Marxist Animalism

August 2020 Forums General discussion Marxist Animalism

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 831 total)
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  • #106263
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Actually further to my previous comment, this story is on the BBC website about non-legal rights of foetuseshttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30327893

    #106264
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    And a video to put you off your chicken mealhttp://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/12/video-what-its-be-factory-farmed-chicken<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YE9l94b3x9U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    #106265
    ALB
    Participant
    #106266
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Deleted

    #106267
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    If there will be no bacon and eggs in socialism, we will not get much support Even if communities decided against it I can't see objections to some keeping pigs and hens. Indeed it is the essence of choice and democracy. We don't want to give the impression that socialism could be a 'Tyranny of the majority' a concept first introduced by  as Alexis de Tocqueville.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority&nbsp;

    #106268
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    I agree we should not appear to be advocating an austere, spartan-like society of self-denial, but, again, we shouldn't be promoting the idea of responsibility-free consumerism. But i do not think i share your view that individuals should be free from community decisions in the name of choice and democracy, especially in regards animal welfare. But NIMBYism will be a continued area of disagreement i think in socialism. I can imagine that not even pet-keeping will continue in socialism to the same degree and in the same numbers as now, at the expense of the resources it requires for their upkeep. I am not expecting a draconian socialist system of vegetarianism/veganism to be imposed, but that eventually a socialist society will naturally evolve into one over time as it seeks harmony with the environment. Despite those who say we should not offer blueprints, i see no problem in explaining that, although there may well be exceptions to the general situation. You will have also noticed on the thread i suggested (and ALB sort of agreed) there will be more than bacon and eggs disappearing from the menu and supermarket shelves. Much of that will not be from a democratic process of a worldwide referendum or whatever but certain people simply voting with their feet or by taking actions in their own interests. So for maybe different reasons i also agree with your comparison with the tyranny of the majority… what the majority take for granted and still expect just might not be the case in socialism.  

    #106269
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    This video might be useful to watch for some who wants to understand the environmental problem with animal rearinghttp://socialist-tv.blogspot.com/2010/03/real-food-real-simplebut-under.html

    #106270
    hallblithe
    Participant

    I have been Vegan for over 25 years,  a Socialist even longer, and would say that eschewing all animal products is my response to the who will do the dirty work question.    Having worked on a farm, as a nurse and veterinary assistant, I have performed a wide variety of dirty work but could never slaughter animals for food.   Socialists say that if no one is willing to mine deep underground, then we'd rely om technology to do it for us.   Similarly, meat can now be grown without the wasteful, messy business of mass killing – so no Terminators doing our dirty work: we might choose to use such technologly in the form of sexbots instead!  Meanwhile, those worried about the growth of Vegetarianism will find this Daily Mail article comforting!

    #106271
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    This article makes unsettling reading

    Quote:
    the UK figures are almost too large to make sense of. We slaughter nearly one billion animals (cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry) a year for the sake of endless cheap meat. Farming on such a scale not only kills the animals, it deadens our perceptions of and respect for other forms of life. As Animal Aid says, they become commodities, packed into the agricultural equivalent of Amazon warehouses.

    Dying for Industry

    #106272
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    More unpalatable facts about industrialised food procductionhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/21/life-inside-america-food-processing-plants-cheap-meat

    #106274
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    This article by the social commentator Chris Hedges is another powerful pro-animal rights analysishttp://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/05/all-forms-life-are-sacredHe echoes something i have said from personal anecdote of working with ex abattoir workers

    Quote:
    It is about us. Once we desanctify animals we desanctify all life. And once life is desanctified the industrial machines of death, and the drone-like bureaucrats, sadists and profiteers who operate them, carry out human carnage as easily as animal carnage.

    Although we cannot and should not make vegetarianism/veganism a condition of membership, we should include it in our vision of a future socialist society…one without racism, ageism, sexism, AND speciesism. A world that does not inflict  unnecessary cruelty on non-humans which emotionally damages the human within us all. 

    #106275
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I find this encouraging. Are you a Party member?

    #106276
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    A party member but living abroad but still able to be active in advocating socialist ideas via the internetThe Socialist Party has always debated and discussed this sort of issue ever since it began, and there has always been a contrast of views and opinions. We try not to make life-style decisions for our members but i personally think by not clearly articulating our aspirations for the socialist future, even if it is only a pious wish at this moment in time, we may well be charged with complicity with many of prevailing cultural norms that should be openly condemned. In 1904 animal rights was not exactly at the forefront of workers concerns, but neither was the environment and many other ills we now face. I'm not of the mind that we cannot make recommendations based upon our understanding of capitalist system.    We have three good reasons for doing so…firstly, meat-eating is not an efficient method of food production, secondly that there is very good evidence that it is not nutritious or healthy, and thirdly, it is reprehensible to impose pain and suffering upon other living beings where there is no need to do so. Politically and economically there is little an individual can really do, just in the case of the impotence of what an individual person can do to combat climate change and global warming. Change has to be social and systemic to succeed. Plus it is not for a small group of propagandists, as we are presently, to determine what the character of a socialist society should be.What we can do is suggest what the goal should be and leave the how to those with the responsibility of implementing these objectives. For many socialists it is a matter of pragmatic priority as these quotes explain

