Animal Reform vs Abolition
Animal reform vs abolition is the most contentious issue in the animal rights community today. I wanted to believe that reform would work, but studying the facts and viewing the issue from this analogy has clarified things for me.
If I was a political prisoner and unjustly condemned to death, I would want my supporters on the outside working to get me released first and foremost. If they could improve my living conditions in the meantime, that would be fine, as long as I knew that their primary and steadfast goal was my release. I would not want anyone or any group celebrating my improved conditions nor would I want them collaborating, in any way, with my executioner. I would want them staying on message with the media and taking EVERY opportunity that presents itself to make it clear, to ad nauseum, that I am an innocent victim, should not be killed and should be released IMMEDIATELY.
I believe we should do no less for the victims of animal agriculture. In my observation, most animal rights groups do not proclaim these animals' innocence and do not speak up for their release in the process of working to improve living conditions. Instead they tout reform (as incremental and insufficient as they are) to the media, leaving off any impassioned plea to go vegan. AR groups garner more supporters and larger endowments with a welfare approach, even as the execution line grows longer.
Any so called welfare "successes" are dubious in face of the unabated climb in meat consumption and the alarming number of vegans and vegetarians jumping on the "happy" meat wagon. Overall, animal suffering, by shear number, is a growing trend!
Perhaps even more importantly is what issues reform does not address. It doesn’t address the enormous health issues (the millions of human deaths every year caused by heart disease, stroke and cancers linked to eating animals), world hunger issues (40,000 people dying from malnutrition or starvation every single day) or the massive environmental problems, related below, to human pursuit of animal protein (on both land and sea).
You may recall the United Nations study "Livestock's Long Shadow" that concludes eating meat is "one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." And it insists that the meat industry "should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity."
Not too many years ago the United Nations Environment Programme released a study involving 1,400 scientists. They said the speed at which mankind has used the Earth’s resources over the past 20 years has put “humanity’s very survival” at risk. The bleak verdict on the environment was issued as an “urgent call for action” and said that the “point of no return” was fast approaching.
Reforming animal abusing and killing industries offers nothing for extending an animals life or for our own salvation. We MUST pursue an abolitionist position quickly and decisively to succeed at both.