Planetary Crisis: Animal Liberation: The Uneducated Opinion of an Imperial Citizen
6 January – 1 May 2012
As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought. In their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.
Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991)
Enemies, A Love Story
As articulated in the documentary film Earthlings, whether we are warm or cold blooded, mammal, vertebra or invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, human, we are all earthlings.
One finds it difficult to speculate on current realities, and current illusions of realities without the conscious weighing heavily. There is so much information readily available, through the internet and print media that disinformation has become layered, perhaps like the hierarchies of virtually all psychologies. Perhaps the digital age offers an unprecedented ability for the average human to become enlightened and make the distinction between truth and corporate manufactured lies. Though it is evident in Western dominant culture, that inculcated human desires are generally more welcomed and pursued than any enlightened state. The standardization of everything has increasingly made life dire for all species of life on earth. The fate of nonhuman species, and that of humans, worldwide, is implicitly linked. If the methane trapped in the polar ice sheets is released into the atmosphere, human life, as well as most other life will end. There is considerable reason to be alarmed, considering the continued melting of the polar ice.
If one is essentially incorporated directly after birth, a created legal fiction as it were, principally signed over to the corporate state by one’s own parents whom themselves were signed over in like manner by their parents before them, and one realizes that every aspect of society is virtually a corporation, or multiple corporations, be they seemingly socialistic by virtue or not––the school, the police, the library, the hospital, the post office, the bank, the president, congress, the republican party, the democratic party, the federal reserve, and on and on and on––how might one hold one’s life forth in all seriousness of, and about, morality, including but not limited to, animal welfare, or more importantly animal rights, or more important still, animal, and thus earth, liberation? Our homeland, which is to say all of earth, is being destroyed, set to waste, irreversibly altered because of this imperial way of life. Because of civilization and the technology it is predicated upon. That is perhaps the worse terrorism this world has ever seen. Technology does not imply neutrality. Climate chaos is undoubtedly occurring, more rapidly than is widely presumed. The meaning of the following uneducated, nonlinear, static, and incomplete musings, however evolved, is driven by a marrow-deep dissidence, which is to say a solidarity, among billions in the global proletariat, with those defenders of the earth, of resistance to imperialism, which of course includes racism, chauvinism, and so on, and the awareness of a moral crisis which is nearly absolute.
It would seem, since birth, one has been deceived, and one has been regimentally inculcated into an inherently immoral systemic culture of exploitation, control and murder. One’s perceptions are managed to a highly sophisticated degree. “From the minute a child is born, s/he is deluged with never-ending television and social suffocation. Normal human activity is filtered through a blizzard of corporate ideology and consumerism, leading to the intellectual torpor and vapidity that passes for social life.”
One did not choose to be raised to eat meat as it were; it was a normalized family, thus societal, tradition, which was not questioned, like much of everything else. Nor for that matter did one think anything of attending the zoo, whether with family, or school mates on a chaperoned fieldtrip. One did not choose to be registered into such a cruel and inhuman system of enslavement; nonetheless, one can no longer deny, without great effort, that one is, relatively speaking, a slave, albeit with relative comforts and freedoms, the latter which are seemingly being diminished and ripped away before our eyes in blatant and less obvious ways. Furthermore, with this awareness, comes the awareness that over 1 billion human beings all across the world, are gravely suffering––far greater calamities than those of us imperial citizens with relative comforts––because of the imperial way of life which one has been born into and benefits from. Indeed, some 50% of the global population of 7 billion lives an impoverished existence. “More than a fifth of the world’s people still live in abject poverty (under a $1 a day), and about half live below the barely more generous standard of $2 a day; at least half the world cannot meet basic expenditures for food, clothing, shelter, health, and education…[A]t the heart of worldwide inequality today is the continued economic domination of the underdeveloped world by the developed world––with US trade, foreign, and military policy square in the center of that system of domination. It is that system which allows us to consume as we do, and it is that system which keeps the poor of the world poor.”
