Hello everyone! It has been such a hot minute since I have been on here. I guess I have just been attempting to radicalise myself and inform myself about the oppressive systems which grip us in the modern world. As most of you know, I have now gone vegan. In fact, I have been so for a little over three months now. In that time, I began to immensely question why such an obvious form of injustice is so engrossed in our society; so pervasive. It seems like people are against animal cruelty until it is on their plate or other aspects of their lives that they are reluctant to question or remove from their lives. How is it that individuals so capable of love and affection will attempt to explain away such abhorrence in the name of pleasure or a fear of change? These are the questions I asked myself during this time.
What a lot of people simply do not realise is that all forms of violence and injustice are interconnected. That is not to compare them all or to put one on a higher pedestal. This is just acknowledging that the oppressive capitalist system gives birth to the idea that our bodies are commodities that should be put to use in this relentless system, while systemic oppression within this system deems it acceptable (in different ways, some more apparent than others) to inflict atrocities onto somebody for the way they look, who they love, who they are, and other characteristics. This realisation of how all oppressions are perpetuated under the same callous system has led me to the belief of total liberation.
It is very self explanatory. Total liberation is simply the belief that all sentient beings (human and non-human animals alike) should not suffer under this system that commodifies our bodies and punishes us in different ways. Be it a black womxn, a he/him lesbian, a working class plant farmer or a pig, these lives have value and deserve to exist and thrive without oppression and fear.
Now, should they be compared? Of course not. Because to compare or contrast sends us down the rabbit hole of comparing black people to chickens, or poor people to piglets. These methods are nothing short of counterproductive on a bigger scale, and come across as obtuse or insensitive.
Instead of attempting to compare them, we should recognise the importance of all social justice movements and build a stronger relationship with them. Animal agriculture does not only affect animals, but it affects humans as well. Slaughterhouse workers are likely to get injuries on the job, face PTSD and other mental health issues which are not cared for. Such exposure to violence could create violent people who perpetuate domestic abuse and other violent acts Most people who work in slaughterhouses are poorer people with little else to do to earn a living, and they are paid pennies in exchange for their work. Most of the plants we cultivate in the world is fed to animals, and who picks these plants? Humans. They are also paid pennies in exchange for their labour. This also leads to massive food insecurity and scarcities because you need about 12lbs of grain approximately to produce 1lb of beef.
I could go on and on, but my point is, instead of folding our hands and being complacent in an ugly system, we can collectively make changes which put us in the pathway of total liberation. Now, I am aware there are things we have no control over. That is a given. We are all finding ways to exist under this tumultuous regime. So what can you do?
You can start by going vegan. For a lot of people, it’s one of the easiest ways to stop contributing to and oppressive, capitalist structure. Other things include buying your produce from local places as much as possible, not partaking in fast fashion as much as possible (I will do a separate post on sustainability and the potential ways it can be inaccessible to some people, with potential alternatives) and buying from small businesses owned by marginalised groups of people. Read books that inform you on different types of systemic oppression eg the police system, mass incarceration, etc. There are many resources out there to consume. For instance, I recently finished ‘are prisons obsolete?’ by Angela Davis which made me more knowledgeable on the prospects of prisons abolition.
The journey to the goal of total liberation must be a collective effort, and there is nothing ‘too idealistic’ about wanting a better future for the beings on this earth.
Thank you so much for reading! Please like this post if you enjoyed it, and let me know what you think in the comments!