vegan muse

Posts Tagged ‘society

Mapping Society along Ecological Lines

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Cairns Birdwing
What can the butterfly teach us?

Social ecology is an appeal not only for moral regeneration but also, and above all, for social reconstruction along ecological lines.” – Murray Bookchin

Social ecology seeks to philosophically fuse the natural world (first nature) with that of human society (second nature), saturating the latter in the roots of the former. By appealing for moral regeneration, social ecology strives to socially reconstruct present-day society along ecological lines.

Society is in need of identifying and replacing forms of social domination associated with our economic system. Social ecology presents such a case. It claims that the environmental crisis is a result of the hierarchical organization of power and the authoritarian mentality rooted in the structures of our society. The Western ideology of dominating the natural world arises from these social relationships. As Bookchin argues, if we are to change human society, our relationship with the rest of nature will inevitably become transformed.

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Abolishing Exploitation: Francione’s Case for Animal Rights

With respect to animal rights, the welfarist reform differs in kind, not degree, from the abolitionist reform. The former seeks quantitative measures, arguing degree of exploitation. The latter, the abolitionist reform, seeks qualitative measures, arguing moral inconsistencies. Francione writes: “We have historically justified our exploitation of nonhumans on the ground that there is a qualitative distinction between the minds of humans and other animals.”

The following briefly describes Professor Francione’s Theory of Animal Rights, in his words. For a thorough explanation of Francione’s abolitionist theory of animal rights, visit his website, Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach.

We ought to abolish animal exploitation and not seek merely to regulate it.”

Francione on Animal Voices, CIUT 89.5 FM in Toronto, Canada

“Our only justification for the pain, suffering, and death inflicted on these billions of nonhumans is that we enjoy the taste of meat and dairy products. And if we really do take seriously that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering on nonhumans, our enjoyment in eating animal products cannot be a morally acceptable justification. Our only use of animals that is not transparently trivial is the use of animals in experiments intended to find cures for serious human illnesses. But even in this context, there are serious questions about the necessity of animal use. Because of the biological differences between humans and other animals, there is always a problem extrapolating the results of animal experiments to humans. The data produced by animal use are often unreliable. For example, results from toxicity tests using animals can vary dramatically depending on the method that is used. Considerable empirical evidence indicates that, in many instances, reliance on animal models in experiments has actually been counterproductive. For example, the failure to create an animal model of lung cancer led researchers to ignore evidence of a strong correlation of smoking and lung cancer in humans.”

Moral Schizophrenia

“We kill billions of nonhumans every year for reasons that cannot plausibly be considered as “necessary” even though we maintain that we accept that it is wrong to inflict “unnecessary” suffering on animals. When it comes to other animals, we humans exhibit what can best be described as moral schizophrenia. We say one thing about how animals should be treated, and we turn right around and do another.”

“If we recognized that all sentient beings had a basic, moral right not to be treated as property and that we had a moral duty to stop treating sentient beings as resources, we would stop bringing domestic animals into existence for our use. Recognizing “animal rights” does not mean letting all domestic animals run free in the streets. It means caring for those whom we have caused to come into existence. And not bringing anymore into existence to use for food, clothing, entertainment, or experiments. If we took the interests of animals seriously, we would stop bringing domestic animals into existence. There is no reason-other than our pleasure, amusement, or convenience-to eat animal meat or dairy, wear animals, hunt animals, or use animals in entertainment.”

An abolitionist and a welfarist: Professor Francione and Erik Marcus debate

Note: All thoughts in quotations are those of Gary L. Francione.

Cradle to Cradle / Remaking the Way We Make Things

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Architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart are the authors of Cradle to Cradle / Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002), which has served as a personal inspiration ever since a close friend of mine introduced me to it in the first quarter of 2007.

“The book itself is a polymer. It is not a tree. With so much polymer, what we really need is technical nutrition and to use something as elegant as a tree. Imagine this design challenge: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, accrues solar energy as fuel, mixes complex sugars in food, creates microclimates, changes colors with the seasons and self-replicates… why don’t we knock that down and write on it.” – William McDonough

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Buddhist Prayer for Animal Liberation

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An emotionally charged video that carries the message of truth and love.

Be Well.

Written by Ethan Handur

November 3, 2007 at 6:03

Vegetarianism

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The following briefly touches upon Michael Allen Fox’s arguments for vegetarianism (veganism) and focuses upon his 1999 book entitled ‘Deep Vegetarianism‘.

“Detailed, thorough, and wide-ranging, this is the most comprehensive, original work on philosophical vegetarianism to date. Deep Vegetarianism addresses the cultural, historical and philosophical backgrounds for vegetarianism, details the impact to vegetarianism on one’s thinking and living, relates vegetarianism to recent defenses of the moral status of animals, and very ably considers all the significant arguments for and against vegetarianism.”Evelyn B. Pluhar, author of Beyond Prejudice: The Moral Significance of Human and Nonhuman Animals

Fox’s Purpose

1. To convince you to adopt vegetarianism (veganism);
2. Fox thinks you should not consume any sentient being.

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Organic Foods and Fair Trading

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“Your health, happiness, and the future of life on earth are rarely so much in your hands as when you sit down to eat.” – John Robbins, Diet for a New America

Organics: The Philosophy

Organic food and organic farming represent a philosophy that goes beyond just the quality of food. It strives to maintain the integrity of the entire food chain – soil, plants, air, water, animals, and people. We are all part of the same ecosystem. Since the food sources of herbivores originate from the land, the focus must therefore be on the replenishment of our land, just as we replenish ourselves. As fertile land grows, healthier plants translate to healthier humans and healthier animals. – Adapted from Steve Meyerowitz, The Organic Food Guide: How to Shop Smarter and Eat Healthier

Are organically grown foods superior to their conventionally grown counterparts? This seems to be a valid question, especially with the increasing demand for organically grown produce. Before I continue, I would like to mention that this article will solely focus on organic fruits and vegetables. The immoral exploitation of animals will be discussed in a future article that will also delve into the world of animal organics.

It’s no secret that public concern has been mounting over whether ingestible plant products are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) or not. I’m sure many of you have noticed the ‘organic’ options currently available in the larger grocery stores that were once non-existent. Where exactly do these products come from and, more importantly, how does a product gain its ‘organic’ classification? With a link to the fair trade mentality, can we hope to see more businesses such as Bridgehead, an Ottawa-based coffee company that offers 100% fair traded and organic coffees and teas? Just as organic food and organic farming represent a philosophy of universal connectedness, so too does fair trading for all.

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