Skip to content

On Welfarists and Nazis

Robert Cohen, of, writes:

Thanks to Rutgers University law professor Gary Francione for creating a work of art by combining my words with music and photographs.

I’m sure we know what bunny thinks, as she brought this to our attention a couple of weeks ago. As you all know, I have no problem with the Holocaust analogy. However, I don’t think that seeing how similar the two situations are is the same thing as calling someone a Nazi. The difference, for me, is the underlying motivation. The Nazis, whether leaders or just following orders, believed, to one degree or another, that they were helping rid the world of some kind of scourge. Animal welfarists, and I’m sure there are exceptions just as there were Nazis who were exceptions, believe they are helping the animals (the victims) by finding ways to inflict less pain on them and kill them more efficiently. They don’t despise the animals and think the world would be a better place without them; they in fact want them around so they can continue to use them. Call it a nuance, but for me it’s important.

I do believe that the average welfarist and I are not fighting the same battle, and I do think there are exceptions (and I have no idea if Wayne Pacelle is one, but he certainly is an interesting case because he’s a vegan). But what I find difficult to believe is that they’re intending to create a market where more people (including vegetarians) are more comfortable eating animals. That might be an unintended consequence of their behavior that they need to examine as soon as possible and alter their strategy accordingly, but to attribute a Nazi-like intention to them doesn’t make sense to me.

I was a welfarist a mere two years ago. I was certain that humans weren’t going to stop the massacre of sentient nonhumans anytime soon, and that the least I could do was to find a way for them to suffer less while they are being used. I had absolutely no intention of making anyone feel more comfortable about using and consuming them; I just wanted to do what I could to alleviate some of their suffering because my personal goal (the world stops using them) was unattainable.

Is that the mentality of a Nazi, asks the one-eighth-Jewish Mary Martin?

What do you think?


23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Roger #

    Interesting points, Mary. I can see where you are coming from. The person I kept thinking about watching this is Temple Grandin. I'm sure she is different from general animal welfarists who I agree are doing what they think is best. However, that is exactly what Grandin would claim as well.

    Interesting, then, because that raises P*TA in my mind and again I think there must be a difference between the people who support their CAK campaign and those who THOUGHT OF IT in the first place.


    August 28, 2008
  2. kim #

    Unless you believed that animals should continue to be exploited, but that their welfare was important, you weren't a welfarist. A welfarist doesn't desire the end of exploitation.

    August 28, 2008
  3. Kim,
    I was what Francione would call a "new welfarist."

    August 28, 2008
  4. kim #

    Oh, I know that's what his term is. But I think you've shown how "welfarist" ends up being used incorrectly because of his poor attempt at coining a term. Because "animal welfarism" is a distinct and separate position that has nothing to with "animal liberation". Showing concern for a being's "welfare" while working for his/her release has no similarities to what "welfarists" believe.

    August 28, 2008
  5. John Carbonaro #

    Kim is right. You were never a traditional welfarist. I guess a 'new welfarist' is someone who believes in achieving relief from immediate suffering while working towards abolition. Interesting that some abolitionists say that measures to decrease suffering in a profit-driven capitalist society are not worth pursuing because they 1- don't work ( a strangely utilitarian sentiment) and 2- dilute the A.R. message. In the end, it's trying to find out what will best influence the consumer, who *should* drive the industry.
    What we call Mother Teresa, who worked in a hierarchical system (like animals to humans). She did not try to change the political system/view that created much of the suffering. She focused on the suffering itself. Did India say, 'as long as we have people like Mother Teresa, we can continue with our way of life. Was she a 'nazi' welfarist?
    If i was unfairly imprisoned with a death sentence then yes i would like people to work to get me out. But in the meantime, i would be glad that i have been given the choice between being gassed and having my throat cut. PETA's support of CAK is new welfarist. They really don't care what the public/industry/other animal advocates think. They are thinking of the birds quality of life while upholding (via vegan promotion) the sanctity of life. The real question is..what do the consumers think, and how will they respond? Regarding the faux chicken sandwich, PETA has driven a wedge into the mass media consumer consciousness: "another meat-only empire has now compromised". That could be a powerful social/symbolic message for change (i hope). Maybe we are no further than what Sinclair achieved with "The Jungle"- hitting people in their stomachs instead of their hearts. I'll stay on the path of rights, but we need to use heart, not names to reach people where they need to be reached.

    August 29, 2008
  6. I have said that I don't like using the term "new welfarist," as it seems to cause more problems than it solves because it's perceived as an insult. And I guess it is, as "welfarist" is certainly an insult to someone interested in stopping the use of sentient nonhumans. But I've also said, several times, that it's a perfect term because it is concise, economical, and says what it is. I was a "new welfarist," which is not a traditional welfarist, but a welfarist nonetheless. At the time would I have said I was any kind of welfarist? No (hence the insult perception). But the way I spend my time was in the service of welfare reform. And that's apparently the difference between an abolitionist and a new welfarist.

    John, I suggest reading the commentary on CAK by Gary at "The Abolitionist Approach" with regards to its greater efficiency (i.e., results in increased productivity–meaning increased YIELD–and increased profits) at

    It's tough for me to spend my time advocating for a measure that might indeed decrease suffering, but that results in the slaughter of MORE chickens, and also makes people feel better about eating chickens. It's not an easy decision as it's like saying you're willing to sacrifice the welfare of the chickens today, for some goal that may never be reached tomorrow. There are compromises in both positions, and I suppose we all choose the one we're most comfortable with.

    August 29, 2008
  7. Bea Elliott #

    I think advocating new and better ways to slaughter animals is an awful way to try to say you are "helping" animals. In that respect, the "humane slaughter act" and recent chicken gassing technology might be reasonably compared to Nazism.

    Organizations that put their efforts into refining "the machine" are doing so with valuable funds that could be spent elsewhere, namely vegan advocacy. Yet both HSUS and PETA both do that as well. I think they are taking an "attack at all fronts" kind of strategy. As we know, the problems animals face is mind boggling.

    In the meantime there has been legislation prohibiting certain acts here in the U.S. For example horse slaughter and dog/rooster fighting. I don't know if either would have been accomplished if not for the efforts of PETA and HSUS. They are a mixed bag. I certainly don't support them, I do find many of their campaigns meaningless and some perhaps detrimental.

    But just as the butchered animals aren't benefiting from any "humane" practice, neither are they benefiting from the efforts Abolitionists are spending pointing out the differences. I know that some people who eliminated animal products probably will consume them again if they feel the animals died "better". But these people didn't "get it" in the first place.

    The best that I can say about PETA and HSUS is that they open fissures. As Abolitionists, as Vegans, we can either continue to cry that the crack isn't deep or wide enough, or that it's misdirected. Or we can chip away with our own purpose and our own message in our own way. Sadly, none of us will run out of "battle field" any time soon.

    The mention of Temple Grandin can't be avoided when one thinks of "humane slaughter". For someone who "thinks in images" I can't fathom the horrors in her head. By the way, Claire Danes is starring in an HBO film based on her life:


    August 29, 2008
  8. Alex C. #

    I didn’t like the movie. If the author/director’s purpose was to bring more sheep into the abolitionist fold, then I suspect that he has failed. Whether we agree with the welfarist position or not (and for the record, I do not), we have to remember that no-one – including welfarists – appreciates being compared to a Nazi.

    This video illustrates what I think is a larger problem with the animal movement. Most of the animal-rights “propaganda” (for lack of a better word) is extremely heavy-handed – and hence unconvincing. I thought the movie “Earthlings”, for example, was just awful, and I couldn’t imagine myself showing it to any of my carnivorous friends or family members. People’s defenses go up as soon as you start overtly preaching to them. And their defenses ESPECIALLY go up when you start trying to convince them that they are evil people. A person who feels insulted is unlikely to be receptive to your arguments.

    Michael Moore’s recent movie “Sicko” is a much better example of advocacy done right. Moore has an important message, but he doesn’t slap you in the face with it. His movie does include tear-jerking moments, but Moore wisely includes many engaging stories – and a big dose of humor. The abolitionist movement could learn a lot from Michael Moore.

    August 29, 2008
  9. John carbonaro #

    I read Gary's article about KFC/PETA?CAK the day it came out.I found it pretty much dismissable, unfortunately. I read the original news article that Gary drew the quote "no difference in opinion…" That is what the corporation said, not PETA. Of course the corp. would lie about their years of cruelty & still come up with something like ' we always had the chicken's best interests at heart'

    Nowhere did i see Francione at least acknowledge that the chickens will suffer less (which they will).
    He also stated that the CAK method is the future of the industry anyways, yet he seems to hold PETA/Wefarism responsible.
    He may feel that it is wrong for an organization like PETA to get behind this & urge CAK for the purpose of (in his opinion) 'self-promotion', but i don't really think PETA is in it for self-promotion like everybody charges. It is in it for promoting the interests of the bird's lives while they are held captive.
    Another opinion is that PETA realized that when talking to an animal-based, commodity-in-killing industry, you have to appeal to what make sense to them($$$$$!!!). It doesn't mean that PETA's view is the same, perhaps they make the sacrifice in image(to abolitionists particularly) to help the chickens' Quality Of Life. Now it is up to us to promote 'empty KFC's, not more KFC's' through our continuing efforts towards veganism/animal rights. Now That will decide whether more birds die, not a more 'effecient' killing machine production.That is why i spend my time only talking about animal rights, but not judging (too harshly) the immediate goals of new welfare.
    Again, where is the evidence that says that improved welfare creates better consumer-feelings = more consumption?
    Perhaps at least keeping animal interests in the minds of people will help pave the way for future consideration of their rights. But this is no more provable than the theory that welfare will increase consumption.
    It is a matter of perspective that these methods are only about 'new and better ways to slaughter'. Like Mary said, its about intention as well. It may not all be about calculation, it may be about compassion as well.
    I like to continue the talk about framing people's actions as "nazi" with regards to intention. That is why it is hard to reach vivisectors as well. We charge them with 'torture', yet is that the definition of torture (like human to human)? They deny that their intention is to torture, even when the experiment is designed to create suffering. The animals don't care, pain is pain, but if we are to reach the people doing it/supporting it, can we legitamately call them 'torturers'?
    Contrary to what you may believe about my words, i do 'get it'. But i think that animal rights people do a disfavour to themselves and animals when they use the same judgemental language/perspectives without spending time/ going to the source of their distain. Heck, i take PETA to task on a regular basis, but i spend some of my time on their site, obtaining their direct answers before making a judgement about some particular issue.

    August 29, 2008
  10. Quote:

    “Animal welfarists, and I'm sure there are exceptions just as there were Nazis who were exceptions, believe they are helping the animals (the victims) by finding ways to inflict less pain on them and kill them more efficiently. They don't despise the animals and think the world would be a better place without them; they in fact want them around so they can continue to use them.”

    I’ve never understood this argument. To say that P.E.T.A., for example, keeping in mind their new “Animal Liberation Project” and their underlying premise that “animals are not ours to eat, to wear, to experiment on, to use for our entertainment, or to abuse in any way” (i.e., animals are not our property), that their efforts to pass welfare reform legislation is done for the purpose of keeping them around for our continued use (albeit, less suffering and pain in that use) is rediculous. This is absurd on its face. Attributing to H.S.U.S., with their support of faux meat alternatives such as Ives and Tofurky brand, these “Nazi-like” intentions is patently false; and backwards thinking.

    August 29, 2008
  11. Alex,
    I'm confused. Are you saying you think I'M attributing Nazi-like intentions or that the film is? I'm the one saying there's a difference, albeit subtle, as welfarists are, I believe, genuinely trying to help. Welfarists, by definition though, aren't calling for the cessation of the use of animals. So in fact, they want them around so they can continue to use them. HSUS at no point says they don't want us to use animals (or even breed cats and dogs!). (PETA is a different story, which sends mixed messages.)

