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human and animal liberation

Posts Tagged ‘veganism

Great Animal Rights event in town!

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So we’re back on track! We’ll be showing an inspiring film in town (again!), discussing serious stuff, eating yummy vegan food and partying wild. All In One! I’m gonna turn into DJ again and will be playing a lot of good tunes too!

The Movie Bold Native is coming back to Dublin on the 4th Aug for another screening by ALiberation. Also Animal Rights activists will hold a Q&A session along with delicious vegan food and an afterparty run by DJ Mister Kruk.

Bold Native

Bold Native is a fiction feature film. Charlie Cranehill, an animal liberator wanted by the United States government for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action as his estranged CEO father tries to find him before the FBI does. The film simultaneously follows a young woman who works for an animal welfare organization fighting within the system to establish more humane treatment of farmed animals. From abolitionists to welfarists, Bold Native takes on the issue of modern animal use and exploitation from several angles within the context of a road movie adventure story.

After 3 successful screenings in Ireland, ALiberation will be showing this amazing movie again. This time AR activists will host a Q & A afterwards via Skype about their involvement in the Animal Rights movement. This will be followed by delicious vegan food and an after-party that will take us into the early hours.

DJ Mister Kruk will be playing lots of political, vegan and environmental tunes! From riotous Atari Teenage Riot & Comrade Malone to the superb Irie Revoltes & Dead Prez.

Speakers to be announced shortly!

Please RSVP by sending an email to aliberationnow@gmail.com or on Facebook.

Also please forward this post and our Facebook event page far and wide.

Please note this event is alcohol & drugs free.

RSVP: Email to aliberationnow@gmail.com
Where: Exchange Dublin, Exchange Street Upper, Templebar, Dublin 2
Time: 7pm
When: 4th August, Saturday
Price: €5
Contact: Aliberation, aliberationnow@gmail.com or post a comment here

Hey you, straight edge is not boring!

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When I became straight edge, many people did not understand my choice. Especially that I always liked to experiment with various substances. I really enjoyed it. I mean until then an integral part of the fun was the alcohol or other stuff. Now I can see it’s not surprising. Getting drunk / high just for fun is part of a western style. You work all week bravely paying off mortgage and filling boss’ orders. So what else can you do over the weekend to make yourself more relaxed? And if you need more you go further and you do drugs. Drugs are intended to give you something what is missing in your life. And yeah for example cocaine can give it for a little while. However at the end of day it’s all fake, it’s all poison, it’s all a part of being a slave. Drunk people are easy to be controlled. The truth is usually they end up in the pub complaining about everything. Sometimes they are aggressive but then they attack each other. And junkies? They can’t resist at all. After years alcohol or drugs become those things that make people happy, cheer them up or stimulate them. At same time they poison their bodies and minds though. It all has consequences.

Why it’s so cool to be straight edge?

It took me a while to understand that life without alcohol and drugs is much better. It changed when I became a dad. I didn’t want my kids to see me with a bottle of beer, to smell alcohol when I’m putting them to sleep or to see I’m in some way different. And when I stopped drinking and gave up on other stuff suddenly I could see things in other way.

But back to that question. I always ask: What’s so cool in being drunk? Vomiting? Fake joy? Hangover? Someone who drunk too much and became aggressive? Lack of control? Or the fact that from time to time you end up in bed with someone you wouldn’t really like to know. So here’s the thing with being straight edge. No vomiting, true joy, no hangover, no aggressive drunks, full control and you always end up in bed with someone who is the same person in the morning.

But it’s boring!

Now, lots of people associate straight edge with boredom. That’s actually the main thing you hear. So you go to the pub and you do what? Drink orange juice? How can you pick up a girl while sober? C’mon! But in reality why the hell should it be boring? You do exactly same things, just they’re much better when your mind is clean and works right. You meet plenty of interesting and cheerful folks, you enjoy great gigs, you attend events and make new friends, you enjoy your free-of-addictions family, you’re happy that your kids are not disappointed or scared by your actions. I also tie it with veganism so it means your body is healthy and you don’t support animal cruelty. Finally I can’t really see the reason why being straight edge would be boring. Unless you can’t enjoy life without alcohol or drugs. But it only indicates you have a problem, not straight edge people.

Everyone’s choice

Personally I think it’s everyone’s choice and alcohol/drugs are not evil if you know how to use them. But I think that our civilization is so much imbued with artificial values that we should refute several myths about the straight edge movement, because it is a great alternative. We need to let people know they can make other choices in order to be happy. Until recently, the straight edge was indeed associated with the hardcore scene, but in times of consumerism, more and more people are recognizing its benefits. It’s not a subculture thing anymore.

