On Abolitionist Animal Sanctuaries
As you know, I support Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, which is the only abolitionist, vegan (which is redundant, unlike vegan, abolitionist, which is not redundant) farmed animal sanctuary in the country. I was steered to Animal Place as another possible focus for my philanthropy, as I’ve been retooling my giving plan. Allow me to clarify why that wouldn’t be a good choice for me.
In an interview in Satya magazine, Michele Alley-Grubb, co-founder of Peaceful Prairie (PPS) is passionate about:
promoting veganism (as the only effective means to advocate for the cessation of cruelty and murder of farmed animals), and resisting temptation to appease donors if promoting veganism is compromised and/or the exploitation of some farmed animals is offered as an acceptable and even desirable alternative to the exploitation of other farmed animals.
And when visitors to PPS proudly claim they "only by cage-free eggs" or whatever else that they say was "humanely produced," she promptly shows them Libby, a hen rescued from a cage-free facility, and Jewel, a hen rescued from a battery facility, and asks them to tell which is which (/who is who). But their mutilated bodies are so similar the visitors can’t say who came from which type of animal operation.
Meanwhile, in the Satya interview with Kim Sturla of Animal Place, we get a profoundly different message. She says:
[Ned Buyukmihci, the co-founder of Animal Place] fights for the rights of animals, which, we hope, results in a level of humane standards that are higher than Certified Humane. That doesn’t mean I would ever encourage anyone to go into Whole Foods to buy humanely raised meat. But I would encourage them to shop at Whole Foods because they surpass most other companies.
Do you see the difference? PPS doesn’t use its energy and resources to work with animal exploiters and help them with the public relations nightmare that is their business by proposing small changes that will make people feel better about consuming animals while increasing their profits. Animal Place does agree that abolition is the goal, and does think "humanely raised" is bunkum, yet fights for incremental changes in the treatment and regulation of farmed animals.
This is a perfect example of new welfare vs. abolition. Decide where you stand and support organizations that share your mission. For a thorough response to someone wondering if it’s okay to promote "humanely produced" animal products, check out Gary Francione’s blog.