Specifics of speciesism: History, how we see “the past” and how we preserve “what is important”

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Specifics of speciesism: History, how we see “the past” and how we preserve “what is important”.

This fragment as a PDF

Our collectively built historical consciousness, the legacies nonhuman-ignorant communities and collectives value:

  • We relegate nonhuman animal history and nonhuman history in general into the natural-historic chapter of basically human history.
  • We ignore nonhuman narratives; we ignore positions outside the anthropocentric dogma when they come from nonhuman perspectives, we haven’t developed any comprehension for nonhumanity on non-speciesist levels.

If we chose a nonhuman-inclusive mode of perception and developed accesses to nonhuman notions of ‘being-in-time and socio-cultural-contexts’ in their terms (…), we’d be able to phrase nonhuman perspectivity in our words, without referring to biology or other reductive explanatory segments into which animality has continuously been relegated.

Collective memories

  • Museums, when they are about culture, thought, introspection, mental “wealth”, aesthetics: nonhumans are at best a means-to-an-end within these contexts, they are never represented as standing for their own complexity in broader nonhuman-inclusive historical contexts.
  • History in itself is seen as a concept and experienced-phenomenon only conceivable by humans, and amongst humans themselves history is being selectively purported.

Memories of nonhumanity, from their and from nonhuman inclusive perspectivities, are being nullified, consciously conceived as irrelevant and mentally achieved within any of the manifold speciesist categories of human- or rather humanitycentered perceptions.

Your God

religious_murder

If your God decrees you to sacrifice
someone else’s life, other life …
If your God takes pleasure in
another life’s pain, in another life’s death
tell me
what God is that?

Religious sacrifice of nonhuman animal life,
Think about it.

Palang @ niceswine

Sacrifices, how dare they sacrifice our beloved ones, our hearts……..
Religion, a choice, and how can someone accept Gods who disrespect our lives? Animal lives.
Some take religion as “god given”, but it expresses only their own, their very own collectively nourished thinking.

Being food (poem)

Ever seen
being food
as specific
of speciesism

GM / specifics of speciesism

sos_being_food

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“If you are nobody,
and people think your personality
is to be fitted on a plate

If you think the unthinkable,
In all directions,
Their narrow frameworks
Never allow

They think you are nothing
Not bemourned

That’s what they do to
You my friends
My teachers
Nohuman Nonhumans
Animals.” – Person in Flesh

Specifics of speciesism: Physis and visible presence (fragment)

catalytic_one_2b

Specifics of speciesism: Physis and visible presence (fragment)

This fragment as a PDF

– The differing, specific physicalness of a nonhuman animal is the criterion upon which humans base their argumentation of proof: that a nonhuman animal cannot physically reason to a more complex content than the limit and quality of capacity the humans ascribe to them.

– The biological markers become an absolute-instance-of-ability in context with quality of existence and existential meaning.

– The state of being a nonhuman animal in itself becomes thus supposedly fully explicable, the constructed explicability is so far never taken our of the human-defined context, not even by their defenders.

– Only in mythological and ancient human folklore we find traces of different ascriptions to nonhuman animal physicality (partly also in childrends literature and modern folklore, but to a more humancentric extent).

– The big religious belief systems built their image of the human and god on an equal plane and set that as a standard criterion for leading a qualified reasonable life separate from the state of nature, nonhumans had been even in ancient philosophies seen as the same as ‘brute nature’ – based on their physical difference and uniqueness/specialness.

– Even today the comparison between “humanness” and “animalness” is being sought in favour of humans as the quality marker for reason and ethics, ethics, morals, reasoning, love, relations, socialness, etc. it is not fundamentally sought in different nonhuman cultures – most prominently language and philosophy as bound to the physis of the human, not the nonhuman, whereas wisdom is sought in “nature” to a huge but yet unclear and unexplained extent in humanity.

– The natural sciences were a tool when they dealt with bodies of animality, to draw separations, thus Galen and later Descartes famously vivisected, while basing on a mixture in their thought between religion and ‘natural sciences’ … Natural sciences only emboldened that certain physics are bound to certain existentual qualities, which the human will define and ‘prove’.

– A seperationist culture is being created in human social life, where humanity and animality and nonhuman life is finely segregated, basically and basically philosophically, so that people don’t even think and see anymore, but solely follow the total norm.

– Sadism, violence to the physis of nonhumanity is the warning shot, the societal execution, the harshest separator that keeps humanity an wanted and unwanted enemy to animality (as operating with fear i.e. ‘speciesist totalitarian structures’).

Specifics of speciesism: aesthetics (fragment)

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A nonhuman-inclusive critique of the view on aesthetics and speciesism on the current Animal Rights and Animal Liberation movements (fragment)

This fragment as a PDF

The Animal Rights discussion ends here:

  • The missing discussion of specifics of nonhuman oppression, in its exact manifestations as humiliation, degradation, negation, violence is currently a hinderance of further development in the political efficacy of the “Animal Rights movement”.
  • The discussion is omitted in sectors that deal with
    • interrelated oppressive systems > how is it to be specifically “food” e.g.
    • with Animal Liberation, which takes biologism uncriticized (as if not posing a problem with nonhumans, only for humans) > the entire layer of theories are not “liberated”
    • in the Human-Animal-Studies sector which so far seems to a.) separate between the quality of human versus nonhuman oppression and b.) does not contextualize with environmental ethics due to a seperative focus on nonhuman animals and humans > academic adherence creates insufficient epistemologies
  • Contextualizing animality within the broadest possible fields seems to be necessary, in order to create an adequacy in perspective on sociological, ecological, philosophical e.g. parameters and qualificators of the nonhuman situation as faced with speciesist oppression.

Specifics of oppression in speciesism: I am taking aesthetics as this is the most overlooked field of problem within the Animal Rights movement considering the powerfulness aesthetics hold in human societies and the specifics of speciesism and aesthetics as an oppressive tool.

  • Aesthetics in arts is one way in which animal degradation takes form. In which ways does this occur?
  • The exact ‘speciality’ of speciesist and/or nonhuman derogative aesthetics can be observed.
  • What makes up aesthetics in its cultural function overall. The central roles have to be considered which wilfulness (Willkür), taste/preference (Geschmack, Präferenz), mode (Machart), subjectiveness play.

Nonhuman-inclusiveness

  • “Thinking experiences” (Denkerfahrungen) of nonhumanity must be taken into account > multiplication with the perspectives of nonhuman others on the basis of e.g. the shared fact of individual existence and individuality – leaving difference and don’t require sameness (this is my posulation), yet locate “life” in “one world” (…).
  • If we exclude nonhumanness again from all possibilities of angles of narration and narrative, we keep on repeating and perpetuating the initial species-denouncing act.

Where intersections turn crossroads: shared factors of oppressive functions, separating markers. Seeing what makes each case unique might help putting the puzzles together.

If you keep relegating animality into reductive frameworks while doing animal advocacy work, your activism isn’t really aware of the scopes of ethical, political, sociological interfaces between nature-animality-humanity …

Messel; Nonhuman-inclusive; Animal Autonomy

applying_what_frameworksWhere intersections turn crossroads: shared factors of oppressive functions, separating markers. Seeing what makes each case unique might help putting the puzzles together.

With all the intersections (and what I’d additionally call the interfaces equally) given, there are also clearly factors that in the end of the day categorically separate one system of oppression from another, and in the case of the functionalities of nonhuman animal oppression we have these unique markers that we must address in order to analyse what exactly this phenomenon ‘speciesism’ is.

The mechanisms of sexism, racism, ableism and basically any way in which living individuals are actively and passively negated can be understood in their specific manifestations, that are specifically experienced by the individuals and groups who become victimized and who are affected. Intersectionally in terms of nonhuman oppression we would need the factor of having experienced being designated the role of actual “food” for example in a completely righteous manner, not in an ambiguous state. We can’t deny that nonhumans know what they are the victims of, that would be highly biologistically speciesist. The complexity of oppression is fully known by the affected nonhuman individuals and groups.

That being said one must add that it is true that life is being negated in its dignity in any cases where oppression takes place. It would be problematic to draw lines of known -isms and for example overlook individual cases of denial of the right to life and dignity.

When we involve the complex-of-nature for example we are going to get rather into understanding how life overall is being classified and negated in a fundamental way, and that not just an oppressive class, but the individual enactor of destructivity is the thinking and acting agent that should be taken a look at (after all ending destructivity is an emancipatory process at its best).

If a nonhuman animal that is considered to be a “farmed animal” crosses a street where people walk and don’t expect him/her, and if a  human who is oppressed crosses a street, we categorically have the scenario that no matter what the nonhuman animal will be considered a lower life in the specific sense of a food provider and a utilitarian-type “resource”. The nonhuman will be excluded from the human race – which is a problem in itself – but be be relegated in the realm of “nature”, which is the sort of “antagonist” to human”” existence. This makes up speciesism and such type of specifics need to be analysed in all detail.

When activists solely focus on nonhumans, they tend to leave nonhumans within the biologistic speciesist paradigm. Intersectionality gets us away from biologist patterns to a partly ambivalent extent. Yet what makes speciesism speciesism, and what makes oppression oppression, and what makes humanity in total to have lived on a specifically nonhuman animal and nature oppressive basis and on other oppressive bases that affect any life in any possibility? I want to face human-created histories in terms of all existent injustices equally.

 

Nonanthropocentric perceptions

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As a PDF

Society acts as if animal degradation and zoocide were irrelevant, they separate these type of phenomena from questions about human existence and environmental ethics. Such blind spots form part of a lacking ability to speak about the fundamentality of the human-animal relation in constructive terms.

The only way humanity’s large collectives correlate to nonhumans is by assuming the own existential meaning could be placed on top of nonhumanity in arbitrary hierarchies, assuming that animal existence was of lesser meaningfulness in the universe, in the big scope.

