Reader Jennifer passed me a link to a post she wrote on Animalblawg about a lunch held yesterday by her Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. Two speakers from the HSUS were invited to speak about how meat production contributes to climate change. Good stuff, maybe?
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case:
The speaker’s powerpoint presentation listed three methods of reducing the carbon footprint:
The speaker didn’t discuss the “replace” prong at all. Instead, she advocated organic meat consumption, i.e., “refinement,” extolling its virtues of being less harmful to the environment and containing more nutrients.
The speaker’s powerpoint presentation offered several websites to help the audience find happy, clean meat:
For the “reduce” prong, she suggested the Meatless Monday program as a way to give up meat one day a week, which is “more manageable than going completely vegan.”
And then, get this, they suggested giving subsidies to Brazilian beef producers. What the hell is going on here?
You know, while I don’t necessarily agree with the process behind welfarist thought, I can at least understand that people working via those means honestly believe it’s the best route to ending animal exploitation (someday). But when you have an organization–a supposedly animal-friendly one headed by a vegan–out there not only actively promoting organic meat consumption but perpetuating the myth of veganism as an unmanageable lifestyle change, there’s something seriously wrong. I can’t imagine even the most staunch welfarist arguing that this is the most effective method of helping reduce animal suffering. How does painting veganism as a difficult lifestyle change do anything to further people down the meatless path?
Thanks to Jennifer for writing about this. We need to continually critique the methods those in the movement use so we can keep moving forward and not rely on these limp attempts at encouraging personal change.