Thursday, December 17, 2015

Unist'ot'en Fundraiser Clinton Street Theater 12/15/15

On Tuesday December 15th I went to a fundraiser for the Unist'ot'en camp that is effectively writing the book, on non-violent native resistance against the fossil fuel industry.

These brave warriors up in "British Columbia, Canada"(you will understand quotes if you watch the videos) have been holding firm for inspiring!

They showed several short videos made about the camp(links below), and a volunteer who visited the camp even gave a short Q&A session during the intermission. Portland Rising Tide and PDX were also helping to facilitate the evening, and I ran into a bunch of friends I hadn't seen in awhile!

I was actually a little hesitant about going as it was a fundraiser($5-20 suggested donation), but the Clinton Street theater is amazing at living in the gift, and allowed to participate after I explained my practice.(I did bring a can of corn as  a token

My only critique comes from my always present vegan lens.... The Unist'ot'en, like most first nations cultures, are reliant on animals to survive. In this case in particular, they are very dependent on salmon, as well as moose and other creatures they glean from the surrounding area. Which is laudable if it wasn't for the speciest sentiments steeped in the culture of "honor and reverence." I appreciate the latter as it's better than not recognizing the sacrifice animals make, but it still is a form of traditional rationalization for causing suffering, oppression, and exploitation of fellow sentient beings.

Fellow vegan blogger at Veganism: A Truth Whose Time Has Come sums it up nicely:

People have been eating meat since millions of years ago, so it must be the right thing.

People have been participating in wars, rape, hate crimes, and slavery since a million years ago....are those things we should continue the tradition or something we should work towards ending? We have reached a point in human evolution that we are able to live vegan. Our ancestors did not have the same opportunity.
North American Indigenous people ate meat and they respected the animals.
Most of us are no longer limited by the circumstances that our ancestors may have needed for survival. (Some native North American tribes ate a predominantly vegetarian diet including the Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Aztec, Zapotec, and others; but was lost in time and colonialism.) We are fortunate to have a wider range of choices available to us. Paying someone to farm, exploit and kill animals today certainly is not necessary, and therefore is not respectful. Saying prayers or giving thanks to animals that are killed for our unnecessary use may appease human ears, but these acts are meaningless to those slaughtered. Only through choosing not to exploit or harm other animals do we show them genuine respect. Many long-time vegansare proving that healthy living does not require taking the lives of other animals to sustain our own, and are thriving in a diversity of cultures all over the world.
(*More problematic is I'm not certain they even could transition to a vegan diet in some of these harsher climate areas(case in point Inuit) there are limitations, perhaps.)

I don't want to detract too much from the wonderful efforts the Unist'ot'en and supporters are doing, but I feel obligated to shed light on this particular subject for the aforementioned reasons...we need to all strive to erase cognitive dissonance/disconnection, and turn towards the honor and joy of awakening into veganism.

Facebook Event Details

Unist'ot'en FB Page

Clinton Streeet Theater(<3 <3 <3)

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