animal rights and empowerment Coming Out

A humble start

This text is a bit simple, but it’s an angle that we want to start from with, exactly because we are basically that simple …

I should write something about how we’d like to connect Mad Studies, Disability Rights and Animal Rights, I’d like to find links on that topic, but I don’t find many, or basically about that constellation none at all.

We should start our own project on this, but it’s difficult. I guess we have to try to at least say: this is also our subject, in order to show we a more than it seems. I know there are many of us out there, but again, it’s not so easy to start to talk about the things one feels, thinks and talks personally about with friends each day … and bring that into a shape that seems adaptable to the broader dialogue.

As you see I wrote this in english although we are not located in an english speaking country but in Germany. But if we write about the issue in German it will seem even more dislocated. We will eventually also talk about it in German, but I guess we first try to express our helplessness in English, because: Mad Studies is discussed wider in English, Animal Rights is discussed much more broadly on an international basis and Disability Rights is more fed also from the international / english spekaning plane.

It’s interesting how Lothar and I exprienced that friends and acquaitances of ours tended to go into either directions when they a dealing with disability issues: they either tended to close themselves up towards animal rights and environmental ethics issues or they tended to gain a greater sensitivity.

What we noticed too is that the people with disabilites in our circles of friends are usually not taken serious with their opinions and notions about animal rights and environmental issues by people who consider themselves “normal” and “able-minded/-bodied”.

The approach such friends chose had with ours in common that we all didn’t go into the standard direction of approaches, which are usually kind of technocratic, choreagraphised and lean clearly towards the natural sciences or firm religious doctrines (a bit more rare though). We all chose a very “anarchic” or “free” and soulful approach in how we are thinking about our nonhuman fellow world in contrast. Yet this is not taken serious.

It might be a cause that makes people invisible, if they don’t chose the typical and standardized approaches.

We do believe one basic thing really, that being disabled creates a higher resposibilty in how you realize the others that surround you, that are vulnerable to destructive human norms.

We as humans that are affected by the history of exclusion and discrimination should not participate in any forms of the very same mechanisms that exluded us for being different … in the first place. We should understand that the big mean actor is the expectation of sameness, the expectation of being dominant, the expectation of being discriminatory instead of understanding and seeking the other.

Sameness makes us look ridiculous. If we endorse a line that we as humans are all same and on that basis should all have an advantage of this belonging to the same group, then we are creating a basis for others to be hurt and dsicrimnated against from our side too.

It’s not just about being part of the human thing, it’s about being something much more fundamental than that. Being part of the human thing means: being an emperor, being the creator of the anthropocene, being part of a consumerist world, being part of mean social interaction patterns, we are part then of all that we should be able to see critically.

These others that get discruminated against: nonhumans, they are hurt because there are not interested in being part of that human thing, that (agonstic) pattern.

Some of us people are being discriminated against on the basis of “ability”. We don’t even want to be part of the “able” collectives, we want to be part of the world, and don’t bow toward the anthropocenic world of human sameness in thought and so forth.

We come up with ideas for other options, and we hope and dream of those.

We run a blog about “Diverse thinking, Cogntion, Dignity” about antidiscrimination, mental and cognitive disabilities in German



Critical creativity

I called Andy Martin of Unit in an email recently a “former punk”, saying how glad I was to know the more kind-of-authentic-people in that context like him. Here is his reply to me which I found so inspiring that I asked him if I could blog his input on that issue:

Andy: …what? WHAT? WHAT? ‘PUNK MUSICIAN’? Madam, how dare you! I was never a ‘punk musician’. I was certainly never a punk and plenty of people (especially former band members) would insist I was never a musician either. If I was anything, I was a Mod, albeit one without a parka, scooter or records by The Who.

I sent Andy then this wonderful photo of his former band “The Apostles”, writing … :

Gita: Considering that you weren’t punk and that you were more something of a Mod your music is creatively unimaginably innovative and this highlights also how free music could be. Shame punk stifled such branches …. I admire that attached pic …

Andy: When and where the devil was this taken? I have absolutely no memory of it although, perversely, I do recall that black Harrington jacket. The others are, from left to right, Pete Knight (Primal Chaos, The Assassins Of Hope, The Paramedic Squad), Mitch Thingy whose surname I can never remember (Flack, Hagar The Womb) and Martin Black (Flack). It was Mitch who wrote about 40% of the music and 20% of the lyric to Drained, the track on Panem Et Circenses. I’ve no idea what happened to any of these people although I did receive an email from Pete Knight circa 2014 or 2015, just a brief note to tell me he remembered what I did in the 1980s…damned by faint praise, as the saying goes…as you may imagine, I responded with a caustic email to tell him he would do better to remember me for what I am doing now. He did not reply. Oh well, another one bites the dust. I detest letters and emails that drone on and on about ‘I remember when you played that gig in Woofing In The Stuff in 1984 and Grimly Crustworthy vomited all over your drum kit etc blah blah’ ugh and double ugh! Maybe I live now in an almost permanent state of morgenmuffel but I believe we must think ahead, not look back. The past is gone, dead and buried; certainly we must never forget it but it is more important to me to concentrate my attention on what happens now – let us celebrate the future!

I think the problem here is that for many people – perhaps for the majority of people – who were involved in the punk / alternative scene in the 1980s, they were between 16 and 25 years old, in the prime of their youth, in an attitude of discovery and social unrest they found exciting (and also frightening) so for them the decade is crammed full of happy, vibrant memories. Fur mich – very different! I was often angry, frequently miserable and thoroughly irritated and annoyed by my poverty, my battle against dyspraxia, my battle against being queer, my constant physical battles against Nazi skinheads (from most of which, I am justifiably proud to announce, I emerged victorious) and my interminable squabbles with spoiled, pampered white middle class rat-bags who believed they had the right to tell everyone else how to live their lives. Ye Gods, when Andy Nunn first showed me excerpts from that Kill Your Pet Puppy website and some of the lamentable dialogues included in its chat room or whatever it’s called, I felt my toes curl with embarrassment. How can middle aged people be such arschlocher?

