Why Highchester ‘Shutdown’ Was A Failure

This article is a follow up piece to the article “Activists Shut Down Slaughterhouse… For Nothing“.

Since that time, I have received all sorts of condemnation and abuse.

Ranging from:

  • I don’t know what I am talking about
  • I am anti-vegan
  • I am a meat industry shill
  • I can’t see the bigger picture

So, I decided that another article, clearing up things up was warranted.

Before We Begin

Before we get into this, we need to understand one important thing.

The previous article, and most of the ones that appear on this site are written from an animal rights perspective.

You can find a short primer on animal rights here.

To me, animal rights is the right for other animals to be given equal consideration.

When an ‘animal rights group’ organises an event that not only ignores, they also fail to mention rights, I will get upset and write about it.

Was It Animal Rights Or Animal Welfare Protest?

This is where most of the confusion comes from.

A majority, if not all those involved appear to believe that this event was an “animal rights” event.

Except it wasn’t.

This whole campaign was about the way an animal was treated.

It wasn’t about the animal’s rights which are violated.

Nor was it about raising awareness of any rights that other animals have.

It was nothing more than a protest to improve ‘welfare’.

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Why Not Seek An Animals Release

In a facebook discussion, a representative of Animal Liberation Queensland stated

The purpose of our action was to gain mainstream media attention to the dairy industry expose which we released 1.5weeks ago. Demanding the release of an animal would have meant that the message (standard industry practices) would have been lost.

In my mind, this is exemplary of the poverty of ambition that is ingrained within the “animal rights movement”.

And, a goal that is in conflict with the aim of the organisation.

Animal Liberation Queensland (ALQ) is an independent animal rights organisation, founded in 1979, which advocates the rights of non-human animals so that they may live free from abuse, cruelty, and exploitation. ALQ is a not-for-profit organisation in the state of Queensland and a registered charity.
Source: ALQ Facebook page

Chris Delforce director Aussie Farms. source: Facebook

Why Poverty Of Ambition?

How much attention did the stunt receive?

As mentioned in the previous article, it was 2 minutes on Channel 10 and 30 seconds on Channel 7, along with local paper articles.

It’s a week later now, and how many people who aren’t vegan remember what happened or why?

As I said in the previous article, negotiating the release of an animal can only reinforce any previous message.

Think about that for a minute.

How much greater would the impact of the realities of dairy be if the “hundreds of pledges” got regular emails about the life and story of calf #456?

(Yes, I do know bobby calves on that day didn’t have ear tags, though that isn’t the point).

Remember the #269 movement gets it’s name from the ear tag of a calf destined for slaughter.

Website Visits Are The Wrong Metric

A representative of Animal Liberation Queensland claims that the stunt was a success due to;

Hundreds of thousands reached on social media, tens of thousands of video views, thousands of website visits, hunderds of pledges to ditch dairy.

By this token, the past few articles I have written have been an over whelming success. They have been shared on social media, and traffic to the site has increased.

Stats from VeganPolice.com.au over the past 10 days

Except that is the wrong metric to go by.

What makes my website a success is people contacting me to ask for more information.

An animal rights protest can only be a success when people commit to going vegan.

Or the rights of animals are preserved

A pledge isn’t worth anything unless it is followed through with action.

Is The Condemnation Warranted?

Do you think the wrath of vegans that I have faced is warranted and justified?

It is if you know everything that there is to know about animal rights and animal advocacy.

If you don’t, then why do you think it is?

Is it because you think I have criticised hard working activists?
If you are honest, you will notice that I haven’t.

What I have done is criticise organisations for doing the wrong thing. It is these organisations that need to be held accountable for misleading activists into doing something that isn’t in alignment with their values.

Is it because I have commented on the actions of animal rights activists?
This protest was never an “animal rights” protest.

If animal rights activists participated in it, then they should have their motives questioned.

Is it because I criticised an “animal welfare” protest?
As, for want of a better term, an animal rights advocate, my goals are different to ‘animal welfare’ protests. So, I am more than able to do just that.

You want animals treated ‘better’.

I don’t want them objectified in the first place.

Is it because you don’t see me on the streets?
I’ve been there done that, and is no longer a priority for me. I can reach more people spending 2 or 3 hours writing an article for this blog than I ever could standing on a street corner. (For the record, I am not criticising those who do. I don’t want to spend my time doing it).

Search engine traffic to VeganPolice.com.au over the past 30 days. Courtesy of SemRush.com

If your position is sound, and you agree with your actions, then nothing I write should be able to upset you.

If it does or has, then it might be time for some soul searching to find out why.

Instead of going along with the status quo, think critically about your (in)actions. And think two, three or more steps ahead of where you are now.

Remember it was Sun Tzu who, in The Art Of War, said.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”