dog-shelter

Rescued Dogs: Are we all to Blame?

As I ponder my thought of the day, I have to come realise that we exist in extremes. Extremes of the very best and sadly, also in extremes of the very worst kind, an ugly word, cruelty.

In the past few weeks two stories unfolded in the news media which caught my attention, touched my heart and also incited deep anger within me. Last month six little puppies were carelessly stuffed into a suitcase and abandoned next to an outdoor trash bin while their mother, who was tied up next to it, was pacing beside the suitcase. Many emotions go through my mind at the thought of the suffering and fear the puppies must have felt and also the maternal instinct of the mother, who was frantically pacing. It is hard for me to imagine what kind of person would do such an inhumane act. If not for a passerby, this story would not have a happy ending.

Puppies Abandoned

The Toledo Area Humane Society received 132 requests to adopt the puppies which led them to hold a lottery and all the puppies and their mother have found loving homes. Many people following this story, are probably all feeling a sense of relief, I am also but it is short-lived. While I am very happy for these adopted puppies and their mother I can’t help but ponder about all the other abandoned dogs and cats. The statistics are heart breaking. Millions of them enter shelters each year and more than half of them will not make it out of the shelter alive.
Somehow we have become a nation where everything is so easily disposed of, unwanted, thrown out without a thought. We seem to disrespect our planet, the animal kingdom and even each other. While I do still believe there are many caring and selfless individuals out there, I think we have reached a time where it’s no acceptable to just exist in our own little world, we have to step up and say, “It’s enough”.

Pet Adoption

I have learned that these words “Adopt, not shop”, are words to think about. If you take a moment and analyze that every day 10,000 people are born in the United States and every day about 70,000 kittens and puppies are born, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out there will never be enough homes for all these animals. I can argue the point now about the need to spay or neuter your pet but I think if you don’t know this by know you should not own a pet.

This statistics speaks for itself…..

” In six years one unspayed female dog and her offspring can reproduce 67,000 dogs.” – thedogrescuers.com

Does it make sense as a society we accept that over $2 billion is spent each year to shelter and ultimately destroy 8-10 million adoptable cats and dogs because we continue to breed. Is it acceptable behaviour to be able to knowingly look the other way when we want another pet and just “buy” a new one from a breeder? Is compassion something we turn on when we feel like it?

Abandoned Puppy Fiona

This brings me to share a story of an abandoned poodle. This is a story about extreme neglect and animal cruelty and extreme caring. The founders of Hope for Paws, a Los Angeles based animal rescue organization, owned by the Hagars, found the poodle which they named Fiona, lying down in a heap of trash, blind, sick, badly flea-infested and filthy. No clue to how long she had been abandoned, they carefully gathered her in their arms and brought her home. They shaved her matted, filthy fur off and gave Fiona a chance at life. Upon learning that partial vision could be restored in one of her eyes by replacing the lens, they initiated a fundraising campaign to raise the $4000 needed for the surgery. Hundreds of people donated and Fiona gained sight in one of her eyes. Today, Fiona has been adopted and is doing great. The Hagars filmed Fiona’s story and have posted it on Youtube to inspire others to help or adopt an abandoned dog. I know it has inspired me to try to do more for homeless pets. I started a few months ago, with adopting “Gordy” and from being a very quiet dog to a happy, loving dog, I can see all it took was to give him a chance, a home, some love, some compassion. Please watch Fiona’s Story

Fiona a Rescued Dog

While many will say they don’t abuse or neglect animals, in some way we all do, we all are participating by the sheer fact we know they are there, the statistics are there, millions of abandoned pets are just there. They are there sitting, just waiting for someone to care. A country of millions has a voice, this extreme neglect to those who depend on us and offer everything, from unconditional love and loyalty deserve some extreme behaviour from us, some extreme compassion.

nationalism-crisis-of-consciousness

Nationalism: The enhancement of the crisis of consciousness

Nationalism is all pervasive. From a young age we are drawn into geographic segregation without question or concern. Without understanding or compassion.