However, animal history, past and present, can’t be relegated into these spaces humanity have created … for killing and torture, or equally into the communication structures of demeaning anthropocentrist propaganda, into any of the institutions of speciesism (ranging from zoological gardens to natural science museums), or into cultural murderous-rape habits of consumption:

Nonhuman cultural history is the life of this universe’s animal inhabitants, and not all human individuals would ever lie about this “crossroads truth” in human perception.

Gruppe Messel / Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy

Is the utilization of ‘animal bodies’ the source speciesism? Where does animal degradation start?

How will human societies depelop a understanding of animal degradation and speciesism? An example of animal degradation in context with normalized species-degogative views on horses specifically can be seen in this photophaph for instance:

speciesism
Unknown photographer, found on FB in someones timeline. Showing this image only serves the purpose of documentation and sensitization in terms of leading an anti-speciesist discourse. (Using this image does not imply that we see such photographic arts / aesthetics as ethically tolerable or as supportive of serving nonhuman interests in any possible way.)

The degradation of nonhuman animals: does the consumption come first, the utilization, or the speciesist ideologies and beliefs?

A short critique of anti-carnism-centered approaches such as in the movie ‘the end of meat’.

The degradation of nonhuman animals and how that goes together with the consumption of nonhumans is something I really wonder about. Movies like “the end of meat” very much assume an anti-carnism position, seeing the main problem in the biggest scale of speciesist industries, namely the meat, milk, egg industry.

But what we really have, what is taking place, is stretching out over virtually every aspect of human domination of ‘nature’. And this is why I personally put the killing and degradation of nohuman animals in a context of zoocide taking place, alongside the dimensions of genocides and ecocide in human history.

I wonder if human societies will automatically stop degrading nonhuman animal cultures and their natural ecosystems when they stop torturing and murdering them on this unimaginably large scale in the meat and food industries. I wonder if the acceptance for otherness of nonhuman animal cultures and individuals will grow in societies in the moment a society would stop killing them, eating them, and utilizing them primarily for reasons of their own human survival – and only partly for reaching a fully functioning future of nonhuman animal and animal-ecosystems rights and liberty?

In other words will we stop seeing the world flat in regards to nonhuman animals and their natural habitats because we stop commiting a large part of zoocide and ecocide? I hope that will be so, but I have doubts.

Looking back at the history of speciesism shows that the causes for human hubris over nonhumans and nature are very deeply installed in the history of human civilisations (Aph Ko discusses the question: ‘what are the roots of animal oppression?‘ in this interview).

I believe that working against all forms of speciesism (see also: aspects of speciesism), and against forms of animal degradation has to take place, on all levels where nonhumans are othered in destructive, degrading and harmful ways. Only so we will ensure that society develops an enlightened and reconciling view on nohuman animals, and only so the spaces will be protected and the rights granted where animal individuals and groups live (animal cultures).

Also the language in regards of ‘nature’ seems insufficient to me in approaches such as in the movie ‘the end of meat’. The meaning of nature is not contextualized with the question of animal habitat but rather with protecting resources for human survival. Animals as friends, as envisioned in this movie, needs the contextualization of animal liberation/animal right with ecopolitics on a very tight level.

This comment is however not meant to be a negative critique, it is only a trial to point out problems that seem untouched by that type of mainstream approaches in veganism. And that is also why I chose to name this specific movie, since it typically represents the mainstream thinking of how the problems of animal oppression can supposedly be stopped and addressed by ending the animal farming industries, instead of dismantling the working variables of systematic and individual animal oppression as they occur on any given level.

Note:

The difference between mainstream veganism and our individual group’s approach has much to do with:

  • whether or not to appreciate animal cultures and individuals in a non-biologistic frame,
  • and whether or not humancentric ideals are questioned or not in terms of affirmatively assigning nonhumans own ways/contexts of moral agency, own fully fledged ways/contexts of ethical values, of own fully fledged complex language-systems (and that thus also a lingua franca between humanity and animality is not just something fictional but rather something possible and something basically valid)

We need new and different sets of terms than the ones we have in our societies so far when we discuss nonhuman interests. A difference is clearly if someone is willing to take the discussion into wider fields than what we have so far even and in particular in human animal and critical animal studies – given that these are the very studies that deal with animality in the supposedly most progressive ways.

To our point of view the entire mainstream approach and consensus that we have – practically in ethical veganism and in direct or indirect animal liberation activities and theoretically in academic animal liberation approaches – all don’t manage to coherently jump the crucial lines … and thus they lack credibility in our point of view:

We still have too much unnamed speciesism in the anti-speciesist movement, and we still have too much omission of aspects of nonhuman autonomy in the animal-nature-continuums and nonhuman culture/s in an oppressive world. We finally don’t even speak about a zoocide taking place on all levels that oppression, violence, destruction, annihilation and negation can politically take place.