My interview

Interview with Trish Roberts of LiveVegan – Roanoke vegan |
In celebration of World Vegan Month, I will be hosting a collection of interviews with vegan abolitionists from across the globe. I’m excited to have this opportunity to showcase vegan activists and give a face to our beautiful movement. Be sure to check back for regular installments throughout the month of November.
Today’s featured vegan abolitionist is Trish Roberts of LiveVegan. I highly recommend following LiveVegan on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. Trish does a wonderful job of keeping us up to date on activities from other abolitionists and relevant current events and news stories.

Trish, tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Trish Roberts. I’m an abolitionist vegan and I live in Australia. I became vegan overnight after reading some information about the reality of the dairy industry and the associated veal industry, and also upon hearing about the slaughter process of chickens. That was six years ago. Shortly after becoming vegan I started an AR/vegan advocacy group.

It wasn’t until I came across Prof. Gary L. Francione’s work in mid 2009 that I truly clarified my own position. My own education is an ongoing process and through his work, I believe I have become a more effective advocate. I spend much of my time doing vegan education mostly through social networking sites like our page LiveVegan on Facebook, Twitter, LiveVegan vids and podcasts on Youtube, fora, discussions and in everyday life.

I’m vegan because I believe we have no right to eat, wear and use other animals. 56 billion nonhuman animals are tortured and murdered each year for our pleasure. Approximately 1,140,000 sea animals are tortured and murdered every 30 seconds for our pleasure. This is morally unjustifiable and it is unimaginable violence. I’m vegan because I believe in nonviolence and justice; so I cannot in good conscience promote anything less than veganism. I believe veganism is the most important social justice movement today and is the most important form of activism one can engage in.

If I may share a quote by a friend, author of “UVE Archives“) which I agree with wholeheartedly:

[I] am a vegan because after much learning and thought about the issue, I have come to see enslaving, exploiting, or intentionally killing an animal as morally equivalent to enslaving, exploiting, or intentionally killing a child. The only difference is one is socially acceptable and the other is socially unacceptable.

What do you think should be the focus of the non-human animal rights movement?

There are two movements today — the “humane” use movement (all large animal organisations) and the abolitionist movement.

The abolitionist movement is a grassroots political movement and it’s growing every day. Its focus is the abolition of animal use through creative, nonviolent vegan education. Veganism rejects the property status of animals and is a recognition of the moral personhood of nonhuman animals. The abolitionist movement is unique because it has veganism as its moral baseline. Our focus should be not HOW animals are used, but THAT they are used, and the only way to address this terrible injustice is to be vegan and educate the public to be vegan.

What are some of the biggest obstacles to reaching our goals?

One of the biggest obstacles to achieving our goals is the false belief that “humane” use / welfare “reform” will lead to abolition, that welfare is just a different tactic to meet the same objective – abolition. However, welfare and abolition are opposing and incompatible views. Welfare “reform” makes animal exploitation more efficient by reducing production costs; it further enmeshes animals in the property paradigm; it makes people more comfortable about animal use and does little to nothing to reduce the torture of other animals. Animal welfare protects animal interests only to the extent that it provides economic benefits for humans.The reality is there’s no such thing as “humane” use or “humane” murder, and even if there were, it would still be unjust. ALL animal use is abuse. ALL animal use is violence.

Today we have big multi-million dollar animal organisations that are just charities. They are not political. Abolitionists are building a political grassroots movement with veganism as our foundation.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say if you are not vegan, if you believe in justice and nonviolence, please go vegan. It’s easy and it will be one of the most profound and important decisions you will make in your life.

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