By Jason Miller
Our species reeks of arrogance as we presume that the universe revolves around us. We may no longer be geocentric in our beliefs, but we are most certainly humancentric. When our vanity, pleasure, convenience, and desires “necessitate” the holocaust of over 50 billion nonhuman animals each year, moral primitivism is the order of the day.
Prior to my immersion in the Animal Rights Movement, I wrote many scathing critiques of capitalism and corporatism, which, along with religions that promote anthropocentrism and dominionism, form the infrastructure of the socioeconomic, cultural, economic, legal and political systems that predominate in the West and hence enable and reward the most despicable character traits we humans possess. How else does one explain the near canonization of a wretch like Ronald Reagan?
Yet as I’ve discovered over the last few years, the source of the evil that has launched the Anthropocene Epoch is not the greed, narcissism and self-absorption fostered and perpetuated by our worship of material wealth and ourselves (in the form of our anthropomorphic “god”). These are mere symptoms of a more deeply rooted and malignant disease that has metastasized in our collective psyche, colonized our minds, and left many of us severely empathy deficient for nearly 10,000 years.
Our fatal flaw, both systemically and individually, is our hubris. Our
species reeks of arrogance as we presume that the universe revolves around us.
We may no longer be geocentric in our beliefs, but we are most certainly
humancentric. When our vanity, pleasure, convenience, and desires “necessitate”
the holocaust of over 50 billion nonhuman animals each year, moral primitivism
is the order of the day. No confession, penance, or reparations can ever absolve
us of the gross obscenity of enslaving, torturing, and murdering billions upon
billions of other sentients that we might eat of their rotting flesh, wear their
skin, hunt them for sport, perform excruciating experiments upon them, and force
them to perform for us in humiliating and painful ways. Our hands drip crimson,
immersed in the blood of our innocent victims. In the court of Higher Law,
humanity has been found guilty of mass murder and torture, hopefully sentenced
by Karma to a fate worse than death. Yet as a collective, we clamor for more
slaughter, skinning, surgeries without consent, forced addictions, bow hunts,
circuses, rodeos, and more.
Rarely does it occur to most of us that our actions towards most other species are morally reprehensible, vicious and ugly. Yet we pride ourselves on the fact that we are the only species (though some research negates this arrogant assumption) that can make moral decisions. Really? If we are capable of doing the right thing, then what the fuck is wrong with us?
Starting about 10,000 year ago, we domesticated some species of animals, making them dependent upon us for their survival. In essence, we enslaved them. A truly moral race wouldn’t have created slaves in the first place, let alone exploiting other animals for their reproductive secretions and killing them for their “meat.” Yet in recent decades, we’ve taken exploitation to a level that’s left obscenity in its wake, genetically engineering our charges so that they grow in deformed and painful ways, warehousing them in techno-hells that subject them to unimaginable suffering, ripping their children away from them at birth, murdering many of the males because they have no “intrinsic monetary value,” and ultimately boiling, slitting, slicing, dicing, and sawing them into pieces so that we can feast upon their decomposing body parts.
We consider arming ourselves to the hilt, wearing camouflouge, sitting in blinds, and employing all manner of technological advantages to slaughter deer, waterfowl and other forms of defenseless wildlife to be a “sport.” Infinitely cruel, bow hunting ensures that 50% of the victims of an arrow-piercing will escape the “hunter,” most of whom will die a slow, agonizing death through infection or blood loss. And we have the linguistic deficiency (or duplicity) to call this a “sport.”
We breed or capture a wide variety of other species and place them in small cages , enslaving them for the purpose of “advancing science.” Perpetuating a practice that originated with Akmaeon of Croton in 500BC, we throw hundreds of millions of tax dollars at careerist researchers and at money-hungry universities who perform barbaric experiments year after year, often yielding dubious and limited results that could have been attained employing means that didn’t result in the abject misery, suffering and death of other sentients. We require that each of the myriad prescription drugs we take is “animal tested,” despite the profound physiological differences between species and despite the fact that many drugs that come to market still severely harm or kill millions of humans.
We trap or raise other animals who have the misfortune of having been born with beautiful fur. Instead of finding contentment with wearing a coat fashioned with other materials, or even our own skin, we anally electrocute or break the necks of minks, chinchillas, or foxes so that sickeningly vain people with too much discretionary money can wear someone else’s skin. And in some instances we skin animal alive so that some members of our species can wear a dress, coat, or hat fashioned of the victim’s fur. What does that say about our sense of ethics and morality?
We shock, prod, poke, tease, punish, beat, and verbally abuse bulls, horses, elephants and the like to manipulate them into performing for our pleasure in circuses and rodeos. We then teach Little Susie to love watching the tortured elephants, horses, and tigers do “tricks” that are a profound insult to their innate dignity.
We chuckle and smugly proclaim that we are at the “top of the food chain.” Yet ultimately, we humans are ethical bottom-feeders. Parasitic serial abusers, exploiters, and murderers of other species we are. As rampant consumers of “meat,” eggs, and cheese, the human species has condemned itself to dependence on those to whom we believe ourselves to be superior. Ultimately, our arrogance and dependence will come back to haunt us, as “meat” production and consumption causes many diseases and is doing profound damage to the environment in a variety of ways.
And those amongst us who continue to participate in the Animal Holocaust don’t deserve the eternal bliss and beauty of the pleasant fiction called “heaven.”
No, heaven is not the domain of those who choose to remain complicit in a holocaust of immeasurable proportions. To depict their deserved fate, we need to resurrect Dante and set him to the task of creating a Tenth Circle of the Inferno, for mass murderers of the innocent and defenseless.
Meanwhile, anti-capitalists worth their salt will toss their hubris aside like the garbage that it is and take up the cause of Animal Rights to fight for the most oppressed and exploited sentient beings on the planet.