Articles, Philosophy

Blood and guts can cure cruelty? (environmental ethics)

This is a discussion between me and a good friend. For more info on her check out her blog here





4 thoughts on “Blood and guts can cure cruelty? (environmental ethics)

  1. i am actually intellectually engaged on your discourses about animal cruelty rights ethics- made me think about the responses on this debate, seeing two opposite sides of motivation and moral convictions. but there is one thing shared in common-that is humanity. the other seeks to establish connection through visual stimulus and challenge conscience. the other seeks to establish reason and logic. but the idea of a soup kitchen is a gold nugget of wisdom. ans i am also got some imaginary lashing for this, hahahaha. i also ought to move and extend a hand to a worthy cause, not just typing away lazy texts on my computer. that is….

    • Thanks Hames.

      I definitely walked away feeling I had learned something. It’s a great feeling when you have someone respond with a level head. I was enjoy challenging peoples thinking (whether I agreed with them or not). I’m not so interested in the choices, but rather the motives behind them.


    • the need for congruency

    Thank you, to both of you!!!
    A fascinating, and very necessary discussion

    In response to both, philosopherpoet and “Girl B”, there is always a great tendency in debates to ‘neglect’ the argument (or POV) of the ominious “other”. I say this because there is such a beautiful ‘synthesis’ beneath both POVs. The presupposition or premise which is embedded into both of you is the need to “change the world” (Hames describes it as Humanity). Absolutely!

    change the world [tick]

    animal cruelty
    won’t ever
    change the world [another tick]

    Is there approach or method which is congruent?

    In my humble view, we need to show/expose the industry “as is”. We, however, walk a tricky tightrope when we need to present, as neutrally as possible, the facts. The images are extremely power tools at our activist’s disposal. An equally greater crime, would be to give many descriptive details of how the animal is abused. It will always be a tricky juggle.

    Do you, even without deliberate exaggeration, present the whole truth about these animals, and risk ‘shutting off’ your audience completely, due to its violent nature? Or reveal a little less information/images/footage, and hopefully convince/persuade your audience?

    The first time I decided to watch a video showing (minus commentary) the skinning of foxes/racoons while kept alive in the process, the images were embedded in my mind for days. I am, just as philosopherpoet, an equally sensitive individual, who is easily disturbed by graphic media. The horror/shock that you experience, I firmly believe, everyone must experience. I would gladly be the “last man standing” in voting against shock tactics, which is easily, ‘cheap’ and very reliable to employ. The depth and level of this unequivocable, irreversible violence needs to be felt: especially by the uninformed. I would define “shock tactics” as explaining in detail the means of torture/abuse towards the animal. By portraying this as an image, you are showing it at ‘face value”. Photos shot of the extreme, opulent rich also stirs unrest within us, to some degree, although it does not penetrate us as deeply, as this does.

    I disagree with philosopherpoet, fear has proven to be a very successful instrument and/or weapon: it prevents us from challenging the status quo, leading us towards a firm faith in our intellectual oppressor, in order to “keep us safe”.

    However, for our “change the world” purposes, it is redundant. Humankind has to carefully examine its morality consciously, speak frankly with its deepest shadow (in the shade) in order to become fully wholesome: in its outlook and future. If we are to present, what is essentially, horror, we have to (in agreement with philosopherpoet) become more attuned to our “aversion to violence”. This means that the images (in agreement in Girl B) must still be shown, but shown with caution. Prior knowledge to your “target audience” is an advantage: it will allow you to ‘tailor’ your activism, in the hope that it will go down like a ‘happy milkshake’. Although, ‘open’ social-networking platforms, make presenting this delicate subject difficult.

    Bear in mind that your voice has to compete with aggressive advertisers, attractive images (‘friends of friends’) and exponential, seductive updates (which is more easy and entertaining). Some good samaritans, as I have fallen prey to, prefer to ignore these outcries – as they (if formed as a ‘Group’) end up spamming your email inbox, to drum up support for whichever avenue of humanity, we are continuing to neglect. We need to carefully examine our methods and means. Activism is a moral and ethical form of marketing: it should not be treated with the same level of insensitivity that our mass medias have, in disrespecting our boundaries.

    This will always be a tricky juggle.
    A serious pursuit is never free of its own growing pains.

    “Activism is paying rent for living on this planet” – Alice Walker

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