A Dangerous Place

Today is Labor Day in the U.S., an annual federal holiday in which residents are supposed to celebrate the economic and social contributions of laborers of the United States. But humans being humans, are using this holiday as another excuse to fire up the grill, or to go to a flesh restaurant and devour some extra animal corpses.

This year, a new campaign called Meatless Labor Day was launched, encouraging humans to reduce their meat consumption during the holiday, to “alleviate the pressure for meatpacking labor workers on one of the busiest days of the year. When demand for meat is high, meatpacking workers must process more meat faster and work longer hours, significantly increasing their risk of injury.”

The combining of mistreatment of workers in the meat industry with other claims against the meat industry, and referring to the workers as another group of victims of the meat industry, is not new, and in fact is a very old cynical, sickening, and speciesist tactic used by many animal activists. But in this case the workers are not referred to as another group of victims, but as the victims of the meat industry.

It is mentioned that workers are forced to work quickly in dangerous conditions and that this increases the risk of lacerations, slips and falls.
But the effects of speed on the sentient beings which some of these workers are quickly slitting their throats, is not mentioned. And the animals’ blood that may cause many of the workers to slip and fall, is only referred to as another dangerous factor in humans’ working conditions.

It is mentioned that workers in the meatpacking industry face a significantly high risk of injury.
The fact that nonhuman animals in the meat industry face an absolute and certain torture from birth to murder is overlooked.

It is mentioned that meatpacking laborers typically work 10 to 14-hour shifts, six days a week, and are severely underpaid. But not that they should be working for zero hours, in zero shifts, for zero days a week, and should not be paid for brutally murdering animals, because there mustn’t be a meat industry.

To claim for meat reduction in Labor Day because ironically workers in the meat industry must work even longer hours and process even more meat for that day, is extremely ironic and cynical. It is extremely ironic and cynical to claim that a human worker may hurt oneself when cutting to pieces a nonhuman.

How low can we go? How much more can we ignore the real victims of the meat industry?
And the call is to reduce meat consumption, not even to totally avoid it, not even for one fucking day! And that is so to alleviate some of the pressure for workers in the meat industry on one of the busiest days of the year, despite that this day is first and foremost one of the busiest days of the year in cruelty and suffering for those who were animals before these workers made them meat.

And don’t get this wrong, we don’t put the blame on workers in the meat industry, we put the blame on the consumers as it is their hands which operate the workers’ hands. We put the blame on humanity for letting this atrocity happen. This is basically everybody’s fault.

This campaign is kind of a climax in terms of stepping over the piles of victims during advocacy. Can you imagine something of this sort when the main victims are humans?
Would you accept a campaign calling to take one day off from lashing slaves because it may hurt the lashers’ hands? Or a Rape Free Day because rapists often get scratches on their penises?

This campaign is extremely speciesist because it is highly unlikely that if the voice of the undoubtedly main victims of the meat industry – the exploited animals, is heard, they would want to offer their deepest condolences to all the humans who were injured during the murdering and processing of more than 150 billion animals per year.

It is very probable that many activists would claim that as long as campaigns such as this are reducing meat consumption, they are making the world a better place. But at the same time they are significantly strengthening and perpetuating speciesism, and by that they are making the world even worse.

And to those who claim that the world already is irrevocably speciesist, we unfortunately agree. However, the fact that the world is irrevocably speciesist is not a justification to destroy morality, it is a justification to destroy the world.

When some activists have reached the phase of talking seriously about the danger of humans slipping on the blood of just murdered nonhumans, it is time to seriously consider that the talking phase must end and the ending phase must begin.

One Dimensional Dualism

Today is International Dog Day, a day humans celebrate their supposed love for supposedly their best friend.
Today is also the National Burger Day in the UK, a day humans celebrate their undoubted love for surly one of their most favorite foods.
Seemingly, this co-occurrence is a classic example of humanity’s schizoid relationship with animals – celebrating their love for some kinds of animals while celebrating their love of devouring other kinds in a bun. However, things are more complicated than that.

The utilization and emphasis of this supposed inconsistency in humanity’s relation to different species, by many animal rights activists, is understandable and rather intuitive, but nevertheless it misses something very fundamental about humans and about humans’ relationships with other animals, a relationship which is first and foremost functional.

Different animals are classified differently, mostly according to the function they serve for humans. That includes dogs who along history and among different cultures were and still are considered as food, labor force, experimental subjects, hunting animals, guarding animals, and even as pests. In fact dogs were on the ‘exploited list’ in the whole world for a much longer time than they are on the ‘loved list’. And in most of the world they are not objects of love but of labor, guarding, filth, or flesh.

Simply loving is far from being an accurate and comprehensive description of the way humans relate to dogs. There are plenty of other aspects of this relationship. Thousands of dogs are experimented on every year. Who knows how many are tied to one place, which is also where they eat, shit and sleep, because humans force them to protect their property. Millions are still forced to serve humans in the military, the police, various emergency services, guiding for blind humans and so on. Thousands of dogs are forced to fight each other for humans’ entertainment and gambling, and hundreds of thousands are forced to race each other for humans’ entertainment and gambling. And of course, in south East Asia dogs are also eaten, just like cows.

There are also very high costs to humans’ “love” of dogs even in the cases they are not being used to fill more explicit functions for humans but for example to keep them company and greet them when they come home. Hundreds of millions are left alone in humans’ houses for long hours which seem like an eternity for such social animals. An issue which is very common and practically unavoidable. Other issues are even more inherent. Humans’ love for the cute and infant like, has produced dog breeds in which full-grown dogs resemble perpetual puppies. On the physical level, the babyish snouts of dogs such as Pugs and the French Bulldogs lead to severe respiratory problems. And on the psychological level, by breeding dogs for Neoteny (retention of juvenile features), humans have created emotionally immature dogs who are prone to neuroses.

The fact that tens of millions of dogs are killed or doomed to live in crummy cages every year because humans don’t adopt them, while puppy mills are so common, is also a strong indication of a more complex relations than simply loving.

And even the loving relations alone can be regarded as functional. The following are some common examples of academic observations on the relations of humans and “pets” such as dogs.
Clinical psychologists believe that humans live with “pets” because they make them feel loved and needed.
And anthrozoologists have offered a wide variety of explanations for the human-animal bond:
“Pets” teach kindness and responsibility to children.
“Pets” provide “ontological security” in a postmodern age in which traditional values and social networks have broken down.
Like ornamental gardens, “pets” are an expression of the human need to dominate nature.
“Pets” allow the middle class to pretend they are rich.
“Pets” substitute for human friends.

