The Vegan Of Aus

Let’s talk about militance

Weapons used by extreme and militant vegans: words.

Everyday tools used by decent nonvegans: knives and guns.

Things hurt by militant vegans: nonvegan’s pride.

Things hurt by decent nonvegans: innocent animal’s entire existences.

Go figure!

Back to school

Today’s English lesson:

Militant vegan. (noun)

Person who opposes the idea that nonhumans are on earth merely as resources for humans. Usually unequivocally opposed to unprovoked violence. Often known to voice opinions about nonviolence and nonhuman rights in the hope of spreading those ideas.

Antonym: Nonvegan – Person who condones the idea that nonhumans are simple resources for humans, usually accompanied with the enslaving and killing of them. Completely fine with violence, particularly towards the most vulnerable. Often known to falsely fabricate scientific evidence to justify their cause. Often agree with vegans’ sentiments until they have to properly engage with them at which point they suddenly and vehemently disagree with vegans’ sentiments.

Today’s maths lesson:

Number of warm blooded terrestrial animals killed every year just for food: 60+ billion.

Number of aquatic animals killed every year just for food: trillions.

Number of animals intentionally killed by/for nonvegans: all of the above.

Number of animals intentionally killed by/for vegans: none of the above.

Today’s history lesson:

Year since people have thought they’re doing it right and patting themselves on the back: 10000+ BC.

Year slavery abolished in USA: 1865

Year apartheid abolished in South Africa: 1994

Year Australia properly recognised first human nations occupying Australian land mass: Not yet history.

Year greater human society properly recognised other sentient beings: Not yet history.

Today’s economics lesson:

Percentage of earth’s land devoted to animal grazing: 26%

Percentage of earth’s land devoted to animal feed crops: 33%

Percentage of world’s human population employed in animal agriculture of some sort: 20%

Percentage of animal agriculture’s contribution to global GDP: 1.4%

Today’s ethics lesson:

Ethics are important except when:

They get in the way of making money.

They get in the way of cultural conditioning.

They get in the way of religious ideas.

They get in the way of cheeseburgers and ice-cream and visiting the zoo.

Class dismissed.

Working for the man

All domesticated animals are born into a dystopia of human creation but those (most often females) who are worked are especially damned. Not only are they born condemned with modified bodies and a predetermined death, they are then made to labour for the masters that created them. Dairy cows, egg laying hens, breeding bitches, racehorses, camels and donkeys – and, possibly less obviously to some, insects like bees and silkworms – are all born only to be robbed of their lives and made slaves to human whim.

(Granted: Those animals who are bred primarily so that people can consume their flesh are also workers of sorts. Their work is to grow to a saleable size as quickly as possible. For some animals this is a gruesome task; broiler chickens are a prime example, enduring chronic suffering so that people can turn them over quickly.)

That any person would force labour on another is nothing but vile but in the cases above this perversity is only increased by the types of labour each of these innocent beings must endure and the conditions they do it in. For females this includes ongoing sexual molestation and/or abuse of their reproductive systems.

Any impartial observation leaves no doubt that animal producers are slave drivers and pimps, nonvegans their eager and insatiable customers.

Nonveganism is a dark reality. Nonhumans are in this position because you, nonvegan, will not make the decision right now to stop funding it and continue cheering it on. What will it take to break your heart and human pride, and give your fellow earthly cohabitants a fair chance of a free life?

The other inconvenient truth

To those who are concerned about our natural environment:

The utter wastefulness of converting the nutrients of the earth and its plants through other animals is not just a bad ecological choice; knowing what we now know it’s an ecological crime. Pointing fingers at mining companies and conservative politicians while ravaging the planet by eating animals is extremely disingenuous.

The absurdity of caring for the natural environment while severely damaging it with our most regular routine – eating – is exceeded only by the silence on the matter amongst “environmentalists.” Any self confessed environmentalist that is not a plant based consumer, even fully neglecting the notion of veganism and animal rights, is a fraud. Any group that purports to care for the natural environment but doesn’t hold a shift to plant-based consumption as a matter of the highest priority is a fraud.

It is my sincere hope that people arrive to veganism because of a concern for peace and justice, but that does not at all detract from the legitimate need for people to stop consuming animals and their secretions for reasons of environmental protection. Even those people who cannot see past their own privilege and interests need to engage with this issue.

