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Animal Liberation

Posted by on 04/05/06 (Shite)

A chain of events that has been linking up in my (small) brain in the last while regarding the animal rights movement has compelled me to finally sit down and write a little ditty here. It started with some discussion on this blog in various posts about the seal hunt, priorities of animal rights vs. human rights (as though they were exclusionary), and tactics employed by animal rights activists looking to forcibly end terror against non-human animals. Then there was the announcement last week by Morrissey that he would be boycotting Canada on his upcoming tour in protest of the Atlantic Seal Hunt, which sparked much discussion on some music news sites about his analogy to the Nazi holocaust. Then the booing and bashing of Pamela Anderson at the Junos for having the audacity to try and say something of any importance to other living beings while in front of a large national audience. It all culminated in my viewing the other night of a truly devastating – crippling, actually – documentary called Earthlings.

As has already been touched on by fellow film-attendee Todd, this film was complete in its comprehensive and humbling portrayal of humanity’s total and barbaric dominion over the animal kingdom in the sole name of greed and profit. I’ve been vegan for 14 years and was active in animal rights groups for a few solid years of that, so I’ve seen many films and documentation of animal torture and slaughter, but this film took the cake. I knew going in that I would be shaken and upset, but that’s part of the reason I do still go and see these types of films. It puts the aforementioned debates in perspective for me pretty quickly.

Industrialized human society has trashed this world. We are singularly responsible for its accelerating demise, and are absolutely selfish in our actions. All of the issues that you might hear us rambling about on this website, on our radio show, in the records we release, etc etc, are related to the use of power by dominant groups over those who have less power. But there is no more powerless and voiceless group than non-human animals. Even the most oppressed and discriminated-against group of human beings at any given time have much more ability to fight back and organize against their oppressors than animals do.

Morrissey’s analogy of job-creation as a justification for sealing being equivalent to justifying the gas chambers using similar logic is actually pretty limp, as no one ever tried to justify the mass murder of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others with anything other than pure racism and hatred. But it’s the general use of any analogies between human and animal oppression and murder that seems to get people so upset. Tim Wise’s article entitled “Animal Whites”, written last fall, about PeTA’s “Holocaust on your Plate” and “Are Animals the New Slaves?” exhibits in Washington follows a familiar tone – sure, paying lip service to animal rights is all well and good, but ultimately, it’s humans who matter the most, and how dare you compare oppressed peoples to oppressed animals. I mean, they are only animals. Tim Wise is a great writer, and his progressive analysis and commentaries on race have been actually thought-provoking for me. But this article shows that he, like most people, is a speciesist, and his ‘supporting evidence’ for why one must concede it is wrong to make such comparisons is in my view flimsy and transparent.

That’s what this all comes down to: speciesim. The fundamental belief that humans have more of a right to be free from slavery and pain than non-human animals do, presumably because they can’t communicate with us in our language. Of course, it’s never occurred within our own species that one group has encountered another with whom they can’t communicate natively and therefore deemed them to be deserving of less (or no) rights. Has it? Er, well, maybe?

Even if all struggles for human liberation from concentrations of power and violence wielded by fellow humans were to succeed tomorrow (and let’s be clear – I would love nothing more!), where would this leave the non-human animal population of the planet? Would we extend them the same courtesy? Or would the animal factories, vivisection labs, and animal breeders just continue “for the good of all humanity”, now finally at peace with one another and unified under flowers, beers and … burgers?

This is why I make no qualms about placing animal liberation as the baseline, most fundamental issue of justice, and I consider no analogy or comparison beyond reason. They are dominated completely, and given less consideration than any human group. We spit on them, ridicule them, murder them in front of each other. Their carcasses are eaten en masse by members of every imaginable strata of society without thought. We have fucked them over completely.

So I apologize if I am not moved by complaints about how this or that analogy negatively affects this or that human group, how jobs for humans take precedence over the lives of animals, or how animal torturers (or even their immediate families) have a right to be free from harassment. As a human being I understand that all of us deserve justice, freedom, work and security. But we lose those rights when they are gained at the expense of others’ lives – human and non-human alike.

To all those working to save the lives of animals in the face of this giant, blood-thirsty machine of humankind I say: whatever it takes dawgs.

174 fragments of dialogue thus far ...

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  • Comment by soyuz on April 5th, 2006 at 7:08 pm:

    I couldn’t have read a more convincing argument to watch “Earthlings.” And like a “sheep” I ordered it. Oh no wait, I actually can think for myself and care enough to know. I have always believes that society should be judged based on how they treat those who are the least well off. And non-human animals are often the least well off. Thanks for the post. In addition, Todd’s post on propagandhi.com was especially inspiring. He was extremely truthful about where he came from and what it took to change. Something I can relate myself. You are born into authority and authority tells you that animals are inferior and their use is justifiable. Well, it takes a real awakening and courage to defy authority and think critically for a change.

  • Comment by tom on April 5th, 2006 at 10:09 pm:

    went vegan like… about 2 months ago, i feel great. but my dog, shylo, had epilepsy, and died a tragic death. i miss him very much.

    :(

  • Comment by Anthony on April 6th, 2006 at 2:59 am:

    g7 is the best fucking label ever. I’m happy these guys are here to introduce different literature, music, and knowledge. There is absolutely no other label doing as much as these guys are. like Fat Wreck. Is only concerned about pretty boys playing fucking shit “music”. Oh yea, I just got done reading HUMAN CARGO that I ordered from here. Great Fucking BOOK!!! oh yea, the new NOFX ALBUM SUCKS THE BAG.

  • Comment by Pidge on April 6th, 2006 at 6:51 am:

    Can we not quantify pain and suffering through the emotional (and brain) complexity of any animal?

    By that, I mean we could place the life of a human above that of a duck simply because inflicting the same measure of physical violence and mental harassment on both of them would affect the human more than the duck because the human is a much more complex creature?

    We can also see this in those that don’t eat ‘meat’ but do eat ‘fish’. It would be false to say that a fish is more emotionally complex than a cow. So killing them both through decapitation is likely to cause more ‘suffering’ to the creature that is capable of feeling the most fear. Which is the cow. So does that make it ‘better’ to kill the fish? Which one would you rather decapitate?

    This same distinction would apply throughout the entire ecosystem of the Earth. But then, by that logic we would be able to say it’s ‘better’ to kill a dumb human than a smart one.

    Would you feel guilt accidentally treading on an ant and killing it? Probably not. How bad would you feel if you ran over a mouse on you bicycle and killed it? Maybe more than the ant, but I’m sure you’d get over it. So how bad would you feel if you accidentally killed a child? It would scar you for life, no doubt. We place value on different species through our own emotional connection to them, obviously.

    But is the reason for this because we can quantify pain and suffering, even on an (observably) superficial level?

    (By the way, I don’t eat animals, and I haven’t done for a good 10 years or so. Also: this is just for debate, I’m not putting my true beliefs on show before someone attacks me rather than the argument).

  • Comment by Hairhole on April 6th, 2006 at 4:19 pm:

    Wholly Molly! What can you say to that? You guys (Todd and yourself) are fucking spot-on man.

    Personally, my mother, and her side of the famaily, are vegetarians and vegans; but I too feel like I’m coming from the inside of a tornado. The rest of my family, my large farming community, my friends…so much is telling me that I’m wrong being a vegan.

    Now I definatly gotta find me a copy of that film. I’ve been trying, to no avail, to rent or sign out a copy from local movie stores and libraries. ‘Cause Gord knows I don’t want to buy EARTHLINGS. I already spent next semesters tuition on the new double LP, and Propagandhi T-shirts from Fat (because you pricks bid too high, and I fear they may be going extinct). But, if I don’t find it soon I’ll take the plunge and order it. You guys talk a good talk. I never really questioned my choice to be a vegan, or promote non-human animal rights; but it sure does make things easier/ put the issue in perspective when you get inspired by messages like yours and Todd’s, and (I’m hoping) that of films like EARTHLINGS.

    Thanks again. Hairhole.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 6th, 2006 at 4:49 pm:

    Dear “hairhole.” While I appreciate your comments, I don’t think you quite understand the severity of the offense you are committing by penning your nickname as such. This is no laughing matter. These guys take that shit very seriously. Watch your back.

    Now, back to the discussion at hand …

  • Comment by B. Steves on April 6th, 2006 at 4:58 pm:

    http://torrents.rbgi...2&filter=Movies

    I’m not sure how many of you use torrents, or even advocate pirating (I downloaded it after i bought it, because i couldn’t wait to see it.) but this website has a bunch of good animal rights videos, including Earthlings.

  • Comment by tom on April 6th, 2006 at 7:37 pm:

    i wonder if the moment the first human decided to lance a non human was the first step in the wrong direction. have we been on a lost past for eons? putting the issue of animal liberation in a historical context is daunting and scary- maybe impossible. humans have been killing non humans for millenia.

    but history seems to be washed away by the blood spilling into the rivers now, as we speak. i think people have to start seeing that we are all one thing. call it the enviroment, whatever you want, but ive thought about it long and hard and conclude that our fates are tied together. not that im -fatalistic. any person can see that this planet has a ciculatory balance. the fact that our proclaimed and enacted “superiority” has drastically altered (for the worse) and even completely destroyed this balance is also quite obvious. just read the headlines.

    near my home there is a man made forest. they had cleared the land for agricultural use, then decided to try and regrow forests. no animals live there. there are no birds, the deer dont cross there, the trees are dying anyway. we cant put back what we take.

    its funny for how “complex” we are, i think cows would be better off to “manage” this planet. because we’re obviously destroying it.

    patriarchy, war, capitalism, pollution, fascism= human.

    natural balance and that turd you just stepped on= non-human.

    imagine if all the animals stampeded at once in outright defiance?

  • Comment by Kyle on April 6th, 2006 at 8:16 pm:

    Pidge: I hit a butterfly with a baseball bat once when I was 12-years old just because I could. That was almost 9-years ago, and I still feel like a dick.

    Tom: I’ve been thinking about that (“i wonder if the moment the first human decided to lance a non human was the first step in the wrong direction…”), and I’m not so sure if that’s where the problem started.

    Through my research on corporate agriculture, I read about the Indian tradition that depended on cattle for fertilizer, ploughing, and what have you. And in India, cows generally weren’t eaten but respected.

    What about the Native American? I remember learning that they treated everything as sacred: hunting, eating, and whatever else. It was also said that these groups didn’t take or kill more than they needed. There was some level of respect for nature.

    I think the problem might come from European tradition, the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason: How can I do this as efficiently as possible; and, á la Francis Bacon (I think it was), let’s put nature on the rack and torture the secrets out of her.

    I guess it’s more efficient to cram as many animals into as small of a space as possible, and designate a few people to look after that particular act.

    Connected with this European tradition is our separation from the killing. Most of us don’t see the cow being born or being raised; we don’t feed it; we don’t interact with it; we don’t give a shit about it. It’s some thing that we know exists somewhere, but we have no attachment to it. We don’t have to respect it; we depend on its carcass.

    We don’t even kill it with a weapon that we took the time to fashion out of a tree. We buy the weapon from someone else; and someone else kills it. I don’t know how they could possibly do it. I know I couldn’t.

    But we also have these cows growing like turnips: If we need a new calf, we just have to break out the bull semen. There’s no respect here, and we don’t depend on the numbers nature would allow to exist. We create and we destroy, I guess you could say.

    Eh? EH? (If any of that made sense; and I apologize for the use of ‘we’.)

    My desire to go vegan is growing.

  • Comment by Mike (formerly Hairhole) on April 6th, 2006 at 8:20 pm:

    Dear D-Rock. I apologize. Looking back I realize how distasteful my alias is given the topic matter. You layed down a real compelling entry here. And so did Todd on the Propagandhi website. I had no right signing my name like a dink. I can honestly say that I meant nothing by it.

    The name comes from an interview I read in regards to the whole ‘Glen Lambert’ thing. Todd mentions something about how he suggested the name ‘hair hole’. Well, I fucking greased my underwears laughing so hard, and have never looked back. Since then I’ve been signing my name as ‘Hairhole’.

    Again, looking back, given the context it was a mistake in this case. This was my second entry on this site. A site that means a lot to me. My first blog entry was probably even lamer. Following that entry some guy said I should be banned (he may have been right).

    Basically, all I was trying to say is thanks for the inspiration. Not just in regards to animal rights, but in everything this site is about.

    I guess I just got caught up in trying to get a laugh. For the future I’ll try not to come across as such a douchebag. Sincerly, Mike.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 6th, 2006 at 9:04 pm:

    Mike: no worries, I was partly joking. Well, mostly actually. Hence “watch your back.” I thought the comment on the radio show post was pretty funny. Laughs are important! But yes, hairhole is sacred.

    So about animal rights …

    B. Steves: thanks for the torrent link, I just downloaded a 60 minutes program from that site on the ELF and ALF from November that looks interesting. And they have The Animals Film on there, which I remember as the 80s version of Earthlings essentially – heavy stuff.

  • Comment by drew on April 6th, 2006 at 9:54 pm:

    i found todd’s and now derek’s posts to be very compelling as well. also, thanks for informing me that the film “earthlings” exists. i still have yet to see it but i cant wait to. im planning on ordering it directly from their website. how has this been out since 2003 and i havnt heard about it until now? well anyways. ive been vegan for 6 years now, thanks to propagandhi back when i was in middle school for opening me up to a whole new way of making sense of this crazy world.

  • Comment by eyegor on April 7th, 2006 at 9:35 am:

    Hey guys do you think i may find the italian version of Earthlings around? thanks and keep kickin asses

  • Comment by Baron von Dipstick on April 7th, 2006 at 10:28 am:

    Maybe somebody hear can clear this up for me: is it true that vegans will not eat honey because they don’t want to exploit the worker bees?

    Furthermore, do we as humans have a moral obligation to afford all insects the same rights as any other animal? What about Sea Sponges?

    If the answer to these questions is “yes,” no wonder why most people can’t take you guys seriously.

    And this segues into another issue: I keep hearing people on this site babbling about the importance of both veganism and preserving non-western cultures and the entitlements of indiginous populations. These seem like contradictory postitions as most, say, native americans were hunters. Hell, why do you think there are no mastidons/mammoths around anymore? I believe even some of them would like to resume their ancestral tradition of whaling.

    How do you reconcile support for tradional culture and advocating veganism?

  • Comment by drew on April 7th, 2006 at 11:14 am:

    baron,
    i think, generally, the ideas behind veganism pertain specifically to western/highly industrialized cultures that systematically on HUGE levels exploit and commodify animals for profit. indigenous people did not have factory farms that put animals in intensely confined situations, they did not put animals in test tubes and pump them full of chemicals and pour things into their eyes balls, they did not hook cows up to machines and pump them full of hormones and reduce them to a milk machine, they did not have a meat/dairy industry that has insanely horrible enviornmental impacts. i think you get the idea. i think you are mixing two issues that dont really reconcile together. the first is that our culture is trampling over traditional cultures and turning the world into one homogenous monoculture, and people are simply saying that other cultures and ways of living should have the right to self determination without being forced to live our lifestyle and without being exploited by us. the other issue is that our culture has literally dominated non-human animals. indigenous people just ran around picking berries and shooting their bows and arrows. they lived in harmony with nature. no one is saying that they should have been vegan and that they were/are wrong for hunting/gathering. am i making sense?

