On The Intersection Of Oppressions And Alliance Politics

I’m making separate posts on individual issues related to Veganism, so that anyone who wants a handy reference guide to each issue won’t have to go through my entire link list to find it. The links included in each individual post may not be updated regularly, so the Master List will be the only place to find complete updates. These posts will be comprehensive enough to cover most or all questions related to each issue however.

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

Here’s one interesting view on the intersectionality of oppressions:

https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/are-humans-superior

Sub-Section 1B6:
Intersectionality And Alliance Politics:

“Essentialism, Intersectionality, and Veganism as a Moral Baseline: Black Vegans Rock and the Humane Society of the United States”:
http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/essentialism-intersectionality-and-veganism-as-a-moral-baseline-black-vegans-rock-and-the-humane-society-of-the-united-states

“The Myth Of Vegan Progress In Israel”:
The Myth of Vegan Progress in Israel

“Vegan Killers: Israeli Vegan-Washing and the Manipulation of Morality”:
http://www.turkeyagenda.com/vegan-killers-israeli-vegan-washing-and-the-manipulation-of-morality-1656.html

“Intersectionality and Abolitionist Veganism: Part I”:
http://veganethos.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/intersectionality-and-abolitionist-veganism-part-i

“Abolitionist veganism is not a “white” practice”:
http://veganethos.wordpress.com/abolitionist-veganism-is-not-a-white-practice

“Workshop on Intersectionality and Alliance Politics”:
http://veganinformationproject.org/audio-workshop-on-intersectionality-and-alliance-politics

“Project Muse – Volume 65, Number 3, September 2013”:
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_quarterly/toc/aq.65.3.html

“Animal Rights, Multiculturalism, and the Left” by Will Kymlicka and Sue Donaldson:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/josp.12047/full

_

Sub-Section 1B3:
Main Vegan Blogs And Sites:

My own AR blog:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com

“My Face Is On Fire”:
http://my-face-is-on-fire.blogspot.co.uk

“Veganarchism Ain’t No Joke”:
http://veganarchismaintnojoke.tumblr.com

Sub-Section 1B2:
Facebook Pages And Groups:

Sub-Section 1B2a:
Facebook Pages:

“International Vegan Association”:
https://www.facebook.com/internationalvegan

“Let’s Make a Vegan World”:
https://www.facebook.com/letsmakeaveganworld

“Vegan Information Project – VIP”:
https://www.facebook.com/theveganinformationproject
_

Sub-Section 1B2b:
Facebook Groups:

“South Florida Vegan Support and Education Group”:
http://www.facebook.com/VeganSupportGroup

“Vegan Philosophy Forum”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/219573241562192

“Vegan Influence & Persuasion”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Vegan.Influence.and.Persuasion

“Vegan Scientific Facts”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/vegan.scientificfacts

“The Human Vegan”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/168804706659566

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

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On Morality: The Argument For Abolitionist Veganism

Veganism 01

Here is the basic argument for Abolitionist Veganism. I’ve incorporated a couple different major Animal Rights theories into one:

1. Nonhuman animals feel pain, pleasure, fear and other sensations. If they feel these sensations, then they have an interest in not being used merely as a resource for human pleasure, amusement, or convenience.

2. There is no necessity for human animals to intentionally exploit nonhuman animals and cause them to suffer or die except our own enjoyment of the taste of their flesh/secretions and the convenience that animal exploitation affords us. Humans have no dietary need for flesh, dairy, eggs or honey:

https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/do-doctors-think

We have no need to use animals for clothing; we have no need to use them for entertainment; not only is it morally unjustifiable to use animals in bio-medical research, but more humans suffer and/or die when we do so than if we didn’t use animals at all:

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/vivisection-part-one-the-necessity-of-vivisection

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/vivisection-part-two-the-moral-justification-of-vivisection

3. When something is unnecessary except for our trivial pleasure or convenience and that thing causes some being (for example, a nonhuman or human animal) to experience pain, fear or other kinds of suffering, then the harm being done to that being’s interest in their continued survival, freedoms, or not suffering is more important than our interest in our own mere pleasure, amusement or convenience.

4. We claim to believe in “fairness/ethical/moral consistency” as a “moral good”, which means we believe in treating similar cases similarly when it comes to ethics/morality. In other words, if we believe it’s wrong to beat a human child for no good reason because they will suffer from a beating, then we should also believe that it’s wrong to beat a dog, cow, or chicken for no good reason because the nonhuman will also suffer.

So, if we value moral consistency at all, which means we treat similar cases similarly, the minimum and only criteria needed to include nonhuman animals in our moral sphere (meaning we believe we should not harm them at all for no good reason) is that they feel pain, fear, and other sensations, since that is the minimum criteria we use to include humans in our moral sphere.

5. Any characteristic that humans claim to have that we claim makes us morally superior to nonhuman animals cannot be factually proven to be a humans-only trait. Unless we can prove that we are morally superior to nonhuman animals, any argument that we claim justifies intentionally harming and exploiting nonhumans can also be used to justify humans intentionally exploiting other humans:

https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/are-humans-superior

This means that if we personally are in favor of violating nonhumans’ right to be safe from being enslaved, raped, tortured or killed by humans then we have no claim that we ourselves should be safe from having those same things done to us by other humans. Any argument we try to use to justify harm to nonhumans can also be used successfully by other humans to justify harming us in those same ways.

6. If we accept premises 1 through 4, our ethical/moral obligation is to either a) cease any actions that intentionally cause unnecessary suffering and death to other beings such as nonhuman and human animals, in which case we can claim that our interests in avoiding the same harms should not be dismissed without due consideration, and we can point to the fact that this is because we are morally consistent, or b) admit that we are not morally consistent and that any human who wishes to dismiss our interests in avoiding the same harms without due consideration is also morally justified in doing so.

Conclusion: If we don’t stop intentionally exploiting nonhumans to the best of our ability, all the systemic violations we consider atrocities and major problems in the world will never end. We also will not be able to consider ourselves truly morally consistent people. To stop intentionally exploiting nonhumans completely means Abolitionist Veganism.

Abolitionist Veganism also means we do our best to eliminate speciesism (which is the intentional, harmful discrimination by humans against individuals and groups of other species based solely on the morally irrelevant criteria of species membership) within each of us. Speciesism is the tree from which springs all intentional, harmful discrimination against any individual (nonhuman or human) on the basis of any morally irrelevant criteria. Speciesism is rooted in the myth that human animals are morally superior to nonhuman animals.

Ergo, if everyone becomes an Abolitionist Vegan and exclusively advocates a 100% clear moral baseline of Abolitionist Veganism, all of the atrocities we abhor such as world hunger, poverty, ecological destruction by humans, systemic human rights violations, and discrimination against any individual beings based on any morally irrelevant criteria, will either be severely decreased or eliminated. Every living being on the planet, from nonhuman animals to human animals, will be much happier and healthier.

The crucial point here is that if you have moral concern at all for nonhuman animals or human animals and so you want these problems to be decreased or eliminated, it makes no sense for you to participate in actions that will increase or foster those problems. It is your moral responsibility to stop engaging in actions that increase those harms, which means going Vegan (and, if you want to help everyone further, educating others about Veganism).

Final thoughts: If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s incredible for the animals, great for you, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue/volunteer/adopt/foster/spay/neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where and when you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

On Morality: Are Human Animals Superior To Nonhuman Animals?

snob-travella1

The most fundamental problem in AR debates right now is the fact that we are not continuously addressing the myth that humans are morally superior to nonhumans. This idea needs to be eradicated before any truly revolutionary thinking about Animal Rights can begin on the part of morally confused and inconsistent humans. This idea is so ingrained in our societal mindset that it’s completely invisible to almost everyone, and it’s the underlying structure for all irrational, harmful moral double-standards regarding human-nonhuman interaction. There is no speciesism without Human Supremacy.

The single most overlooked, and at the same time most foundational error in logic whenever anyone tries to justify human animals exploiting nonhuman animals is the irrational idea that human animals in general are morally superior to nonhuman animals. This idea can be easily disproved, and yet most people do not even question it. It is assumed to be indisputable when it’s not based on, as some would have us believe, objective fact.

