Abolitionist Vegan Memes From The Legacy

I’ve been thinking about making a page for the memes I made for a while now.

General thoughts on Veganism and Animal Rights:

Non-Vegans 01

How do you Veganize a welfarist meme? Advocate Veganism and nothing less:

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A little humor and awareness combined:

Cognitive Dissonance 01

PETA kills 01

Green Party member 01

The Preducator:

The Preducator 01

Tradition tho:

Tradition Though 01

Those ****ing Vegans…:

Fucking Vegans 01

Welception:

Welception 01

Defensive Welfarist Bingo:

Defensive Welfarist Bingo 01

That’s it for now. Hopefully soon I can get back on my desktop and make some more

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.

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The Green Party In Ct. Recognizes Sentience, But Will They Recognize Morality?

imggreen

Someone on my friend’s list who is a fellow Green Party member in Ct. recently posted this:

“I’m excited to announce that history was made last night when the Connecticut Green Party voted unanimously to accept my proposal to form an Animal Rights Committee. Based on the principles set forth in the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness (2012), numerous countries/states/provinces are defining non-human animals as “sentient beings,” changing their status from “property” to “person,” thus granting them rights and protections similar to human beings (Quebec, New Zealand most recently). All those in attendance recognized the urgent need for this important work, and I’m proud to see the Connecticut Green Party aligned with this position and taking a leadership role in animal protection policy making.”

They then went on to make a separate comment, that I totally agree with, about how we need to stand up for nonhumans every chance we get.

Someone else then responded to the OP, saying:

“Defining nonhuman animals as sentient beings appears in no way to alter their status as things or grant them the status of person for any purpose or grant them any legal rights. As I travel, I ask lawyers in those jurisdictions whether they believe that the use of “sentient beings” is anything but symbolic. No one has told me that it actually means something.”

In regards to the first half of the OP’s post and the respondent’s comments, here is my response (names withheld out of courtesy for the aformentioned):

“As a longtime member of the Green Party (25 years!) and a committed Abolitionist Vegan living in Ct., I have to agree with the reply quoted above. I want to first say that I agree completely with the second half of your post. We should definitely stand up for nonhumans whenever we get the chance, and I applaud your intentions. However, if our efforts on behalf of nonhumans are to mean anything we simply need to educate every person we can on the fact that Veganism is the non-negotiable moral baseline. This means that we explain to them that just recognizing nonhumans as sentient is not enough; we must take a strong, clear stance that if nonhumans matter morally, the only sensible thing to do is stop using them in any way.”

For you who are reading this post, in the USA the Green Party is one of the more progressive political parties around. However, they are still quite resistant to Veganism on the whole and have not yet officially embraced it. I’ve written quite a few blog posts on the subject of nonhuman rights. Perhaps some of you could show some of them to the Green Party members you interact with, if you do so?:

How we need to be educating people on Veganism:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/create-new-vegans

A basic simple explanation of what Animal Rights means in relation to Veganism:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/the-argument-for-veganism

Factual, logical proof that human animals and nonhuman animals are morally equal:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/are-humans-superior

An explanation of why the only coherent and consistent moral stance is the principle behind Veganism:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/the-moral-baseline

All the info you will ever need on whether a non-Vegan diet is optimally healthy or not:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/do-doctors-think

Massive amounts of info on how humans exploiting nonhumans is destroying this planet:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/ecological-problems

Hundreds of links to info on why it’s wrong for human animals to use nonhuman animals as replaceable resources:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

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.

Egg Exploiters, Hampton Creek, Reverse “False-Flags,” And Why We Need To Increase Our Educational Efforts

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Recently, there’s been quite some talk about the fact that the egg industry is up in arms over Hampton Creek and their awesome Vegan Mayonnaise:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/06/usda-american-egg-board-paid-bloggers-hampton-creek

This kind of thing makes me think maybe it could be a diversionary operation by industry instead (I’m stating right now that I’m not claiming that it’s more or less likely than any other scenario, this is only my perspective and a guess).

If you think about it, it’s brilliant. Let’s say that for the sake of argument, educating people about Veganism is the biggest threat to industry, and a much smaller, but equally morally justifiable threat is Vegan food startups. What is your best play, if you’re industry?

Well, you might consider finding a company that isn’t a huge threat to industry and making a big scene about how you think they’re a huge threat to you, in order to divert attention from the real threat. This would get advocates who aren’t sure what the best form of activism is, but who are trying to figure it out so they can devote more of their resources to that, to focus on Vegan startups, and takes away interest in AbVegan Educational efforts.

