Can you believe 2017's here? At the beginning of each new year I like to start with an encouraging/optimistic post, and my favourite of that kind is one I sometimes feel could be reused every year. This year, however, no such post is bubbling up.
I'm still struggling with the disappointment of the US election and the reality of the Donald being in power, and I resent the fact that December 19 (the anniversary of my cat's death) will now always be linked to his official election by the Electoral College. My antipathy towards this doofus was made clear in prior posts, and while you may wonder why the election of an American president would bother this Canadian resident so much, it's because I fear that social justice for all creatures will take a huge step backwards. His cabinet picks so far bear this out.
I will outline why the election was a bad one for animals, and then hope to be done discussing this despicable man once and for all. It's the only way I can cope I'm afraid, and as childish as this outlandish man is himself, I may have to resort to shutting my eyes and ears whenever I hear his name on any kind of media. I know, that means I won't be hearing or seeing much over the next four (two?) years, snort.
Stress and sadness over other non-political issues have also been key this past year, and while I posted earlier about burnout, acknowledging and addressing it are two different things. I hope to recover a bit more joy and enthusiasm before year's end, write the posts I've been meaning to, and focus on how to be a better advocate, because sometimes I feel that my having been vegan for the past eight years has accomplished diddly squat for those I'm fighting for.
So, who has Donald picked so far and why is that bad for animals, human and non-human alike? Well, in a nutshell, and with few exceptions, Trump has surrounded himself with old, ultra-rich white men who have shown no interest in protecting the environment, animals, or humans who don't fit their own demographic. Far from draining any kind of swamp, Trump is simply making it swampier and more dangerous for those who don't look like him.
Flooding the swamp he promised to drain with people who are anti environment, pro oil, pro gas, climate-change skeptics, pro big business, pro animal agriculture, pro factory farming, anti animal-rights, and anti public health care folk who tend to see everything in black and white, they wouldn't recognize a nuance if it bonked them on the head. The only regard they seem to have is for dollar signs. To people, sentient beings of all kind, and the planet itself, they're saying a big FU.
Trump's own two sons show complete disregard for wildlife by participating in the "sport" of trophy hunting, something that Donald is actually proud of. And given that the elder Trump is babysat by his own kids, their influence on his stance where animals are concerned can only be suspect. No, I'm afraid that the trumpnoxious (Trump-style brand of obnoxniousness) President-elect, his silly trumptirades (usually conducted on Twitter), and his downright scary-as-hell cabinet picks are filling me with nothing but trumpidation (the specific trepidation felt by almost everything the Trumpster says and does). The only silver lining is that perhaps things really do have to hit a rock bottom we didn't even envision before the world wakes up to the nightmare that the human species has created.
The stakes have NEVER been higher. And if we thought it was a battle before to have the rights of sentient beings recognized and respected, to have veganism be more than a scoffed-at movement consisting of a few, than I would say it's looking more like a war. As I said, I don't feel particularly encouraged or optimistic right now, and that's something I hope will change over the course of this year. In the meantime, let's all soldier on, because every single living being is counting on us.
Not a great way to begin the year and end this post I know, so please reread my way-better-way-to-begin welcome of a few years ago. :)