Friday, 28 April 2017

Lawrence Krauss: A Universe from Nothing

I didn't like science at school. It was tough and it seemed scientists didn't know anything. Forgive my adolescent minds' obnoxious understanding of scientific theory.

So it has shocked no one more than myself that, largely thanks to debates on religion, I have developed an interest in science. For my first read? It had to be Lawrence Krauss' A Universe from Nothing.

He writes with a palpable sense of awe, his passion for science is overwhelmingly infectious and the sense of humour and the pace of his words make even the most confounding of scientific minutiae a joy to read.

Whether reading this with an atheist angle or not (there is an afterword by Richard Dawkins and Krauss himself is an atheist), the argument here is utterly compelling. Of course our Universe came from nothing! In fact it very likely had to!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Answer is Simple

When speaking to people about the state of our world, the disastrous state of our environment, the amount of poverty, war and famine, the inequality of wealth, I am often met with two things:

Agreement and dismay.

'I just don't know what the answer is.' This is a common response to the discussion of the above topics.

But, with the help of various blogs, videos, websites etc. I have realised that the answer is incredibly simple:

Reject consumerism.

Don't buy that new phone, computer, TV, album, car, film, house, skirt, t-shirt, pair of shoes.

Say no to the endless cycle of environmental degradation, wealth inequality, exploitation and greed.

Go vegan, stop raping and murdering for food, drink and materials that we don't need, that poison us and our world.

Oppose ignorance, oppose racism. Educate and talk to one another.

Its easy, it feels good, it helps everyone and it helps our planet, our home.

Monday, 24 April 2017

13 Reasons Why: An Irressponsible Depiction of Depression and Suicide

For all normal intents and purposes 13 Reasons Why is a good show. But there is this vast controversy surrounding it due to the way it tackles its core subject; depression and suicide.


As someone with depression let me tell you: the experts have it right, it does not handle it in an acceptable way. From the way they depict it as a revenge suicide to the way they graphically and needlessly portray the suicide in its entirety, in other words from inception to conclusion, suicide is sexualised, glamorised and simplified. They make the act of her death seem far more pleasant than it actually would be (not that what she does and is shown to do is remotely pleasant to start with.)


Much like the school in the show is criticised for, Netflix begin each episode with a paltry disclaimer and information on how to get help. It seems token, like the posters the school put up. If someone is going to be severely affected by the show a token line at the start may not be enough. It also does not convey the extent to which the content of the show can and does trigger issues and thoughts relating to depression.


Beyond this there is little left to say and there is no need for me to go into further detail. The experts are unanimous and first hand accounts like mine reinforce all that they say. The show is irresponsible, at best.

Friday, 21 April 2017

A Young Man's View on the June 8th General Election


Whether you love or loathe Brexit there can be no doubt that, at best, Theresa May is a sociopath bent on servicing her own short sighted self interest at the cost of a nations' unity, identity, values and infrastructure - damn the human cost of it.

One cannot cast a vote for the Conservative party on June 8th and claim to have a shred of compassion, altruism or conscience.

Be it through systematically gutting the NHS, sentencing war refugees to a life of sex slavery, abuse, fear and death, stripping the poor and vulnerable of societal props or redesigning our education system to wash the lower classes clean of knowledge and influence, Theresa May and the Conservative party have been disastrous for our country and will produce only more disaster with Brexit.

This is an election in which political opinion can and must take a back seat and humanity must be brought to the fore.

I do not support Jeremy Corbyn, regardless or my enthusiasm for some of his policy ideas the man simply is not an inspiring leader for a party who, from Blair onwards, has done little but tarnish its reputation. But he is at least human. Votes on the 8th June must be cast for Corbyn, for Corbyn alone could set right our nations' affairs, deliver a Brexit that doesn't turn our shores into a tax haven for the one per cent and rebuild the infrastructure of our country so it can function in a way that benefits rather than dehumanises.

I entreat all people of voting age in the U.K., on June 8th, vote for Corbyn, vote for Labour. Not for politics, nor for patriotism but for our humanity.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

How We Get Milk From Cows

For a cow to produce milk she needs a baby. (Much like us humans).


So we need the cows that are used in the dairy industry to be in a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth. This obviously is not natural, so how is it achieved?


Well, a metal rod is coated in semen and forcibly inserted into the cow. She then falls pregnant. Upon giving birth, the mothers' baby is taken from her, causing a period of great trauma for both mother and child.


The milk that is then produced by the mother, the milk that she produces to feed the child we (humans) have just taken from her, is taken by us.


So to recap, the cow is raped and then her baby is stolen and then we take the milk from her.


What's more is that the average life expectancy for a cow is 20 years, the average life expectancy for a cow in the dairy industry is 4 years. We rape them, we kidnap and murder their child and then we deprive them of 16 years of life.


