Hi Ash. I would never take anything you say personally. I know you too well now for that.
College B and Kollision. I too TOTALLY agree with throwing paint, etc. I would go a step further than you, College B, and argue that I do NOT believe in respect for property rights where that property is animal killing machinery.
As far as PETA's stragety concerning KFC which most vegans seem to be criticizing PETA for, here is what I have said on the other forum:
To say that PETA is stopping people from going vegan is simply inaccurate. It is because of PETA that I am an aspiring vegan. I am sure I am not an isolated case. And I might also add that it is because of PETA that I am an activist, and that I have managed to distribute thousands (literally) of leafletss, including PETA's "What's wrong with Meat" flyers and "What's wrong with Dairy" flyers, which state, under the heading "What you can do" our important message - GO VEGAN - FOR LIFE! For a free vegetarian starter kit, call ...bla bla bla." That is all these flyers say. They don't say "buy free range eggs" or "buy organic meats", and then tack on at the end as a token gesture (to use your words), go vegetarian. The message is clear - GO VEGAN - FOR LIFE, says PETA. Again, thankfuly PETA sends me this flyers for free and I always leave a trail of these wherever I go, whether on the subway, in a lecure hall at school, library, wherever.
YOU say that PETA should simply assert "WE want no cages at all" and its failure to do so calls into question PETA's integrity. The fact of the matter is, what happens until we do eventually eliminate ALL cages? PETA, in addressing this sticky problem, says: "WE want no cages at all, but until that happens, we demand smaller cages NOW!!" I am sympathetic to this. Let me give an example as to why.
I have always felt that when faced with a difficult problem, an earnest way of comg as close to the "truth" or the "right solution" as possible is to try to put yourself in the other being's shoes. So, I am going to put myself in the shoes of a KFC chicken. I live in a KFC factory, and I am scheduled to die a grizzly and horrifying death, say next Friday. What do I, the KFC chicken that is going to die a brutal death in less than a week, want PETA to do? How can PETA help me?
The way I see, the options are as follows:
1) For at least 30% of the world (to use your figure) to go vegan before next Friday (my scheduled execution date). This just is not going to happen, in a week, as I am sure you will agree. I (both the person and the chicken), as well as PETA, wish more than anything that it would, but isn't. You know it, I know it and PETA knows it. And we are all very frustrated by it.
2) For somebody to raid the KFC factory and smuggle me and my fellow chickens out of there and into a safe haven. Again, unlikely to happen.
Okay, so the above two options are not going to help me, the KFC chicken living in the hear and now and scheduled to die next week. So what would I want PETA to do to help me? Well, since it doesn't look like I am going to emancipated before my scheduled execution, the next best thing for me, the chicken in the here and now scheduled to die next Friday, would be to spend the remainder of my days in less miserable conditions and to experience a less horrific death.
Honestly, isn't that what you would want if you were this KFC chicken?
That is what PETA does. It maintains an active and ongoing vegan outreach program to emancipate future KFC (and other chickens), but, due to the current state of affairs, is also compelled to negotiate with KFC to at least improve the conditions for me, the chicken that is scheduled to die next Friday and is virtually impossible to get emancipated before then.
Is it wrong of PETA to want to make the life of me (the chicken) less miserable? I do not think so. Put yourself in the animals shoes. Do you at least understand where I am coming from here? SO, in response to your's and Dave's "Peta is anti-animal" criticism, my rebuttal is: I think the chicken in my hypothetical above would disagree with both of you, and so do I.
YOu also say that campaigning along welfarist lines have gotten us nowhere. Again, that is unduly harsh. Revlon and Avon , for example, stopped testing on animals due to pressure from animal rights people, many of which took a welfarist approach in their advocacy. If they had taken an extreme position with Revlon, like "make sure your products are all vegan too," then I suspect that the animal activists would not have gotten very far with these companies and that many of them would still be testing on animals.
All I am saying is that the "correct" or "most effective" trajectory is not as obvious as many of you are suggesting. The issues are anything but black and white. I hear and understand what you are saying - young kids are getting the wrong message, the public is getting confused, etc. Some of PETA's campaigns are backfiring because meat eaters are feeling LESS guilty when supporting these animal killers. But what is PETA to do? Sacrifice the "welfare " of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses in the here and now that are unlikely to be emancipated, for the sake of minimizing or eliminating any potential misunderstandings? That is a tough call indeed, wouldn't you say? Either way, it is going to suck for the animals, at least in the immediate future.
My feeling, then, is that PETA has good intentions and does the best it can under the shittiest of circs. Although you clearly agree with PETA's philosophy - that animals our not ours to eat, wear, etc. - you disagree with the way PETA is going about trying to make that philosophy mainstream. And that is certainly your perogative. But I believe that PETA deserves the benefit of all doubt, and that its commitment and love for animals is not a pretense for something else. To suggest otherwise because one does not agree with PETA's strategy to effect change is unduly harsh in my opinion.
Unfortunately, most people are not going to metamorphisize from being KFC customers to vegans in one sweeping gallop. They just aren't. In these cases, baby steps - raising consciousness one little step at a time - appears to be the most realistic and promising course of action. I think PETA is wise to have recognized this and to strategically be more welfarist and less revolutionary where it feels that that is the wisest course of action under the particular circumstances.
So, I ask any of you here that disagrees with PETA's KFC campaign this question, and would appreciate your honest answer:
If you were the KFC chicken doomed to be slaughtered next week, what would you want a huge organization with some leverage like PETA to do?
I anxiously await EVERY vegan's answer to this difficult question. if you do not know what the solution should be, but acknowledge that the issues are more difficult than vegan critics of PETA contend, then please state so. if you think I have failed to consider another option for these poor kfc chickens scheduled for an inhumane form of slaughter next week, by all means highlight my oversight. If you feel that we should just sacrifice the welfare of the currently enslaved and cramped up chickens for the greater good of all future emancipated chickens, then just openly admit it (but, remember that it is easy for you to say because it ain't your ass on the killing line next week).
This should make for a very long thread, but a very interesting one too.