Gary Francione, Darling Of The Slaughter Industries

FRANCIONEDivide And Conquer

The concept is basic. And is as old as is human conflict.

A small band can defeat a much larger one if it can peel off a portion of the larger contingent, engage and defeat that portion, then continue to winnow the larger force down in manageable skirmishes.

It is the formula that has allowed great armies to be defeated by smaller ones, has seen insurgents bring down governments, and has enabled guerillas to be successful against overwhelming odds.

It is also the guiding principal of social reform.

Targeting issues as narrowly as possible means limiting the number of enemies who will fight you. The fewer enemies who must be defeated increases the chances for success. Conversely, waging broadly focused assaults on a number of issues simultaneously means engaging those with a stake in each issue, dramatically increasing the number of opponents who must be defeated.

As basic and as obvious as this is to almost everyone, it is a concept totally lost on Gary Francione and his myopic followers.

francione_text

The abolitionists’ stated approach is to do battle with everyone. Francione refuses to fight battles on narrow fronts. He preaches that to do so is to condone all other abuse.

As a practical matter, Francione does battle with no one except other animal activists. He is not engaging the enemy at all. His myopia limits his worldview, and his rhetoric paralyzes his troops.

While others in the animal movement are fighting whaling, sealing, bullfighting, rodeos, horse racing, trophy hunting, etc, Francione counsels against joining in those efforts.

Those are single issue campaigns, the building blocks of the animal movement. They afford us the opportunity to educate, to recruit, to impact public policy, to pass legislation, to chip away at the edifice of indifference that stands between animals and animal liberation.

Single issue campaigns are anathema to Francione. Unless the single issue is dog and cat rescue. In that case, a single issue campaign is perfectly fine. Dog and cat rescue is the primary issue which drives raising revenue for animal organizations. That fact is not lost on Francione, who conveniently exempts dog and cat rescue from his prohibition on single issue campaigns by the simple expedient of announcing that dog and cat rescue is not a single issue campaign.

The roadblocks Francione erects to impede participation in narrowly focused campaigns are welcomed and lauded by animal abusers. The meat, egg, and dairy industries love Francione. So do dog fighters, hunters, whalers, sealers, trappers, bullfighters, vivisectors, fur farmers, circuses, zoos, and fishermen. They all see him as an ally. His obstructionism and divisiveness serve their purposes.

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, self delusion, and self aggrandizement to the detriment of all animals everywhere.

 

 

Author’s Notes:

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.

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33 thoughts on “Gary Francione, Darling Of The Slaughter Industries

  1. Pingback: There Are Three Animal Movements | Armory of the Revolution

  2. The Professor has found a way to keep his name out there without doing anything, and suggesting that no one else do anything either. It’s a shame that his acolytes are diverted from helping animals in anything but the most passive way. The whole abolitionist vs. Incrementalist argument is a red herring which was also used recently to argue for the Rotten Egg Bill, an attempt to codify into federal law housing for hens which even the biggest supporters had long admitted was no good. When a single issue victory will help animals now and not preclude helping them even more in the future, it’s entirely rational to go for it. In the case of the Rotten Egg affair, it would have ended, in most of our lifetimes, any chance of getting hens out of prisons. For that reason, it was a bad “increment”, and needed to fail, which it has– so far. But the reality was deliberately clouded by slick professional “AR” careerists by the introduction of a debate which had nothing to do with the real effects of passing that law.
    The reality is that all of us who want animal liberation are abolitionists in philosophy, but we are also practical warriors in the here and now. Francione does not own that ground, although he is a tenacious squatter on it. My guess is that it sells books and gets dates with coeds. However, he has become irrelevant to the mission of animal liberation, which those who have been around awhile easily see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Earthman,

      This excerpt from your post is grossly presumptuous:

      “The Professor has found a way to keep his name out there without doing anything, and suggesting that no one else do anything either. It’s a shame that his acolytes are diverted from helping animals in anything but the most passive way.”

      First, who are Francione’s acolytes? Second, what is your meaning of “most passive way”? Finally, Earthman, do you own animals? If you do, you are part of the problem.

