vegetarian violinists

August 9, 2010 at 09:37 PM ·

so the violin is held together by glue made from rabbit skins,  and then there are gut strings and horse hair,   does any one else find it difficult being a vegetarian violinist?

Replies (58)

August 9, 2010 at 10:09 PM ·

The issue is irrelevant because all of the animal products that are used are by-products and violin making is not the primary objective for slaughter.  If the animals were slain strictly for the purposes that apply to us then the demand wouldn't be sufficient to maintain the supply.  

If anything, it's ethically sound to use as much of the animal as possible and not let parts of it go to waste, in my opinion.

August 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM ·

If our ancestors did not eat meat, we would still be monkeys and would therefore never be able to make music. No offence!!!

August 9, 2010 at 10:29 PM ·

There's synthetic horsehair, carbon fiber instruments, and steel and synthetic strings.  I suppose it can be done if you're particular enough.

August 10, 2010 at 01:24 AM ·

I'm a vegetarian, but these things don't bother me. I'm not going to put down my violin, or degrade it by replacing bits and pieces of it... so why even think about it? Does that make me hypocritical, maybe? But honestly... who really cares?

August 10, 2010 at 04:51 AM ·

If you live long enough eventually you see everything....

August 10, 2010 at 05:53 AM ·

I would gladly replace my bow hair with a synthetic substitue, but I never heard there is a replacement (that is as good as horse hair, of course). I wonder why, btw.

I never use gut strings, because I have no need to and even as a by-product they add to the demand for animal production. I always try to use products without animal content, where it is possible. But as a vegan I'd have to become a singer, I guess...

August 10, 2010 at 06:09 AM ·

if the dilemma gets to be too much, there's a whole slew of vegetable orchestra videos on youtube - kinda' cruel to carrots, however.

August 10, 2010 at 12:10 PM ·

I am an "almost vegetarian".  But since I don't plan on eating my violin, this doesn't bother me.

By the way, my instrument is carbon fiber, my bow is carbon fiber, and my strings are synthetic.  I just never thought about it till this thread came up.

-----Ann Marie

August 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM ·

I don't see what everyone feels so guilty about. After all, we violinists often torture and kill composers.
Sandy
 

August 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM ·

In general in China, they do not slaughter horses to harvest bow hair. They simply cut off the tail hair and let it grow back. Use that if it bothers you. The hair that is harvested from slaughtered horses is a by-product and not the goal of slaughtering the horse. I choose to use horse hair from China because I am a horse lover! As far as the rest is concerned if you really are bothered then use synthetic earth polluting substitutes, but have your vegetarian peace of mind. ;o)

We are organic in our house, and I'm sure my violin isn't!

 

August 10, 2010 at 01:12 PM ·

Sander: that is a good one.  When I was a child,about 9 years old ,I had the opportunity to win a contest at the conservatory and played a Viotti concerto with the Quebec symphony. I was not Menuhin at all, but at the time,I thought that violins were a kind of living things and I was so fascinated, that when going to sleep, I left the box open  on the desk, close to my bed and remember looking at it until I felt asleep. During the rehearsal, I have noticed a woman playing such a big violin that I said to myself,wow,they even grow when you get older and I suddenly stopped playing and shouted it loud, and everybody started laughing. Well,this was my first encounter with the viola. I was not impressed with the cellos or the basses,because I had seen them before. I could not make the difference between the violn and the viola.

Well, all of this to point out that the entire instrument is really a sort of living thing. Maple, pine, glue,gut  strings, bow hair and the sound,the beautiful sound. Still look at my violin the same way and with the same fascination as I did when I was a child. Mystical instrument, it truly is...

August 10, 2010 at 06:26 PM ·

Marc -- Loved your story.  :)

I've always felt, too, that my violins are living beings.  Besides the spirits of whatever plants and animals went into making them, they also contain a bit of the spirit of each person who has worked on them and played them.  I'm in total awe every time I touch them, or even just look at them!  And I've said a prayer of thanks for each plant's and animal's sacrifice in contributing to the violins' existence.

August 10, 2010 at 06:44 PM ·

Mark and Marsha...just beautiful and I totally agree...lovely :o)

August 10, 2010 at 07:07 PM ·

During the rehearsal, I have noticed a woman playing such a big violin that I said to myself,wow,they even grow when you get older and I suddenly stopped playing and shouted it loud, and everybody started laughing. Well,this was my first encounter with the viola.

As a violist, I couldn't stop laughing at that one.  That is a hilarious story.

