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Gary Francione on Philosophy Bites: Animal abolitionism is the only way
Gary Francione means business.
Humane treatment is a fantasy, it’s on an epistemological par with Santa Claus, bunny rabbits, Easter rabbits and things of that nature—silly. Humane treatment is impossible.
Philosophy Bites is a podcast series of short discussions of philosophical topics (duh). On Saturday, they had Gary Francione come discuss animal abilitionism.
If we take seriously the notion that we ought not to inflict unnecessary suffering on animals, the first thing we ought to do is all go vegan. … There’s something peculiar about discussing the moral status of animals when we’re killing and eating them for no reason whatsoever.
I strongly recommend you listen to the entire podcast—it is just under 17 minutes and it is pretty invigorating. They touch on the delightful (read: obnoxious) mollusk question, how disgusting Francione finds the concept of “happy meat,” and the effectiveness of abolitionism versus humane treatment.
So, let’s get into it: Where do you align yourself? Are you more of an abolitionist, or a welfarist?
One more quote to stoke the fire:
The most humanely treated animals are subjected to treatment which would be torture, which we would call literally torture if humans were involved.
There’s much more! Go listen, and let’s argue about the philosophy behind our vegan lifestyles.
[Photo by Keven Law via Flickr]
The Atlantic says merry Christmas, screw you non-meat-eaters
Nicolette Niman has a piece in The Atlantic where she and a few other idiots who have a vested interest in you eating meat talk about how great it is to eat meat. As Meave says, “so short, so full of horrors.” For real, I don’t even know where to start with this thing, it’s so full of stupid, gross speculation, and bad science. I wish Niman would stop espousing the virtues of eating meat. She married into a meat dynasty, of course she loves “ethical” meat! Just knock it off; stop pretending you ever understood what it means not to want to consume dead animals.
The point of the whole shebang is that eating animals is good for you, the environment, and for animals—if done in a very specific way that happens about one percent of the time. Great! The health and environmental points can be argued, but I simply will not concede on ethics. Eating animals is only ethical if you’re okay with killing animals—or more likely, letting other people kill animals—for your food when you don’t NEED to.
As for the health argument, these people are no more health experts than I am, and again, they have a vested interest in humans eating meat, so hearing them try to argue against the health of a vegan diet is just infuriating. I can link to studies from actual health experts about how easy it is to get B12 and how animal products are bad for you until I’m blue in the face. We can trade articles back and forth all day long arguing for both sides. You can be healthy eating meat and you can be healthy not eating meat, and the proof is all the healthy people who do both things and live long-ass lives.
Now, I’ll say something some of you won’t agree with and that’s fine, but you can also care about the environment and still eat meat, no probs. It’s much easier to care about the Earth and not eat meat, but if you are in the one percent of people who raise and kill animals on a super small scale, then you might be able to say you care.
However, the point I absolutely will not accept is their claim that you can love and respect animals while you’re eating them. GIRLFRIENDS! Don’t get it twisted. No animal wants to die for your meal, no matter how many days you let her graze in an open field of organic grass or how many free-range hugs you give her before you slit her throat. If I take good care of grandma until I murder her because I need her room for my new baby, I don’t love and respect grandma. Ya dig?
Unlike some other animals, we have the exciting ability to not act on pure instinct, and we can and do thrive on animal-free diets. I eat amazing food that doesn’t include death or torture and that’s what I’m comfortable with. Just because you stopped being vegan to hunt deer doesn’t mean you have to push your compromised ethics on me. And yes, I do think they’re compromised, and I do think you’re disgusting for hunting. I recognize that hunting is in many ways superior to buying plastic-wrapped factory-farmed ground cows at Safeway, but I also think that it takes a special kind of creepazoid to shoot and kill a living creature. And I bet you’re not that good of a shot and that the animal suffers [ed. note: and poisons bald eagles, the symbol of freedom!], and that you’ve taken away moms and dads from their babies with your carelessness, you piece of shit.
You know what I think is worst of all? You have the MEANS to do better; you’re not ignorant to the realities of factory farming, and you choose to advocate a more ethical lifestyle by encouraging meat consumption. Get fucked.
Oh, well. At least The Atlantic has James McWilliams. I feel for you, bro!
Green Mountain College to make oxen burgers out of campus animal pals
This is what happens when “working animals” retire: they get slaughtered. Lou and Bill have worked the fields of Green Mountain College’s “sustainable” farm for ten years. Now, at eleven, the college wants to get rid of Lou and Bill. Apparently, at Green Mountain College, that means slaughtering them and eating them in hamburger form.
Needless to say, many are not happy. But, on the other hand, the college people in charge of this sort of thing make a good point: if these students opposed to killing Lou and Bill eat meat, then why the hell shouldn’t they eat these guys too? And once again, we are back to cognitive dissonance. This is well-worn territory when we discuss omnivore “animal lovers.” In fact, it’s threadbare. Therefore I’m not going to go into it but I will go into how much I resent the way “working animals” are disposed of.
Look at this video:
That doesn’t look super fun. They’ve done this for ten years. And after they’ve served the school for a decade, the thanks they get is to be made into a month’s worth of artery-clogging lunch. It’s just like dairy cows and racehorses and all the “working animals,” they serve these people and make them money and then they are thrown out like trash. I’m sorry, I can’t even say “working animals” without quotation marks because the idea is so ridiculous. It implies they a. volunteered for this “job” and b. were fairly compensated. Sorry bros: “working animals” don’t have resumes and they don’t get 401Ks. They get worked to the brink of death and then slaughtered for hamburger meat.
Oh, yeah, I eat everyone I love, too...
[Picture: Background: Grey wall with white trim. Foreground: Martha Stewart wearing a sage blouse, accompanied by two French bulldogs whom she holds on a table in front of her. Has a friendly, smiling facial expression, showing teeth. Top text: “I love animals!*” Bottom text: “*Chickens, cows, pigs, turkeys, fish, goats, and sheep are plants.”]