Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Transcript of ARZone Christmas Day Open Forum

 

ARZone Open Forum Transcript

25 December 2010 at:

2pm US Pacific Time

5pm US Eastern Time

10pm UK Time and

26 December 2010 at:

8am Australian Eastern Standard Time

 

 

Carolyn Bailey

ARZone is pleased to present the next in our series of Live Open Forums.

We believe these open forums to be an excellent opportunity to involve all members in open dialogue, and give everyone the chance to participate in discussion about issues relevant to our relations with other
animals.

ARZone exists to help educate vegans and non-vegans alike about the obligations human beings have toward all other animals. As an online advocacy and social justice group, we foster discussion among and between our
members with the goal of improving our advocacy work and increasing justice in
the world.

Tonight, rather than feature a guest as we usually do, ARZone will be conducting an open forum discussion, facilitated by the site admins. This discussion is for you, our members, so while we have proposed
three topics to form the basis of tonight's chat, and while we believe that we
will all benefit from a thorough discussion about them, as time permits,
members will not be limited to only discussing these topics. The three topics
are:

“With so much of the holiday season being focused on food, are vegans alienated from friends and family at this time of year?  Is it any different from any other time of year?”

“Sarah Palin is getting a lot of negative attention from many people because of her hunting, but she says that unless those complaining don't wear leather or eat meat then they are being hypocrites. Is that true,
and if it is, what should vegans say about (or to) those non-vegans who oppose
hunting?”

“What do you think that we should call animals other than the human kind: other animals, nonhumans, animal beings (as in: human beings), animal persons, or something else?  Do
you think it matters at all?”

All members are encouraged to participate tonight, as well as to suggest topics for and participate in future open chat forums in ARZone. We aim to make everyone comfortable in participating, so please feel free to
jump in and add to the conversation at any time. We'll begin by asking:

 “With so much of the holiday season being focused on food, are vegans alienated from friends and family at this time of year?  Is it any
different from any other time of year?” Would you like to comment first, Tim?

 

Tim Gier

Hi Carolyn, thanks! “With so much of the holiday season being focused on food, are vegans alienated from friends and family at this time of year?  Is it any different from
any other time of year?” Does anyone feel that the holidays are particularly
difficult for them?

 

Mangus O’Shales

Everyone in my family eats animals. It's hard at thanksgiving and Christmas

 

Roger Yates

I think this is a case by case issue.  But sociologically, it is an extremely stressful time in terms of family and social rituals. I guess we should remember that some families and some family members are sympathetic and
accommodating.

 

Tim Gier

My son-in-law said that his grandmother would not come to his house because he would not be serving meat.

 

Susannah

So many events and celebrations revolve around food, Christmas is difficult but so are family birthdays, summer barbecues, parties, weddings...

 

Sky

must be nice to have a supporting family

 

Tim Gier

I agree Susannah, lots of family occasions become awkward. As far as holidays, Thanksgiving has to be the most difficult in the US

 

Susannah

Last Christmas my family came to stay at my house abroad. I live in a vegetarian & vegan shared house, we have a rule of no meat. My brother said that had he known, he wouldn't have come, even though he ate meat
every day when we went out.

 

Tim Gier:

My older daughter struggles with parties she takes her children to.

 

Susannah

* sorry, animal flesh.

 

Tim Gier

No apologies necessary! We'll be talking about "words" later too :-)

 

Susannah

Had I said the house was a non-smoking house I'm sure he would have gladly complied and not smoked inside, but the rule of no animal flesh was too much for him.

 

Tim Gier

That's very interesting Susannah. Why do you think that is?  Has society gotten to the point where non-smoking is more mainstream, where veganism is still
"radical"?

 

Mangus O’Shales

My family usually leaves me alone, but on holidays they pressure me to be part of tradition. I don't like it

 

Roger Yates

It is to do with socially sanctioned requests. Being opposed to smoking has an excepted medical validity and even though we may same the same about avoiding flesh, society is far from recognising that.

 

Tim Gier

A friend of mine told her family that she was going vegan for health reasons, and they were very supportive

 

Charles A. Schliebs

Back in 1976, 14 years after the Surgeon General's report on smoking, the NY Times said that smoking was a class indicator, the educated and upper classes not smoking by and large, while the working class and poorly
educated smoked.

 

Lisa Viger

Yes, it can be harder during the holidays.

 

Charles A. Schliebs

We are no where near that status today as smoking was in 1976, sadly.

 

Lisa Viger

So what is everyone having for dinner today?

 

Outi Aromies

Well, I did my first "seitan" ham this Christmas!

 

Tim Gier

I had stuffed mushrooms

 

Debbie Blundell:

Oh, Tim. I love stuffed mushrooms!

 

Lisa Viger

Oh, nice. We're doing sweet and sour tofu stir fry. I think we'll make that a new Xmas tradition.

 

Debbie Blundell

it is the 26th here, Boxing Day. Xmas lunch was lovely

 

Outi Aromies

it is way past midnight here in Finland ..I have eaten oat porridge and seitan ham

 

Tim Gier

Did you make the Seitan Ham, or did you buy it already made?

 

Outi Aromies

I made it by my self I was surprised that I manage to do it

 

Tim Gier

That's very cool.

 

Tejas

Where in Ireland would u get already made sietan ham?

 

Roger Yates

I'm not sure Tejas.  There are some mock hams on sale in Dublin - mock turkey and rashers, etc.

 

Tejas

oh well i am not very much on ham and turkey part of it as i have never eaten anything like that ... sietan products due to rich protien is what i am interested

 

Roger Yates

We had ma po tofu, rice and corn soup, followed by blueberry and pinenut pie, AND then vegan beer and vegan liqueurs.

 

Lisa Viger

What kinds of things (food, activities) are traditional on Boxing Day, Debbie?

 

Debbie Blundell

Boxing Day is just a quiet day to get over Xmas Day hun, usually have the left overs from the day before, but Xmas lunch at my nieces was lovely

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Boxing Day is a family day in Australia.

