Jun. 14th, 2017

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Feeling down? Place a warm chicken directly onto your tum. After she is settled, you can then begin gently petting your chicken to engage her purring apparatus for optimum relaxation. It is recommended that you keep the room relatively cool so as to not overheat your chicken, seeing as they typically run at about 105°F. Ensure that your chicken is well fed, watered, and sheltered between each session. Praise Gallus, and have a lovely day.

OK but when do we eat her?

This kinda thing pisses me off. How would you feel if someone walked up to your cat or dog and went, “Mmmmm when are you going to kill them and cook them up?” 

You’d argue that ‘you don’t eat pets!’ But guess what! Some chickens and other farm animals ARE PETS.

I’ve had pet chickens. They are lovely and helped with my childhood loneliness and depression. One of my favorite pets of all time was a great big rooster named ‘Sunshine’ (because he had beautiful golden feathers.), who used to regularly attack my abusive brother and liked sitting on my lap and going for a ride on my swing set. Sunshine lived to be ten years old and I STILL mourn that rooster. Like any other dog or cat, a chicken can be a protector and a loyal companion that brings you happiness. 

People in the insect and herp hobby get this a lot too with people threatening to kill their snakes or bugs.

To me, it says a LOT about a person who immediately says they will kill some innocent animal, especially one that is someone’s harmless pet. I eat meat too, but I would NEVER threaten to eat someone’s pet. PERIOD. 

Avoid people who think it’s funny to cause this kind of distress to a person. For real. 

That sort of shit pisses me off as someone who does raise animals for food, too. I could set my fucking watch by it: every time we make a post to the farm page about a cute baby animal or whatever (who doesn’t love photos of cute baby animals? we have ‘em, for whatever purpose, you bet your ass we’re taking photos, we’re not machines here), some fucking edgelord is going to leave a comment about “mm, bacon!” or “can’t wait to fry ‘em!” or whatever. 

And clearly, the instinct is honed by having done so for shock value to pets. But it’s like, you realize what a fuckin’ idiot you look, right? Like, I just posted about preordering your fall pork, and then I have a photo of a cute piglet, and you know that animal is one of the ones that’s going to be processed, we’re a meat farm not a pet shop. Like… duh? 

And yet! Nobody posts on the photo of beets with “can’t wait to pickle ‘em!” or whatever. Sometimes, and this is crucial, someone will post a good recipe, or say “that’s my favorite to eat”, but when it’s vegetables, the poster is always a woman. What does this say, demographically?

The meat ones are always a man. Always. And they’re never interesting or creative. And sometimes they’re like “I know this is wrong but I just can’t resist!”

Seriously? Fuck off. You’re not interesting, you’re not edgy, and I know you’re doing it reflexively to try to get a rise out of someone. I’ve been a chicken eviscerator for three years, bub; if I was going to have a problem with it, I already would have. My job is to give these animals a good life in the meantime; it’s tacky to go on about eating them. (We’re a small producer specializing in pasture-raised chicken and pork and turkey, it’s not like we’re a factory farm. We do put a lot of time and care and effort into the animals and sometimes yeah, it’s a wrench to let them go. But we don’t name meat animals. We know which ones they are. It’s not the same as if they were pets. We know, ok? We know. We don’t really need reminders.)

I wouldn’t mind particularly if it were isolated, it’s just both so inevitably common and so transparent. You only wish this would shock me. You can’t wait for a chance to shock somebody. Get the fuck over yourself.

Shocking people is a form of power grab. It’s not cute, it’s not harmless, and it’s really not funny. You’re trying to provoke someone into being upset so you can feel like a big man.

Pointing it out like that, it sure does look pathetic, doesn’t it?

So get the fuck over yourself, your pathetic underdeveloped entitled id is showing.
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Harvest day: Farmbaby had to go do some quality control investigations on the turnips. Don’t worry, she pronounced them delicious. (at Laughing Earth)
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look: our neanderthal ancestors took care of the sick and disabled so if ur post-apocalyptic scenario is an excuse for eugenics, u are a bad person and literally have less compassion than a caveman

Yes but they also when extinct which implies whatever they were doing at the time wasn’t fit for their environment.

