World Day for Selective Abusers

World-Day-for-Selective-Abusers

For the 40th World Vegetarian Day we wish to discuss the continual existence, and all the more so the popularity of vegetarianism, in an age of abundantly available information about the violent industries vegetarians participate in.
Vegetarianism is a famous source of frustration among activists who intuitively expect vegetarians to be an easier audience for veganism, but in reality many vegetarians strongly cling to their violent habits, shielding themselves from any criticism. We find this dynamic very indicative of humans, and of their common relation to ethical problems which they are directly responsible for.
Don’t get this post wrong. It is not a vent for vegetarians mudslinging, and it is not even about vegetarianism, it is about humans in general and how they always look for the easier option no matter how unreasonable it is.

There are many more vegetarians than vegans and in many cases vegans were once vegetarians, so their quantitative predominance is considered logical and reasonable. But it shouldn’t be so at all. Continue reading

“A Deal Fit for the 21st Century”

A Deal Fit for the 21st Century

Two days from now is the implementation date of CETA – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. As the name implies, it’s an extensive deal which basically drops barriers between the EU and Canada.
Like in the previous horrific trade deals (NAFTA and the China-US agreement), along with the automobile industry, minerals, and communication technologies, animal exploitation has a significant share in this agreement. Continue reading

Truly the Worst Deal Ever in History

Truly the Worst Deal Ever in History

US president Donald Trump famously argued that NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is the worst trade deal ever in history, and probably for the first time in his life, he is right. Not for the right reasons obviously (some of which are utterly racist), still NAFTA is truly one of the worst trade deals ever, considering its horrific effect on nonhuman animals.

A couple of days ago the first round of NAFTA re-negotiations, initiated by the Trump administration, has ended. The re-negotiations between the US, Mexico and Canada, comprise of several major issues, among them is animal exploitation, which unfortunately has a major share in the 23 years old deal.

Basically, the trade agreement gradually eliminated nearly all tariffs, and increased “economic integration” between the 3 countries. The result is detrimental to animals. NAFTA virtually made the entire North American continent a giant integrated exploitation zone, promoting intensification of animal exploitation, advancing live animals trade, and animals’ body parts exportation, and eventually amplifying animals’ consumption by making their exploitation more worthwhile for the producers and cheaper for the consumers.

In this post we’ll shortly discuss NAFTA’s effects on the major animal exploitation industries since it was signed. We find it important, because unlike the coverage of NAFTA’s harms to the environment, wild animals and workers’ rights, the most severe suffering intensification element of the trade deal has been mainly neglected so far (with very few exceptions, for example, the extraordinary work of a group called Global Justice for Animals and the Environment).

This deterioration in the state of animals must not be overlooked considering that between 1993 and 2013, trade amongst the three countries in animal products increased more than three-fold, from $4.6 billion a year to $15.5 billion a year.

And now, the US statements regarding their demands in the re-negations can lead to an even worsening of the state of animals in North America. Continue reading

Wishful Headlines

Wishful Headlines

In our last post we discussed how the new China-US trade agreement is expected to further increase China’s already enormous flesh consumption, as well as strengthening the already enormous US flesh industry. One of the readers commented that if China’s plans to reduce its flesh consumption by half in the following years would succeed, the trade agreement is not expected to have such a terrible effect.

But China doesn’t have plans to cut flesh consumption by half, it merely recommends its citizens to do so, and mainly for healthful reasons. The deceiving headlines referred to the publication of dietary guidelines, which didn’t even add new significant information. China’s health ministry has already recommended reducing flesh consumption to between 40g to 75g of flesh per person per day, a decade ago. But the Chinese have responded with a massive increase in their flesh consumption per capita which right now stands at about 170 grams a day. Almost 3 times more than the decade old recommendation.

China's per capita meat consumption Continue reading

Sentient Pawns

sentient-pawns

The coming month and a half is crucial for probably tens of millions of animals worldwide, as negotiations regarding 3 important international trade agreements will be at a critical point. One of them is a trade deal between China and the US, whose most significant part is the reopening of the Chinese market to US cows’ flesh in return for the reopening of US market to chickens and ducks from China. Continue reading

The End of the World

The_End_of_the_World

In the last post we shortly discussed a new research regarding the sixth extinction episode . In this one we shortly discuss a newly published book by Peter Brannen about the 5 previous mass extinction episodes called “The Ends of the World”.

