Did I underestimate things or what?
I forget that when you post something on social media that challenges the status quo you can’t expect rational discussion.
This is exactly what happened when I shared a meme.
Someone who wasn’t able to respond to the meme like an adult would, dug through the vegan police facebook page to find some other ammunition.
And find it they did.
Once they found it, they used that image to change the direction of the discussion.
And yes, my “support” for one nation over the Animal Justice Party also came out. Though I will be talking about that in a later piece (maybe tomorrow).
Before we get into discussing the image and why I said what I said, it is important that we are both on the same page regarding some definitions.
Animal Rights Activist
This would be a person who subscribes to a theory of “animal rights”.
It doesn’t matter whether you follow Tom Regan,Lee Hall,David Nibert, Francione, Best or Wise, they all have one ‘right’ at their core.
That is the ‘right’ of other animals not to be treated as property.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “liberation” as:
1: the act of liberating : the state of being liberated
2: a movement seeking equal rights and status for a group – women’s liberation
Let’s say for a minute that you are a civil rights activist, and you meet a group of racists on the street.
Would you follow the misnomered vegan strategists approach and not “call them out” or talk to them about their beliefs?
Or would you confront them on their views?
If you chose the latter, would you then do the following?
Find a person of colour’s infant or child, taking him or her over to the racists for the racists to look at and touch. Maybe even patting the baby?
Would you then comfort or show affection to the baby that you “borrowed”, whether they wanted it or not? (Knowing that if the baby was experiencing any discomfort, it was directly due to your own actions).
If you wouldn’t then why is it acceptable to do the exact same thing to a piglet?
What’s Wrong With The Kiss?
First of all, at no point did I say that the “activist” was “getting off” by kissing the piglet.
That is something that people have ass-u-me’d.
Here’s the deal.
Outside of a familial or close social relationship there are many things that are considered sexual harassment.
This includes, a slap on the backside, wolf whistle, in appropriate comments, and even a kiss on the forehead.
(A nurse was sacked last year for giving an upset patient a good night kiss on the forehead).
It is also worth mentioning that those who perform those acts usually justify it by saying they were simply showing a “compliment”.
Being totally honest here, if the photo was of any other person I wouldn’t have made a comment about it.
Except it wasn’t.
It was by a self-proclaimed “animal rights activist” and “animal liberationist”.
Someone who should know better.
Aside from the fact that the piglet had been used as a prop for a video clip, here is an adult male deciding that the piglet needed to be shown some affection.
Yeah But What About The Scandal Inference?
Those comments were made to get people thinking about their actions.
I also made it to get people to question the actions of those they idolise.
Sadly, this was lost on a majority of those who left a comment.
Should I have worded it differently?
Though it doesn’t change the fact of the matter.
If we wouldn’t allow some random person to come up to us and give us a kiss on the forehead, why are we accepting this being done to a piglet?
Keep in mind that these scandals are happening because a person in a position of power decided that another person deserved their ‘affection’.
But You’ve Kissed A Pig
Yes, I have.
The difference between the two is that I had spent more than a few hours with Heather when the photo was taken. (I had been a volunteer for a few months).
It was also in Heather’s home environment, and she was free to walk away at any time.
And that is the most important difference between the two.
If there is one thing that you take away from this, I would like it to be thinking critically about your actions based on the persona that you have created for yourself.
Don’t simply do something because you want to ‘feel good’ about it, or what you ‘think’ is right.
Make sure it is.
And consider the impact that those actions will have on the ones we are supposed to be advocating for.
This article was written by the founder of VeganPolice.com.au, Cameron Blewett.
Cameron is a long term vegan (25+yrs), and is passionate about veganism, and helping people to understand more about animal rights.
You can find Cameron’s other rants on his website, CameronBlewett.xyz