Fervent nationalism can foster the strengthening of a nation’s population and unite people behind certain ideological ideals such as freedom and democracy or totalitarianism and perpetual war. It can be a cause for joy or a cause for the disillusionment of society. From our earliest days, we are instructed by the media, our professors and parents that we owe a certain degree of loyalty to the state within which we inhabit. In other words, nationalism is “supposed” to be some sort of inherent quality of human life in which anyone who expresses anti-national sentiments or who simply doesn’t really care is labelled as a sort of anarchist or rebel.

Why loyalty to my nation?

I really don’t understand why I owe any loyalty to my nation or why I should offer my life in some unimaginable war in order to protect a set of ideals which I never had any input in crafting. Furthermore, I have a hard time accepting the premise that the world has been and forever will be locked into a system of artificial geographic boundaries and limitations. In my opinion, the sooner we rid ourselves of fervent nationalism and the geographic separation of people, the sooner we will embrace the reality that we all share a common planet.

The issue of nationalism can also be related to the concept of the crisis of consciousness as the root purpose of nationalism is to divide humanity. Countries also have an inherent interest in ensuring strong feelings of nationalism or rather; governments have a mission, in order to ensure their survival, to promote strong nationalism among their electorate.

If you examine the mainstream republican explanation for the war on terrorism, you will hear republicans use the phrase that the American way of life is antithetical to that of the terrorists. This statement is made in complete and total ignorance and is designed to pump up and connect a certain set of ideals with the geographic boundaries of the United States of America. A similar statement can be seen from the claims that Iran is a “terrorist state”.

The last time I checked, freedom, equality, compassion and tolerance were not the solely desired characteristics of the United States, France, Japan, radical terrorists or any other limited categorization but rather the aspirations of humanity as a whole.

Rid yourselves of your imaginary categorizations and barriers.

consumer culture

Outdoor Advertising and Consumer Culture

In today’s global capitalist society, it is very rare that we are not bombarded with daily visual reminders of consumer culture, brands, products and advertising.

Exterior advertising in the form of billboards, vehicle adverts and so on are seemingly everywhere. Due to their ever enduring and global presence, individuals tend to become conditioned to consumer culture and to overlook the simple pleasures or beauties of nature. In other cases, people feel as though they are being assaulted by false or unsought information.

My position on outdoor advertising is fairly straightforward. I view any form of advertising as a complete and utter waste of resources especially when considering the current make-up of society, with its extremes in wealth and poverty. Each billboard in Manhattan is an insult to every starving or dying child in third world countries or to the homeless population of North America. Think for a moment if all the money, resources and human labour that was spent on advertising or marketing within a given year was instead used to improve society as opposed to flooding it with misinformation and visual pollution. Think for a moment if the human agenda was placed in the foreground and the capitalistic endeavours of big business were thrown out if only for a year. I could hardly fathom all the good which could be done with the resources that would otherwise be wasted on meaningless Coca-Cola ads.

São Paulo Brazil

In some parts of the world, outdoor advertising has been recognized for the visual pollution that it is. Notably, in São Paulo Brazil, virtually all forms of outdoor advertizing have been banned thanks to the passing of the Clean City Laws by the city’s mayor Gilberto Kassab. Thanks to the passing of these laws, residents have claimed that they find their city to be much more visually appealing. Furthermore, the city’s problems with urban poverty or favelization have been pushed into the sight of public as prior, favelas were often masked or hidden behind large advertising billboards.

São Paulo Brazil

Perhaps the Clean City Laws should be passed in other cities or regions around the world but I would be much more interested in diverting funds and resources away from advertising and directing them towards large societal problems.

What are your thoughts?

Latin American leaders

Social Unrest in North America – The Challenges Ahead

The Politics of the Left are rising around the world. People are waking from their capitalism-induced slumber and realizing that the goals of perpetual competition, perpetual profits and perpetual capital accumulation are inherently flawed and could never be regulated for the betterment of society.

