We Must Step Outside Our Species

Humans view the world through the lens of species superiority. According to this worldview, no animal’s life is worth a human’s. Nor are multiple animals’ lives worth a single human life.

Logically, there must be some ceiling on the concept, some point at which an animal population is worth more than a human life. But if such a limit exists, I have yet to find a speciesist to acknowledge it, or even one to suggest what such a limit might be.

Animal Rights advocates believe each sentient life is as valuable as any other sentient life. Species is of no consequence.

Such a position is at odds with most of humanity, all the world’s governments and legal systems, and every major religion.

It makes us the allies of life and the enemies of most people.

Animal Rights advocates are pursuing the most radical changes in human civilization in history. We seek to end the ownership of animals and their subjugation by humans.

The Animal Rights movement is not just some touchy-feely-be-kind-to-animals movement.

The Animal Rights movement threatens the very foundations of human civilization. It undermines the legitimacy every government on Earth. It repudiates every major religion and most minor ones. It dismisses ridiculous human concerns, petty issues, regional rivalries, disputes and jealousies.

Animal Rights requires a total revamp of human values. Of human relationships. Of human loyalties and human conduct.

It means rejecting religion, law, and government as we know them.

The difference between Animal Rights activists and the overwhelming majority of humans is so profound that it is almost akin to being members of separate species.

Only from that perspective can we see the horrors that humans engage in with alacrity and indifference.

Animal Rights can never be achieved through gradualism or appealing to human ethics and senses of morality and justice.

For Animal Rights to succeed, the systems of law and economics must be destroyed. Every legal system permits animal ownership as a basic property right of people and businesses. Almost all animal cruelty, exploitation, torture, and murder is committed in pursuit of profit.

Governments protect those who torture and exploit animals, religions condone the horrors, capitalism encourages and rewards animal murder.

Animal Rights cannot exist under capitalism. We may succeed in winning minor victories on animal welfare and protection issues, but the Animal Holocaust is a multi-billion dollar industry. It would be a political impossibility to end capitalism at the ballot box.

The status quo is the enemy. Change and chaos would be far more helpful to animals than allowing the system to continue the genocide unchallenged.

The animal movement should cast the dice for vigilantism and revolution.

It is the only chance the animals have.

 

 

 

Author’s Notes:

I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.

If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.

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7 thoughts on “We Must Step Outside Our Species

  1. Some points for you both to consider when editing this article. While there are, no doubt, trolls on this, and almost any, blog, sites like Jacobin are not the work of trolls. Most of their readers may not know much about animal issues, but they understand fascism better than most animal rights vegans do.
    The ideology of national socialism, later abbreviated as Nazism, began as a movement of armed thugs, aiming to save society from bankers, especially Jewish bankers. While this is presumably not your intent, some of the articles on this blog promoting vigilantism and focusing on kosher/halal slaughter as more evil than other forms of animal killing, are, in my opinion, dangerously close to this ideology.

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    • Halal and kosher slaughter are more cruel than other kinds of slaughter. That they are required by Islam and Judaism is even more diabolical. It is quite a stretch to take my calls for vigilantism against the slaughter industries generally and to suggest that my utter revulsion by Islamic and Judaic ecclesiastical law somehow parallels the Nazis.

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    • Kosher/halal slaughter is an example of animal cruelty. There is no culture that does not have some animal abuse, and no culture should be immune from criticism for it. We can get into a kind of reverse bigotry if we excuse some groups or reasons for cruelty but feel free to target others. I could have used multiple examples such as bullfighting (primarily Spain, Mexico, and South America), horse tripping (Mexico and brought to the US), fox hunting (England), cutting pigs in half to celebrate the Ly Dynasty (Vietnam). Most animal rights activists are equal opportunity critics of such customs no matter where they originate. Furthermore, accusations of bigotry may be a way to bully people into silence. Again, we are talking about culture here, not race.

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  2. ” . . . over the last 50 years the animal movement has been responsible for saving the lives of a mere million or so animals per year.” However, until the revolution comes, I hope animal activists continue to fight since every life saved is a victory.

    Though we haven’t advanced as far as we would like, I’m concerned about losing progress we have made for animals, such as it is. In the years I have been involved, I’ve seen the dialogue change as the big organizations grew and gained more attention. PETA gave us the first argument against speciesism in its statement that animals are not ours to exploit. The HSUS moved toward an animal rights message in addition to its animal welfare work in saving pets. Internet videos from Mercy for Animals and Compassion Over Killing revealed shocking abuses from undercover investigations. As more people paid attention and voiced their disgust, the critics from Big-Ag and other abusing groups also became more vocal. Articles and comments in newspapers complained of “animal rights fanatics and zealots,” “vegan freaks,” “people-haters” and “misanthropes.” The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and ag-gag legislation seek to curtail and punish those who interfere with animal businesses or who serve as whistle blowers.

