Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Some announcements

First of all, thanks for all the help in both the last two blogposts here. It has been a wild ride, but it makes me glad to have the company of the people who at least try and understand my views here. 

So a big thanks to you all! 

Ok, for the announcements, first of all, I have my first featured blog/website here, and it is Mr. Mean-Spirited's blog: again, with another polemic post on the reality of job hunting. So go ahead and check that out! 

Another thing is that my book is coming up. I finally put together a book, and I´m just on the process of reviewing, and formatting it. That is a 100% in English book, on pessimism, and pessimists rants in general, that is coming. So there´s that. People always asked me for a book, and the first one I have on the subject, is not very much in demand, because it is in Portuguese. So let me know what you think about it, in the comments below. Also, let me know if you´d like it be only digital, or you´d like to have a physical copy of it. 

Once again, I thank you for all the support, to all the commenters and lurkers, and everyone. 

Many cheers to all. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Angry comment regarding the last post.

I received a lot of interesting comments, but one comment directly attacking me, which is not something that happens usually, made me stop to think if I should post it, or not. 

I decided to post it, on a different new post, and try to tackle some of the issues I find in it. 

The post calls me a fraud, and a lie, but I´m not going to shy away of showing it here in full, because I´m not afraid. If people do not like me, they will find ways to do it - if they like me, they´ll understand me either way. 

So, here it goes:

Rafael Melo "maybe your life will be less shitty if you stop making the lives of others shittier. " - I really doubt it.

oh, ok.. continue being a slave owner, oppressor of all life on earth and killer because YOUR life is too shit.... great logic.

you are making yourself a victim. YOU are not the victim rafael. you are a whiny excuse maker. you can not breed more humans and ALSO not be an oppressor of other creatures just because they differ from you in physical form. your logic sucks. in fact, this entire blog is a big lie. 


Let´s see what we got here:

So I am slave owner? A guy who doesn´t have nothing is a slave owner? Are you comparing me to a slave owner, in the real and figurative senses? For real? 

oppressor of all life on earth and killer 

Opressor AND killer?  I´ve never killed anything in my life other than bugs. Is killing bugs allowed? I don´t know. I´m really asking. It´s not like I hunted anything. In fact, people close to me know that I once didn´t went through a survival event demanded by a course I was attending, which usually begs for people to kill a chicken in their bare hands, and I didn´t want to do it.  I never killed anything. 

great logic.

Yeah, it IS great logic. What I said was, and pay attention - I don´t believe my life will be easier if I was to become vegetarian (or even vegan). This logic IS pretty sound. You don´t need to agree to it, but it is sound. In fact, the life of a cancer-stricken person is not easier JUST because they are vegetarians. The logic IS sound, whether you agree or not. 

What I was trying to say is that life is already difficult enough WITHOUT the hardships of being vegetarian for me. This is also very sound, depending on your conditions of living. 

I´m not saying life is difficult because I am a meat-eater, I´m saying life will be more difficult if I´m trying to become vegetarian (and vegan) and I know because I did it once.

you are making yourself a victim. 

That´s not my point, but if the shoe fits. We are all victims.

YOU are not the victim rafael

We are all victims, some more than others.

you are a whiny excuse maker


you can not breed more humans and ALSO not be an oppressor of other creatures just because they differ from you in physical form.

I´m hardly an oppressor. People who use this name for people like me are doing a DISSERVICE to the words and the sufferings of victims of REAL OPPRESSORS. 

I´m not an oppressor, just because I stop eating meat.

your logic sucks.

It really doesn´t.

in fact, this entire blog is a big lie.

No, it is not, it´s my life´s work, but thank you for your clearly (un)informed opinion. 

There are people who know in real life, and over the web, that know this blog is a not a joke, or a lie, at all. 

That said:

We are ALL creating harm and damage to other people and the environment, every moment of every day. Don´t kid yourself. Just because you eat a vegetarian pizza doesn´t automatically make you better than everyone else. 

You probably still use other products in your life that aren´t entirely vegan. That is very, very likely. 

Also, what´s using: If you crash on friend´s house for a day, and the only place to sleep is in a leather couch, does it count as using the suffering of another animal? Or you are just sleeping on something they gave you to sleep in? Or are you sleeping on the floor? 

