These are the things I say or do. While in France or some other country in the neighborhood. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Vegetarian Technology

My friend Dan asked me about why I became vegetarian, and also why I feel somewhat of an aversion to blogging. Since these were excellent questions, I thought I'd respond with somewhat lengthy responses. Here's part of my reply, as I haven't posted in quite awhile.

"As for going vegetarian, I'd have to say it's a good idea. I'm not one
to be preachy about such things, just encouraging. It made me realize
that there is a whole other world of good foods besides hamburgers and
potatoes. I still eat a lot of french fries, however...I first went
vegetarian about, oh, 6.5 years ago. I was vegetarian for three of
that, then vegan for the rest. I became vegan right when I was able to
begin cooking for myself (after I got out of the dorms and a meal plan
and into an apartment), so the only good cooking I know how to do is
that without meat and cheese and eggs. Why did I start? A lot of it
was ethical reasons to begin with: I didn't like the idea of
subjecting animals to such tortures merely to have a good hamburger.
It sort of morphed over the years. My main reasons now are
environmental. I think it's a very wasteful and unnecessary process of
production. I still think it's wrong to inflict pain on animals in
such a manner, but the arguments that I've found are mostly
utilitarian on this subject, and I don't really lean to heavily
towards that outlook on life. Also, it's pretty healthy for you, too,
though if it were discovered that it were more healthy to eat some
meat, I don't think I would do it. On top of that, I really don't like
how meat tastes, as well as milk and such. When people ask if it's
difficult, or if I miss the stuff I used to eat, I respond with a
definite "No." I like the stuff I eat and the way I cook very much. So
there's a half-assed summary of that. Why are you thinking of doing
so? If you want a list of some decent books, I can definitely arrange
that. It was Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" that made me decide to
become vegan. He's an alright philosopher, though again, a
utilitarian, but I think the facts in the book are pretty solid and
some of his other arguments pretty strong.

As for blogging, it's difficult to express. I guess over my writing
"career" as a student, I always had a specific person/audience in mind
when crafting something, and it was rarely about myself. With
blogging, anyone can read what I'm writing, and it's a bit more
personal. I also have the same worries as you, that the
accomplishments or thoughts I have aren't really that important in the
scheme of things, so what's the point? I mostly started it because I'm
bad about emailing, but wanted my family and friends to know what I'm
up to, so it's more a matter of convenience than anything. I hope to
expand it and include more personal stuff/insight, as this is what a
writer should do, but we'll see how that goes. There is also the
element of my distrust for technology, at least as some sort of
panacea for the ills of the human condition. With paper and books, I
guess there is the idea that there is this tangible thing in the world
that you can hold. The blog is a bit more ethereal to me, so maybe I
have this idea that I am a bit detached from what I write there.
That's why I like doing 'zines (which I have finished by the way. I'll
be sending an email to everyone I know with instructions on how to get
one very, very soon, so I'll let you know about that). I can write a
'zine, print it and it's this thing that I actually give/send to
someone. Also, being a lifelong reader, I have a hard time absorbing
information in an electronic form. I like to read the newspaper on
paper, not on the internet. I get more out of it for some reason, and
have a better attention span. I ascribe it to television – it's given
me a short attention span in the first place, and secondly, my brain I
think is conditioned to accept electronic visual media as somehow less
important than paper. Yeah, that's a decent description. Do you feel
the same? How do you feel about technology? I must say that I'm not
ignorant of it, and on ocassion give my computer a loving caress. But
my faith is limited by the same I have in literature and philosophy
and art to improve humanity. I see technology solely as a tool to
disseminate information and feed people. Sure, it is our rationality
that helps define us as humans, but also our ability to create
something in the world that has an exterior meaning outside of the
matter or symbols it is composed of."

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nutella- a downfall
xoxo
ajh

1/21/2006 12:31:00 PM

 
Anonymous reese said...

i wholly agree.

with everything you said.

and will ever say.

because, really, we are the same person.

don't deny it.

1/22/2006 01:51:00 PM

 
Blogger PlumLily said...

I whole heartedly agree. What do I have to say that is so important that it must be published online?

Note on the television. I too have foregone the TV... and it was the best decision of my life. I have so much more time to... browse the internet. Haha! I'm working on my www-dependence, but TV was step 1 in my 12 step program.

Anyway... wishing I was in France and not Ames. xoxo, Lisa

PS. I caress my laptop, too.

1/22/2006 06:41:00 PM

 
Anonymous healthy foods said...

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2/23/2006 10:04:00 AM

 

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