Hello and welcome to episode 12 of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, Benjamin Zephaniah, Dennis Kucinich and Avatar.
My first story is about Benjamin Zephaniah, I love his name. His surname is spelt " z or "zee" for the uncultured, e p h a n i a h ". Zephaniah is one of the most interesting Vegans that I know of. I like mentioning him, as he breaks all kinds of stereotypes of what vegans look like. Hes an African Englishman, a rastafarian poet, AND hes vegan! I love it.
I've known about Zephaniah, for a few years, but I've only recently started watching videos of him online. On the Animal Rights and Wrongs podcast I listen to, linked to in my notes, a Zephaniah poem was played recently. Here it is.
I thought it was clever.
I have some other audio of Benjamin Zephaniah, theres a great video about Veganism called Truth Or Dairy. Its somewhat outdated now, its from sometime in the early 90s I assume, its hilarious to see the clothing worn, and the music is odd, the information itself is still relevant. I've linked to Truth Or Dairy in my notes, I'll play a few parts of it now.
In this part, Zephaniah mentions how much he likes fake leather products, I've always hated them, why would I want to look like Im wearing leather? I've always thought leather was ugly, a sort of cross between rubber and vinyl, I dont find it attractive.
<2:24 part 2 "its the 90's">
Ok, from here on it mentions a bunch of people I havnt heard of before. The best one, about the only one from the list I knew, was right at the end, Yuri Geller, the guy who claims to bend spoons using his mind
So I hope you see the full video, I've linked to it in my notes that you can see in the lyrics section of this podcast, or on my blog, coexisting with nonhuman animals . blogspot.com.
Another interesting story I've found was Dennis Kucinich, an American vegan who ran for presidential election, who spoke briefly about veganism in a recent review. Heres an extract of that part.
Its great to see him mentioning veganism, although I've heard him other times mentioning in a speech "all americans deserve to know the meat we eat came from animals that were healthy and lived happy lives".
The last thing I'd like to mention is the movie Avatar. I thought it was a great movie, although I could only see it in 2D, not 3D, which is sort of like watching The Wizard Of Oz on a black and white television.
However, there were a few things that really bothered me. The native alien people in Avatar live "at one" with nature. They believe in literal spirits in everything, and everything is literally connected together, no doubt through some kind of USB and WIFI. But, they do hunt animals, and they have a ritual that they say after killing an animal. They shoot animals with bows and arrows, and then actually say something like "oh brother, i respect your life, i honour your being, you will become one with The People". Unreal. The People of course being the hunters, what a strange way to say "we are going to eat you", as if its some spiritual ceremony with the animal as the special invited guest, as well as the main course.
I was disappointed that the big pure aliens are not vegan, I sort of assumed they would be since they are meant to be "better than dirty humans" in every way environmentally. A lot of Avatar can come across as climate change propaganda, but still, the aliens are not vegan.
I like Lord of the Rings, I've always imagined that the Elves were vegan. Even before I were vegan, I just couldnt imagine the tall white elves with blood on their hands. I could be wrong, its been a while since I've read the book, and I guess they probably eat meat, but at least in my head, Elves should be vegan. They seem to live off their magic bread all the time, which could be vegan, albeit very boring!
In Avatar, the main aliens also have a way of "domesticating" wild animals. They essentially jump on an animal, and jam their ponytail firewire plug into the alien animals, and they instantly connect to the same Airport Extreme network. Once this happens, BOOM, the animal is instantly tamed, and loves the alien who now owns it forever. They stay together forever supposedly, and the alien horses and alien flying dinosaur things wont allow anyone else to ride them. The whole thing was rather sexual I thought, some kind of perverted USB cord rape of animals. Also, the main character does the taming ritual with one flying dinosaur alien, and THEN does it again with another, "better" one. What happens to his first flying friend? The one that is meant to be linked with him forever? So now he has a flying dinosaur alien mistress on the side? Im sure it must hurt the original ones feelings.
I liked Avatar a lot, I think in 3D it might be one of the greatest movies of all time, but its not very Vegan friendly. It almost feels like the ultimate "happy meat" movie, as if the movie reassures us "its ok to use animals however we want, after jumping on them and ramming our ponytail usb drives into their mind usb slots, its just the treatment that matters. As long as we say some mumbo jumbo about being one with The People, its fine to kill animals.".
I'd still recommend you see Avatar.
Thank you for listening to Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.
You can find the script for this episode, as well as downloads for every episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals at coexisting with nonhuman animals . blogspot.com
If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, j a y w o n t d a r t @ gmail.com, I'd appreciate it.
Thank you for listening.
Animal Rights and Wrongs
link from whoar
(direct video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whcKWF4QZoI&feature=player_embedded )
Benjamin Zephaniah Turkey
Truth Or Dairy, with Czech Subtitles no less!