The “Abolitionist Approach” Cult

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horses under merlin's tree

Written by: Roland Vincent,  Lawyer, Social Justice Activist, and Presidential Campaign Strategist

Reproduced With Permission

Artwork © Heather Clemenceau

 

There are some in the Animal Rights movement who are as intellectually open minded as are cult members. They seem to believe that people will just go from eating meat and wearing leather to being vegans in one fell swoop. All that is required is posting horrific images and railing against speciesism.

If only that would work.

In the real world, it doesn’t. Introducing people to compassion and veganism is easy. Getting people to change their lifestyles is not.

The so called “abolitionist approach” may make adherents feel righteous and morally superior to others, but it does not help the animals.

Consider: People are having babies faster than we are winning people to vegan lifestyles. And the abolitionists aren’t even helping us do that. They oppose transitional diets, vegetarianism, Meatless Mondays, vegan entre additions to school lunches and restaurant menus. If one is not 100% vegan the abolitionists consider them to be the enemy. Not a smart way to make friends or influence people.

So called “abolitionists” also oppose single issue campaigns as somehow promoting speciesism. They believe that efforts to save whales, elephants, rhinos, and seals, for example, denigrates the lives of cattle, pigs, lambs, and chickens dying in slaughterhouses.

They similarly oppose fighting the dogmeat trade in Asia, bullfighting in Spain and Mexico, pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania, and canned hunting in Africa. They even think criticizing Michael Vick is wrong.

The absurdity of their positions is lost on them. Only by reaching out and kindling people’s empathy can our movement grow. As people who love dogs and elephants, dolphins and whales, come to realize that all animals have the right to live and be free of exploitation, the Animal Rights movement will attract new activists and grow.

Erecting barriers to that growth is counterproductive and ridiculous.

And hurts the animals.

farmyard animals

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About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic (but not crazy) vegetarian, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - http://iwl.me/ Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

2 responses »

  1. Being a rabid animal activist I at first reared back from the computer in self-righteous horror at the beginning of your article. But reading on brought me down from the soap box to hear you out. Yeah, extremists are hard on people who fall below them on the spectrum. But. We need them in every issue from racial, feminism, gay, etc etc because they shock and challenge and rattle the established attitudes. Then the more moderate of us come along and don’t seem so bad. “Ok, I’m not ready to completely give up meat but maybe I could do meatless Mondays.” they think.
    Now the whole being against all the other animal campaigns does baffle me but I just add that to all the other people behaviours I can’t fathom.
    I enjoyed the article, thank you.

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