In doing research into the history of veganism, I was interested to see that Lewis Gompertz (1783/84–1861), a vegan on moral grounds who also believed in the notion of human and nonhuman equality, was a co-founder in 1824 of the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which became the RSPCA.
The SPCA governing Committee included people who hunted and who ate meat and other animal products. They objected to Gompertz’s veganism and moral views. So they engineered a resolution that limited membership in the SPCA to Christians. Gompertz was a Jew, and he was forced to resign.
It is interesting that from the very beginning of the modern “animal movement,” the welfarists have been hostile to vegans and those who opposed animal use.
It is also the case that anti-Semitism has a long history amongst some “animal advocates” that persists to this day.
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.
Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University
©2014 Gary L. Francione