In a normal False Flag Operation, Entity A (AbVegan Education) moves against Entity B (Industry) in a way that makes it seem like Entity C (Vegan Food Startup Company) carried out the operation unassisted, to keep everyone ignorant of the fact that Entity A was responsible. In this version, Entity B is making it seem like Entity C attacked them in order to divert people’s attention away from joining the bigger threat to them, which is the one that holds the only chance of winning (AbVegan Education, aka Entity A). I’m going to dub this idea “The Reverse False Flag” maneuver.

Notice that nowhere in there did I say that we shouldn’t create Vegan startups or that we can’t educate while doing so, or anything like that? We can most definitely do both at one time. But the more important action we should take is to increase our efforts to educate. Everything else we do should enable and accommodate that.

Here’s how we need to educate others on Veganism:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/create-new-vegans

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 To Say When Someone Says “What Would The Animals Choose?”

Battery Cages 01

The notion that a nonhuman, if granted the ability to understand human communication and then given the choice between a bigger cage for themselves or freedom at some unnamed future time for their descendants, would choose to not sacrifice their own life or endure suffering for their descendants, is speciesist, pure and simple.

It assumes that other species, if given a human-capable choice, would not be capable of choosing a noble sacrifice in the same way as a human would. Put simply, it’s a product of the mindset that humans are morally superior to nonhumans and that we are the only ones who are awesome enough to make correct decisions for everyone else based on what we deem necessary for them, based on our undeniably limited understanding and arbitrarily self-created hierarchy of different beings various interests, needs and preferences.

In reality, our decisions are based on what we in our arrogance believe to be the flaws in others that we don’t have in ourselves. So if we feel that humans would be incapable of sacrificing our own lives or enduring incredible suffering for our offspring or sacrificing the lives or suffering of our offspring to ensure freedom for billions of our descendants, we of course assume that no other beings would be capable of doing the same. After all, they’re not human, so they must be less than us, not greater, right?

I think that if we asked all the nonhumans whether they would rather see humans scattered in our advocacy, engaging in speciesist single-issue campaigns, promoting bigger cages, vegetarianism, “open rescues” and other such nonsense, with a good chance of random instances of slightly better immediate conditions for them (What I’m saying here is that this is the idea that humans would present to the nonhumans, not that that is the outcome in reality), or if they would rather see every single “activist” doing nothing except strong, clear Creative Non-Oppressive Vegan Advocacy which has a great chance of freeing all animals in the future (and even if this weren’t true, is still the only morally justifiable choice, as well as still being much more effective than SICs), I think the answer would be clear. Just like the majority of human slaves would choose to have slavery ended completely in the future rather than slightly better conditions in the present, if nonhumans could understand the question, they would choose Abolitionist Vegan Education, and nothing less.

If you want to actually learn rational arguments as to why SICs and other such actions are counter-productive to Animal Rights, check out these links:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/welfare-watch

If you are really interested in helping animals, stop the Single-Issue Campaigns and do this instead:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/create-new-vegans

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.

Jesus Is Not A Justification For Living Non-Vegan

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.

I’ve posted religious arguments for Veganism before, the most notable one being here. Recently I’ve found dozens of verses in the Christian bible condemning the unnecessary harm of nonhuman animals. I will be making another post on this as soon as possible. In the meantime, A friend of mine on Facebook named Thomas Crotzer posted this text from The Nazarene Way:

~ Thou Shalt Not Kill ~
Exodus 20:13 – Deuteronomy 5:17

The exact Hebrew wording of this biblical phrase is lo tirtzack which accurately translates as “any kind of killing whatsoever.”

The exact Hebrew wording of this biblical phrase is lo tirtzack. One of the greatest scholars of Hebrew/English linguistics (in the Twentieth Century) -Dr. Reuben Alcalay – has written in his mammoth book the Complete Hebrew /English Dictionary that “tirtzach” refers to “any kind of killing whatsoever.” The word “lo,” as you might suspect, means “thou shalt not.”

Many Bible scholars persist with the theory that Christ ate animal flesh, obviously swayed in their opinions by personal habits. The desire to accede to prejudice and uphold existing tradition has been a human characteristic for many centuries, but truth appears now even more important as man exerts his independence in so many aspects of life.

Respected Bible scholar Rev. V.A. Holmes-Gore has researched the frequent use of the word “meat” in the New Testament Gospels. He traced its meaning to the original Greek.

