Preserving The Future Is Not A “Lifestyle”
By Mickey Z.
12 July, 2013
World News Trust
“(Being vegan) is part of a revolutionary perspective -- how we not only discover more compassionate relations with human beings but how we develop compassionate relations with the other creatures with whom we share this planet. That would mean challenging the whole capitalist industrial form of food production.” - Angela Davis
Everywhere I look, our dominant culture is soaked in the blood of non-humans but almost all my fellow activists are seemingly happy to participate in, support, and even laugh about the carnage.
In fact, most of them reserve whatever anger they might feel on this issue for accusing people like me of “pushing” a “lifestyle” on them.
Recently, I decided to take a walk and contemplate this lethal combination of denial and hypocrisy.
As I made my way down 30th Avenue in Astoria, wondering if indeed I was too forward with my veganism, I crossed paths with a butcher in front of his shop -- chatting amiably with passersby -- his white frock stained deep red.
He was casually standing there -- as he is every day -- drenched in the blood of murdered sentient beings that very much wanted to live… but essentially nobody chose to notice the crimson splatter. Those who did notice, well, they didn't even flinch.
Behind the butcher, sheep carcasses hung from large hooks in the window... their bulging lifeless eyes seemed to stare accusingly at the butcher's back. He didn't appear to notice. Essentially nobody noticed, and those that did, well, they didn't even flinch.
As I pondered the concept of being called a “militant vegan,” the next block brought me in contact with a fish store. Wet cardboard boxes filled with marine corpses piled in front... the entire area reeking of death. Beyond the stench, essentially nobody noticed, and those that did, well, they didn't even flinch.
Looking into the fish store window, I saw a tiny aquarium tank. At least a dozen doomed lobsters were piled atop one another... their claws taped shut as they awaited their execution simply because they “taste good.” Essentially nobody noticed, and those who did, well, they didn't even flinch.
But what happens when someone points any of this out, refuses to participate, and urges others to join them? You can be damn fuckin' sure plenty of folks will notice and, yeah… the flinching will begin in earnest.
Such flinching, however, will go a little something like this: “You vegans are always pushing your lifestyle on everyone else!”
After my walk, I came home to write a Facebook post about such misguided hypocrisy but was first greeted by a bunch of bacon jokes (sic) scattered throughout my news feed. Apparently, the activist community (sic) finds endless amusement in playing the role of willing accomplice and financial contributor to ecocide.
Below is a glimpse at how/where your bacon humor (sic) commences. Let me know, “activists,” if you find this worthy of your oh-so-clever celebrations:
The radical option
What if I told you that I knew a way you could oppose unspeakable animal cruelty, stand up for exploited human workers, help address a human health holocaust, work to reduce the profits and control of the 1%, surrender the hierarchical privilege of speciesism, and do your part to defend the eco-system before it’s too late?
What if I added that this choice also addresses deforestation, topsoil depletion, overfishing, water pollution, rapid species extinction, the proliferation of GMOs in our food supply, and so much more?
What if I then informed you that you could do all this 24 hours a day and still have plenty of time for many other forms of protest and dissent?
As an activist -- a revolutionary, even -- I’d imagine you’d be practically drooling. Right?
Well, the first step is simple: Renounce (by word and deed) an industry that confines, breeds, tortures, and murders 53 billion land animals per year; an industry that consumes and destroys one-third of the planet’s land surface; an industry that is the number one source of human-created greenhouse gases and thus, climate change.
Translation: Renounce speciesism and renounce your counterproductive, cruel, and reactionary bacon fetish.
Are you still with me, comrades, or am I again “pushing” my “lifestyle” on all you poor, oppressed, misunderstood radicals?
Which side are you on?
For the ten-thousandth time: The system we’re challenging is built, in a major way, on the exploitation of non-human animals and the eco-system. It's all connected within a culture constructed on the premise of unlimited growth and it must all remain connected within any movement claiming to aim for holistic justice.
If you're already working to dismantle corporate power, expand freedoms, and create a safer, more sane culture, you already have plenty in common with animal rights activists. Why not take things even further and recognize that the mighty 99% also includes non-human animals -- and the entire ecosystem itself?
That’s what an “activist” would do…
News Flash: Challenging ecocide/working to preserve the future is not a lifestyle; it’s a compassionate and revolutionary choice. It’s also an urgent mission that requires you (activists, radicals, progressives, occupiers, etc.) to decide now: Which side are you on?
Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.
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