How many of us have stopped for a minute to consider the possibility that our actions, as animal activists, could possibly be making things worse for the animals?
Having just asked that question, I can see virtually everyone who calls themselves an animal activist, putting their wagons in a circle, and getting ready to defend their position that they don’t.
I would be willing to bet that as part of the first defensive salvo of shots will be at least we are doing something, and what is it that YOU are doing?
As animal activists, we are supposed to be doing things that improve the conditions for ALL animals, not just a select few. Otherwise, we are just as guilty of the type of speciesim that we charge others with.
Take for example, the recent Melbourne Pig Save protest that took place as part of the poorly named Animal Activists Forum.
Whilst the organisers of this event would have you believe that the group aims to inform the community of the plight of pigs in our food production system, they fail to mention that this is achieved by exploiting the very same animals that they are meant to be protecting.
Have a look around the group’s Vimeo page , and you will see that not only do they bring piglets out to the event wearing a harness and lead. Whilst at these ‘protests’, these piglets only have a towel placed on the footpath to stand or rest on. There is even footage of a ‘protest’ where Polly the Pig from Edgar’s Mission is featured.
Unfortunately for Polly, her presence there was more to perform tricks than be an advocate for the plight of those animals. Watching one of the clips that Polly is featured in, she is made to perform a number of ‘tricks’ to entertain those watching. I wonder if getting a pig to perform tricks using reward based behaviour modification is a good thing for any animal to endure, let alone one that we are supposed to be protecting?
If animal advocacy groups are against the use of other animals for entertainment, why is it acceptable for them to use an animal in their protests?
What makes this one protest even worse is that there are a number of people taking part in it who really should know better. Such as representatives from the different Animal Liberation franchises, Vegan Australia, and the Animal Justice Party.
Oppression is oppression.
Just because you are oppressing an animal(s) for your own gain or allegedly theirs, it doesn’t make it right.