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Thread: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

  1. #101
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    ^ so you think that people who have companion dogs that are treated compassionately and respectfully is also an 'oxymoron'?

  2. #102
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    as i keep saying til i'm blue in the face, i believe that someone can do something which is ethically 'wrong' as per veganism, e.g keeping a 'pet' dog, without being abusive to that dog - can you not see my point atall?.
    I was just trying to correct your sweeping generalisations but i wasn't disagreeing with the moral stance behind abolishing the exploitation of animals.

  3. #103
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    I didn't like that you were (seemingly) giving us all a lesson on the process of breaking-in horses, and you stated that it involves whips, stirrups and bits. I was pointing out that that is definitely NOT always the case.
    Yes, if you rode your horses and broke them to be fully ready to be ridden by anyone without the use of stirrups (!) and bits, that's just dandy. It certainly is not representative of the way the majority of horses are broken in either English or western styles, though.

  4. #104
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Yes, if you rode your horses and broke them to be fully ready to be ridden by anyone without the use of stirrups (!) and bits, that's just dandy. It certainly is not representative of the way the majority of horses are broken in either English or western styles, though.
    I agree - at least as far as stirrups and bits go. There should absolutely be no need for whips to play any part in breaking-in though, and i've never seen the process take 6 months or more, as you stated.
    It may appear i'm just being pedantic but i have 2 reasons for this:
    1) i really dislike inaccurate generalisations
    2) i feel it makes vegans look a bit silly when they go about painting groups of people as akin to the Devil. Many many people who have horses love them to bits and simply haven't thought the whole underlying ethics through to any degree, this doesn't make them all abusive 'pimps' who saw at their horses mouths and use whips on them.

  5. #105
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    ^ so you think that people who have companion dogs that are treated compassionately and respectfully is also an 'oxymoron'?
    People who harness dogs to pull Iditarod sleds to exhaustion and even death or pull plows in fields would be a tad more analogous because the animal is being worked against their will, but if you want to discuss that further take it to the companion animal thread or start another.

  6. #106
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    as i keep saying til i'm blue in the face, i believe that someone can do something which is ethically 'wrong' as per veganism, e.g keeping a 'pet' dog, without being abusive to that dog - can you not see my point atall?
    Breaking a horse or using one that was broken for you by another party and ridding it is being abusive to the horse. If you rescued a horse that was raised to pull a horse drawn carriage in the parks for tourists would you continue to use it to pull things at your shelter? I wouldn't.

  7. #107
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    People who harness dogs to pull Iditarod sleds to exhaustion and even death or pull plows in fields would be a tad more analogous because the animal is being worked against their will, but if you want to discuss that further take it to the companion animal thread or start another.

    Please try to resist telling me what to do . It was you who started taking this thread off-topic with your diatribe about horses.

  8. #108
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Breaking a horse or using one that was broken for you by another party and ridding it is being abusive to the horse. If you rescued a horse that was raised to pull a horse drawn carriage in the parks for tourists would you continue to use it to pull things at your shelter? I wouldn't.

    No, but not because i think it's abusive - because i think its possibly immoral. See the difference?.

  9. #109
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    People who harness dogs to pull Iditarod sleds to exhaustion and even death or pull plows in fields would be a tad more analogous because the animal is being worked against their will, but if you want to discuss that further take it to the companion animal thread or start another.

    I would say that riding a horse for simple pleasure is on a par with walking a dog for the pleasure and exercise of human and animal, and that breaking-in a horse using respectful and non-abusive means is no 'worse' than house-training and lead-breaking a puppy.

  10. #110
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    I agree - at least as far as stirrups and bits go. There should absolutely be no need for whips to play any part in breaking-in though, mand i've never seen the process take 6 months or more, as you stated.
    It doesn't matter if it take six months or six days, it is still immoral and wrong to break a horse and subjugate it to a transport vehicle.

