Qaturday Empathy

First they came for the goats:
Subjective Exclusion and the search for an enemy to rob



Many cats ask me why the humans seem to be eager to go extinct – why they play Russian Roulette with technologies that they don’t really understand or control. This leads the inquisitive feline to ponder: why have humans allowed unnecessary complication to imperil the simple and natural process of surviving?

It might help us felines to comprehend these giant, resource-vacuuming, human nihilists if we interact a bit with their texts. Not too much, of course; we don’t want to be numbed and dumbed down by texts like human readers are. But let’s look at a few human texts at a safe distance to find out where these destructive beasts get their insane marching orders.

Goat Sacrifice Texts

One human text that a cat might find interesting – because it relates to other species – is the goat sacrifice text. It’s important because it’s a recurring trope in the Abrahamic texts of many power-mad human societies.

The Abrahamic texts include stories where God asks a human to kill a goat simply to make a point. For example, God (the superhuman who fabricated the universe like a craftsman) will ask a human to kill his son. And then, just before the father human’s axe hits the neck of his child, God will dramatically change his orders, and tell him to kill “this goat” instead. This eleventh-hour switch is supposed to provide some kind of relief, and this feeling of relief is supposed to convince recalcitrant human readers to obey God’s orders. After all, God isn’t such a bad guy; he rescinded his order to kill a human child, and only had a lowly goat killed instead, right?

In these stories, the goat – a species that doesn’t speak or write – is used as a prop and completely objectified. Human readers are trained not to care about the death of this animal. The same God-texts imply that all creatures were created for humanity to kill at will. Even if it’s just to make a point.

“First they came for the goats, and I wasn’t a goat, so I ate my goat burger and pretended to enjoy it.”

For this sacrifice text to work, it’s important that goats can’t speak or write – or lie. This is crucial because it allows humans to exclude the goats from their human-fabricated stories, all of which are composed of human-only words. By excluding any input from the goat community, humans are able to kill them with total impunity: “There are no goats in our church, so we make jokes about killing goats,” a human might say –  if humans were still capable of telling the truth.

Subjective Social Exclusion

This goat-killing trope sets humanity up for a social philosophy based on Subjective Social Exclusion: A group of humans form a gang, and then all agree to pretend to believe in the same lies. Humans who don’t believe the same lies are socially excluded. And these socially excluded humans are then attacked, killed, raped, and stolen from, with total impunity. Non-humans like us cats are are socially excluded as well and treated with the same brutal callousness.

(Note: The reason it’s called subjective exclusion is because the criteria for the social exclusion are purely subjective. Anything will do, really. The important thing is to recruit a powerful mix of people, and to invent some beautiful lies that are difficult to disprove.)

Now, nature being what it is, what happened to the goats (goat burgers) and to the environment (pillaged and destroyed) will soon happen to the group that started the whole Subjective Exclusion craze in the first place – the human elites. If we survive their demise, the cat world needs to beware of this kind of manufactured species-ism. And in the present day, we need to keep our claws out when in the company of humans who, as we all approach extinction, still live by their sacrifice memes and continue to practice strategic social exclusion.


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