Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) exists to engage with guests and their ideas about human-nonhuman relations, therefore, a statement of ARZone’s methodology is appropriate. It is important to recognize at the outset that ARZone is constantly evolving, and while it’s guiding principles will not change, the specific methods it uses while adhering to and forwarding those principles surely will. ARZone is always seeking to improve.
 
ARZone hosts weekly Question and Answer sessions with a variety of people who are connected in some way to issues surrounding human-nonhuman relations. Many of these guests are writers and thinkers within the animal advocacy movement, some prominent, some not. Many guests are grassroots advocates and activists. Some guests are connected to animal advocacy because of their work in conservation or the environment. Some are filmmakers and authors. Some are even involved in industries or ventures which exploit other animals.

In order to try to understand the various positions these varied guests hold, ARZone submits to them, in advance, a series of questions, perhaps as many as 12 to 15, for them to answer. The guest receives these pre-registered questions 48 hours prior to the live Q&A session, giving them ample time to think of and compose their best answers. ARZone then presents the questions to the guest, and the guest presents their answers in the live Q&A sessions held weekly. Members are able to ask follow-up questions, both to the pre-registered questions and later in the more informal second part of the live session following the completion of the pre-registered Q&A. Anyone can submit a question for any guest, and everyone is encouraged to do so, whether that question is to be included with the pre-registered questions, or as part of the informal open session.

ARZone is an animal rights and anti-speciesist social network and it is the official stance of ARZone that other animals cannot properly be considered the property of others, and that all use of other animals as things and commodities is wrong. ARZone believes that veganism - that is, a life which rejects as far as is possible all use of other animals - is a moral imperative. Not all guests and members share these views, or share them to the same degree. This raises an important and vital question:

In the questioning of guests, particularly those who hold views contrary to ARZone’s, how strongly or aggressively should be the questioning?  


One’s first impulse is to say that the questioning of guests should be as forceful as possible to show what ARZone perceives to be the obvious failures in some guest’s views. One might be tempted to think that unless a guest is aggressively challenged, ARZone members will not be able to reason for themselves what could be the problems with the guest’s views. Therefore, on this view, ARZone ought to conduct the Q&A session as would a lawyer conduct an interrogation of a witness in a courtroom, employing an adversarial style. While this method has it’s appeal, would it lead to a greater understanding of the views of others? Would it encourage people who don’t already agree with ARZone to dialog with us and our membership? Can we change the hearts and minds of people we treat as hostile witnesses?

In the courtroom setting, a strident approach towards witnesses works because the witnesses are compelled to answer, they are in a court of law. In ARZone our guests are our GUESTS and their participation is voluntary, and they cannot be compelled to answer any questions, to stay for any length of time, or to even appear at all. If all ARZone wishes to do is assail the views of those it disagrees with, or insist upon the superiority of it’s own views, it needn’t invite guests to the site at all. If those were the goals of ARZone, they could be better achieved in a private forum, where all the members agreed and accepted ARZone’s views upfront and without question. Perhaps there is a need for such a forum, but that is not ARZone’s role, and it will not be it’s methodology.

ARZone is interested in hearing the opinions, viewpoints and positions of a wide variety of people from all walks of life. ARZone will ask the toughest questions, and closely examine the answers given to them, to the best of it’s ability. That won’t satisfy everyone, and there will be occasions where ARZone fails, but better to risk disappointing others and failure than to give up trying.

As it goes forward, ARZone is considering news ways to engage with guests, and new ways to examine and critique their views. ARZone is also continually seeking to increase the involvement of it’s membership in all of it’s endeavors. A social network will only be as successful as it’s membership makes it. ARZone welcomes any constructive criticism, thoughts and ideas on how to better fulfill it’s mission to increase our awareness, through rational discourse, of our moral obligations to all sentient beings.


Views: 222

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Animal Rights Zone to add comments!