  • Comment by Baron von Dipstick on April 7th, 2006 at 11:27 am:

    Drew, you do make sense. I don’t disagree with you that our culture is insensitive and outright cruel to animals and nature in general. We’re digging our own graves. But the impression i’ve always got from vegans is that they’re absolutists and everything is black and white. It’s good to see not everyone is a fundementalist.

    Also, i made an ad hominem attack on Chris in a previous post that i now realize was stupid and not worthy of intelligent discourse. I was just trying to get a rise out of him. When prop used to have a message board he aptly dubbed me jekyl and hyde. please feel free to delete and i’ll go take my thorazine.

  • Comment by Baron von Dipstick on April 7th, 2006 at 11:28 am:

    But still, where do vegans stand on honey?

  • Comment by tom on April 7th, 2006 at 11:50 am:

    sorry another long one, that movie really provokes me.

    honey…i dont know. i think we should repect the bumblebees and let them live their own lives. in their own habitat. i mean, ive stepped on ants and swallowed spiders (and so have you), but why intentionally exploit other beings just to satsify our sweet teeth? is sugar cane not enough?

    i think some vegans do scare off meat eaters with absolutist politics. and then there are those other weird ones who will fight only for the animals and be complicit in terms of human oppression. even participate in it.

    its time to stop eating animals and stop enslaving “immigrants” to do our farming for us is all that im saying. in fact last week in a local weekly a person asked:

    “do vegans still eat pussy?”. i dont think i need to explain the inherent sexism of the question, nor the clear connection between sexism, ans speciesism.

    i think what veganism means for me is reducing cruelty and selfishness as much as i possibly can. from veal to honey, from nature to animals. all animals.

    im showing this film to my mom, who raised me to have tremendous respect for animals, except those we eat. i cried and nearly puked twice, but to watch that film is to conquer (or at least confront) fear, and this is the first step.

    again, sorry for the ranting. i dont even care that i cant get coloured potemkin after watching that movie. what a consumer ive been. really puts everything into perspective.

  • Comment by tom on April 7th, 2006 at 11:58 am:

    oh and Baron von Dipstick: mammoths and mastodons went extinct approx. 10 000 years ago and scientists DO NOT KNOW WHY.

    and clearly we dont see indigenous hunter/gatherer societies after THEIR near extinction by the hands of european imperial colonialists.

    and traditions- all traditions from all cultures can and have been challenged, sometimes even broken. i mean we dont feed people to lions and women can now vote for a man!

    promise no more!

  • Comment by Baron von Dipstick on April 7th, 2006 at 12:07 pm:

    Tom,

    Actually, I do believe it is hypothesized by respectable scientists that native americans did play a major role in wiping out mastidons/mammoths. Same thing happened in South American with the Giant Sloth. These big animals were the favored targets of ancient hunters.

    I don’t know where i’m going with this, but nevertheless…

  • Comment by tom on April 7th, 2006 at 12:22 pm:

    point taken…

    http://www.museum.st...n/lp_extinction.html

  • Comment by Baron von Dipstick on April 7th, 2006 at 1:09 pm:

    I guess where i was heading was it seems that all the blame for how fucked up our world gets directed towards white europeans and not humanity in general.

    I would concur that peoples originating in Europe have contributed more to the planet’s destruction and inflicted more cruelty than any other peoples. But why? I think it is due to the fact that they had a technoligical advantage on the groups they fucked-over. I think history would have still taken a similar path if the technology had been in, say, native american hands. Only difference would be that the skin color of fuckers and fuckees would be reversed. I’m pretty positive that indians were warring and killing and oppressing EACHOTHER before we arrived. It’s not like we introduced these behaviors. Same goes with every other human group.

    My point is that war and oppression seem to be an innate part of human societies everywhere. Fairness does not seem to be included in mother nature’s design. Why else would she have created a food chain?

    I understand the points you guys make but they seem pretty academic because when taking the ‘nature’ of nature into account i just can’t envision them ever being practiced on a wide scale. I don’t know.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 7th, 2006 at 1:10 pm:

    Regarding honey, I view it as just another extension of human dominance over the animal world. I mean, bees make honey for bees, not us. That’s good enough for me.

    As for indigenous and subsistance cultures, I think Drew nailed it. I would also add, on the extinction discussion, that elevating pre-industrialized and indegenous societies to a mythical status where they can do no wrong or not act in reckless, detrimental ways is just another take on the “noble savage” myth. I don’t really see how, if the mammoth was indeed hunted to extinction by ancient societies, it in anyway is relevant to either supporting animal rights or supporting indigenous societies’ right to self-determiniation.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 7th, 2006 at 1:41 pm:

    Saying that “nature is cruel” and “this is human nature” is just a cop out. The fact that we can talk and think about this, and change our actions, and actually feel and act with compassion is a testament to the fact that human nature actually includes all those things as well.

    As much as history is littered with examples of concentrated power imposing its will on the less powerful, it is also filled with examples of people cooperating, organizing, and rising up against power, and working for a positive new paradigm.

  • Comment by drew on April 7th, 2006 at 1:44 pm:

    baron von dipstick,
    for an incredible look at culture, society, industrialization, and a look at the differences between the sustainable and non-sustainable ways of living in terms of the “taker” cultures and the “leaver” cultures, i highly, highly recommend you check out the book Ishmael, by Daniell Quinn. then perhaps follow it up with the sequal My Ishmael. those books are so incredible and shed quite a bit of light on some of the things you have brought up in this blog and may answer some questions you have.

  • Comment by Baron von Dipstick on April 7th, 2006 at 2:03 pm:

    drew – thanx for the reading suggestions. will check’em out.

    d-rock –

    “The fact that we can talk and think about this, and change our actions, and actually feel and act with compassion is a testament to the fact that human nature actually includes all those things as well.”

    In this statement you seem to consciously or unconsciously imply that humans are somehow special and have the ability to transcend the rest of the animal world. Is it not these kind of notions that led us to think it is ok to do things like experimenting on other animals for the sake of our own health? Seems like specism.

    No doubt humans depend on social institutions for survival, but it also seems like we have a tendency to factionalize. i don’t know.

  • Comment by blackmetal666 on April 7th, 2006 at 3:06 pm:

    I could be wrong, but I think that d-rock was acknowledging that as humans we have abilities that other animals don’t have. That’s not to say that we’re inherently superior. Nature forces us to follow the same rules, whether we like it or not. Cognitive thought just happens to be something we’ve developed. I don’t think that using these abilities is speciesism however, since that implies that different animals have different natural “rights”. It’s not a right that we’re able to think critically, but it’s a valuable tool that we have. Employing it to oppress other animals, human and non-human, is speciesism. Feel free to disagree. I’m probably not being very lucid at this point, I’m fucking hung over. Peace out yo.

  • Comment by tom on April 7th, 2006 at 9:55 pm:

    i was trying to analyze the way humans have treated non-humans over the centuries, and how this has changed dramatically since the industrial revolution. i’d porbably agree that a historical view may not connect with present day, but thats not to say its not important.

    at what point did sustenance become exploitation?

    lets face it- every culture i’ve heard of always used animals to survive. i dont think we should elevate any humans over any other beings, including ourselves. its scary to say that oppression is nearly universal. humanersal? i’d agree with d-rock that resistance is also almost as common.

    clearly the evidence shown in films like earthlings indicates that what is happening is a result of the commodification of other beings of this planet. all resources to serve the market. the new “natural balance”. and which class does this market serve? is this a class issue too?

    no, the powers that be, and most of us, by our complicity have disregarded any consequence our greed, our selfishness, socities’ god-like superiority complexes have on the world that SUSTAINS US. but the world can’t sustain us for much longer, can it…..?

  • Comment by tom on April 7th, 2006 at 10:04 pm:

    oh and i was blaming the genocide of indigenous hunter/gatherer nations on white europeans, more specifically the ruling class, not animal exploitation, which is clearly universal.

    its your fault youve got me rambling!

  • Comment by tom on April 10th, 2006 at 10:54 am:

    elephants are beautiful….did anyone else feel good when that elephant escaped? fuck it makes me so mad when they shoot her down. fucking sad movie….

    http://en.wikipedia....e:Elephant_penis.jpg

  • Comment by hungry on April 10th, 2006 at 4:06 pm:

    Most of the people in the seal hunt do not own a computer, do not have cable television, do not have a grocery store on ever corner, do not have full time employment and some do not have enough money to feed their families. They are the poorest people in Canada!! I agree with fighting corporations that abuse animal rights by the billions. Fighting the earths biggest polluters, fighting government programs such as chemtrails. But to attack the poorest people in Canada that have no voice on a blog is ridiculous and are killing animals to feed their families.

  • Comment by tom on April 10th, 2006 at 4:23 pm:

    if you have posted on this blog under the name ignorance is bliss, im sorry if i shafted you before, im a fucking asshole. it was a while ago but i still feel bad…..

  • Comment by Ben on April 10th, 2006 at 4:49 pm:

    You boys are the best. Keep rockin’, and keep fightin’, ey!

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 10th, 2006 at 5:59 pm:

    Hungry: Correction – they are killing animals so that they can get PAID MONEY to feed their families. They are engaged in the commerce of trading work for money. Do they live in an economically depressed area? Is it hard to find decent work? Do they exist on a lower and much-stepped-on rung of the economic ladder? Most-likely.

    However, I fail to see how this justifies the slaughter of seals. You’ve proved my point about speciesim exactly. It’s OK to kill animals if it helps humans.

    We are not attacking sealers specifically – this is about all forms of commerical expltation of animals. They just fall into that group. And they in fact DO have a voice – they use it loud and clear when they decide to kill animals – who TRULY have no voice – for money.

    This is part of my whole point … the idea that people are too “poor” or too “culturally sacred” or too this or that to share the same universe of ethics (re: animals) as the “priviledged” of the world is not only a cop-out, it’s downright patronizing. People who are poor (though who in all likelihood make more money that I do) in fact still have working brains and are fully capable of grasping such “pie-in-the-sky” concepts such as animal rights, environmental issues, and the like.

  • Comment by soyuz on April 10th, 2006 at 8:16 pm:

    just finished watching “EARTHLINGS.” thanks again for letting us know about the movie. the movie solidified what i believed and my resolve. “as long as there are slaughterhouses….there will be battlefields” – leo tolstoy

  • Comment by scott on April 10th, 2006 at 8:41 pm:

    D-Rock: “I mean, bees make honey for bees, not us. That’s good enough for me.”

    It stands to reason that this logic shall be extended to plants as well. Apple trees don’t make apples for humans. I’ve seen the earthlings trailer and they have no problem including nature with animals and humans; everything on earth is an earthling, not just the things that walk around. If Tim Wise is a speciesist, then D-Rock is not a naturist but an animalist. I have just as much foundation and reason to complain that you aren’t extending rights to plants. If you deny this, then there is hypocrisy in your critique of Tim Wise, a critique which I believed fell flat. Tim Wise rocks, and he didn’t fumble his article. Can you point to specifics that you don’t like? What was transparent? He doesn’t critique people like us, who have compassion for humans and animals. He directs his critique and an organization who boasts animals over people.

    Again, the meat industry is terrible, but we can’t deny that fact the nature works by exploiting itself. I’m not Christian, but it could be said that Jesus was trying to let us know that exploitation was a necessary evil when he told them eat the wine and bread as representations of his flesh and blood; a statement at the time which would be as insane as telling someone to commit incest.

    Propagandhi and Rage on the same wall. What’s Fat Mike up to?

  • Comment by tom on April 10th, 2006 at 9:41 pm:

    i am an idiot who speaks out his ass and has no life:

    i think that if we all refused to exploit the animaldom any longer the result would be a revolution. simply because animal exploitation is involved in pretty much every facet of western industrial life and if we all stopped, the machine would fuckin break down.

    scott: ok, my best friend chris uses that “vegetables have rights too” line, and it just doesnt hold when your thinking in terms of our impact on the planet. we can argue the difference between animal and plant cells all night (humans have animal cells), but at the end of the day, its the factory farms causing level 3 biohazards, polluting the oceans and rivers. rainforests for grazing land. phototsynthesis causes nowhere near the waste.

    and dont forget sentient, feeling beings who are capable of feeling pain, and of nurturing. maybe you think of veganism and AR as some kind of purism, but i think that most vegetarians (at least i hope) are concerned with their impact on the enviroment around them, and the endless, nameless list of defenseless and voiceless creatures where life = suffering just because of our “inherited” superiority. do you think apples have feelings?

    i hope im not coming off as an ass, just trying to be constructive.

    i think nature has a way of balancing itself and we are exploiting that balance and disrupting it. theres a difference between equilibrium and exploitation.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 10th, 2006 at 10:25 pm:

    Scott: Perhaps, one day, we will realize that all plants in fact have central nervous systems, feel pain, have emotions, develop friendships, mourn their dead, communicate with each other to dictate behaviour, and all the other behaviours that animals exhibit which plants do not. (Mind you on that day, I will not just throw up my arms and start eating meat again because “everything is cruel,” which seems to be what you are implying I should do.)

    And of course, attempting to point out hypocrisy has never been a valid argument against something you cant argue directly against. It’s generally a way of trying to discredit a good idea or good actions by saying that they’re just not good enough.

    As for Tim Wise’s article, his point about animals being considered differently in society than human beings are, though of course true, still doesn’t address his hypothetical animal liberationist’s counterpoint. The fact that we do consider humans and animals differently in varying situations does in no way preclude comparisons of the two. Especially when dealing with such aggregious violence and with so many parallels. The reason these PETA photo exhibits work as a critical tool is precisely because they are so powerful in their imagery.

    If a comparison is in fact based on how terrible something was – in this case, black slavery or the Nazi holocaust – then it is in fact only strengthening that memory by using a comparison to demonstrate a current horror. And despite Wise’s statement about these exhibits (although I am also talking more generally about the idea) “comparing black people to animals”, they were in actuality comparing levels of violence and injustice. “You know that this was an injustice, yes? Well, look how similar this is.”

    Of course, Wise makes no mention of the black people and jews who are animal rights advocates and who supported (or directly worked on) these campaigns.

    Lastly, his implication at the article’s end that those who face discrimination in their everyday lives will only care about and fight for issues directly relating to themselevs is (again, as per a previous comment) totally patronizing. Is he implying that only privileged white people work on any issue unrelated to themselves then (such as Iraq, Palestine, Haiti, etc, etc), and that anyone else is singular and inward in their focus?

