Appraisal of Good and Evil

Tim Gier wrote an article recently titled, “A Proposed Experiment on the Appraisal of Good and Evil” where he proposed the following.

Post a statement in various groups on Facebook, attributing that statement randomly to either of two well-known advocates, then measure the positive and negative responses to (or defences of/attacks on) both the statement and the persons it’s attributed to.

This proposal did get me thinking about how we as animal advocates view the things that other animal advocates say and do.

In the previous article titled, “Are Animal Activists Making Things Worse For The Animals?”, I asked the question if as animal activists, we should be exploiting other animals whilst campaigning to remove the exploitation of other animals. I even used the example of the ‘tricks’ that Polly the pig from Edgar’s Mission was required to perform for a food reward, when she turned up to a Melbourne Pig Save protest.

Watching this clip, it is depressing to see people standing around applauding, laughing and giggling watching a pig perform tricks for food knowing that these same people will be holding up placards, shouting and screaming if it were circus that was doing the same thing.

I suppose the only difference is that Pam is vegan, and allegedly doing this for all the animals.

It was also brought to my attention that this ’sanctuary’ also brings the animals into the CBD to take part in a ‘meet and greet’ type event, where people stand around, look at the animals, and maybe even get to hold or pat them. Yet once again, these same vegans or animal activists would eagerly brand petting zoos that are used to entertain children as evil.

Whilst I could almost say that doing this once a year could be forgiven, to find out that these ‘road trips’ are a regular accepted occurrence is interesting to say the least.

This same group has done a number of things, such as taking sheep and pigs for a walk through the CBD on a leash, that if done by anyone else would have brought about a plethora of comments, and rants and raves.

Somehow animal activists have come to the conclusion that animal exploitation by a vegan is good, yet the same exploitation by someone that isn’t vegan or an animal advocate is bad.

Yet vegan doesn’t always equal good, and non-vegan doesn’t always equal bad.

Consider this site, and the preconceived ideas that people have about it, most probably based on what someone else has told them.

I have written articles on how we can stop live export, What to do about rodeos, and even how to “sell veganism”.

Whilst most, if not all of the suggestions above would have been dismissed because I made them, I am wondering how many people are willing to acknowledge that I was the one who first suggested to Mark Pearson that he use an aerial drone to ’snoop’ on farmers, and that doing so didn’t contravene any privacy or trespass legislation?

I suppose it all boils down to whether you think the person making the statement/suggestion is good or evil.

3 thoughts on “Appraisal of Good and Evil”

  1. If the animal being walked on a leash or positively rewarded for doing tricks is a pet of the person, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Why is it okay to walk a dog or show off a dogs tricks but not those of a pig? A pig is a very social and smart animal. I often wonder why they aren’t acceptable pets? The reason I don’t put a circus animal into the same category as the other animals you mentioned is because of my first statement. Circus animals are only there to be used for entertainment…there is not typically any love shown them. They are kept in cages too small for them and many are trained by using ropes and other negative reinforcement techniques. If an animal is loved and treated like one of the family, then what is wrong with showing this love off to the world? It shows the world that a pig is more than a farm animal (as we have been raised to see it as). To hear someone say a pig is clean, social and smart has little impact. But, to show that a pig is clean, social and smart has a huge impact. Someone needs to look behind the scenes before making a judgement as to whether a situation is good or bad for the animal.


What are your thoughts?