Category: Education

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Why Gary Francione Is No Longer Relevant

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Is Gary Francione and his “approach” to abolition still relevant to vegans today?

Or, as the world gets more complex, has our thinking changed?

Before We Begin

As you read this, you need to be aware of the following.

  • Francione doesn’t consider himself part of the current animal advocacy movement
  • “New Welfarist” is a term Gary Francione created to otherise those on the protectionist side of animal advocacy
  • The approach only works for those who are of a particular social status.
  • Nothing Team Francione publishes, shows you how to talk WITH people and not AT them

The original focus of this was going to be about the language that Gary Francione, and his followers use.

How this language is actually restricting veganism and animal rights from growing and becoming a legitimate social justice issue.

The more research I did, the more I discovered that Team Francione are no longer relevant.

The Language

For those who came in late, the recent focus of Team Francione has been on what they call intersectionality.

Kind of like a Claytons kind of thing.

They have gone to great extremes to convince us that they are “intersectionalists”.

Even implying that Francione was THE pioneer of intersectionality in animal advocacy.

Funny thing is, that this runs contrary to the language they use.

For example, the Francione catch phrase is “moral schizophrenia”.

This is offensive for a multitude of reasons.

  • It mocks those who have a mental illness
  • It excludes those who have a mental illness
  • Implies that only those who are “mentally fit” can be vegan
  • It turns veganism into a club of privilege and not a social justice movement

Even though, Camp Francione have had it pointed out to them they continue to use this and other ableist terms.

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Camp Francione went to great lengths to explain why use of that term ISN’T ableist.

They failed.

You can see by the screen shots here, and here. (Remember to ** Click To Enlarge**)

As you will see in defence of their ableism, they actually use ablest terms.

Or even the recent “dictionary” meme created by the Grumpy Vegans and promoted by Francione.

This is why the image is unacceptable and offensive

Which leads us to believe that Camp Francione doesn’t understand what intersectionality is about.

Lack Of Relevance

One of the things that you will see Camp Francione preach is that going vegan is easy.

They have even reinforced this by the promotion of a diet book telling us that we can “eat vegan” for less than £1 per day.

This is fine, and quite possible for those who are in a place of privilege and power, have no children and view veganism as little more than a dietary choice.

For the rest of us, this is nothing more than a pipe dream.

All this does is further entrench veganism as being something for the privileged.

High Expectations. Some Of The Time

We have seen in the past people excommunicated from Camp Francione for minor transgressions.

That only happens if Camp Francione have no use for you.

Despite advertising things that are not “Francione approved” (abolitionist or vegan), the “World Vegan Summit and Expo” is still number 1

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Linda McKenzie remains in the inner-circle, despite a youtube playlist featuring people Gary Francione doesn’t approve of.

The Ecorazzi crowd are back in his good books after kicking Lauren McGrath to the curb for daring to promote others above him. Coincidence or not, it is now a platform for Camp Francione to publish thinly veiled worship articles.

Disagree With Camp Francione. Prepare For An Onslaught

As we have seen recently with what happened to Lauren McGrath while she was at Ecorazzi, if Camp Francione find something that they don’t agree with, they will launch an unrelenting attack.

These attacks are claimed to be “critiques” or “discussions”, yet the truth is that they are nothing more than cyber-bullying.

Non-violent Claim Doesn’t Equal Safety

Camp Francione tout veganism as “non violence”. This would lead you to believe that the movement is safe place for the vulnerable or marginalised.

This isn’t true.

To clarify, while Francione himself talks about non-violence, he isn’t a pacifist. Which means that he is willing to use violence if or when he decides it is suitable.Screenshot

Gary Francione’s language, psychological bullying and stalking is as violent as the physical violence we see committed against others who are also vulnerable.

That he chooses a form of violence that is not as overt as others does not make his violence any less harmful or problematic.

Call out Camp Francione on what they are doing, and get labelled as being “obsessed” with Francione.

It is acceptable for Camp Francione to spread lies, untruths, or harass and denigrate others.

