(Human Rights) No Freedom of thought over there … with no change in sight.

Why is free thinking banned in places like Iran? Because of the clerical “power” and the ones who support this type of system.

People are getting used to how things are in a place like Iran, from the outside at least. I can’t imagine that people inside of the country can get used to the praxis of public hanging or any type of public execution, punishment or routine torture tactics (http://iranhr.net/).

Well, there is just one place that’s as frustrating an example of political failures mixing with a totalitarian style reality of a religion, such as we have it in Iran. I was wondering if anything about the persecution of Sufis has changed in Iran. Nothing has changed, things get worse and the situation seems paralyzing. Below are some links that I found in that context.

Yet, another thing I was wondering about, was, when was Persia invaded by the the Islamic Arabs? So I took a mini excursion back into past history. I do wonder what created these strange divides that we find culturally in Iran up til today. Here is what Wikipedia says about the Muslim Arab invasion:

The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah (Arabic: معركة القادسيّة‎; transliteration, Ma’rakat al-Qādisiyyah; Persian: نبرد قادسيه‎; alternative spellings: Qadisiyya, Qadisiyyah, Kadisiya), fought in 636, was the decisive engagement between the Arab Muslim army and the Sassanid Persian army during the first period of Muslim expansion. It resulted in the Islamic conquest of Persia

Sasanian general Rostam Farrokhzād (remembered as an historical figure, a character in the Persian epic poem Shahnameh) faced with the Arabs had to experience this:

During the final day of the battle, there was a heavy sandstorm facing the Sasanian army. Rostam used a camel loaded with weapons as shelter to avoid the sandstorm. Not knowing that Rostam was behind, Hilāl ibn `Ullafah accidentally cut the girdle of the load on the camel. The weapons fell on Rostam and broke his back leaving him half dead and paralyzed. Hilal beheaded Rostam and shouted “I swear to the god of Kaaba that I have killed Rostam.” Shocked by the head of their legendary leader dangling before their eyes, the Sasanian were demoralized, and the commanders lost control of the army. Many Sasanian soldiers were slain in the chaos, many escaped through the river, and finally the rest of the army surrendered.

So here are some links on the situation of Sufis and other oppressed groups / people / individuals in Iran:

Witness Statement of Hamed Khajeheian: A Sufi Persecuted (2013) iranhrdc.org

Iran Continues Crackdown on Sufis (2013) HuffPost

Be the voice of political prisoners in Iran

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, a senior member of the Shiite Muslim clergy, is presently serving the eighth year of an 11-year sentence handed down to him by the Islamic Republic’s courts for advocating the separation of state and religion inside Iran.

From Tahereh Ghorrat-al-Ain’s death at the instigation of reactionary mullahs [1] to today we have witnessed a century and a half of struggle of Iranian women for social justice and gender equality. It has cost the lives of thousands of women.

The Perils Of Religious Persecution In Iran (2013) Forbes Mag


2011: According to BBC Persian, the largest mural in Iran (5,000 meters), found along the walls of Mashad’s Ferdowsi Square, was removed in the course of one night as part of the municipality’s “beautification” efforts. The mural had only been completed a few months ago, and depicted scenes from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh.It had taken a team of workers a year to create. Source: fesenjoon.tumblr.com

Oh yes, let’s of course not forget about freaking gender segregation, it’s reality!!!

(All links 18th March 2014)


Animal Knowledge

Animal Knowledge

Palang LY

This text as a PDF (Link opens in a new window)

It’s astonishing, why are we willing to accept that the burden of proof lies with the nonhuman animals and their allies, to make clear who they are, when a human-centred society doesn’t even have the will and ability to see the full spectrum. Why do we, their allies, bow in to human methods of research on things that can’t be proven and that don’t have to be proven?

Their individual life’s dignity does not need to be proven; it needs to be acknowledged, without restrictive conditions.

What the AR community should learn is to claim the rights, the foundation of dignity, the freedom that really lies outside of paradigms that were (and are) installed to quite contrarily draw lines as aggressive borders.

We tie our human standards and insights on a.) language and b.) on our specific capacity to utilize nature, and we see both these things as qualifiers that are intertied: Language plus the capacity to utilize nature as a resource!

It never occurs to us that other beings could have a more sustainable and clearly wise concept of how to live on planet earth, that their ancestral relation over millions of years has given them insight on how to interact in other ways with nature and their natural environment.

We would deny that, because we don’t accept that nonhumans have concepts. We think concepts can only occur with certain qualifiers … , and we think that nature couldn’t have possibly taught nonhuman animal ancestors things they decidedly built their cultures on.

We think nonhuman animals don’t decide these things.

I could go on, but my point is that we as AR people err so bad, because we don’t want to take the stance that would make us jump in the cold water of radical new perspectives in terms of: de-humanfocusing and thus deconstructing sources we refer to as basis of knowledge about life.

We keep putting new wine into old bottles when we don’t come up with a new architecture of basic knowledge.


Why speciesism is evil

Why speciesism is evil

Palang LY

We don’t need to discuss whether a person or group is evil in all aspects, when we want to evaluate if an act of speciesism (committed by a person or group) is evil and condemnable.

In general often people who commit any type of evil, do not seem to their social environment like they would hold an “evil” potential, meaning, that a person can have different aspects about them, or also purposely mask their not-so-good sides. Another thing to keep in mind is that every chapter of human history taught us, that what some might have felt as beneficial to them, was plain evil to others who were negatively affected by a “gain” of someone else.

Speciesism is a (specific) form of oppression – and as such it is evil:

A.) Assuming that speciesism was merely a historical accidence, would mean to deny that nonhuman animals could have ever been perceived as something else than “objects”, and with that as “objects of speciesism”. Acts of speciesism are conscious acts of violating other (animal) individuals. Nonhuman animals are not automatically only viewable as objects.

My position is, that our degrading views of nonhuman animals today and in our shared history (i.e. the arguments with which we mark the nonhuman animal world as less- or non-relevant), are kinds of attitudes based on a totalitarian layer that society continuously enacts and that is functioning by society’s willingness to accept this form of a system; we compel and force members of our society to adopt speciesist attitudes, that however we can step out of such a system and resist, like we can equally resist to take part in other forms of oppressive structures.

B.) To assume that speciesist acts could be done without any conscious form of evil will and behaviour, means that we rule out the quality of evil which we face in the given oppressive context that speciesism marks. Every “procedure” done, that violates the physical and mental integrity of a nonhuman animal individual (directly or indirectly), is a conscious act and an act of will – even when the human individual who commits this act, finds and is offered and taught excuses to rationalize his or her deeds as necessary or non-evil.

