In Carnism Versus Libertarianism I tell the story of how I came to realize that that carnism and consumption of animal products is in principle logically and morally incompatible with libertarianism, voluntaryism, and anarchism.
Once I realized this, it became clear that I faced a dilemma: Either stop being party to taking life, liberty, and property from innocent animals, or stop claiming that I stand for morality and liberty and against tyranny and slavery.
I share a portion of the first chapter of Carnism Versus Libertarianism below:
“Do I really want liberty for everyone? Do I really want to end to slavery on Earth? Am I ready and willing to make necessary personal sacrifices to make freedom reign, or am I all talk and no action?”
All these questions came to me when I reflected on what I saw on a tour of a dairy farm.
For the past 40 years of my life, I have claimed to be a libertarian, opposed to tyranny and slavery. This is the story of how I realized that during at least one-third of those 40 years (if not all) I was nothing of the sort. Rather, I have been a virtue-signaling, hypocritical, fake libertarian who by my words and daily deeds gave every potential oppressor full license to practice all forms of tyranny and slavery.
On October 24, 2022, Tracy and I took a tour of Calder Dairy Farm in Carleton, Michigan. Previous to that date, we were buying cow milk from this farm; we took the tour because we wanted to see how the farm operates and treats the cows.
Although we had watched a video about Calder Dairy Farm that gives the impression the animals are happy, we wanted to see first hand whether our practice of using cow milk was consistent with the primary moral principle of libertarianism and yoga, the practice of non-aggression or non-injury (Sanskrit: ahimsa).
Immediately upon entering the farm, I observed a stark contrast that made my heart sink. On my right, I saw a large pond and many water birds, primarily geese and ducks, enjoying freedom, while on my left I saw sheep and goats held captive in a large cage.
As we progressed around the farm, we saw more sentient beings held behind bars: donkeys, rabbits, pheasants, chickens, pigs, and of course cattle. The fences and cages testified that the animals were held captive against their own wills to roam freely.
We found the calves kept in small cubicles, which on the spot reminded me of office cubicles and even more, the cubicles that “authorities” used to keep children separated during the so-called pandemic of 2020.
Farmers separate the unwilling calves from their unwilling mothers, and cage them in an entirely different barn. I thought about people who are outraged about children being separated from their mothers at the U.S. border, yet gladly pay farmers to separate calves from their mothers so that they can eat cheese and ice cream.
When I witnessed the calves reach out to one another from within their cages, hungry for contact with someone of their own kind, I confronted the uncomfortable and inconvenient truth.
By Nature, cows only desire sexual intercourse with bulls and only produce milk after pregnancy, and cow milk is the birthright property of the mother's calf. Therefore, by purchasing cow milk, I had been a party to forced artificial impregnation of cows, and separating those calves from their mothers, so that I could steal the God-given birthright of the calves, the milk, at my pleasure and for my profit.
As I proceeded through the tour, eventually I came to a large pen that eerily reminded me of one we had previously seen at another farm where we had once purchased part of a frozen bullock carcass. This cage contained what I thought were steers standing and sitting on a mix of straw, mud, and manure.
I felt queasy as I visualized a veterinarian castrating an unwilling bull calf without anesthetic. Since farmers routinely give growth-promoting estrogens to bullocks, "beef" production involves routine pseudo sex-change operations that transform baby bulls – less than 4 months old – into emasculated eunuchs. An intact bull cow can live 20 years, but meat-eaters murder these mangled males before they are 4 years old –– young blood sacrificed for profits and pleasures of the palate.
By Providence we also saw two pigs who had escaped their prisons.
We do not know how the one in the photos below, a very large sow whose unnaturally large teats dragged on the ground, had gotten loose; we saw her eating from the cows’ feed trough outside the bars.
She seemed too deformed and damaged to move much more.
The other was a vigorous piglet shown in the photos below. We watched him dig his way out of prison; others behind him would have followed but they couldn't fit through the opening he created.
We asked the farm hands about him; they said he frequently broke free. I named him Neo, the one whose native will to freedom had not yet been broken by the Meatrix. By the time we decided to leave Neo had found his way to the pond, for the moment free as the birds (below).
