From Sow Stalls to Battery Cages to local slaughter rather than overseas slaughter. I've seen many vegans supporting or promoting better treatment for enslaved animals. And every time I see this, I wonder; Why?
Ok, so less torture is always better. Being killed instantly by a gun is better than having your throat slit and bleeding to death. Doesn't mean it's right. These campaigns are basically saying "It's okay to use other animals for our selfish purposes, so long as it's done 'humanely'". I can understand why animal welfare groups advocate for these campaigns. The public is happy because they're buying "with compassion", the exploiters are happy because more people are buying their "free-range" products, and the welfare organisations rake in a whole lot of money from both non-vegan and vegan supporters of their campaigns. The only losers are the animals.
The thing I can't quite understand are vegans who support these campaigns. I know we all feel helpless sometimes and want to make a difference for animals NOW, but it's not going to help them much if more welfare laws come into place. I mean, we've had animal welfare for 200 years now, and more animals are suffering than ever before.
The only way we can help animals is by going vegan and educating others about veganism. It's speciesist to say that anything less than veganism is morally acceptable. Would we advocate for "humane" rape? Or for better treatment of enslaved humans?
But what about the people who say they'll never be vegan? Isn't it better for them to consume free-range animal products than not change at all? Well, that decision's up to them, but don't encourage it. Make it clear that it won't help the animals, it won't stop them from losing their children, being exploited, or being murdered at a young age. Maybe that person won't change straight away, but a few years down the line, they might have a re-think about it and decide to make the change. But if they're encouraged to consume free-range, and they believe that they're doing something good for animals, odds are they won't change, not until someone stands up and tells them that actually, consuming these "happy" animal products are really not helping any animals.
We wouldn't encourage a mass-murderer, who doesn't think he can completely give up murdering humans, to murder them "nicely". No, that doesn't acknowledge the fact that any murder of a human is wrong. If so-called "Human Rights" activists said that it's alright for him to murder a human, provided it's done "humanely", of course he's going to continue doing it. It's insane when you think about it in human context, so why is it different when it comes to non-humans?
If you want to help animals, go out and educate others about veganism! And if you want to do something now to help animals, adopt a homeless animal, volunteer at a shelter, and/or encourage others to adopt, there are millions out there who need loving homes right now.
Be an unequivocal voice for those who can't speak for themselves. Always remember the victims when doing vegan advocacy. If someone says they'll never go vegan, then just move on to the next person, but don't compromise your message. Be a clear, consistent voice for all animals.