Have you ever thought about participating on a so-called “cube of truth”?
Or, have you had others in the vegan community pressure you into participating in one?
Or, are you simply curious about them?
If so, then this post is for you.
This is why ethical vegans or animal rights activists shouldn’t be participating in them.
What Are They?
In simple terms, a cube is an alleged effective form of vegan outreach.
They usually involved a group of people standing in a square, (not a cube) facing outside wearing all black clothing and a Guy Fawkes mask, while holding a screen showing gruesome forms of animal treatment.
Any passersby who spend more than a nano second looking at one of the screens is approached by an outreacher who then recites some cookie cutter speech in an attempt to get them to take vegansim more seriously.
When they first started, cubes were put on by “Anonymous For The Voiceless”, a business partnership between Paul Bashir and Asal Alamdari.
This business partnership was deceptively portrayed as a not for profit organisation, hoodwinking donors into believing they were supporting the organisation, not the two business partners.
In late 2018, a new organisation was started as Anonymous For The Voiceless Ltd. This organisation was granted charity status by the Australian Charity and Non-profit Commission. (Both Asal and Paul are listed as directors of this new entity).
They Aren’t About Animal Rights
Their website says Anonymous for the Voiceless holds an abolitionist stance against animal exploitation and promotes a clear vegan message.
Except, they show footage of, and talk about how some animals are treated.
This is animal welfare, not animal rights.
Then there is the objects of the new organisation, that states.
The Objects for which the Company is established are to:
(a)preventing or relieving the suffering of animals by:
(i)educating and providing information on, and increasing public awareness of, the suffering of animals; and
(ii)lobbying governments to reduce the suffering of animals, which will in turn alleviate the likelihood of the animals from continuing to suffer;
(b)advancing health by:
(i)promoting the health benefits of having a plant based diet; and
(ii)assisting people to transition to, a plant based diet, which will in turn improve the health of individuals; and
(c)advancing the natural environment by:
(i)promoting the environmental benefits of a plant based diet; and
(ii)assisting people to transition to a plant based diet, which will in turn improve the natural environment.
What this means is that they are lying to you when they say that they are an animal rights group.
They simply aren’t.
Unless they are lying on their constitution.
Here is one of the organisers of the Brisbane cubes who says
I spoke to two French people that actually didn’t know about the cruelty that goes on in the egg and dairy industries.
Stand up for the animals and talk to people about what goes on in the industry.
Neither of those are “animal rights” or is an “abolitionist stance”.
Lack Of Transparency
Prior to the creation of the new not for profit entity there were huge red flags about the lack of transparency of the business partnership.
They still haven’t disclosed how much money they received from website and other donations, nor have they disclosed how much of that money they spent on their lifestyle.
What makes it even more concerning is that the various chapters have to raise their own funds, with very little support from head office.
Whether the new organisation receives all of the funds raised remains to be seen.
At time of writing this, the business partnership was still registered.
Other Animals Aren’t Voiceless
Despite what the name of the organisation suggests, other animals aren’t voiceless.
They do have their own voice.
Except most of the time we don’t hear it.
By saying they are doing something for the voiceless implies that they have the moral right to do so.
It also implies that the voiceless want them to do what they are doing.
Unless we all become Dr Doolittles, there is no way for us to know if any animal wants us to speak on their behalf.
Claiming to do so, is an arrogant statement, and dismisses any other views.
The AV people claim to be “non-violent”, yet here the are wearing the mask of someone who was about to commit an act of mass murder, and terrorism.
For those who came in late, Guy Fawkes was part of the Gunpowder Plot to overthrow King James I in 1605, by blowing up the House of Lords because they wanted to install a Catholic head of state, instead of the Protestant King James I.
Does this really seem like someone a supposedly non violent group would happily promote?
If it is just a mask, why not wear a clown mask, or a rubber presidents mask, or cut a smiley face out of cardboard?
Are They “Effective”?
This is debatable.
Whenever there is a cube they usually boast about some large number of people who will now take veganism seriously.
Though, what exactly does that mean, and how do they know they actually will?
Telling someone to subscribe to a mailing list or something on facebook, doesn’t mean they are taking veganism seriously.
For all they know, it could be said to allow the person to leave without unresolved conflict.
Then consider that in the 2019 VOMAD survey, 1.4% of respondents said that public activism was the first thing that made them seriously consider going vegan.
Why is this?
From what I have seen of the footage of these cubes, is that the person only talks to them about what they want to say.
A cookie cutter speech in other words.
I haven’t seen any of them ask the person what their barriers to going vegan are.
They don’t ask if they have the support of their peers or family to go vegan.
The focus is on talking about the cruelty that some animals face.
But We’re Here “For The Animals”
This is something that I hear a lot.
People attend a cube to do something for the animals, not to get involved in the internal politics of the group.
While this is what they may think, it isn’t the case.
By participating in a cube, they are saying that they agree with and condone what is happening.
You can’t claim you are neutral on something if you are participating in those events.
If you really want to do something for the animals, keep reading.
What’s The Alternative?
First of all, don’t believe for a second that if you are vegan and you aren’t doing cubes that you aren’t active.
Simply being vegan is being active.
You make a conscious decision every time you go shopping to not support animal agriculture or buy items that are derived from animals.
This isn’t being passive, it is being active.
If you really want to do something for the animals, work on yourself first.
Set the best example that you can for others to follow.
If you aren’t setting a good example, it doesn’t matter how many cubes you attend, you won’t be effective.
Once you have yourself straight, then it is time to look at doing something else.
I am yet to hear any convincing arguments why people shouldn’t be writing blog posts.
They are far more efficient than attending a protest, jumping over a fence or attending a cube.
I wrote something about that earlier this year, which you can read here (Why Every Vegan Should Be Blogging).
Image source: Facebook.
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