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The Pig Trial that Changed Nothing

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Guest Essay by Jeff Perz


Anita Krajnc is the co-founder of Toronto Pig Save (TPG), a group that temporarily stops pigs in trucks on their way to slaughterhouses, bears witness to their plight and encourages veganism. Ms. Krajnc is currently on trial for giving water to a thirsty pig on the way to slaughter.

In the mid to late 90s, I was a regulationist vegan activist. I bared my naked chest in the winter air at an anti-fur protest, tried to form a human chain around a vivisection laboratory, attended anti-circus protests and so on. Along with myself and others, Ms. Krajnc was at many of these Single Issue Campaign (SIC) protests. I was an acquaintance of Ms. Krajnc. We were fellow regulationist activists, sharing the goal of abolition but using counter-productive means of achieving it. Thankfully, in 1999, I became an abolitionist vegan. I agree with Gary Francione’s abolitionist approach to animal rights, which rejects legal campaigns and other single issue campaigns (SICs) and instead advocates helping people go vegan.

It is striking how Ms. Krajnc’s current legal trial is enacting or playing out a debate between PETA president Ingrid Newkirk and Gary Francione that happened over 20 years ago. This debate is recounted in Francione’s book Rain Without Thunder.

Newkirk begins by arguing that animal activists are obligated to reduce the suffering of thirsty cows on their way to slaughter, by giving them water. In Rain Without Thunder, Francione responds by distinguishing between the micro level of social change and the macro level of social change.

At the micro level, Francione presents the scenario of a political prison. He argues that it is well and good for a prison guard, working at an unjust institution, to try to make the torture of prisoners more humane. For example, beatings could be made less severe or padding could be put on the water-boards. Similarly, at the micro level, it is commendable that Anita Krajnc gave a thirsty pig some water on the way to slaughter.

At the macro level, when the prison guard quits their unethical job and decides to join a human rights campaign, it becomes harmful for the larger human rights campaign to advocate for a law requiring all water-boards used in torture to be padded. As Francione points out, no human rights organisation has ever done that, and they have instead rightly campaigned for the complete closure of political prisons.

Looking at Ms. Krajnc’s summaries of the court proceedings, it appears as though her defence is built around the argument that the owner of the pigs failed to abide by animal-use regulations, and so Ms. Krajnc stepped in to implement those regulations herself. For example, the defence argued that animal-use regulations state that the number of pigs who can be put into one truck depends upon the temperature, and the temperature changes from the time the pigs are loaded to the time the pigs are mid-way through their journey to the slaughterhouse. The defence noted that some trucks are fitted with watering systems for pigs, whereas the truck Ms. Krajnc approached was not. The defence argued that, just before loading, regulations require that the pigs are to be hosed down with water on a hot day, whereas this may not have happened for the pigs whom Ms. Krajnc helped.

For sanitation reasons, the law stipulates that a pig who is already dead cannot be butchered at the slaughterhouse and sent to market. Therefore, animal exploiters have to calculate the economic cost of watering pigs on a hot day and compare that cost with potential lost revenue from too many pigs dying of heat stroke and dehydration before they can be sold. In short, the sole capacity of animal-use regulations is to minimise economic loss and maximise efficiency and profits.

So, when Ms. Krajnc gave water to the thirsty pig on the way to slaughter, she was reducing suffering on the micro level, which is the ethical and commendable thing to do.

On the other hand, on the macro level, when Ms. Krajnc’s lawyer argues that animal exploiters failed to minimise economic loss, he is further entrenching the status of the pigs as property, and making it even more likely that pigs will always be horrendously exploited — so long as no economic waste is involved. In short, Ms. Krajnc’s lawyer is harming pigs.

It confuses matters when Ms. Krajnc stands in front of the courthouse and states her genuinely and deeply held belief that pigs are not property. The TPS Facebook page says “Pig Trial. … Please join us in support of the right of pigs to be treated as individuals, not property.” In this case, the person who believes that pigs are not property is the same person who is, through her legal trial, further enmeshing pigs within the property paradigm. The fact that this is unintentional does not change the tragic result for pigs.

It confuses matters when animal activists say “I stand with Anita.” Of course we stand with her at the micro level of quenching the parched throats of individual pigs. In contrast, it is harmful to pigs to stand with Anita at the macro level of arguing in court that animal-use-efficiency regulations should be better adhered to. Ms. Krajnc’s legal defence confirms and further codifies the property status of pigs, ensuring they will be abhorrently exploited into the future. So, the blanket and generalised statement “I stand with Anita” obscures this campaign’s substantial harm to pigs.

It confuses matters when TPS states that veganism is the way to stop cruelty and express compassion, and when it breaks up veganism into different affiliated groups; Pig Save, Cow Save and Chicken Save. What about sheep save, fish save and the other animals? Being vegan is the way to stop all animal exploitation, not the varying degrees of cruelty that may or may not result from certain forms of animal use. Unfortunately, some people think they are preventing cruelty by consuming free-range torture. Veganism should never be construed as one of many ways of reducing cruelty. Cruelty is a symptom, not the root problem.

Furthermore, being vegan expresses the values of minimal respect and non-violence, not going ‘above and beyond’ with active efforts of compassion. Veganism is an encompassing rejection of all animal use. If we happen to be talking about pig exploitation, there should be no separation in our speech (and group names) between this and all other forms of animal exploitation.

It would be better to ignore this entire fiasco and instead concentrate on educational efforts to help as many people as possible go vegan. The media attention around this court case does not achieve this result because it, like most corporate media, highlights the potential breaches of animal-use-efficiency regulations. The non-vegan public hears the media coverage of the legal trial, is upset about the thirsty pig and is comforted that the farmer is now being held to account and animal welfare laws will be enforced.

To be effective, vegan education must happen separately from harmful SICs such as this. Helping just one person go vegan saves thousands of lives. We need to stop doing SICs and focus every second of our efforts on helping as many people as possible go vegan.

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  • Brian

    How do you move people to being vegan? For most, it starts with sensitizing them to animal welfare, animal sentience, etc. Coverage of Anita’s trial reaching thousands of people with that message, potentially planting that seed in their minds, expanding world view, etc. Arguing it’s anti-vegan is theoretical b.s.

    • Ty Savoy

      I agree with you 100% Brian. Anita is waking up so many people in the general public her with TPS activism.

      • Jeff Perz

        Maybe she is with bearing witness and encouraging veganism.

        Definitely not when her lawyer says that the animal exploiter failed to follow animal welfare regulations.

        “People can go vegan for all sorts of reasons. The issue is what position ought to be taken advocates who see the matter as one of rights, justice, and fairness. A person may have stopped being a racist because they observed a physical assault on a person of color. That does not mean that we should promote physical assaults of people of color!” Gary Francione

      • Jangmi

        Adam Lanza is my favorite vegan.

        • Jangmi

          Sorry. I regret this comment.

    • Jeff Perz

      Not at all. For most, it starts with directly talking to them about the reasons to go vegan. For example, I have handed out free vegan food at a street table. When they approach and begin to eat, I say “that (food) is vegan. That means it contains no animal products. A simple reason why I’m vegan is that many of us love a pet dog or cat. Dogs and cats have the same emotions, and the same consciousness, as cows, chickens, pigs and other animals. Why is one kind of animal a loved member of our family, and another we cause suffering, exploitation and death? It makes no sense. The only way out of this contradiction is to go vegan”

      Most people agree with that. Then I ask “could you ever see yourself going vegan one day?” If they say no, I never recommend free range or vegetarianism. Rather, I say, “You said you agreed with my reason for being vegan. To me, that means we should be 100% vegan right now. But if you just can’t see yourself doing that, try going vegan one meal per day (or one day per week). Then, after a week, increase it to two meals per day (or two days per week). If you have the goal, you will eventually reach full veganism.”

      Many, many people are open to that, and it works helping people to go vegan.

      Activists like us are strange. We may go vegan because of a single issue campaign, or because of a campaign that talks about improving animal welfare laws. But most of the public are not like that. Most of the public react by being happy that animal welfare is supposedly improving, and so they don’t go vegan.

      The seeds planted by this trial are that an evil farmer is being held to account in court, and in the future, laws will be followed better. That will not make many new vegans.

      Theoretical B.S.? Try practical vegan education on the streets.

    • Jangmi

      You won’t convert me to veganism when you tell me it’s OK to stomp on human babies or kill them after birth, even if they have severe disabilities. #vegangains #petersinger

    • Jangmi

      Vegan Gains says he wants to stomp human babies to death. Adam Lanza said it was wrong to hurt animas and became vegan, then he murders human children. Peter Singer says he would rescue a pig over a human baby because pigs have “more sentience.” The National Socialists had all kinds of laws protecting farm animals from cruelty while gassing Jews to death. Gosh, much can be said in regards to the compassion of vegans!

      • None of those people are Vegan.

  • Emilia Leese

    This is such a thought provoking piece. I would also add that it is precisely because the pigs are property that both Ms Krajnc and the pigs find themselves in the unenviable and dreadful place in which they are. I am sorry for Ms Krajnc. I very much am. And, of course, I am sorry for the pigs and all the animals. Fighting for/against SICs will only result in endless, pointless battles that will embitter and exhaust well-meaning activist, and do little for the animals they are ostensibly trying to save.

  • Michael Lanfield

    I agree with most of what you said. As abolitionist vegans, we have to do our part to educate people on stopping animal use and killing. However, when it comes to the social law, it is difficult to get the court and society to change the way it views animals, as property. As long as the majority of people eat and use animals and see them as property, the law will always remain that nonhuman animals are just things to be used. Of course, I don’t entirely agree with Toronto Pig Save either in many ways, about individualising the groups, pig saves, cow, save, chicken save. What about fish, lambs and all other animals? Though of course, they recognise all animals not as property.

    It is to my view advocating for veganism should even include humans as well: all beings. Also, I agree that in the courtroom, welfare was talked about a lot, and the lawyers wanted to lessen the suffering of the pigs. Even if we were to stop the cruelty to animals as it says on the backs of the Save shirts, “stop cruelty, go vegan”, we need to stop the use and killing of animals and stop seeing all animals as property. The general public will see this and would likely want to stop or lessen the suffering/cruelty, but it doesn’t mean, that they necessarily would want to end animal use.

    I feel the best way to advocate for non-animal use and veganism is through grassroots non-violence vegan education. In the Anita case, we must do the best we can to first, get the charges removed from Ms. Kranjc and educate the media and public about veganism and non-animal use/killing and property status of animals.

    • Jeff Perz

      “As long as the majority of people eat and use animals and see them as property, the law will always remain that nonhuman animals are just things to be used.”

      Exactly. So we must address the above problem first, before the law will even be capable of helping animals in any way whatsoever. How do we address it? You have the correct solution:

      “I feel the best way to advocate for non-animal use and veganism is through grassroots non-violence vegan education.”

      In Anita Krajnc’s case, the problem is that the defense is not simply trying to get the charges dismissed. Rather, they are arguing that animal “welfare” regulations should have been better adhered to, and this harms animals. It does not lessen suffering. Read Gary Francione’s books to find out more. Try _Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement_.

      • Jeff, you have mistaken The Save Movement, a worldwide network of groups that bear witness to animals on slaughterhouse bound trucks, for a “single issue campaign” to improve watering conditions for pigs. It may be your fellows in the media who have confused you, but as a journalist you should do the baseline research and visit the website. 40 groups in seven countries gather at slaughterhouses to look into the trucks and make a connection with the animals therein. As much as we hope that there might be a moment of solace for the doomed animals, this is a process that changes people in a way that waxing intellectual never can. It’s about making vegans, and turning vegans into activists. Although it’s called “The Save Movement” and “Toronto Pig Save,” the only pigs that are saved are the ones that the participants swear never to eat. I suppose 200 people attending our monthly All Day Vigil you might find as irrelevant, while fifty people participating for the first time would look in the terrified eyes of pigs and regret every meal of their past lives. If you have interpreted inconsistency in a movement that has successfully turned meat-eaters and vegetarians into vegans and vegans into activists, perhaps it was a lack of imagination. I’m sure Gary would approve of a straightforward look-at-animal-and-change-your-life-accordingly movement. If all you have to show for your decades of clever activism is to scribble about how other’s efforts “change nothing” and your own strategy consists of “Read Gary Francione’s books to find out more” then you’ve put a firm cap on the dearth of your own outreach.

        • Thanks for all your comments in this post! I was horrified reading this article!

        • Sarah

          He hadn’t mistaken the Save movement, he has wilfully misrepresented it. Which is generally about the best he is capable of doing.

      • erniejay

        The attorney cannot drum up arguments for non-existent charges. He can only address and argue to convince the judge based on the law that was broken for her to be arrested. He can only argue the regulations. If he argued animal slaughter cruelty, there’d be grounds for disbarring him. He’s got a chance of winning by sticking to the law she’s innocent until proven guilty.

    • Michael, share with us some of the “many ways” you disagree with Pig Save. You have participated in The Save Movement vigils so it feels strange for me to explain it to you. Toronto Pig Save vigils happen at a pig slaughterhouse. Toronto Cow Save happens at cow slaughterhouses, though incidentally they occasionally have lambs slaughtered there. There aren’t any fish arriving on trucks at the Maple Leaf Poultry plant when we have Toronto Chicken Save vigils. Turkeys tend to be slaughtered on the farms so bearing witness on trucks is unfortunately not an option. Please don’t confuse Mr. Perz further by illustrating a choose-your-favorite-animal-single-issue-campaign, and help to clarify, at least to his readership, that giving water to pigs is not the purpose of Toronto Pig Save; it was not even a common practice in the first years of its operation. Nor is it a mandate to humiliate hog farmers in the court of law, nor to bend the ear of the national press to the climate impact of animal husbandry. This is all just (mushroom) gravy. The purpose of The Save Movement is to bring people and animals face to face in a way that Facebook videos can’t. Mr. Perz’s next assignment is to attend the nearest Save Movement vigil and look both at the animals and the people looking at the animals; I look forward to the follow up article.

  • Kyle Koeppe

    It’s as if this article doesn’t understand the difference between a philosophical position and the more pragmatic legal defense of an individual in criminal court.

    • Lalasunflower

      I see you, baby.

    • Jeff Perz

      A pragmatic legal defence would have involve restricting arguments to showing that the water was not contaminated and the police had previously helped activists give water to animals.

      A progressive legal defence would have involved questioning Anita Krajnc about her motives. Then she could have explained in the courtroom, all the reasons why she is vegan.

      How pragmatic is that?

      Every practical action is informed by a philosophical theory, regardless of whether you are aware of that theory or not.

      Theory and practice should be in harmony.

  • Wow, ignore the “entire fiasco” of real pigs suffering in the here-and-now? That’s zero compassion and 100% cruelty. Some of us can do both–we work on the macro and the micro. We can help people become vegan and save animals right NOW. Anita did nothing to entrench it. Instead, through the trial’s exposure, she introduced an audience to the suffering that they never knew occurred. Some are going vegan right now. Good for her!

    • Jeff Perz

      Your above characterization is not the “fiasco.”

      Rather, the fiasco is that a lawyer is arguing that the farmer failed to follow regulations properly, and so the farmer lost some money as a result, and the farmer should exploit more efficiently. The fiasco is that the media is repeating all of the above pro-animal-use statements from Krajnc’s lawyer.

      As I said in my essay, if you want to alleviate the real suffering of pigs in the here and now, by all means give the pigs some water on the way to slaughter. But if you want to entrench their suffering in the here and now, then get a lawyer to argue in court that their exploitation should be more efficiently regulated.

      Yes, we can work on both the micro level and macro level. We can give an animal some water, or we can provide sanctuary to a rescue animal. At the same time, we can talk to as many people as possible about going vegan.

      As Gary Francione recently commented:

      “People can go vegan for all sorts of reasons. The issue is what position ought to be taken by advocates who see the matter as one of rights, justice, and fairness. A person may have stopped being a racist because they observed a physical assault on a person of color. That does not mean that we should promote physical assaults of people of color!”

      That does not mean we should add to the mountain of case law, and confirm once again that the problem is how animals are treated, not the fact that they are used in the first place.

      • erniejay

        We all want the macro, and we support the micro as well. The fact that the attorney is working to prevent Anita K’s micro from being a crime is right on. Neither he nor she is advocating at ALL for the slaughter of the pigs or treating them better before before horrendously slaughtering them. That’s where the author has gone off the deep end. The macro is admirable and may be the end goal, but micro incidents such as this do the most good. Being a vegan, as I am, does no good as we sit at our table and eat ethically grown food. That’s not going to change anything for the millions of animals being slaughtered every hour in this country–more in the world.

        • Jeff Perz

          I agree, and everyone agrees, that giving water to a pig on the micro level is a good thing.

          The question is, what do we mean by “macro”? Does working on the macro level mean that Anita Krajnc’s lawyer questions the truck driver and slaughterhouse owner, getting them to describe animal-use regulations? Or, does working on the macro level mean having a massive public education campaign, helping countless people go vegan?

          Both of the above two examples are on the macro level. The former example is *harming* animals and the latter example is helping animals.

          Similarly, on the macro level, one can campaign so that all waterboards used in torture are padded. Or, also on the macro level, one can campaign to close all political prisons.

          The point is, I agree that we need to work on both the micro and macro levels. The point is that Krajnc’s legal strategy on the macro level is unintentionally harming animals.

          You say the above claim means I’m going off the deep end. What is my reason for making the above claim? Consider:

          When institutionalised, legalised slavery existed in America, there were many laws that existed, supposedly to protect the slaves. It was illegal to severely beat a slave, or deprive her of adequate food and water. Why? Because severely beaten, dehydrated and starving slaves do not make good workers. It was impossible for the law to protect the slaves beyond the extent required to maximise their efficient exploitation. Why? Because they were property. In order to protect their fundamental interests, we first needed to abolish their status as property. Only then could the law help.

          Exactly the same situation is true today for nonhuman animals. If animals are beaten for Sadistic pleasure, that bruises the meat and money is lost. If they are not adequately fed or watered, they don’t reach their maximum potential weight before slaughter, or they die before they can be sold. When we enforce laws, or try to improve laws, that regulate the exploitation of human slaves, or the exploitation of animals-as-property, we are feeding the problem. We are causing death and exploitation to continue, more efficiently.

          When questioning the witness, Krajnc’s lawyer suggested that the pigs were not hosed down with water on a hot day, before they were loaded on the truck, and they should have been. The defence may not be **advocating** that the pigs be killed, or that they be killed more efficiently, but the effect of their legal arguments are doing precisely that.

    • Jangmi

      I wonder if your hero, Peter Singer, wants to kill human babies the same way human pigs are killed. If Singer can argue that there’s a humane way to put human babies to death, there must be a humane way to do it with pigs. His methods can’t be more cruel than those of Vegan Gains which involves crushing the human head.

  • G B

    Once again, Ecorazzi says what I was thinking! I am loving this site!

  • Elia Johnson

    I read that debate 20 years ago between Ingrid Newkirk and Gary Francione and I totally agreed with Ms.
    Newkirk. I was rather new to animal activism, and over the past 20 years I have seen Ingrid Newkirk rocking the world, making major change for all animals, and still going strong. And what has Gary Francione done? He has spent a massive amount of time and energy criticizing the good work of others and standing on the sidelines saying how it should be done. I say this to the abolitionist – shut up and go abolish it. That is the end goal of all animal rights activists. In the amount of time it took to write this article picking apart the work of others you could have handed out a lot of vegan starter kits. Anita Krajnc gave a thirsty pig water, which was the right thing to do, regardless of if it was micro or macro, and due to the media coverage of the case and the trial I imaging a lot of people have seen the video of the suffering pigs and are now questioning what is on their plates. That is changing something.

    • Jeff Perz

      The amount of time it took to write the above comment could have been spent writing a letter to a government representative, asking to change the law so that pigs during transport are watered every 8 hours, instead of every 32 hours. But that would be bad for pigs. Why? Because it would mean fewer pigs dying before they arrive at the kill floor, thus saving the animal exploiter money. Thus making exploitation more efficient. Thus further codifying in court records the status of animals as property. Thus making it more likely that animals will always be exploited.

      Shut up and go abolish it? We are. Countless abolitionist vegans, all over the world, are helping many people become vegan.

      The media coverage of this case is full of talk of how to better regulate the efficient exploitation of pigs. When people hear the media coverage, they are angered and saddened by the thirsty pig, happy that the farmer is being held to account in a courtroom, happy that animal welfare regulations will be better followed in the future, and happy to continue to eat animal products.

      Yes, as a result of this case, there might be a rare case of people questioning what’s on their plates … they may go vegan. Gary Francione recently commented:

      “People can go vegan for all sorts of reasons. The issue is what position ought to be taken advocates who see the matter as one of rights, justice, and fairness. A person may have stopped being a racist because they observed a physical assault on a person of color. That does not mean that we should promote physical assaults of people of colour!”

      • Elia Johnson

        Jeff, I became a vegan after seeing a PETA ad in a local newspaper showing one of the monkeys in a restraining chair after the PETA’s first investigation – the Silver Springs case, it was pre-internet. I turned a page in the local paper and saw the photo that changed my world – and it was something that I, along with the majority of the rest of the world, had never seen before. I joined PETA and learned about the vegan diet, gave it thought, and became a vegan committed to helping create a vegan world. What was the thing that caused you to become vegan?

        • “I joined PETA and learned about the vegan diet”

          You learned about a diet from PETA. Where did you learn about Veganism though? Veganism is not a diet, so saying you learned about it from PETA isn’t a valid argument.

          • Elia Johnson

            ‘cuse me for being so politically incorrect with my term “vegan diet.” For me it began with the food choices and then I learned from PETA about veganism, and I then became a vegan as my total way of life. For most it doesn’t happen in one day, but it is a gradual awakening.

          • “For most it doesn’t happen in one day, but it is a gradual awakening.”

            Which says absolutely nothing in regards to our moral obligations. “This person took X number of years to stop harming” is not a valid argument that proves “this person should be told that it should take them X number of years to stop harming.”

            You wouldn’t tell a spouse-beater to have a gradual awakening to stop beating their spouse. So why the moral double-standard when the victims are changed to nonhumans?

  • Simon Ritchie

    I began with the impression that anything beginning with, “In the mid to late 90s, I was a regulationist vegan activist,” can’t be going anyplace good.

    I was right. What s bunch of philosophical dribble that doesn’t help anybody.

    And by the way, tons of omnivores hate PETA because they feel threatened by PETA because they know that PETA *is* unapologetic in insisting that society should go vegan. What’s the matter with you in ignoring that?

    • Jeff Perz

      Philosophical dribble? How about helping one person, 20 years old, go vegan. That saves the lives of about 22,000 animals.

      And what do you say helps animals? Arguing in court that the pigs may not have been hosed down with water before they were loaded on the truck? If they had been, then more would have made it to the kill floor, thus allowing more dead bodies to be sold, this making the owner more money. Putting all of this in a court record has the effect of further codifying the status of animals as property. That means it’s more likely they will be exploited in the future, so long as economic efficiency is maximised. This is very real for pigs. Think about it.

      The extent to which PeTA has promoted veganism, compared to the extent to which PeTA has promoted meat reduction without going vegan, has varied over the years. But assume they are unapologetically vegan. That would be good. At the same time, PeTA has caused enormous damage by lobbying for supposedly better animal welfare regulations. See the above paragraph.

  • Andrew Murin

    No, Gary has always been correct. No journey. No baby steps. No “I’m vegan except my morning muffin!” It’s a moral line in the sand, not about purism….

    • Gary who? Stop ten people on the street and none of them have heard of him. The abolition movement is absolutely important. But the whole movement will happen by people doing what they feel passionate about. Passion, not loyalty to some revered thinker, will grease the wheels of change. The world goes vegan when the cruelty is exposed, not when we all read the same book/brochure/peer reviewed journal. Take your carnist relative to a slaughterhouse and show them the animals.

    • You went vegan one day? One day a soulless carnist, then saw Babe and your heart grew like the Grinch who saved Christmas? Everybody has a journey. I don’t advocate baby steps but the expectation that all people unravel their relationship with food in an instant is a counterproductive myth. Counterproductive, because it relies on the perfection of your outreach. We all must lend a hand in moving people towards the goal line, but few of us can say the perfect thing at any given moment to turn people vegan. We can nudge them on a journey, and every last person is a worthwhile project.

  • AlpineJim

    I agree with Francione’s analysis, as explained (or regurgitated?) by Jeff Perz, and the situation is tragic.

    However, I see a problem here. The second, third, fourth and fifth paragraphs of this essay mention Francione’s name each time and clearly give credit to Francione for pointing out the problem at the macro level. This is wonderful, and how it should be in every paragraph.

    The last ten paragraphs, without Francione’s name, however, are blatant appropriation. After all, the reader could forget that this is Francione’s idea and become profoundly confused.

    And what if some random reader starts explaining the whole macro level theory to their mother and forgets to mention Francione’s name all together? What if they also get it wrong? What if they get it wrong, and attribute their confused explanation to Francione? Mass confusion breaks out in addition to more blatant, outrageous plagiarism, or worse, attribution of a confused message to Francione.

    So, it’s better not to publish these kinds of articles anywhere. Too much confusion and, worst of all, appropriation, might occur, and we can’t have that. Let’s just stick with Francione’s FB page.

    • Buffalo

      LOL major snark good job

      Can’t have any confusion.

    • Sarah


  • Michael Sizer

    So international media coverage on the conditions of pigs is “nothing”, but one guest blog article negatively criticizing one of the most dedicated activists pursuing the same ultimate goals is somehow laudable? Gimme a break. I’m sorry but this childish drivel doesn’t even deserve a thoughtful rebuttal. It’s just a load of stinking hogwash.

    • Jeff Perz

      “So international media coverage on the conditions of pigs is ‘nothing'”

      Actually, it’s worse than nothing because focusing on the conditions of use allows the public to be outraged at “abuses” and comforted by the idea that the court is addressing the “abuses.” In other words, the public gets the message from international media that they can choose to eat “humane” animal products.

      “negatively criticizing one of the most dedicated activists pursuing the same ultimate goals”

      If you read my essay, you would see that (a) I don’t criticize Krajnc as a person or her motives, (b) I applaud her action of giving water to the pigs and (c) I object to her widely publicized legal defense that animal exploiters should be more economically efficient by better following regulations that are steeped in violence, and the assumption that animal use is acceptable.

      Insult is the last refuge of the ignorant.

      • Roman Thomson

        “her widely publicized legal defense that animal exploiters should be more economically efficient by better following regulations that are steeped in violence” Where did you get this? As a person who spent 2 days in the court I have no idea of what you are talking about. Sorry.

        • Jeff Perz

          I got it from Anita Krajnc’s Facebook page, where she summarised the court proceedings. For example, the defence argued that animal-use regulations state that the number of pigs who can be put into one truck depends upon the temperature, and the temperature changes from the time the pigs are loaded to the time the pigs are mid-way through their journey to the slaughterhouse. The defence noted that some trucks are fitted with watering systems for pigs, whereas the truck Ms. Krajnc approached was not. The defence argued that, just before loading, regulations require that the pigs are to be hosed down with water on a hot day, whereas this may not have happened for the pigs whom Ms. Krajnc helped.

          I got it from the Globe and Mail newspaper, and all other media, which said things like the following:

          During cross-examination, Veldjesgraaf said the animals are given water before and after they’re loaded onto the trucks, but he won’t feed them while they’re in transit.

          According to regulations, Veldjesgraaf testified he isn’t required to provide food or water to the animals until they’ve been in transit for 36 hours.

          Court heard that there are guidelines for the transportation of livestock, including that they should be protected from “undue hardship” and that the floor of the truck should be lined with hay or wood chips.

          When the defence asked Veldjesgraaf if guidelines for transporting animals is aimed at ensuring the welfare and safety of animals, he responded yes, adding that it’s also for the welfare of “the food chain.”

          beyond the spectacle, the case gave the activists an opportunity to raise serious questions about the state of animal welfare in food production. It also raised questions about the safety risks to our food system

          Above all, it exploded into full public view the long-mounting tensions between activists and food producers in this country, over who gets to decide how food is produced.

          what’s really happened is I think the factory-farm industry is being put on trial,” Ms. Krajnc said

          In his questioning of Eric Van Boekel, the owner of the pigs in question, Ms. Krajnc’s lawyer, James Silver, spent hours Thursday asking detailed questions about the farmer’s operation. Throughout the testy exchanges, Mr. Van Boekel and Mr. Silver jostled over the use of antibiotics on animals, the amount of space granted to each animal, and the types of equipment used in transporting them.

          Ms. Cronin said that activists such as Ms. Krajnc who criticize often do so with little agricultural or animal-welfare knowledge. Meanwhile, the regulations followed by farmers are developed alongside animal-welfare experts and overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

          She and others pointed out that what may appear to the average person as cruel – such as withdrawing feed from pigs before slaughter – is designed in part with animal welfare in mind. Pigs that are transported and slaughtered with full stomachs not only produce lower-quality pork, but are also more prone to sickness, vomiting and in-transit death. Ms. Krajnc told reporters Thursday that members of her group not only give water to animals, but sometimes also food, such as watermelon.

          Peter Sankoff, a professor at the University of Alberta who specializes in animal law, said that the trial is an opportunity to bring to light questions about whether the transport rules set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency need to be overhauled.

          The CFIA’s rules, Prof. Sankoff said, are “amongst the worst in the world.” He pointed to regulations that allow pigs to be in transit for up to 36 hours without water whereas in Europe, the limit is eight.

          Meanwhile, the National Farm Animal Care Council, which creates codes of conduct for farmers in this country that aren’t legal requirements but reflect industry standards, are already working on updating transport codes.

          “I believe the only way we’ll make meaningful change is to have these sorts of matters tried in public,” Prof. Sankoff said.

          In an e-mailed statement, the CFIA declined to comment, citing a policy of not speaking on legal matters that are still before the courts.

      • You say that national exposure of The Save Movement is less than nothing. Were it not to make the news, the story to run in its place would not be, “Studies Show That Veganism Is Really The Only Ethical Option.” It will be an interview with the champion hot dog eater followed by a story how the Trans Pacific Partnership will be good for ranchers, interspersed with commercials for cheese-in-crust pizza.

        Anita didn’t take Van Boekel to court over welfare laws. Were that the case then your article makes sense. I sense a knee jerk reaction leftover from ranting about Mercy For Animals, but you should be able to tell the difference. Toronto Pig Save is about making vegans and activists; while in court why not be a thorn in their side by challenging their failures to meet welfarist regulations? It’s not like you can use abolition as a defence — the judge isn’t going to say, “You know, you’re right. I’m going vegan and all slaughterhouses must close down.” They judge the law, not the ethics behind the laws.

        • Jeff Perz

          No, the story to run in its place would be “Woman Testifies Under Oath that Veganism, not Laws, is The Only Thing That Helps Animals”

          The defence lawyer did not need to question the truck driver or slaughterhouse owner. Rather, all Anita Krajnc needed to do was explain what motivated her to act. That would have allowed her to explain the ethical, animal-centred, reasons for going vegan — in court. Then, the international media attention would have been much more positive. Sure, the media would still talk about regulation. The difference would be, not because of Ms. Krajnc. Instead, they would report on reasons to go vegan, quoting the accused.

          Krajnc didn’t take Van Boekel to court at all. Rather, Van Boekel took Krajnc to court. I agree: Krajnc’s motivation to defend her case in the way she is has nothing to do with welfare laws. Unfortunately, her motivation also has nothing to do with the effect of the actual legal proceedings. When Krajnc’s lawyer questioned the truck driver and slaughterhouse owner, getting them to describe animal welfare regulations, and trying to catch them admitting that the particular truck may have failed to meet those regulations, it has everything to do with animal welfare laws. That is indeed the case.

          Yes, you can use abolition as a defence. It just won’t be a successful legal defence, but it would be a successful moral defence in the court of public opinion.

          On the one hand, Krajnc could have restricted herself to arguing that the water was not contaminated, and the police previously assisted activists in watering the animals. That sort of defence may have kept her out of jail.

          On the other hand, Krajnc could have restricted herself to testifying about her motivation for her action. That would have allowed her to explain all the reasons why she is vegan — inside the courtroom, not just outside. The media would have picked up on that. Then, she could have said the judge has a choice: either resign as judge, or convict her under an immoral legal system, and give her a heavy penalty. Imagine the media impact of a statement like that. That would be an abolitionist defence.

  • Unfortunately, Gary Francione hasn’t become a household name, and I never heard of him before I became a vegan. How did I become a vegan? Through awareness of a compassionate lifestyle through a little SIC named Toronto Pig Save. No matter how clever the logic of the abolitionist movement, people make emotional decisions. If your objective is “helping as many people as possible go vegan” then you need everybody doing what they’re good at, and for most of us it’s not being a clever intellectual and reading the entire works of Peter Singer. For all your smarts, Jeff “Abolitionist” Perz, you totally missed the point that thousands of people looking into the eyes of animals going to slaughter means thousands of people making the connection. Writing articles doesn’t put glass walls on slaughterhouses. #CompassionIsNotACrime

    • Same here – I had no idea who Gary F was until after I already went vegan. I went vegan because I started protesting the city kill shelter here and met many vegans and realized I should fight for all animals.

