Violence in speech and using a “movement” to express misanthropy

On LiveVegan today I made a comment about the misanthropy and the “movement”. The following is a slightly edited version.

“It’s sad but true that some people use movements to express their misanthropy. Threatening animal use suppliers or threatening vivisectionists and their children with violence will do *NOTHING* to forward the right of other animals not to be used as property.

Violence is the problem, not the solution.

We need to educate the public to become vegan. The public create demand for animal use. Suppliers may assist a little in creating demand but the public create demand. Therefore, ending demand for animal use = ending the supply of animals and animal products and the way to do that is to address the public’s speciesism through vegan education. It’s really that simple. It’s not a sprint in achieving this goal, it is a marathon. So we need to be patient and remember that veganism will spread exponentially.

99.99% of us were non-vegan at one point in our life. We participated in violence while we were not vegan. We need to realise that abusing non-vegans and calling them “corpse-munchers” and other pejorative terms is not only violence and hypocritical, but it is counter-productive to our cause. Threats of violence might make misanthropists feel good, but it makes the efforts of nonviolent advocates that much more difficult by tainting the public’s view of activists.

We must remember there are many people who want to do the right thing, they just need the right conversation. The public just need to hear a clear consistent vegan message. We must not promote anything less than veganism, because anything less than veganism is violence.”

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If you’re not vegan, please go vegan. It’s easy. It’s better for you, for the planet, and most importantly, it’s the morally right and just thing to do. Not vegan? Please start here http://www.bostonvegan.org

Further reading: On Militant Direct Action

Find it here http://www.uvearchives.wordpress.com

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Updated:

Someone made a comment that they did not think calling someone a “corpse-muncher” was violent speech and this was my response:

It’s usually done with harmful intent, therefore, I would classify it as violence, just as I would classify slander and gossip which is intended to harm others as violence. Moreover, it does nothing at all to advance the cause of veganism. All it does is insult and alienate. Emotional venting might make them feel good, but it’s counter-productive to vegan education. The intent usually never ends with words and it inspires in other’s minds negative feelings towards the targeted person. It also is harmful to the person saying it. Who knows where these thoughts end. Others might disagree but that’s my perception of speech which has harmful intent. Most advocates I’ve ever seen who refer to nonvegans as “corpse-munchers” are usually quite angry people and they  start attacking vegans if one does not agree with their tactics.

I would go as far as to say that calling non-vegans “corpse-munchers” etc is a form of hate speech roughly equivalent to calling someone a faggot or something similar. It’s really a form of depersonalization and demonisation of a class of humans. It’s also a really unhealthy mindset to have.

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