Thursday, 13 October 2016

Selective empathy: The ethical schizophrenia of our times

It's been a long time of deep thinking about selective empathy.

It is very important for me to finally express the thoughts that keep coming in mind almost daily, the questions that stay unanswered and the conclusions I may have done until now.

Veganism

Veganism is growing exponentially throughout the world (ex. 360% raise in 10 years in Britain) so this means that a new international community is emerging and it needs to be respected because veganism is a protected belief under the Article 9 of the European Convention for the protection of Human rights.

But what exactly is veganism? It's a lifestyle that avoids all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey, animal derived products like leather and as far as possible, products tested on animals. The Vegan Society's formal definition is "veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food,clothing or any other purpose".

Do you find this extreme? I am sure that it makes sense to everyone when they read that. Then why vegans are considered as extremists, terrorists or crazy? My personal opinion is because they are showing the ugly truth of our society's killed values. This makes people who still follow the lifestyle that they have adopted or even obeyed without ever questioning it, to feel guilty and (especially the ones among them who consider themselves as animal lovers) extremely uncomfortable as well.


Saturday, 2 April 2016

How to change the way you look at all the stuff...

There are some documentaries, some songs (like the Sunscreen) and some movies (like Amelie) that can have such an influence on our personalities that no school could do so.

One of those is the "Story of stuff" that I watched back on July of 2009 during an eco-volunteering trip I was doing with the amazing team of Pelagos Institute . This documentary lasts only 20 minutes but it makes you understand that recycle is not the answer. Nor the solution. Consuming wisely is.
Even though it focus on U.S where over-consumption is indeed a big issue, still, Europe unfortunately "follows" its "example" so it talks overall about western society's stuff stories.

Do we ever think how each and every stuff we get to buy has been produced/transported etc? Do we ever think about the stuff we tend to throw away so easily? Where do they come from and where do they go?


Saturday, 21 November 2015

A Hellenic woman for the refugees in Lesvos



Yesterday I fell asleep around 6.00 in the morning (so it was actually today). 
I was answering  messages of people that want to come and volunteer in Lesvos. 

Last night I went out for the first time since a LONG time, in Athens, with some nice women that are also volunteering...

I felt for the first time less of an alien since I came back from Lesvos. 

I felt happiness, sympathy and understanding.
I did not have to feel guilty for checking my phone every now and then and answer to refugees & volunteers' queries and update myself regarding how many NON Syrians, Afghans & Iraqis are stuck in our borders.

Why did I feel like an alien since I came back though?

Well because in Athens, life goes on (!) as if there are no people dying in our Greek seas...

People go to their jobs, youngsters are out with their friends...the neighbors keep throwing their rubbish in my bin, friends are still asking me when we will go for a coffee....bills need to be paid, sun is shining and I am the only one stuck in time, memories and hardcore experiences that I went through my 2 missions.

I hit my knee and I start crying like a baby, "what is wrong with  me", I was wondering?

I  was waking up and I realized that I was dreaming of the camps in Skala Sykamnia & OXY and of the people walking on the streets of Lesvos. THIS ENDLESS WALK. Hundreds of people walking by the side of the road, hungry, thirsty, exhausted....Some of them get even some rest without caring if someone may hit them with the car...

I don't know how many bananas, apples, water bottles and salty snacks I gave away during the first mission in Lesvos. 
I only know that the money run out so fast under these circumstances.....that you thank God for having a credit card able to pay the big supermarkets.

YOU ONLY THINK ABOUT BUYING MORE FOOD AND GIVE TO ALL OF THEM. 
You FORGET about the CRISIS in GREECE.... You realize you are OK as long as you have a house to stay, freedom of speech and food to eat. As long as your country is not bombed every day...

                            

           


Friday, 12 December 2014

Animal ethics

I just watched the excellent documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine .

Where to begin? The list of animal exploitation is so long.

Animal farming ( for fur, leather, meat and dairy products)

Dog & Cat illegal breeding (known as puppy and kitty meals)

Marine mammals in captivity for humans entertainment (and not for educational reasons)

Circuses (still on 2014)

Animal testing for cosmetics, medicine and research

Illegal owners of exotic animals such as monkeys, snakes, leasards, degus, prairie dogs, hedgehogs, wildcats and the list goes on....

Who gave us the right to take advantage of ALL non human animals?

How many of the people that call themselves animal lovers actually are considering the animals before buying cosmetics, cleaning products or food?

How can you love a dog and eat a pig?
What discriminates these two species?

Many people call Asians weirdos when they listen about the dog farms where they slaughter them in order to sell their meat in delicatessen restaurants. What makes them better? Is a cow or a pig lower than a dog?

Should I mention the bullfights in Spain, France and Portugal?

Or the number of goats killed during Easter time in Greece? And then the number of them which have NOT been consumed?

Should I open Pandora's box regarding whales' hunting in Japan?

All these people who sleep with their dogs and cats but enjoy hot dogs and chicken ribs twice a week did they ever though about what was this pig/chicken before becoming their meal?

All these women with the tiny dogs in their bag do they know how their UGG boots are made?

Not to mention the thousands of people visiting zoos and aquariums just because they 'love animals' and want to see them from close.

I accept the fact of lack of education.

What I do NOT accept is the fact of people that know about these issues but continue living the same way, continue considering themselves animal lovers because they have a dog or a cat.


Monday, 8 December 2014

When democracy in Greece started to be only in history books...

Since the day I got informed about Nikos Romanos' hunger strike, no day can pass without finding me skeptical, isolated in my room, lost in my thoughts about what is happening back in my beloved country.

