Advocating for Animals, part 4
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Advocating for Animals, part 4

Reflecting on whether advocating for animal welfare reforms undermine the goal of animal liberation, I not that some have argued that if conditions of animal exploitation are improved, there will be less incentive to push for animal liberation. I find this argument problematic and flawed.

Sentencing many billions of innocent creatures to horrific abuse every year indefinitely is a huge price for animals to pay today for other animalsí possible liberation in the future. Further, nearly all animals killed for food, skins, experimentation, and other reasons suffer and die far from the public eye. Their suffering would likely have no impact on the public consciousness.

I also think the argument is flawed. If animal liberation were grounded in a conviction that humans do not have the right to harm any creature unnecessarily, then whether animals are mistreated a little or mistreated badly would not matter. Opposing improvements in animal welfare presumes that public support for animal liberation requires severe animal mistreatment. However, if this were the case, animal abuse industries, if ever threatened with the prospect of animal liberation, could simply improve animal welfare and public support for animal liberation would then evaporate.

Abolitionists often object when animal rights groups endorse animal welfare initiatives that fall short of liberation. This, abolitionists assert, confuses the public about the philosophy and goals of animal rights and animal liberation. I will start to explore this concern next week.

Go on to: Advocating for Animals, part 5
Return to: Reflections on the Lectionary, Table of Contents

Return to Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion