I Do Try to Talk about Everyday Things…

I Do Try to Talk about Everyday Things…

I know…my blog isn’t typical.  I’ve seen other blogs where people talk about their vacations, their work, their relationships, their hobbies, their kids; how they celebrated Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas.  Mine is a bit, um, different, in that I talk about causes I am passionate about, statistics that grab and hold my attention, and of course, anything which I think needs to be changed, improved, or revolutionized.  I am a creature of the sixties, after all.  One can talk over coffee or over the phone about the above-mentioned things any day or any time of the week.  Maybe it’s just a question of category:  horses are abused and slaughtered all over the world every day God gives, so that’s an everyday thing, too.  Women and children are starving every day.  

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Horses say the darndest things

Anthropomorphism is the ultimate narcissism, the manifest symptom of species-privilege.  We are too egocentric to conceive of, decipher, or imagine the inner lives, social and communication needs of other species. So, to ascribe human speech and behaviour to animals is to pander to man’s utter inability to get past his limited, binary thinking, to get over himself; to somehow show that our interiority is not the only experience available.  It becomes a bit of a tautology, I know.  That pig may be singing to the moon or he may be doing something totally beyond our ken.  Hard to say.  As Jane Austen once wrote:  “second-hand conjecture is pitiful”.

It is a failure of imagination to resort to anthropomorphism to explain or explain away animal life:  a sorry reductionism to justify why their lives are less valuable than ours or equally valuable.  I would resent having had to resort to such a conceit to accommodate the solopsism of man except for the pleasure I took in writing the horses’ dialogues.  Still and all, language is as callow as we are, and further restricted when framed by the demands of storytelling, stimulating pity and fear and all that jazz.  So that failure of the imagination is, perforce, mine as well.  Just ask Babe.

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All Laugh Lines are Cruelty-free (Aren’t They?)

I met a man at a job fair earlier this week who recognized me as a boomer straightaway. When I asked how he could tell, he skated deftly and said I exuded that self-confidence so characteristic of boomers.  Good–no, great–save! I could tell he was a seasoned people-handler, not to say people-wrangler.  It was sweet talking with someone who got my sense of humour instantly.  That doesn’t happen so often that I can overlook it when it does happen.

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