The rich, bloated new welfarist charities tell us we have to promote welfarist “baby steps”–such as cage-free eggs and crate-free pork, and the Whole Foods Animal Welfare Rating system–in order to move things forward. All of these groups reject veganism as a moral baseline. Think about the perversity of their position: they are claiming we need to promote exploitation to move toward no exploitation. These groups partner with institutional exploiters and actually promote supposedly more “humane” animal exploitation. That makes no sense–morally or practically.
The new welfarist group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) even claims that vegan advocacy is “harmful” and argues that we need to promote “activism” and not veganism. They define “activism” as doing street theater, such as chanting “it’s not food, it’s violence” in Chipotle restaurants. And when someone in a Chipotle’s comes up to you and asks what they can do to help, you are not supposed to mention veganism. You’re supposed to tell them to do “activism.” I am sorry but that is insane.
Consider the following: There are an estimated 7.5 million vegans in the U.S. If every one of those vegans persuaded one other person to go vegan in the next year, there would be 15 million vegans. If every one of those persuaded one other person in the second year, there would be 30 million. If we repeated this every year, the entire country would be vegan in fewer than six years.
And even if the number of present vegans is only 1 million, it would take nine years to get to a vegan U.S. population–still preferable to another 30 years of taking “baby steps” backward.
In any event, if those who claimed to care about animals stopped supporting welfare reforms, happy exploitation, and narcissistic street theater, we could make veganism the prevailing paradigm.
So get out there and talk to everyone you know about why veganism is the only rational response to the recognition that animals matter morally.
The World is Vegan! If you want it.
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