Guest Essay from Macrobiotic Pioneer, Marlene Watson-Tara: “Go Vegan – It’s Easy”

We are very happy to present a guest essay–Go Vegan – It’s Easy, from Marlene Watson-Tara, International Author and Teacher of Macrobiotics & Human Ecology. Marlene, and her partner, Bill Tara, are pioneers of the Macrobiotic movement. They have developed a vegan macrobiotic approach called MACROVegan.

**********

GO VEGAN – IT’S EASY

Our Vegan Advocacy Work

Back in the time of Copernicus, most would have thought it impossible if you said that you were going to convince everyone that the Earth revolved around the Sun, rather than the other way around, but it did eventually happen! So, the past teaches us to have hope for the future. In our 90 years combined teaching Bill and I have high hope we can all come together and make a better world, a VEGAN WORLD where humans and non-humans alike live in harmony. Success can only be achieved through education, understanding and ultimately action.

It’s Not Difficult To Be Vegan

Going vegan is simply a choice you make. Many people live in their head and over think the concept of where to begin. It’s easy, you remove all the animal food and replace with delicious plant-based foods, the choice is yours. You can do it right now.

We Are All One

When we reflect deeply on our relationship with the outer world, our environment, we realise that we are never independent of its influences. Food is the link between the inside and the outside world. Our Human Ecology Diet is abundant in every vitamin and mineral required for good health, vitality and longevity. Our vision with MACROVegan is to continue to share our passion for a vegan world.

How to Rethink Protein Once and For All

Protein is a subject that always comes up when discussing veganism. When you think of the biggest animals on the planet, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, these are huge mammals, they don’t eat meat, so where do they get their protein? They eat what grows out of the ground and that is where they get their protein; it’s as simple as that. There are many foods in the plant kingdom that are especially rich in protein. All the legume family, anything that is grown in a pod, lentils, beans, chickpeas, wholegrains are full of protein, and many vegetables are rich in protein too.

Protein Is In Everything: Vegan Athletes Are Renowned For Their Athletic Excellence.

If you are getting enough calories from wholefoods, such as grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruits, you will obtain your requirement of protein easily and in a healthful way because the protein is in the bean, in the lentil, in the wholegrain. A healthy diet rejects the animal products as well the highly processed and sugary foods that flood the marketplace.

Protein deficiency is not an issue on a vegan diet. That’s not the problem, there are plenty of amino acids, plenty of protein on a plant-based diet. In fact, the health crisis exists because people are eating way too much protein, which in fact injure your arteries and your kidneys as it leaches calcium out of your bones. The solution is eating a diverse diet and not just focusing on two or three foods.

Eating a plant-based vegan diet does not mean living on processed foods, sweets or sugary drinks. You must eat FOOD AS GROWN to receive the adequate protein you need daily. Corn on the cob is one thing, corn chips are different, potatoes are a wholefood, and potato crisps are not. In our decades of health counselling, Bill and I have yet to meet someone with a protein deficiency. Only those starving to death are deficient in protein. If you are going to be adopting a wholefood plant-based diet, there are some things you must do properly. It’s not just a matter of eating snack foods or processed fake ‘meats’ and burgers, and think you are going to be healthy.

Plants are high energy foods, it’s good to note that an increasing number of athletes are switching to a vegan diet. Recent winners of long distance events like triathlons, marathons, and bicycle events are eating a vegan diet. Even professional footballers like Lionel Messi have made the switch. They know that they suffer fewer injuries and recover their energy better by eating plants.

