When I was about nine years old, the school year started off with an episode where a kid I will call Ronnie K. ran up to me and my best friend and forced us to watch while he pulled the legs off of a spider.
I have often complained that the town where I live proliferates with half-vacant strip malls and mostly deserted office parks, so imagine my dismay a few weeks ago when I heard the familiar drone of construction cranes scraping what was left of the grassland by the water retention pond in back of my apartment building.
You may have been surprised to see video evidence of me holding a sign and shouting "Animal Liberation" at a recent DXE protest because of this essay. Yes, that's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight, losing my religion. What was I doing there?
“With regard to the lower sort, and many of a middling rank, the scene was still more affecting; for they staying at home either through poverty, or hopes of succour in distress, fell sick daily by thousands, and, having nobody to attend them, generally died: some breathed their last in the streets, and others shut up in their own houses, when the stench that came from them made the first discovery of their deaths to the neighbourhood. And, indeed, every place was filled with the dead.”
-A description of the Black Plague of 1348 from Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron
As a sheltered, suburban child, I remember many public "awareness" campaigns that were designed to scare me straight. Many of these campaigns had the intended effect. I never abused drugs, smoking cigarettes never stuck, and sex was a highly-plasticized, "safe" experience.
I have been thinking a great deal about the future lately. The curse of owning a human mind is the endless speculation that goes along with consciousness. Who can say if that speculation is rational? All I know is my mind likes to wander.
Reblogging my article from the Pagan Activist blog. It comes from conversations Kimberly, mutual friends, and I have had. Sometimes people talk about morality as being about one's own spiritual journey, and I raise some objections to that.
Today I wanted to write about something I’ve seen a lot of lately. When you become a vegan – or a feminist, an environmentalist, an activist of any flavor – you start to notice things. You have interactions with people that you didn’t have before.