Just Because Everyone is Doing It, That Doesn’t Mean It’s Right (for Me)

2019 adalah tahun gw bergulat dengan ide dan habit veganism. Alasannya: animal cruelty, gw gak setuju dengan penyiksaan hewan. Pertama gw sadar soal ini adalah di tahun 2018 saat gw baca buku “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” karya Yuval Noah Harari. Sejak manusia hidup menetap dan bercocok tanam (agriculture revolution) kita mulai mengembangkan cara-cara yang sistematis untuk mengeksploitasi hewan demi kepentingan manusia semata. Binatang ternak dikurung–sebagian besar seumur hidupnya–di dalam kandang yang sempit sehingga mereka sulit bergerak, bahkan jadi lumpuh. Untuk menghindari kanibalisme, mereka dimutilasi (gigi/ekor/hidung/mata), seringkali tanpa anestesi. Bila tinggal di alam bebas, ayam bisa hidup selama 7-12 tahun, dan sapi hingga 20-25 tahun. Sementara di peternakan mereka hanya hidup selama beberapa minggu hingga beberapa bulan sebelum dibawa ke penjagalan.

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A modern calf in an industrial meat farm. Immediately after birth the calf is separated from its mother and locked inside a tiny cage not much bigger than the calf’s own body. There the calf spends its entire life–about four months on average. It never leaves its cage, nor is it allowed to play with other calves or even walk–all so that its muscles will not grow strong. Soft muscles mean a soft and juicy steak. The first time the calf has a chance to walk, stretch its muscles and touch other calves is on its way to the slaughterhouse. … They are some of the most miserable animals on the planet. (from “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari)

Gw stres banget baca uraian itu, tapi ini belum bikin gw jadi vegan. Hingga suatu hari di awal tahun 2019 gw dapet rekomendasi untuk nonton film (dokumenter) Cowspiracy. Premis utama film ini adalah bahwa peternakan punya sumbangan besar terhadap kerusakan lingkungan dan perubahan iklim, bahkan lebih signifikan dibanding emisi bahan bakar fosil. Selain itu ditampilkan juga berbagai kasus (dan footage) kekejaman manusia atas binatang dan alam.

Sejak menonton Cowspiracy, gw tergerak dan mulai mencanangkan diri untuk jadi aspiring vegan. Mulai bulan Juni, gw mencoret semua ayam, daging, dan telur dari menu makanan rumah, diganti dengan tahu & tempe. Menunya gak berubah: semur, opor, balado, kari, soto, tumis, goreng, asem manis, dan lain-lain; hanya isinya yang berubah dari ayam/daging/telur, jadi tahu & tempe. Dan ternyata tetap enak tuh.

Selama beberapa bulan gw jadi “aspiring vegan”, artinya: sebisa mungkin gw menghindari daging, tapi kalo pas lagi di luar rumah dan repot cari makanan vegan ya udah makan yang non vegan aja. Jangan sampai merepotkan diri sendiri untuk jadi 100% vegan, gw pikir. Hingga… suatu hari gw tersentak sadar: “Ya ampun, apalah artinya segala kerepotan itu dibanding penderitaan binatang-binatang ternak itu?” Saat itulah gw memutuskan untuk jadi full vegan: no meat (including poultry and fish) and no dairy (egg/milk/butter/cheese, etc.) at all. Oktober hingga Desember adalah masa tenggangnya (grace period).

Kenapa nggak jadi vegetarian aja yang masih bisa mengkonsumsi dairy products? Kan susu dan telur gak membunuh binatang? Masalahnya, penyiksaan manusia terhadap binatang juga berlaku dalam produksi susu dan telur. Supaya sapi bisa menghasilkan susu, dia (dipaksa) harus punya anak terus. Lalu supaya susunya keluar anaknya dibawa mendekat ke induknya, dan setelah susunya keluar anaknya ditarik lagi. Belum lagi teknik-teknik kejam pemerahan susunya. Ayam petelur (termasuk free range hens) juga biasanya diberi obat laying agents supaya bisa menghasilkan 2-3x lebih banyak telur dari kapasitas alaminya. Coba bayangkan kalau manusia dipaksa untuk hamil terus-terusan semasa hidupnya, dan setiap melahirkan anaknya diambil, lalu terus menerus diperah susunya, sampai kita udah nggak bisa produktif lagi, kita dimasukin ke ruang jagal. 

