Chanting DxE Crusaders Face Criminal Mischief Charges
DxE has recently claimed responsibility for two “activists” who were caught on CCTV shouting “meat is murder” and laying flowers on cuts of animal flesh. The pair performed their act at a store in Boulder, Colorado, where the police are now attempting to find the “smiling” jesters and press criminal mischief charges.
I don’t know about you, but we think a more fitting response would be 50 hours of vegan education classes on how not to promote speciesism and make arbitrary distinctions between different animal products. DxE still haven’t seemed to grasp that shouting at strangers isn’t an effective form of education. Especially when the “chant” consists of the following: “Meat is murder, this is not love. Meat is not food.”
Aside from making a false distinction between different animal products – thereby promoting speciesism and the normalisation of all other exploitation – this sort of activity cannot be rightly classed as “activism.” It’s theatre and nothing more. Bad theatre. There is no meaningful content to be derived from an ambiguously vacuous chant. There is no context in which a non-vegan listener will hear such a thing and be led to veganism. Indeed, the content of this particular chant would have people believing that vegetarianism is a worthy moral stance. It’s not. The irony of this situation is that we actually have two “activists” – who are considered by the public to be a voice for animals – promoting animal exploitation.
The animals do not need us to lay flowers on their corpes whilst simultaeneously shouting at people to continue exploiting animals through non-veganism. They need us to educate the public about why veganism is a moral obligation. DxE released the following statement with respect to this flower-laying and chanting case: “… as we grow up, we are taught to see [animals] as things. We refuse to accept that, and by laying flowers on their bodies, we are trying to help people make the connection between those products and the violence that goes into them.”
But our use of animals as resources will always be violent in its very nature. Treating a sentient being as a resource and thereby denying the moral value of that being, regardless of any treatment concerns, is a form of violence. Our concern should not be with bringing peoples attention the “violence that goes into” the products of exploitation. The exploitation itself is morally wrong regardless of how the animals are treated in the process.
DxE not only fail to mention veganism as the solution to animal exploitation via reducing demand for animal products, they imply that the issue can be solved simply by making a connection between these products and the violence that goes into creating them. But we live in a welfarist society where inflicting death upon “humanely raised” animals is not seen as a form of violence. Animals are not considered to have an interest in their lives and therefore we are not seen is doing any wrong by depriving them of that. It certainly isn’t considered “violence” in any conventional way, and even if it is, it’s considered legitimate violence. Given this context, and given how DxE – led by its brainchild, Wayne Hsiung – considers veganism to be “harmful” to the movement, they merely perpetuate the conventional welfarist notion that we should consider the suffering of animals during the process of using them. They are not reinventing the wheel here, folks. It’s just the same old welfarist mantra with a different tune and chorus.
The pair caught on CCTV, if found, will face charges for “ruining” $1000 worth of animal flesh. Given how animals and their bodies are considered economic commodities, this is to be expected. The real crime here is how DxE, yet again, fail to promote veganism as a moral baseline and instead, promote continued exploitation and traditional welfarism.