Kristofer Aberg: The radical notion that (vegan) Israelis are people

This is a response by Swedish animal rights activist Kristofer Aberg to an article by the Peace and Conflict Studies scholar Shawndeez Davari Jadali: ‘Vegan Killers: Israeli Vegan-Washing and the Manipulation of Morality.

The comment had initially been published on ‘Turkey Agenda’ as a response, but was removed again by the editors one day after publishing.

We asked Kristofer if we could share a copy of his comment on our blog, since this critique is important to be voiced, in support of our fellow Israeli activists and also because of the plurality that we need in the discussion of Animal Rights and vegan politics.

The radical notion that (vegan) Israelis are people

This text as a PDF

Shawndeez Davari Jadali wrote a couple of days ago about Israeli “vegan washing” in Turkey Agenda. Israel, Jews and Zionists have been subjected to a lot of lies and conspiracy theories during the years. Do we really need another one?

First of all: Is it really that hard to understand that you shouldn’t use collective punishments on Israelis just as you shouldn’t do it on Americans? How would Shawndeez Davari Jadali feel if she was to be blamed for the war inIraq, just because she lives in theUS? And that her attempt at peace and conflict studies is just a “peace washing” to make theUSimage better for the world?

The slogan “feminism is the radical notion that women are people” has shown to misogynous men what feminism is really about. It seems like people like Jadali need to be taught the radical notion that also Israelis are people! They are not propaganda machines for their government just as Jadali probably wasn’t a propaganda machine for the Bush administration. Israelis can have a life not connected to the conflict with the Palestinians. Jadali’s single minded attitude sounds like someone who has never met a gay person, and then stereotype that person totally. A Swedish comedian therefor said something like “I’m not just gay, I’m also a carpenter”, to point out that you are more than your sexuality. And you are also more than your citizenship. Israelis can be interested in veganism and queer politics just as Jadali or I can.

So where is Jadali’s evidence that it’s the Israeli state that is behind the vegan boom inIsrael? I have been active in the vegan and animal rights movement inSwedensince the 1990’ies, working with low budget grass roots campaigns. I would love to hear about the secrets on how to get your state to support these causes and make a vegan boom such as the one inIsrael! Also, inSweden, and probably in other places, most of the animal rights movement comes from the left/liberal/green side of the political spectra. InIsraelthere is a right wing government, so the conspiracy theory of them being behind the vegan boom seems even harder to believe.

What Javali is doing is to be categorised as the master suppression technique known as double bind – “damn you if you do, damn you if you don’t”. The same thing goes for the people using the “pink washing” theory to blame the Israelis for their liberal attitudes toward the LGBTQ community. IfIsraelwould have a lousy policy on veganism and LGBTQ issues, people like Jadali would have used that to blame them. Now when they are progressive, Jadali comes up with another way to be able to blame them. The same goes for Jadali’s criticism of the Israeli army providing non leather shoes for a minority (vegetarians and vegans). If they would refuse, Jadali would have just had the chance to blameIsraelfor discrimination against minorities. Some more peace and conflict studying of Norwegian social psychologist Berit As is recommended for her.

Also, why criticizeIsraelfor having a population that are progressive on vegan or LGBTQ issues in the first place? Why not take a moment and make the Palestinian side better? In many Arab countries, there is no such thing as a law against discrimination against non straight people, instead there are laws and even death penalty against homosexuality.

Jadali also blamed the Israeli animal rights activists for caring about animals. So why does she target progressive vegans around the world in the first place with her new “vegan washing” conspiracy theory? Vegans are blamed for this inSwedenas well – “how can you care about animals when the children inAfricaare starving” is a common argument from meat eaters. So in what way does eating meat help starving children? Quite the opposite, meat eating is really bad for the environment and for a global solidarity. And why are compassionate activists to be blamed for what they do with their spare time? Why not blame people who use their spare time to just watch soccer, driving cars or partying? Even though Jadali seems to want to label herself as progressive, what she is doing is being really normative, only seeing veganism as a political choice. Some more peace and conflict studying of another social psychologist is recommended for Jadali, this time Melanie Joy and her theories on carnism.

Jadali writes about solidarity with the oppressed and boycotting the occupation. Doesn’t she know that most Palestinians support Hamas, a gay and jew hating islamist terrorist group? They don’t just call the post 1967 settlements in theWest Bankoccupation, they call the whole ofIsraelan occupation.Israelwas founded as a safe haven for the Jewish people after persecution inEuropeandRussia, especially during the second world war. So why not take a moment to study the antisemitism of the world, and especially antisemitism from the Arabs and Palestinians? There is for surely a social psychologist for that as well, otherwise just check out Memri or Palestinian Media Watch.

Myself, I visitedIsraelfor the first time in September this year. The vegan food in Tel Aviv andJerusalemwas wonderful. Unfortunately I missed the vegan festival in October. But I wrote about it in a Swedish vegan magazine. And by doing so, apparently I became part of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy! As an ex student in journalism, I don’t understand how making the news valuation that the world’s largest vegan festival would be a correct event to cover, is an evalutation to blame. Rather, I think it would have been a huge mistake not to cover it. Many people want to hear about vegan news, especially from countries they didn’t think was big in these issues. Even a vegan movement in dictatorships likeSaudi Arabiawould be interesting to hear about. But for some strange reason,Israelapparently should be demonized and treated in a totally different way? Jadali, can we write about theUSvegan and animal rights movement? “Your” war inIraqcaused much more death and destruction during a couple of years than the conflict inIsraelandPalestinehas done for 100 years. And don’t get me started about the war inVietnam…

Jews or Israelis and especially not Israeli vegans should be demonized in the way that Jadali is doing. The progressive people all over the world should get our support. The largest problem as I see it in the conflict are the extreme right wing groups on both sides – not that less animals gets slaughtered or that the sale of tofu is sky rocketing in Israeli supermarkets. Jadali seems to have forgotten what her earlier studies was all about – hopefully creating peace. So to Jadali and all other readers of Turkey Agenda: Shalom and give peas a chance!

Kristofer Aberg, Swedish animal rights activist since 1995

(Links accessed 25. Dec. 2014).

Anti-Semitism in the Animal Liberation movement cloaked as pacifism

Anti-Semitism in the Animal Liberation movement cloaked as pacifism

An article on the website Resistance Ecology: Animal Liberation Against Israeli Occupation, We Stand With Palestine (08/13/2014) asks us to assume that all Israeli animal advocacy is in reality Israeli propaganda, and that only Israel (and the US) are culprits to blame for speciesism and ecocide. Really? For the sake of peace we are gonna buy that, the same old scapegoating that all evil is to blame on a (quote): “Zionist program”?

Someone quoted that article on a ethical vegan anti-racist facebook group – that’s how I came across it:

“Although there is a growing movement for animals in Israel, it is important to recognize that this cannot be separated from the colonial policies of the occupation. The dominant narrative is that the Palestinian people are unwilling or incapable of animal advocacy, that they are “primitive” and “barbaric” and thus deserving of occupation by the “green”, “humane”, and “progressive” Israeli state. The reality is that Israel is overwhelmingly destructive to animals, the land, and the people, and has displaced traditional systems and indigenous land to pave way for urban expansion, polluting industries, animal agriculture, road development, water scarcity, and the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people.”

You would think there would be critique of this kind of rhetoric, yet there wasn’t. So I really wonder why anti-semitism, when it’s in the context with the Gaza conflict, goes unnoticed even on anti-racist forums?

I wonder what people really think …

a.) What do they think about what led to the founding of Israel?

b.) Would someone really be willing to assume that all Israeli vegan AR activists are basically doing propaganda and not wonder him-/herself if she/he might hold a rather extreme prejudices against others?

c.) What about other wars now and in history, why are people making wars at all?

d.) This is a difficult question but: Why are we more critical when anything has something to do with the newer ethics of veganism and AR? Why do we tend to undermine such newer efforts when there is no predefined ethical space for them in society yet and additional conflicts occur?

Finally: Do we discuss other forms of atrocities and propaganda going on in the same finger-pointing fashion these days?

There is so much anti-semitism going on. I am really irritated about finding such a direction within the Animal Liberation movement. The mistakes of Israeli politics and the role of religious conflicts given in this context are one thing, but now saying that all vegans and AR people in Israel are having a fake agenda and would be only doing colonialist and settler politics, ignores historical backgrounds and, along with that, evokes bigotry.

Palestinian and Israeli activists have been working together in veg/AR. Look at how these new plants are being crushed amongst the big conflicts. To incite such a witch hunt on fellow AR activists, from anywhere, is unpacifist.

The Israeli group 269 posted on their FB page:

Today,the 27th of June 2014, 269Life Israel joined their Arab brothers and sisters in the Arab village of Shefa-‘Amr (شفاعمرو), to protest for animal liberation.

Many of the passersby were very supportive and took brochures to read further on the issues and hopefully it will bring about more change in the region.

Politics and nationalism means nothing, as long as the animals are suffering and dying by the billions, all over the world. We fight as one, unified and in coexistence.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=661177933976915

 

 

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

Fragment on the importance of a council system approach in AR

Untapped Animal Rights expertise and Animal Rights as an immediate concern to human individuals

A fragment by Palang L. Arani-May. Download as a PDF.