While some of it may sound a bit too cynical, it is a little naïve and romantic to present dogs as those who humans simply love. Far more often than not, dogs are affection providers in an emotionally alienated world, in which humans can find comfort in someone who loves them without judgments, envy, competition, ego and the rest of the complexities bound with humans’ relations with other humans.
So humans’ relation with dogs is actually one of the evidences for humans’ functional relation with other animals. And given that humans’ relation with other animals is functional, pointing at humanity’s inconsistent relation to different species, doesn’t function the way many animal rights activists hope that it will on the practical level. Even for most of the humans who don’t explicitly and directly exploit dogs, dogs still function as animals for affection; and for most humans in general, cows’ function as animals for consumption. Most humans don’t connect the dots because they see neither dogs nor cows as different kinds of animals, but as different kinds of functions for humans. That’s why being confronted with the similarity between dogs and cows in the most relevant aspect – both kinds of animals have feelings, preferences, and the ability to suffer – doesn’t do the trick. It is because when it comes to the vast majority, humans’ view of nonhumans is humane, not animalistic. Humans don’t view nonhumans for what they are, but for what they are for humans. And for the vast majority, dogs are in the better case amusement vessels, and cows are simply living hamburger vessels.

Scratching Boundaries

Our last post addressed Netflix’s documentary film Seaspiracy, a film that made a lot of fuss. The following post also addresses a recent Netflix environmental documentary film, but in its case, there was no fuss, and exactly for the same reasons that Seaspiracy did make many people angry. As opposed to Seaspiracy who “dared” to demanded people to take seriously the issue at the center of the film and simply stop eating fishes, Breaking Boundaries didn’t make people angry, because it doesn’t make any equivalent demands such as asking people to stop consuming animals, despite that such a film most certainly should have.

Basically, the film follows the scientist Johan Rockstrom who developed and studies the concept of Planetary Boundaries. These are earth systems and features which are essential for the planet’s functioning. There are nine planetary boundaries according Rockstrom and they are: Climate change, Biodiversity, Ocean Acidification, The Ozone Layer, Air Pollution, The Nitrogen and Phosphorus cycles, Freshwater, Land-system changes, and Novel Entities (human-made pollutants).
Except for the ozone layer depletion, which only indirectly relates to animal based food, all the rest are directly and heavily affected by animal industrial exploitation. And yet, animal based food plays an extremely marginal part in the film. So tiny, it can barely be noticed, partly because the word veganism (or even vegetarianism) isn’t even mentioned. Instead the viewers are advised to choose ‘healthy food’. Hopefully, the filmmakers at least had veganism in mind when they recommended healthy food. But unfortunately it wasn’t explicitly recommended.

What is suggested as a very effective way to draw down the carbon that is already overheating the planet is that people would plant trees.
Every person on earth, in every single meal, devastatingly affects the planet, and yet they are all offered to plant trees.

The issue of food received exactly 55 seconds in the film.
And that’s the entire reference:

“There’s another transformation that is almost unbelievably simple, but it’s key to staying within our planet’s boundaries. It can be adopted by you or me. In fact, by anyone with the freedom to choose what food they eat.

Now, the exciting thing is the diet that is more flexitarian, less red meat, more plant-based protein, more fruit and nuts, less starchy foods, if you take that diet and assume that all people would eat healthy food, we could actually come back within a safe operating space, not only on climate, but also on biodiversity, on land, on water, on nitrogen and phosphorus.

Quite exciting that eating healthy food might be the single most important way of contributing to save the planet.” (01:04:47-01:05:41)

Less than one minute for one of the two most important things that a single person can do. And even that minute, cowardly suggested ‘healthy food’ instead of simply and plainly saying – you should all go vegan now!
The other thing is breeding. And that issue gets exactly zero seconds in the film.

Since we have addressed the tremendous impact of the animal based food industry on climate change in past texts, most notably here, and since this fact is already well known to every animal activist, we will not repeat it here. The animal based food industry without a doubt plays probably the biggest part in climate change. Even if some keep insisting that it is “only” the second largest contributor, it still surely doesn’t receive even a remotely proportional attention.

Breaking Boundaries may have made some laypeople who are not activists worried, but it should make activists very very angry.

Breaking Environmentalists Boundaries

Animal rights activists are unfortunately already used to the animal based food industry being pushed aside, or barely mentioned (like in the case of Breaking Boundaries) in environmental films. But in this particular film, so many facts, details, perspectives, detections, pieces of information, informational linkages and etc., should have led environmentalist activists especially, to one unequivocal conclusion – the human race has got to go. And still they don’t.

Here are some examples (taken from the film in chronological order):

You could think of yourself driving in a mountainous area with the road circling up the mountain. An overpowered engine driving much, much too fast, driving without any headlights. Cliffs that you’re at risk of falling over. You want, of course, to turn on the headlights, and that is what science tries to do all the time. To give us the headlights so we can see what risks we’re facing. (00:00:32)

This metaphor, made by Rockstrom at the beginning of the film, is problematic. The problems in the world are not that it is dark and so needs some headlights, but that it is darkened deliberately and intentionally. It is wrong to describe humanity as if it drives in the dark and as if it supposedly waited for someone to turn on the headlights, since these are turned on for decades now, only that the vast majority of humans keep turning them off. Some purposely, and most simply indifferently.
There is a headlight the size of the sun that unambiguously illuminates the origin of the problem. Only that almost no one, including scientists, wish to observe it. The origin of the problem is not climate change, or any other of the nine boundaries, but whom who insist on breaking them, and no matter the price they themselves are paying for it, not to mention the rest of the sentient beings on this planet.

Recent discoveries made by scientists studying the ways in which our planet works are surely of the greatest importance for all of us. Their insights are deeply troubling. Nonetheless, they also give us hope, because they show us how we can fix things. (00:00:47)

That is true provided that scientists would at some point be listened to, and that the most relevant and efficient recommendations (veganism and not to breed) would be suggested. Currently neither is happening. Many humans are still doubting scientists, and not the good healthy kind of skepticism but one with no foundation whatsoever. And scientists are offering recommendations according to what they think humans are more likely to do, and not according to what surly must be done.