Exciting Facts About Making Vegan Choices

• Vegetables are easy to grow, any gardener can grow potatoes, carrots, greens etc., and they are inexpensive, rice and beans are also not expensive, (especially when you buy in bulk).
• Animal meat is not required to build muscle or bone. These are mythologies that are based on limited science and the livestock and dairy industry.
• Plants are lower on the food chain, the environmental pollutants that are so prevalent in our food are in low concentrations in your plant-based foods. Animals that are eaten are fed food grown with pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers and drink water exposed to industrial pollution. These contaminants are stored in the fatty tissue of the animal. They can concentrate 1000-fold as they go up the food chain. This concentration of toxic products affects all animals on land or at sea.
• Plants are environmentally friendly. You can grow 17 times more nutritional energy on a piece of land with vegetables than you can with animal food. The difference between growing potatoes and raising beef is 100-fold.
• We are all living on a planet that is food stressed. There is a real risk of food shortages. We need to grow more food and healthy food. There are near to one billion people (our brothers and sisters) starving to death, while nearly one billion people are eating themselves to death. 85% of non-communicable diseases are dietary related.
• Vegetables don’t grow microbes, they don’t grow e-coli, they don’t grow mad cow’s disease, they don’t grow listeria. If a vegetable or grain does have a contaminant on it, then it originated from an animal. Animal faeces are a major agricultural pollutant.
• Vegetables taste amazing. Sweet potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, rice, etc., because they are full of natural sugars and you have taste buds on the tip of your tongue that taste sugar.
• Vegetables store well, you can dry and store potatoes for 10 years. Rice, beans, grains store in a cool place for years.
• Plant based foods are easy to travel with.
• Wholefoods (not processed junk food) are great foods for weight loss. Remember, they have no fat.
• Everything that breathes wants to live, Please GOVEGAN and love all of life

Follow our MACROVegan dietary guidelines here For A List Of Nutrient Sources

Complex Carbohydrates
Whole Grains, Beans, Vegetables, Fruits
Proteins
Beans, Seeds, Nuts, Whole Grains, Seaweeds
Fat
Seeds, Nuts, Oils, Beans, Tofu, Tempeh, Oats
Calcium
Dark Greens (Kale, Collards, etc.), Soybeans, Seaweeds, Seeds
Iron
Dark Greens, Seaweeds, Millet, Lentils, Garbanzo Beans, Seeds
Vitamin A
Dark Leafy Greens, Carrots, Squashes, Seaweeds
B Vitamins
Whole Grains, Sea Vegetables, Lentils, Fermented Foods
Vitamin B12
Fortified Foods, Nutritional Yeast etc., B12 supplementation
Vitamin C
Dark Greens (Kale, Parsley, Broccoli, etc.), Local Fruits
Vitamin E
Whole Grains, Unrefined Oils, Seeds, Leafy Greens
Trace Minerals
Sea Salt, Seaweeds, Organic Produce

Ingredients List for A Healthy Transition to A MacroVegan Diet

Instead of:

Baked goods

White bread

Cheese

Meat

Meat stock

Milk

Pasta dishes

Iodised Salt

White rice

Sugar

Scrambled eggs

Use:

Dairy-free cookies, muffins etc.,

Wholegrain, sourdough bread or sprouted bread

Nutritional yeast, roasted tofu products

Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh

Miso, miso bouillon, dulse or vegetable stock

Rice, oat or almond milk

Wholewheat, rice or spelt pasta, udon or soba noodles

Natural sea salt

Short grain brown rice, quinoa, barley, millet, buckwheat

Brown rice syrup, barley malt or maple syrup

Tofu, (scrambles well)

Setting Up Your Kitchen!

There are some essentials you need in the kitchen in order to make vegan cooking easy and delicious.

The Essentials:

• A sharp knife
• A wok, saucepans and soup pot
• Cutting board
• Steamer basket or bamboo steamer
• Hand Blender
• Strainer
• Wooden spoons
• Mixing bowls

Stock Your Cupboard With:
• A variety of grains
• A variety of beans, dried
• Canned organic beans
• Dried sea vegetables
• A variety of noodles
• Natural sweeteners: rice syrup, barley malt, etc.,
• Dried fruit
• Seeds and nuts
• All-fruit jams

For Your Refrigerator
A colourful array of vegetables for daily use is key to a healthy vegan diet.