His findings were first published in World Forum of Autumn, 1947. He reveals that the nineteen Gospel references to “meat” should have been more accurately translated thus:

Greek word, number of references and actual meaning.

Broma 4 “Food”

Brosis 4 “The act of eating”

Phago 3 “to eat”

Brosimos 1 “That which is eaten”

Trophe 6 “Nourishment”

Prosphagon 1 “Anything to eat”

Thus, the Authorized Version of John 21:5, .’Have ye any meat?” is incorrect. It should have been translated: “Have ye anything to eat?”

“Fish” is another frequently mistranslated word in the Bible. Its reference is often not to the form of swimming life, but to the symbol by which early Christians could identify each other. It was a secret sign, needed in times of persecution, prior to official acceptance of Christianity as a state religion.

The sign of the fish was a mystical symbol and conversational password. Its name deriving from the Greek word for fish, “ichthus” Much later it was represented an acrostic, composed of leading letters of the Greek phrase, “Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter”-“Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.”

Frequent references to fish are intended as symbolic of The Christ and have nothing to do with the act of eating a dead fish. But the symbol of the fish did not meet with Roman approval. They preferred the sign of the cross, choosing to concentrate more on the death of Christ than on His brilliant life. Perhaps this is one reason only ten percent of His life record appears in the canonical scriptures. Most of His first thirty years has been omitted.

Various “Translations” of the 6th Commandment

‘Thou shalt not kill any living thing,’ for life is given to all by God, and that which God has given, let not man taketh it away. ~Jesus, Gospel of the Holy Twelve, (earliest known recorded words of Jesus)

“Thou shalt not kill.” ~Exodus 20:13 Authorized version of King James

“You shall not murder.” ~New International Version

This is only one of many compelling arguments showing that even the words contained in the book most revered by Christians don’t justify unnecessary harm of nonhuman animals.

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

Abolitionism From The Mouth Of A Former Welfarist

It’s always a great pleasure for me to find that I’ve influenced a pre-Vegan so much that they’ve become Vegan. This is the only form of activism that Vegans en masse need to be doing, without a doubt. However, there is only one thing that gives me greater pleasure – seeing someone who was seemingly hopelessly mired in the morass of welfarism have that light bulb moment and recognize that they need to reject the single-issue campaigns and switch over to only Vegan Education efforts.

The change from welfarist to Abolitionist Vegan is the single most important change we need, for everyone, and it can happen at different points for everyone, whether or not they were still consuming non-Vegan food or had any particular stance on any non-food form of exploitation (When it happens with pre-Vegans, they go straight from non-Vegan to AbVegan). Unfortunately, with some people, it never happens, but that is true of most movements.

If we educate pre-Vegans correctly we get this automatically, but it’s even rarer that we can get someone who’s already seemingly well on down the path of eliminating speciesism from their life to immediately recognize the wisdom in our position. This is why it’s my supreme pleasure to note that I have a guest blog today from someone who I personally influenced to learn about the difference between welfarism and Abolitionism.

Without further ado, I’ll let you hear it from the man himself, Mr. Keith Berger:

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In defense of abolitionism… again

I had a light bulb moment recently when thinking about welfarism vs. abolition. I’m sure it comes from Professor Gary Francione’s work (www.abolitionistapproach.com) and exists in much simpler terms, but I suddenly saw it so clearly that I practically danced around the room:

When we educate a person that veganism needs to be the moral baseline for our treatment of individuals of other species and s/he stops eating animals and starts living vegan, that person pretty quickly ceases complicity in most of the atrocities and abuses that single-issue campaigns (SICs) focus on and will usually carry the vegan message to others, hence much is accomplished. Conversely, when any of the donation-based welfarist groups I call Donations Over Animals educates a person that fill-in-the-blank-single-issue is wrong and leaves out the vegan education component, that person *may* withdraw their support from that particular issue while remaining complicit in all the rest, hence nothing meaningful is accomplished and a valuable opportunity is wasted.

I’ve been accused of having an attitude of “you have to choose one or the other”, however that is not my attitude.  Everyone is free to do as s/he chooses and will make the choice that suits them, their morals and their ethics.  My belief after a decade of welfarism is that if we have the opportunity to choose to educate people about veganism as the moral baseline, then as vegans it is incumbent upon us to do so.  Educate one person to become vegan and you eliminate support for dozens of animal exploitation issues. Educate ten and you multiply the effect accordingly. Educate one person that fur is bad and s/he may or may not stop wearing fur, and probably won’t make the connection about animals not used in the fur trade. Which sounds more effective?