We want and we need to empower people in terms of thinking and speaking about their positive relations to the ‘nonhuman animal world’, and our broad goal is to include a rights language for nonhumans into our democratic political systems and into legislation.

I think we are moving too far in two different opposing extremes as what regards the message that we are bringing out to our newfound allies in AR, and that is also the message that will form a basis for Animal Rights politics in the future.

We express specific alert and we give answers:

  1. On one hand we hand out leaflets and make demos confronting people about issues in the way of showing our protest and raising awareness to those who are no yet much familiar with AR issues and concerns.
  2. On the other hand we lead (or some lead) a relatively detached expert-based approach to thinking about and discussing Animal Rights related issues.

Where does that leave the thinking individual who is starting to make AR a top subject for themselves?

We could say that’s their problem, they can either join a group to demo, donate, sign important petitions or become an expert and hold a talk / write a paper, or do both, or … ?

Inasmuch able to reflect on the rights of your nonhuman “next”, as about your own rights …

What I would hope to see is that we encourage others to understand that they are already able enough to phrase their own positive theses and opinions about AR. We all have a lifetime experience that we can draw upon, we can think, we can speak. We can transport our knowledge and thoughts about AR related issues to other people as a form of activism.

If we want to break the speciesist divides, we must overcome separating immediate human rights concerns from an immediate relation and understanding that anybody is inasmuch able to have about the rights of his – nonhuman – next.

To defend rights we have to postulate them. But we can only postulate and claim due rights (to live, to be free, to not be labelled as property, etc.), if we learn to stand for Animal Rights just like we stand for our own Human Rights.

People do have reasonable and common sense answers and solution for problems such as: whose life is “more important” in a specific situation where you have to decide about life and death (i.e. both lives are as important), or is something morally wrong or right, or how can we change difficult societal constellations, or how can we find new approaches to deep-rooted problems, etc, etc, etc.

I believe we need to create rather a councilsystem that enables and empowers, to increase the potentiality in society to thus create a healthy revolution with the goal of embedding Animal Rights and extending and readjusting our “own” ethics.

Image: Oil on canvas painting by Farangis Yegane.

Anastasia Yarbrough: White Supremacy and Patriarchy Hurt Animals

White Supremacy and Patriarchy Hurt Animals

Anastasia Yarbrough

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

This talk is about the stories we tell about animal oppression. We as animal rights activists have an opportunity to tell deeper stories that don’t rely so much on tokenizing the struggles of people of color and women. Nor do they have to rely on tokenizing animals as romantic symbols of human identity. Instead, we can talk about animals’ struggles and lives, to the best of our knowledge, and reveal how they’re interconnected with different human groups’ struggles by telling the stories of the forces (and the identity groups behind the forces) that bind them all.

I. Who am I?

My name is Anastasia Yarbrough. I am facilitator consultant, musician, and community educator. I have been doing animal advocacy work for over 15 years, and most recently, in the last 5 years, I have been vocally and logistically active in the animal liberation movement. I used to serve on the board of Institute for Critical Animal Studies, and I currently am on the advisory board for Food Empowerment Project.
Acknowledgments
Breeze Harper for hosting this online conference. Adam Weitzenfeld and pattrice jones for being wonderful, inspiring scholar-activists who have also been attentive listeners with these issues I’ve been grappling with. And to all the activists out there who work for total liberation, even amidst the tremendous challenges.

II. Why talk about white supremacy and patriarchy specifically?

• These pervasive, intertwined forces serve as a major backbone to the Animal Rights Movement. The AR movement is concentrated in Eurocentric countries, and within these countries, the majority of the members are white, and the bulk of the leadership comprise of white men. As a result, the ideological basis for human-animal relations tends to be very Eurocentric and it’s not uncommon to see animal advocacy and vegan campaigns that promote a European ideal (i.e. campaigns against dog-eating in China). The eurocentrism makes it difficult for people who aren’t white to feel like they have a place in the movement, especially when they’re animal ethics don’t necessarily reflect the “mainstream.” And the influence of patriarchy becomes very obvious when the majority of the movement comprises of female activists but over 50% of the leadership in major, active animal advocacy nonprofits is male. When major events in the movement like the national conference don’t allow these issues to truly be addressed and are treated as trivial, not central to the strengthening of the movement, we have a problem.

• Great majority of AR organizations and leaders compare the modern AR movement to and use examples from anti-racist, anti-sexist movements of US history without an understanding of how racism and sexism operate in America, but rather just assuming they know because they’re activists for a similarly oppressed group (the diverse array of beings called “animals”).

o At the AR National Conference 2013 in Washington DC, Norm Phelps told participants in the opening plenary that AR activists are the Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman of our time. Nathan Runkle, at the same plenary, also said that the AR movement is the next evolutionary progression in the advancement for social justice; animal rights is the new major social justice movement.

