Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I will #FastAgainstSlaughter this Friday

After much prayer and meditation I have decided to do the #FastAgainstSlaughter which is this Friday. Friday is World Day for Farmed Animals, the day after World Vegetarian Day and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. This fast will be part of a world-wide fast on the same day.

If you know me, you know I am vegan and that I am vegan so that I cause as little harm as possible to animals during my time on earth. I abhor violence and almost 20 years ago committed to being vegan so my dinner plate reflected more of who I am as a human being and did not include any animal products.

So Friday I will fast for 24 hours, for the animals.

From Farm Animal Rights Movement:

"Each day, 160 million farmed animals are transported to meet their gruesome end at slaughterhouses throughout the world. These caring, sensitive individuals are denied food, water, and rest on their journeys for several hours, up to days. They are scared. They are starving. And their suffering is silenced by an industry that doesn’t want us to know the truth."

In their name I will not eat for 24 hours. I will only drink liquids. I share this with you because I am fearful of this. I eat at least seven times a day. I love food. I love eating. I will do it for the beautiful animals who are beaten, tortured, and killed just for someone's taste buds.

I could really use your support. Please send love. And if you pray, meditate or just are in silence on Friday, please think of me and those I am fasting for.

Thank you!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Being a voice for the voiceless

Many times while expressing my viewpoint or speaking up for something or against something, I look inside myself to see if the action I am taking is truly honoring the voiceless, whichever voiceless I am trying to be a voice for at the moment.

How is my action or behavior actually helping the voiceless? Is it viewed positively or negatively. Would folks not necessarily in agreement with me at least ponder what I am talking about or will they just blow me off as crazy, rude, etc?

This topic is huge for me. I seldom lose sight of why I am an activist, why I think it is so important to be  a voice for the voiceless. To continually speak out against animal cruelty, bigotry, violence and recently just basic unkindness. To be a voice for liberation.

I became vegan for one reason: animal cruelty. I didn't become vegan because someone yelled at me or threatened me. It was a very personal decision based on the person I wanted to be. I loved animals. Why in the world would I want to do anything that would harm them? Although I would have picked up a stray dog or stopped someone from abusing an animal in front of me, what was on my dinner plate did not reflect my values when it came to animals.

I know that some will disagree with me, that we must do everything in our power to stop the violence and to fight for total liberation.

I would rather invite those opposed to my ideas or my way of thinking for a coffee and actually talk. This of course is not always possible. I would rather disrupt in a calm, kind voice. I have seen this in action and smiled.

I remember one day standing outside a Baptist church during a silent protest against the church taking out a full-page ad in the local paper to denounce homosexuality and make clear their stance against it. Chatting with a family on their way out I said that we all have more in common than not. We had a wonderful conversation. I am not sure if they would stand on the side of liberation and equality, yet I am pretty sure they would not demonize gay people. Perhaps that's a start.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

One in five children

This is one of those posts that will typically not get a lot of reads. When I write about topics like poverty, hunger or HIV/AIDS, many tend to skip the post.

I will keep this post short.

The federal government released poverty numbers this past week.

One in five children in California live in poverty.

One is six children in the US live in poverty.

No matter why you read my blog or why you connect with me personally or with The Gay Vegans, I ask you to please consider these numbers.

So much wealth. So much privilege. Yet so many live in poverty.

As activists, we can take action. We can also build bridges with activist communities whose main mission is not ours, and become stronger. We can find connections with our work to poverty, to hunger and to class. In the Los Angeles area, where we live, it is not difficult to see hard-core class distinction.

If you would like more information on poverty in the US, please click here.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

From Kentucky to Syria

What a week.

There is so much being said and written about what happened this week in a small town in Kentucky. And then there is the refugee crisis in Europe as thousands continue to flee the violence and persecution in Syria.

It is a wonderful chance to be a voice for the voiceless.

As anti-gay bigots gathered in Kentucky to celebrate the release of Kim Davis, the county clerk found in contempt of court and jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, I kept thinking of gay couples around the country who still do not feel safe in their communities. Watching a man scream "sodomites" at gay people gathered at the court house I shook my head and wanted to do something for people who have to live in a place where such bigotry is rampant.

Across the Atlantic, tens of thousands of refugees face similar bigoted situations. Let's start by calling them migrants. That sounds better when refusing to care for them in any way. In fact, they are people like you and me, whose very lives are at risk because of who they are, where they live or what they believe. They want to live. They want their children to be safe.

In both cases bigotry is at high levels. Whether it is in the name of Jesus or in the name of nationalism, the way people are being treated disgusts me.

We can speak out. On social media, with our friends and neighbors, and with our check books. We must speak out against bigotry and for compassion.

Love one another.

Kentucky and Syria might seem like far away places, yet what is happening in these places can happen anywhere. We can be silent or we can be their voice.

Thanks for reading.