Stuff White People Say

November 30, 2008

“I love animals”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 10:25 pm

The relationship of whites and animals is as contradictory as it can be. From sport hunting of animals, animal testing, factory farming to animal hording, animal protection activism and animals/pets as “therapists” etc.
There is the saying that white people love animals more than humans and most of all more than PoC. I don’t think that many of such whites actually love animals, but their attitude and “love” is a mirror of what happens within the Eurocentric society.
A culture where true emotions are unwanted and where assimilation is demanded doesn’t give much room for true individuality and self-determination, most of all not for women. Pets accept people as they are.

Like therapy pets show, humans react differently to animals than to humans. In Austria there is for example a three year old child in a vegetative state and the only moments where she can breathe without machines is when the therapy dog is visiting her. I don’t know of any studies why it is that way, but it is fact that animals can touch humans on a level humans can’t.

But this doesn’t explain the fact that animal rights organizations attract predominantly white women. Perhaps, just an assumption, this is a place for them where they can feel powerful and also be heard.
Many animal rights organizations use more or less the slogan ‘we are the voice for those without a voice’ and I think it is exactly this what make it appear as if whites would love animals more than humans. They love the controll, because living beings without a voice can’t defend themselves, also not against many of the actions of animal activists. Not all of those actions are in the interest of the animals, but only in the interest of the activists.
This alleged love of whites for animals and pets also created a capitalistic market with the ‘product’ pet as well as dump stations or euthanasia for the millions of unwanted ones.

PETA is an example of how also sexism – naked women protesting – seems to be a powerful tool to attract attention as well as donations and new members. But PETA doesn’t have a problem to degrade people in general or to see connections where there are no connections.

About Images

PETA also creates posters with the slave trade or lynching and was a driving force in the prosecution of Michael Vick, despite the fact that dog fighting is quite widespread in the USA and the fixation on Michael Vick as “the example” for dogfights led to many hateful verbal outbursts of white people, who don’t have a problem as it seems to wish somebody Black to be killed, neutered, tortured [comments on message boards] but write in the same sentence “rescue the dogs”.

Why can white people become so emotional when it comes to animals but are so silent when it comes to people and most of all PoC?
Whites Care More About Animals Than People

I think one part of the answer is that many of them lost the [human] connection to other humans and try to compensate this loss with “love” for animals. Animals are the most “helpless” and most of all, people don’t have to also work on themselves to be liked by animals.
Most of all dogs are idealized in the white mind, Lassie for example, which displays the desire to have a living being absolutely devoted to a (white) person, the animal/pet with human-like attributes, loyal beyond death. “Man’s best friend”, which demands nothing, which is obedient and is always there.

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16 Comments »

  1. You raise a lot of good points here. I have always wondered about the politics of the so-called Animal Rights movement myself.

    There is definitely a disturbing racial dimension to their political advocacy and even constituency. The animal rights movement always struck me as primarily representing the interests and values of White mainstream elites in the West.

    PETA Sexism and Racism
    http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=430

    “Many animal rights organizations use more or less the slogan ‘we are the voice for those without a voice’ and I think it is exactly this what make it appear as if whites would love animals more than humans. They love the controll, because living beings without a voice can’t defend themselves, also not against many of the actions of animal activists. Not all of those actions are in the interest of the animals, but only in the interest of the activists.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Animals cannot speak for themselves. They lack agency. This is opposed to other (non-White) humans who do have agency and will speak for themselves–often in ways that White people do not like. As you said, it’s about control.

    Comment by Lxy — December 1, 2008 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  2. You know what? I just heard a commercial or radio program the other day (it may have been a comment made regarding Michael Vick news) that said something like you can judge how people treat other human beings by the way they treat animals. Needless to say, my jaw dropped.

    Comment by Nquest — December 1, 2008 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  3. >There is definitely a disturbing racial dimension to their political advocacy and even constituency. The animal rights movement always struck me as primarily representing the interests and values of White mainstream elites in the West.

