I ran and I learned today

So I woke up later than I wanted, time change. But I got out and ran, even if it was a little slower than I would have liked, but to have energy left to put in another 10 miles today was more than pleasing. It’s always a challenge, it never gets easy, and I think that’s what I like about it. So looks like I’m in good shape for the last week of March, although I wish the wind would die down already. I’m on pace with miles and feeling fairly healthy. With a solid idea of what to expect through the end of May, and through the first two weeks of June, I feel this year, I won’t have the same issues come May and June as I did last year.
Meanwhile, today there were a couple things happening. First, let’s get the shit Tweeter post I saw out of the way. Some dude posted some shit about how women wouldn’t be getting kidnapped and trafficked for sex if their liberation didn’t make people hide who they really are. Basically blaming women, particularly feminism, for the fact people are kidnapping women and forcing them into slavery. That statement is abhorrent. So friends of mine are sharing this with the tag “Why are men like this” or something similar. The first time I saw a man respond “Well, not all men are to blame…” I simply said, that yes because what are we doing to stop nonsense like this. But with the second person to post it, I realized something deeper. I likened the problem of sexism to the problem of racism, the sociological definition, don’t go quoting, or misquoting a dictionary to me. I explained that if you accept the idea that all “white” people are inherently racist because of the system of racism which gives them a boost, no matter how low their station in life, then one should view sexism in the same manner, only that instead of things being drawn down ethnic lines, one must look at it from the prospective of gender.
At first, the person was resistant to this idea. But I took my time and stayed patient and explained further. I don’t know if it was sarcasm or being dismissive, or the person actually understanding, it ended with them posting, “K.” I hope it was an admission that all men are responsible for perpetuating the system in which men are elevated in status and given more opportunity than women. But I gained perspective on the issue a little better and may have actually made a small difference. Or possibly when he said, “If assuming my gf can’t lift a 75 lbs. box is sexist, than I am”, he recognized that, yes, yes that’s sexist. Who knows, but either way, I feel it was a productive conversation. So far the other guy has not re-engaged the conversation.
The other thing today. Look, all my fellow vegetarians and vegans, I’ve been seeing this and it has to stop. Equating factory farming (which is massively horrible) with human trafficking, specifically slavery. Stop. Yes, factory farming is an amoral disaster. It’s a failing of humanity across the board and it needs to stop. Yes, animals are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect; and the industries which lie to us about how much meat we need to eat, creating a demand, destroying the environment and abusing these animals all needs to be rent asunder. It is a nightmare among some of the worst atrocities of human history surely. However, while we don’t need meat to survive, we are omnivores. Those of us who choose to not eat meat, are free to do so. Some people do actually need to get their protein from animal products at this time, it’s rare, but it happens. And even if meat were sustainably raised and humanely treated in life, I would still decide not to eat it.
But the difference between treating people like cattle and cattle like cattle is this. Animals are our evolutionary cousins, this is true. But we have created species specifically to be farmed. Cows, farm pigs, chickens, these are not natural animals. You can’t just find them hanging out in the wilderness. More than that, if you gave a cow, a chicken, a pig the right to vote, could they? Would they be able to contribute to society, pay taxes, help their neighbors? Should we use animals for our own gain and profit? NO! Are they equal to humans in terms of cognition, as far as we know, no.
Yes, animals need to be protected, we need to stop fucking with nature, and we need to stop treating animals like shit. But likening them to other atrocities of human history, likening them to slaves; it’s insensitive to slavery, it’s wrong. You can make the argument for animal liberation without being shitty to other peoples. You can explain the horrors of the factory farm without demeaning the suffering of hundreds of thousands, millions of your fellow human beings past and present. Up your arguments, sharpen your game. If you have so much compassion for animals, why do you fail so badly with compassion for humans?
If your compassion only contains certain living beings but not others, then your compassion is incomplete. Look, I changed it, made it better, and now it’s my own. We have to be more aware of the whole. We have to recognize not just the things we hold dearly, but we have to look beyond to the things we think don’t touch our lives. Basically, you’re committing one huge injustice while trying to fight a different injustice. It simply cannot work like that. Folks might be mad at me for this. It’s ok, I said what I needed to say. Knock it off.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!

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