Sunday, September 24, 2006

Going All the Way

It only took a few minutes of a couple of videos to convince me that there are a lot of animals being tortured in the World. Enough so, that not only have I chosen to not eat meat, but I am working on cutting out dairy and eggs too. I knew it would be a challenge and I didn't want to starve in the first week, so I am taking it slowly as I relearn what to eat. It will be very inconvenient and will require more preparation on my part and likely more money too, but I feel it is a worthy cause.

Certainly more worthy than all the effor that the church put into their petitions against redefining the family. I was puzzled at an email that I received from a friend who is a member of the church. The email made the statement that this will greatly affect our families... etc. How the Hell would something like that affect me, a straight person? I already have the right to mary a man. The people that it will affect are those that didn't have the right to marry whom they choose, ie: the homosexuals. Why should I be so determined to deprive them of their rights?

I can see myself getting carried away with this animal loving wave I am on. I have never really been "into" animals. I'm not a cat or dog or horse lover. I've had several pets including; cats, dogs, birds, frogs, fish, a crab, a rat and currently a mouse (who is going to be set free in the very near future or maybe after winter is over), but I've never been more than slightly attached to them.

But when I see images of deformed animals who are tortured and abused from the time of their birth and who never even see the sunlight or given an opportunity to live a natural life it makes me sick to my stomach and I cry for them.

It's not just farm animals who are tortured, circus elephants and other performing animals are regularly abused with a sharp hook to tear their skin or a sharp hammer at the back of their knees or an electric prod on their privates. I remember learning of a case against some circus for animal abuse. The source of the news was my father and it was translated to me like, "Oh, the poor animal, so what if it's standing in it's own phesis, they would do the same in the wild..."

My father enjoys hunting. He doesn't go all that often, but he enjoys the sport of it. He does his best to make sure that a fish or dear etc is put to death as quickly and painlessly as possible, as he does not enjoy torturing animals, just killing them, if that can be rationalized.

Guy likes to go fishing with Grandpa and he went this last weekend and caught a few fish. Maybe next time I could suggest that they just watch the fish and feed them crumbs or something. Oh, and sorry Honey, but we won't be going to the Circus this year. We'll find an animal-cruelty-free activity to replace it with like picketing outside the Circus :) hmm, that could be fun.

The delema that I was having was deciding how much control I would have on what Guy eats. He likes meat and he is a growing boy and I don't think he would eat much of my lame vegan cooking, since I haven't started that yet, he would starve and the few things I have bought he has turned up his nose to. I think I have decided the best thing to do is to just have alternatives available for him at home and let him eat what he wants otherwise.

I feel better already about my new diet. I made the decision a couple of weeks ago and I like that I am putting more natural/back to basics/whole foods in my body. I look forward to improved and lasting health.

So....Chin Chin! (Cheers, for Italians) *raise my glass of chocolate Soy Milk* gulp, aahhh!

A Common Bond

I just got back from the Sunday dinner at my parents' house. It has become habit now that Guy gets dropped off at the G parent's house on Saturday afternoon and stays over to go to church with them. I come back down on Sunday afternoon, have dinner, do laundry and we go home.

My father is from Heber City so he has a sister and two brothers that live less than an hour away. His sister is married and active and his two brothers single/divorced and have been inactive since about their teens. His sister has two daughters. They are a year and more older than me, neither of them are active. My aunt and uncle that are active have been down to visit my parents several times since we have moved here. I have extended invitations to my cousins a few times for such things as Guy's birthday parties because they both have kids.

Today was the first time that they have come down from Salt Lake to my parents' house. I figured my parents hadn't wasted any time in spreading the news about me deciding not to go to church any more. They all wanted to know how I was doing now that I had moved out on my own. We served ourselves some dinner and had the choice of the dining room or the patio. It was such a beautiful day that I knew I wanted to get as much sunshine as possible on the patio. I was the first one to go outside and one of my uncles came out all curious and asked me to tell him all about what is going on in my life. We had a brief conversation a few months back after I had made some changes, but I was still living with my parents and I was not at liberty to truly speak my mind then.