To say nothing of the suffering and death of nonhuman life; billions of animals die annually for the sole purpose of feeding millions of humans and their “companion animals”, to say nothing of those animals tortured and murdered during experimentation. Some twenty percent of the world’s population causes some 80% of global pollution; much of the human induced environmental pollution stems from the factory rearing and slaughter of animals for meat. And on and on.
With knowledge, comes awareness, with awareness responsibility. Upon inheriting a basic level of knowledge, thus awareness through modest efforts of critical thought, how might one then act responsibly? It would seem that often times actions indeed speak louder than words. The most violent people, and institutions for that matter, on the planet may be a testament to this. Perhaps words are often times quieter, and consequently unheeded, though the more powerful? Is it more powerful to express a kind word to someone than it is to physically harm them? And what of literal silence, perhaps therein is a retention of power greater than words? The supposition would depend on the intention, of either the word, or the action, and also on the capacity to be concerned about, or with, the consequences of the word or action, should they be anticipated. The world is not so black and white, it is quite often gray. It is clear however, that globalization and the institutionalization thereof, and civilization generally, is indiscriminately destroying life on this planet. Notwithstanding the many opportunities and conveniences, modernity, even post-modernity, so-called, is not something to be championed or proud of. Direct action, in this age of mass poverty, destruction, and death, retains an immeasurable importance. Acting in ways that are right, does not necessarily imply actions that are legal. A grave problem, it would seem, is power itself. The powerful do not consign their authority to the approval of the governed. The powerless, most certainly including nonhuman animals, are fated to the whims and ascribed necessities of those that would dominate them.
The Republic is in decline, socialistic institutions, such as healthcare and education, imperfect as they are, are being de-funded, terminated, or privatized, while Empire and its military hegemony continues to expand, enveloping the entire world. According to the National Priorities Project, $653.11 billion, or 56.94% of the total discretionary spending for fiscal year 2013 is reserved for military. The actual figure, including secret appropriated “black budgets”, and many other military industrial complex expenses not held to accounting, may be over a trillion dollars. Comparatively, $36.66 billion, or 3.2% of total discretionary spending for FY 2013 is reserved for energy and environment. One wonders how much of that figure will be incentives to oil and gas corporations, and what trifle will actually be spent on protecting and preserving the environment, which is antithesis to corporate capitalism. The unprecedented concentration of power is perhaps peaking, or will peak at some point; conceivably there is a minority, perhaps a few hundred thousand, or few million, people or so, among the minority opulent classes, who desire to carry out insidious designs of neo-nihilism, or neo-Platonism––or any other identifying term that would be accurate or perhaps more accurate––going back many years. This is ostensibly what has been deemed an imperial brave “New World Order”. What is the intention? Global genocide? Global ecocide? A global technologic slave-system? A dystopia described in so many science fiction novels; perhaps a hybrid, one part 1984, one part A Brave New World, one part some other literary work; or one often described in the headlines of the corporate media perhaps? What is the oligarchic aim, to reduce the some 7 billion human inhabitants to 1-3 billion, or less? The horror of such a notion, which has widely been deemed conspiratorial lunacy, which has, like virtually everything else, with a capitalistic niche, been branded, marketed, and sold in one form or another, should not dissuade us into falsely believing that it is not entirely conceivable.
We are able to drive to the mall, and shop for a whole variety of things, most if not all of which we do not need, because the oligarchs of empire we live under, have ensured, with our mass manufactured consent, global neo-feudalism. One would not need to make strides to detail, that such a horror, which of course is an unacceptable proposition, trending toward the aforementioned magnitude, indeed far worse, namely because of the destruction of the natural world, the loss of biodiversity, and climate chaos, is occurring, and has been occurring for some time. Some 6 million children die every year because of starvation. At least 2-3 million human beings die every year because of limited or no access to clean, healthy water, and because of water borne diseases. And on and on. David Pimentel, Cornell professor of ecology and agricultural sciences, and a team of Cornell graduate students concluded in a 2007 study that some “40 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by water, air, and soil pollution…Such environmental degradation, coupled with the growth in world population, are major causes behind the rapid increase in human diseases, which the World Health Organization has…reported. Both factors contribute to the malnourishment and disease susceptibility of 3.7 billion people”. As of 2007, 57 percent of the world population of 6.5 billion was malnourished, “compared with 20 percent of a world population of 2.5 billion in 1950”. Incidentally, in the UK, 50,000 people may be dying prematurely because of air pollution, annually. Air pollution saturating “areas of central London and other cities” is potentially “cutting vulnerable people’s lives short by as much as nine years.”
