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by: Owen Gunden
tags: animal rights, vegan
Imagine that it's before the abolition of slavery, and you are a normal person. One day, you wake up and realize that slavery is immoral. You begin to see everything differently. You feel compelled to speak out, but alas, nobody wants to hear what you have to say. When you raise the issue with others, they dismiss your concerns with one or more of the following 10 reasons.
The following 10 reasons not to abolish slavery are being used around the net by liberty proponents, towards the abolition of government. I found them also to be eerily similar to arguments opposing animal rights.
"Slavery is natural. People differ, and we must expect that those who are superior in a certain way--for example, in intelligence, morality, knowledge, technological prowess, or capacity for fighting--will make themselves the masters of those who are inferior in this regard."
"Raising animals for food is natural. After all, lions eat meat. Species differ, and we must expect that those who are more intelligent, make moral decisions, or are just plain stronger will make themselves masters of the inferior species."
"Slavery has always existed."
"People have been eating animals since ancient history."
Everybody does it.
"Every society on earth has slavery." The unspoken corollary is that every society must have slavery.
"Every society on earth eats animals, therefore every society must continue to eat animals." (Although the premise is debatable, it's moot because the argument is not valid anyway.)
It's for their own good.
"The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves."
"The animals are not capable of taking care of themselves."
It's for their own survival.
"Without masters, the slaves will die off." This idea is the preceding one pushed to the extreme.
"Without animal agriculture, the cows/pigs/chickens/sheep/goats/etc. will die off."
No really, it's better for them.
"Where the common people are free, they are worse off than the slaves."
"Living on a farm is a better deal for the animals than the alternative. They are fed and sheltered on farms, unlike in the wild."
Putting a stop to it would be too disruptive.
"Getting rid of slavery would occasion great bloodshed and other evils." In the United States many people assumed that the slaveholders would never permit the termination of the slave system without an all-out fight to preserve it.
"Ceasing to eat animals will cause great economic hardship to the farmers." (ok, this one doesn't quite compare, I haven't really heard anyone argue that there would be "great bloodshed". Does "I would have to give up cheeseburgers" count?).
They would run amuck.
"Without slavery the former slaves would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem."
"Without farms, the animals would run amuck, stealing from suburban gardens, crowding the streets, and generally causing mayhem."
It's not practical.
"Trying to get rid of slavery is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal."
"Veganism is a foolishly idealistic and impractical, misguided attempt at showing compassion. It's just not realistic."
Focus on welfare, not abolition.
"Forget abolition. A far better plan is to keep the slaves sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and occasionally entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation."
"Forget veganism. A far better plan is to focus on welfare reforms; keep the animals sufficiently well treated, 'humanely' confined, exploited, and slaughtered."
The only ethical position on animal rights is not to use their lives and bodies for our own pleasure, habit, fashion, financial gain, or any other reason. This is called living in alignment with our values, a.k.a. living a vegan lifestyle.