Earthworms and animal rights

We believe that if our common notion of animal rights excludes invertebrates, like earthworms, we need to a.) analyze the speciesist paradigms that segregate animality, and b.) question the legitimacy of a solely humancentric (ethical, legal and philosophical) conception of a fundamental “right” on life and freedom.
Antispeciesist Animal Sociology

Segregative approaches

Question about segregative approaches, such as specifically in the discussion as found in e.g. here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csydct

Mind we come from a radical antispeciesist approach, hence we need to ask this.

Question 1 about the saving biological diversity approach:

  • Are they for captive breeding programs to halt the extinction of some species? If yes, how do they see the problematics of zoos? Do such problematics matter in the discussion about extinction, its causes and how the driving forces behind natural destruction can be addressed?

Question 2 about the saving biological diversity approach:

  • Life is a net, yet equally individual lives are meaningful (with humans and nonhumans). Positively seen we understand how life is built as an interdependent net. Yet oppressive mechanism also function as a “net”, yet one of destructiveness, meaning: Wildlife stands amidst mechanisms of a systemic zoocide and ecocide. When we name the net of life, we should also discuss the destructive mechanisms of the socio-political scale and not just highlight biological functioning.

Question 3 about the saving biological diversity approach:

  • When we face destructiveness that targets and sacrifices biological diversity, why do we exclude the nonhuman lives that are barred from the natural spaces and locked into machineries? Why is the connection of destructiveness towards life being treated in a segregative way? For the sake of keeping up the notion of taxonomical richness? Definitely not for nonhuman life itself.

Antispeciesist Animal Sociology

Thoughts about Animal Languages


Thoughts about the Languages of Animals

Palang Latif

This text is also part of the Edition Farangis: Animal Autonomy E-Reader 1.

I can’t see how a term such as ‘animal language’ could pose a problem to anybody when it directly refers to an animal’s way of communication. I am however critical of people who ‘translate’ animals in stereotype ways.

Nevertheless I could apologize for using a word that describes the phenomenon that humans see as exactly the very one criterion which most sharply shows the difference between humans and all other animals. The word ‘language’ has evolved in the human mind and possesses as such its linguistic legitimacy.

The word ‘language’ belongs to one of the core conceptions of the most drastic forms of negative speciesism. Regarding this presumed ground I have to stand upon, I apologize for the insufficience of my attempt to communicate something for which I can insofar only borrow this word, and I dare to ask you to perhaps think of a second word ‘language’ – free of value in a sense – which would only describe what we may not be able to describe yet within the borders of our set of regulations as we have them currently in regards to language; I am well aware that people usually don’t want to accept that this one human term ‘language’ can be used tightly paralleled to animal language, and that so far the word ‘animal language’ has only be tolerated on a scientifical level to refer to human parameters that have been applied to animal communication.

Animals speak their languages, but what their languages consist of, could only be understood if we communicated with them on a level that allows them to use their language.

Animal languages work like human languages, where you can translate what you understand and try to put how-you-can-understand-the-message or that what you understand into your terms of your language.The same happens when I talk to any other individual: I comprehend what she/he/it conveys in the restrictedness or unrestrictedness of my own terms. My terms don’t merely underly semantics – though they might be translated back and forth into semantics, morphems and syntax. My own terms and concepts have, in spite of their belonging to my system of language, a restricted meaning. In a very basic sense I have to rely on that what I understand or confer to that what I perceive.

The languages of animals (there are more animal languages than human languages of course) are seen by us as having a super restricted meaning. If we take the position of the nonhuman side in general, we can say though that human languages are restricted in that they only apply to humans. And seen from a standpoint which takes into account the question of perspective, I can say that if I don’t understand a dog, it’s because she belongs to a different animal ‘group’ when compared to my human group.

‘Communication’ infers meaning to the act of communicating on any level of any sound produced by a communicative agent.

Does language necessarily have to be connected to the history, the past, the present and the future of human progress? Why should animals have ever evolutionary or in any wise chosen to contextualize their existence with the human existence? A being of an animal group or I’d like to say an animal culture, clearly differenciates that what is important to their own existence; and I would call this rather their philosophy instead of just an evolutionary occurence.

I find it permissible to use a word of the human language to describe something I witness, on an experiential basis, about the side of someone (animals) who uses another language. Also ,I prefer to call the expresssed existence of nonhuman animals a philosphy, since it is too simple and anthropocentrically self-serving to underlie animal existence pure evolutionary ends. I do draw from my personal observations which seem sufficient for me to make my own judgements in this case and to make a decision about what to think here.

Basically I think that everybody knows that animals have their languages, but that we usually deny that these languages, that we don’t understand, have any meaning at all. But how would we not deny any meaning of animal communication that would go beyond the notions that our societies generally have about even the being itself of animals; we deny the fact of a self-authorative being of animals in itself in it’s whole meaning. So, no surprise that we draw major qualitative lines. In terms of language, we create a complicated building of restrictions to exclude the nonhuman animals from the comparatively tolerant perspectives that we have in regards to the pluralism of human languages. (It’s ok for a human language to be completely different, just because it’s human.)

