liberation

Form, norm, and regimen in Putin’s Russia

Members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in the blue balaclava and Maria Alekhina in the pink balaclava, are attacked by Cossack militia in Sochi, Russia. Photograph: Morry Gash/AP (Via)

Members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in the blue balaclava and Maria Alekhina in the pink balaclava, are attacked by Cossack militia in Sochi, Russia. Photograph: Morry Gash/AP (Via)

“Russia Is Repeating 1968″ A Pussy Riot founder on the occupation of Crimea—and the silence in Moscow (Maria Alyokhina, for New Republic):

Troops are marching through the streets of Crimea today, on Forgiveness Sunday, as the patriarch declares “I hope Ukraine will not resist.” Police forces stand on Manezhnaya Square in downtown Moscow, ready to grab and arrest those who have declared no to war. Detention units are taking out Bolotnaya prisoners for their daily hour-long walk in the prison yard: These people are locked up for having taken to the streets two years ago to demand fair elections. Troops, police, prison guards—they are all following the command, the command to crush resistance. The old prison tactic to set citizens against other citizens, giving one group a mandate to use physical and legal force against the other: This is also the tactic of Vladimir Putin.

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What do you have to say about the intersection of identity politics and speciesism?

dog-with-disabilityJust in from the Eco-ability Collective about a conference coming up on April 27th & 28th, 2013:

There’s a week and a half left to submit abstracts for the 1st annual Eco-Ability conference held at Binghamton University, which is set to explore the intersection of identity politics and speciesism. For more information check out our website at ecoability.wordpress.com

This sounds like an awesome event! The theme will be “A Politics of Disability, Animal Liberation, and Queering.” Proposals are due March 23, 2013.

The conference will help to lay the groundwork for a book that will be part of Lexington Books’ Critical Animal Studies series. Follow Earth, Animal, and Disability Liberation: The Rise of Eco-Ability on Facebook.

One million images of the inhabitants of a threatened ecosystem

One million images of the inhabitants of a threatened ecosystem

endangered-gorillasHuffington Post reports that the wildlife camera trap network from TEAM has captured its one millionth animal photo. TEAM, or Tropical Ecology Assessment & Monitoring Network works to provide comprehensive, real-time data about our world’s remaining forests.

Click here to see more images from daily life in the forest.

If you too care about our world’s forests and their residents, please, help stop deforestation. Go vegan, reduce/reuse/recycle/repair, and try to reduce your negative impact on the environment. You might not save the forest all by yourself, but you’ll know you tried to help. As Albert Einstein said,

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”

Click here for action suggestions from Greenpeace.

Veganism: Freedom from ethical contradictions

Well, not entirely! Read my bio for contradictions aplenty. But veganism does allow you to avoid a lot of, shall we say, moral discomfort. I remember worrying a lot more about the impacts of my actions before I went vegan – it was a source of stress for me to think I might be causing suffering (as indeed I was). Once I took the plunge and went vegan, I felt very free. That’s why I think of veganism as a liberatory process.

For instance, I used to say “I love pigs.” And yet if Facebook had existed when I was a carnist, I may have posted photos of a cute piglet on a farm without thinking very much about how he was about to be separated from his mother and would one day face a trip to the slaughterhouse, or about how this farm I’m seeing in this image isn’t at all like the horrific, factory-like farms on which the vast majority of piglets are raised. I may have posted recipes that included “free-range” pork sausage. Back then, I would not have seen the contradiction, but I know I often felt oddly “not right” about my decisions. And I felt really bad when I heard people mention the slaughterhouse, because no matter how much the small farmers we were supporting said what they were doing was humane, I had a hard time imagining what that might look like.

Today, I have a different perspective. I say, “I love pigs,” but I think it’s more important that now I know I should say, even more importantly, “I respect pigs,” because they are not objects for me to desire or want or eat or use or confine or buy or sell. They are individual persons, just like me, who desire autonomy and freedom.

So today on Facebook, the new me posted a recipe for vegan traditional pork pies, and a photo of a rescued pig at a Spanish sanctuary. No guilt.

I know that’s good for me personally. But even better, I think it’s really good for the animals I used to exploit, before I realized there was a way to opt out of the violence I was causing.