An individual’s narrative – Animal Autonomy

Every individual animal has a narrative (in context with her experience of her habitat and environment).

Denying nonhuman animals their own languages, as autonomous communicative systems that linguistically have evolved independent of human linguistics, means denying animals moral agency, let alone the experience of an individual narrative.

Biologism and epistemological humancentrism reduce nonhuman animals to mere ‘explicable organisms’.

TIERAUTONOMIE / GRUPPE MESSEL

“Joy” and “pain” are reductionary concepts about the rainbow shadedness of animal sentience

The independence of Animal Liberation

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

Fragment as a PDF (link opens in new window)

A liberation that depends on an approval by scientists? Or alternatively on a religious doctrine?

Sentience can’t be only fathomed by suffering or joy – it’s rainbow shaded.

Sensuality

The separation of sensuality and reason is a man-made one. And tied inasmuch to scientific shortsightedness as to the religiously driven degradation of the earthenly versus the notion of an elated human spirit.

Both anthropocentric paradigms – be they through the lens of objectivism that works within an anthropocentric framework, or the lens of an arbitrariness in the spiritual spheres – any severely anthropocentric paradigm, deconstructs the holistic body and mind connection … for reasons, obviously.

The problem lies with our constructs, and not with animal reality!

Painting: Spanish Dog by Farangis G. Yegane

 

Animal Thealogy: Man-Machine? Animal Reason! (Part 2)


Io – Farangis G Yegane

Animal Thealogy:

Man-Machine? Animal Reason! (2)

(And this was part one of that text.)

Palang LY

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.

 

Animal Thealogy: Man-Machine? Animal Reason! (Part 1)


Vulnerable by Farangis Yegane

Animal Thealogy:

Man-Machine? Animal Reason! (Part 1)

Palang LY

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.

End of part 1

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

 

Sich mit der Idee zu befassen, dass Hinterfragungen von Rasse, Gender und Weißsein, innerhalb des Veganismus, nicht sinnlos sind: Reflektionen über die Sistah Vegan Conference

Sich mit der Idee zu befassen, dass Hinterfragungen von Rasse, Gender und Weißsein, innerhalb des Veganismus, nicht sinnlos sind: Reflektionen über die Sistah Vegan Conference

Dieser Text als PDF (der Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster)

Quelle: ‘Engaging with the idea that interrogations of race, gender, and whiteness in veganism is not pointless: Reflections on the Sistah Vegan Conference’ http://sistahvegan.com/2013/09/18/sistah-vegan-conference-recordings-now-available/. Übersetzung: Palang LY, mit der freundlichen Genehmigung von Dr. phil. A. Breeze Harper.

Die Sistah Vegan Webkonferenz fand am 14. September 2013 statt. Sie trug den Titel „Verkörperte und kritische Perspektiven auf den Veganismus von schwarzen Frauen und ihren Verbündeten.“ (Was, du hast die Konferenz verpasst? Keine Sorge, die ganze Konferenz wurde aufgezeichnet und du kannst die Aufzeichnungen erwerben, indem du auf der Webseite zur Konferenz ‚CLICK HERE TO REGISTER’ drückst. Auch wenn die Konferenz nun vorbei ist, so führt dich dieser Link doch zu der Seite, über die man die Sistah Vegan Conference-Aufnahmen erwerben kann: http://sistahveganconference.com/.)

Es waren beeindruckende 8 Stunden. Hier ist ein kleiner Einblick in das, was wir dabei lernten, wörüber wir sprachen und uns gemeinsam austauschten:

–         Wie Veganismus die Reproduktionsgesundheit schwarzer Frauen heilt.
–         Schwarze Frauen, Veganismus und die Herausforderungen durch diskriminatorische Haltungen gegenüber Körpergröße und –masse [‚Sizeism’].
–         Das Patriarchat als Problem in der US-amerikanischen Tierbefreiungsbewegung.
–         PETAs rassifiziert-sexualisierter Einsatz weiblicher Körper, um zum ‚Veganwerden, für die Tiere’ zu ermutigen.
–         Wie der ‚weisse Retterkomplex’ Schwierigkeiten und Stress verursacht für schwarze Frauen innerhalb bestimmter gemeinschaftlicher Veganismus- und Yogapraktiziernder-Räume in den USA.
–         Die Politk industrialisierter und verarbeiteter Babynahrung und die Schaffung einer indigenen veganen Mutterleibsökologie.
–         Die Art und Weise, in der die Sistah Vegan Anthologie so viele von uns dahigehend ermutigt hat, den Weg des Veganismus zu beschreiten.

Ich denke, dass diese Konferenz wichtig ist für eine ganze Anzahl von Leuten, die an kritischen Nahrungsmittelstudien, kritischen Tierstuduen und/oder schwarzen Studien interssiert sind. Dennoch empfehle ich diese Konferenz der beachtlichen Anzahl ‚postrassisch’ denkener Leute (fast immer sind dies weiß-identifizierte Menschen), die mich witerhin mit einer klaren (entweder direkten oder passiv-aggresiven) Wut im Bauch kontaktieren, dass sie es kaum fassen könnten, wie ich behaupten könne, dass Rasse, Geschlecht und Weißsein die vegane Praxis, das vegane Rational und Bewusstsein beeinflussen könnten. Und solche Messages kommen in den Kommertarsektionen meines Blogs, meiner Facebookseiten oder in meiner persönlichen Emailbox an, mit dem Zugeständnis Vieler, niemals etwas über kritische Studien bezüglich Rasse, schwarzer feministischer Theorie oder kritische Weißseinsstudien gelesen zu haben – aber diese Leute sind sich SICHER und ÜBERZEUGT davon, dass bestimmte Fragen im Bezug auf Rasse, Gender und Weißsein im Bereich Veganismus nicht hinterfragt werden sollten. Es mag ihnen nicht bewusst sein, aber man nennt dies (weiße) Selbstberechtigung [(white) entitlement] wenn sie in einer solchen Weise an mich herantreten. Es ist ein Akt diskursiver Gewalt, und es ist das perfekte Beispiel davon, wie Weißsein als ein Kommunikations- und rhetorisches System funktioniert. Diese Kommunikationsmethode ist einfach wirklich nicht harmonisch, nicht heilend und sie steht antithetisch zur Nicht-Gewalt (Ahimsa), die der Veganismus für so viele von uns verkörpert.