He told me I'm just cute as a button. (The things relatives say) ;) He also said I look healthy and happy so he wanted to know if I am doing anything differently. I mentioned that I have been a vegetarian since May and that I am working on cutting out dairy and eggs too. He asked if I had lost weight from that, but the truth is I was gaining in the beginning, but have lost that back again now.

He wanted to know my reasoning for the change in lifestyle. I told him that is was initially for better health, but after seeing a few videos of the horrible treatment of the animals my reasons are now for the sake of the cruel treatment that an animal suffers just to become my dinner and ultimately my poop. OK, those weren't my words, but they are the words of a kid I had a short lived friendship with. He is a bit too radical for me, but I respect the messages he is sending.

My two cousins came out to join us at this point. They all had KFC for dinner. So we were discussing the value of the lives of the chickens that became their food. In my mind I was picturing the vivid visuals from the film clips I watched of chickens who get their beaks ground down shortly after birth, then shoved into these cramped cages where they can't even spread their wings, then pumped full of steroids so that they become so large that their legs won't even hold them up and then get shat on by other birds. then they get drug by their necks and hung by their feet to be scalded alive and now featherless before they are finally put out of their misery. My uncle's reasoning is that at least they had a life. He asked if I were a chicken would I want to at least be able to live rather than to never be born. I quickly answered that I would rather not be born. That is not life, that is a living hell! Their purpose in live is to get fat and die, tasting pain and suffering from the moment of birth.

No thank you. I would rather remain a spirit chicken than come to earth for two months of torture. Don't even get me started on how they skin the animals alive to make fur coats, then just tossed their bloody living carcass aside as if it's already garbage. The animal is still alive for God's sake! What a pretty picture the media paints over the truth about where our food and clothing comes from. If you need more just go here

I meant to save that rant for another post. I actually remained pretty vague about it all in our discussion so as not to gross them all out while they were eating.

I went in to get a plate of food for Guy and my other uncle was in the kitchen too and said that all the cool people were eating outside while he had been eating in the dining room. He came outside to be with the cool people too. I felt like I had been invited into their outcast club. There we were, we had managed to segregate ourselves from the active members. I have never seen that happen at other family gatherings with the same group of people. My uncle was making some comment about denial because we had just been talking about X, when my dad came out with the rest of them and took a seat right behind us. My dad told me not to pay any attention to what he was saying because he is a rebel. My uncle said, "Well so is she. She's just now coming around." My dad tried hard to laugh as he got up and walked away. I wished I had the words to make it better for my dad, but none came to mind.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Personal Progress Report

I love the contradiction in still belonging to the LDS web ring and being on the exmormon glog roll. I get a hit from the LDS web ring maybe twice a year and the exmormon blog roll brings at least 10 new visitors a day. I think I secretly hope that someone from the LDS web ring will happen upon my blog and something they read will cause them to think question their beliefs.

I'm still unsure about where exactly my own personal beliefs are. For example, I don't know where I stand with Christ right now or even the Bible for that matter. I believe that it is true historically, but there are many things in the Old Testimant that I seriously doubt happened. I don't want to cut and paste the parts that I like and make a collage from it. I want to either be able to accept it as it is or toss it all out.

Can one thing be true for one person and not for another person? In some ways, I think YES. In my period of searching, I read many people's near death experiences. They could more aptly be named tastes of death. In any case, I read from the experiences of a man who hadn't actually tasted death himself but he has had many out of body experiences and he travels to other places in time and space while his spirit is out of it's body. I read about a time that he visited person's personal Hell. I am including his full version of it. I realize it's lengthy, but I couldn't decide what to cut.

It began when I woke up to see that I was in some huge city, and there was some poor lost soul wandering the streets, utterly clueless about anything at all. No car, no possessions, as if he just materialized there out of the air! in a way, I see, he DID just that, in a sense as the scenery, as this dream unfolds, appears to be not of any city on this earthplane!!

I could tell that by the "magical" way that machines operate, the "fluidness" of how the scenery changes.... "cartoonlike"! but this was no cartoon! A
"real world". Full of people too,
and the streets stretched off to the horizon, endlessly. I followed this guy as he stumbled from one "reality neighborhood" to another, areas of the city that
seemed to have a specialty.

There was a section of square miles that looked like a "ghetto" and everyone
there, all 10,000+ people, where doing drugs. in fact every single shop sells
drugs of one kind or another,
out in the open as if everything were utterly legal!

Between the shops were many many bars and and pubs and
dance places. The streets were packed with people all high on something. then there was the Zone where there were hundreds and hundreds of rug shops and stalls
where only oriental rugs
were sold. All of the people there looked "middle eastern". then there was a area of blocks and blocks of nothing but bookstores and open bookstalls as if there never ever was rain there. Packed with people of course.

the Industrial zone was next, miles and miles of foundries and pipes. Somehow he got with a band of
motorcyclists who got him out
into a kind of countryside, a countryside that seemed not to
obey the
rules of nature and of the earth! Funny skies and
roads to nowhere and to everywheres!

[poor guy. He must have died and he must have been one
of the residents of my, or another, senior resident place. Maybe 80 years old and very very conservative,
stuck in the 1950s in mindset and then 'against"
everything of the modern age.
Not a Christian of course, no soul life at all.

Perhaps a retired engineer or maybe a business person.
Now he died and went to a Low Place in the afterlife,
and the Guides will let him COOK in this astral hell
for a bit of time! There might not have been a bit of
any kind of "preparation" for the afterlife, and he
might have "gone down hard" at the end of his life,
a bitter old man, seeing how the 2000s are nothing but bad..Angry and obstinate!]

so here is now is, near the end of this dream.
Standing next to yet *another* neiborhood of thousands and thousands of people who share a mindset. Lost. Bewildered. Not even knowing the name of the place that he stands in and no one to help him, to be the Authority for His Choices, like when he was alive!

[in WW II, one Obeyed authority, you could die in 10)
seconds on the battlefield if you thought for yourself! In the 1944 civilian life, you placed your family, your town, your country first and you came utterly last!

So as this generation grows older, they would like a leader-figure to make all of the choices in life for them, let others do the thinkings for them.]

lost, utterly lost, no way to find a leader here. Everything that he denies in life seems to be all that
there is, here, with a cast of 200,000!

well....He finds out soon enough what *this* neiborhood is all about!

Homo men! Hundreds of shops and hundreds of partybars
and Clubs. The streets are packed body to body with
thousands of homo men and mostly naked. Suddenly, a whole block or two or three, of the gay residents, see him standing just outside of this area! They rush
up to him.
As this dream ends, I see that he is mobbed by thousands of homo men, his hetrosexuality will very very soon be gone, against his will, as 3000 gay men de-flower him and make him one of their own, probably for years and years....A never-ending ORGY!

I'm not sure where I was going with this post except to say that I do not claim to know all the answers and that that is ok. I think there is great comfort to being a member of the church because it gives a sense of security that the church has all the answers for us to the age old questions of; Who are we? What are we doing here? Where are we going? What is the purpose of life? etc.

I have been told by a few people who have experienced the contrast of being active in the church and being inactive. They have shared how their lives were empty and meaningless when they were inactive and now that they are going to church again, they have purpose in life and goals and they feel peace in their lives.

I believe they were unhappy while inactive because they either filled their void with the wrong kinds of influences or all of those Primary lessons, and scriptures or temple movies have affected their subconcious so that they still believe that they cannot be happy unless they are living the way the church suggests.

Not only that, but like the example of the man in his personal hell, it is so much easier to let some one else do the thinking for us. If it does go all awry, we have someone else to blame besides ourselves.

Friday, September 15, 2006

"We Need to Talk"

Those are words I dread when coming from my mother, and usually anyone.

The only time I actually discussed my leaving the church with either of my parents was on a Saturday when my dad had gone fishing and I went to my parent's house to do some laundry. My mother met up with us for lunch first.

