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Posts Tagged ‘Jason S. Miller’

Feigned Indignation: Of marauding exploiters, their “ethical qualms,” and a new proposal

Posted by kelliasworld on April 13, 2009

By Jason Miller

3/15/09

Since there was little appetite for my recent polemic in which I advocated including necro-cannibalism as an integral part of our strategy to combat ecocide and world hunger, because very few appeared to take note of the fact that it was not my intention to carefully craft an update of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” (I was actually hurling a hunk of concrete into the placid waters of the indoctrinated readers’ minds in order to observe the resultant splash and subsequent ripples), and since despite the depth of Homo rapien moral depravity and their sheer indifference to the suffering, murder, mayhem, and destruction that the human collective causes in order to satiate our desires and perpetuate the disease we call civilization, reader response indicated that the thought of eating our “fellow man” was taking things a bit too far, I’m advancing yet another potential solution to the myriad and complex maladies we’ve inflicted upon nonhuman animals, the Earth and ourselves.

Homo rapiens, who, judging by the state of the world, outnumber Homo sapiens by a wide margin, are a self-centered, mean-spirited bunch. Maybe their swarming hordes can get behind an idea that saves their asses, eases what little conscience they have, requires little or no risk or effort on their part, and doesn’t involve the possibility of their cherished grandmas winding up as hotdogs rather than worm fodder or cinders.

As an aside, had I written my apologia for necro-cannibalism as a serious assertion, what pray tell would have been so ghastly, macabre, reprehensible, or unthinkable about it? It’s not like we would be committing homicide. The people we would be eating would have died prior to being slated to appear on the menu at McDonald’s. Some amongst us directly perpetrate (and many of the rest of the rest of us openly or tacitly support) the murder of billions of sentient beings (including “universally sacred” human animals) each year in factory “farms,” laboratories, and in faraway lands inhabited by the uninitiated whom we must bomb into the stone age that they might become enlightened enough to embrace the American Way of Life.

What an arbitrary, skewed, hypocritical and bizarre set of ethics and priorities we have. The Earth is teeming with 6.5 billion people who are stripping it bare like a plague of locusts, food shortages are reaching crisis levels, and the Homo rapiens are going to balk at the source of the flesh they so love to devour? Though they may represent the next stage in hominid evolution (on the other hand, one could advance a strong argument that they represent a de-evolution), they need to get over themselves. Or they won’t have any selves left to get over.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist tossing another chunk of cement and muddying those placid waters once more. As a critical thinker who has stopped drowning out my inner voice with Western civilization’s ubiquitous and numerous forms of anesthetizing, conscience-killing soma, I have my eyes wide open to the constant barrage of inanities, perversities, hypocrisies, deceptions, distortions, and insanities with which our barbaric “civilized” culture perpetually pelts us. As my beloved Sylvia often says about the Homo rapiens she encounters each day, “If they come at me crazy, I’m getting crazy right back.” So let’s talk cannibalism a bit more.

Moral and ethical objections to necro-cannibalism are hollow and pathetically feeble when voiced by the savage mob of our collective “advanced, industrialized civilization” that preys economically upon “developing nations;” subjugates hundreds of millions of people through the use of puppet plutocracies, neo-liberal economic policies, military bases installed for “protection,” or outright imperial invasion; gluttonously gobbles up far more than its share of the world’s “natural resources”—eating them and shitting them out or running them through atmosphere-toxifying factories that create more “things” that will quickly become a part of the breathtakingly enormous mountain of garbage through which we will eventually be wading; drops smart bombs (now there’s an oxymoron for you) that only kill the “bad guys”–plus a few hundred “victims of collateral damage;” tortures and murders millions of nonhuman animals every day to yield a plethora of unnecessary products; ends millions of lives before they get started through abortions; locks up nonviolent substance abusers because of their skin color and economic class whilst letting mass murderers like Bush and Cheney run free; leaves billions to live in miserable squalor to enable the American Dream for a relative few; and more. Yet in the midst of an ecocrisis in which industrial agriculture plays a large role, we’re going to keep downing “pork,” “beef,” and “poultry” by the shovel full and get squeamish about stabbing our fork into a morsel of nourishing human flesh that would otherwise go to waste? How about a steaming plate of self-centeredness and an ice cold glass of hypocrisy to wash that down?

My apologies; again I digress. Forget cannibalism. As my “friends” who grease the gears of capitalism would say, “There’s no market for it!” Unlike our imperialistic, war-mongering government (which is merely a reflection of our Homo rapien society), those who are fighting for the Earth obviously don’t have the luxury of keeping “all options on the table.”

