change. A change that we quite possibly desperately need, and we are suffering for without it.

    I'm pretty sure that the most significant revolutions that happened in human history were spearheaded and recruited by large numbers of followers who were pretty consistantly unhappy about particular things in their lives and had been for a long period of time.

    If those people had been somehow convinced that they were ill and needed therapy and to be medicated on mass... I'm very confident that many historical events would never have happened and our world today would be extremely different.

    For example... I'm pretty sure the womens rights and the racial equality advocates back in the day were pretty depressed on a regular basis about their daily circumstances... quite possibly for the majority of their lives. Would you go back in time and tell those world changing men and women that they were actually just suffering from an mental illness and just needed some prescribed drugs to get better?

    Perhaps consistant sadness is in reality our brains attempting to "wake us up", and depression is simply the price we pay for trying to force ourselves to ignore the things we are upset about the most (ie. the things we are most passionate about).

    Perhaps this all is a symptom of our need for things to be dramatically different in our lives and is actually meant to be the motivation for us to create the change we so desperately feel we need to be happy... and depression is simply what happens when we are too afraid to do something about it.

    Perhaps we have got it all back to front and inside out.

    Just a thought...

    3 people found this helpful
  13. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    3 November 2018 in reply to Unbeliever

    Hi Chrissystar and all,

    Special wave to beautiful birdy and lovely M_M :)

    Unbeliever: It’s great to see you writing on this thread again :) I’m really glad that the above quote resonated with you. Your comment about how this thread is the “shiner side of the same coin” made me smile.

    About your theory, I must admit that I don’t know enough about research on depression to give an educated enough comment. I’m pretty sure there are gaps in my understanding.

    But to offer my somewhat uneducated thoughts, I can see what you’re trying to express and I think that I understand your rationale. I do feel perhaps there is some merit in your theory about how consistent sadness might be our bodies/minds alerting us to our own personal disconnect...

    To be fair, I don’t know what all those very inspiring and dedicated activists that you mentioned were feeling at the time. I can only speculate...

    So speaking from a purely speculative standpoint, I wouldn’t be surprised if, as you suggested, they probably did spend a large amount of their lives feeling deeply unhappy.
    To have been so aware of grave but “acceptable” injustices (at the time), and to have had to fight whole societies, mindsets and institutions for what we now perceive as fundamental human rights.

    That? That must have been incredibly painful and exhausting...it must have been an enormous load to carry...

    When it comes to climate change, etc...my perspective is no positive change happens purely based on good intentions. Good intentions are an important starting point. But I feel it’s inadequate if it stops there. I think it’s the follow through that is going to be the deciding factor...

    In my opinion, there are plenty of people with good intentions who genuinely mean well. But sadly, I feel it often goes no further than the intentions “stage”. I think that is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to climate change and animals...

    I feel people sometimes get a little overwhelmed. So I feel it’s helpful to break down an issue into more manageable parts...

    As in break down a huge problem into smaller problems that people can tackle by making small changes in their daily lives from a reusable cup to re-thinking their food sources. But you’re right...I agree that there needs to be more people making those small changes for there to be an adequate positive cumulative effect on the environment.

    It’s always a pleasure to exchange thoughts with you :)

    Thanks so much to you (and all) for reading!

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    3 November 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hello ChrissyStar, Unbeliever, Pepper, M_M, and everyone,

    I love that quote Pepper. So true. It's in those moments of realisation, discomfort and pain that lie the possibilities for the instigation of change.

    Unfortunately i think most people don't want to be in that pain or acknowledge that discomfort as a wake up call (eg. so they stop the video feeds rather than stop what's being videoed ... as you said: " misdirection if action").

    Unbeliever, welcome back to the shiny side, tra-la-la-la-la 😉

    I think there could be truth in your idea about depression sometimes coming from ignoring something inside (perhaps our higher self?) trying to shake us up.

