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Saul Williams

Saul Williams: Giving Up the Taste for Violence

Saul Williams: Giving Up the Taste for Violence

Posted 13 September 2008   by Jesse         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Saul Williams, veg, environment, health, bands, rant

I have to admit, I have a real soft spot for good spoken word. There's something awe inspiring in seeing a room full of people transfixed by words. And Saul Williams takes the cake for razor sharp lyrics with a political bite (check out any of his performances on youtube and you'll see what I mean). There's an intense passion behind his genre-leaping mix of performance poetry, underground hip-hop, rock, drum and bass and anything else that takes his fancy.

Speaking out on everything from workers' rights to the environment to the war in Iraq, Saul's music and activism meld seamlessly. His poetry inspires action and his actions inspire. With lyrical gems like "Quit rhyming about being hardcore. Be heart-core. What else is life worth living for?" how can anyone not dig his music and his message? And to top it off he's vegan!

I recently stumbled across an email Saul sent to his fans and thought I'd share a few of his insights with you all. Saul talks in big ideas and, being a poet, can write like words are going out of style. But his message is worth the read.

Martin Luther King said "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." If you ask me, Saul Williams is definitely alive and kicking. I hope you are too! Anyway, enough babble, here's what the man had to say:

"A story was recently recounted to me of a popular TV chef who chose to raise little piglets on his show to insure that they were fed organic food and not injected with chemicals (as is the practice on most factory farms), all for the sake of fattening them up for their slaughter and another primetime recipe. Yet, the time that this chef spent with these pigs taught him a valuable lesson (more valuable for the pigs, no doubt). What he learned was how intelligent pigs are. In fact, in recent times, it is common knowledge for most that pigs are arguably more intelligent than “mans best friend” and companion, the dog. For our chef, this meant switching gears and realizing that he could not consciously kill this intelligent animal, that it would constitute a murder as brutal as slicing your fluffy pets neck and watching it writhe and bleed to death, or sticking an electric prod up its ass and electrocuting it, if the fur or skin is of value…

I wouldn’t want to make you “lose your lunch”, but these are the common practices perpetuated by the factory farm industry on millions of animals a day, in the name of your breakfast lunch and dinner. And, no, I’m not simply talking about pigs, but also cows, chickens, turkey, horses (that’s right horses. Everyday), and fish. Everyday, our species participates in the mass genocide of other species without care or concern or even questioning whether the violence that we ingest and condone plays any role in our apathetic support of the war machine we have become. How is it that we as human beings can represent both the highest and most developed and lowest and least concerned forms of intelligence of any living species? Are we simply glued to age-old barbaric traditions that cloud our senses and render us inhumane in our dependence on comfort foods and practices?

[W]e all identify with the teachings of Gandhi, the genius of Einstein, the art of Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, Rembrandt and the talent and compassion of living artists like Alice Walker, Will Smith, The Mars Volta, Dead Prez, Prince and countless others. Some of us choose to emulate their styles, their fashion, their career choices, but why not their diets?

Perhaps the biggest issue at hand is not what our cars run on, but essentially what do we run on?

Basically if we shifted our compassion towards animals, the domino effect would heal the planet. We’d no longer be cutting down rain forests to create more space for cows to graze, we’d stop depleting the ocean of the necessary (keyword: necessary) food chains that our eco system depends on, diseases including many cancers, heart disease, obesity, and others which find their root in the food/toxins we ingest would slowly disappear as would our taste for violence."

To fill yourself up on some more thought provoking ideas check out Saul's full letter here.

Well, you've heard what Saul thinks. What do you think? Post a comment and let us know.

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We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.

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