I’ll skip moralizing about the abject cruelty of exploiting nonhuman animals to consume their flesh because I recognize that Homo rapiens are too selfish to give up their beloved “meat,” despite the fact that many give lip service to ending the horrors of factory “farming” in favor of “happy meat.” So as my dear “compatriots,” the capitalists, love to say, “I’ll give you the bottom line here.” The bottom line is that the extant system of factory “farming” is an environmental disaster and a tremendous waste of resources.

You can Google the statistics if you prefer more specificity, but for those flesh addicts who are comfortable with the savagery of nonhuman animal consumption, there are two compelling pragmatic reasons to find an alternative “meat” source: pollution and “resource” depletion.

The billions of nonhuman animals destined to wind up on plates or between slices of bread produce seas of urine and excrement. For now Tyson, Smithfield Farms and their ilk pump this waste into storage lagoons, which are filled with this putrid slurry of piss and shit mixed with a host of other waste products, including antibiotics, pesticides, the rotting corpses of nonhuman animals crushed or trampled to death, afterbirth, and stillborns.

What the hell are we going to do with all of that infectious, repugnant sludge as time progresses? Perhaps we could simply do what the billions of sentient beings we’ve oppressed and exploited to sustain our American Way of Life (the soul-sucking, murderous machine we call Western civilization) would love to see us do and “eat shit and die.” No, that’s too drastic. We, as a collective, have done some pretty rotten things and our system’s got to go, but there’s plenty of room for personal redemption on a case by case basis—for most of us any way. So, the question remains, what are we going to do with vast seas of poisonous sewage that threaten to contaminate groundwater, streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes?

Pollution aside, we have another problem that is perhaps even bigger. It takes 16 pounds of grain and 2500 gallons of water to make one pound of “beef.” The global demand for “meat” is skyrocketing as populous nations like China and India aspire to the “heights” of American capitalism and clamor for body parts on their menus. One third of the global population is starving, mostly in “developing” nations, so that the “deserving” citizens of wealthier nations can gorge themselves on flesh. I realize that I’ve wasted a sentence on another of those idiotic moral concerns which Homo rapiens have rationalized away or are just too fucking mean to care about, so let me instead point out that world-wide demand for “meat” is projected to double by 2050 and that our industrial agricultural system is already incapable of providing food for a rapidly growing population of 6.5 billion humans. Therefore, there’s a strong chance that you and your children, dear reader, could be affected—very adversely I might add. (That’s how you get the attention of a Homo rapien—you inform them of something that’s going to directly impact THEM and “theirs.”)

Our current form of “meat” production is rife with irresolvable problems, vegans/vegetarians are still about as rare as recent stock market success stories, and the number of people demanding to feast upon rotting flesh is rising meteorically. A head-scratching, hair pulling dilemma if ever I encountered one.

Eliminating “meat” from our collective diet is a non-starter. Necro-cannibalism went over like reruns of the Lawrence Welk show on MTV. Lowering demand by voluntarily decreasing consumption would be impossible given our “all about me,” “individual freedom with no responsibility to the group” ethos. Appeals to conscience, you say? No, I tried that and most people just laughed and stuffed their mouths with another hunk of rotting animal flesh.

Therefore, we can once again look to the holy trinity of science, technology, and capitalism for our salvation. Interspecies chimeras, laboratory-created genetic crosses between two unique animal species, can rain “meat” down upon us like manna from heaven. Since 2003, researchers have successfully formed chimeric embryos by fusing human animals with three different nonhuman animals: rabbits, sheep, and cows.

We’ve struck gold. Now all we need to do is to start mining. With our scientific knowledge, technological infrastructure, and immense wealth, we could create and distribute chimeras for mass consumption within a couple of years. After all, “product” design and commodification are our specialties in this capitalist society. Replacing “farm animals” with chimeras as our source of “meat” would not be that difficult.

Big Meat could finish butchering the remaining stock of domestic nonhuman animals and make preparations to start slaughtering chimeras and distributing their flesh and body parts for consumption. Marketing this new product could be a problem initially, but the Bernays protégés on Madison Avenue could sell ‘morning after’ pills to members of the Army of God, so no worries there.

Rabbit, lamb, and cow are tastes with which many “meat” eaters are already familiar. Geneticists could most certainly bring pigs into the fold as well. Perhaps they could even engineer an egg-laying chimeric chicken.

Imagine the myriad advantages of fusing human DNA into our chimeras. Once we got the Medical Industrial Complex coordinating with Big Meat and Big Food, we could develop massive breeding and housing facilities for these artificial beings and start cranking them out like autos rolling off an assembly line.