    Adult horses usually take longer to break than young ones and the absolutely worst is adults that have lived at least part of there lives independently and apart from humans, such as wild horses or feral ones. They know subjugation is completely wrong since they've lived the good life of freedom and haven't been raised from childhood to think otherwise, but there's still money to be made so it is still done, although it is not as easy a conversion to break their will. My sources say they may even take up to a year sometimes.

  11. #111
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    Please try to resist telling me what to do .
    Right back atcha.

  12. #112
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    I would say that riding a horse for simple pleasure is on a par with walking a dog for the pleasure and exercise of human and animal, and that breaking-in a horse using respectful and non-abusive means is no 'worse' than house-training and lead-breaking a puppy.
    [emphasis mine]

    ^That's what I would call the rationalization of a slave owner: "It's in their best interests, not mine, and they like it."

    Amazing how wild horses have survived all these centuries, yet they have no one to exercise them or boss them around. Go figure.

  13. #113
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    It doesn't matter if it take six months or six days, it is still immoral and wrong to break a horse and subjugate it to a transport vehicle.

    Adult horses usually take longer to break than young ones and the absolutely worst is adults that have lived at least part of there lives independently and apart from humans, such as wild horses or feral ones. They know subjugation is completely wrong since they've lived the good life of freedom and haven't been raised from childhood to think otherwise, but there's still money to be made so it is still done, although it is not as easy a conversion to break their will. My sources say they may even take up to a year sometimes.

    ah, you're moving the goalposts there............i thought we were talking about domesticated 'captive bred' horses so to speak.
    i would agree with what you say about breaking horses in that have lived wild, that seems a terrible idea to me aswell .

    my point about how long it takes to 'break' a horse was not that it's 'ok if it doesn't take long', but just to correct the idea that i felt you were giving out to people who might not know anything about horses. You were giving the impression (to my mind) of a horribly traumatic and very lengthy experience, and i was saying that is a distorted image.

  14. #114
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Right back atcha.
    i've never done so.

  15. #115
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    [emphasis mine]

    ^That's what I would call the rationalization of a slave owner: "It's in their best interests, not mine, and they like it."

    Amazing how wild horses have survived all these centuries yet they have no one to exercise them. Go figure.

    see, you're treating me like an idiot again .
    i thought we were discussing domestic horses, who, like dogs, need exercise (if kept indoors/in stables).

    Do you think its acceptable to house-break and lead train a puppy?

  16. #116
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    i've said my piece now and will stop at this point.
    sorry for anyone who is bored to tears with the direction that this thread has taken .

    i want to clarify, as it seems i haven't presented my point here very well:

    i think it's definitely questionable, morally, to breed/keep/work/exploit ANY animal.

    i also think that it has to be accepted that there are many domesticated animals that need human intervention just now.

    i used to work with horses, i had horses myself, i love horses, i looked after my horses very well, they were my friends. I choose not to ride now that i'm a vegan and i have personally taken a different view about what is accpetable.

    i do not condemn people who keep pets and/or ride horses as villains, sinners, or abusers and i understand that they have a different view as to what is acceptable.

    i *do* condemn anyone who treats animals cruelly or without compassion and respect.

    i believe vegans have a duty to keep an open mind, to try and find out facts for themselves, and to do whatever they think is best within the context of their own veganism.

    end of .

  17. #117
    glovesforfoxes
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I'm an abolitionist, but I believe there is nothing wrong with having companion animals. The benefit is mutual: the pet gets easy access to food, shelter, warmth, in general affection from most pet owners, and the owner gets love and affection in return. Pretty sweet deal for both. I do not agree with neutering or other sterilisation. I do not agree with using the animals as a means to our ends, but it can't be said that a dog isn't happy to see it's owner. Not sure how I feel about taking them from their parents - don't really agree with that unless it would be a greater evil not to do it (i.e the parent cannot take care, or is abusing the young) but it's a tricky area where I think assumptions are easily made. I'll give animals the benefit of the doubt, and suppose they have a bond with their mothers instantly, though there are plenty of children raised by foster parents which are very happy

    I don't really agree with your view Mahk. You assume that animals entertain a concept of freedom, liberty, but I think that is a projection of your own beliefs rather than an actuality. A child is not free of it's parents influence, but no one is fussed about that - it's just a fact, nothing to get distressed over.