The argument that anarcho-primitivism, so-called, is akin to calling for mass genocide is perhaps oversimplified if not disingenuous, considering reality, and the possibility, albeit unimaginable, that humanity, if it were to survive anthropogenic climate chaos, would be reset essentially to the stone age. The unwavering belief that less technologically dependent cultures and ways of living are inherently better than more technologically dependent ones is proven on a daily basis, if we accept premises that, while not “mainstream”, are more insightful. Virtually all the earth’s old growth forests have been obliterated. To offer but one illustration, it is estimated that 98% of the region now designated as Maryland was covered in forests, such as white pine and hemlock, at the time of John Smiths 1608 expedition along the Chesapeake. By 1920, an estimated 17% forest cover remained. The oceans, which scientists have recently declared as being more acidified than at any time in the past 300 million years or so, contain more plastic, some ten times more, than phytoplankton. And on and on. That biotechnology is, and has been, rapidly replacing biodiversity is but one of many, extremely dangerous indicators of the direction we are perpetually heading, the consequences of which we have yet to, though will surely, severely suffer.
As the late comedian George Carlin observed: “But nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care.” There are of course many meaningful exceptions; many of us do notice, do care, and are acting accordingly in varied ways. It is quite obvious why many of us do not notice. Within corporate media culture, the number one DVD rental for 33 consecutive days as of January 8 2012 was The Hangover Part II (2011), according to IMDb. According to TV Guide the number one popular TV show is the X Factor, which is basically a spin-off of American Idol. TV damages us in severe ways; we become hypnotized and thus inattentive to reality––reality is in fact replaced with mass illusions. It is remarkable how are minds are turned on when we turn the TV off.
Idolatry is one main reason many of us do not care. Maybe we do not care because we are not alive, which is to say we are not profoundly sensitive to, or aware of, what is truly happening; rather, we are going through the motions of confined and highly structured consumerism, existing in experiences of pseudo realities within pseudo realities. We think, talk, dress, and act like the corporate owners of TV confide us to. We are machines. We are not human beings. Real human beings are the many lives set to ruin so that a few of us may benefit, and some 1% might lavishly overindulge, perhaps paying homage to the ideologies of Ayn Rand, among others with a hedonistic or relational worldview. Beyond the point of adequate and decent food, water, shelter, and so on, and perhaps even before this point is reached, if it is ever reached, we are mass, public, consumers, customers, shoppers, clientele, patrons, clients, regulars, conformists, traders, traded, businesses, brands, fans, viewers, spectators, audiences, crowds, following, and so on. We are working, or consuming beings in an economy of global consequences, with some 50% of the 7 billion people impoverished, predicated on the division of labor. We are fearful and struggling because we have been made, and allow ourselves, to, by the very systems of power we worship, tolerate, and ignore. All the while, we are complicit in the ongoing holocaust and eco and biocide. Will there be a post-consumerist human world? A post cybernetic world? A post “civilized” world? Will humanity reset itself to the stone age if the present course is continued? Will humanity survive present course? Many of us dare not pose such questions, let alone reason what answers to them might be and make serious considerations accordingly. Like so many method actors, we live in the moment, of the superficial machine-man world, relying on sensorial intellect, not imaginative intellect––more Stanislavski than Meisner––usually altogether dismissing what little intuition is left. The consequences of this imperial way of life will reverberate for many generations. Can we even imagine what life will be like for our successors a generation from now? Seven generations from now? Beyond that? Perhaps the human race will be fortunate if they make it out of this century, or another generation for that matter. This economic system was perhaps designed to fail, for most of us, yet it seems flawless, at least for the elite, whom control the “free” market. There cannot be infinite growth of “natural resources” based on a finite planet. Tipping points will be reached before the earth’s climate will be irreversibly altered to the point where it will not sustain human, as well as most other life. That is a serious enough risk to imply that the precautionary principle should at least be considered.
