Category Archives: Blog

The Focus on “Factory Farming”

Most of the large groups focus on “factory farming.” This is absurd for at least three reasons.

First, these groups claim to be eliminating the “worst abuses” of the system. That is false. The entire system is one big “worst abuse” and the animal groups are merely focusing on (i.e., doing fundraising campaigns on) a few practices that are, for the most part, economically vulnerable anyway. These groups pretend that “factory farming” will be history if the gestation crate is eliminated or if conventional battery cages give way to “cage-free” barns, But that is just wrong. The pigs and chickens will still be tortured and killed.

Second, these groups promote the idea that there is a difference between “factory farm” exploitation and “family farm” exploitation. There is still an enormous amount of suffering and distress on any farm. This fantasy of the idyllic “family farm” is just that–a fantasy. And the animals all end up in the same slaughterhouse much of the time. They are, in any event, all slaughtered.

These groups all promote or support some sort of “happy exploitation” scheme. But these schemes still involve animals being tortured and killed. Their primary impact is to reassure consumers that they can be “conscientious omnivores” and keep contributing to animal groups as they feel good about continuing to eat and wear animals.

Third, if animals matter morally, we should not be eating, wearing, or using them whether they are from “factory farms” or from “family farms” or have a “happy exploitation” label slapped on their corpses. We cannot justify inflicting any level of pain and suffering on another sentient being when the only justification is palate pleasure or fashion. We don’t even need a theory of animal rights for that; it follows simply from the position that animals are not things and that they have moral value.

The problem is not “factory farming.” The problem is all animal farming; the problem is all animal use.

These “factory farming” campaigns have nothing to do with animals. They are fundraising vehicles for the large groups. If you care about animals and think that they have any moral value, you go vegan. It’s that simple.

**********

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 your body.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

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

©2014 Gary L. Francione

A Thought for Christmas Eve

If you are a Christian, think about how bizarre it is to celebrate the birth of the one you call “Prince of Peace” with violence. If you celebrate Christmas, make it a vegan day. If you really believe in peace and love, make it a vegan life. Nothing else makes any sense.

Happy Christmas.

**********

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.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

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

©2014 Gary L. Francione

“Philosophy Bites” Audio Interview on Abolition Published

The 2012 audio interview I did on Philosophy Bites at the University of London has been published by Oxford University Press in Philosophy Bites Again.

ScreenHunter_652 Nov. 21 07.05

**********

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.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

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

©2014 Gary L. Francione

Veganism: It’s Not Just a Animal Rights Issue

According to Cornell University Professors David Pimentel and Marcia Pimentel, it takes 13 kilograms (a kilogram is 2.2 pounds) of grain and 30 kilograms of forage to produce one kilogram of beef; 21 kilograms of grain and 30 kilograms of forage to produce a kilogram of lamb; 5.9 kilograms of grain to produce a kilogram of pork; 3.8 kilograms of grain to produce a kilogram of turkey; 2.3 kilograms of grain to produce a kilogram of chicken, and 11 kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of eggs.

Livestock in the United States consume 7 times as much grain as is consumed by the entire U.S. human population and the grains fed to livestock could feed 840 million humans who had a plant-based diet.

We could feed the world by shifting to a vegan diet.

**********

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.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

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

©2014 Gary L. Francione

Go Vegan. See the Connections.

For decades, I have been writing that the anti-fur campaign (among others) is sexist. For example, various groups have been using this sort of imagery for years now:

FortyAnimals

(click to enlarge)

But fur is no different from wool, leather, or silk. In my book, Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Movement, published by Temple University in Press in 1996, I stated:

[T]he fur campaign has from the outset been tainted by sexism. The trapping or ranching of animals for fur is certainly barbaric and immoral, but fur is no more or less morally obnoxious than leather or wool. The primary difference is that furs are worn by women, and wool and leather, although also worn by women, are worn by virtually all men. Fur became an early target of the animal rights movement, and from the outset the imagery was, not unexpectedly, sexist. An early poster shows a pair of women’s legs (no torso, no head, just legs) clothed in black stockings and spiked high heels. The woman is dragging a fur coat, which is trailing blood. The caption reads: “It takes up to 40 dumb animals to make a fur coat. But only one to wear it.”

All animal clothing is morally objectionable. All animal exploitation is morally objectionable. Reject animal exploitation. Reject sexism. Go vegan. See the connections.

**********

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.

And the Aboliutionist Approach, as a foundational principle, rejects all discrimination, including sexism and any other form of discrimination (racism, heterosexism, classism, etc.).

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

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

©2014 Gary L. Francione

More on Michael Vick, Andre Robinson, and “Animal Abusers”

I often hear people say that the difference between “animal abusers” like Michael Vick and Andre Robinson, and non-vegans, is that Vick and Robinson inflicted suffering on animals because they enjoyed the process of inflicting harm on animals whereas non-vegans just enjoy the taste of animal products but don’t want to harm animals. This difference, it is claimed, makes it wrong for me to say that non-vegans are morally indistinguishable from people like Vick and Robinson.

That is unsound thinking.

First of all, there are lots of non-vegans who do enjoy the process of killing animals. They are called hunters. Those people are in all ways–morally and psychologically–identical to Vick, Robinson, and anyone else who enjoys the actual process of harming animals.

