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

An individual’s narrative – Animal Autonomy

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

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

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

TIERAUTONOMIE / GRUPPE MESSEL

Kritisches Weißsein, Rassismus und Veganismus

Kritisches Weißsein / kritische Weißseinstudien / kritische Weißseinsforschung und Rassismus sind immernoch unbearbeites Gebiet im akademischen und aktivistischen Bereich in der Tierbefreungsbewegung / Tierrechtsbewegung im deutschsprachigen Raum. Wir haben zum Thema einige Texte und Autor_innen vorgestellt. Hier soll nochmal darauf hingewiesen werden, und wir möchen den Lesern zum Themengebiet “vegane Intersektionalität unter dem Gesichtspunkt kritischer Weißseinsforschung” empfehlen:

Dr. A. Breeze Harper: Die Sistah Vegan Anthologie.Eine Buchvorstellung Vortrag: Vegane Nahrungsmittelpolitik: eine schwarze feministische Perspektive

Anastasia Yarbrough: Weißes Überlegenheitsdenken und das Patriarchat schaden Tieren.

 

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.

 

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


Io – Farangis G Yegane

Animal Thealogy:

Man-Machine? Animal Reason! (2)

(And this was part one of that text.)

Palang LY

A geometrical image

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

Group B are circles.

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

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

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

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

Let’s take this as our metaphor

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does morality consist of?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


Vulnerable by Farangis Yegane

Animal Thealogy:

Man-Machine? Animal Reason! (Part 1)

Palang LY

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

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

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

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

What other options are there?

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a question of perspective!

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

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

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

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

Animal individuality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of part 1

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

 

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.

Veganismus und Intersektionalität


Warum intersektional ethisch vegan?

Palang LY

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Intersektionalität ist dem Veganismus eigentlich inhärent. Der Veganismus berührt unterschiedliche ethische Felder, wobei am zentralsten die Gebiete unmittelbar um das Mensch-Tier-Verhältnis sind. An tierethische Fragen binden sich dann weiter die ökologischen Themen und diejenigen Fragen, die all das, was ‚Menschen ausschließlich’ anbetrifft, mit einbeschließen.

Ökologie und Gesundheit, die beiden Säulen des Veganismus, sind selbstverständlich genauso politische Themen. Im Zusammenhang mit dem Veganismus ergeben sich also Tangenten, die wir als die Intersektionen zweier perspektivischer Herkunftsorte (der Veganismus und soziale/politische Positionen) bezeichnen können.

Zur Zeit existieren einige vegane Projekte, die sich besonders solchen Schnittstellen zuwenden. Wichtige Themen sind dabei die Nahrungsmittelgerechtigkeit, Rassismus, Feminismus, Sexismus, Homophobie, Ableismus (die Diskriminierung behinderter Menschen), usw. Alle diese Themen werden in solchen Projekten mit dem Veganismus und aus veganer Sicht kontextualisiert.

Organisationen, Gruppen und Initiativen wie beispielweise das Food Empowerment Project, Sistahvegan, Vegans of Color, vegan-feministische Gruppen und Blogs, oder ein neueres Buchprojekt, das sich dem Thema ‘Behinderung und ethischer Veganismus’ zuwendet (The Disabled Vegan Reader), sind vegane Projekte dieser Art; hier finden wir erweiterte Perspektivmöglichkeiten der veganen Ethik auf verschiedene Weise durch verschiedene Schwerpunkte adressiert.

Vermieden werden soll durch die Kontextualisierung (und da sind sich alle einig), dass der Veganismus die Chance verpassen könnte sein politisches Potential dazu zu nutzen, erweiterte Ansätze zu schaffen, durch die nichtmenschliche Tiere und die natürliche Umwelt verstärkt mit in den Mittelpunkt der ethischen Hauptbelange gesetzt werden können. In allen uns bekannten intersektionalen veganen Projekten spiegelt sich der Gedanke wieder, dass  ethischer Veganismus und Demokratie komplentäre Spieler sind und hier müssen noch zahlreiche neue Wege beschritten und Möglichkeiten erschlossen werden.

