Thoughts on Human Impacts – Zine Contribution by Caitlin

This is a copy of a written piece that was contributed by Caitlin to the second issue of our zine (transcript below). Thank you ❤


CW: Mention of sexual violence; author’s edit:  The word ‘rape’ from the original essay is replaced by ‘exploit’.

thoughts on human impacts zine contribution caitlin


Human impacts

We live in a world of excess. We look up to those who have it all, big cars, posh houses, fancy food and lavish parties. We have all been brainwashed into the idea that to be happy we must be rich, successful and beautiful. Essentially we have all become victims of our own aspiration, slaving away at our desks day and night to pay for the next great expenditure, a new car to match our neighbours new BMW and other status symbols so we can appear like we have it all. These are perfect symptoms of a society which is lost and doesn’t know where it is headed. We have lost touch: with nature, as we spend our time inside, our friends as we never leave our desks to pay for the next TV and even ourselves, as we try and portray to our neighbours that we are successful and our ‘friends’ that we are perfect on social media.

This is the aim of the rich and powerful the top as this keeps them in pocket and keeping us forever miserable and wanting more. What is being conveniently hidden from us is the impact this is having on the planet, other people and the animals. As we get richer we consume more, we get even greedier and our taste gets crueller. We demand cheap clothing which is the result of child labour in poor countries, we demand more materials as we buy more and we exploit the oceans, land and animals to satisfy our taste buds. We have all fallen victim to the idea that we need this amazing thing, whatever it may be and when we have it all, all of our problems will; be solved, we will finally be happy. But we won’t, we never will. For as long as we base our self-worth on material objects and shallow appearances, we will never be truly happy. We will carry on raping mother earth and all of her beauty for the sake of selfishness and greed.

However as vegans, environmentalists, feminists, anti-speciesists or however you chose to identify, we have the power to change this. We have the power to end this pointless greed. This chaos that has ensued, we can take power away from the major cooperation’s and take back who we truly are. We can take back mother earth and work with her to bring back our rainforests and finally find peace; we can stop pointless discrimination against each other and live a peaceful existence with the animals we can liberate. We can take our world back and our lives and then, and only then will we be truly happy.

The Human: More than White Able Masculinity? – Zine Text by Aga

Here is a copy of the text as it is published in the second issue of our zine, themed ‘Human Impacts’:

(hu)man masculinity aga antispeciesist collective zine 2

Text Transcript:

As anti-speciesist feminists we recognise the sexualisation of animals as well as the gendered violence against them. We also acknowledge the animalisation of humans who aren’t white, educated, middle-class, able-bodied, cis men. In other words, we perceive the process that dehumanises people of colour and/or not ‘properly’ educated, working class, disabled, queer, women and trans people. A society that normalises specific identities, such as that of the able white man, is a society that others and oppresses us. Not that we are all the same, we are all different from him and from each other. That’s what scares him. Navigating imperialist legacies and the neoliberalism of today, we cannot help but continuously collide with the white able masculine subject who defines what it means to be human. Long ago we realised, that our human, humanist and humane culture is based on nothing more than this subject, the (hu)man subject who can only exist through maintaining these hypermasculinised notions of ability and whiteness. It is through establishing these identity markers that the Eurocentric cultural tradition prescribes a very narrow idea of manliness and masculinity that goes hand in hand with ideas of what it means to be human. Properly human. Fully human. (Hu)man.

Being (hu)man means enjoying rights and privileges. Not being human-enough or being non-human means being deprived of those rights and those privileges. The process of dehumanising humans is the process of turning a person into an object. We become objects by being divorced from our individual personalities, from the intrinsic and unique value each and every one of us carries deep inside. The process of animalisation is nothing else than the procedure that turns a person into a thing. That thing is then a consumable object and an object of exchange, and thus nothing more than a currency that establishes the consumer’s value in society. Just as neoliberalism prescribes, the more we consume others, the more rights and privileges will we be granted. The more we consume (others) the more we become (hu)man. So, we are made to believe that we can achieve what he, the (hu)man has, by working harder on our own assimilation. We are taught to betray our selves and become more like him, more (hu)man, less animal (less driven by our nature, by our emotions, by our feelings and desires).


Animals cannot assimilate their way out of their non-humanness, neither can most not-sufficiently-human humans. Perhaps as humans we try. We try to be more like him, more (hu)man. We learn his language, we learn his gestures, we go where he goes, we buy what he buys, we wear the same clothes and we sing the same songs. Yet, we never become human-enough.

This is why we are exhausted and drained, perhaps. Or perhaps we are tired from being strong and being true to ourselves all the time. It takes energy to take up space, to be loud, to be visible, to be perceptible in a (hu)man society when humanness and humanity is so narrowly defined.

So let’s take a rest, gather our energy and create spaces that aren’t (hu)man but anti-speciesist and perhaps even ahuman as Patricia MacCormack prompts us to do. We are many, all of us are different. We thrive off our plurality and solidarity. The anthropocentric world exists only in its monolithic singularity that crumbles away with every revitalising breath that makes us so much stronger.

None are free until all are free.


Poetry: Lessons from a Society that is… by Elecia

lessons from a society that is


This poem released in our first zine was written by by Elecia:

Lessons from a society that is…

  1. governed by an elite minority of selfish class privileged liars

    tolerating bankers that steal thousands avoiding taxes

    cheating workers out of a living wage

    neglecting the foundations of the empires built

    from power and


  2. constructed to support and promote a capitalist system

    teaching contentment through consumerism

    assembled on exploiting workers

    for the benefit of those

    who can afford

    to ignore


  3. encouraging materialism and money spending

    apparently justifying the objectification

    sexualisation and manipulation

    of marginalized individuals

    unfairly represented

    stereotyped and


  4.  commodifying animals into objects to be bought and sold

    their existence exclusively serving human desires

    enduring violence and imprisonment

    under the guise of improving

    the health and pleasure

    of people who control


  5. singularly validating lives worthy of autonomy and power

    rejecting groups determined to be ‘less-than’

    based on sex, race, class, gender, age,

    sexuality, ability, size and species

    some experiencing privileges

    while others are


 6. We

will not

be complacent

in a hierarchy created

by those who profit from

life at the top of an unjust system

We will resist until all are free.

Total Liberation Workshop

~ by aga

Take it, reshape it, reuse it. Facilitate it with friends, family, comrades, in classes, at conferences and gatherings.

Outline of the workshop 

Aim: To introduce people to the idea of privilege and the interconnectedness of different liberation movements.

Duration: 1.20h-2.00h (depending on whether or not ice breaker is included and how many people are present)

What you will need:

  • an accessible room (and make sure you arrange the room with people in wheelchairs in mind)
  • gender neutral toilets (if the toilets in your venue aren’t gender neutral the least you can do is put a sign onto the toilet doors for the duration of your workshop stating that they are gender neutral)
  • a presentation screen (in small groups a lap top might do) to show the 2 prezis (they are publicly accessible and made available in this post)
  • paper and possibly a printer to print out bingo sheets (but you can also copy them by hand on some paper)
  • lots of pens (or ask people to bring a pen with them)
  • 9 (large) sheets of paper
  1. A Possibe Safer Space agreement (presented by facilitator)
  2. Ice breaker Game (to be included if there is enough time)
  3. Why Total Liberation? (presented by facilitator)
  4. Privilege Exercise (based on voluntary participation)
  5. Moving Discussion (based on voluntary participation)
  6. Round Up

Click here to view/use the visual presentation accompanying this workshop.

Step-by-step plan:

Introduction: Introduce youreself with your pronouns ‘Hi. My name is Aga, my pronouns are she and hers. Thank you all so much for coming’ etc.

A Possibe Safer Space agreement: The facilitator introduces possible guidelines for a safer space. They can be read from the presentation slides (link above). These are used to create a safer space within the current space but it should also be mentioned that people should take these to their meetings and introduce them there. It is very important that the facilitator has a plan of how to deal with people who compromise the safer space. Be prepared to call people in/out when they express something inappropriate. As the facilitator you are also in the position to interrupt any expression that will compromise the safer space, as well as to forbid the person to speak any further. Be also prepared to remove a hateful/hostile/violent person from the room. If they don’t leave voluntarily  it might be useful to coordinate with others before hand who would be willing to play security for this purpose. Another useful tactic could be to leave the room with the whole group, except for the individual(s) who is (are) unsafe. Also, remember that it is never ok to discredit someone who informs you that the safer space has been compromised and having a safer space policy in place does not mean that this place is safe. No space where humans ineract is ever 100% safe for everybody.

