we are armed with hope & heart

Karina, 18, Canada.
I like music, books, tea, animals, Hayao Miyazaki, and Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain. I post more personal stuff and opinions on here. check out my other blog if you want.

'i sit before flowers hoping they will train me in the art of opening up.' - shayne koyczan

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Anonymous: So, please tell me all about the easily accessible vegan food pantries you support. And the vegan homeless shelters. Oh, and those vegan options at the American free school lunch program. I'm really interested. And then tell me about how vegan options are easily accessible in poverty-stricken rural areas. Please tell me how it's easier to come across free fruits and veggies than road kill and an over population of deer in the American Mid-West. And then tell me why you want to hate the poor?




Alright, I hope nobody minds but I’m going to answer this one straight (no jokes, no satire). I’m just not in the mood to come up with an entire comedy routine for this. Partly because I’m tired, and partly because this inane talking point is the one that pisses me off the most, out of all them.

I’ll give you a little introduction about myself. I was born in the Dominican Republic. I spent the first 7 years of my life there and I went back there every summer until I was a teen. If you don’t know, it’s an extremely poor country. Not as poor as Haiti, but pretty far away economically from the United States (which is where I live now), Canada, Western Europe, and chances are from any country from which people will most likely be reading this from.

I did not grow up poor. My parents were middle class (by Dominican standards). My grandparents owned a chicken farm.

I knew plenty of poor people. No matter where you go in the Dominican Republic, they are everywhere. Looking back on my childhood, whenever I went to a friend’s house (it was much more like a shack with a tin roof, than a “house”) and if I so happened to catch them while they were eating, I have absolutely no recollection of ever seeing meat on the table.

You know the kind of foods that I always saw? I saw things like rice, potatoes, corn, yucca (root vegetable like potatoes), beans, lentils, peas, breads, and fruits on the table.

I would never venture to say that they were 100% vegan, because obviously I doubt they were. But I’ll bet every last cent that that I have that at the very least 85% of the food they ate (and everybody in their socioeconomic status) was plant-based. Do you know why? Because it’s the cheapest.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. From an agricultural standpoint, the lower you eat on the food chain, the less time and resources go towards the finished product, then the less the finished product is going to cost. If you are growing crops to feed animals and then feeding animals to people, then that’s a lot more time and resources going towards the finished “product”. If you are growing crops to feed people directly, then that’s obviously less time and resource intensive (which makes it less costly).

As countries get richer, the more animal products they consume. That’s what’s going on in China right now.

You most likely being born and raised in the United States and most likely never step foot out of the country and seen how poor people (you know the people that you are so concerned about) eat in other nations. I can assure you they are not dining on hamburgers, hot dogs, bacon, chicken mcnuggets, etc…..

You also, most likely being born and raised in the United States, think the real free market price cost of a hamburger is 99 cents. It’s not even close. The massive subsidies that the government gets, through my taxes, artificially lowers the price of meat and dairy to a much more manageable cost to the consumer.

Now for a person, such as yourself who absolutely hates elitism like you claim you do, can you tell me anything more disgustingly elitist than somebody else having to pick up the tab for your taste preference? Please enlighten me why I, and others, have to pay for something that I find disgustingly cruel, but because people like yourself, and millions of others don’t want to pay the full price for a steak? I’m dying to know the answer to this.

If the American public had to pay the REAL free market price cost of meat and dairy, your god-damn head would spin. American culture would be completely different than what you see it today. It would be a more economically honest society.

As far as vegan homeless shelters and vegan food pantries, I doubt there are any. But do you honestly think because there aren’t any (which there might be for all I know), that somehow means plant foods are more elitist than animal based foods?????

The reason why they probably don’t exist is because the people who run these operations, while I’m sure being extremely kind-hearted and philanthropic people, they most likely were born and raised in the United States, and have developed the indoctrinated belief that a “meal” is not a “meal” unless there is a piece of animal flesh on the table. Just because they believe that, it sure as hell doesn’t make it so.

The idea of serving solely plant-based foods will inherently be cheaper for the same reasons I’ve gone over. More than likely, the idea is just simply not in their radar, like most people.

To give you an idea of what’s possible. Here is a prison that went vegetarian solely because of it being cheaper. It had nothing to do with ethics, the environment, etc… Pure dollars and cents. Here is a prison in California where half the inmates were served vegan food. That half had remarkably lower incidences of violence and much better fellowship (which goes to show you that there is more to this issue than just dollars and cents).

Do you want to know what people such as yourself who bring up this absurd talking point should be shouting from the rooftops about? You should DEMAND that every last red cent of the government subsidies that are going to the meat and dairy industry go towards plant-based foods that are already cheap.

So, you would take every cent that goes to meat and dairy, and give it people that produce rice, potatoes, beans, lentils, peas, etc…. You know what that will do? It will massively reduce the price of these already insanely cheap foods. So if you were to go to the store and you’d normally see cans of beans being sold at the current price for about 80-90 cents a can, would know only cost 20-30 cents a can. You can do this with cheap fruits as well. Bananas are a very inexpensive fruit, Slash the already cheap price by at least half with the subsidy, then all of a sudden everybody can eat fruit.

This means practically ANYBODY could afford healthy, vitamin and nutrient dense foods (much more so than meat and dairy) no matter where on the economic ladder you are. This means the food pantries and homeless shelters can stock up on MORE food for less money, which means more people get to eat.

Do you know why this will never happen?

1) People are completely ignorant about the government subsidies that go to the meat and dairy industry, and more than likely have no interest in learning about these things, because out of sight, out of mind.


Whenever somebody brings up poverty, when they are asked to “go vegan”. It is the biggest bunch of bullshit I’ve ever heard. Do you know why people say this? Because other people say it. They just simply regurgitate the same things other people say without thinking about what they are saying for more than a half a second before they vomit it out of their mouths.

No thinking about how the agricultural process works, no thinking about the subsidies, no thinking about what the poorest people in the world eat….people just simply talking out of their asses.

It’s just people who are confronted with something that makes them uncomfortable and instead of thinking about why they are getting so defensive about their beliefs, they just flail miserably just hoping to land a punch, so they’ll say anything.

The onslaught of bullshit that comes out of people’s mouths when confronted with this issue is never-ending. You have people who will be using a computer with electricity and internet connection writing about the INUIT TRIBE, as if that has anything to do with them. Just take a look at my blog to see how many people think they’re like lions, or how much people suddenly give a shit about a plant’s life, or any of the mindless things that comes out of people’s mouths when it comes to this issue. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just read it.

How come I never hear this kind of stuff about the poor when you’ve got celebrity chefs who display and present food to the public as a form of entertainment? Here are all these starving people, and we have game shows about food. It’s weird…..I never hear a peep about poor people when this comes up.

How come whenever there is a hot dog eating contest, I never hear about this????? Don’t you think that it’s kind of sadistic to have a contest to see who can be the most wasteful and shove as much shit down their throat as possible when there are people starving? Hmm….crickets…

How come I never hear about anyone commenting on a culture that treats food like nothing more than a test of one’s gluttony or are barbecues a place to pray for those that don’t have any food? It’s been a while since I’ve been to one….Maybe it’s changed since last I’ve gone.

How come I never hear about how wasteful it is to lose countless amounts of food and calories through the crops that are grown only to get a microscopic amount of food and calories back from the animals that society eats for a taste preference all the meanwhile people are starving?

How come I never hear about the poor people in impoverished nations who are starving, meanwhile others in that same nation are growing crops not to feed them, but to feed farm animals that would peacefully not exist in the first place, if it wasn’t for the people’s demand of meat and dairy?

It’s weird….I never hear about these things. But tell somebody to eat solely plants, and then all of a sudden you are hearing about poor people and about people who live in the arctic.

Let’s just for arguments sake say that eating things like beans, lentils, rice, etc,…was more elitist and unaffordable to the poor. I hope I pointed out how much bullshit this is, but let’s just play devil’s advocate here for teensy second.

We live in a world where Anthony Bourdain has over 1.5 million people following him on Twitter. I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say these people don’t eat in soup kitchens. What’s their excuse?

We live in a world where people will spend $30 a pound for fillet mignon. I know this because I actually used to work in a meat department for a supermarket. I did it for four years. I know how much your average person spends on things like meat and dairy, and it’s a HELL of a lot more than what I spend on groceries.

I have to ask……what’s their excuse? Let me guess….they are going to tell me something about poor people existing somewhere in some time in some space in some part of the world.

DEMAND makes the world we live in, not supply. The world’s marketplace is what we demand it to be. No one is asking a person who is eating at a soup kitchen to vote with their dollar, because they don’t have the dollar to vote with. They are living on charity (not that there is anything wrong with that by any means). Instead we are asking for people who can vote with their dollar to change the world.

The more people demand something, the more the paradigm shifts. The more the paradigm shits, the more peaceful of a world we can live in for everybody (just a clue…..the human species is not the only one that exists).

Right now, we have a world that reflects the demand of people to have Burger King, Mcdonalds,Arbys, Hardees, Wendy’s, Popeyes, steakhouses, etc in just about every civilized corner„(the list goes on and on). I know one thing is for certain. This world the people demanded does not exist because starving people demanded it.

And as far as the road-kill being easier to find in the American Mid-west, by all means….have at it. What I wouldn’t give for a meat-eater put his money where his mouth is and act like the carnivore that he claims to be, and eat up a free meal like that. The animal was killed by accident. It wasn’t done on purpose. They are dead anyway. Go ahead and eat them. Just make sure to take a video of you eating the road kill so I can see how many other “genetic” meat-eating humans would be hungry at that site.

And as far as the over-population of deer, did you ever think that maybe humans are overpopulated? Did you ever think that the deer has every right to exist on land that they were previously able to roam freely in but now has become part of the infrastructure of mankind because for some reason they think birth control is the work of the devil, so they keep on popping out kids like a god-damn pez dispenser? 

I don’t think I’ve ever met a single hunter who uses the overpopulation talking point as nothing more than an excuse to get off on killing something. I have yet to see a photo of a hunter with a sad look on their face after they killed an animal because “overpopulation” made them do it, not because they wanted to. Show me a photo of that. I’d love to see it.

At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with poor people, or the inuit tribe, or our ancestors did it, or lions do it, or protein, or any other bullshit that I’ve heard a million times. It’s simply a childishly global epidemic case of I-don’t-want-to-itis.

If anybody ever gets posed this kind of bullshit talking point, feel free to send them to this post or you can send them to my vegan privilege post or the most recent one I did as response to this. You can copy and paste and plagiarize me if you want. I don’t care.

This is always such a difficult issue to tackle because, as pointed out, there are a lot of people who aren’t in a position to vote with their dollar. But the fact that so many people that are able to use poor people as an excuse to not go vegan is so ridiculous. 

All of you, read all of this.  Thanks. 

house arrest wouldn’t even be a punishment for me

(Source: xereneas)


[12/364] - Song of the Day - There is a Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths cover) by Citizen

♫ Driving in your car
Oh please don’t drop me home
Because it’s not my home, it’s their home, and I’m welcome no more
And if a double decker bus crashes in to us
To die by your side, such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us
To die by your side, well the pleasure, the privilege is mine ♫


Flyleaf | So I Thought

Two years ago today, Flyleaf lost their sound engineer, Rich Caldwell, in a car accident, leaving behind his wife, Katy, and their son, Kirby. Rich died at a young age which is just another jolting reminder of mortality and how fragile it really is.

So many of us, especially our youth, have convinced ourselves that being young makes you immortal somehow. That we’re automatically exempt from death at any given moment. But death doesn’t care who we are or how old we are and many tragic events have proved this. Death comes for all of us at some point or another.

You’re never 100% guaranteed to live until you’re 90. Neither are the people you love. 

Time goes by faster than you think so don’t waste it doing something you don’t love. Find what you’re passionate about, pursue that and take that passion to your grave with you when your time comes. And don’t forget to tell those you love that you love them.

Go and hug your parents and let them know you appreciate them for all they’ve done for you since you were born.

Call up a friend, spend the day together and let them know you care for them.

Let your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife know you love them and that you’ll always stick with them. 

Hug and kiss your children because when they grow up, they’ll be out on their own and you may or may not see them again for a while. 

Take advantage of what you have now. You may not have it tomorrow. 

“Of all the wonders that I have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.” 
- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 

"Rape culture is something that men should care about not because it might affect them, but because it affects anyone at all. Men should care about women’s safety, full stop, without having the concept somehow relate back to them. Everyone should care about everyone else’s well-being – that’s what good people are supposed to do."

"You’re actually really cool for a gay guy."



Graduating high school:


Suddenly having adult responsibilities:


so accurate it physically hurts












Source this

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i dont ask you guys for much but sign this please and thank you

(Source: idolyuri)

goals for this summer

- work on how i spend my money
- stop taking any chance i can get to get off work
- get my G2
- get back in touch with some of my high school friends
- keep in touch with my friends from uni
- get in shape (bike to work when it’s not raining)
- try veganism
- work on being happier
- work on having a better relationship with my parents (contact them more often)
- read tree of codes, extremely loud and incredibly close, fables deluxe edition book 5, and watchmen (or just 3/4)
- be prepared for uni when september approaches (don’t leave stuff to the last minute)
- roadtrip to new york with my sister in may



The Nexus of Porn and Violence - Porn As Reality, Reality As Porn.
[tw/advisory: graphic descriptions of sexualized violence]
In researching the intersection of the Abu Ghraib story and pornography, we found that Google searches on the prison scandal regularly returned porn sites alongside news venues like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Fox News. As it turned out, when the media began reporting the additional hundreds of photographs and videos kept classified by the government, the lawmakers who viewed them described them with many of the same terms that violent porn sites use to promote their product. The most popular adjective such sites use to describe their product is ‘brutal’.

