Neovegan perspectives


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?


– 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


A not so clear relation: Animal Agency and Morality

Animal Agency and Morality


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.


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?


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.)


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.


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)

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


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.

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,

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.

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.



“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.”

Table II.:

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

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.”

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.


Why speciesism is evil

Why speciesism is evil

Palang LY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on: Animal Portrayals.

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

Palang LY

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

Insects in mythology are mostly explained as a phenomenon that stands for a “symbolism”. It seems that authors / researchers find it hard to imagine that for instance the Scarabaeus (attributed in the Egyptian pantheon to the God Kheper), a “dung beetle”, was appreciated for more than just that, what humans attributed to him in terms of their own anthropocentric concept of the earth, its meaning and the universe.

What if for instance the early Egyptians did see a world of unique value in the life and activities of the scarab beetles?

It could likely be that it was fascinating to observe, how the beetles rolled this ball of soil and dung, to think about what meaning the beetles might have given to their existence on earth overall. Maybe it was that ancient civilizations / cultures still had the ability to take nonhuman animals as cultures. A small beetle that rolls a ball like a planet, from which new insect life would spring forth … .

A typical thought you find on the topic of nonhuman animals and nature in mythologies is, that humans would imbue nature with meaning. Quite contrarily, people could have felt that nature did in fact have meaning, and that nature (being) is meaning.

As far as I could find out now, the most prominent mythologies about insects and alike, evolve around: bees, butterflies, spiders, scorpions, cicadas and the scarab beetles.

Additionally, if we add the heavy weight of underlying such a relationship in mythology to our today’s definition of “symbolism” – that is if we say that i.e. such insects were mere symbols for anthropomorphic attributions – then we should scrutinize more closely the epistemological history of “symbols” and the term’s etymology to shed light on the construct we apply here.


1. Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, 1969,
2. Carl Spitzweg, Der Schmetterlingsfänger, 1840.

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

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

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

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

Jesaja 14:29

Tierliche Repräsentationen in Mythologien und Folklore:

Krönleinnattern und Basilisken

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

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

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

Die „Kranlnatter“ als Elementargeist



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

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

Die Sage über die „Natter mit dem Krönchen“ würde an sich unauffällig bleiben, weil uns das Märchen, hauptsächliche überliefert von Ludwig Bechstein (Das Natterkrönlein,, kaum bekannt ist im Vergleich zu anderen populäreren Volksmärchen, aber die folkloristische Überlieferung weist auf eine besondere Rolle dieses tierlichen „Elementargeistes“ hin.

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

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

Krönleinnattern und Basilisken

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Abraxas / Anguipede / Gnosis

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



Engraving from an Abrasax stone.




Hargrave Jennings, The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries, 1907, S. 142

Klarerweise auf der Grundlage der Würde verteidigen

Klarerweise auf der Grundlage der Würde verteidigen

Ein Fragment von Thorm pk

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

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

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

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

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

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


Speciesist narcissism

An introductory fragment: Many forms of speciesism.

Speciesist narcissism

A question of identity (human vs. animal) –
in which a human hides his/her factual individuality (i.e. human collectivism as a shield)
beneath the psychological and/or physical violence against animal dignity.


Are you aware about examples of speciesist narcissism?

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

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

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

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


“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.


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 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.


Feminism, Speciesism, Anthropocentrism – and the need to rethink the sexism / speciesism analogy

Feminism, Speciesism, Anthropocentrism

Examples of female rhetorics of speciesism: Objectification of beings oppressed, animalesque figures made with wool / felt; Lesbianism and dead nonhumans and trophys as cultural heritage; Helplessness and helping as an act of public viewing, link 1, link 2; the daily randnomness of the gender / nonhuman animal speciesist contexts, women taking/being part … (all links acc. 16. July 2013)

Is a self-critical view on gender / being a woman / feminism necessary? What would speak against it? We know that in our daily lives we, as women, make decisions that touch on core grounds that turn the private / the personal into the political. As vegans we know how impactful our personal choices are, and as social beings we also know how hard it can be to draw a line between the social expectations that one tries to fit in (in order to find a job, to be liked and accepted, keep ones family together, and so forth).

Speciesism, as remote as it seems, is to be found at the same point where “my-choice-to-decide-otherwise” (or not) crosses just any implications of socialization that I feel are ethically unjustifiable. When I rant against sexism I might as well rant against an injustice that targets nonhumans, if I am a vegan anti-speciesist minded person.

Speciesism can be understood to work socially as an ideology, where people who are convinced of their degrading stance believe in a collectively held fiction that is assumed and agreed upon as objectivity, so that no rebuttal can take place on “rational grounds”.

Women do feel at home in this construct inasmuch as men do, on the large scale. Both 50 percent of humanity, male and female, believe so much in human superiority that they are willing to constitute part of a speciesist society by fulfilling their individual part in the fiction.

“Gender” defines itself from interaction within a group or society. Being oppressed as a woman doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t be oppressive towards nonhuman animals. Drawing an analogy between sexism (or genderism) and speciesism does not take account of the different reasons and histories why the victim gets oppressed in the first place – for what ends, and how exactly.

If we turn a blind eye on the gender specific functions of speciesism and anthropocentrism we might risk a loophole in our argumentation for our own rights defending nonhumans and for integral Animal Rights themselves.

Speciesism is a unique tragedy. The history of being classified as “animals” by humans, with all that entailed, as beings whose existence had been on earth aeons before humans evolved, can’t be compared to any other form of oppression by simple analogy. Being objectified as solely “animate”, being slaughterable, edible, huntable, vivisectable, being objectifiable and judged as “definable” in the first place constitutes an incomparable situation for the affected subject, and hints at a unique technique of injustice on behalf of the oppressive side that is being applied to this victimized group.

Comparisons between different forms of oppression are extensively helpless efforts.

Either we plainly name that natural sciences, religion, philosophy mass society can’t legitimately classify the beings we call “nonhuman animals”, or we stay stuck in our psychological accompliceship with the very hierarchical and oppressive “systems” we criticize so vehemently as what regards our own pains.

I don’t see an alternative.

Image  © 2013 @farangisyegane

The problems we cause for animals and for each other, and the fine distinction

Late night rambling, please excuse the roughness

Two things

A.) Elitism in the vegan movement

B.) Eliminating animal death is one thing, but as far as our inner conflicts as a human society are concerned (capitalism, socialism questions) we should first think about our GREED (as a trait and character deformity that counts as normal today) before we put the discardment of animal products alongside on the shelf with some of the symptoms of intra-human social injustice.

The ‘new animal’ first!

Can we rightly say it’s the same to exclude animal products for ethical reasons and addressing our inner human political and social crisis? What causes a intra-human political and social crisis? In the end of the day it’s each of us and how we shape daily life in every possible step, and also how we seek to shape our careers, that directly impacts the social and political dilemmas.

EVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION is the disastrous link between the misery we impose upon nonhuman animals and our societal and individual self-definitions as the human group.

There is morally no way round to primarily address animal issues alongside an aim of a new ‘enlightenment’ that progresses but also alters term of ‘human’ (animal!) freedom. Since animals are our co-beings that we draw into the total catastrophe without any ethical legitimization whatsoever, animal rights will redefine much of our cultural self understanding/s.

We have to stop leading our personal lives and our collective goals so, that we keep on with the exploitation and the destruction of the free natural space that is originally and rightly the animal habitat! Separating the notion of an intact animal habitat (nature) from our rights-self-definition would throw us back into a heavily anthropocentrist thinking.

We should really rethink how we as humans act, on every scale! What we likely consider to be NORMAL, is likely in reality homocentrist/anthropocentrist selfishness and destructivity. When we step out of this “NORMALITY” and lead an UNNORMAL way of life, we don’t even accept that we might be doing the only thing that will open our sight, since we got so used to the narrowmindedness of ‘being human’ and not our (very individual and perhaps in this world lonely) selves. We need to have courage – again, and again and again. Against all “odds”!

And I have to note: Elitism in the vegan and animal advocacy movement … In one sentence, I don’t think elitism helps on the long run with a liberation movement.

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.

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