Abolitionist vegans who read the works of Gary Francione are often accused of having a “cult” mentality. We are told that Francione is our “leader” and that we just “regurgitate” his words mindlessly.
This makes me laugh.
Gary Francione has spent over 30 years writing about animal rights and veganism. He pioneered the Abolitionist approach to animal rights theory. He is considered an “expert” in that field. Don’t people usually look to experts for information about important topics? I mean, don’t we rely on “experts” to tell us about climate change? Or are we all just in the climate change cult?
If you are ill, you go see your doctor because you rely on his or her expertise, right? That doesn’t mean you are in some doctor worshipping cult.
If I “regurgitate” Francione’s words, it is for this reason: the man writes eloquently and puts forth ideas in such a straightforward manner that it’s hard NOT to use his words. Why spend hours and hours rewriting something that was written well the first time? My quoting him and sourcing him in my posts or anywhere else is not an indication that I am a mindless follower of some cult figure. It’s an indication that what Francione says makes sense and resonates with me, and I think more people should hear what he has to say because it’s well thought out, rational and intelligent discourse on a very important topic.
If, at any time, Francione says something I disagree with, then I disagree. That has not really happened yet, not with what he writes about animal rights theory. I’m sure that if I knew him personally, I’d disagree with him on something—probably lots of things. But so far, in regard to his theory, I can’t find anything to criticize. He’s right. And that just annoys some people.
I don’t just mindlessly buy in to anything that comes out of his mouth, and it’s pretty ignorant of others to think that, but then I guess it’s pretty easy to judge someone you don’t actually know. It’s easy to just make all sorts of wild assumptions about people we have never met in person. It’s wrong, but it’s easy, and that’s why everyone keeps doing it.
Abolitionist vegans aren’t in a “cult”. In fact, many of them have formed reading groups in which they have intelligent discussions and, I am sure, critique ideas. I have not yet joined one myself but would like to after hearing of the many great discussions participants have had.
Gary Francione encourages and welcomes independent thought and rational discussions. If you have a valid argument against the Abolitionist animal rights theory, he is more than happy to hear it. However, no one has yet been able to challenge the theory in any reasoned way. Some have tried, but they always end up repeating the welfarist mantras.
Talk about a cult!
The New Welfarists have formed a cult in which no one is allowed to think or question. “Baby steps”, “personal journey”, “doing something is better than doing nothing” and “humane exploitation” all come to us courtesy of the New Welfarist cult.
New Welfarists cannot argue effectively because they are wrong and they know it. But they keep trying to defend their indefensible position, repeating the same inane arguments about helping animals now and reducing suffering (even though they do neither).
Even when faced with solid arguments that show that their approach is ineffective at best and harmful at worst, New Welfarists just repeat their mantras and stick their heads in the sand. These are folks who are scared of engaging in any kind of critical thought because they know their arguments won’t hold up under scrutiny.
New Welfarist organizations are not concerned about abolishing animal use. If they actually did that, they’d all be out of jobs, and money is their bottom line. They are fundraising machines that dole out absolution to their donor base in exchange for money: “Just donate to us, and you’ve done your part for animals!” It’s a lie, but it takes advantage of the fact that while people may want to “help” animals, they don’t actually want to change anything about their lives or inconvenience themselves in any way to do so. Just write a cheque, and you’ve done your bit. Keep eating animals, but eat the ones that we, the New Welfarist organizations, have deemed “humane”.
It’s sickening how these organizations have reduced critical thought to mere slogans and “donate” buttons. Their campaign of brainwashing has been incredibly successful.
And it’s equally sickening that people cannot see that, and instead accuse Abolitionist vegans of being in a “cult”.
It’s too bad the New Welfarists are so busy defending their cult and its leaders that they are unable to see the tremendous damage they are doing to the animal rights movement. If this movement ever succeeds, it will be in spite of the New Welfarists and not because of them.