Gary Francione is More Dangerous to Animals Than The Department of Agriculture, The Safari Club, and the Republicans Combined


 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.




Author’s Note:

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.

78 thoughts on “Gary Francione is More Dangerous to Animals Than The Department of Agriculture, The Safari Club, and the Republicans Combined

  1. Excellent post, Roland; I spent quite some time on his FB page yesterday because of abolitionism and wanting to support it but found literally every single animal organization, form of activism, and prominent individual activists from Gary Yourofsky, Earthling Ed, Melanie Joy, Paul Watson and James Aspey all discredited. It was very demoralizing. It’s been good reading this and other articles questioning him. Something is not right when the only option left is to reject everyone and everything except him!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Gary Francione, otro enemigo más para los no-humanos - El Vegano RadicalEl Vegano Radical

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  4. In my recent experience, Gary L Francione displayed himself to be a seriously pathetic, I dare say patriarchal, dictator. He uses his facebook page and other outlets to spout his denunciations and slander of any and all who may veer from his views what so ever. I wrote a short reply to his question “why would any support the “ridiculous campaigns of PETA, HSUS, Mercy for Animals, Compassion Over Killing, Viva!, or any of the other welfare charities” I woke up to this from Emelia Leese, also on his fb page (Linda Reynolds, this is an Abolitionist page. Here are the TOS, in case you missed them. It seems clear to me that you don’t wish to engage in logical discourse, otherwise you wouldn’t have come in here guns a-blazing as you’ve done. Please respect the TOS. If you’re unable, then please post elsewhere. Cheers).as well as this from Francione: “Linda Reynolds has been shown the cyber door for promoting reducetarianism and for otherwise being obnoxious. Please don’t promote reducetarianism or any other positions that promote animal exploitation on this page. Thank you.” My “obnoxious offense”? I merely replied to his question with the opinion and observation that until the entire world has decided to become vegan (which I am btw) animals suffer in a myriad of ways. So I happen to applaud any action that relieves suffering as in rescuing dogs from the gas chamber, in dog fighting rings, in puppy mills, in labs, fighting for legislation to stop the genocide of elephants, hunting, etc etc etc. I celebrate that millions of fewer animals were slaughtered from meat this year fully aware that trillions are butchered and tortured still. But I am not sure what Francione would like us all to do about this suffering a portion, of what I referred to. I am all for a mass and quick consciousness raising I do my best to open eyes in my world but while we hope and wish for that do we merely rage against all who do not do enough and then do nothing, except talk?

    Actually Emilia Leese, I did wish to engage in logical discourse but it is apparent you and Gary prefer to label me “illogical” and muzzle me from even a reply to that characterization.

    He just lost me. I fear anybody who will not engage in any dialogue whatsoever and prefers to brook no opposition (a sincere question is opposition)and instead reverts to labels and public denunciations of one as an enemy of the movement and one who “promotes reducetarianism and animal exploitation.” I do neither, I wonder how he treats his students.

    Francione. Narcissistic? Yeah, at least.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Gary Francione is a long-time professor at the Rutgers-Newark School of Law. I always figured that he takes some of his positions with regard to animal rights as some type of intellectual exercise.

      One thing that I’ve learn from Gary is that it’s O.K. to repeat yourself over and over again.

      As Gary says repeatedly, “If you are not vegan, please go vegan. Veganism is about nonviolence. First and foremost, it’s about nonviolence to other sentient beings. But it’s also about nonviolence to the earth and nonviolence to yourself. The World is Vegan! If you want it.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A lot of energy spent on hating someone who cares. Don’t like Francione? Don’t like Yourofsky? I happen to like both and very much appreciate Jennifer Richard’s comments. I also appreciate the work of Karne Davis who also doesnt like Francione. The problem with this movement? The few people we have all have their own way, the only way, for success and, as a result, we are nowhere.

    If groups worked together on some goal, maybe the energy, and the collective money, could get somewhere.

    But with our pittiful numbers, “revolution” is just a fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But does he care? He talks and talks and does not allow dialogue. And he talks and talks and condemns those who put their lives on the line everyday and do the dirty work everyday while he talks and talks. I do not know how breaking up dog fighting rings, ending puppy mills, fighting animal experimentation and the myriad of ways animals are hurt in this world blocks the promotion of veganism. Because you know why? It doesn’t.

      Changing the world’s eating habits of thousands of years and their assumption about the role of fellow creatures will not happen because Gary makes good points about it. Which he does. But addressing the myriad ways of animal abuses will bring it into people’s minds and that will open their minds to the final conclusion, which is veganism.

      In the meantime to turn a blind eye to real world suffering (which academics in Ivory Towers tend to do) is madness. And it results in more suffering.

      Liked by 7 people

  6. If you start to research animal rights his name comes up first and often. My own opinion independently before looking at any site like this one was that there was something wrong with him. My intuition tells me he is self serving and that the ‘academic’ animal rights niche which he inhabits is just convenient, maybe even random, i.e. he should not be representing the ‘movement’, and we who have an interest should definitely try to take his name off the roster.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I think most animal advocates who want to liberate some animals but own others are blatant hypocrites, and this would likely include anyone who has ever posted on this site, except me.

    Conscripted animal companionship is exploitation.

    Tell us more as we should abandon animals with thousands of years of domestication, and without any niche or chance in nature, to their fate.

    Vegans do not fund any of pets industry, we just adopt homeless and defenceless animals, you fucking idiot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pedro–

      Americans–many Americans–are enamored with pet ownership, and this enamoration–in excess of 60 billion a year in expenditures–has ecological consequences. The canine is an adulterated, abominated species. I think we ought to stop breeding “pointless” dogs for our (your) amusement.

