Thursday, 1 January 2015

Thoughts on Animal Liberation.

Been reading,

The Documentary Earthlings, Absolutely harrowing and horrible but very comprehensive. Gary Francione

Some initial thoughts.....

Philosophical points.

the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?  - Jeremy Bentham.

Humans are not the centre of the universe. I'm against Anthropocentrism. We are neither less than animal nor more important than them.

Animals are different from us in some ways but like us in others. They may not have all the same desires or the same capabilities but they  want to be able to move about freely, they want to be free from pain etc....

The Big question: Since animals for human consumption and use are abused systematically and institutionally is eating or using animal products morally wrong?
-More and more I say yes.

the way we distance ourselves from how our food is processed is like commodity fetishism where we treat the products we buy as if they come to us by magic ignoring how they are produced by exploited workers often in sweatshops.

It is a generally sound moral principle that: as much as is possible suffering should be avoided and/or prevented.

"In Sikhism, "consumption of any meat killed in a ritualistic manner" is strictly prohibited, therefore prohibiting both halal and kosher meat."

Sikhism and Hinduism oppose ritual animal slaughter like Halal and Kosher.

Kosher and Halal killing of animals is inhumane.

I think speciesism exists.

Animals cannot be owned.

I'm against factory farms, battery hens, fox hunting, blood sports, hunting for sport, bull fighting, circus animals, zoos, fur, whaling,

Even free range eggs involve animal cruelty.

is it wrong to keep pets?

Would there be animal over-population though? What about animals which spread diseases?

Can all animals be deserving of equal respect?
 Surely we have a right to defend ourselves against animals.

the antibiotics required on factory farms etc is reducing humans use of these antibiotics and how effective they are. We are slowly killing ourselves.

the lack of respect ,the brutuality and the lack of compassion required for industrialized meat production/consumption surely has knock-on effects in terms of how humans relate to each other and treat each other. I'd imagine in creates more violent less caring societies.

Abolitionism vs reformism/animal welfarism.

reforming the way we treat animals maintains the system, makes it maintain it's legitimacy, makes it seem democratic and accountable, maintains the principle animals are their for our use.

Animal welfare complex masks animal cruelty and is reformist not revolutionary/abolitionist.
Welfare organisations collaborate with capitalism encouraging 'humane animal consumption' i.e. they are consumerist, co-opted by the state and capitalism.

"Producing "humane" animal products requires at least double the amount of land required for the industrialized style of farming adopted in wealthy countries over the last several decades. In some cases, it takes several times more land to convert to "humane" methods. "

 "Humane" animal products are being sold to us as a means of doing something good while being able to continue living the same lifestyle that has brought our planet to the edge of ecological disaster. While they may provide pleasure to our palate and a salve for our conscience, these products simply do not solve any of the problems that need to be addressed by our species if we are to live on this planet in a just and sustainable manner. "

In the context of wider struggles.

Animal rights is a feminist issue. Cows are harvested for their milk and chickens for eggs. Harvesting of female animal organs. Like in Patriarchy.

Capitalism and animal rights are inseparable. Capitalism means meat is profitable. If meat is profit and it's cheaper to allow or ignore abuse or even encourage it then capitalism will never end animal cruelty. In capitalism corners will always be cut so there will always be animal abuses no matter how many reforms are made or laws passed. Only the end of capitalism can protect animals.

Meat production/consumption is bad for the environment, 
"The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment - from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. On the other hand, considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet, making the switch to veganism one of the easiest, most enjoyable and most effective ways to reduce our impact on the environment."(The Vegan Society)

"Positive-sounding labels are guaranteed to increase sales of more expensive "humane" products, but the evidence suggests that this is where the guarantees end. "

I'm not sure about the Holocaust animal cruelty comparisons. They can be too simplistic.


Veganism with it's abolitionism is very close to anarchism.

Veganism should not just be ethical consumerism but a way of life.

Veganism is better for the environment. Soy milk is better than cows milk.

Not everyone can be healthy and vegan. So some people are exempt from it.

If the option was between starvation and remaining vegan or going against veganism, I think going against veganism is okay. The principle is to enhance life not to destroy it even if to ignore it destroys some life sadly.

"Why vegetarian isn't enough
The suffering caused by the dairy and egg industry is possibly less well publicised than the plight of factory farmed animals. The production of dairy products necessitates the death of countless male calves that are of no use to the dairy farmer, as well as the premature death of cows slaughtered when their milk production decreases. Similarly, in the egg industry, even 'ethical' or 'free range' eggs involve the killing of the 'unnecessary' male chicks when just a day old.

Ethical meat?

It's tempting to want to believe that the meat we eat is ethical, that our 'food animals' have lived full, happy lives and that they have experienced no pain or fear at the slaughterhouse. Yet the sad truth is that all living creatures (even those labelled 'free range' or 'organic') fear death, just as we do. No matter how they are treated when alive, they all experience the same fear when it comes to slaughter."


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