On the way for manifest – draft
As I’m sitting to write this, I’m still not sure how to reduce what sets us apart to a single phrase, as it’s consisted of both purpose and a method.
The problems, as I see them (or the animal rights movement’s face):
- We in the animal rights movement, are not all time animal-centered at all, which is awkward. How can we expect to get animal rights if we’re so hesitant about them, if we want them – but not quite, or not as much as we want our convenience, or peace around the dining table, order in the streets, not to much tensions with our meat eating friends, or as we want any human rights? It’s like the joke about the fat man who said he’d do anything to lose weight except for sports and diet. If you’d do anything for animal rights except for fighting for them in a way that means anything (because fear to really make a change rather than telling yourself you’re making change, shows), is sophisticately lying to yourself.
- We in the animal rights movement are not farm animals centered
- When we are already farm animal centered, we’re mostly not global centered (but rather trying to convince ’em all one by one. Wake up! We have 7 billion to convince and the number is growing. The problem is global and needs to be addressed globally. So let’s say you managed, afters years and decades, to convince your life partner to eventually go ovo-lactp-pisco-semi-monday-vegeterian. OK, fine. And they convinced even one of their friends to go milk-free friday. Assuming you even managed to give someone a leaflet, and they said they’ll cut off pork of their diet. While you’re doing this, the animal abuse industry, just to refresh your memory, is running those mass commercial you always said that are the reason for animal abuse. What are we doing about that? Do we stop harming education where it begins, use the rising indie-news, indie-cinema, indie-youtube shows etc run our own mass education project or keep doing what the industry don’t do, that is, trying to convince people one-by-one to do something that most of them enormosusly resist? You come to people with demands. The only ones that successfully managed to do that are governments and strong opposers. Most people, for their own narrow reasons – narrow circle of empathy or limited capability of thinking, percieving or caring enough for their own future, find veganism unattractive. If you’re not going to make your offer more attractive for them by “lowering prices”, demanding only ovo-lacto-pisco-semi-monday vegetarianism, and you’d better not, then you’d better shoot to more directions, and start promoting distributing and publishing on a real big global scale. Oh, and two more words on that: India, and China. How will your leaflet get to those most problematic places for the animals, soon to be even more?) of course, I owe that eye opening understanding to Sasha Boojor, whom without help I’d still be pointlessly doing one-by-one conversations and leafletting till my last day never even dreaming about using the mass media more and more accessible to independent private low to no budget individuals and gaining more and more power and trust over the untrusted big mainstream media. I don’t state my thanks as though I were to win some award, but as someone who gained back her common sense.
- That being said…when there’s already an effective, meaningful, global, animal-focused, mass audience focused activity…do we, each in his different organization, admit that they have a point and put our own narrow local projects aside for the sake of the animals and effective, rather than sticking to projects just because they are are own, based, in fact, on ownership?
So here I am, posing my suggestions, which might set this site apart from (sadly, as I see it) most of the movement:
- The purpose is always animal rights and liberation. Only. If there’s something I can already say about us is that we don’t deal with environmentalism, human rights fights etc – there are enough websites and organizations that do.
- Methods and working principles (that’s my “I believe” on effective activism, and accordance, what I support): anything goes, sharp and clear. But I do think some go better, and it has nothing to do with the ethics in them, which I never thought that has anything to do with effectivity (as Oscar Wilde said: there is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. A method can be effective or ineffective. That’s as far as I’d go into the violence/non-violence pointless, meaningless philosofical discussion, as theoretical discussions doomed to be – I’m a violence/non-violence agnoticist. I couldn’t care less. I’m into animal rights and liberation, not into pointless, theoretical philosophical never-ending discussions. Just like the so-often posed by meat-eaters question: what would if you’re stuck on a deserted island with only cows to eat? I don’t know, when we get any nearer to animal rights activists protecting other species from their own species and risking violence for that or to deserted islands, we’ll discuss it):
- It has to be documented – activity that’s not documented never existed. Good for you if you made a change for an animal. Is it documented and effectively promoted so that the next animal won’t get harmed on the first place?
- It has to be effectively and actively promoted. Good for you if you shared it on your own YouTube channel. If a tree falls on a deserted island and nobody hears it, did it ever fall? My answer, at least, is no. If it happens and nobody sees it, did it really happen in any meaningful sense? no. If it happened and poorly, awfully documented – documented in the lowest resolution possible, slash with the most important data in the article missing etc, did it really happen? no. If it happened, properly documented in high quality (no matter in which medium) and still nobody sees it because it was poorly promoted (if promoted at all) and you just put it in some little channel hoping it will grow by itself, did it really happen? no. If you were branded in your own secret basement, far from any media and camera, not caring even to upload send the video to the official page curating them, just an example that demonstrates the issue well (not to offend anyone), did it really happen? no.
- It has to be open-source – there are these two values: propriety and progress. The first grants its owners (it has owners) a lot of money, a lot of recognition, owners-rights over knowledge, restrictive license (restricted for commercial reasons), patents and so on. The second grants its contributors (at it doesn’t have owners. It’s not owned, it’s free to use, improve, distribute, mass distribute, even distributed for commercial purposes at some cases) nothing but the oppurtunity to contribute, make a change and modify software/knowledge/apps and everything that used to be reserved, for the common good. Wikipedia is open source. It’s not perfect, but it’s under continual moderations, additions, editing and improvements that couldn’t be achieved otherwise (if it was propriety), not to mention its high accessibility (ever-growing number of languages, and being on the first page on Google, most times the first search result due to popularity, because, well, I guess something written by the people and by its readers might be liked more be the people, its readers). Just compare it to Britanica or any other encyclopedia. It’s indeed not perfect, but its reliability and reputation are on the rise, and it brought knowledge to more people than any othen encyclopedia did combined, or can ever do. While other encyclopedias, allegedly striving to give knowledge to the people, were competing each other over readers, because of course, knowledge for them is goods to be sold, not a tool for making changes, Wikipedia was the first to really commit to what the propriety encyclopedias claimed they were commited to – to actually provide people with knowledge, not to sell books. They were committed to progress. To make sure as much people has access to knowledge as they possibly can. Wikipedia was right. It wasn’t formed for profit, so there’s no surprise it permitted everyone to contribute to grow (because it’s not like it earns profits to reserve to itself, which would naturally limit the number of contributors it would like to have because they’re paid. So propriety: much money, less money makers, less clients, readers etc. Open Source: little if any money, more contributors because it’s not done for gain, doesn’t have any gains, and has nothing to lose from more contributors except for credit if it matters to anyone, and most importantly, more readers/subscribers/watchers – which is what we’re here for), and everyone to read.