Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Transcript of ARZone Tom Regan Workshop Part 1

Transcript of ARZone Tom Regan Workshop

21 May 2011 at:

6pm US Eastern Time

11pm UK Time and

22 May 2011 at:

8am Australian Eastern Standard Time

 

Part 1

Part 2 May be Found Here

 

 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

ARZone is pleased to present the fifth in our series of Member Workshops.

 

ARZone aims to host Member Workshops as an opportunity to involve all members in a conversation about issues and opinions relevant to human/nonhuman relations, to involve all members in open dialogue, and to consider the ways we can all become more informed and better advocates for other animals.

 

Today’s workshop, the culmination of ARZone’s Tom Regan Week, will focus on the groundbreaking work of Professor Regan, author of the seminal work The Case for Animal Rights (1983), and more specifically on Professor Regan’s responses in his new ARZone Interview.

 

Professor Regan’s later work includes Defending Animal Rights and Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights and (with Carl Cohen) The Animal Rights Debate (2001).

 

Because of the depth and scope of Prof. Regan’s interview, we have selected only five of the 11 questions posed, and will focus on those today. At your convenience, please visit the full transcript to read the entire interview and share your comments on it.

 

Thank you for joining us today to let us hear your thoughts. For this workshop, we are going to remind you of the questions asked to Tom Regan, and summarise his answer.

 The first question we would like to focus on is:

 

In Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights, you suggested that some Animal Rights Advocates are DaVincians, many are Damascans, and most are Muddlers.

 

Could you explain what you mean by those fascinating terms and would you tell us what journey you took to transform from a one-time butcher into an ARA “Muddler”?

 

To which Professor Regan responded:

 

I’ve met three different types of Animal Rights Advocates—people who are working for true animal liberation. Some are born that way. They don’t need to be convinced; they’re not asking for some sort of proof; it’s just the way they are.

 

That was true of Leonardo, which is why I call these ARAs DiVincians. Others (who I call Damascans) have a life-altering experience, comparable to what happened to Saul on the road to Damascus.

 

They see something, or read something, or hear something and, in the blink of an eye, they are transformed into an ARA. Lastly, there are those I call Muddlers. These are people who grow into an expansive animal consciousness a step at a time.

 

They aren’t born that way. They don’t have a single life-transforming experience. They’re looking for some sort of “proof” to convince them. In other words, they just “muddle along.”

 

Would anyone like to begin by defining which category they believe they fall into?

 

Brooke Cameron:

I think I regard myself as a muddler

 

Will:

I’ve always said i am a muddler

 

Sky:

Muddler I guess.

 

Ben Hornby:

I'm not sure what I'd call myself, but muddler sounds pretty safe to me

 

Mangus O’Shales:

Muddler

 

Roger Yates:

Is genius an option?

 

Tim Gier:

I am a muddler, for sure

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Only for you, Rog!

 

Tim Gier:

Not for you Roger

 

Tucker:

As a vegetarian I was a muddler but changing to a vegan was more of a Damascus moment.

 

Maynard S. Clark: 

By Regan's idea, I'm between a muddler and a Damascan, struggling to be a Davincian.

 

My changing to a vegetarian was more of a Damascus moment. Then changing to a vegan was more of a Davinci process. But I continue (in the spirit of objectivity) trying to set it all out in the most objective manner possible for the consideration of the yet unconvinced. That's where I see Tom Regan.

 

Roger Yates

There is the issue about whether Damascans have an initial transformative event - but ~then~ they muddle?

 

Tucker:

Not for me, I was the other way round

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I think there are MOMENTS, and I've never quite been transformed by the Pauline philosophy. Yet, even at Harvard Divinity School, where I stated that my INTEREST in studying there was in the broader analysis of what passes as 'conversion' (both into  AND out of religion), I  think that my becoming VEGETARIAN was more momentary (CHOOSING it for reasons that seemed bigger than my experience and choices), then my becoming vegan seemed more of a process, though the 'LIGHT' seemed to go in that direction. But I do NOT wish  to sound cataleptic or psychological abnormal. We all have mentation processes What does the PUBLIC think of such things is more important than how we think about ourselves autobiographically.

 

Tim Gier:

I think you've hit on an important point Maynard, it is what the public thinks that matters

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Yes, but individuals' authenticity is, also. I'm just wary of wearing one's heart on a shirtsleeve.

 

Roger  Yates:

The part of this answer that interested me was the bit about if Tom Regan can be an ARA then anyone can. Regan used to be a butcher and bought a fur hat, as he says. Now, over a number of years animal advocates have said to me that there is X% of people “who will never go vegan” or “who will never take nonhuman animals seriously as an ethical matter.” The size of this % is unknown but the point is: wouldn’t Tom Regan once have been regarded to be in this number? IOWs, that Tom Regan, butcher and fur buyer, becomes an animal advocate should give us great heart and a commitment never to give up on anyone, right?

 

Barbara DeGrande:

And not just an advocate, but an important figure in the movement!

 

Roger Yates: 

yes

 

Maynard S. Clark:

There ARE conversion stories, and many of us are acquainted with Howard Lyman's biography.

 

Tucker:

I think that's just about efficiency

 

Sky:

What do you mean Tucker?