Speciesism is evil because it masks as being an acceptable form of viewing nonhuman animal others as:

ownable, definable, edible, usable, ignorable … as passive objects.

I do think that as an Animal Liberationist one is accountable to tell the facts about the forms of conscious human evil that we face in speciesist oppression.

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

More on: Animal Portrayals.

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

Palang LY

This text as a PDF (Link opens in a new window)

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 still had the 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.

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.

Additionally, 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 we apply here.


1. Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, 1969, http://www.eric-carle.com/ECbooks.html#anchor707516
2. Carl Spitzweg, Der Schmetterlingsfänger, 1840.

Animal Portrayals in Literature: The Mare and Raskolnikov’s dream.

More on: Animal Portrayals.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. PART 1, CHAPTER 5


Raskolnikov had a fearful dream […] A peculiar circumstance attracted his attention: there seemed to be some kind of festivity going on, there were crowds of gaily dressed townspeople, peasant women, their husbands, and riff-raff of all sorts, all singing and all more or less drunk. Near the entrance of the tavern stood a cart, but a strange cart. It was one of those big carts usually drawn by heavy cart-horses and laden with casks of wine or other heavy goods. He always liked looking at those great cart-horses, with their long manes, thick legs, and slow even pace, drawing along a perfect mountain with no appearance of effort, as though it were easier going with a load than without it. But now, strange to say, in the shafts of such a cart he saw a thin little sorrel beast, one of those peasants’ nags which he had often seen straining their utmost under a heavy load of wood or hay, especially when the wheels were stuck in the mud or in a rut. And the peasants would beat them so cruelly, sometimes even about the nose and eyes, and he felt so sorry, so sorry for them that he almost cried, and his mother always used to take him away from the window. All of a sudden there was a great uproar of shouting, singing and the balalaïka, and from the tavern a number of big and very drunken peasants came out, wearing red and blue shirts and coats thrown over their shoulders.

“Get in, get in!” shouted one of them, a young thick-necked peasant with a fleshy face red as a carrot. “I’ll take you all, get in!”

But at once there was an outbreak of laughter and exclamations in the crowd.

“Take us all with a beast like that!”

“Why, Mikolka, are you crazy to put a nag like that in such a cart?”

“And this mare is twenty if she is a day, mates!”

“Get in, I’ll take you all,” Mikolka shouted again, leaping first into the cart, seizing the reins and standing straight up in front. “The bay has gone with Matvey,” he shouted from the cart—”and this brute, mates, is just breaking my heart, I feel as if I could kill her. She’s just eating her head off. Get in, I tell you! I’ll make her gallop! She’ll gallop!” and he picked up the whip, preparing himself with relish to flog the little mare.

“Get in! Come along!” The crowd laughed. “D’you hear, she’ll gallop!”

“Gallop indeed! She has not had a gallop in her for the last ten years!”

“She’ll jog along!”

“Don’t you mind her, mates, bring a whip each of you, get ready!”

“All right! Give it to her!”

They all clambered into Mikolka’s cart, laughing and making jokes. Six men got in and there was still room for more. They hauled in a fat, rosy-cheeked woman. She was dressed in red cotton, in a pointed, beaded headdress and thick leather shoes; she was cracking nuts and laughing. The crowd round them was laughing too and indeed, how could they help laughing? That wretched nag was to drag all the cartload of them at a gallop! Two young fellows in the cart were just getting whips ready to help Mikolka. With the cry of “now,” the mare tugged with all her might, but far from galloping, could scarcely move forward; she struggled with her legs, gasping and shrinking from the blows of the three whips which were showered upon her like hail. The laughter in the cart and in the crowd was redoubled, but Mikolka flew into a rage and furiously thrashed the mare, as though he supposed she really could gallop.

“Let me get in, too, mates,” shouted a young man in the crowd whose appetite was aroused.

“Get in, all get in,” cried Mikolka, “she will draw you all. I’ll beat her to death!” And he thrashed and thrashed at the mare, beside himself with fury.

“Father, father,” he cried, “father, what are they doing? Father, they are beating the poor horse!”

“Come along, come along!” said his father. “They are drunken and foolish, they are in fun; come away, don’t look!” and he tried to draw him away, but he tore himself away from his hand, and, beside himself with horror, ran to the horse. The poor beast was in a bad way. She was gasping, standing still, then tugging again and almost falling.

“Beat her to death,” cried Mikolka, “it’s come to that. I’ll do for her!”

“What are you about, are you a Christian, you devil?” shouted an old man in the crowd.

“Did anyone ever see the like? A wretched nag like that pulling such a cartload,” said another.

“You’ll kill her,” shouted the third.

“Don’t meddle! It’s my property, I’ll do what I choose. Get in, more of you! Get in, all of you! I will have her go at a gallop!…”

All at once laughter broke into a roar and covered everything: the mare, roused by the shower of blows, began feebly kicking. Even the old man could not help smiling. To think of a wretched little beast like that trying to kick!

Two lads in the crowd snatched up whips and ran to the mare to beat her about the ribs. One ran each side.

“Hit her in the face, in the eyes, in the eyes,” cried Mikolka.

“Give us a song, mates,” shouted someone in the cart and everyone in the cart joined in a riotous song, jingling a tambourine and whistling. The woman went on cracking nuts and laughing.

… He ran beside the mare, ran in front of her, saw her being whipped across the eyes, right in the eyes! He was crying, he felt choking, his tears were streaming. One of the men gave him a cut with the whip across the face, he did not feel it. Wringing his hands and screaming, he rushed up to the grey-headed old man with the grey beard, who was shaking his head in disapproval. One woman seized him by the hand and would have taken him away, but he tore himself from her and ran back to the mare. She was almost at the last gasp, but began kicking once more.

“I’ll teach you to kick,” Mikolka shouted ferociously. He threw down the whip, bent forward and picked up from the bottom of the cart a long, thick shaft, he took hold of one end with both hands and with an effort brandished it over the mare.

“He’ll crush her,” was shouted round him. “He’ll kill her!”

“It’s my property,” shouted Mikolka and brought the shaft down with a swinging blow. There was a sound of a heavy thud.

“Thrash her, thrash her! Why have you stopped?” shouted voices in the crowd.

