Tag Archive: Liberalism


Proposed Return to Veganism

The more I’ve interacted with Krishna Das’s page and those of his friends, the more I have felt I really should return to veganism.  On my last few shops I have felt really bad about stocking up with meat and fish and thought maybe next time I’ll cut it out and buy vegan.

A couple of days ago I did it!  I submitted an online order then went back to it and cut out all the meat and dairy and replaced them with vegan products.  I had a serious wobble about it when I went to see my mum.  I think I’m a good cook for my own purposes (and actually I’d love to cook for more people, but I AM a bit slow so I don’t think I could make a career out of it) and I was saying how much I would miss everything, named each meat, fish, dairy and honey product with great anguish!  And all the things I won’t be able to eat in restaurants . . . .

The last time I went vegan, about 10 years ago, I was very evangelistic and Pentecostal about it. Everything had to change all at once, very fervent and much resolve.  Took all my meat and whey protein powder to a local homeless project.  This time, however, I’m being much more – organic? – about it, more relaxed and liberal, less intense.  I’ve still got a lot of meat and fish in my freezer so I’m going to eat it.  I’ve got a whole jar of delicious honey, I’m going to eat that, too.  I’ve got dairy cheese (I expect to miss that, especially Stilton) and one egg left, and I will enjoy those, too.  But once they have gone I’m intending not to replace them (I feel I should make a more committed statement than that, but I won’t – what I write here won’t change anything anyway).

When I’ve heard people talking about changing to veganism in the past and doing it gradually, choice by choice, that’s been an approach I have despised as ethically inferior.  I don’t know now, though.  It took me decades before I actually got to grips with making the leap in the first place.  And maybe it is more realistic to think that ethical actions don’t have to be backed up with self-conscious, anxious, instant conversions. No one’s life is 100% ethically pure, anyway.

This post is not a statement or commitment, just an account of my thoughts and recent choices.  I expect a more relaxed approach than before to work better for me this time, it will be easier to maintain and integrate psychologically, I am sure.  I maintained it for about six years last time, it wasn’t a flash in the pan.  So I’ll try this approach and see how it works differently, if it does.  I think it may be like slipping into something more comfortable.

Oh, also, I’ve managed to find some vegan wines, stout and cider at Sainsbury’s online, much cheaper than going to specialists.  Just put the word ‘vegan’ before what you are looking for and the options appear.  The wines I expect to be fine, they are varieties I like, anyway.  The cider and stout is a bit more of an experiment for me.

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Raif Badawi

Some of you will know who Raif Badawi is, some won’t, so for those who don’t I will explain.

Raif is a 31 year old Saudi Arabian man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012, and 1,000 lashes, planned to be given in 50s every Friday after prayers.  There is also a 10 year travel ban and a 10 year ban on using the internet, both to start when he leaves prison.  In the meantime they are seeking to have him accused of apostasy, which carries a death sentence.

His crime is that he started a blog expressing his liberal views, advocating free speech and criticising clerics in his country.

He had the first 50 lashes in January, but the rest were put off because of his health.  the second 50 were due today but they have been postponed again, also because of his health.  He suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes.

He has a wife and 3 children who at the moment are resident in Canada.  His wife is appealing his sentence.

I am posting a link to an Amnesty International petition asking the Saudi authorities to stop the punishment and to free him.  If you haven’t already signed it please do.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/saudi-arabia-free-raif-badawi-flogged-blogger?gclid=CJex2qOXisYCFU3HtAodQRwAXg

This Is Madness

I’ve read a bit more of this book and I’m finding it very interesting.  For me one of the most important things it says is that with physical illnesses diagnosis starts with something happening in the body and ends up with the diagnostic concept, but with ‘so-called’ mental illness it is the other way round, that it starts with a concept and mental conglomeration in the minds of physicians and they then go looking for people who fit the concept, like crusaders.  The concept is fleshed out in committee and applied to individuals, rather than subjective symptoms first being recognised in the individual and a remedy sought.  That is my memory of what was said in the chapter called ‘Diagnosis’.

I’ve just ordered another book as well called ‘Untrain Your Parrot’ by Elizabeth Hamilton.  It is a well grounded and often humorous approach to Zen.  The book is in the Multi-Faith room at the hospital but we are not allowed to take them out, and sometimes no one is there who can unlock the cabinet where the books are kept.  It makes sense that the books shouldn’t leave the room, it keeps them available and in good condition.  I have found that when I have spent time reading it in there I approach things in a better and lighter mood.  I’m looking forward to having my own copy because I think it is something that I will read and dip into more than once

I’m a lot more open and self-controlled on the ward these days, but I still feel angry, hurt and frustrated at what I see happening with other people.

I’ve got a bad cold at the moment.

We have started making approaches to accommodation.  It seems to me it could move either very quickly or more slowly than I would like.  I would like it to move quickly.

I’ve been reading a few ‘Freshly Pressed’ selections and really enjoying them.  They are so interesting.  I just read one called ‘There was no escaping his father’s words’ which made quite an impact on me.  It’s about a man who meets up in later life with his father who had told him that he was going from fad to fad and I felt those words from his father had partly shaped the man’s life.

I don’t feel able to write much more today.  I am generally feeling quite upset and that I need to cry.  That is what I usually feel inside.  I’ve had no intimacy for a very long time now, and I feel very much that I am getting old.  I am nearer death than birth.  For a wonderful period in my 30s I was unafraid, but now I feel a bit wobbly.  I’m not sure if I’m a real Christian, and I have been taught and believe that only Christians go to heaven.  I have not been taught to be a liberal, and my emotional attachments don’t really allow it.  I have been taught, and believe, that there is a hell for people who are not Christians.  I know to some people that will make me sound really archaic.  I have found myself praying that love and mercy will be my judge in the end, that love (God is love) will save me at death.  There is also the teaching that not everyone will die but Jesus will come back and some people who are living will be caught up to Heaven.  I suppose many people want to believe they will be among those who do not die.  I would like to live beyond 80, even to 100.  I’m afraid I will die much sooner.  I’m really afraid that I might go to hell, and I’m afraid that there will be no one who cares for me intimately when I die.  I have no children and no partner, and the only member of my family I am in contact with is my mother.  I would like not to feel so tired and worn out, and upset and vulnerable, and as if my time now is not worth anything and won’t be, that I have passed a point where there was a point.

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