Monday, September 14, 2009

What Other Abolitionists Have Been Saying

I've failed to keep up over this past week with many of the online goings of my fellow abolitionists, aside from just trying to keep track of who's been writing or engaging in some sort of advocacy work. I think that this next week will be one delayed reaction after another for me as I catch up on the great work and musings that have been shared online.

For instance, this morning I read Ken Hopes' latest post on his brockway hall blog about definitions or representations of the word "vegan" on things like t-shirts. It's an interesting post that says a lot about how one identifies with veganism and it conveys how the words describing it may indeed very easily become catch phrases that feel a bit lacking to actual vegans. Abolitionist Nathan Schneider also recently examined words and language, albeit in his case, it concerned how we (un)knowingly use speciesist language in everyday life to classify animals as things.

Over at We Other Animals, Vincent J. Guihan has been keeping busy writing about "Vegan" Outreach's Matt Ball, and how he's been parroting the welfarist mantra by referring to most vegans as fanatical and purist. Guihan uses this as a starting point to talk about propaganda within the animal movement and to reflect upon how

[c]onfrontational comments on blog posts, tweets and other media from regulationist advocates, name calling, mud slinging, and other forms of personalizing disagreements are intended to intimidate other advocates. Innocuous seeming enough out of context. But when it reflects a pattern of repetitive behaviour, it equally often reflects a subtle and not so subtle harassment of other advocates.
Guihan goes on to discuss recent attacks on the abolitionist community and how, at the very least, all they've managed to do is sway animal movement' attention from the really important work of promoting veganism and of advocating for nonhuman animals. Guihan engages in this thing called "advocacy", himself, in his most recent blog post in which he lays out how taking down the industry that profits off the cycle of animal exploitation cannot be attempted in any other manner than with an understanding that consumer demand is what drives suppliers to continue providing the general public with animal products. As long as consumers want, suppliers will provide and attacking suppliers for doing so is wrongheaded and ineffective at best.

(A few other recent pieces that I want to highlight are Vegan Examiner Adam Kochanowicz's "How to Reduce Suffering and Other Wrong Questions to Ask" which addresses how the very use of animals--and not how they are used--should be the focus in fighting the exploitation of animals and Gentle World volunteer Angel Flinn's recent essay "All Heaven in a Rage" in which she discusses how speciesism leads us to condemn the killing of some nonhuman animal while shrugging off the killing of others.)

I hope to post (and ramble) about more things that have been written (or said via podcast) by fellow abolitionists over the next several days. Although I feel that I've been missing out by falling out of the loop while on vacation, it's heartening to me that there continues to be so much activity and education on behalf of nonhuman animals.


Nathan Schneider said...

Thanks for mentioning one of my blog posts, Mylène. Just to be clear, that particular piece is actually a year old. I still agree with the basic message, but I do think it suffers from a lack of clarity at points. It's probably not worth going through one's archive of posts and trying to improve/update them, so I'll probably leave it as is.

M said...

Oops! Someone had posted it as a recent blog post. I neglected to check the date. The basic message is indeed quite valid, so I'll leave my own post as is, as well. Thanks for the clarification, though. I'm looking forward to more writings from you.

soyjoy said...

"Toeing." One toes the line. Not tows. It means to stay within a boundary, not to, e.g. "carry water" for. So you may want to pick another phrase there.