Browse Month

December 2016

What is your real feeling to be a vegetarian?

I’m not exactly clear what the OP is asking.

How does it feel to be vegetarian? It feels like I don’t eat animals. I don’t feel different, or worse, than when I was 14 or 15 and still eating birds. I feel like me. Some days are good; some days aren’t. Some days I gorge on cashew milk ice cream and feel fat. Some days I don’t.

I’m a vegetarian for ethical reasons, so any touted health benefits are largely secondary, and I’m realistic enough to realize that lots of diets can be healthy, and that vegetarianism, by itself, isn’t a cure-all. I don’t particularly care about health benefits. I’ll take ‘em, but they’re not why I’m doing any of this.

Being a vegetarian, at this point, feels ordinary. I’ve been one for far longer than I wasn’t, so that shouldn’t be surprising.

Original question on Quora:

What is your real feeling to be a vegetarian?

My boyfriend gets upset when I tell him that I feel a certain way about our relationship. What do I do?

I’ll echo Katie Anne Holton’s typically excellent answer, here.

When The Husband and I got together, he was a huge fan of telling me what I think or feel. He was also a huge fan of the word “should.”

“You should feel x about y.”

“You should be happy about <blah>”

I responded, without yelling at him, without accusing him, but persistently:

“You may think I should, but I don’t. Now what?”

…until he got the message. To his very great credit, when we disagreed when we were dating, he paid attention to the difference in my phrasing vs. his. He’s learned – quickly! – to make “I-statements” instead of “you-statements.”

You can do this, too.

You didn’t tell your boyfriend how you feel. You told him what he feels. He didn’t reject you – you felt rejected. That’s not the same thing. “I feel like you don’t want x” is not the same thing as “I feel sad / hurt / angry when x happens.”

Your boyfriend is calling bullshit on the way you phrased that because you don’t get to tell him what he thinks or what he feels – only he does. Similarly, only you can tell other people what you think about a given thing.

If it was me, I’d have said, “I felt sexually rejected last Thursday.” …and then I’d see how he responded. If he’s anything like The Husband, he may have defaulted himself to a should-statement. “You shouldn’t feel that way.”

“Well, okay, you think I shouldn’t, but I do.”

No more than that. No argument. Just persistence. Tell him how you feel, and no more than that, until the two of you can actually work out a compromise that works for you both.

Original question on Quora:

My boyfriend gets upset when I tell him that I feel a certain way about our relationship. What do I do?

Is it morally right for Jill Stein to raise money for election vote recount?

Is it morally right for Jill Stein to raise money for election vote recount?

I don’t think calling for a recount is a moral issue. I think systems that don’t allow for recounts as a matter of course are.

Either we can trust our election results, or we can’t. In states where the vote is close, the election results ought to be open to scrutiny. (They ought to be open to aduits and closer scrutiny everywhere, but particularly in states where the vote totals are as close as these.)

The voting systems in use in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have been declared illegal to use in California, because we know those systems are too open to tampering.

Regardless of whoever wins in a recount, why on earth should anyone accept electronic voting systems we know we shouldn’t be using? Why aren’t we able to get recounts in each and every state where vulnerable voting systems are in use?

We are not a direct democracy, but we are a democratic republic; people tend to emphasize the latter half of that, but if we want assurance that the former half still actually matters, recounts and hand audits are essential.

We know – we don’t guess, we know – that optical scan systems have undercounted votes, in the past, for example. This occurred in 2004, where optical scan systems were miscalibrated and missed tens of thousands of votes in one city (Toledo), and likely others. We have a system that doesn’t have rechecks and audits as a matter of course and requires voters or candidates to assume the costs of recounting, unless specific (and arbitrary) threshholds are met.

That is immoral.

We can either trust in the election results, or we cannot. If we’re to be able to trust them, they have to be open to scrutiny.


In 2004, the punch-card ballots were still widely used in some states. For example, most Ohio voters used punch-card ballots, and more than 90,000 ballots cast in Ohio were treated as not including a vote for President; this “undervote” could arise because the voter chose not to cast a vote or because of a malfunction of the punch-card system.

2004 United States election voting controversies – Wikipedia