I’ve been vegan for 2.5 years and have never looked back. Realising what I had been investing in as a consumer of animal products has driven me to become a passionate advocate for veganism and the abolition of all animal use. My activism is simple, and focuses on engaging people from my day to day life in discussions about veganism and animal use in the hope that I can make them question their inconsistencies.
~ Kelly Ryan (November 19, 2011)
I also respectfully submit that not every vegan thinks that a better life for farm animals is a distraction from the true goal. For some of us, humane treatment of animals is the highest goal. It makes little sense to me to talk about life and death on a small, compassionate farm as enslavement and murder when the alternative is either not existing or what is arguably a worse life and death in the wild. Just look at “freed” / feral cats to see how well they live in the wild, with diseases, parasites, no veterinary care, and death by starvation, hypothermia, infection, predation, hit by cars, etc. Humans are the only predators who are even capable of caring about humane treatment of their prey. Factory farms are a stain on our soul and need to be eradicated, but humans living in harmony with nature as thoughtful and ethical omnivores is, in my opinion, a noble goal.
~ Laura K (October 24, 2011)
To sustainably bring an end to modern slavery, four main areas of focus must be addressed. First is the demand for inexpensively manufactured goods and sex services, since this demand is met by the cheap—or free—labor of those who are acutely economically vulnerable. Second, gender inequality and bias must be addressed in all countries to reduce the stigma and abuse of sexual exploitation. Third, there must be a unified international response to strategies of prevention and awareness, and, fourth, impunity must end, for victims will continue to remain silent and not seek medical, psychological or legal attention if they feel there is no available retribution or safe care. History has clearly illustrated that impunity for traffickers only serves to exacerbate its use.
~ Cassandra Clifford (December 17, 2010)
I understand that advocates are frustrated and, in many cases, probably afraid to even hope that the vegan world we long for might ever come to be, but the answer is not to promote a message of half-way measures simply so the public can stomach it. Those of us who know the truth about animal exploitation and have been fortunate enough to have the realization that veganism is the only answer have a duty to share that truth with others, regardless of how many times we are rebuffed and feel belittled or isolated as a result. No matter how many people close their eyes and ears, every now and then someone will understand, and to that person, your message will be absolutely life-changing.
~ Angel Flinn (November 21, 2011)
Without inquiring whether it [Slavery] be evil, as most insist, or good, as some contend, unquestionably it is a vast, stupendous, and vital American reality. In the Middle States, the temperate zone of American republican continental union, holding together the slave-holding southwest and slave-hating northeast, there should and must be considerate and patriotic Americans enough, independent of all foreign influences, neither owning slaves, nor hating those who do, even if regretting slavery, willing to accept historical, political, and philosophical ascertainment that, whether slavery be evil or not, modern external abolition is a much greater evil. Vouched by irrefutable English and American authority, negro slavery in America may be so vindicated that no American need shrink from its communion. Its abrupt, forcible, or extrinsic removal would be a tremendous catastrophe. Dismembering the United States and destroying the American republic would tend not to abolish, but perpetuate slavery. Few in this meridian have any practical knowledge of much abused slavery. Its English denunciation, adopted by New England, is merely remote and theoretical philanthropy, national or sectional prejudice. Such of us as live in Pennsylvania, where for a long time there have been no slaves, can be moved by no natural impulse to defend their ownership. If descended from New England, the bias must be otherwise. But every lover of his country should desire to vindicate its institutions, of which this is one, from foreign detraction and its American adoption.
~ Charles J. Ingersoll (1856)
We should not be surprised that more and more people feel comfortable about consuming animal products. After all, they are being assured by the “experts” that suffering is being decreased and they can buy “happy” meat, “free-range” eggs, etc. These products even come with labels approved of by animal organizations. The animal welfare movement is actually encouraging the “compassionate” consumption of animal products.
~ Gary L. Francione (November 22, 2011)
Commodifying nonhuman animals as “certified organic” resources or “humanely-raised” things is not the beginning of the end of animal use. It is more animal use. And if we, as animal advocates, support it in any way, then we are sanctioning speciesism. When animal advocates sanction speciesism, then the message for everyone else is that even the animal people say it’s okay to use animals. That message sabotages veganism, the animal rights movement, and especially the countless trillions of sentient beings who depend on us to advocate for them.
Be clear and consistent in your vegan advocacy. Be abolitionist.
~ Timothy E. Putnam (November 9, 2011)