The book tells the story of the five biggest mass extinctions, and what can be learned from them about the current one. Obviously the target audience is not activists and supporters of the E.A.S movement , but it is very relevant for us. Continue reading

Earth’s First Ethical Extinction Episode

Earths first ethical extinction

Headlines that Earth’s sixth mass extinction episode has proceeded further than assumed, made quite some waves yesterday.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), mapped 27,600 species of birds, amphibians, mammals and reptiles — nearly half of known terrestrial vertebrate species — and concluded the planet’s sixth mass extinction is even worse than previously thought. Continue reading

Subordination Day

Subordination-Day

Last 4th of July we wrote about the millions of animals who are acoustically attacked by Americans commemorating the independence of their country with fireworks.
But of course the greatest attack on animals on United States’ Independence Day, is, as in any other day, consuming their bodies. And today it is on a very mass scale.

About 65% of Americans will attend a barbecue on the 4th of July to celebrate their country’s Independence and their species’ domination.

Freedom-to-oppress Continue reading

From a Random Anecdote to a Sought Solution

From_a_Random_Anecdote_to_a_Sought_Solution

Two days ago a matador died during a bullfight in France. Many Activists have expressed their contentment from the incident. Even outside the AR community the atmosphere among many is that he got what he deserves.
But the suffering a matador is causing during bullfights is not greater than the suffering a non-vegan is responsible for when consuming animal based products (sure the matador is also non-vegan but that is not the reason for the death cheers), and more importantly it is not about what abusers deserve, in fact it shouldn’t be about the abusers at all. Continue reading

Mothers’ Day

Mother's Day
In honor of Mother’s Day this post is dedicated to cows in the dairy industry, who are of the poorest mothers on earth, and to their poor babies.

In one of their most cynical symbolizations, humans view cows as an emblem of motherhood. That is not thanks to an idealistic view of cows being devoted mothers to their claves, but a consequence of a materialistic view of cows being the main producers of milk to humans. Continue reading

Ethically Flawed

ethically_flawed

Today is the World Day for Laboratory Animals. While it evolved over the years to the World Week for Laboratory Animals, unfortunately it is still largely used as another platform for the speciesist rhetoric which is quite characteristic of the anti-vivisection movement.

The anti-vivisection movement was not founded in order to convince the scientific community that animal experiments are scientifically invalid, but to stop cruelty to animals in laboratories, yet the opposition to vivisection is largely based on anthropocentric arguments. Continue reading

The Violence Even Activists Are Disregarding

The_Violence_Even_Activists_Are_Disregarding

We complete this series of posts regarding violence with what is probably activists’ biggest blind spot, violence in nature.

For many animal rights activists nature represents perfection, a romantic and virtuous ideal we should aspire to, something that ought to be reverently preserved and never criticized. But the truth is that nature is where trillions of sentient beings suffer from hunger, thirst, diseases, parasites, injuries, extreme weathers, rape, infanticide, violent dominancy fights, the constant fear of being attacked, actually being attacked, and only rarely from caducity.

Probably the first natural cause of violence that comes to mind is predation.
Predation is literally as old as life itself. It goes back to the most ancient life forms – single cell organisms. As soon as there were living single cell organisms, one of their major functions was to acquire chemicals from their surroundings. As time went by, some organisms, by chance (mutation), started obtaining the organic molecules they require by devouring the cells around them, instead of gathering them from the surroundings. This turned out to be an efficient “strategy”. About 3.5 billion years later there are fangs, claws, talons, venoms, webs, beaks, sonars, infra-red vision, tentacles and etc.

But besides predation, there are many other suffering causes in nature. Continue reading

Yet again Suffering 2.0

Trappist detail

Unfortunately the worries we have expressed on a post from about a year and half ago, regarding NASA announcement that its space telescope Kepler spotted the most similar planet to Earth that has ever been discovered (Kepler-452b), got more relevant with the new discovery of 7 earth-sized planets.

So far scientists can’t make further observations regarding those planets such as the composition of their atmosphere, their temperatures and the surface pressure. Also, although they are much closer to earth than Kepler-452b (39 light years compared with 1,400 light years), it is still way too far. So despite that currently these planets are far from being relevant as a habitual option for humans, as the finding of a potential habitable planet gets closer and closer, the necessity for the destruction of this one must get clearer and clearer.

