We Godless Animals evolved after the discovery that many skeptic and atheists reveal astounding degrees of ignorance and prejudice regarding nonhuman animal issues. Just look online at a forum or two. The mere mention of animal rights or veganism seems to throw a switch in people’s brains. One moment they can be rigorous rationalists, thinking critically, and the next they are like the dumbest rednecks in town, repeating ancient prejudices, cliches, and hypocrisies.
So basically We Godless Animals focuses on vegan issues as they relate to secularists who do the following:
- Aligning their thinking with religious doctrines
- Committing the same fallacies as faithheads
- Exhibiting behaviors based on inherited thinking
- Failing to demonstrate consistency
The site also examines the deplorable treatment of nonhumans and the environment based on the delusions and lies of religion and magical thinking.
For reference—or as a trigger warning—my skeptical position might be described as aligned with those of Richard Dawkins, Peter Singer, Sam Harris, and Jerry Coyne, to name a few.
This video sums up my position on religion and its comic book, kindergarten-level sophistication. However, the video is a touch too polite for my liking.
A conscientious omnivore is seemingly rare in the skeptical community, let alone someone following an ethics-based vegan diet. Even for freethinkers who make a career out of skeptical inquiry, skepticism is selective. A kind of “flexitarianism” is common instead, propped up with countless blends of lazy, denying, ill-informed attitudes. Secularists thus demonstrate minds as much bound by inherited and emotional ideas as religious followers when it comes to nonhuman animal issues.
Occasionally you get those whose views are close to those of animal advocates, such as Richard Dawkins, who observes that a religious heritage is clearly part of the reason why “society’s moral attitudes rest almost entirely on the discontinuous, speciesist imperative.”Richard Dawkins, A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company: 2004), 25. But others lack anything close to this level of objective assessment and obliviously live according a religiously inspired anthropocentric moral framework.
It is not unusual, then, for vegan skeptics to be perplexed at the selective skepticism they constantly encounter. It is hard to fathom how the indefensible is so easily ignored and waved away by those, who, ironically, take pride in their inductive integrity. History shows we cannot expect critical thought from the bulk of the religious, but when progressives from whom we expect so much more are no better, the disappointment is all the bitterer, the mirth all the more deserving.
Yes, the cartoon illustrates kind of criticism leveled at the vegan-skeptic or “vegatheist” position. However, superiority is not what drives vegan skeptics to challenge other skeptics—it’s disappointment and disillusionment. It’s about wanting to see people live up to their claims and be honest about consistency.
Secularists of all kinds need to walk the talk if they want to espouse enlightened secular values and say they support a rational approach to ethics and justice. They need to set a moral example—especially if they are leaders in the skeptical community—and act in a manner consistent with professed beliefs or with the logic upon which those beliefs are based. Free-pass skepticism is not good enough when it comes to the unethical treatment of humans or nonhumans.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||⇑||Richard Dawkins, A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company: 2004), 25.|