 

Tucker:

It's more efficient to focus on people who are already closer to AR mindsets

 

Brooke Cameron:

There are those who suggest we should, and it is easier to, focus on those further away from the AR mindset, as they are more open to change.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

If we ARE an emerging consciousness ('religion'), we seem to be one without 'scripture' as normative. 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I think that's a great point, Roger. I agree with you. It's easy to become disheartened and give up on some people, but if we can change, why can't everyone else?

 

Tim Gier:

How could we ever know which straw would break the imaginary camel's back when it comes to the messaging they receive from us about AR and veganism?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

--in process= very much persons in process  Dr. George Eastman (longtime vegan) of Cambridge, MA says that key here is respecting the personhood of the unconvinced, and personally undergoing an inside out transformation of one's whole self.  That is seen by others  and felt in the gut - the respect for THEIR person

 

Barbara DeGrande:

I agree with you, MaynardI do not think we can predict who might become vegan, so we must stay open. Sometimes people surprise you.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

"The goodness of God leads men to repentance." Paul in epistle to the Romans. Dismantling each STRUCTURAL brick of injustice takes a great deal of work, and I often wonder whether or not vegan young people get the mentoring that would help them think out whether specific careers  paths make sense to them BOTH existentially and strategically (for animals).  For instance, a degree in Chem.E. or a law degree (can the law graduate survive and still do effective work for animals?)?  Gary Francione suggested that law degeres end up fighting small cases and small battles, though for pro-animal persons.

 

Tucker:

pardon?


Tim Gier:

Be an authentic witnesss to the world, and judge not lest ye be judged

 

Tucker:

Have we gone all religious??


Tim Gier:

As long as we're using iconic religious language, in the spirit of (dooms)day

 

Will:

Looks like it tucker:-(


Ben Hornby:

I think the point is that anyone is capable of change, we really shouldn't give up on anyone, if possible.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I don't know who or Who is behind any of the inner transformations for the good, but I would want to be historically open - must be training in Karl Jaspers.  Sartrians can be just as open to inner transformation in individuals as theists.

 

Tim Gier:

What I think is interesting is that I had a revelatory moment in 1979 which caused me to stop eating other animals, but it didn't "take". The road to Damscus was detoured.


Maynard S. Clark:

We observe that profound personal transformation DOES occur, but does that free animals? Not every personal change (even laudable personal changes) will benefit animals in the present OR in the long-run, but good is good. I don't know if good is indivisible.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

At this time, I'd like to move onto the next of our questions, which is regarding Tom Regan's famous speech of 1989, and his opinion on different aspects of violence.

 

In your speech in support of the Bill of Rights for other animals at the Royal Institute of Great Britain in 1989, which I regard as one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard, you characterise the perception many in the general public have as one of animal advocates standing against justice and for violence. As you went on to articulate in this same speech, the opposite is true:The philosophy of animal rights does, in fact, stand for peace and against violence. What is your opinion in regard to those who believe it may be possible to end the violence inflicted on other animals by employing violence against humans or their property? 

 

To which Professor Regan responded: 

 

Some ARAs think violence is restricted to causing physical harm to a sentient being, human or otherwise. I personally disagree with ARAs who think this way, and I don’t think I am alone. Ask any English speaking member of the general public whether fire-bombing an empty synagogue involves violence.

Ask any lawyer whether arson is a violent crime (whether or not anyone is hurt). Ask either of these questions to the people I have described and the answer will be, “Am I missing something? Of course these acts are violent.”

The plain fact is, our language is not tortured or stretched when we speak of the “violent destruction of property.” We do not need to hurt someone in order to do violence to some thing.

Despite the influence Gandhi had on my moral and philosophical development, I am not a pacifist in the sense in which he understands this idea, at least as I understand his position.

He thinks the use of violence is wrong in all circumstances—that it is always wrong. For my part, I believe violence sometimes can be justified.

(1) Violence should be used to defend the innocent only after nonvi... 

Somewhere along the way, between then and now, ALF actions (in my opinion) took a violent turn. When buildings are torched today the story the media tells is about “domestic terrorists,” not the dungeons of animal abuse. The vital educational purpose has been lost—in the ashes, so to speak.

 

Roger Yates:

I guess the contentious issue is whether damage to property is violence. But there are other "movement" issues in this Q&A too.

 

Tucker:

I think as he has hinted, it's the media's potrayal of ALF actions that is detrimental to AR rather than the action itself - depending on what the action is of course. 

 

Tim Gier:

Regan admits that sometimes violence might be justifiable, as I read him.

 

Roger Yates:

Who thinks damaging property is a form of violence?

 

Tucker:

I would say it's a type of violence

 

Will:

Property cant feel

 

Tim Gier:

I think it's a matter of context  and intention on the part of the actors

 

Tucker:

But I also think in some cases it can be justified

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I agreee with Tom on this, property damage is certainly, in my opinion, a form of violence.

 

red dog:

The examples Regan uses involve arson. That's potentially violent because it could endanger lives, not because it destroys property.

 

Roger Yates:

Like breaking a lock to do an open rescue, Carolyn?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Most of us think that, in a rule of law, even a rule of law with rights FOR nonhumans, some policing would be necessary, and that they would be equipped with force - lethal force?

