Vegan Politics and Animal Politics

Vegan politics is animal politics

Veganism is a new enviro-social phenomenon taking place at the core of society. Today’s veganism is clearly predominantly defined by an ethical motivation. The wide spectrum of vegan ethics cover: the concern for nonhuman animals in the forefront, alongside the protection of the natural environment and the burden of inner human conflicts (pertaining to gender, ethnic diversity, human coexistence, the wider environmental consciousness). As little as the public wants to be aware of that, a multifocal approach plays a key role for an ethically motivated vegan to adapt her or his lifestyle.

Enlightenment efficiency

You can reach a wider audience to empower and educate with a notion of what can be called “vegan pedagogy” than you can with an ivory tower intra scholarly debate about the details of “what rights to preferably grant to which species given the circumstances under which that would be possible, if at all”.

Politics is applicability

The politics of animal rights and the vegan movement are to date inseparably connected. Vegan pedagogy entails an empowerment that lets the “recipient” know, that she or he can voice own constructive thoughts, and that she or he can and is actively participating in a democratic processes that encompasses the recognition and establishment of animal rights and animal politics (animal law) respectively.

Without an active encouragement of the individual person to participate in this democratic process and to use own creativity, we can’t expect for a consciousness of respecting other life forms to become a viable reality in a near future that’s already bound to inhabilitate people rather than to respect their democratic potentials other that voting.

Also we should seek to avoid “prescribing” knowledge that has been agreed upon exclusively by scholars, whose accepted canons eventually are taken over by authorities and the law, and then set as golden rules by which people in society will have to go.

Self-participation in critical thinking and questioning is the key word in “vegan pedagogy”, which in turn can become a key to create a perfect basis in terms of awareness for “animal politics”.

Animal Politics

Animal politics can be a political idea that encompasses nonhuman animals as how their lives and their paths-of-life become intelligible to the sensitized human being.

A theory for animal politics can only be drafted from experience. The closest experiences that people from the general populace have with the adversaries of society’s human-animal relationship – that make animal politics necessary – are ethically motivated vegans.

To separate the sociology of veganism from what will become the new intersection of animal rights politics, that overlays environmental rights and human right, would mean to dysfunction the most vital societal democratic impulse.

From individual to individual

Speciesism and homocentrism are the external manifestations of patterns in thinking that deny animal intelligence, and instead overvalue human intelligence. Humans are mostly behaving contractualist, unpredictable, unreliable, unfair, … and the list could go on in pretty negative terms. I wonder why that is the case, and I think it does not have to be that way.

I think it is possible for a human to be ‘animal intelligent’, to be non-contractualist, predictable, fair, tolerant, loving, … and that list could go on in positive terms. From my experiences with animals I learned about the possibility of ‘animal intelligence’:  The animals I have lived with truly were my best friends.

I think for a person who is truly nonspeciesistic in his/her thoughts and critical about homocentrism  it should be technically possible to really make the shift and start to become a better individual than what humans have per definition been so far, and even prided themselves with.

The time of human intelligence is over for me.

I am glad I defend animal rights from a standpoint of true ‘animal independence’ (of any human paradigm: biology, ethology, philosophy, religion … ).

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Fragmentary thoughts:

The border around the castle ‘HUMAN’ is the one of scientifical categorizing. Within the castle we claim to be ‘complete’.

BIOLOGICAL HIERARCHISM ALWAYS PUTS HUMAN ‘OBJECTIVITY’ ON TOP OF WHAT IT DENIES THE OTHER SPEICIES: THAT IS ON TOP OF ANIMALS’ OBJECTIVITY

How can absolute objectivity be captured? With which parameters to measure against? Humans’ objectivity claim relies on subjective interests.

Ethical behaviour is one of the components taken out of the frame of an allround objectivity.

Animals get denied for their actions to be viewed as not insinctual.

Subsequently the VALUES of behaviour get ruled out from being within the ethcial scale of social actions between the species, etc.

