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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:10 pm 
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I know a person who goes out to sri lanka to get people there to be more 'humane' in how they kill animals in slaughterhouses. At the moment, it is most common for the animals to have their heads caved in with a hammer or steel pipe, which can take several blows and is a grizzly routine. My friend goes to these people and convinces them to use captive bolt etc. Now lots of people give her abuse because they say that she is advocating the killing of animals. But she isn't, she just realises that when you look at the situation practically, the irradication of the meat-industry will not happen over-night, or any time soon, so until then, animals being killed shouldn't be ignored.

Also, I notice on lots of vegan boards, that they suck. I am forever in arguments with what I consider to be less morally minded vegans, I recently got banned in fact :? from a board, just for disagreeing politely with the administrator. He said my views were "stupid", with no further explanation, and then I was banned. Vegans really do vary a surprising amount on what they believe.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:27 pm 
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i have only read and posted here and on veganfitness, both of which are friendly communities.

regarding peta, i am not generally impressed with their methods or their moral stance.

CG, in response to the question you asked, i would prefer it (as i only have a week to live) that those who come after me infact dont, and that such a place never existed.

peta has a welfarist agenda. it subdues the guilt of those who eat meat if the chicken has 'an extra few inches'. it does not make the life of the chicken significantly better, and they are still there for humans to kill and torture.

peta also have a really annoying policy of celebrity idoltry. frequently its 'oooh look who's veggie? now you wont feel like a freak for not eating meat!'. do they think that people are that dumb? celebrity culture is something that needs to be left out of the AR movement. you should not go veggie because joe fancypants is veggie, you should go veggie because you believe it is the right thing to do. otherwise you are are a fraud and will be seen as such.

i realise that here in the uk that we dont have the same exposure with peta, but i hope that it gives me a more objective stance.

i do not deny that peta has caused many people to go vegan, but with the same token i believe they have dont much harm to the AR movement with their constant compromises, fuck-ups and wavering moral line.

jonathan

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:12 pm 
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I have met and talked with a few PETA employees, and they are actually quite reasonable people. Their outreach philosophy, from what I understand, is that the media have gotten bored with animal rights/welfare coverage, so to continue getting their attention, PETA feels it must resort to circus-like stunts. PETA believes this will draw people in initially so that a more rational argument can be made later. That's why they have the Lettuce Ladies parade around Capitol Hill with veggie weiners for U.S. Congressmen. That's also why PETA relies so heavily on celebrity endorsement and gossip. Wiggle your finger at the public, draw them in and then make your point.

I, however, really can't see how that will make a lasting impression, and I believe it trivializes the animal rights movement. An otherwise legimitate, reasoned argument is turned into a spectacle, giving people who are already hostile to our views much more fuel to use against us - not to mention how it might alienate more middle-of-the-road folks who might be sympathetic to our cause, if only presented in a measured, reasonable fashion. I also question how long a person will stay vegetarian if their reason for becoming one is founded in ephemeral celebrity culture.

I respect PETA for their overarching ethics, but I respectfully disagree with their strategies. That's why I prefer Vegan Outreach as a more viable alternative.

Dissent within the movement only helps strengthen it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:14 pm 
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jonathan wrote:


CG, in response to the question you asked, i would prefer it (as i only have a week to live) that those who come after me infact dont, and that such a place never existed.

peta has a welfarist agenda. it subdues the guilt of those who eat meat if the chicken has 'an extra few inches'. it does not make the life of the chicken significantly better, and they are still there for humans to kill and torture.

jonathan


I agree with everythong else you said except for what I have quoted above.

YOU havent really answered my question. I know that we would hope as chickens that those who come after us "dont", as you put it, and that such a plce will cease to exist asap. That is why vegan outreach exists. To take care of the demand side by increasing the number of vegans.

But as a chicken that would will simply not get the chance to see emancipation, what would you prefer. Would you prefer to be scalded alive, or would you prefer to be gassed where you are painlessly put to sleep and murdered painlessly. I know that either way you DIE which sucks, but if the only two choices for the chickens in the here and now are scalding alive or painless gassing (called controlled-atmosphere killing), wouldnt you think they would want the method that causes them lesser pain and suffering?

of course they would. it would be absurd to suggest otherwise. So that is why campaigning against Yum for the implementation of these changes like controlled-atmosphere killing instead of scalding alive is NECESSARY.

As Richard said, we have to be realistic and practical and realize that not enough people are going to go vegan overnight. And because of that unfortunate reality, we need to do what we can to ensure that the animals that will inevitably be Yum victims suffer less than they otherwise would. So both vegan outreach and "welfarist" campaigns are necessary to address both the immediate and long term futures.

I dont see how anybody could disagree with any of the above.

