Sep 9 2009

Why vegan? In 30 seconds or less

by gunnard

So, I recently started a new job at a church and through the normal ‘getting to know  you’ type stuff, the topic of “why are you a vegan?” obviously comes up a lot.  Usually during meals.  This made me really focus on my “vegan elevator speech” or whatever you want to call it. Basically, a one or two sentence statement that qualifies or explains the reasons why you do what you do.  Mine goes something like this:

God gave man dominion over the animals.  Animals are one of God’s creatures that we are to love and respect.  I do not want to support an industry that tortures and mistreats animals.

There, that’s pretty much a light summary of what I believe.  Of course this is usually followed up by one or two notorious questions:

“So if you don’t eat meat, how do you get protein?”


“So I can understand not wanting to kill an animal, but what about cheese and eggs? Nothing dies for those.”

This is good reinforcement for you as to why you believe in being vegan and also can be used as a chance to spark conversation with people who would never think to consider where their food comes from. Also, for new vegans, this might serve as something to hold on to so that when confronted, you have something to say that will, hopefully, knock their socks off.

So here is my question for you guys:

What is /your/ vegan elevator speech? and what are the most common follow up questions?

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