The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"
— Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
I don't like that word, Dogma - Another planksip Pedadoggy

I don't like that word, Dogma


The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"
— Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

The titled responsion is...

Jeremy Bentham - planksip
Bentham defined as the “fundamental axiom” of his philosophy the principle that “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong”.
What does Jeremy Bentham have in common with other intellectual giants of the past? Find out on planksip.

When you take an animal like the domesticated K9 and consider the extent to which we have manipulated and mutilated our "best friend" into co-dependency, it's shocking to me the indifference and suffering of the domesticated dog I see in the world. Truly insufferable!

“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional”

-My dad, doing his best Buddha impression

“Oh yeah? Easy for you to say!”

- a cow, being led to an abattoir

Ladies and gentlemen: brace yourselves. This is about to get real preachy. If you are standing up, laying down, or sitting sideways, I would strongly suggest adjusting your position. Sit up straight (your neck and back will thank you later). Stretch out a little bit. Get up and make yourself a cup of tea. You might want to use a couple of bags - this one is going to be quite a doozy, let me tell you. I mean I am fixing to give you folks the works; I don’t plan on holding a single thing back.


Here goes nothing:

We all need to go vegan.


Cards on the table. There we go. I just put it all out there. Laid it all down on the line. Nothing to hide. It’s over, baby. Pandora doesn’t go back in the box - at least not ‘til Thursday. is Thursday, though.


Let’s go on Tuesday.

There we go.

We are going on Tuesday.

Problem solved.






Now back to my point.

I often hear people voice their disapproval regarding the domestication of dogs. The same has been said about cats. These people will point out that none of the animals we have so presumptuously categorized as “indoor” or “house” pets had any say in the matter. I mean, it is not as if they could have expressed their consent even if we had asked for it - what is a dog going to do, wag its tail a couple of times? Is the goldfish going to blow a bubble? Is the Pac-Man frog (another artificial categorization based on man-made assumptions, but we don’t really have to get into that here - you probably get the gist anyway) going to ribbit? Will the pussycat purr?





As hard as it is for me (a very happy cat daddy myself) to admit this, these people are all correct in their condemnation of the domestication of so-called “house” pets. Sometimes I will look into my cat’s eyes and wonder if he really, genuinely “loves” me or if what that look actually signifies is a mixture of fear and confusion, a way to signal to me that “hey - I don’t know who you are, or where I am, or why I’m here, but you seem to be in charge of when I receive my sustenance, as well as how much of it I get to receive throughout the day, and you have given me a series of objects to distract me from the fact that I have no idea what is going on, so I guess we’re cool, but not really though because I could be in danger, ah, you know what, I’m just gonna bite you”



No biting!

Bad kitty! Bad, bad, bad kitty!

Say sorry.





You are forgiven, young William. Return to your scratching post, and resume your daily nail-sharpening. That will teach me to leave you unmonitored - but not until later.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Domesticated animals. Indeed, that inscrutable look, the one that could either be love or confusion, is something that I also observed in the family Shih Tzu growing up. I would often be met with a face, one that my mother interpreted as fawning adoration, that - to me, at least - was much more redolent of the way in which a young boy in Pyongyang looks at a grown man in a military uniform, standing guard outside of his school. Kind of an “I know you’re on my side, and clearly you take care of me but...what exactly is this? Is this going to be how it is for me forever? I’m confused. Where am I? Why is everything so closely monitored? Can I able to escape? Oh my God. I am trapped in a living hell, surrounded by a bunch of actual crazy people who revolve their lives around a narcissistic sociopath who comes from a long line of narcissistic sociopaths and really enjoys watching American sports”.

I might have gotten a little too personal there. It’s just that...the similarities are a lot to take in; I know this. When I was writing that, it almost felt sort of therapeutic for me. Like I was just getting it all out there. Getting it out of my head and onto the page.


Riveting. Now onward, lad!

Very well


Onward we shall go.

It’s all a bit difficult to wrap your head around. This I understand. Being told that your entire perspective is totally wrong, that the story you’ve been telling yourself about how life is supposed to work is nothing but a load of poppycock, that you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you had it all figured out when in reality the only thing you had figured out was an extremely elaborate and well-sorted fictionalized universe that only existed within the confines of your cranium - it can be a little overwhelming to process fully without some major hangups.

This is why Socrates used to go around telling everybody that he didn’t know anything. This is perhaps the easiest way to avoid falling into such a chaotic frame of mind upon having the proverbial rug yanked out from under your literal feet (actually, I think in this case they would still be proverbial, unless you want to get real, real technical with it, which I really don’t, so we won’t; nice talk) - don’t assume that anything you believe to be true is in any way, shape, or form a reflection of any sort of reality that exists outside of your own head. ‘Cause, it ain’ really ain’t.

Almost never, that is.

There is one thing I know to be true, though.

We all need to go vegan.

Why do I keep saying this?

Well, because I honestly think that this is the only logical conclusion one can come to when following the line of thinking that leads you to realize the domestication of animals is wrong. Your perspective on suffering becomes much broader. You begin to now apply the Golden Rule - “treat others as you would like to be treated” - to all living beings, not just the ones you have decided are worthy of your respect and responsibility towards. You get the sudden urge to break into the nearest zoo and set all of the monkeys free. You’ll start with the Rebus, of course, and pretty soon you’ll be mounting a giraffe, wielding a kukri, in a suit of armor, exclaiming “Excelsior!” while leading a team of cobras, zebras, and rhinoceros towards the nearest fire exit, fleeing the long arm of the local precinct.

