I’m trying to work out whether intrahuman would be a better way of putting it. Would that mean internal to individual humans as opposed to in between humans within the body of ‘humanity’?
It doesn’t matter if a word exists as long as we can know what it means, language is flexible like that, and the more time we spend talking about it, the less we deal with the actual matter here. I hate it when pedantry and sophistry are used to avoid the core of a discussion.
So I’ll stop it.
Right. The first problem that I have is with the notion of a vegan revolution. I’m assuming that would mean everyone worldwide, becoming vegan. That would be so utterly incredible, and would probably make a huge shift in the way the environment was being abused. For a start, there would definitely be enough food to go around, prices would drop for everyone, and it would be a step on the road to equality. This would be a bit step forward in a lot of different directions. (That doesn’t quite make sense.)
But I don’t think it would be the eradication of speciesism. I’m not even sure quite how you bring that about. One problem I see is that a huge number of vegans still keep pets, for one reason or another. The removal of agency from animals in the form of domestication is a form of speciesism, it is assuming the consent of a creature that is unable to give it to you.
To get remotely close to the state we’re talking about, we have to remove all the domesticated animals from the situation. Now, creating an immense population of feral animals is probably not ideal for ecosystem, animal kingdom or even the released animals. However, with an act that seems barbaric, but is on a par with what we are already doing (only would be potentially justifiable as finally being done for the right reason), we could solve this. If every currrently domesticated animal was sterilised, then we could wait for all of them to die naturally, and we would have no domesticated animals within a generation.
Within another generation, nobody would remember domesticated animals. And maybe at that point we’d find ourselves on equal footing with the wild creatures outside our society.
Would that lead to an increase or decrease in empathy with the animals? Would that lead to an increase or decrease in empathy with ourselves?
There’s really no way of knowing. It seems optimistic, but on the other hand, for society as a whole to make the decisions I’ve talked about above, would require global conversations on the nature of consent, agency, rights, and life like never before.
That could make a huge difference.
Vegans aren’t inherently better people, which is the rather smug assumption of the question.
But a society-wide shift in ethics and empathy is exactly what we need right now, so I want your revolution.
But we’re no closer to it.
Illustration by Henry