Archive for veganism

Ask Auntie Civ: Why are vegans so angry?

Posted in Animal Liberation, Corporations, Environment, Indigenous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by Zoe Blunt
[Editor’s note: Auntie Civ gives advice from an anti-civilization viewpoint. If you’d rather get advice from a vegetarian or techno-utopian, ask one.]  

Why do environmentalists eat meat? (Part Two)

Dear Auntie Civ,

You’re so old and senile, you’re not even making sense. Give a proper answer to the vegetarians, or give up and admit you’re losing it.

Another Vegetarian

Dear Veg,

Oh dear. It’s true, I’ve been terribly distracted. I’m not well, you see. But thank you for your letter. This reminds me of the years I gave up eating animal products – I was vegan for five years. Then I started having allergic reactions to soy and wheat. It was terribly painful and embarrassing. I lost weight, my hair was falling out, I broke out in a rash, and my stomach trouble was so bad I had to wear adult diapers. I’m doing much better now on a sort of “caveman” diet. Very little processed food of any kind. Not much fiber at all. It would seem I’m one of those people who can’t live on a vegan diet – it tears up my insides.

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Ask Auntie Civ: Why do environmentalists eat meat?

Posted in Animal Liberation, Corporations, Environment, Indigenous with tags , , , on October 27, 2010 by Ⓐb Irato

Auntie CivAsk Auntie Civ, the world’s first anti-civilization advice columnist!

Dear Auntie Civ:

Thanksgiving is here, which prompts me to ask about a matter that’s been bothering me for quite some time, namely, why are environmentalists and the social justice crowd not on board with vegetarianism?

To be fair, I’m not talking about people with allergies or sensitivities, whose eating options are narrowed for reasons not of their choosing. Instead, I’m recalling the countless environmental meetings where meat and dairy products are served without question, often at the expense of animal-free offerings.

As early as 1971, we had books like the Diet for a Small Planet, exposing the degradation and social injustice of mass meat consumption. There have been hundreds of books and documentaries highlighting the health, environmental, and social equity benefits of animal-free eating.

Currently, we have the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, who questions why we treat our individual companion animals with such reverence, while we imprison and slaughter sentient beings by the millions, under conditions that make Guantanamo Bay look like a spa.

What’s with the social justice and solidarity people who still endorse this system? Some even try to excuse themselves on the basis of the existence of local, humanely-raised meat, even though they are not motivated to seek it out.

Humane considerations aside, factory farming is a colossal contributor to global warming, pollution, and resource depletion. Do you see any hope for change?

– Anne

Dear Anne,

Thank you for your passionate and articulate letter! But I can’t give you any false hope. If we all quit eating meat tomorrow, would that stop the tar sands from dumping millions of gallons of toxic waste into the Athabasca River? Would it prevent the destruction of millions of hectares of old-growth forest? Would it clean up the Texas-sized island of plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean, slow down the extinction of the mountain caribou and the spotted owl, or reverse runaway climate change?

In North America, pre-contact societies hunted extensively. Did they wipe out the buffalo, the salmon runs, the sea lions and the great auks? No, the “civilized” colonists did that.

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The Loss of a Halo: Francione and the Mask of Jainism

Posted in Animal Liberation, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Revolution with tags on February 23, 2010 by drstevebest

steve pilloriedBy Steven Best, PhD.

“Brothers and sisters, friends, and I see some enemies. I think we’d be fooling ourselves if we had an audience this large and didn’t realize that there were some enemies present.”

Malcolm X often started his talks with this ironic greeting, as his audiences often contained a nest of agents, traitors, and spies. And when I look out at the diverse aspects of the animal advocacy movement, I see the same, including FBI and law enforcement, those who condemn militant direct action while knowing nothing about it, those who monitor my pages on social-networking sites to report to their pacifist leaders, and those sad victims of the Stockholm Syndrome who have more sympathy for the “humanity” of seal killers than for the courageous members of the underground who risk it all for nonhuman animals.

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From “Man the Hunter” to Homo X: Rethinking Human Nature

Posted in Animal Liberation, Environment, Indigenous, Revolution with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by drstevebest

In their myriad telling, “scientific” narratives of human evolution have accumulated a ton of ideological baggage; human origins accounts often are more rooted in fiction than fact, and many were spawned before recent archaeological and scientific breakthroughs. Few models are as dominant as the story of “Man the Hunter.” This theory of evolution and human nature argues that human beings (1) are natural carnivores, (2) were always hunters, and (3) are inherently violent and aggressive. Not only prevalent in science, these assumptions spread into culture and everyday life, where they shaped anthropocentric worldviews and sedimented into “common sense.” Yet each element in the Man the Hunter model is a fiction and myth that both stems from and perpetuates false concepts of human identity. The prevalent notion of “human nature” has no grounding in historical reality and in fact is a social construction with troubling implications and consequences.

Clearly, these three assertions sustain and support each other. If humans are natural carnivores, they have to hunt to survive; since hunting, moreover, is impossible without killing, violent behaviors form the basis of social life.  To say that humans are natural carnivores is to state that since our hominid beginnings 5-8 million years ago we ate a meat-based diet and killed animals to satisfy our cravings for flesh and blood. But it also makes a stronger claim that the human physiology requires meat and cannot flourish or function properly on a vegetarian diet. Meat consumption is primordial, natural, good, and necessary. Thus, humans cannot and should not live without killing animals, and violence is inherently and necessarily a part of their existence. Natural carnivores are therefore born to hunt and kill; they are violent not only toward animals but also toward each other; carnivorism is our original sin.

The Man the Hunter view has influenced many views about the biological basis and evolution of violence in human life. These are arbitrary claims rooted in speciesist, carnivorous, and patriarchal biases, and we shall take them apart one at a time.

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Who Is Winning the Battle for Food Regime? Vegans or Carnivores? Dare To Know

Posted in Animal Liberation, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Revolution with tags , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by drstevebest

By Dr. Steven Best, Negotiation Is Over

We often hear about the many “victories” the vegan movement is piling up with new products on the shelves, new restaurants, growing coverage with celebrities and talk show hosts, and evolving consciousness in general.

As this article shows, an expanding awareness that meat production is environmentally devastating means that vegans have grounds for hope and optimism.

But the big picture and full context brings sobering realities to light; the fact is that this is all too little and too late and, while we win some battles, we are badly losing the overall war to save the planet from ecological collapse. Consider just a few of many grim facts and narratives:

1) As Carl Boggs notes “Animal-food production in the United States alone has increased no less than four times since the 1950s, despite the more recent spread of popular knowledge concerning the harmful effects of meat consumption. At present there are an estimated 20 billion livestock on earth. In the United States more than 100,000 cows and calves are slaughtered every day, along with 14,000 chickens. The Tyson plant at Noel, Missouri kills some 300,000 chickens daily while the IBP slaughterhouse at Garden City, Kansas and the ConAgra complex at Greeley, Colorado both disassemble more than 6400 steers a day. All told 23 million animals are killed worldwide to satisfy human and food demands daily. In a McDonaldized society Americans now eat on average 30 pounds of beef yearly, with seemingly little concern for well-known health risks. Conditions of factory farming, said to be improved owing to reforms, are in fact worse by most standards — more crowded, more painful, more disease-ridden, more drug-saturated even than at the time of Upton Sinclair’s classic The Jungle (written in 1906).

Read more at Negotiation Is Over