      Has your pet received any medical service? Shots? Surgery? Cleaning?

      Once domesticated, always domesticated? Are we still futzing with the genetics of the canine?

      Why not domesticate other supposed “omnivores.” It is apparent you dictate your dog’s diet. Does someone dictate your diet? Should you be dictating the diet of other “persons”?

      It seems as if some humans advocate the ownership of omnivores, but not carnivores. Why? Why the species partiality?

      I would hardly call your devotion to the continued abomination of a species, whom you feed, shelter and protect, as evidence of a biocentric consciousness.

      You represent less than one-half percent of canine owners who don’t feed the pulverized dead remains of another species from a tin can to their preferred pet canine, but this fact doesn’t exonerate you from your complicity in the unnecessary environmental damage committed for a singular, cherished species by a selfish human animal.

      Keep believing the myth. I realize it validates your existence.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jerry

        Okay, so what should I do with my two rescued dogs – one born in the streets, and the other abused – take both to the backyard and take a shot at each of them? Or perhaps abandon them back on the streets for them to be “naturally” run over or poisoned? (It would probably be your “solution”)

        I should not, but I will repeat, as you present a certain difficulty in understanding: vegan, among which I include myself, do not breed pets, let alone buy from breeders. If stupid Americans are spending 60 billion dollars a year on breed animals with all kinds of moral and environmental impacts, sorry, but I can do nothing. And by the way, I am Brazilian.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pedro–

        You say you are Brazilian, but what does this mean? What am I to presume, if anything, about Brazilians? Is there something fundamental about all Brazilians or would you say you are a marginal rather than a mainstream Brazilian thinker?

        I’m not asking you to exterminate your cherished, privileged, captive canines. I’m just suggesting you ought to think more deeply about the circumstances of this captive species and the implications of our continued domestication of it.

        You made the choice to “rescue” your particular two canines to the exclusion of everything else going on in the world and I am sure you feel pretty good about your charity (or charitableness), because I suspect you are an “animal lover.”

        The canine and feline are “gross” recipients of a economic system which pits my dollars against those dollars profligately spent by animal owners for pet pampering. I am actually offended by this.

        I think I have a good case for my indignation in regard to the reckless, self-serving human who employs so many different animals in so many different ways for his pathetic, twisted solace.

        Enjoy your solace. The world is a better place because you care about your two rescued canines.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Reynolds

        For this lunatic, help helpless sentient creatures (even not artificially bred and vegetarian fed) is not only useless, as offensive. I can only imagine a psychopath to have such a distorted speech.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Linda Reynolds–

        I suspect your comment, “You live solely in your head. Take a look at the real world,” is directed at me, Jerry. I live in the real world. I live in a real world where every day I listen to incessantly barking dogs dumped in backyards (prisons) for the solace of twisted humans. I avoid walking down a particular street in our neighborhood–what I call “Yapper Lane”–because it is laden with little white abominated canines who bark the entire time you are in their view, and this disruption makes for an unpleasant stroll. You may think pet ownership is a blessing to humankind, but it isn’t. It is another way we assert our dominion over other earthlings of this world. Just remember, deep down, the well-being of your canine has more to do with your peace of mind, not his. Also, the prejudice of the author of this website seems apparent because he has nothing to say about owning “omnivorous” animals, but seems to be against owning “carnivorous” ones. I suppose growing crops for omnivorous animals we impose our vegan diet on is preferable to apprehending “meat” for carnivores. Why is this? What, we can’t kill another species for the benefit of a carnivore who might enjoy the perks of domestication, like protection, shelter, food, spa visits, grooming, healthcare, etc. for a lifetime?

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow I really wish some of the posts comments would actually read Gary Francione work before bashing him.

    Do you want to know why Gary Francione is right?

    Here is welfarist seal of approval for animal exploitation:

    Now that farmers,and suppliers and the public think we’re okay with this kind of exploitation and death, how are you going to promote stopping exploitation altogether, you can’t, you’ve undermined the whole argument for abolition and made the animal movement look like hypocritical idiots.

    He’s right about one thing, vegan is the moral baseline and if your organisation isn’t saying that then your in the wrong business.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer, Francione’s all-or-nothing approach guarantees that most people will opt to do nothing.

      Francione’s arguments are directed at strawmen, and at positions that do not exist. No one on the planet is advocating for “better use” of animals, none in the animal movement are satisfied with the state of animal agriculture.

      Francione seems unable to grasp simple math as well.

      The animals are losing. Animal activists, let alone vegns, are declining against the exploding world population.

      Proceeding as we have been is to assure the continuation of the Animal Holocaust.

      But to follow Francione is to abandon all hope for changing society.


      Because Francione wants to dissuade the animal movement from taking the kinds of direct action that would lead to social revolution.

      And social revolution is the only hope for animals.

      I am vegan, and advocate for veganism. But just being vegan is no different than not raping women or not molesting children. It just means one is doing no harm in their personal consumption. It does not mean that you are worth a damn to the animals. Vegans who are not recruiting revolutionaries or working toward bringing down the capitalist state are aiding the animals’ enemies, and are doing much more harm than if they were eating animals. They are helping to perpetuate the Animal Holocaust.

      Francione included.

      Liked by 7 people

      • As I’ve said before, the revolution you people dream of is likely hundreds of years away. As a person who doesn’t intentionally eat animals, I share my metaphysics with animal eaters, but most of them aren’t interested in the moral component of my arguments. Frankly, I tell myself, why should they be. I think anyone who “follows” Francione is probably interested in his metaphysics and his perspective on current animal events. I think most animal advocates who want to liberate some animals but own others are blatant hypocrites, and this would likely include anyone who has ever posted on this site, except me.

