Were My Cow Cartoons Leading Me To A Healthier Lifestyle? The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

 

As the years go by, it never ceases to amaze me how much the more things change, the more they remain the same.  The above LTCartoon was created in 2001. Today is the middle of 2015.  

In 2001, I was an avid meat eater, and I do not say that proudly.  I either wasn’t ready to quit, I hadn’t evolved to know the importance of quitting, or “screw it” as I always used to like to say. When I whimper like this, its not about you, it’s truly about me.  

But no matter what my excuse, and this happened often, my consciousness was still at work, even way back then. It knew better (which is obvious by this cartoon), it simply wasn’t ready to act.

I knew deep down inside this was not something I was supposed to do.  Whether it was by a bit of understanding of karma (2 major heart attacks finally took me down as well as a host of other maladies), before I finally decide to go fully vegan and even then it took dramatic changes in my wife Lee, who started this new lifestyle nearly a year before I did. 

Still, I knew and I’m not sure how, that long ago.  I still shake my head and ask myself, “How could you have done that Rick, to yourself and to those animals?”  “You were reading the most current periodicals on animal sciences. You knew cows, pigs, chickens and other farm animal’s consciousness was quite similar to feelings as was their ideas on raising their own families, and lifetime loyalties (often even more so than humans).” 

“You (again talking to self), claimed to love animals, and for most my life had dogs and cats and volunteered to help strays etc. and they were pets and farm animals were food.  

Everyone is ignorant, including me, before they get wiser, so I can forgive myself for that, but not easily. 

Lee and I have talked about it often.  She has similar feelings about it all.  We spent so many years basically ruining our bodies, bringing in a host of toxins from what is now known as “factory farming”, not to mention causing the death to these creatures for our protein, which is so easy to get through plant sources, and now, every bit as tasty if not more so.

Lee not only the one who helped me transition into veganism, but also eventually move all leather products out of the house (we didn’t have any fur products but they’d be gone too if we had).  I still own one item that contains leather, my hiking boots, and the only reason for that is that I bought them when I was still a carnivore, and I’ve not been able to find vegan replacements that work, though am actively looking and plan to before the end of the year.  

In most the old farm animal cartoons, like this one, in which I’ve placed cows in awkward situations, the theme has always been bovine vs. butcher. Keep in mind I ate almost nothing but meat and potatoes at the time, but deep down I must have known.  

I’d volunteered for years helping farm animals. Maybe that started me thinking about their souls.  It didn’t sink in that they were/are very important souls, but at least the seed was planted.

Over the years of recovering from a lifetime of meat eating, milk drinking, etc., I have decided not to beat myself up too badly, though it still happens at times.  I know I’ve caused pain and damage to many of my animal-friends and their families, and for that it is difficult to come to terms.

But I will.  Meantime, I find myself creating much more “in your face” graphic cartoons regarding the importance of veganism.  I’m being much better to myself. More understanding. More caring. One can hardly offer much care for others without taking care of oneself properly. 

Don’t get me wrong.  People evolve at their own pace, and some never do. I know many will always eat meat, drink milk, and think of farm animals as our food and/or source of entertainment..and dogs and cats as pets (as I did for many years..so I certainly cannot be judgmental and am not).

 That is them, not me.  The best I can help them realize there are other much healthier alternatives that are every bit as tasty, will help them live much longer and improve their quality of life, and if they care, will reduce their carbon footprint, therefore doing their share to help the planet. 

Enjoy. Have a good laugh, and stay healthy.   

Many like this particular cow scary mooovie cartoon on various products at my RickLondonGifts.com shop. 

To see it on numerous gift items, collectibles, and tees click on “Shop Now”……………..

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Sincerely,

Rick London

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons

& Funny Gifts in 1997, which have been Google #1 ranked since 2005. 

 

 

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Gnu Age Hipsters The Story Behind This Londons Times Offbeat Cartoon by Rick London

Maybe it’s the Asperger’s in me, or maybe I’m just plain weird, or possibly both, but the one thing I love the most about the English language, aside from puns (as long as I wrote them) is combining words that might not otherwise be combined.  And sometimes that involves puns (or pun-like words or phrases) such as “Gnu Age Hipsters”.  Shakespeare was what I call “an extreme editor” and one of his most famous quote was “Brevity is the soul of wit”. 