Once weaned from their mothers, the exceptional female stock could be retained, nurtured and reared to serve as birthing machines. Genetically limiting their intellect so that they could perform simple tasks and engage in manual labor (without the capacity to think critically), would enable us to employ a skeleton crew of people to oversee immense chimeric laboratory farms, as these production facilities could be staffed primarily by chimeras.

Chimeras would be the perfect “meat” source. With their opposable thumbs and limited ability to cogitate, the sanitation problems related to factory “farming” would be largely eliminated as the chimeras could use toilets and clean up after themselves. Chimeras would virtually eliminate a corporation’s biggest expense: employees. They could tend to themselves and the facilities that manufacture them with limited human oversight. Once they were transported to the slaughter-houses currently processing cows, pigs and the like, they could be processed in a similar fashion. With IQ’s hovering around 80, passivity would be a virtual given as they queued up to have their skulls bashed in with sledgehammers, and for the unlucky ones who survived the bludgeoning, to be gutted alive with razor sharp knives.

Aside from the breeding stock, laboratory farm staff, and those we ground into chimera burgers, we could exploit the remaining “things with a pulse” in any way we saw fit. Corporations operating laboratory farms could garner immense income streams from both “meat” production and from the sale of chimeras as slaves. Since these Petri-dish concocted beings couldn’t possibly have a soul and would be synthetic creatures, our chimeras would not be endowed with human rights nor protected by animal welfare laws. Homo rapien capitalists would be living larger than a pedophile on a deserted isle full of 12 year old virgins! No extant ethics, morals, laws, or social taboos would impede commerce, progress, profit, advantage, pleasure, or fulfillment derived from said beings.

Chimeras would eliminate the need for nonhuman animal vivisection. With human DNA woven into their genetic structure, their value and reliability as test subjects would be far superior to that of nonhuman animals. We could even conduct the tests in the same laboratories that produce them.

Imagine owning a chimera. It would be like having a cow that could mow your lawn, do your laundry, wash your dishes, and even, if you could get past their odd physical appearance, satisfy you sexually. When you came home from a rough day at the office, instead of kicking the cat or yelling at the kids, you could beat the chimera. And when your stock of “meat” in the freezer started running low, you could simply run your chimera down to the nearest butcher, have it stunned, bled, gutted, cleaved, hacked, and sliced, and scurry home with a car-load of neat little packages of mouth-watering rotting flesh.

Obviously, chimeras would be a “must have.” Clean, “green,” essentially self-perpetuating, and highly coveted by all, chimeras would be capitalism’s crowning achievement. Our environmental nightmare would be mitigated, world hunger would disappear, and everyone could own at least one chimera to afford them more leisure time and ensure they’d be able to gorge themselves on “meat.”

Now don’t tell me that faux ethical concerns are going to hold us back on this one. Remember, we’re the group that’s collectively gang raping Mother Earth and sodomizing her to death. Don’t proclaim to me, dear Homo rapiens, that you don’t want to have your “meat” and eat it too; to strengthen the illusion of “safe food, medicine, and consumer products” provided by vivisection; and to possess your very own personal slave. And don’t try to convince me that a society of marauding exploiters has “ethical qualms” about artificially creating beings that would satisfy these “needs” while at the same time helping to slow or end the impending ecological collapse we’re causing.

Don’t talk crazy to me, and as Sylvia would also say, “Don’t front!”

Jason Miller is a relentless anti-capitalist, vegan straight edge, and animal liberationist. He is also the senior editor and founder of Thomas Paine’s Corner and the blog director for The Transformative Studies Institute.

Thomas Paine’s Corner wants to periodically email you links to the most recent material and timeless classics available on our diverse and comprehensive site. If you would like to receive them, type “TPC subscription” in the subject line and send your email to willpowerful@hotmail.com

To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/.
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I’m a dedicated carnivore. In fact, I have some chicken legs boiling in a pot as I write this. I have been diagnosed as diabetic and have found out from several sources that a protein breakfast helps keep the blood sugar under control all day. (I do not take insulin). Besides, I like chicken.

Nevertheless, I deplore the way our farm animals are treated. I buy free-range chicken, cage-free eggs, yogurt made from milk from cows that haven’t been shot up with growth hormones, etc. Fortunately, I have easy access to such products, albeit at a premium. My food budget has sky-rocketed since I made the switch. Sorry to say my income has not increased proportionally.