And Mikolka swung the shaft a second time and it fell a second time on the spine of the luckless mare. She sank back on her haunches, but lurched forward and tugged forward with all her force, tugged first on one side and then on the other, trying to move the cart. But the six whips were attacking her in all directions, and the shaft was raised again and fell upon her a third time, then a fourth, with heavy measured blows. Mikolka was in a fury that he could not kill her at one blow.

“She’s a tough one,” was shouted in the crowd.

“She’ll fall in a minute, mates, there will soon be an end of her,” said an admiring spectator in the crowd.

“Fetch an axe to her! Finish her off,” shouted a third.

“I’ll show you! Stand off,” Mikolka screamed frantically; he threw down the shaft, stooped down in the cart and picked up an iron crowbar. “Look out,” he shouted, and with all his might he dealt a stunning blow at the poor mare. The blow fell; the mare staggered, sank back, tried to pull, but the bar fell again with a swinging blow on her back and she fell on the ground like a log.

“Finish her off,” shouted Mikolka and he leapt beside himself, out of the cart. Several young men, also flushed with drink, seized anything they could come across—whips, sticks, poles, and ran to the dying mare. Mikolka stood on one side and began dealing random blows with the crowbar. The mare stretched out her head, drew a long breath and died.

“You butchered her,” someone shouted in the crowd.

“Why wouldn’t she gallop then?”

“My property!” shouted Mikolka, with bloodshot eyes, brandishing the bar in his hands. He stood as though regretting that he had nothing more to beat.

“No mistake about it, you are not a Christian,” many voices were shouting in the crowd.

But the poor boy, beside himself, made his way, screaming, through the crowd to the sorrel nag, put his arms round her bleeding dead head and kissed it, kissed the eyes and kissed the lips…. Then he jumped up and flew in a frenzy with his little fists out at Mikolka. At that instant his father, who had been running after him, snatched him up and carried him out of the crowd.

“Come along, come! Let us go home,” he said to him.

“Father! Why did they… kill… the poor horse!” he sobbed, but his voice broke and the words came in shrieks from his panting chest. […]


Image 1: Only picture of a live Tarpan, taken in Russia: a stallion caught in 1866, http://www.examiner.com/article/a-wild-horse-recreated-the-tarpan-aka-heck-horse

Image 2: Paolo Troubetzkoy, A Moscow Cabdriver [and “his” Horse] …

Crime and Punishment was published 1866.

 Links: 9. March 2014.

Tierliche Repräsentationen in Mythologien und Folklore. Snippets zum Thema: Kroenleinnattern und Basilisken

Snippets zum Thema: Krönleinnattern und Basilisken – alle Links 5. März 2014

Diese Snippets als PDF (Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster)

Freue dich nicht, du ganzes Philisterland, daß die Rute, die dich schlug, zerbrochen ist! Denn aus der Wurzel der Schlange wird ein Basilisk kommen, und ihre Frucht wird ein feuriger fliegender Drache sein.

Jesaja 14:29

Tierliche Repräsentationen in Mythologien und Folklore:

Krönleinnattern und Basilisken

Im Mythos um die eine Natter mit einem „Krönchen“ finden wir im Wesentlichen zwei Überlieferungsstränge. Einen in der Folklore oral tradierter Märchen und Sagen, und einen in über religiös-beeinflusste Ausläufer bewahrter Mythen. In beiden Richtungen lassen sich die Ursrpünge des Mythos nicht ermitteln, nur weitere Verzeigungen festellen. Doch die Parallelen in den Geschichten sind hier von Interesse.

In dem Mächen von der Unke, aus der Urfassung der Hausmärchensammlung der Brüder Grimm, finden wir den Handlungskern, der deckungsgleich ist mit dem Handlungsablauf (oder „der Moral der Geschichte“) des überwiegenden Teils der Sagen über die „Natter mit dem Krönchen“: Die Natter kann Glück bringen über die, die ihr helfen / Gutes tun.

Die Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm: Urfassung. Jacob Grimm, ‎Friedrich Panzer – 2008

Die „Kranlnatter“ als Elementargeist



Sagen Niederösterreichs, P. Hillebald Ludwig Leeb, Paderborn, 2011.

Eine Natter mit einem „Krönchen“ – mit vielen Namen benannt

Die Sage über die „Natter mit dem Krönchen“ würde an sich unauffällig bleiben, weil uns das Märchen, hauptsächliche überliefert von Ludwig Bechstein (Das Natterkrönlein, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23787/23787-h/23787-h.htm#natter), kaum bekannt ist im Vergleich zu anderen populäreren Volksmärchen, aber die folkloristische Überlieferung weist auf eine besondere Rolle dieses tierlichen „Elementargeistes“ hin.

Die Rolle der Natter spielt sich im Bezug auf ihr „Maßtab-Sein“ ab. Der Mensch, der ihr begegnet, kann an ihr versagen und gegen ihr Wohl verstoßen, und er kann ihr Gutes tun und durch sein Helfen von ihr belohnt werden. In ihrem Besitz befindet sich eine kleine Krone, die sie verleihen kann oder die man versucht ihr, der Sage zufolge, zu entwenden.

Die Frage ist: Wie leitet sich solch ein „Tugendbegriff“ von dieser Mensch-Tier Repräsentation in einem Märchen ab? Die Attributisierung des „Maßstab-Seins“ über „Gut“ und „Schlecht“, geht über in einen typischen Tugendbegriff der Märchenwelt.

Krönleinnattern und Basilisken

Einmal saß in Schwarzach ein Kind vor dem Hause und hatte vor sich ein Schüsselchen mit Milch, in die Brot eingebrockt war. Da kroch eine Schlange mit einem Krönele auf dem Kopfe zu ihm heran, aß aus dem Schüsselchen, aber nur die Bröcklein. Da sagte das Kind zur Schlange: „Iß ou Minkle, it bloß Mockle!”

Im Sagenwald, Neue Sagen aus Vorarlberg, Richard Beitl, 1953, Nr. 118, S. 82



Einst versuchte ein vorarlberger Bauer sein Glück, als er an einem Weiher spazieren ging. Die Schlange war baden gegangen, und hatte ihr Krönlein in einer kleinen, ehernen Schatulle am Ufer verwahrt. Der Bauer fand das Kleinod, entwendete es, und rannte so schnell ihn seine Füsse trugen. Dennoch sah er sich bald von zischend züngelnden Schlangen verfolgt: Alle Nattern der Umgebung waren ihrer Königin zu Hilfe geeilt. Da verliess ihn der Mut, und er warf das Krönlein von sich. Er konnte entkommen und gelobte, niemals wieder die Schlangenkönigin bestehlen zu wollen.



