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Elaine Vigneault
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I am so sorry for your loss. Poor Charles.
Stephanie, you wrote: "has the effect of helping humans eat animals far more than it has the potential to truly help animals. " Prove it. I hear this over and over and over again whenever an animal advocate speaks their truth, tells it how they see it, and does something, anything for animals. Someone, invariably, will criticize and say, "you're making it worse! What you've done is worse than doing nothing" essentially stifling debate, critical thought, and growth. There's absolutely NO PROOF whatsoever that welfarism or anything remotely resembling it is bad for animals long-term. None. Conceptually, there are problems with animal welfarism because it's still about treating animals as commodities and asserting dominance over them. But when we look at the big picture and realize where we are today, the reality is that it will take many roads to get to where we want to go eventually and some of those roads are going to involve some temporary welfarist philosophy.
Toggle Commented Feb 28, 2010 on On "Knockout Animals" at Animal Person
It's never been an issue for me. I've never had a vet tell me not to feed my dogs vegan food. And I've had more than one vet tell me it was fine. In general, I think the best way to deal with this stuff is to get educated. I recommend: The Little Vegan Dog Book.
When I met my now husband he was pescatarian (but called himself vegetarian). I was vegetarian. I don't think I would have married him if he continued to eat sea animals. He stopped eating them about 6 months after we met. A year after our wedding, we went vegan together. I had previous relationships with omnis and I think that was one of the reasons they didn't work out. I feel so much more attached to my husband because we share core animal rights values. We both think that if we hadn't found each other, we'd both still be single.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2010 on On Food/Lifestyle Disputes At Home at Animal Person
I'm surprised so many people lump agnosticism in with atheism. They are not the same. You cannot suspend judgment about a belief in something. Either you believe something exists or you don't. You can allow for the possibility that something exists that you don't currently believe exists, but you can't simply suspend judgment. It's an impossibility. People who call themselves agnostics are more theist than atheist.
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2010 on On Atheism and Veganism at Animal Person
I'm an atheist but I'm not a religion-hater. I think it's fine for people to have all sorts of beliefs that I don't consider to be supported by evidence or reason so long as those beliefs aren't hurting anyone. For example, if someone wants to believe in space aliens and they want to spend time outside at night with a telescope looking for them and trying to figure out ways to communicate, go for it. If someone is worried about chem trails and wants to spend a lot of time taking pictures and making websites about patterns they see in the sky, go for it. I see no reason to condemn people who believe in space aliens and blame them for things other people who believed in space aliens did. Likewise, I see no reason to condemn religious people. That said, I also feel that trying to mold my particular brand of veganism into a religious mold would be disingenuous. Though it might be effective, I don't consider it an ethical thing to do. I think a better strategy is to focus purely on the animals' suffering, death, and will to live free. I think the best strategy is simply to speak openly and honestly about veganism with an emphasis on practical, helpful advice.
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2010 on On Atheism and Veganism, Part Deux at Animal Person
There should be a few more LYs in my comment above. Regular -> regularly, etc. Sorry.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2010 on On Taxes, Veganism and "Pets" at Animal Person
I can understand the thought process that suggests it's not vegan to adopt rescue cats, dogs, rabbits, or other animals that will be perceived as pets by people who don't understand veganism. But I don't agree. So long as animals need homes and so long as I can provide a good (or adequate) one, I feel obligated to do so. I personally think - because of my lifelong experience with cats - that there will always been gray areas regarding our relationships with other species. Cats and dogs regular find us, just as often as the other way around. Granted, that's built into the oppressive system humans have set up that makes these animals particular dependent on humans, but it's a fact nonetheless. I say, don't worry about the theory. Just make the right decision when an animal in need crosses your path. RESCUE.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2010 on On Taxes, Veganism and "Pets" at Animal Person
Mary - I'm in the first camp. My experience talking to countless vegetarians and vegans is that most people gain small understandings of how this or that particular animal or particular species is similar to humans and then they broaden that perspective and apply a more rational and ethical view of all animals, realizing that differences between human and non-human animals in ability, appearance, language, size, etc. do not justify cruelty or death. Dan - you said "the only necessary *and* sufficient characteristic is sentience." I want to caution you on using the word "sentience" because a) most people don't know what it means; it's simply to say that animals feel pain, b) the anti-vegans are trying to redefine sentience to make it more about intelligence and less about physical sensation. Beth - I had a different interpretation of The Cove. I viewed the film (intentionally) as a film designed to inspire direct action more than a film about dolphin slaughter.
I don't think atheism and veganism are connected, even though I am an atheist vegan. I used to think they were connected, but then I met more vegans and more atheists. I know more theist vegans than atheist vegans. And I know more atheist nonvegans than atheist vegans. Most vegetarians and vegans believe in God. Most atheists eat animals. I also know myself and I know that my veganism is far more important to me than my atheism. That's in part because veganism is a belief IN something whereas atheism is a a lack of belief. The fact that I don't believe in a god just isn't all that important to me... and I wish it wasn't that important to anyone else either. ;)
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2009 on On Atheism and Veganism at Animal Person
"Of course, less suffering is always better than more, but when you are taking someone's life, I'm pretty sure it's the life-taking that's most important to them." Well put.
Honestly, I wish my real life personality was more like my online one and I spoke up more often. But usually I just change the subject or leave the room. Every now and then, when I don't feel like I'm under attack, then I can have a good, thoughtful conversation with someone. But that's kind of rare and that's why I prefer the kind of activism that I do: leafleting, blogging, vlogging, etc.
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2009 on Preparing for the Onslaught at Animal Person
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Nov 21, 2009