---Ann Marie

 

August 10, 2010 at 08:56 PM ·

Ann...I know, that was hysterical! I can just picture it! So cute!

August 10, 2010 at 09:38 PM ·

The woman with the big violin gave me a chocolate box after the concert and a nice card... I still have the card... She seemed to be like a beam of light in that orchestra, and while performing, I was looking at her,not the conductor, because she smiled and I felt secure...

Why am I thinking about all this... Happy moments I guess,and today is such a nice day,so quiet out here, and peaceful.  Ever since, I loved women with violas... Thanks Lisa  Marsha, Anne-Marie and everyone for your nice comments!

August 11, 2010 at 01:11 AM ·

 I find it a bit difficult and I wish there was a viable synthetic bow hair, but so far there's not.  I don't use gut strings.

It's a much weightier subject than wood vs. carbon fiber or which sonata is your favorite--the lives of other creatures are at stake.  If they own their lives (rather than being here for our benefit) then it becomes difficult to justify using their body parts for our forms of entertainment and art.

Personally, I think the often-heard line about byproducts of the meat industry is a huge cop-out.  It's right up there with the "screaming carrots."  

August 11, 2010 at 03:45 AM ·

If a person has a moral problem with the makeup of anything, they should simply avoid it. Why does it sound like people who think using animal parts are wrong, expect everyone to comply with their ideas? I eat meat, I use animal products. And I won't insist that YOU do, so please don't insist others don't.

August 11, 2010 at 04:20 AM ·

 Mr. Harris, the "line about byproducts" is not a cop-out because the truth of it is that those parts would go to waste if we didn't make use of them.  Economically speaking, there are much wider-used industries that are responsible for those slaughters.  You can believe whatever you want to believe but remember that it is the philosophy of many native peoples of the world to use all parts of the kill so that the animal didn't die in vain.  Also remember that if the primary demands on those animal products ceased to be, the musical instrument industry would have to find a completely different way to cope because our needs are miniscule compared to the demands the food industry has on those animal products.  I know it seems sad but basically the Chinese meat industry is enough to supply the entire world with bow hair.  Animal glue comes from the hides of animals that were slain for meat, not for their hides).  For gut strings it is entirely the same situation (though I don't use gut because I prefer the tuning stability of Dominants).  

I'm not trying to get on your case or tell you that you're wrong, I had similar concerns but when I did the research and discovered what the actual numbers are of the supply and demand ratios, I realized that we are actually not even contributing to the demand.  That's why it's not a cop-out. 

August 11, 2010 at 05:44 AM ·

 Greetings,

I`m sorry but I thought Rebecca`s comment to Mike was not only unpleasant and uncalled for but also mistakenly construed  his words as some kind of demand aimed at her and other meat eaters.  A little more thoughtful reading would see it was nothing of the kind.

I think Michael also misinterpreted what Mike was saying to some extent.  The cop out is not becau e of the quantity but because one cannot hold one inviolate position and then justify a slight deviation on the grounds that they are waste products.  However, at least Michael wasn`t rude.

I have to confess some of the supposedly lighthearted comments on vegetarianism are offensive and upsetting to me.   There hasn`t actually been any proselytizing by people with these beliefs so I respectfully request that the subject is treated with some respect and a genuine desire for understanding and exchange.   people`s deeply held lifestyle beliefs are as deeply held as religion for many people.  That is soemthign worth remebering.

It`s sort of like the shoulder rest debate I suppose....

Cheers

Buri

August 11, 2010 at 06:36 AM ·

I'm not a vegetarian, but I have been in the past. My reason was not to protect the animals, but to control what went into my body (I siwh I had that kind of control again.... but that's another story!).

One part of the paradox for domestic animal use is that although we may be in part responsible for the death, their purpose to us is the reason for their life. How many animals would not exist if they were not destined to be used by people? Which is worse, not allowing them the life they have, or ending it?

The only way I reconcile myself with that is to recognize that I am part of something bigger, and they are too. I have a responsibility to give, to offset all that I take. I cannot live, without impact on other parts of life, so I must do so with decorum and dignity.

August 11, 2010 at 07:55 AM ·

truth is ... big ones eat the little ones and when the little ones become sufficiently great in number, they eat the big ones.  it's a fundamental process of life - opinions are superfluous.

i was a vegetarian for years - my wife and i had a wholefood, vegetarian restaurant in london.  what brought my diet to a screeching halt was an aging, italian nun who brought me half a chicken when i was in the hospital.  i didn't have the words to explain, so rather than cause offense, i 'et it.

it was delicious.

the dietician who administered the feeding of concentration camp survivors after wwII (they'd been starved for so long and were so weak, the food the soldiers were giving them was killing them) came to the conclusion that all food is good food.  if i found myself on a desert island with only the cheapest, glossiest, most horse-hairiest, gut-stringiest violin to play, i'd probably start thinking the same way about it as well.

August 11, 2010 at 08:00 AM ·

It's true that we have to be logical in our choices. At least we need to be in harmony with our own beliefs. The person who started this thread asked a question, and did not (to me anyway) seem to be implying that we act like him. But, at the same time it did make me think! If being a vegetarian could mean that you cannot use any animal by-product then his life is going to be difficult! It would be illogical to replace animal by-products with synthetic items, which pollute the earth (even their production does). Maybe instruments like the violin are simply a result of the advancement of mankind toward technology, even if we see them as "low tech". In order to advance mankind has used what is at his disposal, and mankind has always been an omnivore. We can produce synthetic everything to mimic things found in nature, but it seems like an illogical thing to do. If I could use a 100% natural PC I would, but it doesn't exist!

August 11, 2010 at 08:38 AM ·

No one, no plant nor animal can exist without impacting on another living entity. Everything we do, every choice we make affects something else. It's what we feel we can live with, I guess. 

August 11, 2010 at 10:01 AM ·

Well I'm sorry if I misinterpreted what he was saying.  I'm glad that I didn't come across as rude because rudeness wasn't my intention.  I was just trying to explain the economics of the matter.  Also the mention that we encounter animal byproducts in daily life without even realizing it most of the time is perfectly valid.  Many of the small-print ingredients in foods that even vegetarians consume on a daily basis are derived from animal byproducts.

August 11, 2010 at 01:12 PM ·

That's ok Michael, it's easy to misunderstand and be misunderstood online!

August 11, 2010 at 09:08 PM ·

I am an animal lover and I truly have a big complex with using any animal products. I plan to be veggean when I won't live in the family house anymore even though it is a small action...

Saddly, It is really impossible to not use something that abused animals... Drugs, makeup, meat, your shoes etc  It's everywhwre!  I say "abused" since (from documentaries I saw) lab and meat animals are really not always well treated even in "civilized" countries... Except for living naked on the sidewalk, you'll always use something from an animal...

The best thing (for animal lovers) is a reduction of products that could have make suffer animals and participating in events and actions to make them have nicer living conditions and beeing respected.  As for playing violin in itself, I agree with Michael. Since it's by-products, just the violinists alone with no other demand wouldn't be ennough to justify to kill animals...

Anne-Marie

August 12, 2010 at 01:35 AM ·

Buri,

 

Excellent post. This vegan (strict-vegetarian) thanks you.

Sometimes one has to compromise. Playing the violin is one of the very, very few things I've had to do so on. It's a slight discomfort, but I try to make up for it in other ways.

August 12, 2010 at 07:48 PM ·

A woman I know has an older German violin, from about 1800.  On the back there is a picture of a tree, and an inscription.  Translated from Latin, the inscription reads something like, "Alive, I was silent.  In death I sing."  That maker was thinking about just these issues.

August 12, 2010 at 11:45 PM ·

 The reason I say it's  a cop-out is because I believe many people use that as a convenient excuse, as if it absolves them of any wrongdoing.  If that's the case, then there's a chance that exposing that falsehood brings them closer to giving up the practice in question.  I'll take that chance at the risk of alienating someone who may never agree on the issue.  However, I apologize if I sounded presumptuous previously.

The other thing about the byproduct industry is that it gives financial support to the primary killers, which is not something I want to do.  

You don't have to live naked on the sidewalk or anything close to it.  It's hard to be 100% pure, but you can be very close to it these days.  I have some nice looking vegan dress shoes that I've worn to wedding gigs for the last 15 years, but I've yet to find a decent-looking vegan suit to wear to the same gigs.  Wallets, belts, shoes--that stuff is out there in an animal-free version and has been for a long time.  Where I live cloth car seats outlast leather ones by a long shot, so sometimes it's a win-win situation.  

As for the singing tree, were it able to communicate, I think it would sound less like "please end my life and use my carcass to make a musical instrument" and more like "hey, buddy,  bugger off and go make a fiddle out of your own self."

Anyway, back to the original question, once again, I find the situation with  things like the horsehair and the suits unfortunate and I hope for a better resolution in my lifetime.

