Nejus is a Yiddish word my father taught me when I must have been no older than four. It basically means nag, but like all Yiddish words it means it in a much more annoying way. When I use to ask stupid questions, I was big on why when I was a kid and truth be told I still am, my dad use to tell me to stop being a Nejus.
I never really stopped though. I guess that’s why I studied philosophy. Recently as my readers must know I’ve gotten more into activism than ever before. I mean my social phobias keep me out of protests for the most part. I canvassed one time (yes on 97 my Oregon family) and it was actually the most miserable thing I’ve ever done (that may be an exaggeration). That’s why I write I suppose; this blog, letters, op-eds. I also call and email all the time, I sent senator John McCain a snail mail once about not mining the Grand Canyon for uranium. I’m a nejus, what can I say? Older people, and even some my own age now, tell me it’s a waist of time. Telling me to get a real job is a popular one too, but honestly taking a boring minimum wage job when I don’t need one and so many others do sounds frivolous. I’m happy doing what I’m doing. At some point I’d like to go to graduate school but no rush. I know my low key activism makes a difference, I know it when I see it catch up to the msm and bills get passed.
The first activist organization I joined up with was Greenpeace. On one of the many senior ditch days me and my high school boyfriend celebrated we rode the train to Disneyland. At some point I was asked to donate and join, and being a vegetarian at the time it seemed right. (Currently I have quit eating beef. It’s hard, I love beef but I am trying to make a social comment about the torturous practices of dairy and beef slaughter. Even the way we have a seperate word for the cows we eat, beef, is barbaric in my opinion. Laugh away but the slaughter of 44,000 wild horses to make room for a huge cattle farm was cancelled recently because a whole bunch of people decided enough was enough.)
Anyway, today I learned that Greenpeace has been successful! The state of California, where SeaWorld resides, has banned the breeding and theatrical showmanship of orca whales as of 2017. This is HUGE! Seriously for the past eight years I’ve been getting emails, signing petitions, and making calls for this “frivolous” cause and now it has finally come to fruition. Of course it isn’t quite over. Sea World isn’t closing but they are ending breeding and circus routines for orcas. From here on out Sea World claims it will be about animal justice and education, so of course it is our job to hold them to their word and watch for loop holes but aside from that this is a major win! It couldn’t have been done without a few hundred nejuses too.
There’s a time to speak up and a time to quiet down, but never quite fighting for what you believe in. If they call you a nejus, wear the title with pride. Our country and world is in a time of major struggle. Like the fracking crisis, which pollutes both water and land, much of it is life or death. For humans too, not just animals and plants.
So let’s get this fixed, be a nejus. Haters gonna hate.