Note To My Critics:

The links to the many sites that I've included contain information that I believe to be relevant, be it the graphics, the videos, the undercover investigations, etc. . Exposing & and ending the brutality and savagery inflicted on the non-human animals is what I am focused on. I strongly believe that every voice against animal abuse/exploitation is of value and -and- collectively we have the power to end it. I am here for the animals, not for anyone's approval and for that I make no apologies. ** I do not promote violence towards humans. ___________________________________________________ Bookmark and Share

Monday, September 7, 2009

Animals Are NOT Voiceless

"When you know that the creatures on your tray come, struggling and squealing, from the chopping block, then you are making their extreme anguish your greatest delight." - the Srimad Bhagavatam, "(Buddha) Against Animal Sacrifice", 964 - 1032 AD

Animals are not voiceless. Not only are humans animals themselves, but other animals also have voices too. In fact, most animals can communicate things which cross many specie barriers, including the one with humans. You do not need to be a cow, a pig, a chicken, a dog, or a mink in order to understand the content and meaning of screams of terror or the wailings of anguish.

When other animals are beaten, incarcerated, tortured, made to suffer, being slaughtered, and watching/..smelling/..hearing their kin being slaughtered, and imminently expecting their own slaughter to come, their voices and meanings communicated are absolutely clear.

Some might argue that I am speaking too literally, but I aim to speak respectfully. I do not make this argument to bring conflict, but to bring reflection:

There is a common phrase by some (..good-..intentioned and respectable) animal rights activists that they are the voice for the voiceless. The phrase sounds nice, but I disagree with the unintended, unavoidable implications of such a phrase. Just because nonhuman animals are not represented in humans' political systems, do not speak humans' language, and cannot participate in humans' political systems, I do not think this means we should call them voiceless.

Why is this important? Language shapes how we think. Numerous thinkers, research & studies, thinktanks, politicians, and social justice movements recognize this reality. When we have a language that, for example, has nearly positive-only slang for promiscuous men and hundreds of negative and degrading slang for promiscuous women, it has very real impacts how the society thinks and thus behaves.

It is not a coincidence that perhaps among the most negative, most devaluing, most objectifying, most cruel, and most degrading remarks in our language is language that debases other animals. So much so that most humans rarely use the word "animal" to encompass humans as they would consider this to be offensive -- despite the biological reality and fact that humans are one of many types of animals. At the same time as seeing the word "animal" and "bestial" to denote absolutely negative behavior, humans use the word "humane" to be the opposite. This despite also that the animal which has shown to have the potential to be the most violent, destructive, cruel, apathetic, and disturbed of all animals is the animal called human. Likewise, the very word "humane" disregards and ignores that self-..sacrificing, compassionate, and/or social behavior is observable throughout the rest of the animal kingdom -- not just humans.

What is the inadvertent message of saying that we are the "voice for the voiceless"? The inadvertent message is that the only legitimate voice is a human voice. It ignores the voices of nonhumans. It inadvertently, unintentionally.. feeds the language which values everything exclusively to humans only, which claims that human might makes it right for everything and everyone else to be subjugated to the will of humans and which claims that it is right that literally everything and everyone else exists as property of humans.

The natural rights for nonhumans to be born free, to live free, and to die free, to have self-..sovereignty over their own lives, and to exist for their own purposes are rights which all animals deserve for their own sakes, not our sakes. These are rights which we seek to restore. These are rights which we humans have robbed from other animals. We do not fight to give rights to other animals, but to restore the rights to other animals which we humans have robbed from them.

By saying instead that we are the voice for the silenced, the voice for the muted, or the voice for the ignored, it recognizes the reality and legitimacy of other animals' voices and interests while it also recognizes that it is our responsibility to use our voices to fight for their natural rights to be free and to exist for their own purposes.

We must avoid myopic and-..all-reality thinking which claims that everything and everyone else only exists for the purpose of humans, and that nothing could possibly exist for any other purpose beyond for use by humans. It is this same thinking which views other animals to be "property" of humans -- and it is this type of thinking which severely objectifies other animals and "legally" excuses astounding cruelty and endless exploitation done against them.

Now, by saying we are "voices for the silenced" or "voices for the muted" instead, we aren't suggesting that their voices aren't legitimate or meaningful because they aren't human, we are then also recognizing that they have voices of their own, this also emphasizes that they have wills of their own, this also emphasizes their voices and interests aren't being heard, addressed, or considered, and lastly this still calls to us to the action of using our voices for them.

The reason that their voices aren't heard and that their voices are muted is that many human cultures are psychologically.. deaf to the voices (and interests) of other animals. To most of these humans, the screams and wailings of other animals is merely unpleasant noise. They have been raised to be psychologically.. deaf. Consequently, they do not recognize that what they are hearing is not meaningless noise, but voices. Also, we must remember that 99% of people in this society are so physically remote from what their money and choices support that the full reality and full meaning of their choices and its consequences is obscured, fragmented, and disconnected.

There is an invisibility, a fog, and a silence that obscures the cruelty and injustice done against other animals on an incomprehensibl..e daily scale. It is through psychological or cultural muting and also physical distance or remoteness from the "other" that voices, interests, and injustices are silenced and obscured. It is always such obscuring and silencing which is the keystone that holds together all oppressions and all injustices.

And it is here where we come in. We must act as voices speaking on behalf of nonhumans. We must use our voices, not as their rulers or as their masters, but as their messengers. We must use our voices, create our own media, and use the media because the voices of nonhumans are silenced, muted, and ignored. The voices of nonhumans forced to confinement, suffering, exploitation, and slaughter do not physically reach the ears of 99% of the population. The population surrounding every one of us, on the other hand, can physically hear our voices and witness our media.

Almost one thousand years now after the opening quote that began this post, the muting and deafness to the anguish of other animals continues, but it is also now being challenged globally, in numbers that history has never seen before, and in ways that haven't been done before in history.

In other words, it might not always seem like it, but changes are happening.

Vegan Outreach: Simon Blowtorches a Dog for Fun (Contains NO Graphic Footage)

Media shapes views. Views shape choices.

(Don't forget to subscribe to Media for Animal Liberation's Youtube Channel or to check out longer videos at Media for Animal Liberation on Vimeo)

Book Recommendation:

An excellent book on the power of language is The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-..Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams. This book should be a part of every vegan and animal rights activist's library and/or reading list.

Bulletin Posted By Media for Animal Liberation

DISCLAIMER: I have absolutely no ill feelings or intent towards the musician Maria Daines (a.k.a. "Voice for the Voiceless") who has done work on behalf animals. I don't like the phrase nor do I support the phrase, but Maria Daines herself is great. Do show her love and support.


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