Monday, July 28, 2014

Genesis was written by a man

From Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being

“The very beginning of Genesis tells us that God created man in order to give him dominion over fish and fowl and all creatures. Of course, Genesis was written by a man, not a horse. There is no certainty that God actually did grant man dominion over other creatures. What seems more likely, in fact, is that man invented God to sanctify the dominion that he had usurped for himself over the cow and the horse. Yes, the right to kill a deer or a cow is the only thing all of mankind can agree upon, even during the bloodiest of wars.
The reason we take that right for granted is that we stand at the top of the hierarchy. But let a third party enter the game – a visitor from another planet, for example, someone to whom God says, ‘Thou shalt have dominion over creatures of all other stars’ – and all at once taking Genesis for granted becomes problematical. Perhaps a man hitched to the cart of a Martian or roasted on the spit by inhabitants of the Milky Way will recall the veal cutlet he used to slice on his dinner plate and apologize (belatedly!) to the cow. …

True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.”

My thanks to Melissa Free for sending me this quote. The revolution will remember you kindly, Melissa. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

They are not symbols despite Pope's best intentions.


Jan. 26, 2014. Pope Francis releases two doves as a symbol of peace and immediately they are attacked by a sea gull and a large black crow. For these animals there is no transcendental signification. Doves are not a symbol. They are other animals in the territory. Animality responds to the the transcendental signification of the Pope and his God and the verticality of metaphysics, they respond by doing what animals do... Pope, you're and your "symbols" are in the animal world now. Humans want peace by releasing doves? Try release all of animality onto the streets.

Sheep terra-forming


Richard Conniff in his recent NYTimes editorial "Pastoral Icon or Wooly Menace?" laments the bucolic sheep that dot the landscape of Great Britain. As Conniff explains, these sheep damage the landscape with overgrazing causing deforestation and loss of vegetative variety. Well, lets consider the sheep perspective: humans put the sheep in the landscape and in great numbers with all sorts of experimentation as to which breeds work best in which terrains. During the 19th century Clearances humans were driven off the landscape to make way for sheep grazing. Now in the 21st century with our synthetic materials to keep us warm we want to do away with sheep and their wooly being-in-the-world. We lament the decisions of past generations that brought us to this pastoral abundance. But the animals are not factories that are easily shut down or converted or re-purposed into post-industrial terrains for human consumption and production. Their bodies, their animality and the culture entwined around the companion species resists.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Cattle revenge


"A cow escaped from a slaughterhouse in this city Wednesday, killing a bystander, damaging vehicles and leading police on chase before being destroyed." You lookin' at me? 

Sunday, August 4, 2013