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 10th, 2006 at 10:54 pm:

    One thing to add: I want to be clear that I have no doubt that the AR movement counts among it’s members (and leaders) those who have little understanding of (and/or sensitivity to) race (or gender, or imperialsm, or capitalism). I’m sure many staffers at PeTA are genuine crackers through and through. But, so too are there homphobes in the anti-racism movement and misogynists in the labour movement (etc, etc). I don’t think any one of these incongruities is more fucked up than another – they’re all equally fucked up!

  • Comment by drew on April 11th, 2006 at 1:34 am:

    “I want to be clear that I have no doubt that the AR movement counts among it’s members (and leaders) those who have little understanding of (and/or sensitivity to) race (or gender, or imperialsm, or capitalism).”

    EXACTLY. its so important to draw all the connections of injustice and oppression in this world. not to sound like a fanboy…but…”i’ve recognized one form of oppression, now i recognize the rest.”

  • Comment by caítlin on April 11th, 2006 at 5:40 am:

    Stickin’ my ore in, yet again;

    It really frustrates me that pretty much every leftie/human rights activist I know has no interest in – in fact, scorns – animal rights. I just do not understand it… I can accept that some struggles are closer to their hearts than others, like the tool who doesn’t think sexism still exists and we should just shutup and focus on minimum wage, but to go out of your way to deride a movement which is really just a necessary extention of what should be inalienable rights? Starts to seem less like compassion and a lot more like dogma pretty fast.
    While I agree with 99% of what you said, D-Rock, there is something about the “whatever it takes” part that jarrs with me. I doubt I’m in a position even to comment, considering my contribution to the Direct Action side of the movement is minimal, but I think there is a danger that sometimes our anger picks the wrong targets, or even that we turn to revenge, which I see as largely pointless and unhealthy (although tempting).
    Yes, these people should be disrupted and they should know that we arent going to back down, that we’ll defend those who can’t defend themselves, but there are always going to be limits to what I feel we can do in getting that message accross. Giving the addresses of children’s schools in my mind sets a precedent with which I’m not at all comfortable. Just as I think Chechens have the right to self-determination, but I wont ever support what they did in Beslan. In my mind, certain things just arent cricket. I’m not about to judge people for the choices they make, having never been in their position, but I know I’d far rather be associated with a militant but discerning movement for animal rights than some avenging vigilantes. I guess its easy for me to say all this, but I do think its important to talk about these things. I don’t actually KNOW my own personal limitation when it comes to this, and I suppose I wont until I’m directly confronted by it, but I can’t imagine getting to the point where I will be willing to do literally anything… are you there, or am I misconstruing something? I’m interested in people’s capacities.
    Or maybe I’m talking nonsense.
    I guess there’s another argument, too, about the reputation of the greater movement, but I have to confess that of all the dumb questions I’m asked about veganism, there is rarely one about the ALF, etc. People are coming up with different ways to fuck each other over all the time, and I find it hard to reconcile certain tactics with a movement in the direction of mutual respect. Taking animals from places of suffering, abso-fuckin-lutely. Getting in the faces of those who continually abuse animals, definitely… but in my mind there needs to be a line drawn between those responsible, for whom i have very limited sympathy, and those who arent directly involved, like families. Just as my interest for human rights doesn’t disrupt my interest in animal rights, i don’t want the opposite to happen either.
    I know they say there are always civilian casualities in any war, but I don’t find that particularly convincing. My grandmother came from a fascist family in Italy – I’m never going to applaud the guy who thinks that justifes giving out the address of my {sweet-as-sugar} mother’s school.
    On the plant issue, i think its pretty much covered, but really, it frustrates me when people bring this up as to why i shouldn’t be vegan, or more commonly, why THEY shouldn’t. Working in the women’s rights movement is not going to change the lot of immigrants in my country, does that make it a pointless endeavour?
    If constantly undervaluing or finding holes in a movement makes you feel better for not belonging to it, fine, but it seems hypocritical to throw your hands up at those of us who ARE trying. I’m not saying this directly at you, Scott, but to all the people who hide behind the imperfections of the movement as an excuse for inactivity.

    The privilege point is an interesting one, that used to really disarm me. Even though I am by no means middle class, it used to really stifle me when someone made out that AR was a luxury.
    These two are articles about people of colour within the AR movement;
    http://www.satyamag..../jun05/hamanaka.html
    http://community.liv...ingwhite/266413.html (Im not sure if that one is visible to people who arent part of that community, but its interesting [as are the comments] so try!) Its something that yet again, a lot of the left-leaning people I know use – oh, its a bourgeois luxury, its a distraction, its moralism – but I really don’t accept it anymore. Again it goes back to picking holes within the people who are trying, not the movement, again its emphasising that it has to be either animal rights or human rights, etc. And for the record – animal products = expensive.

  • Comment by Pidge on April 11th, 2006 at 6:15 am:

    Here in the UK at the moment there is almost a witch hunt against Animal Rights supporters – and many ‘extremists’ are being arrested under, or threatened with, the same laws that our government has recently drafted in response to The War Against Terror (TWAT).

    There has been a huge amount of coverage in our media about a group of animal liberators that dug up the grave and stole the body of the grandmother of someone that kept rodents for HLS. Bit wired, but whatever. However, since that story broke the media has been drooling at the teeth about how animal experimentation is right and that those that oppose it, in principle or through direct action, are utterly bonkers. It seems to have worked too. General opinion in the home or work place has, I feel, shifted in favour of animal experimentation, and the picture of those that oppose it is a rather bleak; they’re ‘uninformed’, ‘naïve’, or ‘selfish’.

    The vicars son who dug up the grave is facing 12 years in prison, and the papers now have further commentary on why animal experimentation is plain right, and that opposition to it is plain wrong. Authoritative voices mixed with heartbreaking stories of children dying from cancer.

    These are worrying times. My main fear are the terror laws that now sweep over any form of dissent like some all encompassing blanket, making very little distinction over what a ‘terrorist’ is. This applies to opposing the war in Iraq, caring about other animals, or simply thinking that another franchised coffee house in London is just plain fucking dumb.

    Sigh. Ramble. I dunno.

  • Comment by tom on April 11th, 2006 at 10:34 am:

    you guys are so smart. there are so many points that just fly over my head. im really not good at expressing these ideas (they are rather new to me, at least accepting them is)but im really picking up alot from these arguments.

    potadoes are definately more intelligenter than tomadoes for sure.

    recognizing the direct links between oppressions is a key step in understanding the “way the world works”.

  • Comment by Hairy on April 11th, 2006 at 2:28 pm:

    Heh. Googled for animal rights in a moment of idleness and came up with http://www.animalrights.net/
    a site claiming to be “exposing the animal rights movement”.
    “How?” You might well ask. Well apparently with a lot of the bulshit arguments most veggies/vegans have heard a million times before or ones that you’ve just seen debunked in the posts above.
    They’ve got some discussion forums too, pity about them being spammed with mobile phone ads, eh?

  • Comment by abe on April 11th, 2006 at 3:26 pm:

    Hairy:

    You stated:

    “Well apparently with a lot of the bulshit arguments most veggies/vegans have heard a million times before or ones that you’ve just seen debunked in the posts above.”

    I just want to point out that I haven’t seen any conclusive debunking of any arguments “against” animal rights nor any sound answers to any questions posed to the animal rights advocates.

    I think its pretty clear that people who are against humans eating honey because it exploits the worker bees are little more than self-righteous kool-aid drinkers. Straight up.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 11th, 2006 at 3:53 pm:

    Abe: I don’t think I’ve seen any actual arguments against animal rights here. Just claims of some sort of inconsitency and/or hypocrisy, which aren’t actually arguments at all.

    If you would like to cite examples, or specific poiints, please do.

    I will say that although it sounds very funny to call someone a “Kool-aid drinker” (seriously), I know not what it means. Are you implying “squareness” or immaturity?

    And I believe that you will have a hard time finding anyone here calling people out for eating honey, or otherwise acting “self-righteous” about the choice not to eat it. For someone who presumably thinks little of food politics vis-a-vis animals, you sure seem to care a lot about people’s choice to eat or not eat certain products!

  • Comment by abe on April 11th, 2006 at 4:02 pm:

    The term “Kool-aid drinker” originated in the mass suicide via kool-aid at Jonestown during the 1970s.

  • Comment by abe on April 11th, 2006 at 4:04 pm:

    further: its an epithet for brain-washed or fanatical idealogues/followers.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 11th, 2006 at 5:56 pm:

    Hi Abe … so your amusing terminology is actually way more insulting than I thought. Cool. You seem to be a really smart guy. Your equation of not eating honey with mass suicide invoked by the figurehead of a cult is very thoughtful and illuminating. Thanks for your genuinely constructive contribution to this discussion. I hope you drop by often.

  • Comment by abe on April 11th, 2006 at 6:09 pm:

    Oh D-Rock, you know i meant it in the best possible way!

  • Comment by scott on April 11th, 2006 at 6:51 pm:

    I know we’re all tired of it when someone throws in the “plants have rights” too line. I used to be vegan and couldn’t understand why those claiming plants had rights didn’t realize that plants don’t have central nervous systems, feelings, etc…

    My point was, the same logic we use to discredit plants, which can’t be denied the title “earthlings” is the same logic people like Tim Wise use to elevate humans over animals. Tim Wise was affective with his examples to demonstrate that humans do and ought to have more rights than animals.

    Who are you to say plants don’t have feelings? What just because they don’t tell you it hurts when you cut their limbs off? Who’s says they don’t have consciousness? All earthlings have consciousness they just take different forms.

    Again, I’m not concluding we shouldn’t eat plants. I’m saying there isn’t a moral argument against eating animals based on the fact that humans are better and therefore can change the course of nature through our rationality and reasoning skills. I’m against factory farms, I’m against testing animals, but I’m not against a well cooked chicken! We should regain the respect towards animals that Natives had; You can eat and be thankful.

  • Comment by Kyle on April 11th, 2006 at 8:43 pm:

    …but do the efficiency and consumption levels that ‘we’ demand allow for respect?

    I don’t think so.

    I don’t want to put words in your mouth, abe, but if you have a strong belief in eating honey, for example, are you not just as much of a kool-aid drinker? Or can particular beliefs become negative and cult-like just because you don’t approve of them?

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 11th, 2006 at 9:20 pm:

    Scott: Aahh yes, a former vegan.

    So basically, you are now on the defensive when people talk about animal rights, because you feel guilty for eating murdered animals for how their flesh tastes in the 30 seconds it’s in your mouth before it travels down into your acid pit to be crammed into paste and shat out your ass.

    But of course, you do that because you respect them so much, yes? Call me when you’re living a subsistance lifestyle and off the land, slaughtering animals yourself. Then you will at least be making an arguable point, as opposed to a totally lame, empty excuse to assuage your guily conscience.

    And the final word on plants (please!): everyone knows that animals are sentient creatures. No one can say that plants are. Do we really have to talk about anything beyond that?

  • Comment by tom on April 11th, 2006 at 9:48 pm:

    did you know that animal farts account for approximately 30% of the worlds atmospheric methane? so did i.

    “humans do and ought to have more rights than animals” i dont want to say fascist so ill say ascist…please enlighten me as to what makes animals so different than us, and in effect lesser than us? is it the six teets and the arm lengthed donkers? the smaller brain, the sonar? apparently whales lay off half human sized turds….

    history has shown that we are nothing without them, and we cage them and torture them. if you can claim that humans have rights over animals then you can also claim that men have rights over women based on bigger muscles and protruding genitals, or any other assemblage of irrational arguments based on fear of the unknown and not understood. to me, its the same logic. and hey- take a look at the world: most men (at least that i know) think they are better than women!

    just as there is no evidence indicating whether plant life does indeed have consciousness, the bogus and god-like-egoist belief that humans are inherently better animals also holds no ground.in fact the evidence points to the contrary. just look outside. the simple fact is that we are lost in this universe, and we harm and destroy others to somehow concrete ourselves into said…universe. i dont mean to sound like stephen hawking or robert heinlen, thats just a basic outlook i have. that we are lost. and to carelessly and selfishly and NEEDLESSLY reduce living beings to commodities for outright greedy consumption is a token to our own inhumanity, our inanimality (say that 5 times fast)and our doom.

    i was having cool-aid with jesus the other night and he said to say “humans are animals too……..ANUMALS!” amen.

  • Comment by tom on April 11th, 2006 at 9:52 pm:

    does anyone know if cigarettes and any beer are related to animal torture?

  • Comment by Yaniv on April 11th, 2006 at 10:07 pm:

    Tom: Yes, check http://www.smokinganimals.com/

  • Comment by Seth on April 11th, 2006 at 10:07 pm:

    I’m 18 and I’ve been listening to Propagandhi for roughly 4 years, give or take. They are one band (of very few) that has consistantly made me think about the issues facing the world around me. Ever since I heard Less Talk More Rock, I became intrigued with their views on animal rights and found that I share some of those views. However, I eat meat, and I am torn as to what to do. Sometimes, I think to myself, maybe we’re supposed to eat meat, other animals are omnivores, so why can’t we be? Aren’t the animals we eat bred to be eventually eaten? I absolutely love the outdoors, I am an avid birdwatcher, and would eventually like to go to school for environmental education or something similar. I also thoroughly enjoy fishing, (catch and release) and could never imagine myself abandoning that. I have a few friends who are vegetarian or vegan, maybe I could ask them to help me out. Perhaps I need to educate myself more on these issues and see this movie if I get the chance. I JUST DON’T KNOW!!! Any advice from you handsome fellas?

    P.S. Keep up with those bitchin’ podcasts! Keep Thrashin’!

  • Comment by Abe on April 11th, 2006 at 10:13 pm:

    Hey D-Rock, lay off the kool-aid, will ya?

    All Scott did was point out that the moral argument against animal consumption is flimsy at best and then proceeded to say:

    “I’m against factory farms, I’m against testing animals, but I’m not against a well cooked chicken! We should regain the respect towards animals that Natives had; You can eat and be thankful.”

    and then you respond with a stream of weird invective:

    “because you feel guilty for eating murdered animals for how their flesh tastes in the 30 seconds it’s in your mouth before it travels down into your acid pit to be crammed into paste and shat out your ass.”

    I get the impression you were grinding your teeth and/or frothing at the mouth when you wrote that. Your response illustrates the black and white thinking that seems so prevelant in militant animal rights people: your either a good veggie-eatin’ person or an evil meat-eatin’ piece of shit — and there’s no middle ground!

    I also get the feeling that people like you are misanthropic to the core. Seems like you almost like the idea of human extinction.

    Hitler was a vegeterian and SS Reichsfuhrer Himmler once stated that hunting was “pure murder.” You could make the argument that the fanatical racist beliefs of these idiots grew out of the misanthropic nature of their characters. You see where I’m headed with this:

    Sieg Heil motherfuckerz!

    Ok, I got carried away there but all I’m trying to say is that fundementalism of any stripe is lame.

    Whew!