        Conscripted animal companionship is exploitation.

        The human species is so cognitively different from all other critters on this planet. It is why our involvement with any other critter in any way will always be exploitative. Why should we raise food crops for some species, but not all species? We shouldn’t be raising food crops for any species.

        Mr. Francione isn’t harming or undermining any animal cause. He is just one of an infinite number of strawmen daily manufactured by humans to rationalize their existence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Roland Vincent, I do by share with you the idea that between the choice of being vegan or nothing people will choose nothing. Most people aren’t sociopaths and is you give them compelling right philosophical, moral, pragmatic, health, reasons and most of all help develop empathy toward animals on the one hand and condemnation for snafus exploiting behavior on the other, veganism alone can make the difference.

        I truly understand where you’re coming from, but your negativity toward the human potential to embrace veganism isn’t well founded, all ready it has as a group grown enormously since 1944 when it emerged as a new defined paradigm.

        Even if that were not the case welfarism still isn’t the answer and hypocritical animal activists further undermine animal rights. I know it’s easier to rail with anger and violence against injustice, but there are some points that you miss.

        First, if you really want to use force to compel people to behave properly then your better of your in government than as an individual as the police will do it for you. Second, your lack of faith in the ability of people to behave morally and go vegan informs that 1. welfarist organisations are not promoting it as an absolute requirement and 2. they are not promoting it anything like enough, or forcefully enough (social force in the form of moral abolition not violence).

        Social revolution, is beyond the scope of this but basically I agree will you a capitalist system is a real problem for our species.

        I don’t like to draw to much conclusion from a single case, but I know for myself all the Singerism, and hypocrisy of welfarism actually deterred me from veganism for a long time, and that makes me very angry that the very people that were supposed to be advocating for animals worked against them in my case. So if you want to end the holocaust advocate for veganism and the end of animal exploitation, not for free range chickens.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So you are saying Francione is pro-vegan, but anti-animal liberation movements? If that is the case, then I would think he is afraid of being scapegoated. It’s like Morrissey sang: “It might smear your lovely career.”

    Well, I must say that once upon a time many years ago Francione was friendly and helpful to me. If I remember correctly, he wrote a letter or e-mail on my behalf when a state actor was trying to infringe upon my 1st Amendment rights at a state college. (So, I’m surprised he would oppose repealing Ag-Gag.)

    You see, once upon a time if you posted pro-animal rights comments online using a University account, then the anti-animal rights trolls would send false and defamatory complaints to your school to try to get you silenced. Martin Martens of Vancouver was one of those defaming trolls (and yes, it may be the same person who is now a professor there.) So, they would send fake complaints to Teresa E. Macklin, a bitter obese state actor, who would believe the defamation and get on my case threatening to revoke my e-mail account even though I paid the tuition to get this “higher education.” She also fraternized with a student named Garrett Collins (, who said that she let him ride her horses and suddenly he was cyber-sexism-bullying me. What a coincidence. But I defended myself and won the war and if I remember correctly, Francione also defended me. (Ironically, one of Macklin’s relatives was one of my professors. Talk about nepotism!)


  10. Guy Rittger wrote the following:

    ‘Do I, as an abolitionist vegan, believe in protests and demonstrations? Absolutely, provided they are non-violent, since, for me, veganism is all about non-violence to all living beings. Do I believe in engaging people in rational discussion and opening their eyes to the violence of animal exploitation? Yes and yes! Do I believe in lobbying for laws acknowledging the rights of animals and preventing their exploitation by anyone for any purpose? You betcha! Nothing in Francione’s platform conflicts with any of this.’

    Guy, I think that you are seriously mistaken if you believe that ‘Nothing in Francione’s platform conflicts with any of this’. Ask yourself this: when was the last time Francione supported or promoted a protest or demonstration? When was the last time Francione supported a single group or organisation in any context and not just those he lumps together as ‘new welfarists’ but grassroots abolitionist movements? Furthermore, Francione has repeatedly opposed ‘lobbying for laws acknowledging the rights of animals’ – he thinks that the law can never be used to defend direct animal interests because of the property status of animals. He has repeated this ad nauseum.

    If you don’t believe me Guy here’s a challenge for you: try promoting a protest, demonstration or campaign for legal reform to protect animals on Francione’s Facebook page and see how long you last before you get banned.

    One final point – Francione’s position is not synonymous with ‘abolitionist veganism’ – Francione has never been the first, or the only vegan abolitionist, he has just hijacked the term to promote his own ego cult.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Although, I don’t agree with Gary on everything. I think he has a point on a lot of issues. Most vegans don’t talk about the problems with animal use as a whole. It’s always about the way animals are treated, which goes right back to the happy exploitation of animals and Whole Foods welfarist capitalist crap. He is consistent. Why get pissed off about fur and vivisection if you are wearing shoes made of leather? Also I think the idea that a government will ever do anything for animals is nonsense. How does a court define what animal abuse is, when animals are property under the law? Gary looks at things in a more philosophical light, and takes away as much of the emotional nonsense that groups like PETA and The Humane Society try to throw our way.


  12. I think he’s a narcissist. What appears to matter to him is cultivating a group of dedicated followers for whom he likely has very little respect. I believe it is a cult with a leader who will tolerate no criticism. How better than to create a mandate which isolates them from popular and current issues, pressing questions and the politics inherent in all animal rights issues.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I agree with Katy, he appears to be all about self promotion, his academic status etc, that’s all fine but why is he named far and wide as representing ‘us’ (that’s ‘those of us who would change the way animals are treated in this world’).