Haindl, ein verwitweter Bauer, lebte mit seinem Töchterlein allein auf einer Hofstatt. Bisher war es ihm stets gelungen, seine Leistungen an die Herrschaft Marsbach unter größten Anstrengungen zeitgerecht zu erfüllen. Das aber erweckte den Argwohn der Marsbacher Raubritter. „Woher der Haindl wohl das Geld immer nimmt?“ fragten sie sich argwöhnisch. „Vielleicht ist er im Besitze eines geheimen Schatzes?“

Der Bauer wurde unter dem Vorwand, in seinen Leistungen an die Herrschaft in Rückstand zu sein, in den Turm geworfen. Trotz Marter und Pein blieb er stumm. Schließlich wurde sogar seine Hofstatt für verfallen erklärt und sein Kind des Hauses verwiesen.

Noch am gleichen Abend wanderte das Mädchen traurig über die Donauleiten hinaus, um bei Verwandten in Altenhof um Aufnahme zu bitten. Als es über den Waldweg dahineilte, vernahm es einen wundervollen Gesang. Das Mädchen blieb neugierig stehen. Am felsigen Abhang öffnete sich eine Spalte, und heraus kroch eine seltsame Natter. Erschrocken sprang das Mädchen zurück und wollte schnell davonlaufen. Hoch aufgerichtet, das Haupt mit einer leuchtenden Krone geschmückt, hielt die Schlange durch einen Anruft das Mädchen zurück. Die Schlange legte dem erstaunten Kind die Krone zu Füßen und versprach eine Wendung des Schicksals.

„Nimm meine Krone an dich! Sie wird dir allzeit Glück bringen. Verzage nicht, denn auch dein Vater wird bald aus den Händen der bösen Marsbacher befreit werden!“ Sprach’s und verschwand unter wunderschönem Gesang wieder in der Felsspalte.



Die Krönlein-Natter bezieht sich auf eine alte Lechhauser Sage: Früher wuchs auf den Wiesen der Birken-Au ein dichter Auwald, in dem viele Ringelnattern ihre Nester hatten. Die alten Lechhausener sagen: Eine dieser Nattern habe immer ein Krönlein getragen. Sie lebte unter einem Brunnen im Wald und war die Schlangenkönigin. Sie beschützte die Birkenau-Kinder vor Unheil und erfüllte manchmal sogar ihre Wünsche. Heute ist der Auwald in der Birkenau fast gerodet und die Krönlein-Natter wurde dort schon lange nicht mehr gesehen. Aber die Birkenau-Kinder erinnern sich noch an sie: Sie haben an ihrer Schule einen Brunnen aus Muschelkalk, auf dem sich die Krönlein-Natter ringelt, die alle beschützen soll, die an ihr vorübergehen. Vielleicht erfüllt sie dem Betrachter den einen oder anderen Wunsch.



Wenn der Geissbube von Herbriggen an den Augen seiner Geissen sah, dass es Mittagszeit war, ging er allemal mit seinem Ranzen an den Bach hinab, um auf einer Steinplatte seinen Imbiss zu verzehren. Und allemal kroch aus einer Felsenritze eine grosse grünschillernde Schlange herzu mit rotem Kamm und einem goldenen Krönlein auf dem Kopf, und er teilte sein Essen mit ihr. Nach der Mahlzeit stieg der Bub ins Bachbett hinunter und trank. Die Schlange folgte ihm und tat desgleichen, legte aber vorher ihr Krönlein auf einem Steine ab.



Die Schlangenkönigin hat eine Krone. In Teufelskirchen sind sehr viele Schlangen um die Kirche herum. Da hat einer diese Schlange mit der Krone gesehen, und er ist hinaufgegangen, und wenn man ein weißes Taschentuch hinlegt, legt die Schlange die Krone darauf. Und derjenige ist davongegangen, und die Schlange folgte ihm.

Auf das Pflugradl hinauf und die Leitn hinunter, und die Schlange rollte hintennach, sonst wäre er tot gewesen.

Quelle: Zentralarchiv der deutschen Volkserzählung, Marburg, Nr. ZA 184 006. Erzähler: Binder, Ort: Hochwolkersdorf. Erzählt am 12. August 1954 abends im Wirtshaus. Anm: Er hat von seiner Großmutter Geschichten gehört, was er im Zusammenhang mit dieser Erzählung erwähnt.; zit. nach Sagen aus dem Burgenland, Hrsg. Leander Petzoldt, München 1994, S. 246.



Einmal geht ein Mann an einem Weiher spazieren und sieht auf einem Stein ein eisernes Kistlein, und er geht und hebt höfele das Lid auf, weil es ihn wundert, was in dem eisernen Kistlein sei, und da findet er ein schönes goldis Krönlein drin. Er luget und staunt und will den Augen zuerst nicht recht trauen, nach und nach aber nimmt er das Krönlein zart in die Hand, schaut um, ob ihn niemand sehe, und lauft drauf auf und davon, laufst nicht, so gilt’s nicht. Aber das Krönlein hat einer Schlangenkönigin gehört, die etwa einmal in den Weiher baden gekommen ist, und vor sie in das Wasser gegangen ist, hat sie das Krönlein in das Kistlein gelegt, daß es nicht naß werde. Wie sie aber nach einer Weile aus dem Bad kommt und im Kistlein halt kein Krönlein mehr findet, läßt sie einen lauten Pfiff, und drauf sind viele hundert schneeweiße Schlangen hervorgekommen und wie Pfeile dem Kröneleschelm nachgeschossen. Sie hätten ihn bald erwischt, er ist aber noch so gescheit und verwirft das Krönele und kommt den Schlangen ab. Die sind umgekehrt und haben der Königin das Krönele wieder zur Hand gestellt.

