Cruelty

Bad Is Bad

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It’s totally untrue that science fiction fans (and writers) are silly, nerdy, oddballs that like to dress up in Star Wars outfits, and believe in aliens. Well… they’re not silly at any rate. Sci-fi geeks are very clever people. Morgan Freeman is clearly one as the host of my favourite documentary, Through The Wormhole, and he has to be the un-geekiest person I’ve ever seen. I am a fully paid up member of the geek club.

A lot more research goes into writing science fiction than you would think. Even though you’re reading about something or some place that (apparently) doesn’t exist, the actual idea for it probably came about while the author was pulling on his Captain Spock leotard in front of the television set, watching a geeky science documentary. Theoretical science is my favourite playground, but actual science is very often a lot more mind blowing. Especially when it comes to the mind.

Good versus evil, reincarnation and time travel are all large parts of Shadow People and the stories to follow in the series. Do we have souls? Are these souls reborn good or evil? Is life all just about a physical form that is born and dies – The End. Not in Shadow People. Dragons reincarnate as humans, and angels become demons. There is lots of zooming around through time and space, and the fight between good and evil decides the fate of the universe. So. Even though none of us can prove any of these theories beyond a doubt, I do like to at least have a little insight into what I scribble about. This means that I have to find out as much as I can about these things from the actual current proofs and theories that are floating around. I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve found. Right now I’m eyeballing the evil. My dear Morgan explored the brains of truly evil people.

There is a part of the brain that controls empathy. If this doesn’t work you’re apparently not going to feel sorry for anyone or thing in pain or suffering. In the brains of psychopaths this area comes up cold blue in MRI scans. Aah, you say. It’s a physical thing then. I don’t think so. The doctor who discovered this did scans on his own family, and discovered to his horror that not only did he have the brain of a psychopath, he also had people in his family tree who actually had been cold-blooded, convicted killers. He’d never had vicious urges though. The only compulsions in his life had led only to him being an overachiever. He thinks that his saving grace was his incredibly loving family and idyllic childhood.

Aah, you say. It’s an environmental thing then. Maybe not. Another doctor conducted tests on babies around six months old. She put on little plays where one teddy was nice and another teddy was really nasty. Over eighty percent of the babies liked the nice teddies. This sort of shows that we have some small clue about good and bad way before anyone tells us the difference. She also found that even young babies tend to group with other babies who agree with them and shun those who don’t or are different to them. Again, way before their parents tell them it’s not cool to play with children that are “different” to them. These tests made it clear that while similar, babies know what they want or like from very early on. Just because they haven’t figured out how to chat, doesn’t mean that they each are not born as the person they’ll become.

I honestly didn’t come away after this particular programme with any good reason why people turn out to be killers or torturers. Definitely one or two have been made so by tumours pushing on relevant parts of their brains or have some other physical issues there, but not by a very long way for the majority of them. Some people have zero empathy and view the rest of the people in the world as objects. They don’t all turn in to rapists and killers. I’m sure there are quite a few that maybe don’t make a lot of friends, but harm nothing more than a turnip for their soup.

Then you get to that belief that both good and evil exist as forces in the universe, and that it’s up to those with free will to decide who wins in the end. I like this idea best. I’ve gotten a lot of things wrong in my life, but I like to think that once you realise you’ve done something horrible, and hurt someone or something with your actions, you really don’t have to do it again. That’s free will. If these cruel killers really and truly did not believe that what they do is wrong, why do they hide it so well? They don’t want to be caught, you say? Fair enough.

But still. I think that on some level they do know that their deeds are evil. It’s often hard to do the right thing for all of us, let alone for someone with a damaged brain, but the fact that they get through life for so long having everyone around them thinking that they actually are kind and nice, makes me think that they know exactly what kind and nice is. There are some people on this planet who get up to such awful things, that I personally would be more than happy to stomp on them with hobnailed boots. So – my opinion — Evil exists as a force in the universe, and should be exposed for what it is, and duly stomped on.

