Tag Archives: vegan

What to Do About Post-War Wraith Who Resist Change? Pt 2: Humans in Real Life

A few months ago, I blogged about a fanfic scenario someone came up with about Wraith having a way to meet their energy needs and having to deal with others who still chose to want to hang on to power/privilege/tradition.

I still think often of this fanfic scenario in so many ways.

But! For the real-life audience, there are 2 problems with this scenario:

1) It all too closely mirrors real life. A divide is growing among human nations in attitudes and practices surrounding animal agribiz and plastics. So many EU countries have had biodegradable bags for years and needlessly exploiting and killing fellow animals is on the decline, especially in the UK and Germany. Meanwhile, the US lags behind, pumping out plastics and wasting soy, grain, and antibiotics on animals they will be killing and causing oceanic dead zones and resistant bacteria, all because of corruption and cronyism creating layers of structural violence, trading the future of all the planet for the profit of a few. Island nations such as the UK are hardest hit by rising ocean levels. Could the day come when nations go to war over some humans refusing to change? Some say Middle East unrest and migration were already a result of climate change and hunger and Pacific Island residents have already started to lose their homes.

2) At the time, I did not ask, but, now, to my knowledge, all of the other individuals posting opinions about the fanfic scenario themselves refuse to stop needlessly harming fellow animals, even though a number of them brought up fellow animals and the environment. The one who was loudest in calling for the Wraith to be genocided later made ad hominem anti-vegan statements elsewhere. (I found out later while unfriending someone for posting heterosexist, cissexist, and specieist comments which appeared in my feed.) Another seemed to defend stalking and killing fellow animals (hunting) in another thread. If exploiting animals bothers others to where they bring it up, and decry it repeatedly in a public scifi forum, off-topic, why not simply stop funding that?

The “what to do about those who resist progress and endanger others” scenario is not only for fanfic writers to ponder. It is for everyone. We only have one Earth, we are running out of time, and we need to stop the needless exploitation and death being inflicted on our fellow Earthlings– not sit and point fingers at the potential dilemmas of fictional scifi races.

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Recognition of Fictional Ship Sentience While Denying Fellow Animal Sentience

In certain science fiction transcript sites, one sees the spectacle of inorganic or semi-organic space ships being referred to with she/her pronouns while human hybrids, fellow animals, and bipedal machine-based races are objectified, even non-canonically and colonialistically, and misgendered with it/its.

Similarly, a summary for a scifi novel tells of an inorganic ship that is given the same exceptional treatment, even going as far as giving the ship memories of pain and trauma, both physical and emotional. Yet, the same author also objectifies sentient fellow animals who most certainly feel fear, pain, happiness, and joy, and who want very much to live freely and free from harm. Even more puzzling is when the author is a LGBTQ+ advocate, yet props up the prejudiced and outdated use of objectifying pronouns for living beings, rather than normalizing the singular they/their for gender neutrality. All oppressions are interrelated.

This phenomenon is seen in scifi franchises such as Stargate, Lexx, and Farscape.

Why so much sympathy for a ship which doesn’t even exist and no sympathy for real-life, flesh and blood beings with whom we share life? Probable answer: There is not an agribusiness breeding bio space ships for human exploitation to brainwash people into objectifying the bio space ships, nor billions of dollars for advertising and government lobbyists to do it. Sympathy and nonviolence are the natural state of most humans. Only a small percent of the population are psychopaths.

The natural spark of sympathy for bio ships is what is the best within us. Extending sympathy to all living beings is a matter of expanding our circles of compassion, thereby promoting justice for all and reclaiming who we truly are inside.

Emotionalism and Ad Hominem Responses to Facts

Advocates of non-violence, do you encounter people who condone violence responding emotionally to facts you present by, ironically, mislabeling you as the one being emotional?

Let us shine a light on that, ironically, emotional response!

Facts are specific, measurable, observable, repeatable, and verifiable. Examples: “Insects have exoskeletons and six legs.” “Here is a link to the director’s blog post where the director said…,” “The UN reported that animal agribiz is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the combined exhaust from all transportation.”

But, along comes someone who sees or hears the facts you stared and they try to say you are being  emotional, irrational, idealistic, or some other noun or adjective. These are subjective opinions. They are not facts. They are ad hominem logical fallacies. Ad hominem fallacies are reactions directed against people, rather than the positions they are maintaining.

You point this out to them or ask, “What is it about me posting this fact you find to be not logical?” and, predictably, the response is usually… drumroll…  another ad hominem reaction! This time, the ad hominem label is that your fact sharing makes you serious, extreme, angry, or whatever.

