I don’t have a lot of first hand experience with advocacy for nonhumans because I am not on the front lines, as it were. In the beginning of this journey I learned about veganism from my daughter in the safety of my own family.
When I first started to read and research about this very important subject, I worked mainly from the comfort of my own home. I learned that Veganism means refraining from using, wherever possible, any product derived from the exploitation of nonhumans.

Gary L. Francione
Gary L. Francione

This definition forms the basis of the abolitionist approach to veganism. One of the leading proponents of this movement is Gary Francione. On his Website, Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach, their Mission Statement is very clear:

The mission of this website is to provide a clear statement of an approach to animal rights that (1) requires the abolition of animal exploitation and rejects the regulation of animal exploitation; (2) is based only on animal sentience and no other cognitive characteristic, (3) regards veganism as the moral baseline of the animal rights position; and (4) rejects all violence and promotes activism in the form of creative, non-violent vegan education.”

 

This differs from the Welfarist approach which Mr. Francione defines as the regulation of animal exploitation. Well known proponents of the Welfarist movement are Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary and Jenny Brown of  Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Baur’s work in the arena of State and Federal reform in the United States is well documented on his website as well as in his book entitled, farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food. I enjoyed reading this informative book and recommend it to everyone.

 

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Jenny Brown’s  book, The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals is the first book that I read about Veganism and Advocacy. She tells us about her journey. It is a heartwarming, yet often sad story and is well worth reading.

On her website, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary their Mission Statement is similar to that of Gene Baur.
 “At the heart of our mission is the hands-on work of rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for farmed animal refugees — as well as educating the public about the horrific treatment of animals who are raised for food.”
Governmental reform seeks to legislate more “humane” (I use the term loosely) and ethical treatment of nonhumans in all of our various industries. One example of this would be the banning of gestation crates for pigs and battery cages for hens.

There has been some success in this arena. Gestation crates have recently been banned in Canada, but it is only for new or renovated facilities after July 1st, 2014. The pregnant pigs will be kept in group housing systems. What the heck does that mean? Will they be crammed into a shed like chickens?  Will we be trading one cruel practice for another, with the same outcome for the pigs?

There are so many more ongoing cruel practices  that need addressing and abolishing that it seems to me to be a very steep hill to climb. I believe this is why Gary Francione argues for all money, time and effort to be invested in vegan education. It is such an urgent issue. Nonhumans are suffering at our whim, with seemingly little hope of escaping, now or in the future.

But, I hesitate to say that there is no place for welfare reform. Reading about it has certainly made me think about veganism at large, my veganism, my place in advocacy for nonhumans. And I do respect  people like Gene Baur, who work tirelessly to improve the lives of enslaved nonhumans, while advocating for the end to all exploitation.

Wishing Well  Sanctuary
Wishing Well Sanctuary

I have been to two Farmed Animal Sanctuaries and they are places of extreme peace and hope for what could/should be possible, namely  freedom from harm for all farmed animals. They do educate the public about the cruel practices of farming nonhumans for profit and are firm about their commitment to a vegan world. But they also deal with reality and try to save as many nonhumans as possible.

 

 

 

Annie’s Vegan View

We cannot deny that farmed nonhumans are enduring incalculable suffering at our hands, day in and day out.

We may not want to look at the pictures or read the articles, but the information is there and it is frightening.

We can tap into our kindness and compassion and change the world for the sake of all these sentient beings.

We can join forces with the people, Abolitionists  and Welfarists alike, who are working tirelessly for this change.

I urge everyone to be part of this change, for the all the little piggies and their friends.

Therein lies our own salvation.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

Websites you may find helpful:

Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach

Farm Sanctuary

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

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WELFARIST AND ABOLITIONIST APPROACHES TO VEGANISM

10 thoughts on “WELFARIST AND ABOLITIONIST APPROACHES TO VEGANISM

  • June 10, 2014 at 7:22 am
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    Anne,

    thanks so much for this very informative article. I am a new Vegan myself and I am very interested in learning more on the whole Non-Human Animal exploitation as it is the main reason why I turned Vegan. I am already familiar with Gary Francione thoughts and I have to say I always agree with whatever he says. Before we hope changes can come from laws, we need to take matters in our own hands and try to make a difference in our own small world, living by example and inspiring others. I will definitely check out the books you mention. Thanks!

    Reply
  • June 10, 2014 at 10:07 am
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    Hi Dany, Many thanks for your insightful comments. I completely agree that living by example is so key. It helps people to look at and consider whether or not they are being kind and compassionate in their own choices. Many people making a small difference in their own small world adds up to positive change. Blessings! Anne

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  • June 10, 2014 at 11:02 am
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    Thank you Anne! Let’s walk the walk! Take care!

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  • June 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm
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    You take care too, Dany. I am looking forward hearing from you soon! Anne.

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  • August 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm
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    Ha, found your blog again! Like the new look. 🙂

    As for the two different approaches, there ARE abolitionists who are NOT opposed to welfare reform per se (I would include Norm Phelps in this category) and even though this may annoy those in the GF camp, insisting that vegan education is the only acceptable route could be viewed as a single-issue campaign in and of itself. 😉

    No, concern for welfare is a part of animal rights in my opinion, and as a friend of mine would say, we need all kinds of voices in the vegan choir!

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    • August 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm
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      Hey there,
      Glad that you found this site once again and thanks for the positive comments.
      I could not agree more with your points. I often quote Norm Phelps and believe deeply in his understanding of how the cause of nonhuman animal liberation can be won. As you know, he says that it will take the co-operation of all those advocating for nonhuman animals. Infighting and name calling never solves anything and serves to reduce our credibility.
      I will always try to immediately help those in immediate need. It would be wrong of me not to. As Norm Phelps said, saving the life of one chicken may not mean much to some, but it certainly means everything to the life of the chicken who was saved.
      Looking forward to hearing from you again.
      Many thanks,
      Anne

      Reply
      • August 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm
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        I so want to read Changing the Game, but unfortunately it’s only available as an ebook. May have to finally get Kindled. 😉

        Oh, another reason why I like the new site is that it’s easier for me to leave comments. On the old one the captcha thing wouldn’t load for me most of the time, so this is much better. Thanks.

        Reply
        • August 9, 2014 at 10:39 pm
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          Hi,
          I didn’t know that about Changing the Game. I downloaded it onto my I Pad. I am glad that commenting on this site is easier for you. Quite a few people did tell me that commenting on my old site was problematic.
          I tried to leave a couple of comments on your site, but have not been successful. I think it is because my address has been changed in my new website. It happened to me on a couple of other blogs on which I was trying to comment. I will keep trying.
          I like your article on Speciesism. It is tough to be objective about everything in a very subjective world.
          Many thanks,
          Anne

          Reply
  • August 17, 2014 at 9:41 pm
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    Oh no, yes, please keep trying! I believe you can sign in using a number of different ways –Twitter, Facebook, Google or your own website. I’m working on a follow-up post to the speciesism one, and would love to hear your thoughts on it when I get it up. If you continue to experience difficulties, please let me know and I’ll try to help. 🙂

    Reply

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