      • Jeff Perz

        See my reply to Ray Kowalchuk above, regarding activists being insular and unusual — compared to the general public.

      • “and met many vegans”

        You learned about Veganism from Vegans, which is what we’re talking about. You didn’t learn about Veganism by someone telling you dogs matter. That’s the point. Saying an SIC made you Vegan is nonsense.

        • I would never have met the vegans had I not gone to the protest for cats and dogs. The SIC helped me connect the dots. Don’t invalidate or mansplain my experience, it was MINE.

          • “I would never have met the vegans had I not gone to the protest for cats and dogs”

            Irrelevant to the point. More people become welfarists instead of Vegans and therefore inflict even more suffering on nonhumans because of SICs than if we did absolutely nothing at all. If 2 people go welfarist for every one who goes Vegan then SICs are immoral. It’s actually more like 100 or 1000 to 1.

            SICs are speciesist, which is another reason why they’re immoral. If something is immoral you have a moral obligation to not do it.

            The last nail in the coffin for your argument is that we make more people go Abolitionist Vegan through ditching the immoral crap like SICs and doing nothing but AbVegan Education. That means it’s doubly immoral to do SICs instead of Vegan Education.

            Do you have any actual valid arguments?

    • Byron DelSignore

      Same here. I went vegan after watching a PETA video of a pig being tortured

      • Jeff Perz

        See my reply to Ray Kowalchuk above.

      • “I went Vegan after ____” isn’t a valid argument demonstrating what your moral obligation is in regards to how you need to advocate. I could say “I went vegetarian after I accidentally stepped on an insect” but that isn’t a moral justification for telling non-vegetarians to kill insects to get them to go vegetarian.

        The logical argument here is that it’s immoral to use single-issue campaigns and such methods to try to help animals PLUS it’s completely unnecessary. We don’t need anything except clear abolitionist education to get the maximum number of people to go Vegan. Something being immoral AND unnecessary means you need to stop doing it doubly.

    • Jeff Perz

      #CompassionIsNotThePoint #BasicRespectForRightsIsTheFocus

      Regarding emotional decisions, consider:

      “People can go vegan for all sorts of reasons. The issue is what position ought to be taken advocates who see the matter as one of rights, justice, and fairness. A person may have stopped being a racist because they observed a physical assault on a person of color. That does not mean that we should promote physical assaults of people of colour!” Gary Francione (August 27th)

      I am sure you know many activists who went vegan as a result of some SIC. Unfortunately, often activists live in an insulated world with other like-minded activists. Unlike the majority of the public, activists get off their asses, take to the streets and do something to help. We activists are a strange lot. The majority of the public, on the other hand, are more straight forward. When they listen to media reports about animal “abuse” they are outraged, and then they are glad that regulations are going to be better enforced in the future. So they continue to buy their humanely tortured eggs, meat and dairy.

      As activists, we don’t need to get the public’s attention by arguing in court that animal use regulations may not have been followed. If we happen to find ourselves in court, we can abandon those sorts of arguments and simply say what motivated us to give the pig water. In other words, we can present an argument for veganism, which the media will then cover. Mixing it talk of regulating animal use is confusing and counter-productive.

      Even if you have never read Peter Singer, unfortunately your practical activism is informed by his theory. All practical action is informed by a theory, whether we are aware of this or not. We need a better theory than Singer’s misguided utilitarian regulationism. Let us understand Francine’s abolitionist theory, so it can guide our practical actions on behalf of animals.

      When people see horrific images of animal use, and when they are told this is cruel, and when that is all they hear, they react by saying “I don’t agree with that. Something can be done. Something is being done. Good, I can continue to eat animal products and treat animals humanely at the same time.” Thousands of people making that kind of connection does not help.

  • Shannon Drown

    This is the type of divisive perspective that only serves to impede progress. How about spending time actually working to help animals instead of tearing down those that do? We need to unite for the animals. Anything less and we are failing them.

    • Jeff Perz

      As Francione argues, is it also divisive when we object to a campaign trying to make child molestation more humane?

      No one is being torn down. This is called constructive criticism and debate. If we refuse to engage in such critique and debate, then we are less effective as activists. We are less informed about what strategies are most effective, and what strategies are counter-productive.

      Yes, abolitionist vegans spend a lot of time working to help people go vegan. That will help to create a vegan world with no animal use.

  • Roman Thomson

    The whole article is so not true on many levels. Anita still didn’t have a chance to express her position about the issue in the court. However, she did it many times outside the court with a core argument that animals are not and cannot be property. Second, two days of trial were mostly testimonies of the driver who filed lawsuit and the owner of the business. It is quite understandable for that reason that they didn’t condemn the realities of factory farming and animal exploitation. However, lawyers miraculously achieved another goal – they put the entire industry on trial by documenting most of its existing practices taken right from the mouth of the driver and the owner who testified its atrocities in Canadian court. For the history and as a starting point for the future fight for the animals I think it was a very important step and a significant precedent. Next, Anita is the person who was able to bring this issue into the spotlight of world media and she got a sympathy from most of them. After all of that saying “her defence is built around the argument that the owner of the pigs failed to abide by animal-use regulations ” is simply not fair. Also, I think it is destructive to try to hurt each other instead of spending this energy to help animals.

    • Jeff Perz

      So far, Anita Krajnc may not have had a chance to speak in court. But she did have a chance to instruct her lawyer on how to question the witness, the truck driver. The questioning exposed the fact that animal welfare regulations may not have been followed, when they should have been. So what? The only purpose of those regulations is to increase profits and efficiency for animal exploiters.

      Instead, the truck driver could have been asked what he meant when he said they are “only” animals. He could have been presented with an argument for veganism — the motivation behind Ms. Krajnc’s actions, and then he could have been asked about that. Or, the defence could have chosen not to question that particular witness at all, and move on to Ms. Krajnc’s testimony.

      Yes, Ms. Krajnc said outside, in front of the courthouse, that animals are not property. Think of it like this:

      What happens when you’re driving a car, at top speed, going both East and West at the same time?

      What is the non-vegan public’s understanding of what it actually means not to be property? They can only understand it in the context of media reports. All the media reports recount the defence’s arguments in court: the arguments that say animal-use regulations should be followed better. So the true meaning of the statements in front of the courthouse are lost.

      As I said in my Ecorazzi article, combining the message that animals are not property with the message that their use as property should be better regulated is confusing and harms animals.

      When Ms. Krajnc’s lawyer questioned the truck driver and slaughterhouse owner, getting them to talk about animal treatment and existing practices, that harmed pigs. Why? Because the media reports on it. Then, the public reacts by thinking that existing regulations are outrageous, and they ought to be improved. This court case offers an opportunity for future improvement of treatment, so the public is happy. Or the public is happy to respond by eating “free range” torture.

      This is a horrible starting point. It is like a children’s rights organisation starting out by buying a sweatshop, and pointing to better regulations for ensuring the safety of eight year old child-slave workers.

      My essay does not hurt anyone. It does offer constructive criticism. Even if we disagree, respectful debate about what particular strategies are helpful, and what strategies are harmful to animals, can only serve to make all of us better activists.

  • erniejay

    The author supports Gary F’s condemnation of the micro (water to dehydrated pigs), but his steps or gains have been minuscule. Ingrid N’s and PETA’s steps and gains have been huge, exponentially increasing animal welfare changes for the better. What makes the author think that Anita K is not participating in the macro as well? All that aside, the attention Anita K’s “micro” action has garnered has rightfully brought about more attention to the plight of animals than a million vegan promotions.

    • Jeff Perz

      No, I support Gary Francione’s approval of the micro: it is good for a prison guard to reduce torture and pad the waterboards, and it is good for Anita Krajnc to give the thirsty pig water.

      I do think that Krajnc is working on the macro level. Working on the macro level can be harmful or helpful, depending on how it is done. It is harmful if the prison guard quits her unethical job, joins a human rights campaign and lobbies for a law that requires all waterboards to be padded. It it harmful to work on the micro level if Krajnc gets her lawyer to question witnesses, to show that animal welfare regulations were not adhered to, or that regulations need to be “improved.”
      It is helpful on the macro level if we have a massive educational campaign to help people go vegan. Or, it is helpful on the macro level if Krajnc’s legal defence had avoided all discussion of animal welfare laws, and instead focused on Krajnc’s motivation for acting. Then she could have explained why she is vegan, under oath in court. The media would have reported that.