• This heavy reliance on lessons from anti-racist and anti-sexist human rights struggles of the past is not a problem in and of itself. They are part of our heritage, and we can’t help but continue in their shadows. And the leaders from those movements are, after all, our ancestors and influential pioneers for social justice and environmental movements worldwide. But when leaders in the AR movement use lazy analyses to use them as leverage to further legitimize animal rights as a movement, it does not serve our movement and it misses the point. There’s a reason why the struggles of people of color, women, and animals look similar enough for comparison. That’s because they’re connected by systemic forces that fuel and maintain their oppression. Another speaker could do this analysis from any angle in the matrix. Today, I’m focusing on white supremacy and patriarchy.

III. How do white supremacy and patriarchy directly impact animals?

• Same forces, different groups

o White supremacy and patriarchy (what I will from now on refer to as “white patriarchy”) have been analyzed by critical race theorists and feminist theorists respectively for several decades in the United States. People of color have had to study whiteness and women have had to study patriarchy in order to survive. Whiteness and patriarchy are collectively understood to be social identity constructs reinforced structurally over time. That means, their initial creation were intentional and the people assumed the identities by choice. In the Anarchist Federation’s Women Caucus most recent anarchist analysis of privilege theory, they emphasized that identity groups like men and white people can’t actually give up their privilege no matter how much individuals from those groups want to. They’re born into those identities, raised in those identity groups, and are immersed in a system they cannot opt out of or choose to stop benefiting from. “You are not responsible for the system that gives you your privilege, only for how you respond to it.” Bell Hooks has often associated white patriarchy with acts of terrorism (i.e. slavery, rape, torture, and murder) against black people and black women, specifically. These acts of terrorism—slavery, rape, torture, and murder—are what we’re trying to abolish in the AR movement. It’s no surprise that they arise from the same system. How do we manage to live in society with all of this happening and be okay with it? Well, for one thing, white patriarchy doesn’t make itself visible. Like any social identity construct that maintains a social-economic system on the basis of exploiting more vulnerable individuals and communities, marginalizing those who interfere with the “mainstream” status quo, committing systematic violence for the benefit of privileged groups, and dominating the minds and bodies and space and reproduction of other groups, white patriarchy is an institution that manages to sustain all of this invisibly. We have to make a conscientious effort to make it visible. In the AR movement, when we talk about humans oppressing animals, we have opportunities to make visible the white supremacy and patriarchy behind the exploitation, the domination, the reproductive control, the marginalization, and the systematic killing. We can name the tokenizing of animals as mascots for their own exploitation and murder. We can call out shelter animal and feral animal killings as blaming the victim. We can talk about how wild animals are marginalized by habitat loss due to agriculture and urban development and “invasive/injurious” species become a convenient target for blame even though they’re not the primary cause. We can make visible the reproductive control, forced breeding, genetic manipulation, and rape that make institutions like laboratory research on animals, animal agriculture, pet-keeping, zoos and aquaria, hunting ranches, aquaculture, and animal entertainment industries go round. Tokenizing, blaming the victim, marginalization, and reproductive control are key tenets of white patriarchy. Under white supremacy in America, the mainstream tends to identify with animals and people of color once they’re dead or reduced into obscurity. This gives the illusion that we’re actually respecting these groups by romanticizing them and reshaping who they are in our imaginations for our own identities, now that our ancestors and contemporaries have removed them as a threat. But a major tenet of white patriarchy is the issue of citizenship. The only legitimate voices are those who are “true citizens” of the group. And in the AR movement, that is a huge obstacle in getting animals’ interests taken seriously.

• White patriarchy driving animal advocacy campaigns

o PETA campaigns are infamous for their racist and sexist campaigns. For that reason, I won’t go into too much detail with them here as another speaker in this conference will be offering an analysis of PETA. PETA, though, is an obvious example of white patriarchy driving its goals and strategies. Not just in the organization’s publicity stunts but also in their policies and practices involving animals directly. PETA has a track-record of killing more rescued dogs and cats than they place into homes. Nathan Winograd has been challenging PETA for years over their animal sheltering policies and practices. PETA sympathizers have retorted that what’s not mentioned in Winograd’s arguments are the animals who are adopted out and the dangers of overcrowding in shelters, that it’s better for animals to die a “merciful” death than to live a life in a shelter or worse, homeless. However, what this says to me is that for PETA the best kind of ethical relationship we can hope for with animals under PETA policy are with those who are dead because there isn’t enough capacity to hold them all under complete institutional control and it’s more efficient to kill them and congratulate ourselves on doing the right thing because we know what’s best. This is white patriarchy.

o Undercover investigations have been the primary tactic for exposing some of the worst offenses against animals. What often is not emphasized in undercover investigations of factory farm abuses or campaigns against dog-fighting or cock-fighting or exposés of illegal wildlife trafficking are the racialized components of these atrocities. The vast majority of the people who are doing the dirty work that gets plastered all over the news and bears the brunt of scorn and outrage from activists are people of color.