You Will Save Money Being A Vegan
There is a huge misconception that it is expensive to eat this way. On the contrary, we hear from so many of our students and clients that they have saved up to 40% on their groceries since becoming vegan. Depending on where you live in the world food choices vary but vegetables, beans and grains are always available.

Making Vegan – The New Normal Is Our Mission
Vegan For:

The Animals
World Huger
Wildlife
Peace
The Rainforest
Our Health
Our Planet
EVERYTHING

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
Nelson Mandela

Recipes To Get You Started

Roasted Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
4 cups filtered water
1 organic stock cube
1 large sweet potato
1 butternut squash
Extra-virgin olive oil for basting
Sea salt
4-5 cloves garlic
1 large onion, finely diced
Toasted flaked almonds for garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375°. Mix the stock with 4 cups of boiling water and set aside. Cut the sweet potato and squash in half lengthways. Brush the cut sides with a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Place the vegetables cut side-down in a parchment lined shallow roasting tin. Add the garlic cloves (in their paper). Place in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

When the vegetables are cool, scoop out the flesh from the potato and squash, peel the garlic and add the cloves to a saucepan with the stock along with the vegetables and the diced onion. Bring to a boil covered, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a high-speed blender or hand blender, puree until smooth. Ladle into warm bowls and serve garnished with some flaked almonds.

Hearty Brown Lentil Soup
2 cups peeled butternut squash cut into bite size cubes
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3 cups cooked brown lentils
1 tbsp. organic tomato paste
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 tsp. dried rosemary, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh ginger juice
Natural soy sauce to taste

Preheat the oven to 200/400deg. Put the squash into a large bowl and add a few drops of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and some dried rosemary or thyme. Place the squash on a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the edges are crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Saute shallots and garlic in a little stock or water then add the lentils and 1 tbsp. organic tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, fresh thyme and the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are soft. Stir in the fresh parsley, lemon juice and ginger juice. Add natural soy sauce to taste, approximately one tablespoon is adequate. Serve in warmed bowls topped with some of the caramelized squash.

MACROVegan Nutritional Tip
Lentils are one of the oldest known sources of food dating back more than 9,000 years.
Lentils contain the highest amount of protein originating from any plant. The amount of protein found in lentils is up to 35%, which is comparable to red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. Lentils contain carbohydrates. They are a good source of dietary fibre and have a low number of calories. Another excellent way to have lentils is after they have sprouted because sprouted lentils contain methionine and cysteine. These two amino acids are very significant in muscle-building and strengthening of our body.

Apple or Pear Sauce
Use them together or use them separately. We adore applesauce and it’s a daily staple in our house. I always have this tasty dessert in glass jars in the fridge and it’s super for taking the edge of any sugar cravings.

4 organic apples
4 organic pears
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup organic apple juice

Wash and peel the fruit, remove the cores and slice them into bite size chunks.
Place in a pot with a little water or apple juice and add a pinch of sea salt. Simmer, covered on a very low heat until the fruit is soft. Either mash with a potato masher or blend to a cream in an upright blender or use a stick blender. Serve in a pretty glass. You can top with some oat cream and chopped nuts if desired.
Pears are a high-fibre, low calorie snack, and they contain twice as much fibre as apples. Slice into salads, roast or bake whole for dessert.

There are a huge variety of recipes on my websites that fits every pocket. Please GOVEGAN, everything that breathes wants to live. We required healthy people to create a healthy world for all who live here, humans and non-humans alike.

Marlene Watson-Tara
www.marlenewatsontara.com
www.macrovegan.org

Aspiring to Act Justly and Fairly Is Not “Sh*t”

Someone sent me this as one of the many examples of opportunistic so-called “animal advocates” who fall over themselves in a mad dash to say that animal exploitation is really okay while they hold their hands out for donations:

Imagine someone saying: “Most of the time, I am not a bigot. But I’m not perfect and I occasionally engage in actions that are legal but that harm others and that are motivated by my racial animus because I enjoy it.”

