Hail To The Nihilist

Month: May, 2013

To What End?

To what end? This is a question I have been asking myself more and more recently. It has allowed me to focus on my priorities and make better decisions. It allows my inner utilitarian to shine. By asking ‘to what end?’ I am asking ‘for what purpose?’ or, plainly, ‘why?’¬†

Why do I need that new gadget? Why do I get upset by some things? Why do I say certain things or speak a certain way? To what end? What’s in it for me? How will it affect others? What are the costs? What are the perceived benefits of making one decision over another?

Try asking the question of yourself. Attempt to justify things more readily. Don’t leave it just for big ticket decisions. See if it clarifies the smaller things; the things you take for granted.

Woe is me and human interactions

Something bites at me like nothing else. The idea that I am intentionally out to disparage people. That I am so sanctimonious I will do anything to become the victor. This isn’t correct and isn’t my intention.

It boils down to this. I see no problem asking questions and challenging views. I see no problem correcting myself or others. I thought somebody used a word incorrectly the other night but wasn’t too sure. I verified its meaning. This was seen as an act of trying to prove another wrong for my own gain and glory. No, for me, this was a process of falsification. It was an act of integrity. I may have been wrong as I wasn’t confident enough in myself. I don’t want to go through life sharing untruths. I was verifying the word to ensure I didn’t have the wrong idea. I wasn’t completely right, almost. My friend was completely wrong. Is this cause for celebration? No. But if I were him, I’d be thankful I wouldn’t make the same mistake in the future. Perhaps in a more crucial context. It’s called education.We both learnt something. I cared, the other didn’t. He was still set in the belief that I was out to do ill by him, to show off, to bring him down.

This makes me want to interact less with people. It seems no matter what I say I am seen as doing wrong; being malicious.

Celebrate what you don’t have

Read this beautifully articulated comment, by Penny Pincher, on Econest in response to a post about simple living:

“I love the thought of celebrating what I don’t have. Too often people dwell on the things they don’t have and depression follows. Well, I don’t have a MacMansion, I don’t have a mortgage or any debt, I don’t have fine jewellery, new clothes, make up nor perfumes. I don’t have overseas holidays, restaurant dinners, cafe lattes, nights at the movies or at the concert hall. I don’t have a fancy mobile, cable TV or a big wide screen plasma. I don’t have shampoo, commercial cleaning products or exotic toiletries. I do have a garden to grow food in, the internet for a wealth of ideas on things to make for myself, a job I enjoy and a family to love and be loved by.”

 

 

Monoculture is bad. It makes bad vegetarians.

Lierre Keith writes in her deeply captivating, “The Vegetarian Myth”, that monoculture is the greatest sin of our time not livestock production. From this she deduces that vegetarians are then exceedingly sinful for they consume a lot of things that have been produced through a monoculture system. In particular they love grain, corn and foods derived from soy. More vegetarians ¬†made, more pressure on crops. She wraps it up neatly: vegetarians are not as moral as they make out to be and if they were serious about animal welfare and the environment they would eat sustainably farmed meat.

This is an opinion shared by many in the #AgChatOz fraternity. In fact just yesterday, Fiona Lake brought this argument to a vegan she was in discussion with. Tweets Lake, “Vast numbers of (native) animals are affected by all other types of agriculture-eg crop growing; by necessity, monocultures”. Lake doesn’t argue that monoculture is worse than meat production but she states it as a concern. Lake has shared many views in the past along these lines, that you’re better off eating a bit from every agricultural domain, rather than stuffing your face with heavily-marketed faux-meats and cheeses.

This is my question to the animal agriculturalists out there that agree with this position. If vegetarians are committing a moral crime eating too much grain, corn and soy, surely that implicates the farmers that grow it and the industry groups that spruik it? Where is the criticism of your fellow farmer if, indeed, is is a genuine concern and not just a strawman?