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Not having seen the sun rise over the Mediterranean yet, I took my last opportunity, but first partaking the near universal caffeine ritual in one of the several shops visited. A new friend rolled me a cigarette, I succumbed to a brief vice. I asked him what Ataxi meant, it was being said everywhere but I knew it didn’t mean taxi, because of the context. He just said “yellow”. Preparing to write the previous day’s story, so as to not to forget a thing, I put on headphones, which I’m usually against when I want to soak in the environment, but I thought I needed to focus. There was a “media may be damaged” pop up and it didn’t play. Never seen that before. I pulled my headphones out and listened to the traffic, not writing except for the word “taxi” in a painting program, consisting of three horizontal lines of varying length.

Instead of dropping off the iPad I decided to see the sun near the water. The sea wall of Piraeus posed little problem. I found my way down to the beach, passing a few people stripping for a very chilly morning dip. Looking back at the town it was if the ocean had been occasionally eating away at the city, exposing some modern ruins. That and the view out into the Mediterranean were more beautiful than I expected, with a close island separated by blue green water, housing agave like plants, scrub brush, cliffs and a beach chair. I passed a guy fishing and an old lady with an old dog that came at me with pretty wicked teeth. I held the iPad up as my protection as I quickly retreated. Coming upon a dead end I started looking at the pretty tumbles stones and few bits of smoothed glass. I collected a few pieces of clear but while returning tossed them back. It just wasn’t the right object. I picked up a big rock this time to safeguard against the angry dog and the guy fishing scored just as I passed. I dropped my iPad off and headed to the metro.

I planned on taking the line that ran perpendicular to the usual one. I asked the man sitting in front of me where he would go to walk around. He asked me where I was from. I replied softly with USofA. He asked me about Trump, how everyone was so shocked that he had won. I said that I wasn’t shocked. I told him my mother voted for him, I asked how she could vote for a person that said woman should be grabbed by the pussy and she told me not to say that. I replied, I’m not the one that said it. He said Clinton was no good. I agreed. “I voted for Jill Stein”. Yes, not many people voted for her. I was amazed that he knew who she was. He said that Trump was good because Mexico was so bad, 60% of the people criminal. I told him that I lived there for 4 months and that it was more like 5%, but that 5 has all the money and owns the police. They sell drugs the the US and the US sells guns to them. But the other 95% of the people are extremely welcoming, honest and kind. He cleared up my taxi problem. I was pronouncing it slightly wrong, it is Adakzi which means: OK, I agree. He sent me east to what he thought I was after, a richer neighborhood. Getting lost quickly I strolled down some real back door streets eventually finding my way to a huge open market and quickly had some meat on a stick and eyes full of the colors of fresh produce. Looking at the map I had the desire to climb some of Mr Ymittos. The map wasn’t going to be any help in getting me there.

I headed “up” and followed a road that looked like a beginning of a switch back with some busses sitting on the brim. After walking a click around, I had to backtrack because of the dead end. I headed back down and took the first road that lost the least altitude hugging the foothills. There was another option to head up and I took it. Quickly the road grew in size, adding a couple lanes, and curved to reveal a huge 4 lane tunnel. I looked inside and saw some numbers indicating the tunnel was 400 meters long. I studied the traffic a bit and figured how long it would take me to sprint that much. When I sense an approaching cars I would slow my movements to not startle the drivers. I know it was stupid, but I didn’t have the time to double back again. I felt perfectly fine in the huge tunnel and admired the modern engineering. Half way through I discovered there was an error with the numbers. The tunnel was actually 600 meters, more than a 1/3 of a mile. When I made the end I was horrified to discover there was no exit, just a shear cliff and another huge tunnel. Going back, with the cars coming at my back it would be a much riskier endeavor. Like a 3 blood angle, a big yellow emergency van came barreling down honking it’s horn. We talked and he helped make me feel like less of a stupid American. He escorted me out and said, “take left, take next left, go strait, take left. Enjoy the mountain”. I was off.