A term such as ‘ethical’ desribes something that is existent, it’s not an idea in itself – otherwise it would not exist in the correlations…

Aus dem Vegan*Swines Reader IV (2012): Der Mythos der „humanen“ Art der Ausbeutung und Tötung von Tieren

Der Mythos der „humanen“ Art der Ausbeutung und Tötung von Tieren

Diese Informationen basiert auf Erfahrungswerten von Tierrettungs- bzw. schutzhöfen und den Recherchen bekannter Tierrechts- bzw. schutzorganisationen. Die Angaben beziehen sich auf die Realität in westeuropäischen und US-amerikanischen Agrarbetrieben.

Eine „humane“ Umgehensweise sollte eigentlich bedeuten, mit Respekt und Einfühlungsvermögen mit den Lebewesen umzugehen, die auf unsere Hilfe angewiesen sind. Es ist egal, ob es dabei um Menschen oder um Tiere geht. Das, was wir genau unter „humanen“, also menschlichen Werten verstehen, läßt darauf zurückschließen, auf welchem Level sich der gegenwärtige Aufgeklärtheitsstatus unserer Kultur befindet.

Würden wir die gleichen Methoden, die wir in der Aufzucht, Versorgung, und Tötung von Farmtieren praktizieren, auf unsere Haustiere anwenden, dann wäre das gesetzeswidrig und jeder normale Mensch würde so eine Behandlungsweise von Tieren als erschreckend und grausam empfinden … diesen Text als PDF lesen / downloaden (Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster)

Three questions I would like to ask any true animal advocate

Why we eat “farm animals”, and why we let our “pets” be mass euthanized?

http://www.carnism.com < = ? = > http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org

Why do we think we are animal lovers, when we don’t take the sides of nonhuman animals consistently?

my two cents > https://simorgh.de/niceswine/tag/homocentrism

An Animal Rights revolution, acknowledging a new open view onto the animal kingdom or sticking with the biologistic instinct paradigm.

Why we think “infighting” is bad, when it’s only part of any democratic process?

The recent “infighting” debate between proponents of the “welfarist” and the “abolitionist” view (and the shades of gray inbetween them) shows us just how important allowing pluralist views is for the debate and the practice in our shared goal to help, support, rescue, defend … nonhuman animals .

Yet also we can see how important it is to separate between: priorities for advancing causes and (what I’d call) agenda talk.

Both sides see themselves as being more realistic about the right way in which to approach the general public. Since tragically the general public are still more or less analphabetic as what regards any consciousness of how to bring our animal cospecies constructively (in a life-affirming way) into the political arena of a democracy in crisis ( – the state we are obviously in – but this is a chance, when we take a deep look at the causes for the democratic crisis!).

Animal welfare and animal rights will have to merge into a concept, I believe, that should be wider than an exclusionary sum. The main points to rethink are, I think:

A stronger differentiation in the argumentation is needed often. For instance: what are the goals of welfare? I don’t want to sound funny, but do you still remember the axioms of the set theory? Where do both sides meet, on which grounds, and where do they totally exclude each other … ?

Realistically, how much is “strategy” and how much is “justice” in welfarism: It might be strategically mostly the main option to work on phasing out the speciesist realities and atrocities, but it’s not just. So we got both aspects at one instance, the aspect of being only “strategic”, the slow progress of welfarism – if it has the goal of eliminating speciesism in the end, and the “just” way of abolishing the enslavement of nonhuman animals for human purposes overall, at the other hand.

Goals should be revealed openly if they don’t meet the optimal ends for nonhuman animals in a direct way, such as is the case in welfarism: a tough question, because obviously to do the optimal for animals, we have to do the optimal for nature and humans too, because everything is interwoven on the different layers (and with the optimal for humans being a current issue of open debate or mute silence in our societies.)

Political strategies in the animal rights and the animal welfare movement should be explained, rather than to draw nice images of either the future (abolitionist tendency somehow) or the present (welfarist claims of success where the goal is forgotten over that): why do we deal with nonvegans and non animal advocates the way we do, why do we talk to them the way we talk to them, how do we see the public as so hard to approach on a more honest and critical level?

We do have to have infights, indirectly and partly, cos of our wrangle about the right tone to meet the “general public” … maybe

Why can’t we talk openly towards each other and the other people in society?

Finally: If we would discuss everything more critical and to a deeper level, we would be able to dig our way through ages of history in which we have learned and maybe wanted to distance ourselves from animals and nature.

 

Vegan for justice

Not the plain awareness that “eating meat is wrong”, but a growing sense of justice makes veganism so attractive to people I think.

Ok this is a fine line, but I believe what makes people want to turn vegan now, is not that “by chances” they have been informed about the atrocities going on in farms and slaughterhouses and that more or less right away turns them into vegetarians and/or vegans. I think it’s rather the growing sense of justice as far as nonhuman animals are concerned and the human relationship towards them, that makes people get the “click” of becoming a vegan.

People find it easier to stand for what they feel and think today, in regards to nonhuman animals.

In the past when you thought it was wrong to eat “meat”, etc. the pressure around a person living in a homocentrist society was so strong that someone was confronted with so many more obstacles than the obstacles a persons meets today in most or at least many contexts and places.

The danger of thinking that solely information would almost automatically create a more enlightened and thus hopefully compassionate people all around us, lays in the often overlooked point that many meat eaters and hunters, for example, etc., are acting fully knowing what they are doing and endorsing their fully aware chosen stances publicly wherever they can as individuals “having something to do with the issue” (they feel being asked for their warped views, so much, I think). The same fanaticism about a practiced carnism and speciesism also goes for some people in the field of arts it has to be noted – a professional field that is in much danger of acting on an ideological plane in society anyway and speciesist art is a sad fact that is often being ignored way too much ( speciesism in art : http://www.farangis.de/blog/category/animalistic-issue ).

What I think is important, is that we don’t underestimate the will and the power of the individual person and society overall to foster a sense of justice in each other once the ice is broken that sealed (one could say) “the lips of humanity” in the past.

the “personal choice” debate and homocentrism

As much as I like the cons of the article:

http://freefromharm.org/food-and-psychology/five-reasons-why-meat-eating-cannot-be-considered-a-personal-choice/

I find the “pros” partly a bit superficially treated.

Point 1. homocentrists and speciesist don’t care really wheather it’s “unnecessary” today to eat flesh. It’s about sacrificing life. Like “my human life is worth more than … “.

Point 2. Again, underlying mechanisms in society are overlooked when we hold back in as much that veganism (or rather not wanting to take part in animal murder in any form) is solely a choice of personal decision. The part of neseccisty on the side of “what human rights lose in a speciesist society” would need to be addressed for instance.

Point 3. It needs to be explained why a nonhuman animal victim isn’t even considered a victim by a speciesist or homocentrist respectively. “No being who prides himself on rationality can continue to support such behaviour.” Exactly that is the problem, they say that just because they are “rational” they are allowed to kill for their taste buds, etc.

Point 4. The destructivity of meat eating has the speciality that it does not care that it destroys the earth AND other humans (partly direclty) too … . To believe in the false cloak of a “humanity” that bases itself on speciesism and homocentrism, means to fall for a dangerous contractualism:

I don’t buy that people really in a basic sense accept even other humans rights. They don’t even accept my human right for example that I consider nonhuman animals to be rights holders as personalities too. So to believe that a person basically has a sense for “rights” but only applies it to her or his group seems wrong to me, BECAUSE this would be ONLY a contractualism, but with the claim for animal rights we are looking for the basic, fundamental rights to life, and earth-/ independent environmental rights, etc.

Point 5. here again it should be highlighted more or at all how animal rights and humans rights are intertwined – in a positive sense.