  18. #118
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    ah, you're moving the goalposts there............i thought we were talking about domesticated 'captive bred' horses so to speak.
    i would agree with what you say about breaking horses in that have lived wild, that seems a terrible idea to me aswell
    [emphasis mine] Yet breaking captive bred ones is OK to you?

    All breaking of all horses is unethical and wrong. We have no right. Their parentage is immaterial to me; it would seem you feel differently.


    i thought we were discussing domestic horses, who, like dogs, need exercise (if kept indoors/in stables).
    False, or more precisely I should say they wouldn't need exercise if they weren't kept in "cages" in the first place. Wild dogs live just fine without us exercising them and wild horses live just fine without us exercising them.

    I can hear it now:

    "But Mahk, we need to keep animals in cages because it is easier to do
    so."

    False. We don't need to keep animals at all in the first place. We want to keep animals.
    Last edited by Mahk; Dec 2nd, 2009 at 01:11 AM.

  19. #119
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    i know i said i was done - but please don't keep patronising me!!!
    i never said we 'need' to keep animals atall, in any way! (stop putting words into other people's mouths!)
    the fact is that we do though (keep animals), and you know very well we couldn't just turn them all loose right now (and by 'we' i mean human beings).

    btw i also never said that breaking-in domestic horses is 'ok' either, i think you just twist everything

    why do you assume that you are intellectually superior to everyone else here? .
    it really is most irritating .

  20. #120
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    why do you assume that you are intellectually superior to everyone else here? .
    Stop putting words in my mouth.
    Last edited by Korn; Dec 2nd, 2009 at 01:18 AM. Reason: Thread closed. Please see our FAQ.

  21. #121
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I'm abolitionist and proud
    Houmous atá ann!

  22. #122

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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Me too

  23. #123
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Me three.

  24. #124
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Abolitionist.

    It seems contradictory to call oneself a vegan but not an abolitionist.

  25. #125
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Abolitionist, definitely. But while cats, dogs and other 'pet animals' are abandoned, I do believe in taking them in as companions and caring for them. It's kind of my way of paying back for the thoughtless people who threw them out
    Even the smallest person can change the course of the future

  26. #126

    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Abolitionist here too!

  27. #127
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Yes, we all now have stated that we are pro abolition.

    The point of the thread, I assume, is to weed out those diabolical welfare activists. That would be me
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  28. #128
    ShadowVegan
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    'it is morally acceptable for humans to use nonhuman animals for food, in animal research, as clothing, and in entertainment'
    contradicts
    'so long as unnecessary suffering is avoided'
    Because using nonhuman animals for food, research, clothing, entertainment, etc. creates unnecessary suffering. Welfarism is a lie.

  29. #129
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    It is a lie to bring in legislation for breeders; it is a lie to raise standards for agro-business; it is a lie to try to improve the lives of existing animals?
    Not all of us care to wait for One Day.
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  30. #130
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    Quote pat sommer
    It is a lie to bring in legislation for breeders; it is a lie to raise standards for agro-business; it is a lie to try to improve the lives of existing animals?
    Not all of us care to wait for One Day.
    I think of it as a disease- animal use is the disease and animal welfare issues are the symptoms. Its important to find immediate ways to ease the symptoms but that should not be done at the expense of treating the underlying disease. Both can be done in conjunction as long as people understand that easing the symptoms won't cure the disease.

    I hope that made sense! :/
    Houmous atá ann!

  31. #131
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I'll go with that, Blueberries. It is an entry point, the thin end of the wedge.

    I have just heard on occasion, rhetoric that makes us pet-do-gooders out to be the enemy. Not here of course.
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  32. #132
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    Quote pat sommer
    I'll go with that, Blueberries.
    Thanks . Glad it made sense!
    Houmous atá ann!

