Specifics of Animal Objectification: Food, Physis, History

[Rev. 27.02.23] Fragments:

Specifics of speciesism

Where intersections turn crossroads: shared factors of oppressive functions, separating markers. Seeing what makes each case unique might help putting the puzzles together.

>> If you keep relegating animality into reductive frameworks while doing animal advocacy work, your activism isn’t really aware of the scopes of ethical, political, sociological interfaces between nature-animality-humanity …

Messel; Nonhuman-inclusive; Animal Autonomy

Where intersections turn crossroads: shared factors of oppressive functions, separating markers. Seeing what makes each case unique might help putting the puzzles together.

With all the intersections (and what I’d additionally call the interfaces, equally) given, there are also clearly factors that in the end of the day categorically separate one system of oppression from another, and in the case of the functionalities of nonhuman animal oppression we have these unique markers that we must address in order to analyze what exactly this phenomenon ‘speciesism’ / animal objectification is.

The mechanisms of sexism, racism, ableism and basically any way in which living individuals are actively and passively negated can be understood in their specific manifestations, that are specifically experienced by the individuals and groups who become victimized and who are affected. Intersectionally in terms of nonhuman oppression we would need the factor of having experienced being designated the role of actual “food” for example in a completely righteous manner, not in an ambiguous state. We can’t deny that nonhumans know what they are the victims of, to deny nonhumans knowledge and awareness would be biologistically speciesist. The complexity of oppression is fully known by the affected nonhuman individuals and groups. Perception does not need to happen from one particular “human angle” in order to be valid; the is no reasonable antispeciesist ground on which to deny animal sapiens to be animal sapiens.

That being said one must add that it is true that life is being negated in its dignity in any cases where oppression takes place. It would be problematic to draw lines of known -isms and for example overlook individual cases of denial of the right to life and dignity.

When we involve the complex-of-nature for example, we are going to get rather into understanding how life overall is being classified and negated in a fundamental way, and that not just an oppressive class, but the individual enactor of destructivity is the thinking and acting agent that should be taken a look at (after all ending destructivity is an emancipatory process at its best) […].

If a nonhuman animal that is considered to be a “farmed animal” crosses a street where people walk and don’t expect him/her, and if a  human who is oppressed crosses a street, we categorically have the scenario that no matter what, the nonhuman animal will be considered a lower life in the specific sense of a food provider and a utilitarian-type “resource”. The nonhuman will be excluded from the human race, which poses a problem to the affected […] in itself, but also be relegated in the realm of “nature”, which is generally systematized as the sort of “antagonist” to human” existence: this makes up speciesism and such type of specifics need to be analyzed in all detail.

When activists solely focus on nonhumans, they tend to leave nonhumans within the biologistic speciesist paradigm. Intersectionality gets us away from biologist patterns, to a partly ambivalent extent. Yet what makes speciesism speciesism, and what makes oppression oppression, and what makes humanity in total to have lived on a specifically nonhuman animal and nature oppressive basis and on other oppressive bases that affect any life in any possibility? I want to face human-created histories in terms of all existent injustices equally.

Specific criterions of speciesist- / animal-objectifying humiliations: (1) designation as a “food” resource

Fragment: Why is it important to highlight the specifics of an oppressive system: The structure of denial and negation mostly serves to “legitimize” oppression/injustice, and these kinds of ‘humilitation’ take specific forms and function as instruments of oppression. In the case of speciesism the title as: food i.e. being designated to be the food the oppressor “nourishes” him-/herself from, plays a most tragically remarkable role.

[I still have to write about animal-objectifying-necrophilia.]

Specifics of speciesism: Physis and visible presence (fragment)

– The differing, specific physicalness of a nonhuman animal is the criterion upon which humans base their argumentation of proof: that a nonhuman animal cannot physically reason to a more complex content than the limit and quality of capacity the humans ascribe to them/him/her.

– The biological markers become an absolute-instance-of-ability in context with quality of existence and existential meaning.

– The state of being a nonhuman animal in itself becomes thus supposedly fully explicable, the constructed explicability has so far never taken out of the human-defined context, not even by their defenders.

– Only in mythological and ancient human folklore we find traces of different ascriptions to nonhuman animal physicality (partly also in children’s literature and modern folklore, but to a more [hegemonially-] humancentric extent).

– The big religious belief systems built their image of the human and god on an equal plane and set that as a standard criterion for leading a qualified reasonable life separate from the state of nature, nonhumans had been even in ancient philosophies seen as the same as ‘brute nature’ – based on their physical difference and uniqueness/specialness.

– Even today the comparison between “humanness” and “animalness” is being sought in favour of humans as the quality marker for reason and ethics; ethics, morals, reasoning, love, relations, socialness, etc. it is not fundamentally sought in different nonhuman cultures – most prominently: ‘language and philosophy as bound to the physis of the human, not the nonhuman’, whereas wisdom is sought in “nature” to a huge but yet unclear and unexplained extent in humanity’s endeavors.

– The natural sciences were a tool when they dealt with bodies of animality, to draw separations, thus Galen and later Descartes famously vivisected, while basing themselves on a mixture in their thought between religion and ‘natural sciences’ … Natural sciences only emboldened that certain physics are bound to certain existential qualities, which the human will define and ‘prove’.

– A seperationist culture is being created in human social life, where humanity and animality and nonhuman life is finely segregated, basically (and basically philosophically), so that people don’t even think and see anymore, but solely follow the total norm.

– Sadism, violence to the physis of nonhumanity is the warning shot, the societal execution, the harshest separator that keeps humanity a wanted and unwanted enemy to animality (as operating with fear i.e. ‘speciesist [psychologically and socially] totalitarian structures’).

Specifics of speciesism: History, how we see “the past” and how we preserve “what is important”.

Our collectively built historical consciousness, (most of) the legacies predominantly nonhuman-ignorant communities and collectives value:

  • We relegate nonhuman animal history and nonhuman history in general into the natural-historic chapter of basically human history.
  • We ignore nonhuman narratives; we ignore positions outside the [hegemonial-] anthropocentric dogma when they come from nonhuman perspectives, we haven’t developed any comprehension for nonhumanity on non-speciesist / non-animal-objectifying levels.

If we chose a nonhuman-encompassing mode of (openminded) perception and developed (sensible) accesses to nonhuman notions of ‘being-in-time and socio-cultural-contexts’ in their terms (…), we’d be able to phrase nonhuman perspectivity in our words, without referring to biology or other reductive explanatory segments into which animality has continuously been relegated.

Collective memories

Museums, when they are about culture, thought, introspection, mental “wealth”, aesthetics: nonhumans are at best a means-to-an-end within these contexts, they are never represented as standing for their own complexity in broader nonhuman-encompassing historical contexts.

History in itself is seen as a concept and experienced-phenomenon only conceivable by humans, and amongst humans themselves history is being selectively purported.

Memories of nonhumanity, from their and from nonhuman encompassing perspectivities, are being nullified, consciously conceived as irrelevant and mentally achieved within any of the manifold speciesist / nonhuman objectifying categories of human- or rather [hegemonially-] humanity-centered perceptions.


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