Guest Essay: Dear Vegan Feminists, Where Are You? An Open Letter

This essay was originally post on Ecorazzi.com. A troll appeared and posted a number of problematic messages. The matter was reported to Ecorazzi and they removed the post for the time being until they return from the Chicago Vegan Food and Drink Festival. In the interim, the essay is available here. ********************************** Dear Vegan Feminists, […]

The Speciesism of “Plural Approaches”

In response to a critique of welfare reform and other approaches that actually promote animal exploitation, some supposed animal advocates say that we need “plural approaches.” They say that, in addition to promoting veganism as a moral baseline, we need to promote “happy” exploitation, and moral relativism (e.g., veganism is a matter of “our journey” […]

Harambe and the Chicken

Many people are very upset about the killing of Harambe, the gorilla imprisoned in an Ohio zoo. They ought to be upset. It was wrong to imprison Harambe. It was wrong to kill him. But what happened to Harambe is no more wrong than what happens to all of the animals we use for food […]

Veganism as a Moral Imperative

Principle Three of the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights is that veganism is a moral imperative: Abolitionists agree with welfarists that animal exploitation is not going to disappear “overnight” and that we need to take incremental steps—what welfarists call “baby steps”—to get to the goal of abolition. But abolitionists reject welfare reform campaigns and single-issue […]

“Silencing” Fellow Advocates

Casey Taft, who co-owns Vegan Publishers with his spouse, has written an essay in which he attacks a “well-known advocate” for “silencing fellow advocates.” He is well aware that the essay is being interpreted to refer to me and that is precisely what he intended. I have several responses: First, Taft claims that I “silenced” […]

Guest Essay: This is Why New Welfarists Should Stop Equivocating on Moral Principles Concerning Animals: A Response to Mercy For Animals

Mercy for Animals has posted a rather breathtaking essay entitled, This Is Why Vegans Should Stop Being Mean to Vegetarians, in which MFA characterizes as “mean” those who promote veganism as a moral baseline or imperative. Here is a response from Dr. Frances McCormack, who is also one-half of the Grumpy Old Vegans. In order […]

Incremental Reform in the Human Context Is Not Analogous to Welfare Reform and Single-Issue Campaigns in the Nonhuman Context

A question we received: If we think that the prison-industrial complex is wrong and we want to abolish it, we would all think it would be okay to work at the same time for single issue campaigns to improve the lives of the prisoners who are presently stuck in the system, right? So why isn’t […]

The Animals Need YOU!

Shifting the paradigm from animals as property to animals as nonhuman persons with inherent value requires a grassroots movement of people who are educated educators–people who understand the arguments in favor of veganism and can discuss them calmly and in plain language with the other people that they interact with in their day-to-day lives. We […]

A Report from the “Intersectional Justice” Conference

I have written about those who identify themselves as “intersectionalists” but who embrace a very speciesist position. I have also written about a recent conference on “intersectional justice.” The following essay is from Dr. Mark Causey, Lecturer in Philosophy and Liberal Studies at Georgia College and State University. Dr. Causey attended the “intersectional justice” conference. […]

Why Welfare Reform Campaigns and Single-Issue Campaigns Necessarily Promote Animal Exploitation

The purpose of welfare reform campaigns and single-issue campaigns (SICs) is to build coalitions that include those who believe that animal exploitation per se is morally acceptable and who just object to the target of the particular welfare reform campaign or SIC. Such campaigns must play to the lowest level of the spectrum or they […]

When “Intersectional Justice” Means Promoting Meat, Fish, Dairy

The latest organized rejection of veganism as a moral baseline is found in the position of certain people who call themselves “intersectionalists.” In an earlier essay, I discussed how these “intersectionalists” were promoting a brand of moral relativism (at least as far as animals were concerned), and that they were combining this relativism with an […]

Imagine If There Were a Real “Animal Rights” Movement

Imagine how different things would be if there were an animal movement that: (1) focused on use and not treatment; (2) that promoted veganism as a moral imperative; and (3) did not promote (and fundraise off) welfare reforms, “happy exploitation,” reducetarianism, single-issue campaigns, etc. Industries that promoted animal exploitation would respond by trying to keep […]

Challenging Peter Singer’s Paternity Claim

I Peter Singer initially gained fame by popularizing utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s idea that just as race should not be used to exclude humans from the moral community and justify their enslavement, species should not used to justify treating animals as things. Singer borrowed the term “speciesism” from psychologist Richard Ryder and argued that using […]

Business As Usual: VegfestUK and the Animal Welfare Industry

Last year, 2015, I spoke at two VegfestUK events. I was invited to speak at four in 2016. On January 31, 2016, Tim Barford, the owner of VegfestUK, and Alan V. Lee, Operations and Marketing Manager at VegfestUK, disinvited me from speaking at further VegfestUK events. On February 3, they issued another statement. This essay […]

The Vegan Society Senior Officer of Advocacy and Policy Rejects Veganism as a Moral Baseline

In my essay on “intersectionalist vegans,” I carefully documented explicit and overt speciesiesm on the part of a number of figureheads in the intersectionalist movement. Whatever else anyone wants to say, it is crystal clear that, for example, Breeze Harper, a member of the Board of Black Vegans Rock (BVR), rejects veganism as a moral […]

The Meaning of “THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it.”

Many welfarist vegans and intersectional vegans do not seem to understand the ideas behind the idea that “THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If we want it.” It’s really quite simple. There are three central ideas here. First, this expression denotes that veganism is a moral choice and that it is one we can make today—right now—if […]

Chris Hedges and I Talk About Veganism

Here is a discussion on veganism that I had with writer, journalist, and political theorist/activist Chris Hedges ********** 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 […]

Essentialism, Intersectionality, and Veganism as a Moral Baseline: Black Vegans Rock and the Humane Society of the United States

I. The Problem of Essentialism Racism and sexism represent moral evil. Racism and sexism involve a societal acceptance of essentialism, or the idea that biology or some other personal characteristic alone determines moral value. A good definition of essentialism appears here: Essentialism is the idea that there exists some detectible and objective core quality of […]

A Case Study in the Futility of Animal Welfare Reform: The Animal Aid Pig Farm Campaign

Animal Aid, a UK group that promotes welfare reform, has a new campaign. Animal Aid wants your help (and donations) to stop a large pig farm from being approved and built in Lincolnshire. Here is a screenshot of the description of this campaign: Click to enlarge. If this campaign is successful, the facility will be […]

Abolitionist Vegan Advocacy/Education Tips: On Health

Remember that when you are speaking to a nonvegan, you are dealing with someone who thinks that consuming animal products is as natural–and necessary–as breathing and your challenge sounds as bizarre as a suggestion that they stop breathing! This is one reason why it is important to know enough about the nutritional aspects of veganism […]