A Capitalist Economy Cannot Be An Humane Economy

The Humane Society of the US (HSUS) has a political agenda to reduce animal suffering and increase animal protection. While some in the movement have been critical of HSUS, I see their efforts as central to growing animal activists and educating the public.

Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS, published his book The Humane Economy to catalog the successes for animals made both legislatively and in voluntary corporate actions, and to lay out a proactive agenda for animal protectionists.

Were Pacelle’s objectives to be reached, hundreds of millions of animals would be impacted, and slaughter, pain and suffering would be reduced. But considering the scale of the Animal Holocaust, slaughter, pain, and suffering would not be reduced by much.

That it would be reduced at all makes HSUS’s efforts worthwhile.

HSUS’s fund raising would evaporate were they to advocate for the type of meaningful change that is needed.

The extinction of humans would end the Animal Holocaust. The extinction of capitalism would cut the Animal Holocaust in half. Neither suggestion would appeal to the corporatists and politicians whom HSUS attempts to influence.

Considering how little influence the animal movement wields, Pacelle’s approach is the most logical and fruitful for the foreseeable future.

Theoretical revolutions and attempts to change human nature are the stuff of chat rooms and philosophical debates. Revolution is hardly imminent, and we must deal with the realities of that which is possible in the present.

Employing the thought processes of the utilitarian philosophers, we seek the greatest good for the greatest number. In the present political environment, that also equates to the most progress by the most activists.

Nearly every politician in the US is a capitalist. Republicans are, by definition, as are the corporatist Democrats, who spout liberalspeak on social issues, yet who carry water for Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, banks, Big Oil, Big Ag, and the insurance lobby.

Only a very few on the left of the Democratic party are socialists, and a tiny proportion of them are knowledgeable of animal rights, let alone being activists.

All of which means we must bring a screaching halt to the internecine warfare within the animal movement and close ranks in pursuit of the politically possible.

Voices like mine will continue to rail against capitalism, religions, and the law, but, like the Civil Rights movement, the animal movement needs its Martin Luther Kings, its Malcolm Xs, and its John Browns.

There are those who believe capitalism can be controlled. That the evil can be contained. That legislation, regulation, and taxation can protect society from the malignancy of capitalist greed and capitalist control.

Unless the prohibition of private money in politics and government is constitutionally banned, capitalism can undo any attempts at reform and renaissance.

As John Maynard Keyes observed, capitalism allows the most evil of men to do the most evil of things, and to then assert that they are doing so for the public good.

Capitalism is responsible for 99% of all animal cruelty and deaths.

Capitalism’s Holy Grail is the concept of private property, and the “freedom” to do what one wishes with property one owns. And capitalism posits that animals are mere commodities to be owned, bred, slaughtered, butchered, and sold.

In the bright light of day, the system trades on the most despotic of human emotions: Greed.

Capitalism rewards cruelty, abuse, greed, avarice, and indifference. Capitalism is the institutionalized opposite of compassion, charity, brotherhood, empathy, and civility.

Capitalism sells itself as the “American Way,” as “individual freedom,” and as “progress.” In fact, it is the most despicably evil system ever to have been visited upon the Earth.

Only by destroying capitalism will we end the horrors of the Animal Holocaust, which claims the lives of a billion animals per week in slaughterhouses.

Six million an hour. 24/7.

That’s the entire Nazi Holocaust every 60 minutes, around the clock.

In the time it has taken you to read this much of this article, 300,000 have been murdered.

Half a million if you are a slow reader.

In order to succeed, we need to join forces with every constituency that opposes capitalism and injustice. Among those constituencies are environmentalists, Occupiers, social justice advocates, anti-war activists, people of color, feminists, the LGBT community, ex-convicts, and urban gangs.

We may not succeed for decades. But there is no higher calling for compassionate beings than to bring down capitalism, to end the Animal Holocaust, and try to build a world that is free of cruelty.

Only then will we have anything close to an humane economy.




Editor’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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2 thoughts on “A Capitalist Economy Cannot Be An Humane Economy

  1. Yes, people advocating for animals should fight animal abuse, not each other. The main point of contention in the battle is between those who promote veganism as a purity test for dedication and those whose fight against cruelty does not demand a plant-based diet. Personally, I choose the PETA position that animals are not ours to use or exploit in any way. However, if every organization took that approach, they would be without members, and many more animals would suffer. Pacelle and the HSUS do good work in humane education, rescuing, and fighting for farm animal improvement where abolition is not yet possible. (I admit, though, I disagreed with his “Hoofin’ It” fiasco.)

    Ending capitalism does not seem achievable in this global economy that is growing and enticing people in developing countries to aspire to the wealth and consumerism of America and Europe. Maybe if there were a confluence of catastrophes—wars, increasing population pressure, climate-induced starvation and plagues—then perhaps capitalism would fall in such a totally disrupted world. In the meantime, the system works because it fits well with human nature. It legitimizes vice and transforms it into virtue. Greed is good.
    Joining other groups that fight injustice may build coalitions that help undermine capitalism and attract more help for animals in the process. However, we all have limited time, energy, and resources, and not all groups fighting for social justice will have animal friendly goals.

    For example, some animal organizations jumped on the intersectionality bandwagon. That movement is based on the premise that in order to fight injustice, all evils must be fought together since the power structures responsible for oppression and abuse are the same. By joining that movement, it was thought, we could both extend our influence for animals and show concern for human beings. However, for animal activists, intersectionality often seems like a one-way street. The battle for most social justice warriors stops at the species barrier. (An obvious exception are the folks at VINE sanctuary!) Thus animal activists evoke howls of outrage when they call the massacre of billions of farm animals a holocaust or when they compare factory farms to concentration camps or suggest that the ownership and exploitation of animals is a form of slavery or that the enforced artificial insemination of cows is rape. It is demeaning and insulting, they insist, to use such similes and metaphors to compare human beings to animals. So speciesism is not included in the list of injustices.

    Just my impression. Maybe bridge building in the fight against capitalism just takes more time.


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