Di masa tenggang ini kadang gw masih tergoda, apakah gw yakin mau jadi vegan total? Gw cukup suka jalan-jalan, dan salah satu yang dilakukan traveler apalagi kalau bukan wisata kuliner. Terus, betapa enak dan bebasnya hidup jadi non-vegan. Sekali waktu gw dikasih dan makan cookies coklat yang, oh, enaknya. Atau (terpaksa) beli roti pesto dengan butter dan garlic yang juga, oh, enaknya, karena lagi laper dan gak ada pilihan roti vegan. Tapi hati gw tetep gak sreg. 

Gw udah gak bisa abai dengan fakta bahwa dibalik semua kenikmatan itu ada hewan-hewan yang tersiksa sepanjang hidupnya. Gw gak mau bersenang-senang di atas penderitaan mahluk lain. Kerepotan jadi vegan itu sungguh gak seberapa dibandingkan dengan penderitaan mereka. Gakpapah deh gw hanya ngemil kentang goreng dan roti mesis pas kelaperan di luar rumah. Atau, pas di tempat ngopi, bela-belain pesen teh (yang encer dan hambar, dibanding teh bikinan gw di rumah) atau kopi hitam (yang bikin deg2an), karena gak ada non-dairy milk untuk capuccino atau es coklat favorit gw. Yang pasti gw udah gak mau lagi jadi bagian dari sistem yang gak manusiawi itu.

Sumpah gw gak pernah menganggap diri gw sebagai pecinta binatang. Tapi melihat betapa kita manusia setiap hari memperlakukan milyaran binatang dengan kejam itu bikin hati gw teriris-iris. Selain “Cowspiracy” (2014), kalian juga bisa nonton “Dominion” (2018) dan “Earthlings” (2005) yang menggambarkan dengan detil bagaimana perlakuan manusia terhadap binatang di peternakan-peternakan besar. Gw nangis tiap nonton film-film dokumenter itu.

Mungkin ada di antara kalian yang berpikir: “Bukankah tanaman juga mahluk hidup?” Ada artikel bagus yang bisa kalian baca yang judulnya “Do Plants Feel Pain?” dari situs Peta.org. Pertama-tama, fakta apakah tanaman bisa merasakan sakit itu belum bisa dibuktikan; yang pasti tanaman tidak punya otak maupun nervous system. Kedua, jika manusia hanya makan plant-based food, tanaman yang dibutuhkan jauuuh lebih sedikit daripada untuk memberi makan hewan ternak yang kemudian kita bunuh untuk dimakan. Jadi kata artikel itu: “For the love of plants, go vegan! Vegan foods require the deaths of fewer plants and zero animal.”

Terakhir, lewat post ini gw cuma ingin share apa yang bikin gw memutuskan jadi vegan. Gw gak akan menghakimi orang-orang yang masih makan daging. Juga buat teman-teman gw yang foodie, gw tetap enjoy ngeliat posting makanan kalian kok, sambil ngiler-ngiler dikit. Bahkan sama pacar sendiri gw bilang, “Kamu gak perlu jadi vegan juga kok. It’s my own battle.” (Walaupun puji semesta dia juga sepemikiran dan mau ikutan gerakan ini. Itu ngebantu banget.)

Semoga semua mahluk berbahagia.

PS. Thanks buat Atmojo sisters: Ivana & Ivone yang udah jadi inspirasi (dan sponsor) soal veganism.

Drawing Musician

I used to draw almost everyday as a kid, until I started to learn music in junior high, then I played music almost everyday. There was also a period of time when I hardly ever play music for a few years. Yet the urge came back; I quit my job, studied music, and tried to make my way through it. Now that I’ve become a musician, the drawing side of me also wants to be unleashed (again).

