Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Palin, turkeys, and lack of connection to overall suffering of sentient beings November 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. A. Breeze Harper @ 12:10 pm

I do wonder what is going on in this woman’s head? Or, maybe I do not want to know?

I am just wondering how far her lack of compassion and connection to “immediate” suffering go? Would she be this comfortable, interviewing in front of a plantation of enslaved African children working to harvest “her” cocoa on the Ivory coast? Would she say things like, “This is really exciting!”  What about if it were 1750 antebellum USA, and she were in front of a cotton plantation, a few feet away from African slaves being branded or whipped? Would she be “excited” to participate in this “fun” event, happy to see where “her” cotton is coming from, then say how she’s thankful for her own family’s health and happiness? Would she completely not realize that the sentient beings right next to her, being callously slaughtered, tortured, exploited, desire “health and happiness”?

I’m not trying to be extreme or ridiculous here, but I seriously see some disturbing connections here to oblivion or lack of care to how sentient beings SUFFER for the “luxuries” of certain human beings who feel sincerely “privileged” and “entitled” to the materials, products, etc that come out of this “naturalized” exploitation and suffering. She seems “dangerously” comfortable with this and I can’t imagine how this consciousness (or lack there of ) would have played out if she had become VP of the USA.

Breeze

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17 Responses to “Palin, turkeys, and lack of connection to overall suffering of sentient beings”

  1. meridith Says:

    Ugh, I saw the video yesterday. Her lack of making connections is astounding. And in regard to your question about what’s going on in her head? Quite honestly I do not want to know.

  2. Melynda Says:

    I first started watching the video before I read your blog and was horrified to what I was watching! How can she stand there with a smile on her face saying that she is thankful for her family being healthy and happy while there are turkeys suffering behind her waiting to be killed. It was so disturbing watching the turkeys wiggling while the man is shoving their heads in that….what the hell are those things? Is that how the turkeys eat? WTF???? She is mentally damaged when it comes to compassion for animals. Look at the ways she was raised. Did you see the pictures of her parents with animal body parts all over their walls while they watch their daughter on t.v. Every inch of their walls had body parts on them. It’s one thing to shoot and kill an animal to eat, but taking pictures with the animals after their dead and smiling to the camera and adorning their walls with body parts is morbidly psychologically disturbing. That is what a serial killer does, like Ed Gein. Ed Gein learned to gut peoples bodies and turn body parts into belts, lampshades etc, from hunting. He learned all of it from hunting! I try not to use the word hate, but I HATE SARAH PALIN!!!!

  3. Melynda Says:

    Ok I didn’t realize THAT THE TURKEYS ARE HAVING THEIR HEADS CHOPPED OFF BEHIND HER!!!! I thought they were being forced fed……my brain didn’t want to comprehend what was really going on.

    Do you think when people eat animals that have been emotionally, psychologically, and physically tortured……do you think they also take in that dark energy? Maybe there is a better way in asking that question. I know we all have energies, and I wonder if people take on the negative energy that comes from abused animals that they eat. You are what you eat, right? Well…I would rather be a happy healthy organic carrot, then a tortured murdered animal.

  4. Doris Says:

    I’d been warned that the video shows turkeys being slaughtered and that it is very graphic, but I wish it were more graphic so that people would see the reality of slaughter. It’s so far away, and the worker’s body blocks a lot, so you don’t really see much.

    Regarding Palin, I’m not surprised. She’s completely clueless when it comes to animal issues.

  5. Joselle Says:

    Actually, this video is so much more honest than when Obama pardons “his” turkey next Thanksgiving. I mean, I really like him and I voted for the guy but come on, at least Sarah Palin is standing in front of reality…for once.

    But yeah, it is horrifying that she can stand there with her Burberry scarf (was that one of the Neiman Marcus spoils!) and gourmet coffee, ya know, gosh darn just talking while turkeys get killed.

    When will she go away????

  6. Joselle Says:

    I just read some more news reports about this. I’m really angry that most of the people mocking her for this are probably going to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. I think THAT’S more shocking and oblivious than what she is doing.

