Before I Begin
This article has been sitting in my drafts folder for almost a week now.
Every time that I looked at it, I was of two minds about publishing it.
One thought was that we should ignore Gary L Francione and let him fade away into the dust of obscurity.
The other was, that by remaining silent I am giving him permission to continue. There was the added consideration that by speaking up myself, I may encourage others to do the same.
In the past I have made commented and written about the racist, ableist, or elitist language that Camp Francione use.
With this article, I am not going to hide or make any false claims about it being personal and hitting a nerve.
Something I have not been able to do with past articles.
If the words appear raw or passionate, as I said, this is personal.
So, without further ado, here it is.
Once again, a self-imposed leader of a vegan counter movement has thumbed his nose at people and said what he wants.
Once again, he has proved to us why his outdated views and attitude to others are no longer relevant for 2016.
Despite having explained to him how the language that he uses contradicts his stated ‘position’, he
It seems that every time he puts his fingers on the keyboard, he is saying something inflammatory.
Why then, does a movement he despises and doesn’t consider himself part of, give him air time?
Not A Laughing Matter
In what could only be described as an extremely poor attempt at humour, ‘Mr Intersectionality’ made light of the issue of suicide.
You can read that below.
All because of a political decision.
This Time It Is Personal
In the past I have written articles and made facebook posts about the ableist language that Gary Francione and his follower use.
This time he has gone too far.
As someone who’s life has felt the impact of suicide, both as a survivor and as someone left behind, the time has come to say enough is enough.
Gary Francione can no longer be part of the vegan movement, counter or otherwise, while he pays no attention to the damage that his words are doing.
The longer that he is not taken to task for his words, the more he begins to think that others agree with him.
He is also doing an untold amount of damage to other people.
This cannot and should not be allowed to continue.
Some Facts On The Seriousness
Suicide is kills more people in Australia than vehicles.
Last count, 2014, put the number at 2,500.
This means that on average seven people take their own life every day.
This makes it a serious public and mental health issue.
A mental health issue that is preventable.
For someone from such a privileged position to make light of a serious issue that touches the lives of so many people is inexcusable.
Playing A Fake Sympathy Card
Francione says that the reason he didn’t shoot himself that night was that it “would give too much satisfaction to those “animal advocates” who promote welfare reform and single-issue campaigns, and who reject veganism as a moral baseline”.
Making that comment also sticks to Francione’s narratives of being the victim of bullying by those who disagree with him, and that people want to do him harm.
Playing this card has no benefit for anyone other than Francione, as it fits into the death threat wielding stereotype that is popular at the moment.
As I have written before, and mentioned at the start of this article, it is time to stand up to the psychological abuse and degrading comments from those within the animal advocacy movement.
I will leave you with these words from Casey Taft of Vegan Publishers
Within the animal advocacy movement, there seems to be a bit of confusion about shelter kill lists.
Some say they are a single issue campaign, yet other proclaim that they aren’t.
So, are they or aren’t they?
What Is An SIC
To decide whether something is or isn’t a single issue campaign, we need to understand what one is.
The simplest way to define it is as follows:
A campaign that elevates a specific situation of one species or group of species as more morally relevant than other species in a similar or identical situation.
For example. The Ban Live Export campaigns are a single issue. They want the live export of animals to other countries, for them to kill to stop. While ignoring the live transportation and killing of animals at home.
Another example would be the anti-fur campaigns. These target those who wear fur, yet pay no attention to those who wear leather.
Kill Lists Are Speciesist.
Using the definition above, shelter “kill lists” ARE a single issue campaign.
They are also speciesist.
They promote the status of cats and dogs or any other animal the shelter may have, above others.
There is no mention of the thousands of animals who will be killed every day for food.
Or for clothing.
Or for medial research.
The reality of these lists is that they are nothing more than a ransom list.
You either pay $X to “rescue” the animal or they will be killed.
Are These Lists Abolitionist Friendly?
In a nutshell, no they aren’t and this is why.
One of the main points for those who are abolitionist is to remove the property status of other animals.
