Monday, March 16, 2009

Dear Welfarist Vegan,

When I first became vegan, I thought you - as a more "experienced" activist had the right ideas about how to forward the movement, to get the word out that using animals as food or clothing was morally reprehensible on too many levels to name. So I signed up, and I joined, and I participated in tabling events where there were PeTA brochures, stickers, DVD's, and all the other propaganda they produce. I looked into the eyes of those very people we were trying to convince to see the reality of the damage they were inflicting upon us all with the continued consumption of animal corpses. I saw them take in the PeTA connection, and shut down their very souls. They know, I know, and if you examine your heart, you'll come to know that PeTA is loathed for its blatent sexualization of the very cause they claim to promote.

Sometime later, after looking at the animal rights movement, I came to realize that the only way for the movement to succeed was by adopting an abolishionist approach. At that juncture, I stopped attending meetings and tableing events where the PeTA propaganda was present. I retracted my membership to the Yahoo! group, and I simply went about my business of quiet determination to live by example, and triage (if you will) those who asked respectful questions about my vegan life.

You wrote asking if I wanted to continue to be on the email list and I asked to be removed, and you seemed confused by my desire to be removed from the factory farming committee, a committee dedicated to “improving the welfare” of the animals. For the purpose of clarification, I offer the following:
I believe that working toward "more humane" methods of using animals for our own needs is indeed increasing demand and therefore is counterproductive. The only way we can convince anyone that the use of animals as food or for any other use is by showing them the truth, and abolishing gestation crates and battery cages just isn't enough. This page demonstrates it better, though, and I thought you might take a glimpse of some of the examples. I would also like to recommend you read Making a Killing, by Bob Torres, PhD, as well as Rain without Thunder by Gary Francione. Both books are written by gentlemen who possess great powers of critical thinking as well as tremendous influential arguments for abolition over welfarism.
It is my firm belief that aligning with PeTA is a mistake. The general populace views them (and correctly so, I believe) as nutcases who use the hearts of good people such as you to generate income. I cannot in good conscience stand in front of a table with brochures from an organization who uses girl on girl action to promote a cause as important to me as animal rights. For crying out loud, PeTA can’t manage a no kill shelter! I cannot view KFC’s commitment to “happy meat” as a victory. It is not. It is clear to me that you, and the rest of the group believe you are changing things for the better, but I think in the end run, you are granting people permission to consume animal products as long as they have nice labels like “free range” eggs, which we all know is a bold faced marketing lie told to justify the egg consumption at the cost of millions of male chicks, the cost of the damage to the environment, the wholesale slaughter of millions of “spent” hens, and the inherent psychological damage to those whose jobs depend upon the slaughter and production of the “happy meat” KFC buckets at the end of the day.
I hope you know I think very highly of you, and indeed all of the members of the group for their veganism. I feel compelled to separate from the group at the crossroad of welfarism over abolition, because at its’ roots, it is little different from justifying slavery as long as the slave master treats the slaves well.
Be well and happy, and above all else, vegan.
Warm regards,

No comments: