On this Earth Day:
most nonhuman animals are trapped in the reproductive hells human societies are seeking to “industrialize” their very physical and mental existence with.
Would you rather go extinct or be forced to live under torture, where your very natality is being ab/used, against your own existential integrity?
On this Earth Day, like on endless ones to come, most nonhuman animals don’t have any choice whatsoever to leave the most atrocious circle of an evolutionary-scale oppression working through physical fertility, natality, birth …
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie
If a nonhuman group can’t even go extinct?
In speciesism the biggest problem is the ab/use of reproduction and birth.
Nonhumans trapped in the circle of the large ‘animal industries’ can’t even go extinct …
The look into the case of extinction excludes the look into the torture chambers of ab/used life circles.
Zoocide happens on manifold levels, and it goes hand in hand with ecocide on all these levels.
Antispeciesist Animal Sociology
Why speciesism is evil
palang, Gruppe Messel
We don’t need to discuss whether a person or group is evil in all aspects, when we want to evaluate if an act of speciesism (committed by a person or group) is evil and condemnable.
In general often people who commit any type of evil, do not seem to their social environment like they would hold an “evil” potential, meaning, that a person can have different aspects about them, or also purposely mask their not-so-good sides. Another thing to keep in mind is that every chapter of human history taught us, that what some might have felt as beneficial to them, was plain evil to others who were negatively affected by a “gain” of someone else.
Speciesism is a (specific) form of oppression – and as such it is evil:
A.) Assuming that speciesism was merely a historical accidence, would mean to deny that nonhuman animals could have ever been perceived as something else than “objects”, and with that as “objects of speciesism”. Acts of speciesism are conscious acts of violating other (animal) individuals. Nonhuman animals are not automatically only viewable as objects.
My position is, that our degrading views of nonhuman animals today and in our shared history (i.e. the arguments with which we mark the nonhuman animal world as less- or non-relevant), are kinds of attitudes based on a totalitarian layer that society continuously enacts and that is functioning by society’s willingness to accept this form of a system; we compel and force members of our society to adopt speciesist attitudes, however we can step out of such a system and resist, like we can equally resist to take part in other forms of oppressive structures.
B.) To assume that speciesist acts could be done without any conscious form of evil will and behaviour, means that we rule out the quality of evil which we face in the given oppressive context that speciesism marks. Every “procedure” done, that violates the physical and mental integrity of a nonhuman animal individual (directly or indirectly), is a conscious act and an act of will – even when the human individual who commits this act, finds and is offered and taught excuses to rationalize his or her deeds as necessary or non-evil.
Speciesism is evil because it masks as being an acceptable form of viewing nonhuman animal others as: ownable, definable, edible, usable, ignorable … as passive objects or “eternal victims”, the list seems endless.
I do think that as an Animal Liberationist one is accountable to tell the facts about the forms of conscious human evil that we face in speciesist oppression.
Revised version of http://simorgh.de/niceswine/why-speciesism-is-evil
Biologism equals speciesism.
In our nonhuman-inclusive approach the definition of biologism would be, e.g.
> the interpretation of animal life from a strictly biological point of view; the use of biological explanations in the analysis of social situations – in general!
In context with my fragment: Many forms of speciesism.
A question of identity (human vs. animal) –
in which a human hides his/her factual individuality (i.e. human collectivism as a shield)
beneath the psychological and/or physical violence against animal dignity.
Fragments on species-derogation, previous list: Speciesism an animal hatred.
Female-identified human individuals and speciesism, species-derogation, -negation -annihilation or the overlooked problem of “women” and anthropocentric-collectivist speciesism
A.) I set forth following anchor points, before I start on the topic:
- We can ask if the interpretations of the characteristics, that are considered to make up the marking dividers within a human-animal hierarchy, are in reality a negation of the autonomous value of otherness in nonhuman animals.
- We know that the single criterion [against which we measure anything nonhuman animals do] that serves as our standard, is the human parameter, i.e. the human model counts as the ideal, as the standard, for creating norms. So what happens if we put this standard of measurement into doubt?
- Biology has already determined what the identity of nonhuman animals is, and even the Animal Rights movement has satisfied itself with placing the moral question somewhere out of reach by accepting the explanation of the identity of animals as something strictly biological.
(Full text: http://www.simorgh.de/objects/what-is-an-animal/)
The image is severely speciesist. It’s not fathomable why some feminists make that comparison between the “treatment” or I guess rather the objectification of women in advertisement etc. with “meat”? There is obviously an perverted aesthetical connection thought by speciesist rhetorics, but it leads us into a direction which should be further looked at and not just taken by the superficial “meaning” of such iconography.
“Meat” is a solely speciesist problem, unless we would speak of necrophilia and cannibalism.
B.) Feminism and Animal Rights: the one way or the other
“Meat” is not porn and it’s not sexist per se, it is porn insofar and forms of zoophilia are involved, direct or indirect, and sexist where sexism is directly applied to the nonhuman animal individuals or groups themselves. Speaking of porn and sexism here as a proxy covers up how those affect nonhumans directly.
“Meat” is flesh, and it’s the result of a human/humans killing a nonhuman animal/animals.
We should be careful with attaching own sociological issues to such a major own concerns such as Animal Rights in an analogy, which sets itself so close to the subject of comparison, that the story lapses and gets one-sided and a new and important perspective gets neglected instantaneously.
All Animal Rights issues need an own valid terminology and frames of reference, otherwise we are risking to blur the lines of differentiation.
The analogy of sexism and speciesism fails when applied superficially and in an undifferentiated way also because…:
Two main points why Animal Rights issues can’t be tied to a strict feminist viewpoint, as long as feminism is used as excusing women from the ethical responsibilities in society towards their nonhuman environment.
- It’s wrong to presuppose that speciesism is something that is more prevalent in male-identified human individuals compared to female-identified human individuals.
- Also, male nonhuman animals are inasmuch sexually abused, e.g. in the farm industry (their reproductive system) such as female nonhuman animals are.
The sociological dynamics of gender in their effect of speciesist attitudes and actions should be addressed of course, but there is no reason inherent to “biological” gender (if we would go that path) that would prove that “men” or categorically more speciesist than “women”. Also the way in which roleplay is happening in systems of oppression should be addressed, i.e. “women” taking the role of cooks, or preparing the speciesist meals, of wearing feathers and fur, etc. male roles, roles that are swapped, (I am not extending on this here).
C.) Close analogies … also of genocides and speciecides and their deficits
These types of close analogies in the field of -isms and abuse work in a valid way when we look at the psychology of the perpetrator who seeks to create a victim: the aspect of exerted violence shares many similarities, whereas however on the side of the victimized we have to see the contexts: political, enviro-political, historical, sociological, … a group or an individual gets picked as a victim for reasons, and those exact reasons need to be analyzed under own terms, and not be conflated. In terms of speciesism, we face many forms of speciesism (i.e. religious, scientific, legal, philosophical, etc.).
D.) Feminism, Speciesism, Anthropocentrism
Random examples of female rhetorics of speciesism:
- objectification of beings oppressed, animalesque figures made with wool / felt; https://web.archive.org/web/20160323101532/https://www.stephaniemetz.com/portfolioOverbredAnimals.html
- helplessness and helping as an act of public viewing, http://kathyhigh.com/project-embracing-animal.html
- the daily randomness of the gender / nonhuman animal speciesist contexts, women taking/being part, http://huzzahvintage.blogspot.com/2010/10/you-decide.html
- female-identified fans, adherents, students of Hermann Nitsch for example
- female speciesist artists in general, random examples with critical comments:
Is a self-critical view on gender / being a woman / feminism necessary?
What would speak against it? We know that in our daily lives we, as “women”, make decisions that touch on core grounds that turn the private/the personal into the political (https://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/pisp.html). As antispeciesists we know with our vegan praxis just how impactful our personal choices are, and as social beings we also know how hard it can be for us to draw a line between the social expectations that one tries to fit in (in order to find a job, to be liked or accepted, to keep ones social ties or family structures/felt obligations together, and so forth) and our political ideals and ethical, pressing necessities when both might stand in conflict with each other in times of societal change. Our human social environment might be heavily speciesist and we have to get along with it, somehow yet still inspire change, for instance.
Speciesism, as remote as it seems, is to be found at the same point where my-choice-to-decide-otherwise-or-not crosses just any implications of socialization that I feel are ethically unjustifiable. When I rant against sexism I might as well rant against an injustice that targets nonhumans, if I am a vegan anti-speciesist minded person.
Speciesism can be understood to work socially as an ideology, where people who are convinced of their degrading stance, believe in a collectively held fiction that is assumed and agreed upon as “objectivity”, so that no rebuttal can take place on “rational grounds”.
Women do feel at home in this construct inasmuch as men do, on the large scale. Both 50 percent of humanity, male and female, believe so much in human superiority that they are willing to constitute part of a speciesist society by fulfilling their individual part in the fiction.
“Gender” defines itself from interaction within a group or society. Being oppressed as a woman doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t be oppressive towards nonhuman animals. Drawing an analogy between sexism (or genderism) and speciesism does not take account of the different reasons and histories why the victim gets oppressed in the first place – for what ends, and how exactly. If we turn a blind eye on the gender specific functions of speciesism and anthropocentrism we might risk a loophole in our argumentation for our own rights defending nonhumans and for integral Animal Rights themselves.
