I read some blog posts earlier today by someone who'd commented here recently in a discussion concerning the difference between welfarism and abolitionism. The individual decided to set up a blog to comment further on some of the points raised and debated, coming to the conclusion that
[I]t’s not the capitalist followers of big business that are to blame (i.e., furriers, factory farmers, vivisectionists, etc.). It’s not welfarist organizations whose operations only thrive because their “non-profit disguised as for-profit” business model thrives the best within the capitalist structure - take down PETA, and some other welfarist organization will rise up to take its place, following along the same lines as mink farms and animal labs, in which the dissolution of one (farm or lab) will inevitably lead to another that takes its place. And, finally, it is not the individual who is at ultimate fault; we have all been brainwashed daily to believe that the food we eat is not a moral wrong.I found it particularly disconcerting that this commentator would choose to assert that individuals are somehow absolved of any sense of accountability when it comes to consuming animals and perpetuating the cycle into which animals are bred and raised specifically to be slaughtered. Maybe I've read too much Sartre, but I'd like to think that we live our lives at least somewhat deliberately, with every action triggered by a bona fide decision to follow through with that action. Sure, we may sometimes lack sufficient information to make the right decision, but to generalize that "we have all been brainwashed daily to believe that the food we eat is not a moral wrong" side-steps so much.
On his Unpopular Vegan Essays blog, Dan Cudahy wrote about how individuals do perpetuate the cycle, mostly by feeding money into a system that regulates how the animals that continue to be raised to be eaten by them are treated, yet stopping short of making the conscious decision of actually (and effectively) removing themselves from the cycle altogether. As Dan wrote: "We cannot regulate the holocaust. We need to stop it by going vegan and encouraging others to do the same."
How long will we shirk responsibility? How long will we shrug off any sense of accountability? As Dan wrote, "It is a classic circular farce and would be a knee-slapping hilarious example of human stupidity if it were not so tragic." It's up to each and every one of us to work towards stopping the cycle and we need to realize this now.