This weekend there is an Animal activists forum being held in Sydney, NSW along with the AGM of Animals Australia.
Not being able to attend I thought I would have a look at the program to see what I missed.
Most of it was fairly innocuous, except for today’s presentation by Mark Pearson from Animal Liberation NSW at 3:00pm today.
It is titled “The Continuum Between Soft Welfarism And No Compromise (Which Is Better For Animals Breathing Today And Those Who Will Be Tomorrow?)”
Individuals and organizations seriously involved in animals’ rights constantly grapple with the continuum between ‘soft’ welfarism and ‘no compromise’ and all the aspects in between. It is rare that an individual or organization remains adhered to one position for the entire time of a commitment in the movement. But what is most important – while we struggle with our ideologies – is what is actually happening for individual animals which are impacted upon by our actions and influences. That is – the animals breathing today, who will be breathing tomorrow and who may or may not exist in the future?
There are so many points in just what is written above that have been deliberately put in their to support his own position, which appears to be that of incremental reform and regulation.
To begin with, there is not a “no compromise” movement in this country, or none that I am aware of. That is what is known as militant direct action, the sorts of campaigns that the ALF, and similar groups undertake.
There is an unmentioned dichotomy in the animal advocacy movement where groups are influencing impressionable people to believe that it is possible campaign for these continual incremental changes or regulatory reform whilst seeking the end goal of the end of animal use.
The other misleading point I would like to mention is Mr Pearson’s mention of animal rights.
Animal rights is campaigning for the legal recognition, whether enshrined in legislation or common law, of other animals not to be treated as property. The recognition as a legal entity in the eyes of the law, much the same way that corporations are a legal entity with regards to relevant legislation.
And once again, I do not know of any organisation in Australia that is actually campaigning for that.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, At least we are doing something those who campaign for incremental change aren’t really doing anything for the animals today or tomorrow. A few years down the track, maybe.
Those supporting incremental change will say that they are looking at the big picture and that what they are doing is making a difference. Dare I say it, the only difference that I feel they are making is to the profitability of animal agriculture.
Despite all the hard hitting propaganda and heartfelt speeches that are given by those advocating for incremental reform, animal agriculture knows full well that the consumer will be willing to pay more for a product that is treated better than what they would pay for one that isn’t. The RSPCA’s Heather Neil even used this as justification for the feedlot industry to improve their standards, at a recent BeefEx conference. Therefore, if industry can continue to make a profit out of these animals by implementing these incremental changes, why would they all of a sudden decide that they no longer want to exploit them sometime in the future?
Here is a question i would like you to answer. What do you think is better for the animals, now and in the long run, talking to 10 people who will now buy cage free eggs and happy meat, or talking to 10 people who will go vegan and thereby no longer actually using any animal products at all.
If the organisation you are part of isn’t promoting the vegan message, they aren’t really in the animal advocacy movement to begin with.
Ultimately it comes down to whether you want to be part of the social justice or social acceptance movement.