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.

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

Nonhuman-inclusive

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Nonhuman-inslusive

The term ‘veganism’ describes the ethical and practical exclusion of any animal- and animal derived product or animal-involving procedures/exploitation utilized to serve human interests. It does not say or indicate yet how nonhuman animals should be implied actively into any framework that implies humans/human societies, as a solution to the existent predominant catastrophic human-animal relation. How nonhumans can and should be included and reached out for, be addressed, implied constructively in a way that confronts the ‘animal question’ with due justice, in n toher words: the state of positively dwelling together is not so much and only indirectly put forward.*

Similalry ther term ‘speciesism’ describes the condition of ethical exclusion, now on a basically sociological level. It describes foremostly the biological categorisation yet inasmuch also other forms of categorization – such as religion, philosophical, scientific, etc. – of arbitrary derogative barriers set up by humans/’human cultures and civilization’ towards nonhuman animals.

We thought now to express the direct inclusionary level by a simple term which can be used practically and applied as a scheme to test any settings, condition … to check any given situative constellation for its nonhuman-inclusiveness!

This is about expressing an idea:

For checking anything for its nonhuman-inclusiveness you logically have to open up perspectivcs of how your view of nonhumans can be reasonable and ethically complete, appreciative and open-minded.

You can thus explicitly create, observe, discuss, design, conceptualize each and every aspect of human life in a nonhuman-inclusive approach.

Sounds perhaps too practical and maybe this seems to short a description of our idea, but we find it a helpful angle in our activities.

It should be added that our nonhuman-inclusive approach can be extended into a nonhuman-considerate direction where a seeming absence of nonhumans can be affirmative of nonhuman interests also indirectly, by a decided avoidance of promoting human concepts which openly or subtly suppress nonhumanity and nonhuman animals, but this will be discussed in a seperate, later post.

* This becomes clear e.g. in veganic projects, which 100 percent represent the vegan idea, yet exclude the question of animal life in a proactive form. Veganic projects don’t imply space for nonhuman animals to be involved in a just yet existentially directly present way.

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.

Outside looks on cultures of nonhuman animality

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Confining animality
(the actual ‘being-an-animal’)
into biology-centered frameworks
still poses an unsolved problem
within AR.

Gruppe Messel / Tierautonomie /Animal Autonomy

How does someone view other animals:

Changing the images society and people have constructed in their thinking and in their outlooks about animality takes more than our vegan lifestyle, more than campaigning for final goals. It needs that we straightforwardly postulate (emancipation!) different viewpoints, different angles of viewing the world’s animal individuals, their socio-ecological contexts, and their cultures in the given oppressive contexts.

From a biology-centered viewpoint people/society want to assume that nonhuman animals don’t decide, don’t think, don’t reason, don’t experience oppression in contexts of their evolutionary cultures. A biology-centered viewpoint compares animality with humanity and pinpoints certain physical functions as markers for the ability to ‘reason/think’. Philosophy again constructs a notion of borders within reasoning around the human self or certain human selves.

It takes more than animal liberation on the physical level to change and widen the perspectives on human-nonhuman conflicts, quite obviously. Saying this, nonhuman animality isn’t solely a recipient of oppression exerted by human beings in their cultures; in contrast I believe that the human forms of oppressing nonhuman animality has a lot to do with the agency of animality on levels our society typically ignores, levels our society might not have tried, been able or willing to name, but these levels are parts of the animal-nature-continuum and the big scope of its cultural wisdom, richness, smartness, cultivatedness, decisiveness … .

Just try it, you might very well know how cultures aren’t restricted to humanity – that we all need to build new perspectives on animality, animal individuals and on the entire social codes built between humanity towards animals. Try and ask your vegan friend what she/she makes of establishing an emancipated view (in regards to language, philosophy, and common sense) on the human-animal conflict and human-animal interaction. I assume she/he still thinks that it’s perfectly fine to keep the cornerstones of speciesism in the “active-mode” (i.e. religious speciesism, philosophical speciesism, speciesism in the natural sciences, sociological speciesism, legal speciesism, cultural speciesism, aesthetical speciesism, speciesism in all segments of how we define the scope, meaning, content, value, sense of life) and that she/he will try to not seek for new ways of ending the ‘massmurder taking place on the biological argument’, the individual degradation on the level of cultural difference between speciesists and nonhumans. They will however not be able to accuse you of anthropocentrism, because they can’t rule the aspect of animal-cultures-on-more-than-the-biological-level out.

Religion and Science both have created oppressive constructs about Nature

alternatives

Alternatives in the oppression of nature-as-a-context-of-living-beings:

a.) “dominium terrae” [bible, says humans should rule and subjugate the world]

b.) “nature-as-a-resource” [the endeavours in the natural sciences have always been going along with generating economic benefits for any oppressive human castes]

Both spiritually in most religions, and philosophically in most sciences: Nature is seen as a means, a tool, a “material” that can be reduced in its autonomous sense and value.

