Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Today I have been looking through various AR groups on fb etc and see they all have a similar thread. Disagreement!
I do believe that debate is healthy but talking never saved a single life. In the time it takes to argue your point, you could have signed ten petitions, made phone calls, wrote to some ARPs.
I hope that 2011 brings some real harmony amongst the groups and that the larger organizations can start working together more and that as a movement, we can come together, draw up our global aims and be effective in achieving them. We need to stop the in fighting, backbiting and all the other ugly human traits so we can work on setting our non human friends free.
Right, I'm off to sign some petitions!

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Comment by Lisa Qualls on January 7, 2011 at 8:16

Sam, I'm not sure where you think we differ.  I do not believe that animal exploitation can be ended within my lifetime, either, but I know that it is ended as far as I am able to end it.  I can do everything possible to eliminate my participation in it, and I can be honest about it when I discuss it with others so that they may have a chance to see the wisdom of treating others with respect and unlearning speciesism.

The debate you are starting, maybe without meaning to, is the welfarist v. abolitionist debate.  Unfortunately, that debate gets very heated and the one thing I can be sure of is that it proves that "we" cannot work together.  "We" are not all one thing.  AR activists fall into many differnt categories.

A lot of people think of AR activists as one thing, but I don't agree with that.  I am not on the same team as Bruce Friedrich.  I believe that it is wrong to kill other animals, but Peta believes that it is good.  I believe it is wrong to use sex to sell AR, but Peta does not agree.  I believe that telling people to stop going to one restaurant that serves the bodies of chickens, but to go to another restaurant that does the same thing because one is "more cruel than the other", while also telling people "we are not saying you have to be vegetarian" is very very very very very wrong.  I believe that eating animal products at a party to "avoid making veganism look hard" is very wrong. How can I work with someone like that?

I think a better goal is to find the people you agree with, whose vision you feel passionate about, and work together with them.

Comment by Sam Reynolds on January 6, 2011 at 20:45
Thanks again for your comments guys. I think this is where we differ. I do not believe the end of all animal exploitation is possible in my lifetime. The uk is run by public school MPs who largely support hunting, vivisection etc. Our judges, lawyers are mostly from the middle and upper class, the same people we find on horseback hunting at the weekend. Our ARAs are sent to prison for longer than pedophiles and rapists. The animal exploitation industry is worth billions and our nasty society is driven by that.
This is why I saidnthat we need to come together. We need to look at what is realistically achievable in our lifetimes and let the next generation further what we have achieved. It is ok to be an idealist and an optimist but I believe that optimism in changing human nature and greed is,while commendable, also misplaced.
Comment by Lisa V on January 6, 2011 at 12:13

Sam,

 

Being vegan isn't at all hard from a practical or social standpoint. The difficulty seems to be in changing the mindset that allows us to use animals for our own purposes. And you're making terrifically good progress in that :).

 

Like Tim, I personally advocate for the end of all exploitation and believe it's an achievable goal. 

Comment by Tim Gier on January 6, 2011 at 12:02

Hi again Sam,

 

In my mind, an achievable goal is an end to virtually all forms of exploitation of other animals, so that's what I advocate for.  Any person or group who has that as their goal, and whose every step leads unequivocally towards its realization, is OK by me.  

Comment by Sam Reynolds on January 6, 2011 at 11:46
I do agree with you again Tim. How I wish I could wave a wand and change my own circumstaces but at this point in my life, I can not. Being a vegan is something I personally aspire to but I don't believe that only vegans can fight for animal Rights. If that were the case, it would cripple the movement.
I do believe that veganism is something that should be taught in school and of course I know that it would save billions of slaughtered animals but I also know how hard it is to become a vegan and how people see it as extremist. So I think,like Bruce, my starting point is vegetarianism.
We should view AR as a business, starting with achievable goals, looking at long term aims and brining many groups fighting the same thing together because there is always strength in numbers.
Comment by Tim Gier on January 6, 2011 at 11:24

Hi Sam,

 

I like to use the term "aspiring vegan" to describe people who are beginning to come to accept that veganism is a moral imperative. I realize that changing one's worldview isn't the easiest thing to do, I was vegetarian for 10 years before becoming vegan.  At the same time, because of my views now about the actual rights of other animals, I can't advocate that others become vegetarian, and I wish that I had accepted years ago the ideas I accept today.  

 

I hope no-one here shoots you down, Sam, that's not what ARZone is about.  

Comment by Sam Reynolds on January 6, 2011 at 11:00
I'm not going to be shot down in flames because I'm not a vegan. Most vegans started their journey by becoming vegetarian. If the whole world became vegan, it would not stop vivisection, hunting, fishing, circus's, zoos etc etc. I look at my AR heros like Bruce Friedrich and see that although he himself is a vegan, he tries to firstly promote becoming a vegetarian.
I myself do not put eating an egg from one of my much loved hens in the same catagory as pouring bleach in a rabbits eyes or taking a creature from the sea and putting it in a tank.
I think people who become vegetarians should be congratulated. I would think that many ethical vegatarians would not wear fur or skin either.
Comment by Lisa V on January 6, 2011 at 6:54

Sam, I see your point of the futility of fighting. That's true.

 

But I'm curious, what kind of AR education would you do seeing as you're not yet vegan?

 

 

Comment by Sam Reynolds on January 4, 2011 at 10:33
Thank you both for your comments. You both make very valid points. I am not a vegan but agree with all that you say. The problem I have is that there are sooo many people who do not have the slightest inkling of AR. If I spent all my time fighting with other ARAs, I would never have the time to educate them.
I guess that I'm an idealist.
Comment by Tim Gier on January 4, 2011 at 10:16

Sam,

 

Because you believe that humans should not exploit, murder or abuse any nonhuman, wouldn't it be a violation of your principles to work with an organization which helps the exploiters of nonhuman animals continue to exploit them?  PeTA, HSUS, RSPCa and many others use the language of animal rights, but they don't actually "value AR" at all.  That's the problem!!

 

If you advocate that we spend all of our time doing vegan education from a solid rights-based perspective, then you & I (and Roger & Carolyn) are all on the same page!!

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