I made a mistake this weekend. I took the bait and fell into a trap.
I mistakenly got into one of those "discussions" about something I believe. The kind where I'm talking about something I believe so completely that there's no convincing me otherwise. The other person believes the opposite just as completely.
We dance around about high level stuff for awhile mincing words, throwing clever examples and anecdotal evidence back and forth. After sometime I realize the truth: we disagree so fundamentally that there's no reconciling our differences about the superficial details.
I realized (or maybe re-realized for the umpteenth time) that we often or almost always have different base assumptions, different Truths™ that we base all our other ideas upon. I am going to try an experiment, when I can't not get sucked into these conversations that I should otherwise prefer to avoid, I'll start by stating my assumptions.
Let's start with the assumption that animals deserve liberty, too.
Let's start with the assumption that for the same reason you don't believe in all the gods of other religions, I don't believe in yours either.
Let's start with the assumption that the suffering of animals (both human and non-human) and the wholesale destruction of the planet are intrinsically linked.
Let's start with the assumption that we are running out of oil (of natural gas, coal, fresh water, arable land... of all life supporting systems) and that Our Way of Life™ cannot continute forever.
Let's start with the assumption that infinite growth in a finite system is not only not preferable, but simply not possible.
Let's start with the assumption that if something didn't work before (especially if it hasn't worked for years/decades/ever), doing more of it this year won't work either.
Let's start with the assumption that you and I might (or probably) won't agree about everything and that doesn't mean we can't be friends.