  33. #133
    splodge
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I'm an abolitionist, but in the current necrotarian world I sometimes have to make compromises, such as neutering animals and looking after victims of the pet trade the best I can, because they can't be abandoned. Or buying organic food that has probably been fertilised with shit, because pesticide kills a lot of animals and probably causes more suffering in the long term, and probably harms the environment more (not that cow shit doesn't harm the environment, as we know!)

  34. #134
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    Quote splodge
    I'm an abolitionist, but in the current necrotarian world I sometimes have to make compromises, such as neutering animals and looking after victims of the pet trade the best I can, because they can't be abandoned. Or buying organic food that has probably been fertilised with shit, because pesticide kills a lot of animals and probably causes more suffering in the long term, and probably harms the environment more (not that cow shit doesn't harm the environment, as we know!)
    They're the compromises we probably all have to make unfortunately
    Houmous atá ann!

  35. #135
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I think, as I get more and more time/experience with veganism, I am understanding that it automatically equates to abolitionism... However, I think a more relevant discussion on abolitionism vs. welfarism, should be on the definition of the term "Abolitionist"...

    There is a quote from Gary L. Francione himself that may add to this discussion (taken from http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/faqs):

    "As someone who lives with seven rescued canine companions whom I love dearly, I do not treat this matter lightly. Although I regard my companions as family members, they are still my property and I could decide tomorrow to have them all killed. As much as I enjoy living with dogs, were there only two dogs remaining in the world, I would not be in favor of breeding them so that we could have more “pets” and thus perpetuate their property status. Indeed, anyone who truly cares about dogs should visit a “puppy mill”–a place where dogs are bred in the hundreds or thousands and are treated as nothing more than commodities. Female dogs are bred repeatedly until they are “spent” and are either killed or sold into research. We should, of course, care for all those domestic animals that are presently alive, but we should not continue to bring more animals into existence so that we may own them as pets."

    That statement seems to me, to partially say that abolitionism (presently) inevitably encompasses some forms of welfarism...

    I think that the true meaning of the term "Abolitionist" is (in my humble opinion of course) a wish/intention/effort (depending on how much activism you partake in) to END all animal use, suffering, and death; but allows in some ways for the idea that increasing existing animals' welfare should also be important (for example, by offering sanctuary to dairy cows; who though they in some way become the property of their carers, are only deemed as such to protect them from natural predation if they are not used to a natural environment/have not learned natural survival instinct, or avoid the possibility of harm by other so-called owners).

    The problem for me, is not welfarism in itself, it's welfarism to the exemption of any abolitionist intention; ie. if welfarists are advocating the suspension or reduction of harm (remember, reduction does not mean cessation of harm) to farm animals, until the greater harm comes to bear (slaughter), and then doing nothing further, then yes, they are inevitably giving the impression that the slaughter is acceptable, and no matter how good their intentions are, this is not good for the movement, and more importantly, the animals. It could even be possibly counterproductive.

    However, assuming there is as yet no legal way of stopping an animal going for slaughter; if for instance, one is aware of incredibly horrendous treatment of animals on a local farm for instance, isn't it better to support better welfare for those animals while alive and on that farm, and alongside helping the farmers find alternative ways of earning money such as farming plant based food, then appealing to them to release the animals for sanctuary (even if this may not happen)?

    Rather than ignoring the plight of animals destined to be slaughtered whilst they are still alive because you can't stop harm completely, as long as one is making it very clear that the animal's slaughter and the meat industry is not supported by them and is trying to help prevent slaughter (whether they succeed or not), wouldn't it still be a good thing to do?

    Reminds of the phrase I saw on someone's signature on here "Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little."

    It's a very sad day, when you go into a supermarket and see a package of meat with "spoilt pig" written on it, giving the impression that not only has the pig not been harmed but has in fact been treated even better than it deserved to be... So, I can completely see why temporary or short reaching welfare activism is not helping enough, and could be damaging...

