Vandalism and aggression won’t help veganism
In our ongoing exploration of effective grassroots vegan advocacy, we are constantly bombarded with stories of people ineffectively getting the word out.
In Montana, the Missoulian reports that an urban farming non-profit had ‘MURDERER’ spray painted across their front door, and they received a slew of vulgar, threatening and expletive-laden emails and calls from an animal rights group. The harassment follows the farms practice of raising and killing pigs in a program to teach youth about their local food system.
Understandably, anyone who cares about animals would be upset to learn that this programs sees three to five pigs killed yearly. But the combination of our emotions, an online petition, and the call from PETA to “take action,” has proven to be a concoction that breeds violence- the very thing veganism should be against.
These acts of intimidation and aggression don’t change public perspective on veganism for the better, and that’s the only thing that will help animals. If the people who support farms like this one see ‘MURDERER’ on the door, they don’t look up vegan resources- they unjustly prejudice all vegans as extremist, often actively avoiding the movement altogether. In essence, the perps here don’t stop the unjust practice and they don’t change the minds of the people who participate and support it’s continuation. So what’s the point? Does it feel good? Once they’ve blocked calls and washed off the spray paint, they can blindly continue these practices knowing animal rights activists hate them, and nothing else.
Helping one person to go vegan will save many more than three to five pigs. Although the pigs on that farm are no less deserving of our love, blatant harassment like this separates forms of animal exploitation into a hierarchy, and unjustly labels this killing as “worse” than if someone where to purchase pork. We need people to understand that all animal use is wrong morally, and that the greatest action we can take is in the decisions we get to make each day. Picking up a can of spray paint or typing out an angry email will never have the power of going vegan and helping others to.