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I see the definition of "abolitionism" in Wikipedia is made synonymous with Gary Franciones approach. That's sad. There's many other abolitionist approaches to animal rights.


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It looks like it was recently overhauled by Wikipedia-user "Epskionline," who I think is Eric Prescott of the Boston Vegan Association. I agree that it's unfair to limit abolitionism exclusively to Gary Francione and his philosophy and strategy.

So the wiki-definition of abolitionism was wider before? I hope someone can edit it to be more fair and less person-centered.
Yeah, you can look at the history of the page here:
Francione has indeed tried to make the word abolition his own. I've been reading quite a bit of the work of Tom Regan lately, in preparation for his interview, and it's plain to me that Regan was an abolitionist when he wrote The Case for Animal Rights beginning in 1980-81. Regan's arguments predate Francione's by a decade (at least) and are more nuanced and more rigorously argued. There are, as Arild says, many other abolitionist approaches to animal rights as well.

Gary Francione is tired of saying the same thing, but yet he still keeps repeating himself, as in this quote from his forum site where he admits that "abolition" can mean different things, EXCEPT when it comes to animal rights, and then his "abolitionist interpretation" is the only one.


"Sometimes I get so tired of having to say the same thing again and again and again.

I have stated very clearly that I am using abolition is a particular way. And I state what the way is. And I state that "abolition" can be used in different ways. I am not asserting any ownership of "abolition." I am, however, proposing an abolitionist interpretation of "animal rights," which can refer to a range of different positions, including non-rights positions."  ~  Gary Francione (19 March 2011)

Hi, all. I'm not here to engage in a debate about this topic. I was merely alerted to this thread and wanted to post just this once to fill people in who might have an interest in hearing my point of view on the subject, since my name was invoked.

As I gather you all know, you can review previous versions of an article at Wikipedia to see what was there before, so feel free to read back and see what was up there before I made my changes as "epskionline". My version isn't 'perfect' because I had only one goal--cleaning up the previous entry a bit and better representing Francione's view--but I didn't have a lot of time to go about doing that. Still, it should be clear to everyone here that the version before mine was an inferior entry, both because it misrepresented Francione (factually) and because it was generally poorly written (FWIW, it was not more broad). Again, you can see it for yourself.

In support of the entry as it stands, it is more than clear from the record that Francione developed the abolitionist approach. There is nothing illegitimate in my post with regard to assigning him that particular status and to presenting the fundamental tenets of the position that he developed. I won't apologize for clarifying the previous entry's discussion of those items and expanding on them as needed.

With regard to expanding the entry to include other "views" within abolitionism, I have yet to come across another writer who has made any legitimate improvements to the abolitionist approach. (Francione very much acknowledges his debt to Regan, but his view is distinct from Regan's and builds to a more inclusive view that calls for abolition based on sentience rather than "subject of a life." With the rigorously researched and written Animals, Property, and the Law, he made it more than painfully obvious that the property status of animals was a fundamental barrier to animal rights). And, before someone mentions Joan Dunayer and others in my absence, I have read the works of people who identify as abolitionists, and where the work is actually abolitionist, it is generally repackaged Francione, so I'm not sure I understand the clamor to attach other names to the entry, as though they would add something meaningful. As to the request to make it more 'fair', I have no idea what that refers to. The entry was perfectly fair. It invoked Francione because it needed to, as an entry on abolitionism, the approach that he developed. To not attribute it to him and explain what it means would be both unfair and it would make for a bad Wikipedia entry.

So, that's my take on this entry. Peace all.

At least you are consistent Eric.

Francione writes, in Animals, Property and the Law, "Regan asks what implications arise from accepting that nonhuman animals share with human animals this basic right to respectful treatment. He concludes that most forms of animal exploitation are morally indefensible and that animal exploitation should be abolished and not merely regulated." (9-10, emphasis in the original)

So, Francione acknowledges, in 1995, that Regan favors abolition, and that Regan he did so when wrote The Case for Animal Rights. But, now we are to believe that because Francione has decided that sentience is the sole criteria on which to decide who deserves rights, that Regan, retroactively, is not an abolitionist. This is ludicrous, as it ludicrous for Francione to suggest that someone like Steve Best, who also advocates for the abolition of the use of other animals is also not an abolitionist.

Others can play this game of "Francione Knows All" if that's what makes them happy, but there's no reason for any thoughtful person to go along with the charade.

Abolitionism is a name taken by animal rights advocates from the 19th-century movement against human slavery and the Wikipedia article is called "Abolitionism (animal rights)" not "Abolitionist Approach (animal rights)," so to only discuss Francione's work in the article is to unfairly limit the meaning of "abolitionism" to him. I think the article as it is currently titled should simply give a broad discussion of the movement against the property status of other animals, particulary in regards to the rejection of regulating slavery.

All this said, I believe that animal rights (understood as Regan defined it) rejects regulationist measures already as anything less than abolition violates the moral rights of the individual. This brings into question why there is even a seperate "Abolitionism" article at all!
ARZone should have a "Like" button.
On the Talk page for the Wikipedia article you can read a discussion of the changes, which shows Wikipedia-user "SlimVirgin" saying this about the current entry:
"Also, it seems to be equating abolitionism with Francione and the rejection of violence (see point 4 of the lead). It's true that Francione is a leading abolitionist writer, and it's true that he rejects violence, but that can't become part of the definition of abolitionism."

This is the primary problem I see, too.

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