 

red dog:

Tim also makes a very good point above ... re context and intentions.

 

Tucker:

For example if someone blew up a newly built concentration camp in the 1940s we would probably all now applaud that 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I think he says that arson is violent for other reasons, not only the potential of harming others. 

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Prior to a regime with that kind of law, what justification for lethal force could possibly be defended? 

 

Susannah:

Depends where there is any risk at all that anyone could be harmed during the  property destruction and whether it is done in a threatening manner. Burning someones car parked outside their house would be a form of violence; breaking a cage lock, no.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

If someone were to burn down my house, I would consider myself a victim of a violent crime.  I agree with that, Susannah

 

red dog:

I appreciate Regan's neutral tone and the fact that he recognizes that what he considers "violent" activists still have the animals' interests at heart.

 

Dominique:

Yes Carolyn, but you have not murdered innocent beings 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I'm not sure what you mean, Dominique, sorry


Tucker:

I think the point is not whether such and such an act is violent or not, but whether that act can be justified or not

 

Tim Gier:

I agree Tucker:

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Regan also is concerned with the message being lost. What about that aspect of violent actions?

 

Tim Gier:

I don't know that we can control the message in any case

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Good point, Barb

 

Roger Yates:

Yes, Barbara brings up that "movement" issue I mentioned.

 

red dog:

Although I think it's impossible to be certain of a person's motives ... and I do wonder if some of these actions may have been staged by anti-AR interest groups.

 

Roger Yates:

For example, do people who take direct action think of themselves as part of the animal movement ?

 

Tim Gier:

I think sending the message that some people are willing to commit acts of violence and serve time in jail might have some value too.

 

Roger Yates:

What value, Tim?

 

Tim Gier:

That there is a cause worth taking extreme action for

 

Will:

it says we are determined

 

Barbara DeGrande:

If so it has backfired, ere: AETA.

 

red dog:

Good point, Tim.

 

Susannah:

People are willing to commit acts of violence and serve time for some invisible man in the sky.

 

Dominique:

Burning a house of a good and innocent person that means no harm to anyone, no one needs to stop you from your actions and if those people deserve to be harmed if that is the only way to stop them from murdering animals? 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I think that burning a building does cause harm to others though.


Dominique, who has the right to determine which people deserve to be harmed?

 

red dog:

For me the issue is not whether to take "violent" or destructive actions but how to write about the actions of others.

 

Susannah:

there are many people taking extreme action who are totally crazy, i don't think it helps people think the AR cause must have value

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Agree, Susannah

 

red dog:

If a story comes out in the news about an ALF action, do I say "those people are idiots, that's going too far"?

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Wouldn't it depend on the action, red dog?

 

red dog:

Or do I use it as an opportunity to explain why the activists might have felt the need to break the law?

 

Yes, it would always depend on the action but as a member of the public who wasn't involved in the action I would explain that I don't know all the facts and can only guess, and that I have to reserve judgment because I don't know for sure who took the action and why.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Red dog, I don't disapprove of ALF actions, I only disapprove of violence

 

Roger Yates:

Hi red dog - I tried to do that when I was an ALF spokesperson in the 1980s. The problem is that it is impossible to control what the media print or say.

 

red dog:

Roger, isn't the word "spokesperson" misleading?

 

Roger Yates: 

Hi red dog - is it?

 

red dog:

At least that's the case with the North American ALF Press Office. The media quote the press office and say "the ALF said ..."

It's inaccurate, but it's hard to blame the media for getting it wrong.

 

Roger, what do you mean you can't control what the media write? That you were quoted out of context?

 

Tucker:

I blame the media for most things:-D

 

Roger Yates:

Red dog - just that, it is not possible to dictate the content of media copy.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Police action in a regime that included legal rights for nonhumans might be a type of force.

 

Dominique:

I have been seen animals being tortured since I was 9 years old, I am now 53, when does it stop, how many loving innocent sould were destroyed by these diseased people?

 

How many Carolyn  how many???

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Dominique, who are you referring to?

 

Dominique:

Dead and tortured animal souls... billions?

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I don't know who you are referring to as "diseased people"

 

Dominique:

The people with no heart and soul, that callously destroy

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Dominique, I used to eat animals, and wear animals and I've been to marine parks as well. I think most of us did at one time. I'm just not sure who you refer to as these abusers.

 

Dominique:

No, those are people you can change, I am talking about the "Hitler" types, they are bad to the bone and are diseased like a cancer. Example: If you ended up on a street with someone who was going to rape and kill you, will you try and talk him out of it by peaceful means, yes, then what, if that doesnt work?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Some women do that; usually it won't work.

 

Dominique:

Yes, I know, you are forced to protect yourself.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Yes, Dominique, I would like to think I could do that, but if it comes down to me being raped or killed or me hurting or killing another, I'll defend myself if I have to, of course

 

Dominique:

Then I am defending the animals if neccessary, their lives are on the line.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Dominique, I would always advocate for a non-violent approach wherever possible

 

Dominique:

As would I Carolyn, but am so tired of seeing these poor babies day after day dying horrible deaths. Violence should not be used if we can get a strong voice now, not in another10 years and another 10 billion animals

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I think we're all sick of seeing sadness and suffering in the world, but I disagree that inflicting violence on others is a suitable way to advocate for violence on others to stop.

