Awhile back we got a smart phone for the first time, and I downloaded a game based on the cuteness of its icon. It turned out to be Triple Town, and I got briefly obsessed, even finding it on Facebook when I ran out of credits or points or whatever it is they give you until you have to start paying money to keep playing.
It’s an addictive puzzle game, which is what I found appealing about it. You combine icons to make higher-value icons. But these icons tell a story. They’re not just little jewels or tiles or something. Triple Town is set on land, populated by bears. You combine grass until you have flowers, and you combine those until you have bushes, and those in turn become trees, which then become buildings, and then churches and cathedrals. Along the way you trap the bears, turning them into tombstones. Enough tombstones and you’ve got a church. You encounter “ninja bears” who can move around more freely and block your moves, and you kill them, to turn them into tombstones, too. At some point the game tells you you’ve been working on colonies; there’s a mainland which sends out ships to them to get their resources to bring back to the “Capital City,” where they can be used to build monuments, armaments, and coin-making farms and factories to fund further exploitation of the islands.
So not only was I a bear-killer, I was an imperialist. I got deeply uncomfortable and after a while it wasn’t even my “guilty pleasure” anymore, it was just an addictive thing I felt creepy about. So I stopped playing.
In the back of my mind I wondered about Triple Town. I imagine a lot of people don’t have issues with killing tiny animated bears and stealing their resources; the game is very popular. Were the game producers just idiots, unaware of what they were teaching people? Or were they deliberately brainwashing folks? Read the rest of this entry »
My veganism started out hazy and ignorant, became somewhat fundamentalist, and more recently, has become more honest and nuanced. Here’s a snapshot of that journey.
Read the rest of this entry »
Good news for dolphins from WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation:
In a highly progressive move for dolphin protection, India’s Central Zoo Authority has issued a circular announcing the decision of India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests not to allow the establishment of dolphinaria in the country and advising state governments across India to reject any such proposals. To demonstrate just how progressive this decision is, the circular notes “cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence… means that dolphin should be seen as “non-human persons” and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose”.
This just in from Browncoat Cat Rescue:
Americana Wineries is having a book release shindig, with fundraising for rescue groups (Seneca County SPCA, Pet the Pet, and Browncoat Cat Rescue!) There will be live music, face-painting, food, wine, raffles, a silent auction, and adorable animals to meet! Eat, drink, and save some lives.
Well mannered dogs are more than welcome to attend!
Come by BCR’s little tent, and meet my boxes of kittens
Saturday, June 1, 2013
12:00pm until 6:00pm
RSVP on Facebook
If you support animal rights, sign the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins:
Based on the principle of the equal treatment of all persons;
Recognizing that scientific research gives us deeper insights into the complexities of cetacean minds, societies and cultures;
Noting that the progressive development of international law manifests an entitlement to life by cetaceans;
We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing.
We conclude that:
- Every individual cetacean has the right to life.
- No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.
- All cetaceans have the right to freedom of movement and residence within their natural environment.
- No cetacean is the property of any State, corporation, human group or individual.
- Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
- Cetaceans have the right not to be subject to the disruption of their cultures.
- The rights, freedoms and norms set forth in this Declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.
- Cetaceans are entitled to an international order in which these rights, freedoms and norms can be fully realized.
- No State, corporation, human group or individual should engage in any activity that undermines these rights, freedoms and norms.
- Nothing in this Declaration shall prevent a State from enacting stricter provisions for the protection of cetacean rights.
Agreed, 22nd May 2010, Helsinki, Finland
Do you support this declaration? Click here to add your name.
Or maybe not, who knows! But this movie does seem to be very convincing to a lot of people. See if it works for you, maybe!
Community screening SATURDAY in Ithaca:
DOVE (Demonstrating Our Values Through Eating) & Club Veg Film Series
FORKS OVER KNIVES: Join the Conversation That’s Changing the Way America Eats
Saturday, April 13th, 7 – 9 PM
At the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca ANNEX Building, 208 East Buffalo Street, 2nd floor, Ithaca
FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.
“A film that can save your life” ~ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“I Loved it and I need all of you to see it” ~ Dr. Oz, The Dr. Oz Show
“Great movie” ~ Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist
“Convincing, radical, and politically volatile” ~ John Anderson, Variety
Who: Open to the public, childcare available
Cost: FREE (optional desserts and popcorn available for sale)
Reservations: Reservations for childcare REQUIRED by Wednesday April 10th.
Reservations for attending helpful for setup purposes. Reserve by emailing email@example.com. For more information call 272-1126 before 10 PM
Make sure to include your name, number in your party, if you want to reserve childcare (and how many children and what ages).
DOVE & Club Veg planning meeting precedes the movie starting at 5:30. If you would like to get involved with DOVE (Demonstrating Our Values through Eating) an Action Team of the Unitarian Social Justice Council OR Club Veg as a volunteer, come to a meeting for volunteers. Delicious vegan dinner available for $10/each. Reservations required if you would like to order a dinner. See reservation information above.
Dear vegans of today: Thank you for being awesome. This is so incredibly far beyond anything that was happening when I was an 18-year-old baby vegan. How far we’ve all come!
1st Annual Conference “Engaging with Eco-ability”
Binghamton University, New York
April 27 and 28, 2013
A Politics of Disability, Animal Liberation, and Queering
The 1st Annual Conference “Engaging with Eco-ability” will be hosted at Binghamton University April 27th & 28th, 2013. The conference will be organized and moderated by Anthony Nocella II and JL Schatz. The goal of this conference is to lay the groundwork for an edited book that’s part of the Critical Animal Studies series published by Lexington Books.
Sponsors include Binghamton University English Department, Binghamton University, Institute for Critical Animal Studies, and Students for Critical Animal Studies.
More info / RSVP on Facebook.
Happy birthday to the late, great César Chávez: a labor rights and environmental justice activist, and a vegan. He said,
I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.
This morning I started to read Bee Deaths From Colony Collapse Disorder On The Rise As Researchers Point To Pesticides on Huffington Post, and then I realized I’d rather find out how I can help, instead of just feeling bad about the problem. Here are some suggestions I found on the interwebs.
- Stop buying GMO, non-organic food, and support organic agriculture instead. Buy used and/or organic clothing.
- Learn about where your food and clothing comes from and how much pesticide went into its production.
- Stop using pesticides in your own lawn and garden.
- Sign petitions banning pesticides, and support the use of organic alternatives.
- Encourage your local government to do more to help bees.
- Attract bees by planting clover, flowering trees, and herbs that bees like. Provide a water source so they can take a drink when they visit.
- Let your veggies go to seed after harvest, to help fatten up your bee neighbors for the long winter.
- Educate yourself about bees so you can be more sure of how you relate to them and what you might like to do to help them.
- Pass on your knowledge about bees. Your voice is powerful, and the bees can’t speak for themselves! Make sure that kids understand that bees are an important part of their ecosystem.
- Provide bee habitat, but make sure you’re keeping bees and humans safe from hurting each other by marking bees’ homes.
The only one I saw folks mention elsewhere that I didn’t put here was “become a beekeeper / support your local beekeeper.” I don’t feel that it would be my place to confine and manipulate others and take things they make, or to encourage others to do that. It takes the average worker bee her entire life to produce just one twelfth of one teaspoon of honey. They make it for their colony, not for us.
If you do choose to use bee products, please make sure they’re locally produced and that you feel good about the way the bees are living, from birth to death. Since your decision impacts the lives of other beings, you may want to educate yourself about some of the ethical problems with beekeeping, honey, and beeswax. Thank you!