Unless we can explain how human animals are morally superior to nonhuman animals, whenever we try to justify humans exploiting nonhumans in the ways that we do, we can’t rule out humans exploiting other humans in the exact same ways and for the exact same reasons (our mere pleasure, amusement or convenience).

All other forms of moral supremacy, from ethnic, to religious, to gender-based, etc. stem from this one basic idea; that it’s acceptable to refuse the same moral consideration to another being that we accord ourselves, merely because of morally irrelevant criteria like the color of their skin, which genitalia they have, or their species membership.

The belief that humans are morally superior to nonhumans is not based on instinct. If it was, then why would anyone even question it, and therefore, why would you even be reading this? And yet, it’s the reason why we believe it’s just fine to torture a nonhuman, who is fully capable of desiring to not suffer or die as much as a human, in ways that we wouldn’t torture the worst human criminals.

The myth of human moral supremacy is almost never even examined. But when it is, it’s obvious that, just like the arguments we use to try to justify racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, or any other irrational form of oppression, it’s based on nothing more than arbitrary personal opinion (and biased, self-serving opinion at that).

The idea that humans are superior to nonhumans is based on the misconception that all humans have some characteristic or set of characteristics that all nonhumans lack. These criteria are commonly believed to include: “intelligence;” “mind;” “consciousness;” abstract thought; the capability of understanding and following moral codes; creativity; the ability to invent tools, technology, or art; some sort of physical ability or physical adaptation; proliferation; a “soul” or some other form of divine endowment; the capability of surviving in conditions or environments that others can’t; or some other unspecified faculty.

All of these criteria are obviously as arbitrary as gender, ethnic membership, or religious belief when it comes to moral superiority, since we can’t prove that either they are possessed by all humans, nor that they are lacked by all nonhumans. Not only that, but whichever faculty is being proclaimed as superior is always one which is possessed by the person arguing on behalf of Human Supremacy.

Although human animals created a concept of morality, many humans commonly break the moral codes imposed by society. This is why we have human slavery, rape, torture, murder, and all the other atrocities that ethical humans abhor. Nonhuman animals, who cannot be proven to understand the concept of a human moral code, almost always follow our moral codes better than we do. They do not enslave us, create concentration camps, weapons of mass destruction, torture chambers, or pollute or otherwise destroy our habitats. Nor do they wage war on humans, or any of the other atrocities that humans are guilty of. They merely wish to be left alone to live and die on their own terms. To claim that they should have to follow our moral codes to benefit from them would be like claiming that we should punish a severely mentally handicapped human for failing to pass the S.A.T.s.

Human animals created individual moral codes for ourselves because most of us believe that enslaving, raping, torturing and murdering other humans is wrong. “Normal” adult human animals are moral agents, while nonhuman animals, infant humans, and severely mentally disabled humans (among others) are moral patients.

In order to be a moral agent, one must be capable of abstract thought in order to have a specific minimum understanding of the meaning of morality. That is to say, moral agents can understand the concept of morality and can therefore make moral decisions, meaning that they can make decisions that affect the interests of both moral agents and moral patients. Furthermore, moral agents have moral responsibilities to both other moral agents and moral patients. This means that they are capable of being assigned blame if they make a moral choice that causes a being who is capable of feeling pain and other sensations to suffer unnecessarily.

A moral agent must be capable of giving informed consent, which means that an explicit meeting of the minds takes place (via spoken or written human language, and no less) where both parties are capable of abstract thought, understand what the nature of the social contract is and what the general future ramifications of the agreement are.

Moral patients, on the other hand, cannot understand the human concept of morality and are thus incapable of giving informed consent. Moral patients cannot make moral decisions that affect either moral agents nor moral patients. They do not have moral responsibilities; however, in order for there to be moral consistency, moral patients must benefit from our individual moral codes without being able to have moral responsibilities themselves.

This is why, for instance, it’s morally wrong for an adult human to murder a severely mentally disabled human, and also why it’s wrong for an adult human to have sex with a human child. This is also why ethical people believe that humans having sex with nonhuman animals is also wrong. We don’t hold nonhuman animals morally culpable to this code simply because we understand that, like severely mentally disabled adult humans and human babies, nonhumans are incapable of understanding and abiding by human moral codes (or at least, any truly rational human understands that they are not capable of this) plus the fact that, regarding their interactions with us, they almost always, by default, follow our moral codes better than we do regarding our interactions with other humans (and even moreso, with nonhumans).