I knew that every one of those caged creatures would have broken out in search of greener pastures if presented a chance. Neo only differed in that he had found a way out.
Only two months before touring this farm, Tracy and I had paid a veterinarian to euthanize our beloved elderly feline friend Jasper who was slowly succumbing to progressive terminal kidney failure. That was the second time that I had hired a vet to kill a cat companion who was suffering from terminal renal disease, and it was as painful as the first.
In both cases I was reluctant to choose murder as a remedy for misery, and after doing the deed I felt tremendous remorse and grief. Yes, it is difficult to use the words "kill" and "murder" instead of the euphemism "euthanize," but I am facing the truth, I took a life. My remorse and grief came from my conscience, which is knowledge of the objective difference between right and wrong.
Every creature on that dairy farm was by Nature as sentient, unique and free as any of my cat companions, but none of them was suffering from any terminal disease. That observation made me confront my self-contradiction. On one hand, I was unsure I had done right to order a veterinarian to slaughter my feline friends even though they were certainly soon to succumb from a terminal disease. On the other hand, as a habitual consumer of animal products I was ordering the murder of many completely healthy animals in the prime of their lives. How come I was remorseful and grieved for killing two cats who were dying of kidney disease but not for killing dozens of healthy young animals in the prime of their lives?
As I mentioned, in 2021 we had toured another farm from which we had purchased frozen bullock flesh. That time also I felt uneasy when I saw all the castrated black angus waiting on death row, but I didn’t delve into my discomfort to understand it. This time, however, I listened to my conscience and could not square being party to the abuse and murder of these creatures with my claim to be opposed to immorality, tyranny and slavery. I knew that so-long as I remained a consumer of milk, eggs or meat, I was a tyrant, serial killer, liar and thief. As we drove away, I felt my heart pierced by a deep sadness and remorse for having been a party to this immoral industry.
About a week after touring the farm, I read The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose. After reading Rose’s book, I articulated its central truth as follows: Tyranny and slavery are consequences of belief that some people have a “natural” or legitimate claim to be superior humans (in short, super-humans) who by some law have some special authority, which gives them lawful power to coercively control others and a license or permission to do things that would otherwise be immoral (and impossible) for ordinary people to do.
Specifically, the allegedly super-human rulers or archons claim that they possess the God-like authority to write rules and orders that everyone “below” them must obey, to enforce compliance and punish anyone who disobeys, and in general to violently take life, liberty, and property from all of the inferior humans as they see fit, at their own pleasure and for their profit, albeit allegedly for the “common good.” I will henceforth use the word archist to refer to anyone who believes in archism, which I define as the ideology that claims that archons (rulers, authorities) are lawful, natural and necessary to society.
Primed by my tour of the farm, I realized that all carnists –– people who believe that eating animal products is lawful, natural and necessary –– attempt to justify their carnism with the same line of reasoning. To wit, carnists claim that by Nature humans are a superior species (super-species), and that our superiority gives us both authority and permission to coercively control inferior animals and do to them what would otherwise be immoral, namely take their lives, liberty and properties –– their flesh, blood, milk and eggs –– for pleasure and profit.
I noted that both archists and carnists believe that the rule of superior beings over inferior beings is legitimate i.e. lawful because it is, allegedly, natural. In a word, both believe in an alleged natural hierarchy in which, in principle, anyone deemed superior has by Nature a lawful claim to possession of the life, liberty, and property of anyone deemed inferior, which puts the life, liberty, and property of the inferior at the absolute disposal of the superior. In either case, the self-proclaimed superior beings treat the allegedly inferior beings as livestock to be managed, mandated, muffled, mutilated, medicated, milked or murdered, to fulfill the orders of their alleged superiors.
Now I questioned, from what alleged natural law or code can one derive the principle that superior beings have a lawful claim to ownership of the life, liberty, and properties of inferior beings?
It dawned upon me that carnists live by the same immoral code as the Machiavellian tyrants who oppress the common people. It goes like this: If I can deceive, coerce or physically restrain someone, and thereby take something that I want from that someone, then I am entitled or have permission to do so. This code maintains that might makes right, and has been called the law of the jungle.
In short, both archists and carnists believe (incorrectly, I will prove) that Nature –– Natural Law –– permits or even requires (“for the common good”) the superior “masters” to own and rule over (over-rule) the inferior “slaves.”
History demonstrates that “rulers” have typically used dehumanization, including referring to the victims as sub-human, or like non-human animals, to convince their conscripts that violence against other humans –– particularly the mass murder of war –– is not only permissible but natural and desirable. For example, people demeaning or claiming permission to harm innocents have referred to their intended victims or “enemies” as “beasts,” “snakes,” “pigs,” “dogs,” “asses,” “apes,” “sheep,” or “cattle” while deceiving, coercing, assaulting and slaughtering the victims exactly as meat-eaters treat their “livestock.” Their wrong reasoning goes like this: “Since by Nature, i.e. by virtue of my superiority, I have permission to abuse and kill animals, and these people are animals, I have permission to abuse and kill these people.”
Dehumanization demonstrates that humans have historically procured putative permission for injuring innocent humans from their claim to be entitled “by Nature” to injure animals for pleasure or profit. Without their (false) belief that Nature (i.e. some difference between human nature and animal nature) gives them a Naturally Lawful permission to own, abuse and kill innocent animals, they could not “justify” inflicting slavery, abuse or slaughter on the innocent humans that they allege to be sub-human.
Since history proves that people have indeed granted themselves permission to harm humans by conceiving of the victims as non-human animals, when we treat some animals as inferior and unworthy of moral concern, we evidently set a precedent for treating some humans as animals, inferior and unworthy of moral concern.
Now I asked: If I myself live by this code of conduct, by taking life, liberty and property from so-called inferior animals, do I have any grounds on which to object to being enslaved or devoured (literally or figuratively) by anyone who declares himself to be superior to me, or anyone who succeeds in deceiving, coercing, or physically restraining me?
The answer came clear: NO. If I do X to others myself, then object to others doing X to me, then I maintain a double standard –– “Rules for thee, not for me,” and “Do as I say, not as I do.” All moral agents naturally object to being subjected to double standards, which are the moral equivalent of self-contradictions.
Indeed, whenever I claim that I am entitled or have a license to do I do whatever I do to others, I thereby permit others to do the same to me or at least to others like me. To wit, if I live by unjustly taking life, liberty and property from others whom I deem inferior, by my actions I license others to deem me inferior and unjustly take life, liberty and property from me.
In short, if I live by the code of carnism, then I automatically consent to so-called superior humans imposing slavery on so-called inferior humans. Indeed, since by Natural Law we always reap what we sow, if we live by the code of carnism, we will without fail bring slavery upon ourselves.
END OF EXCERPT
Carnism Versus Libertarianism has four chapters:
1: The Piglet Who Broke Free. In this chapter I recount what I observed and thought as I toured the dairy farm, and my reflections upon the experience. I include color photographs we made on the tour.
2: Definitions and Background. In this chapter I define terms and explain key concepts of objective morality including: Nature, Reality, the Universe, Natural Law, the Principle of Sufficient Reason, the Four Natural Kingdoms (Domains), moral agent, property, violence, attack, aggress and aggression, offender, defender, victim, the non-aggression principle, wrong, immoral, right, moral, "have a right," self-defense, archism, the Law of Liberty, libertarian, carnism (and carnist), veganism (and vegan).
3: Every Animal Is Someone. In this chapter I prove first that animals own themselves, have private property, and are by Nature entitled to be left alone, on the very same principles and facts that prove that humans own themselves, have private property, and are by Nature entitled to be left alone. I prove that it is in principle impossible to own the body of any animal or human. I prove that the same principles that make human slavery wrong make animal slavery wrong. In short, I prove that if you believe that it is immoral to aggressively take life, liberty, or property from humans, then you must agree that it is likewise immoral to aggressively take life, liberty, or property from non-human animals.
4: Carnism Permits Tyranny and Slavery. In this chapter I prove that by Natural Law and logic, carnism permits statism and leads inevitably to tyranny and slavery among humans.
This body of Carnism Versus Libertarianism has 27 pages and 13,000 words.
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