We deny another animal that it’s not instinctal, because it’s not a human. You can indeed call everything an instict. Still you can’t really prove that it is “instict”. You can just put the ‘supposed carrier of an instict’ in a setting where they are treated as such instinctual things and seen as such, and interpreted as such.

Possibilities

Human rights in favour of animal rights may hopefully be another way to convey that an opinion of a human majority can’t represent a truth about any individual animal and the whole animal groups:The animal individual itself is a truth-bearer since it exists, and simply by that it represents, through how it lives (in its own rights and in its own terms) a truth. Just like I judge humans I meet by the impact of truth (their actions are possible just by shere existence), I would want to be as just as I can towards the ways in which individual animals live.
Art doesn’t function through semantics, since there are shapes and colours!
Micky Mouse doesn’t function through semantics, since there are figures and action!
Snowball doesn’t function through semantics, since there is Lisa taking her seriously enough!
Music doesn’t function through semantics, since there is play and composition!
Oppression doesn’t function through semantics, since there are suppressors
Love doesn’t funtion through semantics, since there is understanding and misunderstanding
Peace doesn’t funtion through semantics, since there are underlying actions … And this array could go on and on. Anyway, and still this is all part of our language?

What we do when we speak about ‘animals’ and ‘language’ is: We reduce the complexity of animal communication to linguitstical terms into which they may not fit. Instead of admitting the existence and relevance of other communicative systems as being really independent from our systems and thus not explainable through purely and solely biologcal criteria (insinct).

I have compounded two things:

1. the function of the term ‘instinct’ as a) serving to restrict the notion of a socio-ethical plane as to only having developed in and being attributable to humans and ‘human groups/cultures’ and b) its intended reduction of the scope and meaning of communication in nonhuman animals to a biologically explainable and manipulatively determinable code,

and 2. I have defined linguistics as an inadequate means of setting general rules for a communicative validity.

Instincts and linguistics are things that are working in our systems of categorisation.

In regards to the self-cetegorization going along with this, I also want to point out that our own language does not base a) on merely a functional basis neither in connection to the agent that uses language nor in connection with the subjects that language seeks to deal with, and b) that our language might also not just be a compound of what linguistics (and maybe physiological aspects of speaking added or so) alone can make out of it.

Generally: Cultural (in a non-homocentric sense, i.e. implying “the natural” on an equal scale)) and individual aspects play a role too, as well with humans as with animals when communicating!

I do state again that the word culture can to my opinion also be applied to animals – if one allows a culture to be really and profoundly different [from “our” cultures] too.


The Image on top is from the illustrated story “Morgh va Tokhm” by Farangis G. Yegane.

This essay ist also on my veganswines.com site at: http://www.veganswines.com/andishe/animallanguage.htm and published in my veganswines reader 08 (Paddling of the Ducks educational press) in a printed form.

See also: The species-derogative ascription of instinct, http://www.simorgh.de/objects/the-species-derogative-ascription-of-instinct/

When living or dying is better


On this Earth Day:
most nonhuman animals are trapped in the reproductive hells human societies are seeking to “industrialize” their very physical and mental existence with.
Would you rather go extinct or be forced to live under torture, where your very natality is being ab/used, against your own existential integrity?
On this Earth Day, like on endless ones to come, most nonhuman animals don’t have any choice whatsoever to leave the most atrocious circle of an evolutionary-scale oppression working through physical fertility, natality, birth …
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie

Ecosocial bonding

Most nonhuman animals face the threat of being potentially defined as “meat” or otherwise as any kind of “usable source” made from their bodies. Inseparably their agency and in fact all aspects of their lives are systematically being reductively objectified.

The nonhuman animal body is categorically oppressed in a form of exploitable objectification, which implies the permanent imminent danger of > being subdued to unbearable emotional and physical pain and of > being subdued to the most complete possible form of negation of the individual selfness of the victim.

The dominating human societal constructs function with an inbuilt demand for systemic violence and destruction towards animality.

A change of this zoocidal system is an ongoing struggle on all kinds of planes and here we find the reason of ecosocial bonding and understanding.

Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie

No emotional separability between humanity and animality

No emotional separability between humanity and animality. Antispeciesist Animal Sociology.

Do I belong to humanity or animality in terms of my emotional relations, do I belong to both maybe equally?

This comment as a PDF

If I can chose whose fate I am affected by, and what types of injustice worry me most, I can also express that I feel the kind of injustice towards nonhumans worries me specifically, and that them being victimized makes me sad in a extreme way, same as with humans, … and if I would go further: how would it affect me when humans would be killed to be eaten, milked, inseminated against their will.

Who ever is subjugated to these procedures and this quality of suffering and injustice gets the specific type of attention for their fate … .

I was just thinking this when I saw headlines juxtaposed about human victims and murdered nonhumans being displayed, as if the fate of the nonhumans – which was much worse in such generalizable terms – was of less interest. To me it isn’t. But when I say this openly people try to stifle my point of view.

And of course if you set forth our limited relation to the nonhuman world, where nonhumans are reduced to “instincts” and biology, when you have the typical view about nonhumanity, then yes, you fulfill your own prophecies in your tiny world … but if you take nonhumans as who they are, you see the type of injustice is the real problem: why someone is chosen as a victim, why groups are so excluded and omitted that the ruling majorities of humans just keep oppressing them – by all means > that is the real terror.

Finally: Humans don’t have to be all on the same side when it comes to positions they hold about nonhumanity. It’s sad how humanity always seem to expect homogeneity in mind. #radical #antispeciesism

Palang LY, Gruppe Messel

Nonhumanity and reasons for solidarity (fragment)

Nonhumanity and reasons for solidarity (fragment)

This text as a PDF

Building relations between being “human” and animality and standing in social context with nonhuman animals:

  • I am non-hierarchical outside the “human” box …
  • My frame of ethical reference is only cross-secting “humanity” …
  • I consider my being human as co-integrative with nonhumanity …
  • My being human is standing in nonbiological terms. It is social and mutually philosophical.

Nonhuman and other-than-human principles frame new philosophies: philosophies that we can comprehend and which are outside of – or cross-secting the human scope. Look at non-hierarchical social life for instance in social systems of birds, reptiles, canidae … nonhuman animal groups, seen of course from a non-biologistical standpoint. In the context of getting to learn about other-than-human ethical-sociologies and eco-sociologies we can unsolidarize with oppressive human positions and solidarize with the entire nonhuman and other-than-human social systems as major, primary frames of reference.

Antispeciesist Animal Sociology

Being a lifelong vegan does not guarantee that the person is not speciesist

I met a lifelong vegan who says that killing nonhuman animals would be totally okay in this person’s opinion.

This makes me think that:

  • veganism is too little understood as what iit originally is > a lifestyle about ethical pacifist relations towards nonhuman animality
  • that people are underinformed about ethical implications of a constructive human-nonhuman-animal relation in society as a whole
  • that people are also underinformed about interfaces of socio-ethical and eco-political concerns regarding human-nonhuman relations

It made me feel very upset to hear such an attitude from a lifelong vegan. I wonder why someone in that case even wants to call him- or herself a vegan, when they consciously exclude nonhumans from the frame of their constructive ethical relations and when they practice blatant speciesism.

Veganism unfortunately is still working much at the level of a trend, and I think it is exactly a trend for the reason of a raising moral and ethical awareness and growing sensitivity towards speciesism in society but that nevertheless veganism being a “trend” mostly serves as a buffer, it makes you cleared of guilt and blame, yet a vegan person might still reserve for themselves a speciesist stance in society so as to keep being mainstream. Some vegans hold a conservative position insofar as they want to cater to the omnivore mass society.

I said to that person that I feel offended and that to me saying killing nonhuman animals for consumption is okay would be similar to bigots telling me that racism was okay or sexism, and that I think it’s problematic that when I talk about this perspective of mine, my standpoint would easily be counted as provocative and inappropriate, from that mass-oriented standpoint which makes the human-nonhuman-animal divide, in which it is okay to objectify nonhumans.

The other person compared the scenario of killing nonhumans for food with the unhealthiness of alcohol consumption then, and said that she was often upset when people defend the consumption of alcohol, but that one should be tolerant of other people’s views. I said that I thought this comparison would be inadequate, since talking about killing nonhumans is talking about subjects and absent referents, whereas talking about alcohol consumption is talking about humans consuming an object (alcohol). She said that alcohol consumption would also take lives. At this point I realized that the discussion is mainly about polemics.

This experience makes me frustrated at how fellow vegans can be basically only technically be vegan yet practically be avid speciesists. I tend to think this is a legacy of the vegetarian movement, which emphasized to much on health issues instead of leading a debate about ethics such as the antivivisection movement comparably did ( – talking about the European debates of the late 19th and the early 20th century), also it’s an ongoing inheritance of “human” hierarchism towards nonhumanity.

Ethically being a technical vegan is an interesting position to be in, yet I think it’s out of a sensible line.

When veganism becomes directed at a wellbeing that pushes the wellbeing of others into a secondary or irrelevant position, when foremostly the integrity of individuals similar to ‘oneself’ is considered to be of primary relevance whereas concerns relevant to individuals who are different to the ‘self’ (or the own status) are decidedly ignored, we face a danger of technicality in vegan ethics that can be addressed by a meaningful discussion about the problematics veganism as a practice implicitly and explicitly addresses.

Antispeciesist Animal Sociology