On Google, a search using the keywords Iraq, brutal, and rape, yielded 333,000 possibilities, and about half of those (of the first several Google list pages we took time to read) were for violent porn sites, with the rest fairly evenly divided between news sites and blogs. Some of the listed sites were examples of an Internet marketing strategy in which a site consists solely of a list of terms likely to be searched attached to another list of links to commercial sites.

On the first such portal site we visited, ‘Iraq’ was nestled between ‘girls raped and gay young teen boys getting raped’. The links, drifting down the long page, were a Dantesque descent past “violent sex movie” and “teen rape movies” to “illegal pedo rape”. The linkage of Iraq to these sites suggests a belief on the part of the site producers, at least, that their target customers are likely to connect it with a catalog of sexual violence. Given the events at Abu Ghraib, such ideas cannot be dismissed.

According to Bill Asher, president of Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest producers and distributors of hardcore pornography, fetish porn (which he sees as including violent porn) is the fastest growing segment of the porn industry. It is worth repeating that our goal in this book is to investigate the growing dominance of porn in our culture without, as much as possible, passing judgement on the morality of its production or consumption. It is difficult, however, to delve into the subindustry of violent porn without coming away disturbed. Given the presence of porn in their lives, it seems likely that the guards perpetrating the abuse at Abu Ghraib deliberately imitated the violent porn that now thrives on the Internet.

After all, the imagery of Abu Ghraib is readily available online, with actual women instead of male prisoners playing the role of “woman, the object of abuse.” In two popular subgenres of violent porn, prison porn and military porn, the porned images of Abu Ghraib have filtered back into pornography in fairly direct ways, adding realism to the violent imagery.

One of the most popular violent porn sites on the Internet is Scream and Cream, dedicated to all forms of “violent extreme forced sex fantasies.” Despite the fact that sites such as Scream and Cream - and there are many others - use words like ‘fantasy’, every effort is made visually and through accompanying text to heighten the “reality” of the rape narratives to which the sites offers access. Much like an Abu Ghraib video that Seymour Hersh and others allege shows the rape of a teenage Iraqi boy, Scream and Cream promises that their online videos include all the sounds of rape, in the highest audio quality.

Indeed, the uncountable sites that provide violent porn have entered into a realism race. The premise of the website Violent Russians, a popular site, is that women are first stalked and then raped. Despite enlarged “fantasy” disclaimers added in the summer of 2005, the videos make use of the gritty film techniques that Hollywood directors have chosen to convey “realism” (ambient lighting, film stock, and camera movement, for example). The site imparts to the viewer a sense of the lived reality of the onscreen stalking and rape.

Sites like Scream and Cream depend on free online tours to convince viewers to pay the subscription fees (usually around $30 per month), tours that show explicit stills and excerpts from videos. The “fantasies” these sites offer highlight pain and fear even more than they do hardcore sex. Camera angles focus on faces, goggle-eyed and streaked with streaming mascara. Mouths are open in screams sometimes silenced by large ball gags. The rapid intercutting between shots of penetration and terrified faces makes the locus of “pleasure” clear.

Sites like Rotten and Goregasm (its tagline: “Where bones meets boners”) present a mix of photos and videos of actual violence and gore with hardcore pornography. Within a number of such sites one can easily go back and forth from violence to porn, navigating from rape pornography to videos of American hostages being beheaded in Iraq, from the homemade porn of “my wife’s hot pussy” to hundreds of photos and videos of the bodies of American soldiers and Iraqi men, women, and children mangled and killed by gunfire and bombs.

It should surprise no one that the murder of Nicholas Berg, an American civilian taken hostage in Iraq, is widely available online, and that some watch it for entertainment. But the fact that violent porn sites became the most common purveyors of the video suggests that those site producers understand that a linkage does exist between staged rapes and actual beheadings, that simulated violent sex and actual violence are not only appealing separately, but for certain viewers gain in appeal when brought together, side by side, so that one can easily go from one to the other and back again.

What these gore sites do, then, is provide the Internet consumer with the opportunity to relive the activities of the Abu Ghraib prison guards, who similarly moved back and forth in their daily activities between porn, including violent porn, and the violence of beatings and abuse. Sites like Scream and Cream, Goregasm, and Rotten make commercial use of the same dehumanization that was literally on display at Abu Ghraib.