there seems to be a mindset (even among fellow vegans and activists) that believes we can’t be critical thinkers without picking apart statements under the  assumption that our opponent is stupid. that because the writer didn’t say everything that needed to be said, there must be gaps in their logic.

while it’s totally possible that there is a fallacy at play, rubbing that in isn’t how you make friends and influence people. as people who, by our own estimation, know better, we do ourselves such a disservice when we patronize and assume the worst of others. (i think internet culture lends to this, it teaches us to sound smart rather than how to convey information socially, in a way that allows others to be receptive to it)

instead of ‘you must not know about x,y,z so what you said is inherently flawed’, ask their opinion on x,y,z. if you disagree with something, ask why they think that way genuinely, and keep asking until one of you realizes that you might be a little less right than you thought previously.

this gives them time to research if they don’t know without the implication that they’re stupid/ignorant for not already reading that particular study or article or statistic. if they do know, they are more likely to say ‘good point, I didn’t think to mention it and I’ll talk about that next!’ because you won’t have established yourself as a threat to their self-image.

‘gotcha’ culture is toxic, and part of the reason social activism and veganism gets a bad wrap. tumblr and reddit are especially guilty of this, we tend to think criticizing for the sake of criticizing makes us more intelligent, that fully agreeing with something makes you a follower. in reality, it ostracizes and divides people. it breaks us up into factions, even among other vegans/social activists who agree on most subjects

(revolutions are often undermined because of nit-picking leading to disorganization and estrangement among revolutionists, making them weaker, not stronger.)

that isn’t to say we’re entirely at fault for how we’re perceived (our oppressors help with it immensely), or that we can’t disagree with our fellows, but if we go into a conversation assuming that someone is an idiot, we put people on the defensive. defensiveness just isn’t conducive to an open mind - they literally ‘close off’. people don’t want to agree with someone who has already demonstrated through tone/language that we think they are intellectually inferior.

it isn’t constructive. it doesn’t inspire people to learn. if our goal isn’t to teach but to argue, we will rarely help people the way we want to.

if a post doesn’t say what you want it to say, make your own post that says it, or add to it by saying ‘yes! and to expand on this, here’s x,y,z!’.

we cannot be all things at once, at least not alone. let’s all do better together.

with 4/20 coming up here’s a reminder that if y'all support the legalization of marijuana you need to also be supporting decriminalization + the release of everyone in prison right now for marijuana-related charges (some of whom are serving as much as 20+ years) just as hard, if not harder.

if your pro-marijuana activism only supports white people starting weed shops and getting rich off of it while there are people of color and other marginalized people in jail whose lives have been ruined for doing the same thing and people still getting arrested every day for it and you just…don’t give a shit about that, that’s not cool.

So between the white woman who called the cops on a black family having a BBQ in a park, the white man threatening to call ICE in nyc on Latina women for speaking Spanish, and a white woman literally yelling for the cops while screaming “gun!” on a black man for making a u turn in their neighborhood should educate us all that white people are realizing that institutional racism is real but they are using it for their own white supremacist social benefit.

They are calling for the authorities knowing that the cops will take their side and will either arrest or murder people of color for simply being seen or heard.

The only way we’re ever going to solve homelessness is by giving free housing to homeless people. 

Not cots in homeless shelters. Not beds in domestic violence shelters. Real, actual, permanent housing, with a door they can lock and the freedom to come and go as they please. 

It seems like a stupidly simple solution to an incredibly complicated problem, but this is the only way we’re ever going to end homelessness for good. Everything we’re doing right now is like flinging thimbles of water onto a house fire, and it’s time to call the fire department. Don’t believe me? Consider that:

