by Roland Windsor Vincent
We are continually exhorted to boycott this product or that, urged to refrain from lending financial support to one company or another, warned to vote with our dollars, or our pounds sterling, or our euros.
I, myself, have asked others to participate in boycotts. And like others, I have seen our efforts sputter and fail.
We are trying to impact systemic problems by acting individually.
We individually become vegan. We individually avoid products tested on animals or are made by child laborers. We individually refrain from traveling to ag-gag states or countries that practice bullfighting or consume dogs or permit female circumcision.
Yet all the horrors we are attempting to end are continuing despite our individual actions. We are vegan, but slaughter continues. We don’t buy L’Oreal, but they continue to torture animals. Walmart still buys goods from child labor factories. Koreans still eat dogs, Utah and Iowa still have ag-gag laws. Islamic lunatics still mutilate their little girls. Spain, Mexico, and France, et al, still have bullfighting.
Our failures suggest that the strategies don’t work or that we need to work harder at them. If only there were more of us working on this campaign or that one. If only we worked harder or longer or smarter, we would achieve our goals.
Sometimes we do. But those are the exceptions rather than the rule. The bigger our targeted enemy, the less likely we will prevail. And Big Agriculture, the architect of the greatest horror in recorded history, is as big an enemy as we have. And it is impossible to defeat Big Ag or to end the Animal Holocaust by individual action. Not just unlikely to defeat Big Agriculture, but actually 100% impossible.
The very same strategy was employed years before the Civil War to attempt to end human slavery. Abolitionists thought that by boycotting goods that were the produced using slave labor they could bring the slaveholding economies to their knees.
Didn’t work. Just as being vegan doesn’t work to end slaughter.
Abolitionists abandoned the boycott of goods and turned their efforts toward institutional solutions to the institutional problem of slavery, including political action; riots; promoting, authorizing, and funding the Civil War. The institution of government is the ultimate arbiter of institutional solutions.
We vegans would hardly return to consuming our fellow Earthlings, as veganism for us is a moral imperative. But as a tool to end the Animal Holocaust it is a completely ineffective exercise.
Instead of hoping to convince one consumer at a time of the cruelty of eating and wearing animals (the individual solution), we must adopt strategies to bring about institutional solutions to the institutionalized exploitation and murder of animals.
While the individual approach is preferable to doing-nothing-at-all, it actually neutralizes activists. Convinced that not eating meat or boycotting companies is a viable strategy, activists are taken out of the struggle by not engaging in tactics that could result in success, or some measure thereof.
Veganism, like the Abolitionists refraining from buying or using slavery-produced goods, is economically incapable of making an impact on the production of animal products.
The most obvious reason is that a growing population is demanding ever-increasing numbers of animal corpses. But even if the population were static or decreasing, animals will continue to be consumed so long as their murders are legal and government is disposed to allow implementation of the horror.
Removing oneself from the marketplace does not mean the marketplace disappears. Many of us refrain from buying or viewing pornography. But such conduct has absolutely no influence on persons who wish to view and purchase it, nor upon the producers who place pornography into the stream of commerce.
Similarly, refusing to eat meat does nothing except to cause Big Ag to divert the corpses one does not consume to other applications. Animals are not saved in the process. They don’t get set free or live out their lives in peace. They are still brutally murdered, but their corpses become animal feed, or are rendered for cosmetics, or are turned into fertilizer.
Every animal in the system is guaranteed to die a horrible, painful death, in terror as they await the knives and the bolt guns.
Just as every slave in bondage would continue to be a slave, whatever the purchasers or non-purchasers of the products of their labors did or did not do.
Only by disassembling the system did slavery end.
The fight to end the Animal Holocaust will require as much to succeed.
Animal activists must become radicalized and organized. We must act in as close to unison as possible. We must vote as a bloc. We must agitate as a solid wall of opposition to whatever horrors we confront. We must pursue strategies that will succeed, or have a reasonable chance of success. We must recruit. We must educate. And we must educate ourselves.
We must be revolutionaries, ready and willing to topple the fascist state when the opportunity arises.
Until then we must be a united, vehement, consistent and effective political force.
Our primary objective should be to defeat conservatives.
Any conservatives. For any office. Anywhere. And everywhere.
Conservatives are the mouthpieces for capitalism, the enablers of cruelty by Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Oil, the chemical industry, the US military, puppy mills, zoos, and circuses.
Conservatives (all Republicans and many Democrats) are bribed by lobbyists working for their corporate bosses with cash they call “campaign contributions.” But which are nothing but legalized bribery, allowed by laws passed by those very same scumbag conservative politicians.
In vegan outreach, our goal should be to recruit comrades and radicals, not vegans. Being vegan is a wonderful statement, but it is not action. Being vegan will not change the world. Becoming a revolutionary might help change the world.
History will demonstrate that vegans did no more to end slaughter than the Abolitionist boycotters did to end slavery.
Hopefully, history will show that vegan revolutionaries sparked the political revolution that ended the Animal Holocaust. Just as the Abolitionists brought about the end of slavery.
Institutionalized horrors falling before institutionalized justice.