November 1st is….

the first day of the month through which I’ll continue a series on the blog against all oppressive ‘isms’. I hope it’ll be a great World Vegan Day for everyone. Be all the vegan you can be, or go as vegan as possible. You could tell someone it’s vegan day, use it as a pretext to share vegan stuff, read vegan stuff, or  consider going vegan this vegan month.

This video, since not many have seen the entry where I posted it before, is suitable for all ages.

I don’t have a printer but there are resources online either way (that said I’m not sure I want to receive free pamphlets from an org in the US that is disconnected from our realities but print something off a blog which inspires you, or a quote from Al Ma’arri or Pythagoras alongside a definition of ‘vegan’), or one can do a simple handmade B&W pamphlet once in a while (make copies perhaps). Offer a pamphlet to someone on the bus, in the supermarket, a pamphlet in your bag can give you superpowers if you are shy or social-phobic. There are circumstances where it’s acceptable/ fine to speak to a stranger, folks would start convos with me often in front of the tofu section of the supermarket or if they looked into my basket, it’s easy for me to ask someone if they’re vegan or new to veganism when they want tofu advice. One could also leave pamphlets in one’s library with permission. One is free to leave a free bookmark to the next person/s who’d borrow a book one has returned (I will try this when I have a library I can access again and I mean in a disabled access sort of way).

Any other ideas? Have you tried any of the above and wish to share your experiences or any advice with us?

Vegan style YT vid

The ‘Gangnam style’ parody video I refer to is on Youtube. It seemed like a good enough publicity or a shareworthy vid up until a point

Ableist language is not only a put-off, it hurts people . Is it okay for a vegan to hurl ‘idiot’ as an insult when it isn’t okay for anyone? See the word profile I linked for all the contradictions therein. In addition, this is not a live video with an accidental insult usage, it entailed a script, planning, acting, shooting, editing and sadly most media these days seem to get made or organised by people who have, and don’t examine, their privileges. I will refer to Henya as the video links to her facebook page, Henya Mania.

Ironically, Henya’s answer about the plant sentience question in the video (where she calls the questioner ‘idiot’ to mean uninformed, then physically attacks him somewhat) is uninformed, thus a long and terribly boring debate is going on on Youtube, and either carnists are saying the same nonsense over and over, or there are bots with YT accounts.

The question on plant sentience is common but not at all reasonable, it’s as nonsensical as asking ‘why don’t you just kill yourself?’. Animals are sentient (including fish and anyone with a nervous system, clearly). Supposing we want to consider the sentient death toll of harvesting plants (land use, insect death, harm to small animals and waterways): all animals eat plants, the corpses that carnists chew on did, as do we (carnists included or they’ll get very ill sooner rather than later) – our digestive system has evolved for and requires sustainance in the form of plant food. We get everything we need from plants and bacteria, there is no synthetic zero-carbon footprint alternative. If we were allowed to rape and kill humans daily, would it be ethical to do it? Of course not and simply because it’s wrong. If we use the army as an analogy to speciesists and carnists, vegans are arguably like the tax-payers who have no choice but to pay tax to the government, like we all do.

Can homo-sapiens ever evolve to eat flesh or corpse? They sure can evolve to stop the nonsense.

Human digestive tracts have never adapted to eating meat even if we have ‘evolved’ doing that since the Flintstones, hence the abundance of health problems associated with corpse-eating. If we were allowed to rape and kill humans daily but this would affect our minds in the short or long run, can it ever be ethical to do so? Of course not and simply because it would be wrong towards others.