      Liked by 3 people

  13. He certainty doesn’t understand human factor, believes they all can act rationally or as he does based on the facts he writes in his books. If we were all robots then we would rationally all go vegan bc it is the best solution to most of our problems

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Gary Francione doesn’t have to be known, what matters to him and what should be of some concern is that his ideas be adopted by new advocates. In the days of Henry Salt there were people who wanted to abolish vivisection, not regulate it. But those that sought abolition did not oppose whatever reforms came along (often championed by those who also wanted to see it abolished but understood it would not happen overnight).
    What we have with Francione is a rejection of gradualism (he portrays anyone advocating gradualism as a welfarist and collaborator with industry). And yet he also attacks all ALF-related actions as well. All he proposes is that people adopt cats and dogs from shelters and tell everyone to make a personal commitment to boycotting all products connected to animal use.

    If Francione wanted to test his theory for the sake of animals he would find a town with zero vegans and have his followers converge on it and convert them to veganism to demonstrate that his method works-but he wont do that. Instead his entire focus is attacking animal advocacy. I know from the history of slavery that what Francione advocates–a personal product boycott, wasnt considered effective in ending slavery. It was the Quaker Free Produce Movement—it didnt stop slavery. The Republican Party did more to promote an anti-slavery position to the public and they were promoting containment not abolition. The true abolitionists were on the fringe. It was the same with children’s rights–it didnt happen overnight. The public has to be made aware and this is gradual-no other way around it. It is merely physics.

    In 1992 he and Tom Regan wrote an Animals Agenda article saying that activists have to declare their aim is veganism to the public and abolishing all animal exploitation (what is interesting about that advice is that it matches what exploiters want activists to do–whether it is 1984 or 2014, if you listen to what the exploiters say–the industry-furriers, vivisectors, factory farmers, they all answer any criticism of their actions by saying “these activists dont want welfare-they want veganism–they want to abolish all animal use.”). Why do the exploiters give that free advertising to veganism? Because they know that when talking in the major media, and the majority of people living in a nonvegan society hear that–it either confuses or offends the public-and steers the discussion away from issues that industry are most vulnerable about (i.e. not torturing animals in farms or giving animals in labs food and water by law). Exploiters cannot defend against those common sense decent campaigns–and yet, typically, they fight it tooth and nail. In fighting it, they draw even more attention to animal concerns, and as they lose (and they have been losing) it builds more and more public awareness and acceptance. When Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson gets asked “what about cows?” he points out that the meat industry takes so much from the ocean that pigs and chickens are major aquatic predators, or that the Japanese eat more cows and pigs than all of Australia and New Zealand (anti-whaling countries). He knows how to talk about these issues in the media to give maximum benefit to the animals and the least benefit to the exploiter. By contrast, Francione will attack horse carriage or cat activists, using the same framing “it is arbitrary to focus on cats or horse carriages when there are billions of animals killed for food.”

    Francione’s ideas have been utilized by others. DxE agrees with Francione (PETA is racist, only after money, counter productive, billions of animals killed, exploiters arent the real problem–leave them alone–though in DxE’s case they choose to focus on the businesses that advertise “animal concerns” to the public like Whole Foods and Chipotles. They ignore McDonalds, Burger King and other businesses that source from factory farms (99% of the meat production) and instead focus on the 1% small farms. DxE described Whole Foods as creating a “terrifying new world.” What do they consider factory farms? 100 times more terrifying? How does Karen Davis feel about DxE naming a rescue chicken Paprika? Is that a good name for a chicken to be shown to the public in an effort to generate sympathy and respect for them?

    James McWilliams, a journalist with vegan claims (though at one time he supported animal cloning), also dismisses reforms and gives odd endorsement to the notion that factory farms aren’t much worse than small farms.

    It doesnt matter if we-as vegans believe that to be so–what matters is–what does the majority nonvegan public think? Last I checked there were 30 000 McDonalds. Chipotles has 1600 stores. It seems the real sin of Whole Foods and Chipotles is to advertise animal concerns to the nonvegan public.

    Austrian activist Martin Balluch has said people are more social than rational and believes changing institutions is essential to changing public opinion.

    Another way to examine this is to consider in what way animals on farms were talked about in the news in 1990. I certainly do not recall much talk if anything about farms.

    A Fifth Column Vegan may be someone who claims to represent animals and yet does nothing positive for them. What does Francione really do for animals? He attacks groups that the meat industry, hunters, vivisectors etc regard as enemies. He even expressed opposition synthetic meat and dairy.
    Interesting too that these suspected fifth column vegans like Francione, Wayne Hsiung, and Nathan “I did my first interview with CCF” Winograd are lawyers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Complete strawman argument, and also speciesist. Francione advocates for the end of all animal use and exploitation, which is presumably what veganism is all about. What he critiques are gradualist / reformist approaches which refuse to insist on this fundamental principle in their own advocacy, for fear of alienating non-vegans and, thereby, failing to achieve “results”. But what are these “results”? Presumably they are the reduction – not elimination – of animal suffering. But they also entail the normalization and reinforcement of “humane” animal exploitation. Once you’ve managed to achieve the widespread adoption of “humane” exploitation, you’ve effectively undermined your ability to advocate for abolition – i.e., “Why do I, as a non-vegan, need to stop consuming animals and animal products if all those pigs, cows, chickens, etc., are living “happy” lives, albeit radically fore-shortened lives?”

      The reason this logic is specieisist is precisely because you would never apply it to any other form of immorality. Let’s take slavery, since you brought it up. The abolitionists NEVER advocated for more humane exploitation of African slaves. Had they done so successfully – e.g., no more use of bull whips to discipline recalcitrant slaves – we might well have avoided the Civil War. But we would have done nothing to change the entire underlying foundation of slavery – to wit, that some human beings can be treated as the property of others, with no intrinsic rights of their own.

