Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gary Francione Podcast

Gary Francione has just released a podcast in which he very thoughtfully analyzes what has gone wrong with the Mercy For Animals campaign whose video I linked below (the "veal" exposé). MFA has followed up with an announcement that Costco has pledged to only sell "humane" veal. MFA is touting this as a huge step in the right direction. However, Francione points out that the counterproductive outcome is that people hear the veal at Costco is "humane" and feel more comfortable buying/consuming it. Ultimately, this will cause veal consumption to rise, and lost in the shuffle is the whole idea of going vegan--not eating, using, or wearing animals at all. Further, the veal producer whose calves were shown in the video has said that he was moving away from the small crates anyway. Francione explains that this move will ultimately save the veal producer money, with lower veterinary bills, while the calves that have slightly larger living space and co-housing with another calf will still living miserable, short lives that end in slaughter.

Francione also addresses that pervasive argument that since it's impossible to completely avoid animal use--i.e. if you use roads, computers, cars, telephones, and any number of other ubiquitous things that contain animal products--then you shouldn't even bother being vegan.  He draws a very compelling comparison to white privilege.  By the same logic, anyone who benefits from white privilege--especially white, male privilege, wouldn't need to bother fighting discrimination against people of color.  What springs to mind to me, whenever I hear these "don't even bother" arguments, is "the perfect is the enemy of the good."

I'm still in the middle of the podcast, but I just wanted to write up something quick on this.  Francione has a new book coming out, scheduled for November 2010 release:  The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?
The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?
I definitely plan on reading this when it comes out.

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