By Roland Vincent
Animal Protection is a more descriptive term for our efforts than is Animal Welfare, which carries a perjorative connotation thanks to those who consider anything less than demanding the immediate surrender of the carnist world to be betraying animals.
The Animal Rights movement is burdened by the same intransigent, self-righteous, myopic elements that beset all political and social movements. Think Tea Partiers.
Our Teahadists find fault with the efforts of everyone else in the movement. They argue that only by recruiting people to veganism can the Animal Holocaust end. They are oblivious to the ineffectiveness of their approach: Carnists are having children faster than people are becoming vegan. And few meat eaters are transformed into vegetarians, let alone vegans overnight. It’s a journey. It can take years or even lifetimes.
So: In case they missed that point—WE ARE LOSING!
While the animals they do not consume benefit from their approach, BILLIONS of others are suffering and dying each year. Those numbers are guaranteed to increase as the world population increases.
To limit our battle to recruiting people to veganism will only, at best, continue the status quo.
And even if our recruitment efforts were net positive, and we were recruiting vegans faster than the population is growing, it would take thousands of years to overcome the 6 billion people who are not vegan.
A middle school student, poor at math, could discern the problem.
Meanwhile, animal activists do what can practically be done. We rescue, recruit vegans, proselytize. We support legislation to end one horror or another, we campaign to end one barbarity or another, we appeal to logic, empathy, compassion in gaining new activists and allies.
Our abolitionist brothers and sisters oppose any such legislation or campaigns, content with no loaf rather than half of one.
They use a yardstick against which we all fall short, and then piously return to doing nothing of value for any but the animals they personally do not consume.
And they recoil in horror at the suggestion that what they do is actually a form of Animal Welfare. It most certainly isn’t anything to do with securing rights for animals. Not consuming animals is animal welfarism. And that’s not a bad thing.
It is an extraordinary act of compassion.
But to truly be compassionate would be to join with the rest of the animal movement in ending as much suffering as we can in the present. And lay plans to secure Animal Rights in the future.
Roland Vincent serves as special editor for socialism, environmentalism and animal rights.
Roland’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/rolandwvincent?fref=ts