Gruppe Messel / Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy

 

 

 

Arendt: all terms of solidarity still purport the first and most basic solidarity between all humanity against nature

 

“Solidarity: all terms of solidarity still purport the first and most basic solidarity between all humanity (i.e. of “the human”) against nature. Such a solidarity of one against everything else is yet never allowed amongst humans themselves. But there is no such thing as a necessity of solidarity. The idea of us all “sitting in one boat” is an example of this wrong idea of an absolute solidarity.

The concept of a group, with its relatedness of the part-and-whole category, stems from the solidarity of the human against nature.”

Source

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.

Yours,
Just another fellow AR activist

Steve from the The Drag Hook about the urgency of ethical veganism to make the U-turn against global destruction

Steve, vocalist of the vegan hardcoreband The Drag Hook from Cleveland, told us about ethical veganism:

Veganism is an important step on the road to acknowledging and ending suffering worldwide. The fact that the human body has evolved to run most efficiently on a completely vegan diet is a side benefit of living as close to a cruelty free life as is humanly possible in the world today.

Once we stop ignoring the fact that creatures with the capacity to love and enjoy their lives are being tortured and murdered every day in the name of gluttony and greed, we can start addressing this problem and every other form of needless destruction we inflict on this planet and all those we share it with.

We as human beings have a long history of doing terrible things to each other and to all of our fellow earthlings. We must right these wrongs or go extinct trying.

-Steve Osborne XVX
The Drag Hook

Ignorance Is Complicity

they live in the space you ignore
they die on the killing room floor
because they’re born for you to waste
they give their lives for the way they taste
this is real monstrosity
ignorance is complicity
Breed them in new mutated forms
so fat they cant lift themselves off the floor
dying in numbers too large to record
sold to your plate before they are born
this is real monstrosity
ignorance is complicity
everyone knows the difference
between chained and free
there will be a war
until every cage is empty

Not In My Name

let them suffer no more for me
let the walls that cage them topple over, let them be free
let the hand that grips the whip be severed clean
let eyes that witness and do nothing, no longer see
carry their cries out to every ear
let no one enjoy their pain without having to hear
Bread to be tortured and killed
raped into existence then fed to the world
this will not be my legacy
i wont go down with the rest of my species.

Both these tracks are from their January 2014 release: Lethal Dose.

Connect via
Bandcamp: https://thedraghook.bandcamp.com

We asked Per Aspera about ethics, veganism and its intersectional grounds

We asked Per Aspera from Chicago, IL, about their stance on veganism, and their thoughts on the “how to” of veganism’s intersectional condition

Per Aspera’s guitarist Nicholas Schmidt told us:

For starters, we strongly believe that it is gravely immoral to support and/or engage in the practice of murder, imprisonment, rape, and torture of living creatures. This applies not just to our fellow Homo sapiens sisters and brothers, but to all feeling beings.

The fundamental logic underpinning our decision to abstain from supporting the animal exploitation industry explicitly requires us to be opposed to all forms of systemic oppression that serve only the interest of the ruling elite. Hence our communal opposition to capitalism, fascism, patriarchy, racism, and environmental destruction are necessary components of responsible, honest, and consistent animal welfare activism.

With that said, engaging in any sort of radical political thought or action guarantees an intense amount of social baggage to encourage a placid and largely benign movement. When organizing in opposition to such mainstream and widespread power dynamics, it can be incredibly tempting to siphon off oneself or one’s small social clique from the rest of society. The antisocial message so common in punk and radical left circles serves to remove the possibility of organizing mass popular movements necessary to confront oppressive institutions across the whole of society. Furthermore, these tendencies offer no substantive vision and strategy for a society we are indeed capable of creating on this planet, as activism may be reduced to personal lifestyle decisions. Admittedly a somewhat ironic argument to hear from a DIY punk/metal band, we feel that the persistent drive to alienate left-wing struggles from working class culture resembles the same counter-productive prejudices that have plagued social justice movements for so long in regards to women, people of color, the natural world, and now with ever more increasing awareness, our fellow non-human companions.

The liberation of Mother Earth from the systemic diseases we have brought upon her is completely dependent on our ability to reach out, connect, and organize with all people who are experiencing the same oppressions, in whatever form, from our own backyards and neighborhoods, to the world at large. Ya dig?

Per Aspera – Shikata Ga Nai

We live with the lie that everything dies,
It’s only the spectres we perceive alive.
We personify existence in the natural world,
So we can mourn the proof of our own remorse.

I reject the notion that a desert of pain is the only universe that we have to explain.
As the memories of our families evaporate into space.

The hollow woman kicking blood,
Reminds us what waits in our blood.
As she cries for her slaughtered friends,
The vacuum of space hears no dead ends.

So I will cry when my friends die, and I won’t forget to live,
With passion, vigor, love, and fear of losing all that I hold dear.

Bandcamp: http://perasperapunk.bandcamp.com
Tumblr: http://perasperapunk.tumblr.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/PerAsperaPunk
Contact: perasperapunk [at] gmail [dot] com