Even during his fifty something odd years on the planet (back in the 16th Century) he understood human nature enough to know that an audience much preferred a short joke than a long joke; in other words attention spans were short, even back then.   So one of his most important quotes, “Brevity is the soul of wit”, was truly one of his most important, at least to him, and to those of us who think of his writings when we write our own humor.  Should I use 20 words when I can say the same thing in three or four words?

Believe it or not, the majority of humor writers use 20, thinking that if they have more to say, it is somehow “more valuable”.  Shakespeare knew nothing could be further from the truth.  A person not trained in the “art of humor” knows how to tell a long joke and eventually get it right”.  A person trained in humor writing,  even if self-trained as I am, knows painfully well, I’ve lost them if they have to read more than just a little. 

And ask my wife Lee, that is not easy for me.  I don’t write emails….I write essays. But I’m getting better.  At least with the cartoons it forces me to whittle down all the words that come to my mind, and think of the 0-20 or so words that will make it funny, with the most minimal of text.

I knew what I was going to say with Gnu Age Hipsters before I even “fleshed it out” for our team artist German Garcia to render it.  German has worked with me long enough now to where I no longer have to “blueprint” the cartoons.  When we first started, I had to write little details like “one of the gnus is carrying a skateboard”…”one of the gnus is wearing a way to Hawaiian shirt and the other maybe SW/Arizona/Mexico, and one has it’s shoe tongue flapped out.  

I no longer have to write any of those details.  German just knows.   And he often does it now better than I could ever think it up, and that’s a lot of fun to see his surprises as he is a master artist, and also a master creator. 

Dictionary.com cites a gnu to be:  A large dark antelope with a long head, a beard and mane, and a sloping back.

Dictionary.com has 3 definitions for a hipster. The one of which we think the most is: “A person, especially during the 1950s and 1960s, characterized by aparticularly strong sense of alienation from most established social activities and relationships; a beatnik or hippie.”  But another common definition that comes to mind is “A usually young person who is trendy, stylish, or progressive in anunconventional way; someone who is hip.”   It also notes the original hipsters were beatnick-types out of the mainstream who often played jazz.

German was able to combine all 3 definitions and create the ideal hipster; one to which we could all relate (or not relate). 

Finally the term “New Age” which as always been a bit obscure to me. I never really got what it meant other than when yoga and meditation became popular, full moon meditations, and all kinds of fun leftover hippie things that some of us brought with us from the 60s well into the 70s and 80s. 

But Dictionary.com defines it much like one might define a Unitarian Universalist Church, “Of or relating to a movement espousing a broad range of philosophies and practices traditionally viewed as occult, metaphysical, or paranormal.”

Though I never looked at New Age with such a broad range of thought processes, as I found much of it to be “neatly-packaged reworded but “more hip” versions of the original monolithic religions, I felt, “Okay, if the founders of the New Age movement want it to seem more creative, novice and different, then that’s their business.  They’re the ones marketing it and making the cash on it. 

So…..I combined the three, the best I could, knowing good and well I would probably make someone mad, and I’m sure I will.  But I also knew from my wife’s chuckle, I might just make someone, maybe even more, smile and get a good laugh, and nobody really gets hurt.  I like that. 

I guess in a lot of ways, I am a Gnu Age Hipster.  And there’s nothing anyone can do about it. In fact, I dare you to even try.  Now, pass me my books on Sulis and Damara (to quench the thirst of my inner-child), and some silly Stephen Richards (regurgitated/edited from some ancient master philosopher) quote such as, ““Minds are like flowers, they only open when the time is right.”, and some short grass or herbs to quench my gnu, new age, and hipster appetite.” 

We have Gnu Age Hipsters on backpacks clocks, pillows, Tshirts, and all types of gifts. 

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997 and licensed funny gifts from Rick London Gifts.  He also likes to blog 🙂  His illustrator/associate German Garcia is a cartoon and fine artist in his own right and has worked for DC and Marvel Comics.