Once a person stops going to the circus… well… they stop going to the circus. For most people, that’s pretty much where it ends: “Look, people with signs!  Losers!  Get a life! –>Huh? Circuses hurt elephants? That can’t be! –>Oh, here’s some literature about circuses, maybe they’re right  –>Well, I don’t want elephants to be hurt –>OK, I’ll stop supporting circuses –>I did a good thing! —–>I’m hungry, I think I’ll have a cheeseburger and a glass of milk (it’s elephant-free)”.  They don’t necessarily go vegan or stop being complicit in any other form of animal exploitation, and why would they if no one has taken the time and effort to educate them properly?

And again, it’s my belief that single-issue campaigns too often leave out the vegan piece almost entirely. I can point to numerous publications and campaigns by Peta, Mercy for Animals, Compassion Over Killing, “Vegan” Outreach (more like outrage…) that either don’t mention the word “vegan” at all or bury it so far in the conversation that it’s hardly noticeable. After all, donation-based orgs don’t want to alienate the donor base and risk losing the donor dollars.

One of the SICs I worked on passionately for ten years, both through protests and legislative means, was Ringling Brothers and their treatment of elephants and other exploited animals.  When the news broke recently that Ringling is planning to “retire” their performing elephants, everyone and their mother trumpeted “VICTORY!” from every last mountaintop.  I also thought we had achieved a victory – for about five minutes, until I looked a little more closely and saw the reality of the situation: Ringling has agreed to do nothing more than move their slaves off the road – years in the future – and back to their own breeding facility in Florida (it ain’t no sanctuary…) – the SAME facility in which these suffering individuals were tortured (Ringling calls it “training”), had their spirits broken as babies, were introduced to bull hooks and electric prods and completely subjugated to the will of men. What kind of victory is that?

They’re returning them to the exact location where their physical and psychological trauma was born, which is tantamount to sending a neglected foster child back home to her abusive parents except that, in the elephants’ case, they’ve been with their abusers the entire time. Does anyone believe life is gonna get better for them once they’re “home”? Oh, and they’re also going to loan them out to zoos (I believe that’s being done already) for breeding purposes, as they are still property to be used as Ringling sees fit, which continues their enslavement and brings in a new generation of slaves. The slaves remain slaves – we just don’t get to see public displays anymore. Also, Ringling is bringing other animals on the road to replace the elephants, so we’d better hurry and get out our markers and change our protest signs from elephants to camels.

This is not a victory – this is a ploy to appease some activists and remain profitable. Ringling didn’t suddenly have a change of heart and realize that what they’ve been doing for over a hundred years is wrong. They just found a way to do damage control.  I never once saw anyone doing vegan education at a Ringling protest, as these events are simply not conducive to that. When we did manage to turn people around from entering the circus, we can rest assured they simply went home a few hours earlier to the neighbor’s barbecue and stopped at McDonald’s on the way. I find that kind of “victory” hollow at best and counterproductive at worst.

I’ve been told by animal welfarists that “there is room for us all”, which is almost an exact quote from a presentation I attended by World Heavyweight Champion welfarist Wayne Pacelle, CEO of H$U$, “the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization” (I recall him using the phrase, “We’re a big tent movement”, which at the time I thought was great. I washed it down with a cup of Every Little Bit Helps Kool-Aid). This guy is head of an organization that, in the course of raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year, offers bacon coupons(!!!) on their Facebook page, has a pig farmer for a vice president(!!!!) and cozies up with animal agriculture/exploitation organizations while promoting countless SICs every year to make sure the animals their friends are going to kill, butcher and eat are comfy in their slave quarters beforehand. Animal protection, my ass. I can’t be the only one who finds those kinds of mixed messages maddeningly confusing, utterly disheartening and completely unacceptable, and yet the donations keep pouring in.

If we should be out protesting something, it should be against welfarist organizations like that, which gives us the perfect opportunity to blend protests and vegan education: “Hey, if you’re vegan, why are you picketing Peta?” “Because, while Peta is pointing you in these fifteen directions, here’s the most important thing they’re NOT telling you…”.

I was asked if I want a vegan world. Absolutely. That’s why I’m doing what I believe will have the greatest impact and leaving behind that which I believe will not.

