From colonialism to cannibalism

Aside from every celebration truly being one of capitalism in our cultures, North Americans tend to wish each other a Happy-I-can-still-shove-colonialist-celebrations-in-everyone’s-face today, and their friends from other countries seem to follow the trend. In South Africa, facebook status updates in favour of Thanksgiving seem common, restaurants advertise special events (any excuse to kill a turkey and make more money?).

I have non-Native friends of colour in the US who don’t see it as a celebration, although family gatherings seem common but as a time for remembering as well as mourning. I’m not sure I’ll understand the pressure to have a vegan Thanksgiving, it’s still insensitive to their National Day of Mourning. It also seems to me that no turkey gets saved, spared or pardoned – whatever that means, unless a vegan hosts a meal for a bunch of pro-colonialist non-vegans maybe – could that convince them of having National Mourning Day instead, the following year? If the turkeys don’t all get taken to rescue sanctuaries, they’ll still be killed by the industries that breed them I assume?

From http://www.facebook.com/AtLeastImHonest.

Vegan turkey seems wrong because of speciesism and the prevailing mundane practices that normalise how it looks. I’ve never eaten corpse (a.k.a. meat) except by accident (the smell, taste and look was always repulsive to me) but I see this as worse than a roast in the shape of a baby or foetus. How would you react to a faux version of the latter as a meal’s centerpiece (I don’t speak carnist if this is the wrong word) if babies and foetuses were actually eaten?

It isn’t common to find except for real roasted human foetuses in certain cultures, a UK man was arrested this year for carrying some in his luggage. Brits seem to have a thing about human meat, although this corpse market did not have human meat.

I assume it was another mundane event, maybe with a few jokes, regardless of the fact that carnists are practically cannibals and vegetarians are their accomplice, harvesting the milk and uhm.. ova. I have Googled but not yet found reactions on whether this event put people off meat or if anyone actually went vegan after attending.

Meanwhile, there’s a growing amount of proof on how other species whose intelligence we collectively take for granted, have a lot to teach us on love, respect, friendship, or morality. The latest story involves a turkey.

On human evolution

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

PETA, misogyny and harm.

Amanda Palmer wrote PETA a letter about yet another misogynistic campaign. PETA harms the image of vegans and they’re not vegan or pro-vegan, they shouldn’t be using the term ‘vegan’. Everytime we meet someone whose sole conception of vegans is informed only by PETA, we find ourselves needing to reclaim veganism. The Vegan Option discussed […]

Where do you get your hydrogen?

Where do you get your hydrogen?

..arguably the best response to ‘where do you get your proteins?’ I couldn’t post a 45min video summarising the China Study (the most comprehensive study done on human nutrition to date) as a ‘video’ on here recently, could be my internet speed, and there is also a series of short videos (less than 2min each) from the Forks Over Knives film, which I haven’t seen yet, I’m watching those later and will edit with a link.

Time is very scarce for me among other things, even to see DVDs which I don’t need to go rent or borrow.

One such example is a film in my DVD drive right now – part-entertainment, part-research and I’ve loaded it in about 5days ago and simply not had time to watch it. I bought this one 2nd-hand 3 months ago… I don’t mind being behind.

Why is there so much wrong with the world and society?!

Language liberation

Liberate your language by Vegina is a great post which focuses on oppressive language use and speciesist ideology. It ties in with the ableist language issues I blogged about last week. By liberating communication, we liberate thinking and the way behaviour plays out, in my view.

[…] it is impossible to discuss speciesist language without also discussing racist and sexist language, as they are all interlinked by a prevailing structure of inequality that operates within most institutions, belief systems, governments, and cultures globally.

Vegina

If you missed my last guest blog on Viva La Vegan, here it is! 

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Through slang terms, idioms, insults, and standardized grammatical constructs, language reflects current social inequalities. It is packed with the vestiges of a culture’s history of domination, exploitation, and discrimination. In this way, language not only reflects inequality but also has the potential to oppress. In using problematic language, we reinscribe abuses and inequalities. However, by simply not using such language, we can free our own words of exploitation, forcing others to confront these issues when they hear us speak.

In this post I will focus on how language oppresses (and how we can liberate that language) as it applies to nonhuman animals and speciesist ideology. Importantly though, as I will describe below, it is impossible to discuss speciesist language without also discussing racist and sexist language, as they are all interlinked by a prevailing…

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Traditional South African veganism

In an interview by Johnny Clegg, South African musician who is less known as an anthropologist, the tribesmen who live on Hoerikwaggo (aka Table mountain, //Hui !Gaeb) stated that they get everything they need from the flora and that they take nothing from the animals, birds and so on (“no, not even the occasional egg”, they responded to a confused Clegg); to better explain their views, they referred to the animals as their brothers and sisters. One man from the tribe and Clegg spoke in a local language (or two, which I don’t understand; sometimes two people can make sense to each other speaking different regional languages – my housemates used to converse this way anyhow), the subtitles gave a clear enough indication of their values and they no doubt have a biocentric perspective on life and see animals as their equals.

From A Country Imagined, I gathered these men weave their clothes from a coarse plant fibre, also from local vegetation and they said they follow local ancestral tradition. I’ve been interested to know more and so far found nothing else and nothing written about them, unlike the Khoi‘s (who were the indigenous to //Hui !Gaeb). There was a newspaper article one of two friends who knew of this tribe had read. I have many questions about their traditions but that I’d like to ask someone who both knows them first-hand and holds an anti-speciesist worldview. Since I became disabled 10 years ago my plans of trekking through that magnificent mountain got postponed, then eventually abandoned, and I was unlikely to ever run into them or well, hike up. 

My //Hui !Gaebian mountaineer friends seem to not know about the tribe, one expressed disbelief and one reminded me it was a conservation area where no one is allowed to stay overnight alledgedly (I doubt this applies to ancestral relationship with the mountain, it shouldn’t ever). I’m not from here and I have never heard about them in Anthropology 101 or from anthropologists who lived here, one was vegan but white, tokenistic, etc. Then again, I haven’t heard of any African vegetarian traditions in anthropology classes or from anthropologists anywhere. I have noted, so far, a dire lack of interest in finding out more about them from local (predominantly white) vegans.

This tribe lives only on the plants on the mountain, even through y/our harsh (it’s doesn’t snow, rarely does at the top but it gets very cold) rainy winter and it raises the question for those of us under the same climate or potentially comparable conditions: are we too disconnected from nature to innately have morality in our cluttered, allegedly progressive world?

Borrowed from http://www.touchingtheearthlightly.com and cropped.


Rant on technology, capitalism and the hindering of equality: Rather than Robocop box office hits, we need affordable ‘robocop suits’ HAL-3s now that I could use! All links on the “robocop suit” are from 2010 news or re-publications and the HAL-3 reports are even older. Note how the focus is on wealth and the military; disabled folks matter not, what matters is to disable them perhaps.

Rape culture and ‘food’

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“On our humane dairy farm, we humanely strap a cow into a “rape rack”, forcibly impregnate her and steal her babies,” says the humane farmer leaning on a cow.

Trigger Warning: US Republicans

The operative word above is ‘babies’, did the cow have a baby each time? Then she wasn’t raped…

“if it’s a legitimate rape, the female [cow] body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

..and I guess the bull wasn’t raped if they got any semen out of him…

Farmers and cow-owners also routinely ‘humanely’ kill some of the cow’s babies for veal, the others grow up to get raped (not rape-raped). Am I getting too bogged down in language?

This happens to be spot-on (thank-you, Vegina!!)