Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Animal Rights in Africa April 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 10:04 pm

A post on the Animal Person blog drew my attention to the launching of Animal Rights Africa. No time for an in-depth perusal right now, but I would like to know more about the separate groups that merged to form ARA — who started them, who was in them, etc. The “About Us” pages on the site don’t seem particularly informative in that regard.

Also, Dr. Steve Best was the keynote speaker for the ARA launch event. Completely aside from how I may feel about him as an animal rights activist, my first reaction was to wonder why they needed to fly in some American dude. Surely there are African animal rights activists that would be interesting & relevant speakers?


12 Responses to “Animal Rights in Africa”

  1. Noah Says:

    I heard an Animal Voices interview with two white people from Animal Rights Africa that contained some rather chilling bits. If you start listening around 13:08, they do an awfully good job of making irrelevant their earlier disavowal of colonialism.

    Animal Rights Africa was launched years ago, so it’s extra weird that Best was there for the “official” launch.

  2. Fredrik Fält Says:

    On Animal Voices podcast they interviewed two of the founders of Animals Rights Africa (still available online). Great interview! Great people! I agree that they didn’t need to fly in some American dude, especially when they’ve already got such amazing personalities within their movement.

  3. vegansofcolor Says:

    Noah — I’ll definitely have to check out that podcast; thanks for the link! Also I love what Animal Freedom is doing. And I noticed on ARA’s page that they had press releases from a year ago or more; I thought maybe it was because ARA was the melding of multiple groups & thus they were the former groups’ materials. I didn’t realize they’d been around a while — so yeah, kind of weird!

    Fredrik — heh, sounds like there may be a difference of opinion re: that interview. I’ll have to have a listen.

  4. Fredrik Fält Says:

    Maybe I should re-listen as well. I wasn’t thinking of skin color nor colonialism when I heard it. I was mostly referring to their activities and attitude towards animals, both wild and domesticated.

  5. I’m confused about it, too. Reading the website, there are references to American politics but not to African. It feels imperialist and if it isn’t, they need to do a better job of showing that in the website and elsewhere.

    Semi-related: I watched “Escape to Chimp Eden” last night. It takes place in Africa, but the main characters (other than the chimps) are all white. Eugene Cussons, the central guy who does all the talking, was born in South Africa, so that’s fine, but even all the camera movements center on the white people, regardless of how central a role they play, cutting black people out of the scenes entirely. You see an arm, a face in the distance, you hear voices… but never any serious face/talk time with blacks or Africans of color. It’s very odd to me. I hope as the season progresses that more POC who want it get face time on TV to talk about their views of animal and land conservation.

  6. sokari Says:

    Hmm interesting – do you know in which country the launch took place! I mean if you said Animal Rights Europe you would have such a diversity of countries, cultures and languages. The same goes for Africa – sorry but the way people talk about a continent as if it is a country is really irritating. It’s 10 hours flying time from Tanger in the north to Cape Town in the South – a massive land mass of difference. Thus I ask where did the launch take place and which countries are involved.


  7. vegansofcolor Says:

    Elaine — ooh, that’s creepily disturbing, re: the literal cutting-out of POCs on that show. Blech.

    Sokari — the launch took place in South Africa, but what I didn’t see until I took a closer look at the press release (linked off the Animal Person post) is that ARA says “ARA is the only organisation of its kind on the African continent, ushering in a brand new era of strengthened activism for animals.” Which I guess means that they feel entitled to use the name of the whole continent??? That seems bizarre to me — surely they don’t mean that there are literally NO other groups in Africa they could be working w/?

  8. Worried Says:

    It gets worse.

    There is nothing on that page about animal RIGHTS, it’s all animal WELFARE. This is a classic example of animal WELFARISTS, *undermining* and colonizing animal RIGHTS, therefore destroying the meaning and understanding about animal RIGHTS.

    The animal welfare industry is and always has been AGAINST actual animal RIGHTS, arguing AGAINST veganism, the very core of what ACTUALLY ensures animal RIGHTS.

    Not surprisingly, apart fromt the things meantioned here, one is looking fruitlessly for information on veganism on the front page, the most important aspect of animal rights in their practical realization.

    The texts themselves center heavily around “suffering”, a particular and greatly annoying fetishism from American WELFARISTS. Veganism is not about animal suffering, it is about animal RIGHTS, ETHICAL RIGTHS. If you shoot your inheritance uncle in his sleep, he did not suffer. But it is still wrong to do so. Welfarists, often in support of “happy murder”, or as they say, humane treatment, blend out the reality that all avoidable deaths are to be avoided, not only the unhappy head-shots.

    I get so TIRED and IRRITATED seeing ever more spawns of WELFARIST NONESENSE, whose primary function is to create more customers for the donation industry.

  9. […] Animal Rights in Africa – there’s some colonialism going on in the AR movement it looks like. Read the comments. […]

  10. indo Says:

    Hi–my first post to the blog. FYI, you might be interested in this article by Steve Best.

    In the article, he claims that the oppressions of “species apartheid” involving elephant culling in South Africa is worse than racial apartheid…. Seems to fit smoothly into the history of imperialist animal conservation in Africa.

  11. indo Says:

    trying again to post the weblink for the best article. if you can’t see it, you can access the article by googling the journal “fast capitalism” and finding issue 2.2

  12. johanna Says:

    Hi Indo — thanks for your comment & the link. And yes, sounds like an appalling view to take (re: species apartheid being WORSE than racial apartheid). Augh. I mean, why play the Oppression Olympics game at all? And why do people still think doing so is compelling?

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