I think it's interesting that not consuming animals has become such a central part to the anti-speciesist critique presented by essays like this. I would like someone to go further and extend the analysis of "speciesism" to domesticated plants. Does "humans are a superior life form thus have the right to exploit plants" also apply? We selectively breed plants (and have been doing so for thousands of years) for our benefit, not the plants'.
At least to me this quickly just becomes "our life relies on taking energy from other organisms, and so the only possible way to do this radically is to respect the organisms that enable our lives." Just like from the top down I don't understand why the speciesist critique has to stop at animals, from the bottom up I don't understand why it's only possible to respect plants and fungi enough to eat them and it's impossible to respect animals enough to do so.
Lettuce wrote (edited )
Idk I find this weird bc interacting with plants as life and not property it's pretty obvious u can't treat them and interact with them the same way I would a human. While a cow is pretty damn similar to a human, I can have some level of conversation we feel and interact with the world in pretty similar ways.
Plants differ massively from humans so interacting with them in a genuine way means relating in a massively different way. If I cut off my arm or a cows leg we feel very similarly and would hate it. While many plants will choose to divert energy from their leaves so the leaves die and fall off. Then regrow the lead later.
If humans would just make their arms fall off and grow them back regularly hacking someone's arm of with a machete would be a massively different ordeal. also the conception of how plants are individuals is way different. Each human is a different individual as well as animals.
Now a question is how are plants different individuals form their offspring? Mammals are different cuz sentience. But plants aren't. Like is a clone of a plant a different individual?
Does the potato plant which grows it's roots then the top part dies, then the roots regrow into a plant a different individual? I don't see reason to believe this. So like with this it makes 0 sense to ham fistedly try to relate to plants in an anarchist way the same way as humans or animals. That's why the treatment is different.
Also u didnt eve bring up the relanhierarcicla aspects plants experience tho. U seem to insinuate that domesticated plants existing is a hierarchy. Which is odd. Like there is nothing hierarchical about them existing. It's hierarchical how they are treated.
Edit: sorry I forgot to put my conclusion. I agree absolutely that many vegans are okay with hierarchy against plants. I eat industrially farmed plants bc I think relating to plants in a non hierarchical way is possible while eating animals could not be possible in the modern day in my contexts. So a vega diet allows me to continually change how food is related to in a ninhierarcicak way easily cuz I'm eating the same or similar foods.
While going from eating food to plants who u don't have authority over is a massive cultural shift that will prove to be a detriment. I don't think oppression of dmesticated plants is even close to the oppression of domesticated aninals. Not in a lessor evilism way but in a way that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism but there is definitely unessesary and way more grossly oppressive consumption.
existential1 wrote (edited )
I have an entire philosophy and way of living that I no longer can do based on where I live based on the idea of what we owe to the plants we consume. I agree that treating plants as animals theoretically is not coherent as they have a different life cycle and needs, but I view th opportunity for anarchic symbiosis much higher with plants than fellow animals.
Yeah, interacting with plants as life and not property is so interesting and difficult. I just don't bring it up bc I feel like if people are struggling to understand why animal husbandry is bad inherently then the whole plant thing is really complicated.
Shit was wild I was living in a Forrest for a bit and I walked downtown and I was just horrified upon realizing how like the space that could have been a deep interpersonal relationships with so many beings was just gone and replaced with objects. And it was really profoundly unsettling. Not being arround do many beings u have affinity with makes u feel really vulnerable and sad.
I think anarchic symbiosis with animal is quite easy, tho the conditions are a bit difficult most places as animal are pretty severely restricted in autonomy.
So like with this it makes 0 sense to ham fistedly try to relate to plants in an anarchist way the same way as humans or animals.
I originally drew similar conclusions to you using current scientific knowledge about plants and biology in general, but it made me uncomfortable to think that scientific knowledge and empiricism was the authority that I was now using to clear my conscience about eating plants.
the same way
i'm really not convinced there's more than one
Based I hate science too. My take comes from interacting with plants and trying to empathize with them to understand their lives.
I'll keep hunting and fishing in extreme moderation, but y'all can do what you like. It's the only meat I eat and until wolves or cougars are reintroduced to these parts, the whitetailed deer will continue to remain extremely overpopulated and wreak havoc on the forests around here. Civ is ultimately to blame, but I'm not removing myself from the ecology of this region.
sapovnela OP wrote
"Anarchists are quick to recognize that racism, sexism, and homophobia will not simply go away upon the collapse of capitalism and they must be fought here and now. These same anarchists, however, are often unwilling to apply this logic to speciesism. If we want total freedom, we must cultivate new relationships in our everyday lives. This means fighting oppression on every line, including the line of species. Refusing to do so is not coherent with anarchist and autonomist practices.
We are not asking for bigger cages but the destruction of all cages along with the ways of thinking that create them. Towards anarchy through individual and collective negation of this society and all its internalized roles, in solidarity with the wild against the prison world of human supremacy: vegan anarchy means attack everywhere!"