An example illustrating this approach is the following statement:

This is not about the planet. This is about us. It is about our future. (00:01:43)

This anthropocentric and speciesist claim is probably a reflection of the notion that humans would relate to the issue more if they are told that it is about them. But it is not about them. It is first and foremost about what they have done to others. Humans should highly relate to this issue because they are responsible for it, not because they might be harmed by it as well.

We still have a chance. The window is still open for us to have a future for humanity. That I think is the beauty of where we are today. (00:01:54)

It may seem to some of you a little bit nitpicky, yet to say about where we are today that there is a beauty in it, is deeply detached. There is no beauty in where we are now. Or ever been. Even if the terminology about still having a chance was true, that is not beauty. It wouldn’t even be fixing anything, but at most just stop breaking more and more.

Our understanding of how our planet works is always advancing. We can now see more clearly than ever how life’s intricate complexity is essential for our own survival. (00:02:10)

Yet all the advancing in understanding of how this planet works didn’t help humans reach the inevitable conclusion. Humans still don’t see clearly that the source of the problem is whom who have created all these atrocities in the first place and that should have long ago lost its right to be here. To keep insisting on saving the human race is to see things as unclearly as possible. Why must everyone suffer for it to keep existing?

The exponential rise in human pressures on planet Earth has now reached a stage where we have now created our own geological epoch.
Scientists recently declared that the Holocene has ended and that we are now in the Anthropocene, the age of humans, because we now are the primary drivers of change on planet Earth.

How much more exponential rise in human pressures on planet Earth is needed for them to understand?

I would say that perhaps the most dire message to humanity is the following: So we have, in just 50 years, managed to push ourselves outside of a state that we’ve been in for the past 10,000 years. Are we at risk of destabilizing the whole planet? It’s just a mind-boggling situation to be in. For the first time, we have to seriously consider the risk of destabilizing the entire planet. (00:06:14)

This statement is supposed to make humans, or at least environmentalist activists, realize that the human race shouldn’t be saved. A species with such a devastating potential must not be granted with endless chances to change its harmful behavior.
There is no species that could even come near the level of harm caused by the human race.

With global temperatures now warmer than they’ve been since the dawn of civilization, there is a danger that we have already crossed the boundary in Earth’s climate. (00:08:23)

And billions upon billions of sentient beings are paying for the decisions humans are making. And it is not that humans are simply making mistakes, this is not done unwittingly, these are decisions, carless and cruel decisions. The facts presented in the film are known long enough for the human race to solve them. Rapidly. And yet…

We’re starting to see the impacts of being in the middle of the danger zone in the climate boundary in terms of rising frequency of droughts, and heatwaves, and floods, and accelerated melting of ice, and accelerated thawing of permafrost, and higher frequency of forest fires. (00:17:37)

Not only that all of that is about to continue, it is going to intensify. And as it is in the face of any other atrocity, the “world” is loudly silent. The rational thing to do once the human race had figured out the dire consequences of burning fossil fuels, is to simply stop. Not to ignore it, because ‘it seems that it doesn’t concern me or my children’. Not to reduce it a little bit because from a certain point ‘it seems that it does concern at least my children or their children’, but to simply stop.

Today, our assessment is that the uncertainty range in science lies between 350 PPM, which is the boundary between the safe zone and entering the danger zone, up to 450 PPM, which is when you exit the danger zone and go into a really high-risk zone. (00:18:11)

A great moral responsibility lays on the human race and it is to stop way before 450 PPM. This great moral responsibility is first and foremost for the rest of the species living on this planet, and towards future generations of humans. However, given the history of the human race, the best way they can fulfil their moral obligation is by not having future generations.

Humans have created 100,000 new materials, any number of which could interact with the environment in catastrophic ways. (00:42:33)

How is it that in spite of all the insane information presented in this film there are so few environmentalist initiatives calling for human extinction?

We can see so clear evidence that, because we’re in the danger zone on climate, because we’re in the deep high-risk zone on biodiversity loss, we start seeing increased drought, impacts on the rain forest, the forest fires in Australia and in the Amazon, the accelerated ice melt, the collapse of coral reef systems. (00:47:26)

Up until a few years ago, many have said that the human race doesn’t take environmental issues, particularly climate change, seriously, because no matter how scientifically based it is, it is a predication, a warning about bad things that will happen in the future. But in recent years, many immediate and direct effects have already happened. So how are they going to excuse humans now? When will excusing the human race ever stop?

Now that Johan and his colleagues have turned on the headlights, we can clearly see the boundaries. We can see the path back to a safe space, to a more resilient future. It is achievable. (00:59:48)

No it is not. The headlights are turned on for decades now.
Humans didn’t prove they can be trusted with fixing the problems they have caused, problems that everyone, everywhere are paying the price for. They don’t try to fix them even when the human race itself is in a clear and present danger.

The future’s not determined. The future is in our hands. (01:08:29)

With the aim of inspiring some hope, this statement is probably the most depressing one in the film. The fact that the future is in humans’ hands is terrifying. Humans’ hands are absolutely unreliable, so us activists must do everything we can to save “the future” from their dreadful grip.

And finally, Johan Rockstrom suggests a metaphor:

What would we do if we had had a report tomorrow morning saying that an asteroid is on its way to Earth?
Well, I’m sure that we would just put everything else aside and just focus then on solving the problem. Cost whatever cost it takes.

Again Rockstrom’s metaphor is wrong. In his view, the asteroid serves as an analogy for climate change, but for every individual from any species other than humans, the asteroid is the human race. Only that unfortunately, they can’t overthrow humans from their tyrannical throne. This is our job.

Devil Nets

Today is world ocean day, a fitting occasion for a short discussion over the fuss against Seaspiracy – a recently premiered documentary film which puts most of the blame for the destruction of Earth’s oceans on the commercial fishing industry.

The film made many people, not just from the fishing industry but from ocean conservation groups as well as the general public, very angry, supposedly because it displays, according to its opposers, many perceived “inaccuracies”. Most of this kind of criticism is directed at the ‘empty oceans by 2048’ statement which they claim is wrong (we have referred to the ‘empty oceans by 2048’ statement here), the claim that most of the plastic pollution in the ocean comes from fishing gear such as abandoned fishing nets (known as “ghost nets”) and not from household plastic (for more about plastic pollution in the ocean please read our post ‘deep impact’), and that allegedly sustainable fishing practices such as dolphin safe nets practically means nothing (we have referred to this issue in the article The Anthropocentric View Of The Environmentalists).