Please read our argumentative post about the discovery of Kepler-452b since it is relevant to the planets orbiting Trappist-1 (especially E,F and G) at least as much.

http://www.onlyonesolution.org/blog/blog/2015/07/30/suffering-2-0

The Better Angels of Our Nature – Part 7

The_Better_Angels_of_Our_Nature_Part_7

The following is the last part of our critical review of Steven Pinker’s theory of a historical decline in violence, in which we further address his claim of a decline in violence towards nonhuman animals, and the ways in which he struggles to “massage” reality to fit his grand theory.
Violence towards nonhuman animals was of course in the center of all of our reviews, however in the former post and in this one, we specifically address his specific relation to the issue. Continue reading

The Better Angels of Our Nature – Part 6

The_Better_Angels_of_Our_Nature-Part_6

Unfortunately but unsurprisingly Pinker dedicates only a tiny part of his extensive book about violence to nonhuman animals. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, he decided to call this chapter Animal Rights and the Decline of Cruelty to Animals, that is despite that the book’s claim is for a decline in violence. Pinker knows there is no decline in violence towards animals, so he changed the term to a more conceivable one. Still wrong, but more defensible. Continue reading

The Better Angels of Our Nature – Part 4

The Better Angels of Our Nature - Part 4

In the former posts regarding the former chapters of The Better Angels of Our Nature we tried to show how wrong Pinker’s main argument is regarding the decline of violence mainly since in some cases his data is partial and since the most important figures are totally absent.

However, with the 8th chapter of the book called Inner Demons, where Pinker broadly details how naturally violent humans are, unfortunately we largely agree. We find it important, so we bring extracts from this chapter here, along with our remarks. Continue reading

The Better Angels of Our Nature – part 3

better_angels_of_our_nature_part_3

The following is the third part of our critical review from an animalistic perspective of Steven Pinker’s theory of an historical decline in violence.

The strongest blow that the enlightenment ideas received, regards to their significant role in the horrors of the first half of the 20th century. As a great henchman, Pinker is particularly eager to prove that the enlightenment project didn’t fail despite the 20th century. Therefore he devoted a substantial part of his book to claim that the 20th century doesn’t stand out of the historical decline of violence he argues for.

As mentioned in the first part of this book review, most of Pinker’s critics focused on the 20th century, mentioning colonialism, post colonialism, western imperialism, the not so cold war, the arms race and etc. So we prefer to focus on different areas. If you are interested, we highly recommend the following critiques:
Steven Pinker on the alleged decline of violence by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
Or their long version: Reality Denial: Steven Pinker’s Apologetics for Western-Imperial Violence by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
Peace in Our Time by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Precious Steven Pinker by David Bentley Hart

However we do want to address 3 issues regarding these parts of the book: The role of personal responsibility during the atrocities, his choice to work with relative numbers and not absolute numbers, and his general conclusion regarding violence regardless of his statistical approach.

Continue reading

The Better Angels of Our Nature – Part 2

the_better_angels_of_our_nature_part-2

As part of our series about violence we made a critical review of Steven Pinker’s book – The Better Angels of Our Nature. For the previous post please click here.

Pinker argues that violence is biologically intrinsic, evolutionarily logical and historically habitual, so what according to him made it decline?
Pinker has a few explanations along the book. The first one is the old thesis of the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who also recognized that humans are naturally violent. Therefore the only way to avoid the natural state, which is according to Hobbes war of all against all, is by establishing an absolute sovereignty political figure he called the Leviathan. Continue reading

The Better Angels of Our Nature – Part 1

the_better_angels

As opposed to the former thinkers in this series about violence, the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker doesn’t think humans are naturally peaceful and non-violent. Along his extensive book about violence The Better Angels of Our Nature he thoroughly specifies how violent humans are and how violent humans can be. With numerous statistical evidences, examples and explanations, from the murder rates of non-state societies, through ancient wars, to the earliest known writings which are still canonical cultural elements such as Greek mythology and the Bible (substantially fictional as they are, both probably reflect human life and the values of that era, at least to some extent), corporal punishments, heretics torture, modern wars and up to psycho-evolutionist analysis of violence and brain parts and function specification, Pinker doesn’t really leave room for doubt that humans are naturally violent.

However, another difference between him and the former mentioned thinkers, is that he persistently argues that despite humans’ natural tendency to violence, despite its abundance through history and despite public image (Pinker blames the modern media for that false perception) violence has declined over long stretches of time, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era of our species’ existence.

Continue reading