 

August 13, 2010 at 11:15 AM ·

this is the first time on v.com where reading a thread actually makes me feel nauseous.  :)

August 13, 2010 at 04:24 PM ·

> As for the singing tree, were it able to communicate, I think it would sound less like
> "please end my life and use my carcass to make a musical instrument" and more like
> "hey, buddy, bugger off and go make a fiddle out of your own self."

Still, trees don't last forever.  We might as well make nice things out of some of them in the meantime.

If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?

If a tree is made into a violin, does it make a prettier sound?

August 13, 2010 at 04:51 PM ·

 OK Mr. Harris, I was trying to be respectful of your point of view before but now you've implied that we're committing "wrongdoing" and you mention "giving up the practice in question".  I'm just going to have to be blunt and mention that no one's forcing you to play the violin and continuing to do so while you make statements like those has a distinct smell not unlike hypocrisy.  Whether you continue to play is up to you and I'm not suggesting that you quit this forum but I'd like to advise that you reconsider these puritanical sentiments which you express on a website devoted to people who don't feel any guilt in playing their favorite instrument and will continue to do so regardless of what you have to say about it.  I don't mean to be rude, but I do mean what I say.  I put that in the kindest way I could muster.

August 13, 2010 at 07:52 PM ·

 This thread is turning into something really hilarious and I love it as much as I enjoyed the Three Stooges in the olden days. Keep it up guys free entertainment is not easy to get.

The only thing in nature that the violin threatened to my knowledge is the Pernambuco tree. But I now fear for the horses too. Bring on the empty horses.  

August 14, 2010 at 12:12 AM ·

I am a violin maker. There is no substitute for hide (animal) glue. The same for horse hair for bows.

Every violin will have some of the blood of its maker too!!!

www.manfio.com

August 14, 2010 at 12:35 AM ·

 Al--maybe it was something you ate?  :)

Michael--yes, I think it's wrong to kill another living creature needlessly e.g. it makes me uncomfortable to use horse hair.  That's the whole thrust of the original post.  The fact that the animal may have been killed for meat doesn't make me feel any better about it.   At this point I find it a tired and weak argument.  It's not a personal indictment.

The website is not "devoted to people who don't feel any guilt..." etc.  I don't know where that comes from.

Charlie, I agree we should make nice things out of trees.  From some of the info out there, we have good reason to be concerned about the effects of cutting too much too soon.  I think we should re-use as much as possible.  A friend of mine has an outstanding classical guitar made from an old church door in Spain that might otherwise have been tossed.  I know of a solid rosewood piano case that was bought by a luthier locally.  Some luthiers are top-notch scroungers.  

Dion, I guess you're easily amused!  

 

 

 

August 14, 2010 at 01:37 AM ·

 Alright, I can explain why I wrote that.  It is my understanding that this website is devoted to people who love to play the violin (aka violinists), hence the name of the website.  That's "where that comes from", and I doubt that everyone else here is racked with guilt over it.  I'm not going to bother arguing with you about this, I already said what I meant to say and I have more productive things to do.  I quit this thread.

August 14, 2010 at 02:34 PM ·

Well, some people feel a little guilty to play violin for these reasons.  I love animals. While I rationnally know that any of this animal killing won't stop just if I give up the violin, I think I and everyone must do simple actions to help animals and nature in other ways. As I said, may it be drugs or other things, not using any animal products is almost impossible (very sadly). But helping to improve the situation is possible!

Per example, I do these:

- compost

- recycle

- give money to natural/wildlife or animal protection societies (one day, I'm thinking of beeing more active in these)

- go vegean (as I seriously plan to do as soon as I'll be out of home)

- plant many trees around home

- make animals happy when I have the occasion (if I go to a farm, I bring carrots and apples, walk dogs at a shelter etc)

- birdfeeders.  Birds in cities have no place to live because we took it all so it's our responsibility to contribuate in their feeding in some ways in my opinion. 

- use green products

etc...

Anne-Marie

August 15, 2010 at 03:17 PM ·

I've been a vegetarian and a violist, both for a long time. It's not possible to avoid animal products entirely, as it seems to be in the case of instruments, but you can easily come close.

Just because you can't attain 100 percent perfection in something-- isn't a reason to do nothing. (That applies to both vegetarianism and playing.)

August 19, 2010 at 01:50 PM ·

 There are other things, too, such as adopting "rescue" animals and working in education or politics, even just writing letters or emails.  A lot of people who are otherwise headstrong environmentalists still don't know about the effects of agricultural livestock on the environment, for instance.

