Sunday, March 11, 2018

On abolitionist vegans "forcing" others

I brought up human animals in my last post for this concept continuation here.. inspired again by a facebook post...
Oh, Facebook.
It's easier to understand violence against humans as human animals because we more easily empathize with violence against ourselves. It's a matter of perspective. Race, gender, and sexuality are much easier to internalize than the suffering of, say, rats.. bc we use concepts like race, gender, and sexuality to identify ourselves. It's personal.
My friend made a statement wherein she noted "I just can't empathize w the people who feel so strongly about their choices that they try to force them on everyone else." I find this incredibly telling.
This would describe the way some spoke/still speak about slavery abolition, the women's rights movement, recognition of transgender folks, BLM, etc... they were/are all philosophical movements that non-oppressed folks tried to explain as "forced" on them when seeing the issues as outside themselves. But for any person self-identfied in one of those groups, it's always phrased radically different than force... Why?
The problem these issues all shared is that we historically always made them about us, the privileged, not them the opressed. Our jobs, not immigrant lives... our morality, not trans kids lives... our cheap labor, not slaves free lives.. our economy, not poor folks healthcare.. it's always me, me, me.. never them.
I'd argue that vegan abolitionists aren't "forcing" anything on any of us in the slightest... the only real force is the steel bars and fences physically holding hundreds of millions of sentient lives in perpetual slavery.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A thought on militant veganism...

A friend of mine posted on FB today about how she finds some vegans in Seattle particularly ferocious.. speaking in terms it seemed about their ideology; and she ended up mentioning at the end of her post that she'd have a cheeseburger to that avail.. as if for self-care.
This seemed so incredibly harsh to me... I had to put my thoughts down on this today about why... why does a movement that's specifically about OTHERS always come back to our validation of it? Why do we work so hard at erasure of others feelings? Why me, me me.. vs them them them... Specifically when so many are dying horrific deaths (both non-human animal, and humans alike)?
My thoughts continue..
It's critical to understand difference here in understanding why some seem militant about a cause, while we might not.
I preface by noting that it's in many ways unfair for me to equate non-human animal rights liberation to something like human rights liberation, because every struggle is experienced uniquely by those oppressed... so I can't, for example, compare CAFOs directly to the halocaust, because that acts as erasure; the halocaust was uniquely about the systemic murder and eradication of Jewish ppl (and other oppressed uniquly human ethnicities at that time like queer ppl). That being said.. abolitionist vegans or animal activists often identified as vegan see and feel and experience many similarities in the way humans oppress certain non-human animals with violence, to the way we also oppress certain human populations with violence.
So, abolitionist vegans fight for the rights of all animals (human and non-human alike) similarly to the way we think about Antifa fighting fascism or BLM fighting white supremacy. It's a very real ongoing daily war to them bc it's incredibly fucking personal. Much like race and class wars are very real to the people they uniquely oppress; we hear you.. solidarity can be found in this inherent violence.
I don't feel I can speak to this struggle the same way abolitionist women vegans of color can.. they really lead much of the way on this; but it does speak volumes to me about how solidarity can help fuel this incredible need for empathy.
Not everyone can wrap their mind around black violent experience or non-human animal violent experience.. we can instead always try to find modes of solidarity to try our best to listen and empathize alongside others struggles... we so desperately need to look outside ourselves in this way. We find commonality in veganism as we are ALL animals who can all uniquely suffer. I hope this shared perspective works to bring us together as abolishionist veganism grows. None of us are free until we're all free.