    I'm pretty sure you'd be right that those world changing activists back in the day would have felt very depressed at times, as activists for contemporary issues would now too.

    But i reckon a huge contributor to that feeling is not necessarily always that one is being afraid to do something about making changes, but that one can't make everyone else care.

    One can't force another to pull their head out of the sand. One can talk until one is blue in one's face about the injustices, the cruelty, the planet being destroyed, but one can't make another care more or see that there are different ways of doing things or make any changes whatsoever.

    I find that depressing. Frustrating, annoying, infuriating ... and at the end of the day: depressing.

    On your thread, Unbleiever, you were talking about all the things you strive to do "right", but that it sort of feels like a drop in the ocean (actually I think you said it felt like trying to change the ocean current with your two hands) ... I can really relate to that. But it won't stop me, no matter how my hands might ache from trying.

    I feel like sometimes the feeling of depression comes from being able to see all the wrongs and live in a world where others see those wrongs as rights.

    😢

    🌻birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  15. Unbeliever
    Unbeliever avatar
    265 posts
    3 November 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Peppermintbach,

    It is only due to me being "uneducated" that I am able to see things from alternative angles as easily as I do.

    Educated people are taught extensively within the strict confines of whatever belief systems are the most prevalent of their times. Which while I acknowledge is fantastic for specialisations... as a consequence makes it much more difficult to even perceive alternative ideas and can greatly hinder their ability to evolve new concepts within those specialised fields.

    Basically, what I'm saying is... never begrudge the advantages of being "uneducated". Because if properly appied it can be the path to revelations that others may become too educated to reach (as I have witnessed a few too many times in my life).

    I agree that those people involved in creating such world changing revolutions were incredible individuals. They did have one advantage.

    They were fighting for the benefit of a distinct group of people against another distinct group of people (who were simply more comfortable for them to exist without those benefits) (races and genders).

    In our case however, are fighting against the very people we are trying to help for the longterm benefit of us all. The same people who don't even realise or believe that they need any help. It's a unique situation fraught with multiple layers of complexities that the "race and gender wars" never had to deal with.

    Not only are the lines far more blurred. But the stakes in the long term are much higher and the timeframe we have to work with is far tighter. Waiting for people to get to the point where they feel "enough is enough" and that it is time to act... in this case will be far too late (technically, on multiple levels it already is).

    As you said... "good intentions" is not enough.

    Uff, when I think of the ways my life would have been different if more people were willing "to share the load" and take some of the responsibility... it hurts.

    I might have been able to have a car, maybe even have a kid, travel to a few more cool locations overseas or partake in a large range of tasty edible goodies, been able to enjoy more beautiful days at beaches not picking up rubbish and being snickered at by attractive girls etc etc... and as a consequence been more successful in establishing relationships and also carry far less internal guilt for not doing enough. Not to mention... No depression.

    Ahhhhh.... the warm fussy feeling of indulging in unrealistic fantasies. *Sigh*... Oh, well.

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Unbeliever
    Unbeliever avatar
    265 posts
    3 November 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Birdy77,

    I agree that there are potentially many reasons why a person doesn't want to see something that is right under their nose. But I do think fear is likely a common one.

    But I don't necessarily mean fear of the thing itself. But fear that they have devoted a large chunk of their short time in this life to something that was a lie.

    For example... If you believed in something for say a year. Were outspoken about it, passionate, devoted etc... and then discovered that without a doubt that "something" wasn't true. You might feel a little silly and embarrassed (and there are some people who are really afraid of appearing silly or feeling embarrassed).

    However, if you believed and devoted yourself to a belief for say 10 years and then discovered it was a lie... afterwards you would probably feel pretty stupid (and there are many people who are really afraid of appearing stupid).

    But let's say it was 20 years. Now you are talking about a significant chunk of your entire life. Now afterwards you be in the realm of probably feeling devastated at the loss and ashamed you were foolish for so long (and no-one wants to feel devastated or ashamed).