  7. Serenity Love Divine Earth Says:

    We should all be thankful she is not our Vice-President

  8. Louche Says:

    “Very graphic”…. Ha! I was expecting it to be very graphic from all accounts, but that’s so completely NOT graphic compared to everything I’ve seen. I’m like, “Gee, if you think that’s graphic, what would you do if you saw the things I’ve seen?” Hopefully, go vegan…

  9. adam Says:

    “At least this was fun!” WTF?
    I suppose it could have been more obnoxious: she could have been in Iraq talking about how thankful she is that Americans are safe and how thankful Iraqis should be that we are protecting them.

    I think Joselle makes an excellent point: Palin may be out of touch with reality but at least she is honest–though ignorant–of the reality around her. And I agree with Doris that it would have been better for people to see more of the slaughter on this good ol’, gosh darn, “family farm”.

  10. Is the irony lost on her that she said “heavy handed politics” just as the guy shoves the turkey in with his own “heavy handed politics”?

    Thanks for sharing this.

  11. ThoughtCriminal Says:

    Melynda,
    In response to your questions I recommend that you read Will Tuttle’s book, The World Peace Diet.
    Dr. Tuttle examines the long term psychological and spiritual effects, in humans, of confining, torturing, and slaughtering other animals. He suggests that humanity’s true nature is of peace and compassion and that it does indeed cause a sort of trauma in all of us humans just to understand and deal with the realities of such exploitation of other animals, dating back thousands of years.
    Definitely an interesting read. Much more radical than the title of the book would have you believe.

  12. All I can hope is that the circulation of this video might encourage some people to choose a vegan Thanksgiving.

  13. bfp Says:

    first, I want to say that I LOVE vegans of color, although I’m not a vegan, I’ve been reading you for a *very* long time, and I am always attracted to your theorizing, thought process, and investment in caring about ALL lives.

    having said that, I’m kinda shocked by a couple of things when reading this post. first, that in the actual post, there is a privileging of animal lives over the lives of people of color-in a way that I find very reminicent of the *white* vegans that this site specifically critiques. As in, laughing and joking while abusing animals is the one last acceptable form of violence in this world. The fact is, it’s more complicated that that–several of the examples listed as not being ‘acceptable’ to drink coffee and laugh and giggle in front of–I’m sorry, but it’s simply not true. There is an experience that *I* personally had when the mexican region of tabasco was completly flooded–and people *were* laughing at that. Picture after picture of people drowing and walking in water up to their armpits were all over the place–and there were many people making fun of the name tabasco–hahaha–it’s like farting or something.

    Second of all, if they aren’t laughing, it’s not because they don’t have the opportunity, but rather instead, because nobody gives enough of a shit to actually do stories about it. We can have sarah palin splashed across every website in the liberal/progressive political blogosphere with people condemning this–but I’ve had multiple interactions where people don’t even know that it’s children out in fields picking their damn bananas so that people in the u.s. can eat “cruelty free.”

    The second point I wanted to make–the several people who have expressed the desire for “real” violence to be shown–for the “really bad shit” to be shown–the animals screaming, the slaughter the blood, etc.

    As a person of color who has seen ALL of that happening to other people of color, as a woman of color who has seen that violence happen to other women of color, who has experienced that violence–I can only hope that the people who are wanting the “real” violence to be shown are kidding.

    If we are going to change the world to a *true* cruelty free world for all animals, than we have to consider–would we wish and hope that more violence could be shown against Iraqi’s so that we can gross people out enough to stop the war? Would we hope that women of color being raped by police could be taped so that we could squick people out and stop rape against women of color?

    We wouldn’t dream of using that sort of tactics for humans–for the simple ethical reason that it is a real fucking being that has to be hurt and violated so that we can achieve our goal. Being dependent upon showing violence so that we can end violence? COme on. And especially when it comes to animals—people aren’t going to change their minds and suddenly care about and activelly protect animals because they’re grossed out.