(FWIW I don’t identify as an “environmentalist” and in fact know I live a life full of comforts that leave environmental scars. It’s not my intent to have a competition on who’s better than whom. My intention is only to call you out, duplicitous environmentalist who continues to consume animals.)

Live export: A summary of regulated animal exploitation.

Australia’s position on live export can be found here.

Many might take comfort in the fact that live export is regulated, but regulation of live export is no new thing. Compare this to the document above.

Like all welfare and regulation measures this document sets standards that primarily benefit the animal exploiters. Making sure animals arrive at their destination healthy is not about the protection of animal interests, it is about the idea that healthy animals are saleable animals, that keep the image of animal husbandry cleaner. It’s about making the journey profitable. It’s about making it least troublesome for those that are coordinating the journey; what more of a PITA than dealing with animals that upset the cart.

The document states:

“The export of animals obliges all participants in the trade to ensure that the animals’ health and welfare is protected to the greatest extent possible and reflects Australian community expectations.”

The first part of this statement is of course a blatant lie. The protection of the animal’s health and welfare to the greatest extent possible is to not export them at all; in fact it would be to not subject them to any animal ag practices at all, including not breeding them into existence. The second part of the statement is exactly what this document is about: appeasing community expectations.

Part of these standards includes an allowed mortality level. For sheep and goats this is 2%. For cattle this is 1% on journeys longer than 10 days, 0.5% on journeys less than 10 days. So let’s get this straight: more cattle are allowed to die on longer trips than on shorter trips. More sheep are allowed to die than cattle. So where is this welfare “to the greatest extent possible?” Clearly it’s not there at all; it’s actually welfare to a level commensurate with the requirements at hand. It’s the amount of welfare that is commercially viable. Whoever writes this balderdash would do well to experience a single trip with similar “welfare protection,” even without the murderous end that awaits the other passengers, to see what they are in fact suggesting.

The fact that a certain percentage of animals in live export are expected to die on the journey is indicative of the suffering that they go through. Death is the (sometimes elusive) end of exhaustion; for exhaustion to arrive at that end requires massive amounts of suffering. For every animal that does die there will be many others who are in the thick of exhaustion and suffering. Yet these animals are saleable hence their experience is not taken into account.

This is the bottom line of all animal exploitation: it’s not about the animal’s own experience, it’s about how their experience affects our own. If animals cannot be heard they can be frozen or boiled alive (aquatic beings). If animals cannot kick back they can be handled like basketballs (chickens). If animals cannot make a profit they can be killed and thrown on the waste heap (all animals). If it’s cheaper and easier to use a sledgehammer to kill an animal then that’s okay (“unviable” calves). When Fido becomes more of a hassle than a plaything then a lethal injection is humane. If few enough animals die on a journey to not raise eyebrows then it’s ok that the rest of them suffer.

Animal welfare measures are a farce. The only welfare measure that benefits animals is leaving them alone.

Stop buying them.

Stop consuming them.

Stop wearing them.

Stop exploiting them.

Stop thinking about them as mere resources.

Start seeing sentient beings as individuals who have their own interests. Like you.

Be decent towards nonhumans. Be vegan.

The thread of the dead

Wearing silk is a blatant show of contempt towards our fellow sentient beings. Sadly so blatant that most people don’t even think about it.

In the obtaining of silk silkworms are intentionally killed in their final rite of passage. After they have spent their entire lives working towards a single end – and a most magnificent one at that, a complete bodily (and probably greater) metamorphosis – they take to slumber in their inherited hope that they will emerge adjusted (finished?) beings.

But members of our own callous and narcissistic species think it nothing to destroy the life’s work of these beautiful animals for the whims of fashion, much less when the victims are sleeping and otherwise unable to protect themselves. These innocent beings are denied their chance to see the world again, to spread their wings, to experience life in a new way and to find partners with which to mate. Not that people care for anything except the mating bit, since that is the only bit that brings us further benefit. Yet we have that sorted by selectively breeding these beings over the last ten thousand years to produce increasing numbers of eggs so that we can kill more and more of these individuals with increasing speed and efficiency.