Many have written about the film’s supposed inaccuracies, many others have defended the factual claims presented in the film, and many argue that its inaccuracies are marginal compared with its great contribution. Therefore, and since as mentioned we have referred to some of the main issues in the center of the controversy, we will not deal with the film’s inaccuracies in this text, but with the implications of such a film and of such a response to such a film, including the focus on inaccuracies in the responses to the film, which we’ll begin with.

Even if we’ll accept that there are some inaccuracies in the film, that wouldn’t be the first time that a documentary wasn’t accurate about some of the data presented in it. And it is far from being the most controversial documentary film ever made. What distinguishes Seaspiracy from many other documentary films is that it has the guts to lead to a much more personally demanding solution – stop consuming fishes.
This is not another mediocre, placative, undemanding, and obsequious documentary film that ends up suggesting that if only we will all do something extremely marginal and insignificant such as stop using plastic straws, switch lightbulbs, or turn off the lights for an hour, the world would be a better place. Much of the criticism, we assume, stems from the film being more personally demanding than usual, suggesting that if humans don’t want to participate in dolphins and turtles killing, human slavery, climate change, and in the ecological destruction of the oceans, they must stop eating fishes.

It is much more convenient to oppose a specific malpractice such as the dolphins slaughter in Taiji or the whales slaughter in the Faroe Islands, than the whole global fishing industry.
Of course it would have been much more comfortable if most of the plastic in the oceans really came from something like straws and not from commercial fishing because people don’t mind so much giving up drinking with plastic straws, but they sure like eating fishes and are not ready to give them up.

So clearly the case is not that the film is full of errors, but that it upsets the fishing industry and is inconvenient for humans who eat fishes.
One of the ways to reject the film’s conclusion is by doubting the truthfulness of its claims. And one of the ways to do that is to turn the discussion about the film into a discussion about the accuracy of specific statistics, or claiming that the film is provocative in its style, or that it is a “vegan propaganda”, a claim we’ll address later in this text.

It is much easier for humans to deny or convince themselves that things are much less worse than presented in the film claiming it is full of inaccuracies. It is much more convenient to argue with the film’s practical conclusion, which sadly and ridiculously most humans find demanding, by claiming that the ‘empty oceans by 2048’ prediction is actually wrong, or that the “by-catch” “figures” are actually a little bit smaller than suggested in the film. That is a tactic many are using to disqualify a genuinely relevant, efficient and serious solution, at least on the personal level, to many of the problems in the oceans.

The style of Seaspiracy might not be some people’s cup of tea, some data might not be accurate or may be controversial, but this film is not full of errors. Certainly not in its core claim which is that the main contributor to ocean destruction is the fishing industry.

The film makes many people uncomfortable because they don’t want to think that animals that they like such as dolphins, whales and sea turtles are being killed as a consequence of them consuming fishes, for whom they don’t care much.
They don’t want to think that they are contributing to ocean destruction as a consequence of them consuming fishes, for whom they don’t care much.
They don’t want to think that they are contributing to climate change as a consequence of them consuming fishes, for whom they don’t care much.
They don’t want to think that they are part of the ocean problem as a consequence of them consuming fishes, for whom they don’t care much.

And probably exactly because humans don’t care much about fishes, the film focuses on everything else but the main victims of the fishing industry which are obviously fishes.


Despite being labeled by many as “vegan propaganda”, this film is not a threat to speciesism.
Observing it from an animalistic perspective, this film is in the sequence of the recent years’ anthropocentric approach to veganism, meaning if you care about your health, your planet, your oceans, about marine mammals, human slavery, and etc., go vegan. Like in former productions of Kip Andersen, What the Health and Cowspiracy, it is suggested that veganism should be embraced for human interests or issues humans have some interest in, not in order to stop the main atrocity – animals suffering.
Like many films and books of its kind, the main victims are hardly mentioned and most of the focus is on other issues.

The use of egocentric and anthropocentric arguments in veganism advocacy is notoriously popular in the animal liberation movement (an issue which was addressed here). In the case of advocacy for fishes, it is even more anthropocentric, since humans relate to fishes even less than they do to other animals. Therefore, despite that most of the exploited beings on earth are fishes, even in the animal liberation movement the center of attention is not the fishes’ suffering but rather the fact that as a consequence of the fishes’ exploitation other harms are caused.

For example, as earlier mentioned, the opposers claim that the film’s figures regarding ghost nets’ portion in plastic pollution in the ocean are wrong. Although it is not always easy to track the origin of plastic in the ocean, let alone when it breaks down to microplastic, it seems that indeed ‘ghost nets’ and other fishing gear’s share is enormous and maybe even the biggest. And it is definitely more harmful because it is specifically designed to catch fishes.
However, even that mustn’t be the main point. In animalistic terms, with a non-speciesist outlook, the main problem is not whether ghost nets cause more suffering than other plastic does, but that there are fishing nets. From an anti-speciesist perspective, there is no difference between ghost nets and nets which are still attached to a ship, for fishes they are all devil nets.

Another example is overfishing, an extremely speciesist term. Same as there is no such thing as over-exploiting, or over-slavery, there should be no such thing as over-fishing.
Obviously the film’s focus on “overfishing” was intentional and working under the assumption that humans care more about the oceans than they care about fishes. That is despite that oceans can’t feel, and fishes can, but humans don’t feel for them. However, besides perpetuating speciesism, this approach might have another dire consequence. Despite that in the film it is explicitly claimed that fish farms are extremely cruel in themselves, and that they are not at all free from ecological damages to the oceans as many of which are actually cages set in the ocean which cause heavy pollution, and that they are not at all distinct from commercial fishing since billions of fishes are caught in the oceans to be grind up and fed to the farmed fishes, that is nevertheless what many humans might choose to do as a consequence of them wanting to avoid “overfishing” and “by-catch”.

Fish farming, usually euphemized as aquaculture, is already the most rapidly growing agricultural industry with almost 10% average growth rate per year in the last four decades, and the consumption of factory farmed fishes already exceeded the one of caught fishes.

