Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

ARZone Podcast 58: Ronnie Lee - Encouraging Vegan Education

Episode 58 features ARZone admin Ronnie Lee.

Ronnie Lee famous as the founder of ALF (Animal Liberation Front), speaks with his fellow ARZone admins about his most recent project called Encouraging Vegan Education (EVE). He also talks about why the ALF has not been as effective as many had hoped, about the long history of veganism within the animal protection movement, about the best ways to reach out to non-vegans, and about the importance of patience in the struggle for the rights of other animals. Audio podcast, approx. 58 minutes.


Please click H E R E to listen or visit this webpage to subscribe using iTunes, and please remember to visit the podcast page to view a complete listing of all ARZone podcasts.

Views: 713

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Tim, I'm surprised you didn't contend with Ronnie's point about the "tipping point," i.e., after a certain a critical mass of people become vegan, the figurative dominoes will fall and veganism will then spread like wildfire.  I'm not saying I disagree with that notion, but if I remember right, didn't you take issue with that idea somewhere else, Tim (maybe in your blog)?

Good catch Pranav! I think it is not the case that the "tipping point" scenario is likely in the case of veganism. I think it was not the case when institutionalized slavery was abolished in the West, or when women's rights began to be taken seriously, or in any other case of widespread social change. People don't change their fundamental beliefs just in case many of their neighbors do. For example, in the US, there is still a deep undercurrent of racism (studies have shown that attitudes have remained basically unchanged over the past 50 years or so) despite the fact that most people will publicly avow that racists are a tiny minority that deserves to be shunned. I do think that there will be aspects of veganism that become more common as more people become vegan (although I wonder whether "more people" will ever constitute any significant percentage of the population). I can imagine that many people will enjoy eating vegan food products, because of health and other benefits, and I can imagine that circuses, zoos and aquariums in the future will be dramatically different in the future, but I don't see the day coming when no one eats other animals, or lives with them, or depends on them in others ways similar to the ways humans depend on them now. People will say that I have a poverty of ambition as a result of this sobering view. I think ambition, in the face of things beyond one's control, is way over-rated.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, I'm surprised you didn't contend with Ronnie's point about the "tipping point," i.e., after a certain a critical mass of people become vegan, the figurative dominoes will fall and veganism will then spread like wildfire.  I'm not saying I disagree with that notion, but if I remember right, didn't you take issue with that idea somewhere else, Tim (maybe in your blog)?

Tim, it's unbecoming of you to refer to "studies" without citing which ones ;). Which studies do you mean?

I'll take a que from Bill Maher here. New Rule: If someone cites studies or surveys, s/he needs to say which one(s).

About the podcast though, I felt you weren't fully engaged, Tim. Is it a poverty of ambition you suffer from, or do you have a more fundamental doubt (for lack of a better word) in animal rights?
By the way, I'm not being accusatory or judgmental with my second question above. I'm genuinely curious about how you feel in general.

I like your New Rule and I will do my best to follow it in the future. Unfortunately, one of my shortcomings is that I read endlessly and take few notes. Another is that I have good memory. So, I remember reading a book in which the studies regarding attitudes towards race in America were highlighted, but at the moment I can't recall either the title of the book, or the studies themselves. I'll try to find something that backs up my claim. 

At the time of the recording of Ronnie's podcast, I was supposed to be in the middle of the process of writing a 3500 word term paper on 'the mind', which was due the next afternoon, so, I was somewhat preoccupied!!

However, I do have more fundamental doubts about 'animal rights'. As best I can determine, there are, of course, real and meaningful similarities between humans and many other animals such that humans ought to be concerned with and for the well-being of other animals. (I say 'many other animals' because most other animals are species that are not at all similar to human beings - one estimate is that 97% of all species are invertebrates.) At the same time, there are real and meaningful differences between humans and all other species. It is not the case that there is any conclusive evidence that any other animal on this planet is capable of the sort of reasoning we are capable of. There is no conclusive evidence of which I am aware that indicates that any other animal has a sense of self-awareness as do we. I think these things matter and that, when push comes to shove, the lives of human beings matter in ways that the lives of other animals do not. Therefore, it is not the case that other animals have the same 'right' not to be killed as we think humans have. I may be wrong about this, and I may change my mind about it as I think about it more, but that's where I am today.

