Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On Consistency

Vincent Guihan at We Other Animals wrote something today that anyone and everyone involved in animal advocacy needs to read. An excerpt:

They'll know us not by our words but by our works,and if our works promote a kinder, gentler slavery rather than an immediate, unconditional and unequivocal end to that slavery, then regardless of what we tell ourselves or others, there is no meaningful difference between "liberation" and "exploitation".
The rest of it is here.

N.B.: For a stellar example of a complete lack of consistency, check out this story about HSUS' "Save the Seals" cocktail reception, held at a swanky DC restaurant called Policy to promote their boycott of Canadian "seafood". Then check out the restaurant's menu, which aside from featuring a wide variety of all types of animal flesh and excretions also happens to feature PEI mussels. (The link to the original story about the HSUS reception was obtained from a tweet by Professor Gary L. Francione. You can follow him on Twitter @garylfrancione.)


wchanley said...

Also in the Complete Lack of Consistency department, last night's Twitter back-and-forth with @SarahHSUS produced, among other things:

a) Eating animals is a personal choice.

b) No one has forgiven Michael Vick; he's still got a lot to answer for.

Really? Ethical lapses and a lack of consistency are your department now, HSUS? Really, really?

M said...

After exchanges like that, I understand more and more why welfarists like the folks at HSUS are too afraid to engage in a good old formal debate with abolitionists. They trip themselves up with their own public relations catch phrases

(Good gosh! Do you sleep?)

wchanley said...

What is this "sleep" you mention? hehe.

wchanley said...

Although, honestly, that really is an excellent point. It's blatantly obvious why HSUS won't do anything more than promote vegetarianism, very, VERY weakly. Pushing the angle of "personal choice" where food is concerned is a message that's specifically calibrated to appeal to the largest possible audience.

I'm sure Sarah is a well-intentioned *person.* I just don't get the sense that she's thought through the marketing-speak she's been taught to parrot, at the drop of a hat.

M said...

The very fact that an organization that purports to be doing the "most" to help nonhuman animals views whether its own employees or volunteers eat them as a "personal choice" is problematic enough. What's most telling, however, is how it presents veganism as unrealistic and extremist, both to silence abolitionists (e.g. by attempting to convey to abolitionists that we're being unreasonable) as well as to assuage "Big Ag" that they've no intention of interfering with the continued breeding and slaughter of nonhumans.

Meanwhile, billions of animals continue to die needlessly every year because the biggest animal charity in the US refuses to make vegan education its top priority.

wchanley said...

Or its 384348093th priority. Sigh.