Editor’s Note: the following parody by Nicole Huber was originally published by Non-Humans First in 2016. I’m republishing it here because it strikes me as a brilliant critique of plain, old human privilege and the corresponding hubris that permeates our community.
Dear Non-Human Animals,
stop whining, will you? I know you are being tortured and murdered by the trillions, but that doesn’t give you the right to try and grab all the attention. No-one of us goes through this life without trauma – and numbers are just a tool of oppression of the white male cis-gendered heteronormative racist sexist misogynist homophobe capitalist patriarchy anyway.
Now, don’t get me wrong – we know you have it bad, but show some sense of proportion please. After all, we are oppressed too. You have no idea how horrible it is to be constantly exposed to micro-aggressions. To give you an idea what we have to endure on a daily basis: people may ask us where we’re from – can you imagine the trauma! People even say “Bless you” after we sneezed, completely ignorant to the possibility that we might be offended by religion and thus have our feelings hurt! I’m sure you understand that as long as we have to deal with atrocities like that, we can’t really waste time and energy on trivialities like you guys being boiled alive, skinned alive, gassed, electrocuted, having your throat slit and bleeding to death fully conscious being tortured in vivisection labs (yes, I KNOW “vivisection” means being cut open ALIVE; after all, I as a woman am oppressed by the existence of plastic surgery, so stop animalsplaining to me!), etc. etc. blah blah blah.
You honestly think being raped and forcefully impregnated year after year after year only to have your babies stolen from you every single time is the worst form of sexual violence imaginable? Get real! I am still shaking from watching some undercover video footage from a public building where a man jokingly told a woman his name was “Hugh Mungus”. Now THIS is sexual violence! My heart goes out to this incredibly brave survivor of non-physical sexual assault. One day we shall be free, sister! One fine day, when jokes will have been finally outlawed, and clinically obese women will have won the constitutionally guaranteed right to be deemed attractive (but only if, when, and by whom they choose!)
Now that you’ve learned of the horrors we have to put up with as humans living in the modern Western world, you’ll understand that we don’t take too kindly to your co-opting our suffering by using terms like Holocaust or Slavery to describe your own situation – like we were somehow not incredibly special and far more important than you! (You don’t understand? You’d like me to explain? How dare you! I refuse to be re-traumatized by your entitled assumption that somehow I am responsible for providing arguments for my opinions. Go educate yourselves!)
Speaking of trauma, please tone down all this screaming in agony and bleeding to death. It’s really triggering, violent behaviour. And we deserve a safe space, so please tell your human enablers to be more mindful before spreading violence porn. After all, you already have claimed the whole natural world for your suffering, so leave the internet to us. Plus, there are even places designed exclusively for you to suffer and die – like slaughterhouses, factory farms, bullfighting arenas, to name but a few. And do you see us trying to infiltrate those? There you go.
In addition, some of us are vegans, so it’s not like your issues aren’t dealt with already. But you need to understand that your plight is just a symptom, not the disease. And we all know that it’s no good to treat only the symptoms. We need to get rid of the root of the disease – the white male cis-gendered heteronormative racist patriarchy which was established by white men so that each and every single one of them, from the mightiest king to the most destitute beggar, could enjoy white male privilege at the cost of every other being, then, now and for all eternity. (What are you talking about? Of course there is such a thing as “white men”. Who else could be blamed for everything that’s wrong with the world? Oh, so you recently heard me explaining that there is no such thing as “men” and “women”, just socially constructed male and female genders, arbitrarily assigned at birth, and that in reality there is an infinite number of genders to choose from? That’s Derailing, stop it! You’ll never be considered a good ally if you don’t learn to shut your mouth!)
Anyway, as I was saying, we have to get rid of the cause, not of the symptoms. That’s why it is important for vegans to support people who wear fur, provided they are black and/or female. Yes, I know, it was YOUR fur. Yes, you were brutally murdered for it. But now you’re dead, so by definition you cannot possibly suffer from anything. Whereas people like Rihanna or Beyoncé may be famous millionaire popstars, but they STILL suffer: they suffer from racial stereotyping, even from racial profiling. Also, it’s inherently sexist, misogynist even, to criticise a woman’s choice of clothing. So who has it worse, ey?
Believe me, focussing on dismantling the white male cis-gendered heteronormative racist patriarchy is in your best interest as well. It’s just inconceivable that you could be free, that we could just leave you the fuck alone, as long as we haven’t got rid of any and all human discontent. You see, dear non-human animals, we’re all in this together. We’re all oppressed – some of us, like you, by being brutally exploited and sadistically tortured and killed, others, like young people in the West, by jokes and insensitive wishes of “Bless-you”. There really is no difference. It’s all connected, and you simply cannot get rid of one form of oppression without getting rid of all the others first.
As long as not all of us are free, none are. There will be Total Liberation – or none at all. Especially not for you.
Your rightfully offended humans
Nicole Huber is a translator/writer and Animal Liberation activist in Germany. The above article is part of a series titled “Reconsidering our Morals – What it means to put Non-Humans first.”