Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vegetarians and Grief Vampires

You know, there's always got to be one, doesn't there?  The one freaky little "meat is murder" git who's just hanging around, hoping that someone will mention MEAT so they can hop around and squeal about the industrialized murder of our fellow creatures?

Yeah, you scream that much when those evil ants enslave the poor aphids?  Your dippy hands flap and your eyes bug when packs of wolves chase down elk or cats play viciously with their prey?


Hey, I'm glad you've chosen something you think is right and good.  But don't you come after me in a friendly chat, with your strident screeching and simple-minded PETA slogans.  I'm a mammal, dull-wit.  I'm one of a species of omnivores, and I eat accordingly.  Most of my calories come from fruits, vegetables, and grains.  Some come from meat.  It's what omnivores do.  That you have chosen to not eat as your biology dictates is fine and dandy, I totally support you in that decision. There are certainly health benefits AND environmental ones, and good for you!

Now, out of my face you self-righteous bint.

And the saddest part?  I am totally opposed to unfettered factory farming.  I am completely against ag-gag laws, and I support smaller farmers and humane farming practices.  But instead of seeking that common ground, you blunder about insulting and alienating.

Like your kind always does.  Here's your sign, sweetie:


So, I'm sometimes active on a "remembering our home town" sort of Facebook group, one with a few thousand members.  One of those members posted, asking if anyone knew a good psychic in the area who could help her reach some dead loved one.  Every part of me, of course, screamed "don't fall for that, they're not talking to your dead relatives, they're conniving charlatans who are getting rich off the manipulation of your grief!"  But I didn't say anything.  

Because why, you know?  It's a Facebook group, and that, by definition, means that the ambient IQ isn't likely to be all that high.  Gaggles of wingnuts and woo-woo believers, people who think "queer bashing" is something about which to fondly reminisce.  Folks whose grammar is awful and whose politics are just right of utter teabaggery.  It's not the place to win over minds and gently nudge folks into the 21st century.  

It's also not the place to publicly ridicule the woman for her desperate desire to contact someone she lost to suicide.  Yes, she's going to be played.  Yes, she's throwing out good money to be lied to.  But, like I said, not the place or time.  But some folks?

Well, didn't I say this isn't the overall brightest group out there?

There were a few.  Went nuts on her.  Really mean-spirited ridicule, with nasty little pictures and smart-assed cracks.  Not from atheists, mind you--these same folks who ridicule her belief in psychics are happy to tell you all about Jaysus.  

I hate the John Edwards of the world.  I do.  I hate the cruel manipulation that goes into taking a sobbing parent's cash and lying to them about their dead child.  I'm horrified by the idea of people turning  a buck on the grief of truly suffering people.  That said, a Facebook group isn't the place to take after fraud-psychics. At least not this sort of Facebook group.

And so, ironically, it wound up being me, possibly the only atheist in Mormon-town, coming to her defense.  Oddly, most of the kind, Christ-ly types stayed mum.


Speaking of John Edward, I'm concerned some folks get confused when trying to differentiate between John Edward, the shameful American grief vampire and John Edwards, the shamed American politician who knocked up some "actress/film producer/campaign worker" while his wife was busy dying of cancer.  To help clear up any confusion, I've got this:

Hopefully, that'll clear things up.  One is a cheap, unfaithful, glad-handing politician who appears to do the better portion of his thinking with his dick, while the other's a cheap, glad-handing charlatan who turns a buck exploiting the hopes of desperate folks who've lost loved ones.  Of course, this is all purely personal opinion.  We all know there's not really any such thing as vampires or Rumplestilskin.  

And the existence of faithful politicians is an iffy one, as well.


Okay, one last thing today, something that's been bothering me since last weekend in Shenandoah. No, this has nothing to do with mean, stupid men on "teeny weenie" crotch rockets.  No, this has to do with women and religion. Particularly certain sects.  Like this one:

Someone explain this to me.  They were all together, traveling as a group in two vans.  Clearly family and friends. ALL of the men were wearing "normal" American street clothes--hoodies, jeans, etc.  The women, on the other hand, were all covered in traditional--what is that, Mennonite?  That's what I'm thinking, considering the area.  So the women have their heads covered, wearing long, shapeless dresses, didn't appear to be wearing makeup or any sort of adornment.

I need this explained to me, because it really smacks of something oppressive and fundamentally unfair.  Why are the guys permitted to dress like your average folk, but the women not?  And I don't want to hear about how it's personal choice, because a lot of women in Saudi will tell you the same thing--they're happy this way, it's their choice, it's a religious thing, etc.  And we, as westerners, are horrified by it.  Yet this is okay?  We smile indulgently and say it reflects "good, old fashioned values?"

Why?  Seriously, someone explain this to me and show me why this is any different.  Because they could choose to leave?  There are women who could choose to leave Pakistan, too--that's not a defense, that's not an explanation.  "You could choose to leave your home and your community if you don't like the sexism" is not good enough.

I'm not dissing on the Mennonites (or Amish), and I know that not all Mennonites dress/live this way.  What I'm after is an explanation--why are the women dressed this way but the men are not?


Oh, one tiny last thing before I go--a big shout-out to the fancy parasitic wasps in our garden.  You guys saved our tomatoes!  Seriously, our tomatoes were in awful shape, lousy with tomato hornworms, and now?  Now they're lovely, putting off fruit like mad.  Enough tomatoes we'll be making salsa or freezing up some batches of chili or Catalan.  Yay!

Also, since we're talking about wasp-y things, we've got these small wasps--they look almost exactly like yellow jackets, but smaller than I'm accustomed to.  They do the same darting, back and forth thing before they land, and they seem to be spending all their time on our cucumbers.  But here's the thing--they're not aggressive like yellow jackets.  When I disturb them (while watering or picking cukes), they just fly a foot or so away and find a new spot to land.  They don't care about me at all.  What are these?  Docile yellow jackets?  I've hear about "aerial yellow jackets," are those these?  They're about a half inch long, and marked/colored like yellow jackets.  They are NOT bees, mud daubers, or paper wasps.  Anyone?

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