After all, they are “holding people accountable”.

Such as their treatment of Carolyn Bailey and ARZone, Casey Taft and Vegan Publishers and so on.

Francione’s Work Isn’t New

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the behaviour of Camp Francione is their belief that he was the first.

He wasn’t.

Tom Reagan was talking about this long before Francione thought about vegetarianism.

Lee Hall worked with Gary Francione in the early 2000’s.

Hall’s keen interest in injecting vegan history into the dialogue would have influenced Francione’s shift from the Rain without Thunder “criteria” into direct, express support for the work of the vegan movement.

A movement that, decades earlier, had denounced animal husbandry, no matter how accommodating its forms might be, for putting humans in the master role.

A role that “has to be abolished before something better and finer can be built” (1951).

You could also say that Peter Singer was the inspiration for his theory.

Not that he would ever admit it.

When all is said and done, veganism/animal rights needs to be fluid and dynamic.

As society becomes more aware and inclusive, so does the movement.

We can’t expect society to give other animals equal consideration while we are stuck in the 80’s or even the 90’s.

For this reason alone, Francione is no longer relevant.

In closing, I am reminded of a quote I once heard.

You either evolve or you dissolve.

Francione isn’t evolving with the society’s changes, which by default means he is dissolving.

Time for that to happen and regard him as a person who once wrote a few books…

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Updated: 31 July 2017 – Fixed grammar and spelling. Changed formatting


Filed under: Articles, Education

Will The Live Animal Trade Be Stopped By An Inquiry And Legislation?

Will The Live Animal Trade Be Stopped By An Inquiry And Legislation?
photo credit: DSC_5169 via photopin (license)
There is a brutal and cold hearted animal trade happen right now. A trade that is allowed to happen because so few are even willing to mention it's existence. We are distracted away from questioning the trade by campaigns to stop the live export of animals to overseas countries, and by demonising unscrupulous cat and dog breeders. Every time we repeat the catchphrase Adopt, Don't Shop we are condoning this trade, and accepting it's brutality. Read More
Filed under: Articles, Education

How Do You Deal With “Abolitionist Vegans”?

Tami Jonas, an "ethical farmer" who is giving other farmers advice on how to deal with 'abolitionist vegans'. Source: Facebook
Tami Jonas, an 'ethical' pig farmer who gives advice on how to deal with 'abolitionist vegans'. Source: Facebook
The ABC's The Drum runs a regular opinion opportunity called Open Drum, where they ask for contributions from readers/viewers on a chosen topic. The most recent one was "ANIMAL EQUALITY: Why are some more equal than others?" As could be expected, there were contributions from people on both sides of the topic, though one in particular stood out to me, hence the reason for this. The piece in question is one written by Tammi Jonas, titled how to deal with vegan 'abolitionists', which appears to be a follow on from an earlier piece that she wrote for her own site, Tammi Jonas: Food Ethics, titled How to respond to vegan abolitionists. While I usually don't pay too much attention to these sorts of articles written by those within the industry, this one is interesting because according to the about page, Ms Jonas is a former vegetarian who became an ethical omnivore, and is now a pig farmer. Read More
Filed under: Articles, Education

What Does Justice Look Like To You?

Photo Credit: Scott* via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Scott* via Compfight cc

Yesterday saw two simultaneous protests take place in Sydney and Canberra with participants demanding ‘justice’ for the pigs from Wally’s Piggery, and claiming that the RSPCA has blood on it’s hands due to the dropping of charges against WSL Investments Pty Ltd, Wally Perenc and Stefanie Perenc (referred to as  Wally’s Piggery).

Despite RSPCA NSW putting out two separate statements on the matter, they have fallen on deaf ears, and mob rule has now taken the place of natural justice.

Let Those Without Sin Cast The First Stone

[GARD]What appeared to be one of the most ironic moments of both protests was the crowd listening to words from Chris Delforce in Canberra, and Mark Pearson in NSW. Two people who probably have more blood on their hands than anyone else involved in this whole sorry saga.

