Friday, January 29, 2010

Fur


What could possibly be a more stereotypical image of animal rights activists in pop culture than that of their demonstrating outside a fur store? For almost 20 years, groups like PeTA, as Prof. Gary L. Francione recently discussed on his Abolitionist Approach website ("The State of the Movement"), have been mangling perceptions of animal advocacy horribly by nurturing this stereotype, while singling out the fur industry as particularly worthy of the ire of those who take the interests of nonhuman animals seriously. But is the fur industry really any more worthy of such ire? As one advocate recently pointed out Twitter, for instance, 'fur' is skin and hair while 'leather' is skin. To obsess over people's wearing of fur while turning a blind eye to others' wearing of leather (which is much more common and involves so much more loss of life) seems odd and illogical. Furthermore, as Prof. Francione often points out when discussing anti-fur campaigns, considering that a large percentage of those who wear fur are women, fur becomes a convenient and sexist target. After all, when's the last time you saw PeTA demonstrators bombard a leather-clad biker with paint-balls?

Single-issue campaigns are problematic on many levels, not the least of which is that in focusing on this or that thing, other equally relevant issues get sidelined or marginalized. The impression given is that the object of the single-issue campaign in question carries more ethical significance. Sometimes, the very focusing on a single-issue can even lead advocates themselves to get a little lost--to lose sight of the wider or broader reasons that campaign may have been deemed important. This all becomes so tricky in a morally schizophrenic and speciesist society where we already have people categorizing some nonhuman animals as "pets", some as "food" and some as "pests". It becomes tricky in a society where many are drawn into believing that the consumption of flesh is more ethically troublesome than the consumption of animal products like milk or eggs, and then choose to eschew one for the other and convince themselves that they're making a huge difference in the lives of those nonhuman animals.

Somewhat telling (albeit somewhat less significant when looking at the big picture) is that with all of these years of anti-fur campaigning, PeTA hasn't even managed to effect any sort of tangible and permanent change in the general public's thinking concerning the wearing of fur. A recent article in the UK's Telegraph ("Why Fur is Fashionable Again"), for instance, discusses the resurgence in popularity of wearing "vintage furs", but as the editor of Red fashion magazines states in it:

I think the wearing of any fur at all, vintage or otherwise, anaesthetises the wearer. You’re only one gold card away from a new fur coat if you’ve bought an old one.
Ironically, another industry insider quoted in the article--one who admits to wearing so-called vintage fur--actually nails the problem with single issue campaigns and the resulting confusion from their mixed messages quite effectively, saying: “I can’t understand people who’ll [...] eat supermarket battery chickens, and then give me a hard time for wearing fur.” Where does this confusion come from? Animal advocates engaging in the sort of welfarist campaigning that either a) flat-out condones certain forms of animal exploitation (e.g. Erik Marcus applauding Jonathan Safran Foer, a promoter of "happy meat"-- see here and here) or b) lauds wee incremental changes to small segments of a wider-scale problem (e.g. HSUS spending so much money from its supporters to pressure restaurants to use cage-free eggs rather than educating consumers about not consuming eggs or other animal products in the first place).

More recently, the organisation Friends of Animals posted an open letter on its website to figure-skater Johnny Weir, in response to a New York Times article describing an outfit he wore at the US Figure Skating Championships as including fox fur. Priscilla Feral, Friends of Animals' President wrote:
Please consider that there’s nothing pretty about the fox that suffered and died to trim your outfit. The beautiful fox was likely anally electrocuted, or may have had its head bashed in, only to serve as decoration for someone’s performance.

If you buy fur, no matter what size piece, or which animal it comes from, you’re supporting an industry that has no respect for animals.
Feral announced on Twitter yesterday that "Johnny Weir's NEW decision to not perform in real fur at Olympics--victory for Arctic foxes, lynxes,wolves- free-living animals in nature." Um, OK... But what of the leather skates that Weir will inevitably wear, not unlike the skates worn by most professional figure skaters? Why all the fuss over one bit of skin and hair worn by a celebrity athlete, while ignoring that he and most of his fellow-skaters customarily wear skin (and otherwise consume animals)? Considering the several postings on the Friends of Animals website, the numerous tweets from Feral and others, the supposed faxes sent off hither and thither (including one to his costume designer, as reported here) and the claim that Weir's decision is somehow a "victory", one is left to wonder if the victory is more in terms of the publicity generated for the group than one for nonhuman animals.

So? From this mini media blitz, the public is left confused about the ethical significance of wearing one part of one animal's body rather than another's. Where Weir himself is concerned, he's no further ahead in terms of having had his conscience shifted; the reason Weir touted as being behind his decision to forgo wearing the fur is that he's purportedly received "threats" concerning it since the blitz started. Where is the victory here? All I see is a lost opportunity to earnestly educate people about the exploitation of animals and to educate them about veganism. (Check out Gary L. Francione's blog post from earlier today on the Weird story.)

The truth is that whether one chooses to wear leather, fur or silk, animals are exploited and treated as though they're ours to use. Whether one eats flesh, milk, eggs or honey, animals are exploited and treated as though they're ours to use. It seems to me that the most straightforward, simple and honest message that we can deliver as members of the "animal movement" is this: The only way to remove oneself from the cycle of suffering into which billions of nonhuman animals are enslaved and slaughtered every year is to actually remove oneself from the cycle altogether. When we start playing fast and loose with the term "ethical" or obsessing over single-issue campaigns, we lose sight of advocating for the most logical means by which to attain the best-case scenario for nonhuman animals. Instead of spreading (or implying) the misleading message that it's worse to consume one animal product over another, why not advocate for veganism?

24 comments:

Dave Shishkoff said...

Hi Mylene - i think you're perpetuating one of Francione's flawed arguments against single-issue campaigns.

First off, isn't veganism, the way most of us present it, single-issue? When you approach someone (assuming you actually go out and speak to people, and not just blog), do you start talking about the leather in their shoes? Do you ever begin with their wool top? The animal ingredients in their hair or make-up products? The vivisection in the toothpaste they used that morning?

Unlikely... You're most likely to bring up food animals. And most people associate veganism with food issues.

So most vegan activists, including in all likelihood you, are guilty of doing single-issue campaigning: for food animals.

I don't believe single-issue campaigns are inherently wrong. Francione of course does, but he does so ignoring any context.

The group you're critiquing is Friends of Animals. Not "Friends of Fur Animals Only". If you go to FriendsofAnimals.org, you'll see that a wide range of campaigns are promoted, including veganism.

To declare FoA guilty of wrong-doing is to admit wrong-doing when someone is quoted on veganism and is only referring to farm animals (which happens a LOT, even by the 'best' of us, and those following the Abolitionist Approach(Tm).)

Are you going to critique someone who says 'exploiting animals for food is wrong'?

No?

Then why would you critique someone who says 'exploiting animals for fur is wrong'?

Issues are being conflated, and an unnecessary critique is directed at FoA. FoA is an outspoken VEGAN group. And as a vegan group, has a range of vegan campaigns, one of which is directed towards speaking up for fur-bearing animals.

If *all* FoA defended was fur-bearing animals, then yes, you'd have a point. FoA speaks for and defends ALL species, and it's highly unfortunate that this context is ignored when critiques like this are utilized...and do little more than confuse and divide.

You have to start somewhere when engaging people. Maybe they're not receptive to the single-issue campaign of diet, so maybe they'll start to re-evaluate their views on other animals with fur. We all start considering other animals somewhere. Possibly with Weir it'll be fur. (And i speak with experience, having done fur demos, and attracting people who are concerned about animals, and become vegans themselves.)

Dan Cudahy said...

All single-issue campaigns are useless unless the single-issue makes up at least 95% of all animal exploitation. Food and beverages with animal products in them make up more than 95% (probably closer to 98%) of all animal exploitation, therefore, focusing on the dietary aspects of veganism is effective. Once a person stops consuming animal products in their diet for moral reasons, the rest of veganism comes relatively easy. The reverse is not true.

Fur campaigns are a waste of time.

Crystal said...

I agree that fur campaigns are a big waste of time, but I think that the public perception of fur has actually changed a whole lot in the last fifty years.

If you watch an old TV show or movie, like the Dick Van Dyke show, all the women wear and love fur. Nowadays you almost never see fur on TV or in films and people do often seem to think that fur is "wrong."

kelly g. said...

Furthermore, as Prof. Francione often points out when discussing anti-fur campaigns, considering that a large percentage of those who wear fur are women, fur becomes a convenient and sexist target.

This is an excellent point, and one worth repeating. I've noticed the same kind of trend in campaigns targeting cosmetics testing. Typically, these ads single out feminine cosmetics - blush, lipstick, eyeshadow - while ignoring the more unisex hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, shaving gel, cologne). Women are depicted as heartless twits, willing to torture animals in the name of vanity, while men's complicity is overlooked.