Otherwise I find it good and always highly due to discuss the issue of rights, in particular and foremostly animals rights and human “personal” choices!

An e-memorial and about people who simply deny that their harboring speciesist attitudes when you confront them …

The grave site of Martin Eduard Staudinger, German Animal Rights advocate and anti-vivisectionist. His grave is on the Hauptfriedhof in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He shares a grave site with his grandmother Dorothea Staudinger geb. Behrends.

On a memorial site for the people who lie resting on the Hauptfriedhof his grave is mentioned as:
“146 Grabmal für Martin Eduard Staudinger (1842-1910), Kämpfer gegen die Vivisektion, Gewann C 59” (http://www.bomas.de/buecher/brauchitsch-frankfurt.htm , accessed on the 16.08.12)

The inscription on his tombstone reads:’Im unermüdlichen Kampfe gegen die Vivisektion und für die Rechte der Tiere’ = In the untiresome fight against vivisection and for the rights of animals. (http://ar-civet-cat.blogspot.de/2010/07/martin-eduard-staudinger-1842-1910.html)

People that pretend not to know what speciesism is, and how to deal with them?

Honestly I don’t know yet, I am still trying to find ways … . Have you encountered that problem too: you make a somewhat halfwitted and half-conscious speciesist aware about the fact that you disagree with them making speciesist remarks (when you are around or not directly around on social networks maybe. People like to do it more so when an AR person is somewhere close by, so that a direct verbal argument can start, or so that they can try to ridicule your stance face to face and in public)?

Telling someone that you are against speciesism can be dealt with by a speciesist with a form of denial as a “response”, in which the person just assumes not to know what you’re talking about. Partly anybody is aware of speciesism, partly not. A speciesist is likely (at least in these days still) not fully aware of this -ism that humans direct against the nonhuman animal world (that is, speciesism!). A person might be aware about the conscious degradation of nonhuman animals, but might not consider that as a form of oppression that he or she should take politically serious in a considerate form. So we deal with an ethical blindness in many speciesists.

So how can one address them?

Overall it can be reasonable in the most cases to go ahead and still tell someone what you roughly think about the human-nonhuman relation in our societies in general. On the other hand, when you feel that informing that person won’t lead to any useful effect for the cause, you can just try to ignore their ignorance (!) and just “stand for what you stand” – let them know you are a vegan anti-speciesist, but not argue with them -, because your stance (in thought an action) will have all kinds of effects on your environment anyway.

I’m trying both these approaches anyway.

Boycott all forms of speciesist exploitation …

I am clearly against KFC, cos I am a vegan.

Here is a new (I guess?) campaign by Greenpeace against them: http://www.kfc-secretrecipe.com/en_us/nogood.

What about the birds that kfc massmurders? If we are trying to mend something, we should not stop at the hardest part of the problem, I believe.

Fragment … thoughts on what we think are “atrocities”

Atrocities

We all think we know what atrocities are, and yes we do know – as people, as human beings – what the worst types of atrocities are. However, we fail to acknowledge the full extent of the psychological mindset in humans who cause such actions we consider to be “crimes against humanity” or the murder of an individual or several or many, many human beings.

The type of mindset that likes to destroy others for no reason but for the sake of hatred, is the same type of psyche that picks on any other living being too, in order to rule over it, in life and death.

As humans we have drawn a fence around that what is brutality against the natural world – humans excluded as the only protected and self-declared only species with culture and civilization. And whatever type of atrocities a human does within this spot: “nature”, is ok. We don’t even call that an atrocity then.

Humanity wants to have high moral values, but the basis on which this has to rest is exactly that very basis which destroys moral values. Humanism invented a circle that runs it itself ad absurdum.

Moral values do need a basis, and in reality they have a basis, and that is in the lived relation between human inasmuch and animals. My right as a human, is my right to defend what I perceive to be an animals right inasmuch. So this is my critique about humanism. A.) it fails to be logical as far as ethical reasoning is concerned in general and B.) it won’t allow me to think and act freely as soon as I want to cross the border out of the sterile world of human perspectives and philosophies of life.

