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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-03-2011 01:07 PM
Indian Summer
Quote:
Originally Posted by epski View Post

I was fairly stunned that Randy's post of my little video interview generated 5 pages, and then I saw that it turned into a discussion where 90% of the posts had nothing to do with the video itself. Back when I was a moderator here, I think we would have called those off-topic and split them all off into a "Gary Francione" thread, or something like that. Does VB still use a moderator system? I confess to not visiting as often as I used to. I'm kinda disappointed that the anti-Francionists were allowed to hijack this thread so blatantly.

Indeed we are still moderating. I think we may have become a little more hands-off in our approach since you were a moderator though. VB has perhaps grown a bit in size so we can't scrutinise every thread. Or maybe it's just that the mod team is lazier

Quote:
If y'all want to discuss Francione's ideas, I'd be happy to do that elsewhere.

Feel free to start a new thread if you want. I think the fact that you would be participating is significant enough to warrant a whole new thread.

I personally thought the interview was really interesting, and although I don't agree with the hardcore abolitionist approach I did think he made a very good case for his point of view. Well done!
05-03-2011 12:46 PM
Nishani
Quote:
Originally Posted by epski View Post

I was fairly stunned that Randy's post of my little video interview generated 5 pages, and then I saw that it turned into a discussion where 90% of the posts had nothing to do with the video itself.

Ha ha, you're so typically "LA" in that you expected this to be talking about you and your film-making rather than what Francione had to say.
05-02-2011 08:33 PM
epski BTW, if a separate GLF discussion/debate thread does open up, please also email so that I may participate. I'd love to reply to all the correct and incorrect or misleading statements that have been made in this thread, but I'm not keen on contributing to the disrespect of Randy's original post.
05-02-2011 08:30 PM
epski I was fairly stunned that Randy's post of my little video interview generated 5 pages, and then I saw that it turned into a discussion where 90% of the posts had nothing to do with the video itself. Back when I was a moderator here, I think we would have called those off-topic and split them all off into a "Gary Francione" thread, or something like that. Does VB still use a moderator system? I confess to not visiting as often as I used to. I'm kinda disappointed that the anti-Francionists were allowed to hijack this thread so blatantly.

If y'all want to discuss Francione's ideas, I'd be happy to do that elsewhere. I've spent a lot of time with the guy and saw a lot of misinformation in this thread that I could put to rest (for example, he endorses and promotes my organization's full-color pamphlet, which includes photos and everything... of course Elaine ran it through a literacy screener and didn't approve of the results, but I'd be happy to discuss that elsewhere, too). This reminds me: My group is also bringing him up to Boston this weekend for a lecture at the Old South Meeting House on Saturday evening and a guest visit to our monthly meeting the following day. If you can get to this event, you are invited, it is free, and it will be well worth attending. Feel free to email me at [email protected] for details.

Aaanyway. I do appreciate the kind words and excitement about the work that were interspersed throughout. Randy, thanks for sharing this here. I haven't had time to post this latest video to all the forums, so that was a big help. One important thing, though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderRandy View Post

Epski traveled across the country interviewing people for the film. I can't wait to see it all come together!

Something I seem to have done somehow, because I address this a lot, is create the impression that there is going to be a feature-length documentary called "I'm Vegan". At one time I was considering making a feature film (tentatively titled American Vegan) alongside I'm Vegan, but that never panned out. I'm Vegan was enough for me to take on as a producer/director traveling N. America for 8 weeks and interviewing over 70 people!

So, I hope no one is let down and that many of you enjoy all the actual (short) documentary profiles as they are released in a sort of "webisode" format. I think the first five (plus outtake) turned out pretty well, and I'm glad that the number of views continues to climb, and now this interview with Gary Francione has reached a lot of people fairly quickly. As you can see, Professor Francione is more a straight-up interview than the sort of profile I envisioned for this project. I have others like that, too, though mostly with sanctuary directors and vegan businesses. I hope to edit and post some of those over the next year along with future profiles of every N. American vegans.

Please, please, please, share the links widely, embed the videos on your blogs and Facebook walls. Especially get the non-vegans in your life to watch them!

iTunes (as a podcast)
http://vimeo.com/23001319
http://www.youtube.com/user/vegandocumentary
http://www.vegandocumentary.com/?page_id=51
http://facebook.com/imvegan




Thanks for your support.
05-01-2011 02:22 PM
sequoia Can't we all just agree that academics like Francione AND people who leaflet are important to the movement? I know that among my friends and I (before we went veg), Francione's work was more persuasive than a Vegan Outreach leaflet. But I know that for others, the Vegan Outreach leaflet is what persuaded them to go vegan. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, people! We are all working to fight animal oppression, and a diversity of tactics is required.
05-01-2011 02:10 PM
sequoia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

I didn't know that Ingrid Newkirk was the person who first introduced Gary Francione to veganism. And now she is his archenemy.

