Jun 20 2009

Discussion of the terms Abolitionist, Welfarist, and Animal Rights

by Leafy

I’ve just read Roger Yates’ blog post Neo-Welfarist Animal Liberationists where he introduces the term neo-welfare animal liberationists (N-WALs) in an attempt to use something that will be less objectionable to the people who Gary Francione terms new welfarists.

Traditional welfarists are people who care only about the treatment of animals but who support the use of animals for food, entertainment, research and other uses. Francione coined the term “new welfarist” to refer to those animal advocates who would like to see an end to such uses of animals but who believe that incremental welfare reforms will both ultimately lead to that goal and alleviate suffering in the meantime. Francione disagrees with this position and believes it undermines abolitionist efforts by presenting a confusing message, by making people more comfortable about their “humane” use of animals, by legitimizing and further entrenching the institution of animal slavery, and by taking away resources that would be better devoted to vegan education. Francione also argues, from his experience as a lawyer, animal rights theorist and activist, that such reforms do not lead to fewer deaths or substantially better conditions for nonhuman animals. Continue reading