Why do people who needlessly eat the bodies of fellow animals have the gall to say Wraith are evil? I have yet to see a vegan say that, Wraith fan or not. Vegans are more likely to be empathetic about starvation, be against racism and genocide, and understand the difference between need and greed.
When people who have not yet went vegan try to faze vegan Stargate Wraith fans by saying vegans should not be able to relate to Wraith, we vegan fans shake our heads. There are many vegan Wraith fans I have had the joy of meeting, because we empathize and see similarities between the races, and other species too. It is just that I am one of the most outspoken, as an activist, and I want other fellow vegan scifi fans to keep finding me and to know they are among good company. After all, we spend so much time debunking the same worn-out myths about both Wraith (that they are not evil) and living cruelty-free and we receive no monetary gain for standing up for others and trying to make the world a kinder and more sustainable place.
Compare these two scenarios:
*You are a are human on Earth who does not eat fellow animals or their reproductive secretions: Many of those you know are dying from diet-related inflammatory diseases. There is starvation. The planet is dying. Things are not working. Where is the future for children? You want to make things better, but how do you convince others to let go of privilege over nonhuman animals? Worn-out excuses abound: Lions tho. Other animals tho. Tradition tho. Ancestors tho. Plants tho: cutting an apple is the same as slitting a dog or pig’s throat.
*You are a Wraith in Pegasus who wants feeding solutions to get free from having to cull humans: Around half of those you know have been killed due to food-related conflict. There is starvation. Exploding planets. Things are not working. Where is the future for children? You want to make things better, but how do you convince others to let go of privilege over humans? (Can’t you just picture hearing ‘Iratus bugs tho’ and ‘Bola Kai tho’? 😉 )
This isn’t paradox. It is parallel.
And, this isn’t just science fiction. It is real. Humans are at war with all of creation, the survival of our own children and grandchildren in danger. We are in the middle of a mass extinction event and catastrophic climate change:
*Animals are suffering and dying needlessly by countless numbers, some measured in tons rather than lives lost. Humans have no nutritional need to eat the bodies of other animals or their reproductive secretions.
*Humans have converted the planet from 98% biomass of freeborn beings to 98% of fellow animals confined and suffering– again, needlessly. All for greed.
*Children are dying from starvation and thirst while artificially-bred animals take up almost half of arable land and water (56% of the US’s fresh water). We could be feeding 10 billion people.
*51% of greenhouse gasses come from animal agribusiness.
*80% of antibiotics in the US are being fed to farmed animals. Resistant strains are developing and then the age of miracles will be over.
*33% of the planet is dessertified, there are oceanic dead zones from manure runoff, the coral reefs are dying, 91% of rain forest destruction goes to farmed animal grazing land and feed lots…
*Preventable, diet-related diseases from eating animals and their reproductive secretions causes heart attacks, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, cancer, bacterial infections, and more. A whole foods, plant-based diet can prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in first world nations.
Humans have a feeding problem.
It is killing us all.
Beyond those catastrophic similarities, other factors come into play on how vegans admire facets of Wraith culture:
*minimalism – making things functional , not faddish, and not being wasteful
*ability to grow belongings harmlessly aboard the ship
*10,000 years of peace and leaving the Asurans alone
*ships fitting in with nature and planets remaining pristine
*ability to give the Gift of Life and to heal others, if given an unlimited and harmless energy source (Their ability to give the Gift of Life should not be taken away from them!)
We are living history. As humans at this time, most of us were not all born into vegan families and went through the same things when advocating for change. It becomes easy to put oneself in the shoes of others having to confront similar changes in fanfic and RPG worlds:
*When I write about a Wraith deciding to give humans a chance and taking on a worshipper but conflicting with his brother, that comes from not accepting what was taught.
*When I write about a Wraith getting out of runner hunting and making new friends on a new hive, that comes from letting some relationships go and forging new ones.
*When I write about a Wraith wondering what his deceased relatives would think of his changes, that comes from the passage and passing of people through time with change.
*When I write about a worshipper saying every face is a friendly face among other worshippers of all ethnic backgrounds, that comes from being among others in diverse, cruelty-free potlucks. I love my diverse family of compassionate people, my hive, with all my heart.
So, a vegan won’t stop being a Wraith fan any more than rejecting family members who are not yet vegan, barring that those people are not being abusive or antagonistic. (Do no harm, but take no sh*t!)
In fact, I love my favorite Wraith all the more for being a part of Todd’s delegation and looking for solutions. People who are doing something. That is true heroism!
Whether human, Wraith, or some other race, if we could live our lives causing the least amount of harm, why wouldn’t we?
We are blessed with these beautiful bodies which do not require us to harm other sentient beings. It is never too late to start a kind legacy. And, at least we don’t have Ronon or any hypocritical, genocidal Lanteans pointing guns at us while us try to learn, figure things out, or help! The bodies and lives of our fellow animals being to them and their families– not for human animals. They are here with us, not for us.
