Why animal rights?

By | Compassion, Wisdom | 2 Comments
Newborn (by Yannis Charatsidis)

Newborn (by Yannis Charatsidis)

“The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?'”
– Jeremy Bentham

Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. Many of us bought our beloved “pets” at pet shops. We had guinea pigs and kept beautiful birds in cages. We wore wool and silk, ate McDonald’s burgers, and even fished. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question “Why should animals have rights?”

In his book Animal Liberation, Peter Singer states that the basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration. This is an important distinction when talking about animal rights. People often ask if animals should have rights, and quite simply, the answer is “Yes!” Animals surely deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy, stated that when deciding on a being’s rights, “The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?'” In that passage, Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. The capacity for suffering is not just another characteristic, like the capacity for language or higher mathematics. All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take those needs into account.

Supporters of animal rights believe that all animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. We believe that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering. Animal rights is not just a philosophy—it is a social movement that challenges society’s traditional view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use. As PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has said, “When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Each one values his or her life and fights the knife.”

Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves. Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable. If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a pig? Dogs and pigs have the same capacity to feel pain, but it is prejudice based on species that allows us to think of one animal as a companion and the other as dinner.

[source: http://www.petaasiapacific.com/issues-animalrights.asp]
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Happy birthday to Cinda

By | Drawing and artwork | 5 Comments
Happy birthday to Cinda

Happy birthday to Cinda

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun, and today, the editor of juesatta, Cinda has started a new journey. It’s a special day for Cinda and the all of us.

Cinda is always a kind and faithful friend, someone who always cares about others more than herself. Not only does Cinda create laughter among us, rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

Happy birthday to Cinda and hope all your birthday dreams and wishes come true. We’d also like to express our gratitute and thanks to Cinda for helping in juesatta. May you be happy always.

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地球村

By | Beautiful Melaka, Compassion, Photography | 5 Comments
地球村 - 马来西亚国庆节快乐

地球村 - 马来西亚国庆节快乐

今早翻开了报纸《星洲日报》,我看见了一个熟悉的名字–曾昭智。他写了一篇“甲王朝治国理念的启示”的文稿,刊登在全国版的言路,发表他对我国马六甲皇朝时治国的理念与精髓。

曾昭智先生是我读书打工时的老板的股东,也算是半个老板。他为人没有架子且非常友善。记得打工时,曾老板很注重团队精神,差不多每个星期都约我们整组人一起吃晚饭。一方面促进员工们的友情,另一方面听取我们工作上的诉求或建议。他要求我们有话直说,十分开明。

自从几年前曾老板的儿子遭遇不幸后,他淡出了生意,过着半退休的生活。虽然我再也没有看见曾老板本人,却偶尔看到他缴稿到报刊的短文,作出对社会世事的评论。今天我再次看见了曾老板的文稿,而在这个富有意义的一天,刊登于全国版。

全文如下:

先父常对我说,我是家中最幸福的人了,因为我是在1957年独立后出生,理所当然是马来(西)亚公民,不必如兄姐般,须另申请公民权。因此,我是这块国土的子民,绝不是“寄居者”或“乘客”,国家宪法可以证明这一点。

我不是道地马六甲人,因为我在幼时跟隨父母举家从柔佛搬来的。倘若以一些有心人对土著与非土著的片面评断,我应该是马六甲的“外来人”了。然而,我却不曾遇过、听过,任何马六甲土生土长的人,把我当成外来人看待。我也不再把柔佛当成我家,因为我已定居於此,就是这么简单。

马六甲在15世纪全盛期,王朝版图涵盖整个马来半岛,苏门答腊东部,以及暹罗南部,堪称本区域之强国。马六甲与中国的关係始於明朝,至今已有600年,並曾接受过这个“外来者”的保护,以抗拒暹罗人的入侵,友好关係在郑和七下西洋时更臻最高峰。

