We speak with each other, somehow

First I ought to say I hope that nobody who might be picking up on this will be trying to take the issue in a simplisitc way. It is in no regards.

I’ve discussed the theme of ANIMAL LANGUAGES before in an essay I wrote a couple of years ago, and I am coming back to this topic in form of a additional project that I want to start on this site:

A Human + Nonhuman mutual translation project.

This is gonna be difficult, because I don’t want to imposed neither any potentially restricitve definitions on my nonhuman fellows that I am working with, nor do I want to cater to the chorus of voices who seek to belittle Nonhumans on the basis of their cultures and languages being different and for us not translatable.

But right here I must pause, because: why can’t we translate Nonhuman Animals?

As I previoulsy suggested, as anti-speciesist I don’t see a difference when it comes to trying to unserstand “my opposite” – I think we can try to understand each other possibly, if we come to see our own language (and parameters) as relative.

I come from a non- or der anti-biologistic and anti-humancentric approach, and I only want to turn my views into public input, because it is horrifically ridiculous and more than that tragic, that we narrow down the idea of language to a contemporary and highly restricted definition of the term.

Animals …

We speak. We all have different approaches of how we try to understand each other, but to draw a line based on biology is problematic, as long as we fail to question that parameter of explanation.

I suggest to get away from any speciesist paradigm (see fragment of forms of speciesism) and use plain and naked reason to find solitions to accepting communication as a fact in itself (without further reproach to explicability within a humancentric dominant context) and I believe a broadened classification of ‘language” in terms of our own human language even is needed, and which can’t aswell be narrowed down to a set of neurological and technical terms.

 

Vegan Bands: We asked the Madrilenian activist band Eu Libre about the power of intersectionality in ethical veganism

Spain, Madrid, veganism, anti-speciesism and intersectional activism:

“La búsqueda del poder es el epitafio de la honestidad.” (The search for might is the epitaph of honesty) – Eu Libre

Dear Eu Libre, as a vegan band, what’s most important to you about ethical veganism?

Eu Libre has always defended veganism as a respectful way of life with other animals, opposing the use and promoting an anti-speciesist position. Also, our music has always shown other prejudices, whether sexist, racist, homophobic or other reasons. Our message has always been close to libertarian ideas, due to animal rights, big respect for nature and direct action groups like the ALF and E.L.F.

EU LIBRE – ESPECISMO

Hablamos de dolor, libertad y sufrimiento
y no cabe distinción en que sean propios o ajenos.
Luchamos contra el mundo cuando el mundo es una trampa,
sordo a los lamentos que produce cada granja.

Nos quieren vincular con el terrorismo
quienes devoran el fruto de su sadismo.
Nuestra condición, el poder de elección
nos ha hecho alimentar nuestra compasión.

No hay línea divisoria, si es cuestión de respeto,
que sienta es lo que importa, demostrarlo nuestro reto.
Los prejuicios sucumben, la historia es testigo.
¿Por qué no habría de caer también el especismo?

Tenemos una meta, un claro objetivo,
nos mantenemos firmes, leales, unidos.
Nuestra revolución tiene un principio fijo,
vaciar todas las jaulas, poner fin al especismo.

Queremos acabar con granjas y mataderos,
con piscifactorías y con barcos pesqueros,
con zoos, con acuarios y con laboratorios
con toda explotación, con todo sufrimiento.

Todas nuestras fuerzas contra el especismo.
Luchar, empujar contra los pilares del especismo.
Todas nuestras fuerzas contra el especismo.
Pensar, actuar, dispuestos a acabar con el especismo.

Sabemos que un circo es una cárcel de animales.
La tauromaquia es la tradición de los cobardes.
Un rodeo es sumisión, inaceptable humillación.
Los correbous son protegidos, ¿es cultura de nación?

No hay excusas que abrigar: piel es crueldad,
la maldad de quien se niega a aceptar
que todo ser que siente precisa de su vida,
que todo ser que piense se opone a la injusticia.

Queremos acabar con granjas y mataderos,
con piscifactorías y con barcos pesqueros,
con zoos, con acuarios, y con laboratorios
con toda explotación, con todo sufrimiento.

“The fight is not for us. We can create that justice and we can deliver that freedom. The animals have no one but us. We will not fail them. ”

All our forces joined against speciesism.
Fight, push, move, act, go on against speciesism.
All our forces joined against speciesism.
Thinking, striving, willing to end, speciesism.

Da igual lo que digan, caza es asesinato.
Nosotros no luchamos para mejorar el trato,
no queremos regular la injusticia y la miseria.
Pedimos de verdad un cambio de conciencia.

Speciesism.

Activistas no dudéis, acabemos ya con el especismo.

From Eu Libre’s album: En la línea del Frente (45,77 MB), released on 26 March 2013.

Voces: Maggie y Eu, Letra: Eu. Traducción: Maggie, Base: 1101vs13, Arreglos: Filter DJ, Locución original: Barry Horne.

Eu Libre on Bandcamp and tweeting @EuLibre.

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.

 

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”.

 


Thoughts about the languages of animals

multicolored dog by farangis yegane

THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LANGUAGES OF ANIMALS
Palang Latif

I can’t see how a term such as ‘animal language’ could pose a problem to anybody when it directly refers to an animal’s way of communication. I am however critical of people who ‘translate’ animals in stereotype ways.

Nevertheless I could apologize for using a word that describes the phenomenon that humans see as exactly the very one criterion which most sharply shows the difference between humans and all other animals. The word ‘language’ has evolved in the human mind and possesses as such its linguistic legitimacy.

