Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Plow, The Surplus and The Idiot

Civilization began in the great river valleys in Africa, Asia, and Mesopotamia. Every year the waters would rise and fall, refreshing the soil, irrigating the land.

But it wasn't until we began to farm that we stayed in one place to harvest and plant again. And it wasn;t until we developed tools like the plow that our nascent nations were able to produce a surplus of food, and allow some of the population to spend time not hunting or growing food.

The creation of the plow allows priests, merchants etc. to genuinely emerge and flourish.

I told you that so I could ask you this:

The following comes from a Vegan Roomate Wanted ad on Craigslist (Best Of). Do you believe, as I do, that our western Democracies must have an amazing amount of surplus production to allow this sort of person to appear?:
Vegan household only. No animal products in the house; no new leather shoes (I am not going to shun you for an old pair of hiking shoes�I am an avid dumpster diver and may have old stuff in my life too that is on its last round), no honey, no bee pollen, no wool, no down comforters. I am a liberationist animal rights person who has a total commitment to veganism. It is a defining feature in my life.

I take care of inside-only cats. It is important to be aware of the cats when opening the door, because they are inside only,but they are older and mostly you do not have to worry about escapees, just when bringing in groceries or something like that. I scoop the cat litter everyday and vacuum very often. I am very clean about the cats. They have been with me for a decade and are the sweetest older cats ever. I do not support the domestication of animals�they are rescue kitties from the streets. Their names are Mulder, Bromden, Theo, and Zen Mama.

It is important for me to live in a straight-edge environment. Please, no alcohol or pot or anything else in the house. Please be sober in the house, even if it is not your lifestyle.

I am an environmentally aware person. I do not have an air conditioning unit, I use the heat on low in the winter (lots of layers). I shop at People�s coop and Food Fight!, I recycle, reuse, reduce. I am very DIY. I do not have a garden (there is hardly a yard here). But you can bring compost waste to various places around town if you like. I am childless by choice and do not want any kids living here, sorry parents.

56 comments:

Atom Smasher said...

That's not surplus production, that's a surplus person.

Tam said...

How do they sustain themselves? Browsing in the herbaceous borders like some Birkenstock-clad ruminant?

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

At least he's not spreading his silliness by reproducing.

scotaku said...

I can't believe that bastard was heartless enough to label the felines with such human-oriented names. Really, if he/she/it cared at all, then the cats wouldn't be so oppressed.

Seriously though: Really? Anybody want to set an over/under on annual bath or shower uses?

Robert Langham said...

I linked you guys just for the blog name, if nothing else.

MeatAxe said...

Thanks, Robert.

Happy to link back. Blackfork is in our blogroll too, now.

MeatAxe

Tam said...

"I can't believe that bastard was heartless enough to label the felines with such human-oriented names."

Those are just their slave names.

Atom Smasher said...

That can't be a guy. Gotta be a chick. A "kitty" named "Zen-mama"? Come on.

Keith said...

I bet It has a gender neutral haircut.

Anonymous said...

When the revolution comes. . . .let me get his name on the list. . .First name?

smith kaich jones said...

I'm here from Robert's link and seriously laughing out loud. He (the vegan, not Robert, if indeed it's a he) calls the poor cats who get out escapees?! Nuff said. Very revealing.

Debi

Joanna said...

I wasn't aware that cats were domesticated to begin with, but whatever ...

In my experience, people like this are still in the "tea with the princess" mode of thinking: You make all your plans and set up the tea party, blissfully unaware that Mommy has to wash the dishes, buy the furniture and iron your frilly dress for it to happen the way you want it. All you know is that you and Miss Priss are going to have tea this afternoon. It's the same thing here: Does he/she/it realize that someone, somewhere has to buy something new in order for dumpster diving to be worth anything? Granola don't make itself, you know.

I wonder if he/she/it eats yogurt?

MeatAxe said...

The text of the ad says its a she.

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken said...

Nice of her to self-identify as a useless eater.

Anonymous said...

*sigh* Probably another useless by-product of the baby boom generation. I'll be so glad when TEOTWAWKI comes. These losers will be the first to die and then the normals will be back in control.

Sarah (pointypen.com) said...

Those poor cats...their slave is the world's biggest dolt. God knows he doesn't keep any GOOD people food around for them to swipe when he's busy munching on granola or boiling tofu or what the heck ever it is that he does.

Moriarty said...

Vegan household only. No animal products in the house;

I wonder if anyone ever pointed out to this person that cats are obligate carnivores.

Anonymous said...

Oh cripes! Four carnivorous creatures depending upon a vegan zealot?! I've seen felines suffering from advanced malnutrition because their "caretakers" didn't think it was right for them to eat meat. I don't recommend it.

-Geoff

daddyquatro said...

"Childless by choice"
uummmm, really?
I have an alternative explanation.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone ever pointed out to this person that cats are obligate carnivores.

Maybe her cats have taken the cruelty free choice of vegan kibble:

http://www.vegancats.com/

Applying our own morals to animals is much funnier when its horses with pants.

pun the librarian

Julie said...

hehehe ... i'm with daddyquatro ....

Mikee said...

