Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

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Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby Fallen_Horse » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:09 pm

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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby JP » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:07 pm

yeah its nice to yap about that kind of things and many other things, but they dont have any real significance in real life vegan campaigning or anything :D

and while its well written and considered position, i wonder if i have ever read anything about him which wasnt part of that anti singer etc crusade? Would be awesome to hear about him doing actual animal rights and vegan campaigning, or am i just getting a very one sided view of his life work?
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby vegimator » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:04 pm

Agreed. All he does is whine about how abolitionist he is and everyone else is welfarist but he does nothing positive for the movement.
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby xJimx » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:19 pm

I'm not sure how I feel about the use of the slavery analogy (not just here but in general terms) in AR. On the one hand of course I can see why people draw comparisons & personally I tend to agree with them (otherwise why would I be vegan), however from a campaigning point of view I think it's counterproductive because people get incredibly defensive if you effectively tell them that they support slavery.
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby beforewisdom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:03 pm



I think animal rights activists often lose sight of their ultimate goal and global conditions that effect when/if they will get there.

I think an "ultimate goal" that most AR folks will agree upon would be to have a world where animals are left alone in their natural environments......or as close to it as possible.

Philosophy is a requirement. It is about changing people's views about what is ethical and getting them to change their behavior.

However, I think the AR movement has an overabundance of philosophical essays, a shortage of leafleters, a criminal negligence of human overpopulation issues and almost zero appropriate investment in pertinent technology.

All of the academic essays and leafleters in the world aren't going to turn the global population vegan before the habitat for most animals are destroyed by population pressures.

The things to do are to fight to save habitats, fight to reduce human population pressure, encourage investment in artificially created animal products ( lab meat etc ), encourage investment in new medical testing technology and encourage investments in feral animal sterilization drugs.

Those things have a chance of turning into tangible results for animals on a significant scale.

"The plural of anecdote is not data." (Roger Brinner)
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby Fallen_Horse » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:12 pm

I agree with all that has been said, but I have never seen a philosophical basis as sound as Francione's. My ethical views are firmly grounded in logic, and therefore I need logical reasons for why I do what I do. Francione helps put the philosophy of AR on a firm basis, with solid arguments and strong examples. Yes, he is more of a 'talker' than a 'doer', but we need talkers just as much as doers I believe.

JP, he does harp on Singer quite a bit, which I am not terribly happy about either, but I think that's because most of the philosophical discussions he encounters are rightists vs. welfarists, hence his focus on that. However, his article goes into detail about AR vs. the prevailing philosophy, which is the takeaway message I was looking for anyway.

xJimx, I would agree with you, except people seem to get equally defensive no matter what we say in a debate! If they aren't open to sweeping philosophical discussions, they probably wont change their mind anyway.

beforewisdom, like so many topics on this forum, I partially agree with you. :D I firmly believe the human population will continue to skyrocket, until this planet looks nothing like we know it today, and that nothing can possibly be done about that. Do I think it's terrible, and horrific, and troubling? Yes, of course, just as I hate the amount of animals killed each day for food. If you think people are resistant to veganism, just wait until you tell them how many kids they can have! You WON'T be able to tell people how many kids they can have, they simply won't listen. Not a single person I have ever talked to supports reasonable government limits on how many children someone can have, and I have spoken with vegans, hippies, socialists, etc. People will not go for it. That sucks, but that's how it is. So until we turn the majority of the world into dictator-like countries (cough*China*cough), there will be no limit to how many children people will have.
Fighting to save habitats is great, investment in lab meat is great, new medical testing is great (specifically computer simulations I think will be useful quite soon), but I don't think any of those things will save as large amounts of animals as convincing people to go vegan will.
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby beforewisdom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:34 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote: but I don't think any of those things will save as large amounts of animals as convincing people to go vegan will.


Lets consider the publishing of Dr. Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" in 1975 as the birth of the Animal Rights movement.

That was about 38 years ago, when the global population was about 4 billion people, most of them non-vegans.
It is now 2012 with the global population being 7 billion people.

Convincing people to go vegan in any meaningful time frame to make the goals of the Animal Rights movement possible just isn't happening.

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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby beforewisdom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:50 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote:beforewisdom, like so many topics on this forum, I partially agree with you. :D I firmly believe the human population will continue to skyrocket, until this planet looks nothing like we know it today, and that nothing can possibly be done about that.


That simply isn't a fact. I talk with people involved in working on the problem. First, people do get convinced to have smaller families. A number of organizations have done and are doing just that. Secondly, there have been breakthroughs. In just the last few weeks in the news it was revealed that birthrates in South & Central America have plummeted...and voluntarily. The birthrate in Brazil, a country similar in geographical and population size to the US has typically been at 6 children per woman. Brazil's fertility rate is now about 2 children per woman, making their fertility rate lower than that of the U.S.. Even the birth rate in Mexico City, an overpopulation hotspot has gone down.

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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby Talyn » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:05 pm

beforewisdom wrote:encourage investment in artificially created animal products ( lab meat etc )


Pardon me?

Why on earth should this ever be encouraged from an AR perspective?
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby beforewisdom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:14 pm

Talyn wrote:
beforewisdom wrote:encourage investment in artificially created animal products ( lab meat etc )


Pardon me?

Why on earth should this ever be encouraged from an AR perspective?


because after the nearly 40 year existence of the Animal Rights movement 6 billion land animals are killed for food, after suffering in factory farms, in the US. Less than a fraction of a single percent of the population is vegetarian or vegan. That is a pretty lousy showing for 40 years.

The creation of a viable, popular, affordable/cheaper meat grown in a lab could reduce billions of animals living and dying in factory farms down to 100s, maybe even less.

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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby Goob » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:52 pm

JP wrote:yeah its nice to yap about that kind of things and many other things, but they dont have any real significance in real life vegan campaigning or anything :D

and while its well written and considered position, i wonder if i have ever read anything about him which wasnt part of that anti singer etc crusade? Would be awesome to hear about him doing actual animal rights and vegan campaigning, or am i just getting a very one sided view of his life work?


Francione spends so much time trying to debunk Singers philosophy because, on the surface utilitarianism makes perfect sense and seems to solve everything. But, it really is too good to be true. The utilitarian view can be used to justify ANYTHING.

Peter Singer also encourages "direct action" which is just violence, and violence only leads to resentment. Being anti-violence, Francione must also be anti-singer.

His views on campaigning were influenced from his time with peta. He was an early member and served as their attorney for some number of years. During his time with peta, their goals slowly shifted from helping animals and promoting veganism to collecting donations. At some point the vegan message started being repressed to keep from turning away potential donors and that is when he stopped working with them.

Now he promotes veganism through personal interactions as well as articles/speaking arrangements and encourages what he calls "creative, non-violent, vegan education." Essentially, he wants people to look for opportunities to promote veganism in their day to day life, without being preachy or confrontational instead of giving their time and money to some organization that may not have a coherent message.

@ lab meat, it's stupid and no real animal rights people support it. It will be just as difficult to convince a large number of people to switch to that as it would be to get them to switch to gardein products or some other such thing. And, 5% of americans are vegetarian with ~1% vegans. Some countries have as much as 10% vegetarians. That a pretty substantial and much better than 40 years ago.
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby Fallen_Horse » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:47 am

beforewisdom wrote:That simply isn't a fact. I talk with people involved in working on the problem. First, people do get convinced to have smaller families. A number of organizations have done and are doing just that. Secondly, there have been breakthroughs. In just the last few weeks in the news it was revealed that birthrates in South & Central America have plummeted...and voluntarily. The birthrate in Brazil, a country similar in geographical and population size to the US has typically been at 6 children per woman. Brazil's fertility rate is now about 2 children per woman, making their fertility rate lower than that of the U.S.. Even the birth rate in Mexico City, an overpopulation hotspot has gone down.


From Wiki:
"According to projections, the world population will continue to grow until at least 2050, with the population reaching 9 billion in 2040,[40][41] and some predictions putting the population in 2050 as high as 11 billion.[42] Walter Greiling projected in the 1950s that world population would reach a peak of about nine billion, in the 21st century, and then stop growing, after a readjustment of the Third World and a sanitation of the tropics.[43] Recent extrapolations from available figures for population growth show that the population of Earth will stop increasing around 2070.[44]"

Even with the hopeful drop to 0% growth in 2070, I think that will be too late to save the large majority of species alive today. You can convince people to only have one kid or two (China), but even that can't stop population explosions (China). Again from Wiki:
"After the introduction of the one-child policy, the fertility rate in China fell from over three births per woman in 1980 (already a sharp reduction from more than five births per woman in the early 1970s) to approximately 1.8 in 2008 and 1.54 in 2011.[35]
....
Even with the one-child policy in place, China still has one million more births than deaths every five weeks.[37]"

I'm not saying we shouldn't try, but I am saying that we don't have a hope of stopping population growth without a natural disaster, scarcity problem, major disease, etc.
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby Andrewc » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:12 pm

I've always liked Francione's position on abolition vs welfare, and I've always gotten more out of reading Francione's work over Singer's, but it seems to have become about how many different ways he can articulate the same arguments over and over and give it a new title.

To me the comparison of slavery to other forms of animal exploitation itself would most likely come across as degradation of the struggles of humans (who most people view as inherently superior to animals and capable of much more loss and suffering) and taken as a personal attack on the morals and virtues of the person you're arguing with rather than as a simple analogy (which most arguments with non-vegans seem to be taken anyway...).

Overall, I think unfortunately he has pigeon-holed himself with his arguments in that he can't (or wont) allow himself to congratulate someone from even making the transition to vegetarianism out of fear of being labelled inconsistent, rather he argues for moral consistency (veganism) from the moment a person claims to support "animal rights". I, and I'm sure the majority of the people here would agree, that veganism is the starting point of moral consistency and true support for animal rights, but I don't think there would be any great harm in being proud of a friend or family member from dropping meat alone from their plates and showing an initial interest in animal issues before progressing further into animal rights theory.
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Re: Good Francione Article on the Slavery Analogy

Postby thestoatyone » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:44 pm

Andrewc wrote:I, and I'm sure the majority of the people here would agree, that veganism is the starting point of moral consistency and true support for animal rights, but I don't think there would be any great harm in being proud of a friend or family member from dropping meat alone from their plates and showing an initial interest in animal issues before progressing further into animal rights theory.


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