    I suppose what we need more of, instead of arguing between ourselves, is at the very least adding to those welfare management issues that some people will take up, with more charity to sanctuaries, more publicity of such sanctuaries and why the animals are there in the first place, more education for the masses, more vegan school/hospital food, more accurate (and CLEAR) labelling (so non-vegans see that veganism isn't such a "fringe" movement), more positive discussion, and working further towards the criminalisation of harm to animals.

  36. #136

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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Peabrain
    I think that the true meaning of the term "Abolitionist" is (in my humble opinion of course) a wish/intention/effort (depending on how much activism you partake in) to END all animal use, suffering, and death; but allows in some ways for the idea that increasing existing animals' welfare should also be important (for example, by offering sanctuary to dairy cows; who though they in some way become the property of their carers, are only deemed as such to protect them from natural predation if they are not used to a natural environment/have not learned natural survival instinct, or avoid the possibility of harm by other so-called owners).


    Hello Peebee,

    I do not see farm sanctuaries as welfarism.

    Welfarism, for me, is to fight for "more humane" conditions under which animals are to be used by humans, e.g. campaigning for larger cages etc.

    Some welfarist activities (e.g. "Ban de-beaking of chickens" or "Ban life exports") are lauded by their proponents as "abolitionism", as they claim to "abolish" some behaviour that is bad for the animals. However, simply trying to abolish some (bad) aspects of animal exploitation (and thus validiting the idea that animal exploitation in itself is not wrong) is what is commonly referred to as "welfare".

    Quote Peabrain
    However, assuming there is as yet no legal way of stopping an animal going for slaughter; if for instance, one is aware of incredibly horrendous treatment of animals on a local farm for instance, isn't it better to support better welfare for those animals while alive and on that farm, and alongside helping the farmers find alternative ways of earning money such as farming plant based food, then appealing to them to release the animals for sanctuary (even if this may not happen)?

    Rather than ignoring the plight of animals destined to be slaughtered whilst they are still alive because you can't stop harm completely, as long as one is making it very clear that the animal's slaughter and the meat industry is not supported by them and is trying to help prevent slaughter (whether they succeed or not), wouldn't it still be a good thing to do?
    That's the catch here. The argument against is that time and ressources are limited, so you can either try to get people to go vegan or to treat animals a little better.

    You can always tell a person "Hey, you should go vegan! OK, but heck, if you absolutely positively can not do that (or don't want to), then why do you not at least try to eat less meat. Hmm, or at least get "ethically raised" meat. Hmm. or, if not even that is not possible, why not eat beef insteaf of veal and foie gras?"

    But my personal view is that this is not as strong as telling people simply to "go vegan".

    Best regards,
    Andy

  37. #137
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    Welfarism, for me, is to fight for "more humane" conditions under which animals are to be used by humans, e.g. campaigning for larger cages etc.

    Some welfarist activities (e.g. "Ban de-beaking of chickens" or "Ban life exports") are lauded by their proponents as "abolitionism", as they claim to "abolish" some behaviour that is bad for the animals. However, simply trying to abolish some (bad) aspects of animal exploitation (and thus validiting the idea that animal exploitation in itself is not wrong) is what is commonly referred to as "welfare".
    Sorry, messed up my reply here with editing... Gonna try again
    Last edited by Peabrain; Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:52 PM.

  38. #138
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Convoluted, eh, Peabrain? Just remember, anyone flying the banner of Abolition reserves the right to criticize the actions and or motivation of those that help actual animals.
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  39. #139

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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Pat,

    I have heard more criticism of the outcomes of welfare activity, not so much the motivation.

    To cite Gary Francione, the improvements in the conditions in which veal calves are raised (only horribly cruelly mistreated nowadays, no longer unimaginabely horribly cruelly mistreated as before) has led to ... more veal being consumed nowadays, with many people having a better conscience about it, because they think that much has already been done to improve the lot of veal calves.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  40. #140
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    Welfarism, for me, is to fight for "more humane" conditions under which animals are to be used by humans, e.g. campaigning for larger cages etc.

