Debate with Professor Michael Marder on Plant Ethics

Professor Michael Marder, author of the forthcoming book, Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life, and I had a brief debate on the issue of plant ethics at the Columbia University Press website. You can find the debate here.


If you are not vegan, please go vegan. It is easy and better for your health and for the environment and, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do.

The World is Vegan! If you want it.

Gary L. Francione
Professor, Rutgers University

©2012 Gary L. Francione

Upcoming Abolitionist Approach Podcast on Effective Animal Rights Advocacy: A Preview

This past week, I posted two essays: Moral Concern, Moral Impulse, and Logical Argument in Animal Rights Advocacy and Violent Imagery in Animal Advocacy.

The response I got was overwhelming and it’s only been a few days. I have received 52 emails (as of right now) asking questions about applying these ideas in concrete circumstances.

I will do a podcast on this topic as soon as I have a chance but, depending on how my work on various projects goes, that may not be for a week or two. I have not done a podcast for a while and this topic seems to be as good as any to have as the subject of one or two podcasts. Read more

Violent Imagery in Animal Advocacy

I am asked with some frequency about whether it is advisable to use violent imagery, such as films depicting slaughterhouses or factory farms, as part of abolitionist vegan education. When I express hesitation and concern, people who know of my background will often say, “But didn’t your visiting a slaughterhouse have a profound effect on you?”

It certainly did. But we have to distinguish between the source of our moral concern about animals and the arguments we make in favor of abolition and veganism. In my last post, Moral Concern, Moral Impulse, and Logical Argument in Animal Rights Advocacy, I maintained that rationality is absolutely essential to effective animal rights advocacy but that for a person to be receptive to rational argument, she must first have at least some moral concern about animals. She must have a moral impulse to want to do the right thing concerning at least some animals in order for her to be able to respond positively to logical arguments about what the right thing to do is. Moral concern and moral impulse may come from many sources. If, however, a person simply does not care morally about animals and does not regard animals as members of the moral community in any sense, logic and rationality aren’t going to be very helpful. Read more