Intersektionalität wirkt manchmal wie ein Umweg, um die spezifisch tierrechtsbezogenen Fragen herum und nicht direkt auf sie zugehend. Das Gleichgewicht beizubehalten ist in Diskussionen wichtig, besonders wenn alle Themen zeitgleich und dringlich in ihren Zusammenhängen behandelt werden müssen. Die Schwierigkeit liegt oft darin, dass sich zwar eine Richtung abzeichnet, in der sich das gemeinsame Übel befindet: Ursachen von Unterdrückung, Diskriminierung, Gewalt, Zerstörung – aber es gibt keine Allzwecklösungen für diese Unzahl komplexer Probleme, denen sich also auch ein pluralistischer veganer Aktivismus gegenübergestellt sieht.

Eines ist natürlich klar: wenn eine Aktivitstin hauptsächlich oder auch ausschließlich über ihr Gebiet spricht, seien es Tierrechts-, Menschenrechts- oder Umweltschutzbelange, heißt das nicht immer zwingenderweise, dass das Gesagte auch massiv weiter führt: Vieles an Output, den wir von anderen Aktivist_Innen erhalten, sind Dinge, die wir schon oft gehört haben, Dinge die leider nicht wieder neu auf ihre aktuelle Gültigkeiten hin überprüft werden oder upgedated werden um sich an neuere Erkenntnisse im Bereich Aktivismus zu orientieren.

Auch stellt die Methodik, wie von Fragen, die sich in intersektionalen Themenbereichen (z.B. Feminismus und Antirassismus) bewegen, hingeführt werden kann zur Tierethik und zum Umweltschutz, immer wieder eine starke Herausforderung und wichtige Aufgabe dar (der man sicherlich mit einiger kritischer Selbstreflektion gerecht werden könnte).

Wie weit sind wir bereit dazu, die Rahmen so zu stecken, die sich nicht allein auf die begangenen einseitigen Wege beziehen?

Gemeint ist: Dort wo Sexismus oder Rassismus stattfindet, sehen wir unter Bezugnahme auf Tierrechte und Ökologie, dass Gründe/Hintergründe von sowohl Unterdrückung als auch Zerstörung ja tatsächlich noch weiter zu fassen sind, als wir das bislang mit unseren Erklärungsmodellen getan haben. Rahmen müssen neu gesteckt werden und solche intersektionalen Projekte helfen dabei immens.

Wir wollen uns im Rahmen unseres veganen Selbsverständisses nach neuen, interessanten Antworten umschauen, wie der Veganismus sich von seinen Verfechtern her als ein junges demokratisches Element einer (soweit noch) Minderheitsbewegung mit einbringt: Wie werden Menschenrechte, Umweltfragen und selbstverständlich vor allen Dingen Tierfragen heute aus ihrer Box derer Konzepte rausgeholt, die ein neues Denken bislang noch zu hindern scheinen?

Zusammenhänge aufzuzeigen führt zu umfassenderen Fragen / Antworten.

Links

Food Empowerment Project: http://www.foodispower.org/
The Disabled Vegan Reader: http://www.disabledveganreader.com/
The Sistah Vegan Project: http://sistahvegan.com/
Vegans of Color: http://vegansofcolor.wordpress.com/

Der Lebenshof für Tiere Stellichte und das ein Taler Projekt

würde jeder einzelne auf nur einen einzigen Euro verzichten

Einen “Taler” hat wohl jeder hier in seiner Börse und statt sich dies oder das zu kaufen kann man durch einen Euro eine effektive Hilfe leisten!

Auf den Lebenshof für Tiere Stellichte in Walsrode sind wir über Twitter aufmerksam geworden.  Der Hof hat eine vegane holistische Philosophie und dort leben 130 gerettete Tiere. Der Einklang mit der Natur steht im Vordergrund, das heißt die Tiere finden hier einen wirklich geschützen Raum. Stellichte braucht unsere Untersützung für jetzt und für die Zukunft. Solche Projekte stehen für die Grundpfeiler des Veganismus, an solchen Orten findet Hilfe seine realste Form.

Der Lebenshof für Tiere, die Tierschutzgemeinschaft Stellichte e.V.

Besonders beeindruckend ist auch: Zur Finanzierung des Lebenshofes führt der Lebenshof Stellichte ein veganes Mittelalter-Restaurant: http://www.zauberkessel-walsrode.de

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.