That the poor have to suffer with garbage as food while our food animals are mistreated are both results of the capitalist factory farm system that cares only about profits and not product quality for the humans and humane treatment for the animals. We see this all in non-meat food production, To wit: the recent salmonella outbreaks in peanuts and pistachios. –K.R.

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Homo rapiens be damned: Savagery is not programmed into our DNA

Posted by kelliasworld on February 5, 2009

[Kellia’s World is pleased to publish this thought-provoking piece sent to us by Jason S.  Miller, of Thomas Paine’s Corner — KR]

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By Jason Miller

2/3/09

“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure.”

—Agent Smith from The Matrix

One is expected to know things, to believe things. Knowing and believing are all in your head – there is nothing in your heart. If you cannot feel that the earth is your grandmother, then of course you will find it easy to rape her, to behave as if she is under your dominion. You will find it easy to believe that we humans are the dominant species, and to act as though the earth and everything on it are ours to do with as we please. … if all human beings were taken away, life on earth would flourish.

—Russell Means

“Let’s pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.”

—C.S. Lewis

The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next.

—William Faulkner

In the last analysis, even the best man is evil: in the last analysis, even the best woman is bad.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Purveyors of pop culture, indigenous movement leaders, renowned academics, literary giants, and powerful philosophers alike have admonished us that we humans need to change our evil ways. So given our amazing cognitive abilities and capacities to adapt our behaviors, why do we continue with our pathological parasitism?

Steve Best, Associate Professor of Philosophy at UTEP, and a leading philosopher in the animal liberation movement, suggested that perhaps humanity is, “A biological experiment with advanced primate intelligence gone horribly wrong, as if all of planet earth is an Island of Dr. Moreau set up by an evil God.”

While hopelessly anthropocentric apologists for humanity’s ongoing rape of the Earth and its inhabitants will probably dismiss Best’s observation as the ravings of a misanthropic animal fanatic, critical thinking people of conscience and humility will consider the possibility that Best may be right.

Certainly there is no dearth of evidence supporting the fact that the human evolutionary path has veered into a deadly and destructive cul-de-sac. Homo rapiens have succeeded Homo sapiens in humanity’s evolutionary development. How long can we sustain, or better yet, how long will the Earth allow us to sustain a “civilization” that is premised on violence, greed, over-consumption, endless growth, “success” and pleasure attained at the expense of the suffering of other sentient beings, narcissism, ego fulfillment, and a host of other nauseating grotesqueries? It doesn’t take much contemplation of the human race to leave one yearning for the companionship of Moreau’s Beast Folk.

Not unlike the Zionists in Palestine, the broader human race clings to an aggressive, violent and defensive way of interfacing with the world as a perverse reaction to having been vulnerable and victimized. We have maximized our frontal lobes, opposable thumbs, and capacities to engage in complex social behaviors in such a way that we are now uber-predators, so firmly astride the top of the food chain even were all non-human animals to somehow join forces and assail us, they’d be overwhelmingly defeated. Early hominids probably perceived their numerous predators as monsters. In collectively equipping ourselves to fight those ‘monsters,’ we have ignored Nietzsche’s cautionary aphorism and become more than monsters; we have morphed into world-destroying abominations.

Western Civilization (read Eurocentric, patriarchal, capitalist, speciesist, imperialist, and Christian), the most powerful perpetrator in the brutal and merciless assault on non-human animals and the Earth, codified its sociopathic license to rape by inventing an anthropomorphic deity that gave it the “divine right” to dominate and exploit. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth,” proclaimed the Christian deity in an ancient tome written by a collection of largely unknown authors. And since many still hold the Bible to be sacrosanct, dominionism remains deeply embedded in our collective psyche.

As the sun set on monarchial rule and the Enlightenment unfolded, we humans entered what appeared to be a golden age of “liberal democracy,” reason, and free markets. Yet ironically, this transition marked the advent of the darkest and most psychopathic phase of Homo rapien existence. Kings were replaced by soulless corporations; Descartes’ mechanistic worldview assured us that non-human animals don’t consciously suffer, thus enabling guilt-free industrialization of their torture and murder; and capitalism spawned runaway growth, unbridled avarice, and a deep obsession with property and profits. Buttressed by new and powerful theoretical underpinnings, we began our relentless attack on the Earth and its inhabitants in a futile effort to slake our seemingly insatiable thirst for control, prosperity and security.

Catalyzed and sustained by the deep-seated terror of an animal sans fang or claw and by our most despicable attributes, such as gluttony, belligerence, self-centeredness, and mean-spiritedness (each of which has been validated in some way by the fundamental theologies and philosophies of our society), we have unleashed an apocalyptic Hell upon the rest of the world. Overpopulation, deforestation, Climate Change, nuclear waste, potential nuclear destruction, the Sixth Extinction, rampant pollution, potable water shortages, factory farming, and endless resource wars are the bitter harvest the world is reaping from the noxious seeds we’ve sown.