Nevertheless, it is not the case that the lives of other animals do not matter at all. The lives of other animals do matter, and in very many cases. those lives matter to the animals themselves. I think that we have a duty to others to see that they have the best chance possible to live well and to flourish (insofar as living well and flourishing make sense for them). I think that not because I think necessarily that other animals have rights, but rather because I think that it is the right thing to do.

My views don't fit well within the absolutist framework that dominates "animal rights" discourse, but that's not really my problem. I can't make sense of absolute values and think the world would be better off if people found a way to stop thinking in terms of them.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, it's unbecoming of you to refer to "studies" without citing which ones ;). Which studies do you mean?

I'll take a que from Bill Maher here. New Rule: If someone cites studies or surveys, s/he needs to say which one(s).

About the podcast though, I felt you weren't fully engaged, Tim. Is it a poverty of ambition you suffer from, or do you have a more fundamental doubt (for lack of a better word) in animal rights?

Tim, here's why I think you shouldn't suffer from a poverty of ambition: http://www.flickr.com/photos/igualdadanimal/8299085237/sizes/k/in/p...

Public investigation of a slaughterhouse.  And Animal Equality has received a ton of other media coverage.

I think your poverty of ambition stems from the situation in the US: animal rights organizations that don't seem to have spine and have a rush to be accepted by mainstream society (as illustrated by their attempts to gain celebrity support), coupled with a general conservatism in the US that is not as open to animal rights issues as Europe apparently is.

Indeed, there are two examples that constantly impress me and illustrate better than anything else the potential for substantive change to come faster than you seem to believe possible: Animal Equality and Gary Yourofsky.  I don't mean to disregard others' commitment, but I can't help but feel that these two took their dedication above and beyond and possessed a seriousness lacking in others.  If the entire movement were as focused as GY and AE, your poverty of ambition might cease to exist.

Tim Gier said:

Good catch Pranav! I think it is not the case that the "tipping point" scenario is likely in the case of veganism. I think it was not the case when institutionalized slavery was abolished in the West, or when women's rights began to be taken seriously, or in any other case of widespread social change. People don't change their fundamental beliefs just in case many of their neighbors do. For example, in the US, there is still a deep undercurrent of racism (studies have shown that attitudes have remained basically unchanged over the past 50 years or so) despite the fact that most people will publicly avow that racists are a tiny minority that deserves to be shunned. I do think that there will be aspects of veganism that become more common as more people become vegan (although I wonder whether "more people" will ever constitute any significant percentage of the population). I can imagine that many people will enjoy eating vegan food products, because of health and other benefits, and I can imagine that circuses, zoos and aquariums in the future will be dramatically different in the future, but I don't see the day coming when no one eats other animals, or lives with them, or depends on them in others ways similar to the ways humans depend on them now. People will say that I have a poverty of ambition as a result of this sobering view. I think ambition, in the face of things beyond one's control, is way over-rated.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, I'm surprised you didn't contend with Ronnie's point about the "tipping point," i.e., after a certain a critical mass of people become vegan, the figurative dominoes will fall and veganism will then spread like wildfire.  I'm not saying I disagree with that notion, but if I remember right, didn't you take issue with that idea somewhere else, Tim (maybe in your blog)?

I applaud the work that Animal Equality does. ARZone will publish in the next day or two a new podcast featuring AE.

It's not a poverty of ambition I suffer from. Just as I accept that human beings cannot control the weather, nor program consciousness into machines, I accept that there will never be a "vegan world". I take the world as it is.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, here's why I think you shouldn't suffer from a poverty of ambition: http://www.flickr.com/photos/igualdadanimal/8299085237/sizes/k/in/p...

Public investigation of a slaughterhouse.  And Animal Equality has received a ton of other media coverage.

I think your poverty of ambition stems from the situation in the US: animal rights organizations that don't seem to have spine and have a rush to be accepted by mainstream society (as illustrated by their attempts to gain celebrity support), coupled with a general conservatism in the US that is not as open to animal rights issues as Europe apparently is.

Indeed, there are two examples that constantly impress me and illustrate better than anything else the potential for substantive change to come faster than you seem to believe possible: Animal Equality and Gary Yourofsky.  I don't mean to disregard others' commitment, but I can't help but feel that these two took their dedication above and beyond and possessed a seriousness lacking in others.  If the entire movement were as focused as GY and AE, your poverty of ambition might cease to exist.

