Saturday, June 28, 2014

Celestial Bodies

Behold my most recent and my greatest painted creation of my life.... "Celestial Bodies"
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Flight of the Rabbit

Flight of the Rabbit
by Lady Rhiannon

            We drove down the state road to the interstate, like any other day. We have yet to hit an animal of any kind on the road. We saw seven rabbits on the road during our last camping excursion and managed to miss them all, but we have had to get used to seeing many a fallen victim tossed on the roadside felled by other less careful drivers….tossed aside like so much garbage. Suddenly we passed a small grey body writhing in the middle of the on-coming lane. I could not bear to leave it be, so we turned back, hoping at least to confirm the lack of continued suffering.
 I ran out of the car and out on to the road. There, lying under a streaked pool of her own blood, was a precious life …now passed from this world. The writhing had stopped. Her neck had been broken so severely that the skin had been ripped off of her neck. So beautiful she was though… soft brown fur, fluffy tail, smooth pink ears, and clear brown eyes now dulled of life. I touched her and felt her release one final shallow breath…then nothing more. I scooped her up in my arms, I could feel her warm blood on my hands, and I carried her to a bed of clover and laid her down. I stoked her fur and told her how sorry I was for how stupid we as humans are….how disrespectful and thoughtless.
As I scrubbed her blood from my hands, I thought about how insignificant humans think rabbits are (as well as most other animals) because there are so many of them. They don’t matter because there are millions of them, they all look the same, we can’t communicate with them, and they aren’t as intelligent, yadda yadda yadda. How insignificant are they though? They may seem insignificant to us, but to each rabbit, to each being, they are very significant. How many times have we, as humans, felt like one of billions of faceless ants marching along the same path? We often treat other humans we do not know as being insignificant, but if we stopped for a minute, and really got to know the person and their life, we would feel for them more deeply and understand them as individuals. We are insignificant to others until they know who we are, than we could be their best friend or the love of their life. Each animal is an individual unto themselves. They don’t need to seem significant to us for them to be deserving of their life.
Would we not seem so insignificant to other species? How would we feel if our lives were deemed to not matter by an intelligent race of alien beings? There are so many of us, we may all look the same to them, they may not understand us, and we would be less intelligent than them. Would that justify the new dominant species taking us as slaves and using us as entertainment, play things, experiments, clothing, food, or “good sport”? Would we accept our fate as the inferior species, or would we feel the victims of grave injustice and fight against our malevolent oppressors with all the force left in us?
The rabbit whose death I witnessed was an individual, and that individual is gone forever and cannot be replaced. She had a personality and identity all her own. She may have had a name in a language we are too stupid to understand. She had preferences and dislikes, fears and hopes, memories. She hoped to survive, but sometimes the world can look pretty hopeless. After I got back in the car I had flashes of what her last moments must have been like. I imagined it so deeply I could feel it. I could feel her panic … the sudden impact … writhing in pain and fear…trying in vain to get a broken body to work in those last moments…then fading out of consciousness, cars mindlessly rushing over you.
Some may say that we are all insignificant, but I prefer to believe that we are all very much significant. We are each a unique thread in the increasingly complex and elaborate tapestry of life, and each pulled fiber changes and potentially compromises the integrity of the entire design. Also, each individual is an entire universe unto themselves, each our own tapestry. We are both all alone and all together on this earth. For a life to matter, it need only be significant to itself. Assuming that they must also account themselves to us is merely human egotism at work…. “What purpose does it serve to me/humans?” Each life is ultimately about the individual. My life is not about you; your life is not about me. That rabbit’s life is not about you….it’s about the rabbit. I will call her Peace….which is what I hope for the world and all of her sentient beings.     

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kirsten Dunst, Patriarchy, and Other Forms of Stupid...

 Kirsten Dunst, Patriarchy, and Other Forms of Stupid...

Patriarchy and Feminism: When Will We Ever Learn What They Mean?