    But I’m seeing a kind of attack that is more worrisome, divisive, and calculating. I refer to the issues arising from multiculturalism/cultural relativism, particularly regarding the concept of speciesism. We see critics of the animal rights movement condemn the metaphors, similes, and language of animal advocacy as demeaning to human beings. I worry that political correctness will be used to silence animal activists and limit our dialogue.

    An example is the comparison of animal exploitation to slavery, a topic that Marjorie Spiegel covered in her book “The Dreaded Comparison.” The premise is that the exploitation of animals results from the same forces, or “vectors,” of oppression that supported slavery: dominance, ownership, commodity status, and greed. Slaves suffered in the past, and animals still suffer, from branding, chains, whips, and other cruelties. However, some find the comparison of human and animal offensive, even though the focus of the comparison is on the source of their abuse and the suffering involved.

    Similar complaints arise over the use of the Holocaust comparison.

    Jacobin, hardly a conservative magazine, featured an article, “Peter Singer’s Race Problem,” that illustrates this issue. The article stated that “Memes–and serious political arguments–that compare factory farms to slavery and genocide are profoundly racist.” Also noted is that “Racism in the United States has always included comparisons of black people and other oppressed racial groups with animals, and such racist imagery is prevalent.” But, again, the current comparisons refer to similar systems of social and economic domination that result in exploitation. It does not say the abused themselves are exactly alike. How is that racist?

    A 2011 article in The Scavenger, again no right wing magazine, featured an article called “Racism Versus Speciesism: A Moral Battleground,” which asked the question: “Are white animal rights advocates who promote veganism inherently racist by not taking into account different cultures’ perspectives on animals?” One section in the article described a feminist conference where the catering was vegan. Since some attending the conference were people of color who came from cultures where meat eating was common (in how many cultures is meat eating UNCOMMON?) some declared the decision for vegan food was racist. The article noted other instances of race/culture merging including a story of pigs being buried alive in Korea. Those who condemned the abuse of the pigs were also deemed racist.

    The main problem arises from the conflation of race with culture. Culture and its customs can change. They are not carved in stone. There was a time when widows in India were required to immolate themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre. There was a time when people entertained themselves at public executions. There was a time when slavery was allowed in the United States and when women couldn’t vote. When the traditions were deemed intolerable or people fought for change, the culture shifted.

    Animal rights activists need to continue their fight and not give in to political correctness bullying. Condemning abusive customs is not racism. Caving in to cultural relativism when it comes to animal abuse is not progress. Gary Francione stated that “. . . if the choice is between maintaining an abolitionist* position or not doing so in order to appease speciesism and human exceptionalism presented as cultural sensitivity or non-racism, I refuse to appease. I am sincerely sorry if my views offend anyone, but throughout human history there has not been an idea that has not offended someone.”

    *Abolitionists promote veganism and condemn, among other things, the fact that animals are considered mere property, leaving them without any real moral or legal standing.

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    • Well said, Marcia. Multi-culturalism is nothing more than an attempt to gain political consensus. It is leftspeak for mindless conformity and political correctness. There is not a culture on Earth that deserves to survive if it embraces, requires, and promotes animal cruelty. As to animal cruelty in foreign cultures, this is an instance where xenophobes are right, or at least on the right track. Our role as animal activists is to point out the beams in our own eyes as we condemn them in others. Asians boiling dogs alive is monstrous. So is boiling lobsters alive in Red Lobster restaurants across America.

      If you wouldn’t mind, I would like to publish your comment as a separate article. Let me know if you wish to add to it or edit it first.

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      • Thanks, Roland. If you have any suggestions, let me know or just add. I was thinking about more examples but didn’t want to get too long. I’m very concerned about the transmission of animal cruelty from countries with a variety of abuses that we don’t have here. If we cave to cultural relativity we will be losing ground for animals. I don’t think the animal activists here have ignored our own cruelties, and you have been pointing them out consistently. As you note, much of the political correctness is mindless. It is parroting. If most of the trolls were asked what they meant when the accuse others of fascism or socialism or xenophobia, I’m not sure they could define the terms. Not knowing the difference between race and culture is another example, and for us and it is a dangerous one for its propaganda value.

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      • I Attacking multiculturalism effectively is critical to animal protection. My previous attempts have fallen short. I denigrated cultures in the abstract, citing them as nothing more than an assemblage of superstition, ignorance, bigotry, myths, misogyny, xenophobia, etc.

        Your more studied and eloquent voice is sorely need. Your comment could well form the basis for a major work on the subject. To that end you might wish to author several articles which could be compiled into a book. Even a small tract on multiculturalism would likely ignite a firestorm of controversy. Perhaps we can collaborate?

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