In any case, I think the very fact that Ingrid Newkirk would think it was a good idea to trash the food in a refrigerator when a guest in someone's home, is indicative of the personality type which later allowed her to think that all her campaigns and publicity stunts are a good idea.

It is amazing the difference good or bad leadership can make in a social movement. We have seen what can be accomplished by leaders like Martin Luther King at one end of the spectrum, and we have now seen what can be accomplished by the likes of Ingrid Newkirk on the other.

Well, at least she is not killing puppies and kittens.

Oh wait...

Oh snap...
05-01-2011 02:04 PM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

To the best of my knowledge.

Actually, in the very video that is at the beginning of this thread, he first mentions the "striking conversations" bit, but then he talks about getting "literature" from "vegan, abolitionist" groups, and (if I remember correctly) talks about handing them to people, and going to schools.

How many groups actually meet his criteria for a vegan, abolitionist group is another matter of course, but I would not represent his view to be that talking in airplanes is the only avenue for activism.
05-01-2011 01:57 PM
Dave in MPLS My personal experience is that Francione does more than he is often gets credit for. Or did at least, given that experience isn't all that recent.

In '91 he came to the University of Minnesota and gave a talk to law students. He also spoke informally with the head of animal research oversight at the U on behalf of Minneapolis' Animal Rights Coalition. I was one of the ARC members involved in helping him navigate around campus and sat in on both. Francione struck me as a 'decent guy'. FWIW.

In '93? '94? Somewhere in there I attended a conference at the Rutgers campus he teaches at. Yes it was aimed at folks who were already active, but it wasn't really 'preaching to the converted'. The focus was on the how, not the why.

Yes, I disagree with Francione on some fairly basic concepts. But honorable people can honorably disagree. I have more trouble with some of his 'fans'.
05-01-2011 11:56 AM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

That's just weird. You must be hanging out with very interesting people, if they were willing to say that they are entitled to use animals any way they want: including those cases that get you arrested on animal cruelty charges. That must mean they have no moral regard even for the law, then, because some uses of animals break it.

Modern Western culture, in relation to other species, makes distinctions between acceptable and unacceptable animal use, and frames that difference in terms of "unnecessary suffering". That distinction is an entirely arbitrary one, and the 'unnecessary' pretty much meaningless, but that is really Francione's point.

I do hang out with very interesting people, yes. But what I should have written -- and thought was understood -- is that a person will believe himself entitled to use animals in any way he deems fit. I didn't say he'd grant that entitlement to everyone else, to dogfighters for example. I intentionally used examples of needless torment that are within the bounds of what our culture does tolerate.

If the words "unnecessary" and "needless" are too arbitrary to be meaningful, that does not help Francione's point at all; that actually fights his point, which is what I thought Elaine was getting at. Francione says most individuals don't believe in inflicting needless harm on animals, and that if they accept the premise that it is wrong to do so, logic will bring them to the point of considering veganism. But if those people are meat-eaters, as most of them are, they probably consider meat a needful component of a healthy, balanced diet. If they believe that, then to them eating meat is not inflicting needless death and suffering for purposes of pleasure, convenience or amusement. They believe they are doing it to fulfill their own and their families' nutritional needs. In my (American) culture, the phrase "putting meat on the table" is synonymous with "supporting the family." It is seen as an obligation, which is way outside the Francione-described realm of pleasure, convenience or amusement. Francione's logic is not the logic of his culture, and will not carry most people to his conclusion.

From what I have seen, I believe people in general would fear having to do without the sustenance they get from their meat. When challenged, they seem to fear the prospect of malnutrition far more than they fear what an excess of animal fat is doing to their bodies. I do not find people easily dissuaded from their beliefs about needing meat, even if they will concede that they probably eat far more meat than is good for them. There is conflicting information about the health benefits of veganism, especially when compared to a mostly plant-based diet that includes moderate amounts of fish and lean meat. And in the presence of conflicting information, it is human nature to be more receptive to what validates what we are already doing, and to reject what suggests we should do something else instead. That is an extremely difficult resistance to overcome. People tend to resist change except in the face of necessity. And they tend to downplay necessity except in the face of an obvious crisis. This is why I believe that nothing short of widespread, catastrophic foodborne illness will effect a meaningful change in the way people regard their relationship to meat. If I'm right about that, the most effective leaftlets would probably beat the drum on avian/swine flu, fecal matter in ground beef, the relationship between Mad Cow disease and mechanical processes for separating meat from bones, and the antibiotic-resistant microbes rampant throughout the entire meat supply.
05-01-2011 11:54 AM
Eugene
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

I agree Somebody, I enjoyed the video, and also enjoyed all he had uploaded to his Youtube channel. "'let's slam Gray Francione", Sigh.


