A fragment on insect mythologies

Slightly edited repost of: https://simorgh.de/niceswine/fragment-on-insect-mythologies-and-representations (2014)

A fragment on insect mythologies and insect representations, and why symbolism is not sufficient to explain the relation

Insects in mythology are mostly explained as a phenomenon that stands for a “symbolism”. It seems that authors/researchers find it hard to imagine that for instance the Scarabaeus (attributed in the Egyptian pantheon to the God Kheper), a “dung beetle”, was appreciated for more than just that, what humans attributed to him in terms of their own anthropocentric concept of the earth, its meaning and the universe.

What if for instance the early Egyptians did see a world of unique value in the life and activities of the scarab beetles?

It could likely be that it was fascinating to observe, how the beetles rolled this ball of soil and dung, to think about what meaning the beetles might have given to their existence on earth overall. Maybe it was that ancient civilizations/cultures had an ability to take nonhuman animals as cultures? A small beetle that rolls a ball like a planet, from which new insect life would spring forth … .

A typical thought you find on the topic of nonhuman animals and nature in mythologies is, that humans would imbue nature with meaning. Quite contrarily, people could have felt that nature did in fact have meaning, and that nature (being) is meaning in itself.

As far as I could find out now, the most prominent mythologies about insects and alike, evolve around: bees, butterflies, spiders, scorpions, cicadas and the scarab beetles.

If we add the heavy weight of underlying such a relationship in mythology to our today’s definition of “symbolism” – that is if we say that i.e. such insects were mere symbols for anthropomorphic attributions – then we should scrutinize more closely the epistemological history of “symbols” and the term’s etymology to shed light on the construct that we apply here.


PROTEST: „Artist“ Abdel Abdessemed showing snuff, promoting speciesism at Centre Pompidou


It seems that a snuff video will be shown at the exhibit at Centre Pompidou. So the killing the artist uses for his “art” took or takes place outside of the event. However animal murder is being promoted as a form of art, killing and humiliation is aestheticized. It basically makes no difference, the degree of severe speciesism is the same, even with these forms of indirectness of the act. The exhibition promotes animal murder, so please keep up the protest to stop the performance / video display from being part of this already gruesome severely speciesist exhibition.

Related link:

Le centre Pompidou expose Adel Abdessemed qui tue et filme la mort des animaux!


„Artist“ Abdel Abdessemed plans to kill Animals at Centre Pompidou exhibition

On 7. January 2013 the “artist” Abdel Abdessmed wants to publicly kill a cow, a calf, a goat, a pig, a sheep and a horse with a sledgehammer “life on stage”. This abhorrent “arts performance” is scheduled to take place at the well known Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.

The Text of the ongoing petition by Avaaz.org against this planned “performance”:

Abdel Abdessned holds an exhibit at the 7. of January 3012 at the Centre Pompidou. His programm is to kill a pig, a goat, a cow, a calf and a horse there with a sledgehammer.

He want to tie the animals to a wall and then start hitting them with a hammer. This will be accompanied by a sound installation and some “artistic impetus”.

We must prevent this horrid “performance” from happening! This can’t be tolerated under the name of “art”, neither as far as the artistic side is concerned nor that of an “arts interested” audience.

Murdering nonhuman animals isn’t art. It’s inhumane to support such a project or to allow it to take place. Such an “exhibition” is completely unbearable from an animal welfare and animal rights point of view.

We ask you to sign our petition to prevent this “performance” at the Centre Pompidou from happening.


In Germany animal protection law prohibits hurting and killing a nonhuman animal for the purpose of display, such as for an arts exhibition. We need a law covering this huge problem for the EU member states urgently:

Tierschutzgesetz, § 3 Absatz 6: Es ist verboten, ein Tier zu einer Filmaufnahme, Schaustellung, Werbung oder ähnlichen Veranstaltung heranzuziehen, sofern damit Schmerzen, Leiden oder Schäden für das Tier verbunden sind.“


Necrophilia and art

Conlflating the Topoi

FLEISCH. Material, Objekt, Denkfigur | 83. Kunsthistorischer Studierendenkongress vom 29.11. bis 2.12.2012 am Institut für Kunstgeschichte der Universität Wien http://www.univie.ac.at/kskwien.

This congress dedicated to the subject of “meat” or flesh, “as a matrial, object and figure of thought” fully mistook or intentionally conflated the notion of flesh in term of lust and it’s religious “stigma”, and factual death.

The conflation does exist – not just here but it has a long historical tradition which itself sheds light on the anchor-points of the working dialektics of speciesism.

The flesh of lust is the protected flesh of the privileged human being, in a world that separates animal vs. human.

The meat on the other hand is the wish to digest death, to become the master of torture, who rules over the life and death of beings we as humans will never understand, since we cling to our phantasy of human superiority, our human megalomania.

“The human” as the center of the universe is already questionable. Now “the human” (a concept) leading humanity itself ad absurdum through his/her wish for an ultimate domination will be an interesting decay of mind and life to watch in the individual fates.

Speciesism in art ? Or a cannibalism snuff video …


Speciesism in art, and non-speciesism in .. what is it?

Ok I too heard about the 2 male persons who wanted to kill this time a sheep “for art”. A public speciesist execution. When speciesism comes in a new dress it’s something new? I doubt it.

However I vote for Mark Marek of BestGore.com for recently stating in an interview this about his viewpoint on violence against nonhumans …

Best Gore exposes the true nature of fleshy viruses but I never post any animal suffering.

MM – I post uncensored reality. Myself and other Best Gore members are people who don’t live with rose tinted sunglasses permanently mounted on our faces. On Best Gore, we have a name for human beings which was forged on the site – we call them Fleshy Viruses. Best Gore exposes the true nature of fleshy viruses but I never post any animal suffering.

I did many interviews today and could tell that many reporters were disappointed to learn that they were speaking with biggest pacifist they’ve ever met in their entire lives. Perhaps it would make for a better mainstream story if I wore black latex clothes and bragged about how many animals I dissected in the past, but truth is neither myself nor any of regular Best Gore members would hurt a fly. We’re on Best Gore because we despise violence and cruelty of one who’s predisposed to be stronger against one who’s predisposed to be weaker. And we the people who don’t drive recklessly, don’t drive impaired, don’t beat other people up and don’t draw pleasure from kicking a man on the ground, we can’t stand animal suffering and that’s where I draw the line with content on Best Gore.


Best Gore interview


It’s just a shame that Mark Marek now refers to people opposed to BestGore.com as “sheep“. I can understand the idea of dealing in such ways with intra-human aggression, yet all violence is an endless problem, even if in varied, different ways.

Interesting article

I came across an interesting site on ethics, and found an even more interesting point of view expressed on there regarding the question of arts and ethics in a work where the artist had people decide whether they’d want to blend a fish in mixer or not – let him/her alive, here is the highlight quotation:

“Defenders of Evaristti’s work may wish to by-pass such discussion by making the claim that there are no rules for art; that anything done in the name of art is to be allowed (free from the usual critique offered from an ethical position). It seems to me that this is an untenable position – surely there must be limits. As a colleague asked, “what if it was a human baby in the blender?”. Our revulsion to the thought of sacrificing a child for ‘art’ is not based on any belief that it would merely be illegal to do so. The matter goes deeper than this.”

READ FULL ARTICLE: The goldfish is dead, but is it art? by Simon Longstaff

See related info: Angry Vegan (Visual Opinions Workshop).