Saturday, January 21, 2006
One might assume that being a "bleeding heart" liberal, that I would fall in line with the likes of the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts. Well --- no.
Members of ALF, ELF, PITA, Greenpeace and others of that ilk are a bunch of self-righteous, sanctimonious assholes. As virtually all of these groups have taken to wanton destruction and violence, they are no better than any other terrorists.
They don't allow for the possiblility that they could be wrong about anything. They have decided how everyone should live, what we should eat, what we should wear. Again, it's either you are for us, or you're against us. One must agree with them whole heartedly, or be considered the enemy. I suspect that most of these people are essentially "true believers" as Eric Hoffer described them. The particular cause is not as important to them as it is to just be a believer. If they weren't in, say, Greenpeace, they would attach themselves to some other cause celeb. These are militant people, radicals. Regardless of the cause, they have the same mind set as neo-nazis or klanners. They are, in effect, environmental nazis. They have to have somebody to hate.
While, generally, I don't support the positions of these groups for a variety of reasons, I am more strenuously opposed to their tactics. Their view is born of sanctimonious sophestry.
I eat meat. It is my right to do so. If they find being carnivorous objectionable, no one is forcing them to order the prime rib. It is within their rights to make their case in the media and through government. They are free to run for public office. If their position is not accepted by the majority, so be it. They do not have the right to destroy my property or do harm to me or those around me. Such people have pretty much the same aversion to modern science as do many religious fundamentalists. These are nutballs who likely are also conspiracy theorists apt to make a mountain out of any mole hill.
Groups opposed to the creation and use of genetically altered grain and other products are, at best, mis-guided. They assume, with the aid of no proof whatsoever, that such products are inherently bad. This position is uninformed and just stupid. Knuckle dragging stupid.
The aim of most genetically altered grains is to feed millions of starving people. The idiots against these products actually went to heads of state in third world countries where seed grain is most needed, and persuaded them to ban their importation or use within their borders. These altered grains were mutated in such a way as to make them viable in less than ideal climatic conditions - that they might grow and produce in harshly arid regions, in less than ideally fertile soil.
How many people are alive and healthy today due to the efforts of medical research using lab animals? I agree it is not pretty. I understand that it is likely that millions of animals of all types have suffered greatly at the hands of some of these researchers. This knowledge is not pleasant to live with. But, who would you rather see survive? Your own children, or a bunch of lab rats, or monkeys, or dogs, or cats? To abandon such research would be no better than radical christians who eschew doctors and hospitals in their insistance that god alone will heal their sick. It's unfortunate, but we must make a choice. However difficult it may be, this is part of the burden we must carry as sentient beings. We can't absolve ourselves from having to make value judgements. Someday, technology may advance to a level where using lab animals in the development of new medicines or procedures will no longer be necessary. But, until such advances are made, the current system is the best we've got. Or, we could just abandon all of it and take our chances with the plague. Would that be preferable?
Penn and Teller make an excellent case against these groups on one of their Bullshit installments on Showtime.
I am no apologist for corporate america. I believe that greed, corruption and ignorance run rampant in many large corporations, and much of it is likely in league with government at all levels. I don't, however, look upon this as some kind of monolithic conspiracy. Rather, it is more likely individual cases of opportunism and corruption.
I do believe that the likes of Carl Rove and other Bushites have sold social conservatives a bill of goods. It has proven convenient and very useful for them to align with and support religious fundamentalists so long as it doesn't interfere with corporate profits. Just as the Raptiles are willing to use Jews and others in their war against whatever the current enemy is perceived to be, only to abandon them to eternal damnation in the end (unless they make that all important switch to jesus) , so too, the political conservatives will continue to make use of the religious right so long as it serves their purpose.
I am not a conspiracy wonk, but I am, rather, a hardened skeptic. I believe, for instance, that compassionate conservative is a contradiction of terms.
Anyone not happy in this technological society are certainly free to distance themselves from it. . Get yourself a buggy and become amish. If you have a lot of money, create your own little self-sustaining community apart from the rest of society as was depicted in that ridiculous film, The Village.
Don't eat meat. Be a vegan. Grow only organic food. Don't wear fur or leather. Get your own whale and save it. Write books. Give speeches. As I suggested above, get elected. State your case. But understand that not everyone will agree with you. Perhaps someday, if you persist in such efforts, the majority will see the light. But you can't shove it down our throats by destroying property, harming or killing people. You have no right to force us to live by your rules.
Once you are born, the only absolute is death. Everything else is relative. See a shrink. Get some Prosac. Lighten up.