      Yes, PeTA’s steps have been huge: huge steps backward. So-called welfare changes only succeed in protecting the interests of animals to the extent required to maximise profit and efficiency. The law is incapable of protecting animals beyond that. Why? Animals, like human slaves, are property.

    • “Ingrid N’s and PETA’s steps and gains have been huge, exponentially increasing animal welfare changes for the better.”

      Which increased suffering for animals a huge amount. We’re currently causing suffering and death for many more animals each year than when PETA started.

  • Lana

    How brainwashed do you have to be to write this crap?

    • Byron DelSignore

      Franchonian-level brainwashed…

    • Jeff Perz

      I suppose it’s better to ignore the evidence compiled by a scholar, such as the evidence and analysis in the books _Animals, Property & The Law_ and _Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of The Animal Rights Movement_.

      • Lana

        Evidence? Pray tell, what is the nature of this evidence — is it empirical? A priori? Please point to a specific piece of evidence supposedly complied in the above book (or ANY evidence, for that matter) in support of the claim that the trial is harming pigs.

        • Sarah

          Evidence?! Ha ha they don’t need evidence. Gary said it, so….

  • lyra101

    i am a prison abolitionist. i also advocate for prison reform and prisoners’ welfare improvements. same for animals. this article is such crap. get out there and get to work. do what you are moved to do. support others who are working. an this micro bullshit? it’s not micro. these are individuals in desperate need right now. if you can’t see that then you might be a speciesist. if you want to sacrifice them to a higher goal, you might be a user/abuser of animals.

    • Jeff Perz

      That’s great you’re a prison abolitionist. I wholeheartedly agree with that.

      I also get out there and get to work helping people go vegan. Doing that saves animal lives.

      Of course I agree with you that giving a thirsty pig some water is not micro in the sense of the fundamental importance of the interests of that pig. That is of the utmost importance, and I said I supported it in my article.

      Advocating for a law requiring that pigs during transport be watered every 8 hours (instead of every 32 hours) is on the macro level and it is very harmful to pigs. It kills pigs. Why? Because it keeps them alive long enough to reach the kill floor, and so animal exploiters make more money. If more money is made, the whole situation is even more likely to continue into the future.

      This is not about sacrificing anyone. According to an online calculator, we can save the lives of 365 animals per year, right now, by helping just one person go vegan. That is not a sacrifice. That is a duty.

      • Sarah

        “I also get out there and get to work helping people go vegan. Doing that saves animal lives.”

        Jeff, please enlighten us on what you *actually* do when you get out there and help people go vegan. I see you and the other assistants constantly using vague statements like this. What do you do? Actually.

        • Jangmi

          Sarah, they go into restaurants and harass the crap out of customers eating meat. Then they drive home on tires made with animal fat.

  • Rob Bujold

    Although the defence team asked questions about the regulations affecting the way pigs are treated, having sat in the courtroom and listened to the lines of questioning in their full context, I got the distinct impression that the defence team was not so much focused on the ways the regulations may not have been adhered to (although questions of that sort may help Ms. Krancj’s in her defence) nearly as much as they were focused on showing how even properly adhered to regulations cause harm because, at their core, they treat pigs as property rather than sentient beings. It seemed clear to me that it was in that macro sense that the legal team was clearly taking aim at animal agriculture and putting it on trial for the world to see.

    • Ty Savoy

      From reading the love blogs from the trial, I get the same impression you did Rob. In examining the details of the way the pigs are treated, a spotlight is put onto the entire exploitative/death machine it is.

    • Jeff Perz

      That’s not what Anita Krajnc’s own summaries of the court proceedings on her Facebook page sounded like to me. The court record will be available in time. Until then, the media reporting of the trial makes it clear that the defence related to animal use regulations not being adhered to.

      • Rob Bujold

        I guess you had to be there. Which, I suppose, is the problem. You weren’t there. The other thing to remember is that the relevance of certain pieces of evidence adduced during the hearing is not going to be clear until the Defence presents its closing arguments. At that point, certain evidence will be highlighted and connected to certain Defence arguments that the Judge will be walked through. We know one of those defences is a creative public good defence, but we don’t really know fully how that Defence will be framed. It makes no sense to me that you are criticizing the Defence when they have barely opened their case, let alone had the opportunity to bring it all together in closing argument. Waaaay premature.

        • Sarah

          They are never there, that would involve them doing actual activism rather than just posting memes and links to Gary’s blogs on their Facebook pages.

  • justthinking

    Francione is of he Jainism religion……and Ingrid lived in India. Jainism shares similarities with Hinduism and Buddhism, due in large part to the historical and cultural context in which it arose. This religion, however, doesn’t have as many followers as Hinduism or Buddhism, nor has it made as many inroads into the Western world. One does not realize how much the religion played in the late 1880s of HInduism and Buddism in the UK where the animal rights movements started in the socialist Fabian Society. One of the members, Henry Salt was friends with Gandhi who also floated around those in the Fabian Society but never joined. He did little for his native country economically.
    Henry Salt wrote the book,
    “Animal rights and its relationship to social progress”. Peter Singer, the author of “Animal Liberation” felt that Salt’s book was as basic to today’s world as when it was written….but then again, Singer feels the euthanasia of children under two who will never be productive citizens and sex with chickens is OK as long are both happy when all is said and done. Go figure!! Odd mixes in the vegan animal rights philosophical, movement!
    Where is the human compassion in the animal rights movement? There seems to be so much misanthropy against anyone who owns or uses an animal for anything – ever. Just appears out and out hatred which is very visable.
    Perhaps the Great Chain of being will return one day and that will be that! We can only hope that one day we will realize that humans again are at the top of the chain. The animal rights activist act with no forethought or hindsight in removing research on animals, animals as part of our food chain, no sports with animals, no hands on with any animals and everything spayed or neutered makes some of us realize – no more purebred dogs in favor of street dogs from Turkey, the Carribean, and third world countries shipped into the USA for sale at shelters vs kennel bred purebred dogs with a long, long history.

    • Speaking of Single Issue Campaigns, one of Gandhi’s greatest successes was his Khadi Movement, whereupon returning to India from South Africa he campaigned to get Indians to wear traditional, homespun khadi clothes instead of wearing western garments. Perhaps Francione would have been aligned with the British thinking that this trend was irrelevant, but in 20 years the loss of India as a market bankrupted the Manchester textile industry and Gandhi had magnificent leverage for India’s independence. Climate Healers’ Sailesh Krishna Rao recognizes the systemic climate crisis as needing system-level thinking, planning and rebuilding, and idolizes Gandhi as a systemic thinker in an age before the tools for social change were in place. He joined us in Toronto for the March To Close Down All Slaughterhouses and bore witness to pigs at an All Day Vigil. Meeting with Anita Krajnc was an important checkmark on his itinerary, and he said to me after this photo of him consoling a new vegan, “This is how change happens.” The massive exposure of Anita’s court case has drawn such attention to The Save Movement that we have been approached by ten different people wanting to start organizing vigils in their area, including Winnipeg and Detroit. “Changed Nothing” indeed, Mr. Perz.

    • vegan truth seeker

      Go live in the middle of nature, for instance, in the Amazon and you’ll see who’s at the top of the food chain!

      Put yourself in the ‘paws’ of animals and let me know if you’d like to trade places with them.

      Now imagine that an evolved, highly intelligent and technological advanced alien species arrived on Earth (whether they’ve been here all along is another story) – what do you think they would think of us!?
      A cruel, parasitic, destructive, dumb, barbaric species!
      Now imagine they would see us as inferior beings and that they would actually enjoy the taste of or our flesh – according to your line of reasoning you’d be okay if they started killing us (including our children) by the millions to feed themselves…

      And don’t give me that bullshit that vegans are in favor of abortion (let’s call it for what it is, the right of women to decide whether or not they want to have a child), that’s not even an argument… you must think all non-vegans are against abortion…

      Seriously, I don’t know how some people are still so ‘zombified’ they accept everything that was taught to them by the mainstream system without questioning anything!!

  • justthinking

    ””’and it was Gandhi who kept India in proverty after his 30 year absence in Africa.