Tim Gier said:

Good catch Pranav! I think it is not the case that the "tipping point" scenario is likely in the case of veganism. I think it was not the case when institutionalized slavery was abolished in the West, or when women's rights began to be taken seriously, or in any other case of widespread social change. People don't change their fundamental beliefs just in case many of their neighbors do. For example, in the US, there is still a deep undercurrent of racism (studies have shown that attitudes have remained basically unchanged over the past 50 years or so) despite the fact that most people will publicly avow that racists are a tiny minority that deserves to be shunned. I do think that there will be aspects of veganism that become more common as more people become vegan (although I wonder whether "more people" will ever constitute any significant percentage of the population). I can imagine that many people will enjoy eating vegan food products, because of health and other benefits, and I can imagine that circuses, zoos and aquariums in the future will be dramatically different in the future, but I don't see the day coming when no one eats other animals, or lives with them, or depends on them in others ways similar to the ways humans depend on them now. People will say that I have a poverty of ambition as a result of this sobering view. I think ambition, in the face of things beyond one's control, is way over-rated.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, I'm surprised you didn't contend with Ronnie's point about the "tipping point," i.e., after a certain a critical mass of people become vegan, the figurative dominoes will fall and veganism will then spread like wildfire.  I'm not saying I disagree with that notion, but if I remember right, didn't you take issue with that idea somewhere else, Tim (maybe in your blog)?

Just for the record: I realized it might seem that I'm denigrating the work of other activists, but that was not my intention.  I'll be the first to admit that even those who I said may not possess the level of seriousness as AE and GY have done more for the cause than I have.  Just had to get that out there for the record.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, here's why I think you shouldn't suffer from a poverty of ambition: http://www.flickr.com/photos/igualdadanimal/8299085237/sizes/k/in/p...

Public investigation of a slaughterhouse.  And Animal Equality has received a ton of other media coverage.

I think your poverty of ambition stems from the situation in the US: animal rights organizations that don't seem to have spine and have a rush to be accepted by mainstream society (as illustrated by their attempts to gain celebrity support), coupled with a general conservatism in the US that is not as open to animal rights issues as Europe apparently is.

Indeed, there are two examples that constantly impress me and illustrate better than anything else the potential for substantive change to come faster than you seem to believe possible: Animal Equality and Gary Yourofsky.  I don't mean to disregard others' commitment, but I can't help but feel that these two took their dedication above and beyond and possessed a seriousness lacking in others.  If the entire movement were as focused as GY and AE, your poverty of ambition might cease to exist.

Tim Gier said:

Good catch Pranav! I think it is not the case that the "tipping point" scenario is likely in the case of veganism. I think it was not the case when institutionalized slavery was abolished in the West, or when women's rights began to be taken seriously, or in any other case of widespread social change. People don't change their fundamental beliefs just in case many of their neighbors do. For example, in the US, there is still a deep undercurrent of racism (studies have shown that attitudes have remained basically unchanged over the past 50 years or so) despite the fact that most people will publicly avow that racists are a tiny minority that deserves to be shunned. I do think that there will be aspects of veganism that become more common as more people become vegan (although I wonder whether "more people" will ever constitute any significant percentage of the population). I can imagine that many people will enjoy eating vegan food products, because of health and other benefits, and I can imagine that circuses, zoos and aquariums in the future will be dramatically different in the future, but I don't see the day coming when no one eats other animals, or lives with them, or depends on them in others ways similar to the ways humans depend on them now. People will say that I have a poverty of ambition as a result of this sobering view. I think ambition, in the face of things beyond one's control, is way over-rated.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, I'm surprised you didn't contend with Ronnie's point about the "tipping point," i.e., after a certain a critical mass of people become vegan, the figurative dominoes will fall and veganism will then spread like wildfire.  I'm not saying I disagree with that notion, but if I remember right, didn't you take issue with that idea somewhere else, Tim (maybe in your blog)?

Pranav, you might find it interesting to listen to our recent podcast with Laura Gough and Sharon Nunez from Igualdad Animal/Animal Equality. 

Tim doesn't suffer from a "poverty of ambition", he believes that unless we can address and recognise the real problems and issues in regard to "animal ethics", we aren't in a position to even begin dealing with those issues in a realistic way, and to move forward. 

I think it's urgent that we recognise those issues and how we can work toward addressing them too. 

I hope you enjoy the podcast if you find time to listen: 

http://arzone.ning.com/forum/topics/arzone-podcast-59-animal-equali...