On the other side of the coin, humans enslave, rape, torture or murder nonhumans by the hundreds of billions each year, merely because we enjoy the taste of their dead bodies and secretions and the conveniences that it affords us. And we also are intentionally destroying every wild habitat that we can. We regularly treat nonhumans worse than we would treat the worst human criminals. So who is morally superior to whom again?

The idea that we should be able to do these things because say, a lion eats a zebra is ridiculous in the extreme. A male lion often will kill a rival male and their offspring before copulating, in public no less, with the mother. If a mother lioness gives birth to a severely ill or deformed baby, she will usually cannibalize them. When applied to human contexts, do we think these are morally justifiable ways to behave?

This is where the Human Supremacist says “Either we are morally superior to animals, in which case exploiting them is fine, or we aren’t morally superior to them, in which case we can kill them merely because we want to consume them, just like any other animal does.”

However, this completely fails to recognize that claiming one is “morally superior” means that one adheres to a code of fairness and justice more than the other does, not that one can merely understand human concepts of morality. If a human can understand the concept of the injustice of slavery, rape, torture or murder, but does not refuse to engage in such behaviors, where is the moral superiority in that?

As I mentioned, we very rarely hold completely to our optimal code of conduct. We claim, as a society, to believe in The Golden Rule, but we routinely inflict massive unnecessary suffering and death on innocent beings merely for our pleasure, amusement, or convenience. We enslave, rape, torture and murder upwards of a trillion nonhuman animals each year merely so we can unnecessarily eat their flesh and secretions and use their body parts for clothing (among other things), which not only causes massive suffering for them, but massive amounts of chronic disease for us and massive ecological devastation as well.

We should realize that if we don’t follow a 100% egalitarian system of justice regarding every innocent animal, human or nonhuman, then the same arguments we use to attempt to justify inflicting unnecessary suffering and death on them (“that animal isn’t as smart as I am,” “they don’t have souls,” “it’s how I make a living,” “meat/fish/dairy/eggs/honey tastes good,” etc.) can also be used by other humans to justify inflicting unnecessary suffering and death on us (“that person isn’t as smart as I am,” “I’m one of the chosen people and that person isn’t,” “I wanted their stuff,” “rape feels good,” etc.).

There is no way to morally justify the intentional, unnecessary exploitation of nonhumans by humans without also morally justifying the intentional, unnecessary exploitation of humans by other humans. This means that if we are personally in favor of violating nonhumans’ right to be completely safe from being forced into existence against their will, enslaved, slaughtered, or in any way used merely as replaceable resources for unnecessary human interests, then we have no rationally consistent claim that we ourselves should be safe from having those same things done to us by other humans. Any argument we try to use to justify harming nonhumans can also be used successfully by other humans to justify harming us in those same ways. This also means that until we as a species evolve past our irrational belief that intentionally exploiting nonhumans merely for our trivial interests is morally justifiable, we will continue to endure racism, genderism, homophobia, ableism, tyranny, mass murder, and all the other human systemic rights atrocities we commonly abhor.

Furthermore, claiming that, because we can’t be perfect and not cause harm to any living being whatsoever is a valid reason to intentionally cause easily avoidable harms is like saying that just because we know that some people will die in traffic accidents its a good reason never to post any warning signs. The fact that we can’t prevent all homicides does not justify us intentionally committing mass-murder, just as the fact that we can’t survive without unintentionally killing a lesser number of animals or plants does not justify intentionally breeding nonhuman animals and feeding them a much larger number of plants, merely to slaughter and eat them or their secretions, when we can thrive perfectly well on a plants-only diet. Nor does it justify exploiting nonhumans for clothing, research, or entertainment. The only reasonable, morally justifiable thing would be to work to decrease the number of all living beings we harm in all cases, not to try to justify harming them in some cases while claiming to decrease harm in others.

