Category Archives: On My Mind

Separating Image from Reality

I’m reading this book right now that is rocking my world.  It’s called A Church of Her Own by Sarah Sentilles and it shares the story of multiple women who are ordained ministers and the obstacles they faced from the church when, to quote the back of the book, “the minister isn’t a man.”  I attempted to read it a few years ago but I had just left a church myself and was too raw, too close to that world to take any of it in – it just upset me too much. Now with distance and time, I am able to read it without bursting into tears or rage.  It’s still hard to read some of the experiences these women have gone through but I am in a much better place to process their stories now.

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, linked oppressions aside (women and animals have a lot in common when it comes to being exploited and then silenced), I can see similarities between the attitudes some people adapt towards faith or God as they do toward animals – and why it is so difficult to change. Continue reading

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Learning to Look Without Seeing

As you can probably tell from reading this blog, I’m fascinated by the human and animal relationship. More specifically, I’m curious about how humans have come to treasure certain animals’ lives and not consider another’s. I’m sure this will be a life-long exploration for me as I come to terms with my own changes in attitude towards them.

I can only speak to my own experience but living in North America, I can also speak to some of the messages that Western culture continues to perpetuate and certainly contributed towards my former prejudice against animals.  The Bible, for one.  I was raised in a born-again Christian home and the first chapter in Genesis was one of the earliest things I learned in Sunday school. The first chapter describes the six days of Creation and if there’s a single word that has done more damage in justifying the suffering of animals, it’s the word “dominion” that appears in verse 26.  While different versions of the Bible use different words (i.e., rule, master, etc.), that D-word has stuck like the A-word has when it comes to the church discussing gay rights (the famous “abomination” word in Leviticus 18, verse 22).  Both words are still used today like a trump card some people whip out when they want to have a quick response as to why they shouldn’t pursue either cause any further. Continue reading

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What Makes a Murderer?

Back in January of this year, Julian and I went to see a screening of the documentary, Cowspiracy.  The screening was held primarily to raise money for a group called, “The Slaughterhouse 7”, a group of activists who were arrested on November 6, 2014 after holding a protest at St. Helen’s Meat Packers here in Toronto where 600 cows are slaughtered every day.  Six of the group had the charges dropped; one person’s is still pending.

I have tremendous respect for activists and I absolutely believe in and support the action of non-violent confrontation and civil disobedience because the status quo would never change if no one ever challenged it. I also admire anyone willing to be arrested for their beliefs, so long as their actions remain non-violent.  That said, there was something they showed at the screening that night that made me think. I also didn’t agree with it and I’m still working out as to why but I hope to draw the beginning of some conclusion by the end of this post. Continue reading

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