 

Barbara DeGrande:

I agree Dominique, it is hard to bear witness once you are aware what is going on with animals. But how to best be effective?

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I think that all people are capable of change, Dominique.

 

Tim Gier:

I agree Carolyn, and if Tom Regan could go from being a butcher to writing The Case for Animal Rights, there is hope for everyone

 

Dominique:

Noooo, was Hitler?

 

Susannah:

www.godhatesfags.com , for example

 

Tim Gier:

Susannah, just because some people who take extreme action do so for the wrong reasons doesn't mean that all extreme action is necessarily always wrong.

 

Tucker:

The media writes a load of rubbish about ARAs - that's the problem.

 

Tim Gier:

I wouldn't dehumanize other people, just because they do not yet see the world as I do, after all, I was once a person who ate other animals

 

Sadia Rajput:

Agree Tim!

 

Maynard S. Clark:

In a period without legal rights for some classes of persons, what are those OTHER than the oppressed classes to do?  We often rationalize or excuse violence BY the oppressed against their captors,but we KNOW that caged lab animals hate their captors


I have heard story after story about that growing animosity among lab animals, something we outsiders would not observe directly, but their captors do.

 

In this case, advocating FOR them is our most effective role, and we are on the same TYPE of side as those who advocate for marginalized humans.

 

Whether or not violence against persons to liberate animals is ever defensible, we CAN loudly proclaim that violence against persons for abritrary whim and caprice never is, and we don't need to eat or wear them.

 

Tucker:

I think so too

red dog It seems you had no real connection with the people whose actions you were defending ...?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

How BROAD is this question?  Is it only for the present historical moment?  I would read it as a historically broader question; many seem to think it isn't that.

What more desirable historical SYNTHESIS could emerge that (just powers derive their consent from the governed) would be broadly and deeply favored by the governed - that protected animals' basic rights?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

There's social science data to suggest that not everyone is as amenable to change as are others, but I'm not sure that we tend to read that data correctly. .

 

Dominique:

He (Hitler) was a vegan, btw

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I don't know if Hitler was capable of change or not, but I think it was certainly worth trying to change him.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I think that the existential analysis is that we always have potentials for inner transformation.

 

red dog:

No, of course it isn't and I don't think it should be.

 

But if I have a chance to write something, or if direct action comes up in a conversation with ordinary people who may not necessarily support AR, I might use the case as an opportunity to show that some people feel very strongly about these issues. Letters to the editor are another option, although the print medium seems to be disappearing … 

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Ask Rynn Berry about Hitler.  I think he saw Hitler as a complex personality.  though a personality given to inexcusable self-indulgence and bombast.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Dominique, Hitler wasn't a vegan

 

Sky:

Who was a vegan?

 

Tim Gier:

Hitler was a white male too, so what?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Hitler was not even vegetarian. Again, Google for that topic, or read Rynn Berry's excellent booklet/monograph on the topic. Hitler wasn't a vegetarian either. Goebbels may have perpetrated the misconception that Der Fuehrer was vegetarian, and Hitler's doctor DID advise something like that, but Hitler ate sausages and worse. 

 

Dominique:

No excuse ever at all for what Hitler did, or the very violent animal abusers 


Tim Gier:

Who is a very violent animal abuser? The person who slaughters the cow, or the person who pays her to so it?

 

Dominique:

The person who sodimizes and beats the pig or the cow.

 

Oh, well makes sense that he really was not vegan, I have not read up on him lately.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Why do you think that person does those things, Dominique?

 

Lisa Viger:

btw, Hitler was just one person. What happened in WWII involved hundreds of MILLIONS of people ... it was those hundreds of millions who needed to be changed.


Maynard S. Clark:

Gary Francione, in a public appearance in Boston, urged us to put our movement in the context of violence reduction.  I think Tom Regan is there  Work for peace, but there is no peace until all persons benefit.

 

Roger Yates

I agree Maynard- but some suggest that it is possible to go to war for peace.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

We need to keep a focus on what is right without constantly falling into the exploration of what others do wrong.  Keith Akers taught that our movement is different because we CAN show what is right, not merely what is wrong.

 

Roger Yates:

I guess that means being violent in the name of nonviolence.  This issue raised its head early in the history of the ALF.

 

Explain why there has always been a "policy" against harming human or nonhuman animals.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

We all ponder why the miscreants can be SO horrendously violent and willfully evil and wanton.

 

red dog:  

I wouldn't waste time trying to change Hitler ... there are so many other people to focus on.

 

Dominique:

I don't care Carolyn, I care for the "innocent" animal that is suffering

 

Carolyn Bailey:

So do I, Dominique, but I also care for all animals, humans included, and would be willing to help any of those animals I could.

 

Dominique:

Humans have a choice, animals don't!

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Not always, Dominique

 

Dominique:

I will protect a child from a abuser, why not an animal? 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I don't disapprove of you protecting a child or another animal

 

Dominique:

I would kill to protect my children from harm, that is why I am on this earth, human or non human


Maynard S. Clark:

How are nonhumans best (and most permanently) liberated  (and from WHAT?)?