    Yes I think that a lot of the animal rights movement is just another way for whites to feel superior. In Germany there are many organizations which “rescue” dogs and cats from other countries like Greece, Spain, Gran Canaria or Turkey with the attitude that “they” are all so cruel to animals and “we” know how to treat animals. Many of these organizations “don’t see” the many wrongs in Germany, where most happens behind closed doors and on a more subtle level. Germans send petitions to China that they have to stop eating dogs, because this is bestial according to them but they see nothing wrong to eat meat themselves from “less cute” animals or feed their dogs and cats with a variaty of meat. But this is then something different, according to them (and no double-standard).

    >I just heard a commercial or radio program the other day (it may have been a comment made regarding Michael Vick news) that said something like you can judge how people treat other human beings by the way they treat animals. Needless to say, my jaw dropped.

    This is something I have thought a lot about. Also this why pets are useful for children to learn empathy etc. I think this is projecting, even if there are studies about it, that children who grew up with pets would allegedly display more empathy and so.
    This 1:1 interpretation of how you treat animals you will treat humans, then all hunters or workers in a slaughter house should be murderers. They aren’t.
    But what I could realize throughout the years when I was a dogowner-trainer, that for most of them, dog ownership was a power-issue. It isn’t without reason that many books about dog behavior (problems) talk about “dominance problems” and how to subdue a dog. I think that many people own a dog to live the power they can’t live in the human world.
    For all of my former dogs I got the “advise” that I should let kill them [I didn’t], because they didn’t behave the way people expect dogs to behave. Kill what isn’t conform, to say so.
    White people and animals would be worth studying I think and it would be revealing, also my theory about whites being disconnected from nature and therefore from their pets is confirmed by most dogowners I have known.

    Comment by jwbe — December 1, 2008 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

  4. I used to feel this way, that white people care more about non-human animals than POC, but I know a POC who appears to be like this. I think you’re on to something, but maybe I have a humanist (and therefore anthropocentric) bias and I think animal lovers’ priorities are all wrong.

    I really like non-human animals, but I think Inuit rights are more important than seals’ rights, for example.

    Comment by Restructure! — December 3, 2008 @ 1:43 am | Reply

  5. I think that human rights and animal rights can’t be always separated, over-fishing of the oceans for example impacts people who don’t have the many alternatives of growing food etc. like Europe or North America has. Also factory farming impacts nature and wastes natural resources (water) deeply, as well as the production of the necessary food for the animals.

    Comment by jwbe — December 3, 2008 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  6. Uh, this is bullshit.

    I’m into animal rights, but I’m damn sure it’s not because I want to control them. This isn’t some paternalistic shit. It’s because they consider it wrong to torture a living being and then kill it. They don’t believe there’s a difference between human suffering and animal suffering. That suffering is suffering. You know, there’s plenty of POC in India and Asia who agree with them.

    The fact that you don’t even notice that people in India and Asia also think this way, and you make some stupid generalizations about white people based on a SMALL segment of the white population shows your racism. What, you’re so critical about racism, but here you say shit like that. As if caring about animal rights is some indication of the whitey’s inherent need to dominate everything.

    So some animals rights nuts are not active enough to correct the suffering of people of color. Does that invalidate their beliefs? No, it means they’re not active enough working to correct suffering of people of color.

    Their main point is the cruelty involved. And I agree with them. It is sick how people sometimes treat animals. You’re starting from the point that an animal is worthless. You don’t consider it important, that’s you’re business. Just because a small population of white people don’t conform to your idea of how they should think and behave doesn’t mean you can make such vile statements about them. And I will point out that the vast majority of white people don’t give two shits about animals.

    And PETA doesn’t speak for every animal rights believer.

    Comment by James Marsan — December 8, 2008 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  7. oh, a praise to your selective reading.

    Comment by jwbe — December 8, 2008 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  8. That thing about wanting to be in control by being a “voice for the voiceless” reminds me of what goes on in the world of autism and cognitive disability. It kind of goes like this:

    A: Our autism organization is a voice for the autistic, the people who can’t speak!

    B: Hi. I’m an adult with autism. I can speak. And I’m going to advocate against some of the harsher treatments that seem to ignore an autistic person’s humanity.

