|German: Achim Stößer - Maqi (in English)|
I've met many people that have inspired me on Facebook through the years. One stands out who does not spew the usual same stuff; but has a mind of his own; and a brilliant mind at that. These four essays are among the others in the newly published e-book 'I'm a vegan; One Movement, Many Voices' - however I wanted to publish them on their own.
I'm a vegan vegan ~ Achim Stößer
At first glance, this may sound redundant. But actually, most so-called "vegans" are far from being vegan. For example, many vegetarians, some of whom practice a restrictive vegetarian diet without eggs or dairy, tend to call themselves "vegan". Some years ago an Australian study concluded that less than one out of ten self-proclaimed "vegans" were vegan.
Meanwhile, while "eating a vegan diet" has become popular, it is probably worse. Most of them changed their diet for health reasons. But veganism is not a diet, and no-one is vegan for health reasons. Whenever I state this, someone answers "but I am or I know someone who is vegan for health reasons". But that is just untrue. Eating a slice of turkey corpse every Thanksgiving (like "vegan" Bill Clinton) or a piece of cake baked by grandma "with love" (and eggs and butter) once in a while is not unhealthier than eating tofu instead (unhealthier for Clinton, not for the turkey). Eating food colored with cochineal dye, flavours made of cow fat, honey, visiting zoos, buying silken ties or furniture made from animal skin, vinegar, wine or juices fined with gelatin, horseback riding, shampoos that contain mink oil or other animal derived ingredients, clothes made of sheep hair, toothpaste that contains animal fat, etc. usually is not less healthy (for the consumers) than their vegan alternatives. Nobody would have to shun that for health reasons. Real vegans avoid this entirely, hence, they are not vegan for health reasons.
Those who do not avoid it are not vegan, but (pseudo)-vegan-foodists at best; someone who does not care about the life of other animals, veganism, and animal rights. The same holds for those who are "vegan" for ecological, religious, economic reasons, etc. This has to come to an end. By the way it is usually easy to recognize these pseudo-vegans when they talk about real vegans: they use words like "militant", "dogmatic", "only caring about their purity", "vegan police", "religious", "stubborn", "smart-alack", "aggressive", and so on to describe us – and to justify their own unveganism.
The only reason to be a real vegan is ethics. So, yes, I do not infringe animal rights, I am a vegan vegan.
I'm a vegan atheist ~ Achim Stößer
Lunatics made up several thousand gods in the history and prehistory of humankind. Let us take a look at some of these gods and demigods, namely those of the predominant cults on Earth, called Elohim, Jehovah, and Jesus.
Of course they do not exist: El, Fu Xi, Artemis, Osiris, Mixcoatl, Wotan, Mielikki are as real as the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn, and Jesus walked on this planet just as little as Spiderman or Donald Duck does, although there were probably as many real itinerant preachers at that time as there are real ducks today. Nevertheless, according to those who made him up, this demigod Jesus preached hate and violence (Luke 14:26; Matthew 10:34; Luke 22:36). He also confirmed the Law (Matthew 5:18-19), including his imaginary father's commands to kill "witches" (Exodus 22:18), homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13), etc. And he killed two thousand swines by drowning them in a lake ("documented" in three of the Gospels: Matthew 8:26-33; Mark 5:2-13; Luke 8,26-33).
That is no wonder: like father, like son. His father is well-known for drowning all animals on Earth except for eight humans, seven pairs of every "clean" (i.e. "the beasts which ye shall eat" according to Leviticus 11) and two of every "unclean" non-human animals (Genesis 7). This god of course loves the "sweet savour" of burning flesh Noah offers him "of every clean beast" after the Flood (Gen 8:20-21). In the beginning he made "coats of skins" for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). Their sons, Cain and Abel offered him fruit of the ground and animal corpses, respectively, and he preferred the murdered sheep, making Cain so jealous that he killed his brother (Genesis 4:1-9). After his global genocide, he told the human survivors: "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth [...] and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you [...]" (Genesis 9:2-3). And on and on – pretty unambiguous. Sadly, even many atheists cannot discard this religiously induced speciesism.