Like the film-makers (I was told – when someone arguing against what I’m saying said “If you’re so against oppression, why do you not consider that English is not their 1st language’), English is my 2nd language, I’ve only really been learning it in the last 10 years; to some extent online e.g. I got criticised for a slur I didn’t know was one. Meaning gets redefined by culture (seen that word profile I linked above?), media (in this case also by the film The Idiots/Idioten) and by people who use language (now via social media, their video , to some extent, but can we please avoid triggering and oppressive words in our anti-oppression movement? Somehow people don’t get this simple issue, I was told by someone defending the vid that “it’s meant to be fun” but can’t you both care and have fun? I won’t get bogged down in all the carnist-like fallacies vegans have dished out but how can the ‘vegan’ movement allow itself to be socially unaware and insensitive? If you think I’m over-generalising, more on  ableist language that does not bother a few 100 hardcore vegans, English-1st language speaking friends of mine too. I made a note earlier in the event’s ‘declines’ .

Do we simply not see ableism and ableist language in the way speciesists don’t see speciesism and speciesist language? If we can all see the latter, how can we refuse to pay attention to the former, or sexism and sexist language, racism and racist language? To prove a point the latter event organiser/s insulted me gratuitously and many people backed them up or encouraged them or whatever it means to ‘like’ a comment where someone insults another.

Corpses piled high – they were the wrong size

Corpses piled high in buckets because they’re the wrong size

“Piled high in buckets – the monkeys not needed for UK lab tests because they are the wrong size” horrific slaughter has been uncovered in an ­investigation by the British Union for the Abolition of ­Vivisection (BUAV) in the UK’s Mirror. There’s no graphic violence aside from the photo depicting the title and with prior warning in links on BUAV’s page, please visit it, please sign their petition and help their campaign.

It would be a crime to kill ‘people’ and pile them in a bucket because they’re the wrong morality but it’s not yet a crime to kill people because they’re the “wrong size” slave who would otherwise be tortured and die in some fraudulent tests that aren’t science! The issue is they are being bred for this.

It’s simply called business, all countries participate and anyone saying it is merely a legal precaution for a harmful industry will probably be censored. The Mirror censored a few comments too, some papers censor all of the ones with the viewpoint presented here or the other entry I linked. I’m speaking from months of experience.

Should vegans procreate? – unknown author

This (original article republished here) needs to be shared but got reported as spam in a vegan forum. I shared it without any issues, and weeks later, today I noticed the post missing and I can’t post the link at all, seeing warnings about it being blocked by Facebook. I’m republishing it to be able to share and because it doesn’t seem to come up in searches online. I’ve been discussing the topic on and offline for about 5 years or ever since I interacted with other vegans. It seems they, childfree or not, of various generations, had not read this or heard of such views before, even if some of them held similar views. This speaks volumes on the societal bias that exists against the questioning of procreation. I think Al Ma’arri was only translated or at least published online last year, though this selection of poems is translated year 2000 CE. An ethical vegan p’haps decades before 1057 CE, blind Syrian poet Al Ma’arri, expressed himself on the cruelty of human procreation (anti-natalism, basically), from a personal POV. He was also for social justice. 2017 edit: For whatever reason he still gets erased by vegans. I hate how Marcus, a stranger to me, keeps linking to my blog and now I feel like I need to respond to the new context. So, I’ll add that Casey Taft erases Al Ma’arri, Cathars and a whole history as well as the concept itself. A-N has been popularised in academia by a racist, sexist, zionist piece of trash. I would add other isms but then proof won’t be in available publications. This BV debate hasn’t even gone there but it seems to about white anti-natalism (Malthusian, hipster, white childfreedom) is a problem to white veganism. My take is: both should be frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed, or rot ASAP along with their proponents (2-in-1 linked).

CN: wrong use of ‘colonise’, single-issue vegan focus.

Still, the following is compulsory reflexion if you’re a settler or live on unceded territories.

Disclaimer: I don’t endorse the Vegan Society UK, it does troubling endorsements of long-term oppressive NGOs in Southern Africa. The article, not I, linked to VSocUK.

The article (Feb 4, 1998 on the Internet Archive): Should Vegans Procreate?

It sparked the start of a long running debate through the letters column in “The Vegan.”

