Intersectionality. The places where all the various struggles for social justice movements intersect, and the places many feel we should all come together linking our struggles, becoming stronger together and fortifying a united front against racism, sexism, ableism and all other forms of human oppression.
But what about specieism? It seems that when intersectionality gets applied to Animal liberation that it is largely a one way road. We are to sacrifice the integrity of our movement to once again focus on human issues as the core, as the primary concern. We are called upon to stop with all this Vegan nonsense which, don’t you know, is just so elitist and privileged! we are asked to only see the suffering, torture, exploitation and death of hundreds of species, billions of lives lost and brutalized as equal to one segment of our own species not enjoying full social equality?
I don’t buy it….. Pluralistic movements often fail from lack of a definitive goal. When your dealing with large groups of people with various beliefs, ideas and points of view the more complicated you make the goal the more you alienate your own cause from the mainstream and in the case of Animal Liberation we want Veganism, concern for Animals and the Earth to be accessible to all, to be practicable by all, not just by those who we feel have right ideas or politics or views, right?
Veganism and Animal right is not a punk rock movement where we don’t want the ‘conformists’ or ‘posers’ to take ‘our thing’. It’s very good that Veganism along with concern for those outside of our species is becoming more mainstream, this is what makes it relevant and turns that stream of consciousness into eventual and long term change for Animals.
Intersectionality, more than truly seeking long term changes is just another feeble attempt by anarchists to usurp the very hard and difficult work that many people are doing in various causes and make it look as if some pretend poor kids from the suburbs are orchestrating the vanguard of the future. And as far as Animal Liberation is concerned where are the people from ‘me too’ or ‘black lives’ that are going Vegan in solidarity with Animal Lib? I haven’t heard from any. They are doing what they should, which is fighting hard and paving the way for their movements just as we are for Animals. And make no mistake about it there is no Animal Liberation without Veganism.
Despite much of the pessimistic attitude that poisons us all from time to time. The reality is that we are doing great things in the Animal Rights Movement. We need only look back to where we were 20 years ago, when Veganism and A.R. were ‘fringe’ and ‘specialty’ to today where it’s all readily available and there is more activism happening in various ways than ever before! This diversity in action, within A.R. is vital and important. It is never a matter or all of us doing what is viewed by society or our peers as the most extreme actions. While this plays it’s part, in the long run it is no more vital than the political work, public education, sanctuaries and production of competitive Vegan products that can win over consumers (which is unfortunately holy work in a capitalist society).
Of course social justices causes that combat racism, sexism etc. are important to practically all Vegans but not in tandem, not as one long string of hyphenated words. We should be more concerned with the convergence of these movements after there successful conclusions into a more peaceful and sustainable world. Not in simply diluting one with another.
As Animal activists we must also remember that unlike human-centered causes we are to be the voice for the truly voiceless in our society. Animals are not marginalized, their voices are not ignored, they have no voice in the human world no voice but the ones we can give them. So let our voices speak only to their interest and benefit, to the exclusion of their use and the protection of their lives without reservation, apology and with zero concern for fringe elements within pseudo-political movements that claim that those of us who care deeply and exclusively about Animals, the Earth and the Vegan way of life are bigots, elitists or thoughtless consumers. Because that is a baseless claim, and the opposite of reality.