    All the dude did was point out

  • Comment by tom on April 11th, 2006 at 10:19 pm:

    seth, watch that movie, earthlings man. read more about veganism too….there are links on this website or check AK Press or http://www.veganoutreach.org for information. id even email you recipes.

    not being sarcastic, but maybe you would learn how devastating our consumption is on the planet in enviroment school. would they teach that?

    “we’ll teach ourselves to analyze and understand…..

  • Comment by April on April 11th, 2006 at 10:47 pm:

    Pidge, the animal enterprise and other (supposed)”terrorist” laws worry me too.
    How the hell do they pass this shit?
    I know “how” they do it,
    but I mean it just blows me away that they do it.
    What next?

    Kyle, I was thinking the same thing when I read Abe’s post.

    D-Rock, I really liked your blog and I can’t wait to see the movie.

  • Comment by Abe on April 11th, 2006 at 11:04 pm:

    I’m not obsessed with honey. I only used it as an example of some of the ridicuous stances of some militant animal rights advocates.

    And Kool-Aid drinker is just a fuckin metaphor.

    And I don’t care what the fuck anyone eats. If you want to be vegan, then by all means, be vegan.

    The only issue I have with vegans is when they reduce meat eaters to filthy murderers. I actually think you guys would get more people to listen to you if you quit denigrating everyone who isn’t vegan. Hear that d-rock? I think you’re actually fucking your own cause every time you speak.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 11th, 2006 at 11:12 pm:

    Abe: I was actually trying to be kinda funny in that particular sentence, and I hardly think it was derogatory. I think it trys to point out the absurdity of it. Absurdity is part of what makes humour! Hahahahaha! See, killing an animal for flavour in your mouth, get it? It seems so crazy!

    The “no middle ground” you speak of, you might notice, is in fact totally missing from all previous discussion. The reason you sensed this in that particular instance was due to the fact that I admittedly get irritated when someone is “formerly vegan.”

    Still waiting for the “flimsiness” of the argument against eating animals to appear.

    As for human extinction … well, I would say that in cynical moments, anyone who pays close attention to the direction this planet and its inhabitants are on would be crazy not to – at least briefly – entertain the thought that human extinction could in fact be the only feasible chance for the rest of the planet to survive this phase of existence.

    Just in cynical moments of course.

  • Comment by Dtrain on April 11th, 2006 at 11:18 pm:

    Holy smokes,
    I watched a bit of Earthlings and will have to revisit it when I have a stronger stomach. I’ve seen some intense documentaries as well, but this one looks incredibly graphic. I’m anxious to see how it balances fact with emotion and look forward to showing it to my omnivorous relatives. I don’t know if this has been discussed on the board, but I think it’s important to point out the irony that our treatment and mismanagement of animals could quite possibly lead to our demise. Not saying that I buy into the bird-flu hype, but imagine if bird flu became a reality and a real pandemic killed off a significant portion of the population, how it would all come back to keeping chickens in appaling conditions. It still amazed me that the whole mad cow craze did not shed as much light on the issue of animal rights and stewardship as it did bullshit transnational economics. Living in Alberta, this kind of ignorance rubs me in the face on a daily basis when I see those damn I (heart) Alberta Beef stickers on every 10th car I pass. Anyways, thanks again for making this important post and suggesting the movie.

  • Comment by April on April 11th, 2006 at 11:37 pm:

    Scott said:
    “…but I’m not against a well cooked chicken! We should regain the respect towards animals that Natives had; You can eat and be thankful.”

    Respect and thankfulness to who? The animals?
    Is respect and thankfulness really gonna make them feel better when they are dead???
    I guess I can’t see that logic cause I am not religious…I don’t know.
    Killing something for your own pleasure is not respect in my knowledge of the word.
    Maybe I’m wrong.
    Or maybe D-Rock is right…
    that’s just an excuse…
    Your way of “justifying” your guilty conscience to make YOU feel better after you eat.

  • Comment by scott on April 12th, 2006 at 1:25 am:

    “humans do and ought to have more rights than animals” i dont want to say fascist so ill say ascist…please enlighten me as to what makes animals so different than us, and in effect lesser than us? is it the six teets and the arm lengthed donkers? the smaller brain, the sonar? apparently whales lay off half human sized turds….”

    If I’m attempting to say that plants have the same rights as animals and humans, then there’s no need to take my quote to mean I have the position that humans should have more rights. I’m saying we are all on on equal moral ground. But aah hah! Exploitation! We can’t avoid it. And as every good vegan knows, we don’t claim to end exploitation but we strive to “minimize” exploitation. Even though I believe plants are earthlings and also have consciousness, I eat them. Even though I believe animals are earthings and have consciousness, I eat them. So from animals, plants, water and air, I exploit and consume nature! I’m not the one creating a hierarchy in nature. It is the vegan who claims animals and humans are superior to the rest of the earth’s creations (earthlings). So when the vegan gets upset when someone like Tim Wise creates his own version of the hierarchy, it is hypocracy, plain and simple.

    I feel no guilt when I eat a nicely cooked steak. I used to of course, then I turned vegan. Then I learned veganism is a narrow minded world view. I guess getting into Alan Watts changed things for me. So D-Rock is a sentientist, and I’m an earthlingist. wow, wordy.

  • Comment by anti-bling on April 12th, 2006 at 3:02 am:

    “Animal/human/vegetable rights” aside, the reason i stopped eating meat (and stopped many other activities) is because of compassion. I suspect this is the main reason for most other people too, although we get all tangled up in “isms” and ideology.

    By the way Scott, if you like Alan Watts, may i suggest some other Zen authors? Have you read any Shunryu Suzuki? Thich Naht Han?
    There are also reasons why the Zen buddhists in Japan are vegan, even when other buddhist sects are not. Even the non-disriminatory sometimes discriminate.

    But getting back to compassion.

    There are some things i love more than my Mom’s fried chicken or the tuna sushi where i live in Japan.

    To me, a healthy environment is more important to me. As are the lives of all the animals.

    I used to fish and hunt, but i saw that it was all for my own satisfaction, i didnt need the animals i killed to survive. That is not to say that i live on sunshine and rainwater. We all have to kill and inflict suffering on others to survive. Its impossible not to. But i want to minimize it. If i knew something i was doing was hurting the rest of the world, and even though i can”t stop it completely, is there not a moral obligation to try?

    And have i taken this thinking to other areas of my life? Yes.

    Do i act perfectly in accordance with it all the time? No. But i am trying.

    Is killing a carrot worse than killing a cow? i don’t know. But even on a level moral scale like you are talking about where a life is a ife is a life, more lives are still sacrificed for a meat-eating diet than a vegetable-based one.

    Scott, if we are all on the same ground, (no hierarchy in nature) plants, animals, and humans, and you are OK exploiting plants and animals to survive, do you include humans with the same non-discriminatory attitude?

    I’m not attacking you, i agree generally with what you are saying, but have come to a different conclusion in terms of diet.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 12th, 2006 at 8:20 am:

    Scott: I see the point you’re trying to make, but dude, it’s just not there. You’re using philisophical semantics about hierarchy to justify being lazy. On one hand you claim consider all forms of life to be equal, and to care about reducing suffering.

    Then on the other hand, your diet reduces no suffering at all. You’re not an “Earthlingist.” You’re a humanist, because you claim dominion over not only plants, but animals too (not of course, not humans.)

    It just doesn’t add up. If you want to reduce suffering (as we all should) – reduce suffering. It’s a pretty simple concept. Ideas about hierarchy do not achieve this – actions do.

    As for veganism “narrowing your world view”, it actually expands it – to include consideration for animals! I would say that anytime your actions cause suffering and pain, that narrows your world view.

    I don’t know who this Alan Watts guy is, but I’d like to kick his ass!

  • Comment by Yaniv on April 12th, 2006 at 11:05 am:

    Speciesism is the failure to recognize other living, sentient beings have interests like we, as humans, do.

    What are these interests? Well, to not feel pain or unhappiness, comes first to mind.

    The deliberate marginalization of the other being’s interests on the mere basis of rationality is the foundation for the human supremacy claimed over animals. Like D-Rock stated, their plight emanates from being “voiceless” and “powerless.” Ultimately, like the followers of Decartes once did, non-human animals have and continue to be reduced to creatures that cannot feel pain, undeserving of respect, appropriately used as commodities to be indefatigably exploited for the predator’s caprice and unnecessary benefit.

    I say this, of course, under the basic understanding that, since all people posting on this blog seem to live in advanced industrialized nations where animal consumption is not an imperative for survival, we have the priviledge to decide what to consume and what to wear. That is, for example, whether to eat something accessible like tofu or vegetables, or to eat a butchered, fragmented animal that once lived. Other (oppressed) people do not have such option.

    To make it short, speciesism, like racism, sexism, and homophobia, can be eliminated from our lives. The choice is up to us. We can reject it, first, by reducing animal suffering through vegeterianism. Yes, abstaining from the consumption of animal flesh, skins, and by-products can seem initially daunting, but it is worth it when one commits to it. By the same process, one can reduce suffering actively by opposing institutions or corporations that profit from murder and exploitation, or by supporting, not condemning, those who liberate animals from their plight and misery by means of direct action.

  • Comment by tom on April 12th, 2006 at 12:35 pm:

    i dont know d-rock….kicking someones ass because they disagree…..seems a little machismo?

    i dont think threat of physical violence will help the animals’ cause. caitlin was asking some interesting questions and i think its important to talk about which actions help animals, hurt animals, or do nothing for them.

    surely even family-free-run farms are still exploitative, even if to a lesser extent, and still enviromentally harmful. and these farms were around before the industrial revolution, no? which is why i think our greed and speciesism today stems from and may be rooted in the notion that humans have more rights than animals which has been prevalent in most cultures throughout history.

    i think that the plants have rights too idea points toward cannibalism, if you think about it. the only fair thing to eat are humans afterall……..

    im telling you guys vegan farts are so sexy!

  • Comment by Pidgey on April 12th, 2006 at 12:50 pm:

    “i think our greed and speciesism today stems from and may be rooted in the notion that humans have more rights than animals which has been prevalent in most cultures throughout history.”

    I don’t think it’s about rights. ‘Rights’ aren’t universal truths that we, or anything else, are born with. It’s not like gravity or time.

    ‘Rights’ are just something we made up along our evolutionary path, and everyone has a differing opinion of what they are.

    Surely our speciesism is an overtly organised and systematically controlled extension of the fact we have evolved from hunter-gatherers over thousands and thousands of years?

    I think veganism (and an active opposition of speciesism) is another step along whatever path we, as humans, are taking. Is that another branch of evolution? I dunno. I wouldn’t want to say that these people are more evolved! Christ, how much trouble would that get me into. However, it certainly is a new and unique position to take on life – and be able to survive fine – considering our history as a species is steeped in blood and gore.

    Hmmm. I think I said that right.

  • Comment by Pidgey on April 12th, 2006 at 12:51 pm:

    And yes, vegan farts can be quite evil, I’ll admit that.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 12th, 2006 at 1:15 pm:

    Tom: that was a joke.

  • Comment by scott on April 12th, 2006 at 4:38 pm:

    Saying you want to kick Alan Watt’s ass would be like an uninformed Fox News watcher saying he wants to kick Chomsky’s ass for saying that the blood is dripping from our hands (manufacturing consent, comment on iraq sanctions)

    anti-bling, you make a great point about where I draw the line when I say all life is equal. But before I go there, let’s address why animals are claimed to have more value than plants:

    According to D-rock, animals are sentient creatures, they have many features similar to humans, they feel pain, morn the loss of relatives, etc. So we determine their wealth or importance based on how similar they are to humans. And has been pointed out before, sounds like someone is saying, it must be great, or superior to be human. So since they are like us, they should be spared. Of course they hate when people eat animals because people say that can’t talk, well neither can plants, so vegans must not use that line of thinking if they aren’t going to include plants.

    I’m not claiming dominion over anything. If a tiger eats a gazelle to survive, how am I claiming dominion over the world? I take part in nature, I consume other parts of nature as do we all. It is D-rock who claims dominion over the world by claiming, only sentient creatures are what matters. Because we feel pain, we are more important.

    I’m simply taking part in how nature’s working and I don’t feel guilty for it. I do not eat red meat because I don’t know where I can find meat that didn’t come from cows that suffered tremendously. I will eat chicken and eggs because I do have avenues to acquire free range chickens that were raised in a stress free environment. There have been tests that show animals raised in open farms, who do not know of their impending doom, actually taste better. Strange huh?

  • Comment by scott on April 12th, 2006 at 4:48 pm:

    fyi: watts was a zen buddhist, anarchist, atheist, he was pro-sex, pro-drugs and saw through the bullshit more than any man in western history. He’s everything g7 stands for and more, more being that he had a sound philosophy and entertaining view of life.

  • Comment by tom on April 12th, 2006 at 5:42 pm:

    so the chicken still dies young but its ok because mr.chicken got to run around on a farm abit more and tastes a little better?

    i dont see why youre bitching that we dont care about plants, when YOU dont care about animals or plants either.

    please explain your logic- we arent vulcans over here, you know. (sorry thats a star trek nerd question)

    we recognize animals INHERERENT “right” to live free of cruelty, torture and captivity. and i dont see anyone here assigning animals arbitrary economic values or a philosophical charter of rights or some bullshit like that. they are alive and sentient, of the same grain as ALL LIVING, FEELING creatures. born into freedom, it should be.

    alas, they are slaves..

    forgive my caps lock obsession but we dont all have those nifty italics or logos like those elite g7ers.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 12th, 2006 at 6:01 pm:

    Scotty!

    The kicking his ass comment was a joke. Obviously, I thought, but I guess not.

    Watts sounds like a great guy. How these teachings made you want to eat carcasses again I don’t quite see. But realize that you can conciously think: hey – I’m part of the food chain, so I’ll eat animals! Other animals do not ponder these things (or not that we’ve observed anyway). Which is why they truly are part of the food chain, and we are not (in the regard you speak of).

    We are of course unique beings on this planet – take the fact that we’re having this discussion. Our level of conciousness and “sophistication” allows us to make choices based on reason, ethics, and notions of justice and compassion. That’s the whole point. We are not tigers and gazelles. We should not deem it acceptable to act like them, nor should we dominate them. When we have the choice between brutality and compassion, and we choose brutality, we have wasted our potential as an “advanced” species.

    Re: my “sentientist” views – you are correct! I also do not belive rocks have the right to be free from being walked on. Or oxygen from being taken into my lungs. Simple experiment. Line up a human, a pig, and a carrot. Now cut them all in half with a sharp object. Clearly one will react far differently than the others.

    We base ideas of compassion and justice on what we know and what inuition and science and logic tell us. I think these are sound reasons to make arguments that animal life and plant life exist on different moral levels. It doesn’t have to do with how similar animals are to humans. It has to do with the commonalities we share between us, judged on their own intrinsic value, not the value they hold when embodied in humans or animals specifically.

