Rule of Dumbs
by Tina Darragh

Printer-friendly version

(Dedicated to Heather Fuller for her poetry and for her work with alternative forms of animal shelters.)

In 1975, the philosopher Peter Singer began his book on animal liberation with a chapter entitled “All Animals Are Equal...or why supporters of liberation for Blacks and Women should support Animal Liberation too.”  Recalling the 18th century A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes satirizing Mary Wollstonecraft’s feminist treatise, Singer calls for giving animals equal consideration instead of equal treatment.

consideration = attention

                      shape up the fragments       to   

                                                                          distract us from our powerlessness

Singer’s work on animal liberation inspired many, including Henry Spira, a union activist who spent much of the ‘60s and early ‘70s fighting corruption in the National Maritime Union.  For his first animal rights action, Spira organized a series of demonstrations to protest feline sex experiments at the American Museum of Natural History.  For almost two decades, scientists had surgically altered various sections of cats’ brains and then observed their sexual behavior with other cats, rabbits, and inanimate objects.  The demonstrations attracted press coverage, then politicians, then public hearings.  The experiments were halted after the National Institutes of Health stopped funding the project.  Spira then turned his attention to the cosmetic industry’s blinding of rabbits with the Draize test, chemical eye drops named for a Food and Drug Administration official.  Along with demonstrations featuring people dressed as animals, ads run in major newspapers asked “How many rabbits does Revlon blind for beauty’s sake?”  Revlon and other cosmetics companies responded by funding projects to develop animal testing alternatives. Another successful Spira campaign convinced the Department of Agriculture to cease the face-branding of cattle.

But when it came to changing factory-farming methods, Spira’s creative campaigns (including “End the Gulf War Now by Bombing Iraq with Perdue Chickens”) failed to have an impact. Perdue successfully countered Spira’s toxic chicken ads with ones of their own touting their hens as alternative food since they were fed “natural” marigold petals.


The animals we “see” either are in zoos (exotic icons of global imperialism) or at home (cute icons of nuclear familiarity). Not moving, pets confirm our isolation at home so that we act by buying more products from the world of wild animals who aren’t moving either.  To date, animal rights actions have been successful when focusing on “feminine” appearances - cosmetic beauty and voyeuristic sex - which in turn reinforce patriarchal order.  The factory farm remains.


The most successful protests by a union activist in the 1980s were for animal rights.


Lament for the unity in utility under capitalism

SIMPLUS from us– last part–not blended so!
    Low force infold raised to name;
Guild math shatter seven low
    His smile owns breath past blasted fame.
Proud rage our graves where steps whisp goal,
    Toil fore one word round cling,
Sunk to hush, ally driv'lling cries

    God! Why not sight our spare this rise?



I’m sorry for the ugly phrase “unity in utility under capitalism”

 ill-favored adjectives balk
minatory indifference curve of goods where there is no preference for one over the other

like). ??.  Awe.]

  if 1. [  ]formed  consumer was equally satisfied with 10 peaches and 2 avocados, 2 kiwi and 12 peaches, or 1/5th an  apple and 1/4th  a banana, these combinations would all form a line on:

cankered, cantankerous, churlish, corrupt, crabbed,
     crabby, cranky, critical, cross, cross-grained, crotchety, crusty,
       attacking the person arguing rather than the argument itself

perverse situation called rational in reference to
the ream that you or others
are homo economicus largely


Ever since the publication of Animal Liberation, Peter Singer has been commonly known as the “father of animal rights” even though he’s a strict utilitarian.  Rejecting the notion that animals have rights because they are not “subjects of a life”, he focuses on the consequences of actions that benefit or harm them. But for readers living within a system where profits are maximized by hiding harms, the only trade-off they know is supply and demand, the only demand they know is union corruption, the only supply they know is stream of con’n stuff ‘n stuff.


Dam con’n stuff ‘n stuff lament

long train of events is wrapped up Slower,
roll’d up in shades or as it is called
the cooling of heated metals produce
some slip in Week-day Serm happiness activity
to forget the use of that word, all the changes
indefinite, incoherent feeling in more and more
complex defending credit of all
public temper performed
varied sprays


As Solon moved to strengthen the Greek city state by portraying the casualties of war as heroes, the existing practice of mourning the dead – words broken into sounds by the cries of many women – was banned, and funerals hidden from sight. The law stipulated that there were to be no laments outside the home, and specified the degree of kinship necessary for a woman to legally accompany a corpse to its grave before dawn. The sound of collective wailing evoked fears of wild animals on the move, and of an uncontrollable revenge undermining the best interests of the state. With the linking of laments to property rights, any concept of “family” beyond economic ties was outlawed, and the history of war’s consequences for all families could be neither seen nor heard.



