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This short essay was written by an author in the United States, but it seems equally relevant for groups such as Animals Australia and others, and particularly relevant in regard to the recent "End Factory Farming" campaign from Animals Australia. I'm interested to hear if others agree with this view, and why. 

The Classical Circular Farce of Welfarism 

The (vast?) majority of donors to PETA, HSUS, and similar groups are not vegans. They are the same people who literally create the problems that these big welfarist groups feebly attempt to ameliorate.

So,the donors create the problem through the extreme speciesism of consuming animal products, which leads to the breeding, confining, torturing, and intentional killing of the innocent. Then the donors send their money – tens of millions of dollars of it annually – to PETA and HSUS to attempt the absurdly impossible: regulate a perpetual holocaust of billions of victims annually. These big groups are beholden to the very donors who are creating the problem that needs to be fixed.

It is a classic circular farce and would be a knee-slapping hilarious example of human stupidity if it were not so tragic.

We cannot regulate the holocaust. We need to stop it by going vegan and encouraging others to do the same.


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What reason does the author give us to support his/her assertion that to "regulate a perpetual holocaust of billions of victims annually" is absurdly impossible? None. 

What evidence is there that any significant percentage of the population is prepared to even seriously entertain the idea (never mind to follow through on it) of becoming vegan? None.

What evidence is there that vegans know of any broadly effective means of "encouraging people" to go vegan? None. 

Is there a particular part of this essay with which you disagree, Tim? 

I think that the fact that more and more individuals are being exploited and killed every year, in more horrific ways, by more and more humans, is a solid reason to assume that regulating the perpetual holocaust of victims is ineffective (and absurd). 

Whether a person regards this as a problem or not, it's a fact that "The (vast?) majority of donors to PETA, HSUS, and similar groups are not vegans. They are the same people who literally create the problems that these big welfarist groups feebly attempt to ameliorate." 

We spoke recently in a podcast about the vast majority (95%) of HSUS's donors being those who continue to eat others. I recall hearing the figures as around 80% for PeTA, and assume Animals Australia would be up there near the HSUS figures too.


Hi Carolyn,

Regulating the industries that turn living beings into food products and other commodities is necessary, isn't it? I mean, we wouldn't want to say to those industries, "Do whatever you want, there are no limits" would we? No, I think we wouldn't want to say that at all. Therefore, regulating the holocaust can't be absurd. It can't be impossible either, because we do it, whether one thinks our efforts ineffective or not.

It may be absurd to think that by regulating these industries we are also working directly towards eliminating them (as if reform + reform + reform = elimination) but who thinks that? No one that I know. What people and organizations suggest is that, since it is the case and will continue to be the case that these industries exist, then we owe it to those who will be reared, confined, and slaughtered within them whatever is possible to make their lives less horrific when we are able. We must still work to convince the general public that they ought to stop being complicit in this horror, but that's a separate task.

What we can't do is pretend that a significant percentage of the public is ready willing or able to become vegetarian or vegan any time soon. It would be different if someone somewhere could point to some method of advocacy or education that delivers remarkable conversion rates, but no one can do that. To believe that we can achieve abolition sometime soon, and to use that belief as an excuse or justification for ignoring the actual lives of the billions who will continue to face slaughter would be immoral if anything would be.  

So what do I disagree with in this essay? Just about everything.

I'm not sure how the non-vegan status of donors is relevant to the analysis: presumably, the author would have the same objection even if every donor was vegan.

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