family

Humans, you are bigger and stronger than cats.

The headlines read, with a snicker, 22-Pound Cat Takes Family Hostage; Family Calls 911 For Help. The cat, it turns out, is in a family with a new 7-month-old baby. Lux scratched the baby and was kicked. He began hissing and growling and cornered the family including the dog in a bedroom for a short period before presumably making friends again. In this comment thread, someone says, “Don’t kick cats!” and a lot of people are all like, “Why not? He scratched the baby!”

facepalm

My thoughts:

  1. This story is not funny, it’s sad.
  2. Humanity’s amusement about this story says a lot about our collective lack of compassion for beings of other species.
  3. Cats and dogs and children all depend on us and all love us. We don’t have to place them in some kind of hierarchy of importance.
  4. Cats get jealous. They are often very disrupted by the arrival of children. Since we first made a commitment to the cat, we should continue to honor that commitment.
  5. Cats scratch when they’re threatened or upset. Kicking them doesn’t make them feel any less threatened or upset.
  6. Kicking those who are less powerful than you are does nothing but show how cruel and ignorant you are, and sets a terrible example for children.
  7. Next time maybe try apologizing to the cat, protecting him from the baby, and NOT KICKING ANYONE.

As an aside, because I happen to be jumping through the hoops needed to become the second adoptive parent of my own baby son: I can’t believe that people are allowed to just go buy cats and make babies, when adopting them is so difficult (and is done with so much positive intention). Our species will take a great leap forward the day we realize that caring for children and non-human animals is a great privilege as well as a right.

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Another dog shot down by police

From the Huffington Post:

The family said the officer wanted to interview a neighbor and was walking across the front yards of homes on the street when the shooting happened. The Reeves family was not involved in the burglary investigation that brought the officer to their neighborhood. Vern barked and ran toward the officer, prompting the shooting, the family said… “it’s devastating…He was a member of our family… It’s no different from it being a person.”

A love story between a dog and a town

Huffington Post writes about Bear Dog, a canine resident of Castle Rock, Washington:

One black Lab mix is so popular that he has become the exception to his town’s “no pets allowed” rule… According to the Longview Daily News, locals love him so much that he’s been written into posted signs barring animals… The town will likely erect a monument when Bear Dog passes away, Mayor Paul Helenberg told the paper.

Masculinity in the kitchen

In Do We Have The Courage To Raise Our Sons More Like Our Daughters?, Lynn Beisner tells a story about how changing gender norms have allowed her to continue a treasured family tradition of passing on a beloved (presumably non-vegan, but that’s not the point here!) toffee recipe — because her son was ready to take up the torch when her daughter wasn’t. She writes,

I love how my son is challenging all of the gender assumptions I didn’t even know I still had. I love that somehow, against all odds, I managed to raise a guy who cannot have his masculinity threatened because it does not reside in what other people think of him.

As I read this lovely post, I thought of all of the amazing vegan men I know, who are willing to stop eating animals, though so many human cultures seem to equate meat eating and dominance over nature with masculinity. I love that so many men are becoming so willing to help build a more equitable, peaceful, cooperative culture, in these different ways. Maybe the kitchen is a good place to start, since it’s a place where women and animals have been oppressed for a long time.

Maybe one day women won’t fear men, and animals won’t fear humans. Can we make that happen, together?

Help support a local vegan

Hey community, here’s a chance to show how compassionate vegans are: One of us needs some assistance, and this is your chance to help. Check out this donation page for Joe Fisher (made by another vegan), and pass it on.

“If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.”
– Arabian Proverb