I cannot remember when was  the last day in Greece where its nation was happy.

Year by year things get worst instead of getting better: Young people are forced to migrate abroad in order to find a descent job instead of working 12 hours for 300 euros after even obtaining MSc or Phd.

The center of Athens is not sustainable anymore because of the number of immigrants that of course did not migrate their country in order to come and sleep on a bench in Omonia square but this is all they got - and this is the best case scenario for an immigrant- after the European countries that were their goal, sent them back where they came from.

Old people get help from Golden Dawn  in order to go and get money out from the bank without becoming a thief victim of these "bad immigrants".

On top of that, more and more people get to vote this far-right political party and start parroting their (by far inhuman) beliefs.

Six years ago, a 15 years old boy, Alexis Grigoropoulos  got murdered by a policeman while he was going to buy something to eat with his friend, Nikos Romanos. He left his last breath on the hands of Nikos.

What is happening now:

Romanos, who is serving a 16-year sentence, began a hunger strike last month after being refused prison leave to attend lectures.
He passed university entrance exams to study business administration in Athens while he was awaiting trial for armed robbery of a bank and a post office, but was refused educational leave after his conviction.

I keep waking up with the thought of this boy. You can see the anger of this abused young soul in the following photos. Up in the left it's him waving to the people that stand for him outside of the hospital during this hunger strike.


Friday, 5 December 2014

NGO's & Dolphinariums - What is hidden behind this co-operation?

In Greece, a new baby seal has been saved by an NGO and instead of going at the rescue center where all the baby seals until now were taking their treatment until they were able to go back to the sea, it is in a zoo's (?!) facility. A zoo with an illegal dolphinarium which owes also two sea lions. All of these animals are giving shows to the public. Shows that are called "Educational information/briefing" as they had no permission to perform shows.

This dolphinarium has many "legal holes". Last year the court decided that it is not the correct authority to decide whether or not it should close. NGO's that are working for the protection of the cetaceans and other marine animals supported the fight against it since its opening. But it is still open, 3 dolphin births have taken place, 11 dolphins were living in their small pool at the beginning and 7 are still living now over there.

HOW is it possible for an NGO that saves marine mammals as seals to co-operate with an owner of an illegal dolphinarium?

Same story in the NL where NGO that saves porpoise dolphins and bring them back to the wild, at the same time sends an orca that could go back to the wild too, to a Spanish Dolphinarium.

I mean, what is wrong with these people? How they make this discrimination?
Is it convenient to co-operate with these rich guys?
They care about one species but don't give a damn about the other?
Are they in a desperate need of their money in order to fund their work so they ignore all the illegal and non-ethical acts/decisions?

Where does the care start and at which point they forget about it?
 





Saturday, 8 November 2014

What brought me to this point

       My blog in Greek "was born" in 2012 and some of its posts as the one regarding cruelty free products and the one regarding myths and true facts about sterilization/castration of pets have made a big impression and even some friends of mine sent me other websites in which I could find my blog posts posted by others. This is the moment you feel that you were right when you started being a blogger.

       Nowadays I think more in English than in Greek and at the same time, most of my closest friends, my social circle and my colleagues are people from all around the Europe, or even the world so I decided that it's time to write in the only language that pretty much everyone can understand: English. To be honest I don't find any magic or poetry neither attractiveness in this language but the universal language was decided to be this one, so let's accept it and adapt.
       The saddest thing is that some thoughts of mine cannot be described better in other language than in Greek as my mother tongue is the richest language I know so, many times I find myself helpless as we have some words that cannot be translated [as the most untranslatable Greek virtue 'Philotimo' (read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philotimo )] so writing deep thoughts in English will be a big challenge for me.

     The reason I baptized my second blog "All about ethics" is because the more people I get to know, the more I conclude that being ethical in 2014, is very rare. People may be ethical towards their friends but not towards their partner.
They may be towards nature but not towards animals. They also may be towards their friends and partner but not towards their colleagues.
    I can't help but wonder: Why? What discriminates the nature from the animals? What discriminates friends from partner? Colleagues from close people?
In the end you get to realize though, that the person who has been unethical towards its partner will be, sooner or later, towards his friends and so on. So be ware of these people.

I know I am too romantic for my age. Too romantic for this world maybe. But as long as I keep meeting people like me, I will keep being that romantic. People like me, with such empathetic emotions, usually suffer. But they also usually make a difference.



 In my case, it's not that I want to make a difference. It's more that I don't accept the world as shitty as it is. I cannot sit back and say 'this is it, let's just have fun during our life'. No! If there is something wrong out there, we should rise our voice and try to change it. We should talk about it out loud, try to wake up the ones that 'sleep', try to open the eyes of the ones that don't see. What I read once regarding this issue, and was so close to my way of thinking, is:

                     Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

So here I am, ready to write down what bothers me out there, share my thoughts and I am so looking forward for some feedback. Because empathetic people are out there but they stay hidden in their world by trying to make themselves emotionless, even numb.

Speak up, people. This world is so beautiful. Don't let the mass to destroy it. Help me rise awareness regarding not only animal ethics or the environment, but for human relationships as well. People are afraid to love, people are afraid to express emotions, people are afraid to talk! Why this world is such a  chessboard? Why do we even accept this? Why people who care about these issues are only a minority spread sporadically worldwide?



We have human rights. There are animal rights too. Nature will not be healthy forever.
We have to stand up for everything. Impossible is nothing but at the same time we shouldn't take anything for granted.