Bob Torres

Our economic order is tightly woven around the exploitation of animals, and while it may seem easy to dismiss concern about animals as the soft-headed mental masturbation of people who really don’t understand oppression and the depths of actual human misery, I hope to get you to think differently about suffering and pain, to convince you that animals matter, and to argue that anyone serious about ending domination and hierarchy needs to think critically about bringing animals into consideration.

Inevitably, people tell me that poor folks are lazy or unintelligent, that they are somehow deserving of their poverty. However, if you begin to look at the sociological literature on poverty, a more complex picture emerges. Poverty and unemployment are part and parcel of our economic order. Without them, capitalism would cease to function effectively, and in order to continue to function, the system itself must produce poverty and an army of underemployed or unemployed people.

If we’re all led to believe that poverty is just a matter of laziness or stupidity or whatever other justifications we can come up with, then we’re not likely to be in a real position to do much about it when it comes to attacking the root cause of the problem. Instead of demanding a more equitable system for the distribution of social and economic goods, we blame the victim. This is insidious, because ideology is something we carry around with us in our heads; it forms the basis of our day-to-day understanding of the world.