The organic, humane speciesists

A short narrative:

People I know said: “We stopped eating meat!”

Same people said: “We just love organic stuff, and recently when we went to our local organic farm we saw how lovely these farmers were and just how lovingly they kept their cows … and guess what, it was even the first time we ate some red meat again.”

Speciesism is a sign of not only a lack of basic fundamental necessary human empathy, it also indicates a lack of rational common sense. If you don’t understand what I mean, please read this text by Vasile Stanescu

Why “Loving” Animals is Not Enough: A Response to Kathy Rudy, Locavorism, and the Marketing of “Humane” Meat

Listen to an abbreviated version here:

Vasile Stanescu, “Why loving animals is not enough: a feminist critique”


Liberation from “Total”

Dear fellow AR activist,

​I personally don’t know where even any total liberation activists stand in detail. Of course it’s decisively crucial that the interest in nonhuman-related-ethical-issues is continuously gaining momentum, and every event (or activity, or even thought) that is taking place to grow this momentum is an active expression of an overall ethical development evoluting in our societies. I believe in such developments, and I believe they are driven by many different forces and factors.

I am however generally suspicious of the internal structures of movements, for as long as an idea hasn’t taken ground and formed solidly enough in a society for it to be expressed pluralistically enough, so that you can argue with a full spectra of positions.

The canon of Animal Liberation or AR has strong tendencies to be unisono, and I blame that on the movements inner dynamics. And it is this narrowness within the movement why  I always try to double check what exactly is being practised and promoted beyond the bigger messages of any strongly idealistic event.

With total liberation events so far nothing seems transparent to me, structurally more than from the given goals and intentions.

I for myself prefer solutions to be less “total” and more sticking to the realities of the details.

Just another fellow AR activist

Politicize Yourself in Animal Correlations

Panda Bob @ Animal Place, California, 2014.

Who makes up the space of “the” Animal Rights debate?
How do you get your own specific message across if it’s yet unrepresented?
And how can you audibly express yourself?

This fragment as a PDF (Link opens in a new window)

B, L and P. / @animalogy

In the AR movement as we have it today, there is not a lot of space for individual voices, unless that is, you fulfil some prerequisites. For instance:

– You have to be part of a group or “fraction” in some way. Problematic, because of group dynamics.
– You must support and repeat opinions of the ones considered to be experts in their fields. Problematic, because disempowering to individual reasoning and thought development.
-You have to stay away from making Animal Politics, by restricting yourself to marginally discussing animal issues, if you don’t meet the first two criterions, and stay out of “expert” (or “insider”) issues. Problematic, because animal issues quickly grow into a core concern for any individual who has once stepped out of our human-centric frames.

Once you “anti-speciesistically” emancipate, you might find out that you need own ways and spaces to:

– Plainly speak about your relation to nonhumans in a non-biologistic way
– Discuss humans and ‘being human’, human society and being part of human society, in a more fundamentally critical way
– Rethink the human/society/nonhuman-complex in new, strictly non-anthropocentric, yet non-biologistic ways.

So, what we advise any “Nonhuman Animal Ally” to do, is the following, and coming from this angle might even help turning today’s “Animal Rights movement” into an “Animal Rights empowerment, consciousness and thinking” that won’t even need a single specific “movement” anymore, that will instead become a pluralistic constituent of our overall political and rights consciousness:

– Don’t make your own activism and opinion adaptable, in order not to conflict with people or groups from within “the movement”. Stay individually “whole”.
– Express yourself, disregardful of whether you find your place or not.

You really have to considers that the roots of the “Animal Rights movement” are question-worthy in a few ways, and also that “animal concern”, encompasses concerns as ultimative, direct, immediate as thinking about ones own existence. Don’t be disappointed (or lead astray) when you discover that so far there is no clear non-anthropocentric approach to Animal Rights, as no alternative to seeing animals under primarily biologistic criterions has evolved in the “Animal Rights movement” so far.

The past perspectives of humans about “animals” tended to be religiously driven/inspired (as major systems of dominion in the historical past). The natural scientific relation to the nonhuman animal world though, also has it’s long history of choosing a one single-level (and again domineering) standpoint towards nonhuman animals.

These days, the individual with her/his immediate experience and knowledge about her/his animal relation, might be the only instance of where we can find and establish a real non-anthropocentric yet constructively relating position, which would yet have to be politicized, to become visible.

The pressures of conformity amongst systems that human society creates and has created in the past, don’t allow for much else than putting new vine in old bottles.