When we imagine the tragedy of human lives lost early we often feel doubly heavy when those that perish are on the verge of adulthood. We place investment in children for the exact reason that we hope they will emerge out of childhood into independent beings capable of living their lives to their fullest. There is something uniquely heartbreaking when we consider someone who has passed through childhood only to be denied their chance to finally blossom, to live as an adult. Yet change the subject from human to silkworm, or any other species for that matter, and human compassion is at a loss. The fact that the victims are drowned and boiled alive does not seem to spark any increased concern. Perhaps it’s because silkworms, like worms, don’t have screams and flapping limbs that appeal to our emotions; perhaps it wouldn’t make a difference either way when human desire is so set on an end that it cares nothing for the life of others.

As if to add a sad irony to the situation, after killing these innocent beings people go about unraveling their life’s crowning achievement. The home that that each silkworm built in order to protect themselves and look after their own ends becomes their tomb, only to be ripped apart impetuously with the dead occupant still inside. Our desensitised minds then parade the work of these beings as items of festal luxury rather than of the wholesale death they truly are. For a single item of clothing this story of killing and plundering may replay thousands of times.

Nonvegans choose smooth ties and shawls at the ultimate cost to an untold number of beings. Vegans find similar ties and shawls that don’t intentionally harm anyone. What a strange world we live in when people recoil to the idea of veganism yet don’t find it an issue at all to wear and celebrate violence.

Talk about best buddies

Vegetarians and meat eaters unite!

Here’s an idea: How about you both imprison and inseminate a cow, then go halfsies in the outcome – one gets the milk, the other gets the baby.

Vegos: you keep the mother working her entire life taking the milk she produces for her child.

Meat eaters: you keep the child confined in a tight place so he doesn’t toughen up, then get the knife in.

Oh wait… You already have that deal going? Then what better trophies to share than wearing the skins of your victims. (I hear the babies’ skins are very delicate and therefore highly desirable).

P.S. Don’t forget to remind yourselves how much you love animals!

Sex and the Pity

The ability to discriminate sexual partners (including having none) is a fundamental part of sexual autonomy. Think about how picking sexual partners is amongst our most personal decisions and the often elaborate ceremonies we go through in order to pursue our sexual goals. It’s a process filled with excitement, anticipation and presenting ourselves as best we can. Often it’s a highlight of life. Even if our desires aren’t met we have enjoyed the freedom to pursue those desires and that provides its own value. For many the thrill of the chase is larger than the acts of physical sexual interaction. A life without such freedom of expression would be markedly different; I’d say markedly unnatural and inferior.

Given what we can see, and understanding the commonalities amongst all animals, it makes sense to assume that other animal species share commensurate desire and experience in choosing their own sexual partners. Just look at the performances and mating ceremonies some animals put on in order to impress their prospective sexual partners, and the often sensational natural features of sexual allure they are endowed with. In many ways they make us humans look remarkably boring. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Watch any David Attenborough episode and it’ll make sense.)

It’s almost an absurdity to need to say it but: Sex is a big thing – for all animals, not just humans. Yet in our treatment of nonhumans we’d almost believe that they have no sexual desires at all, only some mechanistic tendency to procreate. This is just another manifestation of human superiority and it’s extremely ugly. Human treatment of domesticated animals subjects them to both sexual deprivation and molestation. Considering that these nonhumans have their entire lives stolen from them it’s hardly notable that one other aspect of their lives – their sex lives – are subjected to human control, yet I hope that in raising it that some people might relate to their own sexual lives and realise what a tragedy it would be to rob anyone of the same.

Sexual violation is not just vile because it’s a physical and emotional assault on others, it’s also the stealing of some of life’s richest experiences and replacing them with fear and humiliation. It’s utter personal degradation. Consider how even more complex this degradation is when the sexual aggressor is of a different species – an aggressive and dominating species that almost invariably fails to understand or accept your communication, your pleas for mercy.

The “standard practices” that people inflict on nonhumans in order to breed them or to induce lactation is a sickening horror. Hands up anuses, tubes in vaginas, penises in funnels, bodies hung up or pinned down in order to be inseminated – these are amongst the routine procedures people inflict on nonhumans. Usually these animals are barely pubescent when they are first made to endure such contempt; humans are efficient and therefore insensitively tough overlords. On the other hand we’re also happy to rip off the sexual organs of those animals we have no sexual intentions for. If such practices were a fiction and had movies made about them they would surely have the toughest R / XXX ratings, if not being fully illegal. Yet this is not a fiction at all and this behaviour continues unchecked, sanctioned by greater society and enabled by laws that completely disrespect nonhuman interests.

