Tag Archives: random

A Penny Arcade For Your Thoughts

I find that, in trying to make every post valuable, rational, and deep, I am not posting at all.  So, in the interest of keeping my brain cells active and ideas flowing, I will briefly digress and touch on some less intense topics.

In that vein, recently I was amused, and sobered, by a recent Penny Arcade comic:

Penny Arcade 1-14-13

It reminds me that, whatever else is going on and whatever might be confusing me at the moment, I should not lose sight of my goal.  I can’t be everywhere, do everything, or help everyone, or even know a fraction of what the hell is going on, but I can do at least my little part in helping individual pets at the shelter where I work, and educating people about what I’m able to know.

For those who did not know (like me), “Animal Cops” is a show (or possibly several shows) that follows people enforcing animal cruelty laws.

470,000 Die, Receive Brief Mention In Local Paper

Just a little something I noticed today….

An egg farm near Roggen, Colorado, owned by Boulder Valley Poultry, burned to the ground on April 30.  The extremely brief article (which matches other, extremely brief articles in other papers) declares the event an accident, and winds up by reassuring consumers that their supply of eggs is unlikely to be affected.

Oh, yeah, and 470,000 hens died.  In two barns.

What an interesting, unremarked, casual aside.  These aren’t unbelievably huge buildings.  235,000 chickens in each one?  To give each chicken one square foot of floor space in an open-floor plan (an extremely minimal investment), the barns would need to be 100 ft x 2,350 ft (almost half a mile long).  How densely were these chickens packed?

Also, “many local producers have agreed to step up production”.  How do you do that, I wonder?

Badly Aimed Spam

This blog just received a spam comment (in German) from a site called “High Protein Recipes”.   I probably shouldn’t reward them for that behavior by mentioning their name, but I’m finding it pretty hard to imagine a less well-aimed piece of advertising.

It’s probably all my mentions of meat (and spam)….

A Meaty Amusement

image by Sarah Illenberger

Having gone to a slightly less meat-infused lifestyle, I find it more difficult than it used to be to order in restaurants.  I never realized how pervasive meat was until I tried to find a dish without any in it.

Not that any one restaurant seems to be worse than any other, here’s the lunch and dinner menu from Cracker Barrel.  Even just looking at the photos, everything has meat in it, even the salads (and, yes, the baked beans are made the old-fashioned way, with ham).  Only the desserts come without meat!

And here’s the menu from IHOP, one of my other favorites.  They’re a little better because of the preponderance of (generally meat-free) pancakes, but still — sausage, ham, bacon, eggs, steak, and the “Bacon-N-Beef Burger”, burger with bacon mixed in.

Also, when you order an entree without meat from most of my favorite restaurants, the waitress will ask you, as though you may have forgotten, “Did you want any meat with that?”  I know it’s a required upsell — meat is profitable for them — but sometimes it just sounds macabre!

Other times, the menus remind me strongly of the “Spam” Sketch from Monty Python.  “Meat, meat, meat, meat with beans, meat with rice, meat with potatoes, roasted meat, baked meat, boiled meat, sliced meat, curried meat, raw meat, burnt meat, meat salad, meat pie, meat omelet, meat stir fry, meat sandwich, meat fried rice, meat with more meat, meat with eggs, meat with bread, meat with sauce, meat with pasta…or Lobster Thermidor á Crevétte with a mornay sauce served in a Provençale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle paté, brandy and with a fried egg on top and meat.”


Making it even harder to figure out what exactly is actually going on, people keep using obfuscatory words to make sure nobody knows what they are talking about:


  • lab animal – “animal model”, or even just “model”, “organism”, “subject”
  • monkey, ape, chimp – “nonhuman primate”
  • cage – “housing system”
  • euthanize – “terminate”, “cull”, “cut from the study”  (They’re actually even trying to stop using “euthanize” now, because it’s such a “charged word”)

Meat Industry:

  • killing – “stunning”

(Note: this is just a list of ideas to which I intend to return later.  Additions are welcome.)

Step One

I have a message to communicate.

Over a two-and-a-half-year period from 2007 to 2010, I learned something.  It is a huge thing, an unimaginably complex thing, and it is horrible.  In this era of gratuitous exaggeration I hesitate to use a phrase like “it ripped chunks out of my soul”, but at times it felt like that was happening.  It snuck up on me slowly, aggregating imperceptibly out of little fragments of information, and then abruptly it was visible.  It was not a pleasant thing to learn.  Having it in my head now is difficult.  Knowing what I know, I have an urge to communicate it.  This is the kind of thing that I feel everyone should know.  It is awful, but it is fixable, and the first step to fixing it is to tell someone else about it.

I want to tell someone else.  I don’t know where to start.

The idea is so complex, I can’t fit it into a sound bite.  I can’t casually mention it over dinner.  And it’s unpleasant, so it’s not something you can take in all at once.  The mind just stops processing.  It took me two years to see it, and I was seeing little bits of it every day.  When the picture came into focus, it was breathtaking — but that focus rested on two years of accumulated pieces of data.  I can’t fit that into a blog post.  I can’t fit that into a piece of writing someone will want to read.  It’s too big to fit through a pencil, a keyboard.  The scream, waiting to get out of my head, is huge.

So I’m having to take the thing apart, piece by piece, and try to reconstruct the original fragments of data which led me to my original epiphany.  I’m probably going to do it wrong.  Some things I’m not remembering correctly, and some things are too painful to think about, even now.  But I want to tell someone.  I must tell someone.

When I figure out where to begin, I’ll get on with it.