Dogs, cats, and single issue campaigns

A vegan on Facebook kindly contacted me privately today suggesting I take a look at a site which promotes rights for dogs and cats. This is my edited response to him.
Thanks for sharing this link, but as much as Nathan Winograd tries to promote the rights of cats and dogs, I don’t believe he promotes veganism to end the property status of animals, does he? And while he doesn’t promote veganism, he is just putting band-aids on a haemorrhaging wound.

While animals are legally property, it will not matter what laws are introduced for dogs and cats (or any animal). Laws and bans will always be overturned or abused or there will be loopholes in the law that humans will exploit because human interest will always trump the interests of nonhumans. The same problems arise with any law regarding any species.  There will be no lasting change or any effective ban while animals are still legally property. And with free trade as it is today, bans are useless because animal use industries will just move to another country where the “welfare” laws are poorer and more lax.

The problem with single issue campaigns (SIC) is that SICs highlight and fetishize one species over another. SICs say to the public that — in this case — cats and dogs are more important than other animals. SICs say that one form of animal use is worse than other forms. This is not true. All are equally morally problematic. There are many non-vegans who would do anything for cats and dogs but discount the interests of pigs, sheep, cows and so on. So vegans should avoid promoting single issue campaigns. We need to promote veganism instead which includes all animals. We need to promote the adoption of animals in shelters as well as supporting “trap neuter and return” campaigns etc.

The important point I’m trying to make is that we need to end domestication of nonhumans and end the property status of animals through creative, nonviolent vegan education — not through speciesist single issue campaigns— thereby ending not only the millions of healthy animals who are killed each year in “shelters” worldwide and abused and killed each year by humans. but all torture and murder of all animals from all species.


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