  • Providing free housing is actually cheaper than what we’re doing right now. Even when you factor in the cost of having round-the-clock mental health staff on hand in housing facilities, giving the homeless housing costs about one-third as much as leaving them on the streets. How is that possible? People who sleep on the streets go to the hospital a whole lot more than anyone else. Being homeless is hard on your health - you are more likely to be assaulted, experience frostbite or heatstroke, or fail to manage a medical condition like diabetes. Homeless people are also more likely to get arrested for minor things like public urination or loitering, and it’s hugely expensive to arrest them, process them, put them in prison and put them through court dates. We save so much money and eliminate so many problems by just giving them somewhere to live. 
  • It’s extremely difficult to get a job when you don’t have an address. There’s a huge amount of prejudice against homeless people, and the same people who shout “get a job!” are the first to toss someone’s application in the trash as soon as they see “no fixed address”. Having an address also makes it easier to vote, open a bank account, keep up with your taxes and obey the terms of your probation. 
  • Homeless people waste a lot of time standing in line for shelters and services. Shelters have limited space available, and if you want to make sure you have a bed for the night, you need to be there long before the doors open. The same thing applies to soup kitchens. When your whole life revolves around being in line for vital services for hours on end, it’s hard to make much progress in getting your life together. Providing people with housing gives them more time and more flexibility to return to school, find jobs, or reconnect with family. 
  • It’s virtually impossible to manage a mental health condition or recover from addiction when you have no permanent housing. It’s just not going to happen. Recovering from a mental health issue requires stability, routine and a safe place to retreat to, which are impossible when you live on the streets. Living rough makes it extremely difficult to show up to appointments, hang on to your prescription medications and avoid trauma. It’s more efficient for everyone involved to provide housing to the mentally ill first, and bring mental health services right to their doors. 
  • It’s hard to make much progress in life when you can’t accumulate possessions. Think about how hard your life would be if you had no safe place to store your things. When you’re homeless and sleeping in shelters, you can only keep as much stuff as you can carry with you, and most of your energy is going to go towards keeping that stuff safe. You can’t take advantage of clothing drives, because you can’t carry too many clothes. You eat a lot of fast food, because you have nowhere to store or prepare groceries. Showing up to appointments, interviews or shifts is difficult, because you have to lug everything you own with you to ensure nothing is stolen. Having a room with a lock changes everything. 
  • It keeps children out of the foster system. Ending up on the streets often means losing your children - if you can’t provide children with a stable home, that’s grounds to take them away. Families fleeing domestic violence can find themselves re-traumatized when children are placed in foster care due to inadequate housing. Providing stable housing allows families to stay together and minimizes trauma for children and parents, as well as foster care costs. 
  • It preserves basic human dignity. It’s hard for most of us to imagine how humiliating and dehumanizing it is to be homeless. Imagine not having access to regular showers, or even toilets. Having nowhere to clean your laundry. Having your schedule dictated by a homeless shelter. Sleeping in rooms with dozens or hundreds of other people, with absolutely no privacy. Being chased out of businesses and public places. Enduring the crushing boredom of having nowhere to go. Being treated as less than human. It’s impossible to maintain hope and dignity in those conditions, and no human being should have to endure that. 

We live in a society that treats housing like something you have to “earn” by proving yourself worthy of it, and that toxic thinking has put us in a position where we’re literally willing to spend more money to have people sleeping in the streets. It has to stop. Housing is a bare minimum requirement for human dignity, and it should be a human right. Everyone deserves a safe and private space of their own, regardless of their abilities, mental health or circumstances. No one is asking for luxury condos here - dorm-style settings with private rooms and shared bathroom and kitchen facilities have proven to be effective. This isn’t about who “deserves” housing; if you are a human being, you deserve a safe place to call home. 

Apparently employees at Amazon are protesting the company selling their facial recognition tech to law enforcement and ICE. And Google saw a dozen employees resign when it came out that they were working with the military on drone strike tech, and have since ended the program.

I’m super excited about this. Software engineers at Google and Amazon (and Facebook, and Apple) have a ton of leverage. They’re in incredible demand and can get a job anywhere. The companies are terrified of losing their competitive edge, and consider it really important to be a place people want to work. It took a dozen resignations at Google to get them to fold on the drone program (and lots more expressions of outrage). If you’re a software engineer at a major tech company, you have 1/12 enough power to cancel a partnership with the military.

I think you should use it. Figure out where your ethical lines are, and then make it into a PR nightmare when your company crosses them. Quit, and leak your letter of resignation to Gizmodo. A dozen other tech companies will sling high-paying jobs at you within two weeks, I promise, and you won’t be working on bombing civilians in Afghanistan or on helping ICE. You do, actually, personally, have the power to change this. You can hit where it hurts because you are where it hurts; these companies care about attracting talent more than they care about anything else.

