Activists that mention all ethical environmental and social issues except animal rights and speciesism. Sounds familiar? Let’s make these awkward exceptions a cause for criticism.
antibiologistic antispeciesist animal sociology
The format of having one big (failing) un climate conference where nations meet is not enough facing the ecocidal catastrophe. It needs a 365 days a year global action committee by all nations to face the situation adequately. It’s a global crisis.
But of course, we don’t face ecocide adequately, because we don’t want to face the angle of the zoocide taking place on all levels, which is inseparable.
Antispeciesist Animal Sociology
Not every perspective is provable to everyone, attitudes are influenced by positions
People don’t see themselves under primarily biological terms, they say their culture and their social life is a proof of being more than just driven by instinctual biologically explainable factors. They say the have their mind, their spirit, their thinking.
A perspectival shift to not see nonhumanity under biological terms primarily, does not need a proof, it needs the will to take another stance towards our environment. Seeing nonhumanity non-biologically and as individuations of Life in its own merits, seems to be unwanted and is treated almost like a form of “blasphemy” against an almighty scientifical system of categorization in our current societies and their Zeitgeists. Stances, positions are however not a matter of proof so much, but much more of choosing a specific perhaps differing standpoint and a perhaps fundamentally different angle of perspective – and that might be one that can’t be proven to the other side, since their outlook is so much predetermined by their own interest.
In the case of evaluating the own interest and the interest of others, operating with proof to privilege one side while disadvantaging the other, forces us to think in one direction only. We assume that it is objectively proven or probable that for instance nonhumans lose less if they die compared to humans, or that it is objectively provable that the reasoning of nonhumans can be behaviouristically determined and would not be autonomous. Proof selects a supposedly objective framework of reference, if you chose another framework of reference you come to a different kind of conclusion: an example, the starkest one perhaps is the different perspective an ecocentric person choses versus a humancentric one at a given moment.
Specifics of speciesism: History, how we see “the past” and how we preserve “what is important”.
Our collectively built historical consciousness, the legacies nonhuman-ignorant communities and collectives value:
- We relegate nonhuman animal history and nonhuman history in general into the natural-historic chapter of basically human history.
- We ignore nonhuman narratives; we ignore positions outside the anthropocentric dogma when they come from nonhuman perspectives, we haven’t developed any comprehension for nonhumanity on non-speciesist levels.
If we chose a nonhuman-inclusive mode of perception and developed accesses to nonhuman notions of ‘being-in-time and socio-cultural-contexts’ in their terms (…), we’d be able to phrase nonhuman perspectivity in our words, without referring to biology or other reductive explanatory segments into which animality has continuously been relegated.
- Museums, when they are about culture, thought, introspection, mental “wealth”, aesthetics: nonhumans are at best a means-to-an-end within these contexts, they are never represented as standing for their own complexity in broader nonhuman-inclusive historical contexts.
- History in itself is seen as a concept and experienced-phenomenon only conceivable by humans, and amongst humans themselves history is being selectively purported.
Memories of nonhumanity, from their and from nonhuman inclusive perspectivities, are being nullified, consciously conceived as irrelevant and mentally achieved within any of the manifold speciesist categories of human- or rather humanitycentered perceptions.
The social destructivity exerted by our ‘humanity’ towards ‘animality’ (and all nonhuman life) is the fundamental ethical problem, not the question of indirect damages caused to “our” ressources and interests by this destructive behaviour.
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy
Veganism is really ‘one expression for a holistically ethical lifestyle’, cultural histories give us indications and clues about the histories of such.
Seeing it from this point of view gets us more into ethical pluralities and deeper layers of non-anthropocentric thought.
Gruppe Messel, Tierautonomie / Animal Autonomy
What is EMPATHY? We are rather in a constant process of learning from each other, a failed or active information exchange. There is no constant positive affirmation, even in doubt we learn. We can’t chose – we learn something from one another. All existence does.
Which threshholds do what kind of societal groups not like to cross and be CROSSED by others?
And are different parameters for discussing angles of problems recognized or do perspectives have to be narrowish to seem intelligeble I wonder. #ecosociologies
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.
