What Savages We Must Be: Vegans Without Morality

What Savages We Must Be: Vegans Without Morality
by Flower Bomb

~ New morals, Same governance ~

“Morality is common sense ideas that we can all agree on. We need to
expand morality to include non-human animals.” -Logic commonly found in
the vegan movement

Most movements who attempt to make social change en masse rely on the
“appeal to morality” tactic as a primary method of gaining support. For
example, “Meat is Murder” is a common catch phrase within the animal
rights movement. This catch phrase relies on the assumption that all
people are against murder since, by the same logic, murder is morally
reprehensible. But this assumes that there is a singular, universal
morality that guides everyone’s decisions when, in reality, it may have
different interpretations to some, and only guide those who embrace it
to begin with. For example, some self-proclaimed moralists defend the
violent manifestations of patriarchy; others advocate white supremacy
and many moralists support violence towards non-human animals. “Common
sense” is only common to those who make up the membership of a specific
group, who feel the need to universalize its principles. But “common
sense” does not apply to others outside that group who have
self-interests that run contrary to its assumed collective “good”. Often
times, it is not a lack of morality that is problematic but the very
existence of morality; the set of principles and values independent of
the complexity of self-interest, which externally guide and justify
one’s actions.

Anthropocentrism is the belief that human beings are the most important
entity in the universe. Anthropocentrism interprets or regards the world
in terms of human values and experiences. The term can be used
interchangeably with humanocentrism, and some refer to the concept as
human supremacy or human exceptionalism. -Wikipedia

Anthropocentric morality provides the justification for a wide range of
eco-destructive and domesticating disasters. Representing a worldview
that constructs the human/animal dichotomy, anthropocentrism is
reinforced by a capitalist-industrial society that requires the
large-scale death and destruction of wildlife in order to exist. The
“righteousness” of human domination provides the socio-political
normalization required to pacify any potential for emotional outrage
against this systematized violence. So between vegan morality and
anthropocentric morality, which one is “right”?

Moral nihilism is the meta-ethical view that nothing is morally right or
wrong. There are no moral features in this world; nothing is right or
wrong. Therefore, no moral judgements are true; however, our sincere
moral judgements try, but always fail, to describe the moral features of
things. Thus, we always lapse into error when thinking in moral terms.
We are trying to state the truth when we make moral judgements. But
since there is no moral truth, all of our moral claims are mistaken.

Morality is a social construct that does not represent a universal
truth, nor the interests of all people. While also failing to account
for the complex circumstances in which moral-based decisions are
impractical, morality limits the scope of decision making and individual
action. Therefore, in order to condition morality on a mass scale, rigid
obedience is required which necessitates an equally rigid violent
apparatus to enforce it.

Obeying morality of any type requires putting aside individual
experience and personal motives of self-interest. This also means
disregarding the pragmatic considerations concerning the practical
consequences of one’s morality-based decision. In society, morals are
socially conditioned in order to maintain a standardized system of
beliefs. This system discourages individualist thinking and questioning
of not only that system, but of the foundations of authority in general.
The primary method for this discouragement is to advertise a desired
belief as a “common sense” or normality that “everyone” knows or
follows. This immediately places the “group” above the “individual”.
With individual self-interest, one might refuse to obey without
questioning, therefore group-think is socially reinforced to discourage
individual responsibility, creativity, and thinking for one’s self.
Examples of the deployed socialized hostility towards individualism
include labelling those who assert their individuality as “selfish” or
“egotistic” and therefore undesirable.

A movement that moralizes veganism means instituting another social
system that would enforce new morality-based laws and norms. Not only
would this require an (ironically) violent apparatus for reinforcement,
but would still come without a guarantee of a more “peaceful”,
“compassionate” capitalism. As long as there are systems of governance,
(including the contradictory “compassionate capitalism”) there will be
rebels. As long as there are laws, there is corruption within the
apparatus itself that enforces them. As both a historical and
contemporary social project attempting to create peace and compassion on
a mass scale, moralism has failed.

~ Beyond morality: no government can ever give us freedom ~

Anarchy is the absence of government and absolute freedom of
individuality. -Wikipedia

The same apparatuses of coercion that reinforces morality (religion, the
state, etc.) are the enemies of freedom. While one might say these
institutions could reinforce the vegan morality that would liberate
non-human animals, these same institutions require individualist
subjugation to their collective “good”. But their good wouldn’t be a
“good” of my own; it would be their thinking over mine, empowered by its
assumed “universal truth”. This is the same logic of control and
domination that is used by those who dominate and consume non-human
animals. Guided by the values of human supremacy, there is a sense of
entitlement that positions them above question. The same apparatus that
conditions morality holds that “beyond question” position. But as an
individual, not only do I question it, I reject it all together.

My individualism is empowered by self-interest and informed
decision-making. My refusal to surrender my mind to the “collective
good” of consuming the flesh and secretions of non-human animals is a
reflection of my own rebellion. Along with the inspiration from other
individual vegans I realized the power of thinking independently,
selfishly, and egotistically – against the mass society whose normalized
traditions and values conflict with my interests. As an individualist,
being vegan is practical in extending individual autonomy to non-human
animals. My refusal to socially reinforce their commodity status allows
them the natural right to exist as their own autonomous individual
selves, the
same way I would expect to be respected by others. I refuse to
individually participate in the mass normalization of their domination.

Anarchy, for me, means individual negation to laws, order, and systems.
This anarchy not only opposes both vegan and anthropocentric morality
but morality all together: morality being the abstract form of
governance that attempts to subjugate my individuality. My veganism
requires no external governance to enforce or guide it. It is an
individualist choice that reflects the consistency and practicality of
living my life against authority.