    Obviously, if one is going to eat meat, refusing to support factory farmed food is something to applaud (not only in regards to animals, but big-business plant agriculture as well). But from the point of view of an animal who obviously would prefer to be alive, a good life before slaughter – as opposed to a horrific life before slaughter – is a life ending prematurely in slaughter nonetheless.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 12th, 2006 at 6:05 pm:

    Tom: write italics like this …

    <em>phrase in italics</em>

  • Comment by abe on April 12th, 2006 at 6:09 pm:

    testing, testing, 123

  • Comment by tom on April 12th, 2006 at 6:23 pm:

    cow farts are also a leading contributor to golbal warming…

  • Comment by scott on April 12th, 2006 at 7:22 pm:

    I do care about and love animals, and eating some animals isn’t a contradiction. We have no problems accepting that Native Americans cared about animals while eating them at the same time.

    Here’s my point if you haven’t figured it out: I’m for the view that everything on this earth, whether it has roots instead of legs, or arms instead of thorns, should be valued. Man has the disastrous idea that he can conquer nature. That he can raise cows for slaughter, bulldoze hills, wipe out rain forests, pollute, etc. I’m against this ‘man over nature’ view. And veganism doesn’t oppose this view, it simply aligns itself with it. I don’t believe there is a strong moral argument against eating meat based on some humanity or lack of necessity for eating meat. I oppose the METHODS (i.e. factory farms), and the views we hold against animals and nature. Here is where I agree with the vegan, man does in fact piss on animals and treat them cruelly. I’m saying, let’s not stop there. We’re destroying the environment with our cars and sprawling cities. If we all realize that we are all “earthlings” we can stop the devastation we’re causing to this planet, and most of all the harm and suffering inflicted on animals.

    Death and pain are apart of life. If you cut a human, cow, and carrot in half, they ALL die. They die differently, making different noises, and spill with different liquids. D-Rock’s line of thinking that says animals are closer to humans than plants are, and thus have higher value, gives the open door to critiques like Tim Wise to disagree, and say, that in fact humans are more important. How are humans more important? Well just read all of Derrick’s responses, he doesn’t stop raving about how humans are superior to nature, read for yourself.

    I finally downloaded earthlings, and from the beginning they engage in semantics and don’t count plants as earthlings. Face the facts, anything that grows from the earth, that includes humans, is an earthling. Alan Watts sums it up: Are we birds nesting on a tree, or are we the fruit that have been bared? Let’s say aliens flew over earth 3 million years ago, they would’ve looked down and said, “OH, just a bunch of dumb rocks, nothing here” If they were to return now they would say, “Wow, those aren’t dumb rocks, those are people rocks!” In the same way an apple tree, apples, our earth, peoples.

    You can play the role of the catholic who oppresses natural things like sex by oppressing the natural order of exploitation. Or you can embrace nature and become one with it. You can minimize pain and suffering and still feel guilt free for inflicting pain and death.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 12th, 2006 at 7:55 pm:

    Scott, you are not living in a subsitence culture. You have a choice, and you choose to inflict death. It’s very simple! Your philisophical clap-trap about the order of nature has zero bearing on reality dude. You cannot minimize pain and suffering while needlessly (emphasis!) inflicting death.

    Grizzly bears sometimes eat their young when food is short. Maybe you should eat your child next time you’re hungry – even though you have a cupboard full of food. “Natural order of exploitation” dude.

  • Comment by rob on April 12th, 2006 at 9:14 pm:

    Bears also eat cubs to bring females back into oestrus. “Natural order of exploitation”.

  • Comment by scott on April 12th, 2006 at 9:27 pm:

    Whether or not I’m living in a subsistence culture or not, has no bearing on my argument. Can you not see the fallacy in your argument D?
    I’m not too sure what choice has to do with it. You’re saying that since we have the technology to supplement was is lost from eating meat we shouldn’t eat meat, because clearly, if you’re not talking about technology, then it was NEVER ok for humans to eat meat. We’re omnivores who at any point in history could have chosen to become herbivores.

    Strange how eating animals is ok when it’s OUR last resort, but since we have the ability to choose what we eat, we should not eat meat. I’m sure Ward Churchill wouldn’t be too impressed with this type of logic. So if you’re rich, white and privileged, you can choose to take a higher moral ground that others who can’t afford to choose, can’t take.

    Derrick, you remind me of Fat Mike who refused to see the truth when it came to vote. Fat Mike was 100% positive that we had to join the system in order to beat it. And propagandhi dispelled that myth quite nicely.

    Don’t enslave yourself to a belief because then you’ll never have the opportunity to change. (taken from George smith’s book on atheism, he quoted thomas payne). I was vegan and I fought the same fight. I was open to change and I did. And I’m still, just by the odds, wrong about a whole shit load of other things.

    Nature is pretty ugly, huh guys?

  • Comment by scott on April 12th, 2006 at 9:32 pm:

    “You cannot minimize pain and suffering while needlessly (emphasis!) inflicting death.”

    So, cutting off the tail of a pigling, then clipping his ears, and cutting his teeth, then raising it in a dark cage where still other pigs try to eat it, all the while it hears the agony or other pigs being slaughtered does not cause more pain then a pig raised in spain, fed high quality grains and nuts, then after a fat joyous life, gets whisked off to be killed cleanly.

    Right derrick! You can’t minimize pain and eat meat at the same time… You know shit happens, and death happens too.

  • Comment by D-Rock on April 12th, 2006 at 10:18 pm:

    Subsistence has everything to do with it. I’m all for acting like you’re part of nature when you actually are. And dude, if you want to go live off the grid and hunt and fish and grow your own food, I’m sure that would be a way better life than living in this shithole. It’s not about “last resort”, but about truly being a part of the natural order. Get off the internet and go do it!

    But buying dead processed animals at the supermarket is not living as part of nature man. We live in concrete jungles under a paradigm entirely different than the rest of the natural world. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    “Right derrick! You can’t minimize pain and eat meat at the same time… You know shit happens, and death happens too.”

    If you read the end of that post you’d get my point about the “minimizing” of suffering vis-a-vis free range farms. And’s not death dude. (I love how you put it in a passive context.) It’s unneccesary killing.

    As for the “rich, white privilege” of being vegan – meat and dairy are the most expensive parts of any diet.

    Philisophical claptrap I tell you! It’s cray you see! Meeeeeaaahhhh.

  • Comment by deaththreat to myself.1 on April 12th, 2006 at 10:26 pm:

    So, you eat meat, don’t want o learn anything for free, and can’t enjoy the somple life of art and grant nothing for everyone at the same time? Welcome to Hell!
    Yhe death sentence means nothing , short of the dts…which means red faced embarassment in this country.
    So, good evening from Boca Raton, the mouth of the rat, distinguished Gentile Country of the, pleasure capitol of the , rich and priviledged. What the fuck do I do about this freedom mentality? How do I gain this acceptance of others back?
    Sidgned, hole in heart.

  • Comment by April on April 13th, 2006 at 12:02 am:

    “You can play the role of the catholic who oppresses natural things like sex by oppressing the natural order of exploitation. Or you can embrace nature and become one with it. You can minimize pain and suffering and still feel guilt free for inflicting pain and death.”-Scott

    Those are my/our choices???
    Sounds a little black and white to me.
    I do embrace nature, but I guess I do not think I can “become one with it” because I do not believe in the supernatural.
    And I don’t understand how eating it is to “become one with it”. Eating something would be “destroying it” to me.
    And I still couldn’t force myself to be guilt free even if I wanted to.

    I understand what Scott is saying, but I guess I just don’t agree with it.

    So you believe everything on earth is equal so you can’t stop eating animals if you still eat plants, cause that would be specism to you?
    So if that’s your logic…then why stop at plants and non-human animals? If a human was killed by a hunter with little or no pain that would be acceptable to you and you would eat it?

    I have always just believed that plants do not feel pain and emotions or have a conscience like animals and humans, so therefor it does not seem morally wrong to me to eat them. Maybe I’m wrong…maybe plants do, if they did I’d be screwed.
    I would just have to not eat anything and starve to death because I do not believe in murdering anything for my benefit/pleasure. And that’s not really an opinion, I couldn’t change that even if I wanted to, because I’ve felt that way as far back as I can remember when I was a small child and learned what meat is.
    If I believed that plants do feel pain and still ate them,
    then unlike you I Would (uncontrolably) have a guilty conscience and and wouldn’t be able to live my life with that.
    But that’s just me.

  • Comment by tom on April 13th, 2006 at 12:19 am:

    since everybody seems to like referencing propagandhi let me try one that will make me look like a fool:

    free-run farms are closer to potemkin city than factory farms. does that make sense? but both are still within the vicinity of potemkin city. am i an idiot? yes.

    i dont see veganism as so much of a belief as it is a choice. theres nothing enslaving about the choice. of course we have beliefs that we all like to live by- that doesnt mean were enslaved by them. i could as easliy say your enslaved to your beliefs.

    can i ask you guys something? i am a recently gone vegan who works as a van driver. the other day i went to a pick up and there were hundreds of dyed pelts waiting to be shipped. i controlled my outrage and even left with a “have a nice day”.then i took my shirt off. what can i do against this?

  • Comment by April on April 13th, 2006 at 12:35 am:

    And one more question…
    “You can minimize pain and suffering and still feel guilt free for inflicting pain and death.”
    -Scott
    So you only eat free range(to minimize the suffering of animals)…
    So if you believe everything in nature is equal and that plants feel pain too,
    then what do you do to minimize the pain and suffering of the vegetables and fruit you eat?

  • Comment by anti-bling on April 13th, 2006 at 1:34 am:

    i recall a zen story i had read about a student asking his teacher a question about this very topic.

    He said something like
    “Although we don’t kill animals according to buddhist views on non-violence, we still kill vegetables and eat them. Is this not a contradiction?”

    The teacher thought for a second and said
    “I think it is very good that we kill the vegetables before eating them.”

  • Comment by namiac on April 13th, 2006 at 6:05 am:

    D-Rock = Derek, not Derrick

  • Comment by mikea on April 13th, 2006 at 6:50 am:

    I think we should award ex-xDRockx “the most patient AR spokesman of the week”: you are truly impressive! (I’m all serious)

  • Comment by drew on April 13th, 2006 at 12:15 pm:

    speaking of living off the grid. this essay motherfucking rocks!

    http://ranprieur.com/essays/dropout.html

    it reminds me a lot of crimethinc’s writings (which by the way i think are some of the best things ive ever read). anyone here a fan of crimethinc?

  • Comment by Jon on April 13th, 2006 at 2:10 pm:

    I’m gonna go and see Earthlings, it sounds pretty cool.

  • Comment by scott on April 13th, 2006 at 3:36 pm:

    “I do not think I can “become one with it” because I do not believe in the supernatural.”

    That’s the problem I see with man today; hence man’s oppression of nature. It isn’t supernatural; it’s merely an outlook on life.

    “And I don’t understand how eating it is to “become one with it”. Eating something would be “destroying it” to me.”

    How about the phrase, you are what you eat? Yes, you are destroying it, but not for waste. It becomes a part of you, your body breaks it down and turns it into energy, and it gives you life! See, this destroying process is essential to life. Whether you’re destroying plants or animals, in order for you to survive, you must destroy something. Question becomes, how can we destroy things in a better way since we know that factory farms and what not are quite unethical.

    “I would just have to not eat anything and starve to death because I do not believe in murdering anything for my benefit/pleasure”

    Some people actually tried this. Well they would only eat fruits that already feel from the tree. But they soon found out you can’t avoid consuming something that has life. The fool who persists in his folly will soon become wise.

    “- that doesn’t mean were enslaved by them”

    Not enslaved by the belief, but enslaved by the attitude that you can’t be wrong.

    “So if you believe everything in nature is equal and that plants feel pain too,
    then what do you do to minimize the pain and suffering of the vegetables and fruit you eat?”

    Vegetables and fruits don’t go throw the same process as captive animals do. Chickens don’t have room to stretch their wings, but vineyards give all the water and sun to grapes so as to get the healthiest grape possible. We don’t exactly torture plants on the same level as we do animals. And to be honest, when I’ve driven through farmlands, I’ve felt a bit weird when looking at the rows and rows of plants unnaturally positioned in linear rows. But still, plants have roots, so they don’t need to walk around like pigs do. So in essence a plants life on a farm isn’t that much different then it’s life in the wild. The same can’t be said of animals.

    “I think it is very good that we kill the vegetables before eating them.”

    Rad quote, I hope everyone sees the intended humor in it. Nonetheless it recognizes that we have to kill vegetables. Or course not all
    Buddhists are vegetarians, and some Buddhists would see the folly in not eating animals based on non-violent principles.

    philosophical claptrap? Feel free to explain how so

  • Comment by Pidgey on April 13th, 2006 at 7:17 pm:

    “And I don’t understand how eating it is to “become one with it”. Eating something would be “destroying it” to me.”

    I don’t look at any other animal and think, ooh, you’re destroying that by killing and eating it; I see it as life on earth doing what it has done for millions of years: energy assimilating other forms of energy.

    I suppose, like Scott said, you really do become one with it. The big (and I really mean BIG) difference now is that we’ve reached a point in some societies whereby we recognise this as cruel and wholly unnecessary to our survival or well being.

    If there is the option to get of out of this, then I think we should take it. After all, we’ve removed ourselves so far from everything else in nature, why not at least take some kind of moral ground and leave everything else to live without us pissing on their heads.

  • Comment by tom on April 14th, 2006 at 12:05 am:

    i just want to comment on the beauty of this world: tonight i witnessed aurora borealis. just now. what a shame that our duaghters may never get a chance to expeirence this extremely rare cosmic phenomenae. according to star trek, only a few planets in the universe that expeirence this magnificence. what a shame that our daughters may not expeirence this due to our needless selfish cruelty.

    way to go meat eaters, keep on being selfish and destroying our planet. thats right: even though you may recognize the inherent value to life on earth, you still selfishly get SOMEBODY ELSE to kill your animals for you, you lazy hiporcritical two faced asswipes. am i grumpy? yes, i am grumpy, and i used to be an asswipe, but recently have graduated to ass. fuck you.

    i am extremely attracted to vegan flatulence. fuck you.

  • Comment by tom on April 14th, 2006 at 1:01 am:

    i fucked up the previous blog page by accidentally somehow linking the submit and add to the dialogue buttons to a german zine. im sotned ok and aurora. yes i am also a bored computer genius.

    i am not trying to hack g7′s mainframe to find naked pictures of dare-ick. althoug i know their in there somewhere…

  • Comment by Belinda on April 14th, 2006 at 1:10 am:

    I still haven’t heard anyone who thinks animals and plants and humans are equal say whether they would eat a human. If all living things on the earth are equal, then would it be ok for a hungry homeless person to kill someone in a alley and eat them? They need to survive, don’t they? AHA! I have debased your arguement. I have to disagree with the plant equality subject. Of course I don’t think we should climb trees and mangle all the branches, but apples and potatoes (and other veggies) grow in seasons for creatures to eat. To keep the balance there are carnivores to eat some of those creatures from making the earth barren. While I would not say humans are the bosses of the earth, I would say we have a role that is unique and different from the other creatures. We can learn to fix (some) of the problems on the earth and maintain the balance that keeps us all happy. Does this mean that we should not eat meat, or that we should eat in moderation? Up to you. I do have a final question in my rant though. Instead of eating helpless animals like chickens, deer, fish, etc… wouldn’t it be more macho to hunt bears and sharks? I mean, if you think humans are on top, why be a coward and pick on the animals with tiny beaks and cute lil’ hooves. That’s all I can squeeze out for now.

