imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Dr. Steve Best on "The Left, Capitalism, and Animal Rights"

by Jon Hoch Monday, Aug. 02, 2010 at 11:57 AM

This is an excerpt of Jon Hoch interviewing Dr. Steven Best on April 29, 2010. To hear the entire interview, please see: http://negotiationisover.com/2010/05/11/an-interview-with-dr-steven-best-the-left-capitalism-and-animal-rights/

DR. STEVEN BEST CO-FOUNDED THE ANIMAL LIBERATION PRESS OFFICE, WHOSE REPRESENTATIVES SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE MILITANT ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. HIS ACTIVISM HAS EARNED HIM A LIFETIME BAN FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND NEARLY COST HIM HIS TEACHING JOB.

JH: Why do you think there’s so much hostility between the anti-capitalist Left and the animal rights movement?

SB: The Left has disdain for the animal rights movement because the Left is humanist and speciesist. The Left politics are always about human rights above all else. The highest ethic that the Left has been able to reach in terms of animal rights is animal welfarism, which is the ethic of the industry and which is a euphemism for animal torture…it’s like their peddling ‘Clean Coal’ or something….Now, the Left also sees animal rights people as elitist. Some people of color, rightly so, see (them) as, maybe not racist, but certainly not anti-racist. There is a problem of white elitism in the animal rights and vegan movement; there is no doubt about it. The composition of the movement is overwhelmingly white, middle class. It promotes all these expensive cruelty free products. It doesn’t take its message into the inner city. It never targets people of color. There’s a huge gulf between black vegans and white vegans. It really is a very isolated movement.

JH: So to a degree, do you sympathize with that criticism of the animal rights movement?

SB: Yeah. What you’ve got to understand about me is that I started out from the Left…I started off looking at imperialism, and juntas, and neoliberalism and the structures of capital…Marx and the whole Left internalized the Darwinian tradition. They certainly understood natural evolution and social evolution. They understood how we evolve as animals and how societies evolve throughout history…Remember, Marx is very influenced by Darwin. He wanted to dedicate ‘Das Kapital: Volume One” to Darwin. But what (he) failed to pick up from Darwin was Darwin’s emphasis on the continuity of species, on the continuum of animal existence…all animals have rich subjective lives, complex emotions and intriguing minds. Yet the Left just reduced animals to a machine…

JH: How, if at all, do you think the two struggles are intertwined?

SB: (Animal rights activists are) not making the connections between the oppression of humans and the oppression of animals. They’re not making the connections, for instance, between patriarchy and speciesism, between racism and speciesism. They don’t see how speciesism and capitalism work together to create a holocaust, a global holocaust, where 50 billion animals are being killed each year just for food consumption. This is devastating the environment. Poor people are being pushed off their land so that large agricultural industries can move in….There are all these connections here that need to be made, but neither side is making (them).

JH: But by exploiting animals, aren’t capitalists simply fulfilling a consumer demand? You don’t think that demand will just disappear in a socialist society, do you?

SB: No, because people are speciesist…now if you want to look how all these things work together, lets look at the case of factory farming…it becomes an industry under capitalism which produces demand. The advertising of all these meat and dairy products stimulates the demand and seeks to satisfy the demand through profit and by using the most efficient technological conditions possible. So that means the concern is not the humane welfare of animals. The concern, rather, is efficiency…(Capitalism) uses “Taylorization” and industrialization to mass-mechanize the production of animals as food…what are the consequences of this? Well, people’s health is absolutely destroyed by this: cancer, strokes, obesity….Tens of thousands of people die every day around the world. One of the reasons is certainly political. It has to do with authoritarian regimes keeping food from people, stealing food from people, making profits off the food that’s supposed to go to people. But it also has to do with scarcity of resources. You can look up some of the statistics about how inefficient it is to eat food by first mediating it through the blood and body system of an animal, and therefore eating the animal. Just eat directly from the earth; take the animal out of the equation. Eighty-nine percent of our oats and corn in the United States is fed to cattle--not to humans…now, they’re saying it’s the agribusiness industry, not the transportation industry, that is the largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions…

JH: What do you think the two movements can learn from each other?

SB: What the Left could learn from the vegan and animal rights movement, I suppose, (is) to really get rid of this last arbitrary form of discrimination and bias and prejudice and hierarchical domination. They could learn to look at their lifestyles more (and) integrate their lifestyles into their principles…

But then the vegan movement tends just to be lifestyle politics and not social movement politics. So the vegans should look at the social movements and move into a social movement. Make veganism more of a social movement that is more out there, more talking about connections and justice, and less with baking vegan cookies at home for Christ’s sake. I mean, come out of the kitchen folks!

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy