Aug 3, 2011

The US vlog

Sorry, sorry, SORRY this took so long, I had the video ready days ago but didn't have internet. First part is just an introduction and me rambling, feel free to skip it.

Part 1 - Introduction:

Part 2 - Las Vegas and New York:

I don't know how I managed to get NO footage or pictures with DJ Grothe or with Larry. Fail.

Jul 6, 2011

Dude, where's my boobz ?

This was supposed to go up a couple days ago but my internet is being an asshole.

Jun 29, 2011

US Visa thing

If I seem completely out of it it's because I am. Just too exhausted to react. See you tomorrow :)

Jun 21, 2011

I can save your life in the wilderness !

My internet has been mostly (as in 95% of the time) down these last few days, so this is what I've been up to.

I. need. sleep.

Jun 15, 2011

Navy showers for my birthday please ?

Cats rule the Universe. Birthdays are lame.

From the almighty Wikipedia :

"A navy shower (or "sea shower") is a method of showering that allows for significant conservation of water and energy by turning off water during the "middle" portion. An initial thirty seconds or so are used to get wet, followed by soap and lather, which is then rinsed off in a minute or less. The total time for the water being on is typically under two minutes.

Navy showers originated on naval ships, where supplies of fresh water were often scarce. Using this method, crew members were able to stay clean, while conserving their limited water supply. The idea has been adopted by many people who wish to conserve water and the energy needed to heat the water, for both environmental and economic reasons. Maritime cruisers often take navy showers when they are not in a port with easy access to fresh water. A ten-minute shower takes as much as 230 L (60 U.S. gallons) of water, while a navy shower usually takes as little as 11 L (3 U.S. gallons); one person can save 56,000 L (15,000 U.S. gallons) per year."

Jun 9, 2011

Breathing can kill you!


Jun 6, 2011

I walk with purpose!

Jun 5, 2011


Jun 4, 2011

I vlog on my blog or something

etc and such

Jun 1, 2011

Moving. Cats. More Cats. Awesome Hair.

Looking absolutely glamorous.

For the "Cribs" video I mentioned, click HERE !

May 3, 2011

Lara Logan talks about her sexual assault in Egypt

Her interview with 60 Minutes.

Apr 30, 2011

My story

I don’t know if it’s such a good idea to talk about this in public. Normally I avoid giving away information that someone might use against me in any kind of way. But at the same time, I’m thinking this may actually help someone who has been sexually assaulted or might find themselves in a similar situation at some point. Also, what happened to me tells an entire story about how corrupt the police department is here. So here it goes.

I was almost 16 and on a second date with this guy who was 18 and going at the same high school with me. It was a couple months before summer break and (in his case) graduation. We were in his car, kissing, when he started pushing things further than I wanted to. At first I thought he was just getting a bit carried away, so I explained to him that I never had sex and that I like him but I don’t know him well enough and I don’t want to lose my virginity like this. We talked about it and he seemed reasonable. He kept trying to kiss me while I was talking, but he wasn’t aggressive, not at this point. 

We talked like that for a while with him trying to convince me, until I started to get pissed off with him insisting so much and I flat out told him I’m not arguing this anymore and I want to go home, now. I was also thinking I don’t want to see him again because he was acting like a jerk, but I didn’t tell him that … I think somewhere in the back of my mind there was this semi-fear lurking around and I didn’t want to get him mad. But he would just not let it go. I couldn’t believe he just kept insisting and going for it even more  when I made it so clear I want to go home. When I started struggling and pushing him away is when everything went to hell. He got aggressive, grabbed me by my hair, started calling me names, trying to immobilize me. 

