Vegans of Color

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

More on Colonialist Framings of Animal Issues September 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 8:20 pm
Tags: , , ,

Via Dani at the Vegan Ideal, Fair Weather Vegan writes about racist programming on Animal Planet. Here’s a snippet particularly relevant to my recent post about colonialist framings of Japanese dolphin slaughter:

It goes without saying that no one should shoot or otherwise be cruel to a dog, and that endangered species should be protected and nurtured. It is also probably true that Caucasians are currently overrepresented in the animal-based professions in America and Europe, just as they are overrepresented in the professions generally. PBS, which is usually pretty attuned to racial representation, shows a lot of whites on its nature programs too. But there are ways to present a certain unbalanced reality in ways that do not normalize or exacerbate it (and there is a large international population of animal professionals of color to be portrayed as well). Perpetuating colonialist notions of an ignorant and cruel populace, whether foreign or domestic, completely ignores contextual realities that might actually help solve the problem if they are acknowledged. (emphasis mine)


4 Responses to “More on Colonialist Framings of Animal Issues”

  1. ThoughtCriminal Says:

    Speaking of racist programming on TV–
    I’m not sure which channel it’s on but has anyone seen the show where some British man travels to visit different indigenous tribes around the world?
    There is a disclaimer at the beginning of the show that says something like, “Warning: This show contains scenes of *indigenous nudity*.”
    What the fuck is up with that?

  2. “there are ways to present a certain unbalanced reality in ways that do not normalize or exacerbate it”

    Yes, I think lots of people need training in how to do that.

  3. I am so wise Says:

    If I was the Japanese, I’d be livid. They beat the Russians fleet in 45 minutes in 1904. They smash the Germans in 1914. During the Second World War, they routed the Chinese, the French, the English, the Dutch, and then proceeded to slug it out for almost 4 years with the Americans only to referred to as colonial possession.

    Look, the West (which includes Japan in the eyes of many. After all, they were a colonial power like the English, French, Dutch, Americans, Spain) are hypocritical on the issue of animal abuse, but to view American protest as the product of imperialist tendency or racism as opposed to shows like Flipper is the height of historical ignorance.

    Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the Japanese, who shattered the notions of European supremacy over Asians in 1904 and then again in Singapore need the protection of bloggers.

  4. johanna Says:

    To the last commenter: yes, it is true that Japan was an imperial power in Asia, which I was well aware of. But to deny the US’s colonialist & imperialist views on Asia in general — including Japan? Even while that language & ideology continues on today, informing how Americans relate to Asia & Asians (again, including Japan & the Japanese)? Not so wise.

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