Earlier today I discovered our You Tube subscription tally has jumped from 294 to 299 in just 3 days. Does it matter? Of course not…but I’m still rather smug and self satisfied. Isn’t it wretched? Then I think of those videos, you know the kind to which I refer – Next Door’s Cat Sits In A Bucket – which has 2.5 million views – and suddenly I cease to feel quite so smug and self satisfied. Even Skrewdriver and other Nazi numbskull groups have tens of thousands of views and umpteen hundred subscribers. It is a horribly humbling experience!

To close this short inspiring conversation I want to shamelessly self advertise again or at least also make my critical views about developments in context with the early 80ies punk and related youth movements clear:

Some authoenthographic notes in German (and partly in Egnlish)

And here notes in English with links to out art section on “Punk as a Search for Female Autonomy”

And of course I want to thankfully link to an interview we held with Andy Martin for our publication “Tierautonomie”:

Andy Martin / Unit channel on Youtube

Unit on Bandcamp:

Unit website:

Note: it might not be the right place to note this, but looking up many people who made impressive independent music in the early eighties and seeing they have quite an active “fanbase” still heralding and profitig from their activities, it’s astounding how little we are able to put infos and documents together in an encyclopedic form. I notice this also with partly art and creative work from other decades, like the 50ies and 60ies. Result is: keeping legacies will probably depend on single initiatives and individuals. Pages that function like Wikipedia or the cultural industrial museal complex are not seeing parts of history from the level of a very democratic basis that just exists in creativity … .

animal rights and empowerment

Crappy tools, individual activism

A short text I wrote in probably 2001:

Crappy Tools

I just write/express something. I know it has no meaning to anybody who could read it. Probably not. And maybe that is not even really important. I don’t really understand how “our” language works. Some things are felt as important when one hears or reads them. Must have something to do with the relevance something has for a human.

The human machinery is totally powerful and makes everything apart form itself valueless. (…) It’s unnerving that whatever I’d like to say, I always use THEIR language to express my feelings that don’t fit in with their ways. At least in that sense I just shouldn’t say anything.

I think subjectivity can be really important. Regarding humans: Most people I meet are never really individual at all. They think the more they come across as adapted to all those human images, the more value they have. As if being adapted would make any real decisive difference. Of course they do have more value in our society then – but there is just more than our human society!! On the other side at the same time, if you criticize all the human crap, people react with an allergic reaction to it. Criticizing it would be a last way to stay attached to this society.

I know of course its an illusion to think one could be able to change some human structures just by making some arguments that would only base on your own subjectivity. But all that seems to be common in humans just seems ….

I’d like to express it with this:….

We have integrated ourselves well with giving them all our definition … Protozoa – Mesozoa – Porifera – Coelenterata – Ctenophora – Platyhelmithes – Rhynchocoela – Acanthovephala – Aschelminthes – Entoprocta – Phoronida – Ectoprocta – Brachiopoda – Mollusca – Sipunculida – Annelida – Arthropoda – Echinodermata – Chaetognatha – Hemichordata – Chordata – … of how we will exterminate their individual lifes

Today in 2020 …

Talking about bringing yourself in as an indivual, with msicro-activism, individual activism, call it whatever … maybe subjective activism to give it a more specific quality:

it is a major problem for me personally to see how people often get stifled in “commonplace human social hierarchical structural behaviour and connected ways of internalized, normalized thinking” when they try to bring themselves into any field of social interaction and debate.

People meet fixed forms and structures and finding themselves to voice particular perpsetivical points and specific views just by themselves, wears them out and frustrates them over time.

Activism isn’t a very pluralist fired in society. You have to become neglectful of resonance, which is hard because activism gets “measured” by the amout of “resonance” you seem to measurably create. But waiting for feedback makes you dependent on people who might not get your message or who might expect messages to only come in certain ways or to contain only certain content they consider to be potentially meaningful.

So how do people creativively and thoughfully bring their own views and ideas into the public sphere? Currently the prerequisite seems to have become either the coreographic forms of activism where you are one of many and blend into phrases and concepts given by demo organizers or you come form the academic field, where you circle around citing other academics to generate your theses.

The problem is only that of empowerment. People’s subjectivity and nonhuman subjectivity equally should be top if we are going to aim for more than just a representative democracy as a form of our social self-organization in collectives.

I am sad on one hand about how many activists I met that have given up speaking out publicily or who have withdrawn from the field due to feelings of resignation because they received so little constructive feedback.

And I am sad how little people are able to reflect and openly recognize the own forms of shaping this world by nonhumans, as a counter-culture to anthropocentric and biologistic concepualizations of the world.

If we keep acting as if the “brains”/mind and the voice of the world comes or has to be filtered by any kind of hierarchical, collectivist human social structures, then we just keep practicing hegemony on a basic but fundamental social level, and we keep being an obstacle to animal rights empowerment (meant in a non-thechnocratically lived subjectivity-friendly way) … , where we all are and should be understood as fully resposible and fully self-creative meaningful agents in live on this wonderful planet.

We give the power to those who act deustructively, but be don’t see the small and supposedly “irrelevant” voices, which we don’t even consider to be a voice speaking for themselves at all. The structures we require for e.g. a  “voice” to be considered a valied “voice”, and structures overall are a huge problem, they make up content themselves and we need to be much more careful and scrutinous with all of them.