Humans have been “farming” fishes in net enclosures, ponds, vats and even woven baskets for thousands of years now. However in the last few decades, as the worldwide demand constantly rise while wild population is decreasing, the industry became extremely intensified, aiming at producing more fishes, bigger, faster and cheaper, to meet humans’ insatiable demand.
As in the case of the rest of humanity’s victims, the new inventive systems are far crueler as they cause intense suffering from birth to death for the fishes.

The film was heavily criticized for citing the dated prediction of ‘oceans empty of fish by 2048’, but the greatest threat of “overfishing” is not empty oceans but full fishponds.

“By-catch” and “sustainable fishing” are also extremely speciesist terms. And when such speciesist terms function as one of the main reasons not to eat fishes, humans’ state of mind for that matter, which is something like: ‘Oh wow I didn’t know that fishing – as in taking out of water and suffocating sentient beings that I like to eat – causes so much damage to sentient beings that I like to watch’, is not even challenged.

Obviously there is no way to make fishing acceptable because by definition it is harming fishes. It is like arguing whether there is or there isn’t an acceptable form of slavery because it may or may not cause the enslaving population to become lazy and dependent, instead of stating that it is never acceptable to enslave people.

There is no safe net because none of them are safe for fishes.
The following is a short video we have made about Dolphin Safe label

And another video about “sustainable fishing”

As mentioned earlier, some argue that the inaccuracies are marginal compared with the film’s important message, and some of those wonder what would have the film’s opposers done if not for the claimed inaccuracies?
But the more important question is what would have the film’s opposers done if not for the anthropocentric and speciesist messages of the film? What would the reaction be had the film not mentioned the numbers of marine animals being killed as “by-catch” but “merely” stated that humans are killing five million fishes per minute, or 2.7 trillion fishes per year, and that humans shouldn’t eat fishes because the fishes who are consumed are suffering? And the answer is none, since such a film would have never even been streamed on Netflix.

Seaspiracy, and the discussion around it, is another clear indication of the despair from humans’ morality, but unfortunately without the clear conclusion that must be drawn. Instead of reclaiming the power they shouldn’t have given to humans in the first place, activists continue to play into humans’ hands. It is another case of focusing on the victimizers, their interests, their motives, and what they are willing to do, instead of focusing on the victims and what they desperately need to be done.

Anthropocentrism Propaganda

Another common claim against the film is that it is vegan propaganda. As if it’s a bad thing.
Would the same people disapprove The Liberator for being antislavery propaganda? The Suffragette Newspaper for being feminist propaganda? Probably not.
Anyway this claim isn’t worth much consideration so we’ll skip it and pay more attention to its evolved version, and that is that veganism is an oversimplified solution because it is unrealistic that all people would go vegan, because hundreds of millions of people around the world are depended on coastal fisheries and so can’t go vegan, and because it will not solve all the problems of the ocean.

Before seriously confronting the serious parts of this claim, a few short comments about its less serious parts.
First of all, claiming about a film that successfully displays a very complex reality in which there are connections between corporations (inside and outside of the fishing industry), governments, enforcement agencies, and even environmental organization, and the fishing industry (connections which make it very hard to obtain reliable information about the fishing industry), that it is oversimplified, is ridiculous.

Secondly, this claim is to cowardly hide behind humans who supposedly can’t be vegan.
Even if for the sake of the argument we’ll accept that there are indeed humans who can’t be vegan, obviously it is not the ones who are making this claim, or anyone else that can watch this film on Netflix. They all can and must be vegan, but they won’t, cowardly hiding behind those who supposedly can’t, as if it can serve as a justified excuse for their own cruelty.
It is also very peculiar, as it is the fishing industry which “overfishes” and so without it, it would be easier for the humans they are referring to fish. So their claim should be that indeed anyone who can go vegan must do so, so the fishing industry would close down and stop polluting the homes and “steal” the “food source” of hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on coastal fisheries.
Don’t get this claim wrong, this doesn’t imply that these humans are allowed to kill fishes, but that this claim is not only cowardly, but also perplexing.

Now, taking the claim that some people can’t be vegan more seriously, it is as if we are expected to shut up and accept that this is the situation. But if people cannot sustain themselves without severely harming many other sentient creatures then we mustn’t accept that this is the situation. In fact that is one of the main arguments of our movement, that humans can’t really sustain themselves without hurting others. Humans can relatively easily avoid hurting fishes by fishing if they avoid fishing, but it is practically impossible for them to avoid hurting fishes by polluting their habitats with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, sewage, plastic, nylon, lead, aluminum, mercury, and plenty of other toxic waste, heavy metals and chemicals, while feeding themselves a vegan diet. And that’s only concerning fishes, obviously billions of land animals are systematically hurt by planet based agriculture as well as every other human activity. Human life is simply unsustainable in ethical terms.

Obviously veganism will not solve all the problems of the ocean since many of them are not related to animal consumption. Plastic and many other polluting materials are vegan, and many vegans are using them on a daily basis. Vegans are using the sewage system on a daily basis, they are eating vegan food which is produced with fertilizes, herbicides, and pesticides which end up in the ocean eventually, on a daily basis, they contribute to climate change which effects the ocean, they contribute to noise pollution in the ocean by consuming products transported by ships, and etc. It is inevitable.

The problem of the world is not that there are some people who can’t be vegan, and it is not that most of the ones who can won’t because they don’t want to, and it is not even that the few who do still can’t avoid hurting many animals, but it is all of it together, and a lot more. The problem is not that there is no one simple solution for all the problems that humans are causing, the problem is that there are no solutions at all. Just like there is no sustainable fishing, there is no sustainable human living. Humans are hurting just by being alive.

Confronting the problems in the world, activists shouldn’t change their ethical conclusions because these would be unacceptable by humans, but finally conclude that they don’t need humans’ acceptance in the first place. Especially not, considering that humans are the source of most of the suffering in the world, and that the key to preventing most of it, is forsaking them in every possible sense.

Mass Orphanhood

Today is Mother’s Day.
While humans are celebrating, billions of nonhumans are forced to never have a mother

Cure for Speciesism

This week is the World Week for Animals in Laboratories.
Along with the suffering of animals in various exploitative industries, and the harmful consequences of many other human activities, the suffering of nonhuman animals in laboratories is supposed to serve as a very strong motivation for humanity to change its ways, given that hundreds of millions of sentient beings are forced to be tortured in the research industry, mainly to solve problems that humanity could have easily avoided in the first place by changing its harmful lifestyle.