    Some welfarist activities (e.g. "Ban de-beaking of chickens" or "Ban life exports") are lauded by their proponents as "abolitionism", as they claim to "abolish" some behaviour that is bad for the animals. However, simply trying to abolish some (bad) aspects of animal exploitation (and thus validiting the idea that animal exploitation in itself is not wrong) is what is commonly referred to as "welfare".
    If indeed I have a mistaken understanding of what welfarism is, and the finite definition for the term is to try to reduce suffering to the exemption of any abolitionist intention; then I agree, welfarism is not an option. I can see why the statement you suggested about less meat/higher welfare meat, can muddy the waters, but I didn't actually suggest we make those statements, and I'm not sure people who care about the welfare of animals automatically think of it as being "on the condition that we get to keep them subject to our slavery".


  41. #141
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    At the risk of repeating myself, I object to Gary's notion of causation. Welfare improvement caused higher consumption (from all us vegans that suddenly decided to tuck into flesh afterall?) Rising affluence is the industry's explanation.

    I loathe preconceptions and supposition masquerading as fact (guessed that I am atheist?).

    Telling people to do something is stronger how? We will see how our actions play out over time, a great deal of time. The current crop of 20-something abolitionists absorbed the messages and were shaped by campaigns from their childhoods. Only now do we see that long-term outcome. Ironic that some of them turn around and snap at the hands that guided them.

    Okay, all that last bit was rather unscientific and up-on-my-high-horse

    Personally, I'll take any actions that give measurable benefit to animals in the short to mid-term regardless of the instigator's motivation. Find a way to make that the thin end of the wedge; push and keep pushing.
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  42. #142
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I think the term "abolitionism" originated with the campaigns against slavery. I don't know much about it but it looks as if there might have been a similar policy disagreement back then as some of the people who campaigned for the abolition of meat-eating tried to get slaves treated better in the meantime, while others thought they should just focus on getting it abolished (see here for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Slavery_Society). It seems like hair-splitting to say the first lot weren't abolitionists, though, as they all campaigned to have it abolished (and succeeded).

    If anyone campaigned for better treatment of slaves WITHOUT trying to get it abolished then they weren't abolitionists, obviously.
    Last edited by harpy; Jan 10th, 2013 at 07:29 PM.

  43. #143
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote harpy View Post
    It seems like hair-splitting to say the first lot weren't abolitionists, though, as they all campaigned to have it abolished (and succeeded).
    I think you've said better what I was clumsily trying to say earlier, and what pat said quite a few posts ago; all here are pro-abolition. Yes, the welfare issue does get used by some meat eaters as a way of denying guilt, but not all welfare activists are doing it for those reasons. As has been said, welfare issues are sometimes the thin end of the wedge that leads to veganism.

  44. #144
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I also agree with Pat, I have yet to be convinced that improving animal welfare increases the prevalence of meat-eating. There is always going to be the odd backslider trying to justify themselves by saying they only eat free-range etc meat, but I suspect they would find some excuse anyway ("I didn't feel well" etc - this often gets mentioned at the same time in fact). As you suggest, there are also people who start trying to consume only free-range etc meat and then decide to pack it in altogether (I was one of them).

    Some people also use the argument that it's a waste of energy to campaign for animal welfare when you could be campaigning for abolition of meat-eating but that's a matter of opinion IMO, and in practice most of us don't devote all of our time to one or the other anyway.

  45. #145
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Welfarism has two purposes, which are actualy just one purpose;

    1. To make increased/continued production/purchasing/consuming of the product seem less wrong.

    2. To make arguments against the increased/continued production/purchasing/consuming of the product look less right.

    It is pure and simple marketing and pure and simple marketing works equaly well on both pure and simple minds.

    Strangely, or not, it is as clear as daylight to black-hearted evil-minded b'stards (by which I mean those of us who have dabbled in marketing) though.
    Last edited by Clueless Git; Jan 11th, 2013 at 12:59 PM.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  46. #146
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote pat sommer View Post
    At the risk of repeating myself, I object to Gary's notion of causation. Welfare improvement caused higher consumption (from all us vegans that suddenly decided to tuck into flesh afterall?) Rising affluence is the industry's explanation.
    As Christine Keeler famously said; "He would say that, wouldn't he?