However, I do acknowledge that the pitfall of forcing these companies to improve their animal welfare policies might just be that it causes some meat eaters to simply feel better about eating at these places. But I am not prepared to throw these birds that will sadly not be rescued into boiling water (quite literally) just because some people might feel better about eating at these places. That is a chance that we are just going to have to take, for the sake of saving these birds from what it feels like to be drowned in scalding water. If we can just really fathom what that may feel like for a minute, I think we would be more symathetic to the campaign against Yum. Imagine how it feels to be drowned in scalding water. The other day a splash of boiling water splashed on my hand and I thought I was going to die from the pain. I cannot imagine being a terrified helpless chicken, not knowing what is goin on, and being DUNKED To drown in boiling water.

I guess I am rejecting the utilitarian view of "sacrifice these immediate chickens" now for the greater chicken good in the future. It is easy for us to say that when it isnt our own asses drowning in the scalding water.

WE are pressuring Yum to adopt more humane and less painful killing methods, while we continue to work on vegan outreach so that the successors of these chickens will hopefully never see what the inside of a farm or slaugherhouse look like. Please dont interfere with our Yum campaigning by supporting this flagrantly unethical, animal hating company.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:18 pm 
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Oh, I just wanted to add one more thing - I do appreciate the undercover investigations PETA does. Excellent work, to their defense.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:22 pm 
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brendan wrote:
I have met and talked with a few PETA employees, and they are actually quite reasonable people. Their outreach philosophy, from what I understand, is that the media have gotten bored with animal rights/welfare coverage, so to continue getting their attention, PETA feels it must resort to circus-like stunts. PETA believes this will draw people in initially so that a more rational argument can be made later. That's why they have the Lettuce Ladies parade around Capitol Hill with veggie weiners for U.S. Congressmen. That's also why PETA relies so heavily on celebrity endorsement and gossip. Wiggle your finger at the public, draw them in and then make your point.

I, however, really can't see how that will make a lasting impression, and I believe it trivializes the animal rights movement. An otherwise legimitate, reasoned argument is turned into a spectacle, giving people who are already hostile to our views much more fuel to use against us - not to mention how it might alienate more middle-of-the-road folks who might be sympathetic to our cause, if only presented in a measured, reasonable fashion. I also question how long a person will stay vegetarian if their reason for becoming one is founded in ephemeral celebrity culture.

I respect PETA for their overarching ethics, but I respectfully disagree with their strategies. That's why I prefer Vegan Outreach as a more viable alternative.

Dissent within the movement only helps strengthen it.


When was the last time we saw the cruelties within a slaughterhouse or a chinchilla fur farm make the evening news? Or the bull fights in Spain make the evening news? Animals are being raped for their fur, but what is deemed to be more important by the lcoal news here is the opening of a new shopping mall in north Toronto. While the facts of animal cruelty themselves are no longer deemed newsworthy anymore, people running naked make the evening news. This is a sad indication of the superficiality and lack of substance of our society, but what else is new.

I agree that some of these campaigns like people running naked are stupid. But what else is PETA to do if the BARE COLD HARD FACTS of animal cruelty simply dont interest the media anymore. How else are we to get people's attention. yes some people are diots and will forever miss the point behind the "running of the nudes". But hopefully, for ever moron out there, there is one reasonable sensible person who will question the reasoning, the motivation for and purpose behind the running of the nudes and other "stunts" and, in the process, learn something about animal cruelty that they would not have otherwise heard about.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:29 pm 
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brendan wrote:
Oh, I just wanted to add one more thing - I do appreciate the undercover investigations PETA does. Excellent work, to their defense.


AS shocking and appalling as these investigations are, they STILL dont make it on the evening news. Have you ever seen a NEWS documentary on meet your meat?

So what is the point of having these exposes if you cannot get anybody to air it or to watch it? When the media doesnt deem the contents of these investigations newsworthy? You need to do something that WILL get media attention so you can at least engage people in debate and et them watching these undercover investigations. And unfortunately, the media would rather pay attention to running of the nudes, or people making out in the street corner with the slogan "vegetarians make better lovers" instead of focus on meet your meat.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:30 pm 
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Richard wrote:
. But she isn't, she just realises that when you look at the situation practically, the irradication of the meat-industry will not happen over-night, or any time soon, so until then, animals being killed shouldn't be ignored.

.


Precisely. :cry:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:35 pm 
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PETA is an extremely well-funded organization. One could argue they're not just using the media - they are the media. If PETA invested all the money it allocates to public stunts instead toward something similar to "Why Vegan" pamphlets, I wonder if it would have a greater impact. I think those are extremely effective: People are presented the facts in a compelling way and, at their own leisure, get to choose whether to go vegan. Without the hype, excess and silliness.