Ich kann nur anbieten, dass wenn Leute mit dem oben beschriebenen Kommunikationsverhalten, eine aufrichtige und offene Diskussion über den „Sinn“ dieser Webkonferenz, die Sistah Vegan Anthologie und meine andere auf das Soziologische gründende Forschungsarbeit führen möchten, dass diese Leute sich mal dran setzen sollten Beiträgen der Sistah Vegan Konferenz zuzuhören; vielleicht die Sistah Vegan Anthologie mal lesen sollten und auch meine Masters- und Disserationsarbeit, die in klarer Weise die Relevanz und die Wichtigkeit dessen artikulieren, sich mit kritischen Rassenstudien, schwarzen feministischen-, dekolonialen- und kritischen Weißseinsstudien innerhalb des Veganismus in den USA zu befassen. Ich versichere euch, dass sowohl Harvard (meine Masters These) als auch die University of California (meine Disserationsarbeit), meine Arbeiten nicht als Bestanden abgesegnet hätten, wenn ich sozialwissenschaftliche und rigorose Forschungmethoden und methodologische Herangehensweisen bei meiner intersektionalen Arbeit über Veganismus, Kultur und systemische Unterdrückung, nicht in richtiger Weise angewendet hätte. Ich hätte den begehrten Dean’s Award von Harvard für meine Masters-Thesenarbeit (die jeweils nur einem Kanditaten pro Fachbereich verliehen wird) nicht erhalten, und auch kein zweijähriges Stipendium, um meine Dissertationsarbeit an der Universtiy of California abzuschließen, wenn die entscheidungstragenden Kommitees beider Institutionen der Meinung gewesen wären, dass meine akademischen Untersuchungen über den Veganismus ‚sinnlos’ oder ‚rassenhetzerisch’ (wie von vielen [mis]interpretiert) seien. Bitte emailt mir unter sistahvegan (at) gmail (dot) com wenn ihr Auszüge und/oder Kopien meiner veröffentlichten Arbeiten, meiner Thesenarbeit und/oder meiner Dissertation haben möchtet, um euch mal mit dem Thema auseinanderzusetzen. Und vor diesem Hintergrund …

gilt ein ausgesprochener Dank all denen, die dies zu einem unwahrscheinlich beeindruckenden Event gemacht haben. Ich freue mich auf das, nächsten Jahres!

Wenn ihr an der Veranstaltung teilgenommen habt und/oder euch die Aufszeichnungen angehört habt, dann postet bitte wie ihr die Konferenz und das Gelernte empfunden habt, und das, womit ihr vielleicht Probleme hattet, oder was euch eventuell überrraschte, usw.

***

A.d.Ü.: Und Sinn und Zweck dieser Übersetzung ist es, das Sistah Vegan Projekt wegen seiner internationalen und globalen Wichtigkeit im deutschsprachigen Raum noch weiter bekannt zu machen, und um einige Aktionen des Projekts auch innerhalb des deutschen Sprachraums zu dokumetieren:

Siehe in diesem Zusammenhang …

Eine Info über die Sistah Vegan Anthologie (2010):
http://simorgh.de/harper/die_sistah_vegan_anthologie_2010_s.pdf

Die Kurzzusammenfassungen der Redebeiträge der Sistah Vegan Webconference 2013:
http://simorgh.de/harper/sistahvegan_conference_2013_8bs.pdf

Und in aller Kürze die Programmübersicht der Webkonferenz 2013:
http://simorgh.de/niceswine/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/sistahvegan_conference_programm_1.pdf

Das Geheimnis der Liebe zum Leben. Religiöse Widerständler und heidnische Modernisten.

Das Geheimnis der Liebe zum Leben

Religiöse Widerständler und heidnische Modernisten

Von Thorm KePa

Dieser Text als PDF (Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster)

Die Katharer waren eine christliche Splittergruppe des europäischen Hochmittelalters, die ihren Glauben an den Gut-Böse-Dualismus der aus Persien stammenden Manichäer des 3. Jahrunderts nach Christus anlehnte. Die Manichäer selbst verbanden unterschiedliche Elemente in ihrem Glauben und so findet man bei ihnen auch eine Anlehnung an das Christentum.

Beide Glaubensgruppen teilten die Vorstellung, dass Tiere nicht geopfert werden dürfen – weder für religöse Zwecke, noch zu Ernährungszwecken. Man geht allerdings davon aus, dass die Katharer Fische aus dieser Vorstellung des (gewollten oder indirekten, religiös verordenten) Lebensschutzes ausschlossen, weil sie meinten, dass sich Fische nicht geschlechtlich vermehren würden und aus dem Wasser entstünden.

Die Katharer glaubten, dass „Lichtteile“ von Engelsseelen ausversehen mit einem toten Tier mitverzehrt werden könnten, und die Manichäer meinten, dass Tiere-Essen hätte zur Folge, dass die „Lichtteile“ des Tieres durch den Verzehr nicht aus dem Tierkörper entweichen könnten. Beide Glaubensgruppen erwarteten eine strenge Befolgung ihrer asketischen Ideale aber nur von der Priesterschaft (bei den Katharern die Parfaits, bei den Manichäern die Electi).

Es gab eine Reihe von Schnittstellen beider Glaubenssysteme, eine davon scheint uns in die Gegenwart zu führen: die Hütung des Geheimnisses irdischer Existenz. Ein Stein bei den Manichäern, ein Gral bei den Katharern.

„Wolfram’s Grail/Stone bears a great resemblance to the Manichaean jewel, the Buddhist padma mani, the jewel found in the heart of the lotus that is the solar symbol of the Great Liberation and which can also be found in the Indian traditions concerning the Tree of Life.” Jean Markale, The Grail: The Celtic Origins of the Sacred Icon, 1999, S. 134.

