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 possoble 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 meat 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

being_an_animal_1a

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

We have asked Chris of Olde Ghost about ethical veganism and intersectionality

olde_ghost_2c
Sounds, Animal Liberation, Veganism and Intersectionality

We have asked Chris LaPointe, co-singer of Olde Ghost from Seattle Washington about ethical veganism and intersectionality

This text as a PDF (link opens in a new window)

First, I’d like to appreciate the fact that you acknowledge veganism and its intersectional subjects. All too often I have encountered the inability of humans to make and understand the connections between these issues. At face value some of these issues may not seem to be related but as you delve deeper conceptually there are definitely connections. That’s one of the aspects I like most about these forums and discussions; making deeper, more meaningful connections. I think the main thing we need to recognize and promote is this interconnectivity. We need to not only promote this in our relatively small community but beyond to the global community.

As a career, I’ve worked with environmental organizations for more than a decade. One of the situations that always leaves me feeling perplexed, confused and oftentimes upset is how people so devoted to the protection, preservation and rehabilitation of the physical environment seem to lack the true understanding of the connection between veganism and the impacts a meat based diet has on the environment. In these discussions I’ve had a lot of people counter with “well, the meat I eat is free-range therefore its ok” or some blind attempt to dismiss the topic by discussing the negative impacts of soy bean production or the fact that the vegan lifestyle is just “extreme.”

Although it’s a lame attempt to dismiss the premise of veganism and deflect the conversation I fully acknowledge the impacts of soy bean production and agriculture as a whole have on the environment and the people living and working in those areas. I would really like to see these type of topics discussed further. With that, I really believe this correlation needs to be addressed, researched and discussed. The common denominator, I believe, is there are too many people on earth competing for limited resources. Ultimately, those with money and power are the ones who “succeed” due to exploitation of the land, farmers and other people living in the area in which the agriculture is taking place. This then brings to the surface a number of social justice and environmental justice connections.

As a band, Olde Ghost really doesn’t have these deeper political conversations. It’s kind of assumed. We are comprised of people who have been friends for years, are all vegan and some are straight edge. Seldom do we have deep political conversations but we all are grounded in living a compassionate, thoughtful lifestyle. A lot of the lyrics I write are very political and address these issues but we try to convey our message through thoughtful actions as opposed to the in your face, we’re trying to convert you to veganism approach. A majority of the shows we play are benefit shows for local organizations who’s missions are related to animal welfare or humanitarian efforts. For example, all of the proceeds for our next show in September will be donated to the Precious Life Animal Sanctuary.

For me personally, living a vegan lifestyle just makes sense. As a child I always wanted to do something with my life that had a positive impact on the world. Growing up as a punk rock kid I was exposed to a lot of new music and ideals that I would have not otherwise been introduced to (in rural Florida and later on Arizona). One line in one song by one somewhat obscure 80s DC punk band changed my life forever. The song entitled “Name in Mind” by Soul Side changed the way I thought about the food we eat and where it comes from. This is a great song because they not only talk about not eating a meat based diet but they look at the related issues such as human exploitation. From that point on (1988) I assumed a meat free diet. I felt as though veganism was the next plausible step in my life, my belief system and the impact I can have on the environment and non-human animals. Becoming vegan is the most profound decision I’ve made in my life. I will stay committed to a vegan lifestyle until the day I die.

Olde Ghost – For

As the smoke settles and the ash returns to earth
and the air becomes clear…
Eyes red a glaze stare into space seeing nothing, still.
It will never be the same. Never be the same again.
Convicted are forgotten. Innocent are brought to slaughter.
Locked away, despised, ignored.
What fucking crime is worse?
Lifestyles of compassion or the ten billion you commit every year?
Ten billion crimes a year.
“If we ever get out of this alive,” she said, “I’ll do it all again. That’s right, I’ll do it all again”.
We are but one.
The rest is up to you.

Olde Ghost playing at Seattle ADL – Precious Life Sanctuary & Melvin fundraiser a fundraising show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbH9iDhzdjI

Precious Life Animal Sanctuary: http://www.preciouslifeanimalsanctuary.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OldeGhost
Bandcamp: http://oldeghostnw.bandcamp.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/OldeGhost

The song that Chris mentioned: ‘Name in Mind’ by Soul Side

Vegan Bands: We asked the Madrilenian activist band Eu Libre about the power of intersectionality in ethical veganism

Spain, Madrid, veganism, anti-speciesism and intersectional activism:

“La búsqueda del poder es el epitafio de la honestidad.” (The search for might is the epitaph of honesty) – Eu Libre

Dear Eu Libre, as a vegan band, what’s most important to you about ethical veganism?

Eu Libre has always defended veganism as a respectful way of life with other animals, opposing the use and promoting an anti-speciesist position. Also, our music has always shown other prejudices, whether sexist, racist, homophobic or other reasons. Our message has always been close to libertarian ideas, due to animal rights, big respect for nature and direct action groups like the ALF and E.L.F.

EU LIBRE – ESPECISMO

Hablamos de dolor, libertad y sufrimiento
y no cabe distinción en que sean propios o ajenos.
Luchamos contra el mundo cuando el mundo es una trampa,
sordo a los lamentos que produce cada granja.

Nos quieren vincular con el terrorismo
quienes devoran el fruto de su sadismo.
Nuestra condición, el poder de elección
nos ha hecho alimentar nuestra compasión.

No hay línea divisoria, si es cuestión de respeto,
que sienta es lo que importa, demostrarlo nuestro reto.
Los prejuicios sucumben, la historia es testigo.
¿Por qué no habría de caer también el especismo?

Tenemos una meta, un claro objetivo,
nos mantenemos firmes, leales, unidos.
Nuestra revolución tiene un principio fijo,
vaciar todas las jaulas, poner fin al especismo.

Queremos acabar con granjas y mataderos,
con piscifactorías y con barcos pesqueros,
con zoos, con acuarios y con laboratorios
con toda explotación, con todo sufrimiento.

Todas nuestras fuerzas contra el especismo.
Luchar, empujar contra los pilares del especismo.
Todas nuestras fuerzas contra el especismo.
Pensar, actuar, dispuestos a acabar con el especismo.

Sabemos que un circo es una cárcel de animales.
La tauromaquia es la tradición de los cobardes.
Un rodeo es sumisión, inaceptable humillación.
Los correbous son protegidos, ¿es cultura de nación?

No hay excusas que abrigar: piel es crueldad,
la maldad de quien se niega a aceptar
que todo ser que siente precisa de su vida,
que todo ser que piense se opone a la injusticia.

Queremos acabar con granjas y mataderos,
con piscifactorías y con barcos pesqueros,
con zoos, con acuarios, y con laboratorios
con toda explotación, con todo sufrimiento.

“The fight is not for us. We can create that justice and we can deliver that freedom. The animals have no one but us. We will not fail them. ”

All our forces joined against speciesism.
Fight, push, move, act, go on against speciesism.
All our forces joined against speciesism.
Thinking, striving, willing to end, speciesism.

Da igual lo que digan, caza es asesinato.
Nosotros no luchamos para mejorar el trato,
no queremos regular la injusticia y la miseria.
Pedimos de verdad un cambio de conciencia.

Speciesism.

Activistas no dudéis, acabemos ya con el especismo.

From Eu Libre’s album: En la línea del Frente (45,77 MB), released on 26 March 2013.

Voces: Maggie y Eu, Letra: Eu. Traducción: Maggie, Base: 1101vs13, Arreglos: Filter DJ, Locución original: Barry Horne.

Eu Libre on Bandcamp and tweeting @EuLibre.

Vegan Mergers: Sanctuaries, Veganic Land ‘use’ and Biotopes

This comment comes as two vids on Youtube: Part 1Part 2.

Can we combine sanctuaries / protected spaces, and veganic land ‘use’ and merge them into new intergrative comprehensive models?

For a non-anthropocentric and anti-speciesist inclusionary organic vegan (veganic) agriculture:

There so far is no such thing as a stated “positive” veganic (that means: organic vegan agricultural) animal rights consciousness.

I wonder why it does not occur to most other vegans in the veganic (vegan organic) movement, that humans and nonhuman animals can co-exist without exploitation?

It’s obvious that the forceful exploitation of the reproductive system of nonhumans must be fought against. And any form of overpopulation (especially the forced one) is disastrous for the planet.

Paramount from a vegan standpoint is that we ought to create and protect space for those lives, which had but no choice.

Sanctuaries and veganic projects should grow into comprehensively integral safe-spaces, where all beings find natural spaces to co-exist.

I think we cannot say that it is speciesist and exploitative if both humans and nonhuman animals live together in a natural space without harming, exploiting or using each other.

I believe that we as vegans ought to aim for the civilisatory goal to live together with other animals on this planet in a peaceful manner, and mixed communities, based on the idea of sanctuaries, biotopes and veganic ecological models, could be established.

If we are not going to develop a consciousness for co-existence in practice, we fail at creating an all-encompassing life-affirming ethic.

Why do we perpetuate the mislead assumptions that the only options we can chose from as humans are either degrading nonhuman animals or otherwise totally excluding them and making them nonexistent in a desired perhaps utopian daily reality?

To me the bigger segment of the veganic movement appears as if it creates and expresses a bifurcation in what veganism ideally should and could mean.

As good at it looks now, and as much as vegan farming practices are heading for the major part in a promising, important and ethically inevitable direction, the veganic code of ethics nevertheless comes short at addressing the key factor of veganism which is the ideal of including all animals and thus re-establishing their rights.

As ethical vegans we owe the idea of the animal sanctuary our fullest commitment.

(This is an altered version of my comment:  Veganic plus Animal Sanctuaries plus Ethics)