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. Its easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

Abolitionist Veganism Is Not A “White Practice”

woman-thinking

Reblogging this because it’s awesome:

http://veganethos.wordpress.com/abolitionist-veganism-is-not-a-white-practice

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

What Is “Animal Rights,” What is “Welfarism,” What Is “An Abolitionist Vegan” And Am I One?

There is a common misconception about what’s known collectively by the public as “The Animal Rights Movement”; that it’s one huge group of many thousands or millions of people who are each sharing a common philosophy and goal.

In reality, there are many smaller factions that each have their own ideas about what “Animal Rights” even means, as well as what their goals should be and how to go about obtaining them. Not all of these factions are actually even Animal Rights people (or truly understand what it is they’re doing in terms of advocacy, to be honest).

For instance, the 3 main factions that style themselves as “Animal People” are:

1. Animal Welfarists; these people believe that exploiting nonhuman animals is ok, but we should be “nice” about it. In other words, they believe that humans are morally justified in enslaving, raping, and slaughtering nonhuman animals, as long as we don’t “torture” them first. This is, obviously, a morally incoherent position.

Welfarists in general use Single Issue Campaigns such as protests and petitions to attempt to reform or eliminate specific instances of harm being done to nonhuman animals by human animals.

Some notable Animal Welfarists are Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Peter Singer, among others. The governments of most countries, the large animal orgs such as the ASPCA, RSPCA, HSUS etc. also take a Welfare approach.

2. “New Welfarists” – These are people who believe that Welfarism will get us to Abolition, or the complete elimination of exploitation, and they usually focus on the idea that the reduction of suffering is the goal of Veganism, both of which are completely erroneous. The goal of Veganism is to eliminate speciesism in humans in general, and along with it, the intentional exploitation of nonhumans as much as is possible. Welfarism is not going to get us to that.

New Welfarists may do such things as occasionally eat some animal substances, wear animal substances, ride horses, use “service animals”, go to animal theme parks, etc. etc. ad nauseam. Many of them don’t even believe that such things are exploitation at all, because those individuals believe that how you use animals determines whether it’s exploitation, not that you use them. In addition, New Welfarists also use Single Issue Campaigns to attempt to bring light to the problems of our interactions with animals.

Many of the people who create or run the large non-governmental animal orgs are “New Welfarists,” (although most do not consider themselves such) such as Ingrid Newkirk, Bruce Friedrich and Matt Ball (Tom Regan falls into this category as well).

Here’s some more clear thinking about the problems with Welfarism and New Welfarism.

3. actual Animal Rightists; these are people who make the claim that in general, nonhuman animals should not be intentionally exploited by human animals at all.

We can further break down the Animal Rights faction into 2 smaller factions:

3a. Non-Vegans – people who believe animals have rights but continue to exploit them unnecessarily for reasons of their own pleasure, amusement, or convenience. Many Vegetarians also fall under this term. These people do not have a rationally coherent or consistent moral framework as far as how they determine what actions they should take in their day-to-day lives. They simply mistakenly believe that they can work towards getting animals rights while simultaneously exploiting them.

3b. Vegans – members of a social justice movement that is concerned with not intentionally exploiting nonhumans for any reason, and who choose to do the most they can to not harm any animal, whenever possible and practical.

We can further break down “Vegans” into 2 main categories, but this is really only due to the misguidedness of the people in question more than anything else:

3b1. “Plant-Based Dieters” – These people are not actually Vegans per se, but may erroneously consider themselves so. They consume a 100% plants-only diet (or close to that) because they care about various things like human health and the environment for their own reasons, but may not care about nonhuman animals that much or at all. Unfortunately, the public at large often fails to see the difference, and considers anyone who eats a PBD to be the same as a Vegan (who is in it for Animal Rights reasons first and foremost). PBDers may do such things as occasionally eat some animal substances, wear animal substances, ride horses, use “service animals”, go to animal theme parks, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

There are many PBDers, including almost all of the celebrities that the public thinks are Vegans. Many of them claim to be in it for the animals, but their actions often belie their words. Often, the list of celebrities who do this changes in a major way, as some of them go back to consuming animal substances, and some learn about the health benefits of a plants-only diet, so I won’t be listing them here. Some other people who fall into this category are Durian Rider, Freelee, and many of the other “Youtube Vegans” who post popular videos about combinations of plant-based nutrition and exercise. Almost all the doctors and scientists who post about PBDs also fall into this category.

