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.

A superficiality problem

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Problems of superficiality are still relatively prevalent in the current vegan movement

Why veganism is not an automatic remedy against social and political superficiality?

Social:

1. -isms prevail despite e.g. most prominently the reckognizable intersectionality discussion.

2. Levels of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ communication aren’t being (critically) reflected within the vegan mainstream.

3. The idea of veganism is not structurally improved in terms of nonhuman-inclusiveness, food-justice, classism, e.g.

Politically:

1. Veganism is segregated out of the context of why speciesism “turned” nonhuman animals into ressources and commodities in the first place, i.e. the ethical debate is not lead in these terms by a vegan rethoric.

2. Historical and cultural contextualizations with a vegan praxis aren’t evaluated and built in the collective consciousness and awareness of the movement. Change is being sought from within only roughly pronounced socio- and enviro-political relations, veganism as a player stays on one plane level due to reduced political contextualizations.

3. Closed clusterizations function like quasi-pluralistic selforganizing (hence also features of movement) – the created system remains closed in its own political mechanisms.

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Being food (poem)

Ever seen
being food
as specific
of speciesism

GM / specifics of speciesism

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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

Basic antispe considerations

I scribbled this down for my friend hiesl @germanvegan, and we want to share these brief thoughts with everyone else …

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Some basic radical antispe considerations about activities on a theoretical and practical plane

Theoretical / practical activities that help combat speciesism in the environment in your reach:

– Make being a radical antispeciesist part of your public and private personality.

– Use your possibilities to create safe-spaces for nonhuman individuals/life.

– Expect people to be able to think and reflect about social justice in a nonhuman-inclusive form.

– Use the internet e.g. or any place where you can express yourself to create postulations in order to forward radical antispeciesism – make your stance (this is also a form of self-empowerment).

– Learn weighing out positions, opinions, infos, sources, dynamics of communication via media: the AR movement isn’t a ‘clear spring’, it even harbors a lot of speciesism (like the biologistic one most often), animal-derogation, normalized speciesist-humansocieties-centered ‘megalomania’, etc. That is why the only safe way to navigate your activist field is to follow your own convictions that result from the ultimate experiences you gather together with the nonhuman contacts, friendships, relations you encounter. Animallib – or also respecting animal autonomy – aren’t empty words but should manifest in an actual antispeciesist praxis.

– “Common sense” – such as you apply in intra-human affairs – might be the best guide and the one that offers the most independent flexibility to learn and provide the freedom of thought you need.

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.

Specific criterions of speciesist humiliations: (1) designation as a “food” resource

Fragment: Why is it important to highlight the specifics of an oppressive system: The structure of denial and negation mostly serves to “legitimize” oppression/injustice, and these kinds of ‘humilitation’ take specific forms and function as instruments of oppression. In the case of speciesism the title as: food i.e. being designated to be the food the oppressor “nourishes” him-/herself from, plays a most tragically remarkable role.

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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.

 

Aspects of an ecocentric sociology: Ressources; Cultures, Empathy, Borders

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The social destructivity exerted by our ‘humanity’ towards ‘animality’ (and all nonhuman life) is the fundamental ethical problem, not the question of indirect damages caused to “our” ressources and interests by this destructive behaviour.

Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy

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Veganism is really ‘one expression for a holistically ethical lifestyle’, cultural histories give us indications and clues about the histories of such.
Seeing it from this point of view gets us more into ethical pluralities and deeper layers of non-anthropocentric thought.

Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy

What is EMPATHY? We are rather in a constant process of learning from each other, a failed or active information exchange. There is no constant positive affirmation, even in doubt we learn. We can’t chose – we learn something from one another. All existence does.

Which threshholds do what kind of societal groups not like to cross and be CROSSED by others?
And are different parameters for discussing angles of problems recognized or do perspectives have to be narrowish to seem intelligeble I wonder. #ecosociologies

Inhibiting normalcies within activism

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Activism as a practical focus

  • on the marketing of ready made vegan products
    plus
  • vegan cooking
    plus
  • ones public physical self-presentation as a vegan example

seems to take quite a space in the iconography created by some vegans. It transports a consumerist image to me.

This seems to vary though with current cultural habits, normalcies and practices, as in some places the focus tends to be more on helping and supporting nonhumans and human individuals/groups as a form of visible, political and standardly represented plant-powered activism – such as generally in Turkey and Brazil for instance and in the Black vegan movement and the VegansofColor movement in the US.

In general also I observe the obsession with photographing oneself in public at activist events or activivism-related opportunities. This in itself seems to count as a proven and valid form of expected social integration and a trustworthy marker of activist efficacy. This also requires that you are able-bodied and don’t suffer from any social phobia, it also requires you to accept social patterns of the peer group dynamics you are partaking in.

The problem is about the norms that are created and upheld (…) even with a broader, informed knowledge. Such norms create spaces of social divergence for those who decide to communicate differenlty, also by chosing other forms of expressing their basic political positions.

Image … of a Bestia obscura, by Farangis.de.