    Quote:
    All socialists are of course opposed to cruelty to animals but, just like the rest of the population, have differing views as to what constitutes cruelty. Some may go shooting birds and rabbits, some go fishing, some eat meat, some are vegetarians, some perhaps are vegans. There is no line or policy on the matter, because we are an organisation of people who have come together to campaign for socialism and nothing else. We wouldn't go so far as to say nothing can be done to improve the lot of animals within capitalism nor as to denounce the RSPCA and the Cat Protection League as reformist enemies of the working class. It's just that they have different priorities from us and that we are not ourselves in the business of advocating reforms (legislative measures) in any field. It only remains to add that arguments over this issue will no doubt continue into socialist society
    Quote:
    Socialists are not unduly sentimental about animals, and consider that a human’s first loyalty should be their own species. Nevertheless, the degree to which human society is ‘civilised’ can reasonably be gauged by its treatment of animals and the natural world as well as by its treatment of humans, and socialism, in its abolition of all aspects of the appalling savagery of capitalism, will undoubtedly do its part to abolish all unnecessary suffering by non-human sentient creatures.
    Quote:
    we contend that humans and other animals do not have rights…but this does not stop some socialists responding to the cruelty that the profit system inflicts on the vast majority by becoming vegetarian or vegan. The Socialist Party, however, does not have a position on this but would agree with William Morris that “a man can hardly be a sound Socialist who puts forward vegetarianism as a solution of the difficulties between labour and capital, as some people do” …Those who advocate animal rather than human liberation put the cart before the horse!
    Quote:
    In a genuinely socialist system of this kind cruelty to animals can be expected to stop as it would have no basis for occurring. The ending of the oppression and exploitation of humans by other humans—and the cruel treatment meted out as a matter of state policy by soldiers, police and prison guards …will make humans generally less tolerant towards cruelty to other animals.

    I hope this shows that we lack that sectarian dogma that many unjustly accuse us of. We can challenge and discredit religion and predict from our knowledge of it that it will decline and disappear but we recognise that we cannot decree or impose  materialist or atheistic thought upon unwilling religious believers. We have an evolutionary approach to God's "end". 

    #106278
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    A website for some to browsehttp://speciesandclass.com/"…Species and Class is a group blog focused on exploring the animal-human relationship from socialist and social anarchist perspectives…"  

    Quote:
    …We individually become vegan. We individually avoid products tested on animals or are made by child laborers. We individually refrain from traveling to ag-gag states or countries that practice bullfighting or consume dogs or permit female circumcision…being vegan doesn’t work to end slaughter…Instead of hoping to convince one consumer at a time of the cruelty of eating and wearing animals (the individual solution), we must adopt strategies to bring about institutional solutions to the institutionalized exploitation and murder of animals. While the individual approach is preferable to doing-nothing-at-all, it actually neutralizes activists. Convinced that not eating meat or boycotting companies is a viable strategy, activists are taken out of the struggle by not engaging in tactics that could result in success, or some measure thereof…Removing oneself from the marketplace does not mean the marketplace disappears.

     Whereupon it descends into radical reformism of voting the lesser evil…

    #106279
    ALB
    Participant

    Not all socialists are vegetarian nor want socialism and vegetarianism to be linked. William Morris for one:

    Quote:
    Our readers will have noticed several letters amongst our correspondence on the subject of Vegetarianism, one or two of which were written in a somewhat aggrieved tone, apropos of attacks by Socialists on that doctrine, if one may call it so, though several comrades and friends are vegetarians. It seems to me that there is no need either to attack a vegetarian or to confer a vote of thanks on him, so long as he is one because he chooses to be so on any grounds that please himself, whether he makes it a matter of health, or economy, or sentiment. But a man can hardly be a sound Socialist who puts forward vegetarianism as a solution of the difficulties between labour and capital, as some people do, and as one may think very severe capitalists would like to do, if the regimen were not applied to themselves; and again, there are people who are vegetarians on ascetic grounds, and who would be as tyrannical as other ascetics if they had the chance of being so. I do not mean to say that Socialist vegetarians are likely to fall into these traps; they only make themselves liable to the sneer of an anti-Socialist acquaintance of mine, who said to me one day 'All you Socialists have each of you another fad besides Socialism'. (Commonweal, in September 1886).

    George Orwell made the same point in The Road to Wigan Pier, less politely (but we are all Charlie Hebdo now, aren't we?):

    Quote:
    One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism"™ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "€Nature Cure"€™ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England….The food-crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from human society in hopes of adding five years on to the life of his carcase; that is, a person out of touch with common humanity.

    We must avoid associating socialism with one particular lifestyle choice, especially as most humans have always been meat-eaters and always will be.

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