 

Lisa Viger:

Warring for peace seems to me a bit like planting pumpkins and expecting to harvest tomatoes.

 

Tim Gier:

I don't mind putting the movement in the context of non-violence, but I think to suppose that this movement could always be without violence is ignorant of reality.

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Good point Lisa.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

The 'rule of rescue' (in human rights) is (a belief) that we (should) care for those who need it most (at this time).  Not everyone agrees that leads to the greatest good.

 

Tucker:

I agree Tim

 

Roger Yates:

Tim - you mean the history of social movements and social change?

 

Lisa Viger:

And direct action doesn't necessarily have to be violent.  Hi Barb!

 

Tim Gier:

I do, and this history of life on earth.

 

Will:

Nonviolent DA can be educational. Can violent DA be educational?

 

Tucker:

All successful movements have had elements of violence, we need to define what we mean by (non) violent DA

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Could we say that MOST folks on this list are conflicted about (non)violent direct action?


Jose Valle:

Hi!

 

Susannah:

Violence is out of the question now, because the public are against it, and we need to change their minds; but it may be necessary many years from now when we are more of a majority

 

Tim Gier:

Hi Jose!

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Hey jose!

 

Sky:

It is hard to educate while being violent I'd say.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Hey, Jose.  Hi, Jose

 

Lisa Viger:

Hola Jose!

 

Red dog:

In response to Maynard S. Clark:, it seems so ...

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Public demonstrations that OFTEN fail to educate might include nonviolent - but 'in your face' displays (such as those done by PETA).

 

Roger Yates:

I am very sympathetic to Susannah's position on this.

 

Red dog:

I think we all want to see peaceful change, but we're not the victims.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I'm not sure we need to explore marginal cases here; violence reduction can be accomplished very broadly, and human food is the biggest area where animals are harmed.

 

Tim Gier:

We cannot force anyone in the movement to be nonviolent, nor can we deny "membership" in the movement to those who choose to act violently out of frustration

 

Maynard S. Clark:

There's a solid and growing evidence base pointing to the desirability of plant-based diets.

I'm not sure what 'membership' (in a movement) means, but I think it implies a direction of concern (and action).

 

Roger Yates:

There are separate issues here. What is violence. Can it be justified and is it wise to use it at this (or any) time.

 

Tim Gier:

All I am saying is that violence is going to happen, and it is going to happen in the name of, and for the cause of, other animals, whether we like it or not.

 

Red dog:

Tim, that's very true ... but the fact that you're allowing this discussion on your site shows that you're serious about challenging speciesism.

 

Tim Gier:

Thanks reddog, but it's Carolyn's site, I just get to cause trouble here!!

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Actually, it's everyone's site, Tim

 

Maynard S. Clark:

What dismantles core folk beliefs in speciesism?  Is it the harm that some animals (rodents, for instance, and predators, also) cause humans?  Or is it merely culturally-constructed habits.  Isn't the former the REASON we don't dismantle the latter?

 

I'm glad we agree to free public e_xpression of ideas... conscientiously believed and deeply invested ideas.

 

Barbara DeGrande:

Maynard S. Clark:, I think it is exploitation and exists for reasons other forms of exploitation exist.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Many (of our) theorists (Carol Adams, et al.) HAVE suggested a 'unity' of oppression.

 

Roger Yates:

What do people think of the idea that people who want to be violent in the name of animal protection, that they do not publicise it and thus it does not tarnish "the movement" as much?

 

Red dog:

Roger, do you have any examples?

 

Tim Gier:

I think we cannot know which message resonates with which people, and to assume that violent action will always be viewed as counter-productive seems based on something other than fact.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Again, the consequentialist would work for broad reduction in violence overall... even if we believe in rights and duties (because not everyone is a rational actor, even if economists treat us as such).

 

red dog:

Like killing a vivisector and making it look like an accident?

 

Tucker:

Roger, the media would probably still report it and attribute it to ARAs regardless

 

Susannah:

How could it not be publicised? For example, a slaughterhouse burns down, but no-one knows the culprit?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I'd vote for sustainable - SUSTAINABLE - reduction in violence overall, with an evident hand up and commitment to general well-being.

 

Roger Yates:

I am just thinking about the general image of the movement. I think we can all think of forms of direct action that are hard to publicly defend.

 

Tucker:

Yes but have they actually taken place

 

Red dog:

It could be insurance fraud or faulty wiring ... no message about slaughterhouses would be sent

 

Tucker:

Most DA I've heard of concerns being a founder of an anti-vivisection campaign

 

Roger Yates:

I agree Tucker:- but the ability to deny is important - and then the media have to be careful about how they phrase things.

 

Maynard S. Clarke:

A hand up to a less violent lifestyle - on par with "How to become a vegetarian" from an AR group -http://www.vegetariantimes.com/2007/pdf/vegetarian_starter_kit.pdf

Vegetarian Starter Kit

 Then walking everyhone through each of the steps, going back again and again - patiently and methodically - having that done on TV (perhaps Oprah could come back as a vegan!)

