New Year’s resolutions are well and good in the personal realm. We can eat more healthfully, exercise more, act more mindfully toward human beings, other animals, and the living world. But repealing civilization’s animal-abuse policy, subverting animal-abuse culture, halting the Biocaust, and ensuring that all animals will be able to lead fulfilling lives according to their biological nature require serious reflection. Everything is at stake for them. Our methods are a political matter, not merely a personal one.
Established animal-advocacy methods of the past forty years are not reducing animal abuse and suffering. For that reason alone, the animals need us to do it differently in 2017 and beyond. But many advocates, organizations, and writers deny this unfortunate reality, persisting with failed methods and praising supporters for doing the same.
Animal abuse is all that human beings do to and with other animals and their natural homes. But standard advocacy only addresses cruelty. Nearly all animal abuse is unaddressed, since cruelty is only the minuscule portion of abuse done for the purpose of causing pain and suffering. Most animal abuse has other purposes: social status, sociability, financial gain, companionship, recreation, delusional eating practices, and more.
If humans had not abused other animals for more than 50,000 years by killing them for food despite being plant-foraging apes by nature, we would not have “cruel factory farming” and its routinized atrocities today. If humans had not subjected dogs to eugenics (selective breeding) these past 10,000 years and had not delighted in a global pet trade, millions of dogs seized from their families and subjected to cruelty, neglect, boredom, confusion, poor nutrition, and terrifying veterinary procedures would not have existed to suffer intensely or chronically.
Animal-abuse policy and culture inform civilization. It’s not just my opinion. Freud observed about a century ago that in civilization, “[W]ild and dangerous animals have been exterminated; the breeding of tamed and domesticated ones prospers.” “[E]verything … that can be helpful in exploiting the earth for man’s benefit and in protecting him against nature – everything, in short, that is useful to him – is cultivated ….” We live in homes, sit on chairs, and read literature and greeting cards made of destroyed nonhuman-animal homes. Every industry targeted by standard animal advocacy – even with some success – continues rapidly growing.
To reduce animal abuse and suffering, we needn’t resume original humans’ natural lifeway naked, weaponless, foraging for plants to eat, and keeping watch for predators on the African savanna. But we must confront the unspeakable and reframe civilization as animal abuse. Difficult as it is, we must accept that good work rarely changes policy; we must shift from good work with short-term rewards that cannot create needed change to good work that might be able to but offers little immediate gratification. We must demand that our schools, universities, and news industry tell the truth rather than continue providing public relations for animal-abuse policy and culture.
At this website, learn how Responsible Policies for Animals has been developing a new approach for more than a decade. If you wish to take part, contact me anytime. RPA’s campaigns have not been tested for effectiveness and found wanting for four decades like established methods with millions of participants, billions of dollars, and billions of educational and promotional items. Your contribution might make a great difference. As indicated by any clear assessment, the animals desperately need us to do it differently. Consider working with RPA in 2017.