We have to acknowledge that a majority of people see the PETA stunts and immediately write them off. I think it's an incredible waste to invest all that time, energy and money into something so grand and ridiculous, hoping maybe one person will see it and have a change of heart. Sure, that makes for a touching parable, but we have to get serious, be more practical and turn to more sophisticated, efficacious strategies when others fail. I'm pretty sure PETA would agree with that last part and indeed that seems to be their approach to outreach - a valiant one for certain, but seemingly uneffective.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:51 pm 
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Hey, Natalie, I think you made a pretty good justification for pursuing animal welfare strategies. I can really see this all - and this is separate now from the outreach strategies to promote veganism that we were just discussing - from both perspectives, as far as welfare reform goes. As an aside, welfare advocacy can also be seen as utilitarian because it seeks to reduce suffering. Anyhoo, here's a (rather lengthy) excerpt from an interview with Gary Francione, a professor of law at Rutgers University, conducted in 2002 by Friends of Animals. It's pretty interesting, and I figure you'll like since you're a law student. As another aside, I don't support fast-food restaurants for reasons that extend beyond animal rights, but I especially would discourage anyone from supporting Yum! at this point in time.

FoA: What is your view of the current animal rights movement in the United States?

Gary Francione: There is no animal rights movement in the United States. There is only an animal welfare movement that seeks to promote the "humane" exploitation of animals. To bring about animal rights, it is essential to understand the basic legal and philosophical arguments for abolition. Logically, it is not possible to reform the system that exploits animals; we must abolish the exploitation. The abolitionist position is that the institution of animal property is morally unjustifiable, just as was the institution of human property that we called slavery.

Some who promote welfare reform maintain that it is acceptable for humans to use animals if they do so "humanely." Others seek welfare reforms because they believe reforms will eventually lead to abolition. I argue against these notions for two reasons.

First, as a theoretical matter, reform misses the primary moral point. It is, of course, always better to cause less suffering than more, but the real question is whether humans are justified in imposing any suffering at all on animals incidental to our use of animals as property. The 19th century reformers argued that it was better for a slave's owner to beat his slave four times a week rather than five. The abolitionists argued that all human beings had at least the right not to be the property of another; that to be property meant that a human had no value except that accorded the slave by the owner. The abolitionist position was that it was wrong to beat the slaves at all because the institution of slavery itself was morally unjustifiable and it did not matter how "humane" we made slavery. Putting a string quartet on the way to the gas chambers -- as the Nazis did during the Holocaust -- may make things more "humane" in some sense, but that misses the point, doesn't it?

If animals are morally significant at all, then we must abolish the institution of animal property. We must stop creating and owning domestic animals or using wild animals as means to our ends. My view is that we should abolish animal slavery and not seek to reform an inherently immoral institution.

The second reason for my rejection of welfarism is that, as a practical matter, it does not work. We have had animal welfare laws in most western countries for well over a hundred years now, and they have done little to reduce animal suffering and they certainly have not resulted in the gradual abolition of any practices.

Peter Singer was recently quoted as saying that the agreement by McDonald's to give battery hens a few more inches of cage space was the most significant development for farm animals since he wrote Animal Liberation. Twenty-five years of welfarist reform and the best we can show is a larger battery cage. Maybe Peter finds that thrilling; I do not. It is a clear indication of what I have been saying for a decade now: welfarist reform is useless.

As to why welfarism fails, this was the subject of my 1996 book, Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement. In a nutshell, the reason has to do with the property status of animals. If animals are property, then they have no value beyond that which is accorded to them by their owners. Reform does not work because it seeks to force owners to value their property differently and to incur costs in order to respect animals interests. Our legal and political systems are based on strong concepts of property rights. Thus, there is reluctance to impose the costs of reforms on owners when such costs will significantly decrease the value of animal property as far as the owner is concerned.

FoA: This theory is logical indeed. But what about putting your ideas into practice at the grass roots level?

Gary Francione: Before undertaking any practical effort, there must be a theory that informs the action. A social movement must have a theory if it is to have any action at all. Unfortunately for the present time, the welfarist position of Peter Singer is informing the movement. This position claims that advocates should support any measure that "reduces suffering." This theory has had disastrous practical results. Nearly any proposed change, such as giving an extra inch of space to a battery hen, or eating only non-crate veal, can be portrayed as reducing suffering. Singer's theory allows large, multi-million-dollar animal welfare organizations to come up with moderate campaigns and then to demand that we all jump on the bandwagon because this will "reduce suffering." Under Singer’s theory, it would make sense for animal exploiters to make things as horrible as they can for animals in order to be able to "reduce suffering" and thereby make small concessions to activists. That is precisely what the exploiters are doing, with McDonalds’ so-called "improvements" being a perfect example of the problem. And the "movement" is buying into this because Singer has declared that these insignificant changes will "reduce suffering."

