Thoughts about diluting the animal rights message
From Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies Articles Archive

FROM There's an Elephant in the Room blog
September 2019

Trillions of animals' ives are depending on this, and the desperate urgency of their plight is being added to each day by the collapsing ecosystems for which our predation is directly responsible. We are running out of time. Tell the truth!

Pig slaughterhouse
Image by Aitor Garmendia / Tras los Muros

For a moment, please imagine if you will, that this page were to highlight something horrific being done to humans, something such as torture, sexual violation, or forced labour. Imagine an article describing men, women and children, families and friends torn apart, desperate, degraded, and broken, as they beg and plead for the torment to stop, to be left in peace. What do you think the take-home message would be?

‘This needs to stop and it needs to stop now.’

I’m sure that’s simply what any decent person would expect. Here’s another question to consider. Do you think that a day will ever dawn when all humans will have stopped inflicting sickening brutalities on those whom they decide to oppress? For myself, I doubt it. So since brutality may never stop completely, does that have any effect on the message that it needs to stop and stop now? No, of course it doesn’t. Well so far, so good; I trust there’s nothing controversial up to this point?

Spreading messages via social media

So picture this; a social media post that summarises these points and attracts ‘likes’, ‘loves’, ‘sad faces’ and ‘angry faces’. Again, what you’d expect. It is also shared a number of times which is excellent – that’s how messages spread and how we provoke thought in our friends and contemporaries. We often add a message of our own when we do this, don’t we? So what do you think we should say in this case? How about:

  • ‘This shouldn’t happen to so many people.’
  • ‘Increase the age limit for separating infants from their mothers!’
  • ‘Support shorter hours for forced labourers!’
  • ‘Please be kinder and cut down on this.’
  • ‘Support more pleasant environments for sexual violation!’

You may be thinking by now that this is some kind of sick humour, and I truly wouldn’t blame you. Such comments are so offensive that they make me queasy. Please hold that thought while we shift back to our victims.

Animal rights and human rights

The main focus of this page has always been and will always be, Animal Rights. This means that instead of horrors inflicted on humans, it highlights the disgraceful practices that are inflicted on our victims, the myriad activities that constitute our unnecessary exploitation of their lives, their reproduction, their forced labour, and the parts of their violently slaughtered and dismembered corpses. The take-home message on every single post and blog, is always the same; always absolutely uncompromising,

‘This needs to stop and it needs to stop now.’

It’s encouraging that these articles are liked and shared, and I often see the sharer add a message of their own – which as I said before, can be brilliant to emphasise the point.

Why is it then, that on the back of a completely uncompromising explanation of why we have no right whatsoever to create victims, do I so often see things like:

  • ‘Try cutting down on meat.’
  • ‘Make kinder choices.’
  • ‘Boycott factory farms!’
  • ‘Try going meatless for a couple of meals a week!’
  • And then the gem that sparked this blog, ‘Try buying free-range’?

When challenged, the response is frequently that the writer of such a message considers that animal use is too entrenched to ever stop, hence their remark.

If it’s good enough for humans, it’s good enough for everyone

However. If the wildly offensive messages about human exploitation were not justified by the fact that our species is always likely to cause harm to each other, why on earth would the equivalent in offensive messages be justified when applied to our defenceless victims? The short answer? It’s not. Wrong is wrong, whichever way we slice it. To post an offensive message about other animals when we would be deeply offended by the equivalent if it were applied to humans, is a perfect illustration of our speciesism talking.

Our victims have no one but us to tell the truth about the grave injustice of the ordeal to which we routinely subject them. We owe that truth to them as they queue in the milking parlours and hatcheries and slaughterhouses; and we owe that truth to every single member of our own species. Those who are unable or unwilling to face that truth must live with their own conscience, but we cannot afford to dilute it.

Trillions of lives are depending on this, and the desperate urgency of their plight is being added to each day by the collapsing ecosystems for which our predation is directly responsible. We are running out of time. Tell the truth!

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