But before you get to that point, you start to notice a few other, more immediate changes in the way you look at the things that you previously took for granted as perforce. Take that Big Mac you got sitting in front of you, for instance. Don’t look too tasty now, does it? Honestly, you probably feel like throwing it away at this point. Go ahead, take the bun off. Now, the tomato. The lettuce. Slide that pickle out of there. There we go. Look at it - in all of its meaty glory. You used to be able to pound one of these in the time it took to pull out a parking ticket and stick it on your windshield (I swear the sign said 7-4! Wait a minute...that’s a 9. Hey, there are some words on top of it! Okay, it looks like it says... “Two Hour Parking”...oh. Okay. Fair enough, then.)

Nowadays, though, you can barely even stand the sound of sizzling bacon, much less the smell, sight, and taste. All you can picture in your head is the poor little piggie with its curly tail of cuteness and precious eyes of pure love (again, allegedly - we can’t know) being led to a slaughterhouse by five fork-wielding farmers, all named Kurt, who have gone to gut the innocent son of a gun up, down, sideways, backward, diagonally, into a tic-tac-toe board, okay now catty-corner this way - boom! We’ve got pork now, baby!


Bon appetit.

Dig in.

Not too appetizing, huh? What’s the matter - cat got your tongue? Or is it the dog? Maybe it’s the bluebird singing outside your window in the morning. Maybe it’s the fuzzy-wuzzy caterpillar that crawls on the steps in front of your apartment building every day, that you know is going to transform into the most beautiful butterfly, a day which you are waiting anxiously.

What exactly is my point here? It’s simple - anybody can love a dog. I mean, come on. Hitler even loved his dog. In fact, Hitler is alleged to have been a huge animal lover and was reportedly liable to leave the room during the screening of a film if he could sense that a scene in which an animal faced cruelty was coming up. That is how much he could not bear to see animals suffer.

Adolf frickin’ Hitler. Never has there been such a clear-cut example of cognitive dissonance as the one I have just outlined. I am not even going to get into the logistics of why such an attitude is completely incompatible with the one he espoused towards those subhuman “rats” he wanted to bake like ziti (perhaps this could have been phrased a bit less...gratingly). My point, of course, is that even a nutcase (perhaps this could have been phrased a bit more gratingly) can wrap his head around why it is wrong to be cruel to animals.

In fact, it is actually kind of weird - the way Hitler looked at animals in comparison to how he looked at people is pretty much the complete inverse of the way we look at animals in comparison to how we look at people. While Hitler looked at all animals as collectively worthy of our respect and care, upon whom we should refrain from inflicting any form of harm, he did not (as you may have heard) take this same approach when it came to human beings. No, as a matter of fact, he was far more selective with which types of humans he would extend that promise to not inflict any harm upon - really just whichever ones he happened to like at the time, which seemed to change fairly often. It was as if his commitment to animals was grounded in some type of legitimate moral framework, much more difficult to knock the bolts from under, while his commitment to people was grounded in nothing but his free-flowing whims, whistling like the wind, while the reaper grins.

Alright, no more of that. It just happens to me sometimes.

Meanwhile, we hold the reverse to be true (at least the vast majority of us do, anyway): All people, no matter what their shape, size, creed, ethnic background, sexual disposition, level of education, or status of hairline may be (okay, maybe the status of one’s hairline does play a bit of a part when it comes to how people are treated, but hey - that’s what they make hats for, right?) are worthy of our respect and care, and we should refrain from inflicting any harm upon them. But, as far as animals go - it’s pretty much anything goes. We tend to avoid eating dogs and cats, at least here in North America, but shimmy on over to Vietnam and pretty soon you’ll be munching on anything that used to have a pulse at one point. After all, what is to stop you? Your morality, when it comes to animals, is completely arbitrary.

Get consistent, or get lost. You’re insufferable.

...and so am I.

And Dogma Destroys

Memory believes before knowing remembers. Beliefs longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders."
— William Faulkner (1897-1962)

The titled responsion is...

William Faulkner - planksip
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays.
What do William Faulkner and Heraclitus have in common? Find out on planksip.

The effect is closer to effect than we care to admit, dogma destroys the dichotomy with causalities of affections; certitudes pleading for validation. In the air and up for discussion is whether or not the dog can smell your emotional state?

The Conservative Crucible

The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so."
— Gore Vidal (1925-2012)

The titled responsion is...

Gore Vidal - planksip
Eugene Louis “Gore” Vidal was an American writer and public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing.
What do Gore Vidal and John Steinbeck have in common? Find out on planksip.

I am guessing that Gore Vidal was a Conservative? Dogma aside the simplicity of friendship questions the necessity of such frivolous semantics. 'Beautiful', you say, we beg to differ when the outcome is shame-filled humility. I can think of a better approach. Can you?

Dogma on the Other Hand?

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."
— Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

The titled responsion moves on from agreement and counterpoints Carl's point with a little bit of dogma. How does that make YOU feel?

Carl Sagan - planksip
Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.
What do Carl Sagan and Frederick the Great have in common? Find out on planksip.
I don't like that word, DogmaAnother planksip Pedadoggy

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