We do this every single day, all so that we can drink milk designed to raise healthy baby cows.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

End: Civ

End:Civ is documentary inspired by Derrick Jensen's book: Endgame.

For those who don't know Derrick Jensen is an environmental activist who believes that as long as there is civilisation then the world cannot be saved and the environment will die. He views civilisation as our industrial world - the same world that is poising itself.

It is an interesting documentary, with a lot of hard truths and good ideas. It is however, qhite controversial. You see Derrick, like many others, believe that a cause and its activists must use violence if they are to affect any real change. They say that for every Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. there was a Malcolm X or  Bhagat Singh. He believes civilisation must be attacked and destroyed for humanity to survive.

This idea is discussed throughout the documentary and, though I strongly disagree with the use of violence, it does not ruin the remainder of the documentary, as some sound observations are made and, after all, it is always interesting to hear a different approach.

So although I disagree with a lot of what is said I'd still recommend giving this film a watch, the link is below.

https://vimeo.com/22791307

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017

My One Year Veganniversary

In April last year I watched Earthlings and went vegan.

I discovered compassion, discovered how easily society is fooled into perpetrating cruel and immoral acts, discovered that entire generations of people have been raised to believe a lie; that the exploitation, rape and murder of animals is acceptable, is good.

I am now healthier, happier and contributing to the world more so than ever before. I am aware of environmental issues, animal rights issues and human issues and am trying to do my part to help combat them.

A vegan lifestyle is moral, compassionate and healthy for all.

You should try it, the world will thank you.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Capital Punishment: Cruel, Senseless and Immoral

Capital punishment cannot be justified. 

The act of taking someone's life as a punishment is cruel, hypocritical, devoid of sense and totally immoral. 

There are too many cases of the wrong person being convicted and there are too many cases, such as Bruce Ward's, where mental health assistance is required. 

Don't support this madness. Talk about it, educate people about it. No country is civilised if it institutionally supports and perpetrates murder. 

You can read about Bruce Ward here:



https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/13/arkansas-executions-death-penalty-bruce-earl-ward

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tips to Stop the Environnement Dying

Science tells us that by the end of the century we will likely have 50% of all species on the earth facing extinction.

Science tells us that the Arctic sea ice, come summer 2030, could all be gone.

Science tells us that each new prediction often becomes obsolete because we do so much damage to the environment that environmental degradation increases in speed rapidly, forcing scientists to recalculate and remeasure, never with good results.

In short science tells us that the world is dying and that it is our fault.

So what can we do?

Veganism

Animal agriculture is responsible for about one fifth of global warming emissions, that's more than all forms of modern transportation combined.

Give up consuming animal products and that whole glut of industries will be forced to disappear.

Consumerism

Stop buying things. The music industry, film industry, fashion industry, TV industry, phone, computer, car industries et al. dictate to us that we buy more, meaning that they make more.

If we stopped this, by replacing things only when they cannot be repaired, thinking about what we really want and need, by not buying plastic like CDs, films, games, computers, by not following the manufactured fashion trends, in short, if we rejected consumerism, these industries would disappear.

Imagine a world where millions of plastic discs, of cheap clothes, of cars, phones, computers, pieces of furniture weren't churned out daily in vast factories. Imagine a world where people bought second hand, learnt to make things, fx things, learnt to be content with what they had. 80% of the emissions from a Macbook occur when it is made. So don't buy a new one, stop it from being made.

We have to accept that consumerism has introduced us to a lifestyle that the earth cannot sustain. We have to accept that we cannot keep buying more. We have to stop.

Education

Everyone, from individuals to institutions, needs to be talking, teaching, spreading ideas, knowledge and passion. Surely the most important thing on earth is the earth? It supports and sustains the life of billions of people and billions of animals and creatures and plants and trees.

We need to talk about it, how to save it, what we do, what we value. Spread the word, educate others and help everyone see what really matters, see how to value it, see what gratitude is and how to practice it.

Some people say it's too late, others say we need to work with organisations like Green Peace, to compromise with consumerism and diet, others say we need to use violence to tear down civilisation. All interesting ideas, all worth learning about but, ultimately, the most effective weapon in the effort to save the earth is the individual.

If everyone rejects consumerism, if everyone rejects the lie that is that we can keep consuming, keep expanding, keep using the earth and it's animals as a resource and nothing more then everyone can save the earth.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

On Foreign Aid

A child in poverty in Syria is no different to a child in poverty in England, Nigeria, Germany, China.

They all deserve our help.

Suffering does not consider nationality.

Only an ignorant man, a cruel man, a racist man could oppose and deny foreign aid.

But we are a species capable of great compassion and great action, so act and act compassionately.