Monday, August 15, 2011

NZ Vegan Podcast Episode 85 - Part 1 of interview with Gary Francione on Helping Animals NOW (Including human animals)

Listen HERE

Part one of the interview with special guest Gary L. Francione

Here is a link to the website page I am working on about Adoption/Fostering and Sanctuaries. You can find links to some of the sanctuaries and rescue organisations we mentioned in there:

Thanks for listening
Part two is next


  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    Something struck me after hearing this first part of the interview. This may seem like an attempt at a "gotcha", and I *am* playing devil's advocate a bit, but I thought I would put it out as something to discuss.
    In the animal shelter world in the USA, there is a movement led by vegan author/advocate Nathan Winograd called No Kill Nation which has several steps for shelters and communities to end killing of healthy shelter animals and get them adopted instead. It's backed up by very inspirational and transformational success stories (empirical evidence).
    I'm positing (as devil's advocate) that to promote pulling, trap-neuter-return, individual adoptions, etc. without a strong no-kill message is similar to Professor Francione's criticism of the actions of welfare advocates that either don't promote veganism, or present veganism as one of many choices to reduce suffering.
    I'm curious to know what you think.

  2. Hi Billy
    I'm sorry I don't understand the question?

  3. I don't understand your question exactly but you have given me a great idea! I am going to add a no-kill movement addendum to our NZ Vegan page on Adoption, Fostering and Sanctuary Work:

    I think Nathan is doing wonderful work, and from what I have seen he is making great strides. In fact in the interview that Gary did right before this podcast featured Nathan as a guest also. I really hope someone recorded it, I want to listen to that one too! I thought Gary had mentioned that at the beginning of this podcast but maybe it was before I started recording.

    Anyway, thanks for the idea! :)

  4. I think even welfarists ought to get behind the idea of no-kill advocacy, (except for maybe the Peta supporters who believe in kill, kill, kill, but we won't worry about them). I would love to see more of this in NZ and all over the world!

  5. Billy, your question, if I understand it correctly, is quite redundant. Professor Francione's position on pulling, TNR, adoption, rescue, and sanctuary of "companion animals" is *all about* no kill. He makes very clear he supports and advocates these actions. In my opinion, there isn't the slightest similarity to Welfarists not promoting Veganism, or suggesting it only as an "option to reduce suffering". The problem with Welfarist activism, if I understand Gary's position correctly, is not that they don't promote Veganism—in fact, some do—but precisely in the fact that there is no *clear equivocation* of the relationship between exploitation and Veganism! Their suggestion that incremental *treatment* improvements will bring people closer to Veganism is not only false but misleading and confusing.

    To be clear he also combines with his position on "companion animals", that the Institution of Pets must ultimately be abolished since the whole notion is based on manipulation and exploitation.

  6. That's very cool that there will be a no-kill component to your site Elizabeth! I'd love to hear that interview with Gary and Nathan as well!!
    I've put this idea on the abolitionist approach forum and the ARZone as a blog entry (which anyone can join for free and comment on). I've received some great feedback, but coolwater4animals has been very enlightening, and kind of what I was hoping for, so thanks so much.
    Anyway, great podcast as usual. Keep up the important work Elizabeth!

  7. "[...] no *clear equivocation* of the relationship between exploitation and Veganism!"

    thanks coolwater4animals, that nugget is interesting in the way it's worded.

  8. Dear Elizabeth,

    I’ve been one of your listeners for a few years and I usually enjoy your podcasts. However, when you and Professor Gary Francione discussed the importance of rescuing homeless animals in podcasts 85 and 86, I feel that you both lost your focus. I also feel you missed an opportunity to educate general readers--that is, readers who don’t belong to a tiny “in” group--about why animals lose their homes, why so many homeless animals are killed, and what can be done to change that.

    I know Francione has written about the animal control system in New York City and I know the issue is very close to his heart--it would have been very helpful to hear his account of the problems in New York City and why they persist despite the existence of dedicated volunteers. When you talked about TNR programs, you could have backed up a few steps. You could have explained how a TNR program works and why it’s better than the available alternatives for certain cats. Some of your listeners might not understand TNR or the rationale behind it, or they might believe misconceptions.

    Throughout much of that interview, you both seemed to be continuing a private conversation that had started long before the show. Who were your intended listeners, and what (real or imagined) positions were you arguing against?

    I got the feeling you expected your listeners to know the issues already and that you were targeting people you’d had words with--maybe people who had devalued the act of rescuing a homeless animal or expressed opposition to TNR? Generally I like your informal, chatty style, but this podcast struck me as a *very* informal conversation between two friends who talk to each other all the time, talk to all the same people, and don’t need to explain the issues to each other. It was unsatisfying for me as a listener because I felt left out of the conversation.

    When you’re at your best in your podcasts, you tell us about a conversation you’ve had with someone off the show and then argue/rant against an objectionable opinion. In one of Francione’s best podcasts, he begins with an anecdote about passing an injured deer on the highway. He finishes the story first and gives his opinion later. Here in this podcast, you skipped the context and jumped straight to the rebuttal.

    I see that you’ve mentioned Nathan Winograd in the comment section, and I remember you having praised him in a previous podcast. This podcast with Francione would have been a wonderful opportunity to talk in depth about how Winograd’s ideas could be applied in New York City and New Zealand.

    Likewise, there are some interesting bits of information here about injustices affecting the human species, but I don’t feel as if you explored any of them in enough depth--you may have tried to tackle too many injustices in one show. Overall, I feel it wasn't planned as well as it could have been.

    I’m saying all this not to be nasty, but as a supporter who agrees with the values you stand for. I hope you’ll take these comments into consideration when putting together future shows.


  9. Thank you so much Eileen, I think you made some very good points. The truth is—and it obviously shows!—is I was a little out of my depth. The main thing I wanted to push was that those who themselves refuse to promote veganism unequivocally—and there are many, still too many—and have money burning a hole in their pockets, and just feel the need to give - instead of giving that money to welfare campaigns, imagine if they always gave it towards rescue and rehoming and adoption etc. ALL those millions and millions of dollars given to welfare groups around the world for their gassing chickens or cage free egg campaigns - all that money, going to rescue and rehoming. That was my point. I am very out of my depth with a lot of issues that are complicated, such as TNR and No Kill. I appreciate the help and the advice! And the valuable feedback. Thank you. :)

  10. I meant to respond to this. Thanks for the nice comment. The question of which organizations and projects really need and deserve support is an important one, I agree. I’m sure you’ll explore this topic in more depth in future podcasts.