Both of these people belong to organisations that were responsible for taking the footage, or releasing it to the media, or both. This hardly makes them qualified enough to pass judgement on the actions or inactions of RSPCA NSW. Especially considering that it was their actions that have lead us to where we are now.

We also seem to be forgetting that Mark Pearson was the one who was advocating that more slaughterhouses be built while campaigning for a Senate seat as part of the Animal Justice Party.

Any speech given by them, no matter how passionate, has only been done to shift the focus away from the part that they played, and attempt to absolve them of any guilt. Read More

Filed under: Articles, Education

Why Can’t I Eat Backyard Eggs?

Why Can't I Eat Backyard Eggs? -
Photo Credit: robstephaustralia via Compfight cc
A question that seems to be routinely asked in different 'vegan' groups is, "is it ok for a vegan to eat backyard eggs from their 'rescued' chickens?" Like everything that happens within a group of people, there are some who believe that it is ok, and there are others who say that it isn't. With the consumption of those eggs being justified in all sorts of ways, the reality of the matter is that if you identify yourself as a vegan, then using those eggs is something that you shouldn't be doing.

Why Can't I Eat Backyard Eggs?

Eggs from backyard chickens shoulldn''t be consumed by vegans for a number of reasons, aside from them being an animal product, some of which are as follows: # They are not ours to be consumed. # Just because an egg is there, that doesn't mean we can take it to use as we see fit # If the hen says to you 'please take my egg and do as you wish" by all means do what you want with them. Until then, don't. # By consuming eggs, even backyard ones, you are telling others that it is ok to consume eggs, so long as the hens are treated in a way that you are comfortable with. # There is a level of cruelty involved even with keeping 'rescued' hens in your backyard, regardless of whether the eggs are consumed or not.


Read More
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Live Export Dramas. Again!

Live Export - Open up! It's The Vegan Police! -
Photo Credit: Charles Henry via Compfight cc
Animals Australia prophesied that there would be problems with 'Australian' animals during this years Festival of Sacrifice. Sadly for the animals concerned, their prophecies came true. Which resulted in yet another expose on the ABC's Lateline program. Once again, a bunch of politicians are filling soundbites with token gestures of stopping live export, calling for licences to be revoked and so on. Whilst the public have every right to be upset, will this 'cruelty' to animals stop if Australia withdraws from a multi-million dollar industry, or is this simply another bigoted campaign by an animal protection organisation who seem to be more intent on brand recognition than actually protecting animals? Now before any gets all excited about this piece, let me set the record straight and say here and now that as a vegan who believes that all sentient beings should be given equal consideration, it is my belief that ANY trade in animals, whether dead or alive is abhorrent, and something that needs to be stopped. Read More
Filed under: Articles, Education

Hugo Doesn’t Deserve To Die, Though Neither Do Countless Other Animals

source facebook
source facebook

The hypocrisy with which humans view other animals has gained international attention once again.

This time it revolves around a families alleged love for their pet Shar Pei, Hugo.

Hugo is a pet of Billinger family, who have been issued with a destruction order by Gold Coast City Council.

Obviously being upset that their beloved pet was going to be killed, the family took to facebook and other social media in an attempt to save him.

Please don’t get me wrong here, I think that the loss of any life is tragic, though this needs to be taken in context.

While it is the Gold Coast City Council that will be carrying out the ‘order’, it is Hugo’s irresponsible owners who will be ultimately responsible for his death.

They failed to follow the by laws of the area that they were in which resulted in him being declared as a menacing dog.

They also failed to keep him safely enclosed in their yard, which not only put him in harm’s way, it also put others at risk too.

[GARD]Putting this into perspective, where was the outpouring of grief and sympathy for the 86,556 cattle, 448 calves, 1,0431 sheep, 5,993 lambs, 6,616 goats or 19,819 pigs that were killed in Queensland last week?

Whilst humans consider other animals to be their property, they will continue to be needlessly killed.

The only way to prevent this from happening is to go vegan, and consider what is in the best interests of the animals you do have