 Migrant workers from countries like Mexico and Guatemala comprise 1/5th of the agricultural workforce industry. They typically don’t have a high school diploma, so their options for work are slim, and they usually have very little say in the operations of these farms. They are just hands—often bloody hands—working 10-12 hour shifts. US imperialism and racism push them into jobs like this where options for livelihood are very few. They are more likely to be punished for animal cruelty than the operators of the farm who make the real profit. And animal advocacy organizations know this when they press charges; they’re just trying to take whatever “victory” they can get. In the end, this doesn’t help present or future animals because it allows corporations and their shareholders to avoid responsibility, it allows business owners to scapegoat impoverished and illiterate migrant workers who have very little legal protection, and it sends a misleading message to the public that the “bad guys” have been dealt with when in actuality they’ll just be replaced by another immigrant of similar standing who eventually loses his mind with the violence he must perform daily for several hours.

 Dogfighting is as old as civilization itself. And cockfighting started to appear in Europe around the 1400s. Both of these blood sports were primarily the activity of wealthy landowners, merchants, and aristocrats—in other words, people with money. Nowadays, these blood sports are associated with poor people of color. So campaigns against these vicious customs tend to look like white people chastising people of color, now that middle/upper-class white people are culturally “removed” from such barbarism.

 Illegal wildlife trafficking is an issue pervasive not just in animal advocacy but in environmental conservation as well. Campaigns and reports emphasize the illegal portion of wildlife trafficking so that they can invoke CITES and have some legal, policy weight, but that hasn’t made a big difference so far in the number of animals, alive and dead, being trafficked out of their native lands and waters. The regions where the bulk of this activity happens are southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. News media, documentaries, and campaigns tend to focus heavily on the “poaching” side of wildlife trafficking, which is exclusively poor people of color these regions. Though the business of wildlife trafficking will be part of a big crime syndicate, the people who are splattered in imagery and news articles are those with fewer resources and less leverage in the overall syndicate—people who are easy to replace, easy to scapegoat. It’s harder to make the wealthy consumers of wildlife products visible, it’s harder to challenge the rich, privately owned hunting ranches that profit in the business of “exotic” animal trafficking, it’s harder to target American and European private investors of militias and crime syndicates in these regions—so nobody really does. Because it’s easier to target poor people of color committing the actual violence and the actual crimes, they are the poster criminals, and white supremacy and colonialism can continue to go unchecked, unnoticed in its maintenance of this system.

o Racism, classism, and colonialism drive people of color to overly depend on the exploitation of animals, and because they don’t have the protection of wealth and whiteness, these people bear the brunt of the consequences, while the heavy enablers can continue business as usual.

IV. Racism & Speciesism: Are they interchangeable?

• Race and species are arbitrary distinctions that arose around the same time in European thought. They are both driven by phenotypic differences but carry the weight and legitimacy as though they are biologically rooted, and biological is often associated with “fixed.” In biology, the biological species definition is considered the ultimate species definition. If groups are shown to have individuals producing reproductively viable offspring, then they are truly a species. More often than not, this primary definition is too difficult to test in the field or in the lab, so other definitions based on morphological and phylogenetic differences between groups are considered an acceptable substitution. But what the morphological and phylogenetic species definitions do is make the labeling of species just as arbitrary as race theory. For both, it basically comes down to: if you look a little different, do things a little differently, vary somewhat genetically, and even live in a different region from the basis of comparison, that’s good enough to label your group a distinct species (and historically, race and species have been used interchangeably) until some other “expert” comes along and says otherwise.

• In my experience, what we as AR activists often label as speciesism tends to be racism, sexism, and ableism against animals. Animal agriculture, aquaculture, laboratory research on animals, pet-keeping, and even commercial and recreational hunting rely on the oppression of specific species for the benefit of certain human groups. But the arguments used to keep them in oppression are not so much speciesist as they are racist, sexist, and/or ableist. While dogs are targeted as a species of commercial breeding, it’s the races of dogs (otherwise called “breeds”) that are used as justification and incentive to continue selective breeding and reproductive control of dogs. And it’s the races that rig a dog slated for execution in certain counties just by being born to that race. Ecofeminist animal rights activists have pointed out for years that sexism is a major force driving the oppression of animals in agricultural industries, particularly dairy and egg where they would not exist without exploiting female labor. And even animal rights activists play into the traps of ableism, emphasizing the social-cognitive abilities of animals in a desperate attempt to get people to care about animals. Abilities of animal individuals and species may perhaps be the ground for which we justify how we treat animals. Once we activists are able to recognize them when they appear, it becomes easier to see what we’re really working with.

