Je suis Charlie

Disbelief, confusion, extreme sadness, despair, is some of the emotions I felt when I heard about the Charlie Hebdo murders today.

Those people where not only journalists, they were artists, they were culture, they were this part of our world that not only helps us understand it but also bear with it. They were bringing a touch of pleasure to people’s lives, they were bringing them laughs, they were fighting for a free world where nothing was strong enough to frighten them. Why would artists have to be afraid of anything?

If the murderers are caught, I do not wish them above all things to be “prosecuted” and “punished” as we could hear throughout the day from different people (the president among others), what is punishment anyway? I do hope they can be interrogated, I do hope they can be understood, the root of the problem has to be found. I would really love to know what is going on in their heads. “God is great”? “We have avenged the prophet”? They were acting in full control, prepared, they must have planned this for a while, because of what? Because of a hierarchical world where some values are sacred, more sacred than others? Values? A culture of values against a nihilist culture where nothing is sacred anymore? Which is which?

Who is guilty here? Young people lost in their lives? Products of a former colonialist country? Products of a religion? Or is the religion a mean for them to canalize their inner demon?

Maybe they were acting for a world of “values”. I do not know. All I know is that those murderers forgot about the most important of values: life. That is the fundamental right of every sentient being to bodily integrity. Nothing is more sacred than that.

 

Published in: on January 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Waking up to spirituality without religion

“The aims of spirituality are not exactly those of science, but neither are they unscientific”.

With Waking Up, Sam Harris achieves something that has been needed for a long time in our modern society: to combine a secular spirituality with the reason of science. Of course, there have been spiritual scientists before, like Carl Sagan or Albert Einstein among others, but they often tended to be mystical in their approach and delivery, which is something Harris succeeded in, if I may, demystifying… Maybe it is due to his dual formation of philosopher and scientist, renewing with the lost tradition of the likes of Descartes and Lucretius, in times where one usually always was both – of course there was less science to grasp then, so the task was easier…

For Harris, it all started with MDMA… Another success of this great book, is how this prominent intellectual speaks openly about drugs and their powerful role in opening people’s minds. “The “war on drugs” has been lost and should never have been waged”.

It is of crucial importance that our society understands that by being spiritual – in a non religious way – they can improve not only their own life but those of other sentient beings, including, of course, the non human animals, and also improve the condition of our environment. It is a subject Sam Harris doesn‘t go too much into details, but, if I may, I would like to add that the logical consequence of spirituality is compassion, and one of the biggest compassionate impact we can have on the world is to boycott animal products, because by doing so we spare countless lives lived in suffering, we save gallons of water and trees, etc, etc, the benefits are too long to list here but worth looking in to.

I really hope this marvelous book helps people enter into a better world, for everybody’s sake.
Published in: on December 28, 2014 at 4:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Zombie movie

This is what happened to me yesterday on a movie set… More info soon.

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In the trailer there was also this:

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This is the final result but without the blood and all the mess they put on me right before shooting my scene with Alfie Allen (known for Game of Thrones):

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And a short video during the process, here:

 

Published in: on December 10, 2014 at 3:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Filming “Live Laugh Love”

 

Published in: on November 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sharon Tate: Recollection

L.A. Woman

I was 16 when I became a fan of Sharon Tate and she remains my biggest inspiration to this day. Her unbelievable beauty, kindness, angelic aura and talent are something I look up to and make me want to be a better person every day.

I’ve been waiting for Debra Tate’s book about her sister for more than 10 years and it is a book I deeply needed because it shows the light and love of Sharon’s life.

At the Book Soup, Debra answered a Q&A before a crowd of Sharon’s fans in a graceful and moving way, there was true magic and reverence in the air.

After the Q&A, Debra devotedly signed everyone’s book and posed for pictures and had warm words for each of us. She even reached to my arm when I told her how much Sharon means to me and told me it would mean Sharon…

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Published in: on June 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Contribute to my novel “Domaine”

See if you want to support my work on a novel about the power of freedom and compassion:

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I just received a contribution by Luke Nysen and am deeply grateful and thankful to him.