But that is what was long ago supposed to happen. In reality, humanity doesn’t change its ways, even after bringing a pandemic on itself. Despite warnings that something like that is about to happen sooner or later, despite preknowledge of the sources of most past pandemics, and despite that clearly small scale epidemics constantly spread in factory farms, humanity doesn’t and will never learn the lesson. Even the specific live animal markets (‘wet markets’) from which the current pandemic has spread will go on as the cruel usual. Animals will keep being tortured in laboratories, paying the price for humans’ cruel insistence on torturing other animals in other industries.
More and more animals will keep suffering more and more cruel experiments because more and more pathogens will keep jumping to humans from more and more nonhumans who will keep being more and more tortured in factory farms and live animal markets. Continue reading

Prospect Scarcity

Today is the World Water Day, a day aimed at raising awareness to water scarcity.

Water scarcity currently affects about 2.5 billion people, or every third person in the world.
This figure is expected to reach over 2.7 billion people in the coming decade. Also expected by that time is between 24 million and 700 million people all over the world who would be displaced due to water scarcity.
Population growth, agriculture, climate change, urbanization, and mismanagement of water resources all contribute to the growing global water crisis. The global population increased by three-fold in the 20th century but water use increased by six-fold. UNESCO predicts that half of the world human population will be living in water-stressed conditions by 2025.

Already about third of the world’s biggest underground water systems are in distress. And the problem is not just the dwindling water supply but also the quality of the water. According to the WHO, more than 2 billion people do not have access to a safely managed water source, almost a billion people do not have access to even a basic water source, more than 260 million people have to walk over half an hour just to access water that isn’t even clean.
About 2.5 billion people lack access to even basic sanitation services. The majority of these people are forced to practice open defecation, or use public pits or buckets.
The WHO reports that at least 2 billion people worldwide consume water from a source that is contaminated with feces. Fecal contamination in the water supply is a major cause of waterborne diseases such as Hepatitis A, Norovirus, and E Coli. Annually, about 5 million people contract diseases related to waterborne pathogens around the world, most of them children.

Along with children, women are also worst affected by water scarcity as they are the ones who bear the burden of gathering water for their families. In both Africa and Asia, women walk an average distance of 4 miles every day, to carry a 20 kilograms container of water, and from a water source which has the potential to make them sick. According to UNICEF, around the world, women and children spend 200 million hours every day collecting water. And an additional 266 million hours each day are lost because they have no toilet at home.
The impacts of water scarcity affect families and their communities. Children, mostly girls, drop out of school and parents struggle to make a living. Without clean, easily accessible water, people can become locked in poverty for generations.

Continue reading

Ideology On Each Child’s Plate

The day before yesterday an outrage was sparked off in France. The reason is one decision, of one mayor, in the city of Lyon alone, to only temporarily stop serving children, only some types of animals’ corpses and during school lunches only.

Despite that the decision is not of a total meat-free diet – for example by closing down all the city’s butcher shops and banning all the meat from all the other stores that sell animal flesh – but only regards to school lunches, and despite that it is not really a meat-free menu, as fishes will be offered as usual (if not more than usual, because ‘the children need to consume animals to grow well’ as the Agriculture Minister said in response, as well as asking the region’s administrator, who is the state-appointed top local official, to overrule the decision), and despite that it is definitely not an exploitation-free menu as eggs and milk products will be served as usual, and despite that Lyon’s Mayor Gregory Doucet said that the motivation behind that decision is solely due to the health crisis as it allows the service to be streamlined and quickened amid coronavirus restrictions, members of the French government claimed that the decision insults French butchers and Lyon’s famous culinary reputation, and harms the health of children. Continue reading


With a global zoonotic pandemic that originated from the consumption of an animal, an increase in the price of animals’ flesh and bodily secretions, a decrease in the price of many plant based products, an increase in the number of vegan restaurants and vegan options in non-vegan restaurants, a shutdown (at least temporarily) of some animal corpses processing plants and of animal murdering facilities which brought about a meat shortage, more and more evidences of the severe effects of climate change, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in 16 countries, doctors in the U.K advising in an open letter to the government that a plant-based diet is an effective way of fighting health issues such as obesity, T2 diabetes, and heart disease, which are all major risk factors for COVID-19, and many other incentives from various fields, everything was ready for 2020 to be the most vegan year in human history.

The ground was set, and was supposed to be even more conclusive and persuasive than ever. Veganism couldn’t have asked for a better ground to flourish. Yet its rise is still extremely marginal compared with the fact that going vegan, especially this year, should have been utterly unequivocal, self-evident and the only reasonable thing to do, from every possible aspect. This year, considering all, the number of vegans shouldn’t have been “merely” increasing, but a real revolution in humans’ diet should have occurred. But it didn’t happen. Not even remotely close.

There was a growing interest in plant-based protein consumption but mostly as a result of the flesh shortage during the temporary shutdown of slaughterhouses and flesh processing and packing plants, as well as the price increase of flesh, and humans’ fear of food safety issues involved with flesh production during the pandemic.
More humans consumed more plant based products during the passing year, but it doesn’t seem that the vast majority of these humans have decided to go vegan, or even to occasionally choose plant based options over animal based options once animals’ corpses have become as available and as affordable as they were before the shutdown.

In the past 50 years, it is estimated that at least three dozen zoonotic infectious diseases have emerged, among them are Bird Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, the Zika virus, MERS, and Ebola. Yet, factory farming, not to mention animal consumption all together, is far from being under any threat of being finally and permanently shut down. Even wildlife trade “only”, will not be ended as a part of drawing conclusions from 2020. In fact, as we claimed in a former post, even the very specific live animal market from which the current pandemic had emerged is not and will not be closed down. Continue reading


In the beginning of this month, the Danish government decided to murder the about 17 million minks imprisoned in Denmark’s fur farms, due to concerns that the COVID-19 mutation discovered among minks would spread to humans.

The decision created a storm of criticism, but unfortunately (though expectedly), not for the right reasons. It is not for the murder of 17 million animals (which are three times the human population in Denmark), it is not for the murder method, it is not for the fact that these animals are being murdered to protect the species who is actually responsible for their exploitation and their infection, and it is not since it is unfair that the victims of industrial farming are paying the price for another one of the consequences of industrial farming and not the ones who created and maintain industrial farming, and it is not for the fact that there are still industrial farms or any farms whatsoever, no, it is not for any of these reasons, but for the fact that many people would lose their jobs (there are more than 1,100 mink farms in Denmark), and for the fact that Denmark would lose much of its revenue as it is the biggest mink exploitation industry in the world accounting for 40% of global production, and for the fact that it later appeared that the mass murder had no legal basis, and because the 10 million minks who have already been murdered so far have been buried in too shallow mass graves and so in the last couple of days many of the mink corpses are rising from the ground to the surface due to gas accumulating in their decaying bodies. Danish officials are worried that the mink corpses could cause a severe phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, especially in water sources.

