Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week End-Over

I saw this show this weekend. It was called Pentecost and it had like 14 different spoken languages. A very interesting show about art, language, "backwards" Eastern Europe, "enlightened" Western Europe, and personal identity in regards to country of origin (and the origin itself of said country). Alot to take in and one criticism I have is that there was too much information in the script. It was all wonderful information and I think I would like to read the play sometime to try to get my mind around more of all that info. Conversely, the playwright had really done his research.

The Rockel was in town this weekend and accompanied me to the show. Actually, we ushered, which allowed us to see the show for free. There are not many better things than free theatre. The LeTrent was in the show and did a fine job -- as was to be expected. Following the show, The Rockel, The Hayworth, The Cathey, and The Nazi all went out on the town. After causing a small, yet quite absurdish scene at a local, upscale Italian restaurant, we moseyed down the block to the 42nd Street Oyster Bar: one of my favorite places downtown. Several hours later we thought that we had caused a big enough scene and stumbled out into the chilly night, each going their separate ways. Well, not each of us, cuz the Rockel was crashing here, know what I mean.

If you like Monty Python, go here.

I found the absolute best article on Vegetarianism recently. It's a doozy, so if you're interested in reading it, I suggest setting aside a little bit of time. It's extremely well written and very insightful. Quotes follow:

"Broadly speaking, though, for many centuries the debate centered on three questions, each of which was reflected in Newton’s dietary choices and the objections raised to them: there was the religious question, concerning the implications of Scripture for human alimentation; there were medical questions about the effect of eating meat on human health and character; and there was a philosophical debate about the proper relationship between man and other animals. There was no distinct category you could call moral, because all of them were, as they remain, intensely moral. Vegetarianism has always been less about why you should eat plants than about why you shouldn’t eat animals. And so arguments about vegetarianism, by drawing attention to rights that we claim for ourselves but deny to other animals, inevitably involve basic questions about what it is to be human."

"One explanation of Pythagoreans’ vegetarianism was their adherence to a doctrine known as metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls. If your soul, after death, could pass into the body of another animal species, vegetarianism was the only sure way to avoid cannibalism."

"[T]here was controversy about Adam and Eve’s dietary punishment. Some said that it was the labor of agriculture or cooking....Others, however, said that the punishment was the eating of meat. After the Fall, plants had become less nutritious, or the human body had become less able to extract nutriment from plants, and we were now metabolically obliged to kill animals and eat their flesh. Meat eating, then, was a permanent reminder of our sinfulness. Some commentators went further, saying that our fallen nature had given us a taste for blood, and that we could gauge the extent of our wickedness by our relish for the flesh of dead animals and by our willingness to make them suffer."

"Mahatma Gandhi, before reconverting to his original vegetarianism, briefly thought 'that meat eating was good, that it would make me strong and daring, and that, if the whole country took to meat eating, the English could be overcome.'"

"Descartes was at one extreme in insisting that animals were mere machines, no more capable of experiencing pain than a clock, yet even his followers had to come to terms with solid evidence that many people nonetheless felt moved by signs of animal pain. The Cartesians had a response: any such human reaction was itself just a mechanical reflex."

"Paul McCartney once said, 'If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian,' and it’s true that many of those who have little experience of what goes on in an abattoir are repulsed by any kind of firsthand knowledge, or even by reading vivid accounts."

"Why is it 'natural' not to know very much about 'nature'?"

"It has been estimated that forty per cent of global grain output is used to feed animals rather than people, and that half of this grain would be sufficient to eliminate world hunger if—and it’s not a small if—the political will could be found to insure equitable distribution."


Matthew said...

link whore.
quote whore.

Doyle said...

One disagreement w/ your book. The fall was caused by a fruit, and the animal killed was to atone for the sin, the eating was just a side note. Also, meat eating, depending on which Biblical scholar you talk to, wasn't as prominent in the pre-deluvian world. It was, once again, the cleansing of sin, that created the need to eat meat.

One other point on vegetarianism in scripture that would disagree with the idea that man is an "animal". Man is the only conscious, reasoning species, and therefore has the caretaking and husbandry of the rest of God's creatures. Thus, man is not doing something an animal would do, but rather something the only human would do.

I am not trying to be antagonistic or spark a long debate, merely to point out a couple of things that the book misinterprets from the Bible. I just happen to agree with them.