Where I Stand

I’m pro-animal, pro-human, pro-environment. I try to stay really positive most of the time, and I believe it’s more productive to work on positive solutions than it is to gripe about problems. But that said, silence is the voice of complicity, so I think it’s important that I voice my opposition to the following:

  • Capitalism, putting profits over people, hoarding money, war on poor people, criminalization of poverty, humiliation and forced institutionalization of people who live on the street, the insanely low “minimum wage,” sweatshop labor, enslavement
  • Keeping buildings empty while people who want homes are homeless, owning multiple homes and leaving one empty as a vacation home
  • Hoarding food while people are starving
  • Imperialism, neocolonialism, racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, English language bias, “American exceptionalism”
  • Idolization and worship of religious leaders, political leaders, and celebrities
  • Preventing people from practicing their religion or spiritual practice (provided it harms no one, with the possible exception of the willing practitioner)
  • Fundamentalism, brainwashing children to obey instead of thinking for themselves
  • Border fences and harsh immigration restrictions
  • Invasive and discriminatory airport security
  • Surveillance culture
  • Censorship, except where it protects the oppressed against their oppressor (for example, hate speech at a funeral, yelling “fire” in a theatre, threatening and harassing online feminists, cross burnings)
  • Prison-industrial complex, school-to-prison pipeline
  • Stop-and-frisk, racial profiling
  • War on drugs, treating cancer patients and drug addicts like criminals
  • The criminalization of sex work, treating sex workers like criminals, sex trafficking
  • Sexism, misogyny and misandry, patriarchy, patriarchal control of women’s reproductive systems and lives and children
  • Non-consensual marriages including child marriages, dowries, marital rape, domestic violence, bride burning
  • Rape, harassment, stalking, intimidation, objectification, bullying, abuse
  • Exploitation, abuse and neglect of elders
  • Abuse and neglect of those with mental and physical disabilities
  • Child pageants and the exploitation of child performers, abusive and exploitative practices in the modeling industry and acting world, paparazzi and the lack of respect for public people’s private lives
  • Neglect and exploitation of children, profit-driven orphanages and unfair adoption policies that keep kids from being quickly adopted by loving families
  • Profiting off of women and children by limiting women’s access to midwives and pushing them into unnecessary formula use and C-sections
  • Forced animal breeding, “rape racks,” dairy and egg industries
  • Wearing the skins or furs of once-living beings, profiting from the exploitation and killing of animals to produce clothing
  • Female genital mutilation, male circumcision, “corrective” surgeries performed on intersexed children without their consent
  • So-called “gay conversion therapies,” violence and bullying, and other coercive tactics straight people use to try to “convert,” control, and oppress LGBTQ people and people whose gender presentation may be confusing to others
  • Nuclear power plants, fracking, coal plants, new power plants powered by fossil fuels
  • Manufacturing and marketing new non-electric, non-hybrid vehicles
  • Neglect of useful infrastructure, unnecessary and harmful infrastructure projects like new superhighways and big dams
  • Predatory lending, including that offered by the World Bank and IMF
  • Charging interest and placing coercive and unjust conditions on microloans to impoverished people
  • Pollution of our planet’s water, air, soil, and surrounding space
  • Inadequate and unenforced regulation of industry and production
  • Mining of any substances that are not absolutely impossible to get without recycling/reusing, and which are so necessary to survival that the mining impact can be morally justified (i.e., diamonds and iPads are not important; their production does not merit the destruction of our earth.)
  • War, drone warfare, militarization of security and police forces
  • Guns, bullets, all bombs, missiles, drones, mines, and other machines made specifically for killing
  • Contact football, hockey, and other sports that cause brain damage
  • Bloodsports including hunting and fishing
  • Forcing others to work or entertain or be confined against their will (exception: people who perpetrated violent crimes, who should be rehabilitated if possible and restrained from harming others if rehabilitation isn’t possible)
  • Scientific experimentation and research on unconsenting subjects (including non-human animals and humans, and environments in which humans and animals live)
  • Killing anyone under any circumstances, including prisoners, farmed animals, and animals in shelters (exceptions: assisted suicide, abortions, euthanasia of sentient beings who can’t consent but who clearly have no better option)
  • Childhood education and toys that celebrates violent conflict resolution (wars, imperialism, etc.) and indoctrinating them in systems of dominance and coercion (competition, capitalism, sexism, ageism, etc.)
  • People with privilege not examining their privilege and working to reduce the oppression they cause, willful ignorance, allowing children to grow up in ignorance of their interconnectedness with and impacts on the world
  • I could list more but like I said, I try to keep positive, and I’m guessing you get the idea!

I realize that some of these activities are really important to some folks. Notice I’m not against people, but actions. And I’m pragmatic. For example, I recognize that we’re not going to abolish dairy farming overnight, that it would/will be a process. Just because the Maasai are totally dependent on cattle for their sustainable way of life, doesn’t give carte blanche to all humans to do whatever they want with cows. If you have the capacity to reduce the suffering you’re causing, to oppress fewer people and animals, to have a more positive impact on the environment — do it.

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