Beim christlichen Ritter Wolfram von Eschenbach in seinem Parzival taucht der „heilige Gral“, der in der Mystik des Mittelalters für so viele Ritterorden von solch großer Bedeutung war, in der Form des „lapsit excillis / Lapis excilis“ auf:

„Die wehrliche Ritterschaft,
höret, was ihr Nahrung schafft:
Sie leben von einem Stein,
dessen Art muss edel sein.
Ist euch der noch unbekannt,
Sein Name wird euch hier genannt:
Er heißet Lapis exilis.
Von seiner Kraft der Phönix
Verbrennt, dass er zu Asche wird
Und dann der Gluth verjüngt entschwirrt.
Der Phönix schüttelt sein Gefieder
Und gewinnt so lichten Schimmer wieder,
Das er schöner wird als eh.
Wär einem Menschen noch so weh,
Doch stirbt er nich denselben Tag,
Da er den Stein erschauen mag,
Und noch die nächste Woche nicht;
Auch enthellt sich nicht sein Angesicht:
Die Farbe bleibt ihm klar und rein,
Wenn er täglich schaut den Stein,
Wie in seiner besten Zeit
Einst als Jüngling oder Maid.
Säh er den Stein zweihundert Jahr,
Ergrauen würd ihm nicht sein Haar.
Solche Kraft dem Menschen gibt der Stein,
Daß ihm Fleisch und Gebein
Wieder jung wird gleich zur Hand:
Dieser Stein ist Gral genannt.“

Parzival und Titurel: Rittergedichte von Wolfram von Eschenbach, Hrsg. Karl Simrock, Tübingen, 1842, S. 40-41.

Parzival and Titurel. By Wolfram von Eschenbach.

Siehe auch:

Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival. Mittelhochdeutscher Text. Hrsg. Karl Lachmann 1833, Berlin

Die Sicht auf den heiligen Gral eröffnet ein Spektrum in dem Inhalte mythischer und religiöser Natur gemeinsam im Universalen zu entdecken sind. Anerkannte „Religionen“ und heidnische „Mythen“ und „Legenden“ lassen sich nicht hundertprozentig voneinander trennen.

Eine andere Parallele, die diese beiden Brückenreligionen, die der Manichäer und die der Katharer, aufwiesen, war ihr Widerstandsgeist der sich gehen die Hauptkirche richtete, der sie sich jeweils entlehnten und durch die sie letzendlich auch vernichtet wurden. Die Manichäer wurden in ihrem Urspungsland Persien vom Zoroastrismus bekämpft, Mani in den Kerker gesteckt, wo er bald starb. Ein Zeungis der zoroastrischen Verachtung des Manichäismus finden wir in diesem Beispiel:

Studia Manichaica edited by Ronald E. Emmerick, Werner Sundermann, Peter Zieme

Die Katharer wurden im qualvoll lang andauernden Albigenserkreuzzug durch die Katholiken final ausgelöscht, nachdem auch die letzten friedlichen Verhandlungen zwischen ihnen und den Katholiken gescheitert waren. Der katharischen Priesterin Esclarmonde de Foix wurde bei diesen Verhandlungen vom später heiligen Dominikus der Mund verboten, sie sei eine Frau, daher stehe es ihr nicht zu sich in einen theologischen Disput einzumischen.

(Vergleiche: Gottfried Koch, Frauenfrage und Ketzertum im Mittelalter: die Frauenbewegung im Rahmen des Katharismus und des Waldensertums und ihre sozialen Wurzeln [12.-14. Jahrhundert], 1962, S. 52 und Giovanni Chiantore, Studi medievali, 1964, S. 748)

Auf dieser Seite befindet sich eine praktische Übersicht über den Verlauf des Albigenserkreuzzugs: http://www.okzitanien.de/historie.htm

Warum sich ausgerechtnet ein christlicher Ritter aus Franken, nämlich Wolfram von Eschenbach, mit einem Geheimnis befasste, dass auch diese beiden Widerstandsreligionen beschäftige, muss mit der geheimnisvollen Popularität des Mythos um den heiligen Gral gelegen haben, der in Europa besonders durch die Arthus-Legende bekannt gewesen ist.

Die Suche und zugleich die Festlegung dessen, worum es eigentlich in dieser Suche nach dem Gral geht (was nun das Abendland und das Mittelalter anbetrifft), ist bis in die deutsche Romantik hineingetragen worden, bedeutungsvoll und mit tiefem Pathos. So band Richard Wagner in seinem Parsifal neue Ideale an die Legende, die bis heute Fragen aufwirft, die für immer unbeantwortbar bleiben müssen.

Richard Wagner, der seinen Parsifal an den Eschenbachs anlehnte, befasste sich zu der Zeit als er dieses, sein letztes Werk schrieb, mit der buddhistischen Lehre der Gewaltsoligkeit gegenüber dem Leben und war fasziniert von der Möglichkeit der „Erlösung“ durch die menschliche Anerkennung der Verantwortung gegenüber dem Leid der Tiere. Er lag damit ganz im Geiste der europäischen vegetarischen Bewegung seiner Zeit.

Auf der Seite der International Vegetarian Union findet man zahlreiche detailierte Biographien von Menschen, die in der vegetarischen Bewegung damals eine Rolle spielten: http://www.ivu.org/

Wagner, der es selbst nicht ganz konsequent bis zum praktiziernden Vegetarier schaffte, schrieb über seine Gefühle der Gewalt Tieren gegenüber:

Richard Wagner an Mathilde Wesendonk (Timokrates Verlag), S. 53

Seine oft zitierte Ablehnung des „Urfalls“ der Gewalt gegenüber Tieren – der biblischen Geschichte über Kain, den Ackerbauenden, der aus Neid seinen Bruder Abel, den Hirten, erschlug, als Gott das Fleischopfer der pflanzlichen Opfergabe vorzog – erinnert intuitiv an die Ablehnung des Alten Testament der Katharer und der Manichäer.

Der Kritik an der jüdischen Tradition seitens Wagners mag damit zusammenhängen. Man will ein Übel an einem vermeintlichen Schuldigen festmachen, an einer bestimmten Lehre, damit man „der Sache“ habhaft werden kann – dabei ist jedes Übel immer an die Fehlerhaftigkeit individueller Menschen gebunden. Wagner wird sich kaum über die Tragweite seiner Kritik bewusst gewesen sein.

Aus Cosima Wagners Aufzeichnungen lässt sich einiges Wichtiges ableiten über das, was ihn zuletzt am meisten beschäftigt haben muss:

Jost Hermand, Freundschaft: Zur Geschichte einer sozialen Bindung , 2006, S. 100.

Wichtig ist es festzuhalten, dass die Suche nach dem heiligen Wahrheitskern auf diesem Pfad, wenn wir ihn denn so verfolgen, so scheint, dass der Lebensschutz bewusst, direkt und unbewusst und indirekt darin zu finden ist. Im Libretto Wagners erfahren wir, dass seine Gestalten im Parsifal von der Heiligkeit des Lebens sprechen:

KUNDRY: Sind die Tiere hier nicht heilig?

[…]

(Vom See her vernimmt man Geschrei und das Rufen der Ritter und Knappen.)

RITTER UND KNAPPEN: Weh’! – Weh’! Hoho! Auf! Wer ist der Frevler?

(Gurnemanz und die vier Knappen fahren auf und wenden sich erschrocken um. – Ein wilder Schwan flattert matten Fluges vom See daher; er ist verwundet, die Knappen und Ritter folgen ihm nach auf die Szene. Der Schwan sinkt, nach mühsamem Fluge, inatt zu Boden; der zweite Ritter zieht ihm den Pfeil aus der Brust. – Währenddem)

GURNEMANZ: Was gibt’s?

VIERTER KNAPPE: Dort!

DRITTER KNAPPE: Hier!

ZWEITER KNAPPE: Ein Schwan!

VIERTER KNAPPE: Ein Wilder Schwan!

DRITTER KNAPPE: Er ist verwundet!

ALLE RITTER UND KNAPPEN: Ha! Wehe! Wehe!

GURNEMANZ: Wer schoss den Schwan?

DER ERSTE RITTER (hervorkommend): Der König grüsste ihn als gutes Zeichen, als überm See kreiste der Schwan, da flog ein Pfeil…

KNAPPEN UND RITTER (Parsifal hereinführend, auf Parsifals Bogen weisend): Der war’s! Der schoss! Dies der Bogen! Hier der Pfeil, den seinen gleich.

GURNEMANZ (zu Parsifal): Bist du’s, der diesen Schwan erlegte?

PARSIFAL: Gewiss! Im Fluge treff’ ich, was fliegt!

GURNEMANZ: Du tatest das? Und bangt’ es dich nicht vor der Tat?

DIE KNAPPEN UND RITTER: Strafe dem Frevler!

GURNEMANZ : Unerhörtes Werk! Du konntest morden, – hier im heil’gen Walde, des’ Stiller Friede dich umfing? Des Haines Tiere nahten dir nicht zahm, – Grüssten dich freundlich und fromm? Aus den Zweigen, was sangen die Vöglein dir? Was tat dir der treue Schwan? Sein Weibchen zu suchen, flog er auf, mit ihm zu kreisen über dem See, den so er herrlich weihte zum Bad. – Dem stauntest du nicht? Dich lockt’ es nur zu wild kindischem Bogengeschoss?

Er war uns hold: was ist er nun dir? Hier, schau her! – hier trafst du ihn: da starrt noch das Blut, – matt hängen die Fluegel; das Schneegefieder dunkel befleckt, – gebrochen das Aug’, – siehst du den Blick? (Parsifal hat Gurnemanz mit wachsender Ergriffenheit zugehört; jetzt zerbricht er seinen Bogen und schleudert die Pfeile von sich.) Wirst deiner Sündentat du inne? (Parsifal führt die Hand über die Augen.) Sag’, Knab’, erkennst du deine grosse Schuld? Wie konntest du sie begehn?

PARSIFAL: Ich wusste sie nicht.

So fast auch der Kulturgeschichtler Jost Hermand diesbezüglich zusammen:

 

Jost Hermand, Glanz und Elend der deutschen Oper, 2008, S. 139.

Es wird einen Grund haben, warum die Katharer und die Manichäer bis heute dafür bekannt sind, dass sie es als eine Vollendung ihrer Glaubensmission betrachteten in der Askese zu leben, die Gewalt gegen Tiere vermeidet. Und es wird einen Grund haben, warum wir das Motif des Lebensschutzes in anderer Form, aber gebunden an den Mythos der Gralslehre, wieder finden in der deutschen Romantik.

Der Wert solcher Botschaften ist ein fragiler. Der sensible Sinn entweicht schnell denen, die zweifeln an der Möglichkeit des Menschen als transspezies-empathisches Wesen. Aber gerade an dieser Zerbrechlichkeit mag das Geheimnis einer Erkenntnissuche liegen – an dem zu halten, was kaum zu greifen ist, was aber tief in das Herz führt. Weder Religion noch wahre Kunst ist ohne Sensibilität und Reverenz für das Leben denkbar und wenn sie diese nicht aufweisen, werden sie zu Zerstörern.

Es geht hier nicht darum, ob ein Mensch, der durch sein Talent und sein Schaffen besonders hervorragt, nun mit gutem Beispiel voranging und wie genau. Wagner schaffte es selbst nicht ganz hin zum zumindest dauerhaft gelebten Vegetarismus, aber er bemühte sich um eine Botschaft des All-Lebensschutzes, die die Forderung beinhaltete, dass Tiere nicht gejagt, gegessen, getötet werden dürften. Worum es geht ist, dass die Erinnerung und das Bewusstsein über Zeit und Geschichte hinweg erhalten bleiben. Das besondere ist, von welchen Seiten her Fragen aufgeworfen wurden am menschlicher Töten von Tieren für den Fleischverzehr und für das Opfern, gleichwohl wir Zeugnisse dieser Art in den Irrgärten menschlicher Überlieferung nur wie Fragmente zusammentragen können.

