Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Abolitionist Again

So. You may have noticed my silence since my last post. It was weird, after writing that, the universe started hammering me with messages opposing my stance. Everywhere I turned there were compelling arguments against welfarism and amazing people doing amazing things from an abolitionist perspective; essays, lectures, blogs, and Facebook updates. So after being confronted with damning evidence in favour of being abolitionist; here I am with my tail between my legs having to admit that I was wrong.

I thought using the angle of animal welfare as a gateway for getting meat eaters to listen to my views was the best way to go. For example, I was chatting with my dad, aunt and uncle last week. Usually they switch off and/or take the piss out of me when I preach that killing animals for food is inherently wrong. This time my opener was much better received. 

''Fine whatever, you don't agree with me that animals shouldn't be killed for food. But surely, you agree with me that they shouldn't be intensively farmed and subject to torture and excruciating conditions just so that we can buy meat cheaply?''

They agreed, then they listened to my rants on factory farms and for once I wasn't having to defend my position. And there you have it; 3 more meat eaters who now know what happens in factory farms who didn't know before. Success!

Well at least I thought so. Of course they listened. Of course they agreed with me. Of course they were more open. But that doesn't mean there was any sort of breakthrough. They listened because they weren't being accused of doing anything wrong. I was telling them that it's fine to eat meat. I was telling them that the only thing they are guilty of, is not knowing the truth, and that's not their fault is it? Pandering to them like this isn't going to break down any barriers. Do I really believe that any of them are going to make a committed effort to stop buying factory farmed produce? Come on, as if! And even if they did, I was convincing myself that this would be a half way step to veganism, but it's not! People who believe they're doing enough by buying higher welfare meat are even harder to 'convert'!

If I expect anyone to change, they need to hear the harsh truth. The full truth. That animals are not ours to use, full stop. That's the message that needs to be heard because everything hinges on that. If more people believed that, fur farms, meat farms, dairy farms, puppy mills, none of them would exist anyway! We wouldn't need to pussy foot around these people and beg them to torture the animals in a nicer way. The fundamental core issue that animal use is just plain bad is what the animals need people to be pushing.

But as long as we have people fighting in any way they can for the animals, that's a good thing, right? Nope. Not only does this attitude not help, it is actually detrimental to the cause. It sets it all back a step. You just have to listen to people proudly proclaiming that they only buy free range eggs to know that it's all bollocks. It just allows people to plod on ignorantly through life with their eyes closed.

Will my family be as open to hearing my views that eating meat is heinous altogether? Absolutely not. Will they taunt me and tell me they don't care how cute the pig is because its bacon is just too goddamn tasty? Yep. Will they tell me that Jesus ate fish? Yup. Will I go round in circles and continue having the same conversations with every single person I converse with on the matter? You bet. Will they be pissed off and call me a nutter and laugh at me behind my back? I can guarantee it. 

But that's OK. Telling people the whole story, that's the only thing that's gonna change the way they think. They react in that typical way because I make them uncomfortable, (i.e. it's working!) I force them to see the truth and they'll hate me for a while because of it. But there aren't any short cuts. Yeah, I might feel better when they politely listen and agree with me that cages should be bigger blah blah blah but that's selfish, it's not doing anything to help the animals so what's the point? 


  1. I'm glad you came to this conclusion! Mike and I are abolitionist, but used to be welfarists. One of the main reasons I took over 8 years to go from vegetarian to vegan was because I bought into the "organic eggs & cheese are okay" argument.

    Have you read anything by Gary Francione, or listened to his podcasts? He makes some very solid arguments for abolitionism. Vegan Freaks podcast is another one, although they haven't done one in several years. Their podcasts are what made us finally go vegan for good. :)

    P.S. I'm glad to see you back around! I was going to comment soon to make sure all was well!

  2. Oh, Molly, I should have mentioned; I was reading your story about going vegan and I downloaded Vegan Freak, when you mentioned listening to it on your road trip - that was one of the things that changed my mind this week!! LOVED IT, thank you so much!!! I've listened to HOURS of it just these past few days when I've been cooking in the kitchen :-) They sum it up so perfectly, it really made sense! xx

  3. p.s. Gary Francione, consider him on my reading list :-)

  4. Oh, yay, that's so cool! I'm glad you like the podcast. We miss it so much!

  5. Funny how so many families sound like the same family...many of your relatives must borrow their viewpoints and sayings from my relatives...or the reverse or something. :-)

  6. I think you must have been talking about my family here. I have finally given up on them. It basically goes in one ear and out the other....ugh

  7. I have found that to reach loved ones is to connect the movement in some way with their own health. People who stubbornly eat meat because it tastes good to them may make a change when their own welfare is at stake, especially if they are currently having a health issue. Even though the reason is a different one, the end result is that the animals benefit.

  8. Yep, I can imagine...but I wouldn't give up on them, I've mentioned before about my carnivorous sister who is now veggie - don't stop telling them!!

    Actually Blessedmama, my dad is actually beginning to give up some animal products now because of his health so totally agree



Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, I look forward to reading them :-)

  © Free Blogger Templates Blogger Theme II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP