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Patterns of Oppression by Walter Bond

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Speciesism does not apply solely to human domination over non-human animals; it includes thought and actions of superiority over and among our own species, not just in the discriminatory sense, but also in the sense when we view others as superior. Now is a crucial time for every individual to become his and her own leader, develop your own unique and personal philosophy, share it, and live it. - Jeannette Louise Smith

Patterns of Oppression by Walter Bond

Whenever we the human race set about oppressing another group from within or from outside our own species the justifications we use are not only similar in design, but often times exact verbatim. There is a fairly intricate pathology to how we determine the otherness of different groups. Unfortunately, it is far to complex for the scope of this slim writing. However, I would like to highlight a couple prime examples that I have come across in my years as an activist for the Liberation of Animals and the Earth, as well as my experience as a political prisoner because of that fight.

One major thing we do in order to feel comfortable oppressing a group is to infantilize them. We do this with Animals in a myriad of ways. We take a domesticated Animal and baby talk to them as if they were an 'itty bitty wittle bawby'! even though these creatures have, in certain arenas, aptitudes that are far beyond our own. Sure your dog or cat cannot read Shakespeare, but neither can you smell a footprint and tell the age of it's maker. Nor can we communicate under water from several miles away like many aquatics or see a field mouse in the grass from miles away as an eagle can.

Since Animals do not share our set of aptitudes we relegate them to the realm of 'stupid'. Take away the malevolence from this equation and you are left with infantilism. Not unlike how white slaveholders in the south used to refer to black men as 'boys' and would tell them to 'go fetch' pales of water. Not unlike how when many Americans, upon meeting someone that cannot speak English, begin talking to them in a tone that suggests they don't understand the concepts instead of the language (or perhaps we just raise our voices as if we were speaking to someone hard of hearing).

Nelson Mandela once wrote is his book Long Walk to Freedom that during his time as a political prisoner the first confrontation he faced with prison staff was with the way they forced prisoners to dress. They dressed prisoners in tight fitting, very short shorts, just like a Dutch schoolboy would wear. In the prison unit where I am held a big spectacle is made out of giving a bunch of 40+ year old men ice cream/movie night (PG-13 only and usually 20 or so years out of date).

Infantilism paves the way for our inevitable use and abuse of others. Once we are comfortable viewing them as stupid we can then surmise that they are being put to their best use when we use them for what we deem a much higher purpose. Such as vivisection, which is the experimentation of so-called science by way of Animal dissection. The scientific community justifies the most ghastly tortures imaginable (and some simply unimaginable) to thousands and thousands of Animals annually for what amount to trivialities in medical research. Ending in results that can never be extrapolated to humans, but always ensure the animal researcher is able to justify their job for years to come via circular experiments that knowingly benefit no one.

Similarly, back in the days of black slavery in the U.S., the general consensus amongst the slaveholders was that blacks were given this wonderful opportunity (slavery) to take part in building a much higher civilization than they would ever experience in Africa. Any resistors to slavery were seen as ungrateful of this great opportunity to advance humanity, (the great opportunity of slavery). Just as many prisons now pay imprisoned industry workers up to one dollar and fifty cents a day to work industrial jobs 40 hours a week! Sure that's six times lower than minimum wage to do a difficult and dangerous job, but it's a 'great opportunity for rehabilitation'.

And the list goes on and on. We enslave Animals for our entertainment, for our food, for fashion and for our own petty enjoyments, so on and so forth. The nasty little fact that seems to be forgotten in all these patterns of oppression is that it is always very profitable or otherwise convenient to forsake or justify away the inherent right to life of others and this is the primary reason for objectification, not the projections we utilize to assuage our own guilt for taking advantage of those that cannot defend themselves........... Animal Liberation, Whatever It May Take!

Click here to visit SupportWalter.org and access Walter’s extensive archive of essays.

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