Update:

I have received three new contributions! My deep thanks and gratitude go to an anonymous contributor, to Justin Valis and to Kathy Schramm.

It is amazing and beautiful to see that people support my art, it gives me all the more strength and inspiration to make it great and valuable.

Off to write now.

Published in: on March 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Domaine

I am trying to put everything on hold – everything meaning my activism (which is not really possible, as I am working on three projects already…), my filmmaking, my screenwriting and my acting – so I can write Domaine, the novel I began back in 2010. I am very inspired by Emily Brontë again.

I am planing to take a trip across England very soon, if money allows it, since my novel takes places in England and Switzerland (that I already know quite well, having cycled along the lake Leman several times on beautiful hot Summers).

Emily Bronte

Published in: on March 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Queerphobia and veganphobia”

I began working on spreading the word on vegephobia (read about it here) a year and a half ago and the people I reached to mostly reacted with relief, gratitude and deeper understanding of their situation. Because by learning about vegephobia you can see that you were not alone in being harassed, mocked, teased and put pressure on and you can understand that the real target was not you but the animals killed for consumption and that it all comes from our society being deeply speciesist, thus, instead of blaming the vegephobic people themselves you can understand them and blame society.

But, a small number of people (whom I suspect not to have read and/or understood the brochure) expressed concern about the term vegephobia turning vegetarians into yet another oppressed group and that, instead, we should show how easy and wonderful the world of vegetarian is… That, unfortunately, is exactly a result of vegephobia, because, let’s face it, the world is, still, much easier for carnists…

And, unfortunately, an even smaller number of people were upset that we dare compare vegephobia to homophobia. We did compare the two because the mechanisms of both are very similar and because they both stem from a phallocratic society. But, after my second talk about vegephobia, in Luxembourg, I was very moved to hear the testimony of a vegan homosexual, thanking us for making the connection and telling us that being vegetarian and homosexual, he did feel doubly attacked.

A few weeks ago I read Defiant Daughters (download the ebook here) and I was not really surprised but still amazed that Margaret Perret, one of the writers of that collection of essays, came up in Queering the Dinner Table with the word “veganphobia”, apparently not knowing that the term vegephobia existed since 2001, but, most of all, she compared it to “queerphobia”:

“I have found that comments about my queerness and veganism reflect queerphobia and veganphobia in patriarchal culture, respectively.  Adams presents several theoretical insights into why verbal attacks against LGBTQQIA people and vegans are structurally determined in a similar way in a patriarchal society. Perhaps most striking is the observation that both fail to take seriously the ethical, political, and personal dimensions of a vegan or queer lifestyle. Trivializing and delegitimating, verbal attacks against LGBTQQIA people and veg*ns (meaning both vegans and vegetarians) are attempts to disempower the reformer and uphold Western, patriarchal hierarchies. It is clear that responses to my veganism are not earnest efforts to understand the theoretical and moral basis for my dietary choices, but rather teasing manipulations, as indicated by ludicrous questions about the sentience of plants, the legitimacy of carnivorous animals, or the stringency of my dietary commitments. By diverting the conversation from a serious analysis of food ethics, the speaker avoids a thoughtful reexamination of the contents of her or his dinner plate and reinforces the dominant discourse that excludes veg*n voices. Queerness also threatens patriarchal hierarchies by presenting an alternative to the traditional heterosexual model. As veg*ns struggle to make their meanings understood within a culture fiercely committed to meat-eating, LGBTQQIA people struggle to make their meanings understood within a culture that only accepts the legitimacy of heterosexual relations. What is of moral, personal, political, and existential importance to veg*ns, LGBTQQIA people, and other marginalized people often becomes entertainment for those who wish to discuss, but not seriously engage with what it means to be veg*n, queer, or otherwise marginalized. I found this to be very much true to the process of coming out as a vegan and a queer person. While I have found so much acceptance and love among my friend groups and Bay Area communities, only a few members of my family know that I am vegan, and even fewer know that I am queer. I have largely kept silent about my dietary choices and sexuality because I know that my family ascribes to the Western cultural values that hold queer-vegan perspectives to be illegitimate, illogical, and inferior. When I first told my mom about my sexuality, she advised, “You are just going to have to play up the parts of yourself that you want other people to know about.” Still recovering from the stress of coming out, I just nodded. […] And later, when I told my mom about my veganism, she responded, “I just think you’re being really extreme”.