I think it was just at this point that I realized I am in real danger. It felt so unreal. I remember things almost like they didn’t happen to me but to someone else, but at the same time I remember I was VERY aware of it all… so hard to put this feeling into words. I was perfectly lucid. I knew what he wanted to do. I was desperate to get out of that car. I kept repeating over and over again that I will report him. That if he does this, I’ll put him in jail. I was so lucid I was actually trying to get to his logic, to put him off this. He was telling me something back but for the life of me I don’t remember what it was. I was fighting him with all my strength but I didn’t feel any pain. I know it should have hurt, because the next day I was bruised allover, my arms were practically black from bruises. But at the time I didn’t feel any of that. I just kept pushing him and kicking and hitting him. I wanted out so bad. One of the few things I remember him telling me was that he will cut my face. But to this day I can’t remember if he had a knife or not. I don’t think he did. Or if he had one, he never used it. He only managed to unzip my hoodie and he was trying to get me to hold steady but I kept struggling. I managed to open the door of the car then kept on kicking him until I felt out of it, then I started running. I was sure he was after me and I ran as fast as I could … but he never followed me. I don’t know for how long I ran but considering the distance from the point I was initially, to the point where I stopped after I just couldn’t breathe anymore, it may have been 15 or 20 minutes. I found a cab and went to the police.

Now, I have to repeat that I was not even 16. I had never been through anything like this in my life and I was completely ignorant of the law. The police officer on duty called me in an office where there was this other guy. I told them what happened. I remember how fucking frustrating their questions were. They kept on asking if I was sure “he didn’t just think I was into it to” and I kept explaining that we practically had a god damn fight. I showed them how my hoodie had the zipper torn and they said that “this could happen in a number of ways, even before the incident”. They were asking me if this guy has a girlfriend, how good his grades were (like WTF??!!) and all sort of irrelevant shit that just drove me mad.

Then they went out and a woman came in to examine me. She looked at my bruises (which were not that obvious at this point, they were VERY obvious by the next day though), at the scratch I had on my shoulder and the big bump on the back of my head that at this point really started to hurt. She commented that “oh, it’s not that bad dear, you’re a little tiny thing, he could have really messed you up if he put his mind to it”. When I told her I was fighting back too, she gave me a fake sympathetic smile, as in “yeah, right”. I remember felling pure rage through the entire thing.

Then, the guys came back in, asked me for his full information (I had his name, his phone number, everything), then one of them went out again. I waited for some 20 minutes until he came back, then he told me to go home, and that they will ask him in to question him but I don’t have to be present. They told me I should go home and take a shower and NOT TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT THIS AT THIS POINT. I know I may seem like a complete idiot for taking their advice, but I thought it must be a “police thing” and trusted them. I was living with my grandmother at the time and she was sleeping when I got in, I went home, took a shower and went to bed.

The next day I went to school and for a couple hours everything seemed normal. I only told one of my friends what happened. Then I was called into the principal’s office. I went in and there was the school principal, the guy who attacked me, his parents and a police officer. The guy’s mother seemed very empathetic to me and kept apologizing and holding my hand in hers. The guy’s father was saying he is appalled by his son’s behavior. The officer asked me if I want a parent present there, or if I’m ok with the school principal being there as an adult in charge of me. I only had my grandma and wasn’t about to call her, so I said I accept that. 

The police guy asked me if I want to press charges and I said I do. Then he told me to give this some more thought. He told me I will destroy the life of a young man with no criminal record, who didn’t really hurt me, who just made this one mistake and is truly sorry for it, and who’s about to graduate and go to college and I will destroy his entire future with this. I didn’t give a shit about that.

Then he told me that if I do press charges, I will have to appear at hearings, that this will take months and months, that it may get in the press and maybe even on TV, and if I really want to “put myself through that”. I was thinking about this, about all my class mates and the entire high school and my mom who was not even in the country and everyone knowing about this, and how mortifying it would be if people would really read about me in the paper. While I was thinking, the guy’s mother asked him to apologize to me, which he did. She said he learned his lesson, they they are punishing him for what he did and that I have no reason to be afraid of him. I wasn’t afraid of him. I absolutely HATED him. I never felt this kind of hatred in my life, I literally wanted to see him run over by a truck, preferably with me behind the wheel. I said that I’m not going to sit by and let him get away with this. The principal said he wouldn’t. That he will be expelled on bad behavior, he won’t be allowed to take his exams, which meant that he won’t be able to apply to college. I realize what a bad decision I made, but I accepted this. I was satisfied that he will get *some* punishment without me doing anything and without anyone finding out about what happened and me having to go through that “shame”. I was also pleased to see he was heavily bruised (by me) as well. I was so stupid. 

Just a couple years later when I started to have some thought of my own, I realized how wrong all of this was. That what they did was probably illegal. The police officer never even told me his name. I don’t even know if that guy was really expelled, maybe he just got transferred to another highschool and graduated anyway. I kept on wondering if he did that to anyone else. If he did, I would have part of that responsibility … I just hope that having to deal with the police may have put him off trying this again. But it’s just a hope.

I know that for many other people who’ve been sexually assaulted my story doesn’t seem that bad. And I can only imagine what a victim of rape must go through. Because for me, what happened affected me for years. I never went on a date after that. Both my ex boyfriend and my now husband have been friends with me for many years before we hooked up. I never went through the whole “meeting a new guy, going on a date” kind of thing that most teenagers do. I had to really trust someone to get close to them. And to this day, I dread running. All my friends, including people here on the internet, know that I don’t run. In highschool I got myself a fake medical notice that said I am exempt from doing sports. Now I joke about this often, saying how I rather sit there and wait for the criminal to get me rather than run away from him, “cos I’m just lazy like that”. But the truth is, every time I run it’s like I get thrown back in time and find myself running from him until I can’t breathe anymore. I know this sounds very weird…and not at all a big issue. But it’s little things like this that will stay with me forever, making me wonder if things were worse, how much would that have affected and changed me. Like I said, I can’t even imagine it.

I don’t want to read this post so please excuse the typos.  

Mar 29, 2011

On Libya & the no-fly zone

So I've seen a couple video quite critical of the UN intervention in Libya, claiming that the no-fly zone is just another implementation of American Imperialism in their step-by-step attempt to take control over Libya and its oil.

For those of you who haven't read any news for a while, there's been a major uprising in Lybia against the current leader Muammar Gaddafi and his regime, with the protesters asking for new leadership and democratic elections. Gaddafi's reaction to the protest was not only to start shooting at the demonstrators, but also to surround the cities with tanks and artillery and bomb the shit out of unarmed civilians from both land and air.

In response to Gaddafi's attacks, earlier this month, as part of the Resolution 1973, the UN approved a no-fly zone, which basically prevents libyan military aircrafts from attacking civilian targets. This action was solicited and supported by Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations Ibrahim Dabbashi, as well as by the libyan protesters and civilians (though this cannot really be demonstrated).

So why would people oppose the no-fly zone you ask ? In my opinion, because some people are so set against American Imperialism that they decided to characterize this action as such (regardless of the the fact that it was France who initiated the no-fly zone in the first place). They claim that there are no humanitarian reasons behind this action, that the only concern here is Libya's oil supply, and that launching missiles at Libya is in no way helping its people.

While in principle I do agree that "humanitarian bombing" is at least suspicious, if not self-contradictory, I also have to acknowledge that you cannot establish a no-fly zone without military intervention. In order to prevent further attacks on civilians, you HAVE TO take down the military targets on the ground. There's just no way around it. If you think there is an alternative to that, I would sure like to know it.

Something else that comes up constantly is the question "Why Libya?". Why isn't there an intervention in Darfur or Bahrain or Yemen, etc, where the people are also oppressed and there are violent protests and people are getting shot at too.

This reminds me of the Green Revolution in Iran, where the same people were questioning why the media is paying so much attention to Iran and "why not to Egypt, or Libya?" - as they were saying at that time. And if I have to, I might as well start digging up through the pile of comments and videos that have been made since then to demonstrate my point.

While I can very much admit that I am not the most educated person in foreign policies, I can still understand that a UN intervention to Darfur for instance, would be impossible for one obvious reason: Russia. I can also admit that there is vested interest in Libya, which produces about 2% of the world's oil. And yes, it pisses me off too that these political games are basically deciding who should be helped and who should be left ignored. What's happening throughout Middle East with the current uprisings clearly shows that people want change and they are willing to fight for it, even if that means literally fighting against bullets.

But while it is tragic that unarmed protesters are being shot at, there is a difference from that - to entire cities being shelled and surrounded by artillery and people being bombed, like it's been happening in Libya. These people cannot fight the government on their own. If there is also a vested interest for UN to intervene, I still think it's preferable to NOT doing anything and leaving them defenseless.