So, it’s been awhile since I took a human evolution course, so some of this might be a little out of date, but

1) Whether or not Neanderthals went extinct is still kind of up for debate, and seems to hinge largely on whether you think that Neanderthals are a H. Sapiens subspecies or not, which often seems like a mildly pointless argument to me since it’s largely a fight about which definition of “species” to use

2) Even if we argue that Neanderthals are our direct ancestors and never went extinct, several Neanderthal *traits* (like their noses and their forheads) *have* left the population. Care for the disabled is not one of them.

Saying “Neanderthals cared for their sick and injured and are now extinct, therefore care for the disabled is maladaptive” is like saying “Dodos are extinct therefore beaks are a terrible idea”

Statements about “less compassion than a caveman” still stand.


I teach human evolution to college students, so in addition to that, here’s what we know. There’s some citations (and footnotes) behind the cut, if you’re interested.

So Neanderthals aren’t our direct ancestor- more like a branch of the family tree that didn’t lead to us. Close cousins- close enough to breed- but they evolved outside of Africa about 400kya, while our species evolved in Africa about 200kya*. This is important because it means that altruism can’t possibly be a Neanderthal trait that left the population during the evolution into modern humans; we didn’t evolve from them, so it’s not like we can say “well, this was maladaptive in our ancestors.” This is a behavior you see in two temporally coexisting species (or subspecies), and I do mean two, because it wasn’t just Neanderthals practicing altruism. We did it too.

We have really good evidence that early Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e., us, just old) also took care of their injured, elderly, and disabled. At Cro-Magnon in France, a few individuals clearly suffered from traumatic injury and illness during their lives. Cro-Magnon 1 had a nasty infection in his face; his bones are pitted from it. Cro-Magnon 2, a female, had a partially healed skull fracture, and several of the others had fused neck vertebrae that had fused as a result of healed trauma; this kind of injury would make it impossible to hunt and uncomfortable to move. This kind of injury can be hard to survive today, even with modern medical care; the fact that the individuals at Cro-Magnon survived long enough for the bones to remodel and heal indicate that somebody was taking care of them. At Xujiayao, in northern China, there’s evidence of healed skull fractures (which would have had a rather long recovery time and needed care); 

This evidence of altruism extends past injured adults, as well. One of the most compelling cases is at Qafzeh, which is in Israel. Here we see evidence of long-term care for a developmentally disabled child (as well as a child who had hydrocephaly and survived). Qafzeh 11, a 12-13 year old at time of death, suffered severe brain damage as a child. Endocasts (basically making a model of the inside of the skull, where the brain would be) show that the volume of the brain was much smaller than expected; likely the result of a growth delay due to traumatic brain injury. The patterns of development suggest that this injury occurred between the ages of 4 and 6. They very likely suffered from serious neurological problems; the areas of the brain that were injured are known to control psychomotricity. This means that the kid may have had a hard time controlling their eye movements, general body movement, keeping visual attention, performing specific tasks, and managing uncertainty; in addition, Broca’s area might also have been damaged, which likely would have affected the kid’s ability to speak. Long and short of it, without help, this kid wouldn’t have survived to age 12-13. 

But they did. They lived, and they were loved. When they died, they were given a funeral- we know this based on body position and funeral offerings. Mortuary behavior was common among both Neanderthals and archaic Homo sapiens, and this burial was particularly interesting. The body was placed on its back, its legs extended and the arms crossed over the chest. Deer antlers were laid on the upper part of the chest; in the archaeological context, they were in close contact with the palmar side of the hand bones, meaning it’s likely that they were placed in the hands before burial. This points to Qafzeh 11 being valued by the community- why go to the effort for somebody you don’t care about? Compassion is a very human trait, and to call it maladaptive is to ignore hundreds of thousands of years of human experience.

Keep reading

“Compassion is a very human trait, and to call it maladaptive is to ignore hundreds of thousands of years of human experience.”