It’s not surprising though. Junk food and GMOs are flooding our plates, corporations tell us that we need to take drugs to be healthy, and we can achieve happiness only after drink or joint. This way a healthy life free from addictions remains an alternative for those who do not want to become victims of someone’s interests, who see life differently, and looking for real values. Someone might say that Western civilization is based on the hedonistic and destructive attitudes. Wild parties, hard drinking, coke, crack, food from McDonalds, etc. Sounds like a good weekend for many. That’s true. But guess what, we weren’t straight edge our entire life too! People grow up, people change. If anyone feels it’s time for change, this change will come. And straight edge might be a change you’re looking for!

Written by Kruk

October 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

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Vegan family – why are you doing it to your kids?

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FOREWORD

Well, I received several messages from the poor revolutionaries, who complained that in recent weeks I focused primarily on the animal rights. Obviously they don’t have anything against animals, but they claimed they would like to read comments also about other subjects, especially with a lot happening in the Middle East, Madison (U.S.) and in Ireland itself. I mean I’m an anarchist too, so I must also care for criticism of capitalism and the politicians, at least once a month! Now the thing is I have already put together the note below before, so there is no choice. Once again I will tell you how great it is to be vegan. However I promise that the next texts will deal with something else.


VEGAN PARENTING

When people find out that my entire family (wife + child and a half:) is vegan reactions fall into two categories. I must honestly say both usually contain the word “Wow!” So we have two reactions, one is like Wow, seriously? It’s so unusual! and other is like Wow, why the hell you do it to your kids!?

Well, the answer to the second reaction is very simple. Because I love them and want to teach them to love! However, I must frankly admit that running a vegan family in the world based on meat, dairy and animal exploitation is not easy. All the time you have a feeling that Social Welfare worker is going to pop out from behind a bush to see if your child doesn’t eat only tablets, visiting relatives requires bringing food with you and going out becomes much harder. But hey, watching your own kids playing with the animals and seeing their faces full of happiness, empathy and health is worth every discomfort.

Wait, wait! Say what? Yeah, I know it can be surprising. Happy vegan children? Healthy vegan children? What? Hell yes! Try to ask the three years old boy would he kill a cow to eat her? I asked a few times, each time my son stared at me like I was an idiot. I mean, look at it from child’s point of view: first you go (just like other parents) with him on the field to show him how cute are cows and calves, and then immediately after this you propose: Hey, let ‘s go to the store to buy a dead cow and let’s eat her for a dinner? I think that if someone first showed me some lovely animals, and then suggested we should eat them, I would also have thought he/she is an idiot!


HEALTH

First, however, is the issue of health. They always begin from that, right? There are dozens of typical behaviors of people, frightened grandparents, not to mention doctors, who in a vegan diet … see the devil in person. Much of it goes to a characteristic way. They think: Okay, you’re a vegan, you want to do it yourself, your business. But the children! These are just kids, how dare you not give them milk? They surely need calcium! Oh Jesus Doesn’t Loves you, how can you not give them meat? Surely they need protein!

It is not important, that vegetable protein is better absorbed by the body and Calcium can be obtained from many other plant products. In fact, the vegan diet for the whole family is super healthy option! Studies conducted by nutritionist Malgorzata Desmond on vegan children in Warsaw have proven that they are healthy and they are doing great! But the most important thing is that the diet must be well balanced. Just being vegan does not make you eat healthily.

If you want to feed your family healthy, you need to learn what to eat, what to avoid, b12 thing etc. As with every diet it requires to pay attention to what you eat. Anyway in a scientific sense a well-balanced plant-based diet is absolutely healthy and recommended for adults, children and even pregnant women. So the argument that we all need animal products – or we will soon get sick and tragically die – is a myth.


SOCIETY

Besides the issue of health there are still a lot of stereotypes, which influence the estimation of vegan families. First of all, veganism is perceived as a form of extremism. In the end, you need to be a fanatic if you don’t to want to be part of mass atrocities. It’s quite logical, isn’t it? Eating dead bodies = you’re a nice fella vs Not eating dead bodies = there’s something wrong with you, did you try to talk to doctor? And vegan children need to be in that case, the victims of fanatical tendencies of their mad parents!

Sometimes I have a feeling that in the social sense, there has been some sort of transformation of values. I mean eating hamburgers is ok, but eating lentils is disgusting. Wearing fur is a status symbol, but not using drugs tested on animals is stupidity. Getting drunk is fun, and being straight edge is boring. Many people have to make a lot of money on such beliefs!

That’s why vegan family provides facilities not only for healthy nutrition, but also to develop real values. Especially for children, which personalities are shaped during the first few years. Through love and empathy present in home they will be able to become better people. This in turn means more happiness and more opportunities for good life.

FAMILY

The family is the basic herd for the human animals. This is where we learn social behavior, perception of the world, sensitivity, etc. What we learn in a family we bring to other people and the rest of the world. So teaching respect for nature and non-human animals is not an extreme, it is an incredible lesson that can make that people will get better. Vegan family is a great experience for every child raised in a spirit of compassion and joy.

For me as a dad (the best dad in the world of course) it is a wonderful opportunity to build ties with my children and participate in the development of their sensitivity. It is simply a state of unity, in which the family shares the same values and fully accepts cruelty-free choices of its members.

Written by Kruk

May 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Healthy but not ethical?

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Recently, I noticed the growing number of people switching to a vegan diet or interested in that diet. Though I’m unable to say whether it’s just my experience or if it’s a general trend. But surely we are dealing with the growing amounts of local green businesses, mainly focused on the sale of natural food. And these new stores enhance interest in organic food and healthy life style.

Apparently it would seem that everything is heading in the right direction. We see the growing awareness of people who are looking for new healthy options, we see some signs of a return to the support of local producers and local community values (localization instead of globalization)​​. Thanks to the work of many activists mass production and the supermarkets lose customers who learned more about them. So where’s the problem? The thing lies in the fact that we need something more, we need a change of attitude, which is still highly conformist or consumer. In large part this is seen in the example of animals, which continue to be defined objectively.

Business comes first

On one hand, health food stores appeal to the values ​​such as Fair Trade, while advocating for compassion, on the other hand it doesn’t bother them to sell products based on suffering. It is true that meat, dairy and eggs they sell are organic, but the researches revealed the word “organic” often means nothing. So it often happens that buying free range eggs or organic milk we buy organic feel, but for animals it doesn’t change the thing. It is difficult to expect that the people leading such shops don’t know about it, when at the same time they’re giving an animal-friendly impression through the range of vegan products which they offer.

Why is there such inconsistency? Well, in a capitalist system animals are defined as “property”. This leads to a situation in which many people conducting the so-called ethical and green businesses remain opposed to the interests of animals for their own interests. I suppose that, apart from economic factors, many of them simply don’t care about animal welfare and treat animals as inferior species, which we have the right to kill. Of course, only if we’re talking about killing a cow or a pig, not their beloved home pets.

So at the end of day there’s a moral problem. While we wishing to support local economy to make social change, at the same time we are forced to support the holocaust of animals.

Also aside from the issue of animal rights it is worth noting that frequently we can see Fair Trade products and those imported from China or other countries where workers rights are violated on the same shelves. Therefore, the question of ethics is extremely important here.

Wanna be healthy not ethical

On the other side we have the phenomenon which perfectly illustrates the conformist attitude among many people using vegan diet. It always surprises how many people are focused only on food, the nutrition, the flavors and their own well-being. Their experiments with plant-based diet are addressed primarily to let them feel happy and healthy. So they focus on nutrition benefits while animal rights are in addition. This way we can meet vegans (and loads of vegetarians) wearing leather shoes, or those who don’t know what vivisection is.

This attitude seems to be a derivative of the capitalist system (or, more broadly neo-liberal), which is based on selfish considerations. From an early age we are taught to care only about our own interests and conformity. The system creates an extreme individualism. So why vegan diet would not be a part of these processes? And why the hell should we care about animals?

Let’s be healthy and ethical!

Therefore, we need to build a cruelty-free projects and truly ethical businesses that care both about human animals and non-human animals. We need egalitarian solutions, cruelty-free jobs, we need to learn how to change our ego-based attitudes through experience of self-organization.

We can’t say that we promote the compassionate life style and at the same time selling e.g. dairy products, or that corporations’ corruption makes us sick, while we accepting unethical compromises. Obviously the world isn’t black and white, but let’s just follow the principle of “do not hurt, do not kill”and all decisions become much easier.

At the end of day there’s no such thing as unethical veganism. Veganism means caring for every human or non-human being.

Activism, animal rights and sexuality

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I came across an interesting note written by a friend who’s an animal rights activist in Los Angeles. I allowed myself to copy this text and post it here. In a nutshell, the article relates to the controversial use of sexuality (especially female sexuality) to promote veganism. Please read it first. I think it can be a prelude to discussion on this topic among several groups as it raises controversy among many social groups, starting from the animal rights activists or feminists, and ending with a right-wing people.

In my opinion, the activists really need to finally deal with this issues because of a number of reasons. First of all, the conflict in this topic leads to divisions among activists (whether feminists or the AR folks) who are wasting energy on disputes. This energy could be used for joint and grassroots actions, and on broad cooperation in achieving our goals. Especially, the AR folks usually share common ideas of freedom, for example equal rights for women and vice versa. In the previous posts I already published my opinions, where I argued that the struggle for animal liberation is part of a wider alterglobalist or anarchist or environmental movement or whatever you call it. That is why we need a critical mass and compromise to come up with a solution that will not divide us, but connect us, while ensuring freedom of women who want to expose their sexuality.

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Secondly, in addition to activists, there are ordinary people, to whom we are trying to reach out and offer cruelty-free life style. So while arguing about promoting veganism by sexuality we should also take this into account. We are dealing here with people with complex views, who have their own religions, have their more conservative beliefs, perhaps problems with their own sexuality (relationships), or they may simply believe that this is inappropriate. We also need to reach them as many of them loves animals.

Finally, the key issue. On the one hand we say that women can do what they want, but when they start doing it, some argue that they should not do that because it leads to the objectification of women for example present in the porn industry. So, where is the line? What is acceptable and what is not? Where is the line for women’s freedom in this topic? We must answer these questions, discuss, find a solution. We do not need more anger, attacks or dispute. We need dialogue, otherwise somewhere along the way of the ubiquitous criticism we will forget what exactly we are fighting for.

If you have a Facebook account you can read some comments here or you’re free to leave your comment below this note. Let’s start talking people.

Written by Kruk

April 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Gary Yourofsky rocks!

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Thanks to a friend’s recent post I came across an incredible speech given by Gary Yourofsky. It’s all about animal rights and veganism but please note it’s definitely not another boring lecture! I think it’s one of the best speeches given on these topics. The guy is charismatic and funny and he gets to the point. I mean take an ass bread for example. Doesn’t that sound intriguing? Every turkey lover should find out more about it!

Moreover, I think that most vegans at least once met with reactions of people like: “So you eat tofu, soy sausages and drink oat milk? That’s disgusting!” orAre you a vegan? That fanaticism!” or indignant, “It is natural that we have the right to eat animals, so it was always, amen sister!” Gary greatly deals with these stereotypes, while indicating what is more disgusting and extreme than this “fanatic” veganism!

Check this out:

Written by Kruk

April 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Films & activism

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In recent months I run a quite intensive educational campaign by organizing a series of screenings of films involved politically and socially. They’re connected with lectures and discussions held after the screenings. Some of the movies I watched for the first time, and I think it is worth to mention a few titles, and post a short review. Perhaps it will be useful to other activists in their work.

Let me start by Bold Native, which to me is a big favorite. For me it’s the best film of 2010. The film tells the story of a member of Animal Liberation Front, wanted by the FBI, and his father (the CEO of one of the corporations) who is desperately trying to make contact with him. We find here a range of difficult questions and tough answers; we also find here the truth about the so-called. organic milk and organic eggs, vivisection, farming, etc. The film unobtrusively prompts to think over our choices, our commitment to the conformism based on suffering of thousands of animals. At the same it presents a number of controversial topics such as the use of violence against those involved in animal cruelty, the absurdity of vegetarianism, or double standards. All this is wrapped in a gripping story, excellent camera work, music and directing. I showed the movie twice already, and soon I will show it once again. Each time the reactions were very positive, people were touched, some even shocked, and most inspired by what they saw. A must-see-before-die for everyone!

The Economics Of Happiness is a documentary about globalization and its alternative, namely building a society based on the local economy, ecology and equity. The first part sets out the key features of globalization and its tragic impact on people’s lives in different parts of the world. We are talking about climate change, the environmental devastation, exploitation, drastic Western consumerism and the destruction of local cultures. The second part deals with aspects of local social life. The film presents a pretty interesting alternative, while explaining the mechanisms that can improve the lives of us all. The advantage of the film is a positive message, hope for change that moves between different sequences. The downside is a utopian belief or omission of fact which is familiar to most activists. Building egalitarian alternatives and opposing status quo is always connected with the reaction of corporate and political elites who seek to block any possibility of rejection of capitalism, corporatism, or the monetary system. Just to mention the Zapatistas struggle or Shell To Sea campaign in Ireland, which has been well documented in The Pipe movie and the book Once Upon A Time In The West. The lack of a theme for me is a big omission on the part of the filmmakers.

At the end, well-promoted another part of the Venus Project Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. Unfortunately, despite much promotion of it, this production is a disaster. We are dealing here with nearly three hours long document, which consists mainly interviews with people from diverse fields. Although quite interesting issues rose in the film, such as genetics, the monetary system and a more anti-capitalist expression of this (third) part, the film is simply boring. It’s more a propaganda tool of the Venus project. Futuristic solutions proposed by the authors do not convince viewers, often seem unreal and far from the expectations of people. In the discussion after the film it turned out that nobody liked it. It is worth noting that at least half of these people would have seen the previous parts. The only good aspect of the film is a thorough critique of neo-liberalism, the banking and monetary system. But I’m afraid it is all what it can offer.