Speciesism permeates and flourishes as a social norm in culture through apparatus such as the media, educational institutions, language, and legislation. All of these institutions entrench social norms, and in the case of the media, can actively push to maintain the existing status quo.
As activists attempting to shift social norms in regards to non-humans, the media space is ripe for critique. The Last Straw was conceptualised as a series of satirical news item, industry reports, consumer reports and products satirising the standard practices in animal agriculture in so-called Australia. …
Content Warning: Speciesist violence/speciesism/misothery
Anti-speciesist activism and social justice movements are predicated on compassion and extending this further than is socially normalised for the progress of society in pursuit of equality and justice. Unfortunately, as activists, we sometimes forgo the empathy that is foundational to our movements and instead replicate the hostile and damaging systems of relation broadly demonstrated in our society. We often pit ourselves against our perceived enemies, turn against each other within the movement and forget to be compassionate towards ourselves.
This is a reflection of the dominant culture which has seeded indifference, fragmentation and outright competition…
Content warning (CW): Speciesist Violence, Graphic Imagery
One of the problems activists face in any struggle is the proliferation and accessibility of factually correct information. Those in positions of power who are complicit in wrongdoings would rather hide, obscure or deny the information of their actions. Information is often obscured in marketing which attempts to twist the truth by using coercive messaging. Government agencies selectively report their data, relying on skeptical members of the public to request freedom of information reports to access the full picture. The majority of the information is buried in hard to access government websites, industry…
How social media mediates our interactions with each other and ourselves
Whether we like it or not, digital spaces are where activism and social movements can find their expression and be effective. Online social spaces have connected people from disparate localities and provided environments to share information and ideas.
While these technological tools have provided new social spaces for human interaction, we must understand their architecture to realise the limitations, negative impacts and pitfalls of their use.
The question is how do we navigate these new spaces without succumbing to their predatory economic incentives, along with their effects on our…
Non-human animals, men, and total liberation.
Content/Trigger Warning: speciesist violence / speciesism / misothery / alcoholism / rape / suicide / bullying / death / sexual abuse / domestic abuse
Patriarchy and speciesism are intertwined forms of oppression which manifest in a multitude of ways. Understanding how these forces intersect will help unpack how male identifying persons can liberate themselves from the insidious aspects of each.
In this piece we unpack how patriarchy reinforces speciesism, how speciesism can reinforce patriarchy and why we need to tackle both dominant ideologies for both non-human and men’s liberation.
The limit of economic boycott under capitalism and alternative strategies
One of the common arguments animal rights activists use to persuade the public (and themselves) to end animal exploitation is through “supply and demand”. This is the idea that through our consumer choices we can sway the methods of production, by “voting with our dollar” to create the change we want to see in the world.
I have used this narrative in my own outreach countless times, but is this method effective? Can we end animal exploitation through economic boycott under the current economic and political system? This consumer based…
From the 7th of May until the end of July, the Australian Capital Territory plans to slaughter 4,000 kangaroos (and untold numbers of pouch and at-foot joeys). For people residing outside of Australia this likely seems unfathomable — why are they killing their native icon that is so beloved the world over?
Most likely? For votes, donations and land sales. The ACT government relies almost entirely on sales of land and new property to maintain revenue and available land is fast running out. Keeping the rural landowners on side may sweeten future sales, and the income generated by construction giants…
-By Bronwyn Wyatt
Many will have seen the wall-to-wall coverage by commercial media of the “Day of Action” taken by animal rights activists in Australia on the 8th of April. Commuter chaos, activists blockading business, storming farms, kidnapping animals — all the emotive and manipulative language used to describe civil disobedience. This is from the same playbook used by media the world over and described best by Noam Chomsky’s “Five Filters of the Media” as detailed in his book Manufacturing Consent
— By Bronwyn Wyatt
Throughout my undergraduate science degree, and indeed in my postgraduate studies in public health and biological anthropology, use of non-human animals in pursuit of scientific knowledge was omnipresent. My developmental psychology classes examined attachment theory and reflected on studies of Rhesus monkeys removed from their mothers to examine whether they preferences a comforting figure or food. My visual perception and cognition course detailed the visual development of cats raised in environments that only had vertical lines, or where the eyelids were sewn shut until near adulthood, to determine how the visual system learns. Developmental biology detailed…
How dominant culture molds our thoughts and behaviour against our interests
We are born into a world loaded with existing social conditions and structures. These along with our biological predispositions, are how we are shaped, forming our identities, ideologies, and norms. We find homeostasis with certain beliefs, behaviours, desires and emotional reactions, that are approved by society in general or by certain groups within it. This is how we form an equilibrium and find stability. As time passes, these beliefs become normalised, so much so that they are rendered invisible. …
Identification, criticism and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of human enforced dominance over non-human sentient beings.