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 14th, 2006 at 1:50 am:

    scott,

    “I learned veganism is a narrow minded world view. I guess getting into Alan Watts changed things for me.”

    I am familiar with some of the writings of Alan Watts and fail to see a parallel between his ideas and some of the things you seem to be advocating.

    The “morals”,”rights” and “hierarchies” you speak of suggest that you are just as absorbed in abstract social conventions (or what Watts refers to as “conventional knowledge”) as anyone else here. If there is a central theme to Watts’ philosophy, i would suggest it is that of liberating one’s self from these conceptual conventions in favour of aesthetic contemplation, a notion that does not discredit the choice to actively resist violent practices.

    Although i personally don’t subscribe wholly to any established religion, philosophy or ‘ism’ as such, the notion of cause-and-effect is central to my adopted world view. To suggest that being at one with the universe requires a passive acceptance of social norm is misguided, i think, as well as incredibly uninspiring.

    My veganism stems from my appreciation for the beauty of the cylce of life, including death. While i don’t think there is anything inherently “evil” about killing another creature, i don;t see it as being particularly constructive. There is nothing “narrow minded” about valuing life.

    As for:

    “I would just have to not eat anything and starve to death because I do not believe in murdering anything for my benefit/pleasure”

    There are many people who successfully manage to live solely off the waste of others (ie. gleaning) through dumpster diving, eating road kill etc.

    It seems to me that if you were truly comforable with- and felt justified in- consuming other creatures according to a Tao-influenced belief system, all you would have to say is “i enjoy the purely aesthetic taste sensation of doing so”, and leave it at that.

  • Comment by scott on April 14th, 2006 at 1:57 am:

    “but apples and potatoes (and other veggies) grow in seasons for creatures to eat”

    Right they grow for the only purpose of feeding us humans and animals. What nice plants they are to sacrifice themselves for us. Plants want to live just like animals do. Again, your logic invites meat eaters to say that animals are here for our consumption as well, they often like to quote scripture for this bull shit point of view. So don’t shoot yourself in the foot by claiming plants are here for us to eat.

    Why don’t I eat humans? Have I preached cannibalism? I think there’s no arguing that one will hardly find cannibalism in nature, well you might find it in pork manufacturing plant, but really, not too common in nature. It happens yes, but when it does it may have another purpose such as, starting a new family or preventing starvation. Ahh, now I’m reminded of that movie, Alive, where an airplane crashed in the arctic somewhere and the people began to eat the dead human bodies. Of course Jack London has a good short story about a man and his best friend, a dog. Through a long journey with no food, the man struggles to keep himself from eating the dog. What am I saying? – cannabalism is not natural.

    I’m merely trying to preach a philosophy that doesn’t limit the term “earthlings” to only sentient creatures. I want to protect the environment as well as animals. I feel the vegan philosophy doesn’t address the paradigm of man over nature; it only addresses man over animal. It’s compelling and I agree, man isn’t better than animal, I’m simply trying to extend this compassion to all things that exist on earth. Now, once this is achieved, you may feel that you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. And here enters my point that we can’t totally eliminate suffering and death. We are wrapped up in nature, and nature consumes itself. This philosophy has nothing to do with Kantian ethics. As humans we have social order amongst ourselves, we’ve entered into social contracts (possibly). My ethics towards other humans is different that my ethics towards animals and plants simply based on the fact that I am human. I don’t claim superiority over nature like the vegan does.

  • Comment by scott on April 14th, 2006 at 2:14 am:

    Watts -
    “Man is devouring, destroying, and fouling the whole surface of the planet: minerals, forests, birds, fish, insects, fresh water – all are being converted into suburbs and sewage, rust ad smog…”

    “…short of suidice, is there any way out of this vicious circle of mutual killing, which, in any case, seems to be suicide in the long run? Is there any way of avoiding, mitigating, or generally cooling this system of murder and agony which is required for the existence of even the most saintly human being?”

    “Vegetarianism, for example, is on solution. Years ago the Indian botanist Sir Jagadis Bose measured the pain reactions of plants to cutting and pulling. To say that plants don’t really know that they are in pain is only to say that they can’t put it into words. When I pointed this out to a strictly vegetarian Buddhist, Reginald H. Blyth, he said, ‘Yes, I know that. But when we kill vegetables they don’t scream so loud.’ In other words, he was just being easy on his own feelings. Buddhist and Hindu monks have carried the attitude of ahisma, or harmlessness, to the extreme of keeping their eyes on the ground when walking – not to avoid the temptations of lovely women, but to avoid trampling on beetles, snails, or worms that might lie in the path. Yet this is at root an evasion, a ritual gesture of reverence for life which in no way alters the fact that we live by killing”

    Watts – Murder in the Kitchen
    He goes on to explain how to get out of this predicament, here are some quotes,

    “I love you so much I could eat you”
    “Any animal that becomes me should enjoy itself as me”
    “Whatever is unlovable on the plate was uloved in the kitchen and on the farm”

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 14th, 2006 at 2:55 am:

    “I think there’s no arguing that one will hardly find cannibalism in nature…It happens yes, but when it does it may have another purpose such as, starting a new family or preventing starvation…..What am I saying? – cannabalism is not natural.”

    There have actually been many reported cases of cannabalism amongst both human and non-human animals for purposes other than avoiding starvation. Although many of these reports have since been discredited by anthropologists as a justification for colonising and “civilising primative cultures”, there are still many examples that are widely accepted (Aztecs and some other indiginous populations of south america and south-east asia, if i recall correctly)

    In many of these cases cannibalism was a ritualistic practice based on a concept not dissimilar to your own “to become one with it” notion

    You may also remember serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who aparrently consumed the flesh of one of his victims as a sexualised act, and more recently that German guy who ate his lovers penis, or whatever…

    On a lighter note, it is considered socially acceptable in some cultures for the placenta of a new born child to be cooked and consumed by the family for good fortune.

    I’m not going to go into all the examples in the animal world….

    By saying these things are “not natural” are you suggesting that they somehow exist outside the laws of the natural world? Where do these behaviours stem from then?

    Cannabalism is absolutely a taboo in modern society, but i don’t think that it can be simply said that it is “unnatural”.

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 14th, 2006 at 3:15 am:

    scott,

    wow, okay…Watts is far crazier that i gave him credit for

    I’m not sure about the whole “ritual gesture” statement….

  • Comment by scott on April 14th, 2006 at 3:29 am:

    “The “morals”,”rights” and “hierarchies” you speak of suggest that you are just as absorbed in abstract social conventions (or what Watts refers to as “conventional knowledge”) as anyone else here”

    Just because I speak of it and thus seem to be absorbed in it, in no way does that mean I believe in it. That’s similar to the Christian telling me I believe in God for the reason I don’t believe in God. They say, well how can you deny something that doesn’t exist? Same thing here, I’m simply calling the vegan out, who claims that most humans feel superior to animals, thus creating a hierarchy. Since they want to deal in hierarchies I am now pointing out their lack of respect for all other life besides animals, based on their own created form of hierarchy.

    This should be my last comment on the subject: I’m not against vegans or their beliefs. The fact that they are compassionate towards animals is amazing, especially in today’s world. What I’m against, and this refers to the original post and Tim Wise’s article, is the vegan agenda. I don’t mean agenda in a dirty sense. I’m saying the tactics used by vegans as Wise points out, disenfranchise other humans. And I’m saying the vegan philosophy also disenfranchises other humans. It makes them feel guilty for eating animals, when they shouldn’t feel guilty. Now you could and should feel guilty for eating animals that come from huge farms, blah blah. But there is nothing inherently wrong with eating meat beyond the current horrific methods of attaining that meat. I think vegetarians miss the forest for the trees. I’m simply asking to look at the larger picture, hoping this will actually reduce the suffering of animals and nature. We are on the same team; I just have a different approach.

  • Comment by Pidgey on April 14th, 2006 at 4:02 am:

    “Plants want to live just like animals do.”

    Plants don’t ‘want’ anything. How can a life form that simply exists but has no thought whatsoever want anything?

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 14th, 2006 at 4:33 am:

    scott sweetie,

    i personally am in no way trying to make people feel guilty for the choices they make. i have little interest in notions of morality and accountability. However, i find it insulting to be labelled “narrow minded” because of what i choose to consume. It seems to me that you’ve made some blanket assumptions about vegetarians and vegans. People form ideas and make choices for an endless variety of reasons. If we are all in fact “on the same team” then you should learn to play nice. i think you might be exaggerating the whole ‘persecuted meat-eater’ angle

    your god analogy was totally lost on me

  • Comment by mikea on April 14th, 2006 at 10:13 am:

    Scott, what Watts didn’t tell ya, and that all good scientists know for sure, is that herbivores are better lovers!
    Moreover, meat and dairy make semen and fluids taste like shit!
    The choice is yours!

  • Comment by scott on April 14th, 2006 at 10:23 am:

    “i personally am in no way trying to make people feel guilty for the choices they make.”

    If you don’t try to make people feel guilty, then the comment wasn’t directed at you (propagandhi line). There are many vegans that do in fact try to make people feel guilty, and if you read some of these posts, people accused me of feeling guilty even though I never brought up the topic of guilt. Yes there are rad vegetarians and vegans out there, they are still my friends, I respect their choices. When I say vegetarianism is narrow in it’s thought, I don’t mean this to be insulting. I only ask that they extend this compassion to the entire earth, let’s end deforestation, let’s stop polluting the water, etc. Although the ideals of vegetarianism sound wonderful, they fall short in saving the planet.

  • Comment by tom on April 14th, 2006 at 11:05 am:

    belinda you bring up some good points….
    actually, belinda, because i am such a utter genius, i brought the cannibalsim issue way back on post #1475. as ususal i was ignored.

    yes, scott, we commend you for your valor and bravery in protecting these plants. i’d even guess that most people on this blog would agree with most of your views regarding life on earth. but your “logic” falls short when you decide to eat meat. by eating any meat- whether it be factory farmed or free-range-farmed, you are doing more harm to the enviorment (plants animals and humans) than any vegan would(unless said vegans farts were enormous and poisonous).

    and that is where your argument fails. its cool that you care for earthlings so much. sure, we can call plants earthlings too. but at the end of the day, by only eatingfrom the plant kingdom, i am causing less harm to the planet you seem to love, than you are.

    please stop ingnoring my genius intercourse!

  • Comment by April on April 14th, 2006 at 1:25 pm:

    Hey, I brought up the cannibalism thing earlier too. Oh well.

    “I only ask that they extend this compassion to the entire earth, let’s end deforestation, let’s stop polluting the water, etc.”
    ^
    I think most of us on here that are vegans/vegetarians Do feel that way too.
    I just don’t see how eating meat is going to solve any problems.

    P.S. ~ I love this blog.

  • Comment by scott on April 14th, 2006 at 4:35 pm:

    I’m not saying eating meat will solve any problems. I haven’t asked anyone to eat meat. I’m simply saying I don’t believe there is a rational argument above and beyond the context of factoring farming, ie, that humans have surpassed nature and can show compassion and choose not to eat animals, these vegetarian arguments fall short because as I’ve mentioned, I believe we can’t avoid murder and consumption. And as I’ve already stated and few disagree, if I don’t eat red meat, and choose to only eat chickens that were raised cage free, then I am in fact minimizing the pain and suffering that vegans wish to minimize. Now sure, you guys minimize more, I don’t argue that. I’ve just come to terms that I can’t eliminate all the suffering. If I chose so then I would starve and die.
    I don’t protect plants, they’re delish.

    The cannabalism was an interesting point, and instead of talking out my ass just so I don’t show that I could possibly be wrong. I didn’t respond, instead I thought it over and am still thinking it over. Maybe I don’t eat humans is because it’s tabboo, maybe it’s becaue I’d go to jail, maybe it’s because chickens are easier to kill, maybe it’s because I don’t want to kill a family member, or a friend of the family, maybe it’s because I don’t want another human doing the same to me. When we talk about “rights” these are human conventions, and so I play by those rules. Please read Tim Wise’s article that is linked in the original blog entry.

  • Comment by abe on April 14th, 2006 at 5:09 pm:

    Scott:

    Actually, if you engaged in cannabilism on a regular basis you would likely be succumb to a fatal neurodegenerative disease called “Kuru”, i believe, which is the human equivelent of Mad Cow disease. It used to be somewhat common to feed cows with cows and that is how Mad Cow originated.

  • Comment by Anthony on April 14th, 2006 at 6:00 pm:

    EATING ANIMALS IS FUCKING MURDER. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY AROUND IT.I’m not the kind of guy to debate..because I just get mad. I just know whats RIGHT. I DONT have to sit around all day and come up with reasons why I don’t eat meat. All the answers are right in front of me. Remember its not just a mis-shaped product wrapped in celophane. IT WAS A LIFE TAKEN. Now for something completely off subject that I know everyone is going to hate me for. The Weakerthans fucking suck. I’m so happy John is not in Propagandhi anymore. Todd is a way better fit for Propagandhi. oh yea, D-Rock Nightflares is a great album…I’m listening to it right now. Good Set at the Knitting Factory in L.A.

  • Comment by tom on April 14th, 2006 at 6:12 pm:

    “And as I’ve already stated and few disagree, if I don’t eat red meat, and choose to only eat chickens that were raised cage free, then I am in fact minimizing the pain and suffering that vegans wish to minimize.”

    why minimize when you can eliminate it? hmmm,? where is the logic in that, oh scott?

  • Comment by tom on April 14th, 2006 at 6:52 pm:

    scott here is your line:

    “but you’re not stupid, you’re just selfish, and you’re a slave to impulse. and i guess i thought we all shared common threads, in that we gravitated here to challenge the conventions we’ve been fed, like cultures that treat creatures like machines. and if you buy that shit, then how long until it’s me, who serves as your commodity?”

    uhhh that was long and it was my last propagandhi reference i’ll ever make. im tired of running around in argumentative circles, which is clearly where your reasoning leads us.

    go vegan, dude.

  • Comment by scott on April 14th, 2006 at 10:04 pm:

    I don’t disagree with that propagandhi quote. I’m discussing the conventions we’ve been fed, and I’ve made the clear point that some vegans accept the convention that they are superior to plants and animals, yes animals, it is through this superior thinking that we can thus save animals.

    Tom, I’ve already said pain and suffering can’t be eliminated, but I’m not going to draw the arbitrary line at animals.

    Thanks Abe, I don’t eat humans because they are bad for my health.

  • Comment by scott on April 14th, 2006 at 10:06 pm:

    P.S. “I know what’s RIGHT!” – don’t you just love these types of dialogues….

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 14th, 2006 at 10:26 pm:

    “I only ask that they extend this compassion to the entire earth, let’s end deforestation, let’s stop polluting the water, etc. Although the ideals of vegetarianism sound wonderful, they fall short in saving the planet.”

    Scottie,

    i think i understand where you’re coming from, but it just doesn’t seem to add up. While your philosophy is very interesting and quite appealing, i’m just not convinced it can be put in to practise they way you are claiming. As Derek pointed out, you are not living in a subsitence culture.

    We all know that things like deforestation and water pollution are often the direct result of farming animals, and i’m sure you’d be the first to point out that farming grains, vegetables, fruits etc can be just as environmentally degregading. The simple fact is that raising a pig or chicken to maturity, whether ‘ethically’ or not, requires an inproportionate amount of grain to the amount of flesh it results in. It’s just not economical, and thus is environmentally unsound whichever way you look at it.

    while veganism alone may not be enought to “save the planet”, i consider consuming organic plant matter (as much as i can, living in a city and all..) a small step in the right direction.

    Just wondering (i’m not being patronising), what is your stance on bonsai? Is that like the plant equivelent of veal? My bonsai is my most prized possession, i would hate to think he’s unhappy…

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 14th, 2006 at 10:32 pm:

    by ‘organic’ i meant organically grown, without pesticides etc.

  • Comment by rob on April 14th, 2006 at 11:21 pm:

    well, bonsai is manipulating nature and contorting it to meet the needs of its human overlords…

    but you are a rational being with a conscience, you can make right descisions.

  • Comment by drew on April 14th, 2006 at 11:32 pm:

    i would like to make a small rebuttal to anthony’s comment: the weakerthans most definitely do not suck.

    cannibalism….vegetable rights…oh you guys/girls are silly.

    certainly going vegan isnt going to magically make all the suffering in the world dissapear, but i feel it is one of the most effective things on an individual level that a person can do to minimize suffering in this utterly insane culture we have somehow developed…..so having said that…does anyone want to run away from this crazy-consumer-working-our-lives-away-at-lame-ass-jobs-rate-race-eating-itself-from-the-inside-out-culture-thats-destroying-this-earth and build a permaculture house and farm in some beautiful rural area with me? everyday when i walk to work i think about how amazing it would be to “dropout”. i have mentally, but physically is much more difficult. we gotta find the loopholes!

    “what child earnestly dreams of growing up to be a grill cook, a popcorn vendor? what young heart yearns to manage advertising accounts or supervise fellow “team members” at a corporate supermarket? We are dropping out because the market offers us no wealth we can recognize. Digital video discs? We’re sick of watching actors, we want adventures of our own. Political parties, legislative solutions? We want, for once, the experience of using our own power, representing ourselves. Tell us we need more education, we’ll laugh–we know there isn’t enough room for all of us at the top, and we’re starting to question whether we want to be there, anyway. Tell us we need better work ethics, prescription drugs, career counseling, psychiatric care, perhaps a summer on the student hostel curcuit, we’ll jeer–we know, finally, that the problem is not us. We are through with symptomatic treatment, blaming the victim. You always told us if we lost our jobs, it would be the end of the world–sounds like it’s worth a shot.”

  • Comment by atomic colon bomb on April 14th, 2006 at 11:50 pm:

    scott, i’d agree that alot of vegans out there are slightly narrow in their view of helping the planet- say to promote veganism via sexism or the mentality that if you are vegan then you do no wrong.

    i would definately say that i disagree with different vegans on many different things, but that is not whats at question here. or maybe not. but we (at least i) look at veganism within a framework of destroying capitalism, patriarchy, and a chance for a better world.

    id guess for most of us here, being vegan is just one step in “ending deforestation and polluting the water.” of course those are amongst our goals. but dont you see the hypocracy in that very statement? that meat consumption is actually a direct contributor to deforestation and water pollution? and a host of other unfriendly enviromental degradations.

    i know that by being vegan this will not completely eradicate harm against animals. surely a utopian world is not possible for humans, animals or plants. that is what nature means to me. striving for justice, love, and farts in an imperfect universe. to know that eventually darkness comes for all, but to try and make the short time that we are here a little brighter for all earthlings.

    lets not forget that there are earthlings and then there is the earth, and she decides are ultimate fate. we are only passengers on a train on a finite line, but for the time we have, we can steer that train in the direction we want it to go. now i think im going to cry.

    this is tom btw, just being clever with my name.

  • Comment by atomic colon bomb on April 14th, 2006 at 11:52 pm:

    FUCK I KEEP FUCKING UP THE ITALICS, IM STICKING TO CAPS. FUCK IM DUMB.

  • Comment by scott on April 15th, 2006 at 1:16 am:

    “The simple fact is that raising a pig or chicken to maturity, whether ‘ethically’ or not, requires an inproportionate amount of grain to the amount of flesh it results in. It’s just not economical,”

    I believe this is Singer’s argument but only appropriate if we take the premise that there isn’t enough food to go around. This is not the case. The western world is consuming the entire pie, while throwing the crumbs to the third world. We do not need genetically modified food to feed the world, we need to stop sucking resources from poor countries. So the economics behind raising grain fed chicken is interesting, I don’t find it an issue because that grain would not be used to feed poor people; fuck farming subsidies and crop destroying.

    Bonsai? Well If I take the taoist approach, you really appreciate the beauty of your tree. There’s nothing wrong with giving it a haircut. You respect it, and care for it. I say rock on, and while your at it, maybe you should start a zen rock garden.

    ” that meat consumption is actually a direct contributor to deforestation and water pollution? and a host of other unfriendly enviromental degradations.”

    -Good point, but that’s really an issue not with meat consumption, but the methods,such as factory farming. I’m against factory farming, meaning I realize pollution will go down, I realize there will also be less deforestation. The problem today, as I see it, is that man isn’t thankful for what the animals provide; “Earthlings” makes this point. If man respected animals, and appreciated the fur they gave us to keep us warm (i know not a necessity) then he would not skin an animal alive, such as they did on the china fur farm.

    “Earthlings” – “Nature, Animals, and Humankind; We are the earthlings… Make the connection”

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 15th, 2006 at 1:58 am:

    “I don’t find it an issue because that grain would not be used to feed poor people”

    i made no mention of feeding poor people. There is no shortage of food in the world, just compassion. My point was that large scale farming of any kind, plant or animal, factory or not, is environmentally destructive. ofcourse clearing land to indroduce a new species will have ramifications on the local ecosystem. My point was that the level of destruction is at least three-fold when it comes to farming animals, as the process relies on grain consumption for flesh production, inproportionately so. It just seems a little excessive for such little reward, is all.

    As for a rock garden, i downloaded a childs computer game called “Zen Puzzle Garden” a while back and i found it really, really difficult. it hurt my brain.

  • Comment by Kyle on April 15th, 2006 at 11:33 am:

    Genetically modified foods might have helped to feed some people when Borlaug as the Mexican government got together to ‘find’ a solution. Nothing that some fairer distribution couldn’t have solved, I’m sure.

    According to Vandana Shiva’s “The Stolen Harvest” — and if that’s not the book, it’s Devinder Sharma’s “GATT to WTO: Seeds of Despair” — over fifty percent of the genetically modified seeds created today are connected to pesticide use. That is, they’re made to withstand/create pesticides. The concern is not with increased nutritional value, or increasing crop yields, apparently. (Increased yields through increased pesticide use, of course.)

    I watched “Earthlings.” I have never cheered so hard for an elephant in my life.

  • Comment by atomic colon bomb on April 15th, 2006 at 11:51 am:

    kyle yes! she was so beautiful and they shot her down, the souless bastards, may they rot in satans colon.

    well, scott, im done arguing with you. clearly, your argument takes us nowhere. so go chop off that chickens head, its supper time.

    i mean you do have the balls to kill your own food right?

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 15th, 2006 at 8:17 pm:

    hey drew,

    i’d feel like an arsehole to not at least acknowledge your last post. I feel your pain bro. Once upon a time i jumped from one shitty, mind numbing form of employment to next trying to get myself through school, going insane and drinking myself to sleep every night. I recognised the pointlessness of it all but didn’t see another option. And i was really fucking lazy.

    Then one day i pulled my head out of my arse and saw that there were people doing constructive things to work against all the practices/ideologies/bullshit that i felt marginalised by. So i thought “Fuck it, it can’t be worse than this” and off i went.

    I started getting involved in things that i was actually interested in, like political activism, community radio, environmental groups, hot japanese boys etc etc. I now work as part of an organic-vegan-”pay as you feel”-co-op-cafe that says “hey, you as a consumer have the power in this ridiculus system, so think about the choices you are making with your money, regardless of how little you have” by allowing people to choose themselves how much they want to pay for their food.

    Although the thought of throwing it all in and going off to live in a tree somewhere seems like a really nice idea (seriously), it’s not the only option.

    Although i still have no money and still drink myself to sleep most nights, my mental state is far more stable. (though some may disagree with that last statement)

    And i’m still really fucking lazy…

  • Comment by drew on April 15th, 2006 at 10:31 pm:

    somestupidmade-upname:
    thanks for your repsonse. yea it gets pretty intense when i think about this, which i do a lot, like all day to day at work for 8 hours. im definitely not suggesting the only option is to go live in a tree, but there are so many different ways to live than the way we currently do, outside of this totally sucky exchange economy. and there are definitely different levels of “dropping out” and certain amounts work for different people. i get so frustrated how everything and everyone seems to be reduced to a commodity, and we have to pay just to occupy space and eat. thats just fucking INSANE!!!!! there are other ways! ever read any crimethinc? their writings/books/zines are the most inspiring anarchist texts i have ever read. i always wondered if the G7 collective was into their stuff.

  • Comment by drew on April 15th, 2006 at 10:37 pm:

    oh, i also wanted to say. its not that im lazy and dont want to work. its that i dont want to put time and energy towards things i dont care about, only towards what compels me and what speaks to me. and its possible, just sometimes so hard while at the same time trying to “make a living.”

  • Comment by atomic colon bomb on April 16th, 2006 at 2:14 am:

    hey drew and some stupidmadeupname, you guys should join the Voluntary Human Extinction Campaign, and we could drink ourselves to sleep together!

  • Comment by drew on April 16th, 2006 at 12:43 pm:

    ok..haha. im gonna go ahead and assume that was a joke. but on a more serious note, what im saying, is that there is so much to live for, and so much possibility in this life but under the systems we create, everything, including our desires, gets trampled and we end up pissing our days away putting time and energy into work we dont care about, while simultaneously destroying the planet making a whole bunch of shit that we dont need to survive and argueably does not make our lives a whole lot better. its so amazing that we get to be here and be alive and use our bodies and minds in this amazing planet, but the fact that we are all turned against eachother through the laws of competition and the fact that THE bottom line is profit, that just fucks it all up. for all we know, this is it, our one life, and the systems we create are just making it such a struggle for everybody and everything, the earth (obviously) included. ah what a fuckin tragedy, eh? and im not saying the only way things are gonna get better is if there is some world-wide revolution that we all gotta work towards, because that is obviously not very likely to happen. so then what we should focus on, i think, is the revolution of everyday life. and do what we can with our time here to have fun. live our dreams, and help eachother and the earth along the way. yep.

  • Comment by blackmetal666 on April 17th, 2006 at 12:56 pm:

    “so then what we should focus on, i think, is the revolution of everyday life. and do what we can with our time here to have fun. live our dreams, and help eachother and the earth along the way”

    Word.

  • Comment by alex on April 17th, 2006 at 10:23 pm:

    It is problematic, yo. I guess I never really understood Propagandhi’s constant joking about “quite seriously on the verge of suicide” until a few months ago when my transition from left-wing christian to theist to agnostic to atheist was complete and… life just seems pretty hopeless a lot of the time.

    i really don’t know where i’m going with my life and … god it’s scary. at least i’m not drinking myself to sleep, i think. i don’t know.

  • Comment by scott on April 17th, 2006 at 10:49 pm:

    “life just seems pretty hopeless a lot of the time.”

    Alan Watts… Alan Watts… I went through the same transition and landed on the same hopeless island. If you love drugs, don’t believe in God, and are fascinated by the concepts of death and time. He’s your man.

  • Comment by kkev on April 18th, 2006 at 4:31 am:

    if you truly believe that plants are sentient and are exploited to the same degree as animals then that is another reason you should go vegan…

    cows, for example, eat over 10 times their body weight in plants by the time they are slaughtered. going vegan cuts out the middle man, reduces your ecological footprint and minimises plant death, as well as all the other obvious benefits.

    but i’m guessing that people using the plant vs animals argument dont actually believe it. but are using it as an excuse to continue their abuse of other sentient creatures.

  • Comment by Nicky on April 18th, 2006 at 4:33 am:

    hey man, Fat wreckords isnt that bad. neither is NOFX, you sound pretentious.

  • Comment by Pidge on April 18th, 2006 at 9:23 am:

    Or reduce your egological footprint even further – and go Freegan!

    London is full of them, but I’m not sure my lady-friend would approve. It does make so much sense though. I see so much food wasted in London it’s painful to watch.

  • Comment by Belinda on April 18th, 2006 at 4:49 pm:

    Does anyone know if human “fertilizer” could be feasibly used for, well, fertilizer? I wonder…

  • Comment by tom on April 18th, 2006 at 6:25 pm:

    ha ha poop. ha ha.

    ha ha, i finally get it:

    http://www.fbi.gov/p...ressrel01/102301.htm

    brent you fucking pooper!

  • Comment by somestupidmade-upname on April 19th, 2006 at 7:06 am:

    i just heard (from a very unreliable source, ie my pothead alcoholic housemate) that Mr Tom Cruise is planning on eating the placenta of his soon to be born child. I guess cannabalism is back ‘in’. (see above posts for context)

  • Comment by Kyle on April 19th, 2006 at 10:44 am:

    Placenta would probably make for good fertilizer… But would/should eating it really be considered cannibalism?

  • Comment by rob on April 19th, 2006 at 6:10 pm:

    cannibalism is defined as any intentional harvest and/or preparation of human flesh for consumption (by another human of course).

    definitely not my first choice, but considered a delicacy in some cultures i guess.

    you could probably look at as cruelty free though (life rather than death is the result).

  • Comment by nol brenner on April 19th, 2006 at 10:14 pm:

    this guy who owns an organic deer and cattle farm told me that “animals wouldm’t be here unless we let them be here” which, given my lack of faith in what we now know as “humanity”; rang true in some respects. i mean, what he’s said is obvious. except for possums and such “pests”.
    also, how many of you guys are vegan and still eat honey? i do, i figure that insects were here before us and will be here after we accomplish complete anihilation.
    piece

  • Comment by Danarcho on April 20th, 2006 at 5:03 pm:

    Are Vegans okay with catching Pokemon?

