The Question of the Animal

A blog about the relationship between the Nonhuman Animal and Human Animal.

(In)Humane Interest: New Spaces For Concern

May 23rd, 2010 by iwritelikeitalk
The mistreatment of animals could perhaps be viewed as a necessary consequence of a humanism that has always sought to elevate the human at the expense of animals (Animal Philosophy p. xvi).
I must ask the question then, Where would humankind be today if we did not
mistreat animals? I also cannot help but reread this statement as, The mistreatment of the human-other could perhaps be viewed as a necessary consequence of a humanism that has always sought to elevate the human at the expense of the human-other. For me, the two go hand-in-hand, it’s impossible not to trace the animal question to the human question.

So, where would we be? Human interest is of course why humans mistreat animals. Industry/capitalism is at the core. The meat industry in the United States is a gross industry which barely meets proper work environment standards. It hires hundreds if not thousands of illegal immigrants (meaning they have no rights) to work in the factories, illegal immigrants whom they do not have to pay fair wages to or give sick leave to, illegal immigrants who are sometimes killed or maimed and whom have no one to take responsibility for them. The treatment of these human-others and the treatment of the non-human animal-other are inseparable. Furthermore, the meat industry alone employees over 1 million (registered) workers, for many people a job is a
job and many times though some may argue there is a choice, there is not a choice for these people, so the cycle, cycles…
The glue that keeps the soles of our shoes together, our bicycle seats, our dog food, our cat food, our cosmetic, collagen injections, vaccines, birth control, medications, shampoos, vitamins…the “stuff” that we consume on a daily basis in some way is linked to the mistreatment of the non- human animal-other and the human-other.
Becoming “free” of these issues or being “guilt-free” about these issues opens up an entirely new space of concern…For example, I recently read about people who feed their dog a vegan/vegetarian diet…I am vehemently opposed to this practice. It is, in a way, animal abuse. In my opinion it is wrong because it biologically goes against nature. Cats for example become ill when put on a vegetarian diet…is that not animal cruelty? Causing sufferance and harm to animals because of one’s believe or way of life? This topic could easily go into the issue of petkeeping…is petkeeping ethical? How can we, and who can, decide which animals are ok to keep? Which animals to eat?

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“Earthlings”, Milk, and Honey.

May 11th, 2010 by iwritelikeitalk

Film on Society's treatment of Animals

“Earthlings” is a documentary film on the treatment of animals by society. Here is the link to the trailer for this film:

Watch at your own discretion. It brought me to tears. I can’t say it’s a film that I will be watching, mainly because the atrocities and abuses committed towards animals is nothing new, that fact is widely accepted, however it’s no excuse or reason to forget about them.  We owe it to ourselves to know the truth behind it all, and if you ever wondered how your leather boots are made, or what makes meat kosher, then click and find out.


During the trailer, Joaquin Phoenix (the narrator) says, “it costs nothing for a human to be kind to an animal” (something to that effect, I can’t bring myself to watch the trailer again) as much as I like to agree, I cannot. It does cost many people $ to be kind to animals and money truly, in this reality, makes the world go ’round. I don’t want it to be that way, I don’t live my life that way, but I can’t deny that I am in the minority. A multi-millionaire cannot tell an impoverished person that they cannot work because it hurts animals when they’re trying to get a sip of the same milk and honey that that wealthy person is telling them they can’t. Consumerism IS to blame, classism, poverty, but then again so are many other things, such as art (fashion for example is considered an artform to many [glue, leather, fur, cosmetics]), media, government, ourselves.

A major turn-off is the extreme nature of some activists’ points. For example the above photo..Milk is murder? Really? Is it? How? I get how meat is murder, how fur is murder, but milk? Milk can be torture depending where you get your milk from…it doesn’t have to be torture either…maybe it’s time to be realistic?

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Don’t get me wrong…welcome.

May 10th, 2010 by iwritelikeitalk

This isn’t a blog about convincing meatheads to become vegheads. It’s simply (as if it’s simple at all) a blog that takes into question the Nonhuman Animal as well as the Human Animal. It’s an investigation, a project if you will, where there aren’t any simple answers.

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