      Do I, as an abolitionist vegan, believe in protests and demonstrations? Absolutely, provided they are non-violent, since, for me, veganism is all about non-violence to all living beings. Do I believe in engaging people in rational discussion and opening their eyes to the violence of animal exploitation? Yes and yes! Do I believe in lobbying for laws acknowledging the rights of animals and preventing their exploitation by anyone for any purpose? You betcha! Nothing in Francione’s platform conflicts with any of this.

      Where he parts company with “welfarists” is in their refusal to hold individuals responsible for their actions – i.e., for being non-vegans – by giving them an easy way out. When you tell someone that exploiting animals is wrong, but that you understand they aren’t capable of changing their minds or lives to embrace non-exploitation (condescending, in its own right), so it’s okay for them to take “baby steps” by not eating burgers on Mondays, you effectively undermine the leverage taking a clear moral position might have. That person can now go about their life thinking, “I’m a good person! I love animals! I only eat meat 6 days a week and not 7!” The next time you come around and say, “You shouldn’t exploit animals,” he/she will say: “What are you talking about? You told me it was cool to do meat-less Mondays and now you’re saying it’s not good enough? Why didn’t you tell me that before?” You see where this is going.

      I think you are stirring up a tempest in a teapot and seeing things that aren’t there. 2 cents.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nineteenth Century Abolitionists advocated freeing slaves by direct action, a concept Francione and his minions consider to be terrorism.

        As for the proposition that “baby steps” allows people to avoid hard moral choices and continue in their cruel lifestyles, the exact opposite is the case. Abolitionism makes it easy for people to reject any changes in their lifestyles, including taking the baby steps that would help some animals. Single issue campaigns addressing issues that reach a portion of the public are the means we employ to grow the movement and to educate people and recruit activists. Your approach, and Francione’s, is not only misguided, it is seditious to the animal movement. It guarantees the status quo going unchallenged and unchanged.

        Liked by 4 people

      • On the contrary. The vast majority of people I talk to in person about Abolitionist Veganism (I try to convert at least one person locally or over the phone per day, in addition to all the other educating I do per day) do not reject what I educate them on. Many of them are enthusiastic about learning how they can go Vegan immediately. Quite a few are derisive of baby steps such as “humane slaughter” and once educated on the immorality of vegetarianism are happy to study the info on Veganism.

        Baby steps make people comfortable with acting like babies. Adults feel good about taking adult steps towards Veganism.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is no such thing as humane slaughter, Asserting it to be a “baby step” is absurd, and ridiculously frames the argument in Francione’s perverted concepts.

        Most vegans did not embrace veganism in a single step. Most were vegetarians first. And many people are willing to help animals, but are unwilling to become vegans. Most dog and cats rescuers aren’t vegan, most who oppose sealing aren’t vegan, most who oppose hunting aren’t vegan. Francione’s rejection of their efforts is not only logically flawed, it makes him complicit in the that cruelty which can be alleviated.

        Abolitionist veganism is an ally of every form of animal cruelty, because it counsels against fighting that cruelty. It is an exercise in mental masturbation and self aggrandizement to the detriment of all animals everywhere.

        Liked by 4 people

      • “There is no such thing as humane slaughter, Asserting it to be a “baby step” is absurd”

        Absurd to you maybe, but not to non-Vegans who are observing the SICs and other speciesist campaigns touted by non-Abolitionists. And that is the point; We have a moral responsibility to never make any argument that does not present Veganism as the non-negotiable moral baseline, which is easily demonstrated.

        “Most vegans did not embrace veganism in a single step. Most were vegetarians first.”


        “And many people are willing to help animals, but are unwilling to become vegans.”

        Also irrelevant. Just stating what immoral actions people engaged in or how long they did so is not a rational argument justifying you engaging in speciesism, which is what SICs/vegetarian advocacy/etc. etc. is. Furthermore, most Vegans were not educated on Veganism first, they were educated on vegetarianism first, which is why they went vegetarian first. When people are educated properly on Veganism as the non-negotiable moral baseline, they go Vegan in much higher percentages than when they are educated on vegetarianism. I prove this every day. I go out and talk to people in the street, or talk to them on the phone, every day. The VAST majority of them are OVERJOYED to be taught about Veganism as the non-negotiable moral baseline.

        Furthermore, we have never had a united front educating on AbVeganism as the moral baseline, all the major welfarist groups advocate vegetarianism (that’s what I was told by them when I was in my teens) and say that Veganism as just another thing that could help animals that you don’t need to do. Most vegetarians stay that way for years or decades (19 years for me, and I’m still pissed that there was no AbVegan in my life when I started), during which time they are hurting nonhumans, humans and the environment MORE than if they didn’t go vegetarian in the first place. As I did.

        So to claim that Vegans have to start out vegetarian is simply ridiculously wrong in the first place. That’s the WORST way to start learning about animal issues. What we need is for more people to stop advocating speciesist SICs and other such campaigns and start educating on Veganism as the baseline. Furthermore, If we think that Veganism is morally justifiable, and the infliction of unnecessary unnecessary suffering and death is not, then advocating for vegetarianism, speciesist campaigns, and anything that is not morally justifiable is not only irrational, but quite frankly a bit unhinged.

        FURTHERMORE, AbVegan Education works much better than speciesist campaigns. Even from a utilitarian perspective that’s been proven. I prove it every single day. Why do you think that in the past 200 years that we’ve had welfarism, we’ve actually ramped up animal exploitation by the billions? And why do you think in the past few years, when AbVegan educators have made a concerted effort to educate both online and off, following GLF’s direction, the global percentage of Vegans has doubled twice?

        Welfarism didn’t do that, or else the world would have gone completely Vegan years ago. Instead we INCREASED exploitation hugely for decades and decades.

