There is much talk about “Tierleid” (animal suffering) in German these days, for which the one side ask for “Tierwohl” (animal welfare) label to be stuck on meat/flesh products, which the other rightly head to fight for a vegan world.
And both sides: animal advocates and people who objectify nonhuman animals, both agree that no one wants animals to suffer: yet what about the injustice done on all levels towards animality? Why don’t we separate between hypocritical “care” and advocating rights and care, in the sense of directing the attention to the ethical rights debate?
‘Animal suffering‘ isn’t an argument in itself in an animal derogative society. It’s a description of the consequences of all the injustices done to nonhuman animals. It doesn’t help to pretend that we wouldn’t live in societies whose majorities pro-actively objectify nonhumanity.
Comment: Suffering injustice
The problem: One thinks, yes I am against animal suffering, that’s why I go to organic butchers, the other thinks, yes I am against animal suffering, that’s why I am for a vegan world …
Who in society is against “the animal suffering that is generated” – or should we not perhaps rather address the injustice – the forms in which injustice is committed against animals, much more directly and above all in concrete terms, instead of pointing out the logical result that animals suffer from the consequences of all this human action?
The term animal suffering and its fairly typical use in arguments omits a crucial angle. It speaks to and within an animal-objectifying society, and in doing so, hopefully, it criticizes the injustice to animality and animalness, to animals.
The term “animal suffering” denounces something, in direction to the animal-objectifying recipients in its critique, by pointing to the consistent suffering but not the continuous operating injustice, the ethical social and eco-social injustices directed against animals (i.e. forms of speciesism/speciesisms, animal objectification … ).
In the argument, the term itself does not touch the question and the reason that should be analyzed why you have to even point out a suffering to people at all, which they themselves – individually and collectively – obviously consciously produce, tolerate, bear with, accept, ignore, want to let continue, support. People should hence rather be accused of bystanderism and/or complicity, instead of assuming that we are all in agreement, that we all only want to act ethically right.
In the societal discourse we all like pretend and hit the tone that most of us are “against animal suffering”. But by supporting this rhetoric, we solely enable an animal-objectifying expression of social hypocrisy.
Nothing more, really.