For veganism to be logically consistent with animal liberation, it must
be anti-authoritarian. From this point forward, the totality of
capitalist, industrial civilization must be called into question. Being
vegan and pro-capitalist is a contradiction since the full functioning
of capitalism requires large-scale exploitation of natural resources,
subsequently destroying and wiping out entire eco-systems. Capitalism
requires the expansion of technological industrialization to accommodate
the demands of mass society. Mass society requires the ever-expanding
displacement of wildlife to house the growing human population.
Civilization is rooted by agriculture which is predicated on the basic
formula of taking more from the land than putting back. This results in
irreversible damage to all eco-systems that directly affect non-human

To be vegan and pro-statist is a contradiction, since veganism aims for
animal liberation, while the State is the antithesis of liberation –
reinforcing laws that utilize physical force to coerce all beings into
compliance. The common denominator with the State and vegan morality is
the shared positions held as “universal truths” above the individual.
Both coerce; one mentally and the other physically. Both compliment each
other’s intentions on conditioning “the masses”, and both encourage the
disregard for individual self-interest, creativity, and

If the basis of animal liberation is freedom, empowering a governing
agency to enforce moral-based laws upon individuals is a contradiction.
It reinforces speciesism through the division of human and animal; if
humans are in fact animals, and the vegan aim is animal liberation, why
wouldn’t “human” animals liberate themselves from the same shackles of
both speciesism and governance as well? Speciesism is reinforced through
human supremacy, and if human supremacy is to be dismantled socially,
animal liberation applies to everyone. From this point of view,
government is not needed for granting rights: the right to bodily
autonomy and equality comes with the dismantling of governance – both
the governance of morality and statism.

It is not a morality that governs my actions, but rather an
individualist desire to wage war upon all systems, moral or not, that
attempt to subjugate me and destroy the earth I require to survive. My
decision to become vegan did not come from a vegan morality or a new law
prohibiting me from consuming flesh and secretions. It came from
ungoverned free thought which helped me view society in a critical way,
discovering pragmatic ways of enacting my own project of liberation. My
vegan anarchist praxis is a shared affinity with the non-humans who
fight against the constraints and torture devices of modern technology,
slaughterhouses, and the human-made hell of industrial society. There is
no God, government, or morality to save us. Only our individual selves,
the decisions we make and the actions we take.

~ Arming the will to survive with attack ~

Savage (of an animal or force of nature) fierce, violent, and
uncontrolled. -Wikipedia

One common tenet of morality is the commitment to non-violence. As an
individualist, I find violence to be useful in some circumstances, and
impractical in others. But it is this open-ended utilization of violence
that morality-based non-violence prohibits. When it comes to animal
liberation (or from the statist perspective, animal rights), veganism is
often advertised as a “cruelty-free”, “no harm done” or “non-violent”
movement. This not only ignores the historical examples of successful
animal liberations through violence, but it also promotes a limited
range of strategic activity. The reinforcement of a non-violent morality
discourages the use of violence against the institutions and individual
agents of speciesist domination. Human supremacy utilizes every and all
avenues of violence to maintain its control. To limit the arsenal of
resistance to mere defence rather than incorporating attack is to
strategically limit the range of possibility and potential in advancing
animal liberation. When animal liberation is confined to the legal arena
of statism, the agency of individual insurgency has been surrendered.

Within mass society, speciesism is not just confined to grocery stores;
it is also embedded in the social and cultural traditions reinforced by
individual participation. Therefore, individuals socially reproduce the
normalization of non-human animal abuse, control, and domination. And
while some of these individuals might emancipate themselves from the
speciesist mindset of human centric entitlement, others might embrace
and defend it. Therefore, violence becomes a necessary task carried out
by those individuals who refuse to stand by and allow the social
reproduction of anthropocentric morality and practice.

I find affinity with those of the wild that struggle against the
machinery of industrial society and those who fight to defend the
ecological habitats within which they survive. The need for intensified
confrontation with speciesism is one that encompasses an
anti-authoritarian strike against the ideology and institutions of
capitalism, the state, and anthropocentric morality. Beyond mere
legislative reform, animal liberation from this perspective necessitates
the destruction of all cages and apparatuses that physically captivate
non-human animals. Simultaneously, a war waged against the forces of
“human” animal captivity and enslavement opens avenues of exploration
beyond the superiority complex - the role and identity of “human” as
distinct from animal and wildness.

Through spontaneous ruptures to the civilized order, vegan savagery
asserts resistance through attacking the foundations that produce
enslavement. From non-participation to feral insurgency, anarchy is the
personification of any individual with the courage to become wild
against domesticating subordination.

But vegan savagery is more than just violent veganism: it is the
celebration of life against the laws of morality, civilization, control,
and domination. It is the refusal to internalize the
capitalist-industrial view of others as mere objects to exploit,
consume, or enslave. This allows individuals to define themselves as
their own autonomous beings, armed with the agency to attack those who
attempt to subjugate them.

As a vegan anarchist, my fight for freedom is parallel with the
struggles fought by the wild since the dawn of industrial society and
civilized domestication. What savages we must be - fighting for freedom
with every breath, reclaiming our lives through every act of violence
against the machines of social control and domination! While the
movements of morality continue to ignore the vital reality of amoral
violent necessity, some of us continue to wage war against speciesism
with nothing more than a fire for freedom in our hearts. In solidarity
with the wild, and in defence of the ecological terrain I call home, my
fight is fierce and ungovernable. Toward veganism beyond morality,
toward industrial collapse and total liberation!