    Anything beyond that... say 30 or 40 years (or more). It would be like losing a part of your own personality and a piece of who you are and your very identity... not only to yourself but to all those around you. By this point... I think choosing to just accept the lie despite any evidence would be easier than admiting you messed up for such a long time (regardless of how brave a person you were).

    Fear takes many forms and I have found that denial can be a very good indicator.

    Yes, I admit that despite everything I have ever done over my whole life, having to acknowledge that all my actions alone overall have not done a single thing to improve anything in the world that I care about is... painful.

    I realise no matter how much I minimise, or sacrifice, or not contribute to. 1 person out of 7.7 billion doing the wrong thing can not only make up that difference I worked so hard for... but exceed it. Effectively making all my efforts completely worthless and erasing any possible good feelings I could derive from having done any of it.

    But I wont stop... I can't. Even if it only means that when people in the future are talking about the foolish mistakes this generation made, without ever realising it they wont be talking about ME.

    The way things are going, I think that for me... that will have to be enough.

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    3 November 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi Chrissystar and all,

    Special wave to Unbeliever and M_M,

    Beautiful birdy: I’m very pleased that that quote resonates with you too :)

    I really liked your thought provoking post. I think you have a valid point about how a person can talk till they’re blue in the face and try every tactic under the sun, but still not get enough people to take action/change...

    I get it...I really do...it’s exhausting and disheartening and frustrating. Sighs, I agree...xoxox

    All:

    I am varying degrees of tired most days too. But I think sometimes we just have to dig our heels in the sand, and do what we feel we feel we need to do...

    Even if the odds are stacked against whatever it is we wish to see happen ...just keep “doing”, pause and rest if and when need be, but then keep on doing the doing...

    I feel both UB and birdy are right though. It’s going to take (many) more people for the cumulative effect to be sufficient...many, many more...

    The other option, and in some ways is even more powerful, would be changes in legislation. But given the immense power and interests of industry lobby groups whose goals definitely do not align with environmental conservation or animal protection, that’s a tough one to change...sigh...not impossible but extremely difficult and messy...

    I was watching an interview with the head of a network of women’s shelters (not-for-profit). As you can probably imagine, that’s a very tough and high stress environment to manage/work in...

    One of the things that she said that really helped her was to surround herself with like minded people. I think she has a point, because whatever your passion (be it climate change and/or animal rights or something else altogether), it can get very lonely (and frustrating and upsetting).

    But I think there’s a real sense of mutual understanding when you’re around people who share common goals/worldview/mentality. It really does make a difference...

    I suppose that’s one of the key reasons that I I visit this thread regularly ;)

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    4 November 2018 in reply to Unbeliever

    Hi Unbeliever (and all),

    A special wave to Chrissystar, birdy and M_M :)

    Sorry, I only saw your posts after I posted my latest one...

    Your longing/fantasising paragraph did make me feel sad. I think that other life would have been a more comfortable life. The more conventional/socially acceptable life too, with more personal support from a partner/spouse (and probably less judgement from others)...

    About those snickering women, I feel what they did was mean spirited. As attractive as they may have been to you, would you really want to date a woman who snickers at a man trying to clean up the beach?

    In any case, I really admire your commitment and steadfast dedication to what you believe in. Even though I realise it comes at your own personal expense because you try to make up the shortfall. The shortfall that exists due to some people not doing the bare minimum to help...you’re right, if everyone/most people did the bare minimum, that would make a huge difference.

    About your comments that compared the differences between climate change/animal rights to past activism, I agree with you. That’s a really good observation...