    A: But…you only have ASPERGER’S. My son has Kanner’s. He can’t speak. Those are the people I’m speaking for. You can’t speak for them. You don’t know what it’s like to raise a child with Kanner’s Autism. You don’t know what it’s like to clean up after them when they play with their #2. Go away.

    B: Um, I have a son with Kanner’s too. And a daughter with Asperger’s. And a daughter who’s neuro-typical (no autism spectrum conditions). And I used to play with my #2 when I was little, so I know that from both sides.

    A: …. But you can’t tell me that my choices of how I treat my autistic son are wrong.

    Comment by space — December 8, 2008 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  9. Interesting. I say I love animals, but I’d like to think I’m balanced in it. I have no problems with hunting as long as the person hunting is doing it for food and not just killing animals for sport.

    I also eat meat but I try to buy local, eithically raised meats. I want my money to go to a person instead of a corporation and I want to reduce the environmental impact factory farming has. I don’t care if someone in China were to eat dog. So what? We eat animals in the US that are considered sacred by other cultures. It’s all animal flesh. I don’t get what makes one animal okay to eat and another wrong, beside one being cuter.

    jwbe – I think your comment about not always being able to seperate human and animal rights is correct. Farming has an impact on the whole world and we should be making sure our raising of food isn’t negatively impacting the life of people in other places.

    PETA is annoying. They are one of those groups that seems to place animals above humans. As much as I love animals, people come above them. Plus, the sexism and racist tones in PETA’s ads are just…wrong.

    Comment by Melissa — December 9, 2008 @ 6:36 pm | Reply

  10. What do you animal rights activists think of this article?

    Inuit group denounces EU decision to ban import of polar bear parts

    Comment by Restructure! — December 13, 2008 @ 1:02 am | Reply

  11. I think it’s hypocritical like usual, the real threats to polar bears are over-fishing and melting ice.
    Germany for example exterminated almost ever “dangerous” species within Germany and one bear was shot which was ‘stupid’ enough to cross the German border. But at the same time Germans were “in love” of Knut, the polar bear in a zoo. Sometimes this lying makes me sick

    Comment by jwbe — December 13, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  12. But at the same time Germans were “in love” of Knut, the polar bear in a zoo.

    Knut the Polar Bear! I like that name; I had to look him up on Google. It seems that Knut is quite a celebrity polar bear. He’s been covered by BBC, Der Spiegel, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and even People Magazine. Knut also has a Wikipedia entry and his very own web page on the Berlin Zoo website!

    http://www.zoo-berlin.de/en/experience/young-animals/ice-bear-knut.html

    Comment by Lxy — December 14, 2008 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  13. The “white mind.” Are you kidding me? You sound like Joseph Goebbels.

    Comment by Alonso — December 15, 2008 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

  14. Lxy, thank you for the links 🙂

    Comment by jwbe — December 15, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  15. I’m shocked at a lot of these comments, which I find deeply racist. However, I find it understandable that the legacy of slavery has left white people open to criticism of wanting to be in control. I don’t believe white people are genetically predisposed to want to be in control. I don’t believe anyone os genetically predisposed to exhibit any kind of personality trait. I think the sociological conditions at the time of slavery led many white people to believe that they were superior, not that this is an excuse in any way. Likewise I believe that the sociological conditions that exist in many predominantly white western societies today have created a group of people who are predisposed to relate more closely to animals than to other human beings. I think a lot of these people have been either a) mistreated and want to exorcise their own ghosts by rescuing someone or something else or b) are just generally at the bottom of the hierachy of life and animals validate their need to feel needed. This, in my opinion, is why so many homeless people have dogs, not because they are cynical and want to beg more effectively, nor simply for companionship,but because they need something to care for in order to feel they have some purpose to their life and to maintain a small trace of self-esteem by feeling that they are not RIGHT at the bottom of the scrap heap of life.

    Comment by GreenChillie7 — May 9, 2009 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

  16. It’s not a racist thing at all….. I hate all people. I love all animals.

    Comment by Misanthropic — September 27, 2009 @ 8:23 am | Reply


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