Published in: on February 17, 2014 at 10:14 pm  Comments (2)  

Silencing vegetarians

After I became vegetarian I suddenly discovered the wide spectrum of people and political or philosophical movements that prone a vegetarian diet. Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, the Pythagoreans, Plato, a big part of the feminist movement, the Transcendentalists and many more. And I wonder: why have I not heard of those well-known people and movements as being vegetarian before? Why, on the other hand, is Hitler constantly cited as a vegetarian, when, in fact, he was not?

“One way that the dominant culture avoids the radical critique of vegetarianism is by focusing on individuals who seem to disprove the claims of vegetarians. Thus, meat eaters refer to Hitler’s “vegetarianism”. In fact, Hitler was not a vegetarian. But many meat eaters need to believe that Hitler was a vegetarian to comfort themselves with the idea that vegetarianism does not necessarily make you a better person. The message appears to be: “I don’t have to deal with this issue since Hitler was a vegetarian”. But so was Mohandas Gandhi. So was Isaac Bashevis Singer.” – Carol J.Adams in The Sexual Politics of Meat

It seems that when somebody’s vegetarianism could be influential, the general trend is to ignore it or silence it. The fact that Gandhi was vegetarian wouldn’t really surprise anyone, because he comes from a mostly vegetarian culture, a distant culture; moreover, the vegetarianism of this culture is associated with its religion, thus it becomes more of a private matter. But Isaac Bashevis Singer, on the other hand, is a holocaust survivor. Have those meat eaters who are shocked by vegetarians comparing the fate of farmed animals to an eternal Treblinka ever heard of him?

Is Socrates’s vegetarianism ever mentioned in schools? His message is amazingly modern because it is not only ethical but also environmental. In Plato’s Republic he tells Glaucon that meat production is a waste of land because it necessitates large amounts of pasture.

Do people know that Mary Shelley made her Frankenstein‘s creature vegetarian and on purpose? I don’t remember ever reading or hearing anything about it before I became vegetarian. Do they even mention it in movie adaptations?

Wait, do I not remember or is it really silenced? Could I have not remembered it just because it didn’t seem relevant to me? Could I have simply not seen it, just because it was not part of my world?

“I asked a suffrage worker […] if she had ever discussed vegetarianism with her friend, Agnes Ryan. No, she replied, it seemed relatively unimportant to her. I asked a leading feminist historian if she had noticed references to vegetarianism in the letters she had just finished reading of women pacifists of World War I. Frankly, she admitted, she would not have noticed. Ida Husted Harper who edited the last two volumes of the mammoth History of Woman Suffrage omitted any discussion of a confrontation between a vegetarian milliner and an officer of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association over an aigretted hat and a chicken dinner.” – Carol J.Adams in The Sexual Politics of Meat

Do we question what we don’t want to question or only what we want to question? That is the question…

Published in: on January 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Vegephobia is Speciesism

After giving two lectures on vegephobia I realized that although some people react to the introduction of this word as if it had revealed them what that always tried to express but didn’t know how and were truly thankful for it, a small but significant amount of people seems to not understand the concept and why would we make such a fuss about something they find so unimportant that they’d rather hide it… For them, but especially for the animals exploited and killed, I wrote an article – soon to be published – explaining how hiding vegephobia and denying it worsens the problem.

I will prepare a new lecture on vegephobia, based on this article and I hope it will clear any doubts…

Published in: on November 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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