So existierte der Manichäismus beispielsweise in einer Zeit, in der er als ‚Lichtreligion’ schon durch eine innere menschliche Spaltung zwischen einem absolut Guten und einem absolut Bösen belastet war. Hier konnte man die Sinnlosigkeit und die ethische Verwerflichkeit der Verursachung von Leid durch den Menschen als eine eigene Verantwortlichkeit, der im menschlichen Handeln Rechnung getragen werden muss, nicht mehr ohne Weiteres thematisieren, denn sowohl die Macht des Bösen, als auch die des Guten waren so gewaltig, dass das eigene Handeln nicht mehr als ein dienen oder gehorchen (der einen oder der anderen Seite) sein konnte.

Dort wo Mensch und Tier in ihrer Problematik und in ihrer Heiligkeit ihres Lebens als Eins genommen werden, wird es für uns aber immer schwierig bleiben das anhand der weltanschaulichen Hinterlassenschaften solcher kulturellen Begebenheiten nachweisen zu können. Zum einen wird man hier keine direkte Hervorhebung der Tierproblematik finden, zum anderen, gehen wir zu stark davon aus, dass alle menschlichen Lebensvorstellungen im Bezug auf die Mitwelt eigentlich ähnlich gewesen sein müssten wie unserer heute.

St. Augustinus , der erst begeistert vom Manichäismus war, wendete sich später von ihm ab in Empörung und überlieferte uns in seiner Kritik viel über die Gründe, warum die Manichäer Tiere nicht töten, opfern oder essen wollten: http://books.google.de/books?id=lHZPAAAAYAAJ&redir_esc=y, + http://www.animalrightshistory.org/animal-rights-antiquity-ce/mani/mani.htm)

Im persischen Mythos gibt es den Humaay / Homa, den Phönix, der im Schahnameh und im iranischen Schöpfungsmythos auch Simorgh genannt wird, in prominenter Weise. Dieser mythische Vogel trug im gesamten Kulturraum zahlreiche, fast unzählige Nahmen, denn er stand für ein Seins-Prinzip.

Abbildung, Miniatur eines unbekannten Künstlers aus dem Schahnameh von Firdausi: Simorgh trägt das Kind Zal zu seinem Nest um es vor dem Tode zu retten.

Die bekanntesten Erzählungen über diese Vogelgestalt ist die von Farīd ad-Dīn ʻAṭṭār: The Conference of the Birds und die des im Gebirge nistenden Vogels Simorgh, der das ausgestzte Kind Zal rettet und aufzieht, im Schahnameh von Firdausi.

Nach der Vorstellung im iranischen Mythos teilte sich das Sein in drei Bereiche auf:

1. Die verletzliche Leiblichkeit auf dieser Erde, die „Tankard“; der Raum der Sichtbarkeit und Greifbarkeit.

2. Gab es den Bereich des Sichtbaren aber Ungreifbaren, der durch Simorgh dargestellt wurde. Simorgh konnte nur auf der Erde verletzt werden, aber auch niemals ‚getötet’ werden, sie war der Vogel der Wiedererstehung. Sobald sie vom Boden abhob, konnte man sie auch nicht mehr verletzen.

3. Und es gab den Bereich des Unsichtbaren und Ungreifbaren, den Bereich der Gottheit Vohuman, in der das Sein überging, wenn es auf der Erde verletzt wird und sich nicht mehr schützen kann.

Diese drei Bereiche waren untrennbar Verbunden. In dem Buch: Das Denken beginnt mit dem Lachen: die unsterbliche Kultur der Iran von M. Jamali und G. Y. Arani-May wird der Mythos des Simorgh in seinem Kontext erörtert. Das Buch ist hier abrufbar.

 

Veganic plus Animal Sanctuaries plus Ethics

Palang LY

Veganic plus Animal Sanctuaries plus Ethics

There so far is no such thing as a “positive” veganic (which means: organic vegan agriculture) Animal Rights consciousness.

Not taking into consideration that nonhuman animals must be helped by all possible means, here looks to me like a form of speciesism might be lurking in the background, since if humans where in a comparable plight, anybody who would describe him-/herself as a non- misanthrope would help the humans in question.

What I am mainly interested in is:

Why doesn’t it occur to vegans and the veganic (vegan organic) movement, that humans and nonhuman animals can co-exist, can co-live without exploitation, as an option?

I have looked at various veganic projects, and as far as one can see, “animal rights” only plays a role in the way, that exploitation and usage of animals and animal products / fertilizer derived from animals is non-permitted, on ethical grounds, mainly. Hence, these people are VEGANS, and not just any people avoiding animal products: They avoid animal exploitation. That’s the Animal Rights part of the veganic movement.

But apart from that, the very nonhuman animals that we as VEGANS want to HELP, don’t come in or become visible or noticed as beings that we are willing to live together with, that we are willing to share the earth with. As if the soil and the forests were ours to use, ours to live on, ours to say what’s right to do with it (“it” … that is: nature).

Billions of animals

Of course the forceful exploitation of the reproductive system of animals has to stop. Of course any form of overpopulation is bad for anybody and this planet. But the lives, that didn’t chose to come into this world, the lives that just happen to find themselves here – we do have to ethically respect the fact that these individuals exist.

Sanctuaries and vegan farming should merge I believe! To cut a long “story” short and practical.

But back to veganic-ism as it is

There is the mention of using human manure and faeces for fertilization (apart from the much more promising sounding self-fertilizing gardening methods which exist in veganicism too of course). But if people are willing to use their own manure, as part of the biological process of vegan agriculture, can’t the idea of “the sanctuary” and the idea of a newly veganic option be created in peoples minds? People can tolerate their own manure somewhere, but not another (nonhuman) animal’s manure? I think we cannot say that it is speciesist and exploitative if both humans and nonhuman animals live together in a natural space without harming or exploiting or using each other.

