Lately, I have noticed that there seems to be more discussions that turn into arguments all relating to the position of abolitionists compared to welfarists. Most of the discussions seem to be centered around the position that two prominent people within the “movement” take.
The welfarist camp views the abolitionist position as too extreme and unattainable, whilst the abolitionist camp views the welfarist position as not going far enough.
Which one is right?
I personally believe that the abolitionist position is the right one to take, and cannot fault their logic. How the welfarists can push for a certain position such as “cage free” eggs or “happy meat” when the animals are still transported and slaughtered is beyond me. Stopping their exploitation should be the first and only target that they aim for. It stands to reason then that following a vegan lifestyle is the moral baseline to take.
The welfarist camp have their stalwart, who wrote a book over 30yrs ago, and they have been riding on it ever since. Yes, granted at the time the book did shake things up, and was probably responsible for the creation of the Animal Rights movement. Though that was 30 years ago, and I would be willing to bet that non-human animals are being exploited in more barbaric ways now, than they were at the time of the writing of the book.
It would seem, that just because this person wrote a book, they should be immune to any sort of criticism. When this person is branded as the “father of the animal rights movement” and seems to be pretty happy with that title. Yet they don’t seem to have a problem with the use of humans or non-human animals, nor promoting a vegan lifestyle as the only option, it makes me wonder what those outside the “movement” think about it all.
Yet the welfarists proclaim that the voice from the abolitionist side is pushing an unpalatable message, by advocating that veganism is the starting position for any sort of discussion with regards to the abuse of non-human animals. His position is that all forms of animal use/abuse/exploitation must stop, and that one of the ways to do that is to adopt a vegan lifestyle.
Those in the welfarist camp counter any criticism of their patriarch by resorting to personal attacks and claiming that he has been mis-quoted or it has been taken out of context. Or they say that the other person is arrogant, self righteous or some other insult, all the while still avoiding any discussion on the justification for their welfarist position.
Which would you prefer to see happen. One person become vegan, and save the lives of the associated number of non-human animals (both in food production and clothing) or have 10 people turn vegetarian (with the associated increase in supply of dairy products and eggs, along with no change in the animal used for clothing)
To me the answer is simple.
Go vegan. There is no other option.