17 November 2007

Weather's getting /really/ cold

I finally have a set schedule for work, so that means that I'll be able to more quickly and efficiently settle in, now that I can plan for my days off, and get the specific things done that I need to get done. :) Fortunately, they're all night shifts, so I don't even have to get out of bed until like 1 PM; unfortunately that means that I'll be getting home late enough that I won't be able to get out of bed until at least noon! To be fair though, this is the sort of schedule I'd wanted when I was back in Florida.

I either wanted it to be so early (like 5 AM or something) that I could have the rest of my day, or so late (like past 3 PM) so that I could get up rather late. This whole 9 am - 5 pm thing was ridiculous. I had to be awake early, but by the time I got home, I needed to get other things done that I couldn't get done (because those stores/banks/places) would be closed already. So I'd have to run around on my lunch hour to get those errands handled, and it wasn't working for me at all. Boo.

I did do the cooking for the SEAL NYU event last night. It was a collaboration between socialist/leftist people, and animal rights people. The panel was made up of people (like Steve) who were socialist and animal rights activists. They used a lot of big words, and it flew over my head. However, the main thing that I did catch was that capitalism tends to reduce people to numbers. That is, the purpose of capitalism is to make the biggest profit possible for the few who are in charge of the whole.

That's what it is. What it looks like is mass human slavery (be it the kind where it was obvious, or whether it's Wage Slavery), exploitation of women and children workers, mass cruelty to animals, exploitation of animal's bodies, the products of the animals' bodies, and the secretions of their natural life cycles, be it milk, eggs, urine, sweat, etc. It looks like the current climate, where there is a complete disregard for thinking, feeling, sentient beings, be they the ten year old little girl working in a sweat shop, the "blue collar" worker forced to take on difficult, life threatening, and/or demeaning jobs just so that his family can have enough food and shelter to survive. It looks like the marketing ploys that Animal Agriculture uses to allow people to euphemise the suffering with labels like "grass fed," "organic," "free range," or "cruelty free," when to the workers, the animals being murdered, and the ecosystems laid to waste to continue the system, cruelty free is a joke.

It was quite an interesting panel, and I learned a lot about how people can have those "aha" moments of enlightenment, and I learned how some other people, even in the face of reasoned logic, can still be completely blind to things that they haven't come to terms with yet. I respect those people for coming to a conference where their deeply held ideals of what's right and wrong will be challenged, but I wonder whether there have been any inroads made, when their primary concern is whether or not we'll run out of oil, when the concern should be that the process of drilling for and using oil harms the environment. When questions like "Well, if we all did what you're doing, humanity would be doomed!!!" came out even after it was clearly explained that we're fighting for the rights of sentient beings. Of course the current paradigm will be doomed! That's the whole point!

I hope that those people continue to question, and continue to find people who are as patient and well spoken as the panel from last night. I hope that they find the answers they're seeking. They wouldn't be asking these questions if there wasn't already some small seed that's been planted already. I consider it a very positive step. I just wish they'd hurry up so that we can get more people!