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imperialism & war

There are no converts in the choir

Here's a little story about something that happened to me recently. It only vauguely tangents on Veganism but I still think some here may find it intresting. It helped me realize something that I was doing wrong, only not as dramatically as the person here. I think it has an inportant message for anyone who has a message that they feel passionate about sharing, as many do with animal rights.
I got a new coat. I rarely buy myself new clothes. I usually don't even spring for used clothes, but I had been really cold ever since I lost my old one at a concert a week before. The man at the checkout and I had a huge language barrier between us and he didn't seem to understand that I didn't want it bagged. Besides, the bus was coming. Having recieved my change I rushed out of the store and ran to catch it.

My new coat is an earthy but very foresty green and has very soft fake fur in the inside of the hood and around the wrists.

I usually just stuff whatever I buy in my backpack, so opening all that extra packaging made me feel like a kid under the christmas tree. I really do try to avoid consuming, especially new, but it was so cold and I had been so busy and it was right there.. so convenient.

When I was getting up to throw the tags away I couldnt help but notice a teenaged girl, maybe 14 or so, glaring at me like I had killed santa claus. The first time I asked her what was wrong she ignored me but she cut me off midsyllable when I asked the second time.

"Fur is DEAD!" she said.

"This fur is (I looked at the label of my coat and was frustrated I couldn't find the blend info..) This fur is machine wash warm! When was the last time you saw a critter with bright green, evenly dyed, machine washable fur?" I replied.

We bantered back and fourth. She told me even though my fur was obviously fake, my buying it would encourage Ross to buy more. My wearing it could create a trend.. that could lead to the sale of more fur.. maybe even real fur from some innocent ferret or mink. I told her I was flattered she thought I was a fashion trendsetter and remembering I had a coat got off at the next stop to wait in the warm, fuzzy world that is the inside of a (very) fake fur hood.

Remembering only once I was off the bus that I lost my gloves too the biting cold and early onset of hypothermia in my hands got me thinking. I have done the exact same thing as this girl, only to a less obnoxious degree. Its easy to do, but if you're too abrasive you will scare everyone off except the choir, and there's really nothing accomplished when you preach to them.

The other day I met a pro-war person on the bus. They were obviously misinformed (drunkenly said we should kill saddam for 9-11) but I was so shocked that they didn't agree with me (everyone I know agrees about the war../everyone I know seems to agree about real fur too..) that I used a tone which encouraged him to feel defensive instead of receptive to the truth.
More thoughts along these lines 16.Mar.2006 08:43


"One often contradicts an opinion when what is uncongenial is really the tone in which it was conveyed."
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 - 1900).

"No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other."
Jascha Heifetz (1901 - 1987).

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live."
Oscar Wilde

"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconciously translates what he hears into something he can understand."
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970).

"Get your facts first -- and then you can distort them as much as you wish."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910).