    I haven't heard Gary speak about the animals suffering less, either. In some cases, I'm sure there is less suffering, and again and again this will come down to what we spend our time on, and whether telling people that it's okay to eat whatever animal product because the suffering has been reduced is a good use of your time (or whether you have a problem with the intellectual honesty of the situation) is a personal decision.

    As for "where is the evidence that says that improved welfare creates better consumer-feelings = more consumption?" I have written posts on books (like the Delusional Author posts, of which there was a handful) that advocate for the consumption of animals (by compassionate carnivores and the like) as well as chefs and butchers who used to be vegans. For the past year, I have seen an increase in articles about vegans and vegetarians who are going back to eating animals because of the compassionate carnivore craze. Veal has increased in popularity, for heaven's sake, and is one of Wolfgang Puck's bestsellers and is now back in vogue in the UK!

    Like you, I'm sure, what I'd like to see is a study (and I've suggested this before and I was promptly given reasons why it wouldn't work or be accurate or reliable) on the topic. After all, if we all discovered that welfare reforms have led to a greater number of vegans, we just might be singing a different tune. If I saw evidence that that was the case, I promise you I'd be ecstatic to post about it. Unfortunately, all I see is evidence of people feeling better–just like the ads and the labels tell them they can feel better–about eating animals.

    August 29, 2008
  12. bunny #

    Carbonara quote: "If i was unfairly imprisoned with a death sentence then yes i would like people to work to get me out. But in the meantime, i would be glad that i have been given the choice between being gassed and having my throat cut."

    This thinking is sound from the individual point of view, but not from the altruistic holistic perspective. How would you feel if you knew that the many people investing all their time to lesson your suffering could be working instead toward the absolute ultimate release of ALL humans, which would happen much much sooner if not for them spending all their time trying to give you a choice–a choice, which in the end, would result in your death anyway? Would you rather have a choice in your way of death, or would you rather have the absolute release of all your fellow humans to arrive much more quickly? (Actually, the real question is: would you rather have animal advocates working tirelessly for your choice of suffering *OR* toward the absolute release of all your fellow humans (it's kind of boolean situation). Because the more I am reading about the history of welfarism, the more I believe its dominance may forever hinder the ultimate goal of abolition, at least until it fades into non-existence. GRANTED, that does not mean I believe that the abolitionists' zombified fixation on welfarism is the best approach toward furthering the goals toward abolition and creating a significant base of vegans to overcome welfarism.)

    Yeah, I won't harp further on the Nazi thing. I've said my piece in my other post. However…

    I'll simply quote Diane Beers from her book For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States (of which I am finally giving a thorough read):

    (Page 27 talks about animal advocacy during the period of time following the Civil War) "But as happened with abolition, the strategic move into politics facilitated a split in the movement. Even the most effective lobbying frequently culminated in only weak or piecemeal reforms. Though most reformers initially supported regulatory legislation, some–such as Caroline Earle White and fellow Pennsylvania activist Mary Lovell–increasingly criticized the weaknesses of such laws, arguing that leaving any element of cruelty intact undermined the movement's long-term goal of emancipation for animals. Just as some antislavery activists understood that an inherently evil institution could not be improved on through legislative reform, a vocal minority of animal advocates insisted that the vile nature of animal exploitation required eradication, not regulation: no law could ameliorate the immorality, for example, of dissecting live animals. These radical humanitarians gravitated toward an abolitionist stance on several significant issues and became a persistent thorn in the side of conservative animal welfarists. The internal fractures, sparked in part by the antislavery model, have continued to plague the movement to this day."

    What I am reading here confirms what I already know–that welfarism has been around a long time. (Welfarist/New Welfarist semantics and minor differences aside–tactics from both groups provide the same end result, which is a negligible lessoning of suffering for animals and no inroads toward abolition. So, in my eyes, they are all one group.)

    Abolitionists LOVE to shout from the rafters how welfarism has been around for 200 years and has failed, failed, failed.

    But you know what else (the above quote tells me) has been around a long time?! Abolition! That there have always been folks like us who know that reforms aren't going to help animals in the long run.