I suggest that we need a new theory to replace the one that we have. I am not unrealistic. I recognize that even if we adopt an abolitionist theory, abolition will not occur immediately. Change will necessarily be incremental. But it is my view that the explicit goal must be abolition and that abolition must shape incremental change.

On the other hand, I can tell you what really is not realistic, and that is to expect that the industries who use animals to obtain profits will be able to police themselves. As I have often noted, "humane slaughter" laws are difficult to enforce, and the economic realities of the meat-packing business militate against conscientious self-enforcement of such standards. Moreover, such laws arguably increase overall suffering, because they make the general public feel better about eating meat or about any other regulated use of animals. This is the Catch-22 of animal welfare.

There will always be welfarists who promote longer chains for the slaves and call that incremental change. In Rain Without Thunder, I argued that the most important form of incremental change is educating the public about the need for abolition. We have not yet had that, for the U.S. movement has always been embarrassed about being "radical." We do not want to alienate the "mainstream." The problem is that the "mainstream" is polluted and we ought to stay far away from the "mainstream."

To those who claim that the abolitionist has no practical campaign to pursue right now, I have long argued that the contrary is true. Consider what would happen if the international animal movement had a sustained and unified campaign promoting a purely vegetarian diet. Imagine what could be done if a significant portion of our resources were channeled into making people aware of why they shouldn't eat animal products at all. At the end of five years, we would certainly not have achieved world veganism, but we'd probably have reduced the consumption of animal products considerably more than we have done with these "eat red veal" campaigns.

And what would we have given up if we were to pursue this route? Peter Singer claims that two inches of cage space is the best thing to happen to farmed animals in 25 years; arguably, making as few as 100 new vegans in five years would "reduce suffering" much more than that.

When will we begin? I understand, of course, that many people in leadership positions aren't vegan. Therefore they find it difficult to embrace animal rights as a movement in which a vegetable-based diet is an axiom. Veganism, however, is the single most important issue in the movement. Veganism is the abolitionist principle implemented in one's own life. Anyone who maintains that she or he is an "animal rights" advocate but is not vegan cannot be taken seriously.

http://www.antispe.de/txt/interviewgaryfrancione.html


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:55 pm 
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Just to keep this thread clear, there seem to be two separate issues that are being discussed.

1)welfarism (like boycotting Yum! until they implement decent changes)

2) PETA "stunts" like lettuce ladies, running of the nudes, etc etc.

And as far as stunts, like I said, some are stupid, others hit the nail right on the head, like the "Holocaust on your plate" campaign.

What I would like to see is more use of commercial air time - why not air some animal rights message in the middle of the season finale of popular shows like "Friends" or something that a viewing audience of millions? I think they did one commercial during the superbowl, but again, it was a stupid one.

I remember one commercial many years ago that aired here locally. IT was a slient video footage of a little fox, trapped in a legal hold trap. It showed him struggling, then giving up and just laying there, trying to lick the pain he was experiencing away. It wasnt very graphic at all. But the image of that helpless trapped animal was very powerful. It was followed by the following. " YOu can help him. Call The Association for the Protection of Fur Bearing Animals at 1-800.... to find out how."

SO I agree with you to a certain extent that if peta invested more money in things like this the message would get to a wider audience in a more solemn and effective form. But I suspect that the tv networks dont even want to give peta any airtime because of the vested interests fighting to silence peta.


But, the issue of welfarism and helping the animals that will not suffer less is one that different from the above, and really has nothing to do with peta.

If it was any other organization campaigning to improve the lives of animals in the here and now, I would obviousy feel the same way.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:56 pm 
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it looks like we are on at the same time and keep missing each other's previous post.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:12 pm 
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compassionategirl wrote:
Just to keep this thread clear, there seem to be two separate issues that are being discussed.

1)welfarism (like boycotting Yum! until they implement decent changes)

2) PETA "stunts" like lettuce ladies, running of the nudes, etc etc.


Right on! We both recognized that. :D

compassionategirl wrote:
What I would like to see is more use of commercial air time - why not air some animal rights message in the middle of the season finale of popular shows like "Friends" or something that a viewing audience of millions? I think they did one commercial during the superbowl, but again, it was a stupid one.


More commercial air time would be nice, but a lot of networks won't accept ads that are too "controversial" or that might upset other, larger companies to which they are more loyal. I think PETA tries to buy a Superbowl ad ever year and gets rejected. That certainly sucks. Advertisement is much like the rest of the media in some ways - it's very much just a reflection of our culture. It is hard to place the blame solely on them when society already has its values (or lackthereof) in place.