    I think, aside from the many other reasons of culture/unchallenged norms/convenience/habits/industry power over legislation that we have discussed before, the fact that there is a less obvious “oppressor” or “oppressive group” makes it harder for some people to grasp the urgency of climate change. Essentially, that’s my interpretation of your thoughts but please feel free to let me know if I’ve misunderstood ;)

    Also as you touched on, us humans are both the problem and the solution when it comes to climate change and non-human animals. But, I think some people genuinely struggle to accept/acknowledge the duality of being both the affliction and the remedy. I feel some people need an obvious “other” for a threat to feel “real.”

    Plus I think many people’s lives are still (relatively) uninterrupted by climate change at this point. Even when lives are temporarily disrupted by changing weather patterns, it often doesn’t last long enough for it to have a lasting impact on (some) people’s thinking and behaviour.

    So not enough people are motivated to act now as they can lack foresight. For some, i feel immediate convenience or “pleasure” outweighs all...plus there are others who have good intentions but sadly then get overwhelmed/frightened, and end up burying their heads in the sand instead.

    Thanks for reading :)

    Pepper

    2 people found this helpful
  19. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    4 November 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi everyone 😊

    ☀️ Because here we are, over here on the "shiny side" on a sparkling Sunday morning: I feel compelled to just take part of what you, Unbeliever, said yesterday, & challenge it.

    You said that no matter all the things you have done all your life to try to reduce the harm being inflicted by humankind on the planet, that all your efforts are completely worthless. And that what the rest of humankind does "(erases) any possible good feelings (you) could derive from having done any of it".

    I completely understand your pain, I honestly, honestly (honestly) do. I feel that pain on a daily basis. I know what you mean when you say this. I know one person's actions can't make up for a thousand or a million or a billion of other people's actions.

    But I truly don't believe that our actions are meaningless.

    When you walk along the beach & are snickered at collecting rubbish; or when Monkey_Magic swims out fully clothed to pull a plastic bag out the ocean: you may not be saving the planet, but you are making a difference.

    You made a difference to the seagull who didn't ingest part of that chip packet & feed it to her babies. Monkey_Magic made a difference to the seaturtle that didn't mistake that grocery bag for a jelly fish & eat it for lunch. I probably made a difference to a lizard or sparrow when I crawled along the side of a busy highway picking up 1-by-1, hundreds of polystyrene bean-bag balls that had been spilled.

    We do make a difference. Every decision every single one of us makes has an impact on something, somewhere even if it doesn't feel like it.

    To believe otherwise, or to encourage others to believe otherwise I think is dangerous as it can breed defeatism & an attitude of "why bother doing anything at all then?" That frightens me.

    There is a quote I love by Thich Nhat Hanh:

    My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.

    None of our actions are free of consequence. Not one. Whether those consequences are positive or negative depend on our choices and our actions, but nothing we do is neutral.

    Although you can't make up the shortfall of billions of others and rescue the planet, you can stand confidently (albeit with immense sadness) on the solid ground of your actions.

    I know i sound extremely simplistic in this post, i get that & I'm tempted to apologise.

    But I want there to be hope on this fresh Sunday morning in which we are alive.

    🌻birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  20. Unbeliever
    Unbeliever avatar
    265 posts
    4 November 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    I should probably re-state... the "snickering girls" thing is something I remember from my teenage years. This is not something that has happened to me in quite some time.

    I guess what I meant was that I don't derive any good feelings from these things I have done/or continue to do. That little "burst of dopamine" doesn't come.

    I mean... it's not like I feel I deserve a "pat on the back" when I'm looking out the train window at all those people driving past in their cars. Or I raise my nose in some kind of superior snobbery at the supermarket as I pack my "home brought" fabric bags with groceries... it just doesn't work like that. I mean, I was doing this long before the "plastic bag movement" was in public knowledge... the average person had no comprehension of why I would be doing these weird things. And if they ever asked... trying to explain it didn't help.

    So many things have just become my routine. Like for example... stopping to pick up rubberbands and hairbands whenever I see them on the street, snap them into sections and put them in the bin... because I know birds line their nests with them and they can bind and cripple and sever baby birds feet as they grow into adults (you see the results of this in cities all the time). This I just do automatically, but it rarely has gone down well in front of women while still in the early stages of dating (It comes across as understandably weird, especially if it's like 3 times in a 100 metre stretch).

