Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have been doing a lot of thinking about the ethics regarding meat eating. Since my conversion almost 3 years ago, I have been convinced that eating meat is unethical. Bruce Friedrich is the expert regarding animal ethics. I watched a video of a debate on animal ethics at Harvard university. His knowledge and insight regarding the unethical behavior of meat eating is, in my opinion, impossible to refute.

If you care about the environment.

If you care about world hunger.

If you care about animal suffering.

If you claim to care about any of the three things above, eating meat is not an option. Plain and simple. It is unethical to eat meat.

I think that is where the disconnect happens for so many people. The violence, the environemental distruction, the world hunger that is fueled by our current food culture, is to most poeple, invislble, or to use Bourdiue's sociological term, an aspect of symbolic violence. We have been so ingrained to accept the status quo without questioning whose interests are being served. Special interst groups invest millions of dollars to ensure they control what ideology is fed onto our society. And most people blindly accept it. Stories are told to us and we just assume that we are powerless to question the way things are. We tell stories about the ham on Christmas, or the Chicken Noodle soup when we were sick, turkey on Thanksgiving. It is time to rewrite our stories to exclude dead animals. I hope my kids tell their kids stories about the tofurkey on thanksgiving, and the veggie burgers on 4th of July.

We are in need of critical thinkers. Our everyday behaviors are reinforcing a status quo that is detrimental to our society. Global warming, antibiotic resistance, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, all running rampant in our society. Children today are the first generation in years who are predicted to have shorter life span than their parents. The status quo is unacceptable. It is unethical. Everytime you sit at your table to eat, or in our society zip through a drive thru, you are expressing to the world what you are choosing to support. Just because you arent doing the cutting, does not mean you aren't responsible. It is unethical to eat meat.

To anyone who takes the time to read this and is saying to themselves that is just not an option to cut meat totally out of their diet, I understand. My suggestion is to go meatless one meal a week, then maybe one day a week. Take it slow. Statistics show that if everyone took meat out of thier diet for one meal a week, it would be equivalent to the removal of 5000 cars off the road. Staggering isnt' it? Think about it.

We have been spoonfed an ideology fueled by speicial interst groups who try desperately to shield you from the truth. They do this because the more people that know the truth, the less they will be inclined to buy their products. Slaugtherhouses are nearly impossible to penetrate by the public without an undercover operation. The operators of these facilities know that if the public even stepped onto the property, and smelled the blood and burning flesh, meat consumption would decrease. Isn't it amazing that no one questions where our food comes from? Start questioning.

People may think they are being philanthropic by writing a check to a charity every month. I don't think that is what philanthropy is. Philanthropy means engaging in a level of conscoiusness concerning the suffering and emerging climate problems our chidren are set to inherit. Eating meat is unethical.

Vote with your fork, what do you support?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


INTERDEPENDENCE-a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with, others.

This word was the theme of today's yoga class. During class I would reflect back on this word and its significance and relevance to my everyday life. Amber, my instructor for the day, made some amazing points concerning how the North American attitude is that of a more "independent" lifestyle. In fact, I would argue, we pride ourselves on our independence. However, I think it is central to the health of a nation or a planet for that matter, to ingrain in ourselves that our actions effect everyone around us. We don't live in a bubble, we are a part of a community, and it is vital that we all do our part to ensure we leave our communities in good health for future generations.

To live interdependently expresses our connection to every human and non-human animal around us. We must not simply see animals as means to fulfill our independent lives full of greed and gluttony. Animals and people should be working together, sharing our community, making our earth healthier for our children and our children's children.

Days can come and go so fast to the point when a year flies by in what feels like minutes. If we set an intention of interdependence, we can guarantee that we will work together, instead of against our community. The results will be amazing.

When we support the slaughter and suffering of innocent animals, we are choosing an independent, selfish life, that not only destroys the environment and ecosystems, but proclaims to the world a refusal too work together in harmony with the earth.

Think about it.

Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dancing Monkey

For my first entry I should go ahead and explain why I chose the name Dancing Monkey for an animal rights blog. I think I wanted to use it not only because it reminds me of someone I love, but to express how even though I am strict with regards to my beliefs, it is important to have a level of flexibility in your life. Some may be offended by using an animal as a pet name for a child, but it happened in such an organic, natural way, that for me, its just plain adorable. And to those people I say, lighten up.

My niece Payton is 16 months old and quite possibly the cutest little girl on the planet. The motif in her nursery was cute little pink monkeys and the theme took off. She has a little stuffed monkey that she carries around, she couldn't love that thing more. So there she is, my cute little monkey. And if you thought it couldn't get any cuter, throw on some Mariah Carey Christmas music, and my little monkey dances. Ridiculous. You'll fall over laughing. It's a joy to watch. So, I dedicate the beginning of this to her. She is important to me not only because she was brought into this world by my sister, but also because she is a constant reminder of what is truly important.

So here we go.

I will use this space to share thoughts, important articles, issues in the movement, issues in my life, tips on green and vegan living, as this is a transitional period for me and I am always on the hunt for ways to make that easier. I will share those tips for anyone else going through this change, cause it sure ain't easy.

It is also a means to document the burden that is the blessing in my life. The knowledge that innocent animals are suffering everyday so people can eat them. It's plain wrong. One day everything just clicked for me, and I was done eating meat forever. It's a life changing experience, one that I have grown to have immense passion for. This calling has saved me. It is everything to me. I am now a human billboard for my cause.