Category: Articles

Podcast 11 April 2013

Expansion of AusVegan.com

AusVegan.com is going through a little bit of a change at the moment, and I thought I would take this opportunity to let everyone know what is happening.

Over the years the site has become a place where the vegan status quo has been challenged and questioned, and some of the articles a little unpleasant to read.

Whilst I do enjoy writing articles for the site, and will continue to do so, I would like to see it grow into a place where people can read different articles that are relevant to veganism and animal rights in Australia.

This means that there will gradually be different authors coming on board to write articles for this site. Some of the authors may have similar views to mine, others may not. Though the one thing that we will all have in common is a belief in veganism and vegan education.

Rest assured, I will still be writing articles for this site, and other places that I am on the internet, though possibly not as frequently as I have in the past.

If you are interesting in writing something for this site, please use the contact form located here, and let me know.

Raising Awareness By Raising Your Voice and Placards, Or So They Say

Regular readers of this site will know that over the past few weeks, I have been discussing the alleged effectiveness of noisy, placard waving protests at increasing awareness to the plight of other animals.

In a previous piece, I compared these protests to union picket lines and how they are intimidating to the worker who is crossing the line, and portrayed as extreme by the media.

March 2013 saw two totally different ‘placard’ protests on take place on Queensland’s Gold Coast, with both protesting the treatment of exotic animals in circuses. The first one was held by relatively new, Coast To Coast Animal Friends on the 10th, and the second by the more established Animal Liberation Queensland, two weeks later on Sunday March 24.

Both protests were allegedly planned to increase awareness of the plight of exotic animals in circuses, though actually did very little of that. I still stand by my belief that these events are for the sole purpose of raising awareness of the respective groups, and nothing else. Allowing them to claim that they are doing something to improve the plight of animal x, y, or z whilst accomplishing very little.

In the weeks since the protests were held there has been virtually no information published by either group as to why they are against the way that exotic animals are treated in circuses, save for the congratulatory posting of photos, and reliving their own self indulgent moments.

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Don’t You Know Who WE are? We Are Beyond Reproach!

How would you handle it if you became aware of an ‘animal rights’ group that was deliberately misrepresenting events to deceive people?

What if those furphies were substantially different to what actually happened at an event?

Would you or could you be the one to raise your voice and say that what they said was untrue?

That is exactly what happened on Tuesday night, 26 March 2013, in that funny and quirky little place called Facebook.

Animal Liberation Queensland made a comment on their Facebook page about the protest against Lennon Bros Circus that they held on Sunday 24 March 2013, and a little bit of a discussion began about it. A comment was made about this photo where someone had called it the walk of shame, and of the chants that were made during the protest.

Animal Liberation Queensland claimed during this online discussion that the chants were mild and good humoured, (as if there could be anything good humoured about the oppression of animals for entertainment) and that there was an alternative entrance for circus goers to use if they didn’t want to run the gauntlet of protestors in the walk of shame.

As I was actually at the protest site on Sunday, and had a different impression of what occurred, I asked Animal LIberation Queensland if they could please explain where the alternative entry was, as the protestors formed a gauntlet both parallel to the fence and perpendicular to the entrance. This meant that it was virtually impossibly for any circus goer who wished to enter the circus area to do so without passing through two rows of protestors.

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Will A Noisy, Placard Waving Protest Further The Discussion For The Animals?

March 2013 saw two separate protests being held on Queensland’s Gold Coast about circuses. Lennon Bros Circus was the target of these two, as they were the first ones to take advantage of the Gold Coast City Council’s decision to lift a ban on the use of exotic animals on council land.

The organisers of the protests, Coast To Coast Animal Friends and Animal LIberation Queensland, claim that the intent behind them was to raise awareness of the use of exotic animals in the circus and to keep the debate alive in the area, along with educating circus goers.

As a vegan activist who wants to see an end to ALL forms of animal use, and someone who believes that ALL animals are created equal, not that some are MORE equal than others, I have been opposed to these single issue type campaigns for a number of years. I believe that these types of campaigns confuse the issue of equal consideration for all animals, and actually push that position back further and further with every campaign.

Despite being able to show any evidence where theses sorts of protests have been a) portrayed in a positive light by a corrupt media; b) create positive discussion amongst those who attended; and c) does anything to improve the plight of animals, these protests are still used as a tactic by organisations who want to be SEEN to be doing something and to further their own public profile.

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Forget About Rational Discussion, Let’s Bully And Harass Instead.

First they ignore you.
Then they ridicule you.
And then they attack you and want to burn you.

Yesterday, Sunday 24 March 2013 I attended, as an observer, the Animal Liberation Queensland/Coast To Coast Animal Friends organised protest against Lennon Bros Circus on the Gold Coast.

It was also the first time in my nearly 20 years as a vegan activist that I have felt embarrassed to be known as one.

Whilst I thought it might have been highly possible that I would receive a little bit of a cold reception by those who think that it is all about them, I honestly never in my wildest dreams thought for a moment that what actually happened, would have.

I would like to also make it clear, the reason I turned up to where the protest was being held, was to have a rational discussion with those who were interested about why I do not believe that this type of protest is effective in getting the public to take notice of why animals shouldn’t be viewed as property, and to promote veganism and vegan education. Something that BOTH Animal Liberation Queensland and Coast To Coast Animal Friends had prohibited from ‘their’ events.

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To Protest Or Not To Protest – Part III

Following on from the previous two protest related pieces I have written, part I and part II, this third and final piece contains a few suggestions of what your average vegan activist can do to raise awareness about the plight of ALL animals, and promote veganism.

Sadly, there isn’t much glory – actually there is probably none, with most of it being ‘behind the scenes’ stuff so these suggestions may not appeal to those who like to be SEEN to be doing something or those who just need to shout out at people.

EDUCATION
First and foremost, the most important thing that a passionate vegan activist can do is educate themselves about issues and forms of activism that will help ALL animals.

A good spot to start is Animal Rights Zone. They have a podcast where activists from the whole spectrum of the animal advocacy movement are interviewed and able to share their thoughts on relevant topics/issues.

Also within the site are a number of academic and non academic papers which will be of use to those who are willing to further their education and knowledge of the movement.

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