The Danish agriculture minister resigned due to the public outcry and the new one wants to dig up the mass graves and incinerate the minks’ corpses

Continue reading

Black Mirror

It’s been a week since Miley Cyrus announced that she is no longer vegan because she felt her health was being compromised, and many vegans are still sharing their disappointment and surprise on social networks.
But there should be nothing surprising about a celebrity ditching the animals or any other moral cause.

As genuine spotlight-seekers, many celebrities use the ‘social justice’ trend and choose an issue for self-promotion and for a tinge of image make-up. Good publicity is good for business. But many animal activists forget that every trend has an expiration date.

Celebrities are celebrities, not animal rights activists. Even the ones who are currently on the right track, might change their minds at any given moment. We can’t count on celebrities to promote anything other than themselves. If they cared that much about animal rights they would have become full time activists, and would invest as much as we do in the issue. Obviously, some genuinely and wholeheartedly do, but the whole idea of making people who all they have to give is their fame – the veganism’s frontpeople, says something about the belief of many animal activists in themselves and in their message. None of the self-promoting, attention addicts celebrities, have something smarter to say about the subject than any unfamiliar activist. Usually it is the other way around. So the only reason for the mass celebrity use is the acknowledgment that no one would listen to a “nobody” animal rights activist. Continue reading

Misdemeanors and the Greatest Crimes Ever in History

Two juridical news stories regarding birds abuse were published recently.

One of them was published a few days ago and it involves cockfighting.
The image of cockfighting as an illegal, small scale activity that secretly takes place in shady places with a few dozen people who come to gamble a few bucks, is very inaccurate. In reality it is a highly organized industry which runs billions of dollars every year and is legal in many countries such as: the Philippines (where it is a national sport), Thailand, Dominican Republic, Peru, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, France, parts of Spain, Indonesia, and etc. In some other countries despite that it is illegal, the law is not enforced and cockfighting is popular, like in India and in 8 states of the United States where cockfighting is enforced only with a small fine. One of them is Kentucky, which treats cockfighting as a misdemeanor.

Last week, the Washington-based organization ‘Animal Wellness Action’, held an online news briefing with a former Kentucky attorney general and current Kentucky Senator, calling for a tougher enforcement of cockfighting breeders in Kentucky.
Based on interviews with some of the breeders, by a Philippines-based cockfighting broadcaster who had traveled to the U.S., the group urged Kentucky’s two U.S. attorneys to inspect seven Kentucky breeders for federal violations. The Animal Wellness Action also demands that cockfighting would be a felony. Continue reading

Only Wars and Viruses

few days ago, probably the most famous animal abuse festival in the world – the fiesta in honor of San Fermin mostly known as Running of the Bulls – was supposed to end. But for the first time since the Spanish Civil War it was canceled.

For anyone not familiar with the abusive festival, a run takes place every day at 8A.M. between the 7th and the 14th of July. 6 bulls and 6 steers who are supposed to herd them, run the 825 meters of immensely crowded narrow streets from the corral and into the bullring.
The terrified bulls, surrounded by hundreds of runners, are harassed and touched all along the run.
Running on the cobbled streets with sharp turns, the bulls also suffer from falls, trampling, bruises and fractures. They often collide with the walls, get severely injured, sometimes breaking bones.

Continue reading

Elephants Don’t Forget, But Humans Do

The human race received many wishes for its extinction in the passing week. The reason was the appalling case of an elephant who was killed in India by eating a trap pineapple stuffed with powerful firecrackers. The murder initiated a widespread outrage on social media. Some of which was fueled by political motives (rightwing Hindu nationalists blaming Muslims for the killing), but much of it, especially outside of India, is from people wishing for humanity to vanish from the face of the earth.

Here are just a few examples of what people wrote:
“This is an another example of why we don’t deserve this planet”
“Humans should gtfo”
“The human race as malicious… pollute, kill, torture, destruction of their own kind as well
“Poor innocent creature, humans are the worst creatures on this planet”
“I am filling shameful being a human now”
“Humans really are the worst living creatures and i have said it before too”
“After knowing about this tragedy I am ashamed to be human!!! Wtf is wrong with humanity”
“Human Don’t deserve to live”
“News like this makes me think we deserve this pandemic”
“Maybe we are the most developed species on the earth with all the technologies we have but sorry we r moving towards the end of humanity…shame on us”
“Q: Want to see the dangerous animal on the world??? A: Then look into the mirror”
“Humans are killing the world. Heartless people don’t deserve this planet”
“Humans don’t deserve to live in this earth including me”
“We need another virus having 90% of fatality rate, no human is innocent. Let nature punish us”

Many animal liberation activists find it very ironic and outrageous that the same people who are wishing humanity to go extinct are not willing to make their own animal consumption go extinct. They are rightfully irritated and frustrated by the fact that so many people can deeply empathize with the suffering of one elephant but at the same time be so indifferent to the no less suffering that they are personally causing. Continue reading

Not Even Now, Not Even Only the “Wet” Markets

Many wildlife and conservation groups view the Covid-19 pandemic as a great opportune moment to close down live animal markets (‘wet markets’), if not all wildlife trade.
These claims have received some tailwind from some politicians, lawmakers, and health officials who called the World Health Organization to order a shutdown of live animal markets. Of course much of that is due to political interests related to the U.S.-China trade war, as many American politicians focused solely on Chinese live animal markets instead of all of them, or all the wildlife trade. But anyway The WHO pushed back on the calls to ban these markets, saying that they need to be “well regulated and managed”, not closed down.

Many animal liberation groups also view this pandemic as a great opportune moment, but obviously they are making a much broader and more accurate connection between pandemics and animal consumption, calling to close down all the factory farms as they are the ideal environment for zoonotic pathogens (animal-borne pathogens that can infect humans) to develop and spread.

