After more than two years of offering biweekly reflections on our movement, the time has come for me to transition to the writing of the long-anticipated documentary of my journey from the Holocaust to the struggle for animal rights. This last installment offers a directory of past essays that hopefully have been and should continue to be helpful.
Why We Oppress
This first set of essays featured here outlines the history of our abuse of animals from ancient times to the modern era. It marvels at the social disconnect between animals we call pets and animals we call food. It notes some analogies between our massive slaughter of animals for food and the Holocaust of World War II, including the responsibility for and actualization of the killing process.
How Did We Get Here?
Next, we get into the history of the animal protection movement, with special emphasis on our own work to protect the rights of animals raised for food since 1975. We offer biographical sketches of four of our movement’s pioneers, as well as a couple of amusing blasts from the past.
03. But, Can They Suffer?
04. Don’t Eat the Animals
26. My Animal Rights Hall of Fame
39. Holocaust Survivors Launch a Movement
43. Discomforting the USDA
46. Honoring Our Founders: Cleveland Amory
51. Honoring Our Pioneers: Henry Spira
53. Honoring our Pioneers: Tom Regan
57. Honoring Our Pioneers: Peter Singer
61. Fighting for Farmed Animals Since 1975
Growing Personal Activism
These five essays address the role and growth of personal activism, including getting rid of fears and inhibitions, getting things done, communicating constructively, and contributing to our movement. We trace the growth of our movement from grassroots volunteerism to institutional professionalism.
Growing Our Movement
A dozen essays deal with various aspects of our own movement, including the several concepts of veganism and animal rights, the role of publications, conferences, and massive events in defining and shaping our movement, and the skills needed in launching and managing effective organizations. We also tackle future challenges, opportunities and threats to our movement.
09. Who’s a Vegan?
10. Animal Rights or Animal Lives?
22. On Leading and Managing
24. Our Conferences Shape Our Movements
25. Do’s & Don’ts of Planning Conferences
27. Relating to Other Movements
37. Animal Rights in 2020 Hindsight
38. Our Challenges for the ’20s
45. Fighting Vivisection
47. What Has Brought Us Together
48. What Tears Us Apart
49. Our Intersectional Quandary
50. Struggling with Ethics and Solidarity
Winning Hearts and Minds
The largest number of essays address the most important aspect of our movement, namely vegan and animal rights advocacy. Topics here include the nature of social change, how people make choices, the art of effective advocacy, as well as the power of language, rhetoric, letters to editor, and street activities in bringing about desired social change.
14. Vegan World and Social Change
15. Winning Hearts and Minds
16. Power of Language and Rhetoric
17. Power of Letters
19. The Enigma of Choice
31. Bearing Witness
32. Electing for Animals
36. Why and How to Engage Abroad
42. MeatOut – A Global Success Story
44. Celebrating Vegan Earth Day
52. Direct Action for Animals
56. Memorializing Farmed Animals
58. The Art of Vegan Advocacy
60. Save the Turkeys!
62. Advocating in the Streets
A Closing Note
Most people have a natural affinity for animals. The first toys they handled were animal replicas. The first stories that engaged them emotionally involved animal characters. Their family dog gave them unconditional love even as their own siblings made their lives miserable.
At some point, one of their parents, the source of all authority, explained that the dog on their couch was to be loved and cared for, while the pig on their plate was to be abused and killed. This would be their first clue that society sanctions life-threatening discrimination between similar sentient beings. This would become their introduction to all social discrimination and oppression.
Still, there is general agreement that the phenomenal growth of the plant-based and cultivated meat and dairy products industry may well lead to a massive reduction in the national use of animals for food. People will be much more likely to reclaim their natural affinity for animals and the notion of animal rights when we don’t insist that they change their lifestyle at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The growing popularity of animal-free foods offers more useful tools for vegan advocacy than ever. Animal rights advocacy can not be far behind. Indeed, our role is now more important than ever.
The views expressed here are of the author and do not necessarily
represent the views of the Farm Animal Rights Movement