Die Sagen Vorarlbergs. Mit Beiträgen aus Liechtenstein, Franz Josef Vonbun, Nr. 87, Seite 95



Der « Wurmkonig» erscheint auch in Tirol und Vorarlberg. ^) Der «Ottern-könig», der besonders in der Nähe von Grochwitz bei Weida spuckt, ist schwarz und weiß gesprenkelt. Er schenkt oft armen Mädchen die Krone. ^)  — Häufiger jedoch verfolgt das m3rthische Thier die Menschen. An der Eisak soll ein «fahrender Schüler» den «weißen Haselwurm» und eine Menge «Beißwürmer» ins Feuer gezaubert haben, bis der «Wurmkönig»  (Schlangenkönig mit der Krone) ihn «mitten durchbohrte». Ganz dasselbe  erzählt man im Bemer Oberlande. Paracelsus soll den «Haselwurm»  gegessen und viel Weisheit in sich aufgenommen haben. — Eine andere Tiroler Sage lässt den Zauberer pfeifen, dass alle Schlangen ins Feuer  kriechen, nur der «Wurmkönig» ahmt das Pfeifen nach, umschlingt den  Zauberer und rollt ihn ins Feuer. — Ein Theologe aus Brixen wollte den  «Beißwürmem» das Handwerk legen. Es kostete ihm das Leben, weil ein  weißer dabei war. (Siehe Zingerle, iSgi.p. 182 — 185; femer Schnellers  Sagen aus Wälschtirol, Innsbruck 1867, wo die Heiligen genannt sind,  welche derartiges Ungeziefer unschädlich machen.) — In Vorarlberg und  Salzburg ist dieser Zauberer ein Bergmännchen. — Auch Grimms Sagen  und Märchen deuten auf den «Wurmkönig». Das Volk glaubt seit  uralten Zeiten an die «Schlangenkönige mit der göttlichen Krone». Wenn  sie erzürnt werden, sollen sie «einenMenschen wie einPfeil oder  Speer» durchbohren. In Steiermark hat das Thier einen Katzenkopf, nur  in Oberbayern und den angrenzenden Gebieten mehrere Füße, daher der  Name «Tatzelwurm». Dieser Name hat sich neben dem «Bergstutzen»  auch im Salzburgischen erhalten. Im Ennsthal heißt das mythische Thier oft «Büffel», im übrigen Steiermark «Bergstutz»,’) ebenso im Salzkammergute; in Niederösterreich auch «Kraulnatter» (n. Leeb).

[…] In Tirol und Vorarlberg heißt die Ringelnatter allgemein «Krönelnatter». Auch in Niederösterreich bringt sie Glück: Sie hat Hände (mündliche Mittheilung V. U. W. Wald.).

[…] Die «Krönelnatter» in Tirol hat schwefelgelbe, halbmondförmige Flecken. Ober-Bergrath Prinzinger (Salzburg) meint, das Weibchen der Kupfernatter, wenn trächtig, erscheine sehr dick.

[…] Der «Haselwurm» oder eine «weiße Natter»!*) «Weißer Wurm» und «Wisele»: Also ist das «Wisele» allerdings schon- in älteren Zeiten in die Sagen vom Stollwurm und den Schlangen aufgenommen worden. Wir sehen aber, dass die Sage selbst variiert, vermengt und es nicht klar ist, welchem Wesen die Rolle des «Schlangenkönigs» einzuräumen sei.

[…] Ethnographische Chronik aus Österreich. 26 S. Österreich heiße der Bergstutzen Kraulnatter (S. 144 und 153 dieser 2^itschrift). Dagegen  bemerke ich: l. Der Name lautet nicht Kraul-, sondern Kranlnatter, d. i. die Natter mit  dem goldenen Kranl oder Krönlein. Mein Buch bringt die Erklärung im Sachregister (S. 144). Man sagt übrigens auch Kranzelnatter. 2. Die Kranl- oder Kranzelnatter ist verschieden vom Bergstutzen. Denn erstere hat die Gestalt einer Ringelnatter, ist harmlos, wenn sie nicht gereizt wird, und gilt als die Schlangenkönigin. Letzterer aber ist kurz, dick und schwarz, überfallt sogar Menschen, hat kein Krönlein oder Kranzel und gilt nicht als Schlangenkönig.

[…] 117. Reiterer, C. Die Kronlnatter. Zwei Volkssagen (aus Steiermark). Steir. Sep. 1893. Nr. II. S. 64.



In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk (/ˈbæzɪlɪsk/, from the Greek βασιλίσκος basilískos, “little king;” Latin regulus) is a legendary reptile reputed to be king of serpents and said to have the power to cause death with a single glance. According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, the basilisk of Cyrene is a small snake, “being not more than twelve fingers in length,” that is so venomous, it leaves a wide trail of deadly venom in its wake, and its gaze is likewise lethal; its weakness is in the odor of the weasel, which, according to Pliny, was thrown into the basilisk’s hole, recognizable because all the surrounding shrubs and grass had been scorched by its presence. It is possible that the legend of the basilisk and its association with the weasel inEuropewas inspired by accounts of certain species of Asiatic snakes (such as the king cobra) and their natural predator, the mongoose. […] The basilisk is called “king” because it is reputed to have on its head a mitre- or crown-shaped crest.



Basilisk. Latin name: Regulus. Other names: Baselicoc, Basiliscus, Cocatris, Cockatrice, Kokatris, Sibilus



Eine von allen Leuten gemiedene Bettlerin wohnte in einem einsamen Häuschen. Sie trug eine Schlange am bloßen Leib. Einmal wurde sie krank und lag schon 2 Tage ohne Hilfe. Da kam ein mitleidiges Schulmädchen, brachte Essen und wollte um den Bader gehen. “Vergelts Gott” sagte die Bettlerin und starb. Über ihrem Kopf aber streckte sich eine Krönlnatter hervor, verneigte sich und warf dem Kind das Krönl in die Schürze.

Ein armes, frommes Mädchen kam nachts über eine einsame Donauleiten. Da hörte es Gesang, eine Steinplatte öffnete sich und eine Krönlnatter kam hervor und sagte, das Mädchen habe sie nach 400 Jahren erlöst. Sie legte dem Mädchen die Krone zu Füßen und verschwand. Das Mädchen behielt die Krone zeitlebens und hatte immer Glück.

Oberösterreichisches Sagenbuch, Hg von Dr. Albert Depiny, Linz 1932, S. 58 – 60



Dracontia, gimroder ft’. This gloss is discussed by Schlutter,  ‘Old English Glogses’, in Journal of Gernianic Philology I 320: ‘gimnaedder’ (or rather naeddergim?), ‘adderstone’ ; on record in theErfurtas well as in the Corpus Glossary. TheErfurthas (C. G. L. V 356, 55), dracontia, grimrodr; the Corpus, D 364, dracontia. giraro. df, that is, gimrodr df = gimnedr dicitur, ‘gern of the adder’; it is the snakestone or ‘Natterkrönlein’ of the fairy tales. Sweet, in his dictionary, exhibits gimrodor, ‘a precious stone’. cp. Corpus Glossary D 365, draconitas. gemma ex cerebro serpentes = C. G. L. IV 502, 14, dragontia gemma ex cerebro serpentis.’

