Marxist Animalism

July 2024 Forums General discussion Marxist Animalism

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  • #106295
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Vin, you are completely misunderstanding the arguments involved on this thread. Livestock farming reduces the availability of land, water and results in less food production than if it was re-portioned to arable grain farming,and  it adds more to pollution, although so does grain growing to a lesser degreeBut we do know that presently you do not need to slaughter any animal to feed starving people…enough food does exist…as you, yourself, pointed out. A lot of it goes to fodder to feed the animals …instead of to people …(and ethanol)Nor am i claiming grain and vegetable crops are currently well-managed…think of all that pesticides and fertilisers…Which brings us on to another topic…organic farming…for another day, i think…Here is fairly run of the mill video of a British slaughter house, supposedly regulatedhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2010/oct/07/animal-welfare-abuse-slaughterhouse

    #106296
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Of course I would, I am a socialist.  Millions of children are starving to death and if socialism came  tomorrow and the forces of production – which are currently being held back by class relations –  are released then I would take part in their rapid development to ensure no one starves to death. I would not let  religion or anything else prevent me taking part.When the world is fed, housed, clothed and safe we can all start taking about  ecology and other 'important'  issues.

    #106297
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I don't think I am misunderstanding it at all. I have nothing against animal rights groups but I would prefer to  be in a socialist group. 'People before profits!'  Not 'Pigs before people' Socialists are more concerned about human slaughter. But I have nothing against people forming a 'Pigs before people' group. 

    #106298
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Current-day vegetarianism could not exist in the absence of urban, industrial society as one that can allow people to choose to eat only vegetables. People in pre-industrial times didn't have this choice. Imagine the Inuits or the Australian aborigines trying to live as vegetarians. I don't think any of the surviving hunter(sic)/gatherer tribes do, do they?  Which explains why they are not so squeamish about killing animals, as indeed people in agricultural areas under capitalism aren't today.

    #106299
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    When the world is fed, housed, clothed and safe we can all start taking about  ecology and other 'important'  issues.

    Ahh, so we were a bit premature publishing two environment pamphlets, and one on how we could live, as well as others on racism, and women, even religion…We should have left discussing all those issues after feeding housing and clothing the world…Even though they are all intrinsically linked together.I'm sure you never meant what you typed but wanted to relegate what we eat very low down on our priorities of what needs be done. Nobody is decreeing an hierarchy of exploitation. We have a clear policy on what takes precedence in our struggle…the class war against our masters and their private ownership of the means of production and distribution…ooops, that includes land and farms and food processing and transportation and retail distribution…when communities take control then they will choose what to do and in what order of importance which will vary according to location and circumstance.I agree we cannot set the agenda of what will be done, much less a time-table. "So much to do, so little time to do it in" ..said the socialist white rabbit

    #106300
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    You are right, ALB.  A quick check shows the Bushmen consumes about a third of diet as meat. http://www.beyondveg.com/tu-j-l/raw-cooked/raw-cooked-3f.shtmlBut we re not returning to primitive communism, are we? I thought this was goodhttp://www.splendidtable.org/story/why-do-we-eat-meat-tracing-the-evolutionary-history

    Quote:
    LRK: Are we hardwired to be meat-eaters? If you decide you’re not going to eat meat, are you going against some basic form of human nature?BP: Not necessarily. The meat-eating that we do, or that our ancestors did even back to the earliest time we were eating meat, is culturally mediated. You need some kind of processing technology in order to eat meat, and there’s an amazing amount of social diversity in the way that meat is used, cooked and eaten in the modern world. So I don’t necessarily think we are hardwired to eat meat, but it is an important part of our evolutionary history.
    #106301
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    BP:The meat-eating that we do, or that our ancestors did even back to the earliest time we were eating meat, is culturally mediated. You need some kind of processing technology in order to eat meat, and there’s an amazing amount of social diversity in the way that meat is used, cooked and eaten in the modern world. So I don’t necessarily think we are hardwired to eat meat, but it is an important part of our evolutionary history.

    That's a good point Briana Pobiner makes. Human behaviour is culturally not biologically determined so we can eat a wide variety of foods. We are neither "hard-wired" to eat meat — nor  not to eat meat, as vegetarians used to argue saying that our gut had evolved to eat vegetables only. I don't know if they still argue this, but if they do they are wrong. What foods are eaten is, in pre-industrial societies, culturally-determined. In urban, industrialised societies it still is, though indivuduals can determine more what they eat as a life-style choice. I imagine (in fact, I'm sure) that will continue into socialist society.