Cruelty To Animals

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Don’t read any further if you’re squeamish. I apologise for the silence here over the last week. Although, considering what I have on my mind today, you might wish that I had continued to shut up. On Monday morning I was fairly bouncy, all malaria symptoms pretty much gone. Monday evening a bit of the hot and cold feverish thing didn’t worry me overly, but Tuesday morning was fairly scary. The temperature was back, as were all the aches and pains. Malaria that doesn’t go away after the course of tablets is a very dangerous thing, so I really did get a fright. It’s all figured out now though. It’s a bacterial infection caused by the malaria, and even though I don’t feel fantastic, I’m not updating my last will and testament quite yet. I tried very hard to write anyway, and I did, but these fevered scribbles are best deleted, I think. Apart from this one. I’ve thought long and hard about sharing this particular opinion with the world. Not wanting to rock the boat, upset anyone, or make anyone cross with me. Then it occurred to me that those feelings were exactly the cause of the things that made me angry enough to write this in the first place. So all I can say is, if you are in any way upset at the thought of food production, as in animal slaughter, stop reading right now. I really mean this. I’m about to get graphic.

I’ve been checking the news lately, and also scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed instead of just trying to catch up with the notifications. I used to be fairly squeamish in general. I didn’t want to see horrible things, so I never looked. I have always been anti-cruelty though, so when I was told that animals in the fur trade are skinned alive because their pelts come away easier with flowing blood, I”Liked” a few anti-cruelty pages, to see what other things were going on in the world that I had been avoiding seeing. Over the last few months I have hovered over the “Unlike Page” buttons on these pages countless times, so shocked and saddened by the things that kept popping up that I really didn’t want to see any more. I never did though. I’ll carry on looking at these things, and every time a petitition comes up, to sign to stop things like idiotic people setting live bulls horns on fire, and then watching them burn to death from there, I sign. I don’t know if my paltry signatures are any help at all, but it’s just great to know that there are people out there that are actually trying to stop these evil practices, instead of just choosing to look away.

I can’t understand people who get pleasure out of harming. Most of us don’t. I just don’t understand why these people are allowed to get away with these things. Because it’s not illegal to torture animals? If something isn’t illegal, there will be some crappy individual that’ll will be doing it. Dogs trained to fight to death for bets – legal in some countries. The ability of some humans to devise new ways of harming animals seems to be endless, and it shouldn’t be allowed. I’m so sick and tired of people saying that the bible says that God gave man dominion over all the animals, and they don’t have souls anyway. What a load of crap! Of course animals have souls. A lot purer souls than we have, and I doubt that God thinks that what we get up to these days is in anyway cool. I really hope that there is a special kind of hell waiting for these horrible people. I also strongly believe that we are absolutely responsible for what we eat. If you know that something you eat or wear is acquired by having any sort of creature endure an existence of any sort of suffering and pain, you share responsibility for that suffering and pain, whether you choose to look away or not. It seems to me that governments allow these practices because of big business profits, and pick on harmless pot-heads instead. So then – the reasons that they continue are bad governance, financial gain, and the reluctance of the general population to say or do anything to rock any sort of boat. As individuals on this planet, we have no true power or control over our own existences. We gave it away.

I wonder at what point in human history, some guy said, “I’m really not able to make any sort of decision for myself. I’d better listen to that guy over there who reckons he’ll just be called Kingy from now.” The population of the world is totally out of control, and losing its collective mind. Signs of that collective illness would be those most foul people that commit mass murders, get together and rape and kill total strangers on buses, or commit any number of atrocities to man or beast. Then we have the arguments about what should and shouldn’t be allowed. Regardless of the arguments though, these decisions are not ultimately made by populations. They’re made by the institutions that we allow to completely control our lives. I wonder also if we’ll just carry on this way, with people getting more and more desensitized to the failure of these systems to rule the lands as we would wish. We rush through our lives with blinkers on, totally focused on things like buying a new couch, paying our bills, and wondering what we’ll have for supper. This is most cool if in fact we are just accidents of nature, and our lives are senseless and have no meaning. Then all of these incredible evils don’t matter, and our ignoring the nasty bits that happen in the world around us is just fine and dandy. But what if it does matter? What if our lives really do have purpose, and our actions and inactions really do count?

