Neovegan perspectives

erfane-secular_1a

Every living being on this earth has its own place in the universe – practically. The world should not be seen anthropocentrically simply because we can’t fathom the meaningfulness of other life in regards to those dimensions which we don’t know much or even anything about. Other “dimensions” of meaning aren’t restricted to physics and mathematical abstraction: ethics, and its substance (life!) too has dimensions beyond a narrow anthropocentric reach.

If I take the ethical vastness and comprehensiveness into account, I am able to see that every action I can do, and every wrong I don’t do, wherever I am, has an impact on the life around me. Taking the interest of all life into a wide ethical (in a sense of setting oneself in a creative relation) consideration, makes the action of the individual meaningful.

G. and F. Yegane Arani, 5 Neovegan Perspectives

Der Freund als Seele, die Seele als Freund

In der alt-iranischen Kultur galt Gott als das Prinzip aller Dinge und nicht als Schöpfer der Perfektion der Phänomene/der Welt.

Jede Seele eines Lebewesens galt als Haus, Sitz und Mitte des “Freundes” زوُش = زاوُوش – so lautete ein Name der alt-iranischen Gottheit/en.

Gott, der das Prinzip aller Freundschaft/Liebe bildet, ist Seele jedes Lebewesens, und so ist die Seele jedes Lebewesens auch die Grundlage der Freundschaft/Liebe.

In jeder Seele befindet sich dieses Prinzip der Freundschaft/Liebe und es bildet den Anlass der Suche und des Findens.

خدا، در فرهنگ ایران، «ا صل همه چیزهاست»، نه شخص خالقی که فراسوی چیزها وگیتی میباشد. پس جان هرانسانی، خانه ونشیمنگاه و میهنِ «دوست = زوُش = زاوُوش» هست که نام خدای ایران بوده است. خدا که اصل دوستی است، جان هرانسانیست، پس جان هرانسانی، اصل دوستیست. اینست که باید درجان هر انسانی، این دوست، این اصل دوستی را جُست و یافت.

– M. Jamali

How to dismantle speciesism?

Speciesism

– is not something unintentional, even if automatized for a big part in peoples thinking,

– it’s embedded in human history, it did not come overnight,

– it has many forms and problematic facets,

– and it is interconnected.

If we look at the foundations of this concept of species hierarchy (i.e. speciesism), we can see that a.) their fallacies can be dismantled, and b.) there is no option of not trying.

On what does speciesism base?

Different key aspect of speciesism lay in our perspectives and epistemologies coming from our angles of Religion/Spirituality, Rationality/Science, Philosophy, Culture/Civilization, Individuality/Society, in other words: the same factors that influence our outlooks on other humans and nature/the natural world.

The conflicts stemming from the systems underlying our views are comprehensive. Speciesism however is an expression of the fallacies of such systems.

This fragment as a PDF

TIERAUTONOMIE / Gruppe Messel

A not so clear relation: Animal Agency and Morality

Animal Agency and Morality

IS “MORAL AGENCY” A VALID CRITERION FOR CLASSIFYING DIFFERENT FACETS OF ANIMALITY?

The idea of “moral agency” resumes similar anthropocentric allocations in terms of biological and cultural demarkers, such as the conservative (species-hierarchical) hypotheses about Nonhumans have done.

The construction of “morality” as an act, should however ideally draw on non-anthropocentric perspectivic angles, to enable itself to touch upon the grounds of the large spectrum of co-existential modalities.

Questions:

1.) Which features, abilities and attributes are typically assumed as making up “animal agency” and, respectively, as typically making up “not-animal-agency”?

2.) On which criterions do these classifications base?

3.) What would a map of “animal agency” look like from a nonanthopocentric perspective?

TIERAUTONOMIE / Gruppe Messel

Mitgefühl als bedingter Gerechtigkeitsaspekt

Überlegung zu: Pazifismus

Zum Schutz von Leben hat Mitgefühl erst dann einen effektiven Sinn, wenn die Gerechtigkeit als Inhalt und Ziel dabei nicht aus den Augen verloren wird.

