Many ethical vegans feel excluded from the broader society in which they live because they are unwilling to embrace religious violence and bigotry. But what if vegans could sing right along with their religious friends, doing so to the ancient, familiar tunes that are known throughout our culture?
Here’s a vegan “Doxology” (old 100th), the first of what will hopefully become a full “Vegan Songbook and Hymnal”, in which classic hymns and ancient tunes are supplied with new, non-violent, mythology-free lyrics. If you know the tune of the Old 100th (“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow….”), you can sing this song right now!
(tune of the Old 100th)
1. Thank we our fellow creatures—all!—
All those with whom we share the Earth,
Come forth from humble birth,
Drawn to pursue our common call!
2. No barriers of creed divide
Our loving hearts from reas’ning minds.
Each one is of one kind.
Each creature to each other tied.
3. Behold our feathered friends in flight,
Scions of all that spans above,
Lifting our hearts to love,
Ascending into the sunlight!
4. Now deep inside the oceans cool,
Birthplace from which all species rise,
Wrapped in that paradise,
Fish, reptiles, mammals form one school!
5. Some, like us, on dry ground do dwell.
Some crawl, some slither, strut, or climb—
Yet every one sublime.
Beauty and grace their faces tell!
Carnist veganism has emerged as a major threat to the animal rights movement. This seemingly self-contradictory philosophy may seem bizarre at first blush. But it’s a rational, self-serving choice for a person who seeks to maximize his or her own personal popularity. And that’s why carnist veganism is the first threat to the animal rights movement that has caused me genuine concern.
The chart above summarizes how carnist veganism works. Since vegans will resist a non-vegan, and since carnists will resist anyone who exposes the psychopathology of carnism, the way to maximize one’s own personal popularity is to follow a “vegan lifestyle” while remaining “non-judgmental”—and, indeed, supportive—of the carnist way of death. In other words, the point of equilibrium for people-pleasers and popularity-seekers is that of carnist veganism.
The 2016 U.S. election cycle has given rise to a strange new phenomenon: the carnist vegan.
Carnist vegans openly describe themselves as “vegan” but actively pay, support, promote, protect, donate to, advocate for, and vote for the meat and dairy industries.
At the time of this writing, the Vermont dairy industry—both through bestiality-based companies like Ben & Jerry’s and cow-rape advocates like Bernie Sanders—has become the darling of carnist veganism. But that’s not where carnist veganism got started.
Back as soon as time permits with more discussion.
Carnist vegans actively promote, donate to, and vote for the practice of humans having anal sex with cows.
Many animal rights activists and organizations don’t even have a specific goal in mind. Just ask them! Most will be able to articulate a strong feeling that something is wrong and a strong desire to fix it. But many will not be able to describe what that fix is or how that fix actually gets done. This lack of focus is holding back the movement in a big way, in my view.
Here’s a simple chart aimed at helping activists focus their work on a specific, concrete goal.
Victory at the first three levels will represent the climax of the current animal rights movement; thereafter, the movement’s focus will shift from law-making to law-enforcing.
The latter two tiers represent the means whereby demand for cruelty-based goods and services is eliminated; such elimination undermines the financial viability of cruelty-based activities, thereby setting up the conditions necessary for victory at the former three tiers. Pick your favorite tier, and make things happen!
Here’s the September 4, 2015, draft of the Faunacide Convention. Having this language in place gives the international animal rights, protection, and liberation movement a very specific, well-defined target.
NOTES: The key substantive provisions appear in the first four articles. Although adhering closely to the text of the United Nations’ Genocide Convention (1948), this draft leaves institutional identification spaces blank so that any group of nations can agree to it, with or without the UN. That said, bringing the Faunacide Convention into force through the UN will be ideal.
It looks like the Faunacide Convention could simply re-use the existing language of the 1948 Genocide Convention in its entirety with but a handful of changes, mainly to Article 2. Adhering to the structure already in place will make it easier for people to understand and embrace.
Here’s a first draft of such a revised Article 2, with changes tracked. Please feel free to send along any language suggestions!
Version 2: Excited about this version because it is participatory. Provides a specific, daily, visual reminder of the goal as well as a ceremony to celebrate and commemorate accomplishment of that goal.
NOTE: We should be able to apply this same technique to other countries’ flags without much trouble so that abolitionists worldwide can show their solidarity with each other. Same technique–using a pink or rainbow ribbon–can also be applied for the Equal Rights Amendment II.
1944 is a very big year in the etymology of ethics-related words. That year, Raphael Lemkin coined “genocide”, and Donald Watson coined “vegan”. Introduction of these two words helped crystallize cultural recognition of the phenomena so labeled, and that recognition in turn has helped to stimulate (at least some) action.
These two words, meanwhile, beg for a label for the phenomenon that underlies both. Let’s fill the gap. Toward that end, here’s “faunacide”. Comments on how to improve the definition shown in this image?
NOTES: Genocide is, historically, but a very small subset of faunacide. Veganism is, at root, a rejection of faunacide.
Preface: This article is the sixth installment in a series discussing obstacles to abolition—the ending of all slavery—that movements for proto-abolition—the ending of human slavery—did not have to face.
A precedent problem
Another serious obstacle that an abolition movement faces but which is not faced by a proto-abolition movement is the precedent problem: while human slavery has been instituted and then cast off many times throughout history and in virtually every region of the world, full abolition has never yet been achieved.
Ancient societies from the golden age of Egypt to the golden age of Greece included slaves. Initially, many of the slaves were formerly the free members of a neighboring society that became enslaved when they lost a war with the enslaving society. After the initial conquest, however, the descendants of captured people were then born into slavery, such that a “slave class” of humans came into being, sometimes lasting for hundreds of years and comprising entire geographical regions. An extreme example of this far-reaching “slave class” and “slave region” phenomenon was that of the Helots, who were an enslaved people that reportedly outnumbered their oppressors in Sparta by more than ten to one.
But even the enslavement of the Helots at the hands of the militarily powerful Spartans came to an end, and human slaves have, at different times and in different places, managed to cast off their chains around the world and throughout human history. These many historical precedents have, in turn, served to guide, encourage, reassure, and motivate proto-abolitionists who came later.
Unfortunately, abolitionists do not have the benefit of such precedents for freeing the animals. To the best of my knowledge, no human society has ever abolished slavery beyond that of homo sapiens. Yes, some individual animals have been treated well by their human captors. Some dogs and cats, for instance, certainly appear to live happy, healthy, care-free lives in a human home. And other animals have just been left alone for the most part, such as deep-sea creatures or other animals who live in places that have so far remained relatively free from human invasion.
But, notwithstanding these fortunate individual cases, the stark social and legal reality has always been throughout human history that animals were considered by humans to be “property” or “propertizeable,” i.e., if one could capture or kill an animal, one owned that animal or her rotting corpse. Modernly, a handful of animal welfare laws have been enacted to prohibit a few egregious practices of animal abuse—cockfighting, for example. But abolition of slavery and emancipation of other animals are not, to my knowledge, even on the radar screen of most human societies.
The fact that full abolition has never been achieved, anywhere, anytime, should not discourage us. Many events that once seemed impossible have eventually come to pass. But acknowledging the special challenges faced by a full abolition movement will hopefully help to inoculate modern abolitionists against some of the burnout, frustration, and fatigue to which they may otherwise be susceptible.
A look ahead…
In this “Special Challenges” series, we’ll explore additional ways in which proto-abolition or proto-emancipation movements differ from abolition and emancipation movements. If you have comments, suggestions, or contributions, please feel free to send them along.