That kind of segways into what I was talking about with reaching out to the media. Seems kind of moot at this point because the news media is also just a reflection of what society values. PETA = animal rights crazies to most people, therefore PETA = animal rights crazies to the media. That's why I speculate that working on a more grassroots, self-sustained platform would be more effective. PETA should use itself to an even larger degree as an alternative media that already values animal rights, irrespective of social values. Theoretically, that would generate more vegans, and, in time, a more vegan-friendly society that can be taken seriously by the mainstrea media. Eh?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:37 pm 
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brendan wrote:
Hey, Natalie, I think you made a pretty good justification for pursuing animal welfare strategies. I can really see this all - and this is separate now from the outreach strategies to promote veganism that we were just discussing - from both perspectives, as far as welfare reform goes. As an aside, welfare advocacy can also be seen as utilitarian because it seeks to reduce suffering. Anyhoo, here's a (rather lengthy) excerpt from an interview with Gary Francione, a professor of law at Rutgers University, conducted in 2002 by Friends of Animals. It's pretty interesting, and I figure you'll like since you're a law student. As another aside, I don't support fast-food restaurants for reasons that extend beyond animal rights, but I especially would discourage anyone from supporting Yum! at this point in time.

FoA: What is your view of the current animal rights movement in the United States?

Gary Francione: There is no animal rights movement in the United States. There is only an animal welfare movement that seeks to promote the "humane" exploitation of animals. DISAGREE: WHILE THERE ARE WELFARIST ORGANIZATIONS THAT SEEK WELFARISM AS THE END GOAL, THE WELFARISM WITHIN THE AR MOVEMENT DOES NOT SEEK WELFARISM AS THE END GOAL AT ALL, BUT RATHER, SEES IT AS NECESSITATED BY PRACTICAL REALITIES (AS I EXPLAIN ABOVE AND WILL NOT REPEAT HERE. WE CANNOT IGNORE THE ANIMALS SUFFERING NOW FOR THE SAKE OF MAINTAINING A PURSIT PHILOSOPHY. To bring about animal rights, it is essential to understand the basic legal and philosophical arguments for abolition. Logically, it is not possible to reform the system that exploits animals; we must abolish the exploitation. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. THE WELFARISM THAT I CAMPAIGN FOR LIKE AS IN THE YUM CASE IS NOT ADVOCATING HUMANE EXPLOITATION OF ANIMALS AS THE END GOAL. THIS ISNT EVEN LOGISTICALLY POSSIBLE AS FRANCIONE ARGUES. INSTEAD, WE ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO SPARE THE ANIMALS THAT WILL NOT BE EMANCIPATED FROM EXPERIENCING THE HORRORS OF BEING DROWNED ALIVE. The abolitionist position is that the institution of animal property is morally unjustifiable, just as was the institution of human property that we called slavery. ABSOLUTELY.

Some who promote welfare reform maintain that it is acceptable for humans to use animals if they do so "humanely." NOTE THAT FRANCIONE HERE QUALIFIES THE STATEMENT WITH THE WORD "SOME". IT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE THAT THERE ARE WELFARIST PEOPLE WITH WELFARIST AGENDAS AS THE END GOAL. BUT THERE ARE OTHERS THAT DO PROMOTE/ADVOCATE ANIMAL RIGHTS, BUT ADOPT A WELFARIST POSTURE WHEN DOING SO MAKE SENSE WITHIN THE PRACTICAL REALITIES WE CONFRONT. I FALL INTO THE LATTER CATEGORY AND I BELIEVE THAT PETA DOES AS WELL. THAT IS WHY EVEN AFTER YUM ADOPTS CAK OVER SCALDING ALIVE (IF OUR BOYCOTT IS EVER EFFECTIVE), WE WILL STILL CAMPAIGN FOR VEGANISM, WHICH IS BY DEFINITION ANTI-YUM AND ANTI-ANY ANIMAL SERVING ESTABLISHMENT. HENCE, THE RIGHTS STILL OVERRIDES THE WELFARE AND IS THE PRIMARY AND ONLY ACCEPTABLE "END RESULT".
Others seek welfare reforms because they believe reforms will eventually lead to abolition. I argue against these notions for two reasons. I DONT REALLY SEE WELFARE LEADING TO ABOLITION AT ALL. I DONT THINK WE WILL EVER CONVINCE YUM TO CLOSE ITS DOORS FOREVER VOLUNTARILY, OR TO GO 100 % VEGAN VOLUNTARILY. CORPORATIONS RESPOND TO DEMAND AND TO PROFIT. SO THAT IS WHAT i MEAN BY WORKING ON VEGAN OUTREACH TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE DEMAND FOR MEAT, TO A POINT WHERE EITHER THESE CORPS ARE NO LONGER PROFITABLE, OR IT IS NO LONGER PROFITABLE FOR THEM TO SERVE NON-VEGAN FOOD. THE ONLY REASON FOR AT TIMES WELFARIST POSTURE IS TO SAVE THE CHICKENS IN THE HERE AND NOW FROM EXCRUCIATING, UNIMAGINABLE, INDESCRIBABLE PAIN AND SUFFERING. THAT IS I BELEIVE THE ONLY THING THAT WELFARISM WILL ACCOMPLISH. NOTHING MORE.

First, as a theoretical matter, reform misses the primary moral point. It is, of course, always better to cause less suffering than more, ABSOLUTELY but the real question is whether humans are justified in imposing any suffering at all on animals incidental to our use of animals as property. NO, HUMANS ARE NOT SO JUSTIFIED. THAT IS WHY AR MUST BE THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE END RESULT. BUT UNTIL THEN, I CANNOT IN GOOD CONSCIENCE SACRIFICE THE HERE AND NOW CHICKENS AND ALLOW THEM TO EXPERIENCE A SCALDING ALIVE PROCESS. SO WE CAMPAIGN FOR VEGANISM, AND IN THE MEANTIME, WE DO WHAT WE CAN TO HELP THE CHICKENS THAT WILL NEVER SEE THE GLORIOUS DAY OF EMANCIPATION. THE ONLY WAY THAT ONE COULD DISAGREE WITH ME IS IF YOU FEEL THAT THE CHICKENS OUGHT TO BE SACFRICIED FOR THE GOOD OF THE FUTURE CHICKENS. FRANCIONE DOESNT COME OUT AND SAY THIS, BUT THAT IS HOW HE MUST FEEL. AND THAT IS WHERE HE AND I DISAGREE. The 19th century reformers argued that it was better for a slave's owner to beat his slave four times a week rather than five. The abolitionists argued that all human beings had at least the right not to be the property of another; that to be property meant that a human had no value except that accorded the slave by the owner. The abolitionist position was that it was wrong to beat the slaves at all because the institution of slavery itself was morally unjustifiable and it did not matter how "humane" we made slavery. Putting a string quartet on the way to the gas chambers -- as the Nazis did during the Holocaust -- may make things more "humane" in some sense, but that misses the point, doesn't it? THE ONLY OPTIONS FOR THE CHICKENS IN YUM FACTORIES SCHEDULED FOR EXECUTION NEXT WEKE OR NEXT MONTH ARE SUFFERING LESS OR SUFFERING MORE. EMANCIPATION IS NOT LIKELY IN THIR LIFETIMES. SO WE MUST ENSURE THAT THEY SUFFER LESS. THIS DOESNT MISS THE POINT AT ALL. IN FACT, IT IS EXACTLY THE POINT BECAUSE EMANCIPATION IS NOT AN OPTION FOR THESE ANIMALS.

If animals are morally significant at all, then we must abolish the institution of animal property. ABSOLUTELY. We must stop creating and owning domestic animals or using wild animals as means to our ends. My view is that we should abolish animal slavery and not seek to reform an inherently immoral institution. WE NEED TO SEEK VEGANISM AS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OUTCOME, YES, BUT WE CANNOT QUITE LITERALLY THROW THE ANIMALS THAT WILL NOT BE SAVED INTO BOILING WATER FOR THE SAKE OF PHILOSOPHICAL OR THEORETICAL PURITY.



The second reason for my rejection of welfarism is that, as a practical matter, it does not work. We have had animal welfare laws in most western countries for well over a hundred years now, and they have done little to reduce animal suffering and they certainly have not resulted in the gradual abolition of any practices.Peter Singer was recently quoted as saying that the agreement by McDonald's to give battery hens a few more inches of cage space was the most significant development for farm animals since he wrote Animal Liberation. Twenty-five years of welfarist reform and the best we can show is a larger battery cage. Maybe Peter finds that thrilling; I do not. It is a clear indication of what I have been saying for a decade now: welfarist reform is useless. I AGREE THAT BIGGER BATTERY CAGES ARENT ENOUGH. MY CONCERN IS REALLY MORE ABOUT IMPLEMENTING 'REFORMS' THAT WILL MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN REDUCING TORTURE AND PAIN, LIKE CONVINCING YUM TO IMPLEMENT CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE KILLING INSTEAD OF SCALDING ALIVE. YOU CANNOT SAY THAT THIS IS HARDLY A DIFFERENCE. IF FRANCIONE WAS THE ONE THAT HAD ONLY A CHOICE BETWEEN SCALDING ALIVE AND BEING MURDERED PAINLESSLY, HE WOULD CHOOSE THE LATTER, UNLESS HE IS SOME KIND OF MASOCHIST.