We as vegans ought to LIVE together with the other animals on this planet, in a peaceful manner, in mixed communities. If we can’t develop a consciousness for that, we fail at creating a (more complete) positive ethic. It’s enormously tragic that we let the speciesist view of “animals, us and the world” win insofar, that this view manages to inspire us vegans not to willingly plan to live together with the so called farm animals in a vegan, caring manner, with a strong will to co-exist.

Are the only options we can chose from the one of degrading nonhuman animals or otherwise totally excluding them, and making them nonexistent in a (desired utopian) daily reality? No, really, because this planet is also an animals’ planet!

Ethics … To me the veganic movement makes itself look as if it creates and expresses a bifurcation in what veganism ideally should mean. As good at it looks now and as much as such farming practices are heading for the major part in a promising and important and ethically inevitable direction, the veganic code of ethics nevertheless ignores an important factor and that is, again, to include all animals in a life affirming way.

This fallacy in the veganic vegan understanding makes vegans overall look as if this movement was basically about clearing nonhuman animals in their positives – and as living facts and individual fates – simply out of our lives!

I think there is morally something going drastically wrong with us.

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

From individual to individual

Speciesism and homocentrism are the external manifestations of patterns in thinking that deny animal intelligence, and instead overvalue human intelligence. Humans are mostly behaving contractualist, unpredictable, unreliable, unfair, … and the list could go on in pretty negative terms. I wonder why that is the case, and I think it does not have to be that way.

I think it is possible for a human to be ‘animal intelligent’, to be non-contractualist, predictable, fair, tolerant, loving, … and that list could go on in positive terms. From my experiences with animals I learned about the possibility of ‘animal intelligence’:  The animals I have lived with truly were my best friends.

I think for a person who is truly nonspeciesistic in his/her thoughts and critical about homocentrism  it should be technically possible to really make the shift and start to become a better individual than what humans have per definition been so far, and even prided themselves with.

The time of human intelligence is over for me.

I am glad I defend animal rights from a standpoint of true ‘animal independence’ (of any human paradigm: biology, ethology, philosophy, religion … ).

***

Fragmentary thoughts:

The border around the castle ‘HUMAN’ is the one of scientifical categorizing. Within the castle we claim to be ‘complete’.

BIOLOGICAL HIERARCHISM ALWAYS PUTS HUMAN ‘OBJECTIVITY’ ON TOP OF WHAT IT DENIES THE OTHER SPEICIES: THAT IS ON TOP OF ANIMALS’ OBJECTIVITY

How can absolute objectivity be captured? With which parameters to measure against? Humans’ objectivity claim relies on subjective interests.

Ethical behaviour is one of the components taken out of the frame of an allround objectivity.

Animals get denied for their actions to be viewed as not insinctual.

Subsequently the VALUES of behaviour get ruled out from being within the ethcial scale of social actions between the species, etc.

A term such as ‘ethical’ desribes something that is existent, it’s not an idea in itself – otherwise it would not exist in the correlations…

Common sense as a basis for morality in Animal Rights

Use your sense of justice, when you judge nonhuman animals, use your common sense, when you judge animals.

When natural scientist make findings about how an animal brain works, how animal psychology works, cognition, consciousness, it means they will do 1. invasive research at some point, and 2. they will be using parameters that are strictly homoncentric, meaning the frame of reference they apply moves only within a “human” framework of “objectivity”.

A real Animal Rights revolution would require people to step back from human parameters. A real Animal Rights revolution would mean we as humans are able to face nonhuman animals on the level where we allow them to be different but still respect their untouchable integrity in this natural world that we all live in and are born into.

When we want to give nonhuman animals our definitions, we should as Animal Rights people make sure we don’t impose a worldview onto them and their concerns, that is not theirs (and thus not in THEIR interest). If we can’t accept that animals have their own views of the world, then we deny them real and autonomous subjectivity, and then we deny them personhood in a sense that we should respect.

We don’t need scientific proof and scientific arguments, what we need is to learn to accept common sense as a basis for morality and moral judgment in Animal Rights issues as much as we accept our basic common sense to be enough when we talk about each other or internal human concerns.

 

Vegan for justice

Not the plain awareness that “eating meat is wrong”, but a growing sense of justice makes veganism so attractive to people I think.

Ok this is a fine line, but I believe what makes people want to turn vegan now, is not that “by chances” they have been informed about the atrocities going on in farms and slaughterhouses and that more or less right away turns them into vegetarians and/or vegans. I think it’s rather the growing sense of justice as far as nonhuman animals are concerned and the human relationship towards them, that makes people get the “click” of becoming a vegan.

People find it easier to stand for what they feel and think today, in regards to nonhuman animals.

In the past when you thought it was wrong to eat “meat”, etc. the pressure around a person living in a homocentrist society was so strong that someone was confronted with so many more obstacles than the obstacles a persons meets today in most or at least many contexts and places.

The danger of thinking that solely information would almost automatically create a more enlightened and thus hopefully compassionate people all around us, lays in the often overlooked point that many meat eaters and hunters, for example, etc., are acting fully knowing what they are doing and endorsing their fully aware chosen stances publicly wherever they can as individuals “having something to do with the issue” (they feel being asked for their warped views, so much, I think). The same fanaticism about a practiced carnism and speciesism also goes for some people in the field of arts it has to be noted – a professional field that is in much danger of acting on an ideological plane in society anyway and speciesist art is a sad fact that is often being ignored way too much ( speciesism in art : http://www.farangis.de/blog/category/animalistic-issue ).

What I think is important, is that we don’t underestimate the will and the power of the individual person and society overall to foster a sense of justice in each other once the ice is broken that sealed (one could say) “the lips of humanity” in the past.

to impose a state of being “as if” parasitical

Human societies impose a state of being “as if” parasitical onto nonhuman animals, simply by claiming nature to be a resource “exclusively usable” by humans. Nature is seen as a resource existent to serve human needs and desires, to be exploited. Nature is not regarded as an animal habitat with its animal inhabitants, etc.

By living out this attitude and worldview of: “subject the earth to your will and exploit it to your needs”, nonhuman animals are automatically put either into the position of being degradable and exploitable, subjectable, or they are seen as parasitical, just barely allowed to enter the human garden eden, so one could say.

This is a long subject and it came to my mind quite clearly today … ,so, well I wanted to quickly note it down. I am gonna write more about this angle of homocentrism later, of course.

Homocentrism makes blind to perspectives that don’t serve the “human interest”.

 

An end to philosophical validity can lie in what we perceive to be reality

The human continuum with its cultural values is not necessarily one, and can’t necessarily be unified with its diverseness.

Every individual has the right to hold her or his own views.

Thus I can be for Animal Rights INASMUCH as I can be for Human Rights, for example.

No philosophical school can propose me their argumentation as valid IF it asks me to see nonhuman animals other than I see them now as an Animal Rights person.

Philosophy should stay out of attributing different “life forms” with their labels of value or meaning.

Otherwise philosophy becomes as bad as how religions function – as doctrines based on belief. Homoncentrists believe that nonhuman animal life matters less than human life,  and they believe that the world relevant to nonhuman animals and the systems meaningful to nonhuman animals life must not be regarded as a complete world in its own rights in their own terms.

What about the cult of flesh

What about the cult of flesh

It seems to be enough today to eat veggies for a day or adopt the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle for a period of time and then go round pose as a post-vegan informer of a real truth about “meat”-eating or hunting or any other speciesist and non-vegan-compatible action.

When we think about the ideally vegan world, with a vegan society, and I really mean a society with society here, then we don’t think about the ideology of speciesism and how that is installed in our societies, most likely anywhere today on the globe.

Veganism is a moral education to some extent, but morals don’t create legally binding rules.

If human rights were dependent on the moral understanding of people alone, we’d still have torture and killing all around pretty much I think. We as ethical vegans should not overlook the dangers of speciesism. When we ask people to go vegan, we should bear in mind that the “habit” of “meat”-eating didn’t start just because the humans of the past just happened to be speciesist. The human past evolved from being speciesist to still being speciesist exactly on the grounds of held views, beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, philosophies.

Changing the lifestyle only does not go deep enough. One or more thousand years of deeply embedded ways of thinking within a society have to be changed, both on the individual and on the societal level. And the tragic thing with speciesism is, that humans built their understanding of what humanity means mainly on the basis of considering nonhuman animal life as a “lower” life form in a comparative measure to their own life form of being > HOMO SAPIENS.

What we as ethically driven vegans are asking for is a revolution. This encompasses a change in behaviour most of all firstly, but inasmuch it needs a change in thinking – well of course! And that’s where the question about what that cult of flesh is sets in.

I recently had this short exchange on diaspora that I want to close this blog entry with. It’s about just some examples of vegans-turned-animalkiller.

Animal Rights: why there is a similar concern for establishing them alongside human rights

Hello friend: if you read this post or look at it, make sure you have a look and this tumblr entry too. Please talk with your friends about the atrocities of animal sacrifices,be they for religious craziness or for whatever … http://niceswine.tumblr.com/post/12614331791/i-heard-about-the-killing-of-camels

Animal Rights: why there is a similar concern for establishing them alongside human rights

What do you feel are your rights dependent upon? The first instance when you learn about how important it is that you have rights is as a child. If you don’t have rights, anybody might marginalize you because you are weaker than them. Other humans can be in that negative sense the “stronger” ones, that they can potentially just violate the integrity of your individuality completely.

Your rights depend on the basis that the social context amongst which you live shows respect towards you, and accepts that you are weaker in some sense. Additionally the social context around you must leave you the space to “fulfil yourself” to a meaningful (for yourself) and reasonable extent.

Rights have basic social patterns which they require, in order to function “organically” almost. And even more, rights require in their social context and embedding a broader frame of fundamentals. Within this “frame of fundamentals” you will find the entire environmental contexts – nonhuman animals included at the forefront.

The environment is not something passive that is born out of causalities that started off with a big bang universe theory … and nonhuman animals are not the biological instinct bearers as the natural scientists might want to explain them in an oversimplified yet extraordinarily body-centred way. When we make assumptions about what is important in the assumed “instinctual life of an animal”, we just put our assumptions about the animal’s priorities right over them like a cloak under which the real animal will not become to be seen. When I understand that some bird species does some specific singing because he/she wants to mate, then I assume that is what is happening, but I should not claim my assumption to be mirroring the truth of the nonhuman animal. That what is not understood, what remains a world not fully understood by me, can still be a measuring standard in it’s own terms, even if outside my cognitive grasps reach.

Overall, the habitat in which we live is way too complex to be described in solely logical terms, even. On the irrational side yet again, that what we can see in nature is what religions have “sterilized” by setting against natures own (incomprehensive) complexity their single mighty god/divine concepts, as some all inclusive surrogates – with hidden features like a human miracle- producing brain that creates the world and universe and so on. In real life we all have a direct connection to the grandiosity of nature though, that basically totally independent of any prescribed views on it. After all we are part of this universe too. In our singularity. As lonesome single beings.

To come back to where I initially started, animal- and humans rights need each other to go hand in hand, because if we separate our desired rights as superior to what we might only see as the “needs” of animals, then we should ask ourselves: on which planet do we live and with whom are we dealing here? If we will stay and head into a prolonged thinking of us as the centre of the universe, then we will isolate our capacities of thinking and feeling to a perversely narrow circle of ourselves reflecting just what we want to see.

Where do you draw the line, when asking others to act up – ethically?!

Where do you draw the line, when asking others to act up – ethically?!

chatty <3

I often wonder myself about what i can ask of others and what i can ask of myself, as when it comes to: what’s ethically ok, what can we do, and what is asked too much for most people (and even understandably asked too much?).

I don’t want to imply in any way with what I am saying here, that the “do whatever you want to” approach would be a recommendable path to seek in our daily practiced ethics.

What I mainly find worth highlighting in the context is this:

How about letting others down who really need my help and I could help them? Ok many of us would think I am talking about things relating to friends and family. but that’s not what I mean. What I mean is – extend your circle: helping “strangers”.