Why waste so much money on wars, when if you took a group of people from each country in the world and put them in a big room with some booze and nibbles, they’d more than likely be best friends in no time? If that money was put into educating and guiding children properly these terrible deeds would be a lot less likely to happen. People mentally damaged by our flawed, uncaring societies continuing the damage in the raising of their own children, and there are far too many of these broken people around, going about their dark deeds behind closed doors. Maybe they really have no idea what’s good or bad, or wrong or right, because they were uneducated or abused, and grew up in poverty. Desperate people do desperate things. It seems that the root of all these things is money. There’s enough money around to ensure that everyone is educated and fed. It’s just going to the wrong places, and we really have no say in the matter.

You have to pay taxes or you go to jail. Then your democratically elected government decides what to do with this cash. Anyone thinking that they have any actual control of their lives might want to have a little rethink about that. It’s just so much easier to look away, and allow other people to spend your money on killing people on the other side of the world, or use it to furnish their really cool houses. Why rock the boat? We’re paying people to destroy the planet, and ignoring everything else. Sheep, I reckon. We’re all a bunch of sheep. And on the subject of sheep.

I have to accept people’s rights not ever to have to see anything nasty, but I really don’t understand it. Just because you don’t look at something doesn’t mean that it’s not there. And if something nasty is there, shouldn’t we be doing something about it? A few years ago a friend delivered a sheep to our house, as a gift, to go in the freezer. The problem was that it was still alive, and not neatly portioned into roasts, chops, and so on. The bestower of this gift was to send his slaughter guy around that afternoon to do the nasty. It hung around under a tree for a few hours, trembling, and looking terrified. It didn’t look anything like lamb chops to me. Obviously I sent the guy that arrived with a big knife on his way, and returned the sheep to whence it came. But it did have me thinking. I buy neat packages of meat to cook. I don’t want it to resemble the beast it came from. Even though I don’t eat it, I do cook it, and I doubt I’ll ever get any pleasure out of jointing a chicken. So then, I asked myself. If you had to buy the sheep yourself, and do all the bits required to get to the ready to roast rack of ribs, would you? Most people are nice, kind, and love animals. I’m guessing there’d be a sudden run on veggie burgers if that was the case.

I saw a thing on one of those Facebook pages the other day that blew my mind completely. When breeding chickens for the egg industry, male chicks are not required. So they are either tossed into bin bags to die like that, all piled up and squished together. Or else they’re thrown into a grinder. Alive. The picture of those fluffy little agony filled faces heading feet first into that machine will haunt me forever. What absolute shit of a person came up with that lovely idea? Why is this happening when there are people anywhere at all on this rock that are dying of starvation? There really are you know. But no. Profits have to be made. Surely if these chicks have to die they could be gassed? No. That would cost a few bucks more. And what about the person who actually stands there and throws these tiny little chicken babies into that disgusting machine? I reckon they could have done with a better education, and an understanding of the difference between right and wrong. Then maybe not. Maybe they’re just shits in general. In no universe can this sort of thing ever be right. Just because I can kick your head in, and stomp on your puppy, doesn’t mean I should have the right to. Having said that, if I could meet with these people who buy these things, and make their profits in these terrible ways, I would most certainly get the greatest of pleasure from kicking their heads in, or shoving bits of them in my meat grinder. Dickheads.

I hope that the good people out there, fighting the battles of these creatures that we feel entitled to cage, breed, or harm in any way we choose, will win in the end. They have a long way to go though, with squeamish people seeing only the fois gras and not the goose, and taking no responsibility for the way their pork chop ended up on their plate. We need to rethink our sense of entitlement, and take whatever tiny steps we can to stop these socially acceptable, and casually done, evils. I do not believe in this “God given right” nonsense. You have no right to decide that a chicken’s life is less valuable than your own, just because you’re bigger, stronger, apparently cleverer, and have the ability to keep it captive and force it to breed.

Till next time friends. xxx

chicken