Pranav Merchant said:

Just for the record: I realized it might seem that I'm denigrating the work of other activists, but that was not my intention.  I'll be the first to admit that even those who I said may not possess the level of seriousness as AE and GY have done more for the cause than I have.  Just had to get that out there for the record.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, here's why I think you shouldn't suffer from a poverty of ambition: http://www.flickr.com/photos/igualdadanimal/8299085237/sizes/k/in/p...

Public investigation of a slaughterhouse.  And Animal Equality has received a ton of other media coverage.

I think your poverty of ambition stems from the situation in the US: animal rights organizations that don't seem to have spine and have a rush to be accepted by mainstream society (as illustrated by their attempts to gain celebrity support), coupled with a general conservatism in the US that is not as open to animal rights issues as Europe apparently is.

Thanks for pointing out the AE podcast, Carolyn (and Tim).  I already listened to actually.

I think the point about the issues and problems in animal ethics doesn't really affect most people, as you would agree.  As was mentioned in the podcast, the average person hasn't thought about the complexities in animal ethics.  For her, the only case (as of now, at least) that needs to be made about why humans shouldn't harm animals is more simple than all of the debates that rage among animal rights people.  So, I can't see the problems and issues you refer to being a problem now, though maybe in the future they might be more in need of addressing.

Hi Tim, I think I will have to disagree somewhat with your statements. Yes it is true that racism is still alive and well in America. But what I look at is the overall non-acceptance of racism as an institution and not from a number of individuals who have not yet evolved beyond it. Any type of cultural evolution is always subject to backward thinking from people who refuse to accept change. That is a universal law. I do agree with you that there may be always people eating animals but it may become regarded as backwards as human slavery is in the future once a majority of people do agree with the premise. Also, let's not forget that the urgency of switching to a Vegan diet for environmental reasons may push more people even faster in that direction. Most people go Vegan obviously for ethical reasons but I have known a number of them starting with a health premise and even environmental (Bruce Friedrich is an example you are aware of). I don't believe, short of environmental disaster forcing people to go on a plant based diet, that we will have a "tipping point" in my lifetime. But I do see it happening sometime in the future. We made child abuse unpalatable, we made women's rights and issue that is respectable (even though we have to keep fighting to maintain these rights), we made human slavery something to be despised and we created laws for it. I think we may see it happen for animal rights/veganism eventually. It is still a very young movement and I am optimist.

Tim Gier said:

Good catch Pranav! I think it is not the case that the "tipping point" scenario is likely in the case of veganism. I think it was not the case when institutionalized slavery was abolished in the West, or when women's rights began to be taken seriously, or in any other case of widespread social change. People don't change their fundamental beliefs just in case many of their neighbors do. For example, in the US, there is still a deep undercurrent of racism (studies have shown that attitudes have remained basically unchanged over the past 50 years or so) despite the fact that most people will publicly avow that racists are a tiny minority that deserves to be shunned. I do think that there will be aspects of veganism that become more common as more people become vegan (although I wonder whether "more people" will ever constitute any significant percentage of the population). I can imagine that many people will enjoy eating vegan food products, because of health and other benefits, and I can imagine that circuses, zoos and aquariums in the future will be dramatically different in the future, but I don't see the day coming when no one eats other animals, or lives with them, or depends on them in others ways similar to the ways humans depend on them now. People will say that I have a poverty of ambition as a result of this sobering view. I think ambition, in the face of things beyond one's control, is way over-rated.

Pranav Merchant said:

Tim, I'm surprised you didn't contend with Ronnie's point about the "tipping point," i.e., after a certain a critical mass of people become vegan, the figurative dominoes will fall and veganism will then spread like wildfire.  I'm not saying I disagree with that notion, but if I remember right, didn't you take issue with that idea somewhere else, Tim (maybe in your blog)?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

ARZone Podcasts!

Please visit this webpage to subscribe to ARZone podcasts using iTunes

or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow ARZone!

Please follow ARZone on:

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

A place for animal advocates to gather and discuss issues, exchange ideas, and share information.

Creative Commons License
Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) by ARZone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.arzone.ning.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.arzone.ning.com.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Disclaimer

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is an animal rights site. As such, it is the position of ARZone that it is only by ending completely the use of other animal as things can we fulfill our moral obligations to them.

Please read the full site disclosure here.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Mission Statement

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) exists to help educate vegans and non-vegans alike about the obligations human beings have toward all other animals.

Please read the full mission statement here.

Members

Events

Badge

Loading…

© 2017   Created by Animal Rights Zone.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Google+