Dave Shishkoff said...

Glad to see some discussion on this topic.

Dan - "95%", that's a little arbitrary, isn't it? Are you telling me that the animals being exploited in the other 5% range (food animals) aren't worth speaking about? That they don't deserve to be mentioned or defended?

Glad we agree that this is also a form of a single-issue campaign.

Crystal brings up a good point: perception has changed. Not entirely, but "fur" is generally synonymous with "wrong". I'm not going to complain about this public consensus. Much more has to be done, and Friends of Animals agrees, and is working on a wider range of issues.

Kelly - thanks for bringing this subject up. I had to shake my head when i read this.

Evidently Francione hasn't been to many fur protests (let alone any forms of public animal advocacy.)

In my own experience, women generally outnumber men SIGNIFICANTLY in this area of activism. I've organized hundreds of demonstrations over the years, and many dozens of meetings, and women typically outnumber men 6-10 to 1.

Example: i was tabling at UVic a few weeks ago, 27 people signed-up for the club. 20 women. 7 men. (Two of them buddies i called over, and got them to sign to ensure we had enough #'s to start a club.)

So if it's predominantly women organizing and participating in these protests, does it make sense for Francione to declare this as sexist?

Francione exists in a bubble. He blocks anyone on Twitter who has the slightest disagreement with him, and rarely engages people directly, and even then it's almost exclusively people who agree/worship him. This "sexist" statement further exemplifies his detachment from the reality of activism.

Mylène Ouellet said...

Hi David. I have company and can't respond to your comments in any sort of detail until morning. I'm all for discussion/debate, but would like to ask that we keep things on topic and that you (or anyone else, for that matter) refrain from engaging in personal attacks, 'k?

Ricky T. said...

More PETA-bashing. They were out there on the street today helping animals and getting that ridiculous swatch of fur off that skater. And this article doesn't make sense on its final point. PETA and HSUS encourage veganism on pretty much every call-to-action I ever see on their website. Oh, and they have websites dedicated to veganism as well.

I've been trying to debate this point with Mr. Francione and others. More like-minded commentary on my website here: http://richardturgeon.com/2010/01/22/287/

And the debate rages on here (although I’ve dropped out of that race since the specific points I’ve raised haven’t been actively acknowledged or addressed):
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/gary-francione-calls-peta-s-state-of-the-union-undress-sexist

Calls-to-action on almost every "single-issue" or "welfarist" campaign I've seen from PETA and HSUS are: "You can stop [whatever ‘single-issue’ abuse is going on] by going vegan.” And those groups are the ones out there with the cameras, resources, boots on the ground, and conviction and dedication—to make real change, all while encouraging veganism. And isn't that what we all want?

I'll state again that I DO subscribe to abolitionism as an ideal, even if I don't agree 100% with Professor Francione's views or any sustained criticism of PETA. Some would demand I take sides but I will say again that there is some middle ground between abolitionism as an informing strategy and every other tactic, group and idea—however flawed—that aims to help animals. And it's ultimately making that connection between animals suffering and veganism that’s at stake.

Finally, as sorry I am to say this, I do not see the world no longer regarding animals as property or without inherent rights ever happening without "single issue" campaigns and raising awareness around veganism via more "symbolic victories."

Was Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus a “welfarist” demonstration? Were the Stonewall riots part of a “single-issue” campaign? Should organizations striving to end sex trafficking end to instead keep theorizing about a world where disadvantaged women are no longer regarded as property without any inherent rights?

The answers to these questions should be obvious.

@richardturgeon

Dan Cudahy said...

Dave,

My comment was about priorities. It claims we should strike at the root (the 95-98% of the issue) and not hack at the branches (the 2-5% of the issue). Food/diet is a single-issue, but it is the root, and therefore qualitatively different, not merely quantitatively different, from the other issues. Once someone, or society, embraces the dietary aspects of veganism, the rest is a summer breeze. I never said we should ignore the 5%, but it should come clearly after the 95%.

Richard,

PETA is a business. consider the following:

http://unpopularveganessays.blogspot.com/2009/12/peta-corporate-tangle-of-contradictions.html


http://unpopularveganessays.blogspot.com/2009/12/petas-undercover-investigations-another.html

Mylène Ouellet said...

Dave:

1) In your first post, you try to compare anti-fur campaigning to veganism advocacy by making the assumption that advocates of veganism focus on food first. That's certainly not a given and even if it were, as Dan points out, the animals used for food make up the overwhelming majority of all animals exploited by humans.