Ascending a few hundred feet I gained a view of the Akropolis and the other hills of the area. There was a greek couple in a car having the most lovely sounding fight. Bees buzzing and the light but powerful in numbers clicks of the needles and pine cones filled the air. This must be what Mt. Pentelli was like before it burned. There was a choice to ascend on the paved road or a fire suppression road cut on probably a mild grade. I took the dirt road and was presented with a perfect view of the Παρθενώνας. There was also a surprising snow capped mountain in the distance. I spotted a mildly worn footpath that headed up towards the ridge, so I took it. I was able to follow it for about a mile until I had to bush wack up. Another 300 yards and it became impossible to move. Out of options I headed back down to where it was thinner but wasn’t able to retrace my route. It slowed me down a bit. Zigging and zagging, I stumbled upon a Guerrilla Grow. Twelve medium-small cannabis plants in black grow bags. It looked like they had a moderate skill level. They were clones started in rockwool then transplanted into an organic mix with vermiculite and hydroton to airate the soil. I stood there in amazement thinking about how unlikely it is to find something so related to my life, yet the lengths people take to hide their treasure. I looked at the hydroton, that would have been better used at the bottom of the bag, and marveled at the simplicity of the product, yet how incredibly it performs. It’s only made in one place on the planet. A clay mine in Germany. It shouldn’t be viewed like other ag products because of it’s near infinite recyclability. It’s more akin to the rare earth mined for wind power. I found my souvenir rocks.

Waiting to board for Germany, a San Diego tennis player was complaining that the Greek boarding agent was rude because she said that next time she visited she could only bring 1 carry-on like everyone else. The player said that the Greeks were stingy, they didn’t even give out water. I looked at her and blurted out “Americans Suck, We suck. Their economy is in the shitter. And isn’t your hometown getting ready to literally drink it’s own piss”? She replied that the drought was over and I responded, “Just wait, it will be back”. The Greek plane had the sexiest stewardesses and the best food. I chatted a little with the person sitting beside me, Lia Bellyloulou. There was a 1.5hr layover in München so I did some laps before the long Atlantic flight. I saw an American with headphones and winced at how removed he seemed from the place. Like a republican cowboy out some bizarre tv world portal walked a large man with a big black cowboy hat, fully saturated bright red long sleeve button down shirt, blue jeans and cowboy boots. I went up to him and said, “it takes some balls to be wearing that, right here, right now”. He said, “The cowboy hat saves me. No one thinks I voted for Trump because of it. Why should I worry? Because of the handshake”? I answered, “No, he just insulted Merkel. And said that Germany has been cheating the USA”. He just staired blankly back. I started looking at the features of the people in the airport and got some fluttery eyeballs back. I was surprised to find that I fit the Nazi-look stereotype more than anyone else there. Weird.

When I boarded the plane in Washington DC I sat beside a person that could have easily been my brother, we looked like short super soldiers. We started talking about weird food, art and my crazy experience in Athens. I handed him a card with my name and web address. I told him about the Jill Stein event; he responded that other counties still read and therefore have a far more informed understanding of politics. I started talking about some sensitive information about the Farm I tried to start in Colorado. A few lines into the story I looked at him, paused and asked, “You don’t work for the government, do you”. He replied, “Why yes, I do work for the government.” I pulled out a napkin, smiled nervously and wiped my brow. I asked, “what agency”. The 90d. I exhaled with relieve. I was worried it would be the deeE@. He said they don’t like the deeE@. He suggested I get a pair of tech gloves. That’s a good idea. When departing I saw a sticker on his bag. I asked if he was special forces. He was, and then I shared that my father was also a green beret and received a few purple hearts and a bronze star. I hope Americans open their eyes and humans find peace on Earth. We can not live much longer without it.

