On Embracing the Term “Animal Liberation”

I have found compelling reasons to embrace the term animal liberation. Liberation of other animals from human dominion is the clearest expression of animal-rights advocacy. A genuine liberation philosophy—as distinct from a goal of reducing the suffering within industries—champions respect for animals in the places they’ve evolved to inhabit, and requires that we stop fouling, commandeering, and destabilizing our environment.

It’s tempting to immediately add: And this will ensure our own survival, too! True, yet a genuine liberation principle makes clear that we are one community among many, not the very point of Earth’s existence.

We seem to be scurrying about, suddenly aware that the atmosphere is coming undone, hoping to clean up our act just enough to manage to keep our sense of entitlement over Earth. The point of a genuine liberation theory is a deeper cultivation, a way-finding principle for living among many groups of beings, within the whole of Earth’s living community, with decency and respect.

We rush through our days in a society fixated on business, while a civilization-changing crisis unfolds in slow motion. Humans have been pushing Earth’s limits for a long time, and now there are massive infrastructures and administrations pushing at the most hectic possible pace.

“What can one person do now?” we think, as we post the latest re-cap from Science Daily and then go out the door to drive to work. Like the waxy wings of a high-flying Icarus, our cleverly manufactured means of support are coming apart.

Government representatives hold conventions to debate what must be done to slow the atmospheric effects of our industries. The stakes are immense. Earth’s poles, with their great shelves of ice, are important to Earth’s gravity. If warming water seeps under the Antarctic ice and weakens that gravitational pull, the surface of our planet could be inundated with water. And should global temperatures continue rising at the current rate, tiny undersea plant life could fail to achieve photosynthesis. What most of us haven’t considered before is our reliance on that undersea plant life to supply most of the oxygen in our atmosphere.

In short: Earth as a whole ecosystem, with all its splendid biological communities, is straining under the pressure exerted by more than 7 billion humans.

It’s impossible to really think about animal liberation without challenging human population growth. The Earth is finite. And it does not belong to the Homo sapiens at the expense of everyone else.


Photo by Jiri Sifalda via Unsplash

2 thoughts on “On Embracing the Term “Animal Liberation”

  1. Bravo! Applause!! Applause!! Bravo, BRAVO!!! Thank you for saying what so badly NEEDS to be said… that there are far too many damn humans on this planet. And that the Earth and her Animal Beings do not exist to serve humanity.

  2. Thank you Lee. It’s true, we are deceiving and congratulating ourselves for “ arranging deck chairs on the Titanic” with bandaid solutions like recycling( a joke in most areas of the country) more windmills,( which kill more birds and bats) producing so-called biodegradable junk( instead of not making junk at all) and “ conserving” wild/ freeliving animals by locking them up in zoos and aquariums.

    And not to mention the 7.6 billion current human population, which even given the extremely optimistic opinion of lower fertility rates in the future, will still take decades and decades to bring us to the point of not obliterating every other species and their habitats. Thank you for having the honesty, civil demeanor and courage to discuss these issues; very rare character traits in today’s world.

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