jan_andrea: (exist)
Or anytime, really. I'd read the book a few years ago, and swore off fast food for a year. After that, we'd stop for FF only sporadically, and rarely at that. But reading about something, and seeing it re-enacted on the screen are two entirely different things. I don't think I'll ever eat FF again, and am certainly off red meat for a long, long time. Not quite as much for the way the animals are treated (which is pretty awful, but they're also pretty stupid, and even a huge feedlot is not a terrible life for a cow), but for the way the processing plants treat their workers. That was what really struck me when I read the book, and again when I saw the film. I'd still have a steak if I knew it had been processed by a facility that didn't also treat its employees like disposable meat, but that really rules out pretty much anything from the grocery store. I'll have to see where "The Meat House" gets its meat. It's pricey, but maybe they don't get it from a huge corporation. I'm sure the chicken processing places are even worse, which is a pity, since chicken breasts are so easy. But then, we buy it only when it's $1.99/lb or less, and of course, if the price is that low, then the workers probably aren't getting what they should be.

I finished watching the movie at 11 last night, and then spent the next 2-3 hours tossing and turning, thinking about how the majority of our food is probably produced this way -- cheap labor, which means someone is getting the shaft, whether it's poor hours, no healthcare, or hiring illegal immigrants who have no recourse to the law if the working conditions are inhumane. I have a box of strawberries in the fridge, and I know they were picked by migrant workers who probably got $.50/bushel if they were lucky, and of course no health care and 12 hour days. I have oranges, probably the same deal. Lettuce? Check. Bread? Who knows? Did the farmer get a fair price for his wheat... or was it farmed by a giant agribusiness? I wish I could buy all-organic or just shop at co-ops when I think about things like this. How else do you know where your food comes from or if it's humanely-produced?

I'm always more stressed about things like this at night, and it was particularly bad after seeing that movie. It gets really gruesome towards the end. I lay awake wondering how I can bring another child into this world when there's so much evil around. Alas.
jan_andrea: (wow)
As I was showering, I was composing in my head the entry I wanted to write -- how I had just read the book "Zen Shorts" (click and read the reviews) to the kids and it had really moved me, in a way that makes me think either I need to become a Buddhist (an atheist Buddhist?) or that my period is coming really soon -- but that's not what I'm writing right now.

Instead, I'm going to moan and kvetch for just a bit. I've been trying to grab the domain sleepingbaby.com for six years now, ever since I started my little business. This week, I thought I was finally going to get it. The previous registrar hadn't done *anything* with it (you'd get a blank screen if you typed it in), and the expiration date was moved to 27 September 2006. I have domain monitoring and backordering set up with GoDaddy for it, so when it became available, it would finally be MINE! But, of course, that's not how it went down. One of those wretched bulk registrars snapped it up, and is holding it hostage for YET ANOTHER YEAR. It's not like people stumbling on the content they now have at www.sleepingbaby.com is going to fool anyone looking for *my* site into buying crap about solving their baby's sleep problems -- people going to sleepingbaby.com looking for slings will (I hope) just try other versions of the name. So I wrote an angry letter to the address that comes up at the bottom, explaining my ire and frustration, and then went to the site of the bulk registrar, swallowed my indignation, and "bid" on what should be my own damn name to the tune of about $250 once all the fees are added up, assuming the a$$wipes who snagged it will play ball for such a small token, which they probably won't >:(

This just really ticks me off. I *loathe* those bulk registrars, soaking small businesses who can ill afford it, and in general making the web browsing experience a more difficult and frustrating one for people trying to find the right site. AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!

But, this was really supposed to be about "Zen Shorts". And the most important lesson that I took away from the book is to let go of what you can't change.

So. I've had my little anger session about the $&%*$& domain name theives, and it's time for me to accept that either they will sell it to me, or I will simply let it go and be content with sleepingbaby.net. Which is not easy for me. Really really.

Paraphrasing the parable: two monks were walking through the countryside, when they happened upon a well-dressed woman being carried by her two servants. She was stuck up on her platform; the road was covered with water and mud, and her servants could not carry her because there was no place to put down her baggage and thus, herself. So they stood in the rain while she berated them. The older monk took her from the platform, carried her across the muddy road to her house, and without even a thank you, she went inside in a huff. The younger monk watched in silence. As they continued their walk, he brooded about the shabby way his teacher had been treated by the rich woman. Finally, after several hours had passed, he asked his teacher, "Why did you not say anything to the woman? You did a good deed for her, and she did not even thank you!" His teacher replied, "I put her down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?"

That really gets me. Why am I still carrying so much? It's not as though I even have that much to carry, honestly; I've had a great life, but still brood on past events like that. And, for what? Why am I still carrying them?

And then, though, the cynic raises her head and says, "Well, sure -- with that kind of attitude, why bother voting, or speaking out against injustice at all? Isn't that also just carrying the woman?"

So I need some help here. I probably have a very warped, Westernized view of Buddhism -- existence is suffering, and all that. But there must be a balance between letting go, and making change, right? Existence may *sometimes* be suffering, but if you *can* change it, you *should*, right? Not that I'm looking for rules -- I'd never stop, say, making donations, or trying to do things in person to help others, or voting -- but where is the balance? Do you put down the personal, while keeping the global? Or am I just overthinking this with the zeal of someone who's just "discovered" something new?

January 2017

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