EVEN interview with Jim Mason
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Eugene Veg Education Network (EVEN)
May 2018

EVEN: What advice would you give to a vegan advocate wanting to become more of an activist?

Jim: My advice is to study the sciences of our kinship with the other animals. There shouldnít be a separation from our kindred animals. There is more to this than food choices and avoiding animal products. Study evolution. Study biology. Study our human origins from the other apes. Practice a sense of kinship by seeing behaviors that we share with other animals. For example, watch animals gathering food, grooming themselves, grooming each other, playing, avoiding danger, etc. and see these as your own experiences. Dwell on that - emotionally and spiritually. Feel that sense of the things we have in common with these others.

I think a lot of people see veganism as extreme, as some sort of cult practice. Although, I think this has more to do with the meat-eater mentality than it does with any behavior on the part of vegans. You know, the eye of the beholder...
In my view, the reduction of animals to tools, slaves, and
resources was wrong to begin with and it has been taken much,
much too far by factory farming. By reducing animals, we have
become unable to accept them as fully living beings entitled to
autonomy and respect.


Jim Mason is an author and attorney. His latest book, The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter (co-authored with Peter Singer), explores the ethical questions involved in modern food systems.

Masonís book, An Unnatural Order: The Roots of Our Destruction of Nature (Lantern Books, 2005), traces the making of the ideology of human supremacy. Animal Factories, his 1980 book with Peter Singer, was the first to document in depth how factory farming harms animals, environment, and consumers.). He is a contributor to A Cultural History of Animals and The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies. His writings have appeared in Audubon, The New York Times, New Scientist, Newsday, Country Journal, Orion Nature Quarterly, and other publications. More of his trenchant insight can be experienced in his essays and articles on his webpage, Jim Mason.

Please read the entire interview here (PDF).

Jim Mason

Photo courtesy of: Hattie Buchholz

Jim Masonand family
Photo courtesy of: Hattie Buchholz

Jim Mason's books

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