The problem with single-issue campaigns is that they generally attack very specific or limited forms of animal use--usually ones in which the majority of people don't engage in their daily lives--in such a way that they're presented as being more significant than other forms of animal use.

Where the anti-Weir campaign is concerned, he was attacked for wearing a bit of fox fur, while he and most every other professional figure skater wear leather skates. It focused on the fur as being somehow more ethically significant than the widespread use of cows for their skin by all of Weir's fellow-skaters. That's like publicly rebuking someone for drinking a glass of milk after his eating a steak and egg breakfast with a room full of others having steak and egg breakfasts. Surely you get that?

2) To use this blog as a forum to vent your personal hostility toward another animal advocate by making dishonest accusations concerning him/her is inappropriate and unwelcome. I'm disappointed that you'd do so. To accuse someone like Gary of not engaging people directly is ludicrous and amounts to no more than ad hominem arguments.

As the Canadian Correspondent for Friends of Animals, I certainly understand why you have a vested interest in defending their campaigns. Let's please stick to discussing whether or not single-issue campaigns are effective / detrimental, though, and not get side-tracked.

Mylène Ouellet said...

Kelly, you're absolutely right.

Crystal, attitudes towards a lot of things considered fashionable 50 years ago have changed. On those old shows women always wore dresses and had their hair and faces "done" at all times, men generally wore suits. Glamor was in and things like fur were regarded as glamorous. Things have changed. And the thing is that I do agree that there are indeed some who view fur as "wrong" these days; the problem is that most of the people who think that wearing fur is wrong, don't think twice to wear leather or to otherwise consume or exploit animals. We have a lot of work to do.

Elizabeth Collins said...

Right. I have had it! LOL! First of all calling vegan advocacy single issue is, is, I don't have the words. Veganism by definition is about rejecting animal use, including, by the way, fur. I always tell people "veganism is NOT just about diet". I talk about VEGANISM, not meat, not diary, not fur, not leather in shoe laces. VEGANISM.
Number two, I am really really sick of people making this a personal issue, it makes me physically sick, this is not about us and our fragile egos, it is about them. That is why I am in total agreement with this criticism of single issue campaigns including this one. IT'S NOTHING PERSONAL.
Firstly, when I saw the article in which Weir stated there was no difference between leather and fur, I was actually very happy! I was like, cool! the dialogue is changing! I tweeted a joke about it to "animal rights" people (and I meant generally people who are not vegan and pursue single issue, of which there are many, I had no idea that FoA was even involved when I tweeted that because, quite frankly, I had held higher expectations of them) anyway I joked that hey! figure skaters are getting it, it is about time we caught up! ha ha! I thought that would be the end of it, but I was pleased to see that dialogue from Wierthere! I was like, "That's PROGRESS!" for real! I had seen a comment on the article from someone from FoA and I did think, gosh, why are they writing this comment, because I was surprised. I didn't know much about them, but I thought that in general that the organization actually got it, ya know? Later, when the whole thing blew up and I found out that it was an actual campaign run by FoA I was floored. I couldn't believe it. Seriously. My first thought was, oh my gosh, They are smarter than that! Well I was wrong. Firstly, when the SKATER HIMSELF publicly proclaims that leather and fur are the same, what better an opportunity to capitalize on and educate people about the truth in that statement? I mean, if I had been wasting my time with this single issue campaign (I wasn't) I would have JUMPED ALL OVER that opportunity to educate people about veganism.
THEN to make matters even worse, and this is where I started to get mad; when people express concern and disagreement about the emphasis being made yet again, on one type of animal use, we get told that we want all foxes to die, and other ridiculous, horrible things!
No foxes are being saved from this campaign. So stop saying that all the Arctic foxes are safe now—they are NOT—and that anyone who is critical of the campaign (not the PEOPLE, not the PERSONALITIES, the CAMPAIGN) wants foxes to die. That is just terrible. And PLEASE STOP CLAIMING VICTORY. If Weir had somehow made the moral connection and went vegan and invested his money (of which I am sure he has plenty) in custom made synthetic ice skates, we wouldn't have gone around proclaiming that all the cows are safe, because that would be a lie!
Mr. Turgeon, I responded to your analysis on Opposing Views and your assertion that PETA promotes veganism, and the article you used to underline that.

Elizabeth Collins said...

