For those unfamiliar with the good professor, Gary Francione preaches a strain of animal activism which, were it to be followed, would guarantee that animals never achieve decent treatment, let alone rights.
Francione is the self-styled leader of “abolitionism.”
He leads those in the animal movement who call themselves “abolitionists.” They think they are patterning themselves on the Abolitionists of the 19th Century who opposed slavery.
But our animal abolitionists confuse the meaning of the word “abolition” with “opposition.” Abolition means prohibition by law.
Nothing modern abolitionists do is aimed at prohibition by law of the Animal Holocaust. If they were doing so, they would be agitating for socialist governments around the world, as such governments are the most likely to ban animal agriculture.
Our modern abolitionists are content to be vegans and urge others to be but oppose everything done by the rest of us .
Had those 19th Century Abolitionists acted similarly, all they would have done is refrained from owning slaves. What they actually did was riot, vote, elect, and run the Underground Railroad (sound like the Animal Liberation Front?). They fomented for government action, they supported and opposed candidates, they aligned with Karl Marx and the European Labor movement.
Gary Francione, the self-styled leader of modern abolitionists, calls the ALF a terrorist organization. Hardly the kind of guy who would have rescued slaves.
While almost all of us consider ourselves abolitionists about animal exploitation and cruelty, Francione has tortured the meaning of the word to mean that any efforts to help particular animals or particular species (whales, elephants, seals, etc) are tantamount to approving of the plight of animals trapped in the food system.
Francione, for all his education, is intellectually limited in understanding human nature, the practicalities of political and social outreach, organizational development, propaganda, media, and public relations.
Francione dismisses all efforts that are not aimed at immediate veganism and stopping all animal use and abuse as consorting with the enemy. He is critical of single issue campaigns (such as opposing bullfighting, sealing, whaling, trophy hunting, etc) as somehow lending support to animal exploitation that is not part of a particular campaign.
With the exception of rescuing dogs and cats, that is! Somehow, rescuing dogs and cats is not a single issue, and is approved by Francione. No doubt because dog and cat rescue is the engine of fund raising in the animal movement.
If the strategists for Big Ag were to create a fifth column in the animal movement it would no doubt look suspiciously like Gary Francione’s abolitionist bunch.
Francione condemns direct action against animal abusers and animal agriculture interests.
Francione opposes fighting ag-gag laws.
Francione opposes efforts to end veal crates, gestation crates, de-beaking, de-horning, branding, etc.
Francione opposes slowing down slaughter lines (which account for 7% of cows being conscious when their legs are chainsawed off).
Francione opposed Sea Shepherd’s work to stop Japanese whaling.
Francione opposes IFAW’s work to end Canadian sealing.
Francione opposes campaigns to end bullfighting in Spain, France, and Mexico.
Francione thinks the international furor over trophy hunting to be irrelevant.
Thankfully, Francione and his few followers have little influence in the broader animal movement. But that someone like him can be seriously entertained speaks to a lack of direction, a lack of sophistication, and a lack of leadership in the animal movement.
For the animal movement to be successful, it will be necessary that we change the very system under which we live. Narrow minded and intransigent positions will not help us to expand our influence. The animal movement must become a key part of the political left, a major factor in the coming revolution, the conscience of the socialist society which will emerge.
Francione is one of many stumbling blocks we will face in crafting a new world.
Hopefully, his troops will join with us.
After all, they love animals.
The jury is out on whether Francione does.
Natasha Sainsbury, of Good Karma Graphic Design, has joined Armory of the Revolution as Editor, and is responsible for the transformation of the blog’s appearance.