 

Debbie Blundell

I am in Australia, and Boxing Day actually started in England.

 

Lisa Viger

"Boxing Day" sounds so boisterous lol

 

Debbie Blundell

Hey Carolyn, do u know exactly what the meaning behind boxing day is? other then a public holiday

 

Carolyn Bailey

I did know, Deb, but I don't remember. I thought it was an English thing too.

 

Roger Yates

As I understand it, Boxing Day was the day people opened their present boxes.

 

Outi Aromies

here in Finland it is called "Tapanin päivä" People pay a visits, go for a slay-rides and so.

 

Tim Gier

How does everyone feel about "meat analogues" - thinks that are supposed to look and taste like animal products?

 

Thomas Janak

Hi Tim, not too fond of mock meat since my taste buds have changed yet there is a restaurant here that has some and some of them taste great

 

Lisa Viger

Tim, I don't mind one way or another about meat analogues ... I think it's the salt and fat that makes it seem like meat.

 

Thomas Janak

We had vegan potato salad and a vegan chocolate santa (not together obviously)

 

Tejas

Any sietan products/brands in ireland which i can just microwave and eat?

 

Thomas Janak

I never heard of sietan

 

Lisa Viger

seitan's a meat substitute made of wheat gluten Thomas

 

Charles A. Schliebs

We had seitan roast today.  Funny, we have been vegan for 15 years and never had seitan before simply for the silly reason that we did not like the word.  (Dumb) 
Anyway, it was good, and the homemade vegan pumpkin pie was the best we
have ever done.

 

Charles A. Schliebs:

Tim, on explaining to a relative or friend or acquaintance the reason for having a vegan diet, I experience the same thing--people being somewhat understanding if it is for health reasons, and thinking you are crazy
if it is for ethical reasons.

 

Tim Gier

It's odd, isn't it Charles?

 

Tejas

Tim actually its not odd ...considering the fact that a common man does not consider his/her actions by conscious ethical reasons.

 

Tim Gier

Tejas, I think your getting at a sociological point that Roger might make about how what we as vegans see as ethically required, most others don't even see at all.

 

Lisa Viger

Does anyone have any advice about broaching the vegan subject with grandchildren? Mine are now 4 and 3 and have asked me why I don't eat chicken.

 

Debbie Blundell

Mmm interesting question, Lisa. My grand children are nearly four and two and a half, and my grandson has taken it in that i don't eat meat

 

Carolyn Bailey

My nephews ask me similar questions. I tell them the truth in an age appropriate way.

 

Lisa Viger

I can see they don't connect the chicken they eat (my daughter's not vegan ... yet) to a once living chicken.

 

Debbie Blundell

Because u obviously do not want to upset your grand children you could say you don't like it because u don't want to hurt the chicken, but then that could upset them and the parents

 

Thomas Janak

Dave Warwak's way of saying it is: "Animals are my friends and I don't eat my friends".

 

Olivia Senninha

I don't think it's harder to be vegan, it's just more difficult to avoid meateaters ;-)

 

Thomas Janak

lol, Olivia

 

Carolyn Bailey

I like Dave's way, Thomas

 

Tim Gier

That's true Olivia

 

Debbie Blundell

Dave’s way is very good

 

Thomas Janak

 Yep

 

Susannah

Just don't say "corpse muncher" lol

 

Thomas Janak

Anyone else listening to Yazoo on Christmas?

 

Lisa Viger

what's yazoo thomas?

 

Thomas Janak

a band from the UK, also known as YAZ outside of Europe. They were huge in the 80s

 

Tim Gier

Lisa, have you seen the videos Jordan Wyatt posts of his Chicken Friends??

 

Lisa Viger

No, i haven't Tim ... are they uploaded here?

 

Tim Gier

http://coexistingwithnonhumananimals.blogspot.com/

 

Thomas Janak

Jordan has been on WILD TIME and was a great guest!! You're on soon Tim btw, will announce January schedule early next year

 

Charles A. Schliebs

I have seen the vegan issue with grandchildren erupt into war--interference with the raising of a child.  Be careful!, but of course one needs to be truthful as well.  Dave's way of saying it is beautiful, but
could still lead to issues w/parents.

 

Thomas Janak

I am more concerned about the animals than I am with parents but I understand your concern

 

Lisa Viger

It's not that Charles ... I have wonderful kids ... it's just that it will break their hearts when they do make the connection between chicken ... and chickens.

 

Thomas Janak

A broken heart will heal, a slit throat will not

 

Debbie Blundell

My older daughter is not vegan and has the two ones, but she is very respectful of my lifestyle, and would not worry her if the kids went vegan. well said Thomas

Tim Gier Jordan will be our guest in a few weeks. He blogs, creates videos and podcasts!!

 

Thomas Janak

Thanks

 

Roger Yates

When Julian Groves investigated the role of ‘emotions’ in social movement activity about human-nonhuman relations, he found a similar situation.  He found that animal activists were often accused of ‘spoiling’ happy celebrations and occasions, and it is clear that this generally means that the philosophy of animal rights
had made people directly think about certain aspects of their relations with other animals. 

For example, one activist told Groves that friends, aware of his and his partner’s position on human-nonhuman relations, stated before a meal: “We’re not going to say anything about food in front of our kids.”  If a child comes up and mentions something about animal flesh, the activist says of his friends, “they’ll all look at us l the activist says of his friends, “they’ll all look at us like ‘don’t start him
thinking!’” see: http://human-nonhuman.blogspot.com/2010/10/im-thankful-im-not-turke...

 

Debbie Blundell:

Tanya went vegan for awhile but she has an intolerance to soy, chic peas and lentils, not vegan anymore, even though she should know there are other things out there for her

 

Tim Gier

So, Roger, the person who is acting upon their ethics is seen as the problem?

 

Sadia V Madie

I wonder that as well, Tim

 

Roger Yates

Yes, Tim. As ever consistency of view is not expected and often negatively sanctioned.

 

Thomas Janak

Dunno, but seeing all the people with their Christmas turkeys, I think perhaps the time has come where we should protect the animals and not the "poor souls of children". It should be made known in
schools so people can choose for themselves maybe like what you do Rog.

 

Lisa Viger

Thomas, it's not a choice between the souls of children and an animal. My daughter's not vegan so will be making animals for my grandchildren to eat ... I will tell them eventually what they're actually
eating.

 

Tejas

To add to Thomas, time also has come to stop children acting by their heart and make acting by their brain

 

Tim Gier

I think little children, in their hearts, do not want to kill other animals. They are socialized by the same speciesism which had affected us all.

 

Thomas Janak

I know, it is not getting easier, Lisa. My sister once told me that her 7 year old "only eats chicken nuggets" - poor fellow. Glas there is McDonalds in Frankfurt. agreed,
Tim

 

Carolyn Bailey

I agree too, Tim. Children, given the opportunity, will choose not to eat animals more often than not.

 

Tejas

Tim by heart I meant emotions or love to particular foods

 

Tim Gier

Oh, I see what you mean, Tejas, I agree with that.

 

Lisa Viger:

Exactly Tim ... and the disconnect is so huge I can see they don't think they're eating animals

 

Olivia Senninha

I raised my daughter as vegetarian (we're vegan now) and when she asked me why I told her that I love animals and I don't want them to be killed for my dinner.

 

Roger Yates:

Parents seem often in the business of keeping their children away from "harmful knowledge" - even if that means the truth. But I think parents would respond and say they don't tell their kids the
truth about war or rape either.

 

Tejas

Olivia, (& this can be a different topic altogether) we should not base veganism on love for animals

 

Olivia Senninha

Just be honest with children! Not rude, but honest

 

Thomas Janak

I was a corpse muncher (Dave again) for 4 decades and I suppose there were times where I couldn't see what's on my plate - didn't make it right

 

Tejas

Antiracism is not based on love for a particular race

 

Tim Gier

I agree with that too, Tejas

 

Tejas

Similarly antispeciesism.

 

Olivia Senninha

You cannot talk with a 3 to 4 year old child about ethics!

 

Debbie Blundell

Very true Olivia

 

Olivia Senninha

The older she got, the more details you can give and the more you can talk about ethics, but before the age of 12 it's no use

 

Tim Gier:

Can we move on to the second topic, which is still related to this one? It is about hunting

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Sure, Tim

 

Roger Yates:

Go ahead Tim, do it Time!

 

Tim Gier:

“Sarah Palin is getting a lot of negative attention from many people because of her hunting, but she says that unless those complaining don't wear leather or eat meat then they are being hypocrites. Is that true,
and if it is, what should vegans say about (or to) those non-vegans who oppose hunting?”

 

Lisa Viger

As much as I dislike saying it, I agree with Sarah Palin on that issue.

 

Thomas Janak

There is a truth to what she says but it cannot be a justification for hunting. But I agree that it is probably difficult to talk about veganism while wearing leather

 

Lisa Viger

I don't think it's a justification for hunting Thomas ... more like being ethically consistent

 

Debbie Bludell

Problem is, I have friends who just don't like her because she hunted out of season and the caribou was very young.

 

Tim Gier

It does seem hypocritical to talk about what is wrong with hunting while wearing leather boots.

 

Thomas Janak

Well, the easiest thing to do is to NOT wear leather and animal byproducts (which I can easily do here in the UK) because this way I am not one of those people she speaks about. I agree, Lisa

 

Tim Gier

Brandon Becker made the point to me that we ought to find common cause with hunters -- use their opposition to one form of animal use to build coalitions. does that make sense?

 

Lisa Viger

that makes no sense at all to me Tim

 

Susannah

not to me Tim. can you explain? join with hunters or join with non-vegans against hunters?

 

Tim Gier

Well, not exactly join with non-vegans against hunters, but use the objection others have against hunting to broaden their awareness of all animal abuse

 

Thomas Janak

Makes sense Tim but ultimately there is little difference in hunting and buying an animal in the shop since they all want to clearly live out their lives in peace.

 

Charles A. Schliebs

I was against hunting from the time I knew what it was as a child and refused to go hunting with my uncle, and I was against fur (but not leather) from my 20's,but didn't become vegan until the age of 45.  Was I a hypocrite-yes, but I didn't know it.

 

Thomas Janak

Animal rights are human rights and if one says that taking a life is wrong then u will have many people that say that they disagree because hey say all pedophiles, child abusers deserve death -and it focusses away from the fact that all life is valuable. Big things!

 

A non vegan can still be an animal rights activist or helper even if he/she doesnt go the whole way, so there is hope that maybe one day they get it, worked in a shelter and was the only vegan yet there were many people who really helped animals

 

Lisa Viger

hmm ... I spend much of the fall and winter keeping hunters off my property ... it doesn't seem like we have much common ground

 

Roger Yates

ON this subject, did anyone see the post by the LACS today?: http://www.league.org.uk/blogs_entry.aspx?id=292

 

Susannah

Well, that's the argument of the value of using single issue campaigns as a "hook" to get people's attention and support - and then expose them to the vegan argument.

 

Lisa Viger

Thomas, did they have an actual overall benefit to animals or did their non-veganism undo any good they did in a shelter?

 

Thomas Janak

Lisa, I believe that although they saved lives and helped animals they were obviously indirectly taking lives when eating meat YET without them nay of the animals in the shelter would have died

 

Roger Yates

Of course, hunters claim that their activities are very different to the average flesh eater.

 

Thomas Janak

Spiritually I don't think they gainered much if that's what you are  asking. Yes, Roger, hunters are very peculiar.

 

Lisa Viger

I think the number of animals saved by being vegan is 90 per year

 

Thomas Janak

I get you Lisa, it was selective compassion no doubt.

 

Lisa Viger

No, not spiritually, I mean practically ... were they really doing an overall good?

