Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vegan Education - the problem is with the addressees

Gary Francione is wrong. The world is not vegan and as long as humans exist, it never will be.
To think creative vegan education can somehow, sometime, cause the human race to act in non-speciesist manner is to ignore human nature.

How high the human barrier is?

Excellent & comprehensive explanations are given by the Only One Solution team on their FAQ page:
1. Why not work hard to make a vegan world?
2. Social revolutions are possible. Don’t you believe a revolution in the way society seize non human animals is possible?
3. The human race perspective on itself and on the world has changed through time and will keep on changing, all we need is to be patient

One way the team from try to confront vegan educators/converters is by asking "If an individual is a good person, rational, intelligent, loving and caring, even wealthy, how come he/she is not a vegan?". Then, they give plenty of examples to support their position.

Do you still believe a vegan world is possible?

Cognitive Dissonance among Vegans

Consider the following:
A. Most vegan activists will agree that humans - as all species - are selfish and violent by nature and that most of them do not care about nonhuman suffering.
B. Most vegan activists dedicate their activity time to vegan education and believe animal exploitation will end within 100 years.[1]

Don't you agree these two cognitions are inconsistent with each other? It is impossible to convince humans - who hold the freedom of choice - to behave against their own nature.
Vegan education is based on moral justice, while humans' choice is based on self interest. In our case, these are two contradictory things.[2]

It's so frustrating to admit, but the reason this dissonance is so common among activists is selfishness (which we all struggle with):
"Let's be honest. The animal rights movement as we now know it will never become a revolutionary struggle because the representatives of the oppressed enjoy enough privilege from the system they oppose to prevent them from supporting, let alone engaging in actual revolutionary activity that would risk those comforts."
--Rod Coronado, "Hypocrisy Is Our Greatest Luxury" (no longer available online)

The Only One Solution Manifest begins its attention to vegan education with the next paragraph:
"Have you ever wondered why is it so hard to convince someone to go vegan?
We don’t need to tell you how morally initiatory and how nutritiously simple veganism is. So how come it is so hard, even for many people who define themselves as "animal lovers", to become vegans? It is a question we have constantly asked ourselves when we were "vegan converters". Could it be that the obstacle to veganism is the messengers? Not enough health food stores? The price of soy milk? Not enough vegan celebrities? Not enough visual evidence about what is going on in factory farms? You know it is not any of these.
The question we are asking ourselves now in the only one solution movement is how come animal rights activists don’t see that the problem is with the addressees?"

Most activists probably know deep down it is not the messengers but the addressees, but as Rod Coronado put it so well, the price is too high.

[1] According to recent survey (which is no longer available online) that was first presented in the 12th International Vegan Festival, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 22-25, 2009.

[2] Some people would argue that acting morally is part of anyone's self interest, but this is not true. For most people - morality is a negligible consideration, it is important for them to feel peaceful with their choice. Meaning, they will seek (and find) a justification to continue with their violent acts ("animals in nature kill and eat other animals all the time", for example) and continue to ignore the most basic moral principle ("
Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you").

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"I do it only out of duty"

Number of insightful quotations taken from the page "Words of Wisdom" on

"Tactics based solely on morality can only succeed when you are dealing with people who are moral or a system that is moral."
--Malcolm X

“Non-violence is not a moral principle but a strategy. And there is no moral goodness in using an ineffective weapon."
--Nelson Mandela

"... humans are much more social than rational creatures. In everyday life on average, people try to merge into society, behave correspondingly, and afterwards rationalize their behaviour, i.e. find "rational" reasons why they act as they act. This observation is so obvious that it does not seem to merit quoting empirical support."
--Martin Balluch

"Let's be honest. The animal rights movement as we now know it will never become a revolutionary struggle because the representatives of the oppressed enjoy enough privilege from the system they oppose to prevent them from supporting, let alone engaging in actual revolutionary activity that would risk those comforts."
--Rod Coronado

"People involved in a revolution don't become part of the system; they destroy the system."
--Malcolm X

"Animal liberation is the most difficult liberation struggle of all because speciesism is primordial and universal. Speciesism is arguably the first of any form of domination or hierarchy and it has spread like a deadly virus throughout the entire planet and all of human history. The problem is not limited to Western culture or to the modern world, such that there is some significant utopian past or radical alternative to recover. The problem is the human species itself, which but for rare exceptions is violent, destructive, and imperialistic. Universally, humans have vested interests in exploiting animals and think they have a God-given right to do so. To change these attitudes is to change the very nerve center of human consciousness. That is our task - no more and no less."
--Steve Best

"Animal exploitation and murder are no more the result of a particular belief system, political system, or economic system than are human exploitation and murder. To think that they are is to mistake the symptom for the disease. The disease is selfishness, greed, arrogance, and a lack of compassion. As Lord Acton told us, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Human history demonstrates that whenever a system (economic, political, religious, whatever) is installed that is designed to end, or at least ameliorate, human oppression, it is fairly quickly corrupted into a new mechanism for the same old oppression. Communism, is one example, institutional Christianity another. Political and economic democracy slow the process by distributing power widely enough to prevent its concentration while placing a significant share of it in the hands of those most vulnerable to oppression. As Winston Churchill reminded us, "Democracy is the worst system of governance ever devised except for all of the other systems that have been tried from time to time." Radical social revolutions simply put a new class of oppressors in charge. I wish it were not so, but it is."

"To put it bluntly, we enslave and murder animals because it is in our self-interest to do so and we have the power to get away with it, not because of capitalism, liberal democracy, the Judeo-Christian dominionist tradition, or any of the other reasons so commonly given. These are merely after-the-fact justifications. We enslave and murder animals because we can and we enjoy the results. Change the political or economic system, and that fundamental fact will still be operative, and the enslavement and murder of animals will continue unaffected except that it will now be justified by a different set of theories, one that is compatible with the new system."
--Norm Phelps, Until there are no beings whom we still define as "other"

"I recall cutting my philosophical teeth on Marx, and then discovering Nietzsche, who confirmed my deeper biases toward pessimistic views on humanity. I've done a hell of a lot of work on AR and veganism here in El Paso and have been constantly in the media, doing interviews, and organizing groups and actions. But it cuts against my grain and I do it only out of duty."
--Steve Best, Until there are no beings whom we still define as "other"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Only One Solution

The Only One Solution may be the most important website there is. It gives you everything you need in order to understand why humans must be annihilated from this world. And that's not all, it also argues that it would be better if all species were to be annihilated.

The Only One Solution Manifest begins with the following paragraphs:

It is not easy to explain your most fundamental perceptions and ideas. It feels so clear, so obvious and right that ironically it is hard to pass it forth. Yet this is the goal of this manifest, this website and the only one solution movement as a whole, an explanation why the only deep-rooted, fundamental, radical, comprehensive and true solution to the world’s suffer is to destroy it.

It is a rather banal and self evident idea that many activists think of at some point in their lives, but we feel that mostly it pops up in times of despair and disbelief while it should be the primal concept at all times regardless of the state of affairs within the animal rights movement or with your own activism.
Such a fundamental and basic philosophy shouldn’t be built on a temporary situation or episodic mood. That is why we wrapped the idea with arguments that seek to construct a serious and comprehensive case for the annihilation idea. We want that what is now probably no more than a feeling or an opinion, will change into a purpose and then into action.

Please don’t automatically dismiss the idea as a cliché or a slogan, or an out of reach fantasy and get back to your familiar position in your organization. You are an activist because in some point of your life you realized how much suffer exists in the world and you have decided that you must stop it. The only one solution initiative is not romantic naiveness of inexperienced activists or grown fantasists. It is a rational and realistic quest for a sufferless world.
Even if you have doubts at least read the whole manifest. You may get new perspectives and new ideas, new arguments and new questions to confront with. The worst thing that can happen is a waste of a few hours, the best thing is that you will decide that from now on, you devote your life to end all the suffer in the world.

After reading the entire manifest, what is your opinion - would it be better if all species were to be annihilated, not only humans?

Recommended Book: "A Declaration of War" by Screaming Wolf

"A Declaration of War", written by Screaming Wolf, is a must read book for anyone who accepts humans are not superior to other living beings and is willing to act in order to achieve this notion.

Here is one section, among many that make this book so important to read:

To liberators, then, fear and pain are the primary motivations of people. Moving on to the weaker, but real, motivating force of pleasure, it is clear that people get pleasure from those they like, and treat them differently from those they dislike. What makes people like or dislike others?
Liberators believe it is our ability to identify with others, which is another way of saying our ability to empathize with them, that determines whether we will like them or dislike them.
Empathy is a feeling we get when we believe we can feel what another is feeling. It has nothing to do with the mind, but with the heart, and is therefore real and powerful in its effect on our behavior. It is the way we see our connection to others, and identify with their reality.
Without empathy we cannot feel affection for others. It is the basis of friendship and love. It feels good. And we need it.
According to liberators, love, the most pleasant form of empathy, is the second greatest motivator of humans, second only to pain and fear.
Liberators say that the reason we need love and empathy is because we all feel alone in the world. Humans are an alienated species, unsure of their connection with the rest of nature. It’s a frightening world when you have no real clue how to act, no internal instincts telling you what is healthy or harmful. If we had such knowledge, we wouldn’t need ethics or religion to tell us how to live. Both try to address human behavior and our place in the world. Ever since there have been people, there have been religious and moral codes trying to make sense out of the chaos of the human condition. This basic human existential uncertainty makes people lonely and frightened. Friendship is welcome relief.
On the other side of this existential coin is the need to feel control in the world. Liberators believe that power and control issues dominate most people’s lives. If people can’t be in control over their own lives, then they will try to be in control over the lives of others.
People fear being out of control, because being out of control is painful. We try to feel we will be okay in the world, that the environment is not hostile, and that our needs will be met. Seeking control over others is one way humans achieve an illusory peace in their minds that the world is a safe, manageable place.
Love for others and power over others are mutually exclusive. You cannot love someone you exploit, or exploit someone you love.
The way most people handle this paradox is by loving some and controlling others. And since control is often exploitative, it requires that you feel little or no empathy for those controlled, so you can avoid suffering along with them as you exploit them.
To illustrate this point, liberators use the example of Nazi doctors who conducted heinous experiments on Jews during the day, while acting as loving husbands and fathers at night. Humans label a group as « other », using race, nationality, sex, or species as the basis for the distinction, and consider that group unworthy of empathy and, therefore, a reasonable target for exploitation. So long as humans have some other group with whom they can identify and find empathy and love, they can satisfy their need for affection. By splitting groups this way, people allow themselves the pleasure of love with some groups, and the reduction of pain through the exploitation of other groups.
The groups they are kind to consist of human beings, particularly those of equal of greater power. The ones exploited are typically powerless, unable to reciprocate aggression, which is the case with non-human beings.

Read the entire book online...

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Human Barrier

What exploited nonhumans need to be liberated is very simple: they need humans to be extinct. This may be a daunting technical task but it is still a technical task.

What is impossible is to liberate these nonhumans and keep humans alive.