Kill lists further entrench the view that animals are property.
Those who ‘rescue’ the animal, are buying them to keep them as their own.
It doesn’t matter what warm and fuzzy term you attach to it.
You are buying an animal. Plain and simple.
An animal who is YOUR property.
Hang On. I Don’t View My Refugee As Property.
In today’s society, and under the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter what you choose to call them.
The animal you ‘rescued’ from the shelter is your property.
You have to abide by the laws of your area with regards to the keeping of pets.
This could be registration, licencing, micro-chipping, and so on.
Then there is also the issue that by keeping a pet yourself, you are telling and showing others that it is acceptable to do the same.
What About Their Right To Life?
Now this is where things get complicated.
When you ‘rescue’ an animal, you are ignoring some rights of the animal.
Their right to life is important.
As is their right to not be property.
Along with any number of other rights that are ignored when you own a pet.
There is also the other issue that what if the animal you are ‘rescuing’ isn’t able to cope with a plant based diet?
You would then have no other choice except to feed your ‘rescued’ animal other animals.
What makes the life of your ‘rescued’ animal more important than the life of those?
If we have a look at why Francione says single issue campaigns are bad, the same applies to kill lists.
First, SICs convey the idea that some forms of exploitation are worse than other forms of exploitation.
This is exactly what kill lists do.
We don’t see people posting and sharing the lists for the sale yards. Aren’t those animals worth “rescuing” too?
Second, SICs simply cannot work as a practical matter.
While it is still seen as acceptable to own a pet, there will always be kill lists. Then there is also the buying into the multi-billion dollar companion animal industry.
An industry that wants you to continue buying animals as pets.
Third, many single-issue campaigns encourage speciesism.
This has been discussed above.
Fourth, some single-issue campaigns often promote other forms of human discrimination.
To this point, kill lists promote the worst form of human discrimination.
Discrimination based on socio-economic status.
Only those who are wealthy enough to have their own home, and enough surplus funds are able to “rescue” an animal.
The rest are left to feel like they aren’t doing enough, despite doing all that they can just to survive.
What are your thoughts on kill lists?
Are they single issue campaigns?
Leave your comments below.
There is a claim among animal protection organisations that we can’t ask people go vegan.
You know what?
I am here to say that you can and you should be telling people to go vegan.
And doing it every time you talk to them about who they eat and wear.
Not Doing So Is Speciesist
Don’t get hoodwinked into believing that not telling people to go vegan isn’t speciesist.
Because that is exactly what it is.
You are choosing the ‘comfort’ of the person you are talking to, over the life of a calf. When you tell them that consuming dairy is ok.
You are choosing the life of cow over the life of hens. When you tell that that they can take their time to stop consuming eggs after no longer consuming meat.
You are choosing the life of a cow or hen over the lives of fish if you think that wine is a grey area.
The examples above are exactly what speciesism is.
Choosing one species over another.
You Aren’t Expecting Too Much
The funny thing about people is that more often than not, they live up or down to what you expect them to do.
If you tell someone to go vegan, and leave it at that, of course you are asking too much.
Whereas if you present the case for going vegan to them, and offer them support, you may see a different result.
What it boils down to is how you deliver the message.
And, how much you believe in what you are selling.
Baby Steps Is A Con
The only time we get told to take baby steps is when someone is profiting from it.
You won’t hear the police telling us that if we are going to speed, if we do it one day less a week, it is ok.
They want us to stop speeding all together.
Can you imagine shop owners telling people that they can keep stealing items, so long as they cut back a day a week?
It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it.
Or how about those with an allergy to bee stings/gluten/dairy/etc?
They aren’t told that if they have a bit every now and then that it’s ok. They are told to avoid it all together.
As if their life depends on it.
And in most cases it does.
While it isn’t your life, the same goes for being vegan.
Every time you tell someone to take baby steps, you are condemning an animal to death.
If they choose to take baby steps, that is their decision.
Should you condemn or get on your soap box about it?
Well that is something for another post.
For those who came in late, for the past week or so, two keepers of the faith have been begging for callers to their radio show.