 

Thomas Janak

They did localised good, I'd say. From the point of the animal in the kennel, being walked by a meat eater is still a good thing. Didn't see any dog objecting

 

Lisa Viger

Were their actions at the shelter personally responsible for saving 90 or more animals each year?

 

Thomas Janak

Course not! But seeing one dog without constipation because it didn’t lie around all day was a positive thing. I agree that being vegan does more but the argument you’re presenting doesn't get through to anyone who
eats meat, and also, being vegan alone is not the answer since we all still have to campaign and sign petitions and so on unless we're all vegan. I hear you, Lisa. I wouldn’t understand either how they could feed the pigs outside and then eat one inside.

 

Lisa Viger

No, of course not, I'm sure the dogs were genuinely helped, sorry, didn't mean to sound dismissive of what they did.

 

Tim Gier

People ought to be vegan.  If people are opposed to hunting, then perhaps they will respond to our arguments about why they should be vegan, more so than people who support
hunting would be.

 

Lisa Viger

But we're all like that until we're vegan ... we pet one and eat the other.

 

Thomas Janak

Right

 

Sadia V madie

Got it Tim,

 

Tim Gier

But if we attack those who oppose hunting because they are NOT vegans, then we alienate them and lose the chance to educate them

 

Tejas

Let the attacking work be done by Palin and fans!

 

Thomas Janak

I agree Tim. I still worked with the meat eaters, yet I would often tell them that it pains me that they don't make the connection and they looked at me as if I were from Mars!

 

Lisa Viger

Yes, agreed .. I was just talking to someone about making some vegan shirts and I said I thought an "isn't veganism great?" view was much better than "aren't nonvegans bad?"

 

Susannah

We must be very careful not to reinforce the view that hunting is worse than eating animal products

 

Roger Yates

We need to ask whether there is the claimed differences in terms of animal use that opponents of hunting (who are not vegan) suggest.

 

It seems to me that the weight of evidence is against them.

 

Brandon Becker

Here's what I wrote regarding anti-hunting views of non-vegans:

 

"I think rather than criticizing non-vegans who oppose hunting, we should use their opposition to hunting to encourage them to oppose other forms of animal exploitation."

 

"If you were the potential victim, you'd take help from anyone who was willing to give it to you, even if your helper was not consistent in helping others of your kind."

 

Tim Gier

Thanks Brandon!!!!

 

Lisa Viger

I agree Brandon

 

Thomas Janak

Sounds great, Brandon. I noticed though, that often times they wouldn’t even listen because of the disconnection

 

You ask them: "Do you agree that teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar?" and they all say yes BUT they happily allow animals to be horribly killed so
that they can be consumed. True, Tim. I try that approach every week and have
made progress among my fellow radio presenters but it is painstakingly slow

 

Tim Gier

I think we need to speak critically with others about veganism without criticizing them personally.

 

Lisa Viger

And Brandon, I'd also much rather spend my time and energy being "for" veganism than "against" nonvegans or welfarists or whatever (does that make
sense?)

 

Tim Gier:

That makes perfect sense to me Lisa!!

 

Brandon Becker:

I don't think most humans are able to drive a bullet in the skull of a deer or other nonhuman animal. Most humans can eat the flesh of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, fishes and others wrapped in plastic under names
like "beef", "pork", etc.

Lisa Viger

No ... I don't think we were the "hunter/gatherers" we like to imagine ... scavengers maybe ...

 

Thomas Janak

True, Brandon. Talked to someone recently who said that hunting only had a success rate of less than 15 % so we were never really meat eaters.

 

Lisa Viger

That makes sense, Thomas, to me too.

 

Brandon Becker:

I also think that many find hunting abhorrent is the fact that deer and other "wild" nonhuman animals are living autonomously instead of bred to be murdered for their flesh.

 

Thomas Janak

To mention the old saying: The fact that we have to cook our meals should be a sign - yet there are many vegan foods that we cook as well

 

Lisa Viger

Maybe ,... would that make it more or less abhorrent?

 

Tim Gier

More, because we glorify nature.

 

Roger Yates

Brandon - that seems to fall into the ideological traps of thinking nonhumans are "for" something.

 

Lisa Viger

But there are some who say "at least they had good lives" ... so it kind of goes both ways

 

Thomas Janak

Only those who have never researched the lives of "our meat" can say that. Good life, right!

 

Tim Gier

Right, "farm animals" are there to be eaten, but the deer and the antelope are there to play...

 

Lisa Viger

Absolutely Roger ... and there's also the ideology that we have to control and use everything that's available

 

Brandon Becker

Yeah, we need to be clear that other animals are not "for" humans, but humans just treat them as their resources to be exploited.

 

Thomas Janak

Exactly right, Brandon

 

Brandon Becker

I'm just thinking of how anti-hunting non-vegans are thinking, as I used to be one of them and I know many others who think the same. We have to advocate in ways that will expand their thinking to include
greater moral consideration rather than shut down for not being totally
consistent.

 

Roger Yates

The anti-hunting non-vegan is a not-thought-through position.

 

Thomas Janak

Am off now guys and girls! Enjoy your days off!! Been a pleasure!! Bye

 

Roger Yates

I think it is right that we should talk to them about that!

 

Mangus O’Shales

you guys say interesting things. I like these chats

 

Sadia V Madie:

:-)

 

Tim Gier

Shall we tackle the third topic now?

 

Lisa Viger

sure!

 

Tim Gier: 

It is about words:   “What do you think that we should call animals other than the human kind: other animals, nonhumans, animal beings (as in: human beings), animal persons, or something else?  Do you think it matters at all?”

 

Lisa Viger

I use "other animals" ... that seems to fit the bill ... and also includes me in the circle of "animal"

 

Roger Yates

I think it is more important that we do NOT call them by some words, like "it."

 

Brandon Becker

Humans and other animals, human and nonhuman animals, other animals, nonhuman animals.

