Animalistic Issue

visual rhetorics and its traps

Fresh water under what old bridge?

I’ve somehow stumbled across a video by the British band “the Prodigy” that gives me the creeps. The song is called “Baby’s got a Temper” and it displays cows crammed into some space where the band themselves sing on a stage and some nude young ladies are “forced” by some older lady with a whip to milk the cows. There is some video-storyline-framing around all this, but the main message is to sexualize an act of speciesism.

I think this video is highly influenced by the current arts discourse, which likes to use a speciesist outlook as a chosen perspective with which the onlooker aesthetically likes to identify.

The band “the Prodigy” acts as if they were just soooo punkish and they pretend to be rebellious thus. Only, against what is their “rebellion” directed? Against nonhuman animals? Especially against cows? It seems that’s exactly what it is, the band conveys the message in this video: it’s rebellious if you are against nonhuman animals.

And why could that be rebellious?

Because the speciesist utopian ideal feels that an “animal principle” is undirectable. Nonhuman animals don’t share anything with “us” that would make “us” want to live with them, because an “animal principle” requires “us” to come to terms with a lived pluralism on the most existential plane. But “we” don’t like pluralism in the first place.

Rebelling against the “animal principle” implies both, a rejection of nonhuman animal diversity as much as a rejection of human diversity, because the only “agent” that can possibly posses “the only one permitted truth”, is he or she who is anti-all.

A truth that directs itself anti-all, that negates everything, seems to be an “only truth”. A pluralist outlook on the other hand, would never draw a line at any border… .