The purpose of the calls was to supposedly set the record straight about non vegan sponsors.
Sadly, neither Bob nor Gary actually understood what all the hoo-hah was about.
These two insolently thought it was about the show being funded by dirty money.
It started off being about their behaviour towards others. And how these two believe they are beyond reproach.
Charles Calls In
After two weeks or so of begging people to call in, one person did.
Unfortunately, they received the kind of reception myself and others thought they would.
First off, full points to Charles for calling in. It isn’t something that I would have done.
Here these two are, totally dismissing their promotion of animal exploitation.
For SEVEN weeks after they received notification.
Let us remember that these two condemn any organisation that even thinks about getting funding from sources not approved by them.
To add an unnecessary disclaimer, it doesn’t worry me who sponsors them.
It is their double standard that we should be talking about.
All Money Is Dirty
Despite Gary repeating, almost word for word a discussion from AR Zone, all money is dirty.
(Not that Gary would ever credit Carolyn or Tim or Roger for it).
This is because somewhere down the track, the money you hand over will contribute to animal exploitation.
Though as I said, this isn’t about the sponsors. It is about their bevahiour and attitude.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Both Bob and Gary has failed to live up to their own standard.
If any other organisation had have done it, you would be reading about it for months.
Not only that, there would be an unrelenting barrage of ‘questions’ from his supporters.
Yet, all through this they have been quiet, choosing to shoot the messenger(s) instead.
Hiding A Deeper Issue
The truth of the matter is that as the movement grows, it is increasingly being white-washed.
That is, the word of white privileged male(s) is THE only word, and their’s is final.
Yes, pun intended.
We saw this with the Ecorazzi-McGrath fiasco, and it is getting worse.
Yesterday, an image was posted on facebook by an admin of Francione’s page. A person who should have known better.
The image, which isn’t going to be posted here, was deeply offensive to people of colour.
Evicted from Francione’s inner circle, they took to facebook to make a heartfelt apology.
Except they missed the mark.
The first version was 100% dedicated to getting back into Francione’s good books.
When pointed out that the ‘apology’ wasn’t to those who were offended, a token sentence put in.
To be perfectly clear on this, Francione is only against sexism, racism, ableism, etc when it suits his narrative.
Otherwise he is more than willing to use those terms to denigrate anyone who he doesn’t like, or is trying to get the better of.
It is time that a line was drawn in the sand and we collectively said enough is enough to Francione and his band of cyber bullies.
More to come…
What are your thoughts on cell grown meat?
Is it something that we vegans should be embracing or even applauding?
Will it make life better for the animals?
Will it satisfy any ethical or moral dilemmas you have?
Or is it nothing more than another way to exploit animals?
Meat Of The Future
Everywhere you look these days, someone is telling us that cell grown or lab grown meat is the meat of the future.
We are told that because this ‘meat’ is grown in a lab and not a paddock, that everyone benefits.
The planet because there won’t be as much land used.
The consumer, because it will be cheaper.
And, the animals – because they won’t have to be killed.
What concerns me the most about cell grown meat is that the loudest supporters of it are on this side of the fence.
The vegans who are supposed to be against animal use and exploitation.
Rather than saying how great this product is and will be, we should be asking questions.
- Why, when there are plenty of suitable plant based alternatives on the market, why do we need cell grown meat?
- Isn’t there a better use for the ‘research’ funds?
- Regardless of how much you spin it, you are still eating a product that came from an animal. Only this time, the animal didn’t die.
If there is a difference, how long til we are able to eat human flesh hamburgers?
- With all the concern about GM products, why would you want to eat something 100% grown in a lab?
Do The Animals Really Benefit?
One thing that test-tube meat won’t change is the way that we view other animals.
They will still be thought of as property or a resource to be exploited.
Animals will still be used – the stem cells need to come from somewhere.
All this product is doing is taking a few of the moral or ethical questions out of the concerns of eating animal flesh.
What are your thoughts?
Are we being the Vegan Police, and purists, if we don’t embrace cell grown meat as a way of the future??
Let me know Below