Holthausen answers this in Anglia 21. 242: ‘Wenige dürften zugeben, daß ‘natterstein’ und ‘steinnatter’ dasselbe seien; für Schi, bedeuten sie dasselbe, denn er verwandelt (s. 320. nr. 48) gimrodr (dracontia) frischweg in gimnaedder ‘adderstone’, weiß also nicht, daß das  Tier im ae. na-dre heißt! Fragend fügt er nur bei, ,.or rather naedder- gim?” Die Aldhelmglosse gimrodur (Anglia XIII 30, nr. 60) ist dann auch wohl ein Schreibfehler?’

[Vgl.: Wenige dürften zugeben, dass ‘natterstein’ und ‘ steinnatter ‘ dasselbe seien; für Schi, bedeuten sie dasselbe, denn er verwandelt (s. 320, nr. 48) gimrodr (dracontia) frischweg in gimnacddcr ‘adderstone’, weiss also nicht, dass das tier im ae. ndedre heisst! Fragend fügt er nur bei: ,.or rather naeddergim?”^ Die Aldhelmglosse gimrodur (Anglia XEH, 30 nr. 60) ist dann auch wohl ein Schreibfehler?


[Gemrider] gimrodr (dracontia) frischweg in gimnacddcr ‘adderstone’ …

[Drachen / Stein / Himmel-Beziehung, vgl. auch Himmelsgewölbe als grünfarbend und als Stein im Bundahishn, Schahnameh] It is hard to say what is the meaning of this gloss. gim is perfectly intelligible, but rodor means ‘the firmament’, ‘the sky’. It occurs  in the Composita beorht-rodor, ^ast-rodor, heah-rodor, süJ)-rador, up-rodor, rodor-tungol, rodorbeorht etc. (Bosworth-Toller), but the meaning is the same in all these cases. What is to be made of it? Although the Word is found seven times, it seems, at least in the case of the Aldhelm glosses, to be derived from one original gloss; the lemraa is to be found in Aldhelm’s Liber de laud. virginitatis p. 15: en ipsius auri  obryza lamina. quod caetera argenti. et electri stannique metalla praecellit, sine topacio et carbunculo, et rubicunda gemmarum gloria vel succini dracontia quodammodo vilescere videbitur.

Does the glossator explain Pliny’s (XXXVII 158) or Isidore’s  (XVI 14, 7) ‘candore translucido’ by ‘rodor’? Or are we to regard it  as a Word only partially understood? Is it possible that beside the idea of the sparkling gem there could have been lurking in the mind of the scribe the idea of the constellation ‘Draco’? In this connection the  following quoted by Du Gange is of interest: ‘Draco: Praesertim vero  in Anglia Draconis effigie insignitum vexillum obtinuit, ubi ab ineunte  fere Regni origine ad haec usque tempora praecipuum inter Regalia  Signa habetur, ut olim Auriflamma in Gallia nostra. Draconis Anglicani.

Münchener Beiträge zur romanischen und englischen Philologie. Precious Stone in Old English Literature, Leipzig, 1909.



In the Western world the basilisk (little king) has a prominent place in this menagerie. It is one of the earliest—and scariest. The usual description is that its head and feet are those of a rooster, and its eyes those of a frog. Its snakelike body, wings, and speckled pointed tail have strange colors. It kills with its gaze, scorches the earth with its breath, and yet fears roosters and phoenixes. Because it was described in the Bible, most people probably thought it actually existed until the end of the Middle Ages. Now we know better, but it is still with us.

The myth says that the basilisk came from an egg laid by a seven-year-old rooster (when Sirius was high in the sky). The egg was perfectly round and covered by a thick membrane. A toad sat on it for nine years to hatch it.

The basilisk is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. There is no uniform description. It is sometimes described as a snake, but some of its deadly characteristics are mentioned. Isaiah (740–700 BCE), describing how peaceful theLandofPeacewill be, wrote that “a weaned child shall stretch out its hand after the eye of the basilisk.” (Isaiah 11:18)

When 1,000 soldiers in the army of Alexander the Great (356–323 BCE) all died mysteriously at the same time, it was thought that they had encountered a basilisk.

Anna Lantz and Einar Perman, MD, PhD
Stockholm, Sweden


Abraxas / Anguipede / Gnosis

In a great majority of instances the name Abrasax is associated with a singular composite figure, having a Chimera-like appearance somewhat resembling a basilisk or the Greek primordial god Chronos (not to be confused with the Greek titan Cronus). According to E. A. Wallis Budge, “as a Pantheus, i.e. All-God, he appears on the amulets with the head of a cock (Phœbus) or of a lion (Ra or Mithras), the body of a man, and his legs are serpents which terminate in scorpions, types of the Agathodaimon. In his right hand he grasps a club, or a flail, and in his left is a round or oval shield.” This form was also referred to as the Anguipede. Budge surmised that Abrasax was “a form of the Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalists and the Primal Man whom God made in His own image.”[9]




Engraving from an Abrasax stone.




Hargrave Jennings, The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries, 1907, S. 142 https://archive.org/stream/rosicruciansthei00jenn/rosicruciansthei00jenn_djvu.txt

Neue Texte zur Tierethik, Tierrechten und veganer intersektionaler Theorie und Praxis

Hier sind einige unserer letzten Tätigkeiten im Bereich Tierethik, Tierrechte und Theorie (abgesehen von der Teilnahme an einem spannenden neuen TR-Projekt der Gruppe Messel, das uns auch dazu anregte unseren RoundAbout-Blog umzubetiteln zu: “In neuen Territorien denken.” Aber mehr dazu später.)

Unsere Gäste waren in den letzten Wochen:

Eigene Texte auf Deutsch waren:

Zum Thema vegane Pädagogik, Ein Tierrechts-FAQ anlegen, und eine Fortsetzung dessen. Zudem ein philosophisches Essay: Wert und Willkür – kontrastierend gegen „das Naturhafte“.

Der Scan oben stammt aus einer Illustation der Geschichte “Moosh va Gorbeh” von Obayd Zakani.