 

Susannah

Using nonhuman animal all the time gets longwinded and makes reading a leaflet or webpage too wordy, I think it is OK to use nonhuman animal the first time to make the point, and then animal after that so the reader
doesn't switch off

 

Roger Yates

We could - but will not - use Geertrui Cazaux's "Animals Other Than Human Animals."

 

Brandon Becker

I'm OK with others saying "animal" except if they say "humans and animals", which removes humans from animalkind.

 

Tim Gier

I often say nonhuman individuals because only individuals are rights holders

 

Roger Yates

Dunayer uses "animal" to denote both humans and other animals.

 

Douglass

I think it's important to distinguish humans from nonhumans, since humans are the one's perpetuating the "injustice," so to speak...

 

Lisa Viger

The word "nonhuman" seems distancing ... to me .. like we're going out of our way to say they're not like us ... i like "animal" for me and any other animal

 

Roger Yates

and I have argued that some of our rights are our animal rights.

 

Brandon Becker:

Yeah, I like Dunayer's language guidelines from her book Animal Equality: Language and Liberation. You can read a helpful handout she created for activists: "Avoiding Speciesist Terms" http://files.meetup.com/1518190/Avoiding%20Speciesist%20Terms.pdf

 

Lisa Viger

Yes Roger ... most of our rights boil down to the right to be left alone ... which is what I see as being the rights of all animals

 

Brandon Becker

I qualify "nonhuman" with "animal" most of the time rather than leave "nonhuman" floating.

 

Roger Yates

David Sztybel - a future ARZone guest - also adapts Dunayer’s language schema.

 

Eduardo Terrer

Hello :-)

 

Tim Gier

There doesn't seem to be any one "best" way to do this.

 

Lisa Viger

Hey Eduardo!

 

Roger Yates

Yes Lisa - our basic rights are our animal rights - nonbasic rights tend to be human rights or positive rights.

 

Brandon Becker

Animal rights includes rights for humans, so that is why one can say correctly say "animal rights" rather than "nonhuman animal rights."

 

Kate

Hola Eduardo! :-D

 

Tim Gier

Hi Eduardo

 

Eduardo Terrer

I believe that, given the power and importance of language as amending language to thought, the right thing is to use the term "non-human animals.

 

In the same conversation, having made emphasis on this (equality based on animal and human or non-human as a mere adjective) may be abbreviated as nonhumans, without adding the term animal. What seems to me important is the rational argument and the precise use of language. This, of
course, assuming that the language changes, alters and distorts the thinking
and therefore the result to "force" others to think this way can be
considered an achievement, as is usually assumed to make someone understand the
reality of speciesism, is also considered an achievement. Both are supposed to
have planted a seed.

 

If a subconscious human speciesist, starts to think in terms of animals, including himself, they may be mentally prepared to accept the anti-speciesism.

 

Kate

Thank you Eduardo - beautifully explained!

 

Tim Gier

I agree Eduardo

 

Brandon Becker

I don't like the term "human being" since we don't have an equivalent term for other animals, they are just known as "animals." Let's say "human" or "human individuals" if you want. If you say "human being", qualify
nonhuman animals with "being" too. Cat being, dog being, rat being, fish being, etc.

 

Lisa Viger

Eduardo ... but "nonhuman" turns it into a binary thing ... there are those like me (human) and everyone else (nonhuman).

 

Brandon Becker

Great points, Eduardo.

 

Nonhuman animals are oppressed as a class and have no legal rights, so that is why it is appropriate to divide humans and other animals in our language.

 

Lisa Viger

Yeah, that's true Brandon

 

Tim Gier

I agree with you Lisa, but every term we use necessarily separates us from others.  I don't know how to escape it.

 

Lisa Viger

Me neither

 

Susannah

Other species of sentient individuals would be my ideal choice but again it is too long winded for a lot of texts

 

Tim Gier

Sometimes, I purposely use combinations of words that are awkward, to call attention to the fact that I consider nonhuman individuals as something other than just "animals".

 

Kate

Lisa, or anyone who is unsure about the use of the word "nonhuman" - when you have time please read the excerpt that I posted below this window. Thank you.

 

Brandon Becker

For a defense of “animals” see this essay from David Sztybel:http://davidsztybel.blogspot.com/2008/08/is-it-speciesist-to-use-te...

 

For a critique of “nonhuman animals” (and defense of “other animals”) see question number one, in this interview with David Nibert:http://www.mercyforanimals.org/6outrage12.asp

 

For a defense of “nonhuman animals” (from someone who also uses “other animals”) see comment 49 here, from Joan Dunayer:http://animalactivism.ca/?section=2&subsection=4&id=48&...
0232b10fb9c789feb6f6ce7

 

Tim Gier

 Good stuff!! Thanks :-)

 

Susannah

Can you stick these up on the forum after? thanks.

 

Eduardo Terrer

Hi Lisa. Apart from the response from Brandon, we should also note that our language must adapt to the thinking of individuals with whom we will communicate. In this case, speciesist. The mind speciesist difference between humans and nonhumans. Group together the "animals" Split between humans and  nonhumans as Brandon points seem correct.

 

Eduardo Terrer

And also to force the mind to frame it within the animal, which equals. Thus it seems correct to speak of nonhuman animals and human animals or human subjects and nonhuman subjects. Thus hierarchical separation between humans and nonhumans as secondary. Allows us to communicate clearly
(except the initial difficulty) and force the mind to be classified in this way.

 

Lisa Viger

Thank you for clarifying that for me Eduardo :-)

 

Tim Gier

Douglass has a question which he would like to pose to all of us.  Douglass, whenever you are ready....

 

Douglass

I'm wondering if anyone can suggest effective literature. Ideally, I prefer a one page type of double-sided leaflet, but I'm not restricted to that, necessarily.

 

To give this a little context, as I've mentioned in some of my commentary, I've distributed a lot of PETA-type literature in the past, including PETA's "Vegetarian" Starter Guides. However, I have now
moved away from welfarist literature such as PETA's, and have found that most
of the materials I can access at low-cost or for free are not in my interest.

