Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vegans and Cats

I am perplexed. Over the past six years or so I've come to know several people who describe themselves as Vegan. I have to say I am generally pretty impressed by my friends who are disciplined enough to hold to such a strict diet. I appreciate that it must have spiritual and health benefits that they find rewarding... but still I can imagine they must occasionally be tempted by the terribly indulgent foods the rest of us eat without even a second thought. I truly respect the higher ideal of not causing suffering to other creatures that every Vegan I've asked claims to be the driving force behind their diet. However the thing that confuses me is why so many of them keep cats! It seems to be a complete contradiction to me.

I don't understand the attraction Vegans have to cats... well actually in terms of Yin and Yang or the balancing forces of the universe it makes perfect sense but rationally it makes no sense! Cats are true carnivores, domestic cats kill simply for entertainment... how can someone so opposed to the suffering of other beings possibly be comfortable sharing their space with a creature who's primary instinct is to slaughter other creatures, not to mention tormenting them and causing them to die from fright, exhaustion or mutilation. The other matter that confuses me is, even if you happen to have a cat that doesn't indulge it's god given instinct (Can't blame a cat for being a cat) you must still feed the cat... What do you feed your cat? I am pretty sure that the meat supplied to the commercial pet food industry is rarely obtained via ethical or humane means... Is there a way of feeding a cat that meets the strict ethical criteria most Vegans apply to their own diet? I'd seriously like to know how these apparent contradictions are reconciled by Vegan cat owners. Seriously!

The other problem I see is that domestic cats (and dogs... and other pets) exist solely for us... Please don't get me wrong of course they are creatures in their own right and deserving of the same respect as any other living creature. But realistically people breed them so that other people will buy them and keep them as pets, Pet owners then go and buy pet food to feed them and thus the cycle of violence continues simply because we wish to have the company of a furry purring friend... I am not claiming to be beyond this myself but I just don't get how it matches up with the otherwise virtuous choices of the Vegan lifestyle. 

I am sure this post will offend some of my Vegan friends, it is not my intention to do so it's just something that's been on my mind for such a long time that I had to get it out because so many of you guys seem to be in love with cats. I'm kind of hoping the answer is one of those paradoxical curiosities that defy logic and require simple acceptance of the natural synthesis of opposites... Or maybe there's another simpler rational explanation...

A Feline feast
Cats are carnivores; and the Vegan eats no meat.
You'd think they could not be lovers.
If I killed a fish, brought to your pet on a dish
would you run and hide under your covers?

Moggy, tabby, Tom and stray, have teeth for tearing,
they crave flesh night and day.
Give them beans and rice and they'll turn away
even though to their gut they are staving?

Do you feed your cat meat or does she hunt in the street?
You're answer will be one or the other.
Whether shop bought or scraps, a cat is a cat
To kill for her is far from a bother.

She purrs at the backdoor but have no doubt,
puss hunts amongst the rafters?
She knows where to find what she's after.
A cat wont get her fill from you broad beans and dill,
She's designed just to kill.
That purr that you hear is her laughter!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Feeling lonely?

Make some friends!

Friends - For example
My kids whipped these little beauties out the other morning, they're sitting on the wall right beside the computer desk...
Not sure where this is going... Gratitude I guess.
Few things are as precious as happy kids!

Children DON'T Belong in Detention!
They're all precious!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


We've been back from Victoria for weeks now but I just haven't been motivated to write anything about anything! After a couple of weeks break I managed to completely unwind and I just haven't wanted to re-connect with the life I left in Darwin.

Too many commitments, too many groups and TOO Too much responsibility! I realized when we went down to Melbourne at Easter that I was approaching some kind of burnout, contemplating quitting my job... I needed a break.

When we got home I found it incredibly difficult to catch up with all my commitments and look after my families needs as well. Then I just stopped doing stuff! I haven't been motivated to write about anything, talk about anything... do any thing... Giving myself permission to not 'DO' has created a space for something,tremendous and powerful to enter me body and soul! And my mind keeps jabbering out half finished songs and poems that nobody would get and nobody will ever hear!

A recent confrontation lead me to make a decision to give myself over a little more. Giving up my 'will for power' and submitting to the guidance of trusted others... Putting aside my desire to argue, show, explain, contradict, win little bit by bit. Prayer, meditation and then more revelation as I become willing to be changed. My head swimming in the unfamiliar water of acceptance... is this all too much? A rush of nausea flows across me as I experience what it is like to be the hole in the doughnut!

I need some sleep but am forcing myself to write on this blog just to find out. Is this really necessary or just more fodder for the flesh? I wonder if I might be content to just flit by here from time to time only to look at the pictures I took of the forest and enjoy the memories of coolness, the perfume of forest trees and the protective hidden canopy of trees along the creek!

Desecrated Coconut
 Our Beautiful Coconut Tree - felled and forlorn.

Before we left for Melbourne one of our fences had virtually collapsed! When we got back I had to fix the damn thing and in the process I had to decide what to do about our coconut tree which was leaning across and toughing on the fence. I thought I was going to leave it there and build the fence with a gap for the tree to poke through... Sadly, since I wasn't 100% sure of what I'd do a neighbor approached me and recommended that I "Get rid of that nuisance tree!" I didn't really want to do it but being unsure I took it as a sign that I should cut the tree. It now lays in various places around our garden. The interesting thing was that no sooner had I cut it down than a Philipina Neighbor came along and asked for a couple of mature nuts! She then explained how I could use the fronds as a broom (If I was inclined to sweep anything...). Then our next door neighbor (who is originally from somewhere in India) turned up and also asked for some nuts. Both neighbors expressed their disappointment at the tree coming down and I was disappointed too. I actually felt sad. But the situation wasn't a complete loss. It was actually a great opportunity to talk to people on a level that rarely occurs when passing people in the street. I expect the Vietnamese guy who  usually comes and cuts the ripe nuts from the tree will also be disappointed when he finds the tree gone.
I expect many of our neighbors will be happy to see that old leaning tree gone... I think some people thought it was an eyesore, Others said it was dangerous... Maybe it was but I really liked that tree.

We occasionally ate the fruit and once or twice wove things out of the fronds, never really knowing how to get the most of our tree, but we loved it. A tree monitor had made his home in the spaces between the fronds and the fruit, Torres Strait Pigeons would roost in it lorikeets would fight in it at night it stood guard in the moonlight and the wind occasionally pushed it until it would sway gently. Some people know the value of a good coconut tree. The rogue fruit that drops over fences is fair game and bounty for the urban gleaners but to the bourgeouis suburbanite it's just another scandal that interrupts their straight lines and grassy verges! Thank God for rogue coconut trees! Not only do they provide us with all kinds of useful materials (whether we make full use of them or not) but they are a useful tool in defining the value(s) of one's neighbors.