Another motive of animal liberation groups might be the fear that if only live animals markets would be closed down, since humans’ desire for animal flesh won’t go down with it, that means that at least some of the humans who consume animals’ flesh in these markets would get more of it from factory farms. So this call might actually end up increasing animal suffering.

But there is no need to rack your brains over this as none of it is going to happen. Even the current pandemic won’t make humanity decide to close down the live animal markets, not to mention stop consuming animal based food. No matter what the results of this pandemic are, even the live animal markets won’t be closed down permanently, and certainly not factory farms. Continue reading

Animals’ Time? Part 3 – Comparably Wrong

Many activists are saying that after the working class liberation, black liberation, women liberation and gay liberation this is animals’ time. Discrimination on the basis of species is the last form of discrimination to be fought against.

Thinking that this is animals’ time since other forms of discrimination were already successfully addressed is a mistake from at least three different aspects. The first is a factual one – all of the so called revolutions are still far from occurring. The second is conceptual – the belief that eventually the truth has got to win, requires falsely observing history as a purposeful force moving in a linear way from bad to good, from chaotic to ordered, from irrational to rational. And the third one is analogical – even if human social struggles were successful, we can’t infer from them about nonhumans’ struggle, because they are fundamentally different.
In the following post we’ll address the third aspect.

Comparatively Wrong

Many activists compare animals’ institutionalized exploitation with slavery. They use it as a rhetorical tool, trying to convince the public that just as discrimination based on skin color is arbitrary and wrong so is discrimination based on species, and they use it as an inspiration source arguing that just as enslavement based on skin color discrimination was ended, exploitation based on species discrimination can also end.

We find this inspiration utterly false for several reasons, which we broadly detailed in a series of posts about slavery. Here are the arguments in short. Continue reading

Animals’ Time? – Part 2 – Conceptually Wrong

Many activists are saying that after the working class liberation, black liberation, women liberation and gay liberation this is the animals’ time. Discrimination on the basis of species is the last form of discrimination to be fought against.

Thinking that this is animals’ time since other forms of discrimination were already successfully addressed is false from at least three different aspects. The first is a factual one – all of the so called revolutions are still far from occurring. The second is conceptual – the belief that eventually the truth has got to win, requires falsely observing history as a purposeful force moving in a linear way from bad to good, from chaotic to ordered, from irrational to rational. And the third one is analogical – even if human social struggles were successful, we can’t infer from them about nonhumans’ struggle, because they are fundamentally different.
In the following post we’ll address the second aspect.

Conceptually Wrong

The belief that “this is animals’ time”, probably unconsciously, relies on an inherently religious telos, whose secular form is manifested in the enlightenment narrative and the notion of progress, in which ‘the good’ or ‘the truth’ inevitably triumphs in the end, and rationality will inevitably triumph over irrationality if given enough time. All along history activists believed that if they would persist they would win in the end, the truth would inevitability be realized and therefore embraced by everyone.
The problem with this telos is that it is theoretically unprovable and practically entirely baseless. There is no guaranty that “the good” will overcome. There is nothing to support this notion other than the desperate need to believe in it.

There is no reason to believe the “good” will win. It makes much more sense that what has happened so far will keep happening in the future, and that is that the interests of the powerful of each era win. The truth about what goes on inside factory farms was revealed long ago, and yet… Continue reading

Animals’ Time? – Part 1 – Factually Wrong

In the former post we have argued that despite some specific relative successes, some optimistic prospects, and mostly despite the “we’re winning!” rhetoric common among many activists, we are still very very far from wining. Despite the vegan hype and the occasional launch of new plant based products, global consumption of meat is still on the rise. So not only that we are not “winning”, it is still the case that each year more animals are being exploited in severer ways.

In the following posts we’ll argue that not only that we are not winning, there is no reason to believe that we would win simply because we are right. The world doesn’t work like that. We very much want to believe that it does, partly because of an honest, naive and real belief in our goals, but also because people rather believe in a just world theory (that eventually what is true, right, ethical, fair, and just would win) than that there is no causal relation between what things should be like (because that is what is true, right, and just), and how things are actually like.

Many activists are saying that after the working-class liberation, black liberation, women liberation and gay liberation this is the animals’ time. Discrimination on the basis of species is the last form of discrimination to be fought against.

Thinking that this is animals’ time since other forms of discrimination were already successfully addressed is false from at least three different aspects. The first is a factual one – all of the so called revolutions are still far from occurring. The second is conceptual – the belief that eventually the truth has got to win, requires falsely observing history as a purposeful force moving in a linear way from bad to good, from chaotic to ordered, from irrational to rational. And the third one is analogical – even if human social struggles were successful, we can’t infer from them about nonhumans’ struggle, because they are fundamentally different.
The following post address the first aspect. Continue reading

Decreasing the Increase

2019 is presented as a very good year for veganism. In some aspects it really was, but far from being as good as is often represented by whom who keep pumping the “we’re winning!” rhetoric among the vegan community, and definitely far from being as good as it was supposed to be considering the widening acknowledgment of the connection between animal based food and health issues, climate change, the enormous food and water waste, the enormous pollution, obesity, and of course since nowadays non-vegans are losing even their final excuses for not going vegan – that they won’t have anything to eat, as there is an amazing variety of vegan products with the same look, texture and taste, as non-vegan products. But all of that didn’t make veganism mainstream despite that it long ago should have.

As argued in the post for World Vegan Day, some people in the vegan community think it did become mainstream, but they are confusing knowing what veganism is with it being mainstream. Nowadays everybody knows what veganism is and many even know a vegan personally, but mainstream doesn’t mean that in every large city there would be at least one vegan restaurant, but that in every large city there would be a few non-vegan restaurants since the rest are. Mainstream veganism means that animal products are marginal, not still the absolute majority in every supermarket everywhere in the world.

It is very positive that there are plant based products in supermarkets, and it is encouraging in the sense that they have not been there a few years ago and now there are plenty. However, despite that all these vegan options are available in many places, they are still surrounded by non-vegan ones. So activists can be encouraged and draw optimism from the fact that there are plant based burgers along with flesh burgers in the meat aisles, but in the same breath they must ask why the hell are there still flesh burgers when there are equivalently tasty plant based burgers right next to them? How careless to other sentient beings’ suffering must someone be to still choose the flesh burgers? There is nothing victorious about the fact that humans choose again and again the cruel options over the amazing variety of the vegan ones.

Continue reading