Monthly Archives: April 2011

New Interview from the Documentary Project, “I’m Vegan”

Dear Colleagues:

In March of 2009, Eric Prescott of the Boston Vegan Association stopped by and spoke with me for about 2 hours. Eric quite skillfully edited the interview to about 20 minutes and he just made it available.

Also featured is my rescued friend, Katie Jane!

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If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do. If you are vegan, educate everyone you can about veganism.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
©2011 Gary L. Francione

The Abolitionist Approach in a Nutshell

Dear Colleagues:

As long as we think the issue is the treatment of animals, we will seek to make that treatment more “humane.” But because animals are property, that goal is unreachable as a practical matter. The treatment of animals will always constitute torture under the most “humane” circumstances. And the “treatment” (or welfarist) approach ignores that it is morally wrong to kill animals even if we treat them “humanely,” which we cannot do anyway. Welfare “reforms” not only fail to provide any significant protection for animals; such reforms actually make matters worse because they encourage the public to feel more comfortable about animal exploitation and to continue to consume animals and animal products. The problem is use, not treatment. The goal is to abolish animal use, not to regulate treatment. The means to the goal? Go vegan and educate others about veganism.

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If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do. If you are vegan, educate everyone you can about veganism.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
©2011 Gary L. Francione

Upcoming Debate: Abolition vs. Regulation

Dear Colleagues:

This Sunday, April 17, I will debate Professor Robert Garner on Animals Today Radio. Robert and I will talk about abolition vs. regulation, the distinction between use and treatment, the moral value of animal life, the property status of animals, veganism and other topics that we discuss in our book, The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?, published by Columbia University Press. The show will air 5-6 p.m. (eastern) and will be archived.

If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
©2011 Gary L. Francione

What Michael Vick Taught Us

What follows is an edited version of the text of my presentation at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on March 31, 2011 as the 2011 Foster P. Boswell Distinguished Lecturer in Philosophy:

WHAT MICHAL VICK TAUGHT US

Remember Michael Vick?

Do you remember all the commotion about Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his involvement in a dog fighting operation on some property he owned in Virginia?

Of course you do.

A better question would be to ask whether there is anyone on the planet who does not recall this matter, which was covered by the media nonstop for weeks when it first came to light in 2007 and, again, when Vick came out of prison in 2009 and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick continues to be in the news regularly. In March 2011, he was going to be recognized as a ‘hero’ by a local arts organization in Virginia and there was such controversy about the matter that Vick did not attend the ceremony. People really were furious with Vick and many still are. There are football fanatics who boycott the Eagles because of Vick.

Why?

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Elephants: They May Weigh More Than Chickens But Not as a Matter of Morality

Dear Colleagues:

This site is hosted by Godaddy.com. Some animal advocates have written to me and have urged me to stop using Godaddy.com because CEO Bob Parsons killed an elephant in Africa.

Now I certainly do not approve of shooting elephants; what Parsons did was terrible.

And I am looking to switch our web hosting provider.

But, frankly, it really has nothing to do with the fact that Parsons shot an elephant.

I have not been happy with Godaddy.com as a provider. The site goes down periodically and there’s often not any explanation and there are certain services that we just cannot get through Godaddy.com. So we’re looking.

But I fail to understand why anyone thinks that Bob Parsons killing an elephant is itself a reason to switch from Godaddy.com. I am quite sure that the CEOs of all or most of the other web hosting services eat animal flesh and consume animal products. How is what Parsons did any different from what these other people do when they go to the store and buy meat or milk or whatever?

That’s a rhetorical question. There is no difference. It’s just that some of us think that certain animals, such as elephants, or whales, or seal cubs, are ‘special’ and matter more morally than others. I don’t agree. There is no morally relevant difference between an elephant and a cow or a pig or a chicken or any other sentient nonhuman we exploit.

The reaction to Parsons is similar to the reaction to Michael Vick and it is similarly nonsensical. Parsons and Vick exploited ‘special’ animals–animals that we fetishize. But that’s about us; it has nothing to do with the moral value of the animals involved.

If anyone knows of a good vegan web hosting outfit out there, please do let us know. Otherwise, don’t buy into the nonsense that some animals matter more than others.

An elephant may weigh more than a chicken but not as a matter of morality. For the purposes of not being used as a human resource, all sentient beings are equal. We have an obligation not to use or kill any sentient being incidental to using animals as things.

If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
©2011 Gary L. Francione