It’s really telling how there was such a widespread outrage for Brooklyn 99 being cancelled and from all the negative feedback it got picked up again while just yesterday a cop brutalized and strangled a 22 year old black man in a North Carolina waffle house yet all of y'all who hyped up a “progressive” cop propaganda show are silent.

I mean if that much outrage brought a show back imagine what it could do to help out real life social reform.

Reasons to stop fat-shaming

1. Fat-shaming contributes to poor mental health. Weight-based stigma was associated with increased scores of depression in individuals with obesity [1]. Unsurprisingly, weight stigma has also been associated with increased body dissatisfaction, and decreased self-esteem [2].

2. Fat-shaming works against weight loss on a metabolic level, and may contribute to chronic disease.ย Exposure to weight-based stigma and fat-shaming statements has been shown to increase cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and has been shown to inhibit weight loss. It also works against insulin, thereby increasing blood sugar levels. [3, 4]

3. Fat-shaming makes people exercise less. Research has shown that the more weight-based stigma people experience, the more they avoid exercising [2, 5]. There is no evidence that shaming people for their weight motivates them to exercise, and in fact, it seems to do the opposite.

4. Fat-shaming makes people eat more. Exposure to weight-based stigma leads to increased caloric consumption [6, 7]. This directly challenges the notion that shaming individuals to lose weight will have any sort of positive or motivating effect.

5. Do you really need a reason to be kind?ย Fat-shaming has been associated with a myriad of negative effects on mental and physical health, and has never been shown to have a positive, motivating effect on individuals. Most importantly, though, all people are worthy of respect and should not be judged, shamed, or pressured to act differently due to their weight or appearance.

The next time youโ€™re thinking of making a comment about someoneโ€™s weight out of a desire to โ€˜motivate themโ€™, or supposed concern about their health, consider the points above. Youโ€™re only doing harm to peopleโ€™s mental and physical health when you engage in fat-shaming behaviour.

References are included below the break, and Iโ€™m happy to chat about any of the above in more detail on request.

Keep reading


2018 is one gigantic dumpster fire. On the heels of several gutting Supreme Court decisions, Justice Kennedy is retiring from the court. While far from being an ally or friend, Kennedy was a reliable swing vote who wrote the majority opinion on several important civil rights cases, namely marriage equality. We should look very critically at his less than stellar legacy, but the real story is that Agent Orange now has been given a critical nomination to the Supreme Court that will swing it to the hard right for possibly decades to come. That means any hopes you had of some sanity in the judiciary can be kissed goodbye. So long access to abortions. So long to affirmative action. So long to environmental protections. So long to any hopes of reversing citizens united. So long to ending the death penalty. So long to more than I can comprehend in this moment. So long for any protections for immigrants/refugees that the court might have upheld. I can’t undersell the significance of this moment.

[Image Description: A black color block with text that reads “every human being is entitled to food, water, safety, shelter, medical care, and all other basic needs no matter who they are or where they’re from, whether they can afford it or not”]

I wish people understood that the vast majority of ‘bloggers’ on Tumblr have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about. Most of the discourse on this hellsite is just well-intentioned people parroting what they’ve read in popular text posts written by ignorant, narcissistic people who use their extremely limited, flawed, and often warped knowledge to elevate their social status. And since we’ve somehow decided that follower counts & the amount of notes on posts are reliable indicators of what is true/right/progressive, and since this whole website works like a goddamn cult where any semblance of disagreement with the currently accepted dogma is enough to get death threats, it just creates a vicious cycle where people’s ignorance and fear of being ostracised feeds other people’s ignorance and fear.

The entirety of mainstream Tumblr “feminism” & “activism” is based on virtue signaling, peer pressure, black-and-white thinking, misusing concepts, diluting theory, twisting scientific research, and spreading misinformation, lies and half-truths. People constantly use terms they simply don’t understand–terms whose meanings have been diluted and twisted so much that hardly no one knows where they come from, why they were created or what they actually mean.

Having a lot of followers doesn’t make a person smart or knowledgeable. Something isn’t true or right or progressive just because a lot of people say it is, because everyone seems to believe it, or because it’s written in a snarky tone. Please stop using Tumblr as your main source of information on feminism or other social justice issues (or anything, really). Stop giving so much power to random people on the Internet. Learn to think for yourself even if it’s uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to analyse and question everything you read or hear. And please check sources instead of believing everything you read.