 

There's Dr. Oz, who advocates every weekday for a fully plant-based diet, on medical grounds

When we stop eating animals 3 times a day - or even 2 or 1 time a day, it's less easy to exploit animals in other ways.

When one's MIND is given to nonviolence (and the careful love of others), our intelligence is applied in that direction.

 

Tucker:

@ Roger - but the actions would still be attributed to ARAs  - maybe not the "official" ones but someunknown fringe group so the public image would be the same

 

red dog:

Roger, if you mean rescuing a few animals secretly and not publicizing it, I don't see how that's violent. If you mean real violence, it's hard to see how it could be effective if no one knew why it was carried out.


Sadia Rajput:

Agree Mr. Clark

 

Roger Yates:

Red dog - no, I'm not talking about animal rescue - THAT needs to be publicised as widely as possible IMV.

 

Dominique:

We should try a huge billboard campaign? Other ideas?

 

Tim Gier:

And if we have to break open cages, which is property damge, which is violence, that would be okay, right??

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Is breaking locks on cages violence?

 

red dog:

Well, as I said ... a fire could be insurance fraud. A suspicious death could be an accident, suicide, murder by thieves or by someone with a personal grudge …

 

Roger Yates:

Yes, that's groovy Tim!

 

Tim Gier:

We are back to drawing lines

 

Dominique:

No, breaking locks is not violent

 

Jordan Wyatt: 

it is if you're the lock! ;-

 

Maynard S. Clark:

There's the outcome - cosequentialists are always concerned about the long-term outcomes or consequences. When we think international diplomacy, we need to think ALL possibilities, not just immediate ones. Same with 'liberation' 

 

Roger Yates:

And to quote Tom Regan, Tim, lines should be drawn in pencil.

 

Tucker:

The media will always misrepresent the truth and present a picture they want the public to see. Breaking locks on cages would be portrayed as violence by the media  and they'd probably make up a load of other stuff about the activists too

 

Maynard S. Clark:

If the oppression that locked those animals away were to stop, why would they lock them in there in the first place?

The 'animal model' for research could be supplanted with something else - if there WERE something else. 

 

red dog:

I'm not sure I agree that the media will ALWAYS do anything …

 

Maynard S. Clark:

if there WERE something else.  for that particularly 'knowledge goal'

 

red dog:

New people are getting into the media, old people are retiring …

 

Jose Valle:

Tucker, in my opinion you are making a general statement as it were truth 'always'  and in my experience, I know of several instances that prove you are wrong on this

 

Tucker:

Fair enough, but I can think of MANY examples

 

red dog:

There must be some way of reaching the media more effectively to get more intelligent coverage of the issues. To some extent, that's already happening …  But it's happening slowly.


Dominique:

Billboards worked for Jason Miller...

 

Maynard S. Clark:

What 'zen' of engagement may be most aptly advised of those who care most about animals?  I like billboards because they STATE clearly (words cost money in large public spaces)

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Tom Regan states: Violence should be used to defend the innocent only after nonviolent alternatives have been exhausted, as the circumstances permit, and the amount of violence used should be “proportionate” to the threat of the harm faced by those who are innocent. 

 

Tucker:

I'm thinking of the medias response to the SHAC prisoners.  I know a lot of what was said was rubbish as I know one of them and what they said about her simply were lies

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I agree with Tom's statement above 

 

Maynard S. Clark: 

Regan's statements are clearly in line with current bioethics; he's a professional philosopher who is highly esteemed by many, even those who have argued other positions.

 

Tucker:

I also agree with Regan

 

Maynard S. Clark:

His rational standards (IMHO) are impeccable

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I agree, Maynard

 

Tim Gier:

I agree with it too, but then we have to define "as circumstances permit" and "proportionate to the threat?

 

red dog: 

Did someone follow up and ask for a correction? Did they write a letter to the editor? Did they talk with the reporter directly?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

_The Case for Animal Rights_ can be tough reading for a newbie.

 

Tucker:

I'm not sure Red dog

 

Jose Valle:

Tim, I guess the same standards applied with humans should apply with nh too

 

Will:

That’s true Maynard


Jose Valle:

In reference to the "proportionate to the threat"

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Professor Regan also states: Some ARAs think violence is restricted to causing physical harm to a sentient being, human or otherwise. I personally disagree with ARAs who think this way, and I don’t think I am alone

 

Tim Gier:

Yes, I agree jose

 

red dog:

Do we (humans) even have the right to say what's proportionate when we're not the ones being slaughtered and vivisected?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Yes - that's what many of us are advocating, and though it appears to be speciesist, the closer they are to use (NHPs), the more telling the case (and readily acknowledged) for their excuse from oppression.


Tim Gier:

Ahhh, reddog, now you've raised the salient point

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Consider the HSR case for 'informed consent' (nonhumans CANNOT give 'informed consent' for understandable reasons)

 

Dominique:

Exactly red dog

 

Tucker:

It also wasn't quite as simple as writing a letter as the story was in most of the papers and national TV news.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

We DO use humans for research, but not for food or clothing.  That research, when justified, has a standard of proportionate pain and suffering potential in the research, and the human subjects consent rationally to participate, nonetheless, for consideration

 

red dog:

Tucker: maybe sending out press releases and LTEs could have raised some awareness and helped people understand the situation better. 