Throughout South America a Bolivarian Revolution is occurring as the nations of Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Barbuda, Antigua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have made a commitment to establish popular democracy, equitable distribution of revenues, economic independence and the annihilation of political corruption. Across Europe and North America we are witnessing the rise of social unrest and a call for greater justice within economic systems. The election of the socialist president Hollande in France is evidence of this uprising.

In terms of North America, there has yet to emerge anything constructive from the social movements and popular unrest that is spreading throughout the region and that is partly due to a lack of consensus on what the issues are and what should be the solution. In time this will all be made clear as popular figures rise up to the challenge although I think that we have a great deal to learn from South America and specifically over the issue of popular democracy.

Bolivarian Revolution

Participatory Democracy and Co-production

If you were to take a look at the democratic regimes and electoral systems in the United States and Canada, you will see highly centralized political systems, insulated officials, a lacking of institutionalized or enforced checks and balances and the widespread influence of interest groups and powerful lobbying groups for the private sector. In other words, North American democracy is hardly living up to its reputation. The reasons for this are widespread. One could turn to the French Disease or the growing passivity of the population as explanations or to the judicial/legal systems which over-privileges corporations and bestow them with the status of being considered a person. This reality has produced a situation in which corporate money is essentially running the show in Washington and Ottawa. In fact, this second point has long been a historical reality in South American nations and has acted as a catalyst for the Bolivarian Revolution and participatory democracy.

In terms of participatory democracy, this system would alleviate many of the above discussed problems as it calls for the empowerment and direct action of the population at large. In Venezuela for instance, the population is empowered through various groups and boards which receive government funding to perform certain tasks or fill certain roles such as municipal policing, construction of condominium systems and sustenance farming. In this way, important political issues or government services are resolved or delivered through co-production.

In my opinion, this is the challenge for North America: To establish participatory democracy and co-production.

chicken- on- drugs

Chicken abuse – Prozac, arsenic, caffeine and banned antibiotics?

Having spent my summers as a child on my grandparent’s farm with all the different animals, I have a certain fondness for cows, pigs and chickens. By choice I don’t consume beef or pork but I still eat poultry from time to time. This week that decision weighs heavily on my mind since reading the results of a recent study on the composition of Chicken meal. There is evidence that chickens may be dosed with caffeine, arsenic, Benadryl and several antibiotics, including some which have been banned since 2005. These banned antibiotics, called fluoroquinolones, were banned from poultry due to the fact it breeds antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”(a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotic drugs).

Why are farmers using these drugs?

Well, the effects of caffeine are self-explanatory, helps to keep the chickens awake for longer periods of time within a day enabling them to consume more. As for the Prozac and Benadryl, it helps with anxiety so the farmers can speed up their growth as well as improve the flavor of their meat. When I hear the word “arsenic” what comes to mind is not that I want to consume it, yet it is administered to chickens so that their meat becomes a nice pink color. Totally outrageous to ingest arsenic because raw chicken meat has to look a certain color. I was aware like most of us, that hormones were being given to animals in livestock and antibiotics if an animal was sick but as for the rest of that long list of drugs and hazardous products published from two new studies, one by Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health and the other by Arizona State University, I was clueless.

CBC Marketplace did a study which involved sampling 100 different retail packages of chicken from across Canada. The results astonished me, 2/3 of the samples have bugs and many of these bugs had mutated into “superbugs” resistant to at least one antibiotic. Shockingly, some chicken samples had a resistance to 8 antibiotics.

If the standards by which we raise and treat animals for consumption does not change we shall be headed towards a day when antibiotics will no longer work for humans. Those days when you died if you acquired pneumonia should not be revisited. We cannot be administering human antibiotics to livestock as a preventive measure, only if needed due to illness.

What is really alarming, and should be a wakeup call for all of us is that “ceftiofur” is the only safe antibiotic given for food poisoning to children and pregnant women and half the salmonella found had a resistance to ceftiofur.

Chickens – Most abused animals on the Planet

In United States alone, more than 7 billion chickens are consumed, not counting the millions of hens confined for their eggs. Almost all of these chickens spend their lives in total confinement from the moment they are hatched. Remarkably, more chickens are consumed that all other land animals combined and no federal laws exist to protect them. I believe given a choice, most people would agree that some laws should be created. Many of us don’t know that chickens are interesting animals with intelligence similar to dogs and cats. They tend to be social and enjoy spending time roosting, lying in the sun, scratching and pecking for food and even taking dusts baths.

Chickens

Sadly, millions of chickens never have a chance to do what they naturally tend to do. A baby chick is never allowed contact with its parents or even to enjoy a simple thing like feel the sun on their backs. They spend their lives squashed into filthy barns with thousands of birds which results in outbreaks of diseases. They are drugged to grow quickly and large, causing their organs to fail and their legs to cripple from deformity. Sadly, some die just from not being able to use their legs to get water. The fate of those still at a young age of 6 to 7 weeks old, is to be crammed into a cage headed for slaughter.

Laying hens don’t have it any better. They are shoved into wire cages and can’t even spread their wings. Parts of their beaks are cut off so they can’t peck at each other due to confinement. They are shipped to slaughter after they have been abused producing chicks and most often turned into soup or cat and dog food because their flesh is too abused and damaged.

You may wonder at this point what happens to the male chicks, well since they cannot lay eggs and are not bred for their flesh, they are destroyed. Every year more than 100 million of these male chicks are “ground up alive or tossed into bags to suffocate”.

Chicken-Abuse

If their life on a chicken farm was not unbearable enough, the journey to the slaughterhouse is a voyage into hell as far as I am concerned. They are transported through all extreme weather conditions and millions suffer from broken legs and wings due to rough handling. Sadly many die just from the stress of the transport.

The cruelty doesn’t end there, at the slaughterhouse their legs are shackled and their throats cut before immersing them in scalding hot water to remove their feathers. Many who miss the throat cutter are scalded to death alive.

With the injections of hormones, antibiotics and other substances combined with the cruelty how can I possibly enjoy a chicken burger created out of complete torture?

Some may argue the point that there are many starving people and I agree but I do think there must be an alternative way to feed the world. Antibiotics are not a renewable resource and most of it is wasted, not even consumed by humans. If we change how we treat animals we rely on and create an environment where it is advantageous for both, maybe we won’t have to drug animals for illnesses and stress or abuse them so badly.

Who’s to blame for the chicken abuse?

It is hard to rationalize our present systems, but in the end we are all responsible in some way for the world in which we live. I believe we should question, ponder, exchange thoughts and voice ourselves because who shall we blame if the day comes when drugs we once relied on is rendered no longer effective by practices we do.

Do we really prefer to abuse animals in deplorable conditions where bacteria can grow rampantly and lead to untreatable infections turning up in our hospitals, instead of possibly paying more for our chicken?

I don’t have all the answers but I do understand the potential risk to humans posed by using antibiotics as growth promoters. I can say this much, after doing my research and some deep pondering I am glad with my decision to avoid conventional meat when possible.

Related Website: Food INC

transport.food

Back to growing your own food?

Unfortunately for us, the way we live today consumes fossil fuels at a rate we cannot sustain, without severe consequences. Approximately 7 calories of fossil fuel energy are required to produce 1 calorie of food. Due to petroleum being so widely used, more than 88 million barrels of oil a day worldwide, we have to acknowledge that it being a finite resource we will deplete its availability at some point. Life as we know it will cease to exist whether we like it or not. Are you ready for the changes this will bring about?