 

My primary distribution points are street-side locations (supermarkets and subway entrances), as well as on subways, themselves. 

 

BART, actually. I've recently been using Francione's Abolitionist leaflet, but I'm not sure that's written with the most effective language and am interested in alternatives. Ultimately I intend to create my own, but am not yet at that point. Any literature suggestions?

Thank you, Ahimsa.

 

Tim Gier

Brandon, you have some experience with leafleting

 

Brandon Becker

I use "Why Vegan?" from Vegan Outreach for leafleting. I use Boston Vegan Association's "Respecting Animals..." pamphlet for tabling.

 

Lisa Viger

Douglass, there's so much literature out there ... anything advocating veganism would be helpful imo.

 

Douglass

I've considered using Boston VA's materials....

 

Tim Gier

Brandon, you talked about the "Why Vegan" in your ARZone chat, but can you tell us again why you use it?

 

Douglass, I like the Boston booklet, but it isn't designed for use as a leaflet.

 

Brandon Becker

I use the "Why Vegan?" booklet for leafleting because it is effective at persuading others to go vegan. It explains with words and graphic photos the plight of animals exploited for food - confined,
transported, and slaughtered.

 

It includes solid citations, quotes from influential people, and shows food examples for the "how" to go vegan.

 

Douglass

Brandon, where do you stand with PETA?

 

Douglass

I ask this because, as some of you may or may not be aware, "Vegan" Outreach, in my opinion, is just a "Vegan" extension of PETA. There are very close, direct ties between PETA and VO, just FYI...

 

Lisa Viger

Does that effect the message of their leaflet?

 

Roger Yates

They are very close aren't they?

 

Douglass

Are you kidding?  Extremely!

 

Roger Yates

Like one member of one getting married to a member of the other - at KFC?

 

Douglass

Jack Norris, of VO, is married to Alex Bury, of the PETA Foundation, here in Oakland.  Exactly.

 

Tim Gier

I am as critical of VO as anyone, but I have looked at the Why Vegan pamphlet and I can see that it would be an effective tool to reach non-vegans.

 

Lisa Viger

Well, we could always make our own leaflet.

 

Brandon Becker

I support PETA's work that is consistent with animal rights and oppose PETA's work that is not consistent with animal rights.

 

Douglass

Yeah, that's ultimately what I'm planning on doing, Lisa.

 

Roger Yates

What do PeTA do that is consistent with animal rights?

 

Lisa Viger

iId be happy to help if anyone else wants to do a leaflet project

 

Douglass

Good question, Roger.

 

Carolyn Bailey

Douglass, the animal emancipation literature is good ~ http://animalemancipation.com/

 

Brandon Becker

Any "go vegan" message PETA puts out, much of their anti-vivisection activism, their Animal Liberation Project.

 

Susannah

I think Why Vegan is a pretty effective tool, regardless of the ideology of Vegan Outreach.

 

Brandon Becker

What is not consistent: advocating new forms of enslavement and slaughter, giving awards to corporate exploiters, etc.

 

Roger Yates

The only way we can regard something PeTA do as consistent with animal rights is by decontextualising it from what the org stands for and the philosopher it abides by - Singer.

 

Brandon Becker

I'm not making a wholesale statement on PETA, just discussing individual campaigns. I prefer grassroots activism and that is why I started my own abolitionist group.

 

Lisa Viger

I've been vegan for 4 years and have really just now started to pick apart the finer points of vegan philosophy that go beyond "i don't take what's not mine" Maybe the idea of veganism is enough for a nonvegan

 

Brandon Becker

Anyone who is complaining about any national group needs to step up and start their own groups or join a grassroots group you agree with. If you aren't doing activism yourself, don't blame others for doing it wrong.

 

Tim Gier

Good point Brandon!

 

Tim Gier

Lisa, you have a question for the group, if you are ready, please ask!

 

Lisa Viger

My question is kind of connected to Douglass’ … what are some of the more effective forms of activism? So far, I make recipes and show people how to make vegan food (I think it’s important to show people what they
CAN eat). I haven’t quite gotten the confidence yet to debate and write like Tim does, and haven’t found a lot of opportunity for leafleting like Douglass … so if I want to do more, what is there?

 

Tim Gier

You are vegan, and that's a great form of activism itself!!!

 

Susannah

How have you not found a lot of opportunity for leafletting? Can you explain a bit more? Thanks!

 

Brandon Becker

Reach the masses by handing out "Why Vegan?" pamphlets on colleges, at festivals, and other large gatherings: www.adoptacollege.org Vegan Outreach will provide them for free if you will distribute them.

 

Tim Gier

You can do other things too, like comment on people's blogs and Facebook pages, go to local potluck dinners with vegan meals, etc. I mean non-vegan potlucks, with your vegan meals to expose people to what vegan food is.

Susannah You could start up a vegan meetup if there isnt one in your town yet. i do one and its very effective.

 

Lisa Viger

Right Tim, that makes sense ...

 

Brandon Becker

Boston Vegan Association's "Respecting Animals..." pamphlet is free to qualifying advocates for tabling and other opportunities where you will be discussing veganism: www.veganpamphlet.com

 

BVA recently created a nutrition guide to go along with the pamphlet that they will also provide you with free of charge.

 

Lisa Viger

Thank you, Brandon. Would you consider leafletting to be the most effective type of activism, Brandon?

 

Roger Yates

Here's an interesting question - what are members' views on the issue of online -v- street campaigning?

 

Eduardo Terrer

Might have to differentiate between effective and efficient

 

Lisa Viger

Roger ... I think it depends on what's being done. I've seen either do well or fall flat. It has to be engaging either way.

 

Brandon Becker

Yeah, it's hard to say what is the most effective, but leafleting is very efficient.

 

Roger Yates

Agreed Lisa - I am aware that many seem to think that online campaigning is necessarily secondary and inferior and I cannot work out why.

 

Susannah

Viral videos are very efficient.

