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 all the animals from every human exploitation are practically zero.
It is extremely complicated, highly demanding, very risky, and has 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 a very talented activist, 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 of ending human tyranny, and for good. As tiny as the chances are, conventional activism’s chances to ever accomplishing that 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 more species to the list of "exploitable animals" (ones who weren’t subjected to commercial exploitation in these regions before), 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. 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, meat consumption rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years. 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 of 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 quintupled since Animal Liberation was written. It’s human population, urbanization, increase in the Gross Domestic Product, global trade agreements, corporations’ interests, the price of commodities, and diseases, 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 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 flesh 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 often aren’t portrayed as individual victims of human consumption, and activists frequently adopt the ocean "depletion" problem rhetoric.
Every year, additional tens of millions of 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.
Among themselves, activists point out that the animal holocaust is much worse than any human holocaust in history, however, the partisan fighters in the second world war didn’t organize leafleting events to stop the massacre.
Arguing that advocacy (the so called non-violent approach) is not really violent-tolerating and speciesist since activists have no other options other than asking the abusers to stop abusing is false. There are other options (this whole website is advocating for one), and also, activists are not choosing "non-violent" advocacy after a thorough examination of other possibilities. Unfortunately, it is self-evident that what must be done facing the greatest horror in history is to inform the abusers about what they are responsible for.
Animal liberation 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, and that in itself is wrong, violent and speciesist. It indicates how human oriented the moral scope is, and how bounded the discussion is.
It is crucial to emphasis that the point of this argument isn’t that activists are actually violence supporters and speciesist because they don’t kill meat eaters, but that they are if they don’t think they morally ought to.
We are not arguing that if you practically don’t kill every human who wasn’t convinced to stop consuming animals you are a speciesist. We are arguing that if you don’t think that theoretically you must stop (by whatever means necessary) every human who wasn’t convinced to stop consuming animals you are a speciesist, since that human is going to keep abusing.
The last thing we want is that the most caring, dedicated and non-speciesist activists would spend their precious time in jail, unable to help any animal, after killing a human who refused to go vegan. Obviously our goal is not sporadic killings, but that the human annihilation option becomes an acknowledged activism option. Our hope is that it would become activists’ first option. In fact, it must. When faced with the historical, systematical and inherent human dominion over nonhumans, stopping all humans from causing all their harms for good, is what should be our goal, and thinking how we can do that is where we must start. Advocacy, today's go-to option, must be realized for what it is – an extreme compromise at animals’ expense.
Advocacy shouldn’t be the obvious starting point. You start by aiming for the best, most radical option and only if it turns out to be irrelevant should you turn to such a desperate compromise as working towards a world with as many vegans as possible.
And even if many consider going vegan, and even if all go vegan, the absolutely delusional option of a vegan world can be reversed at some point in the future. And even if it won’t, this world would still be 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 probably can’t even theoretically address.
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 in 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 plant 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 these stages are 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 real 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 a gourmet restaurant - all must adopt this lifestyle as well. Do you think foie gras consumers would do it? Or even compromise on only local, seasonal, non-wrapped, naturally pollinated produce? Can you imagine them even forsaking their steaks?
Currently we can’t even make humans give up only meat for just one day of the week while telling them it is for their own personal 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 objectify each other, to not discriminate each other on the basis of race, gender, ethnical orientation, class, weight, height, looks and etc., so what are the odds of convincing them all to become vegans?
Humans prove again and again that their profits, taste preference, convenience, entertainment and 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.
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 by using "the hunger argument", or care for themselves by using "the health argument" (the hopelessness summit) - it doesn’t really change humans, as they are too egoistic and self-centered. Even the most anthropocentric and self-involved arguments are failing.
Even when activists consider humans’ self-centered character and their ethical frailty and promote 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 lead to any real change. Even when the animal rights movement reaches the lowest point it is not enough.
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.
Not only that a vegan world is not possible, even if it were, 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.
If you act to change humans the maximum you can theoretically achieve is more vegans. But if you act to annihilate humanity, the maximum you can achieve is the termination of the incomparably most oppressive, violent, and harmful species in the history of this planet. Isn’t that goal worth devoting your life 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 human tyranny would end for good?
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.