When it comes to SICs, my contention is that we are striking at the branches of a very diseased tree rather than at the root where the problem begins, and are therefore keeping the status quo rolling along. Working to find acceptable ways to do unacceptable things normalizes the unacceptable thing – namely, killing animals for food – and makes it seem acceptable. While doing welfarist outreach, I’ve spoken with countless non-vegans who said the same thing – “Eating animals is fine, it’s normal. I’m never gonna stop. They shouldn’t abuse them, though.  That’s just wrong”.

If we work on minimizing the discomfort of the animals who will be killed and eaten regardless of their comfort level, it only serves to make it even easier for people such as I’ve described (again, those were actual experiences and quotes) to keep on eating animals, drinking their excretions, wearing their skins and lining up for seconds. If those people felt a twinge of conscience for a second about the abuses we showed them, that’s sure to be alleviated once the abuses seemingly stop. So it seems when we work to reduce – but not eliminate – animal suffering (as is the hallmark of the welfarist organizations), there’s a secondary gain – non-vegans can keep eating animals now with a clear conscience and no reason nor desire to ever stop.

From my perspective, that’s the opposite of progress.

Keith Berger, June 23, 2015

For more information –

http://www.howdoigovegan.com

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com

http://www.internationalvegan.org

https://www.facebook.com/veganeducationgroup

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The number of people who are recognizing that SICs and welfarism are immoral is rapidly growing. Please use your best judgement and join the movement?

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.

Why We Need Less Compassion In The Animal Rights Movement And Why Decreasing Cruelty And Suffering Is Not The Point Of Veganism

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I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “I’m Vegan because I have compassion for animals,” “We should be Vegan to stop cruelty to animals,” or “I’m Vegan because it’s the right thing to do for people, animals and the planet.”

All three of these statements are counter-productive to the cause of Animal Rights, and hence will cause the amount of suffering we inflict on both nonhuman animals and human animals to increase.

Both “compassion” and “cruelty” are concepts related to kindness. All three terms are about what kind of emotional responses we have and are related more to our own perception of our need to feel a certain way than whether we are meeting our moral obligations. Kindness is also essentially an act of charity from a position of advantage. Animal Rights and Veganism are not about being kind to someone who needs our charity. Animal Rights is about justice, which is born from a basic notion of decency, fairness, and respect. It’s a “Social Justice Movement,” not a “Social Kindness Movement.”

Living Vegan is not an act of kindness that we grant to nonhumans, it’s a moral baseline, a moral responsibility that we must observe if we want to claim to be morally consistent or to deserve to not have our claims of our rights dismissed without due consideration. Veganism is the absolute minimum of decency we need to enact to call ourselves morally consistent. It’s not about granting someone rights that they don’t already have, they already had those rights – we’ve simply been violating them all this time.

Veganism is about ceasing to violate those rights – it’s about a commitment to nonviolence in order to help end the massive, systemic, intentional violence that we are already constantly perpetrating on all sentient beings. Not just “other people” have a responsibility to cease committing these wrongs, but each one of us. Nonhuman animals don’t need primarily for us to have compassion for them, they need for us to be just and stop committing these massive and ongoing violations of their rights.

Using the term compassion to drive a theory of Animal Rights is seriously flawed. Promoting the idea that anything except justice for nonhumans is the driving force behind animal rights diverts attention from the truth. Compassion also can be seen as a way to achieve forgiveness for a rights violation someone has committed. Since we are the ones committing the violations on them, nonhumans don’t need our compassion anywhere near as much as they need our empathy, our reason, our fairness, respect, and justice. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have any compassion at all, or that cruelty is a good thing. Indeed, having compassion towards humans – who can understand human moral codes and still commonly break those codes – for their transgressions is a very important way of setting an example for people who would otherwise have no reason to believe that they should have compassion nor forgiveness for anyone, human or nonhuman.

As most non-Vegans will tell you, anyone can feel compassion for someone and still inflict suffering and death on nonhumans merely for their own selfish interests. They will argue ’til they’re blue in the face that they don’t lack compassion, merely because they strive to give nonhumans a good life before “humanely” slaughtering them for “food.” In fact, the very notion that this is not the case is insulting to most people. This is because they irrationally see themselves as the ones who should decide whether the “inferior beings” that they exploit should get to live or die at all in the first place.

The reason it makes more sense to use the idea of justice to drive Animal Rights is because you can’t have justice and still inflict unnecessary suffering and death. It can’t be coherently argued that it’s Just to inflict suffering on nonhumans when there is no necessity.

