Category Archives: animal rights

A Bike Ride In Paris by Matt Carlson

A Bike Ride in Paris by Matt Carlson

It was just another blustery day in Paris. Foebbe, Fender and I riding along with their brand new pet trailer and my old bike out once again braving the city streets in search of adventure. The pet trailer is a great idea, now we are able to go everywhere in this incredible but dangerous city (way too many cars, bikes, rollars, skate boards and solo wheels/airwheels to compete with see:  http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/one-wheel-segway-solowheel-classic-focus-airwheel)

 

Anyhow, there we were in Tino Rossi Park  (http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71626/Jardin-Tino-Rossi) alongside the Seine River enjoying a run. Yea, once we get to the park, it’s free running time for these little guys (Jack Russels) and it’s not too far from the castle (really a hotel/ex-tanning center ; no not for sun tans, the other kind…where we currently live : http://www.parisdailyphoto.com/2011/10/chateau-de-la-reine-blanche.html)…

Anyway, an old guy (early sixties) on a bike shows up with his two dogs, one is a Jack Russels Parsons and the other a Cocker Spaniel. And he starts saying, “Oh, that’s a good idea. I gotta get one of those.” Meaning the pet trailer. ( https://cyclinggypsies.wordpress.com/dogs-on-bikes/) And so we start chatting; me being the eternal sharer of the ‘how much’ and ‘where to find them’ and ‘oh it’s so practical in the city’ etc… Common chat in Paris, nothing earth shattering. Then, we start talking about our dogs: male, female blah, blah, blah. Typcial dog owner stuff. This guy seems so normal, what with his little round specs on his nose, his comfortable intellectual clothes, his penny loafers and his apparently well cared for dogs while sitting on a stopped bike.

Then he says, “Yea the female had puppies already, twice. I killed them. The male was a Border Collie and…..blah, blah, blah…” And suddenly i can’t hear anything else he is saying. I’m asking myself, “Did he just say what I thought he said?”

“Did you say ‘you killed them?” I ask looking him directly in the eyes.

“Oh yea, well I didn’t kill them myself of course, had someone else do it for me.” So basically a murderer that hires out his dirty work, I’m now thinking.

“Really?” I ask him. “Why did you do that?”

Without batting an eye, he answers, “Well, it’s not you can sell them or anything; even the SPCA wouldn’t have taken them. It’s no big deal,” he says. “You can just bury them in the dirt. They can’t feel anything; their eyes aren’t even open…It’s like abortion. The same thing.”

I am flabbergasted to say the least. I’ve met a fucking NAZI GUY in the middle of Paris talking about killing little new born puppies as if he was talking about flushing a toilet with his excrement. Then saying abortion was the same thing.

“You and I have very different values,” I say to him. “I think that’s a horrible thing to do, to kill puppies or anything for that matter. Either you respect life, or you do not.”

“It’s the way it’s done in the country. It’s always been done that way; Nobody in the countryside sterilizes their animals, they just kill the babies. No big deal; Bury them or drown ’em. That’s how things are done.”

 

“Well, I know how things are sometimes done , but that doesn’t make it right. Animals are not products; they are conscious beings that deserve our utmost respect.”

Unhappy with my reaction, the guy rides off. I’m thinking that’s the thinking of someone who is going to justify his creepy actions by saying “It’s done that way in the country” “Besides, no one would take them” and “They don’t feel anything – it’s like abortion…”

 

 

 

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The Wind Rattled by matt carlson

IMG01860-20110612-1340May 19th, 2014

The wind rattled so much that even the screws safely secured in wood, trembled. Against the wall outside, an old red tiled square mirror rescued from the trash went, “Bang, bang, bang…” Then,” Scrape, scrape, scrape…” blown in the opposite direction. The home made veranda was already tired of feet trodding across it non-stop; today the wind added insult to injury by sending sand and anything flyable on to it. The various screws implanted here and there holding things together sometimes had a wisp of a wire holding on to them – leftover reminders of three temporary pergolas and flowing curtains….

The grey plastic water barrel sitting under an overhang of the transparent roof made no noise. It sat there peacefully. It was comforting in its steadfastness. An occasional “Gloup, gloup,”as an escaped rain drop came down into the water below. Prisoner guards in the form of pine needles watched in steely silence from above.

With no noises to distract me, my ears attended to those sounds. The sounds of an every day existance, but ones in which most people didn’t hear. Now, the flapping of laundry on the north-west end of the house, competed with a nearby thin, squeaky bathrrom door, also built with wood. Even the washing machine called out to this wind orchestra as it reached the spin cycle. “Whirl, whirl, whirl, ” it went as it began to shake in earnest.

“Gloup, gloup…”

“Bang, bang, bang…

“Scrape, scrape…”

“Whirl, whiiiirllll, whiiiirl…”

“Flappy, flappidy, flap…”

And suddenly, a dog barked off in the distance. A true performer on a stage made of argelas, rosemary and thyme. A soloist in a provençal garden with trees, rabbits and birds as it’s listening public.  One could only hear his voice….