Globalisation has allowed us to buy goods from foreign countries located thousands of kilometres away. This cost of transport is not only a monetary one but also to our fossil fuel supply. In America, the distance food travels on average is 2400 km from farm to customer and add into that equation food from foreign countries.

Ponder this… to import 1 calorie of asparagus by plane from Chile it will use 97 calories of transport energy and to fly 1 unit of carrot energy from South Africa it will consume 66 units of energy…”

The food system is constantly lengthening its supply chain and this increases emissions and is a significant contributor to global warming. Ironically the very food system which creates these greenhouse gases is affected in a negative way. The many conventional methods we use to overcome environmental problems results in an increase in the consumption of finite oil and our gas reserves, resulting in a vicious cycle where oil dependence and environmental degradation endures.

What really makes no sense to me is that many countries import and export similar quantities of the same foods which makes the impact of all this transportation unnecessary. Analysts have stated that the current oil supply which fuels our food system could be exhausted by 2040. Globalisation has made it unlikely that a modern society can collapse in isolation therefor, for the first time in history we are facing a risk of global decline. When you are faced to really think about it, the total world population is continually increasing yet our planet remains the same size. There is a limit to our natural resources and many are non-renewable and even those which are renewable are being consumed faster than we can replenish it.

If the world had spent the last 25 years urgently preparing alternative energies, conservation technologies, and patterns of land use with a much lower dependence on transport…. Instead, “the long-expected shock finds us unprepared” - policy analyst David Fleming

Grow your food?

A low energy future may not be that far away and we will survive it better if we learn to be more self-sufficient in our lives. The day is fast approaching when we shall enter into an era where the world will have to be fed with a limited use of fossil fuels.

So, what can we do? I think it is clear; we must shift our buying habits to local markets. We must cut down the transportation time needed to obtain our goods, thus benefiting our environment. Supporting local markets would be a great way to lower fossil fuel consumption and even better start to learn to grow your own food whenever possible.

Grow food

There are many who don’t have land to grow their own tomatoes, starting a community garden might be a good idea, if not, tomato plants grow quite nicely in a pot on a balcony with lots of fresh herbs around it. Give it a try!.

global-warming

Consume Less, Share More, Live Simpler

How can we supply enough food to feed billions of people with the effects of climate change?

As for myself, I still bypass genetically grown produce but I am rethinking my thoughts on it. We may need to get used to consuming genetically modified crops. Genetically modified produce may be dangerous depending on what’s in it. Hopefully we will be able to acquire the knowledge to successfully utilize the power of genetics and provide for the masses. It can take years to create more heat resistant crops and I am not sure about the amount of funding that area of development has at the moment.

So far, the largest producers of agricultural pesticides and products are developing seeds, pesticides and all sorts of things that prevent re-seeding. Most lock producers into contracts that force them to destroy all their saved seeds in order to get their products that make crops grow faster. Farmers are powerless as they don’t have the capital to lobby politicians and they can’t compete effectively if they choose not to use these growth enhancing products. This is a failure of capitalism. There is no such thing as sustainability in capitalist production.

The climate change that is taking place because of increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.” What kind of changes? Well, besides destroying the oceans, the study warns of “irreversible dry-season rainfall reductions in several regions comparable to those of the ‘dust bowl’ era and inexorable sea level rise. - A 2009 study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The keywords in the above quote which makes me stop and ponder are these,” irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.” Does this imply that even if we make changes, we will still face an inevitable onslaught of devastating consequences? The outlook looks bleak at best. There are multiple warnings out there already like the fires in Australia, polar bears suffering from ice loss, bleaching of the coral reefs, etc.

Pollution

We are pouring into the atmosphere more carbon dioxide than the plants and oceans can absorb.

The amount of dangerous carbon dioxide we spew into the air each day from burning fossil fuels and deforestation is roughly equivalent to five thousand spills like in the Gulf of Mexico, all going at once … every day for decades and centuries on end. - realclimate.org

Tragic loss of species

Another thought to ponder is that the world is losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate. How many species do we have on Earth? Well, it was estimated to be 8.7 million which is enough to be amazing but what really is mind blowing is that a recent study stated that a staggering 86% of all land species and 91% of species in the sea have yet to be discovered and documented.