Join Animal Rights Zone

Comment by Louie Gedo on July 12, 2012 at 2:04

Hi Tim, that doesn't clear it up.

One can make aggressive arguments that are not insulting and are polite yet can still be arguments that prove a point(s) made by the guest, wrong. The difference it seems, based on this thread's initial comment, is one of feeling rather than a tangible difference. Why should discussions and engagement be stifled and bound to what an admin feels is appropriate or not. If a member wants to put holes in a portion of the guest's position, whether the admin calls that line of questioning "adversarial style" or something else, it doesn't make sense to me that the member be forbidden from doing this. Now, if admins want to conduct themselves in some way that is less than "adversarial style" then that should be entirely up to the admin her/himself.

 

Warmly,

Louie

Comment by Tim Gier on July 10, 2012 at 3:55

Hi Louie,

The post isn't denouncing the idea that members ought to ask tough questions. This post was written 18 months ago in response to criticisms that ARZone was receiving from people (almost all of whom were no longer members of the site) who were complaining elsewhere that ARZone should either only interview guests who are supportive of abolition (particularly as defined by Gary Francione) or that, if ARZone is to interview those who are not supportive of an abolitionist approach, then ARZone's line of questioning ought to designed to prove the guest wrong, utilizing as an aggressive style of questioning necessary to achieve that end.  ARZone rejected and still rejects those suggestions.  So, what the ARZone admin team was trying to convey is that, whenever we conduct an online text-based chat, ARZone admins and members ask questions in ways that are designed to challenge each guest's views in as tough a way possible while still remaining polite and willing to engage with the guest's ideas not in order to prove anyone wrong, but in order to understand the issues at stake.  

I hope that clears things up!!

tim

PS: You may also find this post that Roger Yates (who was an admin here at the time) wrote for his blog, explaining the online interview process in somewhat greater detail: http://human-nonhuman.blogspot.com/2011/01/operation-of-animal-righ... 

Comment by Louie Gedo on July 8, 2012 at 22:58

Hi,

This essay is a bit confusing to me. The author appears to be making contradictory points.

"ARZone will ask the toughest questions" I'm assuming the author means the members of ARZone will be asking those toughest questions. If administrators of ARZone want to lob softball questions toward a guest, I suppose that's their prerogative. The toughest questions asked of a person arguably would be those asked of the person in the witness chair by the opposition attorney. So if the toughest questions are to be asked by ARZone members, why is the author denouncing the idea that members ought to ask the toughest questions (if that's what the author is arguing)? One doesn't have to be hostile in order to interrogate and ask the toughest questions of a person (guest). At the same time, one can be hostile and not be asking tough questions at all. If it's the demeanor of the questioner or level of hostility of the questioner (which is subjective) that the author is attempting to parse out, then that's a different matter, I believe.

As an ARZone member myself, I believe that the most insights could be gained by members when guests to ARZone are asked the toughest questions possible. Guests of course should be told ahead of time that very tough questions may be asked of them. Guests should have the right not to answer or respond to particular questions but guests should be encouraged to explain right there and then why they choose to refuse to answer a particular question(s).

Thanks in advance for setting me straight on anything I may have misunderstood about the author's views in this article.

Warmly,

Louie

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

ARZone Podcasts!

Please visit this webpage to subscribe to ARZone podcasts using iTunes

or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow ARZone!

Please follow ARZone on:

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

A place for animal advocates to gather and discuss issues, exchange ideas, and share information.

Creative Commons License
Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) by ARZone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.arzone.ning.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.arzone.ning.com.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Disclaimer

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is an animal rights site. As such, it is the position of ARZone that it is only by ending completely the use of other animal as things can we fulfill our moral obligations to them.

Please read the full site disclosure here.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Mission Statement

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) exists to help educate vegans and non-vegans alike about the obligations human beings have toward all other animals.

Please read the full mission statement here.

Members

Events

Badge

Loading…

© 2017   Created by Animal Rights Zone.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Google+