Animal Protection has Nothing to do with Animal Rights. Nor Does Veganism.

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Animal rights and animal protection have little to do with one another. They frequently intersect, but animal rights is a legal concept, and animal protection a moral one.

One can support animal rights while not caring a whit about animals, and one can be an animal protectionist and scoff at the idea that animals have any rights at all.

Animal rights is the belief that animals should have the same legal protections to life and freedom that humans declare for themselves and which are guaranteed by government.

Animal rights do not exist anywhere in the world, as no government recognizes the rights of animals to be free of human ownership and exploitation. Just as one can be a racist and oppose slavery, one can be ambivalent or even hostile to particular animals while nonetheless believing that they should not be murdered, enslaved or exploited for human benefit.

While the animal movement is generally labeled the Animal Rights Movement, only a handful of people in the movement are actually engaged in the pursuit of animal rights, primarily small groups of lawyers seeking to change the law and small groups of revolutionaries seeking to change governments.

Everyone else is working on animal protection. Promoting veganism, opposing whaling, sealing, hunting, rodeos, horse racing, bullfighting, rescuing cats and dogs, ALF raids, direct action, etc, have nothing to do with animal rights. All are all in service to animal protection.

One can support animal rights and still work within the animal exploitation system seeking to reduce animal suffering. I, for one, believe that the only way the Animal Holocaust will be be impacted is through social revolution. Disrupting the status quo, bringing down capitalism, installing socialism, removing profit from animal agriculture is the only way to reduce the horrors. Even so, I support measures to minimize pain and suffering under the current paradigm.

Some do not. Most notably Gary Francione, the self styled leader of the “abolitionist approach to animal rights.” Not only does Francione’s approach have nothing to do with animal rights, it is subversive of animal protection.

Francione’s whole-loaf-or-none approach is the stumbling block to the compromise and consensus envisaged in democratic theory.

Animal rights, on the other hand, cannot be voted upon or compromised in service to consensus, just as human rights cannot be bartered in political negotiation.

 

 

Armory Notes:

I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.

If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.

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9 thoughts on “Animal Protection has Nothing to do with Animal Rights. Nor Does Veganism.

  1. While strictly speaking, yes, the concept of rights is a matter of law. But I believe that some groups and many individuals want to insist their goal is rights.

    When PETA asserts that “animals are NOT ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way” it is claiming an animal rights position. PETA, to its credit, does engage in fighting individual abuses against every species, from working animals in India to rabbit fur in China, sheep cruelty for wool in Australia, and the food and research industries everywhere.

    Mercy for Animals uses undercover investigations of the farm animal abuse to educate the public and to promote veganism but not “humane farming.”

    Ethical vegans attempt to live as if animal rights were the law. Most of us are not willing to revert to welfarism and agree to eat steaks from animals that are “humanely” raised and slaughtered or buy eggs from hens who get a few more inches of room. We also petition, protest, donate, and participate in campaigns for animal welfare. But animal rights is our goal not the furtherance of protectionism.

    Words matter and the ideas they stand for are important. The whole concept of animal rights may turn mainstream people off. Threatened exploiters resort to name calling—extremists, radicals, militants, terrorists–to tarnish activists’ reputations, and they enact laws such as AETA and write ag gag bills to promise punishment for interfering with business as usual. Some organizations become silent about rights and focus on welfare to attract and retain individual members and corporate cooperation.

    But when organizations admit they work for a “utopia” of animal rights, they are stating their moral stance and their aspirational mission. And I hope we retain a few of them in this atmosphere of backing down and caving in.

    Just thinking . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What exactly is your point? I took from what you wrote that animals will never have rights, which I believe to be true. I also believe that because of this, it’s our obligation to do everything we can to protect them and to never fund any kind of animal cruelty (enslavement, rape, ownership, torture, murder, capitalism, etc.). Please clarify. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Roland writes:”Some do not. Most notably Gary Francione, the self styled leader of the “abolitionist approach to animal rights.” Not only does Francione’s approach have nothing to do with animal rights, it is subversive of animal protection.
    Francione’s whole-loaf-or-none approach is the stumbling block to the compromise and consensus envisaged in democratic theory.
    Animal rights, on the other hand, cannot be voted upon or compromised in service to consensus, just as human rights cannot be bartered in political negotiation.”

    My comments
    a- in the 2nd paragraph- yes, Francione is against compromise. In the 3rd paragraph you don’t want compromise. And I agree. Isn’t “compromise” what is done by the welfarists?
    b- I like Francione and agree with most of what he says but, as I see it, his “just go vegan” type approach will never end exploitation, neither in the animal-food industry, for which it is aimed, nor in the entertainment, vivisection, “puppy-mills,” and the like

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    • Animal rights can never be compromised, just as human rights cannot be compromised. But animal rights is not at issue anywhere. No legislative body in the world is even discussing animal rights. What is being discussed is animal protection, and on that subject we should be seeking as much as we can get. Francione thinks not. He would allow the most barbaric practices to remain in place rather than work to end them. The man is aiding the very people we are fighting. He is worse for the animals than those who kill them because he is betraying them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nope- I don’t agree. His “everyone go vegan” approach to me is pretty useless, but for sure he wants the abolishment of exploitation. He is not effective, I agree, but neither is any other animal related organizations I know. Perhaps the rescue groups and the sanctuaries are the only ones actually saving some animals.

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      • Francione may wish to see an end to the exploitation of animals. Rich, but his tactics are counter-productive. He opposes all efforts to end cruelty that are waged by single-issue campaigners. He opposes anti-whaling campaigns, anti-bullfighting campaigns, anti dog meat campaigns. He considers the Animal Liberation Front to be a terrorist organization. He opposes species-specific legislation. His so called “abolitionist approach” would only work under a socialist system, yet he opposes revolution.

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