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

Mitgefühl als bedingter Gerechtigkeitsaspekt

Überlegung zu: Pazifismus

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

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

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

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

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

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

TIERAUTONOMIE / Gruppe Messel

What is Animality, and what it isn’t

You are at risk of engaging in rhetorical branding if:

… ANIMALITY equals:

pigeonholing nonhuman animal otherness in (philosophical, religious, scientific, biologistic, aesthetic, anthropologic) terms of excluding zoopolitical spaces of animal autonomy.

… and if HUMANITY amounts to:

“we”, the “Homo sapiens”.

A new discourse needs fresh approaches – not just a new labelling system for an ongoing current of stable fallacies.

 

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.

 

When speciesism feeds speciesism, and why AR activists should not fall for unproductive rhetorical twists

When speciesism feeds speciesism, and why AR activists should not fall for unproductive rhetorical twists.

From a recent discussion / Gruppe Messel

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

Two debates, the same problem with speciesist rhetorics blurring out a reasonable, coherent discourse.

A.)   The (unfortunately) highly controversial debate about Halal and Kosher slaughter methods.

B.)   The ‘humane meat’ marketing campaigns, using Animal Welfare as the as a vehicle for their sales boosting.

In both these speciesist segments – the one religious, the other one more plain-culturally based – you face an upholding of speciesist ideological tenets, additionally to the front-fight of defending a speciesist practice.

Why are we discussing these two examples of speciesist praxes?

Pro-arguments defending these two praxes, that are finding their basis in cultural reception, have permeated the AR debate to some extent on outreach strategies in regards to multiculturalism and culture – assuming “traditions” to be fixed societal phenomena/entities, immune to continuous ethical historical change.

—-

The Problem of rhetorical twists permeating the AR discussion in the case of A.):

The basic argument from an AR side defending religious slaughter methods, as no less “cruel” than pre-stun methods, goes that Nonhumans suffer either way, conditions in slaughterhouses might even be worse, at least as bad, and that all slaughter must stop.

Usually missed in this string of argumentation is a more detailed critique why e.g. slaughterhouses such as those designed by Temple Grandin are for example “as bad” as religious slaughter methods: So called “humane” slaughter methods have to be criticized and critically examined in their own respect.

The argument against the relativization of ‘different speciesist practices’ as in the case A.) from an AR position can be:

Why are we fighting to be able to film abuse in factory farms, when in the end of the day the comparably more abusive form of “handling” does not make any difference at all? After all we are always trying to alleviate any comparably more “extreme” forms of suffering in a situation where we can’t stop speciesism overnight. We do that, alongside with campaigning for veganism!

The trap with religious animal killing practices is that the degree to which killing becomes a deed of “good” is mostly being overlooked let alone critically discussed. Can you really expect strict believers to end killing Nonhumans, if it’s on behalf of an “almighty God” who decrees you to do so?

From an AR point of view we would say that no religion/religious tradition/belief whatsoever must come before either Animal Rights or Human Rights, equally.

—-

The Problem of rhetorical twists permeating the AR discussion in the case of B.):

Anecdotal example: A German animal advocacy group advertises for “humane meat” with the slogan: “For a life before becoming meat” (http://www.provieh.de/downloads_provieh/01_ki_schweine.pdf, 5/11/14), the same slogan is being used by the Austrian Green Party (http://www.gruene.at/europa/2-welle,5/11/14).

The problem being that cultural tenets of speciesism are not questioned, nor what strategies are effective at what given context. Strategies and analyses seem to fall short to a short-term mass-movement idea and behaviour within the AR community.

– There is no clear line drawn towards the impacts of what comes along as cultural heritage.

– Activists fight against the symptoms, not the cultural roots of speciesist rethorics that enables speciesist practices to be culturally active.

On one hand “humane slaughter” advocacy has moved “down”, in terms of Animal Advocacy ideals, to some of the “stricter” Animal Welfare organizations, like the CIWF with for example their recent campaign “Better-Chicken.org”: it seems that such welfarist pro “humane meat” campaigns throw the baby out of with the bathwater, since instead of trying to seek alleviating suffering with the goal of ending speciesism overall as a target, they are of course prolonging speciesist culture.

However, AR advocates who do distance themselves from such campaigns, seem to fail to address (analytically and strategically) how important it is to target the functionality of speciesism and its rhetoric in the plain culturally-based sense.

– AR places its critique more at the sociological and the psychological level, not as much on the anthropological and cultural level, and when at least not with a distanced view.

– A question would be e.g.: How does the argument “I only buy organic humanely slaughtered meat” set in? Why is it accepted in society seen from a cultural / anthropological critical perspective?

This type of question has to be contextualized with how a culture works, and how the individual takes a role within this cultural setting for example.

 

Seeing Big Birds

More on: Animal Portrayals.

Big bird cartoon by Ken Eaton

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

Table I.

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

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

Table II.

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

 Table III.

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

Images:

TableI.:

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

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

Table II.:

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

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

Table III.:

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

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

All links: 20. March 2014

 

Animal Knowledge

Animal Knowledge

Palang LY

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

It’s astonishing, why are we willing to accept that the burden of proof lies with the nonhuman animals and their allies, to make clear who they are, when a human-centred society doesn’t even have the will and ability to see the full spectrum. Why do we, their allies, bow in to human methods of research on things that can’t be proven and that don’t have to be proven?

Their individual life’s dignity does not need to be proven; it needs to be acknowledged, without restrictive conditions.

What the AR community should learn is to claim the rights, the foundation of dignity, the freedom that really lies outside of paradigms that were (and are) installed to quite contrarily draw lines as aggressive borders.

We tie our human standards and insights on a.) language and b.) on our specific capacity to utilize nature, and we see both these things as qualifiers that are intertied: Language plus the capacity to utilize nature as a resource!

It never occurs to us that other beings could have a more sustainable and clearly wise concept of how to live on planet earth, that their ancestral relation over millions of years has given them insight on how to interact in other ways with nature and their natural environment.

We would deny that, because we don’t accept that nonhumans have concepts. We think concepts can only occur with certain qualifiers … , and we think that nature couldn’t have possibly taught nonhuman animal ancestors things they decidedly built their cultures on.

We think nonhuman animals don’t decide these things.

I could go on, but my point is that we as AR people err so bad, because we don’t want to take the stance that would make us jump in the cold water of radical new perspectives in terms of: de-humanfocusing and thus deconstructing sources we refer to as basis of knowledge about life.

We keep putting new wine into old bottles when we don’t come up with a new architecture of basic knowledge.

 

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.

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.

 

Animal Thealogy: Man-Machine? Animal Reason!


Io – Farangis G Yegane

Animal Thealogy:

Man-Machine? Animal Reason!

Palang LY

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

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.

***

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.

Painting: Io by intersectional antispeciesist veg*AR artist Farangis G. Yegane – Lebensschutz!