I remember being especially tired that day and I laid down on the couch to rest when my mom came in and said, "We need to talk, if you are up to it."

She kind of had me cornered. No I wasn't really up to it, but it had been put off long enough I suppose. My mother had some questions for me about some of the changes taking place in my life.

I knew my brother had told them. Apparently he didn't waste any time either because the day after I moved, I went down to their house to pick up a few things and on the back of the list that my mother and I made she had written a couple of spiritual thoughts and she sent home an Ensign with me.

A couple of weeks had passed since then and they seemed to be coping with it well, at least in my presence. I think I hoped that I would never have to explain it to them, but I expect this isn't the last time it will come up. I don't feel like I really need to justify it to them, but I think it's fair to answer a few questions for them.

The questions she asked me that day were...What made you decide to stop going to church? Do you still believe in prayer? So, you don't believe in the power of the Priesthood? What about all the wonderful people that you taught on you mission, you don't believe in the things you taught them anymore? What do you plan to do with your church records? Will you allow Guy to go to church?

I did my best to appease her without offending her while still being open minded yet firm in my newly established beliefs. I explained briefly to her about my experiences with answers to prayers and that I believe there is a source of power that we are all entitled to. I told her I have not plans to remove my records from the church so far and that it was fine if Guy wants to attend church with them some time, but I won't be taking him. She thought I should let him go with the kids in the neighborhood. I was not too keen on the idea because I felt it would raise questions in the minds of the other kids regarding why Guy's mother and father don't go to church. Perhaps this is a selfish reason, but I don't feel like Guy needs to be judged or singled out from his friends since he is already well aware that he doesn't have a dad and the other kids do.

We talked for maybe 30 minutes and then she let me be. I feel for them because I know that they must feel like they are loosing their daughter in the after life. I'm glad they are still able to accept me for who I am, I hope. They have helped me out a lot with getting me moved and fixing up my place and I am very thankful to them for it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Guy's Fourth Birthday Part-ly

Guy turned another year older last month. His birthday came just a few weeks after we moved, which didn't give him much time to make new friends to invite to his party. We were discussing who we would invite and the first two people he mentioned were Frank and X. I tried to let him down genly by telling him that neither of them will be able to come. I hadn't hearf from X in months and Frank has been acting like a psycho path. I could tell Guy's feelings were hurt pretty badly. From then on his attitude changed as if he felt like no one liked him.

One is his real dad and the other one wanted more than anything to at least be able to pretend to be his dad and loved hearing him call him that. I hope I can find a MAN that can step up to the plate and deserve to called Guy's dad.

I made an effort to pass out invitations to his class at his new preschool and I talked to a couple of the mothers of his friends in his old neighborhood. I figured only a few would show up, but I figured they would have so much fun at the park that he wouldn't notice.

I got a smiley face piniata and blew up some balloons. Grandma brought a cake and Grandpa hung the piniata in the tree. Then we all played frisbee while waiting for some guests to arrive.

Since the rain clouds got there first, we decided to go ahead and let Guy start swinging at the yellow smiley face with the stick. Man did he wack that thing hard. He beat it to a bloody, er card board pulp till it burst open and spilled the candy and toys.

We gathered them up quickly as we felt rain drops trickling through the trees. We watched him quickly unwrap his presents as the rain began to pick up. We opted to go move the party to our house to have some cake.

On the way home, the rain came pooring down. Then I thought at first that there was a truck kicking up rocks on our windshield, then I realized there was no one in front of me. It had begun to Hail! So much so that we stayed in the car when we got to our house and waited for it to cease. The hail finally stopped, but the rain didn't. We dodged into the house with the cake and presents. I was in my baithing suit and a little cover up so I was particularly cold. It wasn't a nice warm summer rain. It was a mean ole' cold one right out of the month of November.

After having some cake, Guy wanted to try out his new squirt guns he got from Grandpa. One has a face guard and everything. They filled up the guns and took them outside. When they ran out of water they started throwing hail balls!