I think the argument against the intervention in Libya that annoys me the most is "oh, but people don't have it that bad there! They're fine! They even have free education and medical care and such." This is SUCH complete and utter bullshit! In my own country, we also had free education and medical care under the communist dictatorship. We also had no freedom. We couldn't get in and out of the country at will, we didn't have access to information (we had only one TV station and one radio station which basically broad-casted only what the government wanted us to know), we were freezing in the winter because the heat was getting turned off, we were reading at candle-light in the evening because the lights were shut down to save electricity, our homes were not safe because at any point the Security could burst in and interrogate us and search our places with no warning and without having to provide any reason. Anyone who said something that *might be interpreted as speaking against the government* was interrogated and most of the times incarcerated. Anyone who clearly spoke against the government was being shot.

I'm sorry for the digression but it simply infuriates me how narrow-minded can people be sometimes. How can they so ignorantly say that "Libyans are not really that oppressed, ya know" when they NEVER experienced that kind of oppression themselves, when they were born and raised with freedoms and rights that they are now taking for granted and they cannot even imagine living in a world without them. A world where you are so intolerably abused that you prefer to fight against bullets.

In my own country, we had no help. It was almost a "miracle" that the army (who was shooting at people and running them over with tanks) finally took the protester's side and helped them bring Ceausescu down. I was 8 years old when both my parents were facing the tanks because they wanted me to have the liberty to vote on who my leaders will be and to be able to speak my mind without fear of being shot. Muammar Gaddafi is a mass murdering tyrant who's been ruling Libya by force for 42 fucking years. These people cannot fight on their own against bombs.

So no, I don't oppose the no-fly zone. Which doesn't mean that I support imperialism or that I am pro-war (I spoke against the Iraq war numerous times) or that I believe the UN is God's gift to the Middle East or whatever fucking bullshit propaganda you're trying to make me part of.

If you oppose the no-fly zone, my question to you is what's your alternative ? And no, just giving arguments against my arguments will not be sufficient. I want to know what's YOUR proposed solution.

That's about it.

Mar 22, 2011

Criticizing Islam

Video I had to private from YouTube because audio got disable due to the music I used. Google is lame like that. I have been given permission to use the pictures and names at the end.

Council of Ex-Muslims Forum HERE .

Their YouTube Channel , please subscribe HERE .

The article about Pakistani Muslims leaving Islam HERE .

My blog post about respecting the dead HERE .

Feb 28, 2011

Arguments against vegetarianism

A couple days ago I asked you via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to send me the best (or worst) arguments against vegetarianism that you either use yourself in debates on this subject, or you've heard other people use. And I specifically said I am talking about vegetarianism as a concept (idea), and not about your own personal preference to eat meat or not.

As I promised, I'm now going to address your arguments, but please keep in mind that this is NOT an attempt to convince YOU to become vegetarians. My goal with this particular post is simply to demonstrate that trying to argue against OTHER people being vegetarians is nonsensical, and maybe (hopefully) convince some of you to stop doing it. This is probably going to be a mile long, so feel free to just scroll down to the argument you personally find the most compelling. I will also appreciate it if you could spare a minute to read my request at the end. So here is what you've sent me, along with my rebuttals:

  • Meat is tasty. 

Fine. I understand that most of you like it. But what you're basically saying here is "I personally like the taste of meat, therefor everyone else should eat it too". Can you see the logical flaw in that ? I started off with this argument because it is at the same time the most common and the most irrational of all. I know that for some of you it is virtually impossible to stop eating meat. I am the same way with sugar. I crave it everyday, even several times a day.I know it would be a permanent struggle for me to live without icecream, chocolate and so on. But this does not constitute in any way a basis for me arguing that everybody else should eat what I eat, just because I personally like it and crave it.

  • Humans are omnivores. Vegetarianism is unnatural.

This is the first of what I categorize as "arguments from nature". I know that some vegetarian and vegan activists claim the opposite, that it is unnatural for humans to eat meat. Both positions annoy me to no end. Yes, humans are omnivores, since we can eat and get nutrients from both plants and animals.