    And guess what else?! Abolitionists have always focused on giving welfarists a bad time! And guess where it's gotten them?! NOWHERE.

    Abolitionists won't shout about that though…it's not really conducive to providing them with a reason to beat the crap out of welfarists.

    Time for a NEW line of approach, folks. Acknowledge welfarism for what it is–a horrible corrupt institution that does not further the goals of abolition. But quit focusing and investing all your time on it. History tells us it's not really productive or conducive to our goals.

    August 29, 2008
  13. john carbonaro #

    I don't know if there is a limit to the number of posts per topic, so forgive me if i'm going over…

    Mary, believe me i am an animal rights person number one. Animals are not ours to use in any capacity. Some abolitionists, who advocate for rights status,for some reason invariably fall back to the cruelty/suffering/slaughter facts to appeal to people. Why is this so? Even if animals were treated like royalty , it would not make it right so long as they were our 'property'.
    Better treatment in factory farms is to me a different issue than the spectre of the happy meat industry. To me the latter is a specialized development created to capitalize (and thus increase) the consumption over and above the cheaper, factory flesh. That they recriut some so-called vegans back just tells me these vegans were not in it for the ethics. They are just a few token figures to sweeten the compassionate carnivore image/message.
    While happy meat is a slimy corporate ploy, some might suggest that it is a 'symptom' that consumer- animal interests are beginning to impact the industry. Who knows for sure at this point.
    And Bunny, perhaps i should have used an example such as "what if i was one of the billions of chickens unfairly imprisoned..we would like to be free, ideally…etc". Sure, they will all be slaughtered anyways, which is wrong and we should make efforts to end that. But it accurate to say that if all Animal advocates focused their efforts on abolition instead, it would happen more quickly? I'm not so sure. What i am becoming more confident in is the fact that people are making more connections between factory farms and environmental catastrophy. The need to change our habit of flesh consumption may becoming more of a necessity in that regard. I think that people are trying to reduce their flesh consumption for health reasons(heart/hormone/cancer) (which has the flesh/dairy industry up in arms.
    I will never support people eating flesh or using animals in any(speciesist-supremist capacity. But i do think that there are more and more caring people out there and some of the "big animal rights corporations" should not be counted out yet.
    Here is a PETA Administration response to someone today on the PETA forums:(i am 'deerjon')


    I have always had a deep love and respect for animals and I visited the PETA site today to get some more info on the organization. I watched the video about animal farming and it has profoundly effected me. I would like to know if places like Whole Foods that say they only use farms that have humane practices are telling the truth or if they are just fractionally better then regular farms? There is no way that I could eat another chicken breast or steak after watching that horrifying video and I had to force myself to finish it so that if I was tempted in the future I could think back and know I was making the right choice. I am just curious on whether Whole Foods is telling the truth or just misleading people. Also, I would like to know the options I have on getting more involved in the organization. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to the atrocities that have been happening right under my nose.

    Junior Member

    455 Posts Posted – 08/28/2008 : 21:33:48
    You may find a few answers here about Whole Foods.
    I will provide more…

    Animals pay the price for all manner of human weakness.

    PETA Admin

    722 Posts Posted – 08/29/2008 : 17:00:14
    Whether you’re talking about “free range” or “conventional” meat, dairy products, and eggs, the health and environmental consequences of using animals for food are the same. Also, animals on “free range” and “organic” farms still suffer the same abuse and neglect that all animals used for food must endure. Labels like “free range” and “free roaming” are not regulated by the government, so any product can wear these labels no matter how badly the animals have been treated. Animals on these farms still suffer mutilations shortly after birth—their sensitive beaks and tails are cut off, their horns are ripped from their heads, and they are castrated—all without painkillers.

    Since the “free range” label is unregulated, many animals on these farms are crammed by the thousands into sheds and never set foot outside. Even if they were given access to the outdoors, farmed animals are still bred to grow so large that many of them can no longer walk. Like all animals used for food, animals on “free range” and “organic” farms are killed when they’re only a few months old, and their deaths are just as gruesome as those of animals on conventional farms. Their throats are cut, often while they are still completely conscious and struggling to escape, and many of them are still alive when their bodies are hacked apart. In short, there are no “free range” slaughterhouses.

