Γιατί ο Veganism και οι εμπρηστικές βόμβες δεν αναμιγνύονται

Σε μια πρόσφατη δημοσίευση στο La Chola blog, η brownfemipower χρησιμοποιεί την εμπειρία και τη γνώση της για τον φεμινισμό και τα άλλα κινήματα κοινωνικής δικαιοσύνης για να εξηγήσει «γιατί οι εμπρηστικές βόμβες δεν πρόκειται να λειτουργήσουν» – (“why fire bombing will not work.”). Η ανάλυση της αγγίζει πολλούς από τους λόγους για τους οποίους δεν υποστηρίζω τις εμπρηστικές βόμβες, και γενικά το ALF (animal liberation front -μέτωπο απελευθέρωσης των ζώων). (Διαβάστε περισσότερα ...)

Exploitation and Resistance: The Story of Tilikum

Last Wednesday, Tilikum, a free-born orca who's been held captive for over 26 years by the zoo and aquarium industry, killed Dawn Brancheau, one of his human overseers at SeaWorld Amusement Park where he is currently being exploited for human amusement and commercial profit.

While commonly referred to as a "trainer," "overseer" more accurately describes the role Brancheau played in watching over and directing Tilikum's and other orcas' forced labor at the park. That is, overseer puts the training orcas like Tilikum experience, as well as their performances, into the proper context. (Read more...)

Why 'Vegan Oppression' Cannot Exist

I'm a strong believer that it's a mistake to appropriate the experience or struggle of any oppressed group or individual to further our own cause, especially if our advocacy is not designed specifically to address their exploitation. As such, I believe it is inappropriate when we use how other groups are the targets of oppression to describe being vegan or to use their struggles against oppression as a metaphor for the vegan movement. I say this for the simple reason that vegans as a group are not ourselves the targets of oppression. (Read more...)

Real Food Comes from Plants

The sight of slabs of flesh should horrify and disgust any sensitive person if they exercised their inborn compassion. Habit has dimmed their native kindliness. Their palates have become abnormally corrupted and conditioned by taste for dead food, its flavoring and odors. People who eat slaughtered creatures everyday find it hard to imagine what to substitute for meat, not realizing that meat is the substitute for vegetables. – Helen Nearing, Simple Food for the Good Life

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, and one thing I think would bring about a great deal of positive change is for us to do away with the obsolete idea that plant-based foods are somehow a "replacement" or "substitute" for animal-derived pseudo-foods. I cringe nearly every time I read these terms in cookbooks and other dietary literature written from a vegetarian perspective. (Read more...)

A Conversation on 'Why Honey is Not Vegan'

The "Why Honey is Not Vegan" site is the most popular and authoritative online resource for veganism and honey bees. The site is the first result on Google when searching for "vegan" and "honey," and has been sited in multiple books, including the American Dietetics Associations' book on sports nutrition. With the help of Kickstarter, a new fundraising website, a project has been started to save the "Why Honey is Not Vegan" site and give it a complete overhaul.

I first learned about the website in Spring 1999 when my new girlfriend at the time brought printouts of the site – printed out at her office on honey colored paper – to a weekly activist meeting. I later first contacted the author of the site in 2004 when I was doing research for an article that asked, "Is Honey Vegan?" – my first official assignment as the newly hired staff writer for a national nonprofit corporation. Two year later I meet the author, Noah Lewis, when he came to work for the same nonprofit. We have worked closely ever since – including leaving the nonprofit we worked for with in hours of each other because we had views regarding the role and importance of anti-racism that were not shared by management. We've since gone on to work together and separately on a number of projects on a range of social justice issues. To say that the "Why Honey is Not Vegan" site has had an influence on the last ten years of my life would be an understatement.

I sat down last night with Noah to discuss the site and what can be done to help keep it alive.

Race, Species and Dehumanization

From the headlines of yesterday's Democracy Now! comes this report of a speciesist and racist "joke" dehumanizing President Obama:

GOP Candidate Jokes About Hunting President Obama

An Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidate is claiming he was only joking when he said he would buy a license to hunt President Obama. At a rally in Twin Falls on Tuesday, Rex Rammell was discussing hunting tags, when an audience member shouted a question about "Obama tags." Rammell responded, "The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those." Rammell says he sees no reason to apologize, because he was joking.

Racist and speciesist New York Post cartoon depicts two cops with guns drawn and a dead chimpanzee with gun shot wounds. One cop is saying: This is not the first time violence against nonhuman animals was employed to communicate a threatening racist message against the president. In February of this year, immediately after a chimpanzee who was being kept as a pet was shot and killed by police, the New York Post published a cartoon depicting the killing with one of the cops saying, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," in direct reference to President Obama.

(Read more...)

Mocking Oppression

The baker of the so-called "stuffed turkey loaf" received numerous comments of praise. There was only one comment that questioned what was so funny about mocking a dead bird, particularly when "millions of turkeys are being killed in order to be eaten." I, too, think it's a little hard to find the humor in all this. And until I read the PPK thread on the "stuffed turkey loaf" I hadn't realized to what extent "mock meats" actually ridicule, not just imitate and mimic, the oppression of other animals, which makes "mock" a surprisingly apt term.

The Argument that Marginalizes

A common argument made by philosophical theorists who write about other animals is the so-called "argument from marginal cases." The argument is used in an attempt to show that other animals are either deserving or undeserving of moral status. In terms of classification, the "argument from marginal cases" holds that a human animal is still a human even if they don't meet all the characteristics that are associated with humanness. That is, a human infant or mentally disabled human (the two most commonly discussed "marginal cases") may not meet the characteristics of rationality and intelligence associated with humanness, but they are both still humans. However, since these humans meet a lower standard or limited quality of humanness, they are considered "marginal cases." (Read more...)

Dietary Speciesism: Putting Oppression on the Menu

The exploitation of other animals for the human diet works to structure a human-supremacist society that is bolstered by dietary speciesism. Since other animals are exploited in large part by humans for diet, dietary speciesism plays a central role in promoting human supremacy in general. That is, as long as we're eating other animals we're benefiting materially and psychologically from their exploitation. As a result of these material and psychological gains we're less likely to challenge the system of human supremacy.

Veganism as a Theory of Anti-Oppression

According to the "theory of oppression," there are three basic factors of oppression: 1) economic exploitation/competition; 2) unequal power, largely vested in the state; and 3) ideological control. In terms of the oppression of other animals these three factors are: 1) the exploitation of other animals; 2) human supremacy; and 3) speciesism. Given these factors, veganism offers the basis for a theory of anti-oppression. (Read more...)