Imagine someone saying: “Yeah, I’m a bigot. But I’m a reducetarian bigot. I am cutting down my racist behavior here and there. For example, I don’t tell racist jokes on Monday before 6.”

Would we say, “Civil Rights Advocates, We Gotta Break Through This 100% Perfect Sh*t” and argue that it’s perfectly okay to deliberately engage in racist conduct, and that we just have to get over this “sh*t” about associating the concept of civil rights with equality?”

Of course not.

Imagine someone saying: “Most of the time, I don’t engage in sexist behavior. But I am not perfect and I occasionally engage in behavior that is legal but that harms women because, well, I enjoy a bit of misogyny now and then.”

Imagine someone saying: “Yeah, I’m a sexist. But I’m a reducetarian sexist. I am cutting down my sexist behavior here and there. For example, on Mondays, before 6, I don’t tell misogynistic jokes that have some sort of sexual violence to women as the punchline.”

Would we say: “Women’s Rights Advocates, We Gotta Break Through this 100% Perfect Sh*t” and argue that it’s perfectly okay to deliberately engage in sexist conduct and that we need to get over this “sh*t” about associating the concept of radical feminism with rejecting misogyny?”

Of course not.

In both cases–in *all* cases involving fundamental human rights–we would be clear: We would say: “You need to think more seriously about justice and fundamental fairness. You need to recognize that justice requires that you not deliberately harm others in these ways.”

But to excuse exploitation–indeed, to celebrate it as some sort of virtue–is the approach of certain opportunistic “animal advocates” when it comes to animals. It’s sad. It’s intellectually vacuous. And it’s transparently speciesist. These “animal advocates” put their stamp of approval on actions that involve imposing suffering and death on animals.

Always speak with people in a nonviolent way and remember your goal is to educate, not judge people (as opposed to actions, practices, and institutions). That it very important.

But it is also important that we recognize that justice requires we always be clear that we have a moral obligation not to engage in victimizing the vulnerable. Those concerned about justice should never put a stamp of approval on that victimization.

And the claim that we often hear that none of us can be “perfectly” vegan because, for example, animals are unintentionally killed in the process of harvesting crops is, like this entire enterprise, intellectually vacuous as well as morally bankrupt. For example, just about every product we consume involves a process where humans are unintentionally injured and sometimes even killed. That does not mean that there is no difference between unintentional deaths that occur during the manufacturing process and deliberately murdering human beings and approving of that murder–and even praising it as a normatively desirable thing.

The animal wefare/happy exploitation crowd has as its central goal to make people feel comfortable about continuing to exploit. This assures that they will bring in donations so that they can be careerists–professional “activists” who ask you to contribute money that you earn at your job so that they can have the “job” of being professional “activists” who compromise the interests of animals and reject veganism as a moral baseline, and then canonize themselves as heroes “for the animals.” It’s appalling and it’s corrupt. Supporting these people in any way is supporting animal exploitation.

The person who wrote the essay that I was sent this morning is not a vegan and explicitly rejects veganism as a moral imperative. “Sh*t” is non-vegans lecturing us about veganism and then holding their hands out for a donation.

**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

Should Animal Rights Advocates Promote “In-Vitro” or “Cultured” Meat?

That’s an easy question. The answer is: Absolutely not.

The reason is simple: cultured meat involves taking cells from living animals; it also involves growing those cells in an animal medium, such as fetal serum from calves or horses. So animals are killed in the process of producing cultured meat.

If you believe that animals have moral value and posses moral rights, you don’t support killing animals. Period. You don’t say that killing 2 is okay to save 10 anymore than you would say that it’s okay to use 2 humans as forced organ donors to save 10 humans.

What about the argument that this technology would provide meat for the billions of people who want to continue to eat meat, and would involve the slaughter of fewer animals?

Apart from the fact that animal rights advocates do not promote killing animals, there are already many 100% plant-based meat substitutes–and there are more being developed every day. So if people want the sensation of eating something corpse-like, they already have many options that do not involve killing animals There is no reason to believe that cultured meat will have any greater success or social acceptance than 100% plant-based products do.