This is the kind of retardation stemming from anti-feminists.
I am so ashamed of all these women I am noticing on Facebook and other areas of the internet blowing up about how they aren't feminists because they like being feminine and wearing dresses and don't want "feminazis" telling them not to. News Flash!...I LOVE dresses! I love feeling flowing, pretty, and "feminine". Being a feminist does not mean you detest anything feminine and think women should never be "girlie".....feminist means that we believe in gender equality and gender freedom...that though we are different, we are of equal value. Feminism is about knowing that women and men are capable of being strong and expressing ourselves in whatever way we desire. What don't people get about that? If you believe in equality, you are a feminist or should consider yourself so.
I think a LOT of young women (and men too) need a course in women's studies to appreciate the long history of sexism and patriarchy that exists and has existed in this country and all around the world, in varying degrees, practically since the dawn of humanity. They would also be better able to appreciate all those who fought and DIED so that they have the opportunity to vote, open their own bank account, earn their own wages, wear pants if they want (or not), become doctors and lawyers, choose to marry or not to marry whomever they want....and all the other rights once denied to almost all women in this country. We also still have far to go, so it is infuriating when I hear men or women say that feminism is no longer needed....that the mission is complete. How absurd!
 In regards to the Shit Storm about Kirsten Dunst, the headline shouldn't be about "Kirsten Dunst Upsets Feminists"...It should be "Kirsten Dunst Has Close Minded View of Gender Roles." Saying that men need to be men and women need to be women implies that there is a RIGHT way to be a man and a RIGHT way to be a woman...and that is wrong. It wasn't expressed as just her opinion or how her relationship specifically seems to work, she seemed to be saying that this is how she thinks ALL people should function, because it is the "right" way. It is also akin to more of that, "a woman needs a man to feel like a woman" crap. Of course she is entitled to her stupid one is implying that she should shut up or not act on her first amendment rights (despite the fact that conservatives are whining about us "attacking" her for expressing her opinion - not that THEY ever attack anyone for expressing THEIR opinion, right?!)...but WE also have the freedom to call her out on her close-minded view and express OUR opinion that she is wrong.Once you put yourself out there, you are up for criticism.
More important, however, than Kirsten's single view, is the worldview as a whole regarding women, gender, and feminism.There is something screwed up about a society that thinks it is shameful for a man to be feminine or for a woman not to be feminine.....when celebrities, who (like it or not) act as role models, think it’s okay to dictate that "men should be men" and "women should be women"...implying that there is a "right" way to be a man and a "wrong" way to be a man or woman. It is sick and is indicative of our engrained, sociological sexism. If a man isn't "manly" enough than what is he called?...pussy, girlie man, or gay. Calling a man a woman is an insult....and THAT should be insulting to women. In society it is shameful and offensive when men "act like women" but also shameful for a woman to act anything but like what that traditional view of a woman should be.
Some defend it because its traditional! This is the problem with tradition, and thinking that "traditional" somehow means something better or more wholesome. You know what is also "traditional" throughout the bulk of human history? Arranged marriages, slavery, racism, public executions, animal and human sacrifice...just to name a few. People defending tradition for the sake of tradition are fools. Those who argue against feminism are also fools. Gender inequality, gender stratification, and presuppositions about what one sex or the other is supposed to act or look like are all detrimental to everyone within a society under such strains, and it is incumbent upon us as individuals, as a society, as a nation, and as a global community to break free of all our various forms of oppression and foolishness.

#KirstenDunceFailsAgain Read about her latest stupid comments

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Hard to argue with this level of stupid.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Pain....

My Pain….

It’s never enough for you is it?
It never will be,
I could give you my blood and you would demand my soul,
I could offer you a piece and you’d demand it whole,
Until I am crawling at your feet and bleeding to death,
Until you drink that vengeance with every breath,  
My pain will never be enough

So I will never give you that,
I deny you that glory you think to want to know,
You shall feed no more on my screams,
Nor shall your shadow haunt my dreams,
Why should I let you in when you’re not even there?
Paralyzed before your monstrously empty stare?
My pain will never be enough

So no more, no more, no more,
No more of your demon inside my mind,
No more of you….feeding off of me,
I’m breaking my own chains and setting myself free,
I banish you from the waves inside my mind,
Calming the storm that once left me blind,
My pain will never be for you again

You have no more power here dark little thing,
You’ll get no more pain to feed from me,
Beat against the stone until it bleeds,
Go back inside your little hole,
You will never have my soul, 
Keep your little trinkets,
I will keep my little scars,
As little reminders of who you really are.

