Monthly Archives: February 2015

My third gift, a transcript from “Speciesism: The Movie.”

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(If you have not seen the introduction to my gifts, you may want to do that first.)

People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.
James Baldwin.

August 10, 2014

Peace (“Salaam”) Friends,

I like to think that everyone I am sending this email to is a person concerned with the world. Maybe you are concerned with the terrible levels of poverty, maybe you are upset with how women are systematically oppressed everywhere, maybe you are bothered with all the needless killing and power struggle in the world, or maybe you care about education. I don’t believe I am incorrect in my assessment. We live in a tough world but perhaps Arundhati Roy is right when she said: “Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe.”

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Gifts: An Introduction

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On Eid 2014, I was away from my family, in a different country. Feeling reminiscent, I thought about the jovial mood that would have been present in my family’s house, with guests visiting and everyone having shared meals. Contrarily, I became angry. You see, months prior to Eid, I became vegan, and I felt like the jovial mood came at the expense of intense misery; numerous sentient lives were brutally raised, tortured, and then killed, just so we can eat their flesh (and eggs and dairy) and feel happy and content. That was unacceptable to me given that there is an alternate way of living.

I decided to sent a small group of people, including parts of my family, an email. I called it a gift. The point of that email was singular: convince people that we do not have a moral alternative but to go vegan. Encouraged by a friend’s response who declared that “there is no better gift than illumination,” I sent more gifts, always increasing the number of people I sent each subsequent gift to. In each one, I tried to portray a different aspect of my feelings, of myself really, and I tried to appeal to a different emotion.

I have sent four gifts so far and below, you will find links to each of them. These are edited to correct typos, formatting, and to remove some of the preamble. If you have not already, I encourage you to read them to completion, and to seriously reflect on the implications. Do not fear reality, and do not romanticize suffering. I wish you peace.

Picture by Linh Dinh

I dream for a world that understands there is no fake pain. – Spencer Barton, 15. Photo taken by Linh Dinh.