If mere facts make other people emotional, that is their problem of bad manners, cognitive dissonance, and resulting emotionalism. Not yours. Violence outside of self-defense is emotionalism and extremism. Sharing facts in support of nonviolence, by contrast, is both logical and stable.

Some people making posts advocating violence preface the posts with a phrase such as “no negative responses.” This is yet another ad hominem insult and opinion, meant to deter anyone from posting a FACT which counters their post, as they know deep down they are not being rational and that they are wrong. They want to state untruths and promote violence unimpeded. Not going to happen. If these people don’t want to see FACTS, they can refrain from posting untruths to begin with and keep wallowing in cognitive dissonance offline by themselves.

Additionally, other people labeling themselves as “logical” doesn’t make them logical. I saw someone do that once when being highly illogical about promoting drug use and conflating gender and sexual minority authenticity and expression with it. Just no. Hezmata no. Stating FACTS makes one logical, not opinions or untruths (or bad analogies). 😛

So, don’t let others try to box you in with their impossible, ever-changing opinions wherein you are supposed to jump when they say to jump by being an on-demand mix of serious, funny, or whatever their whims are. All you have to do is let facts stand for themselves. Call out ad hominem reactions for what they are– fallacies– and hold your ground.

Wraith Do Not “Milk” Retrovirused Humans

Holy Iratus, not another absent referent cow analogy.

This bad analogy is wrong on so many levels.

*It perpetuates the lie of harmlessness of the dairy industry. The humans are not continually being forcibly impregnated and having their babies taken away until their bodies give out in five years and they are sent to be killed, as cows and other mammals are.

*It makes a mockery of womanhood, motherhood, and breastfeeding. A mother’s milk is meant for her baby and no one else (save for a surrogate baby, upon the mother’s loving consent).

*It takes away from the generous and pioneering nature of the donors who undergo the treatment and give lifeforce. Keller’s new treatment involves consenting humans volunteering. Although not harmed, it still takes time out of their day, the donation is still said to be painful, and they need time to recover.

How strange that people who eat the bodies of fellow animals and their feminine reproductive secretions continually try to jam the relations of humans and Wraith, who are human hybrids themselves, into analogies of ways humans exploit fellow animals. Racist Wraith characters in such writings sound more like whiny carnists than the racists they are. A power or privilege-based approach intersecting with race and calling for dismantling all forms of oppression makes more sense than speaking about other random, uninvolved mammals and breastfeeding.

Misused Words in Science Fiction: Sentient, Sapient, Intelligent, Speciesism, Uninhabited

In science fiction, one tends to see the same handful of words being thrown around, in which the writers 1) do not know the definitions of the words they are using and 2) attempt to misuse the words to prop up anthropocentrism, ableism, and speciesism, to try to alleviate guilt for needlessly harming fellow animals.

Let’s unpack these commonly misused words:

sentient – adj -able to perceive or feel things

This includes any beings who have nervous systems, ganglia, nerve nets, etc. This includes just about all fellow animals, with the possible exceptions of sponges, corals, anemones, and hydras.

Speciesists try to place a dividing line between various galactic anthropocentric races who mysteriously speak English and all other fellow animals, claiming other fellow animals can’t feel and perceive with their senses, ignoring their sensory organs (eyes, ears, etc) and reactions to sensory input, such as fleeing from danger, crying out, happy purrs, etc.

sapient – adj – 1) wise*, or attempting to appear wise, 2) relating to the human species ( Homo sapiens )
(*wise – adj – having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment.)

Definition 1: Speciesists try to place a dividing line between various galactic anthropocentric races who mysteriously speak English and all other fellow animals, claiming other fellow animals can’t have experiences, learn, and show good judgement, including growing hungry rather than see another shocked in cruel human-made lab settings . There are plenty of YouTube videos showing cows operating farm doors and watering spigots, dogs teaching puppies how to use steps, crows using tools (including a frisbee as a makeshift sled on a roof), bees teaching one another, etc. Language, tool use, and consciousness are not unique to human animals. The inability to speak English (or some other human language) is not a justification to harm someone (ableism) or assume they have no intelligence. Some humans can also be mute, for varying reasons, and there are also varying levels of intelligence and talents among humans. Also, fellow animals have abilities humans lack to make decisions with, such as sonar, 3D spacial processing from flight, and even possible telepathic image projection.

Definition #2: Non-human galactic beings who mysteriously speak English are often mislabeled sapient, but the definition should technically not be used to describe any beings other than humans and human hybrids– and still should not be used as a divider to treat others inequitably– only as a racial description and nothing more. Due to definition #2, I avoid this word altogether for its speciesist connotations of using humans as benchmarks to compare all other beings.