I am sorry to be so snotty, but I am really fed up with the human beings in the animal rights movement. As my dear friend Roger put it, "that's the problem with the animal rights movement—it's full of human beings." Can we STOP making this about personalities and try to think critically?

For example, Crystal says they don't use fur in TV shows anymore. Let's IMAGINE then, if the movement had spent the last however many years on VEGAN advocacy. There might be a vegan sitcom now! There might have been movies made about people in which veganism just happened to be *gasp* normal! "Friends" might have been a bunch of vegan roommates in NYC, rather than just featuring a token "vegetarian" who only abstained from one type of animal product, meat, and who ate meat when she was pregnant because "her baby needed it". THINK ABOUT IT. Critical thinking! Please don't take this personally! I don't even know you!
I am sorry if I come across as overwrought, you see, I am a human being and I suffer from human nature, and sometimes I get emotional. I am working on it, because I don't think it helps the nonhumans one iota.
Feel free to criticize my comments - I won't take it personally. Because it is not about ME!!! Also, people accuse advocates for abolition as making personal attacks all the time, that is not true. Humans do get personal sometimes and yes we are all of us fallible, I am guilty of it and working on it, but as a general rule, abolitionist make critical arguments based on truth about evidence, society and the actual current situation. If that makes us unpopular than that is just a sad reflection on people's egos getting in the way. OK I am really done now. Mylène I am sorry to have made this big rant on your blog.

James Crump said...

Rich,

You claim that abolitionism and welfarism can be "reconciled" and "synthesized", but you seem to be a bit hazy on the details. How exactly can this synthesis and reconciliation take place? Could you briefly state your (theoretical and empirical) reasons for this belief so that we can assess them?

James Crump said...

Rich,

Abolitionists reject welfare reform because it creates more economically efficient and more socially acceptable animal exploitation. Did Rosa Parks's protest make discrimination against people of colour more economically efficient? Did it make such discrimination more socially acceptable? Of course not.

The problem, or rather one of them, is that you are comparing the exploitation of beings who belong to qualitatively different legal categories, and who as a result are subjected to qualitatively different kinds of exploitation: the exploitation of animals, who are property, instrumentally exclusively as a means to an end; and discrimination against people who have the basic right not to be property (and also the basic right to physical security), which guarantees that their basic interests (in not being used instrumentally, in life and in liberty) cannot be abrogated for merely consequential reasons.

Another problem with your analogy is this: animals are property; they are owned by property owners. Animals' interests are protected by welfare laws whereas property owners' interests are properted by rights. Rights have special normative force; they are trumps (to borrow the Dworkins's metaphor). Rights trump nonright considerations. This implies that exploiters' right-protected property interests in animals always trump the welfare-law-protected interest animals have in not being used as property. This in turn implies that there is an inherent in-built limit in the system of welfare reform: welfare reform cannot afford animals protection that exceeds the right of property owners to maximally exploit their animal property. This in turn is why welfare reform is always linked with economic efficiency - see PeTA's report on CAK and HSUS's reports on alternatives to the gestation crate. In short: the system of welfare reform is structurally defective and therefore has no abolitionistic function - no function, that is, in incrementally eroding animals property status in recognition of their inherent value. Welfare reform is really just a euphemistic way of referring to the self-regulation of industry.

Nonetheless, you claim that welfarism and abolitionism can be "synthesized" and "reconciled". Can you provide empirical evidence for this belief - evidence, that is, showing that welfarism can secure protection for animals that reflects inherent (i.e. noncost justified) value of their interests - and also a theory of how change this kind of change can occur through the system of welfare reform - i.e. how it can circumvent the property problem?

Mark said...

No single-issue campaigns. Sorry circus animals, sorry rodeo animals, sorry horses (carriages, races), sorry local animal-testing animals, sorry fur-trapped animals, sorry wild animals whose killing by gov. I fight, etc., etc. I will not be protesting or campaigning for you anymore. I can only do tabling for vegan education or I am speciesist and not a true abolitionist. Who would have known it? :-s

[and yes, I table for vegan education as well]

Taking the fact that the skater was wearing more than one animal-product and extrapolating to a broad "No single issue campaigns" doesn't make sense.

Mark said...

by the logic of this article, going to a GLBT protest "conveys the false impression" that you think GLBT rights are more important that native rights or women's rights or or or... why can't you go to a GLBT protest today and a native rights protest tomorrow?

