The corporate “animal movement” is big business. Every year, it brings in hundreds of millions of dollars. How does it do that? By selling the idea of “compassionate exploitation.” The “movement” sells the idea that life can go on as usual and people can continue on as before–as long as they give a donation so that the “worst abuses” are addressed. When challenged about this, these groups claim that it’s all just a “baby steps” strategy to lead people incrementally to ending animal exploitation.
Look around you. We’ve had this way of thinking for 200 years now. That’s right. Animal welfare reform started in the 19th century and the first piece of legislation (in Britain) was about the “cruel” treatment of farm animals. 200 years later and we are exploiting more animals in more horrific ways than ever before in human history. There are people who are members of these animal organizations who have been involved with them for 20 years and they are still not vegan. That’s because the large groups don’t promote veganism as a moral baseline. “Baby steps”? No. Big steps. Backward.
The grassroots abolitionist movement is growing. It is a movement composed of individuals who promote justice for nonhumans and who are not interested in selling the false–and morally reprehensible–idea of “happy exploitation.” Although some who claim to be abolitionists have “donate” buttons, most don’t.
This is upsetting the large groups that cannot deal with the substantive issues and who fight back by attacking abolitionists in ad hominem and often defamatory ways. They whinge endlessly about being “hated on,” “shamed,” “bullied,” etc. But their ad hominem attacks and their interminable whining are signs of abolitionist success. They have nothing of substance to say so they call people names and they characterize themselves as victims. But all of this puerile behavior cannot hide one very important and crucial fact: we have a grassroots movement that is promoting the idea of veganism as a moral imperative with crystal clarity.
And that movement is only going to grow larger and larger no matter what the corporate welfarists and their minions 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.
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, Rutgers University
©2015 Gary L. Francione