There are a lot of small dilemmas in this philosophy.

Like for instance: if you are eating some vegetable from the supermarket, if it involves the killing of an animal to get it, does it invalidate it as a vegetarian meal? Like, there are animals that are killed in the harvesting, right?

But even if there´s no animal killing, all the people involved in that vegetable reaching your table, are they being mistreated? How are you to know? So, just because you are eating a vegetable, doesn´t it matter that it was grown in war-stricken country, or that the people who did the harvest are slaves themselves (for instance), but because it is a vegetable, it makes it ok?

Anyway. I´m not going to say much more than what I already said. 

Of course, the issue is not going to feel resolved by a lot of people. But the main points I wanted to pass on here were these:

1) We are all creating harm, even vegans, some more than others (but it´s good that you do something about your own);
2) Torturing animals, as in, cosmetics experiments, is way, way worse than killing them for food;
3) If you think someone like me is an enemy, then you have no clue what awaits you in this world out there; 

Plus, this very good comment on this page here:

I spend a lot of time arguing with vegans, and while there are some truly novel insights in Southan's article (and it's very well written and amusing) the constraints he puts on the general argument are wildly contrived and speak more, perhaps, to his neurotic and urbane particulars than the lines of reasoning actually available to non-vegans. There are two lines of reasoning that are completely unassailable: 1) We are omnivores. DNA-wise we're still pretty much hunter-gatherer. Our bodies can barely deal with grains, much less all the novel scientific crap that has redefined everything from red meat to tomatoes to what you sweeten your coffee with. Humans were never meant to be vegans. You are fighting against your own organism if this is the path you choose. 2) I don't believe there are many rural, farming vegans... It's an urban angst thing... majestically removed from nature. Cattle aren't just hamburger-makers, they're the only way to fertilize large extensions of land without using OIL. Furthermore, one acre of conventional soy involves ALL-SPECIES GENOCIDE whereas that same acre dedicated to properly managed cattle ops crowds-out nothing... All the bugs, amphibians, reptiles, birds can live happily alongside grazing cattle. They immediately all die out when wall-to-wall soy, corn or wheat comes in... I could go on and on, but quicker: Rudolph Steiner (Biodynamic farming); Michael Pollan (referenced above); Joel Salatin (Folks, This Ain't Normal); Allan Savory (TED Talks)... In sum, Vegans are conscientious people that correctly perceive that something is terribly wrong... but they turn and run in exactly the wrong direction... away from nature.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Veganism's Disservice to Myself (and Pessimism).

Me having some (vegan!) coffee today. 
The other day, I had the most interesting encounter with a vegan girl on Facebook. Nothing out of the ordinary, I guess, for a vegan, as people know they tend to be a little bit obnoxious sometimes, but I´ll specify why I think this is specially obnoxious to me.  I´ll not post her name in public (but if you want, you can ask me later).  Veganism tends to be regarded as a fanatic way of living, and understandable enough as I will try and demonstrate it here. 

It went more or less like this. I don´t even know how she came into my list of friends. I must have been adding people like crazy one day, and she must have made a witty remark on a FB post somewhere, so there she was. 

Out of the blue, she asked me this, on my personal profile: 

"Are you a vegan, Rafael?"

I said that I wasn´t, no. I´m not even vegetarian, though I have said before (here as well), that I was vegetarian (never vegan) for a while, and that I respect vegetarianism and veganism, as people who make their own choices and follow what they think is right, and also, have some compassion for other forms of life. That is ok.

What is not very much ok is the way the conversation went on. 

"Why are you not vegan?", said she.

"Because my life is already shitty and depressive enough without me adding this cross on top", I replied. 

That´s fair enough, I think. Being vegetarian is hard - another reason why I respect people who voluntarily choose to do so. But being vegan is not only hard, it may be actually literally impossible, as, you know, life tends to prey on other life to live, and all that bullshit, you know. So yeah, limiting my choice of not only food (and not only choice, because I can´t provide for myself entirely and sometimes I fucking have to eat what I can eat to, you know, keep on breathing), but things to wear, to use and to do (movie theaters used to be out of limits for vegan people? Also soap? Also, I don´t know, killing some bug that comes into the house? I can never tell) is a lot hard, when I´m trying to already juggle my way of not killing my ass every damn day (not every day, but you get my drift). 

"Well, maybe your life wouldn´t be so shitty if you didn´t use other animal's lives and weren´t a slave owner, maybe you should listen to this X guy, and learn how not to be a cunt, etc, etc " , she replied (I´m paraphrasing this part, I can´t remember anymore and she deleted her posts). 

"Well", I answered, "I really doubt it."

I guess I kinda understand what she was trying to say? Then again, it IS kind of strange to say that my life is going to be better if I somehow don´t wash my body with regular soap, for instance, or eat honey. I really, really doubt that. Not only adding things to do would add up to my ongoing list of shit to do, stop eating a cheese-grilled sandwich every now and then can´t do jack shit to make my personal life better in any way in my opinion. 

By this time, I was already intrigued why the hell she was even talking to me, and most of all, while clearly not knowing me and my work (blog, books etc), or clearly not giving two shits about it. 

She then continued, sending me a personal message, continuing to call me a cunt (not exactly like it, but you get it, she was insulting me, and telling that I should stop being a slave owner, and all that). 

Then she blocked me. 


A couple of things about this. 

First of all, I don´t disrespect vegetarians, and/or vegans. I think this should be stated first. All the power to them. Maybe if one day all things were made easy for all to be vegetarians, or vegans (more about this later), then all people would. But sometimes it´s not even feasible, to be hold at gunpoint, to be "forced culturally" to do something, when everything else conspires against it. Sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do. A lot of people don´t have this choice. 

Choice is the main issue here. Sometimes people take this for granted. Mainly those in northern, western, advanced societies. Other people in the world have no choice. They have to make do with what they can get. 

I have a mild example of this. Though I´m allowed a lot of choices in life, it is true that I don´t provide for my every meal. So, it´s only natural that I should eat whatever I can eat. 

And if to this you say - then you, and those people in poor countries that do not have a choice should just die, well... 

One the one hand, this is just silly. Why an animal should die because of the other? Why is my life less worthy, sub specie aeternitas, than another animal's life? Why should God, the Cosmos, or whatever, care about one or the other? 

On the other hand, if you think humans deserve to die, JUST BECAUSE they happen to eat a meatball sandwich, then, perhaps, maybe you also deserve to die JUST by being this arrogant and judgmental. 

On another, third hand, maybe all humans deserve to die, and the point is moot either way. 

But, even if I didn´t supported vegetarianism (and veganism when applicable), even then I should have another point: 

Learn who you are talking to before preaching. 

Even if you do not agree with my take on this subject (this lax politics, as you might think), even then, vegan or not, you got to agree that I still make a lot more for your philosophy than 90% of the people you´ll meet.

Antinatalism (and pessimism) is essentially against life, this very life that imprisions others (animals or higher animals, like us) and make them suffer needlessly, and all that. Furthermore, I´m not having kids, so I´m ALREADY preventing thousands upon thousands of sufferings of other people AND animals. And if my hypothetical kids had kids then by not having them I´m preventing the kind of suffering that is unmatched by even a vegetarian that does have kids. 

Yes, I am going there - I am saying that if I don´t have kids, and am not a vegetarian, I create less suffering, in the long run, than someone who is vegetarian and have kids. 

But this is not the point, this shouldn´t be a contest to find out who has less points on the suffering scale. If you are doing your part against 'the System', you are my friend.

This monk also got something right:

That´s it.

So to recap: I am a pessimist, actively working on a cause that helps vegetarianism (and veganism*), I activelly told her that I respect vegetarians (some pessimists couldn´t give a flying fuck about it), I try to have a low footprint, and I sometimes don´t even have a choice: and there you go, I got no love back. Amazing.

She should know that she was talking to a person who is actively supporting less suffering in the long run. She should not have been so blind to come and bash me without knowing who I was. She should know better. These harsh kinds of judgments are what makes people everywhere weary of veganism (more so than vegetarians). Even more so because they are eager to shoot you, before even knowing better. And even when you are doing something, you are not still worthy in their eyes. 
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