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Are Daryush Valizadeh's adversaries closet vegans?

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Jordan Lees discusses the similarities between the rape-culture philosophy of Daryush "Roosh V" Valizadeh and the acceptance of "rape racks", castration and the unceremonious mass slaughter of non-human animals. 

THE PUBLIC condemnation surrounding Daryush ‘Roosh V’ Valizadeh's proposed visit to Australia is justly deserved.

Here is a man who believes rape should be legalised on private property. He is, undoubtedly, a vile and discriminatory man, whose views on the world are about as self-indulgent and disgusting as one could imagine.

However, I can’t help but marvel at the hypocrisy of many of his adversaries.

Valizadeh's ideas and beliefs about women and their role in society are analogous to how society views and treats non-human animals. Valizadeh has a superiority disorder, which has led him to believe that men have the "right" to subjugate women. Similarly, the majority of society has a belief that it is our "right" to treat non-human animals as we see fit. Frankly, both of these views are morally deplorable.

By our own definition, human beings are the only "moral" beings on the planet. We are supposedly the only species who have the cognitive ability to understand right from wrong. Therein lies the irony and hypocrisy of the situation. How can one be so staunchly opposed to the immoral behaviour that Valizadeh promotes and yet have no qualms inflicting that same behaviour upon non-human animals? The reality is, that the majority of his adversaries happily subject non-human animals to such behaviour on a daily basis.

For instance, the processes involved in manufacturing the dairy products that so many of Valizadeh's opponents may regularly enjoy, typically involve loading a female cow into an industry-coined “rape rack” to be artificially inseminated, or raped. Once she has given birth, her baby is usually taken away from her with 24-48 hours so that the milk that her calf would otherwise drink can be stolen. Within one week that calf is likely to be slaughtered and sold as veal. Of course, all of this takes place on private property.

Or, take the pork industry, whereby newborn piglets are violently castrated without any pain relief. I wonder how many of those opposing Valizadeh enjoy bacon for breakfast on the weekend?

It has been said that even discussing Valizadeh's idea of legalising rape on private property encourages a violent rape culture. At this point, I feel the need to reinforce that I am 100 per cent opposed to Valizadeh's vile ideas. However, whilst his ideas and beliefs are morally bankrupt, they remain nothing but idle fantasies that will never come to fruition. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the vast majority of his opponents, who actively contribute to a discriminatory and violent rape culture by subjecting non-human animals to the very behaviour that they are opposing.

The link between our abuse of other animals and respect for women lies in the truth that discrimination begets discrimination. Modern day human beings are not innately discriminatory. Instead, discrimination is a learnt behaviour based on a simple belief of superiority or disdain over another. Once that belief has been mentally cultivated, it is easy enough to broaden one’s discriminatory views. And it just so happens that the very first form of discrimination we learn as children is against non-human animals.

We learn from a very young age that we are "superior" to animals. We are taught that animals are free to be exploited for our gratification and needs. We even go as far as to discriminate between different animals, teaching children that some animals are to be loved as pets whilst others are to be abused and slaughtered.

We know that our discrimination against animals is a learnt behaviour and not human nature, because children adore animals (for that matter, the majority of adults also claim to love animals). If given the choice between eating an apple or a piglet, a child will always choose the apple.

What gives us the right to exert such dominance over non-human animals? Most people will suggest that it is just how things are. Or, that we can do so, simply by virtue of being human. Such an apathetic mentality is staggering considering such a thought process is the very foundation on which discrimination against women is built. Men have always had physical, social, economic and political dominance over women, simply by virtue of being male. As such, discrimination against women is just how things are, right? No. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

We all know that prevention is better than cure. Addressing the root cause of an injury, for instance, is far more likely to prevent further injury than simply treating the presenting symptoms. One cannot hope to eradicate misogynistic beliefs such as Valizadeh's without first addressing our abhorrent mistreatment of non-human animals.

As to this, I regretfully speak from personal experience. During my adolescent and early adult life I was racist, sexist, elitist, and homophobic  the complete discriminatory package. Whilst my discriminatory tendencies improved somewhat as I matured, it wasn’t until I addressed the root cause of my superiority disorder that I eradicated all forms of discrimination from my life. It wasn’t until I identified as an "ethical" vegan that I could say my actions were 100 per cent non-discriminatory.

I can’t help but think that if more of Valizadeh's adversaries actually practiced what they preached, we would have an opportunity to cultivate a society where misogynistic beliefs were non-existent. It’s not enough to demand equality  one should also be the change they wish to see in the world.

Even if my analysis is wrong, surely those opposing Valizadeh's beliefs have a moral responsibility to abstain from participating in the very behaviour they are opposing? It is not good enough to say that as humans, we are each entitled to our own opinion regarding animal rights. Because if that is the case, Valizadeh must also be entitled to his belief system that women are inferior to men. And as far as I’m concerned, that is just not good enough.

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