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Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights by Bob Torres
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Making A Killing Quotes (showing 1-20 of 20)
“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.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“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.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“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.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“We can argue about their intelligence (which we would likely define in human-centric terms anyway), their ability to understand human language, or even the extent to which they really understand and know the world around them, but there’s no argument that can convincingly show that animals don’t feel pain, and that they have no interest in avoiding that pain. If anything, animals are more sensitive to the world around them than we are, given their heightened sensory abilities.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Just as humanity has extended this basic equal consideration to humans (including those who were once outside of our moral community), we must extend this basic equal consideration to animals if we are going to treat like cases alike. Animals are very clearly in possession of a subjective experience of their own lives. Anyone who lives with companion animals knows this is true. I live with two dogs and a cat, and I know that each of them has wants, moods, desires, and needs.10 They are not mere automatons, reacting machine-like to the stimuli around them as behaviorists would likely argue. Instead, they are beings that are aware of themselves, their environment, and those around them.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Challenging the earlier economists of his day, Marx was keen to show how the products of capitalism did not just magically appear, nor did they have inherent value. Instead, Marx wanted to show that the value derived from commodities was part of a specific kind of social relationship—one in which the labor power of workers added value to commodities. In this way, the notions of commodities and labor lie at the center of understanding how Marx viewed capitalist relationships as inherently exploitative, as the dominance of one class (the bourgeoisie, or the owners of the means of production) over another class (the proletariat, the working class, or those who have nothing to sell but their labor). Proletarians were lending labor power to the production process, transforming goods into saleable commodities, and receiving only part of the value generated in this process. To Marx, this was wholesale thievery; the expenditure of human effort to produce commodities was the actual expenditure of human life, of the limited time that any of us have on this planet, and it came at the expense of us realizing our actual nature as productive, creative beings that generated meaning through our labor. Marx believed deeply in the notion that humans were creative and that we could be positively world-transformative.Through our labor, we not only make the world, but we also express the best part of ourselves as a species. The hijacking of all of this for the productive ends of the bourgeoisie—for mere profit—was, to Marx, a horrible crime being perpetuated on the weaker by the stronger.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Capitalism is marked by a division between classes, with one class holding private ownership of the means of production, and another class forced to sell their labor to live. Through the use of workers’ labor power, the owners of the means of production—the bourgeoisie—extract value in production, paying workers less than the actual value they are producing.This basic class division is essential for capital; without the labor power that adds value to commodities, the owner class would be unable to leverage and expand their own worth.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“If we’re all led to believe that poverty is just a matter of laziness or stupidity or whatever other justifications we 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 causes of the problem. Instead of demanding a more equitable system for the distribution of social and economic goods, we blame the victim.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“We need to challenge the hierarchy in our own lives, and begin living in a way that promotes mutuality. If we take this point seriously, it only makes sense that we begin systematically examining and extirpating hierarchical thinking and actions from our lives. Only in this way, will we begin to reconceptualize our relations with each other and with the natural world as complementary rather than dominant and conquering.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Much as we live in an economic and social order that is structured to exploit people, we live in one that is structured to exploit animals. We’re encouraged to understand both are natural and inevitable, but neither are. Both exploitations have long and contentious histories as part of the development of our modern economic order.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“If we’re to be successful fighting oppression—whether based on race, class, species, or gender identity—we’re going to need to fight the heart of the economic order that drives these oppressions.We’re going to have to fight capitalism.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“though a significant number of us wish to cling to our comfortable little myths about how good things are, we sometimes cannot deal with the cognitive dissonance before us, and we’re forced to acknowledge the exploitative dynamics behind our economic order.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Hierarchy is a toxic inheritance from previous eras that we keep reproducing as a matter of our social reproduction, but that does not mean it is an essential, necessary, or unavoidable aspect of our humanity.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“What, then, is the solution to this moral schizophrenia we have about animals? According to Francione, we only have two choices: we either continue to treat animals as we are now, by inflicting suf­fering even for unnecessary ends and recognizing our commitment to humane treatment as a farce, or we can recognize that animals have a morally significant interest in not being subjected to unnecessary suffering, and change how we approach conflicts of animal and hu­man interests. To do the latter, however, requires that we apply the principle of equal consideration to animals. This, Francione argues, is stunningly simple: in its most basic terms, we need to treat like cases alike. Though animals and humans are clearly different, they are alike in the sense that they both suffer and are both sentient. For this reason, we should extend the principle of equal consideration to animals.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“In her book Tangled Routes: Women, Work, and Globalization on the Tomato Trail, Deborah Barndt examines the seemingly simple tomato from its historic and contemporary roots in Mexico all the way to its final consumption in fast-food outlets and grocery stores. What evolves in examining a product this way is a portrait that defies our simplistic notion of commodities. Rather than seeing a simple, straightforward line from the producer to the consumer, we begin to see a process of production that is tied in to politics, power, gender, technology, and environmental quality.The production of something we consider so basic and simple—a supermarket tomato—becomes a lesson in the dynamics of social power, cast over the course of several thousand miles.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“What we see in stark relief is that the production of goods is about social relationships.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Apple necessarily must pay the workers producing the iPods less money than they gain from the labor of that particular worker. In this, we see the basic profit motive of capital.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“We have created a false dichotomy between behaviors attributable to companion animals and those of other species that blinds us to the inherent worth and needs of all animals. The problem is that we have constructed a society in which we are rarely forced to think about where what we consume comes from, and this extends to the animals reared for our consumption.While we pamper one set of animals, another set of animals becomes our food. The main difference is that we come to know one set of these animals, while the other set is raised and killed for us, delivered in plastic wrap and Styrofoam, and served up as dinner. If nothing else, this belies the deep moral confusion that we have about animals as a culture.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Given that animals are nothing more than mere tools for the production of capital, the only way to abolish their exploitation is to challenge their status as properties and commodities.”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights
“Capitalism not only validates precapitalist notions of the domination of nature by man; it turns the plunder of nature into society’s law of life, To quibble with this kind of system about its values, to try to frighten it with visions about the consequences of growth is to quarrel with its very metabolism. One might more easily persuade a green plant to desist from photosynthesis than to ask the bourgeois economy to desist from capital accumulation. There is no one to talk to. Accumulation is determined not by the good or bad intentions of the individual bourgeois, but by the commodity relationship itself, by what Marx so aptly called the cellular unit of bourgeois economy.”26 —Murray Bookchin”
Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights

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