“why not dogs?”

March 31, 2011

This is a rambling response to a question someone I respect posed in her blog:

How can you advocate for a bill to “protect animals and their owners from harm” and eat another animal that night for dinner?  How can you allow another animal to go through the terrifying, horrendous, oppressive, and murderous process that it takes to get its body or its products onto your plate?  Because it’s not as cute as a dog?

domestication itself is oppressive.  we shouldn’t “own” anything.  we shouldn’t have “pets” — that’s just another euphemism for anthropocentric system of the enslavement and control of other species.  and we shouldn’t be thinking in inherently abusive and exploitative terms such as “resources” (“sustainable resource management” is an oxymoron). [all that begs the question, what SHOULD we be doing?] Read the rest of this entry »

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Is “vegan hypocrisy” redundant?

April 16, 2010

I am reposting my response to a vegan soapboxing about animal rights and respect.  The title is provocative — I think there are plenty of ways and reasons to be vegan and vegetarian without being a hypocrite.  I just wish that the hypocritical thinking wasn’t as pervasive as it currently is — it doesn’t help anyone when vegans are constantly trying to position themselves amongst the “elite” of environmental activists, and it calls into question their understanding of the systemic nature of oppression.  To talk about the oppression of animals (and plants, and…), we need to talk about human power, privilege, and identity, and how that shapes our relationships with non-humans on this world.  It means taking a look at our spirituality and the spiritual connection we experience and share (or not) with all living things, regardless of their kingdom.

The argument I hear boils down to “I don’t eat meat because I respect animals.”  I believe it’s a dangerous and incoherent line of reasoning. “Oppose the injustice against the plant kingdom: stop eating plants!”  I.e., the injustice isn’t in what we eat, it is in HOW.  For examples, see many of the aboriginal cultures we are still systematically dismantling.  The full response is below.

Read the rest of this entry »