  • I came on to reply to this article but I see it doesn’t really need replying to, the author is not interested, it seems, in discussing these issues but rather putting forward a fixed position. My one question is how the author is so so sure that the activism of the Save movement isn’t helping people go and stay vegan? My experience here in the UK is that it does. People come along and see what is happening, and then spread that message. They move onto doing vegan education at VegFests, reaching others. Only fools would claim to know the full impact of any action–who knew that Gandhi would pick up a copy of Henry Salt’s book in a veggie cafe in London in the 1920s and have it change his entire philosophy? How could you legislate for that? How does the author know that Anita’s trial will not inspire a new activist who will come forward with the innovation that will revolutionise vegan education? What evidence does the author have that such actions are not contributing to the overall vegan education that he claims Francione’s approach is more likely to have? Where is that evidence? I’ve always seen SICs as part of a broad spectrum of efforts to practice compassion and care and there’s no reason why they cannot all be utilised together under the vegan umbrella. Such a shame that Francione never became a servant of creating and holding that umbrella for others to shelter under; and has only become a stick to beat people with. We need less of this.

    • Jeff Perz

      Of course I am interested in debating the issues. If someone can give me a good reason why my view is incorrect, then I will change my mind.

      Maybe the save movement is helping people go and stay vegan. Bearing witness and, at the same time, talking to people about veganism, may work. My essay isn’t talking about that. Rather, my essay is talking about the arguments made by Anita Krajnc’s lawyer in court, and these arguments getting reported by the media. The arguments result in people continuing to eat animal products.

      Only fools would claim to know the full impact of any action. Indeed:

      “People can go vegan for all sorts of reasons. The issue is what position ought to be taken advocates who see the matter as one of rights, justice, and fairness. A person may have stopped being a racist because they observed a physical assault on a person of color. That does not mean that we should promote physical assaults of people of color!” Gary Francione

      Where is the evidence? It’s being held away from public view, by grocery store corporations. They employ public relations experts to determine what will best sell more animal products. The answer of these market researchers and public relations experts? Putting animal welfare stamps of approval on animal products. Doing so sells more meat, eggs and dairy. When people hear that animal abuse has happened, they get angry or sad. When people hear the response — an evil slaughterhouse owner is being questioned in court, or animal welfare laws will be better enforced in the future — they feel better. They are happy to continue to eat animal products.

      We have had animal welfare laws for over 200 years. We have had modern animal welfare campaigns for 40 years. In that time, conditions for animals have only gotten worse.

      Divide the population of humans by the number of animals killed per year. The answer is how many animals lives are saved by one new vegan.

      Think about it. If I say that “fur is cruel” and that is all I say, this takes place in a social context in which eating and otherwise using animals is considered normal. As Francione says, it is considered just as normal as drinking water and breathing air. So if fur is cruel in this context, then there must be something especially wrong with it. So people will stop wearing fur, if you’re lucky, and wear wool instead. As it happens, after 30 years of this SIC, the fur industry is stronger than ever.

      Similarly, if I say “pigs should be watered every 8 hours, not every 32 hours (during transport)” then people will agree, that is the humane thing to do. Now they can comfortably eat pigs. In reality, however, the new law is simply making the slaughterhouse owner more money. More pigs make it to the kill floor alive, and so more dead pigs are sold.

  • vegan truth seeker

    I posted a comment on “Other vegans think I’m an asshole” that’s also valid for this article.

    Here it is…

    Honestly I don’t understand why all of this time and energy is spent on what should be non-issues and why there are all these divisions and fights among animal rights activists!

    Shouldn’t we all be focused on saving animals!?

    This is war people and we’re (= the animals) are losing big time and the animal industry is laughing at us…

    I’m an ethical vegan, I’m all for the abolition approach (I even go further and defend that all domesticated animals worldwide should be neutered and spayed so they never procreate again), however, I don’t think that single-issue campaigns or the ‘welfare’ approach are completely useless and let me explain why: let’s not fool ourselves, humans in general will always eat animals and thus by simply saying that the fight for the ‘welfare’ of animals isn’t valid is an all or nothing approach – if animals are still going to be eaten by humans, at least the lesser evil would be that they wouldn’t be tortured and kept in cages; also, if people want to fight for whales or elephants, for instance, it’s great – let’s not invalidate that by saying that their fight is irrelevant if they still eat other animals; that being said, what should always be emphasized is that all animals are sentient beings and all of them have the right to be left alone, and that if people are concerned with the well-being of some animals they should expand that concern to all animals and go vegan.

    Otherwise, it’s the same as not supporting and invalidating the fight against child slavery because there still exists human slavery in general and therefore only fighting for children is futile! It’s absurd…!

    How many whales has Sea Shepherd, for instance, saved so far? Even if some of the crew members and those who make donations aren’t vegan is their work less valid!? Of course not!

    Regarding educating people on veganism… let’s face it, humans are not rational beings, they’re emotional beings and the animal industry takes advantage of this fact to make people consume animal products – who hasn’t seen, for instance, a commercial where they show a few ‘happy’ cows, very clean, in an immaculate field on a sunny day promoting a brand of milk? Then we see this white, silky milk being poured in a glass or in a bowl of ‘delicious’ cereals… that creates an emotional response in people by making them want to go and drink milk.
    Also, the products in stores are placed in a certain way so we buy more; the stores are made in a way so we stay there more time, feel good, and therefore buy more!
    All the ads are made in a way to appeal to our emotions, not our reasoning.

    If we’re to win this war we have to start playing their game and although educating people by reasoning with them would be the ideal that’s not the way to convince people to go vegan in large numbers.
    Reasoning, in most cases, comes afterwards.

    We’re not going to win this war if we are 100% ethical and truthful in our approach! No wars are won that way!

    You can present all the arguments you like but it you show a non-vegan images of animals being tortured what do you think is going to convince them to make the change?
    Whether you like it or not, people like Gary Yourofsky, Erin Janus, and so forth, and the work they do are more effective in making people go vegan than all the essays and articles combined.

    We have to shock the shit out of people, we have to play dirty, we have to use all the means to make people go vegan, because we’re not fighting for ourselves, we’re fighting (or should be) for the animals.

    What we need is a global, organized ALF, and vegan hackers to hack into the surveillance system of slaughterhouses, of the labs where animals are tested on, and so forth, and put it everywhere online so that people can see what’s really going on.
    I also believe that all the facilities where animals are raised and tortured should be set on fire or destroyed in some other way, preferably without hurting humans and obviously without hurting animals!

    We must strike the animal industry where it hurts them – PROFIT!!

    Until we start striking back we’re just wasting time, energy and resources on irrelevant issues and fighting among ourselves, while the animal industry is thriving and more and more animals are being slaughtered.
    The animal industry is laughing at us and letting us fight with one another without having to lift a finger to stop our fight!

    Wake up and smell reality!
    Educating people is the ideal approach, but if that doesn’t work shock the eff out of them with all you’ve got even if it’s not accurate or all true!
    What matters is to convince people to make the transition, because after that they will most likely educate themselves on veganism.

    I hope what I wrote I was clear and that it will stir some heated debate because we need all the different perspectives, opinions, approaches and thoughts we can get otherwise we’re not even going to make a dent in the animal industry…

  • A fiasco? Really? Giving water to a thirsty pig, showing some compassion to an animal and defending that action is what you consider a “fiasco”? And what’s more, a “fiasco” that we should IGNORE? I will NEVER ignore animal suffering. Shame on you!

    • Jeff Perz

      That’s a false characterisation of my essay. The essay says:

      “So, when Ms. Krajnc gave water to the thirsty pig on the way to slaughter, she was reducing suffering on the micro level, which is the ethical and commendable thing to do.”

      Of course we should never ignore animal suffering, and the animal use that causes the suffering in the first place.

      My actual definition of “fiasco” is in my essay, if you care to have another look.

    • Jangmi

      Why does Vegan Gains want us to have compassion for pigs but then want to slaughter human infants? So vegans are compassionate? Adam Lanza was a vegan and he was compassionate?

      • Vegan Gains? Literally what does he have to do with anything? I don’t watch his videos or follow his social media accounts. Who would support/agree with slaughtering human infants? And Adam Lanza… what does he have to do with anything? So you found an alleged “vegan” who committed an atrocity. Ok? Meat-eaters commit crimes all the time… what’s your point?

  • Byron DelSignore

    One could make the argument that throwing red dye in the aisles of a supermarket is counterproductive. One cannot make a rational argument that giving any being, especially one who’s dying, water or any other necessity is counterproductive. When people see activists throw red dye in the aisles of a supermarket, they think they are crazy. They don’t think past the act; it doesn’t achieve awareness. Being thrown in court for simply giving a dying pig water does achieve awareness and it makes vegans look like the compassionate rational-thinking beings that we are.