 

Kate

Igualdad Animal videos are very effective

 

Lisa Viger

Yes, Susannah! ... I'm an artist and I do video as well ... and it can be very effective

 

Brandon Becker

For any kind of activism, this pamphlet is useful (print yourself, though): "You Can Help Stop This" from LOVE: www.youcanhelpstopthis.com

 

Tim Gier

There is no way I could have met and learned from so many in person in such a short time as I have online. I also know that many people have had long and involved "conversations" with me by commenting on my
blog & FB, over the course of months.

 

Lisa Viger

Yes, a lot is available online ... I find it really helpful

 

Tim Gier

I wouldn't be able to do that by handing out literature on the street

 

Sadia V madie

Yes, i agree, I have been trying to go vegan for 5 years and finally I did it, through on line( about 6 months ago)

 

Lisa Viger

Wonderful Sadie!

 

Douglass

I just want to point out that online campaigning can *always* potentially be effective. I remember a story from an advocate, back at the AR 2005 conference in L.A., said he saw a Vegan tag in an email signature, 20 minutes later, after being a total carnivore, he went Vegan.

 

Sadia V madie

Thanks Lisa :-)

 

Roger Yates

Thanks for the link Brandon.  Such resource say to me that the days of the big animal corportations are limited - rightly so, since so much money now pouring into wages can go to the frontline.

 

Tim Gier

I agree with you Roger, and Brandon too, grassroots activism is where the future lies

 

Lisa Viger

Yeah, I really like the discussions on your blog Tim ...

 

Tim Gier

Thanks Lisa!

 

Eduardo Terrer

I'm not sure if leafleting is what I understand. A paper with text explaining something? If so, then perhaps it does not seem too efficient. It is often said that a small percentage (approximately 5% or less)
of those who read a pamphlet, buy. Applied to ethics how many? If for every message we try to spend some money .. Is it efficient? Think this movement is an advantage that a company does not have. Out in the media. A company can not (or find it too hard) but an NGO if you can. Doing an act with a few activists
and spending less money and get out in mass media, reaching millions, I find that efficient. Know the effectiveness, but is very efficient. With the pamphlets passed me differently. Know the effectiveness, and I think inefficient. Is the maximum range that we have printed pamphlets, we have to distribute and a few don’t read it. In the media feel the same, but it costs money, and millions. Although, of course, the leaflets  can give the message as they want it to.

 

Lisa Viger

That's kind of how I've looked at it Ed ... it seems like the equivalent of a mass mailing ... to hand out a lot of pamphlets in the hopes that a few may "buy"

 

Tim Gier

Eduardo, which kinds of acts?

 

Eduardo Terrer

The acts of Animal Equality, for example

 

Brandon Becker

Here's an essay from Jack Norris, from 1997, making the case for leafleting: "Why Leaflet?" http://www.veganoutreach.org/articles/whyleaf.html

 

Brandon Becker

Here's another one worth reading: "Why Vegan Outreach?": http://www.veganoutreach.org/advocacy/whyvo.html

 

Jose Valle

Hi!

 

Eduardo Terrer

I think are very efficient, but I don't know how effective they are

 

Kate

Hola Jose!

 

Eduardo Terrer

Hello Jose

 

Carolyn Bailey

Hi Jose!

 

Susannah

He means demos

 

Tim Gier

Yes, Eduardo, I agree, Igluadad Animal does excellent work! Open Rescues too

 

Eduardo Terrer

Comentaba que los actos de IA me parecen muy eficientes, aunque no haya acuerdo o forma de medir la efectividad real

 

Roger Yates

HI Jose - if we get time, I'd like Jose to talk about the latest animal rescue which was streammed live on the internet.

 

Tim Gier

I think leafletting, meet-up groups, direct actions and online interactions can all be useful

 

Jose Valle

Claro

 

Just yesterday night we did another open rescue of two lambs, it was transmitted in live through internet

 

Lisa Viger

Wow, that's awesome Jose

 

Lisa Viger

How many viewers did you have?

 

Jose Valle

Several hundred at the same time. it was annnounced just the same day through Facebook

 

Susannah

Was there any additional risk announcing the open rescue before you did it?

 

Jose Valle

Our first open rescue video was seen by +140.000 viewers

 

Jose Valle

No

 

Lisa Viger

Do you archive your video anywhere jose?

 

Jose Valle

Just the typical precautions in terms of efficiency, I would say that editing a video and sharing it is one of the best tools. in my opinion

 

Eduardo Terrer

i agree

 

Lisa Viger

if you have a mailing list, please add me to it Jose

 

Jose Valle

Specially if the footage is fresh and from your own country

 

Lisa Viger

Absolutely

 

Tim Gier

Jose, do you see what you do as a part of an education campaign?

 

Jose Valle

You can see some videos here Lisa: http://es-es.justin.tv/igualdadanimal/videos

of this last open rescue, the other ones are here: vimeo.com/igualdadanimal

I'll add you, thanks!

 

Brandon Becker

Videos are excellent tools. Seeing "Meet Your Meat" caused me to stop eating flesh and later go vegan. Never discount graphic images in your activism, they are effective.

 

Jose Valle

Yes I do Tim

 

Lisa Viger

It needs to be focused on veganism ... here in the US we saw the Conklin dairy video make a case for welfare more than rights .

..

Jose Valle

For me changing the society through education is fundamental activism

 

Tim Gier

it is the only thing that will ultimately work, isn't it? Education, I mean.

 

Jose Valle

I think it's at least a necessary step for other strategies to work

 

Lisa Viger

I read Will Tuttle's 'The World Peace Diet' and went vegan right away ... so yeah, it's education, definitely

 

Sadia V madie

Education yes for sure

 

Carolyn Bailey

Will Tuttle's book is an excellent book. He's a wonderful advocate!

 

Tim Gier

That's the point of what Brandon linked to about Vegan Outreach, they see leafletting as part of education, one-on-one, to reach people and change hearts and minds

 

Will

I think Will Tuttle is lovely!

