I got invited to an event by a friend on Facebook, and cringed at the term ‘disable’ used as follows:
We are not interested in popularist Kony-style campaigns – this event is about committing yourself for life to actions that disable the animal holocaust.
It was a worldwide tattoo event “in solidarity” with an activist who got branded with hot iron. I tried wading through the long description (which began with biblical quotes) and didn’t see a link 5 long paragraphs down to the 269life site. I thought I’d click on one of seemingly many FB friends’ profiles at some less busy point in my life to learn more. I found nothing at all browsing a few ‘269’ profile photos for captions or comments. The intent to find more info about the event or the movement before I get into any potential debate over ableist language is not because the background is relevant, all vegans are more or less familiar with speciesist language, but because people tend to detract from criticism instead of taking it constructively.
There are many suitable and inoffensive words one could use such as ‘end’ or ‘dismantle’ the animal holocaust, it is all the more strange to use ‘disable’ as holocaust automatically makes one think of the 200,000-250,000 disabled victims of the Holocaust. The movement is trying to get people to make the link between the Holocaust and the massacre of animals on a larger scale. Many Jews prefer the term Shoah because ‘holocaust’ comes from the Greek word holókauston – an animal sacrifice offered to a god in which the whole animal (olos) is completely burnt (kaustos). The term was, in English, for massacres where many lives are lost. Whether or not the 269 campaign wishes to oppress the disabled, disability also affects non-humans. In the industrial complex of their massacre, they’re probably the first to be killed, to forego the expense of dealing with an injured animal whose life has no value, whether farm animal or race horse, or pet. To ‘disable’ in the animal exploiting industry very much means to ‘end’ or to’destroy’. Our speciesist culture constructed our language – so why refuse to change it?
It’s a very simple procedure to edit Facebook events, I gave them options on their event page (which has been deleted). Vegans surely want animal exploitation to end not ‘be redefined’. As anyone, I’m making assumptions on what they ideally mean. Here are synonyms from freedictionary.com which has a longer list but these sum it up:
I used the interwebs which is ‘free’ and straight-forward, I don’t have another dictionary and even 2nd language English speakers, like me, often use the online dictionaries out of convenience. I left two of the above decriptions’ full versions so you’d see how it’s also clearly speciesist to use the oppressive term, in case they wish to pinion or nobble the animal massacre. Likewise, it is ableist to mean ‘destroy the capacities’ or whatever they mean because ableism is ignored by most, and ableism hurts.
I’m the only one I’m seeing thus far criticising ableist language that I’ve come across in the last week, maybe it’s to do with the percentage of disabled people and allies in the movement. Maybe you put them off with all your ableist language and inability to listen to other perspectives when criticised, Movement. If we want to afford animals the same respect we afford humans, how can we refuse to respect humans and perpetuate oppression?
On the campaign itself: Firstly I would never go google/YT something about someone’s tattoo. Even if a tattoo cost near to nothing, to donate to/wards a calf sanctuary or if the intent is to promote the 269 movement’s words, to collectively buy stickers/buttons from their webshop (scratch that idea and please read comments for the latest – they are proudly and deliberately misanthropist) could’ve been an option.
Update after trying to bring up word-usage with the organiser/s and getting insulted today, 10 days later, I realised that the event isn’t over, it’s rolling on to December then to January. Instead of discussing this or dismissing what I’m saying respectfully (NB no one replied to my older post or edited the event description in 10 days), Sasha-Vegan Cannibal (AKA Sasha Boojor) first had a laugh and engaged only with a Skye Hollywood in the thread, mostly speaking about me in 3rd person:
“rolling on the floor atm … this is too much!!! fucking animals are been raped and butchered alive and shes complaining about some shit like that!!! just get lost pls
i dare her to go on a human anti rape event and post some stupid shit like that! i dare her! the nerve on her! unreal!”
I wouldn’t ever think that ‘fucking’ is a suitable adjectives for tortured animals, unless the person saying it has Tourette’s maybe… He then finally addressed me (I don’t know about what exactly):
“nope none for self involved speciesist scum such as your self […] saw old on the brink of death mothers which can hardly stand or even hold thyre heads up to look at me as i was passing by… so ye i could give 2 shits about this stupid shit you preaching”
His only responses (now deleted but you’ll find plenty of similar examples on their page at every hint of critical thinking) of ridicule followed by violent (verbal) opposition is something all vegans are familiar with in 2012, we’ve all watched Earthlings or have at least heard of Schopenhauer’s 3 stages of truth-processing and most vegan advocates have experienced this first-hand on trying to confront someone on their speciesist lifestyle or simply when being confronted, ridiculed or attacked because someone feels threatened by one’s mere vegan existence.
To someone on their event asking questions because she was in two minds and had restrictions about wearing visible ink at her job, Ashley Vegan-YogaGeek added something about avoiding overthinking: ‘Don’t think, just do.’ (which is probably the full Nike slogan too!), so I have to wonder, what is this, a cult?
Answer: Very possibly! I doubt most even read this (although linked in the very same thread of our discussion) because Ashley just said to Sasha “pls End this convo. It’s bringing bad energy […] Enough low frequency chat, let’s raise the earths vibration right now.”
Sadly, events like 269life’s are at the forefront of the ‘movement’.