Monthly Archives: February 2016

It’s wrong for you or for anyone?

My brother asked me the above question re: eating meat. I’m a vegetarian and he’s not. We both grew up in a food-centric and meat-eating French household. Here’s my response.

I think it’s pretty much demonstrably *wrong*. It’s clear enough that it’s not worth arguing about.

Eating animals causes immense, unimaginable suffering to loving, empathetic, feeling individuals, and we can live easily and well without doing so. Also, it is enormously bad for the environment, and has spurred the evolution of diseases resistant to antibacterials. To me, the first thing is enough.

In a nutshell, that’s it. That’s all you should need to know to make your decision on the morality of the practice.

Yes, these arguments are mostly actually against factory farming, and you can eat meat that only comes from well-treated animals who are killed humanely. In practice, though, that isn’t what meat eating is. Meat eating is factory farming.

But if you’re asking whether I judge people for eating meat, I sincerely don’t. The reasoning for this is more difficult for me to unpack so I won’t do it here. I think it has to do with the difference between making judgement on people versus their actions versus a cultural practice. It also has to do with forgiveness and faith, and involves a fair amount of doublethink to keep myself sane.

I want to live well. I want to do good things. That means not eating animals, because it is wrong to do so and easy to not do so.
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Thoughts + feelings

This is just a bit of venting and analyzing my current feelings on my jobs and relationships since college. It is not a request for pity or even necessarily advice, though as usual I welcome constructive feedback.

I’m also publishing it to help destygmatize male emotion (wooh let’s get gender politics into this). I have feelings and vulnerabilities and they are things that I take seriously and am not ashamed of. I can embody strength and positive masculinity *and* have feelings.

Anyways.

As always, it’s important to recognize what I am grateful for: I have a job, I live in a house, I have my family, I have my friends. I love all these things.

It’s also important to recognize that my problems relative to those others’ are small: Within a half mile of me, right now, there are many people sleeping outside. There are people who are alone, who have depression, who are jobless, or caring for someone who is dying, or mourning a death. Those are difficult states, both absolutely (to the sufferer) and relatively (compared to the suffering of others).

The same logic applies to my problems: I can recognize that they are trivial relative to the problems of others, but still big in my experience. To respect someone is to respect their struggles, and I owe myself that respect.

I graduated from UCSC almost 3 years ago. I’ve had (at least!) ten jobs, and, aside from a relationship that ended shortly after graduation, no serious romantic relationships. To some degree, it’s been my fault: I haven’t been fired or laid off yet; I’ve quit all my jobs except for the current one. And I’ve been hella (probably unfairly) picky while dating. I own my choices and their consequences.

But these two things are fairly glaring from my perspective. They seem exceptional in that I specifically try to find jobs and relationships that last, but I have failed at both endeavors over the past couple years. I’m generally a capable person; I don’t usually fail that consistently, for such a long time, at things I sincerely try at. So what gives?

Maybe they’re just hard things to do. Maybe it takes time and perseverance and a make-your-own-luck kind of luck. Maybe these are tough things for millennials in particular, for reasons both cultural and economic. Maybe I’ve got more growing to do, or maybe I have an unhelpful mindset. I’m pretty sure these are all true to a degree.

This post isn’t finding answers. It’s just about recognizing and respecting my feelings.

And to be honest, I’m tired. I’m tired of first dates and interviews. I want job stability. I want romantic and emotional companionship. I have faith in myself, and I am okay, and I will be okay.

But, fuck, I am tired.

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