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While Senator James Inhofe, George Bush 41, and myriad other ardent supporters of Western Civilization, the American Way of Life, corporatism, imperialism, patriarchy, speciesism, and a host of other malevolent social, cultural, political and economic dynamics which comprise the anthropocentric mechanisms by which we dominate and exploit the planet, may have deluded themselves into believing that the rape, pillage and plunder by which we exist is morally palatable (or perhaps they simply don’t care), there are plenty of people who are deeply concerned. These individuals want to find a way to develop that “natural equilibrium” to which Agent Smith referred by breaking down the physical and psychological barriers we’ve erected, rejoining nature, and ceasing to exist as alienated, belligerent, and vampiric entities.

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Hence the questions become, are we human animals a lost cause and does Mother Earth need to eradicate us to enable life to perpetuate on this planet?

A widely accepted notion is that peaceful, gentle Homo sapiens began their metamorphosis to barbaric Homo rapiens about 10,000 years ago when hunter-gatherers became sedentary agrarians—working the land meant that ruthless men rose to power by hoarding surpluses, territorial wars were waged, and women and animals were subjugated. However, it is much more likely that our ancestors were brutal war-mongers as far back as 45,000 years ago. Evidence indicates that when early Homo sapiens migrated from Africa into Europe, they waged a 15,000 year genocide that eventually drove the Neanderthals to extinction. Even the Bible, which many Homo rapien apologists utilize as a validation for our savage domination of the planet, provides numerous examples of our cruel propensities. Poignant example number one is Cain murdering Abel.

We know how bad we can be. Now how good can we become?

Our moral evolution is not necessarily limited by our genetic make-up. It has become obvious that the common characterization of nature versus nurture is a false dichotomy. Genetics and learning dialectically shape who we become and how we interact with the world, both individually and collectively. So the lines between humanity’s innate tendencies and those qualities we acquire through parenting, education, and experience are often blurred and indiscernible.

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Humanity, past and present, is filled with examples of compassionate, courageous, and decent human beings, clearly indicating that Homo sapiens remain extant, that savagery is not programmed into our DNA and that developing a more “natural equilibrium” with our surrounding environment is within the realm of possibility.

However, those who wish to shape social and human evolution in such a way that Homo rapiens become endangered, and eventually make their way to the species’ graveyard of extinction, need to realize that they are not attending a tea party. This is a war–philosophically, psychologically and physically. If humanity is going to “become good,” those who want to make it happen need to enter the fray.

It is no easy task to simultaneously function within a planet murdering system and to struggle against it. While the opposition is indistinct, difficult to identify, and ever-shifting, Homo sapiens resisting the evolutionary inertia toward sociopathy encounter enemies frequently throughout their day to day existence. Approximately four out of 100 humans are born with no conscience or capacity to empathize. Those individuals, like Cheney, Olmert, Petraeus, Kissinger, Palin, and Condi Rice, are readily identifiable foes. Those who comprise the rest of the Homo rapien population are not as easy to discern. Many are covert in their allegiance to savagery. Some people are akin to the fabled missing link, as they comprise characteristics of both species. At times they are allies, but they can also align with the opposition. Complicating matters still further is the fact that it is possible for an individual to evolve from one species to another. So one day they could be friend and the next foe–or vice versa.

When one considers that the stakes are incalculably high, that Homo rapiens will fight to the death to maintain their hegemony, and that the institutionalized violence perpetrated by the status quo is intense and ubiquitous, those who challenge their dominionism must employ the most holistic, pluralistic, and militant tactics possible, including (but not limited to) education, outreach to minority groups, grass roots social service programs, boycotts, strikes, picketing, letters, petitions, networking, legislative efforts, veganism, monkey wrenching, and direct action.

So, how good can we human animals become? That depends on how hard we are willing to fight and how much we are willing to sacrifice……

Jason Miller is a relentless anti-capitalist, straight edge vegan, and animal liberationist. He is also the founder and editor of Thomas Paine’s Corner, blog director for The Transformative Studies Institute and associate editor for the Journal for Critical Animal Studies.

Thomas Paine’s Corner wants to periodically email you links to the most recent material and timeless classics available on our diverse and comprehensive site. If you would like to receive them, type “TPC subscription” in the subject line and send your email to willpowerful@hotmail.com

To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/.

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