Klarerweise auf der Grundlage der Würde verteidigen

Klarerweise auf der Grundlage der Würde verteidigen

Ein Fragment von Thorm pk

Für die Mehrheit der Tierrechtsbewegung ist leider immernoch klar, dass sie mit dem vorherrschenden naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild paktieren wollen: Tiere werden von den mehrheitlichen Teilen der Tierrechtsbewegung als primär unter Bezugnahme auf die Kriterien einer biologischer Beweisfüh­rung verteidigbar geschildert. Das heißt, es wird suggeriert, dass der Schlüssel zur Befreiung der Tiere in der Verbindung der Erkenntnis über Tier-Biologie, Tier-Psychologie und deren Verbindung zum menschlichen Ethikverständnis liegt. Die Brücke zwischen dem biologisch verstandenen Tiersein und unseren anthropozentrisch geprägten Moralvorstellungen soll eine bio-ethische Beantwortbarkeit gerantieren, weil man meint, man würde sonst gar keinen Anspruch auf eine Befreiung erheben können.

Die Frage nach der Identität der Tiere wird nicht aus einem Punkt der Einmaligkeit der Tiere heraus beantwortet; die Tieridentität soll im Vergleich zur menschlichen Identität von unauffälligerer Bedeutung sein; allein die Verallgemeinerung soll genügen um eine Faszination, die von der Einmaligkeit der Tiere ausgeht, zu begrei­fen. Die einzelnen Tiere verschmelzen zu Teilen einer Spezies die man verteidigen will.

Solange Menschen aber nicht bereit sind offen anzuerkennen, dass das einzelne Wesen von einmali­ger und vollständiger Bedeutung ist (auch in seiner Einzelheit), solange wird man sich immer auf den Kompromiss des Protektionismus einlassen müssen, denn Recht, und nicht bloß Pro­tektion, wird erst dort relevant wo die Frage nach der Würde auftaucht, und die Frage der Würde ist unmittelbar an die Einmaligkeit eines Wesens gebunden, d.h. damit auch an das praktische Anerkennen der Unantastbarkeit dieser Würde der Einmaligkeit des indi­viduellen Lebens.

Aber der Gedanke der Unantastbarkeit des einzelnen Lebens ist im gegenwärtigen Diskurs über Tierethik noch zu weit gegriffen. Die Forderung für viele Tierrechtler ist nicht die Anerkennung von Einmalig­keit, sondern die Tiere werden in einem eher bio-ethischen Schema dem menschlichen Verständnis von Lebenssinn untergeordnet.

Wenn die Tierwesen als Gruppe über den Zeitraum ihrer Evolution aus sich selbst im Gesamtweltkontext er­wachsen sind, auch in ihrer jeweils individuellen Einmaligkeit, dann kann die Begründung ihrer Bedeutung nicht auf eine biologische Kausalitätskette zurückgeführt werden. Und wenn Tiere nicht einem menschlichen Weltverständnis untergeordnet werden, kann eingesehen werden, dass Tierrechte eigentlich dem Menschenrecht nicht so fern sind, und zwar genau aus dem Grund, weil das einzelne Wesen niemals Subjekt einer äußeren Definition werden darf, denn das Wesen ergibt seine Sinnhaftigkeit aus sich selbst.

Kein Mensch darf einem Menschen vorschreiben was er oder sie ist, oder zu sein hat. Der Mensch ist frei, das ist sein ursächliches Recht und wird als seine ursächliche Ei­genschaft anerkannt (die Freiheit). Genauso darf kein Mensch einem Tier eine Definition direkt und indirekt aufzwingen, durch die ein Tier einer Seinsbegründung untergeordnet wird. Das Tier ist frei. Wir müssen die Dimensionen unseres engen Horizonts erweitern um zu begreifen, dass Anerkennung des Anderen bedeutet, den Anderen genau für das, was er selbst ist und das, wie er ist, Wert zu schätzen.


Speciesist narcissism

An introductory fragment: Many forms of speciesism.

Speciesist narcissism

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.


Are you aware about examples of speciesist narcissism?

Think of the fashion industry for instance, where in our speciesist dominated culture humans are most prone to display and pride themselves of a narcissistic self-representation in general.

Yet, can you think of photos, for example, where the narcissist aspect dominates a generally speciesist scene?

Who is on the photo and how? Contextualize the setting in terms of the objectified nonhuman/s, and on the other side both poses and perspectives the participating humans take in front and behind the camera.

Slides so far on the aspects of speciesism (see top navigation; new additions though will be appear in the category: ‘Aspects of Speciesism‘.)


Animal Thealogy: Man-Machine? Animal Reason!

Io – Farangis G Yegane

Animal Thealogy:

Man-Machine? Animal Reason!

Palang LY

This text as a PDF (link opens in a new window)

The basic question about the categorical division into (nonhuman) “animals” and “humans” (Homo sapiens), brings up probably before the question of its moral implications, the question about what exactly hides beneath both these big generalized identities.

Why has the view about that what-animals-are and that what-humans-are finally lead to us only viewing animals under biological terms today?

Is it enough to attribute only an instinctual behaviour to nonhuman animals?

Is it thus the ‘fault’ of animals that humans won’t relate to them in any further way than how they are relating to them today?

What other options are there?

Animal = instinctual? Human = reasoning? Attributed identities in a human-centered narrative

If we don’t accept the view that nonhuman animals are those who have to stand below humans, within a frame given by e.g. a biological, philosophical or even divine hierarchy-of-being, then such a claim doesn’t have to be solely morally motivated. It can also mean that we question the way in which both identities („animal“ and „human“) are understood, that we question the separation and qualifications of these identities, even before the questions of our wrongdoings enter the floor of debate.

We can ask if the interpretation of the characteristics that are considered to make up the marking dividers within a human-animal hierarchy, are in reality a negation of the autonomous value of otherness in nonhuman animals.

We know that the single criterion that serves as our standard, is the human parameter, i.e. the human model counts as the ideal, as the standard, for creating norms.

So what happens if we put this standard of measurement into doubt?

It’s a question of perspective!

Conclusions deduced in the fields of biology and psychology, with those being the main academic sectors that deal with the explicability of animal identity, nail the perspectives:

  1. on relevant characteristics
  2. on how animal characteristics (in either, the case of humans or nonhuman animals) have to a.) express themselves and b.) in which exact correlation they have to become „measurable“, in order to reach a certain relevance or meaningfulness from a human point of perspective.

So the problem lies in the question why humans won’t accept nonhuman animal autonomy when it can’t be made fathomable through the perception of a value-defined comparison.

Why are own animal criterions and why is their independent meaningfulness (for the sake of themselves and for their situation within their natural and social inter- and co-specific contexts) rendered irrelevant, when they cross our perspectivical glance, and when these animal criteria could also be understood and accepted to fully lay outside of our hierarchical-framework?