(HUMANITY) Im rechtlich durch Menschenrechtskonventionen abgesichterten Bereich, braucht das sensible Gleichgewicht des „Friedens“ eine gewisse Absicherung durch Maßnahmen, die „schützende Gewalt“ nicht immer und nicht gänzlich ausschließen.

(ANIMALITY) Im Falle oppressiver Gewalt gegen Nichtmenschen erwarten wir von Menschen die Freiwilligkeit und appellieren an das Mitgefühl, weil wir die Nichtmenschen in einer speziesistischen Gesellschaft und Welt gegenwärtig auf keiner gesellschaftlich und politisch konstituierten rechtlichen Grundlage schützen können.

Mitgefühl allein reicht in der Konfrontation mit nakter Gewalt aber in keiner Form aus.

Die einzige Grundlage, die eine Chance auf das Recht des Schutzes vor Gewalt (systemischer oder individueller Natur) bietet, ist die grundlegende Einforderung von Gerechtigkeit.

(Pazifismus im Kontext mit‚Humanity’ und ‚Animality’ als politisch definitorische Bereiche.)

TIERAUTONOMIE / Gruppe Messel

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.

 

A vegan economy? Where to start.

Human society annexes every ‘natural’ space, primarily through societal economic processes.

‘Nonhuman Animal Rights’ thus have to cover all spaces on the globe – within human communities and within the natural environment overall.

In regards to creating a ‚vegan economy’:

1. First of all we should address the history of ‘rule and possession’.

a.) Different economic models have been historically existent. Which components came into play for forming current economical models (i.e. the capitalist economies and socialist inspired economies) in pure economic terms, politically, socially?

b.) Which forms of political rule went along with ‘ownership’ and ‘dominion’ (annexation of ‘nature)? And what created the basis of legitimization in rule, such as in: monarchies, democracies, tyrannies, as grounded for example on: religion, ideology, philosophy?

c.) How did forms of ‘rule’ and ‘authority’ interact with exploitative contractualist agendas such as imperialism, colonialism, nationalism?

An aspect to highlight: Legitimization falters or ends where the ‘entitlement’ for ‘rule and possession’ excludes and comes into conflict with interests / rights of other human beings, other animals and the ‘natural’ realm / ‘nature’.

2. Secondly we should see how ‘economy’, as a societal material construct, and ‘nature’, as an borderless/undefined space, conflict.

a.) What stands at the centre of the conflict between our human-centred economic matrices (as systems of ‘rule and possession’) versus ‘natural’ and autonomous life? What are core reasons for conflict? (The reasons might stand alongside the questions of legitimization.)
b.) Society’s inability for groundbreaking political change, and the inability for change on the private scale (in the individual’s life in society) as being part of society, extends the need for the legitimization of ‘dominion’/’rule’, exploitation and destruction – it otherwise leads to rebellion.

What can be alternative forms of economic societal organization?

3. How does veganism – as entailing some of the key aspects needed to form a pacifist eco-consciousness – offer ways out of economic systems that utilize ‘nature’, nonhumans and “powerless” humans, in different degrees, as resources or as in the case of humans, as partly involuntary collaborators?

a.) Discuss the need for veganism to become aware of its own politicalness, in problem-solving and problem-creating terms.
b.) The core of veganism, taken as a social revolutionary ‘movement’, mainly differs from other liberation movements because of its primary focus on nonhuman animal exploitation and nonhuman animal murder / zoacide … .

Economic ethics or non-ethics:

Where does profiteering from (or/and voluntary collaboration with) ecocide and zoacide mainly begin?

How are humans affected today by the consequences of economically driven ecocide and zoacide, ethically?

How do you think should ethical vegans work against ecocide and zoacide, despite the “vegan revolution’s” minority constellation within society?

Besitznahme durch Abwertung und Definition. Beraubung tierlicher Autonomie.

Wenn Nichtmenschen nicht autonom wären, und nur der Mensch es wäre, wann in der Evolution und womit hätte diese menschliche Autonomie dann angesetzt, und warum sollte tierliches Handeln und Denken nicht als vom Menschen und seiner Objektivitätswahrnehmung autonom anerkannt werden?

„Seinen eigenen Gesetzen folgend / early 17th cent.: from Greek autonomia, from autonomos ‘having its own laws,’ fromautos ‘self’ + nomos ‘law.’“ – Zoe Autonomos

Besitznahme durch Abwertung und Definition. Beraubung tierlicher Autonomie.

(Fragment)

Wir sprechen eher den Tieren ihre tierliche evolutionäre Autonomie ab, statt dass wir an totalitäre Strukturen in der Menschheit im Bezug auf Nichtmenschen und die natürliche Umwelt glauben. Unser Blick auf Nichtmenschen und die „Natur“ ist in einer Art verstellt, dass unsere Abwertungen vor uns selber akzeptabel erscheinen.

Der Missstand der Ungerechtigkeit ist, dass wir versuchen die tierliche Autonomie zu zerstören (physische Eingriffe und Maßnahmen) und mittels Speziesismus (geistig ideologisch) zu unterminieren.

„Besitz“ ist die Folge der Absprache tierlicher Autonomie.

„Tierverteidiger“ die für die physische Unversehrtheit von Nichtmenschen plädieren, den Nichtmenschen aber weiterhin ihre eigene tierliche Autonimie (vom Menschen und an und für sich) absprechen, betreiben eine unbewusste radikale Form des Anthropozentrismus und des Speziesismus.

Wir verbinden den Würdebegriff mit der Fähigkeit eines eigenen, unabhängigen Daseins (Autonomie).

Durch speziesistische Kunstgriffe bereiten wir den geistigen Boden in einer Gesellschaft vor, um den Besitzstatus eines Lebewesens zu legitimieren und als vertretbar erscheinen zu lassen.

Was ist unserem allgemeinen Verständnis nach Autonomie, siehe z.B. Wikipedia (für den vielleicht breitesten Allgemeinplatz) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomie?

Wenn Nichtmenschen etwas haben – „the wild and tamed beast“ – dann ist es Autonomie. Sie leben „von Natur aus“ in der Natur autonom – wenn wir sie nicht ihrer Freiheit berauben. Wir behaupten, Nichtmenschen seien Instinktbestimmt, und genau da setzt die Besitznahme durch arbitäre Abwertungsmechanismen ein: Wir machen uns Tiere nutzbar und „Untertan“, indem wir sie ihrer Existenzautonomie mit der Behauptung des Instinktverhaltens (kausaltiätsbestimmtes Verhalten) zu berauben versuchen.

Die Abhängigkeit von Lebensnotwendigkeiten als Instinktgeleitetheit zu interpretieren, ist eine Form der Minderbewertung der Angreifbarheit, der Verletzlichkeit und Bedingtkeit des Lebens – jedes Lebens. Jedes Lebewesen ist abhängig und bedingt, aber gleichzeitig auch autonom. Autonomie ist der zarte Keim der Verletzlichkeit tierlicher und menschliche Würde … .

Da ein Tier autonom handelt und denkt, ist es autotom. Der Vesuch der Eingrenzung tierlichen Denkens in anthopozentrisch definierte Parameter, ist eine Besitznahme durch die definitorische Interpretation tierlichen Denkens und Handelns.

Tierautonomie – tierliche Autonomie; ein paar eklektisch ausgewählte interessante Aspekte

Animal Autonomy:

In Veterenary Care:

Here I would simply suggest that “animal autonomy” is worthy of careful attention from philosophers and scientists and veterinarians. Animals are self-governing and make meaningful choices, in ways very similar to humans. As with our fellow humans, we should strive to understand and respect the preferences of other creatures. Research in ethology is continuing to explore how to understand animal preferences and how these preferences are expressed in observable behaviors. It is worth noting, too, that although the language of “autonomy” has not yet been strongly present in the veterinary literature, the concept has been important in the animal ethics literature more broadly. Tom Regan, for example, talked in his ground-breaking The Case for Animal Rights(1983) about animals as autonomous beings, with their own interests and desires. Regan even includes a very interesting discussion of what he calls “preference autonomy” and explores some of the ways in which autonomy in animals is different from autonomy in humans.

Animals and Autonomy. Can this vitally important ethical concept be meaningfully applied to animals? Jessica Pierce, Ph.D. in All Dogs Go to Heaven

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-dogs-go-heaven/201303/animals-and-autonomy

 

Animal Sanctitiy and Animal Sacrifice: How Post-Dawinian Fiction Treats Animal Victosm by Marian Scholtmeyer, Dissertation, 1989, pp. 57.