    Are there any anti-Pokemon catchers in the land of Ash Ketchum? Are there hardcore bands that sing “They’re not for you and me / Let the Pokemon be free”? Do these anti-catchers organize and protest or just sit at home and watch tv and play videogames (rpg’s of course)? Am I the only one who thinks “Pokeballs” is the funniest concept to come out of Japan?

    Thoughts like these keep me alive at work. And giggling. Then people look at me funny.

  • Comment by tom on April 20th, 2006 at 5:21 pm:

    when the fuck are they going to come out with FF12? and not somestupid elitist internet only bullshit game?

    is there any better way to wastes ones life?

    “this portal, this trojan horse”

  • Comment by gerty on April 22nd, 2006 at 7:09 pm:

    i know i said this before but G7 should have a local events listing calendar for things of a political nature, like this movie. also anyone going to *wince* al gores movie? about the total distruction of the planet? even if we should hurt him we should see his movie too, n’est pas, weasel?

  • Comment by gertty on April 22nd, 2006 at 7:25 pm:

    ohhh yeah the movie is called an inconvenient truth and even if it is a publicity stunt for 2008 i’ll still watch and tear at my excuss for a chest.

  • Comment by drew on April 22nd, 2006 at 10:32 pm:

    i just watched the 7 minute sample of earthlings on the movie’s website, and i have got to say, i dont think ever has a short sample like that from a movie evoked such emotion in me. i have got to order this and see the whole thing.

  • Comment by gertty "just call me gert" gertrude on April 24th, 2006 at 12:53 am:

    is this what you’re so excited about?

    http://www.earthling...movie.com/e_home.htm

  • Comment by gertty on April 24th, 2006 at 1:46 am:

    hi its me again *sigh* this is the trailer for the other post i was talkign about.

    http://www.apple.com...enienttruth/trailer/

    sorry i post so terribly, i think its a disorder. and now back to my life.

  • Comment by Scott on May 4th, 2006 at 6:07 pm:

    “Does anyone know if human “fertilizer” could be feasibly used for, well, fertilizer? I wonder… ”

    How many people would even want to do that? No other animal cherishes their dead like humans; we embalm the bodies so they don’t decay, as if that’s an insult to the human body. We just take from the earth, whether it’s plants or animals, and we refuse to give back. I hope vegetarians see they hypocracy in not using their own dead bodies as fertilizer to give back to nature. If you don’t give back, you’re just as fucked up as a deer hunter.

  • Comment by tom on May 4th, 2006 at 9:00 pm:

    yeah, that makes sense. uhh dont forget all those who get cremated, buried alive, mass graves etc…

    and how many animal remains did we give back to the earth today?

  • Comment by scott on May 5th, 2006 at 3:20 pm:

    Note to Derek:
    You know the frustration we feel when people like fat mike try to convince us to vote in order to change things, and how we see right through the bullshit and make the claim, that voting, even if for Kerry, still contributes to maintaining the corrupt status quo. Well that’s the frustration I get when I tell you that vegetarianism is no solution to the problem of man inflicting suffering on the planet, and yes, maybe in the small picture, you do reduce suffering, but in the larger context, you’re simply maintaining the status quo of man over nature. Animals will continue to die, forests will be continually demolished, hills will be flattened, and we’ll still have the meat eater vs veggie debate, just as liberals and conservatives refuse to shutup.

  • Comment by Rob on May 7th, 2006 at 12:02 am:

    My buddy just told me too get this movie. I have always been anti-industry but this has shocked and disgusted me. How can these people even call themselves human? Intelligence? What intelligence? I knew the ecosystem was fucked but I didn’t realize how far greed has pushed people into corruption.
    Less than 20 years and the only polar bears left will be the ones in the zoo, the melting of the ice caps have already begun and since the capitalist governments could care less for the condition of the world that will be all but certain. I’ve always found so much beauty on this earth but it seems we have all but raped it into submission. There aren’t enough words in the english launguage to completely detail my anger, frustration and hatred of the blatent disregard of the environment and the creatures living in it.
    I know now why wild animals tend to run or attack people they encounter, out of fear. How dare society allow this to continue, well I guess if things aren’t drastically changed in the next few years we will have doomed ourselves to extinction. As it went this goes beyond biting the hand that feeds, it includes spitting on it , stomping on it, and soon enough cutting it off all together.

  • Comment by ben on May 7th, 2006 at 11:58 am:

    Scott,
    i had a bunch of questions, but i’ll stick to one for now. If you really have absorbed what Watts said, you should be able to clarify it for me.

    You said that vegetarianism falls short of saving the world. A fair criticism, perhaps.
    But how does the Alan Wattesque pro-drug, pro-sex, anarchist, meat-eating worldview save our miserable situation?
    What is in it that appeals to you so much?

  • Comment by Bharat on May 7th, 2006 at 6:03 pm:

    If anyone is interested on the historical and religious perspectives on animals I recently had a paper published covering these areas. It can be found here:

    http://www.case.edu/.../journal/Volume1.pdf

    Also, for those interested in the actions of the animal liberation front, Roots of Compassion has a film called “Animal Liberation – History in the Making” which is also quite good.

  • Comment by scott on May 8th, 2006 at 12:30 am:

    “But how does the Alan Wattesque pro-drug, pro-sex, anarchist, meat-eating worldview save our miserable situation?”

    Well as anyone who’s had a good shroom trip will tell you, we are one with the universe. This sense of oneness can also be felt after consuming an animal, since you are what you eat, that animal is now a part of you.

    The Taoist idea being, that once we figure out that we are one with the universe, or at least dependent on nature, then we should feel compelled to stop killing nature since we’re actually harming ourselves. The ecologist knows this, man can’t survive without his surroundings, the two go together, and this is a fundamental principle in Zen, yin & yang.

    So you see, this approach doesn’t limit itself to saving animals but ideally the whole of creation. Now of course we’re upset about the unnecessary inflicting of pain on animals, no question there. All along I’ve been trying to say, that there isn’t a valid argument against eating meat that is based on a conception that man does not need meat to survive, and that it’s morally wrong because the animals have the right to life. The circle of life… The Hindus likened to this. The world works on consumption and exploitation. Once we recognize this we can go on living and killing at the same time while still minimizing pain and suffering.

    Now the vegan can’t really argue against this approach since they admit to being unable to eliminate all the pain and suffering in the world. That is why I became vegetarian, because they got themselves out of the trap by saying, yeah, we can’t stop it, but we can minimize it. That is my approach as someone who eats meat. I don’t by factory farmed animals, I don’t contribute to that mess, but you know, shit, I still contribute to other bad things, just like vegans still contribute to bad things unwillingly. I rambled to much, sorry.

  • Comment by brett on May 8th, 2006 at 7:29 am:

    Derek – I’m curious to know the vegan position on free range, organic dairy products. I’ll be specific and create a hypothetical situation to make my question clear: if it were possible (and I acknowledge it isn’t) to consistantly get milk and cheese products from cows who live out their natural lives wandering around in a fairy-tale of green pastures eating a completely natural diet and only providing milk in natural cycles, would this form of dairy still be considered unethical? As I stated above, this situation is not exactly realistic, but it seems it would somewhat solve the vegan problem with dairy. Thanks

  • Comment by D-Rock on May 8th, 2006 at 10:14 am:

    Brett – it’s a stretch to describe that situation as unethical or exploitative. People generally bring up this situation with eggs, as it’s more of an appropriate hypothetical, as cows only produce milk when they have calves to feed, so there’s no “natural cycle” per se. But yes, although I do not eat eggs or dairy from any source (given the larger context of animal use in this shit-bag world), there is always context to any issue.

  • Comment by Bharat on May 8th, 2006 at 5:20 pm:

    Scott – you talk about minimizing the amount of pain you inflict, but vegans believe the same thing–that’s why they gave up animal products. Only a foolish vegan would think that he or she is removed from causing ANY and ALL harm by abstaining from animal products.

    I do think vegetarianism is a good step, more than most are willing to take, but it doesn’t minimize harm to the extent that veganism can.

    Brett–do investigate “free-range” and “organic” products. In most cases the lives of these animals aren’t far removed from those living on factory farms.

  • Comment by ann on May 10th, 2006 at 11:47 am:

    http://video.google....=3251419433163515470

  • Comment by mike on May 10th, 2006 at 9:26 pm:

    nice link, ann (http://video.google....=3251419433163515470). other than the article, this was the only comment i read. because ‘blogs’ fucking suck.

    after about 9 years of being vegan, and a few years after i got burned out from doing AR activism, this was great to see. i needed a fire on my ass–other than the diet-induced one–and this did it for me.

    wow, motherfuckers.

  • Comment by caítlin on May 15th, 2006 at 11:03 am:

    This is all over the news here;
    http://news.bbc.co.u...ordshire/4762481.stm
    and
    http://news.bbc.co.u.../1/hi/uk/4767875.stm (Big surprise.)

  • Comment by ben on May 16th, 2006 at 10:11 am:

    Thanks for the reply Scott.
    I hope that other people see that you are not an enemy here, but share most of the same values in this crazy, crazy world.

    And personally, i don’t have a big problem with you eating meat. You know where it comes from, and you try to do it as ethically as you can. That is way more than i can say for the mayority of omnivores out there.

    What i have issue with is the charge that vegetarians outlook on life are just as environmentally unsound and prejudiced as someone who does nothing about either.

    Most people who have become vegetarians for moral reasons, tend to think about all life a little more seriously, and are into issues like deep ecology. which is basically the same thing that you are saying, all life has intrinsic value, regardless of what humans assign it. They understand that plants too, have their own value, apart from food.

    Zen buddhist too, have also held on to the vegetarian tradition more strongly that other Buddhist sects, even though they place heavy emphasis on non-discrimination. Why do you think that is?

  • Comment by ben on May 16th, 2006 at 10:19 am:

    oh, which is not to say that there are some vegetarians who don’t know shit from syrup. you are right there. Fuck, Hitler was a veggie.

    But i think that the majority of people that we are dealing with right now genuinely care about all life, and want to be a positive influence on the world (at last more than a parasitic one).

    Sure, not many people take the logic of looking aat how our lives create suffering to others to its end. That would mean abstaining from even one word or breath that would create unneccassary pain. Not many people can do that.

    But in the end, its not the goal that matters, its how we try to reach that goal. And on the whole, i think everyone here is trying at least a little. Which makes me happy.

  • Comment by stepford tom on May 16th, 2006 at 6:47 pm:

    what the fuck does context mean?

  • Comment by stein on May 17th, 2006 at 3:09 pm:

    http://www.soyonline....co.nz/03summary.htm

    the dangers of soy and how it is changing our body

  • Comment by stein on May 17th, 2006 at 3:11 pm:

    http://www.soyonline...co.nz/03soymyths.htm

  • Comment by scott on May 20th, 2006 at 8:34 pm:

    In response’s to Chris’s News update on propagandhi.com:

    The bloody peta video was indeed sickening. But the only rational argument it conveys is that the meat industry, is unethical. It is fallacious to think that video proves the immorality of eating meat. The two are disconnected. One can eat meat and still be against everything that happened in this video. If you can’t understand that fundamental difference, then maybe you should try passing a law to stop it, or better yet, contact your congressman, then you guys can vote on it! Voting changes the world, right guys? Fucking Goofs!

  • Comment by Rob on May 20th, 2006 at 10:11 pm:

    The only thing that can change this world is force in extreme measures, basically taking all of the corrupt factions of humanity and putting them in a cell which is basically a coffin and letting them live like the animals they consume. I know its excessive but its what would be needed to be done in order to stop this consumer rampage of our natural resources.

  • Comment by caítlin on May 22nd, 2006 at 3:26 am:

    Ok, dude -

    I’m a patient girl, I’m not particularly argumentative, and you can’t win ‘em all, right? But for some bizare (and admittedly pathetic) reason, I woke up thinking about this so indulge me, ok?
    ” One can eat meat and still be against everything that happened in this video. ”

    Except for the needless death of sentient creatures and the waste of earth’s resources for no good reason.

    As far as I can see, you’ve whittled down your argument to a set of rules so specific, and so ineffectual, [the life is still ended, the animal still suffers death and the planet still bares the mark] I really wonder why you bother. Grand, I getcha, you don’t feel bad about eating meat… but why put yourself through the economic expense, the planet the ecological and the animal the ultimate when there is no need? It just seems strange to me.
    And within that framework of dictats you’ve made to allow yourself or forgive yourself or whatever it is, very little has changed; as I said, the animal still dies needlessly and still suffers death. Its footprint is inexorably left on an over-burdened planet; the extra food, water, and space of every animal raised for slaughter – not just those factory-farmed – all have their impact on our wee home here. Simply put, you aren’t “at one” with earth, you’re helping to kill it.

    Now, with most meat-eaters I like to believe if they associated it with the animal, the earth, that they’d change their ways. But considering you are aware of these important consequences of your actions and continue to choose to indulge yourself with something you don’t need, your repeated posts here seem less like prophesy and more like attempts at attonement. Thankfully, you’re shouting a corner most of us have long since turned, but if you insist on continuing [both with your apologia and your planet-raping] could you at least drop the earth-father routine?

  • Comment by scott on May 24th, 2006 at 5:58 pm:

    “Except for the needless death of sentient creatures and the waste of earth’s resources for no good reason.”

    indeed it is wasteful, but, still no argument for eating meat. Again it’s an argument against the mass production and farming of animals that the video conveys. People die, animals die, plants die; be carefull when using “needless.”

    “Simply put, you aren’t “at one” with earth, you’re helping to kill it. ”

    life=death, you can’t separate the two. Death must happen, killing happens, exploitation happens. So when a lion takes down a gazelle it isn’t killing? it isn’t taking another life? Now i know you’re going to give reasons as to why in this case it’s ok, but those reasons still don’t respond to the fundamental fact that the lion is killing the gazelle.

    Again I’m positing a position that wants to see the world free of rape by humans. That’s been my point all along, and if you’ve picked and chosen what you’ve read on this thread, you may have missed my point. I am making the claim that vegetarians contribute just as much to the pain and suffering of the planet (note: more than animals, the planet!) than anyone else does. You see, I’m calling you all hypocrites. Maybe you can relate to this since you’re most likely a propagadhi fan.

    Propagandhi and many other have made the claim that voting in America contributes to Imperialism. Now at first, people get a taste of cognitive dissonance. How could this be right? we have to vote in order to change things? But when you see the truth, and the big picture, you know both sides of the ballot are immoral imperialists fucks. If you can take the side of propagandhi on this voting example, then you can fathom the concept that veganism is no solution to the sad state of affairs. Whether you’re willing to admit it or not, you feel as though you are better than the rest of the planet. It’s already been admitted by Derek and others when they make the claim that we should protect animals because they are like us! And we have the power to stop natural processes such as killing for food, because we have surpassed nature with our complex consciousness. So as you see, I fear you guys. You are my version of the weak green party member voting democrat douchebag.

Dialogue has ended on this post.