Would you be alright with me borrowing your words when someone poses the above comments’ line of thought to me?

Of course! (And feel free to use anything else in my anthropology tag.)
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I have spent the last two days minding Farmbaby because there was so much going on that it was the most useful thing i could do, her primary babysitters being out of town (mom and dad are helping the oldest sister and her three kids and two dogs and three cats move from Georgia to Maryland, and the moving truck broke down in South Carolina, and it’s been An Ordeal but they just!!! arrived!!! safely!!! whew what an odyessy– Dad said, “friday the 13th happened on wednesday”) – so I’ve been trying and trying to come up with things to do to keep her interested, and every time there’s a moment of idleness, she cries that she wants her mother. 

Cut for whining, and my evolved mojito recipe is at the end.

Come on, kid, Christ. I know you’re three, I know I should be good-humored about this, but it has been non-fucking-stop. Today I carried her for a quarter-mile in my arms as she fake-sobbed, increasingly fake as she forgot why she was crying, that she “needed Mom!” but she’s actually too old to sustain hysterics of that caliber for any period of time. (Also she weighs over 40 pounds by now.) Long before we got anywhere, she’d fallen silent, and when I said, “can you walk now?” she said, calmly, “no, I don’t want to.” Thanks, kid.

It took us another 45 minutes of wandering aimlessly around to find her mother, because her mother was working and it’s a big farm, and I was trying pretty hard to just be chill and enjoy it as a low-intensity hike, but. By this evening, I am really tired. I can’t even attempt any other tasks and I’m suffering from the low-grade anxiety I get from being Unproductive, and she doesn’t even want to see me, and just now was shrieking at me not to be in the room she’s in because she only wants her mother, and fucking look, kid, I’m doing my goddamn best here, will you shut the fuck up and stop taking your clothes off. 

Man this is why I’m not a mom. Because eventually, after a couple of weeks of this, I can say, “well, see you in a month!” and then in a month she’s delighted to see me for a whole few minutes, and it’s lovely. 

Sister puts in, currently, that it is the arsenic hour– the time before dinner is always the worst, especially when dinner is late, as it is currently. So I am keeping that in mind, and making strong drinks. 

Also, what a horrible fucking news day, but I’m not going to go into any of that. Suffice to say, fuck everything.

My Mojito Recipe:

Handful of mint– leave the leaves on the stalks, just cut it all in one, then you don’t have to strain it. Spearmint is best, peppermint is probably not the best choice, apple or other exotic mints will be okay, but only you know what you like. If you need spearmint, well, I mean, mine is trying to take over the world, go and check, I bet it’s in your yard by now.
Put mint in a big big jar. (A quart will do; I used a two-quart to leave myself plenty of room to adjust amounts and such.) Boil water.
Add about half a cup of sugar, or honey, or whatever you sweeten with, to the big jar. 
Make sweet mint tea, filling the jar half to ¾ of the way with water. 
While mint is still steeping, glug in two to six ounces of white rum. (Spiced rum is okay, but distracting.) (strength varies depending how big your jar is and what else you’re doing.)
Optionally, add an ounce or two of triple sec, if you like oranges.
Let it all steep. Eventually, take the mint out, squeezing it out well. 
Then add maybe two to six ounces of lime juice, depending how tart you like all this. (You can put lemon juice in too if you like that sort of thing.)
Stick the jar into the fridge for a bit. Sometimes I leave the mint in the whole time, it seems not to get too bitter, but probably depends on your type of mint.

Add ice if it’s not cold. Drink it. Maybe don’t drink it all yourself, though four ounces of rum won’t hurt you. That much sugar might, though. 
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Just noticed “The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition” is up for preorder now.

This is the second novella in the The Murderbot Diaries novella series. Ebook and paperback, DRM-Free, available world-wide.

B&N: http://ift.tt/2sc0AOR

Amazon: http://ift.tt/2rsJAXy

Kobo: http://ift.tt/2sc8Hei

iBooks: http://ift.tt/2rsXVmI

The follow-up to the hugely popular “All Systems Red”

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot.”

But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…




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