Saturday, April 11, 2009

NZ Vegan Podcast Episode 16- I think we are at the beginning of something big, we just have to BE that beginning and keep it going

Listen HERE

This week I try to articulate my thoughts about abolition veganism as a movement, as a cause that is becoming reality, because I am starting to think that we are at the beginning of something that may one day, albeit perhaps long after we are gone, be called a movement. The more people I am finding out about who are promoting abolitionist veganism, the more I realize that something has really begun. Something that actually will make a difference, unlike the last 200 years. It's very probable it has begun purely because of one man, Gary Francione; that is often how great movements are begun, but they only get going when people finally pay attention, and get involved, and get behind that person, then it becomes two people, then three then hundreds until it becomes a real grass roots movement. Think of all the great movements in history... However, I am trying to remind myself that firstly, if this IS the beginning of a movement, of a grass roots abolitionist veganism movement, then it is the absolute beginning, and I have to continue doing it whether I get to see any of the fruits of the labours in my lifetime or not. I will do it because it is all I can do. I cannot get hung up on results or tallies, because all I can do is be part of the beginning, and continue for the rest of my life. We are all human beings so we are all part of the problem. None of us is innocent, the only ones who are truly innocent are the animals. So I try also to remember that it is not about me. It is always about them.


  1. You are right, Knuckles, we are just beginning. We are pioneers:

    Roger Yates

  2. Hello!
    Thank you for your comment! I hope you don't mind me adding the two blogs mentioned above to my link list. It is great to hear from you, and to see all that you are doing, I am very inspired by your energy and all the time you are devoting to this cause.

  3. Yes, go ahead and spread the word. Toward the end of No. 16 you talk about no-one being 100% vegan or innocent as such. I think that is a very important point. There are some structural problems with veganism - nonhumans suffer and die due to the current ways we produce plantfoods. However, this means one thing: we need more vegans. As Francione suggests, we need enough vegans with sociopolitical muscle to drive social change, including changes in the ways in which crops are produced. This is why it is so distressing that there has been a recent trend in the animal protection movement to imply that vegetarianism and vegan are much the same. The hateful term 'veg*n' is often used. This is a real shift from the notion that veganism is the moral baseline and it is wrong. We should make our case for veganism and be honest.

    good luck with the podcasts!


  4. About noone being perfect - I found this article really helpful when I was thinking through this issue when I was almost-but-not-quite vegan - it's basically pointing out that you can't be perfect in the world we live in, but that perfection is not really the point:

    It comes back to the same point you've made a few times - that it's not about the individual vegan (& how personally pure they can be), it's about the animals (& making a real difference).

  5. Yes, I agree that we shouldn't focus too much on "how vegan" we can be... 99.9% "pure" is an impossible goal and prevents many from even giving "vegetariansism" a go. I know I want a vegan world "now", but the reality is, as mentioned in the podcast, everyone reaches veganism in their own way and in their own time.

    A lot of frustration can be spared if you lower expectations. This is true. Not everyone's journey is the same... Some need more time to time/information on what they've been presented with. Whatever the reason is - They just aren't ready "yet". But that shouldn't halt our message... It just means we need to move on to someone whose time is in the *now*.

    And they are out there. There's always someone who doesn't know, or never thought about "abolitionism" or "veganism" before. Many are rational, and make the right decisions... We're all here right? :)

    And I agree too... we're only "Three years young"! And I have no doubt that this is just the beginning of our (R)evolution.

  6. Great podcast Knuckles! I just found it yesterday.

    I don't in any way want to minimize the work that Francione does but I'd like to point out that veganism, since it's inception, has always been an abolitionist movement. If you go back and read the early literature put out by The Vegan Society you will see that veganism was always meant to be an anti-oppression and non-exploitation based movement. Vegans who believe in the principle of nonexploitation wouldn't (and don't) agree with any use of animals for human purposes period. Hence, the needed distinction from vegetarianism at the time.
    With that said, I think Francione has done an excellent job staying consistent to the original vegan ideal while many other animal advocacy organizations trivialize (or outright reject) veganism, by it's original meaning, by promoting "reduced suffering", better treatment, and "happy meat" and dairy products.

  7. Hi and thank you for your comments! I would like to say, that I am aware that the philososphy of peace and non-violence is ancient, also that veganism has been practiced by people for a long long time, so that is all nothing new, we are a CONTINUATION of those things. I really want to clarify, that firstly I am not naming Gary Francione as our "Leader" because he for one wouldn't like that, and I see why, and also I don't want to be a follower, we need to think for ourselves, so that is not the point. We must all be leaders which is what was said in the interview. All I am trying to say is that this particular method of activism, with no compromise on veganism as a moral baseline; this particular method of confronting the problem of animal use rather than treatment, and confronting that with pure no compromise PEACEFUL vegan activism - that is what I mean when I say a something has begun. But the message, the fundamental message is ancient, I know. And we all feel that, it is something you feel in your gut, and I we every single one of us human beings carries this knowledge as an inherent part of our being, and no one can take credit for that. We need more people to wake up to it though, it is there in all of us. I just want to acknowledge that Professor Francione has put up with an untold amount of abuse over the years, because he would not compromise and support welfare; and I am trying to give him props, for never wavering in his fight to convince this generation of people who care about animals to refuse to engage in anything but peaceful vegan education. And if anyone else did that in the recent past of animal "movement" i.e. the last 200 years and I missed it then I mean no offense, at all, I am no way as informed as some, I have only just begun thinking about this issue at all! I am a baby. Well, back to work now, I hope I have cleared up what I mean. Thanks for all the help, for helping me to make sure I am sending the right message, and for guiding me. I am very grateful for all the support and guidence.

  8. Hi Knuckles,

    I just found your podcast yesterday and listened to Part 1 of your interview of Gary. I'll catch up with the rest soon. Keep up the excellent work!


  9. Hi Dan
    Thanks so much for your comment. I can't wait to check out your work, it is so good to hear from someone else who is spreading this message. Thanks for your support and for all that you are doing.