the myth of human the predator: Layla AbdelRahim

Feminist Primitivism

demonFirst there was the Word, then Came Civilization, and Crime & Reward from an Anarcho-Primitivist Perspective, by Layla AbdelRahim  exerpts:

Q: How would a society based on a different narrative work?

A: It’s not How it would work, but How it has worked. Because life on Earth goes back to billions of years. And that life was wild life. That species, and individuals within species, interacted in a diverse manner, their own manner, there was no anthropology, there was no geography, environmental science, or ethology to go observe and focus on one aspect that was disconnected. And that life, we were part of it and we are still part of it. Even today, in spite the 10,000 years of the domesticating or civilizing narrative, there still exist people, more and more difficult because of us, because we have taken over, but think of the nomads, think of the…

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The Mythical Predator, Layla AbdelRahim’s facebook discussion

Feminist Primitivism

layla…I posted the following update on my facebook wall:

“Reason 1 for NOT eating meat and fish should be compassion; not in the sense “I’ll kill and eat you compassionately”. That doesn’t hold in court when the victim is a human animal, and so it shouldn’t when it is other animals.

Reason 2: Our bodies are not intended for the consumption of our animal siblings. Our sleeping patterns and the proteins we best absorb show that we are meant to be berry-eaters, fruitarians with veggie supplements” (1st September 2010).

…The discussion that followed my FB post demonstrates how deeply people believe the lies that help civilised human animals rationalise murder and fear and construct them as “natural” and as “facts” and how self-contradictory and illogical the civilised rationale is. It also shows how much deeper and more dangerous it becomes the higher up the ladder of “success” the persons get:…

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Layla AbdelRahim on Domestication

Feminist Primitivism

shoeAnimal Voices, October 11, 2013 radio interview with Layla AbdelRahim, an anthropologist, writer, researcher and public speaker who holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Montreal, Quebec:

Q: First I wonder if you can define for us domestication, what it is, and why humans domesticate other beings, what’s behind that, tell us the story.

A: Domestication, the term itself, implies sedentary relationships, domestic is from the dome, from the home, it defines humans in terms of sedentary settlement. If we look at the history of humanity, most animals, in a larger extent, usually have to be nomadic, there has to be movement, part of the definition of life is movement, so domestication as an epistemological concept… the minute you define a certain territory as belonging to one species, and you look at everything in that territory and then surrounding it, the environment, as existing as resource for…

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3 cases for indigenous veganism

Feminist Primitivism

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Writings by feminist scholar Margaret Robinson describe Mi’kmaq legends and their relationship with animals as was one of dependence, not dominion. According to Mi’kmaq legends, human beings are intimately connected with the animal world and only survival can justify the killing of animals. These legends depict animals as having an independent life, with their own purpose, far away from simply existing for human consumption. Robinson contrasts this with the white hunter, whose view of animals requires population control, turning slaughter into a service. Many of the Mi’kmaq legends come with their own set of problems, such as the gendering of food production. Even the Mi’kmaq word for food is the same for beaver, embodying the meat-heavy food culture. However, within the legends the nonhuman animals are always characterized as independent peoples who have rights, wills and freedoms. As Robinson rightly points out, “if animal consent is required to…

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vegan is anti-speciesist is anti-civ

caveman & womanContrary to the man-the-hunter myth, hominids have a nature ethic of innate empathy and cooperativeness that manifests idiosyncratically in civilization. One such manifestation is veganism, whose central focus is the abstention from exploitation of animals. But, primitivist pigeonholing of veganism into a consumerist schema has distorted its authentic essence, overgeneralizing, misrepresenting, and stigmatizing it. {Ironically, in practice it is the trending ‘paleo’ primitivist ideologues who engage in more destructive consumerism than even mainstream vegans, and on whom there is a void of  primitivist confrontation.} Veganism’s supporting principle is the natural rights of all animals, with its opposite being human supremacy over all other animals, or speciesism. The primal ethic of empathy and cooperation, combined with the principle of innate rights beckons shifting the nature of humanimal-nonhumanimal relationships from domination and domestication to egalitarian and liberatory. Therein veganism fundamentally becomes an anti-speciesist viewpoint concerned not only with bred ‘pet’ and ‘food’ animals, but wildlife worldwide. This translates into vegan/anti-speciesist deeds like fighting to protect forests from consumeristic exploitation of fauna habitat.

Civilization has proven itself to be an ecologically destructive force, leaving all animals and all life communities damaged and doomed. The repeated, hard-to-accept lesson is that civilization is the cause of the problem, and cannot be the cure. Hopes for techno-saviors have been repeatedly dashed, often causing further harm with unintended consequences. This is the merging point of the speciesism and civilization premises. They are conjoined twins, born together on the artifices of hierarchy and oppression, power and control, maddening successions of human blunders along civilization’s catastrophic trek. They will be intrinsically eternally unified until their death, whether through intentional dismantling, unintentional collapse, or a combination. The conjoined counter approach calls for actions such as destroying apparatuses of totalitarian control, undoing oppression, rewilding native habitats, and some say, rewilding self.

A word must be said to those seeking to discover and reawaken origins, striving for some form of future primitive. The sect of primitivism focused on ‘hunter-gatherism’ (my term) seems plagued with patriarchy. Here’s an exercise to visually demonstrate the point: In your mind google ‘caveman’. Compare those images to a google search for ‘cavewoman’. Evolutionary narratives are value-laden, and play out in scientific studies and interpretations. Alternative narratives countering mainstream values, such as vegan primitivism, are silenced, scorned and sternly denied even before due consideration. Origin narratives are created, not objectively described realities. Hunter-gatherism naturalizes patriarchy by projecting it into our species’ origins. This is countered by seeking a broader ancestral life narrative, by undermining the values behind patriarchy and rejecting the rigidity of the evolutionary normative.

Sometimes wording means much. Foraging was the mainstay of most ancestral diets, and evidently a common female specialist activity as sex roles increasingly diverged. Many woman never participated in methodical hunting, and there were swaths of time with no hunting or foraging animals at all, humans subsisted off mainly foraged plants, etc., especially before the systematic usage of controlled fire. Yet, the term ‘hunter-gatherer’ is the generally accepted norm connoting the early human foodway. The term ‘forager’ would more accurately reflect the lived egalitarian experience of the vast majority of early humans. Another exercise: Imagine you had been born into a world where all humans had a plant diet. Would you have an impulse to bring back hunter-gatherism, or would you put that in a category similar to other early ‘natural’ doings, like cannibalism, or rape, or infanticide? Cherry-picking an animal-based diet from diverse past diets because you have been enculturated to prefer it, and regardless of biotic impact, is the mindset that led toward destructive civilization to begin with.

Earth needs an intuitive yet smart approach from fighting yet giving humans today. Adapting anti-civ, anti-speciesist veganism in today’s degraded wild world calls for an adaptation in our lifeway that protects remaining habitats, ends causes of civilization’s harms, and helps heal Earth. If a highlight of our species is our ability to adapt to our environment, may we select ways from our origins that enrich an ever-thriving wild future.

Read the title again. The logic works in reverse as well.

Ria

More and More Women Are Opting Out of Motherhood

Feminist Primitivism

breeder brain

More women than ever are opting out of having kids, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly half of women between the ages of 15 and 44 didn’t have kids in 2014, and that’s the highest number since the government started measuring that statistic, Time reports.

Birth control advances and reform may play the biggest role in the decline. In the 1970s, when the government first started tracking fertility statistics, the Pill had only been around for a decade. Now, it’s widely used, which means women can choose when they want to get pregnant. Fewer teenagers than ever are having babies, thanks to expanded access to contraception.

But some of the urge to go child-free might also come from career pressures — women from 40 to 50 were more likely to not have kids if they were in managerial or professional occupations. And Census statistics…

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