Animal Ethics: Simple Common Sense

Many animal advocates seem to think that if you deliver a vegan message to someone who is not willing to go vegan immediately, that person won’t do anything at all. These animal advocates conclude that we should, instead, promote cage-free eggs, crate-free pork, and reducetarianism.

On what is this assumption founded?

Common sense tells us the opposite. If you present a vegan message to someone who is concerned about animal ethics but is not prepared to go vegan yet, they will most likely do something short of going vegan, and will not do nothing.

But you can be absolutely certain that if you tell such a person that they do not have to go vegan to satisfy their moral obligations to animals, they won’t. If you tell people in this group that it’s acceptable to eat cage-free eggs, or “happy” meat, or that it is morally acceptable for them to be “conscientious omnivores” or reducetarians,  that is precisely what they will do and all that they will do.


If you are not vegan, please go vegan. Veganism is about nonviolence. First and foremost, it’s about nonviolence to other sentient beings. But it’s also about nonviolence to the earth and nonviolence to yourself.

If animals matter morally, veganism is not an option—it is a necessity. Anything that claims to be an animal rights movement must make clear that veganism is a moral imperative.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University Law School

©2016 Gary L. Francione