Friday, September 17, 2010


One fish, two fish;
Red fish, blue fish.
You can't quite keep up
with how fast they vanish.

An apple a day
keeps the doctor away,
But for one trillion fish
there's a huge price to pay.

A bird in the hand
is worth two in the bush?
Your hand is no home
Is freedom too much?

We are told not to cry
over spilt milk.
One mother has done that;
too many tears for her ilk?

Step on a crack
break your mother's back.
That still sounds much better
than a captive bolt to get whacked.

Young men may quip
they are as tough as leather,
But those with their skins
could understand, never.

The best things in life
may truly be free,
Yet animals killed over pennies
ought never to be.

Familiarity breeds contempt,
and absence makes the heart grow fonder.
It is true that we would only eat
those whose interests we would hardly ponder.

This is but a poem, and
Actions speak louder than words.
We must each decide if might makes right,
or if this pen is mightier than the sword.

One fish, two fish;
red fish, blue fish.
Will you choose to grant fish
their one basic wish?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Morissey's Subspecies Comments

Morrissey made news and reignited claims of his supposed racism recently with a comment he made in an interview with the Guardian where he called the Chinese a, "subspecies". Putting the quote into context, I would be more inclined to treat the incident as a slip of the tongue rather than a confession of blatant disregard for the distinction between national origin and biological classification. "Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies." Said Morrissey.

The actual biological meaning of this insult is fairly moot. We are all equally subspecies as well of Homo sapiens (Generally all modern humans are considered Homo sapiens sapiens). The context of his statement however seems strange in light of the fact that he is attempting to fight against discrimination, not just for subspecies, but regardless of the species to which an organism belongs entirely. What he may have meant as, "the policies with regards to non-human animals that he sees coming out of China are atrocious," has come out instead as language that reinforces our human-centric views of ethics.

In addition to this, Morissey's attitude seems to consistently be one that is unlikely to win people over. As Jon Camp of Vegan Outreach has repeatedly emphasized, we are more likely to win people over with honey than vinegar. While Morrissey's outrage over animal rights issues is entirely understandable (He walked off the stage from one of his concerts last year saying, "It smells like meat;" I often find myself wanting to do the same at family meals.) he isn't going to win people over by appearing constantly bitter over the issue.

If I were in Morrissey's shoes at this point I would clarify the statement I made to the Guardian saying something along the lines of, "Clearly China is a diverse country and no statement can speak for the ideas of all it's citizens. I think all people should find the policies coming out of that nation with regards to non-human animals to be unacceptable, and that was the sentiment that I had intended to express with my original statement." Additionally I think he should use his music as a positive opportunity to raise awareness about veganism. While I love his song "Meat is Murder" that he put out with the Smiths, perhaps he could add a brief statement beforehand such as, "This next song is about one of the greatest injustices that still exists in our world today, but each of you can do something to save dozens of lives every year through your own actions, just by choosing to eat less meat."

For the rest of us, perhaps this can serve as a warning about the power of both the language we use, and the attitude we have when communicating, over how our message will be perceived by others.