Eating God’s Way – A Vegan Only American

Posted on 08/11/2009


Vegetarians Still Complicit in Animal Suffering
By Gary L. Francione , Rutgers University School of Law – 19 Hours Ago
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Welcome to the Abolitionist Approach Commentary.

The Commentary will consist of a series of podcasts that discuss and
explore various aspects of the idea that we ought to abolish, and not
merely regulate, animal exploitation. The Commentary will reflect
ideas contained in this website and in my books.

Animals are nonhuman persons and we cannot morally justify treating
them as human resources. In addition, because animals are chattel
property or economic commodities, regulation of animal treatment
costsmoney and animal welfare regulations will almost never provide
significant protection for animal interests. As a general matter,
welfare regulations actually make animal use more profitable because
the regulations implemented are those that result in an economic
benefit for producers and consumers. The Abolitionist Approach
Commentary will discuss why animal welfare reform does not and cannot
work to provide protection for nonhuman animals.

The Abolitionist Approach Commentary will promote ethical veganism and
creative, non-violent vegan education as the primary forms of activism
to move toward the abolition of animal use. Ethical veganism goes
beyond not just eating animal products; it rejects the use of animals
for clothing or the use of products that contain animal ingredients or
that have been tested on animals. There is no moral distinction
between flesh and other animal products. All animal products involve
animal suffering and death.

The Abolitionist Approach Commentary will explore the notion of
“animal rights.” Although there is a great deal of controversy about
what rights humans should have, we all agree that that all oppose
human slavery, or treating humans as chattel property. The
Abolitionist Approach maintains that we cannot morally justify denying
this one right to all sentient nonhumans. This means that we should
stop bringing domesticated animals into existence. We should care for
those who are here now but we should not bring any more into
existence. We should leave non-domesticated animals alone and stop
encroaching on and destroying their habitats.

The Abolitionist Approach Commentary will seek to explore our “moral
schizophrenia” or the delusional and confused way in which we approach
animal ethics. We all agree that it is wrong to inflict “unnecessary”
suffering and death on nonhuman animals. If “necessity” is to have any
coherent meaning, it must mean at least that it is wrong to inflict
suffering and death on nonhuman animals for reasons of pleasure,
amusement, or convenience. But the overwhelming portion of animal use
can be justified only by pleasure, amusement, or convenience. Many of
us live with nonhumans animals who we regard as members of our
families. But we stick forks into other animals who are no different
factually or morally from the nonhumans we love.

The Abolitionist Approach Commentary will also discuss the issue of
violence and will explain why the movement to abolish animal
exploitation should be part of a larger movement for Ahimsa, or non-
violence. All humans exploit animals in some way or another.
Therefore, violence directed at institutional users makes no sense.
The institutional users of animals and producers of animal products
are not the problem; the problem is the public, which demands animal
products. If animal exploitation is ever to be ended, we must educate
people in a non-violent way and shift the moral paradigm away from
treating animals as property.

Finally, the Abolitionist Approach Commentary will address the
important relationship between animal rights and human rights, and
will explore why we should not use sexism, racism, and other forms of
discrimination to promote animal rights.

In this first Commentary, I discuss whether we should promote
vegetarianism as a “gateway” to veganism. I conclude that the answer
is “no.”

The bottom line: if you are a vegetarian, you are still complicit in
animal suffering; you are still complicit in animal killing.

If you regard animals as nonhuman moral persons, why would you be
complicit in animal suffering and death?
I hope that you find this Commentary and our future efforts useful for
your thinking about animal ethics.