Anti-Speciesism, another angle


Making Anti-Speciesism itself a subject

We rightly want to ask people to do more than donate money to animal advocacy groups. We rather hope that people make others aware of veganism – in ethical terms. So only or mainly talking about vegan health and cooking (for instance) isn’t doing the job (far less is promoting vegan consumerism).

In which way to thematize speciesism?

1. By comparison …

A lot of the drawings of analogies are taken in reference to racism and sexism. In the discussions though the weight tends to lay more on the specifics of racist and sexist psychology, in those analogies, than on the juxtaposed speciesist type of psychological mindsets.

2. With cases …

On the other hand activists who discuss actual on the spot atrocities that are taking place and which mark those faces of speciesism, they do show the sheer extremes of killing, and those extremes again can’t be directly compared with other forms of discrimination. (At least we are confronted here with the fact that every category of an atrocity has own contextualities.)

How do you thematize speciesism?

In the frame of human anthropology? Or by comparing biological observations and findings on nonhuman / humans … ? Sociologically?


My first suggestion is – cos I really do see that too little we describe how speciesism psychologically works in practice, is: let us have a look at the HOW’S of how speciesism manifests in basically many varying forms.

This is a highly fragmentary list for going into that direction:


Many forms of speciesism

Objectifying nonhuman animals takes various forms:

– in legal terms nonhumans are classified as property

– in religious terms the separation is being made spiritually, man is preferred and given the right to dominate all that is on earth

– philosophical schools may give an array of different reasons for why whichever form of speciesism might be ethically sound or a right view to maintain

– the natural sciences differentiate between beings driven by instinct, the lower forms of life, the higher forms and man with the supposedly most complex make up of mind and brain.

– carnism could be said to be a term for one form of speciesism that classifies domesticated farm animals only (or finally, as in the case of horses and some exotic animals that are eaten such as ostriches) as “meat” or suppliers of food.

– pets on the other side are. in spite of being loved by our society, also affected by speciesist views on them.

– wild animals are forced to make up the object for hunters and hunting culture’s needs to re-exercise continuously the idea of a primeval and supposedly ideal condition of man as the hunter and gatherer.

– but also wild animals are affected by argumentations that target them in terms of whether they are intrusive species or should be seen as protectable.

For every animal species we seem to get one or more forms of speciesist views, classifications, argumentations. In every aspect that defines the human view on his or her environment we seem to come across a derogative stance on nonhumans.

When we discuss speciesism we should bear in mind how complex and difficult to analyze the subjugative view on animal life is in our cultures and societies.

-ENDQUOTE, source

I think taking a direct look at the cloaked psychology behind speciesism (itself), we can get closer to the framework that enables a speciesist society in the first place.

With ‘cloaked psychology’ I don’t mean a model such as it was discussed with the ‘carnism’-term, which focussed on two forms of speciesism basically: pets that are loved, yet have no rights, and so called farm animals that are being killed for “food”, and have of course also no rights.

With ‘cloaked psychology’ I mean questions of why as a fact human traits are values over nonhuman animal traits, or the same goes for ‘interests’, features, attributes, realities, etc.

By breaking down the probably manifold components of the speciesist framework, we can find our way through a mess of a collective-psychological character, I think.


Thoughts on an October day – 29 / 10 / 2011

Two comments of the non-ill-thinker

ill and vegan, it’s just ok
A: As a vegan you ought not to fall ill, because if you do, somebody might blame it on your diet.
B: Really?

money makes the values that represent the values of the human system in a “tangible” or “measurable” way
A: I think the monetary system feeds itself also from the demand / consumption pattern, the willingness of people to buy too much. The crux is, without buying power there won’t be any jobs. So either we buy and have jobs, or … what???
B: Something else is the crux, namely that the entire human system bases or an exploitative enmity towards the rest of nature.

fantasy / perspectives

reality / mutual concern

“What do you have to say anyway?” – This

these famed masters of art, does their art have to impress me, because their art is praised, priced and preserved by their protegees and the ever so hungry arts-craving-audience?

Since art is separated from any “initialness” in a person, and since the person is in that way only desired as some occurring individual in the vast, unlimited audience, art can just stuff the heads, just like any undesirable human process can.

Every artifact can stuff my head. Can the idiot give (think something) in return? (My picture is painted in black and white. Black is the “I” and white that which stays white or turns gray.)

A reply to a homocentrist

A reply to a homocentrist minded person … :

No, homocentrism is quite a contrast to humanism. I am a radical vegan Animal Rights and Human Rights advocate. It’s too black and white to say: you have to “kill” plants to eat: cos you don’t have to “kill” plants, you can harvest their veggies. If you are against Animal Rights I can not and do not want to convince you of the idea. Just as little as I don’t want to convince a racist of Human Rights, honestly, you can’t do that. Leave everybody where they are, but talk to those you feel sympathetic to … to their ideas that is.