As to why welfarism fails, this was the subject of my 1996 book, Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement. In a nutshell, the reason has to do with the property status of animals. If animals are property, then they have no value beyond that which is accorded to them by their owners. Reform does not work because it seeks to force owners to value their property differently and to incur costs in order to respect animals interests. Our legal and political systems are based on strong concepts of property rights. Thus, there is reluctance to impose the costs of reforms on owners when such costs will significantly decrease the value of animal property as far as the owner is concerned. ANIMALS ARE NOT HUMAN PROPERTY, THEY BELONG NOT TO US, BUT TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR CREATOR. I AGREE THAT WE NEED TO WORK TO END THEIR TREATMENT AS PROPERTY. AND THAT IS WHAT WE DO, BUT WITHOUT IGNORING THE ONES THAT ARE GOING TO BE BOILED ALIVE. FoA:

This theory is logical indeed. But what about putting your ideas into practice at the grass roots level? SURE. ANYTHING AN EVERYTHING THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IS A GFREAT IDEA.

Gary Francione: Before undertaking any practical effort, there must be a theory that informs the action. A social movement must have a theory if it is to have any action at all. Unfortunately for the present time, the welfarist position of Peter Singer is informing the movement. This position claims that advocates should support any measure that "reduces suffering." This theory has had disastrous practical results. Nearly any proposed change, such as giving an extra inch of space to a battery hen, or eating only non-crate veal, can be portrayed as reducing suffering. Singer's theory allows large, multi-million-dollar animal welfare organizations to come up with moderate campaigns and then to demand that we all jump on the bandwagon because this will "reduce suffering." Under Singer’s theory, it would make sense for animal exploiters to make things as horrible as they can for animals in order to be able to "reduce suffering" and thereby make small concessions to activists. That is precisely what the exploiters are doing, with McDonalds’ so-called "improvements" being a perfect example of the problem. And the "movement" is buying into this because Singer has declared that these insignificant changes will "reduce suffering."

I suggest that we need a new theory to replace the one that we have. I am not unrealistic. I recognize that even if we adopt an abolitionist theory, abolition will not occur immediately. exactly Change will necessarily be incremental. But it is my view that the explicit goal must be abolition and that abolition must shape incremental change. YES THE EXPLICIT GOAL SHOULD BE ABLITION. BUT I AM NOT PREPARED TO ALLOW THESE ANIMALS THAT WERE UNFORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE BORN TODAY BE SCALDED ALIVE FOR THE SAKE THEORETICAL CONSISTENCY. I GUESS FRANCIONE IS.

On the other hand, I can tell you what really is not realistic, and that is to expect that the industries who use animals to obtain profits will be able to police themselves. As I have often noted, "humane slaughter" laws are difficult to enforce, and the economic realities of the meat-packing business militate against conscientious self-enforcement of such standards. Moreover, such laws arguably increase overall suffering, because they make the general public feel better about eating meat or about any other regulated use of animals. This is the Catch-22 of animal welfare.

YES AS I ACKNOWLEDGED, THIS IS THE PITFALL OF WELFARISM, BUT NO SOLUTION IS PERFECT, AND I THINK THAT DIFFERING STRATEGIE AND APPROACHES IN THE MOVEMENT WILL SUPPLEMENT THE WEAKNESSES OF EACH OTHER AND BALANCE EACH OTHER OUT. I DONT BELEIVE THAT WE SHOULD TAKE A PAROCHIAL ROUTE IN TRYING TO PUSH OUR AGENDA.

There will always be welfarists who promote longer chains for the slaves and call that incremental change. In Rain Without Thunder, I argued that the most important form of incremental change is educating the public about the need for abolition. We have not yet had that, for the U.S. movement has always been embarrassed about being "radical." We do not want to alienate the "mainstream." The problem is that the "mainstream" is polluted and we ought to stay far away from the "mainstream."

To those who claim that the abolitionist has no practical campaign to pursue right now, I have long argued that the contrary is true. Consider what would happen if the international animal movement had a sustained and unified campaign promoting a purely vegetarian diet. Imagine what could be done if a significant portion of our resources were channeled into making people aware of why they shouldn't eat animal products at all. At the end of five years, we would certainly not have achieved world veganism, but we'd probably have reduced the consumption of animal products considerably more than we have done with these "eat red veal" campaigns. PROBABLY, BUT THAT STILL DOESNT CONVINCE ME TO ABANDON THE CHICKENS THAT WILL BE SCALDED ALIVE BUT FOR MY WELFARIST CAMPAIGN AGAINST YUM.