    For more info, please visit:

    Its great that you would like to get more involved with PETA. I would recommend that you join our A-Team:

    and check out our Action Center:

    August 29, 2008
  14. bunny #

    Compare that video (the fun Nazi propaganda one) with this one:

    It's a wonderful introduction to the benefits of veganism. It's positive. It covers many points (ethical, environmental, societal, and health). It's not welfarist. It specifically says…go vegan! And gives great compelling facts as to why veganism is better for all animals, the planet, and our health. Not one welfarist organization or individual was called out; it was simply *unnecessary* to do so. If there were more of this kind of attitude and literature available to the average person, I think vegan education would go a long way. I don't think my mom, or my brother, or my best friend or any meat and dairy eater out there in the mainstream is really interested in the comparison of Nazis to…"who?" they say (because they have no idea what a welfarist is, much less an abolitionist, utilitarianist, liberationist, blah, blah).

    August 29, 2008
  15. I think the video, though likely well-intentioned, is confusing and flawed. The terms aren't defined at the beginning. Someone who isn't familiar with the animal rights vs. animal welfare discussions won't understand that video at all. And it doesn't even have a "go vegan" message to clear things up.

    I agree with Kim that "A welfarist doesn't desire the end of exploitation." Incremental abolition is different from welfarism. Caring about the living animals of today and wanting to end their suffering isn't anti-animal rights.

    I agree with John when he said "where is the evidence that says that improved welfare creates better consumer-feelings = more consumption?" I think it's a potential problem that could slow the movement, particularly if the improved welfare comes at a premium price (because of our society's class issues). However, I think it's more likely an incremental step towards abolition.

    I disagree with John in regards to his comment "The animals don't care, pain is pain, but if we are to reach the people doing it/supporting it, can we legitamately call them 'torturers'?" I think the frame is entirely wrong. We wouldn't try to stop child abuse by appealing to those who do it and support it, so why do we try to stop animal abuse by appealing to the irrational and immoral whims of abusers?

    We don't need to convince them we're right. We need to convince them to stop.

    August 29, 2008
  16. Bea Elliott #

    John – I think your observation that "consumer-animal interests are beginning to impact the industry." is very well founded.

    For instance, doing some research on the historical beginings of animals in captivity, I went to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's timeline. There's about 50 enteries highlighting events and landmarks concerning their "business". Most note commissions, councils and government agencies set in place to support their "trade". BUT, there amongst it all is this: "1980: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) formed". Kind of hanging out in the middle of "no-where" yet – it's there – an obvious sign of significance for them.

    Also, The Animal Ag Alliance has podcasts and bulletins advising their peers of AR "terrorists" and Animal Rights "groups" which cause them worry and concern. (They have terminology trouble too by confusing "welfare" with "rights", but that makes little difference here). Any how, the way I see it, PETA and HSUS are a relentless thorn in the side of the meat industry, and are breaching thier operation on multi-levels of "annoyances".

    That appeals to me because it is something I can't do with my single voice. Abolitionists have no *O*rganization…. no unified banner of "representation". We're a hodge/podge of "outer fringe" who are reduced to "fighting with words + fork". Believe it – the meat industry doesn't have a demographics expert calculating revenue lost to "vegans or vegetarians" or to "abolitionists".

    Abolitionist vegans matter little in the giant machine that the meat industry is. Abolition is going to take a revolution. A "revolution" that will take centuries of re-education and drastic change… This scenario is not a threat or an immediate imperative to the likes of Cargill, Tyson or Smithfield. But the trouble that PETA and HSUS can stir up, is a constant rile.

    PETA/HSUS organizations have lots of money, many "campaigns" puplic and (some) government influence. They cause disruption (and exposure) to an otherwise cozy (and secretive) existance. The knowledge of "factory farms" and "downed cows" is information the industry would rather have had kept a secret.

    They also gear messages to kids about kindness to animals – Kids make connections quickly. This "propaganda" counter balances "4-H" efforts and grooms today's teens to become tomorrow's abolitionists.

    If the AR liberation "movement" is being impeded any, I think it's by a lack of *O*rganization. Perhaps this is where PETA/HSUS fills the gap? Till we can communicate our message en mass? Till enough knowledge reaches enough people? Till enough people care?

    I agree that Humane Myth has a wonderful, positive presentation. Now – how do we get 6.7 billion people to see it?

    August 29, 2008
  17. Bea Elliott #

    A final mention about PETA: Vegan Outreach has distributed hundreds of thousands of pamphlets. Here is an accounting of their history and of AR progress:

    PETA is mentioned a few times – but this particular paragraph seemed to sum up "in-fighting":

    In August of 2000, PeTA convinced McDonalds to order their egg suppliers to provide 50% more space to the hens in their battery cages. Since then, similar concessions followed by Burger King and Wendy’s. This led to a great deal of interest in getting companies to force producers to improve conditions on factory farms. It also re-ignited an old debate on whether animal advocates should spend our time pushing reforms or stick only to abolitionist tactics, such as spreading a vegan diet. While there are a few holdouts, the majority of advocates seem to agree that we should pursue both avenues. Luckily, today not much time is spent arguing these points and attacking those with different views.

    Maybe they have a point.

    August 30, 2008
  18. Roger #

    John writes: "chickens will suffer less (which they will)."

    I'm willing to explore that idea. What evidence do you have John? And can you roughly estimate how much less chickens will suffer with the CAK stun/kill system?


    August 30, 2008
  19. John Carbonaro #

    Thanks for the comments. As i see it, we as animal advocates see the behavior of animal exploiters for what it is. But if you are going to get the public and the exploiters to the 'table', i don't see how opening any discussion with charges of irrationality, immorality, whimsical-ness, child-abuser/torturers is going to initiate a new frame of reference or help the animals in an entrenched thought-system such as we have. Perhaps you have concluded that this system is non-negotiable and i respect you on that. "they just have to stop it" is perhaps what has led Steven Best to his view on necessary action. I have often wondered how it is that 'professionals' achieve the sort of disconnect necessary to perform some challenging tasks: Doctors who work in tauma centers, for instance. how do people disconnect yet remain compassionate? People who (medically)vivisect actually compartmentalize the 'work' they do within a context of 'the greater good'(of humanity). Again, like Mary said, we have to look at their intentions. If we believe that finding change/compassion still resides within a widened sense of 'humanity', we must still approach these people/the public, not as haters, but as fundamentally misguided/misinformed individuals,(i'm not counting the overt, for-profit, deviant, cosmetic animal testers..).
    I have been a clinical social worker for many years and have worked with kids who self-mutilate. I do not characterize them as "cutters", but must see them (and help them see themselves) as whole people. Their behavior is actually seated in life-affirming origins that require support to reconnect 'severed' parts of themselves. Likewise with some 'animal-abusing/betraying' professions.
    I know what berayal is.As animal advocates we see naked life- it is not species specific. It cuts across holocausts, enslavement…even murder. I have worked with children who have seen berayal, watching one parent kill & dismember the other. And then i see these kids eating a lunch of dismemered body parts. Thelines that are drawn are deep, yet profoundly invisible in equal measure.
    Any chance of reconnecting ourselves is going to take monumental reframing and making the lines of universal exploitating visible again.To do this we must also find our universal compassion.

    August 30, 2008
  20. bunny #

    Elaine quote: "I think the video, though likely well-intentioned, is confusing and flawed. The terms aren't defined at the beginning. Someone who isn't familiar with the animal rights vs. animal welfare discussions won't understand that video at all."

    THAT WAS MY WHOLE POINT. For the average meat and dairy eater, they needn't (and shouldn't) be fed a discussion on the starkly defined features between animals rights vs. animal welfare in order to *begin* to understand the message of veganism. This video is a succinct ten-minute introduction to the benefits and ethics of veganism, which is what they need to know to get "hooked." The rest can follow.

