C Lou / Carrie (https://twitter.com/clouhamilton1 & https://veganismsexandpolitics.com/ & https://www.drcarriehamilton.com/) is an author, editor, historian & translator. She wrote the book “Veganism, Sex & Politics: Tales of Danger & Pleasure” about her vegan journey & how veganism relates to wider social justice issues including feminist, queer & anti-racist politics as well as environmentalism.
In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”
2:05 Carrie’s Intro – academic history to writing & activism
- Acknowledging Canada’s indigenous & settlement history
- Growing up near Toronto
- Agnostic, democratic socialist parents, focused on social justice, activism, environmentalism & practice. No feminism, animal ethics or colonial awareness
- “I didn’t know any vegetarians when I was growing up”
- Extending moral consideration beyond humans. Considering our responsibilities
- Feminism & women’s studies
- The liberation of leaving academia
- Writing “Veganism, Sex & Politics”
- Academic activism, public reach & politics
- “The idea that you would do animal studies while at the same time eating their bodies…”
16:25 What’s Real?
- Psychedelics, spiritual/mystical experiences
- Having respect for religious people but little patience for religious institutions. Not positive influences. Patriarchy & authoritarianism
- Institutional abuse & cover-ups
- Naturalistic & supernatural experiences of awe & wonder
- How supernatural beliefs can warp ethics
- How religious organisations use societal deference as a shield
- The positive contributions of religious institutions
- Feminism: asking questions & considering practicalities
30:09 What Matters?
- Supernatural & naturalistic ethical frameworks
- The importance of challenging our assumptions & influences (e.g. re: sentient animals & veganism)
- Individualism, collectivism, authoritarianism, dogma
- Forms of feminism
- “It’s important to think about… & revise… where our values come from”
- Movements that are ostensibly secular often mindlessly integrate aspects of authoritarianism & dogma from religion
- Criticisms of veganism as puritan & sacrificial. But it’s a pleasure!
- The challeges of talking about veganism as a “moral baseline” (Francione, Steiner). Too much dogma?
- Applying a naturalistic humility & scepticism to ethics
- Introspection via Buddhist meditation & writing
- Having the space & resources to slow down & be mindful
- Activist burnout
- Amy Breeze Harper’s “Sistah Vegan”
- Compassion for ourselves as sentient beings
- Feminist ethics of care. Where does the burden of caring lie? Frustrating that care often not extended to non-humans
- Interdependence & mutual relations. Val Plumwood’s “Feminism & the Mastery of Nature”
- Animal farming is incompatible with feeding 9b humans
- Singer’s Animal Liberation
- The imperative of ending animal farming & fishing
- The pluralism of Sentientism
- The boundaries of sentience (oysters, shrimp, coral, plants?)
- A special guest joins us!
- Environmentalism & anthropocentrism
- Is Sentientism eurocentric? The global roots of Sentientism
- The value in indigenous worldviews & the harming/killing of sentient animals in some indigenous cultures
- The risks of “re-colonising” attitudes to indigenous cultures via a sentiocentric concern
- Instrumentalisation vs. commodification vs. suffering as primary concerns
- Brigid Brophy
- Radical equality vs. prioritisation
- Taking the perspective of the victim vs. “ethical” animal farming
1:10:57 The Future
- Naturalism & sentiocentrism (Sentientism) seem solid but most humans disagree with one or both
- “We’re living through a water-shed moment re: animal farming… but we’re working against the clock!”
- Millennials, social media
- Bladerunner. Great movie, not a great vision for the future
- Suffering & death are bad things!
- “I’m not optimistic about the ability of capitalism to reform itself” but I’m not optimistic about revolutions either
- “We’re not interested in reforming animal agriculture…” any more than abolitionists in other fields
- “The profit motive acts as a huge deterrent for people thinking morally”
- Listening doesn’t mean we have to agree
- “I’m increasingly unsatisfied with anyone who has any degree of privilege who claims to be doing social justice work who has no time for veganism”
Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info.
Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on Facebook.
Thanks Graham for the post-production.