It shouldn’t be provocative to ask, my question is: is having ones “own” kids a form of letting “others” down by denying the “others” the support I could give them if I instead would chose to feel responsible just as much for them as I would for my own kids?

The other day I heard a fellow vegan talk about vegans who don’t care if exploitative “cheap” labor or any oppressive means were involved in the production process of vegan produce bought, that a vegan person’s care should ideally reach out to the questions of human rights inasmuch. This of course is an undeniably important critical point to bring up. Also this vegan person highlighted the need of a stronger awareness in the fields of veganism and environmentalism and how these two go together, and finally she briefly discussed the importance of making your kids aware of speciesism.

Thinking about vegan parenting made me think of the dilemma everybody of us faces when confronted with the decision: my life as how i would (possibly) want it for myself (having kids) or what about the kids that are born but who really don’t have much of a chance in the world for how we all are setting this world up anew every day.

I’ve taken the decision now. I don’t feel extravagant for having decided to put all my support into helping other’s kids,  nonhuman and human alike, primarily.

 

 

Does life have to be tragic?

Does life have to be tragic?

Certainly people create situations for each other as human beings, but far more than that even for other, nonhuman animal beings and the natural world and the world as a whole, situations which can’t even be hardly fathomed anymore by a word such as “tragic”, situations which leave the one who experiences them horrified and terrified, sad to the highest extent.

“Tragic” is something personal, something that can’t be really located in the broad and politically relevant context, when it refers to the experience of an individual.

No matter what though, we all do suffer from tragic fates, caused by the impacts humans create.

How do we handle our personal tragic experiences, and not let ourselves be emotionally drowned by the bad experiences and thus by others causing such feelings in us?

I think it’s important that we connect that what happens to us personally (I mean on the very private and personal scale) to that what happens in the world and with the world overall. Our personal tragedy is caused by humans who ignore that their lifestyles in all aspects (the ideas the propagate, their behavior, the practical impacts of their doings and their “havings”) affect the actual life of single individuals on really all possible scales.

Humans in the western world on average seek to rationalize their lifestyle by terms such as what is “in” and what “I should have” / own / possess, what is “normal”, what should be everybody’s standard, what is it that “I like”, that “I want”, that I “need”.

The question about the broad “you” is not interesting and even a no no. One simply works against it. The “you” is something like an opposing principle.

We need this “you” to live though! But we should be aware not to reduce it to be a fake “you”, which would consist just of clones of ourselves. It’s a matter of perspective. There is a difference between a collective egotism and an individualist “concernism” or altruism.

Tragedy hinders us from connecting to the other, we become locked within the perspective of the “I” involuntarily. But as we can’t share the feelings of an egotist who causes us to feel tragic in the first place, we end up suffering from the separation we feel between a locked “I” and an out-locked “you”.

Let’s break out of the locked “I” condition when we feel our tragedy, and let’s always see that we are connected with the many “you’s”.

 


Society is politics, but only as what regards their political philosophy

Society is politics, but only as what regards their political philosophy

The private is a chaotic raw base (a necessary, “natural” base). It can be described with psychological terms in the singular and sociological terms in the plural of humanity.

The political sphere needs philosophy, ethics and concepts. It seeks a basis of reason upon which different single individuals can agree.

The sociological just takes people as “how they are”, no matter what their ethical ideals could turn them into on the longer run, whereas the political perspective on society gives society a reason.

The private finds its full potential only when it becomes aware of it’s own ability to create reason, embeds it in a frame of organization that is set as a potential ideal.

Then, even if a person never lives under politically reasonable conditions, the aspiration itself, phrased, thought or practiced on the small scale by the thinking individual, creates a political meaningfulness.

MEANINGFULNESS, that is: One in which the single individual steps out of its own concern onward to show responsibility towards its entire contextualities – regarding nonhuman animals, the natural environment and human beings.

 

The Buddhist paradox

Buddhism is against direct violence, or probably any form of violence in it’s last consequence. Yet still you can consume meat on your path to enlightenment. But I do ask myself: Is live about enlightenment or about justice? A justice that you can possibly implement here, in this live, “unenlightened”, on earth?

Buddhism is against animal sacrifices, and this is noble and a necessary standpoint for any reasonable person, quite independent of their philosophical background. However, if you accept “meat”, which is of course flesh, as a food, you indirectly accept nonhuman animals to be sacrificed for food.

To deny that the basic view of nonhuman animals as a potential source of food – even if indirectly delivered or obtained – is factually linked to an ethical view on life which allows itself to declare someone else as chattel. This is a form of a philosophical acceptance of homocentrism / humancenteredness.

For animals to be just helped for reasons of compassion, is basically another way of belittling them and of furthering a humancentred type of religious outlook upon earth in its realistic (and secular) value (where the factual life counts – itself). You wouldn’t consider human rights questions as a matter of “sole” compassion, but as a matter of day to day politics, or otherwise maybe one could also say: as a matter of a philosophical outlook that might take you to some form of “enlightenment”.

Anyway, of the many thousands of sources, I picked some I guess good and handy wiki references for Buddhism and the nonhuman animals relation IN PRACTICE:

http://myweb.lmu.edu/cchapple/articlechapters.html
“Noninjury to Animals: Jaina and Buddhist Perspectives.” In Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science. Tom Regan, editor. Philadelphia:Temple University Press, 1986, pp. 213-236. (Google Book Preview)

“Nonviolence to Animals in Buddhism and Jainism.” In Inner Peace, World Peace: Essays on Buddhism and Nonviolence, edited by Kenneth Kraft. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. Pp. 49-62. Revised version of “Noninjury to Animals” (Google Book preview)

Buddhist Resources on Vegetarianism
and Animal Welfare, Compiled by Ron Epstein, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bullitt/bfaq.html (see : Are Buddhists vegetarian?)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_vegetarianism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cuisine#Buddhism_and_vegetarianism

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Misconceptions_about_Buddhism

(All links accessed 14th Feb 2014)