Reality, virtually

I feel like this little corner of the internet is a neglected child. Only slightly more neglected than our pet turtle… We’re having a holiday this week, and I hope to get back on the writing/blogging horse after spending some time in the recovery position.

It’s also been a while since I wrote anything about lifeĀ – which was, when I started this thing, the whole point. I know I’ve moved on a little. It’d surprise me greatly to find any people who read my original blog still reading (with the exception of my family), while now there are heaps of people I don’t know who seem to read this stuff. I’m yet to figure out the work/life/blog balance in this new chapter of life.

So here, in something of an explanation, is what has been keeping me occupied recently (outside of church).

We moved house, into a place with a yard. A yard we can dig up into a vegetable garden, use to grow a variety of produce (including chickens), and to raise a puppy. So I’ve built a chicken coop and we bought a dog. These domestic pursuits are leaving me feeling a little like Walden.

I’m not very good at building stuff, so the chicken coop took an extraordinarily long time. It hasn’t fallen over yet. I have hundreds (probably) of little cuts on my hands.

The vegetable garden is producing.

The puppy is part wolf (husky), part labrador, part border collie. Pretty much what you’d get if you added all the things Robyn (Labrador), and I (husky), wanted in a dog, along with our perfect compromise dog (border collie). Her name is Tully. She’s named after Marcus Tullius Cicero.

And, since we’re sharing and stuff… I’m about to start my eighth week of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. It seems to be working. I didn’t even get KFC on the way home from church tonight (nor have I in the last seven weeks).

The amazing chicken deboning machine

There’s a robot for that. In the day an age of every intangible calculation being performed by an iPhone app, it seems fitting that there are also robots for almost all tangible activities. I for one welcome our technological overlords.

One armed, one legged, chicken-killing monkey

I’m not sure if there’s a moral to this story. But I found it a bit amusing. It’s the ultimate case of “monkey see, monkey do”… the monkey was rescued from a perilous health situation by its owner, who amputated two decayed limbs. The primate now hangs out in the house, trying to earn his keep by copying his master as he goes about his house chores. Unfortunately he has a real knack for killing chickens.

“And when Li slaughtered a chicken, the monkey copied him and has since killed about 80 chickens, reports the Chuncheng Evening Post.

“From then on, whenever it’s not occupied, it jumps into the chicken pen, and kills the chickens, no matter how big or small, and tries to pluck them,” said Li.

“His record is nine chickens in one day. The lesson I have learned is to never slaughter a chicken in front of a monkey.””

Chickens not humans

There’s an article in the Townsville Bulletin today guilty of the same fallacy that Pamela Anderson’s PETA protest committed. It is never “humane” to eat another being. If, as I suggest, the word humane means to treat compassionately or to treat as human. Historically the word was used as an equivalent to “human”.

The soldiers in the story were given live chickens to turn into food – without instructions for how to appropriately end their feathery lives. They are in trouble for allegedly treating the chickens inhumanely.

“A Defence spokeswoman denied claims the chickens had been treated inhumanely.”

Well. They ate the chickens. Regardless of how they treated the chickens beforehand I’d say that’s a pretty long bow to draw. You can’t have your chicken, and eat it too. That is to say – it’s one or the other. Either chickens are a food source and killing them is killing them – or chickens are to be venerated like cows in India.

To use the word “humane” in the context of things we’re eating is kind of stupid.
To start with chickens aren’t human. I know that the current definition of “humane” is to show human qualities of kindness and compassion… I still think that’s wrong. How can you eat something compassionately? You’re ultimately saying “my life is worth more than yours” – and if, like me, you regularly eat meat, you’re saying “my life is worth hundreds or thousands of you” (and more if you eat lots of eggs).

Sure, you can kill them gently. But that’s still killing them to eat.

Thus ends my rant.

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