July 2008

Is it Safe to Come Out?

Chris from Deep Roots makes some critical comments about the Coming Out For Animals call for papers, including some discussion of my thoughts on "animal activists" promoting police violence more than being targeted by it. Chris suggests I might have misunderstood the context of the questions being asked in a call for papers. I also got an anonymous hate comment that more aggressively insists that the misunderstanding was intentional. Chris says that the context might have been that in terms of "activist groups" "animal activists" "bear the brunt" of police violence. (Read more...)

Alliance Building and Militarism

A popular slogan from the peace movement of the 1960s, "War is not healthy for children and other living things" sets a foundation for alliance and movement building.

In her essay, "The Color of Violence" in The Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
(South End Press, 2006), Haunani-Kay Trask makes the connections between racism, colonialism, and militarism and the effect these intersecting oppressions have on the health of Native Hawaiians. (Read more...)

Meat Is Not Murder

Today I was already thinking about how the slogan "Meat is Murder" is problematic when I overheard a young woman talk about writing it on a sign. "Meat is murder" is a popular vegetarian slogan, but is it true? In The Sexual Politics of Meat, Carol J. Adams writes:

Veganism and Prison Abolition

I've noticed that whenever people talk about "humane treatment" they're usually referring to either nonhuman animals or humans who are imprisoned or otherwise institutionally confined and controlled. I guess this makes sense since keeping people in cages and under complete control resembles how nonhuman animals are general treated in our society. Similarly, the term "cruelty" is usually applied to the treatment of nonhuman animals, human children, and human prisoners. In fact, "humane treatment" and "cruelty" are really paired terms, with the former suggested as the remedy to the latter. (Read more...)

Pioneer Day and the Logic of Genocide

Today is Pioneer Day here in Utah. Throughout this mostly White state, Utahns will be celebrating its colonization with rodeos and fireworks. Today could just as easily be called Genocide Day. The logic of genocide is just as much a part of what is being celebrated today as anything else.

Cattle and Colonizers

In Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture, Jeremy Rifkin writes, "From the very beginning of the modern colonial era, cattle played a prominent role in the confiscation of new lands and the subjugation of native people." This is certainly true of the area where I live. (Read more...)

Asking the Right Questions

A call for papers has been sent out by folks "looking to anthologize the voices of queers involved in animal liberation." I think it would be wonderful to see more interaction between queer theory and veganism. But some of the questions suggested as topics for this book really bothered me, specifically:

Why do queer activists in Uganda but animal activists in the USA bear the brunt of police suppression in their respective countries? Are they similarly subversive of "cultural" practices that turn out to be critical to the maintenance of state power?

(Read more...)

Torture: It's a Dog's Life

On Friday, Democracy Now! interviewed Jane Mayer about her new book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals. In the interview Mayer talks about psychologists contracted by the CIA to develop torture methods used on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Manifest Destiny

When the first Whites entered the Cache Valley it straddled the Mexico-"Oregon Country" border. While trappers for the fur trade set the groundwork for colonization of the region in the 1820s, by the 1840s it was the doctrine of Manifest Destiny that provided the justification for establishing White settlements. (Read more...)

Backlash and Name Calling

Some activists and organizations co-opting "vegan" use a number of misrepresentations in the form of labels, stereotypes, mockery, and caricatures against those who resist the co-option of veganism. An example is VO, an organization that favors two pejorative misrepresentations of vegans: "symbolic vegan" and "vegan police." Both of these labels are examples of a backlash against veganism by an organization explicitly attempting to co-opt the vegan movement.