I believe that the most neglected issue in the animal rights cause is that of population growth, and I propose to put forward what my husband and I feel to be the most important reasons why a vegan, as a representative of the most mindful and unselfish movement dedicated to creating a kinder and fairer world, should not give birth, or be responsible for the birth of a child. 

First, and foremost, no-one would dare deny that this planet is groaning under the weight of humans. The world’s urban population alone has tripled since 1950. The environmental costs of hazardous industrial technologies resulting from this huge population are mounting and there are fears that the damage may be irreversible. By the end of the century, with a population of six billion, half the world will be living in urban areas. All this means social troubles such as higher crime rates, ill health, frustration, and a lack of dignity and personal freedom which is entirely due to overcrowding – not to mention increasing unemployment and the monstrous march of concrete across precious open spaces. In the first three months of last year alone, 43,900 new homes were built. Some on the dwellings of wild animals such as badgers and foxes, some on land which could be producing crops, some on beauty spots, some simply where wild flowers have colonized a bomb-site (hiding yet another example of human insanity).

All of us will, inevitably, see a piece of land we knew go from green to grey. I remember a place where once I listened to skylarks and ate wild blackberries. Now it is fenced off, ugly and sterile. Is that what we want to see happening everywhere? Any casual glance at old photographs of familiar places will show the horrific changes caused directly, and only by, the increase in population – making wildlife poorer and the developers richer. Why is that sleepy sepia village nestling down a hedge-lined lane among huge oak trees now a massive noisy town full of roads, factories and tower blocks? Once land has been built on it is almost impossible for the ground to be fertile again for growing cereals, vegetables etc. So where do all you parents and future parents think you and your children’s food will come from? From abroad? Remember, they too are increasing their population at a faster rate than you are, and they all have to live somewhere. It’s not always someone else’s fault.

No Guarantee
Secondly, you may use the argument that you will bring your children up to be vegans, so what does it matter, but can you honestly guarantee that any child raised as a vegan will become or remain a vegan adult? Of course, I agree that teaching a child the correct way to relate to other living creatures is essential, but one can argue the morality of imposing our own thoughts onto another’s personality. I certainly deplore the indoctrination of religion and other damaging influences such as racism and sexism, but one does not own a child, and whatever control we have over its actions cannot be permanent.
A lot of people would re-home a
dog with more care than
they plan the future of a baby

The pressures on a child to explore a different way of living as it grows older will be enormous; mixing as it has to with adults and peers who are at best unsympathetic. A vegan child could well be subjected to ridicule and isolation; its parents having thrown it into a mental battlefield at a time when fast food chains beckon with appealing advertising, bright colours, gifts and an atmosphere of cheerful ‘normality’. Is it fair to inflict all this on a being just because you want a baby?

Anyway, why should a vegan parent assume that his or her ethical doctrine will be continued by their children? The vast majority of vegans were brought up to wear leather and eat meat and dairy products. Will a lot of vegan children be as quick to reject our vegan lifestyle as we were to reject that of our parents?

If bringing up a child to be vegan is your only hope of gaining a convert, it’s a very expensive way of doing so. Those fifty odd thousands of pounds could, I feel, be put to better use in either campaigning, or put into practical help for animals such as supporting or running shelters and sanctuaries. In a nutshell, why create need when so much already exists?

Furthermore, a lot of people would rehome a dog with more care than they plan the future of a baby. Humans of all ages need space, clean air, safety and a decent education – to say nothing of an environment which is both emotionally and financially secure. As parents, can any of you promise all or even any of these things during the childhood of your offspring?

To be even more purist, is it really possible to raise a child as a true vegan? Medical complications must be considered, such as vaccinations and hospital treatment. When alternative medicine cannot allay a certain complaint, no-one can honestly disagree that less ethical assistance must be sought if the life or health of the child is at risk.

