Thoughts about diluting the animal rights message

Image by Aitor Garmendia / Tras los Muros

For a moment, please imagine if you will, that this page were to highlight something horrific being done to humans, something such as torture, sexual violation, or forced labour. Imagine an article describing men, women and children, families and friends torn apart, desperate, degraded, and broken, as they beg and plead for the torment to stop, to be left in peace. What do you think the take-home message would be? I think we would all agree:

‘This needs to stop and it needs to stop now.’

I’m sure that’s simply what any decent person would expect. Here’s another question to consider. Do you think that a day will ever dawn when all humans will have stopped inflicting sickening brutalities on those whom they decide to oppress? For myself, I doubt it. So since brutality may never stop completely, does that have any effect on the message that it needs to stop and stop now? No, of course it doesn’t. Well so far, so good; I trust there’s nothing controversial up to this point?

Spreading messages via social media

So picture this; a social media post that summarises these points and attracts ‘likes’, ‘loves’, ‘sad faces’ and ‘angry faces’. Again, what you’d expect. It is also shared a number of times which is excellent – that’s how messages spread and how we provoke thought in our friends and contemporaries. We often add a message of our own when we do this, don’t we? So what do you think we should say in this case?  How about:

  • ‘This shouldn’t be happening to so many people. Be kinder.’
  • ‘They should increase the age limit for separating babies from their mothers!’
  • ‘Forced labourers should have shorter working hours!’
  • ‘People shouldn’t be raped and violated in such horrible places! We need to campaign to make them nicer.’

You may be thinking by now that this is some kind of sick humour, and I truly wouldn’t blame you. All these comments completely miss the point of the post that I described and are nothing short of offensive. Please hold that thought while we shift back to our victims.

Animal rights and human rights

The main focus of this page has always been and will always be, Animal Rights. This means that instead of horrors inflicted on humans, it highlights the disgraceful practices that are inflicted on our victims, the myriad activities that constitute our unnecessary exploitation of their lives, their reproduction, their forced labour, and the parts of their violently slaughtered and dismembered corpses. The take-home message on every single post and blog, is always the same; always absolutely uncompromising,

‘This needs to stop and it needs to stop now.’

It’s encouraging that these articles are liked and shared, and I often see the sharer add a message of their own – which as I said before, can be brilliant to emphasise the point.

Why is it then, that on the back of a completely uncompromising explanation of why we have no right whatsoever to create victims, do I so often see things that completely undermine the message and miss the point, like:

  • ‘Try cutting down on meat.’
  • ‘Make kinder choices.’
  • ‘Boycott factory farms!’
  • ‘Try going meatless for a couple of meals a week!’
  • And then the gem that sparked this blog, ‘Try buying free-range’?

If it’s good enough for humans, it’s good enough for everyone

When challenged, the response is frequently that the writer of such a message considers that animal use is too entrenched to ever stop, hence their remark. However. If the offensive messages about human exploitation were not justified by the fact that our species is always likely to cause harm to each other, why on earth would the equivalent in offensive messages be justified when applied to our defenceless victims?

The short answer? It’s not. Wrong is wrong, whichever way we slice it. To post an offensive message about other animals when we would be offended by the equivalent if it were applied to humans, is a perfect illustration of our speciesism talking.

Our victims have no one but us to tell the truth about the grave injustice of the ordeal of nonveganism to which we routinely subject them. We owe that truth to them as they queue in the milking sheds and hatcheries and slaughterhouses, and as they are dragged suffocating from their aquatic home; and we owe that truth to every single member of our own species. Those who are unable or unwilling to face that truth must live with their own conscience, but we cannot afford to dilute our message.

Trillions of lives are depending on this, and the desperate urgency of their plight is being added to each day by the collapsing ecosystems for which our predation is directly responsible. We are running out of time. Tell the truth!

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4 Responses to Thoughts about diluting the animal rights message

  1. Pingback: Thoughts About Diluting the Animal Rights Message | CNCL

  2. Karen Davis says:

    Once, we had a campaign to expose and stop a horrific red contact lens experiment on battery-caged hens at an agricultural college. When the experiment was over, we implored the dean of the college to let us have the remaining hens to live in a sanctuary. He refused. He said, “There are other animals on campus being used in experiments, and we can’t save them all.” I said, “So you’re saying that if we can’t save every animal, we should not save any animal?” I asked him: “Do you apply this same logic to human beings? Because if so, then you can never help a single person since you can’t save everyone on earth.” Of course, he held his ground, so we sneaked into the unit and grabbed as many hens as we could from the cages. We arranged with a veterinarian to remove the red contacts with tiny forceps. I thought of this incident while reading your post.
    Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. laurabs1 says:

    Might you wish to weigh in on a local, but global issue unfolding in my area wherein students on the high school football team FB published themselves , away at a football camp, beating a duck who they lured from the water, before one of them ( supposedly out of concern for her suffering) strangled her. Huge community outrage has ensued, mostly focused on what they believe is insufficient punishment.I attended the school board meeting Monday evening to read my comments into the minutes and be heard by those who watch the local community TV station, where i have been employed for over a decade and previously been the one behind the camera. and their FB page have ongoing discussion regarding this. The broader and more imminent need of focus as you know, is the blind spot and moral duplicity with which we treat non-human beings, and the consequences in a society where no child is safe, be they human or non-human. It would be AWESOME to have others in this struggle to open the flood gates in the realm of the link between human/animal violence and how our moral, legal, religious duplicity serves no one and nothing but the interests of industry and a society that ignores its own manifestations from making the bed of raising children as predators, while being shocked when they commit acts that prey on others. A duck, a puppy, a cow, a child.We know in concert, they suffer.

    Kindly, Laura B Slitt Bartlett,NH

    From beasts we scorn as soulless, In forest, field and den, The cry goes up to witness The soullessness of men. ~M. Frida Hartley

    —————————————–From: “There’s an Elephant in the Room blog” To: Cc: Sent: Wednesday September 11 2019 8:02:48AM Subject: [New post] Thoughts about diluting the animal rights message

    There’s an Elephant in the Room posted: ” For a moment, please imagine if you will, that this page were to highlight something horrific being done to humans, something such as torture, sexual violation, or forced labour. Imagine an article describing men, women and children, families and frie”


  4. As Dr. Will Tuttle says, “We universally condemn supremacism, elitism, and exclusivism for destroying peace and social justice, yet we unquestioningly and even proudly adopt precisely these attitudes when it comes to animals.” The double standard that the human species embraces must stop and it must stop now. ALL living, sentient beings, regardless of species, deserves life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is time that humans grant the same basic rights to animals that they demand for themselves. Start by switching NOW to a Plants-Only Diet.


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