3b2. Abolitionist Vegans – This faction of the “A.R.M.” understands that we need to completely eliminate all intentional exploitation of nonhuman animals by human animals. They understand that we need to abolish the property status of “animals” and accord them a minimum of one basic “negative right”; the right to not be used by humans merely as a resource for human amusement, pleasure or convenience. They understand that this is the only morally coherent position due to 3 main, unassailable, rationally provable facts:

a) Human animals are not morally superior to nonhuman animals.
b) There is no actual necessity for 99.99% or more of the human population of the world to intentionally exploit nonhuman animals for any reason.
c) Nonhuman animals in general have an interest in not being harmed and otherwise exploited.

Abolitionist Vegans further understand that Veganism is first and foremost about the nonhumans, and that if we are not in it for them, we are not really Vegan. Abolitionist Vegans also do not use any Single-Issue Campaigns or otherwise believe in Welfarism, because they understand why those actions are counter-productive to Animal Rights and so cause even more nonhumans to be harmed than if we never engaged in those actions at all.

Notable Abolitionist Vegans are Professor Gary L. Francione, Trish RobertsChris Petty, and  Keith Berger, among others.

I will make a note here that I belong in the Abolitionist Vegan category. I believe that The Abolitionist Approach is the only logically and morally coherent position we can take in our interactions with nonhuman animals.

However, there has recently been an increasing number of “New Welfarists” and other people (including people who consider themselves “Vegan” but still engage in speciesism and exploitative behaviors) who have been co-opting the term “Abolitionist” for their own purposes. In addition, there are some people who consider themselves Vegans, but also believe in using violence and other non-Vegan tactics to protect animals. There are also people lately who have been abandoning the meaning of Veganism in order to use the term to promote human rights issues while marginalizing the rights of nonhumans. For instance, they claim that because of the racism or sexism of some people who claim to be Vegans, that it’s morally acceptable for “vegans” to use animals at some point, as long as those “vegans” are doing really good human rights advocacy. These people often work under the term “Intersectional vegans.”

Hopefully, this post will continue to be accurate and dispel many of the common misconceptions that people have regarding Animal Rights advocates. So now, when you’re wondering which “faction” you belong to, all you have to do is ask yourself, what do I really think is logically and morally valid concerning the way we interact with nonhumans? Then you can base your decision on how to label yourself from that and respond accordingly, whether that be “friending” like-minded people or simply reading more about that category.

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

On Becoming Vegan: So You Think That Animals Matter Morally. What Happens Next?

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I’m making separate posts on individual issues related to Veganism, so that anyone who wants a handy reference guide to each issue won’t have to go through my entire link list to find it. The links included in each individual post may not be updated regularly, so the Master List will be the only place to find complete updates. These posts will be comprehensive enough to cover most or all questions related to each issue however.

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

So, you’ve decided that you can no longer handle participating in the exploitation of innocent beings merely for your own pleasure, amusement or convenience.

But how are you going to go about transitioning from non-Vegan to Vegan?

This post will include tons of links that should help you in that transition. I would recommend studying the nutritional information carefully as you go, but you can easily go Vegan immediately merely by taking the animal substances out of your diet right away and work on everything else as you go (including replacing all animal substances in your wardrobe immediately if you can afford to, taking longer if you have to).

For instance, if you would normally have for supper spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce and parmesan, chef salad, and a glass of milk, just have spaghetti with red sauce (making sure the pasta and sauce have no animal substances in them to start), salad made from tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and any other veggies you like, and a glass of juice, water or soy/other plant-based milk. You can veganize just about any dish that is more than just flesh, dairy and eggs in the same way. Just be sure you eat enough to feel full. If you want to read more about the foods you might eat as a Vegan, I’ve made another post that has some great recipes and other tips:

https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/what-will-i-eat-as-a-vegan

And here’s a post by Butterflies Katz about the advantages and pitfalls of a Vegan diet:

“What Every Vegan Needs To Know about The Advantages And Pitfalls Of Vegan Diets”:
http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com.tr/2014/06/what-every-vegan-needs-to-know-about.html

However, just remember that this includes not buying any items at all in the future that use animal flesh or secretions or were tested on animals and not patronizing any businesses or other organizations that use animals to the best of your ability. Veganism is about not using animals in any way if you have a choice, it’s not a diet.

Without further ado:

Sub-Section 1B2:
Facebook Pages:

“TAVS” Facebook page (where you can find the weekend challenge):
https://www.facebook.com/abolitionistvegansociety

“I’m Going Vegan with The BLDO Plan”:
http://www.abolitionistvegansociety.org/tavs-initiatives/tavs-articles/how-to-go-vegan/the-bldo-plan
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Im-Going-Vegan-with-The-BLDO-Plan/225433647613139

“Central Illinois Vegan Abolitionist”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/290939317614585

“International Vegan Association”:
https://www.facebook.com/internationalvegan

“Let’s Make a Vegan World”:
https://www.facebook.com/letsmakeaveganworld

“Abolitionist Veganism”:
https://abolitionistveganism.wordpress.com

“The Academic Abolitionist Vegan”:
http://academicabolitionistvegan.blogspot.com

“There’s An Elephant In The Room”:
https://theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com

“Unpopular Vegan Essays”:
http://uvearchives.wordpress.com

Butterflies Katz’s blog:
http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com

“My Face Is On Fire”:
http://my-face-is-on-fire.blogspot.co.uk

“Vegan Scientific Facts”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/vegan.scientificfacts

“Veganic Organic Network”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/veganorganicnetwork

“Nonviolent self-sustained vegan permaculture-community”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/688426811196469

“Vegan Cats”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/669599113104942

“Vegan Dogs Thriving”:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Dogs-Thriving/544580732238947

_

Sub-Section 1B1b:
Vegan Resources:

“Some resources for people who’ve been told they “can’t go vegan”:
http://soycrates.tumblr.com/post/85918368428/some-resources-for-people-whove-been-told-they-cant

“What Will I Eat As A Vegan?”:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/what-will-i-eat-as-a-vegan

“Is It Vegan?”:
http://isitvegan.net

“Vegan Apps”:
http://vegannomnoms.net/2014/06/10-great-apps-for-the-vegan-traveler.html

Info about Vegan products by Nik Anti-Speciesist:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/nik-anti-speciesist/useful-information-for-new-vegansvegans/10151895864781663

Alternative medication by Gary Francione:
http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/pharmaceutical-products-and-animal-ingredients

_

Sub-Section 1B1:
Becoming Vegan:

Sub-Section 1B1a:
Miscellaneous:

“BECOMING VEGAN: RESOURCES – Good resources to assist in becoming vegan”:
http://www.vegantrove.com/BecomingVegan
http://howtogovegan.org

“What Is Veganism?”:
http://www.vegsource.com/jo/vegan.htm

The IVA’s Vegan kit:
http://www.internationalvegan.org/vsk

Vegan Starter Kit:
http://www.vegankit.com

“How Do I Go Vegan?”
http://www.howdoigovegan.com

“What Does The Word Vegan Really Mean”:
http://gentleworld.org/what-does-the-word-vegan-really-mean

“The Bloody Dairy Industry: Your Guide to Veganism”:

Posted by The Bloody Dairy Industry on Saturday, January 26, 2013

“A Comprehensive Guide to being Vegan”:

Posted by Nik Crichton on Monday, July 28, 2014

“Should Vegans Read Labels?”:
http://gentleworld.org/why-vegans-read-labels

“Buddhism for Vegans: The Beginner’s Mind”:
http://crueltyfreeeating.com/2014/06/06/buddhism-for-vegans-the-beginners-mind

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

Veganism Is Anti-Speciesism

Veganism should be, above and beyond anything else, a categorical rejection of speciesism and the myth of human moral superiority.

Humans are sentient beings; we are beings who possess sentience as a trait. Sentience is “the ability to feel, perceive, or to experience subjective perceptual experiences.” Sentience is not “the ability to think similarly to a human” nor is it some trait dealing with “intelligence” at all. It’s simply the ability to feel anything. Pain, pleasure, fear, or any other sensation. If you can feel any of these things, you’re sentient; you don’t need to fulfill any other criteria.