The word ‘language’ belongs to one of the core conceptions of the most drastic forms of negative speciesism. Regarding this presumed ground I have to stand upon, I apologize for the insufficience of my attempt to communicate something for which I can insofar only borrow this word, and I dare to ask you to perhaps think of a second word ‘language’ – free of value in a sense – which would only describe what we may not be able to describe yet within the borders of our set of regulations as we have them currently in regards to language; I am well aware that people usually don’t want to accept that this one human term ‘language’ can be used tightly paralleled to animal language, and that so far the word ‘animal language’ has only be tolerated on a scientifical level to refer to human parameters that have been applied to animal communication.

Animals speak their languages, but what their languages consist of, could only be understood if we communicated with them on a level that allows them to use their language.

Animal languages work like human languages, where you can translate what you understand and try to put how-you-can-understand-the-message or that what you understand into your terms of your language.The same happens when I talk to any other individual: I comprehend what she/he/it conveys in the restrictedness or unrestrictedness of my own terms. My terms don’t merely underly semantics – though they might be translated back and forth into semantics, morphems and syntax. My own terms and concepts have, in spite of their belonging to my system of language, a restricted meaning. In a very basic sense I have to rely on that what I understand or confer to that what I perceive.

The languages of animals (there are more animal languages than human languages of course) are seen by us as having a super restricted meaning. If we take the position of the nonhuman side in general, we can say though that human languages are restricted in that they only apply to humans. And seen from a standpoint which takes into account the question of perspective, I can say that if I don’t understand a dog, it’s because she belongs to a different animal ‘group’ when compared to my human group.

‘Communication’ infers meaning to the act of communicating on any level of any sound produced by a communicative agent.

Does language necessarily have to be connected to the history, the past, the present and the future of human progress? Why should animals have ever evolutionary or in any wise chosen to contextualize their existence with the human existence? A being of an animal group or I’d like to say an animal culture, clearly differenciates that what is important to their own existence; and I would call this rather their philosophy instead of just an evolutionary occurence.

I find it permissible to use a word of the human language to describe something I witness, on an experiential basis, about the side of someone (animals) who uses another language. Also ,I prefer to call the expresssed existence of nonhuman animals a philosphy, since it is too simple and anthropocentrically self-serving to underlie animal existence pure evolutionary ends. I do draw from my personal observations which seem sufficient for me to make my own judgements in this case and to make a decision about what to think here.

Basically I think that everybody knows that animals have their languages, but that we usually deny that these languages, that we don’t understand, have any meaning at all. But how would we not deny any meaning of animal communication that would go beyond the notions that our societies generally have about even the being itself of animals; we deny the fact of a self-authorative being of animals in itself in it’s whole meaning. So, no surprise that we draw major qualitative lines. In terms of language, we create a complicated building of restrictions to exclude the nonhuman animals from the comparatively tolerant perspectives that we have in regards to the pluralism of human languages. (It’s ok for a human language to be completely different, just because it’s human.)

We deny another animal that it’s not instinctal, because it’s not a human. You can indeed call everything an instict. Still you can’t really prove that it is “instict”. You can just put the ‘supposed carrier of an instict’ in a setting where they are treated as such instinctual things and seen as such, and interpreted as such.

Possibilities

Human rights in favour of animal rights may hopefully be another way to convey that an opinion of a human majority can’t represent a truth about any individual animal and the whole animal groups:The animal individual itself is a truth-bearer since it exists, and simply by that it represents, through how it lives (in its own rights and in its own terms) a truth. Just like I judge humans I meet by the impact of truth (their actions are possible just by shere existence), I would want to be as just as I can towards the ways in which individual animals live.

Art doesn’t function through semantics, since there are shapes and colours!
Micky Mouse doesn’t function through semantics, since there are figures and action!
Snowball doesn’t function through semantics, since there is Lisa taking her seriously enough!
Music doesn’t function through semantics, since there is play and composition!
Oppression doesn’t function through semantics, since there are suppressors
Love doesn’t funtion through semantics, since there is understanding and misunderstanding
Peace doesn’t funtion through semantics, since there are underlying actions … And this array could go on and on. Anyway, and still this is all part of our language?

What we do when we speak about ‘animals’ and ‘language’ is: We reduce the complexity of animal communication to linguitstical terms into which they may not fit. Instead of admitting the existence and relevance of other communicative systems as being really independent from our systems and thus not explainable through purely and solely biologcal criteria (insinct).

I have compounded two things:

1. the function of the term ‘instinct’ as a) serving to restrict the notion of a socio-ethical plane as to only having developed in and being attributable to humans and ‘human groups/cultures’ and b) its intended reduction of the scope and meaning of communication in nonhuman animals to a biologically explainable and manipulatively determinable code,

and 2. I have defined linguistics as an inadequate means of setting general rules for a communicative validity.

Instincts and linguistics are things that are working in our systems of categorisation.

In regards to the self-cetegorization going along with this, I also want to point out that our own language does not base a) on merely a functional basis neither in connection to the agent that uses language nor in connection with the subjects that language seeks to deal with, and b) that our language might also not just be a compound of what linguistics (and maybe physiological aspects of speaking added or so) alone can make out of it.

Generally: Cultural (in a non-homocentric sense, i.e. implying “the natural” on an equal scale)) and individual aspects play a role too, as well with humans as with animals when communicating!

I do state again that the word culture can to my opinion also be applied to animals – if one allows a culture to be really and profoundly different [from “our” cultures] too.

The multicolored dog in the top left corner is by Farangis Yegane, from her book ‘Farbenlehre’ – Color Theory, see an excerpt here: http://www.simorgh.de/objects/251107_1 .

This essay ist also on my veganswines.com site at: http://www.veganswines.com/andishe/animallanguage.htm and published in my veganswines reader 08 (Paddling of the Ducks educational press) in a printed form.