 

Maynard S. Clark: 

Nonhumans may not get that; they (arguably) cannot understand a reason to undergo OUR procedures for what WE define as 'benefit' 

 

Roger Yates:

I think we raise the issue about proportionality because we are in a social movement trying to bring about social change in a speciesist society.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Therefore, applying to them the same standards we apply to our fellow humans 'would not work' if we want animals in the research.

 

Tim Gier:

We don't USE humans for research. Humans allow themselves to be research subjects.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

But that's the truth; why not excuse them or at least search vigorously for nonanimal models.

 

Tim Gier:

I agree Roger

 

Maynard S. Clark:

That researchers do NOT search vigorously for nonanimal models seems to be to their discredit, even when the CLAIM that we NEED animal models today because nothing else is available.

 

Sky:

This is a tough question with good points on both sides I think.


Maynard S. Clark:

Read my (palliative) "The 30% solution"

 

red dog:

Right, me too ... but we have to remember it's the victimizers having this discussion and not the victims, unlike in many other social movements.

 

Dominique:

Animals are not needed in research, we need to utilize willing humans if needed at all

 

Tucker:

Red dog - it's very difficult. I'm in England and the press etc are highly unlikely to publish any information defending well known Animal Rights activists.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I think that a growing proportion of those involved in animal research now want to 'use lower species' and free the primates and larger animals who are, in the Usa, REGULATED by the USDA (including primates, pigs, dogs, etc.)

 

Dominique:

Wow, really Tucker?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

That's not abolition, but it's a telling observation about social change  "They're so much like us. They even fall in love with each other. We can see it." is what I heard just yesterday afternoon

 

red dog:

Hi Tucker, I agree that it's difficult. I just don't think change is ever impossible. There has to be a way, maybe identify reporters who are sympathetic or who are known for fairness?

 

Tucker:

I wish I knew some

 

Maynard S. Clark:

David Hume (British philosopher) taught that empathy is the basis of ethics; that may be where we want to be kinder - when that inner sensitivity becomes a more mature transformation of life and outlook.

 

Jose Valle:

Regarding Regan's sentence on violence, I would like to comment that I think he misses what's more important here, the efficiency criteria. If a violent method is more efficient at saving innocents than a nonviolent method, why should we choose the latter?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

What evidence IS there that any violent method is more efficient at saving innocents than a nonviolent method? 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

How do you define the violent method, Jose?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Well, we do look at wars.  We look at the history of civil rights struggles and debate the nonviolent sit-ins vs. Stokely Carmichael, etc.

 

red dog:

Jose: I guess that was the reasoning of the U.S. government when they sent hired killers in to shoot bin Laden.

 

Susannah:

Depends what you mean by efficient. There are so many factors to consider. Public opinion being one of the main ones. However if violence swayed public opinion towards the side of the AR activists, and turned people vegan,  as well as saving individual lives then violence would be efficient.

 

Jose Valle:

That's right Susannah, it's true that in most scenarios violence will drive public opinion against us, but it could not be the case in some other scenarios   If by using a violent method we could save more animals, why should we choose a nonviolent method instead? 


Maynard S. Clark:

I'm of the 'rational suasion' persuasion.

I was very angry yesterday - at FedEx.  But what good would an expression of MY anger do in getting them to pick up my package in a timely manner? Sometimes I think that anger expresses a personality that seeks justification for that emotion. 

 

Tucker:

Can I ask people to give examples of what they mean by "violent" as we could end up talking at cross-purposes  


Jose Valle:

In that situation it may not be a good idea to use violence, for sure, but in some other situations it could be the best method to save other animals

 

Brooke Cameron:

Jose, why would you suggest that violence can be justified on one, to save another?

 

Jose Valle:

Brooke, why do you think that it can not be justified? If by using violence -a punch in the face- of a rapist, I can avoid that he rapes a girl, is punching him in the face not justified?

 

Brooke Cameron:

I have no idea what level of violence you're talking about, Jose. I believe we should avoid violence as much as possible

 

Jose Valle:

It is, and it's commonly accepted when it's used by police to avoid greater harms

 

Brooke Cameron:

Yes, that would be acceptable, of course

 

Jose Valle:

I think we should avoid it if it's not the best method to save animals in a specific situation


Susannah:

We have to think though, are the people (the oppressors) we are directing violence towards maybe not victims too? It's hard to think of my granny as an oppressor. I think she's also the victim of a speciesist society. We may be unwittingly committing violence against other beings who may also be "victims"

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Wikipedia: Violence is the use of physical force to cause injury, damage or death. Worldwide, violence is used as a tool of manipulation and also is an area of concern for law and culture which take attempts to suppress and stop it.   The word violence covers a broad spectrum. It can vary from between a physical altercation between two beings to war and genocide where millions may die as a result. That's Wikipedia and may be a starting point for analysis, if what our vegetarian and vegan students are observed doing in college is any indication.

 

red dog:

Because "violence" is seen to cover such a broad range of actions, I think we should be careful of talking about it in general.

 

Tucker:

So would opening a cage by breaking the lock to save an animal from death constitute violence?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I agree with Gary Francione (did I say that?) in arguing that our movement should FRAME itself in terms of overall reduction in violence.  What what is 'overall reduction in violence'?