Zen Mama is a perfect human name for a cat. Of course, the cat's real name, her secret name, the name no human speaks, must remain forever unknown. Unless the Vegan door warden mistakenly speaks it - then the Vegan will wonder why Zen Mama suddenly tried to smother her in her sleep....

Cats - too small to make into mittens, too large to be considered really safe.

Mark said...

" . . . childless by choice . . . "

daddyquatro and Julie, she didn't specify whose choice . . .

MeatAxe said...

Here's the link to the full ad, which was posted on the Portland Craigslist, which isn't technically a 'vegan messageboard' but probably comes pretty close.

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/pdx/1222012458.html

Anonymous said...

I love vegans... They taste like chicken!

Hal the Carnivore

DirtCrashr said...

"I am 30 years old, female, and white... university education in sociology and philosophy..."
Classic affluent suburban upbringing has lead to this narcissistic mental disorder.

Anonymous said...

Some of these comments are very, shall I say, "un-American." I'm sure it gives you a chubby to write things like "These losers will be the first to die," but that doesn't make your balls any bigger than their current microscopic size. How about instead of engaging in this nice little circle jerk you think seriously about why your choice of lifestyle is any less idiotic than this person's.

Atom Smasher said...

Anon-

The chick is free to be as loony as she wants - doesn't make her less loony. She lives off of other people's garbage, which had to be created at some point; she denies her very omnivorisity by eating vegan; she doesn't believe in owning pets, when it's clear that one of the things that has helped Homo sapiens succeed is our close companionships with dogs; she's so far from the top of the food chain in thought and deed that I think she's a nutbag.

Which is fine - why should she care what I think in this case? She's no-doubt happy.

Anonymous said...

Virtually every single person in the US gets most of their calories by handing over money to someone who gives them food in exchange. In that sense we are all at the bottom of the food chain. Vegan, fruitarian, or whatever makes no difference. If you didn't grow it yourself or kill it yourself, you are a leech depending on someone else.

Eating vegan is no more nutbag than eating a hamburger every day. In this fantasy pre-historic cave-man land that you all seem to think you know so well, meat would probably have been damn hard to come by. Most days, if you were lucky enough to eat, you'd be eating vegan.

Atom Smasher said...

Anon-

I'm thinking about more than just the food. Trust me - I know plenty of people who by desire or necessity eat restricted or "odd" diets. I've dabbled in eating raw myself a few times this year (right now I'm 2 days into what I hope is a 3 week stretch for me), so again, it's more than the food. Plus I've never hunted and probably wouldn't make it very far into a slaughterhouse or even a commercial chicken pen without losing my lunch.

Where I see the train coming off the rails is the no-wool, no-pets, no bee pollen part. That seems utterly extreme and whacky to me. I mean hell, how many bugs and mites does this woman step on every day? How many bacteria does she slaughter indiscriminately? Etc.

It's a far-fringe behavior and ethos, so we'll point and make fun of it as such. Doesn't make it Wrong.

TOTWTYTR said...

daddyquatro said...

"Childless by choice"
uummmm, really?
I have an alternative explanation.


She didn't say it was her choice.

People like this are pets that an affluent society can afford to indulge. What happens when a society can't afford to indulge them probably isn't pretty.

Tam said...

"If you didn't grow it yourself or kill it yourself, you are a leech depending on someone else."

I thought that they were leeches that were dependent on my money?

Capitalism: It's what's for dinner!

MeatAxe said...

"If you didn't grow it yourself or kill it yourself, you are a leech depending on someone else."

Maybe this is what Tam is saying, but what if you get a job and work and pay for the food with .... Money (cue Hallelujah Chorus). Sounds like a symbiosis, rather than outright parasitism.

You know, a market where people can exchange (pause)Money (cue Hallelujah Chorus) for stuff.

On the other hand, its never a bad idea to supply some of your own food or at least know how...

Anonymous said...

The ad was funny, the comments hilarious! At times like this, I remind myself that this wonderful world is made of all kinds of people, and its probably better that way, even if some are nuttier than squirrel poo.

Anonymous said...

This lady should read "The Secret Life of Plants." This book shows, through enhanced polygraph-type equipment, microscopes and microphones that plants actually feel. They documented a lettuce leaf "shaking and screaming as if terrified" when put in boiling water. This book shows plants can feel, emit emotion and seem to "think." After reading this book, people like this lady will starve because they can't kill or harm anything.

Anonymous said...

"I have a university education in sociology and philosophy, which has nothing to do with my job but lots to do with my outlook on things."

An excellent reason to not go to college. My brother went to USC and The Communist Manifesto was required reading in one class!

PS: He voted for Obama!

Anonymous said...

What a destroyer of worlds. Just by existing she contributes to global warming thereby harming and destroying countless millions of animals (and all other things). Oh the Horror.... Best she end her pitiful existence as quickly as possible.

Smallacre Homestead said...

I'm loving the comments just as much as the article.

Its okay, though. Eventually, her cats will get sick of eating partially-rotted veggies and end up eating her.

Anonymous said...

Cough......sorry...hairball.....

Anonymous said...

