Our new book is now available. You can get it as a Kindle or paperback edition here.
This book is about a revolution–a revolution of the heart.
The exploitation of animals is pervasive, entrenched, and horrific. In this book, we reject the idea that animal use is morally acceptable if people treat animals “humanely.” We reject the campaigns for “compassionate” exploitation promoted by virtually all large animal protection organizations. We argue that these campaigns reinforce the notion that we can consume our way out of injustice and trade one form of exploitation for another. They are morally wrong and they are, as a practical matter, ineffective.
Front cover: “Abolition” by Sue Coe.
The central argument of this book is that we need a paradigm shift. We must see nonhuman animals as nonhuman persons.
This paradigm shift—this revolution of the heart—starts with our own veganism, not as some sort of “flexitarian lifestyle” issue, but as a basic, fundamental, and non-negotiable commitment to justice and fairness for nonhuman animals. Veganism, as a moral imperative, recognizes that we have no moral justification for using animals—however “humanely”—for our purposes.
It continues with our daily efforts to educate others in creative, positive, and nonviolent ways about veganism—something that each of us can do if we want to. Every day, we have opportunities to educate family, friends, colleagues at work, and people whom we encounter in a store or on a bus.
Back cover: “vegan World” by Sue Coe.
Those individual educational efforts will merge into the creation of a grassroots movement that will do what the large welfare charities have not done and cannot do: be an anti-slavery movement for nonhuman animals and promote the idea that all sentient beings have the moral right not to be used as the property of others.
In this book, we discuss six principles that make up the Abolitionist Approach:
I. Principle One: Abolitionists maintain that all sentient beings, human or nonhuman, have one right—the basic right not to be treated as the property of others.
II. Principle Two: Abolitionists maintain that our recognition of this one basic right means that we must abolish, and not merely regulate, institutionalized animal exploitation, and that abolitionists should not support welfare reform campaigns or single-issue campaigns.
III. Principle Three: Abolitionists maintain that veganism is a moral baseline and that creative, nonviolent vegan education must be the cornerstone of rational animal rights advocacy.
IV. Principle Four: The Abolitionist Approach links the moral status of nonhumans with sentience alone and not with any other cognitive characteristic; all sentient beings are equal for the purpose of not being used exclusively as a resource.
V. Principle Five: Abolitionists reject all forms of human discrimination, including racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and classism—just as they reject speciesism.
VI. Principle Six: Abolitionists recognize the principle of nonviolence as a core principle of the animal rights movement.
On the bedrock of these six principles, we maintain that that we can end animal exploitation.
The front and back cover have original art work from Sue Coe, the leading political artist of our generation–and a longtime vegan. Coe’s works are displayed in the world’s leading art museums, including in the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian. Unlike many other prominent artists, she has sought to make her work accessible to the public. Sue’s brilliant art work captures perfectly the ideas we discuss. We are honored that she created this art especially for our book.
We hope you enjoy our book.
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.
Learn more about veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.
Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers University
Adjunct Professor of Law, Rutgers University
©2015 Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton