When we hear calls from the mainstream movement that we are all in this together heading in the same direction, we know this essentially reflects a simplistic perspective that tends to serve the mainstream agenda by erasing alternative approaches. Can we agree that even within these differences non-human animals can suffer less with the ‘pragmatic’ or ‘effective’ approach? I think we can, yet the purpose of the rights position is to represent ‘rights’ in a non vegan world, it is not designed to support exploitative systems. In this regard there is a separate utilitarian approach of ‘animal liberation’, and a rights based approach that centres on justice for non-human animals whilst including a full definition of ‘veganism’ as both a philosophy and lifestyle. When we centre non-human animals we are compelled to find those ‘effective strategies’ that allow us to communicate these ideas in accessible ways, this includes an emphasis on personal responsibility within a social context, where the complexity of society (in regard to inequality, discrimination and oppression) can be explored and addressed rather than sidelined or dismissed.
So, in order for there to be ‘tolerance’ (acknowledging there will always be tension where organisations are promoting strategies that exploit non-human animals) we need to overcome the reductive notion of rights based perspectives being inherently ‘divisive’. Where the ‘mainstream’ movement can acknowledge there are different perspectives, and make an increased effort to understand those approaches, whilst encouraging analysis of their own approach (especially in regard to social context / dismantling systems of oppression). In this way we could more readily move toward understanding differences in a more reflective and co-operative manner, where we may find our relations with each other improving, as understanding is emphasised and encouraged.
From animals to anarchism
In relation to veganism
‘Protest Inc.‘ by Peter Dauvergne and Genevieve LeBaron
Vegan or veganish?