Journal Entry

Rethinking Donations
Mon 5 Feb 2007

The new year membership drives for all the non-profits have begun, and I've gotten requests in the mail from all my usual suspects. I have given money to PETA and the Humane Society faithfully for many years... But lately I've been wondering if I should continue.

I have been reading up on the Welfare vs Rights conflict... "Welfare" being "we can use animals but only if we are nice to them." "Rights" being "animals have their own interests and we should not use them for anything."

Animal Rights people wonder if we should support animal welfare. Some say "yes" in order to help the animals that are being used today. Some say "no" because we are wasting our time/money on something we think is wrong in the first place.

An example: Organizations gather money to help pass laws that ban pig gestation crates. These "crates" are so small that momma pig literally cannot move around. Do animal rights people support the passing of such laws? "Yes," to make breeding/food animals more comfortable during their life or "No," because the pigs shouldn't be used for breeding/food.

I am animal rights, but I supported animal welfare... (The HSUS is a welfare organization with a few rights programs and PETA is overtly a rights organization but it's welfare programs are increasingly hard to ignore.) While I think it's wrong to use animals for food, I think that the individual life of each farmed animal is important and we should do everything we can to make their life better. Like the HSUS, my thinking is a mixing of "rights" and "welfare".

Reading Gary Francione's blog posts at Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach got me wondering. Specifically, Veganism: The Fundamental Principle of the Abolitionist Movement and the follow-up Animals as Property and the Rape Analogy: A Postscript

The individual life is important. But there are many people who support welfare... both the HSUS and PETA are multi-million dollar orgs. Most people morally support welfare. So maybe I need to set my sights a little higher!

I am no longer going to support welfare programs. I think it's wrong that we torture and kill animals... And I think it's still wrong that we not-torture-quite-as-much-before-we-kill animals.

So, who am I going to support? There's a farm sanctuary in my state. They directly help animals. My local humane society is no-kill (altho our city is not). It's a start.


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