Animal individuality

To be willing to accept an autonomous meaningfulness of nonhuman animals, means to question the deindividualization, that our views and explanations about nonhuman animals purport.

Those are the views that allow us to set nonhuman animals in comparison to us, as ‘the human group’ of identity, instead of seeing otherness in itself as a full value. And those are also the views that seek to sort out how the existential ‘meaning’ of nonhuman animals might relate to anything that matters to us “humans” as a closed group of identity.

The deindividualized view of nonhuman animals almost automatically goes along with the subtraction of value in terms of attributed meaningfulness, and so we land at the moral question now, as the question of identities, individual existence and deinidivdualisation pose some ethical conflicts.

Nonhuman animals, and the attributed identities in the fields of “animal” and “human” social contexts

If we can view nonhuman animals, apart from their localization in the realm of biology, for example also in a sociological context, then we could ask the question: „How do people act towards nonhumans animals?“

Can we explain the behaviour of humans towards nonhuman animals solely by referring to the common notion that one can’t really behave in any particular way towards nonhuman animals because they are supposedly ‘instinctively set’ and ‘communicatively restricted’ compared to us, and that thus our behaviour towards them can’t contain an own quality of a social dynamic?

Can we legitimate our typically human social misbehaviour towards nonhuman animals by referring to the „stupidity“ that we interpret into nonhuman animal behaviour?

(Such questions would of course only feed themselves on stereotypes of animal identity, no matter from where they stem.)

However we probably can’t ask any of such questions a sociologist, though it could fall into their scope to analyse these relationships. Sociologists likely would prefer to deal with the Animal Rights movement and not deal with the interaction between humans and nonhuman animals, since everyone seems to be with the fact that a natural science, biology, has already determined what the identity of nonhuman animals “factually” is. And it must be said that even the Animal Rights movement seems the place moral question somewhere almost out of reach by accepting the explanation of the identity of animals as something more or less strictly biological.


A geometrical image

Imagine two abstract groups. Group A consists of triangles and everything that surrounds them becomes mathematically relevant to their own triangular form. This happens as all that either resembles or does not resemble a triangle appears in a certain colour.

Group B are circles.

Now group A says that group B aren’t triangles (because A are triangles) and that B also weren’t squares or rectangles.

Does any reason follow from this that would mathematically legitimate for the circles to be excluded as equally valid geometrical figures?

The triangles are different compared to the circles, but both are geometrical figures and insofar of an equal value.

They can be correlated due to each of their geometrical qualities, even when the circles do not match the characteristics of the triangles!

Let’s take this as our metaphor

Sociology does not question the social interaction between humans and nonhuman animals. They don’t scrutinize that relation from their viewpoint, because the view held on the human relation towards animals is already set in its core by the natural sciences.

The hierarchical empire built by the natural sciences though [and along with it the humanistic knowledge on which the natural sciences base upon] rules every need for any further examination and consideration of this relationship out. We do not see the direct relation between humans and nonhuman animals.

A most typical exemplification of that inability to relate on a basic and fundamental level of ‘common sense’ can be pinpointed in the difference between relating to nonhuman animals in terms of “joy” versus “love”: as in “animals equally feel joy” or “we can both love”, and “pain” versus “violence”: as in: “animals can equally feel pain” or “we can both experience violence”. Love is a intermittent sentiment, violence also basis on social interactivity (though in that negative sense), where as “joy” is located only in the subject we attribute the feeling to, and the same goes for “pain”.

We – nonhuman animals and humans – understand the questions of LOVE and VIOLENCE. Whereby “joy” and “pain” are reductionary names for the “same” thing.

Regarding the question whether animals can be regarded in any way as moral agents, one has to ask, does moral exist outside the human concept of morality?

When we discuss morality we presume that the substance matter which the term comprises came into life through our perceptions, and because we define what „moral“ means, we can claim a described phenomenon as solely ours.

What does morality consist of?

Does morality solely exist because of a theoretical framework? One can doubt that. Morality on the one side has something to do with basic social interaction, through that morality gains value.

On the other side are the superordinate agreements about morality, which are declared and decided upon by an elite or defining group/process, but through that the agreements about morality only contain a forced validity, which is disconnected from its own basis, that is: the meaning of social interaction between beings (i.e. the construct about morality excludes that what lays outside of its hierarchy, other forms of interaction that contain „social values“ ).

On the individual plane exists that what any “I” perceives and experiences in her lived interactions and experiences as „morally okay“. And that can be between nonhuman animals or humans in the whole environmental context – seen from a common sense point of view if we take the human view.

When we discard the human decorum that surrounds and sticks to the word morality, we can say that every action has a moral implication, non-anthropocentrically seen.

It’s always the same: otherness. We have to accept it.

Animals have a very different philosophy-of-living in a neutral comparison to our philosophy of life, and I believe one can use the term philosophy here to describe the yet unnamed phenomenon in nonhumans animals of how they structure and perceive their own lives.

I ask myself whether the human problem with nonhuman animals isn’t rather to be found in the differences of their philosophies-of-life when compared to our typically human ones.

The problems lie much more in this radical otherness from us, than in the reasons of gradual biological differences or in the often assumed moral impotence on this other one’s (the animal’s) behalf.

The problem thus seems to fluctuate around the scope of difference and coinciding similarity. In many aspects we equal nonhumans animals a lot, but in the aspect of our dominance claim finally, we see nonhuman animals as „the losers“, the bottom of the evolutionary or divinely ordained hierarchical order on which we can postulate our violent and hypocritical sense of power.

That nonhuman animals are the losers amongst the biological animals is even an attitude that some of their advocates purport. I often meet people who won’t reckon a unique, self-sufficient quality seen to be in the closeness and distance amongst the different animals (including human animals). In the forefront of every argumentation there is always: how are they in comparison to us. As if humans and nonhuman animals had to compete on an „equal” scale … and another related argumentation goes: how much of their „instinct“ could possibly entitle them to be granted rights; right that would protect them from humans (whereby it is highly questionable whether those who have prejudices against you, can really grant you your own rights.)

Human society, it seems, will always consider the „us“ and the „we“ as objectively more important, insofar as the „we“, the how „we are“, is the criterion, and nonhumans animals are measured against it.

The crucial point is to accept others and to accept the validity of otherness. For the others and maybe even for us!

Reaching far? Animal Thealogy – female animal deities, female human deities, on the terms of such angles.

Painting: Io by intersectional antispeciesist veg*AR artist Farangis G. Yegane – Lebensschutz!