I'm amazed by some of the changes that have occurred recently--some states in the US are passing laws regarding the treatment of animals on "factory farms" and some parts of Spain (including Barcelona) have just outlawed bullfighting.  

But just as with your instrumental practice, there's a drive to achieve as much as possible in spite of the odds.  So I'm willing to support research that might produce an equal or better substitute for hide glue, horse hair for bows, etc.  I don't think I ever suggested giving up playing over these issues.

August 19, 2010 at 04:27 PM ·

What a magnificent plug for a concert - no horses were harmed to make this music;as things seem to have quietened down a bit I'll try to go through the various points.The first is compromise, from the moment that we are conscious we are making ethicalchoices most of which are some sort of compromise and this is very notable for vegetarians:  after all how many vegetarians do you know how go around with a broom to clear insects from their path like some indian religious types do.   The second is the bigger picture,that being a vegetarian is a choice of a way of interacting with the environment,and that particularly as violinists the most noticeable way that we do this is throughuse of pernambuco.   The third is rabbit skin glue, it would be nice to say that itdepends on the type of rabbit, the world be a lot better place if all australian rabbitsbecame glue, think of how many species would come off the endangered list, but in practiseI have never come across a violin that wasn't held together by animal glue, so it seems as if there is no choice to exercise here. The fourth is horse hair, I think that usually it is imported from hongkong and comes from mongolian horses, so the previous use of yourbow hair was probably a horse in the gobi desert using it to swat flies, it is probably better to stick with this as apart from anything else it provided some sort of earned income for nomads, and the alternative if there is a synthetic one would probably come from non-renewable resources such as oil. The fifth is cat gut, which is usually not from cats,it is a gruesome how this is obtained which involves people going around abattoirs collectingthe guts of various animals used in the modern agri-business, here it is possible to exercisechoice as there are good synthetic alternatives, I actually prefer the sound of gut strings butthe thought of gut under my fingers is too much.

August 22, 2010 at 07:16 AM ·

Marc V., I don’t know on which basis you associate evolution with meat-eating, but I’m quite sure that such ideas are spread more by butchers than by scientists. According to common sense we see that the vegetarian apes are a way smarter than the meat-eater beasts. Moreover, some of the dumbest people I met in life do eat meat, so I can’t see any link between meat-eating and intellectual development … Anyway, you might not be aware that some of the contemporary scientists despise the evolutionary theory of Darwin as being absolutely ridiculous and baseless.

 
As a vegetarian myself- for ideological, ethical and religious reasons- I don’t use gut strings. As for the hair, unless we go to the source, it can’t be ascertained if it came from slaughtered horses- what may not be easy to find out. There is possibly a wide variety of raw materials that can be turned into glue, and I believe that if someone is really interested, it won’t be difficult to find a substitute for rabbit’s glue in a civilization that can manufacture spacecrafts and computers. The exact problem seems to be the lack of interest. I appreciate the fact that there are at least a few of us violinists concerned about the issue, for even a few can change the world. In countries where the number of vegan consumers is meaningful, some of the commercialized products come with a green dot, indicating that they are free from animal products. In India, for example, most eatables come with a green dot, as well as some articles like soap (which otherwise contain animal fat) and medicines. I hope we will come to the point when such policy is adopted in every country and violin products may also be available in the vegan category.
 This is what I would call evolution, for at least this would show some concern for a class of humans, since the others couldn’t care less about millions of animals unnecessarily tortured and slaughtered daily. Sincerely, I can't see how insensibility and indifference towards the suffering of others can be a symptom of evolution.
 
 

August 22, 2010 at 09:16 PM ·

Mark, you mention ecological issues associated with pernambuco, but don't go into detail.  From what I understand, use of the wood for bows has nothing to do with the endangerment of the species.  That comes from clear-cutting forest to have more room to graze cattle for fast-food hamburgers and the like.  Bow makers have been in the forefront of attempts to save pernambuco's environment and to ensure a sustainable source of wood.  Vegetarians do have the high ground here, as the amount of land, water, and vegetable protein it takes to produce animal protein is mind boggling.

August 22, 2010 at 11:18 PM ·

There was a young man living amongst Chinaman

Who abhorred that animal products are used on the violin,

He comically did complain

About products used from the slain,

And horse hair that should rather be swatting flies and vermin.

 

August 23, 2010 at 07:06 AM ·

There was a young man from Mongolia

Who sold horse hair to makers of the violia,

And to further inflame

Vegetarians by name,

He now makes glue from the horses appendia,

And is a sad case of human dementia.

 

August 23, 2010 at 07:18 AM ·

There once was an old violin player

That did not want to be a horse slayer

So he quit the violin

Took up drinking Gin

'Cause killing yeasties does not compare!

August 23, 2010 at 08:44 AM ·

That old drunken Gin joint player 

Did not want to be an animal slayer,

Repenting for his sins

He traded all his violins

For a honky tonk with no Ivory layers.

 

August 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM ·

I love my dear violin
And the animal products therein
It's made out of rabbits
Whose terrible habits
Cause the Mother Superior chagrin
 

August 23, 2010 at 03:52 PM ·

The rabbit has a right to acclaim

Despite Mother Superior's prissy disdain,

That the glue they produce

Is a product science can not refuse

For it is their proliferation that enables violin to sustain its refrain.

August 24, 2010 at 09:03 AM ·

In Bangladesh there is a saying: “While the dry cow dung burns, the fresh cow dung laughs.”

If for some of you this thread has been hilarious, to me it just evinces how an excess of animal protein really conduces to rudeness and dims one’s capacity of apprehension.
I, and perhaps most vegans, do not object to the use of animal products per se, but rather to the means by which they are obtained. I would be glad to play on gut strings and walk on leather shoes if I knew they were obtained without violence, from animals that died naturally.  All the animals living today will die soon or late, and the only reason for their slaughter is the fact that it is not economically interesting for the ‘owners’ to feed them till they die. This is exactly the same mentality that led to the exploitation of negroes and aborigines not so long ago: they were considered as property, and could be used, abused, raped, beaten and killed at their ‘owner’s’ discretion.  
If some of you think that this discussion is very silly, you may have a look at some of the PETA videos. After that, if someone still thinks that being stripped alive from tail to nose is hilarious, then I would suggest joining the psycho.com forum instead.

August 24, 2010 at 05:52 PM ·

Ah, this was the first thread I read after a long sabbatical from v.com.  So much entertainment!  Honestly, I am happy to take part in the celebrated food chain, preferably toward the top.  If food were a religion, I would worship the respectful treatment of the taking of animal flesh, and honor the demise of my prey in culinary aesthetic celebration.  We would all kill our own food instead of paying someone else to do it.  Waste would be the utmost sin of disrespect.  And when I die, I would like to be eaten by bears.

August 24, 2010 at 06:29 PM ·

This reminds me that I forgot to mention that women were also in the list of negroes, aborigines and other tradable 'soul-less creatures'.

Even nowadays, in countries like Nepal, girls are largely traded just like animals. Of course, the profit is good enough to compensate any remorse their 'owners' might feel...

August 24, 2010 at 07:10 PM ·

There was a disturbed young hoofer on V.comb

Who equated the violin to an A-bomb, 

Lampooning the products used in its construction

As a barbaric assault on divine animal function,

He now correlates genocide and meat eating with casual aplomb. 

August 24, 2010 at 07:26 PM ·

This is still getting funnier...

Next time I'll meet Porky Pig, Daffy Duck or another animal, I'll ask them whether they prefer to be eaten with humour, with respect to human tradition or simply with indifference.

(Everytime someone brings out the old argument "man has always eaten animals, it's natural", I imagine him still sitting in the trees with his clan)

August 24, 2010 at 07:46 PM ·

 It works both ways; ask Mr Lion, Mrs Crocodile, Ms Tiger or siblings Piranha if they will consider your eating habits. Maybe they will make concessions for vegetarians. Man could only develop when the big reptiles were wiped out. 

August 24, 2010 at 08:11 PM ·

A christian in the wilderness gets into the claws of a grizzly bear.
Scared to death, he cries out “my god, how I wish this beast was a christian like me!”
The Lord answers his prayer. The grizzly takes his paws away from him and puts them together. Just as the man wants to praise the lord for his rescue, he hears the grizzly murmur  “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gift to us be blessed. Amen.”

August 25, 2010 at 12:29 AM ·

Tobias,

I just got back from 9 days off work, and spent it sitting around a fire with my clan, and all we roasted was marshmellows... am I doing something wrong?

It seemed so fun at the time...

Dion,

I'm not so sure I agree; without competing against other things like predators and climate, we would not have developed the parts of our brain necessary to have created TV, which then turns those parts to mush.

August 25, 2010 at 04:52 AM ·

 @Roland :

Watch out for those marsh mellows I suspect they change brains into mush, then a fellow can not enjoy modern technology.  

When I say big reptiles I mean dinosaurs, pterosaurs and other saurs, not modern day pussy cats.

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Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

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