这里有一条別名叫“Harmony Street”(和谐街)的街道,因为该街100米不到的距离间,並排了3座宗教场所:建於18世纪的古兴都庙,同样建於18世纪的回教堂,还有一座建於17世纪最古老的青云亭。不同宗教,种族,文化的人们,在这条街上和谐共存数百年,可见当时马六甲王朝之民风包容与宽厚。最为特殊的,要数该老回教堂了。因为在其屋簷下,还刻了相当显著的华人婚礼常用吉祥字“囍”,这验证了各族人民当时的宗教包容精神。市郊的一个老回教坟场,里头立有一座凉亭,亭內石碑刻有“蔡氏兄弟建於清朝宣统二年”的字样。

市內闹街与Hang Kasturi英雄墓隔邻的华人百年老庙;圣约翰山麓的华人古墓与回教老墓相依为伴了数百年,这些都证明了些甚么?我也还清楚记得儿时玩伴Abu,如何在其甘榜家中教会了我我星期一至星期天的马来文名词。

生活在这个曾见证了本区域古老歷史的马六甲,各族的集体记忆都是温馨的。15世纪时期,因为大家的和平共处努力建国,才会有当时的辉煌国势。

当下大马当政者,是否应该溯本逐源,探討马六甲王朝苏丹满速沙全盛时期的治国理念与精髓,看看先哲的治国政纲,给予了我们甚么样的启示?

我国向来都是以多元文化而闻名,却因为一小撮人为了势力与私利,作出了不负责任且破坏了种族之间和谐的言论,导致各族间的友情逊色于马六甲皇朝时期的那份和谐温馨。各族人的肤色也许不一样,流着的血却同样是红色的,流出的泪却是一样苦涩的。这世界也只有一种人,那就是地球人。我们的国,我们的家,就在这个地球村。

今天,是马来西亚独立53年后的国庆日。愿人人能够放下傲慢,走出偏见,互相体谅与包容,制造出一个温馨团结的家园。

亲爱的朋友们,祝国庆节快乐。Selamat Hari Merdeka.

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Portrait photography – Anita

By | Photography | 9 Comments
Anita, the model at the Lisbon Hotel of Portuguese Settlement

Anita, the model at the Lisbon Hotel of Portuguese Settlement

Two weeks ago, I received a call from Anita, a good friend of Henry and Jaron. She was the model for a portraiture shooting on the next day, and invited me to join the session with another two photographers. Since it took place at Portuguese Settlement where near to my house, I’d decided to come round.

Anita, the model

Anita, the model

Next evening when arriving at Portuguese Settlement, I was surprise to see the other two photographers being Loo-Wei and Max, the two friends from photonian. Max is one of the founders and also the one who introduced me to group. He takes photography seriously but always willing to share his knowledge with others. He is probably one of the friendliest yet craziest guys I know from the group.

It had been quite some time since Max and I had a shooting together, therefore we were so excited. We began the shooting session with Anita at the jetty area then moved to the sea front of Lisbon Hotel. With the patience and tolerance of Anita, Max and I were trying on shots from different angles and settings. Sadly it was cloudy and sunset was hardly being seen. What we could get was the soft light of the cloudy sky instead the mixture of lighting from the sunset.

After an hour of shooting, it was getting darker when we had to stop. While walking our way through the Lisbon Hotel to the car park, we passed by a large patio with a beautiful fountain. The fountain is illuminated with lights and it just came to our thoughts to shoot with these lights. Besides, Anita was ready to get soaked. By blending the motion of water and natural lighting available, we got some nice shots. Spending a few minutes at the fountain, we then headed off.

After sharing some of the shots I took, Max gave me some comments which were valuable and constructive to me. I really enjoyed shooting with Max and definately looking forward for another outing with him. And many thanks to Anita too for inviting me and also being nice and patience throughout the whole session. Luckily she didn’t get sick after getting wet that evening.

May all beings be happy. Share some shots I took.

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当我老了

By | Compassion | 8 Comments

  让我与大家分享与谈谈我看完这篇文章之后的收获。

请……


——当我老了——

当我老了,不再是原来的我。请理解我,对我有点耐心。

当我将汤汁洒到自己的衣服上时,当我忘记怎样绑鞋带时,请想一想当初我是如何手把手地教你。

当我一遍又一遍地重复你早已听腻的话语,请耐心地听我说,不要打断我。你小的时候,我不得不重复那个讲过千百遍的故事,直到你进入梦乡。

当我需要你帮我洗澡时,请不要责备我。还记得小时候我千方百计哄你洗澡的情形吗?

当我对新科技和新事物不知所措时,请不要嘲笑我。想一想当初我怎样耐心地回答你的每一个[为什么]。

当我由于双脚疲劳而无法走动时,请伸出你年轻有力的手挽扶我。就像你小时候学习走路时,我付你那样。

当我忽然忘记我们谈话的主题时,请给我一点时间让我回想。其实对我来说,谈论什么并不重要,只要你们能在一旁听我说,我就很满足。

当你看着老去的我,请不要悲伤。理解我,支持我,就像你刚开始学习如何生活时我对你那样。

当出我引导你走上人生的路,如今请陪伴我走完最后的路,给我你的爱与耐心,我会报以感激的微笑,这微笑中凝结着我对你无限的爱。

——完毕——

我默默地读完这文章。在文章的结尾右下角注明了:这篇文章择选自2004年墨西哥 ,十一月号的《数字家庭》里面的其中一篇文章。我终于知道这片感人的篇章源自何方。

或许你们会告诉我,你们曾在网络或某某报纸上看过这篇文章。当我想表达的是,这文章不是我在网络或某某报纸上看到的而是来自 “他” ,亲手交给我看的。

昨 天(26.8.2010 )原本被kenn Wai 约CJ一同喝茶吹水去。但是,因为我的不舒服而取消了。难得得空在家我就陪爸爸坐在客厅看电视,顺道聊天。我们聊了最近的国内外新闻,聊着我的外甥女,聊着妈妈, 聊着……聊着……不知道怎样地,我们聊到了这主题 —— “当我老了”。

爸爸从他的百宝箱里拿出了一篇文章给我看(我也不知道他从哪得来并剪下收藏)。我双手接过那张纸,双眼一看,大大的标题入眼,写到 “当我老了”。噢,他要我这篇报道,好像别有一番用意。他还说这篇报道够意思,也很受用,为人子女的我们应该要看。给了我后,他就转身上楼去,留下我一人默读着。

回想:

这,还真是一篇很够意思的文章。文笔细细地表达了为人迈向中年的内心话语,它表达了身为一位老人会面对的问题,导出他们老人的心声。而也间接说明了,为人子女的我们应该怎样对待称为老人的父母亲。爸爸让我看这篇文章,难道是想传递什么信息给身为子女的我们(我哥与我姐)吗?

或许,他(爸爸)要让身为子女的我们知道,妈妈与他已经步上老人的后尘,体力与视力也大不如前,听觉与敏捷能力也已衰退,他也许要我们在往后对他们俩老有耐心,或是渐渐接受他们已经是老人的事实。要我们多些时间陪伴他们,多些关怀他们。可能,他也想表达当他老时,面对很多老年的问题,希望我们多多体谅他们。就如文章里提到的: 当我需要你帮我洗澡时,请不要责备我。或,当我由于双脚疲劳而无法走动时,请伸出你年轻有力的手挽扶我。还有,当我一遍又一遍地重复你早已听腻的话语,请耐心地听我说,不要打断我。

我说:

会的。爸爸,我只想你知道:其实你的孩子们都很努力的在做着《弟子规》里的首孝弟。你不只让我们知道你与妈妈或许在将来会面对的问题,你也让我们知道,将来步入老年的我们也会面对的问题。我们不会对你置之不理,因为我们也不希望将来为人父母的我们被孩子遗弃。哥哥与姐姐虽然贵人事忙,不过我这张樱桃小嘴也已让他们知道了你的担忧。所以,妈妈会被姐姐们照顾到很好的。你让我看这篇文章的用意,其实我知道。

爸,我答应你,我不会在笑你不会用手提电话,而会细心地慢慢教你。我不会在对你唠叨(因为你每次看完报纸后都不会收拾好),而我会帮你收拾残局。我不会看到你睡迟醒过我,就去房间里吵你,说你像“猪”(因为赖床)。其实你会睡迟了,那是因为你每次睡到凌晨就会醒来一个多小时,之后才能再入睡。没有良好的睡眠,让你睡迟了,而我应该体谅你。好了,还有好多好多的事不能一一数出,唯有用行动去证明了。


天使的爸爸

天使的爸爸

 

这是天使的爸爸。摄于新加坡科学馆。今年五月份的学校假期爸爸与他宝贝的外孙女去科学馆。他应了外孙女的要求做在哈哈镜前面拍了这张照片。他还说他是心地善良的船长,为了不让坏蛋的海盗欺负,所以打扮要另类,潮流点。哈,真是表里不一。

“爸爸与妈妈,你的孩子们都很爱你们。”我说。

天使笔于

2010年八月二十七日


注:星洲日报 – 星云九月征文

题目:来,大声说出我爱你吧!