Speciesism is a unique tragedy. The history of being classified as “animals” by humans, with all that entailed, as beings whose existence had been on earth eons before humans evolved, can’t be compared to any other form of oppression by a strict analogy. Being objectified as solely “animate”, being slaughterable, edible, huntable, vivisectable, being objectifiable and judged as “definable”, in the first place constitutes a specific situation for the affected subject, and hints at a unique technique of injustice taking place here on behalf of the oppressive side that is being applied to this particular victimized group.
Comparisons between different forms of oppression are extensively helpless efforts when oppressor and oppressed are as entangled as in the case of speciesist human oppressive settings.
We could straightforwardly name that natural sciences, religion, philosophy, mass society have to end classifying the beings we call “nonhuman animals”, or we stay stuck in our psychological accompliceship with the very hierarchical and oppressive systems that we criticize so vehemently as what regards our own pains.
I don’t see an alternative as of yet. The ecofeminist and feminist discourse in Animal Rights and Animal Liberation (Karen Davis, Marti Kheel, Lori Gruen, Carol J. Adams, Kim Socha, Vasile Stanescu and so forth) is pluralistic enough to lead and continue their differentiated discourse I believe and I thank them for doing so.
Farangis G. Yegane. Panting: Torsi, Drawing: Werkzyklus Krone der Schöpfung, http://crownofthecreation.farangis.de/
All links accessed 28.10.2018.
For once stop reproducing species-derogative rhetorics by talking about “instincts/instinctual behavior” when speaking about nonhuman animal friends that you seek to defend from reductive approaches towards them. Start developing an emancipated language, an antispeciesist one, in the sense of acknowledging the uniqueness of the individuals you want to talk about.
It’s central to make connections between the categorical trinaries and specific constructs of “animality”, the ‘natural’ word/’nature, and “humanity”, and how those ”further” and reach into sociology, into notions and ideas of liberty, into political environmentalism as a main binding core, … add your own knowledge and insights.
It’s fully insufficient and seems a conscious fallacy to refer to one (problematic) category, that reduces the entity of a nonhuman individual being to the inquisitional restrictions of biological causalism.
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy
Every human relates to nonhuman animals, only the most people do it in speciesist ways; they see nonhumans as a means to an end. A specific of speciesism is that as a nonhuman you may be seen as “regular” food. I.e. eating you doesn’t count as a form of cannibalism. The mental divide that human societies draw here is that you may be a generally physically usable source to the degrees where you may be “destroyed” under the utmost imaginable forms of torture and pain.
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy
The animal oppression and veganism discrepancy (fragment):
If you look at the way in which meat is marketed and if you see the type of demand for meat , you clearly see the roles types of speciesism [2, 3] play.
People who reject veganism act that way due to their speciesist convictions. Meat, dairy, eggs … are manifestations of speciesism, and thus primarily issues of antispeciesism.
Health and lifestyle might be a driver for some people to become vegan. But the injustice towards nonhuman animals (including their intricate relation to the natural environment), which takes place on all levels of societies globally, won’t change because of the person-centered health- and lifestyle reasons of some people.
There is hardly any other system of structural injustice where as little public outcry is expected as in speciesism: health- and lifestyle-vegans mention the animal rights issue in general on a rather superficial level and usually avoid to speak of systemic animal oppression in a way in which they might speak about forms of oppression that affect human beings as victims.
 “Being food” is a specific of speciesism. The demand for “meat” implies an entire speciesist traditional background. To assume though that “meat”-consumption is a natural evolutionary rationale, is to imply a biologist view on human cultures by assuming their predatorship would align with that of (what we’d call) ‘nonhuman predatory cultures’. Also, there may well always been groups of humans, human individuals and human civilizations who have avoided animal oppression. Even if this type of consciousness would only exist without any historical precedence it would still be equally valid.
 We assume that there are > many forms of speciesism.
Fragments that we wrote about specifics of speciesism so far:
- Where intersections turn crossroads: shared factors of oppressive functions, separating markers. Seeing what makes each case unique might help putting the puzzles together, http://www.simorgh.de/objects/where-intersections-turn-crossroads/
- Specific criterions of speciesist humiliations: (1) designation as a “food” resource, http://www.simorgh.de/objects/criterions-of-speciesist-humiliations-food-ressource/
- Specifics of speciesism: Physis and visible presence (fragment),http://www.simorgh.de/objects/specifics-of-speciesism-physis-and-visible-presence-fragment/
- Specifics of speciesism: History, how we see “the past” and how we preserve “what is important”, http://www.simorgh.de/objects/specifics-of-speciesism-history/
Conscious about speciesism
And yet you study nonhuman animals
Through indirect, abstract, theory-driven lenses
Not through the uniquely and ultimately
your antispeciesist views would take.
– Palang LY