Some people may argue that putting two animals together in the same enclosure and letting them “do their thing” is fine. You know what? People in prison often “do their things” too, and those things are usually not what those same people would otherwise do if given a free choice. There is zero nonhuman choice and only human determinism in the sex lives of domesticated animals.

People’s use of animals is steeped in sexual exploitation. Nonvegans should think about the sexual brutality they unflinchingly dish out on our fellow earthly cohabitants.

Why is speciesism such a secret?



1.a belief of humans that all other species of animals are inferior and may therefore be used for human benefit without regard to the suffering inflicted

Mention racism and I expect most decent people will immediately bring themselves to check. But mention speciesism and chances are the the only reaction you’ll receive are raised eyebrows. It seems to me that broader society has no idea about the word “speciesism” nor what it means. “Speciesism” is just not out there and therefore not understood. That is to say, broader society has hardly been reached with any discourse about speciesism. And it’s the same for “veganism;” it may be a more commonly thrown about word but, really, society has at best a misunderstanding of veganism as some diet or lifestyle choice, otherwise no understanding of it at all. I know the first time I heard of speciesism was by reading books after I was already well immersed in an interest of animal rights; I never encountered the word until I actually went looking for it.

Many people say that we should advocate for nonhumans in a way that easier engages broader society or that makes animal protection “more accessible.” To that end they promote all sorts of petty measures and advocate for anything but challenging speciesism and promoting veganism as a fundamental requirement in that challenge. That cannot help. Practically everyone knows about PeTA and their salad-clad models – but who knows about speciesism? Everyone knows about Animals Australia and live export and poor puppies left to die at the RSPCA and that hens want to be treated “like ladies” – but who knows about speciesism?

For all their talk about engaging the public these large organisations have done little to nothing in raising awareness of speciesism. Society needs to hear about speciesism else they will never be ready to properly engage the issue. Speciesism must become a word and an idea that people are familiar with so that it can become a topic for discussion, so that people can thrash it around rather than hear it once in a blue moon by the “militant vegan.” “Speciesism” should be causing talk, argument, contention. We can expect that it will be ridiculed – that’s fine! Can we for a second believe that racism did not receive similar treatment as it was being brought to general discourse?

Advocating for veganism need not be about winning people over – it should simply be about advocating for veganism. It’s about getting the word out, identifying speciesism and promoting veganism as the necessary response. Let people’s own understanding of veganism win them over – but give them that understanding. Winning people over is something we have no final control over but getting the word out is entirely up to us.

Crossing the line in vegan advocacy

An addendum to my previous post on vegan advocacy:

I reckon a lot of vegan advocacy falls on deaf ears because nonvegans cannot take us seriously. For most people the idea of living without animal products is just a fantasy. Regardless of the science many people actually genuinely hold on to the notion that humans need to consume animals products for optimal health; or that there is some natural hierarchy with people on top and nonhumans underneath waiting to be exploited; or that a deity placed nonhumans on earth to satisfy human interests. They actually cannot drop their prejudices because it’s all they have! This is not unlike prejudices which have thankfully been handed heavy blows in the recent centuries:

  • That women can be as smart as men.
  • That “dark savages” could be as human as Europeans.
  • That aristocrats could be who they are based on the assertion of acquired privilege rather than the will of god.

This is unlike many other goals, like say a push for increased socialism, which falls in the domain of what most people might at least consider a viable, if not preferable, option. So let’s be clear: advocating for veganism is almost as “out there” to many nonvegans as is suggesting that we were all dropped here by aliens.

Right now vegan advocacy can only be expected to provide marginal returns because of its popularly assumed counter-intuitive nature. For the most part vegan advocacy is not engaging with the nonvegan’s intellect or sensibilities, rather it is trying to short circuit this nonvegan fantasy. Vegan advocacy seeks to instigate a wholesale shift in the nonvegan’s worldview rather than an edging towards something already there; it is the demolishing of one of their existential cornerstones. Vegan advocacy is no trivial task!

This is why advocating for incremental change is generally not the way to go. Nonvegans need a jolt of something – reality! – to bust through the trappings of their current worldview where they see nonhumans as necessary slaves to their superior masters. In a sense they must be helped to bring themselves to lay bare and start anew in this facet of their life.

Nothing above suggests that this cannot be done without personal respect or cordiality, but it does suggest that vegan advocacy must be delivered with potency and with frankness beyond “keeping things comfortable.” We should never worry about “crossing a line;” in fact crossing that line is exactly what we should do.


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