We don’t know how long it will take and what the chances to succeed are and neither do you. You will never know until you drop your current conventional activism and start an advanced research.
What both you and we do know, and is demonstrated all over this website, is that if activists continue to work within the conventional movement, the chances to free the animals from human exploitation are practically zero. And the chances to end the suffering are even theoretically zero.
That is all that activists need to know to start their research team. It is extremely complicated, highly demanding, very risky and small chance, but it is also the only option for the suffering to end. And the more activists choose this option the bigger the chances to succeed.
Obviously we realize why our suggestion draws such a skeptical reaction (uncommon and different ideas get much more scrutinized), but we ask you to turn the very same question to the conventional animal right movement that is taken for granted.
Even if you are specifically very talented activists, think how many of those are out there (not in proportions to the importance and urgency of the problem of course) compared with activists who are considering taking such a challenge upon themselves. Think how many conventional activists were along the movement’s history and how little they achieved? Think how much suffering you can reduce if you continue with conventional local activism, compared with a global action to end it entirely.
Nothing can be compared with even the tiniest option for stopping all the suffering. As tiny as the chances are, the movement’s chances of stopping all the suffering are not tiny, they are zero. It’s very difficult to make someone acknowledge that the movement s/he is part of, all the effort that was put in, the life work of so many, is failing. It’s painful to admit that activists rely on small achievements missing the bigger picture and fail to recognize the mechanism. Many honestly believe the state of animals has improved since the movement was formed. It is frightening to think how much animal suffering increased since Animal Liberation was first published. The global pigs flesh production increased 3 times, egg production 4 times and chickens flesh production by more than 5 times.
Since 1975 new exploitation practices have been formed, joining the ones that already existed and constantly expand. Many countries have added exploitations of species who were subjected to commercial exploitation in other countries, and further intensify their exploitation all the time. The prices got cheaper and cheaper and a greater variety of available products was introduced to the market.
Animal consumption is growing rapidly and persistently. The meat consumption per capita has increased in all countries in the world. The world’s total meat supply was 71 million tons in 1961. 50 years later in 2011, it was 294.7 million tons and it is expected to reach about 400 million tons by 2030 and 455 million tons by 2050. And maybe the scariest thing about these terrifying estimations is that they don’t include fishes, an industry that is very often ignored and would more than double the consumption figures.
In the lower-income countries, the meat consumption rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years. The per capita demand in Asia has almost quadrupled since 1975 (with China’s meat per capita consumption quintupling). The “Middle Income” countries have tripled their per capita meat consumption since 1975 and it's now standing on about 50kg per year on average. These countries also hold the highest population growth rate.
In Asia the most populated continent in the world (about 60% of all humans), the consumption of grains as a staple food has declined over the past three decades, especially in the rapidly growing economies of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and China, while consumption of meat (including fishes of course), eggs, and dairy products has increased dramatically.
People in lower-income countries currently consume on average one-third the meat and one-quarter of the milk products per capita compared to the richer countries, but this is changing rapidly. More people everywhere are eating more animal products as soon as their incomes rise above poverty level. The animal rights movement can’t deal with the current enormous amounts of exploited animals around the world, and it will only get worse. In the future many more animals will suffer much more.
The total animal products consumption has almost tripled since Animal Liberation was written. It’s the human population, urbanization, increase in the Gross Domestic Product, global trade agreements, corporations’ interests, the price of commodities and diseases like Avian Influenza and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) that determine the number of exploited animals, not ethics. No point in dreaming of a vegan world when the global course is on the exact opposite.
The world is changing first and foremost because of economic reasons and political interests, not because of moral ideals. Exploitive industries such as Fur, Bears’ Bile and Foie Gras, Cockfights, and Dogfights all still exist and are very popular in spite of the campaigns that the animal rights organizations run against them for decades, and even though most of the public is against them.
And if this is not enough for little and publicly unaccepted industries such as these, when will the chicken industry, which is about 55 billion suffering animals per year industry, ever stop?
When will the last fish be suffocated in the extremely dense fish farms or pulled out of the water? Currently even among the animal liberation movement, fishes aren’t often portrayed as individual victims of human consumption, and you can often hear from activists about the ocean “depletion” problem.
Every year tens of millions more sentient beings are born into a life of suffering. Every day is worse than the one before. Our website is full of facts and figures about suffering in the world, but the worst ones are the mentioned acute per capita increase, and that every second 5 more human babies are born. This world is so horrible that one of the greatest suffering factors is the human birth rate.