But why should we derive an "ought" from an "is" ? Just because we are naturally omnivores it doesn't mean we also MUST be omnivores. News flash people: biology is not destiny. Something being "natural" doesn't automatically make it mandatory, or even desirable for that matter.

People may not be "naturally" monogamous, but this shouldn't stop one from making the decision of having only one partner, if this is what they wish to do. Nature is not some sort of God who makes rules about what's right or wrong. That's why we have airplanes even if it's "unnatural" for humans to fly, and we have contraception even if it's "unnatural" to have sex without the purpose of reproduction, and why some of us are monogamous and why some of us are vegetarians and so on.

  • Humans have canines. 

This is a variation of the same claim discussed above, and I'm not gonna dwell on it for long because - and I'm sorry if I offend anyone - this argument is just plain dumb. Horses have canine teeth too. So what ? If you really find this argument compelling you should try ripping a dead cow (I mean a carcass, uncooked) with your bare teeth, see how successful you are.

  • Meat-eating is evolutionary advantageous because, without meat, it would have been unlikely for proto-humans to get enough energy and nutrition from the plants available in their African environment. A high-protein diet was essential in developing our large brain.
I'm not the one to deny this. However, this argument is absolutely irrelevant to people living today in developed countries, where we have access to protein-rich vegetarian diets that simply render meat-eating unnecessary. You have to acknowledge the simple fact that you don't eat meat because you NEED it to survive, you eat it because you LIKE the taste of it. Which brings me to the next point:

  • Vegetarian diets are unhealthy. 
 This is pure bollox, as anyone who has the interest to do some basic 5 minutes research can find out. All (ALL!) the necessary proteins, nutrients and amino acids can be found in vegetables, nuts, grains, eggs and dairy. In fact, vegetarian diets contain lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein (that's why vegetarians are at much lower risks of heart disease, cancers of the esophagus, colon or liver, renal disease, cerebro-vascular disease and so on) and higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals (especially magnesium and potassium) and antioxidants.

The benefits of vegetarian diets and the health risks of meat-consumption abuse are basically non-debatable in the fields of nutrition and food science. Not to mention that anyone falling for this argument must ignore all the people who are living perfectly healthy lives on vegetarian diets, whether they do it for religious reasons (nearly half a billion vegetarians living in India alone), for health reasons, or out of concern for animal welfare (which is my reason for being a vegetarian for some 8 years now).

The "risks" most of you elaborated on are not relevant to vegetarian diets, but vegan diets. For those of you who may not know the difference, vegetarians don't eat meat, while vegans don't consume anything that came from an animal (no diary, eggs, honey, etc).

It is true that as a vegan you may have to be more careful with your food and some vegans will need to take supplements (vitamin and mineral pills). Personally, I tried being a vegan for some 6 months and it didn't work out (apparently, my body cannot assimilate synthetic supplements that well, plus I'm not a very organized eater). Which is not to say that other people cannot manage to do it, there are millions of vegans worldwide and some of the spokespersons include athletes and bodybuilders.

 Now back to vegetarianism, I am sure you can name a couple of rare diseases or conditions where the person actually needs meat in their diet to be healthy.  But you can't possibly consider this a proper argument against vegetarianism overall.

  • Denying your own nature (being a vegetarian) is a psychological disorder.
I know some of you may gasp right now, but yes, some people did actually make this argument (as you can see on my facebook page). I find this too absurd to even try to debunk it, so you can just remember all the people saying that homosexuality is against nature and a mental disorder, and apply the refutations to this case as well.

  • Animals kill and eat other animals all the time, so why shouldn't we do it too?
This basically makes the transition from the "arguments from nature" to the "arguments from morality". Yes, animals kill eachother all the time. Animals also often kill eachother's youngs in order to eliminate the competition. We have laws against that. And unlike animals, we have healthcare systems, protection for minorities, social help for the disabled, laws against abuse at the work place, laws against sexual harassment, and so on. I'm sure you'll agree all of it is good stuff.

We even have laws against animal cruelty. But ofcourse, those laws are meant for our pets and for the pretty wildlife. But they don't really apply to cows or pigs or other animals that we use for meat consumption. Why is that ? Why should the torturing of a dog make one feel sick but the torturing of a pig should make one feel nothing ? And if you want to deny that most "meat animals" are, in fact, subjected to torture, you can watch THIS and the related videos on the right (warning: it's graphic).