The healthcare system is designed to keep people sick, for it is like so many other examples, and empire itself, a profitable industry, for the elites at the top of the pyramidal hierarchy. It’s too profitable for corporations to stop polluting, to stop logging, to stop destroying the natural environment, which is to say the real world, not some abstract “other” place, over there, and so forth. We live in a car culture, there is no way we will stop driving on gasoline voluntarily. Unless, until, the dominant culture collapses. Most of us get our food at monopoly box stores; what would we do if transportation of food stopped? To give but one example, after hurricane Katrina and the horrors of New Orleans, horrors, attributable to institutional racism, which resonant to this day, do we really expect that the corporate-government has a plan, and even if it did, that that plan prioritizes the average person? The federal, and state governments neglected an entire population, mostly black people. What is essentially doctrinal policy, namely the neo-colonialism which places people of color on the lowest rungs of caste society, was clearly distinguished in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
The following, is perhaps merely a feeble attempt to make some kind of sense out of all this madness, namely by questioning the credence of the way humans, whom have arguably reached an apex which has fundamentally altered the natural processes of evolution, treat nonhuman animals, which is indicative of how humans fundamentally treat the earth generally, namely, as an object to exploit. Indeed, humans have fundamentally tampered with our own evolution. The damaging results we are witnessing and experiencing, silently and deafeningly, and increasingly so. The next 15-30 years just may be the apex of the imperial digital consumer age. The imminent dreadful kismet and gloom is perhaps rain on the imperial consumers parade; nonetheless, not only are anticipatory preparations not being made on a mass scale, but dominant culture is running at full speed toward certain dreadful kismet and gloom, as if denial is a suitable replacement for facts, especially the actual anticipated course of events.
Initial thoughts and possible premises or questions?
The factory slaughter industry creates more greenhouses gases than the automobile industry. If there were any seriousness to addressing climate chaos, both industries, and industry in general, would be, in the most humane way, abolished, or at the least, instead of the doctrine of infinite growth, a doctrine of proportional, or quasi-sustainable, or diminished growth would at least be considered. Ultimately, a “soft landing”, the softest possible, should take precedence. This would mean the end of our modern way of life, over the course of say a generation. At present, technological “fixes” are being touted, though the environmental catastrophe increasingly worsens; it would seem the future fallout from the end of dominant culture is poised for maximum die-off. Wind energy and electric cars, which might have been seriously innovative and helpful about 60 years ago, are not going to save us.
What matters is more than animal rights, or animal liberation; what matters is real conservationism, environmentalism, or anything else which is a true effort, or more of a true effort, to protect biodiversity, and human diversity for that matter, however defined or pursued; for example, local economies, communal landholdings, non-GMO organically, and locally grown food, horticulture, the abolishment of animal testing and so forth. It is about the survival of the nonhuman life of the planet, and our own survival, for we are the deadliest species to exist on this world, we are the enemyand our own worst enemy as well, as the exhausted cliché goes. We have for too long put ourselves before the earth, at our own peril at that, the time is long overdue that we put the earth first!
Is it possible that an acceptable degree of nonhuman animal rights, or more importantly, animal liberation, insofar as there is an acceptable degree, is contingent upon the abolishment of imperial civilization, and civilization generally, and any global apparatus akin, which innately requires human aggressiveness, which results in the exploitation and destruction of interdependence, biodiversity, and finite natural “resources”? What of the survival of the human species? Is Man so confident in his intelligence, in his superiority over nature and life, in his lustful power that survival is not even a question? Who are We, to condemn a generation unborn to the adverse consequences of Our actions, or several generations at that? Are We that audaciously egotistical and pathological?
Is it only possible to be an orthodox animal rights activist, or environmentalist for that matter, in the strictest sense, if one is vegetarian or vegan, or is that merely a hardliner approach undeserving of further contemplation, and are all approaches needed and welcomed? Such a question is perhaps unhelpful, and misses the point altogether, not to mention ascribes the overwhelming tendency to label, which is problematic for a variety of reasons, divisiveness being but one. We all could take shorter showers as we all could eat less meat, and more of us could consume no meat altogether, though arguably there would be no implication that climate chaos would abate. It would seem, if it is understood that varied approaches are needed, some, if not many, which are not “mainstream”, should not all approaches be welcomed for the situation is so critical?
What is meant by Animal Rights? Essentially, the phrase insofar as it informs this discussion, is taken to mean either universal or particular “moral rights”, or “legal rights”, or one in conjunction with the other, for nonhuman animals of any and all species, or of a particular qualifying category of animals, such as a particular species living in the wild, those reared for food, and those serving as human companions. It should be noted that this is contrary to the commonly held view that moral rights, or protections as concerns animals, typically does not necessarily imply legal rights, or protections, as well, and vice versa. Far more important, is the awareness that humanity, more precisely, civilization, has created, and is thus in, moral crisis in totality. The dominant culture is at extremist odds against the natural harmony of the planet. This overall moral crisis, and the particular moral crises therein, cannot be solved by consumption or “consumer choice”, marginal doctrinal shifts in ideology, institutions, laws, compromised reformation, or perhaps any reformation, or technology, and so on. Perhaps it cannot be solved at all, though that seems a fatalistic attitude, one which makes one far too wary to embrace.
In the interest of effecting some concision and clarity, the term animal, shall mean any living being other than humans, and the terminology animal rights, shall mean moral, and legal (which is to say protections which are law based), rights of any living beings other than humans. Distinctions of particular species and particular rights will be made, if at all, accordingly. It should be mentioned that the definition of animal employed herein is the non-scientific definition, for the scientific definition would include all living beings including humans. Though it should also be mentioned, that science is no exception to bias, to say the least. Nor for that matter does science imply beneficence. Without science for example, the atomic bomb would not have been possible; to argue that nuclear weapons are anything but an outgrowth of man’s macro psychopathic tendencies, is a bias favorable, or at least apologetic for such inclinations. The same might be said of nuclear energy generally for that matter, or many other serious problems and the many consequential injustices that result. While it might be argued that science itself is neutral, similar to the claim that technology is neutral, an argument not without certain bias in and of itself, certainly the consequences of science are biased, notwithstanding that science, insofar as it is proficient, is the vessel through which such consequences are identified and measured. Arguably, science may, in many major ways, be the cause for more harm than good, if it is not inherently harmful, when considering both humans and animals, and the natural world generally. Furthermore, the reasoning for utilizing the non-scientific definition of animal is that nonhuman animals of the natural world, arguably, do not in any way have an interest or regard for science, insofar as human scientific ventures and disciplines are concerned; or would not have an interest––the interest now of course being survival, without advocacy of said interest even approaching adequacy or even seriousness––were it not for the injurious progress of civilization. Arguably, animals would have no more interest in science than they would, say for instance, in Christianity. Though perhaps they may have more of in interest, if an interest at all, in Hinduism. In fact, one might argue that certain species of animals such as mice, or primates such as chimpanzees, would have a vested interest in the abolishment of endeavors undertaken in the name of scientific inquiry, namely that of invasive and torturous laboratory experimentation. Of course, this might very well imply, or at least flirt with the notion of, the abolishment of civilization, as we understand, and know it to be. Certainly many, if not most, humans have an interest in keeping such practices ongoing, though whatever moral authority proponents and apologists of nonhuman animal laboratory experimentation, and civilization generally, presume, nowhere is the implication that indeed their actions are righteous, their ideology morally impeccable and acceptable, to be found, notwithstanding arbitrary laws designed and enacted by, and largely for, the elite class. The same might be said of science, or religion for that matter. The fact is, “human nature” is not singular, and is quite often mistaken for natural phenomena.
