Among the many notices that I receive about various events and conferences focused on animal issues was an announcement about a conference sponsored by the welfarist group, United Poultry Concerns. The title of the conference is: “Cage Free, Animal Friendly, Go Vegan -What’s the Problem?”
According to the announcement, the conference will ask:
Should activists work to reduce the suffering of billions of chickens and other animals who will never live to see a vegan world, or is such work counterproductive—a moral betrayal of animals?
This question assumes that animal welfare reforms significantly reduce the suffering of animals and will lead us along incrementally to a vegan world. There is no support for such an assumption.
It is a new year. It is a time to resolve to do better.
A simple suggestion: If you are not a vegan yet, get off the fence and stop exploiting nonhumans.
If you are vegan, then educate yourself about the relevant moral arguments, as well as the environmental and health benefits, and try to work veganism into every conversation that you can. Look at every omnivore (including vegetarians who are not vegans) who you meet as someone who can be convinced if you work hard enough at it. Many will not listen; some will. And every person who becomes a vegan makes a difference.
Veganism is the most important personal change you can make; educating others about veganism is the most significant form of activism in which you can engage.
Happy New Year.
Gary L. Francione
© 2008 Gary L. Francione