    The author argued that the points Anita made in Court were centered in welfarism whilst completely disregarding her views and what she promotes outside the court every day of her life. She did what she had to in an effort to achieve the best outcome in court. Regurgitating “all animals should be free”, “all animals are sentient”, etc., would have done nothing to help her case; it would have done absolutely nothing to help animals.

    The author also derailed the reality of what happened by making it all about the court conversation and not what the public sees which was a compassionate vegan trying to do the right thing when farmers, business men, made it all about animals as objects and profit.

    We certainly don’t need irrational self-righteous vegans like this writing articles to gain popularity whilst leafleting and avoiding all real activism and bashing the people that are doing the right thing.

    I stand with Anita not the cult mentality of Franchionians…

  • It’s a court case. Do you expect the defense to not go into details about how animals are treated? It is pertinent to what the charges are. You want them to just say ‘animals aren’t property – go vegan!’ in court during every cross examination ?
    Anita’s been making a good case for animals not being property and for being vegan in interviews. It seems strange to point to the inevitable technical details that will come up in a trial like this and say the lawyers are arguing for better welfare for animals and for them to be regarded as property. Also the Save Movement and this case have created many new vegan activists.
    Of course they are going to invite non-vegans along to the vigils etc – they want them to make a connection to the animals.
    All the responses I’ve seen have been about how people are seeing animals as animals thanks to everything highlighted by this case rather than how they are viewed as ‘property’, ‘stuff’ (in the farmer’s words) etc. This is the shift we want and the idea is fostered by the case highlighting how it’s the right thing to do regardless of whether animals are merely regarded as property or units. People are seeing this thanks to it being highlighted how it is more important to think of the animals as animals and their interests rather than how they are currently viewed.

  • Lana

    I have some simple questions for the author of this ridicuous essay.

    1. What do you mean by the claim that Anita’s lawyer is harming pigs? Pigs are harmed, of course, when they are killed. Is the claim then that Anita’s defense will cause, or casually contribute to, pigs being killed?

    2. If the claim is that her lawyer “is” harming pigs, then does that mean pigs have *already* been killed because of Anita’s lawyer? Or is the claim that, because of her lawyer, pigs will be killed some time in the future?

    3. What factual evidence — as opposed to mere speculation — is being relied on in support of the above claim (however it is supposed to be understood)? Please state the *specific facts* from which a non-speculative inference can be drawn that Anita’s lawyer will cause, or have already caused, pigs to be killed.

    Unless you can give adequate answers to the above, you only look profoundly foolish and obnoxious in writing this kind of absurd garbage.

    • How ridiculous would be to ask what factual evidence we have – as opposed to mere speculation – to prove that defending laws such as a requirement to provide clean water to human slaves, arguing for “humane” rape, or arguing for “humane” torture of prisoners would be harming countless human individuals for generations to come? Why not apply the same moral conduct when it comes to harming non-human individuals?

    • How ridiculous would be to ask what factual evidence we have – as opposed to mere speculation – to prove that defending laws such as a requirement to provide clean water to human slaves, arguing for “humane” rape, or arguing for “humane” torture of prisoners would be harming countless human individuals for generations to come? Why not apply the same moral conduct when it comes to harming non-humans?

    • How ridiculous would be to ask what factual evidence we have – as opposed to mere speculation – to prove that defending laws such as a requirement to provide clean water to human slaves, arguing for “humane” rape, or arguing for “humane” torture of prisoners would be harming countless human individuals for generations to come? Why not apply the same moral conduct when it comes to harming non-humans by defending the laws that regulate animal torture?

    • How ridiculous would be to ask what factual evidence we have – as opposed to mere speculation – to prove that defending laws such as a requirement to provide clean water to human slaves, arguing for “humane” rape, or arguing for “humane” torture of prisoners would be harming countless human individuals for generations to come? Why not apply the same moral conduct when it comes to harming non-humans by defending laws that legitimise animal torture?

      • Lana

        See my reply above.

  • Lana

    Some suggestions for you:

    1. Do reflect on the distinction between defending the morality of law L and offering a defense of a defendant on trial by pointing out that L was violated.

    2. Do reflect on the distinction between the current reality for non-human animals and a hypothetical reality where the oppression of human beings were truly parellel and analogous.

    3. Do reflect on the distinction between empirical claims and moral assertions.

    4. Similarly to 3, do reflect on the distinction between evidence in support of empirical claims and moral principles in support of moral assertions.

  • Jangmi

    Vegan Gains loves pigs and wants to stomp on human babies to death. Peter Singer loves pigs and wants to legalize murdering human babies with disabilities. Gosh, what’s with all these animal rights activists wanting to kill human babies??

  • Jangmi

    The more vegans tell me to love pigs and that it’s ok to sell human aborted baby parts, the more I want to eat bacon.

    It was Ecorazzi that verified that Hitler was a vegetarian 🙂

    Love farm animals. Hate humans. Fuck these people need to die.

  • Jangmi

    Vegan Gains says that he wants to stomp human babies to death. Pigs are human and human babies are worthless. I get veganism! Heil Hitler!

  • Zach

    The Save Movement is growing worldwide and it encourages people to bear witness of animals going to slaughter and in the way try to help, through growing awareness, visibility, and protest – it has gained widespread attention – it is a way of helping people go vegan. It is not a legal campaign – Pig Save isn’t making any lawsuits, Krajnc was charged for criminal mischief for giving water to a pig – the welfare arguments of her lawyers were aimed at poking holes in the idea that any treatment of pigs can be done correctly – and it is intellectually dishonest to take these arguments as a stand in for the entire defence, which also had experts on animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, and when Anita took the stand she rejected that pigs are property. The Save Movement is also involved with initiatives such as climate vegan which seeks to educate people on the impacts of animal agriculture on the climate. To say that Pig Save and the save movement isn’t helping people go vegan is just intellectually dishonest.

    “I agree with Gary Francione’s abolitionist approach to animal rights,
    which rejects legal campaigns and other single issue campaigns (SICs)
    and instead advocates helping people go vegan.”

  • rodentx2

    I’ll be 71 this July. I transitioned to vegetarian 43 years ago, and then vegan since 2001. What changed me? While protesting the sale of furs on 5th Avenue with a few activists, fur-wearers themselves challenged us with “You eat meat, don’t you? You wear leather shoes.” That’s right. At the same time, I was reading (or had read) “Animals, Men, and Morals: An Enquiry into the Maltreatment of Non-Humans,” 1971 by Stanley Godlovitch, Rosalind Godlovitch, and John Harris, upon which I then transitioned to vegetarian, but not until 2001 did I go vegan because I could no longer participate in a system that violates ALL animals.

    As of Xmas last, my nephew (young husband and father in his 30’s) transitioned to veganism (mostly, I suspect, for health and environmental reasons, but I think he’s sympathetic to the animals as he was greatly impressed by the video of Attorney Steve Wise’s work on behalf on animals, “Unlocking the Cage.”)

  • Alex Bez

    The intellectual dishonesty in this article (or genuine lack of understanding) is astonishing. Hardly worth addressing because the author has conveniently cherry-picked one or two aspects of a complex defence that took several days to execute in court. I know because I was there. Anyone who thinks that The Save Movement isn’t creating vegans needs to do some research. I myself have met many people who have gone vegan instantly after attending a vigil or seeing a talk about the Save Movement. Not only that, Save is creating ACTIVISTS every single day. If our energy should be spent on anything, we should be trying to create more activists, not just more vegans. Finally, to say that the Pig Trial changed nothing is also intellectually dishonest. It has brought the concept of speciesism and animal rights to MILLIONS of people worldwide. Every day people go vegan BECAUSE of the Save Movement. It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and criticize those who are actually making change happen. How about putting down your laptop, going to a vigil and sharing the victims’ stories? I promise it’ll do more good in the world than wasting your time writing nonsense articles, which in turn wastes everybody else’s time when they read it – including mine. Gotta go edit a vigil video now.

Don’t blame vegans for the shame you feel about using animals

The shame Carly Lewis claims veganism casts over her is more likely the ghosts of moral uncertainty, spectres that are more likely fish than cows, wondering how morality can possibly be used as ammunition in favour of murder.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z sell out veganism for ticket giveaway

Veganism deserves better than constantly being considered something to be bribed, dared or loosely entered into.

Month one of “the year of the vegan”

News outlets are abuzz with the promise of new vegan products, celebs, and services and how that is somehow a fresh affirmation that our world is one turn closer to being fully free from animal use.