    As someone else famously said; "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist."

    When an industry benefits from rising affluence you can always be 99.999% certain that it was because that industry had a 99.999% successfull marketing plan.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  47. #147
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I don't wish to knock or undermine what other activists do if they are trying to help animals however I have come to the conclusion of late that vegan education/promotion is the best and possibly only way to really help animals.

    The argument is often made that "most people won't go vegan" so it's better to try to get them to consume animals that have been less badly abused then the animals they used to consume. There are a lot of unknowns though. I think showing a consistent vegan message is very important. Maybe people wont change straight away however they may have had the seed planted in their mind so next time they are considering the issue of animal suffering they might consider veganism.

    I do think there is a risk of giving the impression that animal use is in any way acceptable. For example some people think there is such a thing as humane slaughter. I'm suspicious of welfare groups like CIWF, surely compassion would mean no use of animals.

    I think Francione has a valid point about the large animal "rights" groups that they get a lot of money form non-vegans and so if they promote veganism more then they risk alienating their supporters. Maybe they fail the animals because the group funding is more important to them?

    I try to use any single issue or welfare issue as a way of bringing up veganism. For example a lot of my freediving friends have been posting on FB about 'the Cove'. I reposted the same link and explained as best I could that if what goes on in the cove bothers you then really you should consider your own use of animals and go vegan.

  48. #148
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    So, the makers of The Cove should have been explicitly promoting veganism instead by your logic? See how tricky it gets?

    When Gary chimes in about groups in competition to his following, he cleverly leads his faithful to the conclusion that money is the motivating factor.
    Last edited by pat sommer; Jan 11th, 2013 at 07:50 PM. Reason: grammar
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  49. #149
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    Quote pat sommer View Post
    So, the makers of The Cove should have been explicitly promoting veganism instead by your logic? See how tricky it gets?

    When Gary chimes in about groups in competition to his following, he cleverly leads his faithful to the conclusion that money is the motivating factor.
    Well yes why shouldn't they promote veganism? If for arguments sake the life of a cow is equal to the life of a dolphin, I imagine that a far greater number of lives would be saved if they at least promoted veganism along side condemning the cove? I'm not saying the makers of the cove are wrong or bad just that maybe in terms of promoting 'animal rights'/veganism they could be more effective. I don't really know a great deal about the makers of the cove, maybe they do promote veganism?

    I suppose it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. Do you want to lessen animal suffering/use/abuse in one specific area or do you want to lessen the suffering/use/abuse of all animals?

    I don't know that I'm right I'm just saying it as I see it. I don't know if I've worded it all that well.

    Do you disagree with the point about funding then?


    Edit: Just to add 'the Cove' is a single issue cause rather than a welfare cause. In thinking about welfare/abolition there is also the issue of single issue causes and maybe in my discussion above the two have become muddled.
    Last edited by Johnstuff; Jan 12th, 2013 at 11:51 AM.

  50. #150
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    Default Re: Are you an abolitionist or a welfarist?

    I must admit, although I should be having breakfast, I'm putting it off right now (don't worry, I'll get it later) because this topic is so interesting to me... I must admit I'm conflicted on this issue, I do think Pat has a point, that it's not as simple as "either/or" (although do correct me if that's not your point Pat)...

    What Cupid has said about welfare being a marketing ploy is from the point of view of industry, and thus, this would seem not to be actually about welfare at all. So I don't necessarily think it's fair to put all people concerned with welfare into the camp of merely trying to justify meat eating. I also find it mildly insulting that you made the point, Cupid, about pure and simple marketing working on pure and simple minds (unless the "pure" part refers to innocence rather than lack of intelligence), because - albeit for a short stint - I was one of those minds...

    I think it was Harpy who said earlier that the "welfare" issue is what ultimately led her to veganism, and it was the same for me.

    My journey to veganism started with my son's request for support to go vegetarian; I researched it for him (he was also talking about animal testing a lot), and when I found out about how widespread the animal testing was, and then about factory farming I was horrified, but as a still defensive omnivore I was trying to protect my view of what I thought was a "need" to eat meat....

    This then lead me down the path of welfare... Yet in so doing, I started to become increasingly uncomfortable as I realised that in order for the animals to have welfare needs, they had to be feeling, emotional beings, who experienced pain and suffering just like myself... I pretty much decided I was going to move into vegetarianism, which I liked the sound of because I was a serious cheese fan. However, for some unprompted reason, without yet coming across any vegan discussions on the internet (which I was to do later in copious amounts), I had a thought regarding milk; "If I breastfed two of my three children (problems with massive over-production of milk and severe mastitis that put me critically ill in hospital stopped me from breastfeeding the third), and if the milk was only made when I had the babies, and stopped when they stopped feeding, then cows must have to have babies to make milk too, and they must also get mastitis etc..." I looked into that (and was led to look into related issues surrounding eggs etc), and was so distressed by what I found out that I IMMEDIATELY became vegan.

    Of course then, the "spoilt pig" branding that I mentioned seeing in the shop earlier in this discussion, now just represents an incredibly cynical and greedy market, and yes, it doesn't seem welfare is at all the priority with these people...

    I know in my heart I could never be one of those people who fool themselves with "at least the animals haven't suffered too much", and turn away from veganism, because I know now, that no suffering is necessary at all. I will always make an effort to look after my health, but I'm now of the strong opinion that even if I end up with a deficiency (which I won't) I don't care, as long as I have been able to opt out of knowingly hurting others for the rest of my life on this planet.

    But you see what I'm saying? Although I appreciate the welfare issue very nearly led me to believe I was justified in eating meat, I had had that seed sown, and I chose to water it, even though at first it seemed like the vine that grew was going to choke me with sadness and disgust, I persevered, and found the fruits (metaphorical and literal) at the end of it.

    *at this point I went and got my brekkie and am happily chomping of cashew butter and raspberry jam on toast, trying not to get my mouse and keyboard sticky*

    I guess though, that not all people will be as probing as I was, and the question here is not about the motivations of those who work for the welfare of existing animals with all the goodness in their hearts, but about the horrible result that seems to have happened, where people unlike us, think that makes it okay to harm them, as long as it isn't too badly...

    BUT! The reason people believe it has to happen, despite knowing that there is some suffering involved, is because they genuinely think it's necessary in their diet to be well and stay well. They also in general, seem to think that animals eat animals, and that it's part of nature.

    So, thinking in this way, I agree with Johnstuff that the best way to move towards abolition is to educate, maybe not so much about the welfare of animals, as the rights, and the human misconception that we need meat/milk/eggs etc, it to live healthily. Indeed, I would focus on letting people know about the lovely tastes, the nourishment, the availability of foods (clothing, toiletries etc) first, rather than on the badness of causing harm to animals (which I would of course, talk about, but not until after the desire to keep a tight grip on the NEED to eat meat had been prised away somewhat as I don't want people to close their minds before I get them to see the light)...

    BUT (again)... I still can't help really wanting to look after any animals that I can. The whole world is not going to change overnight, and I just find it hard to ignore the plight of the few, in order to help the many (which may not happen until a much later stage)...

    I guess what I'm saying is that I wish it to be acknowledged that all here are pro-abolition, even if some have an interest in welfare... Maybe rather than thinking of it as simply as "are all you vegans "proper" vegans, or do you advocate meat eating under the guise of welfare issues?" (I'm not saying anyone here specifically said that, but I have heard it said at times elsewhere during this type of discussion), we could instead be asking "How can we work towards abolition, yet do what we can for animals in the meantime in such a way that does not seem to promote animal use?"...

    I don't honestly know the answer to that one. It is, as Pat says, a bit tricky, IMHO.

    Incidentally I meant to add, my son has gone from vegetarian to also being a vegan.
    Last edited by Peabrain; Jan 12th, 2013 at 12:48 PM. Reason: a rather amusing spelling error

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