How is it "the wrong impression" to protest the circus today, do vegan education tomorrow, and protest the gov. wolf shooting program the next day?
I don't see it.

Elizabeth Collins said...

Hi Mark

May I ask, why are you opposed, practically speaking, to unequivocal vegan education, and please can you articulate, why you think it doesn't help the horse, wolves,animals exploited for fur etc etc that you talk about here?

Mark said...

Elizabeth,

I don't dispute that educating people on veganism will eventually help all animals. I take exception to the belief that a circus protest, a rally to ban horse-carriages, etc. is confusing to the public and should not be part of the abolitionist's approach.

LiveVegan said...

What would FoA, PeTA, HSUS et al do to fill their coffers if they did not have these single issue campaigns --- which often include high profile people --- to put them in the limelight.

The fight for relevance continues.

Karin Hilpisch said...

''All animal use is derivative of fact that we eat animals and animal products. If that changed, everything would follow.''
GLF on Twitter, Nov. 2009

“As long as 99% of the people in this country are eating animals and animal products, I do not believe we will ever see any significant improvement in the treatment of animals.... And as long as we are inflicting suffering and death on animals where the only justification we have is our pleasure [i. e.,they taste good], further discussion seems to me to be lunacy.“
GLF in his keynote address at the Animal Law conference at Duke University, April 2006

Advocating veganism focuses on food because food is the core issue. Some people go vegan due to anti-fur, anti-vivisection, anti-hunting, or anti-circus-with-(wild)-animals campaigns, but these people would as well very likely go vegan due to a Go vegan campaign. The general public takes in the message that fur or vivisection or hunting are bad things, as distinguished from other forms of animal use, first and foremost the forms of using animals the overwhelming majority of the population engages in in their daily lives.

That's why these campaigns, whatever the intentions of those who run them, allow people to feel better about consuming animal products, and this effect is increased when they are offered to do something ''for the animals'' by making a donation or signing a petition. That's why such campaigns, as Mylène put it aptly on Opposing Views, are an ''easy sell''. Moreover, asking for donations for anti-fur, anti-vivisection, anti-hunting,, etc. campaigns is selling indulgences which animal users happily pay for in order to obtain absolution from feeling guilty about heir consuming flesh, milk, and eggs. People are eager to buy the welfarist product which are said indulgences and the proclaimed ''victories'' over bad things which they are not part of (or believe not to be part of, like in the case of vivisection, a false belief that is systematically fostered and reinforced by animal advocates' focusing on ''evil'' vivisectionists while being silent on the consumer demand for animal-tested products).

As for the objection that some other groups which run single-issue campaigns also promote veganism on their websites (or maybe even in leaflets, pamphlets, etc. ), this is not suited to counterbalance the confusion; on the contrary. If you can either feel good about not wearing fur, hunting, vivisecting, or whatever you have no interest in engaging in anyway, and refrain from all animal use, if doing so is not presented as a moral baseline, why would you choose what is less convenient? Besides, very few of those who take in the anti-whatever-else-than-nonveganism message when passing-by a street stall and a banner bother to look up the group's website.

Because single-issue campaigns are such an ''easy sell,'' compared to unequivocal vegan education, welfare organizations use them and the resulting ''victories'' as effective fund-raising tools which serve the purpose of economic self-preservation, at the expense of effective animal advocacy. Nobody is saying that they do so in order to harm animals; just that as soon as an economic self-interest is involved, which is the case as soon as salaries are being paid for working ''for the animals,'' that economic self-interest gets confused with animals' interests. It can't be any different.

LiveVegan said...

On Johnny Weir, Single-Issue Campaigns, Treatment, and Abolitionist Veganism

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/on-johnny-weir-single-issue-campaigns-treatment-and-abolitionist-veganism/

Vanilla Rose said...

My opinion is that at least not wearing fur is a starting point.

Mylène Ouellet said...

To say it's a starting point takes as a given that the person has any intention of moving towards no longer exploiting any animals at all. The problem with most anti-fur campaigning is that it sends people the message that 1) wearing fur is teh evil and is therefore worse than consuming other animal products and that 2) not wearing fur is enough, in and of itself (i.e. so that you can pat yourself on the back for it and keep eating those McDonald's cheeseburgers knowing that you've made enough of a difference).

Mylène Ouellet said...

Please do join the discussions here

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/animal-activist-says-johnny-weir-fur-episode-a-defeat-not-victory

and here

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/animal-rights-movement-must-avoid-single-issue-campaigns

for further discussion of these topics.