"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Zen is about reality...like it or not

The fine art of letter writing seems to be lost on the Bush Administration. Bothering elderly citizens who exercise their freedom of speech is not exactly what we were hoping for but I guess we should expect it. Yahoo news.
Should we expect this too? PETA workers helping animals by killing them? What's ethical about that? Granted, these workers were acting on their own, killing animals randomly regardless of age or health, but I'd argue this kind of thing arises from a "kill with discretion" policy such as PETA advocates. Too subject to abuse to be justifiable. Read the article.

I'm indebted to Nan Shin ("Diary of A Zen Nun") for pointing out that when we do not like to look at things like this, and choose instead to look the other way, we wind up living somewhere next to our real life, rather than in it. (I apologize for the paraphrase.)

And finally: Tell us something we don't know. Daydreaming is brain's default setting.


Anonymous said...

Anonymouse commenter checking in again.
Old folks who are still capable of independent thought? Definitely a danger to the current status quo.
PETA workers who have the guts to do what a-hole pet owners don't? Humans have become so disrepectful of animals that euthanasia, quick and painless as possible, really could be the best case scenario much more often than is palatable. I find this much less offensive than using live creatures as fashion accessories.

Zen of Writing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zen of Writing said...

You're talking about euthanizing PETA workers, right? I dislike the idea of killing beings we find inconvenient.

Carol said...

Feel free not to read on...just wanted to give a bit of background about my feelings on the euthanizing of animals.I blahed on a bit in another comment but I guess it vanished into the ether. Anyway, here's the thing- I live
out in the sticks. People drop their pets off out here when they are tired of them or they don't want to deal with them. Years ago I let the cat out of the bag, pretty much literally, that I was finding homes for some of these creatures. The reality was though that many of them were just living
wild, hard, semi-starved lives and those that the owners had not even
bothered to neuter were breeding generation after sickly generation in the woods behind my house. People just started dropping them off right on my property , even at my doorstep. I realized that I was making it too damn easy for them to be irresponsible so I let it be known that I was having these poor creatures euthanized, and oh yeah, the number of drop offs went
down considerably-although it took some years for the gone-wild population to succumb to nature and reduce in numbers. I firmly believe that the problem is not the PETA types who are performing the horrible job of killing these animals. The problem is a people who shirk their responsibility toward their so-called pets.


Zen of Writing said...

Yeah, that is the problem, but the comment vanished somehow -- not sure how, second one I've lost. The blogger comment system is really slow, can't get on sometimes. You know, you can sign in as other, and use your first name, or as anonymous and put your name in the comment...

The PETA workers were actually killing healthy puppies and kittens along with everything else -- which is the problem I think with this kind of discretionary kill policy -- who's to say which animals are worthless?
PETA's policy is to condone euthanization of old and sick animals, which is also subject to abuse -- I'm convinced a lot of the PETA folk are really
animal-haters rather than animal-lovers -- studies of sadists and serial killers indicate they begin by practicing on animals. Our local shelter used to have a kill policy, and almost killed an old dog that belonged to someone I knew -- this in spite of the fact that the dog was wearing tags,
and the owner had called the shelter repeatedly - while they had the dog. They hadn't even checked. If she hadn't gone in person, her friend of 10 years would have been killed. That's unacceptable, and that kind of
cruelty, insensitivity and incompetence is what the kill policy often leads to.