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To Live and not Just Exist

Choosing life, happiness, peace and joy. Oh and weight loss too

Month

January 2016

A rant at anarchy

So…

The 4 biggest cities in South Africa just made it onto the list of the 50 Most Dangerous Cities in the World.
9. Cape Town
41. Durban
42. Nelson Mandela Bay
47. Johannesburg.

I am completely and utterly horrified that even one of our fabulous cities makes the list, never mind 4.

It caused a little chain reaction in my brain. And something that has been bothering me for a long time now, decided it needed to be written about. Because they relate on a fundamental level.

I drive into Cape Town at about 05h30 every week day morning. That is the only way to miss the chaos that is N1 traffic.

There is a little bit of highway, at the off-ramp to the M5, that suddenly drops from 120km/h to 80km/h. It doesn’t matter why. Or who decided it. Or whether I agree or not. It is what it is. This little stretch of road is notoriously well known as being a trapping hotspot.

Except at 05h30 in the morning obviously.

So I should put a little context in here. I have car insurance with Discovery Health. In order for me to maximize the cash back I get every month, I trend to drive as well as I possibly can. Obeying all the rules of speeding, harsh acceleration, cornering.

I like money. And smoothies (new driving reward). So I drive appropriately.

Another little bit of essential information. I suspect that quite a few traffic officers report for duty at 06h00, or thereabouts, at a traffic department in Town. Because every morning I see at least 2 traffic officers on the N1, heading into Town.

I have yet to ever (and I really do mean ever – in all the time I have been driving to work in Town) see one drop his speed to 80 in the 80 zone. They all merrily maintain their speed, whatever it may be.

Perhaps I am being petty. Perhaps I too would not drop my speed if I didn’t get money back. Perhaps. Perhaps.

All I know is this.

When did we stop holding those tasked with upholding our laws accountable?

Is the message being sent not one of:

‘If I know I am not going to get caught, it is ok to break the law?’

‘If I am not yet on duty, I don’t have to follow or enforce the law?’

‘I am a traffic officer, so I am above the law?’

All I know is that our country is bleeding. There is no accountability anymore. There is no morality anymore. There is something very close to situational anarchy. I will do as I please because I probably won’t get caught.

This is beyond race. Beyond colour. Beyond economics. Beyond it all.

It is fundamentally about right and wrong.

It is a traffic officer speeding with impunity at 05h30 in the morning, on a stretch of highway he will probably set up a speed trap on in a few hours. After his coffee. And breakfast.

But what has he taught every single person who sees him in the morning. Consciously or not.

That it is okay to break the law when it suits you.

And I am also in no way trying to excuse the folks who do chose to break the law. Whichever law it may be. Small, or big.

You have to live with your own conscience and at the end of the day, you and your conscience have to be okay with the choices you make.

Whether you stand in a uniform and are supposed to uphold, and by default obey, a law, or in civilian clothing and chose to ignore a law.

Part of why South Africa has 4 cities on the list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world?

Because no one gives a fuck anymore.

Until it suits them.

There is injustice in this world, stop ignoring it.

I happened across this blog the other day. And watched this video.

And my world changed.

I spoke to a lady at work that farms with pigs. And she brought me to this picture –

images1.GestationCrate

This is a gestation cage. A pregnant sow gets put in it and she will never leave it. Never. This becomes her world.

The enclosures measure 2 m x 60 cm.

We are talking about an  animal that likes to play. Is smart. Has good long-term memory, and can be socially manipulative. An animal that can tell which people are nice to them and which aren’t. An animal that can distinguish between pigs they know and pigs they don’t.All traits that we think are unique to being human.

And then I happened on these pictures –

 

I just cannot fathom how big business has managed to create a world where normal, rational, smart human beings have completely disassociated themselves from the fact that bacon comes from a pig. A pig that lives in conditions that are vile. That biltong comes from a cow that is so mistreated that it cannot even stand on it’s own. That chicken comes from an animal that is barely a few weeks old and pumped so full of crap you may as well just inject yourself with that crap and save yourself the trouble.

I grew up on a farm. I have a fundamental idea of where the meat on my plate comes from. I also consider myself an animal lover. One of those fruity folk that will double back to try and rescue the dog running lose in the street.

Yet I have somehow bought into a consumerism that enables the mistreatment of animals on a massive scale. I have turned a blind eye to the fact that a creature somewhere suffered to feed me? A creature whose life is as important to it, as mine is to me?

I have no doubt that humans, once upon a long ago, were supposed to eat meat. Needed to eat meat. That was before big business. That was before animal cruelty became normal.

That was before I knew that over 56 billion farmed animals are being killed every year by humans. That more than 3,000 animals die every second in slaughterhouses around the world. And that doesn’t even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes.

And just so you know – the pictures above? That is factory farming in America. That is exactly what our Government has signed a deal with Barrack Obama to let into our country by the bucket load. Oh and in the process just completely destroyed our own agriculture and farming sector.

I have to date never had a problem eating meat. I would even say I have always loved the taste of a good steak, on a open fire.

I have a problem with how that animal died. And I have a massive issue with how it lived.

And then there is the niggle…..

It will not leave my head nor my consciousness….

Babe is really no different to Blossom.

Babe
Babe
blossom
Blossom

I would never even almost contemplate eating Blossom.

One day we will all be asked a question. Perhaps by our God, perhaps by our children. Perhaps by our own conscience.

How did you live, that bettered the world? Did any thing or any one suffer needlessly because of you?

I will no longer eat Babe and all those like Babe.

For the sake of my own soul.

Quote attributed to Johnny Depp - There is injustice in this world, stop ignoring it like it's not real, animals or humans.

Me

Hello.
You don’t know me. Not yet anyway. I am you, 27 years on.

You turned 40 the other day. It came and it went much like any other day. There was some celebration, there was some sadness. But it passed. Much like any other day.

You worry so much about not fitting in. About not having friends. About what people think of you. About whether your mom and your dad value you. About whether your brother and your sister love you.

Stop worrying. All those nights of tears and fretting get you absolutely nowhere. Not one bit of the energy you expended ever changed anything anyone ever thought of you, did for you or meant to you.

Stop worrying Jessie. You will be ok.

I have to tell you that your dad dies soon. A massive heart attack. Norine comes, and Stephen eventually. And then they leave and it is just you and mom.

In time, you forget what he looked like. You forget what he sounded like. You forget who he was. Because you barely knew him. All that becomes important is whether or not he was or is proud of you. And it doesn’t matter one way or the other. The only person who has to be proud of you, is you. Learn this now. Learn it well. Because you will fight this demon all your life. And it will win. Every time someone doesn’t measure up to the ideals you have set for them. Every time someone leaves. Every time someone disappoints you. Somehow, you manage to turn it into something you did wrong.

Stop. Learn the lesson. Don’t take other people’s shit on as your own. And try to remember your dad as best you can, for as long as you can. Because you will miss who you think he was, who you hoped he was, who you believed him to be every day for the rest of your life.

Over time, your mother develops an unhealthy attachment to you. Your nature, and her nature, clash and crash and nothing good comes of it. It will shape you and affect you in ways that no one will ever understand. Don’t let it. So much of the heartbreak you face, comes from this one simple fact. Your mother, however unintentionally, will mould you into a soul that is very damaged. Stop. Learn the lesson. Don’t let another person’s weakness become your own. But remember always, she did her best. It may not have been good enough for you, but it was her best. Don’t turn away from her. Love her as best you can. Because she is your mom. And one day, she will be all the family you have close to you.

When you get a bit older you are going to fuck up monumentally. You will think your life has ended. You will think you will never recover. You will believe that you are done. Don’t. Stop. It makes you strong in ways that no other person will ever be strong. Although the fear of it will haunt you forever. You will recover. You will get better. You will be okay. I promise. Just keep breathing. One breath at a time. This one moment does not define who you are. You fucked up. You are not a fuck up.

Even older still and you will get sick. Some weird mystery illness that they still argue about. Stop. Don’t let any doctor who you think knows better, tell you who you are. Don’t let them pump you full of the meds that will balloon you to 170kg’s. Don’t let them. Question everything. Make sure it makes sense.

Older still, and you will realise that you are ok alone. But that being alone all the time is hard. It is hard to never have anyone to rely on. It is hard to do everything alone. But you will find a few souls that hang out in the periphery of a life. Always there. They love you. Find them. Keep them close. You will need them.

One day, you will realise that your family is made up of so many animals. People will laugh at you when you call a dog your closest. Don’t care what they say. Every single life in this life, is worth love. Love them completely. Time will come when they will become your reason for waking. Your reason for going home. Your reason to be.

So much doom and gloom. So much to face in a short life.

And I haven’t even really started.

So let me tell you this.

You are beautiful Jessie. You are compassionate and kind and generous and smart and funny. You are loyal and true.

You are beautiful.

I am proud of you.

Every little bit of you.

Every big bit of you.

Every broken bit of you.

Every whole bit of you.

Learn your lesson Jessie. You matter to the only person that matters.

Yourself.

You are exactly who you are meant to be.

And you are awesome.

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