stuff gets examined.

Posts Tagged ‘cultural conservatism

All Life is Precious

leave a comment »



“Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts!”

Kurt Weill, “What Keeps Mankind Alive?”

The Girl (our two-year old blonde and super precocious daughter) and I usually take the bus to daycare. We often sit at the front of  the bus, where she makes lots of friends, unless the front is inhabited by the grumpy variety of old person. Today it wasn’t looking good, so we went directly to the back, where the Bad Kids sit.

Imagine our dismay (my dismay, really, she says “Hi” and “Bye” to everyone without bias) when the back also filled up with grumpy old people, including one who commented on her cuteness and immediately related it to his wrist ban (right next to the “Livestrong” band) that said “All Life is Precious,” with a little pair of baby foorprints, which he connected to the Girl’s feet with his finger.  I didn’t debate the point – we’re on the back of the bus having a (for me) casual conversation, I had a toddler on my lap, and he’s going to be dead soon – but I did have to suppress one burning question – “If all Life is Precious, why do you just have a pair of human baby feet on there? Where are the chick feet, calf and piglet  hoofs? Fish fins? And while we’re at it, what about humans who don’t fit into your preferred social/racial/economic/sexual stereotype? How can we represent them?”

I’m not sure why he drew the connection between the Girl and the wrist thing. I suspect that he was suggesting that, but for cruel abortion, there’d be a whole army of precious little blonde girls sitting on the bus.

 Pragmatic Practices

Human cultures function usually thanks to a bunch of  pragmatic and often harsh decisions that were made in the past and formalized into Tradition, Good Business Practice, Cultural Stereotypes and so on. In North America, most of us our lucky because our particular consumerized culture tries to protect us and lie to us about the ugly pragmatic stuff that has to happen every minute to keep us in the manner we’re accustomed. Animals are mistreated and brutally killed, employees are underpaid and disrespected, governments make far-reaching decisions to answer immediate and fleeting situations and please their supporters, the earth is further polluted and  messed up, and third world people are made to live in work in horrible conditions. Many of these pragmatic decisions-made-practice involve controlling and using human nature to the advantage of whatever power base is making the decisions. One of the biggest aspects of human nature is the urge to mate – arguably, it’s the reason we’re all here. Mating has always been useful to empires and popes since it brings more bodies into the army, factory, or tithe lineup, so we have all sorts of rules about it – The pope tells starving third worlders not to use birth control, the British Empire made it illegal to sell birth control at certain points in history, mating with someone of the same gender is bad because it places emphasis on the pleasure aspect which takes everyone off on a bad tangent if they think about it too much.

 Individual Sexuality

Due to all these rules around mating, and the lingering effect of these rules and the absolute thinking they required, we’re still screwed up over the it. But it needs to be looked with what seems to be a simmering possibility in human cultural evolution, that the needs of the individual can be emphasized and co-exist peacefully with a general set of rules that look to the needs of the group. Mating and sexuality should not be looked at as tools of the church or state, but a fundamental component of each individual’s being, and dealt with in a manner that best suits the individual, according to circumstances. Abortion is not the best, but this is a complicated world with weird stuff happening, everyone makes mistakes. It’s not good to make a whole series of additional mistakes just trying to satisfy some dogma regarding the first one.

I also think the Animal Rights community should really take advantage of the excellent traction the “All Life is Precious” motto has and print up some with the additional footprints.


Written by balloonhed

June 15, 2011 at 11:37 am