ria replies to snippets from “Open Cages and Closed Minds: Veganism as Ultradomestication, by Kevin Tucker

“…there are no wild animals that chose a diet for ethical or moral reasons.” This may be ‘unsettled science’. See writings such as Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals”.

“What you do find is a cyclical and flowing wholeness: not in some spoken or otherwise mediated sense, but in the lived sense… In wildness, all things are connected in a figurative and literal sense. Here decay fertilizes, birth is inseparable from death, there are no boundaries, and purpose is lived through the moment. There is no Future and there is no need for distant or looming gods. This is the world that all beings are born to be a part of, humans included.” Poignant. Reminds me of C.G. Browne’s “Forbidden Dimensions: Primitivism, Prehistory and the Posthuman Era”

“I want to emphasize that my problem is not with people who eat a vegan diet or all vegan individuals, but with the ideology that is more ultra-domestication than it is anti-domestication.” Why are you choosing to single out consumerist vegans but not consumerist carnists? Unfortunately, the critique of consumerist vegans has overgeneralized to all vegans. I wonder what you would say to people who are vegan for anarcho-primitivist reasons.

“I’m concerned with veganism as one of many impediments to wildness and as one of many fronts for civilization. What I’m concerned with, ultimately, is veganism as a force for domestication that open cages but never breaks the bond with the reality that it seeks to oppose.” I agree that anyone fighting subsystems while embracing civilization is missing the big picture, but again, why focus on consumerist vegans?

“…the idea of something being applicable always and forever and under any circumstance may be the cornerstone of civilization, and most definitely our global civilization. It is the peak of an ordered worldview. It is anti-adaptive in nature and runs against the flow that keeps wildness wild.” Another reason why adapting primitivism to our current human overpopulated, degraded wild world calls for an adaptation toward a diet that helps heal Earth. Cherry-picking a diet from the diverse human past that one prefers regardless of connectedness is the kind of mindset that led toward destructive civilization to begin with, egotistical and gluttonous.

“What we’re interested in here is that both ideology and morality make it possible to say something like “the killing of and/or consumption of animals is always wrong.” Still, ideology and/or morality may have a role in transitioning toward wild ways. For example, today almost every meal and lifestyle choice has a complex, multi-layered impact supporting and/or harming wildlife and nature. And humans shifting plant and animal species around the world is a major harm, leaving a domino effect of invasive species supplanting native habitats. If an-prims heard and heeded Mother Earth’s calling for healing, they could temporarily use their civilized minds to reclaim a symbiotic niche in nature by eating invasive species, both plants and animals. In the long run this could increase wildlife biodiversity by suppressing the monoculturizing invaders giving native life communities a competitive edge to thrive. This is also one example of how a veganarchistprimitivist mindset is distinguished from a consumerist vegan or nonvegan mindset.

“The idea that meat/animal products are unnecessary for humans is just plain wrong. That is, it isn’t true for wild humans.” To me this thinking seems entrenched in modern times, ‘just plain wrong’.

“The truth is much more common sense than anything: we’re omnivorous animals that are meant to be wild.” My perceived and learned truth is we’re biologically herbivorous. There is so much evidence I could site, but will just point out that no carnivores or omnivores acquire atherosclerosis from eating meat, like even wild meat eating humans do. Our natural diet is folio-frugivore. That is our symbiotic way of thriving in our habitat.

“…But even if we weren’t hunting, we’re still rather adaptive: we can scavenge. Whatever way you cut it, we’ve been eating meat successfully for some time.” Seems rather insistent. If by ‘successfully’ you mean to the point that we’ve busted out of our wild selves and natural animal habitat and overtaken the world, perhaps. The times our species has lived most symbiotically seem to mainly be in our earliest days as foragers.

“Coming closer to the biological arguments are revisions of our entire history. More recent vegan “naturalists,” especially the raw food enthusiasts, claim that not only were we originally strict vegans, but that fire was our downfall. True enough, fire did change things to a certain degree. We’ve been able to move into colder climates and in some areas without it we might not have survived the ice age. It has made foods that would otherwise be inedible open to us… One thing is certainly true though, it didn’t take fire to make meat edible or hunting possible.” Fire paved the way for a much more meat-centered, hierarchal, domesticated and invasive life.

“Wild veganism is possible, but I would hardly say preferable.” Wow, possible huh? Cool. “In the end it only carries on that evolutionary ideal of some kind of purity and I’m doubting the bountiful tropical fruits and vegetables will be as grateful as the vegans would like them to be for being eaten instead of ‘sentient’ beings.” You don’t really want to join the ranks of Derrick Jensen as a plant protector, do you?

