Tuesday, August 9, 2011

INTERVIEW: Go Vegan or Go Home - Where others see gray, animal advocate Gary Francione sees black and white

Gary Francione argues that PETA are "new ...Gary Francione - Image via WikipediaHi all,

Below is an interview with Gary Francione, Deb Olin Unferth, from The Believer, brought to you by UTNE Reader, The Best of The Alternative Press: http://www.utne.com

Gary Francione is the most controversial figure in the modern animal rights movement.

In the 1980s he was an indefatigable and high-powered young attorney who worked on prominent animal rights court cases with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

In the early 1990s he broke from PETA and from the organized movement, and in 1996 he wrote the controversial book Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement, an incisive critique and re-envisioning of the movement.

Francione’s theory is described as the abolitionist approach. He maintains that we cannot morally justify using animals as human resources, and that we should abolish animal use.

He opposes efforts to reform or regulate animal use, arguing that they will necessarily provide limited protection to animal interests, because of the status of animals as property.

Francione is a professor of law at Rutgers University and the author of six books, most recently The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? from Columbia University Press.

Most animal advocates encourage people to become vegetarians, yet you feel that promoting vegetarianism is a step in the wrong direction for reducing animal exploitation. Why?

There is absolutely no morally defensible distinction between flesh and other animal products, such as milk or cheese. Animals used in the dairy industry usually live longer than and are treated as badly as, if not worse than, their meat counterparts, and they all end up in the same slaughterhouse anyway. The meat and dairy industries are inextricably intertwined.

As far as I am concerned, there is more suffering in a glass of milk than in a pound of steak, though I would not consume either. Vegetarianism as a moral position is no more coherent than saying that you think it morally wrong to eat meat from a spotted cow but not morally wrong to eat meat from a non-spotted cow.

We do not need any animal products for health purposes, and animal agriculture is an ecological disaster. The best justification that we have for killing billions of animals every year is that they taste good. That simply cannot suffice as a moral justification.

To read further, go to: http://www.utne.com/Politics/Gary-Francione-Animal-Activist-Rights-Exploitation.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_content=08.08.11+Media&utm_campaign=UTR_ENEWS&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=email
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