But let me reiterate a point I made earlier: animal rights advocates do not promote killing some animals to (supposedly) save more animals any more than a human rights advocate does not promote commodifying some humans in order to save a larger number of humans.

What about the argument that animal rights advocates should stop being “binary” (i.e., all or nothing). That is, they should put aside their rights convictions and support “cultured” meat because it will supposedly save animal lives (but will still involve killing animals as sources of cells and culture medium). That argument is transparently speciesist. We would never advocate making those trade-offs were humans involved.

Those who advocate animal rights should keep educating everyone they can about veganism as a matter of justice. That will change the world. Animal rights advocates should never promote or support any form of animal exploitation just as human rights advocates would never promote commodifying and killing some humans in order to save others.

I recognize that there are some “animal people” who are very excited about cultured meat and are investing money or other resources in it. I could not disagree more with them.

**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake. Never fall for the line that we need to exploit animals in order to stop animal exploitation. That is absurd.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

Abolitionist Approach Podcast: An Easy Way to Start a Conversation About Veganism

Dear Friends:

Here is a podcast that Anna Charlton and I did on an easy way to start a conversation about veganism.
**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

Play

Abolitionist Approach Podcast: On the Misuse of “Abolition”

Dear Friends:

Here is a podcast that Anna and I did on the misuse of “Abolition”.

**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

Play

Abolitionist Approach Podcast: On Anthony Bourdain, Veganism, and Bad Behavior by Some “Animal People”

Dear Friends:

Here is a podcast that Anna and I did on Anthony Bourdain.

I was sitting too far away from the device. The dogs were walking around the room. We will do better!

**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

Play

A Short Essay on the Meaning of “New Welfarism”

Many of those who are new to thinking about animal ethics get very upset when I say that a group or individual is “new welfarist.” Part of the problem is that these people do not know the history of the animal movement or understand the various ideologies involved. Indeed, many of them reject out of hand any need for theory. But that is silly and most ill-advised. One needs a theory to understand what action to take. Action without theory is, at best, chaotic and confused. And, in a culture where animal exploitation is both pervasive and accepted, action in the absence of theory almost always reinforces the prevailing paradigm.

The classical welfarist position is that animal use is morally acceptable as long as we seek to treat animals in a “humane” manner. The focus of the classical welfare movement is on welfare reforms. Classical welfarists also traditionally promoted certain single-issue campaigns, such as the campaign against fur.

In the 1990s, many groups that claimed to reject classical welfarism–the so-called “animal rights” groups that arose in the 1980s–decided to promote the same old donation-generating welfarist campaigns and single-issue campaigns but claimed that they were doing so as a means to the end of achieving “animal rights.” I identified that position as “new welfarism” and argued that it was morally problematic because it was speciesist. We would never promote “humane [fill in the blank with any sort of fundamental human rights violation]” as a supposed means of achieving recognition of human rights. Welfare campaigns were also problematic from a practical point of view: not only would they not lead to abolishing animal use, they would actually make people more comfortable about continuing to exploit nonhuman animals. People who think that exploitation has been made more “humane” feel better about, and are encouraged to continue, participating in animal exploitation. Moreover, because animals are chattel property, any welfare reforms are likely to be very minor, make animal exploitation more economically efficient, and be the sorts of things that rational institutional exploiters would adopt anyway.

Single-issue campaigns are problematic because, by targeting a particular animal use, particularly in the absence of a clear, unequivocal, and consistent condemnation of all animal use, they necessarily promote the idea that some forms of exploitation are worse than others and, by implication, that other forms of exploitation are morally better or morally acceptable. Single-issue campaigns substitute one form of exploitation for another. A good example of the problem is the anti-fur campaign, which has been going on for decades now and, in addition to being relentlessly sexist and misogynistic, has conveyed the notion that fur is worse than, say, wool. It is not uncommon to see people at anti-fur demos wearing wool. People who protest foie gras eat steak, chicken, and fish, and think that they are acting in a morally better way.

I wrote about these topics in the 1990s in my books, Animals, Property, and the Law (1995), and Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement (1996). More recently, the book I co-authored with Anna Charlton, Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach 2015, discusses these issues.

More recently, some who claim to be “Abolitionist” have gotten upset when I say that their position or the position of the group in which they are involved, is “new welfarist.” They reply: “But I don’t promote welfare reforms.” That may be true in one sense, but statements like:

* “I am an Abolitionist and do not promote welfare reform myself but I don’t want to be divisive and I don’t criticize groups that promote welfare reform,” or
* “I don’t promote welfare reform but I seek to build bridges with the groups that promote welfare reform,” or
* “I don’t promote the consumption of cage-free eggs but I have respect for those who do because I think they sincerely want all egg consumption to end”
* “I don’t promote welfare reforms but I work with groups that do and we do projects together”

are new welfarist positions because these statements acknowledge the validity of welfare reform as a supposed means toward Abolition. These positions promote animal exploitation.

If someone says, “I am opposed to all animal use but I ask people to sign petitions to companies so that they stop ‘abusive’ practices and comply with various regulations,” that is new welfarist. Campaigns against “abusive” practices and demands to comply with regulations send a very clear message: animal use can be morally acceptable under the right circumstances irrespective of what the speaker intends.

Advocates who promote single-issue campaigns are promoting new welfarism because they are necessarily substituting one form of exploitation for another. Moreover, many single-issue campaigns rely on various sorts of human discrimination: sexism, racism, xenophobia, and ethnocentrism.

Finally, many people do not understand that Abolitionism, at least as I have developed that idea, involves Six Principles: Every sentient being has a right not to be used as property (Principle 1); Abolitionists should never promote welfare reform campaigns or single-issue campaigns (Principle 2); Abolitionists should promote veganism as a moral imperative (Principle 3); Sentience and no other cognitive characteristic is necessary to have the moral right not to be used exclusively as a resource (Principle 4); Abolitionists should reject all forms of discrimination–human and nonhuman (Principle 5); and Abolitionists should reject violence and promote nonviolence (Principle 6).

I understand that we live in a time of video games and Twitter, and many people cannot be bothered to learn anything. They don’t care about what has happened in the past. They don’t care about ideology. They think that reading is a waste of time. They just want to be “activists.” Indeed, they often say things like, “You are putting philosophy ahead of action.” Anyone who would say such a thing knows nothing about how social movements function and is more interested in entertainment than in social change. We live in a world of limited time and resources. One cannot identify what actions one should choose in the absence of a theory that identifies those actions that are consistent with the moral basis of the movement.

It is terribly troubling that so many “animal advocates” know nothing about the history of the movement. All I can say is to repeat what philosopher George Santayana said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

The Death of Activism and the Rise of Branding Spectacle in Animal Advocacy

The traditional animal welfare groups never bothered much with activism. These were charities that just wanted donations.

Then, in the 1980s, the “animal rights” movement arrived in the U.S. Although the movement started off with a focus on grassroots activism, the movement morphed into the new welfarist movement–a conglomeration of corporate charities that talked about abolition as the end goal but promoted the same donation-raising welfare reform campaigns and single-issue campaigns as a supposed means to that end. The primary form of “activism” became writing a check to support these campaigns. If individuals sought any input into the direction of the movement or, perish the thought, challenged it in any way, they were told to stop being “divisive.” They were told that we needed “movement unity.” That was all code for: “shut up and make a donation.”

And now, we have the new groups that proclaim that they are all about “activism.” And what does that mean? It means “instant activism” You don’t have to learn anything. You don’t have to understand anything about animal rights theory, what abolition means, or about why veganism is a moral imperative. You don’t even have to be a vegan. You just have to show up at events and stand silently, wearing a mask and holding a laptop, or screaming at people in restaurants, or delaying the arrival of truck to the slaughterhouse so that you can “bear witness.” These “activist” groups even promote the new welfarist corporate charities in various ways. “Activism” has become: “show up and help us do events that brand us.” “Activism” is all about branding, social events, and entertainment.