 

Did Carolyn ask for 'definition' or a list of illustrations? 

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I asked for a definition of the violence Jose was referring to in his example

 

red dog:

That is the problem I have with these discussions …

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I think our population should work toward an overall reduction of violence, not just our movement

 

red dog:

Direct action is discussed in general and labelled "violence" with no qualification. I don't mean this discussion on ARZone, but online and offline discussions in general …  Maynard S. Clark:, I think that's what's at issue.

 

Tucker:

Exactly Red dog

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Is there not NONVIOLENT Direct Action?


Jose Valle:

I don't think what is regarded as violent really matters, I think what it matters is how efficient it may be some regard breaking a lock as violence, I don't.

 

Tucker:

Yes and also whether it's morally justifiable

 

Maynard S. Clark:

For instance, if some person were to hang a banner over a freeway with lots of urban traffic that stalls to a crawl during rush hour, that would be direct action and nonviolent

 

Maynard S. Clark:

That's direct action to human minds; others define 'direct action' as opening the cases (of oppression).  

 

red dog: 

Maynard, the activists could be arrested and labelled "violent" even in that case.

 

Jose Valle:

Some regard any action that causes fear as violence, but this is a slippery-slope, all kind of things could cause fear to farmers, entering in their farms to film may scare them, and I don't think that is violence, moreover, I think it's justified   

 

Carolyn Bailey:

Nor do I, Jose. I was asking what you were referring to as "violence" in order to reply to your question as to whether it could be justified to use violence to rescue other animals 


red dog:

Good points, Jose.

 

Jose Valle:

for example, it has been argued that the sons and daughters of finnish fur farmers cried in school, after the images of their parents farm appeared in tv, and other kids bully them. Was the investigation a ttheir parents farm violence because it caused that suffering to those kids being bullied at school?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Is waterboarding violence?  Given OUR (sociocultural) conversations on this topic, how do we reflect on the current public conversations about the detainees?

 

red dog:

If the media are biased, they will label open rescuers violent as well ...

 

Maynard S. Clark:

The effective communication with all decisionmakers is a key skill in many professions, including ART (which is defined as changing perceptions through media).


red dog:

How could waterboarding not be construed as violence?!

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Well, didn't someone say that inducing fear would not be considered to be violence?


Michael T. Teidemann:

Good evening everyone!

 

Jose Valle:

I am sorry, I am not good at explaining my point tonight...

 

Red dog:

No, Jose, I think you've made an excellent point ...

 

Carolyn Bailey:

You make your point very well, Jose. I don't believe that example could be classed as violence

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Dave Warwak confronted nonviolently and got the ax for it, whether or not he was teaching 'art' -http://www.inslide.com/respect/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=54


Carolyn Bailey:

I think the intent shoudl be considered as well

 

red dog:

Any action could possibly have harmful effects on others. Even a completely legal campaign could be misrepresented as violent because of indirect effects such as those Jose mentioned.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I think that one dimension of respect is 'scalar' - how MUCH does a person respect others

"Hate the sin, but love the sinner."

 

Tucker:

Not more bible refs..please..

 

Maynard S. Clark:

Without raising awareness through education, where ARE we, the animals, and the movement.  Uh, that was not a Bible verse.

 

Tucker:

Wasn't it?

 

red dog:

But it's a common saying among religious people.  Kind of a cliche.

 

Carolyn Bailey:

I think that without education, we're in trouble, Maynard.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

No, it means to love the offender but dislike (and disarm) the wrongdoing.  To respect PERSONS, but not attach their deeds to them inextricably.

 

Jordan Wyatt:

And speaking for the rap generation, "love the *playa* hate The Game"

 

Maynard S. Clark:

I suspect that the rap version was taken OUT of the Black Church... and  made modern...

 

Tucker:

I know what it means but it sounds bibleish

 

Maynard S. Clark:

We're missing the point in the same way that many folks get distracted and fail to follow through on the topic being discussed. So why are we NOT more effective?

 

Maynard S. Clark:

We were distracted by a discussion about how MUCH violence could be justified in the name of 'Maynard S. Clark: acting' for animals (whatever the ideology)  That’s personal.

 

Tucker:

I think we would need to look at whether the end justified the means by looking at whether the amount of suffering that would be reduced by an action is greater than the suffering it would cause.

 

Maynard S. Clark:

You'd quantify and do a calculation, like the utilitarians professed to do?

 

Carolyn Bailey:

This has been a great conversation, but I'd like to move onto the next of our five questions at this time.   

 

 

Part 2 of the ARZone Tom Regan Workshop continues here:

http://arzone.ning.com/profiles/blogs/transcript-of-arzone-tom-regan


 

ARZone exists to promote rational discussion about our relations with other animals and about issues within the animal advocacy movement. Please continue the debate after a chat by starting a forum discussion or by making a point under a transcript.


 

Views: 109

Tags: ARZone, Tom-Regan, Transcript, Workshop

Add a Comment

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

Join Animal Rights Zone

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.

Members

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.

Badge

Loading…

© 2014   Created by Animal Rights Zone.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Google+