This argument basically translates to "animals suffer in the wild anyway, so there's nothing wrong with them also suffering in our care". In making this claim you are deliberately ignoring the fact that along with our big brains which produced this thing called "civilization", we also developed compassion, empathy, what we refer to as "humanity". So why do we apply it so arbitrarily ? Why are people outraged when they see images with puppy dogs being drowned or dolphins being slaughtered, but yet manage to ignore all the horrors that the "meat animals" go through ? This is not an appeal to emotions. This is plea for you to acknowledge that it is inhumane to subject other sentient creatures to a life of torment for our mere comfort.

  • But if we all stopped eating these animals, they would go extinct. 
 First of all, the scenario where everybody will suddenly become vegetarian over night is impossible. But to answer a more likely hypothetical situation, if more and more people become vegetarians, the farmers will breed the animals less and less due to the decreasing demand for meat. I doubt people will ever completely give up using animal products such as eggs and diary, but since most vegetarians are against animal abuse, the meat companies will need to adjust to the rules imposed by the majority. This is starting to happen in the European Union for instance, where there are more and more people spreading awareness about the meat industry, and the laws regarding animal welfare are much stricter than in US (and keep on improving).

But leaving all that aside ... as a general thought, since this argument is coming from people who obviously oppose vegetarianism, allow me to wonder why would they be so concerned about an animal going extinct, while at the same time being perfectly ok with the idea of that animal being created with the sole purpose of being killed. Where's the logic in this ?

  • But you do eat plants. Plants are alive and feel pain too. You're a hypocrite. 

There are some studies out there which tested how plants react to different stimuli, some people interpreting these reactions as feelings of pain or fright (no reputable study claims this, mind you).  But this is all there is to it: an interpretation. Yes, a plant can respond to stimuli, but there is no scientific evidence of any kind demonstrating how something can perceive fear or pain without having a brain and a nervous system.Pain is not just a reaction, but a SENSATION generated by the brain. Fear is a product of consciousness, which again is generated by the brain. Plants. Don't. Have. Brains.

And since I know most of my readers have at least some basic knowledge of evolutionary biology, I have a question for y'all: keeping in mind that the evolutionary advantage of pain is to increase the chances of survival by trying to avoid being harmed (i.e.: being eaten alive hurts, therefor you have the incentive to run from predators), what would be the advantage of a carrot or a potato feeling pain, since they cannot escape predators by running, and, generally speaking, they cannot defend themselves from harm? I'd love to know how you reason this out.

As a personal opinion, I consider this argument to be dishonest if the person making it doesn't also believe that cutting the leaf of a plant is the same with cutting the leg of a cat.

  • Animals are dumb so they don't matter. 

This is a simplification of the idea that the value of life lies within the abilities of the brain, and since animal intelligence is nowhere near comparable with the complexity of the human brain, their lives have simply no value outside of us profiting from them.

Again, let me answer with a question: would you have a problem if a human being was treated the way a cow in a factory farm is, provided that human being is mentally retarded to the point where the functionality of his brain is similar to that of a cow?

  • With agriculture, the life of many animals is ended (i.e. mice that get accidentally killed in the harvests). There is massive deforestation because of vegetarians who consume soy products & many animals die that way. In short, vegetarians are harming the earth and other animals.

 I acknowledge the fact that human existence, as a rule, is sustainable at the expense of other life. I know I am harming other creatures simply because I live. However, why should this stop me or others from trying to minimize the damage? And what is the logic in you opposing this attempt ?

As for your claims, it might interest you to find that the meat industry is one of the top contributors to environmental degradation worldwide (land degradation, air and water pollution, loss of biodiversity, emissions of greenhouse gases). Also, over 90% of the soy-meal harvest is used to feed animals.

And ...this is it :/ Out of 250+ comments on facebook, 15 pages worth of comments on my YouTube channel, plus countless twitter replies, this is pretty much all I could find, with a couple variations. Plus some overly ridiculous ones which I assume (hope?) were posted as a joke. Stuff like :

  • If you like animals so much, why are you eating all their food ? 
I don't think there's any point in waiting for someone to provide relevant studies that show how farm animals are endangered because of people eating their food .