Now we are in the 6th mass extinction event, which is a result of a competition for resources between one species on the planet — humans — and all others. The process towards extinction is mainly caused by habitat degradation, whose effect on biodiversity is worsened by the ongoing human-induced climate change. The biodiversity crisis — i.e. the rapid loss of species and the rapid degradation of ecosystems — is probably a greater threat than global climate change to the stability and prosperous future of mankind on Earth. - Prof. Carsten Rahbek

Sadly, with the clock of extinction ticking faster for many species, who knows what, if we respected our planet more we could have discovered.

We read everywhere now about how we can help to reduce our carbon footprint and that the crisis through conservation may be prevented with technology, smart growth, recycling, electric and hybrid cars, etc.

While it may be true that conservation will save you money, it alone won’t save the planet. If some people cut back on oil use, the reduced demand will drive down the price, allowing others to buy it for less. As far back in the 19th century, economist William Stanley Jevons understood that a better steam engine made coal a more cost effective fuel source, which led to the use of more steam engines, which increased total coal consumption.

Growth of use will consume any energy or resources saved through conservation.

Will recycling save us?

Relying on technology may give us a sense of “it will be ok”, but in reality technology channels energy into work but doesn’t replace it. It also consumes resources, for example computers use one tenth of the energy needed to make a car. While advanced technologies make makes us feel like we are progressing, it may make the situation worse as many utilize rare minerals. I think it is important for everyone to know that 97% of the world’s Rare Earths are produced by China and mostly from a single mine located in Mongolia. We all use them in our everyday lives and what is scary is the notion that China, facing an increased demand may one day restrict its exportation.

If we believe that recycling and using electric cars will have enough impact to deter the crisis headed our way, we are delusional.

Recycling

Recycling uses energy and it’s far from 100% efficient, only a fraction of the material is reused leaving most to waste. As for electric cars, most power is generated from fossil fuels. All cars consume some oil in their production. A tire requires approximately 7 gallons of petroleum. At current growth rates, the number of vehicles could reach 2 billion by 2025. How can our planet sustain this impact regardless of their power source?

So what to think about our future? Well, we may be headed for a much simpler life, one where we have no choice but to consume less energy. We may have to be more like our ancestors, do more manual labour, obtain our goods, foods, services from local markets due to less supply from foreign countries, start walking and cycling, and preserve what we can.

My final thought

I think we can all expect a low energy future, I guess I’ll be like my grandmother pinning my laundry on a clothesline but at least my sheets will smell fresh.

deforestation-2

Tragedy of the Commons

The notion of the tragedy of the commons is one which troubles me. The basic premise of this concept is the idea that humanity is locked in a system which calls for the endless increase in the production of goods and services, regardless of human need, environmental impacts, socioeconomic implications or the fact that we inhabit a finite world.

In a nutshell, the tragedy of the commons is part of the basic logic of capitalism. This can be seen through the profit motive, an inherent feature of capitalism, which calls for the exponential increase in profits. All firms are governed by the profit motive and thus, most firms ignore the tragedy of the commons. There are some exceptions to this (which is why I only claim that most firms choose to be ignorant) such as Interface, but the vast majority of corporations and businesses are not concerned with the “negative externalities” of their profit-seeking activities. We have reached the point in our society, where there is a clear link between capitalism and global warming, vast inequality and the extinction of both wildlife and plant life. These linkages cannot be denied. The result of doing so would be catastrophic.

Take the example of Easter Island, a small island in the Pacific Ocean whose history is quite revealing. The ancient society which inhabited the island around 1200 AD had proceeded over the mass deforestation of the island in order to construct huge stone statues. Such actions are comparable to the current deforestation in South America which sees to the removal of a football field’s worth of jungle every fourteen seconds. As a result of the mass deforestation, the ancient civilization which inhabited Easter Island was plummeted into famine and perpetual warfare.