    I used to carry a shortened surgical razor in my wallet, just in case I was lucky enough to catch a "foot bound" bird (usually a pigeon) in the city so I could cut off the rubberbands and string from its feet that had crippled it for its entire life... while people walking past would comment "they're flying rats... snap its neck".

    *(never owning a car is not exactly conducive to successful dating either... not at any age above 16. Chuck in the bonus of not wanting kids due to planetary over-population and the reasons why I have been single for the last 15 years is not exactly rocket science. I mean, even hippies in the 70's drove vans).

    Anyway, these things don't make me feel better as a person... they are just "what I do"... this is just my life. If "warm fuzzies" was my only motivation... I wouldn't do it.

    I do it because I know it is right and because the alternatives are unacceptable to me. I literally CAN'T contribute.

    But there are consequences to being this way... and few facilitate personal happiness.

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    4 November 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Dear everyone,

    Unbeliever, I understand what you mean. To you (& to some of us here), what you do on a daily basis is simply what you would consider to be the minimum requirement of being human. The bare essentials. Not something to give you warm fuzzies. Just the basics.

    I get that.

    It's sad that the majority of people see such basics as extreme or weirdo behaviour. I understand this from my own experience. I am seen as extreme (offensive even) because I believe that cows should not be forcefully & artificially impregnated & then have their babies taken from them at birth so that humans can drink their breast milk. I would argue that the practice I just described is extreme and cruel. But no, I'm the offensive one.

    I know it's lonely not having people around you who are on the same page about what you are passionate about.

    It's frustrating having people forever having double standards around you ... you're weird if you liberate a pigeon's leg from a debilitating elastic band, but it's totally and absolutely fine to keep a chicken in a cage the size of an A4 piece of paper for her entire life because ... cheap eggs (to go with the bacon).

    I kinda would've liked to have had kids too, simply because I have the love, time & resources to actually give them a good life (in the here & now). But I can't bring them into this world as it is. I just can't.

    It's a shame.

    I understand. I get it & I'm sorry you've not found someone to share your passion & your pain with you, combi van or no.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Dear Pepper ❤ if only this thread were a community garden down the road that we could meet up in & plan awesomeness & share delicious, gentle food & talk to our heart's content.

    I had a whole bunch of stuff I wanted to say in reply to your really excellent posts above, but they've kinda flown off with clouds I've been watching.

    You mentioned duality, & I know it's a bit typical of me to bring it back to animals, but I was at the vet - (we rescued a hen from being extinguished after she'd given everything in her little body to an egg factory. You should have seen her, hardly any feathers, emaciated, sawn off beak, etc and this was from a " free range farm". Anyway, we have found a vet who specialises in birds & she's wonderful, shows such gentle love to our hen she & staff = awesome. I was paying: heard the nurse saying couldn't wait for her chicken schnitzel sandwich. From one extreme, (love/care) to the other. Nobody batted an eyelid.

    Love,

    🌻birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  22. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    5 November 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi ChrissyStar and all,

    Unbeliever: I don’t really have much to add to birdy’s very compassionate and uplifting posts :)

    I will say this though...

    To a large extent, I agree with you. I think that I understand what you mean by not feeling as though you deserve praise/recognition/etc for acting in accordance with what you believe in/doing what you feel is “right”/bare minimum.

    I think the thing is praise and recognition is very much ingrained in many cultures. But I feel there’s real merit in what you’re saying...as you said, it’s just something that you do. The way you’ve always been...

    About happiness, I would just like to share my own stray thoughts that you may (or may not) relate to. I personally think that happiness doesn’t necessarily have to be the ultimate goal...it may be for some people, but it’s not mine...