Art and words by
The Lady Rhiannon

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Life as a Milk Cow

 I Was Just a Milk Cow:
Moving Away from Cows Milk Can be Beneficial to Us All

I was ripped from my mother shortly after I was born. I cried for days for my mom. When I got old enough I was painfully branded with searing hot metal, my tail was cut off, and my horns were cut off. I was artificially impregnated with a long metal tube. I had my first baby. I loved my baby when he was born....for a few days until they came and took him from me. He was tied to a tiny crate and killed a few months later for what they call “veal”. I cried for days for them to return my baby; no one answered. Instead, they took me from the field and plugged me up to machines every day to drain me of the milk meant for my dead child.
I am hurting; there is blood and pus in my milk from the infections. It is so cramped, there’s no room to walk or graze. I can't eat grass anymore; they give us corn and grains in troughs. Now it has been about seven years, I have had many children; all of them taken from me. My milk production is down and its “time for slaughter” they say. I am shocked with electric prods off the truck; I can smell death all around me. I am stunned so that I cannot move, but I am still aware. I am hung upside down from my back legs with chains, my throat is slit, and my blood is drained....I’m dying. I was just a milk cow.
This is the life and the fate of almost every milk cow brought into existence by the milk industry, even small scale operations. I used to deny this, because I loved my milk. I was addicted to chocolate milk and had it every day of my life for about 25 years. I wanted to believe that there were always happy cows and calves roaming relatively freely in green pastures, and a comfy milk cow retirement program where they could live out the rest of their lives naturally. Then I watched two documentaries, one was Forks over Knives, which focused on health, the other was Earthlings, which is about ethics. Watching them impacted me deeply and set me on the path to learn and research more, and I haven’t had a drop of dairy since.
Consuming cow’s milk is an ancient cultural tradition that was once thought necessary for survival; a clever adaptation. However, this is a new age, with new information, new perceptions, and new possibilities for progress, and there are many things in history once thought acceptable that no longer are, so it’s time to move forward.  There are serious ethical and health-related implications tied to cow’s milk consumption, there are much better alternatives available to us, and I want to share some of this information with you so that you too may make a more informed decision about your dietary future.
Firstly there are the ethical problems with exploiting cows for their milk supply. Undercover investigations from the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals, Action for Animals, the producers of Earthlings, and many other organizations have revealed over and over again that abuse runs rampant in the milk industry, including kicking, stabbing, hitting, and electric prodding. Cows are left to suffer with open, bloody wounds, painful swollen utters, pus filled infections, crippling lameness, and other diseases and ailments typically without veterinary care. Dairy cows are injected with a steroid called Posilac, or Bovine Growth Hormones, to increase milk production, and has been shown to increase lameness in cows and cancer risks in humans. The average milk cow in this country pumps out over 80 pounds of milk a day, far more than nature would allow.
However, some will say that these things are not true of every farm. What about organic milk, or small family operations? Well, even on farms where cows are not kicked and stabbed and injected with drugs, it is still a necessity in the business to take calves from their mothers, sell or slaughter males for veal, dehorn, brand, and tail dock without pain killers, keep cows perpetually pregnant year after year (each time taking their calf), and after 5-7 years after milk production has waned, an exhausted cow is sent to slaughter at a third of her natural lifespan. Ninety percent of our hamburger supply comes from so called “spent” dairy cows. Twenty percent of all dairy cows are slaughtered each year. This seems downright ungrateful.

