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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #310 - Ecology and animal cause debate (1/2) -- Combine animal cause and anti-capitalism (de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 09:49:53 +0200
What role for animals in human societies ? It is a central point of ecological
reflection, where two major ethical questions converge: that of animal suffering
and exploitation on the one hand, and on the other, that of animal husbandry as
it is. is determined by capitalism, where peasants are just as much exploited
subjects by a system. Is it a question of managing the breeding as it exists, of
reducing its ecological footprint, animal and human suffering ? On the contrary,
is it a question of completely breaking away from this model ? And how ?
Alternative Libertaire invites this debate in its columns. ---- The animalist
struggle is sometimes accused of complacency towards capitalism. Far from the
individualistic aims sometimes put forward, we believe that the animal cause and
the anti-capitalist struggle can be mutually articulated and enriched.
Libertarians have always refused the hierarchy of struggles and wanted to
understand the specificities of each system of domination. The animal cause was
also one of the major interests of anarchists, especially during the Belle Époque
. In this perspective, we defend the taking into account of the interests of
animals, and denounce the refusal to worry about them on the pretext of the
Read also: Jocelyne Porcher (Inrae): " Peasant breeding in coexistence with
cellular agriculture is illusory " , Alternative libertaire, November 2020.
Take into account the interests of animals
We breed, exploit and kill animals for our food or clothing consumption, we lock
them up for entertainment, we test our cosmetics and drugs on them - the list
goes on. However, scientific research, particularly in ethology show us that
many species form societies, made up of sensitive individuals with specific
interests. These individuals organize themselves with social roles, feel
emotions: fear, joy, boredom or even empathy. They also have, to varying degrees,
levels of consciousness allowing them to know that they exist, that others exist,
and not wanting to die. It therefore seems to us that we must respect and take
into account these other individuals and societies, in our way of building our own.
Although we cannot " socialize " with animals the same way as with humans, we
can envision a libertarian society free from animal exploitation. Indeed,
although they are presented as evidence of the natural order, products of animal
origin are replaceable. We are thus defending a libertarian economic and
agricultural project including massive revegetation of food, especially since
plant proteins are ecologically preferable crops - they require less space and
produce (much) less greenhouse gas. greenhouse in particular .
For ecology as for the animal cause, the exit from capitalism is a condition
certainly insufficient, but essential.
red photo library
This libertarian and ecological society project does not require, contrary to
popular belief, advanced technologies such as synthetic meat or industrial
substitutes. The only constraint is the production of vitamin B12, not present in
the vegetable diet, but simple to produce locally and inexpensive energy ..
The livestock industry is currently trying to restore its image with arguments
about " exploitation on a human scale ", claiming to limit animal suffering.
For this, it uses a few farms whose practices, on the one hand, are marginal, on
the other hand, often stem more from the declaration of intent than from reality:
" small farms " and local slaughterhouses are not idyllic places. , the
animals also suffer there (and this, whereas no product resulting from the
breeding is essential for us for our consumption).
As libertarians, we share the criticisms made of vegan movements which aim to
transform society through a change in individual practices, and are often based
on guilt. We also denounce the collusion of certain organizations with parts of
the food industry. However, it is essential to remember that this collusion does
not structure the entire movement.
That multinationals invest in advance in vegan products and seize a niche market,
nothing more expected. It seems flawed to us to deduce from this a general
complicity between animal activists and industry, at the risk of an almost
conspiratorial overinterpretation: the whole of the animal cause would be
manipulated by the industry to convert us to their future products, then that
their current production already has a stranglehold on the food market ?
A society without animal exploitation is possible
As for us, the animal cause as we see it is inherently anti-capitalist. Indeed,
the transition from an industry based on livestock to a largely vegetated
production would call into question entire sections of our economy (agro-food,
clothing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc.). This transition, defended for
ethical reasons, is radically incompatible with the capitalist imperative of
In addition, taking into account the interests of animals also necessarily
implies the end of the destruction of ecosystems (which are their living
environments), which implies urgently fighting for the preservation of the
environment - while in a capitalist regime , environmental destruction will
continue as long as it is profitable.
In other words, for ecology as for the animal cause, the exit from capitalism is
a condition certainly insufficient, but essential. We do not advocate a reformist
change based on laws concerning the types of breeding or the limits of acceptable
suffering, but a revolutionary transformation of society involving a fundamental
rethink of our relationship to the exploitation and domination of animals. .
We are opposed to the absurd logic which would like that, in order to continue to
live with animals, it is necessary to necessarily exploit and kill them without
necessity. We have confidence in the capacity of a society, freed from
capitalism, to reinvent other modes of coexistence while supporting peasant
agriculture. While this prospect may seem distant, we won't wait any longer to
work on it.
UCL Animal Condition Working Group
 On the animal cause and an analysis of anarchist differences on this
question, we can read Anarchy and Animal Cause , two volumes, published by Le
 Discipline that studies the behavior of animal species.
 We also underline that the soya intended for human consumption is for the
most part cultivated in France or in neighboring countries, and not imported from
South America as we still read too often.
 We thus see the development of local productions of B12 in France.
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