有兴趣的人士,踊跃投稿吧。文字数字在600字以内。来稿可电邮去:xingyun@sinchew.com.my

来稿请注明:

来,大声说出我爱你吧!

也请作者附上中英文姓名,联络电话与地址。

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回家吃榴莲

By | Photography, Rambling | No Comments
流连摊

流连摊

飞往槟城的那一夜,地面上刮起了强劲的风,飞机尝试降落好几次都不成功,机身强烈的晃动,最后一次尝试降落,飞机即将接触地面的那一刹那,我以为再也见不到槟城老家了。

飞机折返吉隆坡,待风停后再把乘客送往槟城。在槟城等待接机的爸爸显然不知道空中发生了什么事,很兴奋的告诉我他已经在外头等我们了。我只好说:“爸,夜深了,也不知道下一趟机几点才能到达槟城,你们先回去吧。”

爸和妈每次听到我回家都回很兴奋。尤其是每年的这个季节,即榴莲季节,也是我的生日。最近几年都兴致勃勃地吵着爸要吃榴莲。很多时候朋友们都不明白为什么我一定要回槟城吃榴莲,甚至还有人不知道槟城盛产榴莲。

飞机凌晨两点终于在槟城降落,爸和妈急急开车来接我回家。回到家已累到不成人形,休息一会儿又要赶早上茶楼,上茶楼喝茶也是回家的例行公事,我每次都回跟姐姐们说,陪两老上茶楼,志不在吃,乃在陪。

早晨天气凉凉的,爸开着他的老爷车走在亚依淡朝浮罗山背的路上。宛延的山路,一座座的榴莲山从车外晃过。时间还早,榴莲摊都还没开,好不容易看到了一档批发兼零售的榴莲摊,一问之下有红虾和葫芦,也就是此行我们志在必吃的榴莲品种。槟城美味的顶级榴莲,就在路边的榴莲摊吃到了。爸看我吃榴莲吃得开心,只吃了那么一两颗就停手了。妈也舍不得吃,眼睛直盯着榴莲看。我和朋友对望了一眼,吃了一个大概,就推说吃不下,让妈吃。

这里真好,到处充满人情味

爸妈在浮罗山背附近一个叫公巴(Teluk Kumbar)的小镇上交了30年的书,在这一带走动时常都会碰到自己的学生。开榴莲摊的、管榴莲山的、经营海鲜餐厅的,这些学生也都已经是五六十岁的阿伯阿婶了。爸爸兴致勃勃的走走停停,看到熟悉的榴莲摊就停下来聊天。谈到兴致,就说要上学生的榴莲山。我一夜没睡好,说真的要上山的意愿并不高,但是看到爸和妈兴高彩烈的样子,也不好扫他们的兴。

10年前上过的榴莲山,10后还是老样子。山路边的榴莲树依然伫立在那儿。不同的只是,爸和妈都老了,无法走上去,我们是开着车子上山的。爸爸的学生看到爸爸,高兴得不得了,采了好大一篮子比苹果还大的水蓊和两个尖不辣(cempedak)坚持要送给爸爸。只可惜榴莲已经送下山去卖了,吃不到。随行的朋友说,啊,这里真好,到处充满人情味。的确,在吉隆坡居住了这么多年,我还是会想念槟城的人情味。

车子满载着充满人情味的水果,下山了。爸爸说明年还要再来,我心里想:爸爸啊,我明年一定会回家吃榴莲的。只希望那时候你们还能够载着我,一起去吃榴莲。

文:裴拉(吉隆坡),刊登于星洲日报副刊

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