How will human societies depelop a understanding of animal degradation and speciesism? An example of animal degradation in context with normalized species-degogative views on horses specifically can be seen in this photophaph for instance:
Unknown photographer, found on FB in someones timeline. Showing this image only serves the purpose of documentation and sensitization in terms of leading an anti-speciesist discourse. (Using this image does not imply that we see such photographic arts / aesthetics as ethically tolerable or as supportive of serving nonhuman interests in any possible way.)
The degradation of nonhuman animals: does the consumption come first, the utilization, or the speciesist ideologies and beliefs?
A short critique of anti-carnism-centered approaches such as in the movie ‘the end of meat’.
The degradation of nonhuman animals and how that goes together with the consumption of nonhumans is something I really wonder about. Movies like “the end of meat” very much assume an anti-carnism position, seeing the main problem in the biggest scale of speciesist industries, namely the meat, milk, egg industry.
But what we really have, what is taking place, is stretching out over virtually every aspect of human domination of ‘nature’. And this is why I personally put the killing and degradation of nohuman animals in a context of zoocide taking place, alongside the dimensions of genocides and ecocide in human history.
I wonder if human societies will automatically stop degrading nonhuman animal cultures and their natural ecosystems when they stop torturing and murdering them on this unimaginably large scale in the meat and food industries. I wonder if the acceptance for otherness of nonhuman animal cultures and individuals will grow in societies in the moment a society would stop killing them, eating them, and utilizing them primarily for reasons of their own human survival – and only partly for reaching a fully functioning future of nonhuman animal and animal-ecosystems rights and liberty?
In other words will we stop seeing the world flat in regards to nonhuman animals and their natural habitats because we stop commiting a large part of zoocide and ecocide? I hope that will be so, but I have doubts.
Looking back at the history of speciesism shows that the causes for human hubris over nonhumans and nature are very deeply installed in the history of human civilisations (Aph Ko discusses the question: ‘what are the roots of animal oppression?‘ in this interview).
I believe that working against all forms of speciesism (see also: aspects of speciesism), and against forms of animal degradation has to take place, on all levels where nonhumans are othered in destructive, degrading and harmful ways. Only so we will ensure that society develops an enlightened and reconciling view on nohuman animals, and only so the spaces will be protected and the rights granted where animal individuals and groups live (animal cultures).
Also the language in regards of ‘nature’ seems insufficient to me in approaches such as in the movie ‘the end of meat’. The meaning of nature is not contextualized with the question of animal habitat but rather with protecting resources for human survival. Animals as friends, as envisioned in this movie, needs the contextualization of animal liberation/animal right with ecopolitics on a very tight level.
This comment is however not meant to be a negative critique, it is only a trial to point out problems that seem untouched by that type of mainstream approaches in veganism. And that is also why I chose to name this specific movie, since it typically represents the mainstream thinking of how the problems of animal oppression can supposedly be stopped and addressed by ending the animal farming industries, instead of dismantling the working variables of systematic and individual animal oppression as they occur on any given level.
The difference between mainstream veganism and our individual group’s approach has much to do with:
- whether or not to appreciate animal cultures and individuals in a non-biologistic frame,
- and whether or not humancentric ideals are questioned or not in terms of affirmatively assigning nonhumans own ways/contexts of moral agency, own fully fledged ways/contexts of ethical values, of own fully fledged complex language-systems (and that thus also a lingua franca between humanity and animality is not just something fictional but rather something possible and something basically valid)
We need new and different sets of terms than the ones we have in our societies so far when we discuss nonhuman interests. A difference is clearly if someone is willing to take the discussion into wider fields than what we have so far even and in particular in human animal and critical animal studies – given that these are the very studies that deal with animality in the supposedly most progressive ways.
To our point of view the entire mainstream approach and consensus that we have – practically in ethical veganism and in direct or indirect animal liberation activities and theoretically in academic animal liberation approaches – all don’t manage to coherently jump the crucial lines … and thus they lack credibility in our point of view:
We still have too much unnamed speciesism in the anti-speciesist movement, and we still have too much omission of aspects of nonhuman autonomy in the animal-nature-continuums and nonhuman culture/s in an oppressive world. We finally don’t even speak about a zoocide taking place on all levels that oppression, violence, destruction, annihilation and negation can politically take place.