Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ask not what our HEALTH can do for us; ask what we can do for our HEALTH

Welcome to the first official web site for HEALTH (Humans, Earth, and Animals Living Together Harmoniously). This blog will be devoted to
  1. challenging and exposing the interrelated institutional prejudices that plague “modern” cultures: sexism, racism, classism, speciesism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, heterosexism, and naturism. This will be achieved through a) systems thinking, b) cultural criticism of discourse and policies, and c) the deconstruction of popular conceptions of the human, the animal, the body, and the environment.


  2. promoting ecologically sustainable and prejudice-free societies and philosophies as more healthful alternatives to the ones that presently dominate the West. On an individual level, HEALTH advocates whole food plant-based diets (i.e. veganism) because of their freedom from speciesism, their comparatively smaller ecological footprint, and their wholesomeness for human bodies. HEALTH also supports the collective movement from intensive agribusiness to veganic agriculture and permaculture, monocultures to polycultures, sea animal farming to sea plant farming, lawns to vegetable gardens, grocery chains to farmers’ markets and CSAs, corporations to cooperatives, from fast food to slow food, etc.


  3. facilitating coalition building between social and environmental justice movements and organizations to build activist bases, develop larger activist networks, and catalyze discussions. For instance, animal welfare, human rights, and environmental health issues all arise from the intensive animal agribusiness that exists today. By uniting, we achieve much greater power and awareness.


  4. fostering critical discussion among and sharing fresh ideas with others who care so that each may learn from one another without fear of being silenced. Each one of us can contribute valuable knowledge and perspective, deepening our empathy and strengthening our case for a sustainable, prejudice-free flourishing community.


  5. developing new discourses for non-confrontational and non-judgmental engagement with the moral intuitions of those overlooked and/or ostracized by many activists from certain causes (because they are seen as “unenlightened” due to their race, class, culture, religion, and/or politics). The more discussion on these issues and fresh ideas for coalition building, tactics, and prejudice-free theory, the more empowered we will become. All suggestions for post topics and discussions on essays, articles, and news stories are welcome—all you have to do is send me an email. If you’re interested in contributing, I’ll consider that as well.
I love hearing from you! Leave a comment or send me an email...

2 comments:

Luella said...

That is so cool. I was thinking that it might be possible to start a HEALTH organization at my university, but then I realized that LEAD (Leaders in Education About Diversity) is too similar. LEAD is too limiting and excludes both environmentalism and veganism / animal rights, both key issues in HEALTH. It is really only devoted to the university community members as well, primarily the students themselves. But we are not allowed to create an organization that is too similar to an existing one. I guess I will stick with starting an animal rights organization.

Adam said...

Luella,
Thank you for your interest in and promotion of this website!

I actually created this site after I left college and could no longer participate in the club that inspired this philosophical and political project. I think I mentioned somewhere that my intentions were to provide 1) an academic resource for veg, env., and animal activists (check out all the links--especially "PUBLICATIONS"--in the sidebar), 2) inspire people to create their own chapters of HEALTH in their communities/schools, and 3) provide a space for the cultural studies of "food" and "animals."

Since HEALTH (now) focuses exclusively on food justice/issues (it was previously too broad in focus) I don't think you'll have a problem making a case that it is different from LEAD (especially if animal and environmental issues are not addressed by them). When I founded HEALTH [sec. 8 of "Origins of HEALTH"], I had to make the case that it was different from a decade-old environmental club... and it worked. As it turned out, our membership base was very different in the end. So I do encourage you to give it a go. Perhaps HEALTH and LEAD will make good allies.

If you'd like, contact me and I'll send you the old constitution and a list of events and demos we organized.