Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism


Abolition Of Speciesism

We vegans, who believe in Animal Rights, depart from a moral framework based on sentience alone i.e. no one, human or nonhuman should be considered merely as a means to others' ends.

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Latest Activity: Feb 13


Living vegan is the least we can do to help animals, it is the moral baseline, the starting point. As abolitionist vegans we believe in rights for every sentient being, independently of their species. That is the simplest definition of our cause. On the other side of the continuum lies speciesism, the institutionalised discrimination against those who are not human. The closest examples of a will to abolish such a regime or law were those of anti-fascists (since fascism and nazism only considered “pure” nationals as subjects, being everyone else, human or nonhuman an ‘object’) and anti-apartheid activists (since apartheid, the racist regime that ruled South-Africa from 1948 to 1990 only considered European-descendants as persons). Speciesism as a regime, law or system has ruled Earth since the human species has been doing so. Speciesist attitudes are those sayings or actions that promote or encourage speciesism to stay ‘in Office’. As Professor Gary L. Francione states in his book, Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or The Dog, humans have a “moral schizophrenia” regarding the consideration towards nonhuman animals: some humans say they are concerned about animals but they still consider them as ‘property’... (further read at )

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Comment by Pablo Fernández-Beri on December 30, 2010 at 10:29

Thanks so much, and I'm terribly sorry for not having replied yet, Jean-Sébastien!


That's the point! We who more or less activist tend to know our definitions... but somehow people in the press, and people who write campaigns for large animal corporations don't seem to know the difference between one thing and another!



Comment by Pablo Fernández-Beri on December 30, 2010 at 10:23

Welcome aboard, and thank you so much for your message, Lisa!


I agree to the reasons you gave for "veganism" losing its definition, but I'd add a few (I don't know to what extent, but I'm sure they exist!) intentional reasons as well! Who benefits from "veganism" loosing its sense from "not using animals" to "not eating animals"... and then who knows what else it will become to mean!


Also, allow me to disagree with you regarding "unnecesarily trying to make it (veganism) look easy". If it's not easy is because people make it make it look difficult! he he

Why wouldn't it be easy? Because people are too addicted to animal products/services, or perhaps people are too afraid of the myth that "they would be lacking some substances only found in animals", or perhaps they are too convinced "humans have god's will to use animals" or something of the sort.


The more veganism is forced to mean anything less than not using animals the more I tend to say "I don't use animals" instead of "I'm a vegan".



Comment by Lisa Qualls on December 30, 2010 at 8:18

Thank you, Pablo.  The corruption of the word "vegan" is one of my biggest concerns right now.  We are only communicating when we agree on the definition of the words being used. 

There are people who make a career of manipulating language.  Words like "natural" are used to make people think the product they are buying is organic, but it means nothing.  "new and improved" makes no sense, but it gets consumers to buy the product. "natural flavors" and "artifical flavors" is where they hide the ingredients they don't want you to know about.  Watch the Daily Show with John Stewart when he runs a series of video clips of politicians and pundits using the day's buzz word.  Watch Sarah Palin say nothing of substance, and even lie, but get applause, by golly.

Definitions are very important. 

I think that the reason "vegan" is loosing its definition is a combination of sloppy communication, misguided inclusion, and desire to belong.  Even well-meaning vegans will sometimes communicate poorly; nothing you can do about that.  Worse, is the ones who should know better, but want people to be drawn to "veganism" by unnecesarily trying to make it look easy and make the public feel like they are doing a good thing.  Now that it has been made popular by celebrities and fun advertising there are people who want to call themselves vegan, but do not care as much about being vegan, so they re-define the word so the word fits them instead of actually becoming vegan.  Within that group are the ones who want to bastardize the word by coming up with words that use "vegan" without being vegan like "dietary vegan" (that is just a pure vegetarian), "ethical vegan" [uh, what other kind is there?  That term validates other interpretations.  A vegan does everything possible to eliminate all forms of animal exploitation from their lives.  How is that not ethical?], "vegan for health" (impossible), "environmental vegan" (again, impossible).  

There is only one definition of veganism.  You are either vegan or you are not.  Before I was vegan the last things I had to eliminate were some egg ingredients, a few dairy items, and some household products.  Despite being very close to being vegan I did not feel that I needed to come up with a new word for myself.  I told people I was very vegetarian, and I called myself and "ethical vegetarian" even though I now know there is no such thing.

When we corrupt the word "vegan" we move far, far away from veganism.  It is no longer about other animals at all.

Comment by Jean-Sébastien Zavallone on October 17, 2010 at 7:47
I think it's pretty obvious the difference between both, I don't understand why there is such an issue out of something that is very clear to me. Vegetarianism doesn't mean that we take out of our life other animal products than those in our diet.
Comment by Jean-Sébastien Zavallone on October 17, 2010 at 7:44
The difference between vegetarianism and veganism in english is less problematic because veganism refer to the activist aspect of your choices of consumption, but in french végétalisme refers only to the diet itself and evacuate the philosophy. So in french I say I'm vegan just like in english to make clear I'm an animal right activist.
Comment by lazar gabriela on October 10, 2010 at 20:59
hi pablo...god bless you
Comment by Jean-Sébastien Zavallone on September 19, 2010 at 10:42
One of the most valuable decision I took in my whole life! Thanks to this guy that introduce me to the environnmental harm of a meat-based diet and furthermore to the question of speciesim that helped me to shift of paradigm and accept the non-human kingdom in the moral community. Everyone deserve equal consideration according to their abilities to suffer, experience pleasure and having an interrest in living!
Comment by Pablo Fernández-Beri on July 8, 2010 at 13:08
check what I believe is the 'hot issue of the week' after IVU's posting 'Vegetarian equals vegan' at
Comment by Pablo Fernández-Beri on January 26, 2010 at 1:47
welcome to the abolition of speciesism group!

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