I can’t property lament this

Probable war of LED
Loss obviously of LED
ExisTEN stopped
this swindler moment
numbered paragraph will


The May Day activists of 1968 believed that they were creating a revolutionary form of supply and demand - instead of subjects demanding objects, “free expression” was substituted for demanding subjects, thus eliminating objects the state could contaminate.
Now pure-bred sounds shake all on their own, beaker-speaks for which the only demand in the world
is for words unsown in that world
where field animals
have no language
only evolution
which is a picture
not a history
although it looks like one


Collective Lament for Banishing Animals from History

Oh, Marx, when you called freedom the fruit of human minds already fully formed beyond the beasts in the fields, you hid history with evolution and drew a straight line from pose to state possession.  No revolution can take place as we devote ourselves to managing the animal bodies we assume we’ve left behind. Our cries rise from throats made weak with words which can choke us while we breathe, XXX “ to speak” XXX the dumbest design. As co-minions, we call across kinships to protest the totala
totalcon rate of  centration
ixture of separab plan positionll never
turequivalent will unts
acoffensive: capital, egregious, flag curve of the longitudinal hull
echanism, that is changed ·  who agitates
amounts increasing the rate of a · 
completely different form restling reverses
specified angular origin remains
tuosition or disposition of by folding
“Sudden prosper·  with to or into: turn
through pages as toactions or  Make a
turn had done fo·  about volving
 tuwere turned out
git·  turn over
to lurch or heave  My stsequence

leae the ocean. in time of nd but used a stick as exhausted expedient befo·  pitch,
day.etermination: axample)            Char·  ce:
char·  ne;.


April 25, 2004
During an abortion rights march on Washington, DC, counter demonstrators take over “Freedom Plaza”, a small square on Pennsylvania Avenue within view of the White House. While the abortion rights marchers carry small placards – some printed, most handmade – the counter demonstrators are dwarfed by 3 ten-foot high, professionally-made, appropriate-for-newsbreak posters: one of a fetus appearing to suck its thumb, one of a monkey appearing to scream with electrodes on its head, and one of a self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist.  The fetus has no words and no history, the monkey has no words and no history, and the image of the Islamic terrorist evokes words and history disintegrating along with the World Trade Center.



lament for the solidarity of base  by  face  by  face

the reciprocal frequency
feels with the common
interests that immediately
you include


the reciprocal frequency
stops with the common
complete interest that
includes you immediately


September 2, 2005

Lynne Dreyer finds an article in Baltimore’s Afro American newspaper on “Hanging”, a PETA exhibit that juxtaposed a photo of two black men lynched by a white mob next to one of a cow hung upside down in a slaughterhouse.  The creatures were put together so that they looked like one Christian crucifixion scene. (“Tableau, you know, has judge&jury in tow.”) The NAACP spokesman quoted in the article responded that comparing the criminal act of lynching with the legal act of butchering exploited history.


(dispose) >ABLE creatures


(two ways, in twosense “reverse, undo”) > INTERROGATE HOLD begins

             /> start a sentence
            /> start a business

chattel = moveable possessions



The inclusion of colloquial language in the 3rd edition of Webster’s dictionary caused quite a stir.  But it wasn’t entries such as “ain’t” that prompted a number of hostile takeover bids of MerriamWebster by rival publishers. Corporations were distressed that trademarked names, such as kleenex, had made their way into everyday speech uncapitalized.  Reprints of the 3rd edition recapitalized all trademarks, except for those that had become verbs.


trademark - not land, not erosion, not wearing, not wearing away

a coming down from some previously raised
state as the waves subside after a storm
a sinking down into the word as the tumult of the people
in such cases, we were thinking of the
building where animals are butchered


                /> a building
               /> a disorder


our antimask set to case
such land as hide would cover 
o? unwillingness to sum familiar
making m?urs o’erlaid

a sequence of values until it fails. Resumption takes -> the arrangement of light
and dark parts
   to represent the colors
   of natural objects, but for effect only, and produced with
   hard material
1.                         Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery
             . . still
is increased by
putting in the space between the spectator and leaves
2.            shutting together 
but running upon

1.            peculiar to a language; not themselves



animals as trademarks are outside of history
animal trademarks hide humans as chattel
marking our trade slips = our silent kin ships


IdealDog trademark
Animal Series trademark
Animal Logic trademark
OncoMouse trademark
Animal Crossing trademark
Human and Animal Diagnostics trademark


Words don’t branch out when linking non-human animal oppression with events in human history.  If slaughterhouses are compared with gas chambers, Holocaust survivors respond that Jews, Gypsies and the disabled may have died like animals, but animals don’t die like Jews, Gypsies, and the disabled. Animals don’t have a history. But those gassed in the camps didn’t die like all animals, only those not covered by National Socialism’s 1933 Law on Animal Protection.  At that point in time, part of Jewish history overlapped with part of Gypsy history with part of disability history with part of non-human animal history.  These historical laps remain as gaps in the stories told as the concentration camps become museums.

Illuminated Apology Laments


Author's Statement