    Sure, it’s a beautiful feeling, but because it tends to be so fleeting, I don’t chase it. I appreciate it when I have scattered moments of happiness, but I don’t think it’s my main goal in life.

    There are other things that are more important to me like meaning & purpose, and being committed to taking action for the things I believe in...

    Beautiful birdy: hello, dear friend...

    thank you for making me smile with your community garden comment :) I agree, that would be very nice, and I can imagine all the wonderful conversations we would have there. What a lovely thought :)

    Of course you and your lovely partner rescued that mistreated hen ;) I wouldn’t expect otherwise from your loving nature...she sounds like she’s had a really tough life, and if those are the conditions of free-range, sigh, that’s a very warped sense of “freedom” in my eyes...

    i think your above observations reflect the nurse’s personal disconnect and perhaps limited self awareness...as I’ve said before, I feel (some) people’s compassion for non-human animals is only limited to the extent that non-human animals serve a particular need or want (at the time) or a particular warm, fuzzy feeling the non-human elicits (at the time)...

    In the vet nurse’s case, at the time of the surgery/treatment/consultation, maybe that exhausted hen served her need to nurture someone else (plus it is her job). But then moments later, a chook’s value was purely in terms of serving her taste buds as food.

    Sigh, so yes, I see what you mean by the duality and disconnect there...and the fact that no one else seemed too bothered at the clinic speaks volumes...

    Much love,

    Pepper xoxox

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    6 November 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hello everyone,

    I'm inviting everyone here to a virtual "Nup to the Cup" party here in our community garden full of love and animals.

    Today pretty much the whole country stands still to watch a horse race. An act of cruelty brings the nation such a ridiculous amount of joy, celebration and money.

    I stand still for the horses who are used to make money for their owners, and destroyed when they don't make enough, and endure injuries in a stupid race that brings them no joy. They are whipped to race up the track.

    All welcome here, enjoy vegan food, plenty of beverages, and sending love to all racehorses today.

    Love and light,

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    6 November 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi Chrissystar and all,

    Beautiful birdy:

    Thank you for the invitation :) Please count my presence at this party. The food, beverages and company sounds lovely.

    Sigh, what can I say? I completely agree...I also feel it’s unecessary and cruel.

    Sometimes I feel certain socially accepted “traditions” leaves me feeling shellshocked. I have few words because I don’t know how it can possibly be justified.

    I feel not only is it detrimental to horses, I feel this whole practice also doesn’t help people who struggle with gambling problems either. I appreciate that others may feel differently but this is how I feel about it...

    I feel the cruelty that horses suffer happens behind closed doors, and is cleverly hidden behind the “glamour” of the fascinators and fancy hats that people wear to the races. Plus the widespread social acceptance of it (reflected in vast media coverage that portrays it very positively).

    In short, I won’t be participating in this nationally celebrated horse racing day.

    But I will join in this virtual garden party here ;)

    Love,

    Pepper xoxox

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    2299 posts
    7 November 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Dear Pepper and everyone,

    What a sad day it was yesterday, especially for the beautiful and majestic horse who was euthanised trackside.

    While everyone is cheering and refilling their champagne glasses, the rights of those who have no choice about whether they want to run in the race ... are forgotten.

    Sidelined.

    Considered unimportant.

    Oh, you broke a shoulder while we forced you down the track? Better put you out of your misery.

    What an absolute disgrace.

    Not to mention the jockeys who were fined for breaking the "guidelines" about how many times they're allowed to whip the horses. I bet those fines are miniscule (I don't know and haven't looked).

    A lot more miniscule than the pain and torture the horses endure anyway.

    Many of these beautiful creatures are raced as babies, when their skeletal systems are still very vulnerable to injury.

    I am so sad, this ludicrous and "glamourous" tradition should be banned.

    The only thing we need from animals, is their forgiveness.