The reason many people think that other humans should not unnecessarily be made to suffer or be killed is because almost all humans also possess the ability to feel empathy. When we feel empathy, it’s because we think that we understand the way another sentient being feels, as we imagine we would feel the same way if we were in their situation. Because of this, we think that we should observe the inherent rights of other humans. A “right” is merely a term we use to mean a rule we abide by in order to protect a commonly shared interest, which in this case deals with not being made to experience an undue amount of suffering. Some of these rights are affirmative rights – rights to perform some favorable actions – like the right to drive a car; the right to vote; the right to go to school, etc.

However, there is another kind of rights that humans have that we think we should observe: negative rights. These are the rights to not have some type of unfavorable action performed on us. Chief among these rights is the right to not be used by other humans exclusively as a resource for their pleasure, amusement, or convenience.

Now, assuming we believe in these basic rights for other humans, a combination of empathy and logic dictates that observing their rights is what we consider “moral justice.” This means that, all other things being equal, we believe in treating similar cases similarly when morality is concerned. If one human isn’t as cognitively aware as another human – for instance: an infant, or a severely mentally disabled adult – that doesn’t mean that it would be morally justifiable for us to then exploit or kill that human for our own interests; for example, to use them for forced organ donation or involuntary bio-medical experiments.

Our sense of empathy tells us that because they feel the same pain and other sensations we do, that it would be immoral to exploit them simply because they are vulnerable and we are powerful, and we possess some non-sentience trait that they don’t. We understand that if our roles were reversed, and we were in the position that they are and they possessed some physical or mental trait that we lacked, that we would not want them to exploit or kill us in the same way.

It follows logically again that if, morally speaking, we believe in treating similar cases similarly, that when we talk about nonhuman animals and the rights which they may have, the characteristic which is relevant in deciding which beings we’re morally justified or not justified in harming is sentience, and only sentience. If we believe in moral justice because we have empathy, and we believe that humans have the right to not be used exclusively as a resource for other humans pleasure, amusement or convenience, then because both human and nonhuman animals are sentient beings, at the very least – by our own code of moral justice – we should observe that very same right of any other sentient being, regardless of species membership.

The fact that we don’t observe the injustice and hypocrisy in our lack of matching our actions to our beliefs in this way is due to a phenomenon called speciesism. Speciesism is best defined as “An irrational, unjust double standard by humans that places higher moral value on some species or individual members of a species over other species or individual members of a species, based solely on the morally irrelevant criteria of species membership.”

Speciesism is based on the myth of human superiority. The idea that human animals are superior to other species of animals is based on arbitrary irrational criteria or biased personal opinion, and not objective fact. The Myth Of Human Moral Supremacy is the root of the tree from which all human and nonhuman rights issues sprang; speciesism is akin to the trunk of that tree, with each individual human and nonhuman rights issue acting as the branches of the tree.

The idea that we can treat individual members of another species with moral distinctions that are based solely on a trait that they have that we don’t (their being of a different species than ours) is exactly what has led to the idea that we can do the same thing to people of other ethnicities, people of other genders, people with different sexual orientations, etc., all of which are merely morally irrelevant traits that they possess that we may not. Being able to dismiss another sentient being as an “other” or a thing to be used or otherwise harmed rather than another sentient being who is similar to us in their sentience is what leads to 100% of crime, war and other problems associated with “race”, “class” etc.

Logically, it follows that if we don’t observe nonhuman animals’ rights in this respect, we have no basis to expect our own moral interests be taken seriously by other humans. No matter from which angle to view it, you can’t really justify intentionally exploiting nonhumans unless you’re ready to accede to not believing in the rights of human animals either, which means your own claim to any moral recourse if you are harmed by another human is effectively nullified.

There is only one way to align our actions with our moral values if we think it’s wrong to harm others for unnecessary reasons, and that is to live Vegan. If we think we have a moral responsibility to then do something for the billions of nonhuman animals who we enslave and otherwise cause to suffer unnecessarily every year then the only morally justifiable and effective way to do that is to educate others about Veganism.

Speciesism 01a

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.