A sacrifice remains a sacrifice
be if for a god or a ‘greater good’
no one has a right to claim LIFES
gruppe messel / tierautonomie
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.
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.
People like this: https://twitter.com/CamasD prove that speciesism can indeed be compared to racism, sexism … as far as the fact is concerned that the problem lies 100% in the deranged psyche of the perpetrator. It’s a given pretext that is employed to make things look as if the targeted subject had features, characteristics or otherwise such an ‘essence of being’ that the very obvious injustice inflicted by the oppressor against a chosen victim would be thus justified (yeah really usually the gravest forms of injustice are brought about by some rational argument – rational in the view of the oppressor).
The reasons of course why a victim is chosen by a sadistic human group has political implications, each in own complex forms.
Nonhuman animals are picked as victims, in the case of a speciesist agenda, to seek dominance via the complete physical annihilation in order to make the own species “manifest” as the winner species, as the super-ordinate god-like form of existence, as an all knowing, an all controlling species, that can even declare “the other” to be “just a piece of meat” – which is but something digestible and palatable. (see for that: Eating, crushing, as a form of wielding power over other living beings … Elias Canetti in ‘Crowds and Power’ pp. 210-211.
This female person works for http://wusthofedge.com/ and she runs her own “meat collective” in the state of Oregon where she seeks to intellectually make speciesism look like a necessity for the human condition.
Instead of accepting human cultural (and thus ethical) re- and evolution, this person puts all her fantasy and physical eager into trying to get us where nobody except the sadist even came from: she literally takes carnism to a wannabe intellectualized level.
A sad horizon for anyone
She goes to “humane” farms, dares to put her sadist hand onto the nonhumans to “stroke” them, to later involve their tortured bodies into her group-driven-ritualistic abstractions of what is one of the most extreme forms of speceisism that I’ve seen to date.
The severity of speciesism in her case bases on an idea of promulgating flesh-handling in connection with the ideologization of objectifying nonhuman animals as a form of a supposed overall human ethical enlightenment. She is one of those speciesist ideologists that wish so hard to undermine the very ethics and morals that base on the pure and undeflected commonsense human form of reasoning.
What upsets me specifically about religious slaughter is that it’s done on behalf of a religion, on behalf of a god. When our messed up society, our morally derailed society craves for dead corpses of tortured nonhumans I can say, well of course, our society is totally unethical, they don’t respect animals and basically also not humans, and not nature. What counts in our society is good old greed and profit.
But when a religion teaches its adherents that you ought to slaughter, then that what should stand for the sanctity of phenomena – the act of religion / being religious, having created religion – turns into the total negation, and really the TOTAL negation of life and of the value of life.
If people can’t respect other animals because the natural sciences have designed an explanatory model that puts humans of top of everything biologically, then that’s one thing, but if religion degrades life and tries to sell its lies of “love” then the world stands upside down.
I don’t understand why some people respect religion more than life.
Conlflating the Topoi
FLEISCH. Material, Objekt, Denkfigur | 83. Kunsthistorischer Studierendenkongress vom 29.11. bis 2.12.2012 am Institut für Kunstgeschichte der Universität Wien http://www.univie.ac.at/kskwien.
This congress dedicated to the subject of “meat” or flesh, “as a matrial, object and figure of thought” fully mistook or intentionally conflated the notion of flesh in term of lust and it’s religious “stigma”, and factual death.
The conflation does exist – not just here but it has a long historical tradition which itself sheds light on the anchor-points of the working dialektics of speciesism.
The flesh of lust is the protected flesh of the privileged human being, in a world that separates animal vs. human.
The meat on the other hand is the wish to digest death, to become the master of torture, who rules over the life and death of beings we as humans will never understand, since we cling to our phantasy of human superiority, our human megalomania.
“The human” as the center of the universe is already questionable. Now “the human” (a concept) leading humanity itself ad absurdum through his/her wish for an ultimate domination will be an interesting decay of mind and life to watch in the individual fates.
Religions and the sacrifice of nonhuman animals , some links ( all accessed 21th Oct 2012 )
Animal slaughter in Islam is ritualistic … No human behavior is more hidden or misunderstood than offering sacrifice, both animal and human … Animal Sacrifice … in the 21st century! … Unethical Practice of ANIMAL SACRIFICE … Over 100 million animals are slaughtered annually during Eid ul-Adha across the Islamic world within a 48 hour period
Buddhism banned animal sacrifice in the regions where it predominantly occured. However on Buddha’s birthday animal sacrifices take place, an gruesome mass killing carried out by various Hindu sects … http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=470 … http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Animal-Sacrifice-on-Buddhas-Birthday/407150862641376 … http://www.stopanimalsacrifice.org
“China: Buddhism and Taoism generally prohibit killing of animals; some animal offerings, such as fowl, pigs, goats, fish, or other livestock, are accepted in some Taoism sects and beliefs in Chinese folk religion. In Kaohsiung, animal sacrifices are banned in Taoist temples” says Wikipedia, this however is not totally true, there is a Buddhist temple http://wikimapia.org/142877/Tzu-Chi-Temple where a horrific form of animal sacrifice take place, as I mentioned in this blog post about the murder of pigs in the Sanhsia Tzushi Temple.
The majority of pagans today in the Western societies are supposedly vegetarian or vegan
Overall I want to note: Most religions are incompatible with Animal Rights and Earth Rights, simply because they put a god or gods, a divine concept, on top of all existence in a hierarchical manner. Paganism and some religions stand inbetween, depending on the features of their god/gods. The best is to let your reason speak, and not any contractualist and homoncentrically driven collectivist selfishness.
To argue that our secular societies also kills nonhuman animals, on an industrial scale, does not take anything away from the moral blindness that religions display in regard to other than human life, individual life and justice based on ‘common sense’ reasoning; after all religions falsely claim they have something to do with “love” and “the creation”. Any society has to face the consequences of the factul atrocities it commits – be it in the name of progress or a religious belief held.
The incapacity of humans to relate to the world and the universe in a co-creative, mutually respectful and sensitive way, brings with it an undesired incapacity to deal with one another as humans in a peaceful way. You can’t have the one without the other, you can’t arbitrarily draw a line between all the factors that matter for a morally sound coexistence … . But try to convince people of that … the things that never seemed to matter morally so much, someone might think, how could these things matter now? Well, welcome to the 21 Century!
Can you imagine being put in prison for your right to speak freely? If I lived right now somewhere else, I could be put into prison just for writing my thoughts on a blog. This is reality.
Omid-Reza Mir-Siafi has died as a consequence of the torture he endured in the Evin Prison in Iran. He was imprisoned for speaking his opinion, for free speech as a blogger.
Iranian Blogger Dies in Prison. By Robert Mackey (thelede.blogs.nytimes.com)
English News at The Human Rights Activits in Iran site (www.hra-iran.org)
Iran: Appel à une enquête internationale sur le meurtre par empoisonnement de prisonniers politiques. À la suite de la mort suspecte d’un prisonnier politique (www.ncr-iran.org)
This ought not to have happened. But it happens, all the time.
In connection with this, see also:
The price paid for blogging Iran. By Clark Boyd (BBC)