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May 7

Specism: Meat is Murder

Posted on Friday, May 7, 2010 in Vegan

I am going to start work on a new zine/workshop. It’d be about specism and how all forms of oppression are linked. I was asked to give a talk on the topic for a conference. It’s going to be a lot of work to get it together but it should be pretty awesome when done. There isn’t really anything out there about specism/sexism/gender binary/feminism and how they are all connected.

One of the things I am going to focus on his how language controls and oppresses animals. I got someone really upset when I mention my view that “Meat is murder.” Which was odd because they claimed to be against specism; one species being used by another species without consent, but apparently finds nothing wrong with eating flesh. I do have issues with people being flesh eaters and giving the green light that murders lots of animals.

I believe in personal choice – but not when that decision harms another being. I went though counseling training and the only time you would break confidentiality is when someone was going to harm themselves or others. Eating meat falls in the harming others category.

However, how much I dislike meat – I do live in a house of flesh eaters which is a struggle for me. My dad’s preferred diet is Atkins which is heavily meat based. He doesn’t like vegetables. He likes meat. He likes creatures being tortured and killed for his pleasure. He views animals as “animals” and humans as a different sort of animal. He’s a speciesist, as most meat eaters are. It hurts me a lot that he’s closed minded but it’s his choice – even it breaks universal law that murder is wrong.

Just because we have the power to do something doesn’t mean it’s right. No one – when given a survey on veganism found it to be wrong or immoral. No one. However, people do find meat eating to be a problem: for us, the animals, and the environment. This flesh eating obsession is literally killing us.

It’s kind of rough living in a world where the majority of the people are murderers. But, that’s reality. We’re all thieves and murderers here by associating with our capitalistic system. Even veganism isn’t 100% guilt free. But it’s a step in the right direction.

The reason why finding other vegan straightedge people is so important to me is because they are upholding universal law of doing no harm to other beings or themselves. It’s not about having “everyone being the same” because equality and sameness are two different things. However, it’s about respecting all life which is precious. It’s about respecting life and not breaking the code, “harming yourself or others” which I think is key.

That doesn’t mean I don’t befriend people who are meat eaters but I don’t have the same connection as I do with people who respect life. I couldn’t have a long term relationship with a meat eater. I am having a hard enough time coping with accepting the selfishness of my family to not be considerate for other lifeforms. It’s a lack of responsibility and the idea that “my need is greater than yours” that most problems that plague mankind stems from. It is all connected.

Dec 5

We are all in it together.

Posted on Saturday, December 5, 2009 in Theories

We live in a society that thrives on the “us” verses “them” mentality. Country against country. Worker against worker. Subculture against subculture. It is everywhere. Imagine what the world would be like if we stopped dividing ourselves into groups and just accepted each other as being human and help each other out?

For example, most middle class white gay males are so caught up in their own “oppression” that they aren’t an ally to other causes. They are holding a couple of positions of privilege in the hierarchy that exists in our society by being male, middle class, and white. They feel marginalize because they can’t marry but they won’t join in the fight for other oppressed groups. However, what they don’t see is that their oppression is linked to the oppression of others. It’s like a drop of water in a lake – it ripples. If they would be willing to help out other minorities they would be helping themselves. No one is free while others in society are oppressed.

Some oppressed groups have taken a separatist approach to constructing their movements which I believe is an error. For example, some people of color groups don’t want white allies involved or feminist groups don’t want males involvement. I think that is very silly. It isn’t someone’s fault what color their skin is or what they have in their pants. To discriminate against potential allies simply because they don’t fit the mold and discounting their attempt to help the struggle due to factors beyond control is mad. We need all the allies in all shapes, sizes, and colors they come in if they want to help fight for freedom and equality from all oppressive forces.

I’ve met a handful of separatists who are always in denial of being a separatists – it’s really odd. See, if the world is going to be non-oppressive place – all forces will be working together in reality. By dividing and fragmenting – you are not mimicing the conditions of the real world and the real world will never change if you keep on keeping to yourself.

It’s like the idea of the monk who goes up to the mountain and is enlightened by never shares his insight with the world. It’s just a waste. Part of the project is sharing the knowledge with the world – with everyone. Not just “us” or “them.”

Let me point out too: just because you disagree with someone’s lifestyle choice doesn’t give you a right to dictate the rights or govern how someone else lives. I disagree and think my dad is a murderer because he eats meat. But, we co-inhabit the planet peacefully because it isn’t for me to make those chooses for him. The same can be applied to other aspects of life – that others shouldn’t censor their peers because of not approving.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life so far is that you can’t please everyone. Someone is always going to find something to be unhappy about and it’s not about being PC for everyone. It’s about having freedom and not being oppressed. That should be the goal of society and we have a long way to go.