Besides, what intelligent species destroys their own planet? To a galactic visitor, seeing how too many humans treat each other, fellow animals, and the planet, to be labelled “sapient” and lumped in with humans might be an insult to them, not an honor.

intelligent -adj- having or showing intelligence, especially of a high level

Same as definition #1 above. Ableism again.

speciesism – noun- the assumption of human animal superiority leading to the exploitation of other fellow animals

Speciesists, ironically, misuse the word as a stand-in for racism among various galactic anthropocentric races who mysteriously speak English. Speciesism applies to all fellow animals, not just English-speaking, humanoid beings. One who shakes hands with ET and also eats the bodies and reproductive secretions of other animals is still speciesist.

uninhabited – adj- (of a place) without inhabitants
similarly: unpopulated

Specieists misuse this word to represent only galactic anthropocentric races who mysteriously speak English. If birds, turtles, insects, and other fellow animals live in a place, then, the place is *not* uninhabited. Only barren islands or worlds devoid of all life are truly uninhabited or unpopulated. Pristine or primeval are better adjectives for undisturbed worlds.

Now that you know the inherent biases and misuses of these words, be on the lookout for them and don’t be fooled.

Could the Nox help the Wraith?

Along with thinking about how near-ascended Ancients could help Wraith with their healing powers and Goa’uld sarcophagi could be used to heal them from starvation, each rejuvenating and nourishing Wraith cells, could the Nox also help?

The Nox are capable of giving the Gift of Life, in their own way, with the Ritual of Life, healing and even reversing death. The Nox help all races, so they are not bigoted. They seem to be vegan*/non-speciesist, which makes sense if one is supposed to be not bigoted and non-violent. 🙂

Because the Ritual of Life takes at least three, there would have to be enough Nox to be able to perform this ritual every 3-4 months, for each Wraith, the time it takes for each Wraith to run out of lifeforce energy, barring no injuries.

(*Stereotype caveat here: While the Nox are awesome, caution is needed that vegan characters are not portrayed as to promote myths of “purity” or ethereal qualities that make them seem like some kind of saints who don’t belong of this universe, who have magical wills, and/or who were born that way. This is an older trope, but exists elsewhere in Stargate, too, such as the food the people near ascension were eating in Stargate Atlantis “Epiphany” seemed vegan/plant-based. That makes nonviolence appear unattainable for mere mortals. Vegans are just ordinary people who don’t want to harm, or pay others to harm, fellow animals and our numbers are growing, so we were not all born that way. That’s it!)

Erasure of Conscientious Objectors in Entertainment

As a vegan viewer, the trope of seeing characters who don’t eat fellow animals being erased gets really old, really fast. Even shows aimed at children and teens are not exempt. The characters are usually given minor roles and usually vanish within an episode or two (Pria, Orville). Or, they were never really committed to begin with (Lisa, SGU), have bits of animal bodies snuck fed to them or they are forced to eat them (Rachel, Drew Carey; The Vegans; The Race) as jokes for speciesists in the audience, dress in false stereotypical clothing (The Vegans; The Race), and/or abandon their ethical commitments without preamble (Topanga, Boy Meets World).

But, watching Voltron Legendary Defender, and seeing so many of the Blade of Marmora being killed off made me realize progressives and conscientious objectors of all kinds are treated this way.

Stargate is no exception to this trope. Besides the Stargate Universe example above, Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Origins have it worse:

*Todd’s crew in “Infection”

*Zaddik and Ellia

*Queen Egeria and the Tok’ra

*Niam and the other Asurans who want to ascend

*Queen Betty and her well cared-for worshippers

*Aset with her Harcesis child and kind ways of ruling

*Just about all the humans in Origins (who were diverse and tolerant of race, religion, and sexuality and truly exemplary and exceptional for that time period)

Stargate Infinity comes out relatively unscathed, as an exception, with a colony of Tlak’kahn conscientious objectors who peacefully share a planet with another race.

So, why does this keep happening in so many shows, even when humans stand to benefit?  Why are so many progressives and conscientious objectors erased or nearly erased to the point of being too small of minorities to tip a balance? These characters are true heroes!

Is it to enforce anthropocentric hierarchies that humans are separate, that peace can’t be had, that nothing can change for the good? What does that say about the state of humanity?

Why can’t humans, including writers of fictional characters, let nonviolent progressives and conscientious objectors live and show them the respect they deserve?

Maybe when human kind stops killing off other kinds, conscientious objectors will be allowed to exist more prominently in fiction.

Until then, I won’t let myself and my values be erased and I won’t let my favorite Wraith character of Todd’s crew be erased. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m putting up inclusive Wraith fanworks modeling nonviolence.