Another aspect of this issue is that when we say we’re Vegan to decrease or avoid “cruelty” then non-Vegans will argue that it’s not cruel to exploit nonhuman animals, as long as you do it “nicely.” They will argue that breeding animals is not cruel because the animals “have a good life” and “get to have a family” and other such nonsense. It’s much harder to argue against this than arguing that we have a moral responsibility to not exploit anyone, whether human or nonhuman, because humans are not morally superior to nonhumans. Another word that is implicitly tied to “cruelty” is the word “abuse.” Animals rights, at its core, is not about the immorality of abuse, it’s about the immorality of use. The abuse of nonhumans is not what we need to focus on, what we need to focus on is educating people on why it’s wrong to use nonhumans as replaceable resources for human interests in the first place.

Indeed, Veganism is not merely about a reduction in cruelty, abuse or even in overall suffering. It’s about not intentionally causing any suffering at all through exploitation, but that is really only a result of the fact that Veganism is a fundamental rejection of speciesism, which is an irrational, harmful moral double-standard that stems from the Myth Of Human Supremacy. Living Vegan does reduce the overall suffering in the world, but the reason we live Vegan is because it’s the only morally justifiable way to live.

If Utilitarian concerns of suffering were the main issue, we could justify harming some number of sentient beings, as long as it helped a greater number of sentient beings, or even just reduced a greater amount of suffering. But Veganism is about Rights, not Utilitarian concerns. In order to call yourself Vegan you must, as a Rights matter, reject the very idea that any being who can feel pain should be considered the chattel property of a human being, or used for human interests. Fortunately for everyone, when it comes to the issue of the infliction of unnecessary suffering, Utilitarian concerns are already addressed through Rights solutions.

Basically, if we always keep in mind that it’s a notion of justice that must include both nonhuman animals and human animals if for no other reason than to be sure that it’s rationally and morally consistent, then we can see that arguing about compassion and cruelty are counter-productive to a truly coherent dialogue on the idea of Animal Rights. Making such claims are speciesist, since we don’t argue that we’re being compassionate by not violating humans rights, and speciesism reinforces and perpetuates speciesism, which ensures that even more sentient beings will be harmed.

If we convince enough people of the moral argument for Veganism we won’t have to worry about systemic human cruelty, systemic human-caused suffering or widespread human compassion. A decrease in cruelty and an increase in compassion are natural results of Veganism, just like a decrease in the sum total of nonhuman suffering is a natural result of humans observing nonhumans rights. Only by arguing for justice can we convince people to be Just.

Also, Veganism is not about humans first. Veganism is a human rights issue as well as a nonhuman rights issue, since it’s true that human animals are sentient being just as nonhuman animals are sentient beings, and thus it makes no sense at all to say that it’s wrong to oppress nonhumans but ok to oppress humans. But the facts are that the exploitation of nonhumans by humans is, by a gigantic margin, the most massive and at the same time the most ignored social justice issue in existence. Also, since the myth that humans are morally superior to nonhumans is fundamentally ingrained into the worldview of almost every human practically from birth, we can get to a world free from systemic human rights violations by observing, and educating on, Animal Rights, but we can never get to a world free from systemic nonhuman rights violations or human rights violations merely by observing, and educating on, human rights.

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Update – On the terms we use to describe how we unjustly use nonhumans: The term “meat” is really a euphemism, created by our speciesist society, that’s meant to divert attention from the real issue, which is that we’re talking about the flesh of an innocent being who could feel pain, fear and other sensations, just as much as humans can. A being who had an interest in their own survival and freedoms just as much as humans do. The reality is that it’s impossible to obtain the flesh of those beings without inflicting unnecessary suffering and death on them. Every nonhuman whose flesh we consume was immorally slaughtered using violence, and it was completely unnecessary. Let’s call it what it really is: animal flesh. Let’s point out with every sentence we utter that we’re talking about actual animals, not some morally neutral “product” that was somehow obtained in a “compassionate” way.

Using nonhuman animals for their flesh is also morally not distinguishable from using any sentient being merely as a replaceable resource for any other human purpose either. All forms of exploitation of any animal, nonhuman or human, are morally equal. Furthermore, to distinguish between different kinds of exploitation ensures that the people observing our arguments will inflict even more unnecessary suffering and death on nonhumans (and humans) than before.

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If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s incredible for the animals, easy and 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, 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