no kindness, no mercy comes


“Why are you a vegetarian?”

Perhaps the question that should be asked is, “why do you eat animals?”

“In the U.S. alone, we kill more than 9 billion land animals every year for flesh and secretions we have no need to consume. Globally, nearly 60 billion animals are slaughtered every year. It is impossible to fathom such numbers. But one by one by one by one, in a never-ending, brutal stream, every second of every day animals are peering through the slats of transport trucks, feeling the last sunlight of their lives (which is very possibly also the first); one by one, every second of every day, entering the kill chute of the slaughterhouse and walking those final steps, defenseless and innocent; one by one looking up at the last human face they will ever see— and no kindness, no mercy comes.” – PETA

Guess you know about Peta, right?
No more questions then.


The footage below is not graphic:
Saddest Slaughterhouse Footage Ever Shows No Blood Or Slaughter

PETA go undercover to provide inside view of ostrich abattoir

Horrific Slaughterhouse Footage: Cattle’s Heads Smashed In With Sledgehammers

PETA Reveals Extreme Cruelty at Kosher Slaughterhouses:

Ducks Kicked, Slammed Against Walls for Meat and Down

PETA is just the beginning; if you are interested in a more detailed analysis of ‘the problem with meat’, there is an excellent book by David A Nibert: Animal oppression and human violence: Domesecration(1), capitalism and Global conflict.

(David A. Nibert. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. 352 pp., notes, index. $29.50 paper (ISBN 9780231151894); $89.50 cloth (ISBN 9780231151887).

A review by Taylor & Francis Online:

(1) “Animal Oppression & Human Violence, by David A. Nibert, is a provocative counterhistory of the domestication of nonhuman animals, the rise of capitalism, and the violent oppression of humans and other animals. The work challenges dominant narratives that characterize domestication as a feature of historical and contemporary human–animal relations celebrated for its role in the presumed success of human evolution and technological innovation. Nibert offers a different reading of this process, renaming it “domesecration” to highlight the violent role of domestication in colonizing not only the bodies and lives of other animals, but also indigenous peoples around the globe. Contemporary global injustice and inequality, he says, stem from this history of domesecration.

Animal Oppression & Human Violence is a profoundly important book and should be widely read and discussed. It is a book that easily transcends disciplinary boundaries and international borders and has relevance for a diverse set of scholars of social justice and inequality. Nibert urges us to confront the way oppression of, and violence against, humans and other species are intertwined as a critical step in working toward a more just and peaceful world. Thus, understanding and taking seriously multispecies violence should inform not only our intellectual projects of knowledge making, but also our political and ethical commitments in how we ought to live our lives in a multispecies world.

Half-tones of the soul’s consciousness

The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.

Fernando Pessoa

War talk

Warspeak: Linguistic Collateral Damage

How does War Affect the Way we Speak?

By Dr. Robert Beard, PhD, Linguistics

“Any war is a war on words as well as on people. No one is proud of the effects of war however proud we might be of the intentions of our fighting forces. Whenever war breaks out, we begin to hear the words “newspeak,” “doublespeak,” “doublethink.”

In George Orwell’s 1984, newspeak is a political language designed to narrow the range of thinking among the citizenry to the point that they lack the terms to think for themselves. “Freedom” is defined as slavery and “slavery” as freedom. That should convince everyone to be happy slaves. It is not surprising that those who direct wars would want to narrow the thought of the nation behind them to thoughts of acceptance and support.

We might specify the newspeak of war, in the Orwellian tradition, as “warspeak.” Every war has its own vocabulary and not all of it is nefarious. The extensions of hair on the side of the face were named during the Civil War after General Ambrose Burnside, whose were particularly bushy. Later on, the order of the words was reversed to “sideburns.”

Until the Civil War, a bushwhacker was simply a backwoodsman but after that war, the word referred to ambushers. In a bit of delayed action, the nickname of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson took on ominous implications during the Watergate Scandal, when it became the verb stonewall “to remain absolutely silent to all questions.”

World War II introduced a plethora of new words and phrases to our vocabulary. “Snafu,” “nose dive,” “blitz(krieg),” “storm troopers,” “Nazi,” are all words currently in common usage with meanings moving ever farther from the original (for instance, the “news blitz” or the “Soup Nazi” of TV’s Seinfeld show).

Because we were the “Allied” Powers and the enemy the “Axis” Powers, even today the connotations of the word “axis” are impossible to resist. President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” could never be replaced by “Evil Alliance,” even though it means pretty much the same thing. Of course, the biggest name change came in 1947 when the Department of War changed its name to the Department of Defense.

Perhaps the temperature of the Cold War is responsible for its vocabulary having little impact on contemporary speech. The words “red” and “pink” may never be the same and “pinko” can still raise the occasional eye-brow. But we don’t know what to do with left-overs that have nothing more to refer to, such as “Iron Curtain,” “subversives,” “Checkpoint Charlie,” the “Berlin Wall,” the “Red Menace,” and “commie rat fink.”