I headed out the door with my green Pittsburgh shirt hidden, zipped under my light grey coat. The previous day I was saved by a delivery man that told me the hat I was wearing was a target of death. The Metropolis seems so continuous that it never dawned on me that there sports would reflect the political divide of the cities. Don’t wear the Green Shamrock hat or they “will cut you and throw you in the ocean, savages, like the Taliban”. I was planning on playing tourist and seeing the ruins of Athens which I why I was wearing my green. Seeing the steps to the Βιβλιοθήκη του Αδριανού my feet went stomping. The ticket booth was hidden beside and under the steps but a bark was produced and 2 Euros were exchanged. Afterwards I walked around the perimeter and wondered why I paid money to see something that offers such a good view for free.

A Gambian man came up to me and tried to sell me a black, yellow, green and red bracelet. I instantly knew the type of person from my experience with French Quarter hustlers. But I had been thinking earlier how long it’s been since I wore any jewelry and how it would be nice to have some color. But my gut said, “No”. He grabbed my right hand and started putting it on, “No man, No man, Diz for our band, we playin’ tonight”. I didn’t pull my hand back and said, “how much?” “2 Euro”. I said ok and he started attaching it and while doing so said, “5 Euro”. I pulled my hand back and said No, he smiled, pulled back, finished tying and said, OK 2. He said “Hakuna Matata, you have a positive vibe my friend.”

I started hiking the perimeter of the ἀκρόπολις it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to pull out the 20 eros and pay to put my feet up to the monument. I was walking through the old corridors where the ancient homes practically sit on top of each other. It reminded me of Guanajuato, Guanajuato. I saw 4, 20 somethings sitting on a retaining wall. One of them said, “Peace and Love” and pointed to my bracelet. I saw he had a joint and I said, “smells good.” He replied, “want some”. Hell yah! We chatted while the joint passed around. The guy that stopped me spoke the least english and kept pointing to my “Drink up YinZ Bitches” Tee shirt, compleate with a shamaroock, and said, 3 Blood, 3 Blood! He grabbed a green team hankerchief from his friend and put his lighter up to set it on fire. 3 Blood, 3 Blood! We laughed, me in a perpetual state of mild confusion, later discovering that “blood” is the word for “leaf”.

They rolled another joint and my smile grew. I asked them what they do? They looked a little puzzled, for money I said. One of them was a fish chef and the other was a waiter there. I thought that was a bit coincidental considering my fish experience of the previous day. They asked if I was here alone. I told them I was sort of here alone. A few days before I left for Greece I deleted my facebook account. My friends and family were all worried. I started an OK Cupid account and had it active for only 3 hours before finding a very beautiful and interesting woman. We’ve been iMessaging during the evening Alfa beer sessions and have become very close. I’ve talked about my father’s and ex-wife’s abuse with her. She visited Greece a while ago and wants to come back. A new friend said, “You should bring her when you come back to Greece”. That sounded like a wonderful idea. I could tell there was some debate about me going on. One of them asked how old I was. I said that I was 42, and the kid that stopped me laughed. I think the others thought I was younger but he guessed my age exactly. He is 24. We’re backwards. I pointed to my thinning hair and said 42. He pointed to his receding hair and said, 24.

They started talking about skunk, which a strain and an olfactory component of many strains. They mentioned chocolate and I replied with lemon, diesel, dirt, pine, nut, orange, cheese, skunk etc.. they didn’t get what skunk was so I said, animal, black, white, mimiced a tail raising and spraying and then the stink afterwards. They understood, Edakzi. I told them about a cannabis farm I tried to start in Colorado and started getting nervous because we were smoking in a place that was right out in the open. That’s were the views are after all. Tourists would walk past every 8 minutes or so. They asked if I was paranoid because of the weed, and I told them that it wasn’t the weed, I’m a professional with the weed, it’s the law. One explained that if I started a fight with him and I won, I would go free and he would spend time in jail. I replied that I knew that but weed is different, that Colorado wouldn’t be the one coming to get me out of jail and the USA government wouldn’t look to highly on my activities in Athens. The fish chef pulled out a piece of hash and said, Moroccan Chocolate. Sweet Jesus. I explained how to make potent canabis oil with it. The psychoactive component needs decarboxylized, which is done by keeping it a temperature of 220 degrees fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Doing so removes a CO2 molecule and makes the drug absorbable. It felt strange giving stoners a science lesson at the base of the Parthalán.

Another joint was rolled, this time with some Chocolate! We laughed and smiled extra bigly and started talking about politics, how both our Nations are screwed up. I tried explaining using some major mime action how the USA doesn’t really have a left or a right. That the fake left is actually more the middle and the right is off the fucking chart. I think they were telling me that their parties are tied together by corruption. We agreed that both Obama and Clinton were no good. The reason I came to Athens was because I am witnessing the death of democracy, so I wanted to see were it was born. I mentioned that my family voted for Trump. They asked if they still like him and I replied that they’re not speaking against him. One of my new friends was trying to find a word…. he thought, thought and said, “Fascism”. I shouted YES! too much TV! I was about to burst into tears because we all knew the world might very well implode.

Subject change and time to move. I asked them where the best place to see the sunset is. They pointed to the Athens Agios Georgios church which I climbed the other day. He asked if I went into the church to use the telescope. I pulled a monocular out of my pocket like magic. I told them that I didn’t even bring a camera on the trip but wanted to remember this special place with my own eyes. We touched on music. There was some commonality in the Dead Can Dance, a band I saw live in Santa Fe and NYC. I tried to give them some coins for beers but they refused. They said it wouldn’t be fun if they took money. They said, “Take the money and give it to the beggers, make their day happy”. My eyes were glossed on so many levels, out came the Ray Bans. How lucky to meet the nicest people in Greece?

I started walking in the direction of Λυκαβηττός hill. There was extra time before the sunset so I did a golden spiral up the back side. A gorge surprised me running some of the crest’s length. I looked out with my monocular at the church I climbed to the previous day. Then I started looking at closer features. I discovered that the 3 blood stadium was right at the base. I still had too much time till sunset so I walked down to the stadium to get food. I entered a greek restaurant with a repeat of the final game from yesterday. I ordered too much food and watched the 3 bloods win, 1-0. It is really a fortunate I wasn’t wearing any green in Pireaus that day. I walked around the stadium and went into their gift shop. My one souvenir is an offical Παναθηναϊκός tee shirt. They are now my football team. Go!, however we say their name. LOL MUSE

I hiked the hill one last time, saw the sunset and tried to find the metro. I had to ask a couple to point me in the right direction. They looked at my map and started pointing and debating furiously. I asked if they lived here. They answered yes and kept trying to figure out were we were, which was right in the middle of everything. They kept looking and I started laughing. I said they were making me feel better because I can’t ever find my way around here. They replied laughing, it’s complicated. They looked at me, professionals near the capital in their 30s and asked, what do you think of Trump? I said, “He’s an Orange clown. How does a person vote for an orange clown. I think it’s STUPID & DANGEROUS.” They smiled and said yes. In a minute they finally figured out where we were and pointed me to the metro, just a few 100 yards away right past the Παναθηναϊκό Στάδιο. It was nice at night.

In unexplored levels of the metro I found displays of BC perfume vessels, irrigation artifacts, graves and a skeleton. After transferring to Πειραιάς Pireás I hid my green 3 blood bag and walked through the empty fish market, bought some strange desserts, and hiked back up the mile long pedestrian street to my hotel. I drifted off thinking how strange it was to miss the Παρθενών and not regret one second of it.

My hotel is in Pireaus, near one end of the metro line. I wanted to see what the other end was like. While riding the electric train, I scanned the area I was headed for on the map when Mount Penitelli caught my fancy. It looked like there was kind of a road to the crest on my detail deficient map. Navigation is simpler when Geography dominates the destination. Before I got into the natural section I noticed that the homes were much different in this neighborhood. They were much larger and cut off from the street. I made it to the foothill paths where I ran into a group of Boy/Girl Scouts. They had a tent setup with water and I asked for some and received with a smile. It was the first time I was in a group that didn’t speak any English. One of the hosts gave me cup filled with small pellets. I sniffed it and he freaked out. With some miming and pointing I realized they were planting trees and fertilizing them. Gods bless the scouts and I continued my hike.