Wraith Culture is More Life-Affirming than Most Human Cultures
Wraith only have to eat 3-4 times per year, for a few minutes at a time, and the cocoon decks are separated off and not otherwise well-trafficked or guarded (allowing Lanteans to escape time and time again). Culling is done onboard darts, with distanced and impersonal sweeping beams, and, at least on “The Hive” masked warriors inspect dart cargo, maybe even carry the humans away to cocoons. Michael says Wraith have little interaction with humans; Steve sports a self-destruct wrist band to avoid being captured by them. With the exception of a few runner hunters, Wraith don’t have a choice and seem to minimize to the greatest extent possible any reminders of this.
All around Wraith, outside of the sparsely trafficked cocoon decks, life is all around them. Their minds are connected by telepathy. Their ships are alive. Their tech and belongings are grown, some items are seemingly inanimate like molten ZPM cases and others alive such as the computer consoles with their organic cables and all are harmless. Nature is left pristine around their hives and facilities. They don’t bother the Asurans. The give each other the Gift of Life and can even reverse death.
Too many humans, on the other hand, immerse themselves in death by choice, multiple times a day, on a daily basis. The bloody, dismembered bodies of other betrayed animals are bought, stored, and put on plates, sometimes multiple bodies on each plate, in front of children who were born compassionate. Kitchens are decorated with images of the victims in the form of décor. The radio and television are full of ads from death-dealing companies and their products of violence. Ads for grocery stores are loaded with images of death. Grocery store carts are loaded with intestinal bacteria from packages of body parts. Cookware ads, while selling inanimate objects, often have body parts placed in them for no reason. Otherwise clean foods have recipes on their packages telling buyers to cook them with someone’s body parts or reproductive secretions. Some humans wear and decorate with the skin of their victims in the form of gloves, coats, couches, and car seats. Whole holidays, festivals, and even so-called charity and spiritual events, are built around death and killing, from Yulin to Thanksgiving. Uneaten body parts are disposed of by being hidden in common products, such as most soaps and some cosmetics, smeared on peoples’ bodies and faces. The majority of Westernized peoples are at unhealthy weights from the torment and death of others. When they get heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other ailments from eating death, they torture still more nonhuman animals to try to find a magic bullet to enable them to continue living their deathstyle. Not to mention the grotesqueness of the abuses of meat/dairy/eggs/honey, especially for the females. Anyone not yet vegan, Google Dairy is Scary video to see what I mean, how unnatural and un-Wraith it all is. Humans, fellow animals, and the planet groan under the weight of bombardment of human death cultures. The planet is dying and we only have one Earth.
If given the choice, I would take the hiveships and worship the Wraith, if only for a more life-affirming change of scenery!
That said, I see and want better for all and remain optimistic. If Wraith existed, I would want for them freedom so they don’t even have to have cocoon decks marring their otherwise perfect existence. For humans, the cracks in the death cultures are getting larger and I am sure a vegan life culture will prevail—probably not in my lifetime, but I am sure it will happen and I stay active and vocal to help future generations so they have a planet to live on and a life culture to nourish them.
It is also worth noting the actor and actress who portrayed the most Wraith early on were/are at least vegetarian and may also be vegan by now or vegan-leaning, as JL has made vegan Kale Trail videos on YT and made a photo for Anonymous for the Voiceless and Andee has blogged about a asking for soy milk in her coffee. Fans should celebrate the inner beauty of these thoughtful and talented people, and not just the physical appearances of them or their characters in turn, for it is their seeing their roles as playing a race of individuals and not evil, mindless feeding machines that is the foundation for what makes the race so captivating. Sites which abnegate this do a great disservice on many levels. I started a list of Stargate cast and crew promoting kindness in this offsite group. Please add to it if you know of other vegan Stargate connections.
Being a vegan science fiction fan also brings me into contact with critical thought writings which help me to identify, understand, and articulate what all is going wrong with how the Ancients, Asurans, and new Lanteans mistreat the Wraith and their culture and to call it out. Deep down, so many fans know things are wrong with that bigotry and struggle with how to express it or maybe don’t have the courage to speak out. But, I won’t stay silent, either for things I see in real life or being peddled in scifi books or TV shows. I disrupt those narratives, not accommodate them.
So, yes, I am both a proud Wraith worshipper and vegan and I carry with me my joy, use my ability to offer art against violence (both on and off screen amid a turbulent world wrought with war and bad politics), and my drive and passion to keep moving and making better each Wraith site, art piece, or whatever I make.
It was two other fans back on dA who showed me why it was important to stand up for other animals and our planet and I am passing that knowledge along, here, now that dA has been sold and has slowed. All the best to those doing something to make the world a better place and I hope more in every fandom will join in doing so. There seem to be more vegan artists than writers, for some reason, but I would like to see more in all creative fields.