V. Conclusion

• Making white supremacy and patriarchy visible is very important to making animal oppression visible. They are often behind the atrocities against animals we’re struggling against.

• White supremacy and patriarchy affect the goals of the movement and the strategies employed. We can evaluate how our goals and strategies are carried along and By practicing an intention to make these forces visible, recognize what’s actually happening acknowledge our role in them all, we can take responsibility for the direction of .

• As other activists incorporate analyses of ablism, heterosexism, cissexism, and queerness, we have an opportunity for animal rights to become a genuine frontier intersectional movement. Are we up for the challenge?

More examples of white patriarchy:

• “I just installed a nose plate…so that he wouldn’t be nursing on his mom. He doesn’t need to anymore…He’ll get used to it. We’ve done it to other calves. And there’s little spikes on that plate, and that’s to irritate the cows udder if he tries to nurse and she’ll kick him away…Anyway, another fun thing to do on the farm.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOMYfrFKHyE&feature=youtu.be

Davey xSABOTEURx on vegan AR intersectionality!

xSABOTEURx at the Asylum 2 – Birmingham, 8.04.2013

We asked Davey, the bassist of the former UK vegan band xSABOTEURx, about his view on ethical veganism and animal rights intersectionality:

Basically for me veganism has always been for the animals and that’s how I would imagine it would stay. The band tackled issues of homophobia and sexism too with our vocalist at the time being gay.

We also come from a background where there’s a lot of privilege and consumerism in hardcore and honestly that’s just never been what it’s about for us.

Our politics have always been about liberation, both human and animal, and that’s something that should always continue on for us.

xSABOTEURx – Reaction

“In a world that’s fueled by the suffering of others,
ignorance is no longer an option. I would rather see
the world for what it really is than blind myself with
excuses. No longer will I stand by and watch as the
innocent fall victim to selfish desires. No more.”
Abstinence from a culture guilty of atrocity,
industries that profit off other beings misery,
mind altering substances that keep thought distracted,
pay heed to our crimes,
this is my reaction.
How many more have to suffer?
I can no longer stand by and do nothing,
as life is destroyed by human consumption,
slaves to convenience,
faith in a bottle,
this is my reaction in a world so hollow.
VEGAN STRAIGHT EDGE
Rape,
Vivisection,
Murder,
Exploitation,
Suffering,
Misery,
This is my reaction,
I won’t stand still.
Won’t stand still.
Won’t stand still.

xSABOTEURx – Unjustified

Compassion for those you once called friends,
lost among false notions of survival,
tradition is delusion in a modern age,
where substitute can take deaths place.
Slaughter, unjustified.
Slaughter, unjustified.
Animals aren’t commodity
or ours to control
industry to industry,
all will fall.
The hunters hunted,
the demons exposed,
no compromise for those who oppose.
Mass liberation from the hands of moral corruption,
those who’d brand a currency on sentient life.
Now is the time!
Mass liberation
from the hands of moral corruption.
Righteous vengeance on those who oppress.
It’s time for us to recognize,
retribution of nature’s calling.
Every second that’s spent waiting,
leads to another demise.

Both track are from xSABOTEURx – Demonstration, released in May 2013.

Via FB: https://www.facebook.com/saboteurxvx

Standing Point. Intersectional vegan hardcore from Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil!

Standing Point. Intersectional vegan hardcore from Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil!

Standing Points voice Alex Peguinelli tells us on the intersectionality of ethical veganism:

Well, we are a third world band, so we see veganism and animal rights in a particular way. We have so many problems here in America Latina, that people don’t even think about the non-human animals, so being a vegan, straight edge and anarchist band here is very necessary.

Beyond the band we are involved with vegan anti-consumerist collectives and the struggle for public transport. We think that talking about veganism is talking about anti-consumerist politics, anti-capitalist issues and a lot of other things that are directly connected with the human and non-human animal liberation.

Our Album ‘Work. Consume. Die.’ talks about the inability to live a free life in a world that offers you only prisons.

Standing Point – Loveless

“People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and hate, live and DIE, and what is to refuse their limitations, these people speak with a corpse between their teeth.”

Loveless

I threw myself from the highest cliffs
from the most beautiful mountains
I threw myself from the largest buildings

Always knowing that the ground
would be the (final) destination
That the fall would be the path

And the wind would lead life
like carrying pieces of paper

What can we do with the crumbs of theories?

(Normality can properly
Teach people how to live
And how to die)

What can we do with the crumbs of theories?

I tried to hold the air
I tried to hold in the air
I tried to leave the flight
a rough landing
inevitable and painful

And then life became
a scenographic city
if you pull to strong
the walls fall down

Now I see through
these falling walls
That love is the only reason of life
Love for struggle
Love for resistence
Love for freedom

No Compromise
No Excuses

Freedom
By any means necessary

(We turn again to the streets
But we have changed
And the streets mean something different now
We walked and these moments changed us
We saw buildings burning
We were touched by death
We loved and we felt alive
We saw the moon rising behind the barricades
We heard the echo of our voice in the voices of others

We do not walk today
asking the power for grant
They had never legislated peace or freedom
Now their armies cannot occupy our dreams
And their prisons cannot contain our number

This is our world
And these streets belong to us

We are the other,
We are the unemployed,
We are the hungry,
We are the homeless,
We are the thieves,
We are the saboteurs,
We are taking the streets,
We are destroying corporations,
We are taking control of the factories,
We are walking through the night carrying a heart on fire.

all of us,
we are everyone,
we are one.)

Standing Point – The Real Change

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Bandcamp: http://standingpoint.bandcamp.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Standing-Point/240527789340168

Spiknykter’s Simon on intersectional veganism

Swedish hardcore band Spiknykter’s Simon told us on intersectional veganism:

I have been vegan for many different reasons over the years, and I just keep getting more and more reasons why I should continue to be vegan.

Recently I learned that the abuse of animals and sexual violence are statistically connected. Apparently it’s common that the violent part does not start to exert violence on their partner, but starts practicing – so to speak – on a pet or other animals.

That, among other things, made it clear to me that empathy towards nonhuman animals is important, not only for its own sake, but also for being emphatic towards other people too.

Spiknykter – Arg som 17

jag brukade va ledsen, nu ä jag bara arg
på borgare, sexister och folk som skjuter varg
andra skaffar jobb och stil och ilskan klingar av
men jag blir bara mera arg, för varje jävla dag

10 år av aggression
spottar och fräser till pension

jag brukade va uppgiven nu är jag bara sur
på USA och Israel och deras jävla mur
andra går och gifter sig och slutar styra härj
snackar rött men röstar blått och hymlar med sin färg

gamla guben, arg som fan
grinig, sur och tvär vegan

kvar är agget fast jag tappat mitt hår
gnisslar tänder i sömnen och odlar mitt magsår
svär över diskbrock och högerpolitik
över kids som är nöjda och snutabyk

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FB: https://www.facebook.com/Spiknykter
Bandcamp: http://spiknykter.bandcamp.com/

xNO MOREx – vegan hardcore from Minneapolis on intersectionality

xNO MOREx – vegan sxe hardcore from Minneapolis.

We asked Anthony, the vocalist of xNO MOREx, about the fundamentals of intersectionality and veganism:

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

Veganism comes down to 2 issues. And those are Capitalism and Patriarchy.

I think that with Veganism, we have to realize that although we are clearing our own conscience by not eating animal products or using animal tested body care or what have you, it will only go so far. Veganism is so complex and intersectional to all other aspects of oppression. Unfortunately, its something a lot of vegans don’t seem to realize. Whether it be ableism, classism, sexism, transphobia, racism etc. these are all issues that really come down to capitalism and/or patriarchy.

You look at something like animal liberation. Sure, 5 million vegans in the United States is better than none, but these animals are still not liberated, they’re not free from oppression and speciesism, they’re still referred to as “its” instead of he’s and she’s. Veganism is a spark for something so much bigger, it’s really just the beginning of an eye opening perspective on the systematic oppressions that exist in our society.

Capitalism for example, a system that has been created where you actually have to pay for (work for) food, which is essential to the body to be able to live. What kind of a society have we created when we say, “I understand you need food to live, and it grows out of the ground all the time, but in order to obtain this food, you have to work according to a value somebody else has put on this job that society has forced you to work. The same goes for housing, as recent as 2011, there were thought to be roughly 3.5 million people homeless in the United States of America, and yet, there were 18 million unoccupied homes. But capitalism says that these people don’t deserve to have a home or a roof over their heads because of these fallacies it has created about money, power and “freedom.”

Things like factory farming will always exist so long as capitalism is still in place. People will eat, sleep, breathe and watch whatever they’re told to by these corporations, and cheese burgers are definitely no different. Animals are nothing more than property to these people and corporations, so to them, they see a cow producing milk, they see dollar signs, so they will force that down your throat until you buy, buy and buy some more.