  • Hitler was a vegetarian. 
And he had a mustache.


Having all this said, I think (apologies if I'm mistaken) that the reason most people get vocal against vegetarianism is not because of the arguments  above, but more as a reaction to vegan and vegetarian activists who sometimes push this idea that if you are a meat-eater it means you are a shit human-being. You know, accusing you of cannibalism, of promoting animal holocaust, of being a murderer and so on. Maybe these PETA-type tactics work on some people, personally I find them annoying and counter-productive since in my opinion, these aggressive approaches are what trigger people into "fighting back" against vegetarianism. When people are being attacked, they tend to react and defend themselves.

If you are one of the people who get so enraged by these accusations that you feel you have to "strike back", please just consider the motivation behind what you stand for. Is that really worth it ? Because at the end of the day, as annoying as they sometimes can get, vegan and vegetarian activists are acting out of genuine concern for the life of animals and because they want to stop the abuse. You are reacting because they piss you off. Is that a good enough reason to basically militate AGAINST animal welfare ? Because this is what the anti-vegetarian stance ends up being, if you are willing to consider the bigger picture.

I am not here to pass judgment on anyone. You like meat. You want to keep eating it. Ok. I can understand that. And you know that no one will take that away from you by force. But please stop opposing the people who are willing to give it up by choice. That's pretty much all I am asking you to consider.

Feb 19, 2011

Some bad news and some drama..


Yesterday I was thinking about writing a blog on this trivial drama that's been bothering me in the last few days, mainly because some of you asked me to address it. But then my mom called and re-defined what the word "bothered" means. I will still deal with what you want me to, but first please bare with me because I simply need to write about what's going on with me.

I did try talking to a friend over the phone today but when I got to what I wanted to say the words would just not come out. So maybe writing is a better idea. For those of you who don’t know, yesterday I found out that my brother (who lives in Germany with my mother since 3 years ago ) has just been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, better known as Hashimoto's disease.

To put it simply, my brother’s body decided to destroy his thyroid gland. It's an autoimmune disease. There is no cure for it, only treatment. My brother has another medical condition which I will not mention here because of the stigma attached to these types of illnesses. I know people can be ruthless and I don’t want anyone bringing that up at any point in any circumstances. I can say that it is a temporary condition for which he will only need treatment until he's in his late teens. For Hashimoto’s disease, he will need treatment his entire life.

I very often heard people say “how could this happen to ME?!”. And the response I always had in my mind was “life sucks, sometimes things happen”. But I never understood the depth of this feeling until yesterday. You see, I know that bad things happen. I know these things are unpredictable. But still, my brain cannot stop from asking “Why him?!”. He’s just a kid. He’s just 13. He is my brother. Why him ?! I can now understand what all those people felt. When it hits you, it is almost psychologically impossible to accept it.

Since yesterday I’ve been reading virtually non stop about Hashimoto’s. Almost all of it was encouraging. With treatment, my brother can still have a manageable and relatively normal life. I’m trying to think positively. He has been diagnosed early. He has great doctors. The treatment is free. If he was still living in Romania, none of this would be possible for him. I am trying to think he is actually lucky. But I’m failing. I will probably be able to convince myself of that at some point ... eventually.

So you can imagine that right now I have little patience for trivial stuff but I know that if I don't address this other issue it will keep nagging at me. I don't want to subject 60K+ youtube subscribers to a video that would basically be drama and nothing more, not to mention that I'm not up for making a video anyway. So I may as well get this over with now. This is what I said a couple days ago in a twitter post:

“The sexual assault of Lara Logan is yet another painful reminder of Egypt's attitude towards women.”

If somehow you never heard about the incident, please watch THIS before continuing reading.

Some people said that my statement was bigoted, that I blamed this one incident on an entire nation and that my words were “an indictment on ALL Egyptians”. Which is a strawman bigger than a cornfield. First of all let me explain what I meant by “Egypt’s attitude towards women”. I was talking about the fact that over 90% of Egyptian girls are subjected to genital mutilation, that women are subjected to sexual harassment and domestic violence at alarming rates, that they cannot leave the country without their husbands’ permission, that the law is biased against them and they are often ignored when asking for help and so on. If you want to read more about it you can click HERE or read THIS blog or watch THIS video or research it yourself .

Now back to Lara Logan. Did I judge an entire nation based on ONE incident ?! Hell no! I said the incident is a REMINDER of an ongoing problem within that nation. Not an indicator of it. Not evidence for it. I know my English is far from perfect but at least I understand the meaning of words. If Viktória Mohácsi would come to Romania and got brutalized by a mob, I could say the incident is a reminder of Romania’s attitude towards the Roma people, who are generally discriminated by the law and vastly by the citizens. This does NOT mean that all Romanians are racists. Or that all Egyptians are misogynists. Recognizing there was  problem and a prevailing attitude in Egypt that made the sexual assault on Logan more likely to happen, does NOT equal bigotry.

I know there are people who genuinely misunderstood what I meant, and to them I apologize for not being more clear. But there are also people who intentionally twisted my words and continue to do so.

Another thing I want to address is the accusation of being “a graduate from the university of wikipedia”, uttered by the same person who called me a bigot. For everyone who didn’t know, I am a college drop-out. Not by choice. I simply couldn’t afford it anymore after 2 years. So I am the first to admit that most of my knowledge does come from independent study, weather it is independent reading, lectures, audio books and so on. But should this invalidate my points or damage my credibility ? There have been times when people (who can testify to this) asked me to make a video on one topic or another and I simply told them that I am not sufficiently informed to talk about it. I see no shame in that. This is why most of my informative-type videos are on subjects I thought about and researched for years. You don't need a PhD to learn about things you are interested in.

That being said, I will probably not make a new video soon. I usually talk about things I am invested in and feel strongly about, and at this point I am too drained by what’s going on in my family to focus on anything else. I know this post is long. Thank you if you managed to read all of it. And please excuse the eventual typos and bad phrasing.

Feb 6, 2011

What's wrong with me ?!

I know I haven’t written here in ages (I should rename this blog to “CristinaRadCantWriteForShit”) and you are probably expecting something on Egypt or a post about the US bill that tries to redefine rape (did you know that there’s a thing called "forcible rape" ? Because in my naivety I thought EVERY rape is about forcing someone into sex. Silly me!) in an attempt to prevent abortions being funded by taxpayer money, because free abortions would obviously trigger what is now known as “The 2012 New World Order Zombie Apocalypse”. True story.

But I'm not gonna write about none of that (double negatives rock!) because I’m in a bad mood and just not up to it. So instead I thought I could vent about my week. I hope you don’t mind. Oh…you do? That’s too bad cos here it comes:

So first I drop my phone into my glass of wine. How did that happen, you ask ? Well, I pick up my phone and then IT’S IN MY DAMN GLASS. Gone. Dead. Killed by wine. Which btw, it’s how I wanna go too.

Then there was this creepy ass jerk in the bus. He most likely recognized me from YouTube. Because he kept staring at me for the entire freaking ride, which was around 15 minutes. No, he wasn’t checking me out. And he wasn’t looking at me in that “Hm, I think I know her from somewhere” type of way. Oh no! He was looking at me like I was dog shit on his shoe. The kind of look you'd have if someone offered you to smell a fish that died two weeks ago. Creepiness!

And then I walked into my kitchen wall. And hurt my shoulder. Quite bad. It’s still aching. If you have a reasonable explanation for how someone can walk into their own damn wall, please enlighten me. Because since I’m not blind, I can only assume that around here shit be moving! Oh, did I mention that I also apologized to the wall ?

And then there was the bug. Though “bug” is a gross understatement. A big ass fucking roach (possibly bigger than your penis) was chilling on my floor, all casual like it’s nobody’s business. It wold be way to embarrassing to tell how this worked out, but it involved a neighbor and everyone survived (besides my dignity).

And then I put salt in my coffee instead of sugar. And obviously I didn’t realize it UNTIL I took a nice good sip. If you never tried it, you should drop your curiosity and consider yourself lucky because that's just nasty!

I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me. One of these days you should expect to hear that I died by drowning in my bowl of soup.