And what would we have given up if we were to pursue this route? Peter Singer claims that two inches of cage space is the best thing to happen to farmed animals in 25 years; arguably, making as few as 100 new vegans in five years would "reduce suffering" much more than that. NOTE THE QUALIFYING WORD "ARGUABLY" IN HERE. FURTHERNMORE, I AM NOT REALLY OVERJOYED WITH ACHIEVEMENTS LIKE TWO MORE INCHES OF OF BATTERY SPACE EITHER. WHAT I AM MORE CONCERNED WITH, WHAT I FEEL A SENSE OF URGENCY ABOUT, IS THIS PROCESS OF BEING SCALDED ALIVE, DELIMBED ALIVE, ETC. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE WELFARIST CAMPAIGNS BE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN JUST INSISTING ON BIGGER CAGES, LIKE INSISTING ON CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE KILLING INSTEAD OF DEATH BY SCALDING ALIVE. IN OTHER WORDS, I WANT TO SEE CHANGES THAT MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN REDUCING THE TORTURE AND PAIN THAT THESE ANIMALS ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING, IF EMANCIPTAION FOR THEM IS NOT AN OPTION. AND TO BE CLEAR, FOR THE AMIMALS IN THE HERE AND NOW, EMANICATION IS NOT AN OPTION SADLY. IF IT WAS, THEN MAKE NO MISTAKE THAT THAT WOULD BE THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE THING. BUT FOR THEM, IT JUST ISNT AN OPTION. THE ONLY OPTION IS MORE SUFFERING OR LESS SUFFERING,.

When will we begin? I understand, of course, that many people in leadership positions aren't vegan. Therefore they find it difficult to embrace animal rights as a movement in which a vegetable-based diet is an axiom. Veganism, however, is the single most important issue in the movement. Veganism is the abolitionist principle implemented in one's own life. Anyone who maintains that she or he is an "animal rights" advocate but is not vegan cannot be taken seriously.

http://www.antispe.de/txt/interviewgaryfrancione.html



I HAVE ACTUALLY READ THIS ARTICLE BEFORE, AND HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR PROFESSOR FRANCIONE. HIS VISION IS CERTAINLY WHAT WE ARE ALL WORKING TOWARDS. BUT I DISAGREE WITH HIS IMPLICIT UTILITARIAN VIEW OF SACRIFICING CHICKENS IN THE HERE AND NOW FOR THE GREATER ANIMAL GOOD IN THE FUTURE. I DONT THINK WE CAN IN GOOD CONSCIENCE TAKE A RIGID THEORETICAL STANCE WHEN THE COST TO MILLIONS OF ANIMALS IS ONE OF VERY REAL PAIN AND SUFFERING.

Theory and philosophy should give way to a little welfarism in cases where liberation is simply not a realistic option. this is where francione and i disagree.

and as a final note, if confronted with these three choices: exploitation, humane exploitation, abolition - a true welfarist would choose humane exploitation, as Francione suggests.

But an ar person with welfarist sympathies is different than a welfarist. An ar person with welfarist sympathies would, in this three choice scenario, without hesitation and with utter joy choose liberation. Where this ar person's "welfarist" sympathies come into play is in circumstances where the choice is only between humane treatment and inhumane treatment. In that case, I cannot in good conscience choose the latter, or not make a choice at all, because both choices are inconsistent with my ar agenda. And when i come to that conclusion, I am trying to put myself in the shoes of an animal who is being scalded alive.



sorry for all the spelling mistakes but i had to type this fast as i gotta go
peace


Last edited by compassionategirl on Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:45 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
this is hard to reply to, as much as id due to the subject matter as to how much you guys bloody write!

regarding chickens already in existence, their impending death is not something that doesnt affect me seriously, only that i have to look at it in a utilitarian fashion and think; in the next 50years are we going to become more vegan as a species or eat more and more meat?
if we continue to make concessions to the meat industry ('we will get off your back if you inccrease cage size/kill more humanely') we will eat more and more meat. if we put our foot down and say no, this is wrong, which ever way you do it, then people will start to come around.

regarding peta and the media, maybe the national media is not the most effective way of doing it. i think that it needs to be done on a more interpersonal level. as in, you try to help your friend go vegan, who in turn may help someone else. you do animal rights stands, offer friendly advice and try to be a good example of vegan health.

its too far removed from daily life if people see peta ads on tv - they can just switch off. but if they are talking to a real, live, healthy vegan, they may be more inclined to listen than to someone who dresses up as a lettuce. veganism cant really be conveyed over the media, its a grassroots movement, and in the grassroots is where it is most effective.

jonathan

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