Imagine you and your family are traveling in a foreign country that considers people from your country to be of an inferior race, and that the country’s policy is to capture, enslave, use and ultimately murder citizens of your country whenever possible or desirable and with no serious legal repercussions other than an economic inconvenience here and there, a couple of low-level patsies losing their jobs after some undercover video is leaked (but soon finding jobs in similar situations), mostly slap-on-the-wrist stuff leading to promises to “be more humane” and assurances that “we had no idea about these isolated incidences, we are appalled!”.
You’re taken hostage and your captors’ stated intentions are that the males in your family are to be put to hard labor, tortured and then executed and the females kept alive to be tortured, raped and forced to produce more offspring for enslavement (eventually everyone’s executed once their “productivity” wanes) and keep the cycle going for generations, as has been their common practice for years. Now, as one of the hostages (pick a gender), would you want, need or be in any way satisfied with advocates working to get you “improvements” such as a better view while you wait to die, a smaller blowtorch with which to be tortured or a more comfortable bed on which to be repeatedly raped? Doubtful. If those are the goals for which they advocate, they might as well help sharpen the killing blade while they’re at it to make your death as painless as possible (another “improvement”, some might say) because, inevitably, death is what’s coming.
But the scenario I’ve just described isn’t a simple hostage situation and isn’t really about “us” – it’s about animals. This is what humans do to individuals of other species by the billions every year across the world. And what we would NEVER knowingly or willingly allow to happen to humans for any preventable length of time, we keep allowing to happen to animals. “But we’re really trying“, say those who, with all good intentions, implement, support and engage in single-issue, welfarist campaigns designed to minimize – as oppose to end – the injustices we regularly impose on non-human animals (there’s a saying in certain circles that “trying is lying”). Our current laws consider animals our “property”, which gives them no real rights ever and essentially gives permission for humans to do as they please to non-humans. There is no “negotiation” to gain freedom for these individuals, as they are someone’s property and there’s nothing illegal about it, as there is with kidnapping. In fact, if one rescues an animal from such a situation, the “rescuer” is the one who has broken the law. Since the law follows social change rather than the reverse being true, when we advocate for anything less than living vegan we engender, foster and support speciesism, a double standard (analogous with racism and sexism) created by humans placing higher moral value on some individual animals over other individual animals, based solely on the morally irrelevant criterion of species membership. It would logically follow that those who do not support racism and sexism would have a moral obligation not to support speciesism, and yet, people of seemingly good moral character continue to do just that, offering no better reasons than palate pleasure, convenience, entertainment and habit – in short, selfishness.
If you’re “afraid” to be direct and honest about veganism, I challenge you to move through the fear and do what you know is right. After all, your “fear” is nothing compared to the real fears being felt right now by the animals we all want to save. To operate from fear in this light is to operate from pure selfishness and ego, and that helps no one. In fact, it only serves to allow more injustice, unnecessary suffering and death to all involved.
Live vegan. Educate others. Start now, here’s how: