Ecologically Barren Animal Welfare Reforms

We must find a way to deepen our empathy and refine our campaigns and communication approaches. As we advocate for the end of animal agriculture and the entirety of carnism, we must respond as we would if these individuals from other species were from our immediate family. Their ability to suffer as we do demands the golden rule. That is the unchangeable sun in the sky. If we lose sight of that…. then we are lost.

     That we both failed and succeeded in past species rights and environmental campaigns reflects there are numerous peer-reviewed studies that clearly demonstrate how humans variably receive and act or do not act on information. We must understand and implement this knowledge in our communications with non-vegans and non-vegan environmentalists, among others. However, we also must not make this mistake: If we limit ourselves to the limitations we find today in people who are resisting change, we will end up forever trying to tweak animal agriculture, for instance, with welfare reforms instead of abolishing it. We need to find more effective ways to achieve abolition. Fortunately, human behavioral responses to compelling circumstances are not set in stone.

     Our external environments (ecosystems) and human consciousness are changing rapidly. We are in a head-on collision course with rock-solid evidence that we need to change our human ecology—our multiple behaviors that include dietary change. Climate change, acidic oceans, and the accelerating loss of biodiversity are threats to everyone. Animal agriculture is responsible for much of it. If we are to survive, we must adapt and to adapt we must change our behaviors. Oddly, this bodes well for a veganic (vegan organic) new human ecology because resistance to change will shrivel in proportion to the external dangers we face.

     If we can’t be moved quickly by the suffering of individuals from other species, perhaps our self-interest will be the self-compassion that lifts the lives of farmed animals out of animal agriculture. We already should be planning our abolitionist campaigns in anticipation of how much a deteriorating biosphere will motivate people to be more open to our messages. This requires us to approach abolitionism from a more biocentric platform; we are part of biodiversity, one species among many that need healthy ecosystems to not just survive, but also to avoid suffering. This is different than the anthropocentric (human-centered worldview) strategies we see coming from the largest organizations pushing animal welfare reforms. They apparently believe we have the time and right to create change slowly. They are stuck in the illusion that incremental welfare reforms are the practical and easier pathways workable with today’s human inflexibility. Though understandable, there’s one thing to never forget: Inflexibility is non-adaptive in a fast changing world. It leads directly to suffering and death that includes humanity. Can you see how this fatal foolishness is an asset for our abolitionist platform? Since animal welfare reforms leave both the cruelty and ecological destruction of animal agriculture intact, they are non-adaptive to today’s ecosystems. Animal welfare reforms are an ecologically indefensible position…and not survivable. 

     Species rightists must become deeper than deep ecologists and environmentalists must become veganic new human ecology advocates who don’t pee in their pants when addressing the human overpopulation debacle. We can do better than what is being done at this stage of human/other species relationships than modernizing the animal agriculture industry. We can do better than subsidize the killing of pigs and supporting retailers who will not change their animal agriculture business model in any reader’s lifetime. I will keep posting about this issue here as I do in my book to remind everyone that our comprehensive strategy has to be a reformation of our human ecologies. There are practices and human behaviors that must stop. What I ask at this point is that no one automatically accepts that what we’ve tried in the past, and the current incremental welfare strategies adopted by national organizations today, are the only paths to the future.

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