Obviously, while there is certainly an ideal, there is not a universality of moral, or even legal, applicability as concerns animal rights, incidentally including human rights. If there were, innocent men would not be condemned and murdered by the state, to give a clear example, as concerns humans; let alone perhaps, would those convicted and guilty of violent crimes. Capital punishment is state sanctioned murder, and the capital punishment system at present, as well as the prison industrial complex generally, is arguably a form of institutional racism and enslavement. One injustice, namely that of the state, does not right another injustice, namely that of the individual violent offender, or even nonviolent offender. Not to mention the problem of race, specifically that of institutional racism, namely that a disproportionate number of people of color are on death row and subsequently sentenced to death than white people. Furthermore, the injustices of corporations are heralded as an acceptable cost; even when criminally exposed, normally a slap on the corporate risk in the form of monetary compensation is the “justice” meted out.
Most people might be opposed to the torture and ultimate deaths of tens of thousands of nonhuman laboratory animals in attempts to develop a chewing gum with a perpetually lasting flavor. Though such a notion might seem absurd, there are many examples of animal testing which might possibly be classified in the same realm of absurdity, and certainly immorality, take say for instant the animal testing involved with artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda. Needless to mention, many of us, unwittingly, or uncaringly, purchase products catered for cosmetics and hygiene which were developed using animal testing, which is to say torture and murder, and contain animal ingredients, which is to say elements of what was once a living, sentient being. Is it rational, let alone moral, that animal testing occurs, for instance, in an attempt to develop a product which supposedly deters facial wrinkles? That there is an entire industry, and plenty of marketable products which many consumers regularly buy––all encompassing so-called “anti-aging”––is perhaps one testament to civilized immorality and irrationality. That we are consumers more so than citizens, or more to the point, human beings, is perhaps another; that citizenship is requisite in contractively dictating social conduct is perhaps yet another. We afford to prevent aging, the hitherto natural process of growing old, or evolving naturally toward death, from occurring; we pathetically believe there is a want or desire to diminish the results. This is but a minor example of our desire, conscious or otherwise, to ensure total dominance over the natural world and natural processes, in a perverse attempt to assign ourselves to sublimities which are not real––indeed these particular fantasies stem from the very ugliness of the implicit imperial destruction and alterations of natural processes and the natural world. Arguably, nonhuman animals should not suffer and ultimately be killed, to and for, this end, or most others for that matter. Incidentally, quite probably, anthropogenic behaviors may, to some extent, advance aging which naturally would not occur otherwise, not to mention the many prevalent diseases, onset by macro anthropogenic activities; rather ironic given the increase in life expectancy, which is highest among the rich, contributing to strides in science and medicine, exceptional of the deprived and poor peoples of the world, namely People of Color, whom gravely suffer so that imperial citizens might be relatively comfortable, at least for a time being. Yet to argue that absolutely no laboratory animal experimentation should occur would imply a universality of moral applicability and a moral authority in totality. Is such a universality of moral applicability and authority possible? Perhaps if the evolutionary clock were turned back, strictly in a gesturer sense of humanity pertaining to post-advanced primitive society, namely civilization, the laboratory would not have existed for there would not have been an invented need for it. Or perhaps, if there was an arbitrary need, the moral doctrines associated with that need, would be balanced, thus in harmony, as much as possible, with the natural processes of all of life; this reciprocity would imply, among there being a legal parallel to morality, a prohibition on any animal experimentation that would cause pain, suffering, and death. Thus the laboratory would serve, and function with, if at all, a profoundly different purpose, one perhaps unimaginable by the standards of our era.