    #106302
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    What I don`t understand is why, between 1905 and 1907, during the Brown Dog Riots in Battersea and Trafalgar Square too, the Party, which had a strong base apparently in Battersea, completely ignored them! Even if the Party, as I suspect, would have backed the vivisectors and their backers against the workers (who, for once in their history, recognised kinship with oppressed nonhumans under the exploitative capitalist system), the Standard ought to have mentioned something, even if from the bourgeois, vivisecting, side! But silence was the choice, it seems.Paul Lafargue set the Marxist approach for the next century when he condemned anti-vivisectionists as the worst of the reformists. Why he would go out of his way to single them out is a question. I can only take it that he believed vivisection was necessary for human health. To continue to believe this in an era when it is a multi-billion dollar global industry is a case of today`s socialists being caught in a rut. The same goes for "the animal question" as a whole. I agree with you completely.Alienating the concerned and the sensitive among the proletariat, ignorant of socialism as they most often are, by backing the capitalist stance in such matters, is not the way, it seems to me, to attract people to the Party`s case for revolution. To use "reformist" as a label for anyone who says this is puerile and wreaks of Bolshevist practice. (Rather like the professional atheists of today retorting to all critics as "religious" and "unscientific.")BEASTS OF BURDEN is to be recommended for socialists to read, as is Hans Ruesch: NAKED EMPRESS.  Yes, the Party needs to point out the futility of reformism at every level, including the vegan reformists, and the antivivisection reformists. But not all those wishing to end nonhuman as well as human exploitation are reformists. Some of us are real socialists! As you and I are.And when it comes to Darwinism too: read Gould, who you so often vaunt, you socialists who are human chauvinist! The hierarchical, ladder, view of evolution, is for lampoonists!

    #106303

    ha, finally found the primary source:

    Bernard Shaw wrote:
    "Mrs. William Morris had to have her meat. She regarded my diet as a suicidal fad. There are people to-day who regard it so in spite of the fact that I'm on the way to ninety .They still look upon a meatless day as a penance, as they look upon all pleasures. It probably is: a man who dropped his aitches was preferable to a man who dropped his meat. She did not conceal her contempt for my folly. When I dined with them my appetite returned, as it always does at the sight of a particularly nice pudding. Mrs. Morris pressed a second helping"on me which I consumed to the entire satisfaction of the family. Then she said: 'That'll do you good, there is suet in it!' That was the only remark she ever allowed herself to make to me. When I die, if ever I will, it will be put down to my diet.

    https://archive.org/details/DaysWithTheBernardShaw 

    #106304
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Just because a Socialist supports vegetarianism does not mean that he /she is putting forward vegetarianism as a social solution. This accusation is again a cop-out. Socialism is the social solution! The end of nonhuman exploitation and of human exploitation go together.

    #106305
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Excellent point!  Taoists too are known for their longevity.  There again, I would hesitate to condemn THOSE WHO NEED TO for hunting animals to eat. Far worse, in fact, is the torture of animals in labs.

    #106306
    ALB
    Keymaster
    John Oswald wrote:
    The end of nonhuman exploitation and of human exploitation go together.

    That depends on your definition of "nonhuman exploitation". What it is? Is torture and cruelty to animals? Obviously that will go in socialism. Or is it that that they are used to provide food for humans? That this will go in socialism is far from obvious and uneforceable anyway.and makes us look fools or authoritarians if we say it will.

    #106307
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    "…makes us look fools or authoritarians if we say it will…."No one has said vegetarianism will be compulsory, just as no-one has declared it should be a condition of membership. This is a red herring (which brings us to the status of pescetarian diets) We all concur with that sentiment you express. What i have suggested is that part of arguments of what socialism will be like should recognise that meat-eating will for practical and not just for humane reasons decline substantially to a level that it will only be an occasional component in most peoples diets. Like State and religion eating flesh and abusing animals will wither away because the material reasons for it will disappear…we will have the luxury of choice, not of the choicest cuts, nor will we won't have a whole food industry setting out the exact contents of our larders and fridges.Neither is anyone saying it will be simultaneous or universal, just as many accept the whale-killing of the innuit culture and make an exception…we don't wait, as the very un-pc saying used to go,  for every hottentot to become socialist…or veggie…i'll read up on the Brown Dog riots later, i don't have a scooby doo about what they were.And may i tentatively suggest the contemporary sympathy given to vivisection by Lafargue was the prevailing secularism of science, still emerging from laws that made dissection of the dead a crime and forced them to rob graves… 

    #106308
    ALB
    Keymaster
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    No one has said vegetarianism will be compulsory,

    Let's see what John Oswald says.

    #106309
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I see meat-eating declining over time in socialism, because the profit system will have been scrapped. I don`t see the hunting and eating of individual animals necessarily disappearing, or even the raising of animals for food, until quite some time, if ever. Socialism will provide a democratic forum which no one has today other than the capitalists, who will also have disappeared. Local and regional factors will also apply, with democracy working at a local as well as a global level. I don`t see anything being compulsory. Coercion is not compatible with socialism – unless it`s the coercion necessary initially in dispossessing the capitalist class. That is the only compulsory thing.That is what John Oswald has to say.

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