GM / specifics of speciesism
“If you are nobody,
and people think your personality
is to be fitted on a plate
If you think the unthinkable,
In all directions,
Their narrow frameworks
They think you are nothing
That’s what they do to
You my friends
Animals.” – Person in Flesh
I scribbled this down for my friend hiesl @germanvegan, and we want to share these brief thoughts with everyone else …
Some basic radical antispe considerations about activities on a theoretical and practical plane
Theoretical / practical activities that help combat speciesism in the environment in your reach:
– Make being a radical antispeciesist part of your public and private personality.
– Use your possibilities to create safe-spaces for nonhuman individuals/life.
– Expect people to be able to think and reflect about social justice in a nonhuman-inclusive form.
– Use the internet e.g. or any place where you can express yourself to create postulations in order to forward radical antispeciesism – make your stance (this is also a form of self-empowerment).
– Learn weighing out positions, opinions, infos, sources, dynamics of communication via media: the AR movement isn’t a ‘clear spring’, it even harbors a lot of speciesism (like the biologistic one most often), animal-derogation, normalized speciesist-humansocieties-centered ‘megalomania’, etc. That is why the only safe way to navigate your activist field is to follow your own convictions that result from the ultimate experiences you gather together with the nonhuman contacts, friendships, relations you encounter. Animallib – or also respecting animal autonomy – aren’t empty words but should manifest in an actual antispeciesist praxis.
– “Common sense” – such as you apply in intra-human affairs – might be the best guide and the one that offers the most independent flexibility to learn and provide the freedom of thought you need.
Fragment: Why is it important to highlight the specifics of an oppressive system: The structure of denial and negation mostly serves to “legitimize” oppression/injustice, and these kinds of ‘humilitation’ take specific forms and function as instruments of oppression. In the case of speciesism the title as: food i.e. being designated to be the food the oppressor “nourishes” him-/herself from, plays a most tragically remarkable role.
- on the marketing of ready made vegan products
- vegan cooking
- ones public physical self-presentation as a vegan example
seems to take quite a space in the iconography created by some vegans. It transports a consumerist image to me.
This seems to vary though with current cultural habits, normalcies and practices, as in some places the focus tends to be more on helping and supporting nonhumans and human individuals/groups as a form of visible, political and standardly represented plant-powered activism – such as generally in Turkey and Brazil for instance and in the Black vegan movement and the VegansofColor movement in the US.
In general also I observe the obsession with photographing oneself in public at activist events or activivism-related opportunities. This in itself seems to count as a proven and valid form of expected social integration and a trustworthy marker of activist efficacy. This also requires that you are able-bodied and don’t suffer from any social phobia, it also requires you to accept social patterns of the peer group dynamics you are partaking in.
The problem is about the norms that are created and upheld (…) even with a broader, informed knowledge. Such norms create spaces of social divergence for those who decide to communicate differenlty, also by chosing other forms of expressing their basic political positions.
Image … of a Bestia obscura, by Farangis.de.
The term ‘veganism’ describes the ethical and practical exclusion of any animal- and animal derived product or animal-involving procedures/exploitation utilized to serve human interests. It does not say or indicate yet how nonhuman animals should be implied actively into any framework that implies humans/human societies, as a solution to the existent predominant catastrophic human-animal relation. How nonhumans can and should be included and reached out for, be addressed, implied constructively in a way that confronts the ‘animal question’ with due justice, in n toher words: the state of positively dwelling together is not so much and only indirectly put forward.*
Similalry ther term ‘speciesism’ describes the condition of ethical exclusion, now on a basically sociological level. It describes foremostly the biological categorisation yet inasmuch also other forms of categorization – such as religion, philosophical, scientific, etc. – of arbitrary derogative barriers set up by humans/’human cultures and civilization’ towards nonhuman animals.
We thought now to express the direct inclusionary level by a simple term which can be used practically and applied as a scheme to test any settings, condition … to check any given situative constellation for its nonhuman-inclusiveness!
This is about expressing an idea:
For checking anything for its nonhuman-inclusiveness you logically have to open up perspectivcs of how your view of nonhumans can be reasonable and ethically complete, appreciative and open-minded.
You can thus explicitly create, observe, discuss, design, conceptualize each and every aspect of human life in a nonhuman-inclusive approach.
Sounds perhaps too practical and maybe this seems to short a description of our idea, but we find it a helpful angle in our activities.