And we have a “new” brand of “leader”: celebrity “activists” with Patreon accounts who want you to provide them with a living so that they can have a career in “activism.” You know, just like the executives over at the corporate charities.

Have some people gone vegan as a result of the “activist” groups and Patreon-funded “leaders”? I have no doubt some have. But that is not the point. Some people have gone vegan as a result of the new welfarist groups and their “happy exploitation” campaigns. The point is that if the people who are involved in these “activist” and new welfarist groups actually educated themselves and got involved in clear, unequivocal abolitionist vegan advocacy, we’d be getting many more people to go vegan. And we would have a movement that presented veganism as something that people did not find strange and alienating.

Showing violent videos is not new. Animal people have been doing that for years. Indeed, many of the new “activists” do not seem to know that during the 1990s, there was a campaign to show violent videos in public using a kiosk. The general problem with violent videos is that, in a society in which animal use is taken as a given, these videos have the overall effect of getting people to support things like CCTC cameras in slaughterhouses, “undercover” investigations of factory farms, and all of the things that are part and parcel of the “happy exploitation” movement. That is precisely why the large corporate charities also use the violent imagery–it is useful in getting support for their new welfarist campaigns. The new “activists” are getting their video footage from the new welfarist corporate charities. Think about that for a second.

We have “activists” stopping trucks on the way to the slaughterhouse so that “activists” can “bear witness.” Animals en route to slaughter are terrified. Stopping a truck so that “activists” can stick cameras, petting hands, or crying faces in front of the animals may create a spectacle but it does nothing for the animals. Indeed, to prolong their distress is to harm them.

In 1989, PETA started with the “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur Campaign.” In many ways, that was the beginning of moving activism away from substance and in the direction of a branding spectacle. And we are now reaching a stage where “activism” is branding spectacle. “Activism” is more about events that involve a formula that is identified with one group or another and that serve to reinforce a brand. “Activism” is more about providing some “experience” for people than it is changing the paradigm in which nonhuman animals are things.

Do you want a vegan world? You need to do three things: (1) you need to be vegan; (2) you need to educate yourself about animal rights and abolition, and about why veganism is a moral imperative; and (3) you need to become a creative and nonviolent educator in your community. We need a grassroots movement where each of us is a “leader” who incorporates our veganism into every aspect of our daily lives. And our educational efforts should always focus proceed in a context that clearly promotes nonviolence and rejects human discrimination. We should seek to become a new, and more inclusive, peace movement.

We need to get away from the idea of “activism” as spectacle that brands particular groups and the development of yet another group of Patreon-funded careerist “leaders.” We need to resurrect the grassroots movement that started in 1980 but that was replaced by corporate charities and street theater.

Real activism is hard work. But it is the only way things will change. There is a great deal of current interest in veganism. Let’s take advantage of that interest in funnel it in a productive direction.

**********

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. Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

If you are already vegan, educate yourself so that you can go out and educate others.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

Animal Rights and “Pets”

Oxford University Press published a collection of essays by philosophers, Pets and People: The Ethics of Our Relationships with Companion Animals. I reviewed the book for the Journal of Value Inquiry. You can find my review here.

**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione

Tom Regan and the Animal Rights Movement That Once Was

Between the Species, an online journal for the study of philosophy and animals, did an In Memoriam issue focused Tom Regan, who passed away February 20917.

Here is the lead essay, Reflections of Tom Regan and the Animal Rights Movement That Once Was, which I was invited to contribute.

**********

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.

Embracing veganism as a moral imperative and advocating for veganism as a moral imperative are, along with caring for nonhuman refugees, the most important acts of activism that you can undertake.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Honorary Professor (Philosophy) University of East Anglia

©2018 Gary L. Francione