We are told that to get “rights” for other animals, we need to continually campaign for improvement in the way that they are treated. And that one day, who knows when these industries will improve themselves out of existence.
While this is a great fairy tale that reformists tell new and eager vegans to suck them into their world, the reality of this is totally different.
A “rights” based message and a “reform” message are not the same, one will not lead to the other, and the two cannot coexist.
Reform ALWAYS Supports Industry
The interesting thing about the reformist movement is that everything it does is always to support the industry it is supposedly against.
We complained about animals being killed while still conscious and aware, so now they are “stunned” before slaughter.
It hasn’t stopped animals being killed.
It hasn’t resulted in an increase in the number of people who are vegan or actually understand “animal rights”.
Score one for the industry.
We complained about how many layer hens were kept in a cage.
Now we have “free range” and “cage-free” eggs.
This hasn’t stopped hens from being used as egg-producing “machines”. Nor has it stopped people consuming eggs.
What it has done is allow the egg industry to charge a higher price for the “product”, making it more profitable.
And, egg producers most likely got some sort of government assistance to “transition” to a cage-free production facility.
Score another one for the industry.
The list goes on and on and on.
Make People Feel “Better” About Their Consumption
Take the caged versus cage-free egg situation.
If they can afford it, consumers will most likely buy the cage-free product to make themselves feel better about their consumption of that product.
They will say things like their choice makes things better for the animals.
That they aren’t contributing to cruelty and so on.
Yet, because the reformist campaigns haven’t mentioned it, they don’t realise that their consumption, even of a better product still contributes to the practices they are against.
This is because it condones, and makes acceptable the consumption of eggs.
Reform Ignores Rights
How a position of reform can lead to an understanding of rights is beyond me.
By campaigning for reform, you are saying that the rights violations aren’t as important as the improvement.
If rights aren’t important now, why will they be important later?
Either rights matter or they don’t.
There aren’t any grey areas.
But It Helps “The Animals” Today
The reality of this myth is that it doesn’t.
Any “improvement” that is proposed usually takes years of public campaigning before a “review” is proposed.
“Reviews” take a few more years before a draft is presented.
The “draft” is presented for consultation for another year or two before it becomes “accepted”.
Once it is “accepted”, there is likely to be a substantial “transition” period. This can last as long as 10 – 15 years.
All up, from the first campaign to implementation is likely to at least 20 years.
So, what you are campaigning for doesn’t help “the animals” today.
In fact, it may be generations before “the animals” get the benefit of the reform.
And that is just one improvement to an industry that will need dozens more before it reforms itself out of existence.
Which will never happen.
Reform Campaigns Help Reformist Organisations
The other interesting this about reformist campaigns is how they help reformist organisations.
With every campaign, there will be something features the logo of the organisation.
The more campaigns there are, the more people will see this logo.
The more that people see this logo, the more likely they are to believe that this organisation “cares for animals”.
On top of this, there is bound to be a donate button featured prominently on their website.
With there always being one more fight or something else that can be done, the benefit of reformist campaigns for reformist organisations is endless.
Promoting Rights Is Always A More Efficient Option.
Let’s pretend that Mary wants Bill to choose a less cruel option when eating eggs.
It might take 12 months for Bill to think that buying cage-free eggs at a high price is something that he should be doing to feel better about how layer hens are treated.
Once he has done that, Mary might wait a few months and tell him that cage-free eggs are still “cruel” and that free to roam is a better option for the hens.
It might take another 12 months before Bill makes the decision to buy free to roam eggs.
From there, it might be another year or two before Bill is willing to consider going egg free.
All up a few years have gone by on just the eggs issue alone. This is without talking to him about the additional ways in which other animals are exploited
Yet if Mary had have spent two years talking to Bill about veganism and actual animal rights, once he has gone vegan, she wouldn’t need to keep talking to him about that.
Which one is a better use of Mary’s time?
But The Public Don’t Understand ‘Rights”
Granted this is true.
What makes it really embarrassing is that very few “activists” understand rights either.
And this is because reformist organisations have co-opted the term to suit their agenda.
The more we allow them to do this, the more activists there will be out there who don’t understand what an actual rights based message is.
And the harder it will be for the public to understand it too.
If we keep using the lack of understanding excuse as justification to not promote animals rights, the public will never understand it.
There is an old proverb that says:
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
The same applies to educating people about animal rights.
If you want to promote reform, go for it.
Just don’t pretend that it will end up in a rights-based position.
If you want to promote actual animal rights, do it.
And don’t let yourself be hoodwinked into promoting a reformist message as being “easier”.
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