17 December 2007

Making a Killing and much more

Animal (human and nonhuman animals) rights activist Bob Torres's long-awaited book, Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights finally arrived today, and we're looking forward to plunging in headfirst. From the website at AK Press:

Suggest to the average leftist that animals should be part of broader liberation struggles and—once they stop laughing—you'll find yourself casually dismissed. With a focus on labor, property, and the life of commodities, Making a Killing contains key insights into the broad nature of domination, power, and hierarchy. It explores the intersections between human and animal oppressions in relation to the exploitative dynamics of capitalism. Combining nuts-and-bolts Marxist political economy, a pluralistic anarchist critique, as well as a searing assessment of the animal rights movement, Bob Torres challenges conventional anti-capitalist thinking and convincingly advocates for the abolition of animals in industry—and on the dinner plate.
Making A Killing is sure to spark wide debate in the animal rights and anarchist movements for years to come.

Bingo. It's been a long time coming. Basically, what's been happening thus far is that the widely based movements, such as civil rights, worker's rights, animal rights, and women's rights (to name just a couple) have been struggling on their own, oblivious to the plight of the others. For some reason, people have not made the connection that we are all fighting for the same thing, and allowing our struggle to be coopted by oppressive forces is playing right into the slavery. Finally, someone brings up a critique of how the movements have been waging their battles, and how they can improve.

Go out and get yourself a copy (or request that your local library carry one if you can't afford it!), and be prepared for an excellent read. The reason I know anything at all about it is because Bob and Jenna have been making mention of the book on their podcast called Vegan Freak Radio. Even if you're not traditionally "into" politics, give the book a read for Bob's rather engaging writing style. If you've read his blog, or his other work (such as the book Vegan Freak: Being a Vegan in a Non Vegan World), you'll recognise how he takes complex concepts, and explains them in an accessible manner.

In other news, I get X-Mas off, so Steve and I are going to spend the day together. Most likely, it'll be a quiet dinner in, and maybe a movie or something. We tend to give each other our gifts as soon as we get them for a couple of reasons. For one thing, x-mas isn't my holiday. It means nothing to me. For another, we'd really like to avoid double buying. That is, if Steve wants something for himself, chances are that he'll buy it when he sees it. I do the same. Why should we have double of things? Easier to call immediately, and say, "Hi babe. I got you ______ when I saw it." When your time is measured in minutes, every minute that you're not wasting is precious. And, on top of that, seeing the reaction to the gift immediately, is a pleasure we'd like to experience over and over again. If we saved it all for the day of, it'd only be one set of reactions all in one day. This way, we get to experience the joy of giving many times.

While I'm at it, let me remind you to make copies of your identification cards, and store them some place safe. While you're all out there in the mad rush, things get lost, stolen, or misplaced. Don't take chances. Make the copies now, and be safe. Also, while you're at it, run a backup of important documents and such into your email. Just send it as an email to yourself as an attachment. Gmail provides excellent email capabilities, and is free. Why chance losing your stuff? I've got my documents backed up on three different media devices, but I also put it on email, so that I can pick it up anywhere I go.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy few days off that we're getting (hopefully, you do too!).

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