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.

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Do ‘Animal Groups’ Need An Ethics Committee?

Photo Credit: myCAES via Compfight cc

With the increase in the number of animal “matters” being ‘exposed’ through the media, is it time for animal protection groups to refer campaigns to an ethics committee?

In an ideal world, before any campaign or investigation was started, the group would lodge a submission with the ethics review board to assess the long and short term impact to the animals, and how the action compares to the aims of the organisation.

That way, only those activities which aligned with the aims/objectives of the group and had a long term positive benefit on the lives of other animals would see the light of day. Instead of how it is at the moment where groups are doing anything and everything for their share of the spotlight.

What’s More Important, Animals Or Attention?

For arguments sake, let’s use the recent greyhound live-baiting expose as an example.

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About The Race That Stops The Nation

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Once again the Race That Stops The Nation,The Melbourne Cup, has been clouded in controversy. This time due to the deaths of two horses, Admire Rakti and Araldo, after the race had been run.

And once again, so-called animal ‘protection’ groups are calling for racing to be banned, and/or people to ‘pledge’ not to bet on racing whilst horses die.

All this is fine and dandy for those groups as it will allow them to build on their 15 mins of fame, and in the case of Animals Australia – increase awareness of their ‘brand’.

Though will it really do anything with regards to the way that humans view other animals?

Sadly, I will have to say no.

To begin with, as long as betting on horses is seen as a way of striking it rich, and horse racing is promoted as the sport of kings it will continue to exist.

Mind you having a look at some of the photos of Flemington racetrack AFTER the event, I believe that it should be renamed the sport of slobs. Sadly, that sort of behaviour isn’t only reserved for racing and is more indicative of our collective lack of respect for pretty much everything.

It is a virtual uphill battle to have other animals given equal consideration when even those who supposedly care for them the most still view them as nothing more than an object. Take the following quote by Mick Moroney, the trainer of Araldo.

Nothing could be done to save the horse after scans showed its pastern had been broken in seven places and resembled a “bag of ice”.

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Hunters Are Bloodthirsty Barbaric Cowards

Hunters Are Bloodthirsty Barbaric Cowards

Hunters Are Bloodthirsty Barbaric CowardsThese are the words spoken by self proclaimed animal liberationist Felicity Anderson when she appeared on a recent episode of SBS’ Living With The Enemy. These words have also been echoed by a number of other vegans claiming that hunters will never go vegan.

I wonder if any of those people have stopped to consider how close to the truth are those comments really are?

If the comments are just sweeping generalisations, is any consideration paid to the damage both to the movement and to other activists that they may be causing?

Are Hunters Bloodthirsty?

Having been a hunter for a number of years before and after turning vegan, I can tell you that the majority of people who hunt actually aren’t bloodthirsty monsters.

Sure there may be a few who enjoy and participate in hunting because they view it as a blood sport, though in my experience they are in the minority.

This would be the same as saying that all vegans are left winged misanthropic hippies who are out of touch with reality.

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Animals On Show

Please indulge me with this hypothetical for a moment.

Let’s say that the time is 50,60 or even 100 years ago.

The female human is thought of as an object that the males of the species can do with as he wants.

Females are readily kept in cages, denied access to education, socialisation and forced to perform tasks against they wouldn’t normally do through behaviour modification.

Let’s also say that there is a growing movement that wants females to be treated and considered as equals.

How would they go about achieving this?

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The Speciesist Nature Of Animal Advocacy

3345Have you noticed how it is becoming more and more popular and acceptable to ‘advocate’ for a particular animal at the expense of another?

We see it most weekends at our local supermarkets/hardware store where a Save The ‘X’ group is having a sausage sizzle to raise funds for their designated animal.

Unfortunately for the animals, these types of campaigns aren’t only reserved for those ‘small’ groups that don’t know any better.

Animals Australia does it with their Make It Possible campaign, and their continual focus on land based food animals who are kept in factory farms, show total disregard for those animals raised for research or aquatic animals raised in aquaculture.

The Animal Liberation franchise does it in nearly everything that they do.

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Open Letter to Angus Taylor, Member for Hume – New South Wales

Dear Mr Taylor,

I am writing this letter to you out of concern over comments that you have made regarding the actions the alleged extreme animal rights group Aussie Farms, and its operations director, Mr Chris Delforce.

You have said that because Mr Delforce has the view that animal agriculture shouldn’t exist that he is un-Australian and their behavior is unacceptable.

Well Mr Taylor, just like Mr Delforce, I am also of the belief that animal agriculture doesn’t have a place in the modern Australian farming landscape.

Does this also make me un-Australian?

Mr Taylor, whilst the actions of Mr Delforce and Aussie Farms may get the approval of some within the animal advocacy movement, I personally believe that they are actually setting the movement back, and making it harder for those of us who want to have a legitimate discussion about the use of other animals. In fact, the recent piece that I wrote regarding this appeared in the same publication as your comments, some 2 days earlier.

What really concerns me about your comments Mr Taylor is that as a Federal Member of Parliament for the seat of Hume, you are supposed to the people’s representative in Canberra. Not an industry representative as you appear to be.

Mr Taylor, please understand that like Mr Delforce, I will do whatever it take to shut down animal agriculture, an industry that I believe to be archaic and out-dated.

Though unlike Mr Delforce, I will do it within the confines of the law. So please do not tar us all with the same brush.

Mr Taylor, you have said that you have worked hard to understand where the animal welfare lobby comes from, though have you taken any time to understand where the ‘animal rights’ lobby comes from?

Remember they are two totally separate groups with different views and goals.

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