A basic right?
Many will of course argue that it is the basic urge of a human being, like other creatures, to proliferate. A vegan who is vehemently against the breeding of all domestic animals may fiercely defend his or her personal right, as they see it, to multiply their own chromosomes. But believing you have a right doesn’t make it ethically right. The farmer believes he has the right to manipulate other beings for profit; others believe it is their right to exploit living beings for food, clothing, science, amusement etc. Is it not the duty of a civilized, enlightened person to examine all aspects of their nature and ask themselves whether such so-called ‘rights’ are simply self-serving? A child does not ‘need’ to be born. It is the need of its parents which is gratified.
A child does not ‘need’ to be
born. It is the need of its
parents which is gratified

Our greater priority must surely be to the welfare of the Earth. We chose not to walk with the crowd when we first refused the easy, familiar and more socially acceptable path and became vegan. Procreation, the most fundamental impulse, must also be considered an indulgence of the ego.

Space for compassion
Do I want the human race to die out? Sometimes a lot of us do, if only in a momentary state of desperation when faced with the mindless cruelty perpetrated by humans upon each other and other animals. But no, I feel humans do in fact have an awful lot of good to contribute if they so choose. Among all animals, humans have the greatest capacity for compassion, the highest and possibly most human ethic. But as any wise gardener knows, a tray crammed with as many seeds as possible does not grow the best plants. Yet far fewer seeds, each receiving an adequate amount of room, water, heat and light produce healthier and stronger seedlings. So it is with human beings. In the right conditions, when every child is given the attention it deserves, only then will it reach its full potential. The huge population and subsequent overcrowding denies practically all children (except those of the very wealthy) the optimum conditions for growing a powerful sense of moral spirituality. Given the social conditions a lot of youngsters grow up in, it’s not surprising so few of them can spare little pity for their fellows let alone animals. It needs a kinder climate in which to cultivate the higher feelings of pity and compassion and not the cut-and-thrust way of life in the overcrowded concrete jungle. When children by their very numbers, feel they have little sense of personal worth, they are unlikely to extend value to other remote creatures that they seldom see except as portions wrapped in cellophane on supermarket shelves.

The problem has gone beyond the old argument that a family of two children is only replacing the parents. Too many people are too greedy or ignorant to restrict their family size. If we want to see a reduction in overcrowding, then it is we who must take responsibility for positive action. Adoption is possible for those whose genuine love of children outweighs biological links with them. I and my husband have proved it can and does work.
If you as a vegan choose
to give birth to a child and it
later turns out to be a meat
eater, it renders you own
personal commitment
completely invalid

It must be said that if you, as a vegan, choose to give birth to a child and it later turns out to be a meat eater, it renders your own personal commitment completely invalid.

Finally, what has this world that is so far from being ideal to offer the child you say you love and yet launch into its cold and cruel embrace? The only fact a parent can guarantee his or her child is death. Happiness and fulfilment are rare commodities, and rarer still in the person who has had to recognize the world they were brought into for what it is. One day the vegan parent will have to destroy any vestige of innocence in their son or daughter by explaining the horrors of factory farming and vivisection. We love to see lambs playing in a field, to watch them frisk and delight in the weeks of tender youth. But it is a poignant scene as we contemplate their future, the transience of their joy.

Naturally we, as vegans, although we take great pleasure in the sight of gentle and beautiful farm animals, would far rather they did not exist at all. Vegans have enough love to desire their loved-ones not to feel the pains of this world. Surely they should love their own flesh and blood enough to give up the personal desire for a baby when they have come to realize what the effects of their causes are doing to the Earth?

Please visit The Vegan Society, U.K.

Injustice anywhere…

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality.

Veganism is in truth an affirmation that where love is, exploitation vanishes. It possesses historical continuity with the movement that set free the human slaves. […] veganism is itself a principle, from which certain practices logically flow. ~ Leslie Cross (Vice Pres, Vegan Society, 1951)

I don’t know anything about Leslie Cross or the context of the latter quote so it’s worth pointing out that Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks and many abolitionists were vegetarians. Angela Davis is vegan, Alice Walker agrees with the ethics (in a foreword to a book) but isn’t vegan.