    And as we’ve seen with violence against women being videotaped and shown in courts or published across the internet, more often than not, people either get off on that shit or think that the women ‘deserved it’ or “enjoyed it”.

    It’s just doesn’t make any organizational sense, AND it’s so so so SO not centering the needs of animals on any level. It’s centering activists need to get people to stop eating animals. If anything, this video *exposes* the problems with the animal rights movement more than anything else–because in all, this is not a terribly ‘cruel’ way to die–Which shows that you don’t really have to stop eating meat to stop violence against animals–you just have to find more human ways to kill animals. What would happen if AR folks instead of placing all their eggs in the ‘make it really gross and they’ll stop eating it” wrestled with more complicated organizing ideas like, “how can we increase the value human’s place on the lives of animals?” Or something along those lines….

  14. Adam Says:

    bfp,
    I think you raise some ver ygood points about the obliviousness to the oppresion behind supposedly “cruelty-free” diets and being cautious about appropriating others’ pain for political ends. On that note, I’m not sure what text you are referencing in regards to the laughing and privileging “animals” above “people”.

    “If anything, this video *exposes* the problems with the animal rights movement…[because] this is not a terribly ‘cruel’ way to die–Which shows that you don’t really have to stop eating meat…you just have to find more human ways to kill animals.”
    — Are you suggesting that by focusing on the violence/gore ARAs are distracting from the positive “rights” of animals by implying that by cleaning up the yucky killing will make killing humane? Or did you mean that killing can be “humane”? I somewhat agree with the former meaning.

    But I think you must realize that many (if not most) AR people came to the movement through witnessing violence in video. It’s so jarring that if you’ve never seen it before and won’t sit down to read a book about it. Killing and eating “meat” is so naturalized, as Breeze mentioned, that sometimes such a jarring is the only way to get people to think-outside-the-steakhouse. On the other hand, hardening to violence can also result from this footage. Thereis a really awesome AV podcast on this: http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/keri_cronin

    “Would we hope that women of color being raped by police could be taped so that we could squick people out and stop rape against women of color?”
    –I don’t personally think you can equate the indignities faced by radically self-aware animals (i.e. people) to those supposedly faced by animals without radical self-awareness. Women of Color, of course, would object to their images being appropriated. Not only does their suffering count to them, but also their pride/dignity/etc. Animals who do not have a conception of the self can only suffer from the present and past, and never from the hypothetical and abstract indignities that portraying their violence might lead to. I don’t imagine “animals” are oppressed as people are through appropriating footage of their suffering.

  15. veganswines Says:

    I wonder what new type of womanhood Palin is embodying. She highlights her being such a “great mum” and she is also extremely highlighting that she loves hunting (killing nonhuman animals).

    On the Daily Show she was quoted as saying that she prefers to hunt caribous over hunting elks because” it was easier to take the kids along”. I wonder if she represents a “new” type of an explicitly speciesist womanhood.

  16. The Vegetating Vegan Says:

    Sarah Palin goes beyond being just ignorant–the depths of her stupidity are boundless. It’s almost profound, really: we’re not talking about your regular ol’ garden variety stupid. This kind of ignorance is only reached through real practice and dedication.

  17. Melissa Says:

    Sarah Palin probably was aware of what her image is, but, unfortunately, a lot of people consider it “folksy” to kill animals or to be comfortable with killing of animals. Palin is quite proud of her ability to kill animals. She’s paying people to shoot wolves from planes and as proof they cut the paw off the dead wolf. I don’t see how compassion is a large part of her worldview: forcing her daughter to carry her child to term and marry someone she wouldn’t otherwise marry… Charging women for their own rape kits. Compassion isn’t what she claims to run on. The Secret Service said that Palin was a threat to Obama because she inflamed people to the point of violence…

    I think it’s good that people are talking about this, because it brings up the fact that turkeys don’t come wrapped in plastic. I liked that Rachel Maddow brought up the fate of the alternate turkeys that Bush didn’t pardon (Subway sandwiches)…


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