Prairie Dog

Prairie Dog
One of the survivors from the Castle Rock, CO prairie dog slaughter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Letting the ugliness go

A few weeks ago some of my friends went to hear Janet Mock speak in southern California. I had never heard of her but instantly became interested as my friends wrote about being changed by meeting her. Janet is a trans woman and I am reading her book "Redefining Realness".

A quote on the cover says "You will be changed by the book".


I am only in the first few pages. As she discusses seeing trans women out and about (before she came out as trans) she writes "They were dismissed and dehumanized, which made an overwhelming majority of them vulnerable to the harshest treatment, exclusion, discrimination, and violence."

She is writing about trans women but those lines hit me hard.

The man I am today is not the man I have always been. While reading this I was jolted back to the days when my life was what Janet was writing about. Not as a trans woman but as a closeted gay man struggling to come out.

Experiencing unkindness and serious hatred from those in my inner circle and even family members. Not knowing how someone would react, especially when thinking that all would be OK because this person or that person loves me so much.

At 21 being in the middle of the ocean on a US Navy ship and being called faggot, with nowhere to go. The idea that people would be violent towards me was one that took me a long time to get used to. I just could not understand it. At first.

Of course the self-imposed hate and shame are the worst. Yet as I struggled through coming out, I kept being in awe about how hateful human beings could be. And at this point of my story it wasn't the hate and unkindness from strangers, but from people who knew me.

As I kept reading the words that Janet so perfectly wrote, my eyes filled with tears remembering the unkindness. Wanting so badly for my family members to just love me, regardless of what they felt about gayness. Wanting friends in the Navy who knew me so well, knew me as a good person and a good sailor, to take back the hateful words.

It took a long time to let the ugliness go.

As a gay, vegan blogger I get to experience the ugliness of hate and unkindness a lot. These days it doesn't bother me. Those who perpetuate hate and violence and unkindness towards anyone are small people, cowards actually. They are most likely dealing with their own demons. And their pathetic use of anti-gay slurs or threatened violence are sad attempts to break out of whatever crap is going on in their own lives. Don't get me wrong, I call anyone on their bullshit bigotry, but them being a bigot has much less affect on me than it did those many years ago as I was struggling.

(Except when they try to legalize their bigotry. That's a different story!)

Still reading "Redefining Realness". And today I say thank you, with a heart filled with love, gratitude, compassion and passion, to all of those who stood by me in those darkest of days and to all of those who have stood by me and loved me and been a part of my incredible journey ever since.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, March 20, 2015

News from the prairie dog slaughter in Castle Rock, CO

I just read this and wanted to share with you. I copied this from Save the Castle Rock Mall Prairie Dogs Facebook page.

More than 1,500 prairie dogs were poisoned, a death that is ugly, painful and can take up to three days.

Yet those fighting for the voiceless prairie dogs did not give up!

Here is what is happening right now:

A court settlement was reached between Wildlands Defense and Alberta Development that paved the way for the remaining prairie dogs at the site to be safely rescued and relocated. The settlement further dictated that Alberta provide mitigation for the burrowing owl through the creation of 21 artificial burrows to provide nesting habitat that was currently destroyed with the prairie dog homes from the use of fumitoxin and the destruction of current burrows.

The relocation is currently underway and 79 prairie dogs have been rescued as of yesterday. The efforts will continue throughout today at the prospective Promenade site. Tomorrow they will be transported to New Mexico. I will keep you informed as to how many we were able to move in tomorrow's email. Translocations are very stressful for these prairie dogs. They are very scared now and are being taken from their decades long home and traumatized from the interaction with people and the destruction of all they have ever known and loved. This is a very hard time for the survivors, but they will be able to have the opportunity to live, and even though the situation is not ideal, some very precious lives have been saved.

We must not forget that last week thousands of these beautiful animals were murdered in the most destructive way known by administering poison all over the land.

Thanks for reading. 

A day without meat

Today is Meatout 2015.

Sponsored by Farm Animal Rights Movement, Meatout is a day for those who consume animal products to give them up for a day.

One day.

No meat, no dairy, no eggs.

Why Meatout? From their website, which I will link at the bottom of this post, "Every year, Meatout raises awareness of the benefits of eating vegan: helping animals, achieving great health, and saving the planet."

That sums it up for me.

As you know, every day is Meatout for us. 19 years for me and 11 years for Mike. What I love about Meatout is that it gives folks who are not vegan a chance to learn about veganism and the many benefits for so many around being vegan.

I know many of our readers are not vegan or are newly vegan. Check out the Meatout website. Consider eating plant-based today. For help, recipes, and tips you can also checkout the links on our blog.

Here is the link: Meatout 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Who represents you on city council?

I write a lot about getting active politically and getting to know those who represent us throughout political levels.

Watching so many people protest in cities around the country for or against issues that are local, I decided to write about being active with one's city council.

Who is the city council member that represents you?

In Lakewood, Colorado, where we live, we have two folks on city council who represent our part of the city. Some cities have one for their area and then some who can be elected city-wide.

The city council has more power than you might think. A lot of politics is local.

I have met with our city council members about issues as diverse as chain laws for dogs kept outside, marijuana stores in town and seeing what can be done to make sure our police officers are trained in a way that they never feel they need to shoot and kill a dog.

Some cities have hundreds of employees. Do they honor same-sex couples? Smaller cities may not even have considered how animals labeled as "pets" are treated. A locally-supported Meatless Monday?

Recently a city council of another suburb of Denver, Castle Rock, were inundated with citizens who wanted them to hold off on slaughtering a colony of prairie dogs so a mall could be built. Those pleading with the council were only asking for time to move the colony. The way some council members treated those speaking for the prairie dogs made me sick.

Find out who represents you on city council. Let them know what issues are important to you. You never know what amazing difference that can make or what voiceless being you could support.

Thanks for reading.