      Like

      • I would think his acolytes are people like you that come to his support. And by passive, I think that by encouraging people to not participate in the struggle for the betterment of animals in the hopes of an instant fix is a form of waiting passiveness. Which I assume what
        was implied.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jerry,

        His acolytes are his followers who parrot his preachings. The most passive way to help animals is to not hurt them but do nothing to help them short of completely changing our economic and political system which enslaves them, which might come a little late for those currently suffering. I have never owned an animal, but I have sheltered and cared for many. If that presents a problem to you, go sip red wine with your guru.

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      • In Britain there is an expression – After the Lord Mayor’s show comes the dust cart (to sweep up all the horse shit left behind). A wonderfully articulate statement of the facts followed by a parroted sound bite straight from Gazza’s armoury of put downs. But oh how I wish I had come up with the expression ‘mental masturbation’. As an example of Gazza’s extraordinary need to deflect criticism he has attacked me – in fact he has gone almost apoplectic – because I asked him why, if the word could be vegan in 15 years,
        his University hasn’t gone vegan in the 30 years of his residence and still indulges in large-scale vivisection. Do you know his reason why? Because of the confused messages given out by Viva!. Viva! does not campaign against vivisection and has not campaigned in the US for 10 years. This isn’t rational argument it is psychosis.

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  3. I firmly believe in Francione’s core belief that veganism is the answer to our what our moral relationship to the rest of creation should be. The basis of vegan ethics is similar to PETA’s philosophy that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way because their lives have value in and of themselves, not simply as resources for us.

    The problem I see with Francione’s approach is that it requires a purity that diminishes less inclusive forms of the fight against animal abuse. (Admission: I have been an animal advocate and vegan for decades). However, I also appreciate it when people condemn any form if cruelty to animals. If they are against dog fighting–good! If they are against hunting–good! If they protest against circuses and rodeos–good! If they work to get pets neutered and spayed–good for them! If they do rescue work and volunteer at the local shelter–good for them! Every individual effort against every kind of abuse makes this world a better place. If we waited until everyone became a strict vegan to do anything, then little would be accomplished for animals.

    I once watched a discussion between Mr. Francione and Michael Smerconish. The topic was a man who encouraged a stray cat to come to him and then kicked the cat and sent him flying. He and his friends thought it was funny and posted it on-line. Many who saw the cat being kicked did not appreciate the “humor” and demanded punishment. Mr. Smerconish went on to suggest that if the man had kicked a person instead of the cat, it would not have been such a big deal. Then Mr. Francione said that many of the people who called for punishment probably ate meat, and so they were guilty of hypocrisy and speciesism, which he found particularly egregious because the numbers of animals killed for good are so horrific. He also suggested that since the abuser was a black man, some who called for punishment could have been racists. What got lost or minimized in the discussion was what happened to the poor cat.

    I’ve seen that kind of approach from him and his followers on the Internet. Multiple “isms” are dragged into the discussion, and ultimately if anyone who complains has not achieved the moral purity of veganism, they are dismissed. I wish the whole world were vegan also but until then let’s not turn less inclusive advocates away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I became interested in the philosophical issues to animal rights I noticed his name come up often, on wiki etc, however when I looked at what he was saying I found I disagreed with most of it, and so was interested to see this article on him, and have to say that I had arrived at the same conclusion completely INDEPENDENTLY. Also I tried a few times to contact him, even in ongoing online debates and every time he refused to enter into a debate, not very much like a ‘philosopher’. My opinion is not that he is a plant but rather just motivated by his own gain in the niche he has found, typically in these type of confused NGO niches, you can be paid by both sides!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have read the article from this link. Am I to presume it (the admonition or insight) is applicable in every human situation? Furthermore, is Francione really the detriment or obstacle to goals Mr. Roland and others like him would like to see? Were Francione to die tomorrow, would anything change within the animal liberation movement? What is Francione preventing YOU from doing?

      I read from Francione and from other concerned (?) writers who would like to see changes with our treatment of other earthlings. Francione isn’t the dictator of my thoughts. Francione doesn’t prevent me from doing things I deem are right.