But again, these are issues that a lot of vegans still don’t understand or care to realize. This is why intersectionality is important and vital. It’s all one singular issue of oppression that all leads back to Patriarchy and Capitalism.

Veganism must be intersectional, otherwise its counter productive. It’s ALWAYS important to question how you see things, how you’ve been raised to look at ideas and society. A Vegan isn’t doing a ton of good to the world if they are preaching animal rights but being a sexist or ableist asshole at the same time. You’re taking one step forward in one movement but 2 steps back in another, completely failing to realize that they are the same movement.

Blood Mouth

Murder is Murder, its all the fucking same.
You can wrap it up and give it a nice sounding name.
But your lies just don’t make it humane
269 its all of our names
Years cut short, they still bleed out, all the
fucking same. Grass fed or knee deep in shit.
It’s still murder, all the same.

Intro / Value

I don’t value life based on mental capacity
not on gender, sex, race, or nationality
Humans aren’t the only species who
deserve basic rights.
Eat. Live. Free.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/xNOxMOREx
Bandcamp: http://xnoxmorex.bandcamp.com/

Wolf x Down on vegan Animal Liberation and intersectionality


Wolf Down at Ieperfest 2013

We asked Wolf Down about their position on ethical veganism and intersectionality

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

Wolf X Down guitarist Tobi stated it for us:

Veganism to us is not just a diet, as declared by lifestyle vegans that see it merely as a way to stay healthy. It’s a conscious ethical decision of causing the least suffering and harm done to the planet and its inhabitants. Thus, we don’t feel that veganism is “giving up your favorite products and food”, as meat-eaters like to put it into question: “Don’t you miss xy?”. No and no. No, because there’s just about every delicious meal in a tasty cruelty-free vegan version and no, because there’s just no other way. It’s not a choice that is open to anyone. You’re not free to choose if you wanna hold yourself a slave or not, are you? So why do we think it’s everyone’s personal decision to exploit, torture and murder animals?

Despite all this, veganism is a means, not an end. We don’t think real change is to come from simply boycotting products and sharing your favorite raw food recipes. Be honest to yourself, veganism alone is not even saving animal lives. Thus, veganism is to be used as a stepping stone only. The consensus of our society about animal exploitation will not be broken without further action. If we want to achieve animal liberation, the animal rights movement needs to become a political and social movement just like the abolitionist one. The abolition of slavery and struggle for Black people was not won by boycotting cotton. To be successful, a movement needs a broad bandwidth of actions. And the direct actions of sabotage, property destruction and animal liberation carried out by underground ALF activists are just as vital as the clean-cut vegan on the TV talk show. So let’s raise our voices to be heard, and never forget, thousands of individuals are being tortured, mutilated and killed right this second: “I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.” – William Lloyd Garrison, American abolitionist

In a wider context, veganism to us is part of a struggle for total liberation, including not only non-humyn, but also humyn animals. Just as humiliated womyn and people of color or of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds striving for true equality, the gay couple or queer- and trans-people striving for acceptance, people with disabilities for support, refugees for shelter and animals for a right to live without suffering and exploitation, we all aspire to be free and healthy. Not the same, but equal. Only by exposing the commonalities in the different forms of oppression and understanding the nature of the hierarchies and the mentality of the oppressing forces towards their subjects, we can find a way to mutually improve, amend and progress in fighting back, united and strong: “Unity of oppression”. When fighting our own separate fights, we may dismantle and maybe break out the one or two specific spokes that represent our pain in the wheel that is oppression, but it won’t stop the wheel from turning, it will still continue to roll over our comrades. Thus, to achieve our goal of true and lasting liberation, we need to reach hands and make it one common struggle for liberation, to build a unity of the oppressed and break all the spokes in this seemingly everturning wheel:  “So you can stay cool behind your window and choose the view you want to see. But as long as there are others held captive, do not consider yourself free.”

Wolf Down – No Silent Approval

while the blood drips off the blade the cries still resonate
estranged, cut into pieces – rediscovered on your plate
you stop at nothing for the privileg of taste
like a panel of judges you’re deciding their fate

born in misery, abused – got nothing to lose
exploited for profit therefore you breed by humyn greed
this machine that turnes lives to products is called tradition
your silent approval – what an imposition!
individuals – facing perversion by superior forces
social, sentient beings degraded to resources
you stop at nothing for the privileg of taste
like a panel of judges you’re deciding their fate

this is about freedom, this is about compassion,
abolish exploitation – animal liberation!
The time has come – to break this culture of death

From Wolf x Down’s 2013 album release STRAY FROM THE PATH.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/WOLFxDOWN
Bandcamp: http://wolfxdown.bandcamp.com/
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/WOLFxDOWN
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WOLFxDOWN

stray from the path — escape prescribed conformity