Saturday, July 21, 2012

Human Rights before Animal Rights

So, I've seen a few people say that they would rather focus on Human Rights issues, and solve those, before working on Animal Rights issues (and even thinking about going vegan, it seems). This position confuses me.

Humans are animals, so in theory, human rights = animal rights. As a vegan, I am opposed to violence towards *all* animals, including humans.

Being vegan doesn't mean you have to automatically care more about non-humans than you do humans. It is simply a rejection of violence. All violence.

Right now, people in developing countries are starving to death because they don't have enough food. At the same time, tons of grain, corn and soy are being taken from those same malnourished countries to feed to livestock in wealthier countries. No matter how much food we donate to the hungry, the problem will still remain because the cause is still there and it will stay there as long as there is a demand for it. World hunger is another thing that has to be abolished, and the solution isn't to farm more animals to try to feed them all a meaty western diet (that will just increase the problem, and by the time we have enough farms to feed every human, if that could happen, the Earth would be so damaged that we couldn't live here anymore), the solution is to be vegan and to stop supporting an industry not only of great violence towards non-humans, but that wrongfully takes food that could be fed to humans and feeds it to their "profit machines".

Someone once asked if I was saying to take the food to feed to humans and let the other animals starve. To be clear: no, I am not suggesting that. There's enough grass for everyone ;)

In conclusion, being vegan is about respecting the rights of *all* sentient beings, and that includes humans. Being vegan doesn't mean you have to stop caring about and campaigning for human rights issues, and it doesn't mean caring about only non-humans. In order for us to live non-violently, we must reject discrimination in all forms. I encourage you to go vegan, if you're not vegan already, and advocate for veganism as a voice for all animals, both human and non.


  1. > Someone once asked if I was saying to take the food to feed to humans and let the other animals starve

    What I love about vegan advocacy: You get to hear this kind of priceless nonsense from otherwise really smart people :-)

  2. I usually say how wonderful it is that they're doing so much for human rights. Is there a petition they would like me to sign for any particular human rights issue? And wonder why they think that they would be less able to continue their marvellous work if they were vegan.

    Both questions seem to floor them.