It’s time to open your eyes and admit that human society is irrevocably speciesist. So far there is every reason to believe that even within the human race, selfishness and discrimination will never be overcome. Anthropologists have never discovered a human society free of violence, and social psychology findings indicate that elements such as group patriotism, selfishness, obedience, conformism, tendency to discriminate, as well as biases, irrational and irrelevant factors when it comes to moral thinking, are all innate to a great extent.
Conventional advocacy, or, asking the torturers if they are willing to stop torturing, is basically and principally speciesist in itself.
Despite that theoretically activists absolutely oppose humans’ dominance, they practically accept it by asking humans to change their violent ways. They all know what happens every time they fail to convince them.
The partisans didn’t organize an advocacy information stand in the forests to stop the massacre (among themselves activist point out that the animal holocaust is much worse than any human holocaust in history, so how come the norm in the movement is to do so much less than the partisan, and never adopt their tactics?).
The fact that the animal rights activists’ natural tendency and the first and last plan of action, is to explain to humans that their daily torturing of the weaker for their own minor benefits, habits and pleasures is wrong, only shows how deep speciesism runs. The natural tendency should be to stop the suffering in the most deep rooted and fastest way.
Even if many would consider going vegan, and even if all would go vegan, the absolutely delusional option of a vegan world can reverse at some point in the future. And even if it won’t, it is still a very violent one. The chances that the animal liberation movement would stop all the suffering are zero, not only because of the current consumption trends and the extremely depressing forecasts of the future, but because there are so many suffering factors that the movement doesn’t address, and so many suffering factors that the movement can’t even theoretically address. One of the main blind spots is the problems inherent to the solution.
The solution the AR movement is offering - veganism, the one that even in the more progressive parts of the world many activists believe it’s strategically unwise to ask for, is actually a systematic global oppression operation, abusing countless numbers of animals.
The main reason activists hardly ever address this massive black hole is because everything pales next to factory farming, and also because most automatically go on the defensive when meat eaters cynically make this point.
But we are not meat eaters, we are vegans too. We are vegans because it is the least horrible option. But more than we are vegans, we are activists, and as such we are looking for a truly moral solution. Veganism isn’t.
The long list of vegan options you gladly offer those you’re trying to convince to consider stopping their personal part of the torture, is substituting extremely horrible things with much less horrible things. But they are not at all cruelty free options. Plant based diet is cruel. The fact that there are diets that are much crueler doesn’t make it moral.
Apart from the agricultural stage, the manufacture of products that are considered basic vegan food such as soy milk, flour, tofu, bread, oil, tea and etc can include dozens of harmful sub-processes like: Cleaning and removing unwanted parts such as the outer layers, for example separating the beans from the pod, extracting the interior such as seeds, mixing and macerating as in preserved fruits and vegetables, liquefaction and pressing as in fruit juices and soy milk production, fermentation like in soy sauces and tempeh, baking, boiling, broiling, frying, steaming, shipping of a number of ingredients from different distances, wrapping, labeling, packing, transportation of waste and of course the transportation to the stores. All are comfortably invisible as the finished product lies on the shelf.
And don’t get this criticism wrong, it is not about activists’ diets, it is about activists’ activism. We are not criticizing activists for being hypocrite because they cause suffering. We know it is inevitable and that’s the whole point. Even the most caring and compassionate, non-speciesist humans on this planet are bound to participate in a violent system, systematically hurting creatures they wholeheartedly believe they mustn’t. There is no nonviolent option in this world.
Naturally some might raise the gatherer primitivism life, but we are not interested in personal solutions but global ones, and it is theoretically impossible even for a much smaller human population.
And even if it was, remember that for it to be a solution, everyone else must do it as well. Everyone, as in people who eat whatever they want whenever they want, people who don’t consider any ethical issues in their consumption choices, people who drive their SUVs on the way to the gourmet restaurant, all must adopt this lifestyle as well. Do you see foie gras consumers do it? Or even compromise on only local, seasonal, non-wrapped, naturally pollinated fruits? Can you see them even forsake their steaks?
Currently we can’t even make humans give up just meat for just one day of the week while telling them it is for their health and their own children’s future!
Most humans haven’t even made much more basic ethical decisions. There is no magic formula to educate most humans to solve conflicts without violence, to not objectifying each other, to not discriminate each other on the basis of race, gender, ethnical orientation, class, weight, height, looks and etc, it’s even hard to get them to recycle, so what are the odds of convincing them all to become vegans?
Humans prove again and again that their profits, taste preference, convenience, entertainment etc, are much more important to them than morality. Most of them are not even willing to hear the facts and listen to the arguments, not to mention stop financing animal abuse.
The animal rights arguments are so simple and right. They are based on solid facts and evidences. Nobody can confront them rationally. The fact that the arguments are so strong and so well-based but still fail again and again, is the exact thing that should wake you all. Animal rights activists shouldn’t draw strength from their strong arguments but the other way around. When arguments that are so strong and so obvious don’t work there is something wrong with the addressees.
Even when the animal rights movement gives up on the idea of developing care towards nonhuman animals, and turns to anthropocentric and egoistic advocacy such as trying to appeal to humans’ selfish concerns like care for their children’s future, by using “the environmental argument” or care for their own kind using “the hunger argument” or caring for themselves - the hopelessness summit, using “the health argument”, or when they consider humans’ self-centered character and their ethical frailty promoting initiatives such as Meatless Mondays or Veganurary, corporate outreach, and further development of various flesh “alternatives” (all indications of how activists gave up on humans’ care for animals), it doesn’t really change humans as they are too egoistic and self-centered, even for the most anthropocentric and self-involved arguments. Even when the animal rights movement reaches the lowest point it is not enough.
Not only that a vegan world is not possible, even if it was, as unimaginably wonderful as it would be, it is far from a sufferingless world.
Vegan diet is not cruelty free, and it is not because of a specific way a specific product is being produced. It is all the ways that all of the products are produced which is harmful. The list of harms in the plant based diet is endless. Harming is inevitable. For a more complete picture please read Vegan Suffering.
An even bigger blind spot is all the suffering that occurs in what most humans call “nature”, and surprisingly for most activists it represents perfection, an ideal we should aspire to, or something spiritual that we should worship, something that ought to be preserved and never criticized.
But the truth is that nature is where trillions of sentient beings suffer from hunger, thirst, diseases, parasites, injuries, extreme weathers, rape, infanticide, violent dominancy fights, the constant fear of being attacked, actually being attacked, and only rarely from caducity.
Every single second somewhere in the world, defenseless and frightened babies are left alone because their mother has to leave them alone searching for food, a turtle is burned alive as she can’t out run the flames of a fire, a bird’s feet are frozen to a branch since he couldn’t find shelter from the harsh weather, a baboon monkey is in ongoing stress as an higher ranking female takes food out of her mouth and eats it herself, a nestling is thrown off the nest by the other siblings so they can get more food, a coyote is experiencing severe hunger as the rabbit he chased managed to escape instead of being torn apart, a female dolphin is being raped after she couldn’t outswim a male or even a few of them who gang rape her, a badger drags his rotten legs with infectious wounds resulting from constant fights, a zebra is dehydrated but can’t approach the ponds as the lionesses might be on the prowl, a lizard is being slowly devoured by a fungus that spread through the organs, a weak robin chick starves to death because his parents don’t feed him, as it makes more sense energetically to invest in his stronger siblings.
We mustn’t accept suffering just because it happens in what we call nature, and to nonhuman animals by other nonhuman animals. For the sufferers, the suffering is bad when it is considered natural just as much as when it is considered artificial. Our moral obligation to prevent suffering is driven from the fact that suffering is intrinsically bad for those who experience it.
Activists should be obligated to preventing suffering no matter to whom, by whom and where it happens.
When watching suffering of wild animals on the screen, most humans and certainly every animal activist, are dramatically emotionally moved by these horrific scenes. Some rationalize their way out of it by calling it natural and others by claiming it is inventible, failing to infer the moral conclusion out of the situation - when something that horrible is such a natural and inventible part of life, life is horrible. Activists mustn’t rationalize their ways out of horrible situations but act to change them.
Please take the time and read our article about suffering in nature called Non-Speciesist Suffering. Even and especially if you disagree with this argument.
If you would act to change the world the maximum you can theoretically achieve is some more vegans in this world. But if you act to destroy it the maximum you can achieve is a sufferingless world. Isn’t that goal worth devoting your lives for? Can you think of anything better to do with the one life that you have than trying to do everything you can so that if you succeed no one will ever suffer again?
We are not delusional activists. We are well aware of how little the chances to stop all the suffering are. However morally that’s what we aspire for and what we think every activist should aspire for. As long as there is a theoretical chance to stop all the suffering we mustn’t compromise. We must search for ways to do it as hard and complicated as it is, and as long as it takes. Especially since the conventional movement’s chances are not even theoretically optional.
The more activists join this ambitious effort, the greater the chances of the suffering to end.