What bugs me enormously

Have just been reading Hannah Arendt ‘ s study on Totalitarianism, but how she takes the African culture as race in a form „as if” contrastable to other cultures and races, gives me a severe headache. I already swallowed the fact that Arendt is a homocentrist, which many intellectuals are. But I’m disappointed to find out that she has a blind spot with Human Rights as well.

I assume that both of these blind spots or deficits have a graspable reason. The reason for untying culture from what we call „race”, has something to do with the degrading image of countries the West once called „3rd World countries”: These countries were considered to be culturally „less developed” , a formulation which only sought to hide the claim of a higher self-relevance. As if just certain cultures had been the cradles of important cultural heritages.

The other problem, that with homocentrim, has something to do with the perpetual belief in the philosphical, religious and political tradition of denouncing nature: self-autonomy. But however, as far as regards the question of oppresion: the origin of oppression shares an equal source. But not just in totalitarianism though.

A “black and white” scheme of colors

The Reconstruction of the colors of ancient greek statues:

Not that I want to seem overcritical, but what I found weird with the reconsruction of the skin color in ancient greek statues, as how it has been carried out by Prof. Brinkmann ( See several images for example here: ) , is that the results seem to extremely pinkish in the lighter tanned figures.

My problems come with wondering how far we should imagine all Greek and Roman sculptures painted in this way. Or whether in the Roman world, at least, we should really be thinking of a more delicate colouring, not a garish smearing.

That pink tone of skin does make one think of either antique baby dolls or something “very north-west” European. Even the ancient greeks with a pale tan, probably weren’t so pink. This type of pinkness seems to fit a certian racial classification.

The definition of white people has varied in different time periods and locations. Ancient Greece and Rome used the term white as one description of skin color. Its light appearance was distinguished, for example, in a comparison of white-skinned Persian soldiers from the sun-tanned skin of Greek troops in Xenophon’s Agesilaus. One early use of the term appears in the Amherst Papyri, which were scrolls written in ancient Ptolemaic Greek. It contained the use of black and white in reference to human skin color. In an analysis of the rise of the term, classicist James Dee found that, “the Greeks and Romans do not describe themselves as “white people” —or as anything else because they had no regular word in their color vocabulary for themselves—and we can see that the concept of a distinct ‘white race’ was not present in the ancient world.” Assignment of positive and negative connotations of white and black date to the classical period in a number of European languages, but these differences were not applied to skin color per se.
Religious conversion was described figuratively as a change in skin color.

The New York Times of Sept 26 1887 reports the amazing findings of coloured statues in greece, interestingly though the color of skin isn’t mentioned in the description of the colorings, see (PDF):

And, here are two other comments that raise a valid critique:

It’s reasonable to assume that the painting on the figures was at least as sophisticated as the figures themselves. By the time of the Alexander Sarcophagus the subtlety of the sculpture has far outstripped the colors identified and applied by Brinkmann. This does not mean that Brinkmann has left the path of accurate reconstruction; it may mean that his ultimate goal is impossibly distant. The colors he has identified on later pieces are clearly just underpainting for a far more realistic final finish. This was the process used in Renaissance oil paintings of equivalent visual sophistication. The assumption that the painting was as sophisticated as the figures is an extremely conservative one. The artistic and manual skills required for realistic sculpting are far greater than those required for life-like painting of a finished figure. And the painting task was a relaxed one, far more amenable to messing around until the artist got it right. So painting was easier, less risky and, because of weathering, constantly in demand. It is reasonable to conclude that until sculpting reached its zenith, painting of figures was substantially more sophisticated than the figures themselves. With luck, Brinkmann will eventually find a piece with all the layers intact.

Posted by Gregory Meeker on June 29,2008 07:22AM on

glen.h said…on

Would these reconstructions on show be somewhat misleading about the colouring techniques? I can’t help thinking (with all apologies to the modern painters involved), that the originals may have been more sutble in tone and technique than the ones shown.

Why we insist on our headaches

I can say something and whatever I wish to. But I can’t find that it’s at all understood, let alone the question of the each relevance for whom … and why what has what relevance to whom ( – “unnaturally”, what would be natural? What serves as a model. How much has supposed arbitrariness in definition of terms, something to do with aspects of communication seen in different sets). Tooled restrictedness in communication, makes me unfree in speech … and in the end renders me stupid anyway. (Why not!) Language is an instrument in human society as a whole, and not so much a means of instant or direct communication. The instrument is an instrument for suppressing other philosophies in being.

IRRELEVANCE (PDF) opens in a new window