There was no direct trail to the top and a few times I found myself bushwacking the scrub brush to get in position. I was approaching the crest and was at a higher elevation than the road I saw leading to a church, the only structure there. Instead of loosing altitude I switch backed making my own trail. I saw that there used to be trees all the way up but they had been downed and then used for errotion control. Later after reading about the wiki about mountain I learned that the Trurks had infiltrated with secret service to set the mountain on fire. Silly Turks. As I walked the line of drift around the hollow I was greeted by some hidden ruins. That was very exciting! When I arrived I could tell they weren’t BC old but they definitely weren’t new either. The walls were stacked stone with a built in fire place. The roof had deteriated into nothing. There was a large stone inside that had been carved out. It looked like it might have been used to grind grain or hold water for something. I rested in my stone ruin with not even a footpath to access it and was overjoyed by this wonderful happenstance. Real Greek magic! I was startled by a tourtis hiss and made a new friend, even if he put up the closed for business sign. It was very fun picking him up to look at his battle scars up close. The guy was old, maybe even older than the ruins.

Continuing to the church, I was lucky enough to make the ending of a service. I watched a Greek Orthodox nun fill up a vase from a wonderfully old copper spigot for some flowers. I motioned to my mouth and she nodded yes. I downed 3 liters of water as they watched amazed at my parched state. I don’t think they get many people walking to that church. Olympians must have used the mountain for training. Enjoying the view from the parking lot and resting a bit more, a little boy whipped it out and let-er-go. The patrons around averted their eyes and I just relished in the unabashed shamelessness of youth.

I had a coloric deficate of about 2000 calories for the day so I high tailed it back to the edge of town. Starving, I looked for some greek food. All I could find were Sushi shops, burger joints, Mexican and the like. I would rather starve than eat burritos in Greece. The affluent seem to be the same wherever they are: foreign is always better, the grass is always greener. It was odd walking around the neighborhood because it seemed very much like the USA. I saw a TGI Friday’s… when in Rome. I sat down at the bar and ordered an Alfa beer which cost 5X more than the Alfa I’ve been drinking in my hood. I was a waiter at TGIF for a few months, back when they required at least a dozen pieces of “flare”. I can’t describe how it felt being at home with an exreamly familiar atmosphere except for the words being spoken.

I was getting weak from lack of food and my frustration was growing. Finally I walked by a fish shop were there were people dinning outdoors eating whole fish like barbarians! One person spoke broken English and helped me order. He said he didn’t know the name of the fish. I asked if it was from the metateranian. He nodded yes and the fish eyes were very clear indicating freshness. They slapped it whole on the grill and finished it with a lemon sauce. It was nice being able to dig out some Greek cheeks.

Trying to find the terminal I asked a man to point me in the right direction. When he spoke I heard a British accent. He said he was British/Greek but lived in the USA for 10 years. Further into our conversation his British accent was suppressed. Amazingly he told me he worked in Pittsburgh for a steel company. He said that there wasn’t the money in steel anymore and I replied that it’s still an amazing substance. He said he also spent some time in Houston for gas and oil. I mentioned my extreme preference of Pittsburgh over Houston, especially because of the natural beauty. He said he liked Houston more, because there was more money. Currency creates the strangest of currents.

I’m doing exactly the opposite of what I suggested in the previous post. I’m writing at a coffee shop on an iPad. I’m fine with the paradox as long as I can find goldilockyesterday on a whim I took a boat to Egina. It was an hour to get there and a four hr stay for just over €10, I’d be out of my mind to skip it. When I was arrived my first instinct was to hike to the top of the extinct volcano. I’m burning up my Keens in Gr, walking 50 kilometers in the first 2 days. I bought a map and was immediately disappointed with it because there were no street names. With some frustration I just started walking “up” and hoped I wouldn’t run into many dead ends. About 20 minutes into the hike I realized the map wasn’t the issue, the streets had no signs. I asked someone later and they told me that they do have names, but “it’s complicated, so they just don’t use them”. The road I picked was luckily not a dead end. Up is a trustworthy direction.