      Too many non-abolitionist vegans continue to proudly feed their preferred pets the pulverized remains of condemned species from a tin can. The truth is, No-kill shelters are Yes-kill shelters and no one has anything to say about this.

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  5. I support taking a targeted approach while simultaneously taking a broad approach. I think he wants every individual and group within the movement to think and act the same way, thus in his mind have a larger, more powerful impact. It’s okay to have the abolition of all abuse toward animals as a goal/foundation. But not to act in a targeted way, since we have to change not only minds, but laws, impedes progress toward our end. Each individual/group has their own unique talents that they bring to the table, and all those gifts must be utilized. No contribution to the effort is too small.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. He is ok in theory but in reality he just keep on bashing other vegans, true animal activists and vegan organizations… what is wrong with this dude anyways?! His focus is obviously just selling books and lectures NOT spreading vegan message and supporting vegan movement. SO SAD.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve chatted with the author about this piece earlier today.

    Why does everyone hate Francione? Because he’s always critical of welfare campaigns, and asks others focus on animal rights. Whenever a big animal rights group comes out in support of bigger cages, or banning a socially unpopular form of animal exploration, Francione usually writes a blogpost about it as a waste chance to push for veganism animal rights. It’s a formula, PETA uses the bodies of naked women, or gives slaughterhouse designer Temple Grandin an award for jobs well done….Gary Francione writes a blogpost about it.

    The interesting stage is when others write back about Francione, when they critique the critique-r! Is this piece on Vincent’s blog fair or balanced? It’s as equally hostile to Francione as Francione is to others. Does this help understand the others position, or further divide our animal rights movement?

    For the most part, Francione is a small figure unknown to the mainstream audience. I’ve since fallen out with the Abolitionist crowd, but in writing blogposts slagging them off….because they write blogposts slagging off others? I don’t see how this helps strengthen our movement, or actively help animals.

    Amongst this blogpost talking about “mental masturbation”, there’s a few points which are not quite accurate. Francione himself has written about how unpopular single issues of animal use: bullfighting, dogfighting, live export etc, could be “abolitionised”. Our animal rights message could still campaign against these, AND with an openly vegan framework. To this end, the same protests etc could raise awareness for the X orca in a tank at Seaworld, AND the XX billion animals killed each year in just the chicken flesh industry alone. Francione feels we make more progress through advancing a vegan cause, than focusing on a very small amount of animals, to the detriment – he would say – to a much broader total.

    To that sense, I agree with Francione on making veganism animal rights as broad and approachable as possible. I would disagree with either “side” about attacking one another, or writing off the work of another animal activist.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Could you explain a little more specifically Breda?

        From the original critical article, I didn’t find this helpful:

        “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, self delusion, and self aggrandizement to the detriment of all animals everywhere.”

        Open veganism is mental wanking, you’re kidding yourself if you think consistent veganism helps animals?

        That’s a grab bag of insults. If we want to say “Fords suck, Teslas rule”, its better to give specific examples. EG, the electricTesla is faster, cheaper to run, zero emissions….”

        The original article saying someone is a wanker for writing blogposts all day, is not helpful.

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    • and as long as he is a serious threat to the animals, he needs FAIR and REASONABLE criticism, word spread and people to limit him since he wont limit himself to the detriment of the animals and the planet. that doesnt equal being as bad as him, this is very warped!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like DO NOTHING BUT TALK about animal rights… I risked my life for animals 41 years and will keep on doing so…and NOBODY I know went vegan because of his books but probably they saw Earthlings or Gary Y speech… His theory is so cute but in reality he does nothing but bashes other vegans… When he STOPS bashing other vegans (I republished this post on my wall and WOW imagine – got attacked by abolitionists like crazy – after 24 years of being ethical hard core vegan living in vegan family with vegan friends and coworkers and in super vegan city I am NOT vegan enough because I do not agree with bashing other vegans like he does?!)… I love his books – nice writing and happy he makes money of that – but it is about DEEDs and ACTUAL RESULTS, nobody is perfect and revolution is needed… We are LOSING the battle and writing about it sadly will not do the job 😦 oh watch out… here they come… vegans that hate long term ethical vegans…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Francione appearing on CNN–he says the advocates are promoting racism, that a cat isnt a person, and he doesnt use the V word. He is basically saying why get upset about a cat when billions of animals are killed for food? The aim is to discredit the animal advocacy, not promote veganism ideas. Since he appears on the air as an animal rights authority-the fact that he wastes the space is of concern. It could have gone to a sincere advocate who would promote veganism concepts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyiSsEzyWWQ

      Francione as a law professor, does not express his agreement with the FBI tracking animal abuse cases–we wonder why: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/gary-francione-stop-scapegoating-cat-kicker-article-1.1969363

      The animal rights movement is not really divided. It is Francione and other fakes posing as animal advocates who are seeking to stir up divisions. This is meat industry created agitation–it is not naturally occurring. How do we know this? Because it didnt exist before Francione came along–and in the days of Henry Salt, while there were conflicts about whether vivisection should be regulated or abolished—the sides were united in that they supported whatever help came to individual animals. Francione does not. He reveals he is a fraud by at least two things: a)he doesnt care about helping animals now–especially animals being exploited in business and b)he ignores the role of industry exploiters–for him the only problem is the activists. For him, animal activists suffer from confusion and moral schizophrenia. Ask your average psychotic vivisector about animal rights activists and they will say ARAs are crazy. Schizophrenia means crazy.

      He is a fifth column vegan–he sets up his booth claiming to be an ARA authority in order to trick new vegans and advocates into distancing themselves from any campaigns that harm business interests. Since most vegans and wannabe vegans care about victims his ideas are not going to be well received, but there is constant transmission of his ideas in cyberspace so in order to discredit them-the source has to be as well.

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      • RE the cat kicking video (bizarre), I took it differently Supremacy. The issue goes in deeper about speciesism, about WHY all of the USA is apparently angry as hell about a cat being kicked, that we *should* care about cats and dogs, BUT to also extend that to other animals too. If Americans are THIS upset about a cat being hurt, why would we then hurt cows, chickens, pigs or pigeons?

        I don’t like when Gary Francione critiques (criticises) other animal rights activists. I don’t like it when anyone deliberately tries to hurt, to spread falsehoods about someone else. In a lot of these situations, I feel we should all step up and try to be better human beings, to be better animals, to one another.

        This goes for saying other vegans are in on some conspiracy to destroy veganism…..because they always talk about speciesism rather than attacking a person of colour for kicking a cat?

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      • He could have said: yes it is despicable what this man did to the cat-and it also reveals the extent of the problem with breeding animals as pets–we should also examine our diet–we kill billions of animals for food when we do not have to–it is environmentally destructive etc etc.” He didnt do that. He deliberately didnt do that–he’s a lawyer-he knows how to speak. It is deliberate. The aim is to denounce animal advocacy. A real animal advocate would be upset about the cat and also other exploitation–but they would be able to single out a particular issue as we would with human rights (i.e. focus on a drowning child as well as being upset about war etc). It is a human supremacist double standard-but it reveals the deception. Real activists multi task. The frauds dont. They cant show genuine compassion for the victims-as we see with Francione.

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  8. Thanks for making a great point. I have to say that I agree very much with the notion that vegan abolitionism as lectured by Francione seems utopian and ineffective in practical terms. A movement attacking itself from within is certainly weakened. However, I am sure that we are not the only vegan people realizing that the vegan movement is divided, yet division is a human condition we all carry within ourselves. We can view humanity as a giant organism living on Earth, with every human individual being one single cell in it. The more individuals unite in moral conviction and committed thought and action (or non-action) the more likely a desired moral change will reach critical mass. Once that point is reached, the spark of animal liberation will begin to travel faster ultimately enlightening the whole human organism. The smaller group’s fighting for the same big change in their niche will then begin to realize that even while seemingly divided, we’ve been working to manifest the moral evolution of the whole by concentrating on evolving certain parts of that whole. Life’s an expedition to discover peace.

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