But what about the non-hunting non-vegans who just buy animal products at their grocery store?

In order to understand their status, consider the following situations:

Situation #1: John kills Sam himself and enjoys the process of killing Sam.

Situation #2: Mike needs Morty to be dead in order to get an economic benefit (Mike will inherit money) but Mike is sad about that because he likes Morty and he abhors violence. Nevertheless, he needs Morty to die so he pays Dan to kill Morty. Mike enjoys the results of Morty being dead but did not enjoy the process of harming Morty.

There may be a psychological distinction between John and Dan on one hand, and Mike on the other; there is no moral difference. This moral equivalence is reflected in legal norms: John and Mike are both treated as murderers.

Once you realize that animal foods involve suffering and death (and no one over the age of 4 can claim not to realize that), and that we do not need to eat animals to be healthy, continuing to pay others to impose suffering and death on animals makes you morally indistinguishable from Vick, Robinson, and others you regard as “animal abusers.”

**********

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.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

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

©2014 Gary L. Francione

The Unfortunate Racism of Some “Animal Lovers”

I posted an essay from this site on Facebook concerning Andre Robinson, the man who kicked the cat named King, and who faces anticruelty charges in New York. The point was simple: What Andre Robinson did was terrible but was no different from what non-vegans support and participate directly in every single day.

I got comments which indicated that many people simply missed the whole point:

ScreenHunter_585 Nov. 04 07.51

ScreenHunter_587 Nov. 04 07.55

ScreenHunter_586 Nov. 04 07.54

(click to enlarge)

These people apparently do not see the problem with maintaining that we can respect the fundamental rights of nonhumans at the same time we treat nonhumans and things and impose suffering and death on them to satisfy our palate pleasure or fashion sense.

I got dozens of comments (most of which I deleted) calling Robinson names, such as:

ScreenHunter_575 Nov. 04 07.25

ScreenHunter_576 Nov. 04 07.31

ScreenHunter_582 Nov. 04 07.42

ScreenHunter_581 Nov. 04 07.41

ScreenHunter_583 Nov. 04 07.47

ScreenHunter_594 Nov. 04 12.57

ScreenHunter_601 Nov. 05 05.45

ScreenHunter_601 Nov. 06 06.57

(click to enlarge)

I wonder if these people regard their non-vegan relatives or friends, or themselves, if they are not vegans, as “assholes,” “Knob Heads,” “cruel fucker[s],” “mother FUCKER[S],” “fucking pieces of shit,” “fucking cunts,” etc. or whether they refer to non-vegans in ableist terms, such as “retarded” morons.

ScreenHunter_563 Nov. 03 07.36

(click to enlarge)

I wonder if she thinks that all her non-vegan friends and relatives (or she herself if she is not vegans) are all “pricks” who will get their “karma.”

There were dozens of these sorts of comments.

And I got many wishing him harm and expressing violence, such as:

ScreenHunter_552 Nov. 03 07.07

ScreenHunter_561 Nov. 03 07.35

ScreenHunter_562 Nov. 03 07.35

ScreenHunter_578 Nov. 04 07.39

ScreenHunter_588 Nov. 04 07.59

ScreenHunter_591 Nov. 04 08.21

ScreenHunter_592 Nov. 04 08.52

ScreenHunter_597 Nov. 04 16.47

(click to enlarge)

I wonder if these people think such things with respect to non-vegans.

And I got overtly racist comments–on, including:

ScreenHunter_556 Nov. 03 07.17

ScreenHunter_557 Nov. 03 07.17

ScreenHunter_559 Nov. 03 07.18

ScreenHunter_590 Nov. 04 08.19

ScreenHunter_595 Nov. 04 16.45

ScreenHunter_598 Nov. 04 16.53

ScreenHunter_600 Nov. 05 04.54

ScreenHunter_635 Nov. 11 11.50

RobinsonRacism8

(click to enlarge)

Please note that the last comment had a reference to the Ku Klux Klan. Absolutely shocking.

This overt racism has characterized other high visibility animal cases involving other people of color, including Michael Vick, Kisha Curtis, and the children who tortured the cat in Patterson, New Jersey.

We should all be upset by what Robinson did to King. But we should also remember that what he did was in no way morally different from what non-vegans directly support every single day. And however upset we are with anyone, we should never use racially charge language to voice our criticism.

And it is sad that so many people are so conceptually challenged that they cannot see that there is no morally significant difference between Andre Robinson and anyone who consumes nonhuman animals.

**********

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.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

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

©2014 Gary L. Francione

ADDENDUM, November 9, 2014

I did another post on Robinson on November 8.

In addition to the endless parade of ignorant name calling and expressions of violence, there were more racist, homophobic, and misogynistic comments, such as:

ScreenHunter_618 Nov. 08 23.43

ScreenHunter_617 Nov. 08 22.26

ScreenHunter_620 Nov. 09 05.57

ScreenHunter_616 Nov. 08 15.51

ScreenHunter_623 Nov. 09 12.33

ScreenHunter_624 Nov. 09 21.50

ScreenHunter_627 Nov. 11 06.20

ScreenHunter_630 Nov. 11 11.13

ScreenHunter_632 Nov. 11 11.42

ScreenHunter_649 Nov. 14 06.28

(click to enlarge)