The first vegan cookbook written about was No Animal Food by Rupert H. Wheldon in 1910. In 1912 a plant-based diet was suggested as the proper vegetarian diet by the editor of the Journal of the Vegetarian Society in Manchester after a debate between readers – s/he deemed the reasons for milk and egg consumption unsatisfactory. The focus changed to Henry Salt’s emphasis on animal rights later. The ethics predates it by centuries or decades, but as I’m pointing out documentation is vital in writing history. I only recently realised that “vegan” was coined by Dorothy (Morgan-)Watson in the 1940s. Her husband Donald Watson founded the first Vegan Society with Elsie Shrigley in London, in 1944. Veganism seeks to exclude anything that entails the exploitation and use of animals as far as possible, thus implies no use of meat, milk, fish, eggs, honey, leather, silk, wool, zoos, circuses, horse-riding, etc.

I follow a strict vegan diet in spite of multiple food allergies but one who cannot comply to the same for health reasons, or income, or who dumpster-dives (freegans),  is vegan. There are freegans who are strict vegans and one for instance who looks for freshly dumped egg and dairy products for his friends or relatives who were going to buy these products anyway. Do bear in mind that the latter products are priced low with the aid of government subsidies and although they are perishables, energy-wasting methods are used to make their distribution easy (and their waste just as). With our diversity and differing circumstances in mind…

I define ‘veganism’ as the willingness to do the least harm possible on any group/page I’ve created because in a few words, it encompasses all the above as well as this quote from (Sarah Woodcock’s) Vegans Unite Against ALL Oppression: “We can’t effectively battle speciesism with other forms of oppression. Tolerating any form of oppression means tolerating every form of oppression.” I’m not linking to vegan abolitionist pages anymore. Gary Francione is very far from being representative of all vegans and his brand is problematic from the use of the word ‘abolitionist’. That a Francionite runs the above page doesn’t eclipse the privilege and isms he doesn’t accept criticism about.

Speciesism is the arbitrary discrimination against, abuse and murder of other species; while it is comparable to any other arbitrary discrimination, abuse and murder, it is important to prioritise respect for oppressed groups consistently and also not to engage in oppression olympics.

Compassion is not a requirement for morality. Since I have none, I favour logic, logic does not change with emotional states. If one wishes to be part of an ethical movement, one has accepted being part of rational discussion. Those who oppress humans and persist to do so, denying or enjoying the harm they cause, or refusing to see it as harm, while calling themselves ‘vegan’ – harm the movement. I experience discrimination as a direct result of that in my communities, I call myself vegan and I may not get to explain that I do not mean white supremacist or privileged. I shouldn’t have to. There are other fine two-syllable words like ‘plant-based’ to denote herbivore; the term ‘anti-speciesist’ can be used in all languages.

It would be dishonest, to say the least, for an animal-rightist to pretend that it harms the movement for others to discuss ignored forms of oppression, or to explain how harmful inter-human oppression is. I’m oppressed and if I’m less so, it frees up my time and spoons to do something for them, it’s good for animals too. That’s like very simple maths. Erasing my reality and experience means wanting a white supremacist or privileged vegan movement.

If we advocate to give animals the same respect as we give humans, then encouraging the indifference to, absence of or dilution of equal rights, or of respect, among human does a dis-service to animal advocacy.

There are many individual vegans and activists who are outspoken against many forms of oppression, and this movement has some more great quotes from prominent historical figures you may recognise that promoted connectionism. Veganism, as it ought to be, is not limited to the above. Some of those whose voices should matter may not be in a position to be seen or heard. It took me a long time to start blogging and it’s not only time-consuming, I now have to organise internet access for it.

How we wish we had answers to questions that generations after generations ask :