McDonald’s has announced a new non-vegan vegetarian wrap.
And some of the welfarist groups, such as Vegan Outreach, are declaring “Progress for the animals!”
I think not.
Think about it: There are, in essence, two groups of people: (1) those who are concerned about animals morally but are continuing to eat animal foods and use animal products; (2) those who really do regard animals as things and who don’t care about animals.
We might be able to change the hearts and minds of some of those in the second group but the real target audience is the first group.
And, with respect to those who care about animals morally, we should never be encouraging the consumption of any animal products. We ought to make clear at every point that if we regard animals as having moral value, veganism is the only rational response. We should not be promoting anything short of veganism. We certainly should not be encouraging people to think that we do right by the animals when we eat a non-vegan wrap at McDonald’s.
If someone who cares about animals wants to do less than be vegan, that should be her/his choice and not as a result of “animal advocates” putting a stamp of approval on any consumption of animal products.
The new McDonald’s product is not vegan. For that ground alone, vegans should not promote it or praise it or encourage its consumption. And it remains a mystery to me as to why welfarists believe that promoting McDonald’s is ever in the interest of 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.
And never, ever buy into the nonsensical notion that we need to promote “happy exploitation” in order to get people to go vegan. It’s the opposite: the entire “happy exploitation” industry has one goal: to make the public more comfortable about animal exploitation.
Gary L. Francione
Professor, Rutgers University
©2013 Gary L. Francione