Hey, I enjoyed the video too. And again, I am not "bashing" Garry, but even if I were, this would hardly require a separate thread. Whenever you have show a video about an individual like Gary, some discussion is bound to happen.
05-01-2011 11:51 AM
Eugene
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

I agree, he is pretty much doing EVERYTHING but leaflet, how is this a negative at all? If anything, your five points make up for leafleting IMHO.


It's not negative. It is just, for the most part, preaching to the converted. Kind of like AR conferences and veggieboards.
05-01-2011 11:45 AM
Eugene
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

His advice for other people is simply to strike up conversations in airplanes and nothing else?


To the best of my knowledge.
05-01-2011 10:49 AM
KrisMTL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Sir Euge,

from what I can gather from his interviews and site, his approach to promoting veganism consists of:
-holding AR-themed university courses and influencing his students
-writing books about AR and veganism
-maintaining a website and podcast promoting AR and veganism, and also using social media (Twitter, Facebook etc.) for this purpose
-striking up conversations about veganism (which you mentioned)
-participating in interviews all over the media and across different countries, promoting AR and veganism

What he doesn't seem to do is leaflet, that is correct. However, I am glad when anyone is doing even the things mentioned above.

I agree, he is pretty much doing EVERYTHING but leaflet, how is this a negative at all? If anything, your five points make up for leafleting IMHO.
05-01-2011 10:48 AM
KrisMTL
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

Sure is nice to see a tribute to Eric Prescott's work turning into a 'let's slam Gray Francione" pissing contest.


Statistics are no substitute for logic or reason.

I agree Somebody, I enjoyed the video, and also enjoyed all he had uploaded to his Youtube channel. "'let's slam Gray Francione", Sigh.
05-01-2011 10:45 AM
Sevenseas His advice for other people is simply to strike up conversations in airplanes and nothing else?
05-01-2011 10:40 AM
Eugene I am referring to what his advice is for other activists to do. The stuff he does (teaching university courses, writing books, etc.) is not a form of activism which most people are going to be able to engage in.
05-01-2011 10:31 AM
Sevenseas Sir Euge,

from what I can gather from his interviews and site, his approach to promoting veganism consists of:
-holding AR-themed university courses and influencing his students
-writing books about AR and veganism
-maintaining a website and podcast promoting AR and veganism, and also using social media (Twitter, Facebook etc.) for this purpose
-striking up conversations about veganism (which you mentioned)
-participating in interviews all over the media and across different countries, promoting AR and veganism

What he doesn't seem to do is leaflet, that is correct. However, I am glad when anyone is doing even the things mentioned above.
05-01-2011 09:00 AM
Eugene Sevenseas and SomebodyElse,

I think you misunderstand my intentions. I was not "bashing" Gary Francione. In fact, I have been gradually gravitating more and more towards his ideas over the past few years. I still disagree with him on a few key points, but I think there is a lot of truth to what he says.

My criticism of him here in this thread is not regarding the validity of his ideas, but regarding how he goes about implementing his ideas, as these are not techniques which would reach a mass audience, and there are far more effective ways of doing this.

Essentially, his approach to promoting veganism is to strike up conversations with people. For example, start a conversation while sitting next to someone on an airplane, while waiting in a veterinary office, etc. Then, Gary's advice is that only after you have had the conversation with them do you hand them a pamphlet, and not before (which I think is clearly a mistake). And yes, Gary Francione is a horrible pamphlet designer, or at least whoever made his pamphlet is.


But, some of Gary Francione's critiques of Vegan Outreach's views can be seen in the beginning of the following clip, and I actually happen to agree with him on this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsX5VXN67gQ
04-30-2011 09:59 PM
Dave in MPLS That dog is cute.

You may now continue
04-30-2011 08:25 PM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Sigh. This is why I added the period.

That doesn't really help much.

If X criticizes PETA's ads and campaigns of sexism, it could then be technically correct to state: "X discourages AR ads and campaigns that are effective. They are effective because they include humor, use photos and try to appeal to the average person, etc." But it would be misleading.

A less misleading way to state the point about Vegan Outreach would be: "Francione criticizes Vegan Outreach and their leaflets. However, many of those leaflets are very effective in making people vegan."