Let us not forget the historical result of the tragedy of the commons. Capitalism is not the answer.

Molly

Would you ever get a pet rodent?

Growing up I had what you would call, “normal pets”, you know cats and dogs. I spent my summers and many weekends at my grandparent’s farm in the country where I often played in the barn patting the cow’s heads, trying to get the chicken eggs without them biting me and chasing the kittens. So my love for animals developed at a young age. Something which I felt was important to pass on to my four kids. Little did I know it would come and launch me right out of my comfort zone.

I had decided to bring my youngest daughter, who at the time was about 9 years old to the pet shop. She inherited my love of animals and wanted to see the puppies and kittens. How could I refuse? Once inside, after finishing having some fun with the puppies she wandered over to the rodent section. I had to follow her and started to look with her at the little gerbils, hamsters and mice. I wasn’t too sure how I felt since in my early childhood the only visions I had of mice were of the dead ones in the traps on the farm carefully placed near the storage area of the horses and cows feed and of the cats carrying the bodies of the little mice looking for a place to hide and have dinner.

All of a sudden my daughter noticed one of the employees and walked up to her. I was instantly in a state of panic as I saw what the employee was holding. It was a huge rat, yes RAT! She bent down and asked my daughter if she would like to hold it. Of course my daughter smiled and held out her hands with no hesitation and took the rat. At this point I was not sure what to think. I just stood there frozen. Then my daughter turned to me with the biggest smile and said, “Ok Mommy, now it’s your turn” and she held the rat out to me. A million things ran through my mind at the moment but what stood out the most was, how she had no fear but saw the beauty in the little animal and I could not destroy how she thought. I put my hands out and took the rat from her. I was amazed at how much it weighed and really had no clue how to hold him. So, I held him like a baby on my shoulder. I turned my face to look at it and it was staring at me, wiggling its nose and right then and there I realized it was a living creature and how it had to trust me not to harm it. My fears left me and I could enjoy the moment and saw things differently.

Pet Rodent

Well, I guess you are wondering how this outing ending, it wasn’t with a new pet rat, I wasn’t ready for that, but we did get a pet hamster which we named Molly. She became such a part of our everyday lives and not a day passed where I didn’t hold that cute little furry ball. Often I thought about what my grandmother would think if she could see me holding a rodent. Sadly, Molly passed away after three years. This post is for you Molly.

capitalism1

Capitalism and its Inherent Flaws

One does not have to ponder for too long to realize that there is something profoundly wrong with our society. From the vast inequality to the political alienation of the masses, it is clear that our society is becoming increasingly centralized and our discussion of what is right or wrong has become conditioned by the very characteristics which define our subordination to a profoundly sick society.

In this post, I seek to question the status-quo. I believe that the root of the societal problem we face stems from two sources: a crisis of consciousness and from capitalism.

In terms of the notion of a crisis of consciousness, a term widely used by Jiddu Krishnamurti, it is obvious that despite all of our technological, spiritual and cultural development, the human mind has yet to evolve. For instance, we still live in fear of our neighbours as our cavemen ancestors once did, we are still aggressive and violent and we have built a society around these terms. One could argue that this is simply human nature, but to do so, would ignore humanity’s capacity for compassion, friendship and tolerance. I believe that this crisis of consciousness stems from our short-sightedness and is reinforced through the mentality produced under capitalist society.

In terms of capitalism, there is far too much to say. It is a system of slavery. It has produced the greatest amount of inequality ever recorded in human history. It has had profound environmental effects and it has shaped our values and beliefs. Certainly we can do better than a system which locks us into a quest for perpetual economic growth and infinite profits. Certainly we can realize the inherent flaws of this system…especially the notion of the Tragedy of the Commons. Anyhow, what are your thoughts?