To those who support animal welfare:
It’s not, as many of you claim, a choice of helping animals “today” or “now,” or letting them suffer while we achieve a much greater number of vegans.
It is a choice of whether we are going to:
A. put resources into expensive campaigns that go on for years and, if they don’t fail completely:
* result in some modification that is then supposedly phased in over more years and usually never enforced anyway; and
* even if implemented and enforced, result in, at best, a de minimis change akin to putting padding on a water board; and
* do nothing to change thinking about the moral status of animals and, indeed, reinforce the status of animals as commodities or things that exist for human use;
* have the counterproductive effect of making people more comfortable about consuming animals; and
* make animal advocates partners with institutional exploiters whom they ask animal advocates to support
B. engage in creative, nonviolent advocacy that promotes veganism as the moral baseline, and that will reduce demand and effect a paradigm shift in our thinking about animals.
Every second of time and cent spent on doing A is a second less or a cent less spent on doing B.
A and B are different, and mutually exclusive, ways of thinking about animal ethics.
Neither A nor B is immediate; neither helps animals “now,” and both involve incremental efforts. The question is which you choose to 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.
Gary L. Francione
Professor, Rutgers University
©2012 Gary L. Francione