lördag 8 juni 2013

Animal welfare reform and 'Will the Farm Bill Nullify Laws Against Animal Cruelty? '

My comment to an article:

This bill changes nothing for the animals though. They have the status of property, and whatever law reform that is made it is only in order to increase the production efficiency. The laws are not made to increase the animal welfare for the animals, other than if this increases the production efficiency.

The only thing that will change and is changing things for the nonhuman animals is people going vegan, cutting down the demand, and eventually causing an abolition of all animal slavery and exploitation when the vast majority of the population is vegan.
All of this ‘welfare laws’ do nothing to protect the animals, which are “property” and can be legally tortured and killed at the whim of their owners, and caused by the demand of the consumers of animal products. They only encourage “happy exploitation”, they encourage people to eat with a “happy consciousness”.

More information here: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/got-faith-in-animal-welfare/#.UbMkYZz_FLM'

"As long as we think the issue is the treatment of animals, we will seek to make that treatment more “humane.” But because animals are property, that goal is unreachable as a practical matter. The treatment of animals will always constitute torture under the most “humane” circumstances. And the “treatment” (or welfarist) approach ignores that it is morally wrong to kill animals even if we treat them “humanely,” which we cannot do anyway. Welfare “reforms” not only fail to provide any significant protection for animals; such reforms actually make matters worse because they encourage the public to feel more comfortable about animal exploitation and to continue to consume animals and animal products. The problem is use, not treatment. The goal is to abolish animal use, not to regulate treatment. The means to the goal? Go vegan and educate others about veganism."


"The bill would eliminate the minimal protections which exist for current and future factory farm animals on a national level."
I don't believe so.
Which 'protections' for animals do you think would be eliminated?
I don't see that there are any 'minimal protections', so I doubt that any protection could be eliminated.

And many people are comforted in their consumption of animal products, that they think that animals are 'protected by the law', when the fact is that the animals are not protected.
 Anyone in this world can buy, abuse and kill an animal in their home or at their farm.
Animals can't be protected as long as they are property; just like when human slavery was accepted in the society, slaves never had any real protection. [Good article covering this: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/clarifying-the-meaning-of-a-right/#.UbMxsZz_FLN ]

I don't think it would make their conditions crueler, since I don't think that farmers, who want to earn money, would introduce a practice which they become increasingly aware of doesn't give them the most profit. It may happen in some instances. But otherwise, in these instances, even if there is a law, the same farmers can torture the animals in other legal ways, and can abuse them without anyone knowing that this takes place. Animals can’t get any real protection because of their property status.
And if we animal advocates are going to protest this legislation, it will have the side effect that the public gets more comfortable of their animal exploitation. We are implicitly sending the message that regulated animal exploitation is morally okay.
And you wrote about "battery cages". This was also one of this claimed victories, which wasn't a victory: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/replacing-one-cage-with-another/#.UbM4gpz_FLM
This is an interesting debate: 'Commentary #22: A Discussion on Abolition vs. Regulation with Robert Garner': http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/category/podcast/
Now I will soon go out on a long walk in the sun with my family. Have a wonderful day! :)


It is not at all given that the total amount of animal cruelty would increase if the bill went through.
It is not "active indifference" to recognize that promoting animal welfare regulation reform sends the implicit message to the consumer that regulated animal exploitation is morally acceptable; and to recognize that animals having the status of property are not protected by laws. This in turn makes it harder for people to recognize the necessity of veganism, since it reinforces the deep belief of our society that "happy exploitation" is morally acceptable.

Here are some thoughts that I agree with:

If we stop promoting welfare reform and just promote veganism, then the reforms will not happen and animals will be deprived of the benefits that they can receive now as we move towards veganism. What is your reply?"

My reply:

"... If you are interested in these issues, perhaps you should read some of that work and you can start with the essays and materials available on my website: www.abolitionistapproach.com. There are no "donate" buttons on the site so you might be confused at first and think it's not an animal site but do read on!

Second, you are assuming that animal welfare reforms provide significant welfare benefits. They don't for the most part. And most are phased in over a period of years anyway.

Third, most of these "reforms" actually increase production efficiency--they lower the costs of producing animal products--and would be adopted eventually by industry anyway in the ordinary course.

Fourth, you assume that welfare reforms will lead us toward veganism. Wrong. Welfare reforms make people more comfortable about continuing to consume animals. Consider the "happy" exploitation movement that is fast becoming the new "animal movement."

Fourth, if we had a significant vegan movement that promoted veganism as a moral baseline and did not promote welfare reforms, single-issue campaigns, "happy" exploitation, etc., industry would, as a matter of economic necessity, respond with welfare reforms and all sorts of measures that were designed to make the public continue to consume animal products.

That is, if we had a clear, strong, unequivocal vegan movement, industry would respond by making welfare reforms that would probably be more significant than than the welfare reforms now promoted by these large animal groups.

The most important difference would be that we would have a movement that stood for a clear and coherent moral message: if animals matter morally, we cannot eat, wear, or use them. Period.

That is, we would have an animal rights movement and not the pathetic partnership between "animal people" and institutional exploiters we have now.

To the extent that there are benefits from welfare reforms, they would not be lost; they would actually be increased as a reaction to a strong vegan movement that was no longer in complicity with industry and that actively, but nonviolently, promoted a vision of animal personhood.

Gary L. Francione
Professor, Rutgers University"

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