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One of my fave jazz drummer, Billy Higgins (pen & watercolor, Dec 1, 2017)

I started to draw again in early 2016, thanks to some of my illustrator friends who keep me inspired through their brilliant works; and also Instagram that keeps me updated to all of the amazing works of art out there.

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One of my first watercolor work. (Oct 16, 2016)

Thanks to Instagram (again), that in December 2016 I got my first job to draw/paint for a guy who live in a small town of LeClaire, Iowa, USA. It paid well and the guy already ordered for another job! Also in the same month, when I was traveling and sketching in Surakarta, some random guy approached me and told me that he was interested to buy my sketch just right after I finished it. And he did!

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With the man who bought my sketch (Dec, 2016)

I don’t know where this will lead me to. I still want to do music and work my best to become a better musician, so for the time being drawing will be my second priority. Besides, I want to keep it fun, enjoyable, and stress-free; though I wouldn’t mind getting some extra money from it just once in a while 😊

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I painted this of a movie I liked “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” (watercolor on paper, Nov 29, 2017)

Visit @piktipsketch (<– you can just click this) on Instagram for the collection of my drawings/paintings.

 

 

Expression vs. Competition

 

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I love watching Birdman. And when it won the 2015 Academy Awards on February 22 as Best Picture and Best Director movie, I love what the director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, said about it:

“This is crazy in a way, talking about that little prick called ego. Ego loves competition. Because for someone to win, someone has to lose. But the paradox is that true art, true individual expression, as all the work of these incredible fellow film makers, can’t be compared, can’t be labeled, can’t be defeated. Because they exist, and our work will only be judged, as always, by time.”

Totally agree with this dude. And I think that applies also in music and any other art expressions.

Kevin Eubanks on “The Real Path”

This is how Kevin Eubanks sees his path in music. He was the band leader of Tonight Show with Jay Leno for 15 years! He is also an acclaimed jazz guitarist and composer. I checked him out recently because I like what he played on Dave Holland’s latest album “Prism” (2013) with Craig Taborn on keyboard/piano and, one of my favorite drummers, Eric Harland.

I totally agree with his “philosophy”. It suits me very well, because I ain’t that ambitious either and I also like to chill =)

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Kevin Eubanks on Sway in the Morning Interview

“The real path, the real answer to that is just getting as good as you can at what you do. And all the other networking things that happened, I had no clue that was going on at all. I never thought about being on TV, I never tried to be on TV, I never.. anything. All I want to do is to be a better guitar player tomorrow than I am today. And one thing led to the next.

Some people can do that, some people will like: ‘Oh, if I make this move, then I make this move, then I’m gonna wind up over here.’ I always tried that, but it never worked. It always failed. Because my personality just isn’t like that. I’m not really that ambitious of a person. I just like to chill. Really. But I love music. So I just always play music. But I was never playing music to get from point A to point B.

And it gets confusing when you have to pay rent, then you have to pay the bill, and you get confused, like: ‘Aw, man, I got to sell my self, I got to do this,’ and you get away from your personality, and you can get lost, thinking that you can manipulate things. But, really, if that’s not in your personality, it just doesn’t work.

Just sit and do your music, somebody hires you to do the job, do the best you can, and hopefully if you’ve done the right things for the right reasons, somebody hears you: ‘Oh, I want you to do this,’ and then it just happens more naturally.”

You can see the whole interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFmPd5u_imo

Updates

I always love good quotes. I’m used to writing them all down on my notebooks and gadgets. Quotes that I’ve heard/read from daily lives, learning contexts (classes, workshops, live shows), books, magazines, videos (music/instruments instructions, interviews, etc.) and, of course, movies.

Quotes from the book The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Quotes from the book The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Some of the quotes I took from Billy Martin's Life on Drums (DVD)

Some of the notes I took from Billy Martin’s Life on Drums (DVD)

Since I’ve been too lazy to write my own thoughts these last few years, I will just post them quotes here to keep this blog alive. If I have extra time and energy, I will elaborate them with my own thoughts. I guess it’s like borrowing others’ words to express what I think or feel and also my visions and beliefs.

Enjoy!