        “Most dog and cats rescuers aren’t vegan, most who oppose sealing aren’t vegan, most who oppose hunting aren’t vegan”

        Once again, simply listing immorality amongst humans is not a rational argument against our point. Some of those people, upon being educated, will go Vegan, and some will not. That is also a goal of AVE, because to do otherwise is speciesist. I have personally converted more non-Vegan AND Vegan welfarists to AbVeganism than you’d believe.

        “Francione’s rejection of their efforts is not only logically flawed, it makes him complicit in the that cruelty which can be alleviated”

        And that would make sense, if that was true. However, none of it is. 1. No AbVegan who understands GLF’s position is against animal “rescue.” Animal rescue is not an SIC, nor is it speciesist. 2. AbVegans are most decidedly not against opposing sealing or hunting. Yet another one of your infamous Straw Mans. What AbVegans are against is the speciesism inherent in advocating against those issues WITHOUT making it clear that Veganism is the non-negotiable moral baseline.

        Would it help if I got someone who was a HUGE sic campaigner up until just recently to come here and explain this further? Cause I will.

        “Abolitionist veganism is an ally of every form of animal cruelty, because it counsels against fighting that cruelty.”

        Once again an infamous Straw Man. The fact is that AbVeganism is against use. Welfarism is against treatment. Use creates much more cruelty than treatment because all the cruelty inherent in treatment is part and parcel of use. Using nonhumans is the root of cruelty, not how nicely we treat them. Use is the root cause of all cruelty, treatment is only a symptom. Anyone who uses logic correctly understands that you don’t cut down an entire tree by hacking at branches (all SICs together make up less than 5% of all animal use). You cut the tree down by chopping as close to the root as you can. And someone up in the tree, hacking away at twigs is only going to slow down the people chopping near the roots.

        I could go on for hours, you welfarists just don’t stop.


      • The points I raised are indeed irrelevant, unless your goal is to reduce animal cruelty.

        Which raises the underlying question: What are abolitionists trying to accomplish?

        For all of the talk about a moral baseline, their actions demonstrate that abolitionists do not give a damn about animals. Nothing in the “abolitionist approach” addresses the real world, the real problems, or any solutions to ending the Animal Holocaust.

        Abolitionists are more concerned about their own moral purity than they are concerned about animal suffering and animal murder.

        Recruiting vegans is a failure as a strategy. The human population is growing faster than we are recruiting vegans. Which means veganism is declining. Which means that the Animal Holocaust will continue unabated until those who breed, enslave, murder, and consume animals are persuaded to stop. Such persuasion can only come at the point of a gun.

        Only a social revolution that brings down capitalism can end the Animal Holocaust.

        Recruiting revolutionaries to that end means appealing to all enemies of the state. And it means recruiting animal activists who are even marginally involved in the movement.

        Were our strategy to be to embrace Francione’s cult of purism, the little influence we now have would substantially diminish. Recruiting activists would fail, alliances with the broader left would never be achieved, revolution would not be a possibility, and the Animal Holocaust will continue into the distant future.

        Liked by 2 people

      • “The human population is growing faster than we are recruiting vegans. Which means veganism is declining.”

        Not sure if this is the lynchpin of your nonsense, although it certainly typifies it. But if you think posting OBVIOUSLY contrary-to-reality info substitutes for a rational argument, you’re sadly mistaken. All unbiased non-Vegan and Vegan tabulations show Veganism growing.

        I think you’ve come to the end of your rope, so to speak. You’re out of irrational arguments so you’ve stooped to bare falsehoods. I won’t bother commenting again.


      • Veganism is growing here and there. It is making inroads in the US, Israel, and Germany for example, but is plummeting when weighed against the exploding populations of Asia, Africa, and South America.

        Statistics are hardly nonsense, and your leaving in a huff underscores the vacuousness of the abolitionist position and the absurdity of its dogma.

        I notice your refusal to address the question of abolitionist goals. Your silence on strategies. Your attacks on animals activists. Your aid and comfort to our enemies and the enemies of animals.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Francione lies about the history of slavery. If he cared about the animal victims he would make his comparison fairly-that is-he would analyze attitudes towards slavery in 1800. In 1800 the idea of slave rights was seen as crazy by most people. Just as the idea of nonhuman rights is seen as crazy by most people today.

        Francione also lies about groups like PETA. In the banner for PETA’s pages it says clearly: animals are not ours to use, eat, wear etc.

        By contrast when Francione appeared on CNN to discuss a cat abuse case-he didnt even mention the word vegan–and instead of explaining why nonhumans have rights, he instead attacked people who were upset about the cat abuse-saying it is no big deal when billions of animals suffer anyway. He did not make a case for veganism–instead he argued like any exploiter of animals would.

        Forget speciesism–what Francione does is worse–he shows a human supremacist bias. He feels humans deserve special rights–thus it is wrong for humans to suffer-but ok for nonhumans to suffer. He has never said that the Geneva Conventions should be scrapped until war is abolished. He is a fraud, a fake, an asshole for industry-and people who follow his arguments verbatim are either dumb or on the payroll.

        Real vegans care about animals now and in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Guy the people arguing against Francione gain much less personally than he does from the process of investigation or argumentation. What term would you use for this (re ‘stawman’ comment)? After all how can we confuse the opinions of the man when that’s all he goes on about – his opinions. What would you say to someone who says I feel it in my water that man is self serving and will never help animals unless he gives some of what he earns towards direct action (except we know that’s unlikely because he doesn’t support doing anything, except of course making money from talking about it!). First rule of detection: look for motive, look to see who gains what.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s get to the point here, you think welfarism is working, well I think you miss the point, you will NEVER get to abolition through welfarism, and now thanks to the endorsement of the use of “animals as food” by the very groups that claim to protect animals we are further than ever away from protecting and de-comodifiying animals. Here is incontrovertible evidence of what I mean:

      If your end goal is to promote less cruel USE of animals by humans then you’re doing a great job, except your not, if your end goal is to stop using animals as property then you’re doing untold harm. If you think a world full of vegans (our even enough to change the political and legal paradigm ) would do no good, then carry on. You can do more good convincing people to eliminate animal exploitation through veganism and vegan activism than you ever could getting into bed with McDonalds.

      BTW, the worst animal traitors are the types like Paul Watson who want all the support they can for their pet cause, while happily throwing domesticated animals under the bus. The animal movement needs a philosophical grounding, because right now it’s an embarrassment to itself, doing more harm than good, and UNFORGIVABLY wasting animal lives not taking every opportunity to promote ethical veganism. If every welfarist, New welfarist, went back to the principles of veganism as written by Donald Watson then we would really get somewhere, and we could end animal explosion all the sooner. I suppose it is the animals that will suffer while we get our act together, but if your not able to conceed that GF may be right, then it’s you whose making them suffer, and while I’ve read your objections, and I even emotionally feel I understand the good place that you are coming from, your willingness to put expediency before principle will make all the work done by you ultimately worthless, or worse, so please start thinking with reason, not your heart, let your heart motivate you, but if you let it cloud your mind you will do no good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have been vegan since the late 80s so I remember how no one talked about animals on farms. Francione LIES–he claims that people already cared about nonhuman animals and knew all about how badly they are treated. Wrong. Lies. The landscape is totally different from 1990. In 1990 people wondered if concern for animals was crazy-now they accept it. Most people dont spend half a second thinking about social causes and they are surrounded by meat industry propaganda. The welfare campaigns educate people that nonhuman lives matter. This has created many vegans and animal activists. The meat industry doesnt want people fighting them-they want people to support personal boycott initiatives like their agent Francione promotes.
        He uses the term abolitionist deliberately because it doesnt advertise animal concerns (watch him on CNN where he defends a cat abuser). He pretends to be vegan in order to push a moral perfectionism agenda which the meat industry doesnt fear. They fear welfarists.

        Francione is a fake-a fraud an industry agent. This is the important point-and he has been supporting industry for decades.

        He also lies about the history of slavery. True abolitionism as he defines it was a minority position–the majority position was welfarist-just like we see today. It is not perfect but there is no choice. Francione cannot and will not seek out some town with zero vegans and have his disciples convert them en masse because he cant and it isnt his goal. He does not care about the nonhuman animal victims. He cares about defending vivisectors, hunters, dog fighters, and meat eaters. He only accuses activists of being at fault or having moral schizophrenia. Never the ones who torture animals and yet claim to believe in human rights. One can just as easily accuse hunters and vivisectors of moral schizophrenia.

        The industry is just seeking to make animal activists fight each other and leave them alone but it doesnt work because a true animal advocate would want to help animals now, anyway they can. The doctrine of Francione would be considered obnoxious not only to Donald Watson but also Henry Salt, George Bernard Shaw and Leonardo da Vinci.
        Real animal activists dont shift the blame from industrial exploiters to activists. Francione: “industrial exploiters of animals are not the enemy. We are the ones who demand animal products.”
        Nice try–but the meat industry spends millions and millions on advertising and getting their garbage subsidized by government and taxpayer.
        Real animal advocates seek to help animals now and in the future. Francions is a fake. The only single issue he supports is adopting cats and dogs from shelters which is something that most hunters, ranchers, circus owners etc dont care about.
        Obvious a real animal advocate.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. The author writes, “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.” There are in fact animal activist groups claiming to champion a specific cause who then sabotage their own events and the events of those who are also champions of that cause. There are supposed animal advocates who write passionate, informed letters in the name of persecuted creatures and then by way of codes undermine their own letters, directing their addressee against what they seem explicitly to be advocating. There are animal advocates who by colors, gestures, mistinformation, and other argotic means, sabotage any animal event that threatens the criminal status quo. To ferret out a fifth column from Big Ag within the animal movement you’ll need to look far and wide beyond any one group or individual.


  16. Pingback: Gary Francione ve abolisyonizm | Hayvan Özgürlüğü Çevirileri

  17. Without giving it much thought, I was puzzled by Francione’s critique of single-species advocacy simply because it’s irreconcilable with my actual experience among animal activists. While I can accept that “reformism” may undermine abolitionism (although I’m not sure that argument, either, rests on a sound reading of human psychology), I’ve never personally observed single-species activists using their advocacy as as an excuse to tolerate exploitation of their less favorite species as Francione alleges.

    Moreover, if one is concerned with the interrelationships among human and non-human exploitation, Francione’s implicit demand “how can you defend horses when other species are dying?” is redolent of the perennial “how can you defend non-humans when humans are dying?”

    My initial reaction to Francione was that he has confused his supposed single-species dilemma with the reformism dilemma, mistakenly concluding that the former fosters a counterproductive complacency among advocates to the same extent as the latter. However, when vegan theorists strike me as confused, I cut them a lot of slack because, you know, veganism. And I often benefit from Francione’s insights. So the Karen Davis and Roland Vincent pieces above are really valuable in naming what’s so bothersome about his single-species theory. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I totally agree with your position on Gary Francione. He has formulated some sound animal rights theory but ultimately, he has no idea of how things work in the real world outside the world of accademia. If his theory worked in practice, every time he left one of his lectures, he would be followed by 200 brand new vegans and universities and colleges would be promoting his version of abolitionist Veganism. He comes across as an elitist, pompous ass who clearly doesn’t know how real change is effected in society.