 

Lisa Viger

But  I'd also read Diet For A New America and *didn't* go vegan ... so it has to be something that really engages

 

Tim Gier

I disagree with VO's quasi-welfarism, but their strategy of leafletting  makes sense

 

Lisa Viger

I love Will Tuttle's book ... I have a couple copies that are always lent out

 

Brooke Cameron:

Will Tuttle is awesome!

 

Jose Valle:

Sometimes certain actions can help your later educational work a lot a good example of this are investigations

 

Roger Yates:

LIsa - on the Diet for a New America point , there is an interesting literature on denial. Animal advocates need to understand that. This may be useful: http://roger.rbgi.net/avoiding_unpleasure_and_evading.html

 

Lisa Viger

Thanks Roger

 

Douglass:

I'm stepping away.  Thanks, everyone, for your feedback and all you do.  Ahimsa!

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Douglass. Ahimsa!

 

Tim Gier:

Thanks Douglass!

 

Jose Valle

I'm reading it Roger

 

This is supposed to be a happy occasion.  It’s Thanksgiving.  You’re supposed to be thankful’.  I said ‘I am thankful.  I’m thankful I’m not a turkey!’’

 

Bye Douglass!

 

Eduardo Terrer

Good night. I'm going too

 

Tim Gier

This has been a fascinating discussion so far, thanks to everyone who has contributed.  Please feel free to ask any questions, of each and of the group!

 

Kate

Muchas gracias Eduardo y Jose. :-D Muchas gracias a todos! Much thanks to everyone! :-)

 

Jose Valle

Thank you Kate. Are you leaving?? So early?

 

Roger Yates

I'm here Jose!

 

Kate

I'm not leaving. I can't leave. I'm transcribing!

 

Tim Gier

I'm not leaving!

 

Roger Yates

Keep talking Jose, and Kate gets NO sleep!!

 

Jose Valle

Ah, OK!

Kate

I don't need sleep, and I'd much rather chat with Jose than sleep, obviously! :-)

 

Susannah

i have something. In trying to find new ways to convince people to go vegan, I'm trying to look at my own defensive behaviour and find what arguments it would take for me to give up flying

 

I have found that I want to avoid the shocking facts. I think I know them already and am trying to hide them. But I think I would give up flying if a) there was an easy and practical alternative and b) lots of
other people started to do it and it seemed normal i.e. I wasn't making the
sacrifice on my own. So now I am thinking of adjusting what I say or write to
reflect this. What is everyone else defensive about and what would make you
change your habits? oh that wasn't very popular ;-)

 

Jose Valle

I think you already mentioned the main points

 

Tim Gier

Susannah, are you asking what things I think about myself that I would like to change but that I am defensive about and therefore reluctant to change?

 

Susannah

Yes, and what strategies would make you change them?

 

Tim Gier

That is a tough question. Once a person sees that they need to change, the hard part has been mostly accomplished! After knowing that one needs to change, the ways to change begin to be self-evident. However, I knew
that I had to lose weight and exercise. But I was unable to commit to a plan.
One day, I thought about who I wanted to be a year down the line, and I figured
out what I had to do every day for a year in order to get there. It was easy
then little tiny steps repeated over and over for a long enough time yield
incredible results Now, how in the world would we apply that to vegans?

 

Susannah

Do you think that could translate to advocating for veganism? Presenting an image of the vegan that someone could be one year down the line?

 

Tim Gier

I don't think so. I don't see veganism and animal rights as that kind of change. To me, I see it as a question of understanding and accepting some basic arguments and reasoning, which a person can do all at
once, if they have an open mind.

 

Marcela Palavecino

Hi, I think that here we have to differentiate between people that want to change (for example starting to be vegan) and people that think animals are food, etc In both cases I think that appear cognitive
dissonance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

 

“The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs,  and actions. Dissonance is also
reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential
and extensively studied theories in social psychology.¨

 

Sadia V madie

Interesting

 

Marcela Palavecino:

I think that is interesting to analyze  everyone else defensive about and what would make us change our habits, as Susannah said

thanks Sadia

 

Sadia V madie:

:-)

 

Marcela Palacevino:

some people change with rational arguments, other need a lot of empathy. And I tent to think that a lot of people need in addition of this two things, social approval

 

Sadia V madie

Social psychology and mannerism intrest me a huge great deal and i do wonder that often that our moral conducts or ethical codes are defined and justified by greater many or by our individual will.... so yes very
intresting.

 

Tim Gier

Marcela, the ideas about how we justify our behaviors are fascinating.  We do go out of our way to continue doing what we have always done.

 

Our notions about who other animals are, and what they are "for" are deep-seated ones that affect us in ways that we barely understand.

 

Marcela Palavecino

Maybe this article could be usefull. It is not an academic article, but it explains easily how people with a ¨normal¨sense of moral, commit with moral actions http://medina-psicologia.ugr.es/~cienciacognitiva/files/2009-3.pdf

 

Susannah:

Thank you. I'm going to bed now goodnight and thanks to AR zone.

 

Marcela Palavecino:

Thanks Susannah for translating

Good Night

 

Tim Gier:

Thank you all, again, for your participation tonight!

 

Kate:

Yes thanks everyone. This live open forum discussion was a great success! :-)

 

Tim Gier:

ARZone is open 24 hours/day every day of the week, please stay for as long as you like and come back often!

 

ARZone exists to promote rational discussion about our relations with other animals and about issues within the animal advocacy movement. Participate in the debate by starting a forum discussion or by leaving a comment to any
chat transcript or blog post.

 

Please check out the recently-launched ARZone Q&A site, Words to Inspire, which features the thoughts of our various guests: http://animalrightszone.blogspot.com/

 

Animal Rights Zone on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Rights_Zone_%28ARZone%29

 

 

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Comment by Brandon Becker on December 29, 2010 at 6:01

Forum topic created as a result of this discussion:

"Language: Animals, Other animals, Nonhuman animals"

http://arzone.ning.com/forum/topics/language-animals-other-animals

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