Archive | August 2011

I choose not to participate in the exploitation of others

Several years ago I heard through the grapevine (i.e., office gossip) that a workmate of mine took public transport to work rather than his own car. I got so excited being that I too had kicked the car habit years before thanks in part to Al Gore’s 2006 documentary film entitled An Inconvenient Truth.

When I asked him about his mode of transport he snapped at me saying “I don’t have to take the bus I choose to take it”. I quickly extinguished the situation stating that I totally understood and had been using public transport for years.

This conversation of ours got me thinking. So many people will say, “Randy cannot eat that” or “Oh, that’s right, you can’t eat [or wear, etc.] this” in regards to my veganism. Almost as if they’re saying I’d have my vegan club card revoked if I ever dared to consume something non-vegan.

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The Truth

So many of you have a misconception of the definition of veganism. The media & many so-called “vegan” groups have turned it into a plant-based diet, & some of them say you don’t have to be strictly adherent & still can call yourself a vegan. This is NOT the Truth. Vegans take the rights of other animals seriously, & it is not a matter of convenience for the human, but a matter of justice for other animals.
~ Marcia “Butterflies” Katz (August 6, 2011)

Wrong on both counts

The belief that “happy” exploitation will result in significant welfare benefits for animals and that this will lead to abolition in the future is simply wrong on both counts.
~ Gary L. Francione (July 12, 2011)

What you might not see

The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and, in some sense, the freest people in the world.
~ George Fitzhugh (1857)

Can you imagine someone saying this today? Sure, I can believe someone might utter this nonsense, but I cannot imagine many folks who would nod their heads in agreement. Interestingly, unlike today, in 1857 there were lots of people who agreed with George Fitzhugh. Remember, in 1857 slavery was not only legal but also supported by a wide variety of people.

So, what changed between then and now? Well, one thing for sure changed, that is the hearts and minds of the masses. That’s why most of us are repulsed by the idea of enslaving another human being. But how did this change come about? Might I suggest that the underlying factor to this change was people standing up for the rights of others not to be thought of as mere commodities—things—that could be used to death. People who, in some cases, gave their lives to the cause of eventual emancipation.

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To prove our superiority

Like everything human, justice is imperfect. It’s flawed. But it’s those very imperfections that separates us from the machines and maybe even makes us a species worth saving.
~ Doyle Franks, Battlestar Galactica

Why is it that we try so hard to prove we are separate from other animals (or in this case machines)? We seem to pick something we feel is uniquely human and then use it to prove our superiority. I find this hugely disturbing. Especially since we generally do this so that we can justify the horrific things we do to those we determine are inferior to us.

Think, then Go Vegan!