Entries by Gary L. Francione

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. […]

Vegan Education Made Easy—Part I

One of the things that I hear frequently is that educating people, particularly strangers, about veganism, is difficult. On the contrary, our everyday interactions with people provide us with many opportunities to discuss veganism. This essay will discuss a couple of examples. I will discuss more examples in future essays.

The European Commission and the “Ban” on Battery Cages

On January 8, 2008, the European Commission rejected calls that it postpone its Directive calling for a “ban” on the conventional battery-cage, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2012 (after being first announced in 1999). According to the Directive, producers will have the choice to go “free-range,” “barn” (known as “cage-free” in the […]

Silly Questions and a Lack of Balance

Among the many notices that I receive about various events and conferences focused on animal issues was an announcement about a conference sponsored by the welfarist group, United Poultry Concerns. The title of the conference is: “Cage Free, Animal Friendly, Go Vegan -What’s the Problem?” According to the announcement, the conference will ask: Should activists […]

A Simple Resolution for the New Year

It is a new year. It is a time to resolve to do better. A simple suggestion: If you are not a vegan yet, get off the fence and stop exploiting nonhumans. If you are vegan, then educate yourself about the relevant moral arguments, as well as the environmental and health benefits, and try to […]

Postmodern Feminism and Animal Welfare: Perfect Together

Recently, there was a debate on the excellent and always lively Vegan Freak Forums between what may generally characterized as “postmodern feminists” and “radical feminists.” Postmodern feminists acknowledge that a woman’s choice to commodify herself sexually may represent an act of empowerment and cannot be assessed in any definitively negative way. These feminists are often […]

A “Bright Spot”?

A Media Release (October 25, 2007) from Animal Rights International (ARI) President Peter Singer announced that ARI has placed billboard-style ads on New York buses for a month. These ads apparently show how battery eggs are produced. In the Release, Singer explains how terrible battery cages are. Singer states: “‘Battery cages are being phased out […]

A Classic of “Moral Schizophrenia”

A central theme of my work for the past decade or so has been the exploration of our cognitive confusion—our “moral schizophrenia”—when it comes to nonhuman animals. Recently, I commented on how entertainer Ellen Degeneres sobbed on her television show about a dog that she adopted and gave away while, at the same time, promoted […]

Adventures in (Ir)Rationality

We humans claim to have some sort of “special” characteristic that justifies our exploitation of nonhumans. One such supposed characteristic is that we are supposedly rational and they supposedly are not. When we consider that it is humans who build nuclear weapons and who destroy the very environment necessary to sustain life, including our lives—just […]

Ellen Degeneres and Iggy the “It”

On October 16, popular U.S. entertainer Ellen DeGeneres told her talk-show audience–and the world–that she adopted a dog, Iggy, in September. She claimed that Iggy did not get along with her cats, so she gave him to her hairdresser, who has two daughters who wanted him. This apparently violated the adoption contract used by the […]