    Having said that, I really want to make a point this artilce unfairly lumps “abolitionist” vegan activists into Franciones pot of crazies. There is a growing number of abolitionists who are steeped in the pursuit of animal liberation using the variety of tools and technics proven to be effective in other social justice issues. We detest being associated with the Francione variety of abolitionist theory. In time, I hope that Francione is relegated to the “once upon a time” mentions of animal liberation and true non-human abolitionism will surface to the fore unassiciated with Francione. It’s interesting to note that even The Abolitionist Vegan Society (TAVS) which was founded on Franciones principals has severed all ties with Francione due to a difference of opinions and principals.

    Liked by 4 people

    • My understanding is that TAVS split for personal reasons and because of the perception that Professor Francione is insufficiently feminist / overtly patriarchal. On the other side, there are plenty of women who work with Francione who reject that characterization completely. My reading of his work places him squarely in the intersectional space, which one would expect from his explicit advocacy of non-violence.

      As far as your own characterization of Francione is concerned, which is largely ad hominem, you sigificantly underestimate the amount of resistance non-vegans are capable of mustering in defense of their habits, when the rationale for those habits is brought into question or shown to be inconsistent with stated beliefs – e.g., “I love animals but don’t see any problem with paying other people to exploit them viciously to satisfy my love of bacon, cheese, milk, eggs, etc.” This is true whether you engage in rational dialogue or if you occupy a Chipotles chanting slogans and holding up signs.

      Frankly, I’m quite surprised to hear self-avowed revolutionaries spout anti-intellectualist critiques of social and animal rights theorists. Criticizing Francione for being an acadamic, out of touch with the “realities” of activism, is like criticizing Marx for sitting in the British Library writing “Das Kapital” instead of being out on the barricades. It’s the either/or fallacy so common among those for whom the only “activism” is being out in the streets.

      Theory without practice is certainly toothless; practice without theory is blind acting out. You need both, and Francione provides a strong philosophical foundation for abolitionist action. His rejection of violence is not the same as a rejection of direct action based on sound moral / ethical / philosphical principle. He differs from Marx and Lenin only in his refusal to engage in violence. I share that position.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jason, I was and am a supporter of both GLF and TAVS during the time when they split. I can assure you that the split had nothing to do with the principles of The Abolitionist Approach, which all current TAVS supporters agree on. The split was over personal reasons that the organization at large were drawn into.

      The Six Principles are rationally sound. I’ve never seen any argument that refutes them.


  19. Gary signs off frequently with a reference to him being a professor at Rutgers University.
    A university that farms animals and experiments on animals.
    His theories would carry some weight if any of his advocacy work actually worked, a few books, some graphics on Facebook and ranting about SIC doesn’t strike me as particularly effective

    Liked by 4 people

  20. I have always thought that GF is way more harmful than good to animals. Your article is spot on. GF spouts a lot of rhetoric that he no doubt believes (whilst enjoying his celebrity) but he has no concept of how to create change in the real world, how to change human sentiment, how to advance a movement. He has created a following (thankfully small) based on some kind of strange logic that might sound good to some on the surface but in the end does nothing to advance animal rights. Because humans are not motivated by solely by morals and logic. They are largely motivated by emotion, self- interest and traditional thoughts.

    Change comes from tons of small victories that advance to a tipping point to where societal group think changes enough to break through traditional ways of viewing animals. Just as with slavery, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.

    Liked by 7 people

    • “He has created a following (thankfully small) based on some kind of strange logic….” Have you actually read any of his books or extended articles? This “strange logic” of which you speak is garden variety logic taught in every “Introduction to Philosophy” class in every major university in the world. You may have no time for rational argument or persuasion, but emotion and self-interest that is not grounded in rational thought is essentially shallow and directionless. Not only that, it’s deeply condescending towards other people, rather like Communist party cadres who believe only they are history’s agents, capable of thinking straight, while the masses need to be manipulated by whatever means necessary to achieve the goals of the revolution. Francione’s pricinple sin, then, is treating people like reasonable adults to whom one can speak the truth, leaving it up to them to make the right choice. If you take issue with that, please be honest enough to admit it.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. at least I never heard of the nut? 😉 either says something about me…or him? people often are the worst enemies of other species…they just speak so archly as to confuse us all? thanks for tackling this fellow….whoever he is!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I hope you will cover Gary Yourofsky in a subsequent blog post. Another cult leader who lays claim to vast numbers of unverifiable conversions using a brute-force methodology. His occupational profile fits that of many cult leaders who were salespeople and carnival workers prior to leading their cults.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I very first began living Vegan, I tangled with his minion online. He’s an egotistical ass and his minion is a sycophant. Nothing I didn’t already tell them. : )

      Liked by 3 people

  23. If Francione isn’t doing anything (helpful), why the discussion about him? Furthermore, Gary isn’t responsible for the opening of a new grocer in our town featuring a wider selection of lamb cuts for our Indian (from India) population.

    The rhetoric of this post is too wayward.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Steve Best said it best: “the paralysis of pacifism.” I shudder to think where we would be today if the American abolitionists of the 19th Century had been led by someone with Francione’s passion for doing nothing!

    Liked by 10 people

    • Geoff – So, how many non-vegans do you propose we kill in defense of animals? Not sure why you condemn pacifism – i.e., opposition to violence – when violence is precisely the thing we’re trying to overcome. Do you think the massive blood-letting of the American Civil War was the best or only way to end formal slavery (since that peculiar institution was replaced by Jim Crow for several generations after Emancipation, while institutional racism endures to this very day). Please clarify what kinds of violence you’re advocating for when you reject pacifism as a moral principle.

      Liked by 2 people

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