A recourse to ethology > instead of challenging the existent definitory frameworks that seek to explain animality > is part of the biologization and the racialization of animality
Antispeciesist Animal Sociology
Antispeciesism is at least a two-way road:
A critique of species-ism could mean to completely deconstruct the notion of “species” in favor of finding new approaches to address the groups of beings we now sum up as the group/s of “nonhuman animals”. It can also mean to cling to that idea, that beings can be separated into “species”, only that we position differently towards the beings we’d keep defining in hegemonic terms.
Antispeciesist Animal Sociology
A world free of speciesism for the benefit of all nonhuman life as the foremost goal
In terms of Animal Rights and it’s problem field: speciesism, fighting for bettering the prospects of human survival doesn’t help a lot, because the reason why and how nonhuman animals are oppressed isn’t becoming a subject.
If we protested and criticized speciesism in the forefront, we would > implicitly discuss the protection of nonhuman habitat! The underlying rhetoric makes a difference in the goal reached.
Humanity actually sacrifices the integrity of all nonhuman life for their idea of survival. So we need humans who care about nonhuman life in a way that the direction is chosen > where all nonhuman life is being foremostly taken into ethically prioritary consideration.
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie
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
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.
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/
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
Nonhumanity and reasons for solidarity (fragment)
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
Questionaire: Biologistic Speciesism
The questionnaire as a PDF
Altruism is often self-serving. Also caring for one another is like caring for oneself – unless someone is egotistical. The lines drawn in altruism just seem too sharp … Nonhumans morally act more altruistic than we humans do, one seriously has to admit. We believe such factors should be highlighted in the Animal Rights discourse, since making this invisible means making agency and social architectures invisible.
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy
In context with my fragment: Many forms of speciesism.
A question of identity (human vs. animal) –
in which a human hides his/her factual individuality (i.e. human collectivism as a shield)
beneath the psychological and/or physical violence against animal dignity.
Fragments on species-derogation, previous list: Speciesism an animal hatred.