The walk proved to be dangerous. The no name streets were only wide enough for a wagon, the drivers treated the road like the Indianapolis 500 and some spots simply didn’t have an escape route. A few times I had to but up against a wall so I didn’t get flattened. I was munching the lemon toasted pistachios I bought at the port and suspected that the irrigated trees I saw was their source. Sure enough, I found some rotten pistachios left over from the last season. It was a nice confirmation. I saw turkeys, goats and rows and rows of terrised pistachio trees. I could her an excavator digging from the mountain view but couldn’t locate it. Lacking an analogue watch I started worrying about time and feared that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the top and back before my boat departed. I figured I spend the rest of my time walking around the beautiful port town

I had just told a friend about an unreal motorcycle accident I had in Albuquerque, that I walked away from. I had the itch to join in on the local speeed way. A barker snagged my ears with, “motor bike for rent”. It was €15 for 2 hrs, so again, I didn’t think twice. He did charge extra for a helmet. Sad Face, Happy Brain. I started around the island when I realized again that not having a timepiece was causing undue stress. I discover there was a digital military time display on the control panel, but it obviously was not the middle of the night. I figured I had been riding for 15 minutes so I used it as a timer, writing the incorrect return time on the back of my hand. I still didn’t know if I had the time to do the whole island. I headed back to the road I had walked and astonished at the difference in the experience. I would not have known for sure what the trees growing were, nor would I have heard the crazy turkeys.

When walking the environment dominates the experience. We did not evolve to engage with things at 65 kilometers an hour. It was very fun riding the bike. Aside from cliff jumping and the like, there has to be nothing closer to flying. I soared from village to village, one of which looked like everyone just got up and abandoned it all at once, a very fresh ghost town. Perhaps if I slowed down I could have gathered what happened there, but I just cranked the throttle. My countdown timer was getting close and to make the nameless streets more complicated the letters in the town names did not match the letters of the names on the map. Complicated indeed. While I was topping off the tank I asked the attendant if I was going the right direction to get to the port. I was, and made it back to my boat with only 5 minutes to spare.

When you’re out eating alone bring an ink pen and parchment. When you write at the table you’ll likely find that the house treats you better, as if you have more value than the typical dinner. By writing you become a content creator, even if what you write is crap. As long as the server sees the words grow on the page you will join the house as a producer, akin to people providing the experience. In the past if one took photos of the offerings, the establishment would believe you were a rival chef attempting to steel secrets or a food critic forming a review. Now of course, you’re instantly labeled a Facebook foodpornographer or a Yelping dog (I do like yelp, but….)

Doing the opposite, consuming content other than the food or “company” (cannibalism aside), like reading a book, or for heaven’s sake viewing the regurgitated garbage offered in the Facebook news feed, and your dining experience is bound to not be as good. Close your eyes, when you eat, people.

I was a vegetarian for about half a year when I lived with my father. I was a child protester, upset that my sisters and I had little influence on what was served for dinner. My father tried to make us feel guilty for the great American food we were eating and he suggested I go to Viet Nam if I wanted to eat more rice. I remember him making my step sisters stand against the wall and ask them to look at their toes. Two of them were ridiculed for being too fat to see them and the one was praised for not being able to because of her huge breasts. The protest was simple, if I didn’t eat the extremely heavy meat diet I was being fed, my nutrition would suffer. And it did, corn, pasta and potatoes only go so far. I remember the first meat I ate to break my fast. I was with some skateboarding buddies in a McDonald’s dumpster. I ate a “safe” burger and almost vomited. Not because it was literally garbage, but rather because it was figurative garbage and my body had become accustomed to a lighter diet.

