Ugh…how will this help the animals? All it does is give the animal movement the worst possible image. http://tinyurl.com/27xmlkr
I agree with Singer that violence like this provides a negative image of the animal movement and I think the problem is more complicated than
just public image. Putting aside any general moral problem with
violence, the UCLA antic simply makes no sense. Sure, the UCLA
vivisector is unjustifiably exploiting animals. But so is anyone
who uses animals, including those who consume animal products. There is
really no principled way to distinguish those who engage in vivisection
and those who consume any meat, dairy, or other animal products,
including “happy” ones. Are those who promote violence willing to regard
their grandparents, who cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, as a proper
target of violence? Are they willing to treat their family members or
friends who eat ice cream or drink milk, as “exploiter scum” who are the
legitimate targets of violence? No, of course not.
The only way the problem of animal exploitation will be solved is through shifting the paradigm away from property and toward personhood,
and that is not going to happen—we will never find our moral compass
here—as long as we consume animal products. It certainly is never going
to happen as the result of violence. If social thinking and public
demand for animal use remains the same, nothing will ever change. If you
close ten slaughterhouses today and demand remains the same, ten more
will open tomorrow or ten existing ones will expand production capacity.
For more on this topic, see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and listen to my Commentary on the subject. I also discuss this topic in my new book, The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?, which was published in November 2010 by Columbia University Press.
So although Singer and I disagree concerning just about every other issue in animal ethics, I am glad that we agree on the important issue
of violence. I hope sincerely that Singer is not the subject of threats
and defamatory attacks such as those aimed at me because I have been
vocal in my condemnation of violence.
The animal rights movement makes sense only as a movement of peace and nonviolence. Gandhi said:
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
If we want to see a world in which there is no violence against the most vulnerable, we must ourselves become non-violent and present our
views in a non-violent way. Non-violence begins with our own veganism
and our use of creative, non-violent ways to educate others about
If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do. Veganism is nonviolence in action.
If you are vegan, then spend as much time as you are able to engaged in creative, non-violent vegan education.
Gary L. Francione
©2010 Gary L. Francione