It should be added that our nonhuman-inclusive approach can be extended into a nonhuman-considerate direction where a seeming absence of nonhumans can be affirmative of nonhuman interests also indirectly, by a decided avoidance of promoting human concepts which openly or subtly suppress nonhumanity and nonhuman animals, but this will be discussed in a seperate, later post.
* This becomes clear e.g. in veganic projects, which 100 percent represent the vegan idea, yet exclude the question of animal life in a proactive form. Veganic projects don’t imply space for nonhuman animals to be involved in a just yet existentially directly present way.
“Law and rights are inherited, like a perpetual illness. They are dragged from generation to generation and shift lightly from location to location. Reason becomes nonsensical, advantage turns plague, woe you who are a grandchild. The question of the right which is born with us, is rarely being raised.” – from Faust 1. part, J.W. Goethe
When it comes to violence to any bodies,
what point will I make with showing culturally diverse forms of joy from causing death, destruction, torture, pain.
When it comes to learning about and connecting
with the fragility of sensitive gentleness of life’s individuations,
for my own inner and outer moral progress and that of my social ties with coinhabitants, fellows,
here is where I have to learn from cultural diversity and that entails
also the nonhuman cultural diversities.
(palangLY; which of the layers of cultural diversity are they referring to, aiming at what?)
A very rough expression of a feeling in regards to radical antispeciesism facing a conflict of being stuck in the middle of biologistic ‘animal lovers’ and nonhumanity-oblivious social justice clusters … :
If social justice work categorically excludes animal bodies, it’s questionable to my point of view. Saying this I don’t mean the type of implication that bases on “mild” speciesist, biologistic views of animality.
I come myself from a ‘mixed’race’ background and I have grown up in a country where you would face exclusion if you did not fit into the right image of the virtual “false-ethicity-person” and the right klischee going along with that. It’s not like all foreigners or poc or mixed-race individuals were equally accepted or discrimnated against. Much was and is dependent on the social function society ascribes you to take in the place you live.
Seeing a lot of people who come from socially comparable backgrounds such as mine working rightly for social justice, I wonder why the majority misses out on antispeciesist intersectionality though? To my point of view social justice can’t just evade questions of how concepts about animality and nature have been constructed in our societies. How can social justice turn an oblivious eye on zoocide and ecocide, when exactly those are facts that result from the very same foundations on which other oppressive systems thrived, and when those facts are taking place are all around us?
I believe that justice for humanity can hardly base on the oppressive constructs of animality and nature anymore, without being prolonged types of injustice.
Genderroles, animal sociology and „instincts“
We want to liberate from gender roles for human parenting, yet we assume that nh-animals only lapsed with seahorses, earthworms, kiwis, etc. and their genders and procreational evolution.
What exactly are “motherly instincts”, and what are “fatherly instincts”? Do we even see fathers in the prisoned life nh-animals are stuck in by us? How do we know what would be the typical behaviour for nh-animal families and their social networks in their own chosen contexts?
Defining Nonhumans as ‘INSTICNTUAL’ is species-derogative and biologistic …
Please quit reducing nonhuman motherhood to “maternal instincts”.
Instead of shrinking everything about nonhuman animals to “instinctuality”: I can represent nonhumans by discarding speciesist ascriptions, and frame them with liberated / autonomous perspectives, as mutual interfaces.
People who consider themselves to be antispeciesists mostly don’t see or don’t want to discuss the links between: ecocide, genocide and zoocide. The term and notion of a zoocide does not even exist for most in that correlation in their terminology. Many still hold the same assumptions about animality that base on ethical histories and theories within philosophy, religion, natural sciences that are the very cause of speciesism. Loving nonhuman animals at the same time as quoting biologist data for instance and instead of coining own liberated terms,
antispeciesism today does not equal consistent antispeciesist thought so far. It helps with the symptoms but harms at the same time, by cementing nonhumans into a slippery slope concept of freedom and dignity pushed upon them.
Rights claimed only go as far as theories about nonhuman animals are compatible with it. Not breaking with the power of human definition, antispeciesism today misses to acknowledge that nonhuman animals are oppressed in the first place in their very own qualities of who they are, in their identities independent of humancentric frameworks. And that happens parallel to them being bereft of their physical freedom and integrity, parallel to being tortured and murdered and physically objectified to a human will to cause them the ultimate pain … .