“Along the lines of historical revision is the idea that vegetarianism has happened in large populations. That much is true, but rarely is it by choice. The diet of peasants is typically lacking in meat and is dependent upon grains, rice, or corn. It is also the lifestyle inflicted by a larger exploitative system, and the same one that puts them in a position where meat is rarely an option. The result is a typically vegan diet, but with it comes the problems of an imposed and improper diet: physical deformity, increased retardation and diseases, increased miscarriages, diseases like rickets from lack of calcium, and bones that never develop fully. That applies to the peasants of indigenous civilizations in Latin America, throughout Europe and Asia.” Studies on cultures reverting to meat-free or reduced diets reveal health implications favoring plant-based diet.

“The presumption of the animal rights movement is that a better world can come through civilization and that we can play on their terms. Even more ridiculously, there is the assumption that the animals and earth might benefit from this.” Really? Not vegan anarcho-primitivists. The real solution is all the more obvious: only wildness benefits wild beings, and that will only come through the destruction of civilization.” Agreed.

”Animal liberation can never be a part of civilization. And so long as it is based on vegan dogma and animal rights thinking, it will never be complete. We come back to domestication and the failure to really move beyond it.” Agreed again. This is also a divergence between consumerist veganism & primitive veganism.

“But my point is not that nothing matters or that we would all be better off buying meat and dairy as we would buying vegan foods. My point is that while veganism is an understandable response to the world now and remains a possible step towards rewilding, vegan ideology and morality are all too often taken as the goal in themselves. In the end, vegans take domestication to another step and continue to carry the mantle of civilization.” The end for this vegan primitivist is rewilded folio-frugivore humans in a rewilded world.

“All animals need one thing: wildness. We are no exception. That flow of life, that questionless existence, that feeling of an entirely interconnected community is what we are all born for. It is the world that our bodies work with. But those changes call for more than a diet change.” Another agreement against consumerist vegans.

“Rewilding, as I see it, means a total life of resistance and reconnection. It means breaking down that self/Other barrier that domestication builds and maintains. It means we need to stop seeing ourselves as outside of the community of life and to stop seeing things like non-animal foods as any less worthy than animals. We need to break the grasp of sentiency and other ideas that put humans and our closer relatives on a pedestal over wildness.” Except I see humans as folio-frugivore by nature.

“A part of this process is recognizing that we are hunters and gatherers. That doesn’t mean that animals we may hunt became our natural enemies or that we have any different connection with them. That’s not entirely correct: that relationship will change. It would no longer be a domineering sort of stewardship like veganism pushes, but a relationship among equals: the only relationship that should ever happen. That is a relationship that is forever deepened when you begin to read the tracks of animals around you, when you spend hours and days watching how animals interact and begin to see life as they would live it. It is about breaking mediation and breaking down the alienating technology that reinforces our domesticating relationship.” If one wants to totally live wild, ‘no longer domineering’, then put down your weapons, stop using fire, give up your unnatural advantages, your top-of-the-food web self-positioning, accept your position as prey, embrace the birth-life-death cycle. If your being still longs to eat animals, hunt them with nothing but your most primal being, no trickery, just raw action.

“In practice that means opening cages and crippling the system of enslavement the only way that seems to work: bolt cutters and incendiaries. What the ALF and ELF have been doing for decades has been fighting on the forefront of domestication and trying to keep wildness wild. It means targeting the system at its central points.” Yes!

“As far as diets go, the most I can recommend is to be aware of the foods that you would be eating without domestication: wild foods such as nuts, berries, plants, mushrooms, perhaps the occasional egg, and, yes, fish and meat. The ideal diet is the one that we’ve grown to: one that is foraged, scavenged and hunted. For me, that hunting means hunting in the ancient sense: simple tools and all the relationships that come with it. Not the mediated macho hunting crap.” How ancient? How are you selecting how far back to emulate? Are you also reigniting the folio-frugivore ways? If a highlight of our species is our ability to adapt to our environment, why select a particular past way to utilize in a domesticated, degraded modern wild?

“One of the most obvious short term solutions is to eat road kill, an idea that becoming far more acceptable than the most ideological of vegans care to acknowledge. From road kill you can get skins for clothing, bones for tools, muscles and organs for meat, and knowing that this animal’s death is not entirely in vain.” Here again I’d add eating invasive wild hatitat/biodiversity threatening species.

Thanks for writing this Kevin. It assures me that I have more in common with some anprim hunters than many consumerist vegans.

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