Monthly Archives: December 2009

Reminder: BBC World Service Documentary: “Animals and Us”

Dear Colleagues:

This is to remind you that tomorrow, December 31, 2009, and on January 7, 2010, the BBC World Service (audio) will do a 2-part documentary program entitled One Planet: Animals and Us.

The documentary is produced Victor Schonfeld, who did the influential The Animals Film (narrated by Julie Christie) in 1982. Schonfeld will ask whether the animal movement has made progress in the years since he did The Animals Film.

The BBC World Service is the most listened to radio broadcast in the world. So whether you like or do not like what Schonfeld says, know that this program will be heard by millions of people and will have an influence in how they think about the issue.

Again: there will be two parts: December 31, 2009 and January 7, 2010.

Go here to find out where and when you can listen live in your area. The show will be archived. The BBC World Service Site is here. The site will have extended material attached to the archived program.

Gary L. Francione
©2009 Gary L. Francione

Resolution #2 for 2010: Stop Vegan Bashing

Dear Colleagues:

Speciesism occurs when we accord a different weight to a similar interest on the basis of species.

An example of speciesism is vegan bashing. We all agree that human slavery—however “humane”—is morally unjustifiable. But animal slavery—if “humane”—is defended by some so-called animal advocates who characterize veganism as “absolutist” or “purist” or “fundamentalist.” This is speciesist. Nonhuman animals have an interest in not being treated as human resources just as humans have an interest in not being treated as the resources of other humans.

I am an absolutist about human slavery. Human slavery—however “humane”—is not morally justifiable.

I am an absolutist about fundamental human rights. Torture, rape, child molestation, etc.—however “humane”—are not morally justifiable.

I am absolutist about racism, sexism, and heterosexism: I think that all of these forms of discrimination are unacceptable and that we should not promote “humane” versions of discrimination.

I am an absolutist about animal exploitation, which cannot be justified even if “humane” (which it is not in any event because of the property status of animals).

To be vegan is not to be “absolutist” in any way that is different from being an “absolutist” with respect to the fundamental rights of humans.

To maintain otherwise—to engage in vegan bashing—is merely an example of speciesism.

Vincent Guihan has done a terrific design to illustrate the message of this essay.

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it

Gary L. Francione
©2009 Gary L. Francione

Resolution #1 for 2010: Promote Veganism as the Moral Baseline

Dear Colleagues:

Let’s start out 2010 the right way-promoting veganism as a moral baseline. Veganism is not, as some welfarists suggest, the “most” that we can do; it’s the least that we can do if we take animal interests seriously. If we regard nonhumans as moral persons, then we cannot justify eating, wearing, or using them.

I am tired of all of the words, such as “veggie,” “go veg,” “flexitarian,” etc. Those using these words either mean to suggest that vegetarianism is a coherent moral position, which it is not because there is no morally significant distinction between flesh and other animal products, or they try to avoid using “vegan” for fear of being called “absolutists” or “purists” by vegan bashers.

The ever creative Vincent Guihan designed a graphic you might find useful.

The also creative John Colvin developed a design as well.

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
©2009 Gary L. Francione

Commentary #12: The Virtual Billboard Campaign: THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it.

Dear Colleagues:

In this commentary, I discuss the virtual billboard campaign, which focuses on empowering advocates with a positive message that change is possible and that we have the responsibility to effect that change. It is time to reject the vegan bashing that has become the central focus of the welfarist movement.

And I introduce Christine, the newest member of our nonhuman family!

I hope that you enjoy the podcast and that you will join our nonviolent efforts to spread the message of veganism around the world.

Gary L. Francione
©2009 Gary L. Francione

Play

BBC World Service to Do 2-Part Program on Animals and Animal Movement

Dear Colleagues:

On December 31, 2009 and January 7, 2010, the BBC World Service will do a 2-part documentary program entitled One Planet: Animals and Us.

Victor Schonfeld, who did The Animals Film (narrated by Julie Christie) in 1982, hosts the program. Schonfeld will question whether we have made any progress in this area and will ask if our relationship with nonhumans is still as
exploitative as it was back in 1982. He will explore the state of the animal movement and he will focus in the first program on eating animals and in the second program on the use of animals in experiments. He will also discuss the relationship between human suffering and animal suffering.

The BBC World Service is listened to by millions of people all over the world. I have no idea what Schonfeld will say or what position he will take. But given that many people will listen to this, and form views accordingly, it is imperative that animal advocates listen to these two programs.

Go here for local times. The programs will also be archived on the BBC site and there will be extended material. You can also give reactions here.

Gary L. Francione
©2009 Gary L. Francione

A Note About Our Virtual Billboard

Dear Colleagues:

Earlier this week, I posted two entries (1,2) about creating a virtual billboard spreading the slogan:

THE WORLD IS VEGAN!

If you want it.

The point of this project is to reinforce a simple idea: that a vegan world is something that humans have the ability to bring into existence. We only have to want it.

I really envisaged this as a virtual billboard. I want the message to get out—all over the world and in every language—over the internet. I want that virtual dissemination to spark discussion and further non-violent vegan educational efforts.

There are some people who are proposing to make and sell items with this slogan. Please understand that neither I nor this site has anything to do with these efforts and we will not solicit or accept any money for promoting this idea of peace and nonviolence.

Thank you. And remember: THE WORLD IS VEGAN. If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
©2009 Gary L. Francione

Designs for the Virtual Billboard

Dear Colleagues:

Yesterday, I suggested that we have a virtual billboard that we could spread around the world:

THE WORLD IS VEGAN.

If you want it.

So far, I have received two sets of designs in English and I know that there are others being done in foreign languages.

Vincent Guihan, who has two excellent blogs, Animal Emancipation and We Other Animals, has created a set available here.

John Colvin, who maintains the blog John’s Plate, has a great set here.

PLEASE use these in any way you can to spread the message.

Veganism is OUR choice. We have the ability to say no to violence. We have the ability to affirm the personhood of animals. We have the ability to reject the status of animals as property. We have the ability to say no to speciesism. We have the ability to solve the problem of animal exploitation in the only way it can be solved: by abolishing the demand for animal products.

Celebrate peace. Celebrate non-violence. Go vegan.

Gary L. Francione
©2009 Gary L. Francione