    The most important point I tried to make was that the video never once advocated a welfarist stance. Yet, it did not need to mention PeTA, HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, John Mackey, Peter Singer, or any other welfare organization or individual in order to get the point across. If the video didn't mention veganism and/or advocated "happy meat," then there would be a problem. But the core message of veganism remained the theme throughout the whole video.

    'And it doesn't even have a "go vegan" message to clear things up."

    Ummm…did we watch the same video?!

    Do you have a link to an example of a video which you think is better? One that concisely gives an overall view of the benefits of veganism to one who is completely unfamiliar with the term, much less the lifestyle? If you do, please share.

    August 30, 2008
  21. bunny #

    As an addendum to my prior comment regarding abolitionists being around as long as the welfarists (100 years plus), and vilifying them for just as long, I have spontaneously decided that I can coin a term just as well as the most scholarly of animal advocates–or is it a mandatory prerequisite that I first obtain a PhD before I can endeavor to possess such balls? Perhaps my measly BA from a California university doesn't quite cut it (surfs up, dude!–I mean, that's all I really learned there–you know, how to engage a wave! That, and some shit about a chick named Margaret Mead and some goober named Louis Leakey–I can't remember exactly what it was all about though. Skulls…primates…"primitive" people walking around in skivvies made of leaves…it's just like… all so fuzzy now…like…you know?).

    Anyway, I have been very reluctant to call myself an “abolitionist,” even though I actually agree with the bulk of abolitionist theory (a la Francione). This is mostly due to the fact that I do not have the requisite welfarist fixation like most abolitionists.

    I’m not a welfarist. Not even a new welfarist. Not a utilitarian. Definitely not a liberationist. (Have I missed an “ist”?)

    So what the hell am I? (I mean, besides someone who Mary Martin wishes would stop commenting on her blog.)

    A light bulb lit up over my head today! BROING! (Well, okay, maybe it was more like low sounding bzzt..bzt…bzzt…)


    Hey, if there are “new welfarists,” why not “new abolitionists”?

    New Abolitionist: Follows all the current tenets of abolitionism minus the pointless fixation on welfarism.

    I figure there just ain’t enough factions within the animal advocate community. I think we definitely need more…at least one more. And new abolitionism will take the abolitionists’ minds off welfarism for a while, so they can concentrate on vilifying us new abolitionists for not vilifying welfarists and for co-opting their special unique “ism” that they claim to have coined in the past decade. This will provide even MORE fodder for abolitionists to point fingers at…YIPPEE!!!!!!

    August 31, 2008
  22. John Carbonaro #

    For Roger-

    All sections are worth reading. Particular attention to section 2, and note 'don't use carbon deoxide'.
    Roger, i'll state it again, i am not for the use of chickens at all, but i hope we can provide a role, like an 'Amnesty International' for animal prisoners. We should always work for their freedom, but there is room to consider (maybe i'm co-opting rights language here) freedom from the worst experiences of pain in a continuum of pain from their birth forward.

    August 31, 2008
  23. davedrum #

    I DO think you forgot at least one other "ist"… a "THEORIST"… I think I've seen a few of them hanging around with the other "ists"…

    Something I think the NEW Abolitionists all need (to become a member of this elite club) is a SENSE OF HUMOR!!! Yeah being someone who believes in and is involved in AR can suck and even be depressing. Without having the ability to have a sense of humor and a warped mind at times…one could get so wrapped up in AR and the blaming of welfarists on all the ills in this world, that the next thing you know you're rocking back and forth like Rainman counting spilled toothpicks. I guess Rainman could come in handy for ALF and SHAC. Instead of using a phonebook or directory to find out where the head of Mutual of Omaha lives along with his/her number…you could just employ Rainman… he knows every number and address!!!

    OK…sorry for deviating this discussion away from Nazi's. They'll always have a warm and fuzzy place in my heart along side of Generals Bush and Best.

    August 31, 2008

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS