Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
Hi. My name is Kath, and I live on a 15 acre bush block about 45 minutes north of Auckland. I was born in Canada, and moved here as a young woman many years ago, so I now consider myself a Kiwi-Canuck, as I don't "fit" either country now. More of a Kiwi now, though. We have a tradition of "number 8 fence wire" (eh, Jordan?). Hee-hee. Ask me about it sometime.
I'm a family entertainer, in partnership with my husband. We play live music and call for Barn Dances (Bush Dances to Aussies, Ceilis to Brits, Country Dances to Americans), do fun shows for childrens birthday parties and preschools (music, magic, puppetry and ventriloquism), and have toured NZ doing educational school shows for many years.
Bill was an ethical vegetarian from his youth, and when we got together, I became vegetarian without too much thought about it. It was very easy to do. Because I didn't think about it, I continued as a vegetarian for 33 years. Then about a year and a half ago, I started seeing a lot of graphic pics and videos posted on FB, and links to horrific Youtube videos, and found out how evil "dairy" and "eggs" were - whether free-range or not. So I thought, "vegetarian isn't good enough". OK - on my instigation, we both became vegan.
I've recently started reading a lot of the Animal Rights literature, including "Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows", "The Animal Rights Debate", and am slogging my way through "The Case For Animal Rights", which is extremely hard going. If I didn't think it was such a seminal work, I doubt if I'd persevere with it. I have a list of other books to get when I'm finished these ones.
I have been a passive vegan for over a year now, and I'd like to find out how I can actively make a difference for animals. I tend to be an abolitionist, after considering the options logically. It makes sense. However, I'm extremely pessimistic about us ever achieving the abolition of animal slavery, or of the world ever becoming vegan. This makes me very depressed.
So, that's it from me. I hope to take part in this forum, and learn lots. What is the best way to do this? Just reply to conversations on the Main Page?
Oh - I forgot to mention that I just finished reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. It was a very interesting read, but I have mixed feelings about his position re animal rights.
It sounds like your life is very busy! What sort of educational shows do you do for schools?
Congratulations on making the decision to live vegan, both to you and Bill!
How exciting that you're reading Tom Regan's work. I think he's just wonderful. I have his Empty Cages here, which is a much easier read - it was written for a general audience, but it's still really educational and very interesting. I think he's been the stand out animal rights philosopher and author of our time, and admire him very much.
I'd be interested in what you think of "The Animal Rights Debate", I think Rob Garner made a really good case for his position in that book. He is very rational and I think he explains himself in a way that is pleasant and not at all condescending. Although I don't agree with his position, I find him to be a very genuine person, and have learnt quite a bit from him.
Feel free to add to any discussions in ARZone, or to start your own. The best way to start a discussion is in the "Forum" section - the tabs are at the top of the main page. But there are always topics to add to, as well as videos, blog posts, groups, recipes. Whatever is on the site is yours! :)
The chat box almost always has someone attending to it, but if you say hello and don't receive a response straight away, they're likely just busy elsewhere for a while.
So, welcome to ARZone, and please let us know if we can help in any way! :)
Welcome to ARZone. Like you, I was a vegetarian for a long time before becoming vegan. If you don't mind me asking, when you were vegetarian did you still buy things made of leather or other clothing/shoes/accessories made from other animals? The reason I ask is because I did and I am curious about how others acted on their vegetarian impulses.
I hope you find ARZone to be a place where you can feel at home, exploring all the complex issues surrounding how the human animal interacts with nonhuman ones.
Thank you all so much for your friendly welcome to ARZone. I feel like one of the family already. Hee-hee.
Carolyn, we have about six different music/drama/story/dance shows that we do in primary schools, plus a couple that we do for pre-schools. We developed the shows over time, to incorporate our skills and topics that interested us, into an educational framework. It has worked well over the years, but we don't tour the whole country any more, but stay mostly around the Auckland area, or within two or three hours drive of Auckland anyway, these days. If you're interested, you could look here: http://www.billkath.co.nz/index.html and click on "School Shows" in the links.
Tim, yes I am ashamed to admit that I suffered a "disconnect" for a lot of those years, when I ate vegetarian (lacto-ovo) and continued to wear leather shoes, wool and silk clothing. Since becoming vegan, I have been going through my wardrobe and changing to vegan alternatives.
My husband got rid of all his leather belts and shoes years ago, though. More enlightened than me.
See you in the forums everyone!
Goodnight Kath :-)