A “Very New Approach” or Just More New Welfarism?

Martin Balluch, an Austrian animal advocate and president of the Association Against Animal Factories in Austria, is circulating an essay that he wrote and that he characterized to me as opening a “very new approach” to the rights/welfare debate.

Balluch’s essay is long and, at places, convoluted, but the basic thesis is really quite simple.

According to Balluch, taking the abolitionist approach and promoting vegan/abolitionist education rather than welfarist regulatory reform “cannot but fail” because, in a speciesist society, “to live vegan costs an enormous amount of energy, so that only a tiny minority will ever have enough motivation and resolve to be able to sustain it.”

So what is the “very new approach” that Balluch proposes?

He argues that we should support welfarist reform. Balluch argues that “it is at least possible” that welfarist regulation will eventually lead to abolition on both an individual and social level. That is, supporting animal welfare reform will, as a psychological matter, lead the individual toward veganism and will, as a political matter, cause the society to move toward abolition.

In short, Balluch is not proposing a “very new approach” at all.

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