Abolitionist vs. Welfarist

I have been asked many times why I don’t urge non-vegetarians to buy cage-free eggs or other supposedly cruelty-free meat. The shortest answer is simply that I support only the complete abolition of animal useage, nothing less.

But that response doesn’t make much sense to most people, so here is the long answer: I believe that animals were not put on this earth for human use any more that blacks were placed here for whites or women for men. Speciesism is as untolorable and cruel as racism and sexism.

This next part is where I really start losing people. I morally cannot support any form of animal cruelty. Cage-free eggs still suffer animal cruelty. “Cruelty-free” meat still suffers animal cruelty. This is the difference between abolitionists, like myself, and welfarists, like Peter Singer. Welfarists believe that any step is a step in the right direction. Vivisection is not a step in the right direction, though some welfarists believe it is. The only step a person can take in the right direction is to refrain from using animals for selfish reasons.

Telling people to consume meat that has been supposedly treated well, only makes the consumer’s concience feel better about their choice. If anything, cage-free eggs only promote the eating of eggs because they remove the guilt from a meal. Just because meat is “happy” is not an excuse to eat it. “Happy Meat” doesn’t exist, it is the meat industry’s way of gaining more customers.

Consider your choices. Which is better: meat with a (fictional) promise, or no meat at all?

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4 responses to “Abolitionist vs. Welfarist

  1. Hi there! Congrats on starting this blog and on starting these imp’t discussions. I’m going to add a link on my blog.

    I personally don’t want to “side” with either welfarists or abolistionists. I think it’s a complicated issue with more than two points of view, and I think vegans need to stand together rather than apart. [I don’t like affiliations. I’m very consistent–I am an independent voter, too. I refuse to register with a party–even though I am a far-left leaning liberal.]

    I do personally think any step is a step in the right direction and that change tends to happen slowly. As much as I, like you, believe in the complete abolition of animal subjegation, I don’t think we’re going wake up one morning and see this to magically be the case. Change happens slowly–and slowly is better than never.

    I porbably have this perspective b/c I’m married to Omniman. So while I personally do not support or condone any animal usage, I will give my husband or anyone kudos [while at the same time, asserting that I don’t support animal usage at all] for doing things like buying cage-free eggs and speaking out at a restaurant against foie gras. On a political level, these might not sit well with abolitionsits, but on a personal level, it’s important to acknowledge that these are big, important first steps towards making the connection between suffering and one’s food sources. And every person who has made a realization is one more person that is primed to help stop the suffering.

    Anyway, it’s a huge gery area. I think it’s important to continue the discussion. But I think it’s more improtant for vegans to stand united against animal suffering. Every step helps. Every meat-free meal helps. Everyy crulety-free wardrobe helps. Every voice, every blog, every realization helps.

  2. I don’t believe that animals were put here for humans either. But we are all mammals, and feed off of each other. Mammals eat other mammals, like wolves eat rabbits etc… And when we die, our nutrients from our bodies go into the ground, plants grow…deers eat them… So I think it’s all a circle. The circle of liiiife, like the Lion King. Lol o_o;

  3. Urban Vegan,
    Thank you so much for your interest in my blog. It’s great having a blogger I’ve followed for quite a while now find mine to be interesting!

    I understand every point you made, and I agree that there will never be a day of awakening throughout the world. I think it is good for someone to eat less “cruel” foods, but I couldn’t ask someone to because I cannot support any form of it. What gets me is the idea of “happy meat.” If anything “happy meat” works against our cause.

    I am with an omniman myself who does not understand my stance whatsoever. But I know how nice it feels when he chooses to cook a meat-free dinner.

    Lastly, you are right about vegans standing united. It is necessary to any positive change. The differences in opinion in the movement do need to be addressed and understood though.

  4. animalrightscommunityonline

    Veganbug, great blog!
    You are more than welcome at http://www.animalrightscommunity.com/abolitionists/
    For those who follow the abolitionist approach

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