Ice breaker Game: This is a bingo game to familiarise the people in the group with one another and make later interactions in the workshop more comfortable. It is very important that the facilitator makes clear that people don’t have to take part (as with every other iteractive part of the workshop). Give them options such as ‘grab a coffee or a snack, or use this as a toilet break if you’d rather not participate’. The game works as follows: Every player receives this bingo sheet (feel free to make your own version) and with it moves along the room to ask other players the questions on the sheet. As soon as the person asked answers ‘yes’, the player writes down their name into the box. You could also invite people to share their pronouns with each other during this exercise. Make sure this is done in a way where you don’t risk putting trans people on the spot and forcing them to share their pronouns (see point 20 of this article on cissexism).  If you are playing with a group where people know one another already, you could suggest to still make sure to tell people their pronouns. This is important because society teaches us to assume people’s genders and their pronouns, which actually makes it weird and perhaps even uncomfortable for someone to tell someone their pronouns. But again, make sure to create an atmosphere where nobody feels like they must share their pronouns, this is not so as to prevent discomfort in cis people but to not make trans folk uncomfortable.

So the game would look something like this:

Player A: Hi, my name is Mandy and my pronouns she and hers. ‘Have you ever made Hummus’?

Player B: No.

Player A: Did you take the bus today?

Player B: Yes.

Now player A, Mandy asks for player B’s name. Then Player B can ask Mandy questions until she answers ‘yes’. Then they move on to the next person. Only when a player has gone around all other participants can they repeated the round. Once a player has all the boxes filled with names, they shout ‘bingo’ into the room. Here it might be nice if you had a little prize prepared for them. This can be anything, a sticker, a zine, a pack of crisps.

Why Total Liberation: This is a presentation part where the facilitator can simply talk people through the slides. Here it is important for the facilitator to familiarise themselves with the concepts of ‘kyriarchy’, ‘privilege’ and ‘intersectionality’. If you have no idea where to beging, Everyday Feminism is a good place to start looking into these. Two notes on the slides: 1. Intersectionality was coined by Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989 to speak about the lived experiece of working class women of colour, and if you are a white person facilitating this workshop, make sure not to be appropriative of this term but do explain how useful it is to understand how complex our identities are. 2. It is really important that the privilege wheel is very simplistic and basic (but from my experience it serves as a good introduction to the idea of privilege and oppression).

Privilege Exercise: After a short discussion of the privilege wheel the facilitator can chose to include an interactive exercise. This exercise is in a separate prezi which you can find here. The idea is that you read out the sentences on the slides and people indicate if the statemet applies to them. Like the first slide of this prezi indicates, do give a trigger warning as the facilitator. Make sure you let people know that the exercise describes instaces of violence and that they don’t have to participate and should feel free to grab a snack/toilet break at any time if they don’t want to stick around for this. There is a variety of options to facilitate this part. You can ask people to raise their arms, if a statement applies to them. Another option is that people stand up if they feel the statement reflects their lived experiences, or you could have everybody lined up in one row, everytime a statement applies to someone they move forward whilst those who don’t see themselves reflected in a statement move backwards. The main point of this exercise is to make those who are more privileged aware of their privilege and more sensitive to other people’s struggles.

Moving Discussion : This part of the workshop is again interactive, and again it should be pinted out that people are free to chose not to participate. The idea is for you as the facilitatorprepare posters with different kinds of oppressions on them. Spread them across the room and let people move around and share their experiences with these particular oppressions in writing. Beforehand, let everybody know that to feedback to the group you will read them (or some of them) out at the end. When you’ve called everybody back to their seats, read the stateents out and make sure you don’t out anybody, even if you know who wrote what. Feel free to ask ‘would someone like to say a bit more about this?’ and make sure to thank people for sharing often intimate and traumatising experiences.

This is what I write on the posters:

  1. Ableism (discrimination based on mental and/or physical abilities)
  2. Ageism (discrimination based on age)
  3. Cissexism (trasphobia including discrimination against non-binary, gender non-conforming, agender and gender fluid people)
  4. Classisism (discrimination based on belonging to a social class based on your economic/employment status)
  5. Heterosexism (Homophobia, Biphobia, Panphobia and discrimination against non-binary, asexual, polyamorous  and non-conforming love)
  6. Misogyny (discrimination against women and femininity)
  7. Racism and Xenophobia (discrimination based on race, skin colour etc. i.e. white supremacy and discrimination based on the country you are from)
  8. Speciesism (discrimination based on species)
  9. Any other form of kyriarchal oppression

Round Up: Make sure to have a round up in the end. This is you, as the facilitator giving people the opportunity to say somethig they didn’t get to say during the workshop. They can call someone out on something that was said or they can say wat they particularly liked for example.

Some Impressions

Here is a video of some parts of this workshop that I ran at the International Animal Rights Conference 2015 in Luxembourg:

Here are some pictures from the results of the workshop:

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I hope you find this useful and do let me know about ways of improving it.