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Beavers Were Once the Size of Bears - Part 2

Sunday, June 15, 2008





(read part one first, please. it's right below. Thank you.)

Now I'm waking up - and I realize, unlike Dexter Manley, I can read. It’s a miracle! Kind of like Helen Keller, I place my face against the mighty, ravenous water heater, trying to find the rules, trying to look for lightning bolts or skulls and cross bones or some indicia that if I do X, that's the last thing I'll ever do.

I own this hot water heater.

That was my second fully formed thought this morning.

I own this hot water heater. I own this shit. Like my Joe Montana rookie card and my lucky pants. This hot water heater belongs to me.

And now it's going to kill me.

It didn't.

I was able to figure out how to turn it off; I cleaned up as much of the flooded area as was I capable, I made - and then pushed back a plumbing appointment, recognizing I had a 7 AM class that would last 5 hours and that if I wasn't there to tell the first quarter students about the tactile/kinesthetic style of learning - by god, they'd never learn to unlock their scholarly potential by doodling rainbows or swastikas or “Future Mrs. Timberlake” hearts during my lecture.

Got home at noon, still without sleep since 3 or a shower since...well, since Saturday.

Yes, it was Monday. Don’t judge me, people! I was depressed and lounging in my own funk and I am unashamed!

The plumber who I had already hired twice before to fix broken toilets remembered me and asked if I had a room in which he could stay permanently.

Funny. Hi-larious.

Also funny is that I have also hired two plumbers to fix my shower, one to fix my sink, and then another to fix yet another toilet problem.

I've owned my home for 6 years.

7 plumbers in 6 years.

Not to mention that I've had 3 roof leaks and 5 ceiling repairs. A new 14 hundred dollar AC compressor, a year and a half of power outages that led to my needing a new refrigerator and TV, a hurricane caused busted window, an attack of hundreds of bees. Hundreds of bees that I was able to fend off with a half bottle of Kaboom and my plucky spirit.

Oh - And my complex once tried to tow my car.

Total cost for the new water heater.

$949.70.

And ceiling repair.

$150

And I'm five pounds too heavy. Okay, 15 pounds.

But I’m still better off than Mike Vick.

Real quick – I have zero sympathy for Michael Vick, imprisoned for dog fighting. I’m just glad he’s not one of my guys.

Except…not for nothing, but I eat pork.

And in terms of measurable brain activity, the only difference between dogs and pigs is pigs are smarter.

So – we torture a dog and call it prison.

We torture a pig and call it breakfast.

(I don’t want to walk down the road with you regarding how pigs are raised and treated on their way to slaughter, but it’s bad, sister, b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-ad.)

Maybe there’s some small difference between the two things, some small difference that one could point to between torturing dogs and torturing pigs.

But probably not enough difference to justify the difference in treatment.

One is prison. One is breakfast.

Don’t misunderstand, I do it too. Not only wouldn’t I torture a dog, I’ve stopped kids from being cruel to animals in a way I’d never stop someone from being cruel to a, you know, person. If you were to tell me “yup, I regularly kill and eat kittens for the meat” there is literally zero chance I would ever speak civilly to you regardless of what level of beaver worship you promised me.

But I eat pork.

It’s delicious.

And I have no moral justification for it. None.

If it turns out that I’m wrong, and above us isn’t only sky, and someone is there at the pearly gates after I’m dead to say I’m not allowed in because I didn’t pray to Mecca five times a day or I didn’t confess my sins to a guy in a robe or I never had my head dunked in a lake to be born again –

Well, you know, okay.

That stuff is so antithetical to the way I view the world, that if the world actually works that way, it would seem incomprehensible to me that this was the result. I wouldn’t want to be a member of that club. I’ll go somewhere else, thanks.

But if St. Peter is actually a giant bear sized beaver, and he says I’m going to hell for all the bacon I ate.

I’d have absolutely no defense.

I’m guilty.

100% Guilty.

My only hope is I’m serving some purgatory time right now.

7 plumbers in 6 years.

10 comments

thebethy said...

I'll venture to say that pork is worth the risk.

Jim said...

It's actually a completely true story, unlike virtually everything else I write. I am more unhappy that I eat meat than everything else I do combined. There are areas of my life that I'm dissatisfied with, portions of my character I don't find sufficiently developed, but the only time it ever strikes me that I'm not a moral person is when I eat something with a face. I do it, and I do it a lot, and I make almost no attempt to slow that behavior, so there you go. True story.

joepet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joepet said...

Hmm. Delete that last post and replace with this one:

Since morals are rooted in religion, perhaps God's own blessing on the practice will suffice?

"And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."
Genesis 9:2-4

Jim said...

Morals aren't rooted in religion.

One's morals can be so rooted, of course, but the concept of morality exists outside religion, certainly outside Genesis.

Christians have that biblical support for meat eating, one could argue. I am without such support.

joepet said...

OK, then let's forget the easy way out and try and rationalize this. Does your unease have to do with the destruction of intelligence, or the infliction of suffering on a living being? If the former, where do you draw the line at "too intelligent to eat"? If the latter, then what does intelligence have to do with suffering? You should feel the same about eating any animal, be it pigs, or chickens, or snails, that hasn't died naturally.

Jim said...

It's suffering, not intelligence. I used pigs in the piece, but I didn't mean to imply that my concern was limited to pigs. There is a difference, at least quantitative, with snails, given the nervous system distinctions. I don't have the science to say solidly that snails don't suffer in the way that I'm comfortable that leaves don't suffer, but that's just my ignorance.

joepet said...

Well, I'll wager that you haven't consumed too many snails in your life, so let's not press that point.

Anyway, since we've confirmed that this is an issue of animal suffering for you, the path you should follow is clear. You simply choose not to follow it. Nothing else I can do for you there, except to say that perhaps it will all lead to a painful, early, Tim Russert like heart attack that will even the score for you.

joepet said...

Perhaps this will help you resist the lure of pork?

http://www.japannewbie.com/images/journal/brain_food/brain_food.jpg

joepet said...

Well, you comment mechanism doesn't let me enter the whole URL, but just got to http://www.japannewbie.com and you'll see it there.

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