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
Sentience stands in contexts, do you poke into the functionalities of a beings nervous system to analyze the “quality” of their sentience, then you set the standard with human notions of what they treat as neurologically relevant sentience, or do you understand that all interaction between nonhuman animal life and the natural environment is an interaction marked by sentience, by physical interaction on endlessly complex and fragile levels, which would be the kind of sentience/s you can’t fit into the idea humans normally hold about their own cognition as “higher” – then you step into the hierarchical conflict zones of “human” self-definition.
Sentience indicates the intricate connectedness of life. You can’t easily open a door for a human defined “standard” side of sentience, while closing a door to other facts and phenomenons of sentience and be eco-ethically and antispeciesistically fair.
Establishing a language of “right, dignity and integrity” in terms of nonhuman animals should in my point of view be a venture of highlighting interrelatedness, of a lot of differentialization work amongst social and ethical-ecological fields and of creating new spaces of thinking.
Speciesism = destruction by definition
The “common denominator” is often used to derogate animality:
Like “animals and humans both experience emotions/sensations like pain, joy, hunger, affection” … yet nonhumans are supposedly driven by instinct the same people say at the same time …
The common denominator only is that: a common denominator. It doesn’t explain animality in any sense autonomous from human domination.
Putting ourselves as “humans” in hierarchies over nonhuman animality mostly stays in place with people citing the classic common denominators, where nonhumanity is attributed with any similarities or resemblances we think fit for the nonhuman animal realm.
As long as people explain nonhumanity in terms of biologistic or any other reductive parameters, common denominators aren’t really a step to break up the theoretical disenfranchisement that always makes up the basis for human societies to ‘destroy by definition’.
The common denominator gains its sense when you accept the compared one in their own autonomous and thus inviolable rights.
A very biologistic term: “artgerecht”
The German language holds a term that describes that there can be things/actions by humans that are “artgerecht” for nonhuman animal species. That there human actions/treatments that are suitable for a specific species. This term stems mostly from animal agriculture to legitimate their imprisonment and killing of nonhumans and from zoologists classifying nonhuman animals by defining in a reductive way their specific typical “needs” (…).
Humans wouldn’t want to reduce themselves onto categorical needs such as: foraging, territorial behaviour and reproduction. The term “artgerecht” exactly invites you do see nonhumans and their behaviour basically in such reductive way. All behaviour is classified and traced back to some categories humans hold a definitory might over.
Ecological complexity in regards to nonhuman animal sociology is not really a subject for anyone who applies such typical form of biologistic speciesism. The tragic thing is that many people in the German speaking countries use exactly this term when they seek to defend nonhuman animals, so this kind of terminology is not being reflected critically at all. Like they want justice for nonhumans, but they also want to keep pigeonholing nonhumans biologistically in such fundamental ways.
Meaningful, super complex behaviour becomes belittled with clichés of nonhuman species behaviour.
It’s a term that leaves nonhumans in their situations where they are exposed to human definition, when allies use such term, they are not making these settings visible.
“Artgerecht” bases much on the concept of “instinct” – which is one of the most questionable concepts to encounter nonhuman animals and animality with
Fragment continued …
“Artgerecht” alsways means the setting is given or influenced by humans.
“Artgerecht” always means the setting is given/influenced by humans.
Interesting is how rhetorics, that imply that a nonhuman is or should be treated (…) “artgerecht”, tend to just modify ideas/institutions of domination.
The details for the staged normalcy are always chosen carefully dependent on setting and animal group:
labs – agriculture – captivity – mingling with wildlife.
The idea behind the progress supposedly aimed at by the “artgerecht” treatment/measure (…) always sets forth that a nonhuman is basically instinctual.
This is the old prejudice about nonhuman animality not be self-creative….
Probably only 1 percent of people in the Animal Rights movement understand the necessity of anti-biologism in antispeciesism. They understand the problematic key role biologism has played in racism, in sexism … and as we see finally too: in the derogation of nonhuman animality.
antibiologistic antispeciesist animal sociology – build/develop/evolve liberated terms
1% … and even if it’s just you … don’t let the others act as if humans like you wouldn’t exist!
Taking animals/animal groups “as a whole” still often deindividualises. Something like an antispeciesist-antibiologistic animal sociology would be a emancipative step against that.
Talking about speciesist injustice means talking single fates –billions of single fates. Routinely blurring out the fate-scope means avoiding the subjective level of ‘nonhumanness’.
Objectification even if “well meant” is derogatory towards nonhumans.
antispeciesist-antibiologistic animal sociology
Speciesism is not alone the institutionalized killing it’s also the ritualized killing.
It’s the sacrifice – done for the “human good”. The idea of sacrificing the life of the other for my own “greater good”, still holds the facet of the meaning the subjective-other must have had in my eyes, before or as I chose to sacrifice him/her. A sacrifice means to hurt/harm the other, to hurt/harm his/her integrity that is being put below some “other, ‘higher’ needs…”.
If I trace the killing back to pure “utilitary needs” humans had, how do you explain speciesism beyond its institutionalized face, where nonhumans have become pure objects of humans explaining them? That is, how do you explain ritual killings or speciesism in culture, arts, religion? Speciesist sadism/brutality?
The other is there.
All complexity of nonhuman animal communication/language that is going beyond any of the concepts we might use, can’t be fathomed at the moment in which you decide to set the standards, instead of leaving the subject open to stand for itself and acknowledging your limitations in comprehension.
Understanding nonhuman animals is not a playground for humanity to show how omniscient their understanding of the world is.
We should be able to respect borders, differences, uniqueness – we don’t have to define others in order to respect them as “whole” equally complex yet different beings.
Ecosocial Schisms, April 2020
Subordinating animality under any of our most promising political systems, somehow misses the point, since they all base on humancentered ideals so far.
Politics for animality will have to evolve on foundations of spatial and bodily freedom from destructive human interference and definition – on all levels.
Political tangents between new and common approaches can be a helpful path, but yet all political ideas that we know imply anthropocentric objectifications of nonhuman co-existence. The dominant strains in our histories of knowledge themselves purport the bases for the typical ethical shortcomings that mark the Anthropocene.
Gruppe Messel / Tierautonomie
Where activism for nonhumans divides: You can either name the fundamental wrong of speciesism or remain criticizing only the symptoms of a cause. The discourse about nonhuman concerns evolves through naming injustices on all the levels on which they occur.
Antispeciesist Animal Sociology
A habitualized recourse on speciesist thinking patterns by animal rights activists > “animals are instinctual beings” > is communicably compatible with society’s speciesist norms, yet it’s mere continued biologistic discrimination against nonhuman animality. Speciesist language stands for entire unjust worldviews – and either you opt for expressing alternative views on animality or you keep being a repeater of the echoes.
Antispeciesist Animal Sociology