Pain

You think you know what segregation means, and what it feels like. But go as a nonhuman animal into any designated human zone (basically every spot in the world), and you know what type of atrocity homocentrism is.

Human are animalcentric in that they focus on a total destructivity towards animals, both willing and unwilling. Animal culture is something human cultures have so much worked against, that being human in itself really is the anti-thesis to animal life. And humans try just so hard to be so very proud of that.

Humans want to emulate animals of prey, but they are just plain humans. We don’t know what the reason culturally is behind the animals of prey hunting other animals. But one thing is for sure, we as humans have another role and potential role. We can either fail and be enemies to the world, or we can see our own role and position made up of own and specific moral participatory values.

I don’t understand why people overall think and act in such highly undifferentiated ways when it comes to their stances on the human-animal relationship, when it comes to thinking about animal life and human life, and life in the universe over all.

However, humans all have to experience their life as own single individual beings, no matter how much they like to or have to hide in the human mass and no matter how much they fail to see the animal individual in what the human world senses to be the plain masses of animal life.

Living life as a single being confronts one with certain inevitable questions of the meaning and the purpose of ones own life. Look at the different meanings people seek out for themselves – all strings run together at a certain spot, and that spot is not to be found in any human-superiorist stratagems.

Can you think without your professor?

Can you think without your professor?

The academic discussion about animal concerns and where they meet human interests, is so detached from the reality of Animal Rights, that the discourse of these kind of animal ethicists seems in the core substance no more but a blast of sophist lapses branching out on a subject matter here only for secondary purposes but not because of Animal Rights themselves. What I think of are the heady discussions lead academically on the subjects of speciesism and anthropocentrism. Things may sound good, yet little way is given to nonhuman Animal Rights terms which would leave space for a nonhuman animal autonomy protecting against the human definition of “self” and “other”.

If we had a similar phenomenon in the academic discussion in regards to Human Rights, we would find ourselves in a futuristic soulless science fiction setting, where humans are no more but calculable sources to serve the interest of a hole.

The terms needed for and relevant to Animal Rights become politically practically useless when taken only to their abstract side and not to the side where a term is instilled with the aspects relating to the practical side of life – life’s daily political questions, that are concerned with environmental questions and the questions relating to Animal Rights concerns.

The worst form of an abstraction would be to go back to point zero and ask: what are Animal Rights again and which animals should have what exact rights. From an Animal Rights standpoint we take Animal Rights as a given ethical imperative and prerequisite. Similar to the understanding of RIGHT in Human Rights, my right is not dependent on any holy issue or on any group’s decision to grant me rights or even on the evolutionary side of being a humanoid. The sheer fact of existence grants the right that will take its own shape in the individual, and of course rights do conflict, and still we should try to live peacefully if we want to or if we can.

Political Animal Rights

So far we haven’t gained as much and enough political momentum as is needed in the inner national and supra-national political settings that constitute themselves with the political party systems, umbrella orgs, lobbyism driven by economical factors, NGOs, philanthropists and yes even grassroots work that we do in our communities directly or over the internet.

To rely on the possibility that academic discussion would take us any further with the needed political momentum for the Animal Rights movement, and how general society perceives the question of Animal Rights and how AR can go together with Human Rights, will be a long and disappointing wait.

Academia coins terms, but these terms become shallow after they go through the entire digestive system of the typical academic brain.

Which terms would we need, however?

We need to fill the space of the Animal Rights discussion basically with the same soul, with the same concern, idea, words, deeds …  such as we apply to our own concerns. Theories have their good, but the practice of life that in the end of the day makes up our political side of life, needs the individual strength of thought and deed.

We are able to talk about our own concerns, and we are also able to talk about the concerns of our fellow animal friends.