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
In the last post we have mentioned Joan Dunayer’s definition of speciesism and it seems that the spirit of some of the ideas she argued in her book Speciesism from a decade ago are expressed in the World Day for the End of Speciesism, so we thought that for a completer view, a critical review of the book is necessary. Continue reading
Among the replies we have got about our post regarding the non-violent approach we thought there are 2 types we should address.
The first is that since activists who would engage in violence activities towards non-vegans would get caught very fast, it is counterproductive. That is despite the fact that we have clarified in the preface of the post that we don’t suggest sporadically killing non-vegans.
What we do argue is that killing every meat eater who wasn’t convinced by advocacy is morally justifiable, but since it is absolutely impracticable we don’t suggest or support that. It won’t help even one animal and would even end up hurting more animals by labeling animal activists as even more extreme and violent by the general public. It is a bad option which was never suggested nor implied.
Another type of reply is that since activists obviously can’t kill every non-vegan who was not convinced by their arguments (since they would probably get caught after the first one), they are not violent and speciesist for choosing advocacy.
It is crucial to emphasis that the point of this argument isn’t that activists are actually violence supporters and speciesist because they don’t kill meat eaters, but that they are because they don’t think they ought to.
We are not arguing that if you practically don’t kill every human who wasn’t convinced to stop consuming animals you are a speciesist. We are arguing that if you don’t think that theoretically you must stop (by whatever means it necessary) every human who wasn’t convinced to stop consuming animals you are a speciesist since that human is going to keep abusing. Continue reading
Today, 150 years ago, William Seward the United States‘ Secretary of State, proclaimed the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment which formally abolished slavery and involuntary servitude (excluding as a form of punishment). A good opportunity to discuss slavery abolishment as it is one of the greatest inspirations of the animal rights movement.
We find this inspiration utterly false for several reasons and in the following posts we’ll focus on the main ones.
In the first one we argue that neither the Thirteenth Amendment nor the civil war were a product of a moral struggle.
In the second we argue that both didn’t end slavery in the United States.
In the third, fourth and fifth that slavery wasn’t ended at all and is still extremely prevalent.
And in the last part that even if slavery did end, animal activists can’t draw conclusions from human slavery since the two oppressive systems are fundamentally different.
The following post is largely an historical review of the political, economic and moral climate before and during the American civil war, in an attempt to present the real reasons behind it. We find this analysis crucial for this discussion specifically, since many cling on to these kinds of myths, building around them their activistic philosophy, and since generally, it sheds a light on human society and how things work in this world, and why.
The Civil War broke for many reasons, none of which had to do with any sort of moral cause as the abolition of slavery.
Wars don’t break for moral reasons. And they definitely don’t break between two sides over the rights of a third one. Wars generally break for money or power, and usually both. And so did the American civil war.
As opposite to the myth that the war was over slavery, the war’s real reason and actually the official casus belli was the decision of 11 southern states to secede from the Union due to the results of the election of 1860, and the North’s decision to militarily force them to stay. That is the power cause, however to understand the political climate preceding the secession, we must start with the money. Continue reading
In the last couple of years Peter Singer has set himself as spokesperson of a new movement called Effective Altruism.
His latest book, which to its last chapter we addressed in a post called “From Groundbreaking Animal Liberation to Neverending Animal Exploitation”, is called The Most Good You Can Do. It presents the movement’s basic idea,as he simply says in its preface -we should do the most good we can.
Unfortunately and disappointingly, by “we”Singer is referring to the already allegedly do gooders of the world. The book and movement, clearly aim at a small section of the population. He basically offers a practical instruction guide for donors and potential donors, calling them to think before they donate because there are tremendous differences in the effectiveness potential of different charities.
Singer points out that in the United States alone there are almost one million charities, receiving a total of approximately $200 billion a year with an additional $100 billion donated to religious congregations and all this money could be distributed much more effectively.
He is obviously right, but we certainly don’t want to hear it from him. It is very depressing that human society needs a bold thinker like Peter Singer for such embarrassingly elementary inferences.
A call to save human tyranny from possible extinction in 2015
A call to liberate animals from human tyranny in 1975
It so happens that our third post is also the third post about the possibility of an asteroid collision, but not since the first international asteroid day was held yesterday, but since 2 months ago Peter Singer published a new book in which he also addresses the annihilation possibility, and speaks out about actively mobilizing caring people to regard this issue. Only that he calls for the exact opposite.
Undoubtedly, his status is in drastic decline within the movement (which is literally named after his own pioneering historic book) due to some very miserable statements he made over the years. However it was still surprising and disappointing that in his last book he not only made another significant step of disconnection, at least from the more radical activists, it seems that he lost contact with his own perceptions and with reality.
The book is kind of a manifest of the ideological movement he is part of in recent years called effective altruism, which basically asks people who wish to donate time or money to charities, to stop and think where their limited resources would do the most good possible, and accordingly it is titled The Most Good You Can Do.
In the following post we’ll refer to the rest of the book but currently we want to relate to its last extremely depressing part.
The chapter name is Preventing Human Extinction, and in it Singer lists some of what he refers to as extinction threats. He focuses on the option of an asteroid collision, mainly since as opposed to the rest of the risks he specified, humans can roughly estimate this risk possibility and can potentially prevent it. These two are crucial elements in effective altruism calculations, as the basic idea is how to reasonably choose the purpose which would produce the most good.
All along the chapter he deals with the question: Should we also be putting resources into developing the ability to deflect any objects that appear to be heading for us?