The Korean War brought us the “Dear John” letter and the notion of “brainwashing.” Our only explanation for the breakdowns of soldiers in that conflict was that the Koreans had a secret psychological weapon that ‘washed’ our soldiers’ brains of all their training. That allowed us to accept them back into our midst despite behavior that could have cost them dearly in previous wars. That war was also the origin of the MASH unit, the basis of the popular TV show of the same name.

No war has ever torn the US apart like the Vietnam War. This war gave us “grunt,” “body bag,” “friendly fire,” “frag” (killing of an officer by his own men), the “Domino Theory,” “body count,” “carpet bombing” (sounds a bit like something you might do in the living room, doesn’t it), and many others. Most of the Vietnamese era words are euphemisms, more drastically needed because of the unusually personal and vicious nature of that war.

The invasion of Cambodia was referred to as an “incursion” and the war itself was officially a “police action,” not actually a war, even though 2 million people died in it. (The president could declare a police action without congressional approval.) According to William Lutz, author of The New Doublespeak, the first Doublespeak Award went, in 1974, to a US Air Force colonel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for saying to American reporters, “You always write it’s bombing, bombing, bombing. It’s not bombing, it’s air support.” We never retreated in Vietnam but staged a “phased departure.”

New words for “kill” were especially prolific: “waste,” “blow away,” “smoke,” “eliminate assets” were all attempts to think of battlefields as less disturbing than they really are…

Words like “chick” and “doll” for women, maybe even “kid” for children, often originate in military jargon before being adopted by the general population. Terms like “assets” and “collateral damage” are simply extensions of this kind of slang. Notice these terms always point to something inanimate or otherwise less than human. No one wants to think about killing other human beings, even when it is ostensibly necessary.

We have particular difficulty with words for irregulars, people who fight without wearing uniforms that clearly identify them as the enemy. They were “guerrillas” or “terrorists” when they took control of the Nicaraguan government but the US-backed rebels who later attempted to overthrow the government in the same country were “contras” in the US press. The US commander in Iraq referred to them as “gangs of thugs” even though the US press uses the more neutral term “irregulars.” One country’s terrorists are another country’s freedom fighters.

Up until the Vietnamese war, the names of operations were secret until completed, as with “Operation Overlord,” the military name of the Normandy landing. Beginning with the first Gulf War (“Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm”), they are not only public but are created with marketing in mind. Doesn’t “Operation Enduring Freedom” have more appeal than “Operation Kill the Terrorists?” And calling the Iraqi war “Operation Iraqi Freedom” draws much more support than “Operation Dump the Iraqi Government” would ever have.

The Gulf War gave us “smart bombs,” “surgical strike” (sounds like a doctor healing the target rather than destroying it), “precision bombing” and “collateral damage.” (The question these terms raise is, if the bombing is so precise and surgical, how come there is collateral damage?)

Chemical and biological weapons have become “weapons of mass destruction” in the current war. That term focuses more on the terrifying results of those weapons than their contents. War correspondents are “embedded” in military units that assure them protection and provide an easy means of oversight. Reporters expect to get the “tick-tock” from the US military: a minute-by-minute schedule of what is happening and what is going to happen.

Of course, newspeak and double-think are not limited to times of war. Those who oppose abortion choose to call their political movement the “Right to Life” while the abortionists call theirs the “Right to Choose” movement, suggesting that both sides are “right,” right? When Republicans wanted to abolish the tax on inheritance, it suddenly became the “death tax.” And don’t forget all the corporate buzzwords such as “right-sizing,” “relayering,” “reengineering,”-all of which refer to firing people in a way that hides the weakness implied by the firings themselves. Peaceful everyday struggles also bring out newspeak; war only intensifies a normal proclivity, perhaps because the stakes are higher.

“Demonizing” the enemy is an important part of any struggle that seeks a willing coalition to back it. Referring to the enemy as “a regime,” part of an “axis,” or even “big-spending liberals” or “fat cats” is just lexical wordfire in some struggle between members of the species that possesses language. Just keep your head down and well-informed and warspeak will bounce off you like bullets off Superman.”


Merriam-Webster definition

Not reconciled to political, economic, or social change; also : holding stubbornly to a particular belief, view, place, or style.

“The reorganization and reestablishment of the seceded states in the Union after the American Civil War is referred to as the Reconstruction. The earliest known use of unreconstructed is by a writer for the Boston, Massachusetts, publication The Liberator, who in 1865 used it to describe Southerners who were not reconciled to the outcome of the War and the changes enacted during the Reconstruction. The word immediately caught on and has been used to refer to intransigent or dyed-in-the-wool partisans ever since. The word is also used outside of political and social contexts, as when a person is described as “an unreconstructed rocker” or “an unreconstructed romantic.”