    😢

    🌻birdy

    P.S. thank you my dear friend Pepper for standing with me in solidarity for the voiceless xo

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    9 November 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi beautiful birdy (and a wave to all),

    Sigh, I agree with you completely, and I feel your anger and sadness. Gentle hugs, my friend...

    I think CliffsofMoher was just 5 years old. He was a very beautiful and very young horse...

    In my opinion, the whole industry is unecessary with questionable practices. About whips, I think the guidelines shouldn’t be about the number and “nature” of when it is used, but the guidelines should be about how it should not be used at all.

    I feel this whole industry is (like most industries) all about profit, and about people having a “good time.” There’s nothing wrong with having a good time. I’m all for fun times, but not when it is at the expense of someone else’s wellbeing. In this case, it’s the horses’ wellbeing...

    I was reading some articles, and the only real defense that the racing industry (and its supporters) has is that the treatment of their horses is “not that bad” (attempts to downplay it), and trying to convince everyone that the jockeys really do “love” their horses. If that’s their definition of “love”, they might need to re-think it...

    The other main defense is on the grounds of “tradition” (and nothing else). I don’t buy that argument, just because something is “tradition” doesn’t mean it needs to be continued forever and ever. I feel traditions that are inhumane, unfair or obsolete don’t need to be preserved...

    Sighs, I often wonder what it would be like if non-human animals could talk to us. I feel they would have a lot to say to us humans...I don’t think that they would be too happy with us, or at least not for the most part anyway...

    Sitting with you in your sadness...

    With love,

    Pepper xoxox

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Unbeliever
    Unbeliever avatar
    265 posts
    10 November 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach
    People who only loved you when you were beneficial or useful to them... never really loved you in the first place.
    3 people found this helpful
  28. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    12 November 2018 in reply to Unbeliever

    Hi ChrissyStar and all,

    A Special wave to beautiful birdy and lovely M_M plus all reading :)

    Unbeliever: sighs, what more can I say about horse racing jockeys? To a large extent, I agree with you...such conditional and self serving affection (if you can even call it “affection”) doesn’t seem like love to me either...

    Pepper

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Jurani
    Jurani avatar
    11 posts
    12 November 2018
    I made the choice over 30 years ago not to watch the news or read newspapers etc. To me anyway it's mostly negative stuff that you can do without? People used to say to me 'it's good to know what's going on in the world, you need to know this stuff? Guess what? You actually don't. It doesn't mean you don't care either, because I care alot. I've just shut the negative out of my life. Children? You can shield them from alot of negativity. You choose what kind of world you want them to experience. If they're in a good environment at home, that's loving and supportive, that will become their belief. I taught my children kindness, empathy, care..all the good stuff. They don't need to know the bad in society. I protected them from that. I believe having children is a personal choice, it always is. No one can tell you if it's a good, or not so good idea ok? Your choice needs to be respected though 100%. I do get what you're saying. From my own experience, if you block out the negative, the news etc., then all you're left with is how YOU perceive things yourself, and not what the media tells you. Hope this helps.
  30. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    12 November 2018 in reply to Jurani

    Hi Jurani,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts :) Interesting perspective there, and I agree with your point about the importance of respecting people’s decision to have/not have children.

    I appreciate that you’ve made the decision not to engage with the news, which you have your own reasons for. I get what you’re saying, and perhaps this works for you and your family. I can respect your right to do as you see fit, and raise your family in a way that you feel is best....

    Personally, I make the choice to engage with the news. I do this so that I have a general idea of what is happening. I feel regardless of whether I choose to watch the news or not, both good and bad things happen everyday...

    But I figure if I stay engaged with the news, I can then be more aware of certain issues...issues that I can then hopefully help address/minimise/change in my own little way. I hope that I’m making some sense to you...

    That being said, I hear where you’re coming from. Perhaps you and I have different approaches to things, but it’s always good to hear multiple perspectives :)

    Thanks again.

    Pepper

    2 people found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up