“Woof, woof, woof…” It cried out.

Agenda’s: Yours’ or Theirs? by matt carlson

imagesAgenda’s: Yours’ or Theirs? by matt carlson

Sometimes it just doesn’t stop. The constant flow of vibration….whether it be the TV, your iphone, laptop, cell phone, radio, car noise, people demanding, wanting things from you; the kids, your wife (or husband), your boss, dead lines, bills, payments due….then you realize you’ve gotten fat, you’re having a bad hair day (or maybe you’re bald already!) and you think “What have I done with my life? This is bullshit!” And to top it off, you don’t even like what you’re wearing!!!

Well, whoever you are dear reader – you are not alone. You are just caught up in what was once called the ‘rat race’. And guess what? It’s still called that – AND YOU’RE THE RAT!…Yea, let that sink in for a moment. Rat’s being used for experiments (I am totally against animal testing of any kind, by the way) running through corridors where there is seemingly NO escape. But the rats keep running, they continue to search for what they have been conditioned to find. For them, it could be the gratification of finding food, or perhaps a sexual partner…. And you? Why are you running through those seemingly endless corridors or maybe even driving those never ending highways with your music blasting away any possibility of thought?? Are you running around searching for something in particular?

Well, whatever you may think – you have been totally conditioned too. Just like those poor rats. Maybe you’re thinking, “No way man – I’m too intelligent. I make all my own choices.” Well, you’re probably full of crap, if that’s what you think. Because today, we are learning that biology determines most of what we consider to be free choice. That much of what we may think is original, impulses, desires and so on are actually stimulated through our DNA. Do you think you’ve ever said anything original in your entire life? Hmmm; Sorry, but I seriously doubt it… I’m not being pessimistic either, just rational about old time accepted dogma that has become rooted in our thought processes as some kind of truth. But there is hope, not all is lost !

Our perceptions determine how we react to everything. That means that if you believe something is true, you will respond accordingly and usually within the perimeters of your constructed value system. Your value system is a learned ensemble of ideas and concepts that one develops throughout life. You are the total sum of all that you have learned & experienced to this day. It’s those experiences that can alter the exchange between dictating genes and your brain. Enviornmental influences are perhaps the determining factor in change. Taking the time to question what you actually think and what you actually believe is imperative to escape a value system that might not be yours, or at least not consciously; that is to say, if you’ve never taken stock of those things before. What do you actually believe? AND, what do you actually think?

Take food for example. You love to eat hamburgers, drink milk, have fried eggs with bacon for breakfast and chicken curry for dinner -there’s a great Indian restaurant down the street you discovered; maybe you even love “veal”… So those experiences are a given, something you have accepted to be truths, or at least things that you enjoy eating and have experienced. You have accepted these ideas so they are a part of who you are, part of your value system. Now suddenly someone says to you, “Do you know where hamburgers come from?” And you think, ” well yes, of course. From cows.” And that person then asks you, “Do you like animals?” And of course you do! You even have a cat or dog, or maybe a horse; maybe you even grew up on a farm!

So then you are asked to explain how you think that hamburger got onto your plate ie: the process… Hmm that’s a stickler; you know it is. You know that your hamburger is made of beef, which comes from cows, that cows are raised in pastures happily chewing on grass until the faithful day at least. It’s at this moment that your brain starts to get fuzzy, that moment where the cow or “soon-to-be-beef” image starts to elude your consciousness. Why is that? Be cause you don’t want to know that – you don’t even want to see it. And you know what? Neither do the companies that “grow” or “raise” cattle. They would like you to believe that cows actually still live out in green pastures, that they are happy, but otherwise incapable of feeling anything, that they are only “stupid animals”…That’s the same comment I always hear from people who fish, “Fish don’t feel any pain”. So for them, this saying of fish feel no pain helps them to feel alright about what they are doing. But didn’t you say you liked animals? Do you see any conflict in what you say and do?

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So what exactly are they doing? Well, cows don’t live free range out on the pastures anymore. They, like chickens, pigs and other animals that are part of an enormous enterprise called industrial farming are kept in limited spaces, no longer roam about eating healthy grasses where multiple salads are ingested, but are fed grains in a troughby a machine that passes by several time a day so that they will get fatter faster, and are usually killed at 2 years of age. They have no life of their own; they are regularly forced by artificial insemination to stay pregnant ( so you can have that nice cold glass of milk), their babies are  taken away from them only after a few weeks after birth to the immense sorry of mamma cow and baby. The babies (called veal in the groceery stores) are usually tied up in a closed space with very little room while awaiting a soon to arrive brutal death…Of course, for the other animals, it doesn’t get any better. Billions of animals suffer terribly thanks to industrialized farming practices…

Nowadays these same companies are trying to pass laws in order to keep their practices private. That anyone who films or documents the true goings on by these companies be arrested, fined and jailed. They believe that they have the right to do what they are doing and that “it” is “right”. Their belief system. Is it yours?

Still want that hamburger?