Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

In a Culture in Which Systematic Violence is the Norm, Standing for Non-violence is Radical. ~ Roger Yates

A tabloid journalist recently wrote blatant lies and gross distortions on my views on human-nonhuman relations. For example, he said that I believe that nonhuman animals have "all the same rights" as human
beings. To say such a silly thing shows that the man did not read my work; or failed to understand it, and has never read so much as a single page of animal rights philosophy.

In the article, I was described as a fire-bomber and terrorist. I have top legal people looking into that: this blog entry is about another rather bizarre accusation in the article. The journalist essentially
said I was an extremist for believing in non-violence. To be fair, he didn't write "extremist," he wrote - this was a tabloid newspaper remember - that I was "eggstreme" because I had written blog entries
about egg consumption and pet keeping within the context of the concept of easygoing speciesism.

However, the way chickens and "pet animals" are used within the institution of speciesism is incredibly violent. Not only did this journalist display ignorance of my views and animal rights philosophy,
he clearly has little knowledge of what goes on in chicken farms, slaughterhouses, puppy farms, or in the casual violence metered out to pets as they are bred, bullied, shaped, surgically altered, sold,
swopped, and traded in systems of animal use.

Although this man knew I have consistently spoken out for non-violence, worked as press officer for a group with a policy of non-violence in relation to human and other other animals, and I'm seen to be on the
non-violent side of current movement discourse, he still wrote that I am an extremist.

If this is the way we look at the world, and to borrow from a well-know speech given by philosopher Tom Regan at an anti-vivisection rally, I am proud to be an extremist advocate of non-violence: as a general principle,
I'm against it all the time.

What an odd thing to be called extreme to stand for a less-violent world!
In a culture that is saturated with speciesist norms and values - with systematic violence to other sentient beings at its heart - the truly radical stance is non-violence. Whenever we give in to violent
impulses, we are rejoining the mainstream - and I am too eggstreme to do that.

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