              A cow makes milk for the same reason every other mammal produces milk, to feed her babies. It is an inescapable truth that buying milk supports the veal industry, and endorses the act of painfully separating mother from child. I talked to someone named Meg who personally still works at a dairy farm, but she’s starting to feel rather badly about it. She said, “If vegetarians think that drinking milk is okay then I would have to say that cows are bred, inseminated and produce a calf. We take their calf. Cows have one of the highest maternal instincts of any mammal. They call for their calf for about three days. A cow will produce milk for their calf for around six months on a natural cycle. We milk them for nine months and then “dry them off”. We make them have one calf per year. Now if taking an animal’s baby away year after year isn’t as bad as eating the meats, then I think your opinion is wrong. The cows are treated okay in a welfare aspect there, but mentally it’s hard for them. I’m not vegan but I can see the reason for the choice.” This is quite powerful coming from someone who works in the industry.  
Then there are the health issues with consuming cow’s milk that most of the public have been unaware of until recently. According to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a leading American Cardiac Surgeon and expert in plant-based nutrition, milk is basically just liquid meat. It is loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat, which is not good for the body, especially the heart.
Also, According to industry numbers, there is as much as a dropper full of pus in every 8 oz. glass of milk, which occurs because of the infections cows get from the milking process. It is sterilized in the pasteurization process, but sterilization is not a removal process. Of course the milk industry doesn’t use the term “pus” because that might be off-putting, so they use the term “somatic cell count”. To combat these infections, milk cows are also pumped full of antibiotics. Over 70% of our country’s supply of antibiotics goes into farm animals. This has caused some people to become resistant or even allergic to all antibiotics.
Casein is also a serious health hazard. Casein is animal protein, the main protein naturally found in milk, and has been scientifically linked to the growth of cancer cells in many studies now, most famously by Dr. T Colin Campbell, who co-authored the China Study and is featured in the documentary Forks over Knives.  He found that you could literally turn cancer growth on and off in controlled test subjects simply by adding or eliminating casein in the diet. In the largest and most comprehensive scientific study ever conducted on nutrition, Dr. Campbell found that populations with the lowest consumption of animal protein always had the lowest mortality rates from various cancers and heart disease.
According to both Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn, cow’s milk also acidifies the body, causing what is known as metabolic acidosis, and the body cannot stay acidic for long or it will die. So what our body does is that it saps calcium phosphate from our bones. Phosphate brings the body back to a pH balance and the calcium is urinated out. The high concentrations of acidic protein in milk and other animal-based sources cause the body to lose more calcium than it consumes. This leaves bones weaker, which is one of the reasons why this country has one of the highest osteoporosis rates in the world in spite of leading the world in dairy consumption. Luckily there are other, better sources of calcium from plant sources that the body can actually absorb and keep, such as oatmeal, tofu, orange juice, spinach, or plant based milks.
 Dairy is a hard addiction to crush however, and it is an addiction. There is a substance in cow’s milk called Casomorphine, which is actually a form of morphine and is a cow’s natural way to keep a young calf close and suckling on her. This substance has a similar effect on us and keeps us coming back for more.
The good news is that there are numerous alternatives out there to replace cow’s milk in your heart and help break the addiction. There is soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, flaxseed milk, hazelnut milk, and my personal favorite, almond milk. I have a deep affection for the chocolate and vanilla varieties of Friendly Farms almond milk at Aldies for $2.50 a half gallon. That makes it only $5 a gallon, which is just about the regular price of a gallon of cow’s milk. There are also delicious alternatives for our beloved cheese and ice cream as well.
There are many benefits to these milk alternatives too. There is more calcium in these milks than in cow’s milk, and that calcium is absorbed better since they do not acidify the body. None of them have any cholesterol or saturated fat, and they are often fortified with B12 and vitamin D as well. Depending on which kind you get, each one has a list of its own health benefits. For example, the flax and hemp milk are both loaded with beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids.
                When you make a purchase you are endorsing a product, a company, and their practices; you are literally making a vote. With a little effort and the will to change for the animals, for you, or both, we can make a deep and impactful change in our society simply by deciding to vote differently with our money. We don’t have to be a society of animal slavery, cruelty, and death, we don’t have to give anything up to do it, and we can be healthier for having done it. We have the knowledge and options now for more humane, healthier alternatives, but only we have the power to make the change.

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Action for Animals. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Fulkerson, L. (Director). (2011). Forks over Knives [documentary film]. United States: Virgil Films and Entertainment

Mercy For Animals. (2010 ). Dairy's Dark Side: The Sour Truth Behind Milk. [ONLINE] Available at:

Mercy for Animals. (2009). Milk is Cruel. [ONLINE] Available at:

Monson, S. (Director). (2005). Earthlings [documentary film]. United States: Nation Earth