Animal Ethics:

Kantian ethics is normally not the place to look for an account of  direct moral obligations towards animals, as Kant claimed that we only owe animals indirect moral duties, out of respect towards the rest of  humanity. In chapter four, I consider modern reinterpretations of Kant’s arguments to provide support for the claim that animals should be  considered ends-in-themselves. I argue that despite the strength of these accounts, the concept of agency and selfhood that I support provides a better foundation for claiming animals as ends-in-themselves, and that respect for animal autonomy can be grounded on a Kantian argument for the respect of autonomy more broadly. I claim that in virtue of their agency and selfhood, animals should be considered ends-in-themselves, thereby including them in the moral community. My view is novel in that it includes agency, selfhood and autonomy as those features which make anyone, human or nonhuman, morally considerable.

Agency and Autonomy: A New Direction for Animal Ethics by Natalie Evans. Dissertation.

https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/bitstream/handle/10012/8158/evans_natalie.pdf?sequence=1

Animal Rights / Animal Liberation

How can I save an Animal today or stop these atrocities now? Even for just a few critters. Because that’s the context we so often miss. It’s about Animal autonomy, not about how the government turns on the people that care about the Animals. But while I’m on the subject, it’s nothing new!

Walter Bond, Green is the New Rage, http://supportwalter.org/SW/index.php/2011/06/24/green-is-the-new-rage/

Animal Caregiving

Kerulos Center Caring for the Caregiver  Project. The project’s overarching goal is to foster awareness and support for animal care organizations and caregiver wellbeing to help achieve the vision of a compassionate, ethical, trans-species society founded on mutual wellbeing.

http://kerulos.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Kerulos-Caring-for-Caregiver-Report-Final.pdf

Alle Links: 25. März 2014.

 

Seeing Big Birds

More on: Animal Portrayals.

Big bird cartoon by Ken Eaton

The family of the big walking birds, like the Moas (extinct), Nandus, Emus, Ostriches, Elephant Birds (Aepyornis maximus, extict). They tend to be seen only in regards to their being different than the “typical” flying birds, and their size is highlighted as if they had something absurd about them.

Table I.

We attribute certain animals to certain stances we have towards them; each species, each subspecies, has a certain box that a “human cultural context” holds ready for them.

We lack the ethical barrier, the healthy taboo, to understand that nonhumans are not to be threatened, ridiculed, hated, and relegated into irrelevancy if we want to have a comprehensive ethical outlook on the world – the kind of taboos we have learned and are constantly in a process of learning when we face each other.

Table II.

Seeing nonhuman animals of today, we like to relate them to their ancestors in a fascinated yet freak-show-like way: we look how they compare in sizes, who ate who, and why they wouldn’t “survive” or evoluted, we say they look or looked “weird” or awesome. 

 Table III.

In past cultures and civilizations nonhumans were perceived with myth. Now, even extinct and ancient animals that we have never seen in real life, are placed by us into this taboo free zone, where we feel they reinforce our current objectifying speciesist attitudes.

Images:

TableI.:

“Bones from the moa – a large, flightless and extinctNew Zealandbird – were collected from the early 19th century. Public servant and naturalist Walter Mantell was an important collector of moa bones. He sent large collections to Richard Owen of theBritishMuseum, who was the first scientist to identify moa species. Here, Mantell is fancifully depicted perched on a partly skeletal moa. The document under his arm refers to his government work setting aside land reserves for Māori.”

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/artwork/37312/walter-mantell-riding-a-moa

Table II.:

Hundsköpfige, Kopflose, Einäugige, Fußschattner (Herodot), Ident.Nr. VIII A 1607. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Ethnologisches Museum.

http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=617600

Table III.:

“A rock painting that appears to be of a bird that went extinct about 40,000 years ago has been discovered in northern Australia. If confirmed, this would be the oldest rock art anywhere in the world, pre-dating the famous Chauvet cave in southern France by some 7,000 years.”

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2010/06/bird-rock-art-could-be-worlds-oldest/

All links: 20. 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.