Before delving further into animal rights and liberation, and some of the complexities thereof, it would be prudent to qualify––venturing towards a basic premise of dietary choice, which will serve a guiding line of thought, among certainly many others, pertaining to the overall discussion––with a quote from the preface of Tony Milligan’s Beyond Animal Rights: food, pets, and ethics. Milligan offers that he is a vegan (abstains from eating meat, eggs, and dairy produce), though he acknowledges that people have different reasons for living as a vegan. I suppose I should preface by stating that I am vegan, after years of vegetarianism. To further elaborate my self-ascribed minority status, the toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, and so forth I use, are not equated with animal testing or animal ingredients, though it should be made clear, I take little if any interest in the diet of others, and do not presume to be morally heightened because of my dietary choice. A major concern is for those millions, or billions of people who are deprived of sustenance, whom do not have the fortune of a choice. Perhaps, adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet might constitute the spirit of conservationist commitment, namely because the human being who chooses not to eat animals in so doing, denies the claim of legitimacy of at least some of the imperial institutions which control the food supply, and other institutions responsible for the enslavement, torture, and mass murder of animals.
“One of the attractions of pluralism about ethics is that it allows our actions to be constrained by a variety of reasons rather than reducing our deliberations down to a simple binary matter of deciding that everyone should do one thing or else that they (we) should all do the opposite.” Firstly, taken out of context, there is a slight problem with this logic; perhaps one of the repulsions of “pluralism about ethics” is that if it is applied to certain profoundly immoral acts, such as rape, the act is excused, the blame is placed on the victim and not the victimizer and society at large. In the context of Milligan’s usage of the “pluralism about ethics”, in the simplest terms: there are often multiple reasons for many of our actions, even if they are, and ought to be deemed, immoral, or vice versa for that matter––true enough. Indeed, it would be naïve to postulate and expect, that everyone should abstain from eating meat, or that everyone should eat meat. This “all or nothing approach”, while it may intent to champion that animals have “a right not to be eaten”, a right bestowed by humans, or that humans must eat meat to be “fully human”, is not plausible, adequately defined, nor is either extreme argument perceptive to particular cultural realities and other proclivities. In short, this approach to animal rights, or more specifically, dietary choice, is not substantiated by reality. However, clearly, industrial factory farming, which is, like virtually every other industry, operant and aggregated within the imperial system of globalization, arguably cannot be viewed through the lenses of a pluralism of ethics; for it is, arguably, inherently morally wrong. Perhaps that’s a contradictory statement; for it seems the sole purpose of factory farming is to feed the most people, in the monetarily cheapest possible way, which incidentally, is the most expensive for the Natural World. If we accept the premise that the destruction of the natural world is not inherently morally wrong, let alone fundamentally foolish and dangerous considering our interdependence, perhaps we show an utter disregard, for life itself, namely soil, water, air, which is contradictory if we proclaim that factory farming is necessary to feed more and more people. Globalization is a terror to humans, animals, all of life on earth generally. The same case might be made of industrial factory farming, a sect of globalization; indeed one might take a singular ethical approach, namely proposing for the abolishment thereof; in place of this destructive system, will be localized, and infinitesimally smaller scale organic and morally advanced practices of small-holder farming which are not owned nor controlled by corporations, but rather collectives, cooperatives, and sustainable communities. Horticulture is certainly exemplary in this regard. In other words, the abolishment of the imperial system which prevents animal liberation, humans from self-determination and subsistence, and so on, is necessary if there is to be a future free of wars, poverty, and so forth––perhaps if there is even to be a future for the human race at all, let alone a decent present.
It is a myth that leaders are needed because people cannot govern themselves. Are there not many examples of children growing into adulthood and making decisions for themselves? More importantly, and more to the point, there are plenty of examples of self-governing and self-deterministic communities. Free societies are not some fanciful notion of utopia, they have and do exist, many tree sits for example revolve around such small societies, and such societies are not utopia, though they might be a lot closer to that ideal than is acknowledged. Perhaps it is also a myth that human, or animal rights are inalienable (the rights of nature, minus humans, are the natural evolutionary processes o