I hand over some money to the stores for some stuff, BUT we live on a WORKING FARM. Yup we kill our own stuff, grow our own gardens and most of the neighbors think we're nuts....
BTW we hunt and fish to suppliment our food sources here. Hmmmmm guess we're really bad news...

Tangalor said...

I would so move in. Then wreck her. Totally. Destroy all of her fake boundaries as if they were, well, nuthin' but hot air.

Too bad I'm already in a committed relationship with someone who's head won't explode when I start killing tree rats (squirrels) for sustainance.

If'n that is, in fact, a chick, and not some whiny effeminate Castrato with nothing to show for a life that is totally without reason and common sense.

BTW: Rolled you into my Blog Roll, Thanks for the link, Tam!

Erin said...

"Anonymous said...
This lady should read "The Secret Life of Plants." This book shows, through enhanced polygraph-type equipment, microscopes and microphones that plants actually feel. They documented a lettuce leaf "shaking and screaming as if terrified" when put in boiling water. This book shows plants can feel, emit emotion and seem to "think." After reading this book, people like this lady will starve because they can't kill or harm anything."

*bites the head off a stalk of broccoli in an Ozzy-like fashion and cackles maniacally*

Anonymous said...

"I have a university education in sociology and philosophy, which has nothing to do with my job but lots to do with my outlook on things."

I guess the economy caused all of the sociology and philosophy factories to shut down operations. Maybe shoulda reconsidered that college major ;)

Anonymous said...

"If you didn't grow it yourself or kill it yourself, you are a leech depending on someone else."

So anything other than a hunter-gatherer civilization is a society of leeches?

RPD

Moriarty said...

In this fantasy pre-historic cave-man land that you all seem to think you know so well, meat would probably have been damn hard to come by. Most days, if you were lucky enough to eat, you'd be eating vegan.

Except, of course, when you actually study the traditional diets of certain preindustrial peoples and find that a large portion of their caloric intake was derived from animal fat.

That, and the fact that they tended to live nomadic lifestyles following game, would explain why we refer to them as hunter-gatherers.

Anonymous said...

Uh, not to intrude on your little hate fest but consider: this person is not minding your business.

Some of you have stated you wish to kill this person (TEOTWAWKI style). What if the ad said "I hate vegans and wish them dead". Would you think of that person as rational either? Look in the mirror folks. It takes all kinds.

Your rights end where someone else's wallet, skin, house, or attitude begins. Hippies are annoying, this ad is hilarious, but seriously, relax folks, it's not a person that can harm anyone anyway. I worry more about killing Obama's brownshirts when they arrive.

MeatAxe said...

Personally, I see the fact that this person lives in the USA as a tribute to the power of the market economy and the diversity of viewpoints it can sustain.

Are there a lot of folks like this in Chad, Mozambique or Azerbaijan? No. There are not.

Do I agree with her? Probably not. But the fact that she's there reinforces my belief that a free-market democracy is the way to go, personal freedom-wise.

And I probably shouldn't have called her an idiot, but it makes the headline catchy.

And Im AWFUL at writing headlines so when tempted by a catchy one, I typically fall.

Anonymous said...

Vegetables are what food eats.

MeatAxe said...

@Tangalor -- thanks for the link. I've added you as well. Nice stuff there. I especially liked the picture of the guy with the "It Doesn't Matter What This Sign Says, You'll Call It Racism" sign. And the story about weather stations. Very interesting indeed. There are some who suggest that the UHI (Urban Heat Island) phenomenon (long story short -- its hotter in cities) is responsible for a lot of temperature increase attributed to Glueball Wormening.

Anonymous said...

At least I know one place I can skip when TEOTWAWKI comes and I'm out salvaging food from houses where the owners have left. Well, except for the cats. :)

Tangalor said...

@MeatAxe--Thanks!

Glueball Wormening. I'm so stealing that. :P

Simon Kenton said...

I like to make a Benthamite argument to people like this: the reason I hunt is that all life is equally sacred, so it's better that one elk die than 10000 arugula. Any attempt at counterargument is, of course, speciesist.

Anonymous said...

I'm a second generation vegetarian...I eat things that eat plants.
I wonder if she eats Jello...which is made from collagen...derived from the meat industry.

I do have to applaud her on not only avoiding waste, but reversing waste to a certain extent.
I also have to applaud her ability to stay deluded. Come on RESCUE KITTIES? Cats are barely domesticated at the best of times. I live on a farm. I have fond memories of standing out in a peanut field with a shotgun to kill the birds raiding the crop, so people who flinch at the thought of animal deaths could eat JIF.

pdxr13 said...

I may have been at a table next to this person at Stumptown Coffee in SE pdx. As soon as "Foodfight" (all-red Vegan food-mart) was mentioned, I knew it was Portland.

Vegans are relatively harmless. They don't have enough energy to oppress anyone more significant than ex-street cats due to the lack of nourishing food in their diet. They might waste your time, if you allow it.

A young Vegan might be re-educated along the Warriors' Way, if it's just a fad they are going through. Shooting at stuff with a .30 cal semi-auto rifle has a way of making a powerless person rethink their options. Ghandi only did what he did because he didn't have guns, -not just my opinion- he said so.

Cheers.

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