This god committed and ordered the murder and mass murder of humans and other animals over and over again. So even if there were the slightest chance that such a deity like those called Adonai, Yahweh, or Allah exists, only a diseased mind would want to believe in them.
I'm a vegan antitheist ~ Achim Stößer
In a society ruled by fascists, it is not enough not to be fascist yourself. It is rather mandatory to be antifascist. Likewise, it is insufficient not to be racist in a racist society, but an imperative to be antiracist.
Similar to the necessity of antifascism, antiracism, antisexism, antispeciesism, etc. it can hardly be denied that in this world of theistic hegemony it is by no means adequate to be atheist only. Of course it is better if someone cooks atheistic soup at home instead of participating in religious mania, but atheism is not enough: rather, it is necessary to take action against theism, antitheism is a must, an ethical imperative in the face of actually existing theism.
Because the consequences of theism have always been devastating, locally and globally, be it the bloody wars between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland or the Thirty Years' War, "God" in the German constitution and on Wehrmacht belt buckles, crusades, religious indoctrination of children in school, Conquista, blasphemy laws, omnipresent religious scenes of torture, witch hunts or simply the Christmas television program: it is not enough to fight only for the right not to be bothered by them, to fight for the separation of church and state, against the excesses of religion. Minimum requirement must be that no-one is hit by the machinations of the faithful.
Religion is not only the main cause for wars, racism, homophobia, etc., but also for speciesism. This does not only hold for so-called "fundamentalists" or "extremists" like bomb-throwing Christians in Belfast, Buddhist poison gas assassins in the Tokyo subway or the Islamic State, but is inherent to religion.
All this would not be possible without all the seemingly harmless "liberal" or "moderate" believers. All those hanger-ons from occasional Christmas Mass attendants to Bible thumpers, most of whom hardly (want to) know what their Holy Scriptures really say – even worse if they know – are way more dangerous than a smattering of suicide assassins.
Therefore, every animal rights activist (and animal rights include human rights, because we are animals) who wants to act ethically responsible and consistent and thus wants to be credible has to be antitheist.
I'm a vegan antisexist ~ Achim Stößer
It is nonsensical to restrict rights to a certain species, just as it is nonsensical to restrict rights to a certain ethnic group. Hence every honest human rights activist has to be antispeciesist and animal rights activist and vegan. Conversely, as humans are animals, no animal rights activist infringes human rights in any way.
It is fatal that many still lack understanding what sexism means: discrimination based on a person's sex.
For example, in Germany male genital mutilation, infant circumcision without medical indication, causing serious damage, has been legalized recently. Globally, more than a billion men are victims of this barbaric custom, which massively infringes the human right to physical integrity, causing the death of many children, but they are just boys; hence only circumcising girls (one hundred million victims, i.e. one tenth) is prohibited. Even our constitution is sexist. Article 3 hypocritically states that "men and women are equal". But Article 4 only grants "special protection and care-taking" to "mothers", while countless fathers have hardly any or even no contact with their children because of their gender alone.
Article 12a reads: "Men can be compelled to serve in the armed forces, the Federal Border Guard or a community service" and "Women may by no means be compelled to armed services". So this murderous compulsory service affects men alone. And although men are victims of domestic violence as often as women there are women's shelters everywhere, but only few men's shelters.
Sexism means, let me remind of this, discrimination due to any gender. Instead alleged antisexists redefine feminism as antisexism. When real antisexists dare to criticize discrimination of men they are lumped together with masculists and defamed as sexists. At the same time feminism (the word alone is telling enough) is just as sexist as masculism. Although it may have been different in medieval patriarchal theocracies centuries ago or still is today in Iran or Vatican City State, a common definition of feminism using the word "equality" is as mendacious as the common claim that "Islam" ("submission") means "peace", or animal welfare labelled as animal rights.
Antisexists and animal rights activists who still try to adorn themselves with the term "feminist" (or "welfarist") have to realize that finally.
Animal rights activists, hence antisexists, antitheists, antispeciesists. etc. therefore have to fight also animal welfarism, vegetarianism, religion, and feminism.