You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation…and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.
In a Montana slaughterhouse some years ago, a black Angus cow awaiting execution suddenly went berserk, jumped a five-foot fence, and escaped. She ran though the streets for hours, dodging cops, animal control officers, cars, trucks, and a train. Cornered near the Missouri river, the frightened animal jumped into its icy waters and made it across, where a tranquilizer gun brought her down. Her “daring escape” stole the hearts of the locals, some of whom had even cheered her on. The story got international media coverage. Telephone polls were held, calls demanding her freedom poured into local TV stations. Sensing the public mood, the slaughterhouse manager “granted clemency” to the “brave cow”. Now called Molly, she was sent to a nearby farm to live out her days grazing under open skies—which warmed the cockles of many a heart.
Cattle trying to escape slaughterhouses are not uncommon. Few of their stories end happily though. In Omaha some years ago, six cows escaped at once. Five were quickly recaptured; one kept running until Omaha police cornered her in an alley and pumped her with bullets. The cow, bellowing miserably and hobbling like a drunk for a few seconds, collapsed and died on the street in a pool of blood. This brought howls of protest, some from folks who had witnessed the killing. They called the police’s handling inhumane and needlessly cruel.
It is tempting to see these commiserating folks as animal lovers—and that’s how they likely see themselves—until one remembers what they eat for dinner. A typical slaughterhouse in America kills over a thousand Mollys a day—lined up, shot in the head, and often cut-open and bled while still conscious, an end no less cruel and full of bellowing—all because Americans keep buying neatly-packaged slices of their corpses in supermarkets. Raised unnaturally and inhumanely, over a million protesting birds and mammals are violently killed in the U.S. every hour (that’s 300 per second!). Is it then unreasonable to say that nearly all meat-eaters in America participate quite directly in a cycle of suffering and cruelty of staggering scale?
By Namit Arora, more at 3 Quarks Daily here.
On raising sons as a radical feminist
..that they should have the courage of women. I mean by this something very concrete and precise: the courage I have seen in women, who, in their public and private lives, both in the interior world of their dreaming, thinking and creating, and the outer world of patriarchy, are taking greater and greater risks, both psychic and physical, in the evolution of a new vision. Sometimes this involves tiny acts of immense courage; sometimes public acts which can cost a woman her job or her life; often it involves moments, or long periods, of thinking the unthinkable, being labelled or feeling crazy; always a loss of traditional securities. Every woman who takes her life in her hands does so knowing that she must expect enormous pain, inflicted from both within and without. I would like my sons not to shrink from this pain, not to settle for the old male defenses, including that of a fatalistic self-hatred. And I would wish them not to do this for me, or for other women, but for themselves, and for the sake of life on the planet Earth.
From Adrienne Rich in Of Woman Born (1976) to her own three sons.
Via Blue Milk
This quote, written long-hand on a nice piece of paper and given to my three and a half year old son—a keepsake for later, is my Fathers Day self-present.