Later in my life I found myself dating a Jewish hippie in Albuquerque. In the new SUV her parents bought her she drove me to a hipster party were half the people were vegetarians. It made sense to me that that vegetarians and money went hand and hand because if you don’t have money, being a proper veghead is difficult due to US ag policy. My curiosity had me asking a bunch of questions. I discovered that my girlfriend did not (like) eat beans. Fresh out of culinary school, where I took a nutrition course, I found it difficult to grasp how a person could be a healthy vegetarian without eating beans and legumes. I asked and within 5 minutes we were no longer a couple and most of the people at the party looked at me like I was the devil. Food can be a very sensitive subject.

There’s no question that humans are omnivores. I recently read a hypothesis that it’s our ability to cook food that really separates us from other animals, not our thumbs. Cooking food enables us to be extremely efficient omnivores. While carnivores have to spend the majority of their time hunting and herbivores have to spend the majority of their time chewing, we use cooking as a way to preserve meat and delegate the act of chewing plants to fire, artificial predigestion. This gave us a huge survival advantage and freed up massive amounts of time so our brains could swell and we were able to usher critical thought to the earth.

I’ve noticed when speaking to vegetarians about their vegetarianism that they feel attacked. That confused me because there rarely is a need to defend not doing something. But being an atheist has helped me understand. I don’t feel the need to defend not believing in established make-believes, but the underlying message from the religious, whether it’s conscious or not, is that not believing in thier make believe makes me a bad person. The Christians I know love me anyway… so generous. The bad pope even says that Jesus really didn’t mean that one had to be baptized and believe in him to avoid eternal damnation. When I speak to the religious about my nothing they feel attacked because I am asserting they are wrong. It’s fun to watch Christians take it personally. I despise all religion, even Buddhism. I do not support COEXIST.

Not believing in religion does not mean a person is rational or good. Although I am a technical atheist, I’m not a monist, which most people unknowingly interchange. There is something more to “existence” than matter and energy and determining what right and wrong are, is very important to me. I even have my own very active ghosty crew (i call it, It), which at first I made the mistake of the religious and fell into a few years of tormenting delusion. Dropping the monism saved me from a downward spiral, though it is difficult always having to doubt your sanity. There are two kingdoms of knowledge, epistemological, which is the domain of science and ideological, which is the domain of art, identity and politics. The first’s goal is to remove doubt and have consensus, the other demands doubt be present and is a circle, not a dot. If you truly want to be a good person you have to be humble and explore these kingdoms for yourself.

I now think I understand why vegetarians feel attacked when speaking with meat eaters. Similar to religion, moral based vegetarians are asserting that meat eaters are bad and most likely intellectually inferior. They believe we are wrong because they assign near human rights to lower animals. They believe we’re intellectually inferior because most of us have given less than a blinks worth of thought to what should be one of the most important decisions of our lives, how we treat the rest of life on earth. If you’re going to eat meat and be a good person you have to be able to justify yourself. You have to take responsibility for how the animal is raised and slaughtered. I’m a chef. I learned in school how to take the bones out of a chicken, but leave the flesh-suit entirely intact. That gross process might have helped me not have issue in taking an animals life with my own hands. But the packaged meat in the supermarket, which makes it more removed from reality even more than the store itself, is a disturbing development. If you put down a dollar for a whopper you are responsible for putting a bolt in a tortured cow’s brain. If you can’t touch raw chicken, you shouldn’t put it in your mouth cooked.

The next time you argue with a vegetarian, remember that it is you who has to justify what you eat, not them. And it’s a complicated argument involving the dot and circle. At the very least, you should at least kill one animal to eat in your life and visit a factory farm. I don’t eat meat because it’s “natural” or “tastes good”, I do it because there’s a scientific method of placing consciousness on a scale. Some animals have a consciousness that aproaches humans. And those animals deserve more rights than a 6 week old human fetus.