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Human Lives Are Not More Important Than Animal Lives

Excellent piece by Captain Paul Watson of Sea Sheperd on the pretentious view we humans have of our place in the world.

Humans have created a fantasy world called anthropocentrism, the idea that all of reality, all of nature exists only for humanity, that we are the only species that matters and human rights take priority over the rights of all other species.

This anthropocentric view of the world has made us selfish, self-centred and extremely destructive to all other forms of life on the planet including our own. Our fantasies have allowed us to destroy the very life support systems that sustain us, to poison the waters we drink and the food we eat, to amuse ourselves with blood sports and to eradicate anything and everything we do not like, be it animal, plant or other human beings. We demonize each other and we demonize the entire living world.

If humans disappeared tomorrow, the planet would be better off. If, to take a single example, bees went extinct, the whole system would collapse. We would do well to step off this self-created podium and re-evalute our position.

Read the full article at The Outdoor Journal

The fast fashion problem

There’s a serious overconsumption problem in fashion these days. Cheap, so-called “fast fashion” is pushing people to buy more clothes, a good percentage of which is never even worn. It’s all about the constant lust for something new which, as we all know, is never satisfied.

When there’s a substantial cost to an item, we pause and ask ourselves questions like “Will I actually wear this?”, “Is it comfortable?”, “Will it last?”. This is rarely the case when a t-shirt costs little more than a cup of coffee.

Obviously, there are reasons these items are so cheap, not many of them good:

As UNICEF reported on child labour, recruiters convince parents in impoverished rural areas to send their daughters to apparel manufacturing jobs with promises of a well-paid job, comfortable accommodation, three nutritious meals a day and opportunities for training and school, as well as a lump sum payment at the end of a defined period. In reality, these children are working in appalling conditions that amount to what has been called modern day slavery.

There is hope though, from this same article:

If Google searches or Marie Kondo’s best seller on decluterring is any indication, interest in tidying all this up is at an all time high. Consumers are reaching their limit. While the pleasure of cheap fashion is neurologically very real, consumers are equally experiencing the mental exhaustion from the accumulation of all of this cheap clothing. They are magically tidying up and wanting to spend more of their dollars on experiences and values over stuff.

In the meantime, we’re donating so much clothing to charities, much of it too cheap and flimsy to be re-used, that whole industries have grown from this. Not always a positive either:

the flow of Western clothing to developing countries negatively affects them by disrupting local economies and putting textile workers out of jobs. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the constant flood of used clothing is so pervasive that it’s even part of the language. In his book, Brooks translates the colloquial Ghanaian phrase “obroni wawu” to “clothes of the dead white man.”

The quotes above are from these two articles: Our love of cheap clothing has a hidden cost – it’s time for a fashion revolution and The Truth About Your Clothing Donations

Peter Bellerby - The Globemaker

A short film about Bellerby & Co, artisan globe makers based in London. Incredible craftmanship.

Terrorism is not new

More shocking were the bombs. Armed with newly patented dynamite, the first widely available weapon of mass destruction, anarchists transformed sites of bourgeois sociability — a bustling Paris café, a piazza in Rome, the opera house in Barcelona — into screaming scenes of murder.

From the NY Times: The First Global Terrorists Were Anarchists in the 1890s

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About

My name is Colin O'Brien, I live in Brussels, Belgium. This blog has been compiling my random thoughts and links since 1998.

One day there may be a more interesting bio here…

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