Quote:
Worse, you've carefully omitted the most important thing: The leaflets that Francione discourages focus on the acts that help animals most rather than on beliefs. That is, the VO leaflets are pragmatic and call for a change in behavior rather than an allegiance to an ideology.

Your distinction between acts and choices on the one hand, and ethical beliefs on the other, seems like a false one. In the text of a leaflet, you can communicate both an idea of animal rights (animals are individuals and have inherent worth, they should not be treated as objects etc.) and how to implement that idea in practice in your everyday life, including by making delicious vegan meals.

It is possible to avoid some of the things Vegan Outreach can be criticized of -- such as only framing issues in terms of cruelty and suffering -- without making the leaflets into philosophical treatises with no photos or practical suggestions.

Quote:
I added the points about photos and food because they suggest that Francione created his pamphlet the way he did because he isn't very interested in making an effective pamphlet. If he were interested in creating an effective pamphlet, then he would simplify the language, add photos, and add food suggestions. But he hasn't done that.

So, let's say he's a crappy pamphlet-designer. That doesn't really make him into this strawman who forbids leaflets from including any of the things that make them effective.
04-30-2011 07:57 PM
ElaineV
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

Statistics are no substitute for logic or reason.

How about intuition? Intuition is what Francione's theory is based on, not logic and reason. Despite evidence - and logic - to the contrary, Francione continues to prmote the idea that welfare reforms are bad for animals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

1. Francione criticizes Vegan Outreach.
2. Vegan Outreach has leaflets which include photos and food suggestions etc.

From those two premises, what follows is that Francione may or may not discourage some of Vegan Outreach's leaflets, not that he discourages in general leaflets with photos and food suggestions. Leafletting extends beyond Vegan Outreach. People outside the United States leaflet too. With photos and food suggestions.

Sigh. This is why I added the period. The two statements are not meant to be related in that way. The word "because" relates to why the leaflets are effective, not why Francione discourages them. You're drawing inferences where there are none.
Worse, you've carefully omitted the most important thing: The leaflets that Francione discourages focus on the acts that help animals most rather than on beliefs. That is, the VO leaflets are pragmatic and call for a change in behavior rather than an allegiance to an ideology.

I added the points about photos and food because they suggest that Francione created his pamphlet the way he did because he isn't very interested in making an effective pamphlet. If he were interested in creating an effective pamphlet, then he would simplify the language, add photos, and add food suggestions. But he hasn't done that.
04-30-2011 07:46 PM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

He admits there is no proof for this claim (source) but it's essential to almost all of his writings.

Could you say the time at which he states that in the video? The clip is very long.
04-30-2011 07:33 PM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Maybe there was some miscommunication. I meant to say:
He discourages a kind of leafleting that is likely to be effective. That kind of leafleting is likely effective because those leaflets include photos, food suggestions, and focus on the acts that help animals most (avoiding consuming animal products or participating in animal exploitation) rather than on the beliefs or worldviews that some vegans have.

Francione thinks Vegan Outreach is a "new welfarist" organization and is "part of the problem not part of the solution." (sources)

1. Francione criticizes Vegan Outreach.
2. Vegan Outreach has leaflets which include photos and food suggestions etc.

From those two premises, what follows is that Francione may or may not discourage some of Vegan Outreach's leaflets, not that he discourages in general leaflets with photos and food suggestions. Leafletting extends beyond Vegan Outreach. People outside the United States leaflet too. With photos and food suggestions.

Sometimes Vegan Outreach states their moral claims only in terms of "reducing suffering/cruelty". That is a very tangible way to appeal to omnis, but it also can have the connotation that exploiting and killing animals in a "humane" way is ok. Then there's the "even if you eat meat" kind of leaflet. Criticizing those does not really mean you want leaflets to have no photos or food suggestions.
04-30-2011 07:08 PM
SomebodyElse Sure is nice to see a tribute to Eric Prescott's work turning into a 'let's slam Gray Francione" pissing contest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

His unfounded premise is that "improving animal welfare makes people feel less uncomfortable about animal exploitation."
He admits there is no proof for this claim (source) but it's essential to almost all of his writings.

Statistics are no substitute for logic or reason.
04-30-2011 06:43 PM
ElaineV
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

That claim would be a bit more believable with some kind of source for it.

Maybe there was some miscommunication. I meant to say:
He discourages a kind of leafleting that is likely to be effective. That kind of leafleting is likely effective because those leaflets include photos, food suggestions, and focus on the acts that help animals most (avoiding consuming animal products or participating in animal exploitation) rather than on the beliefs or worldviews that some vegans have.

Francione thinks Vegan Outreach is a "new welfarist" organization and is "part of the problem not part of the solution." (sources)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post

Elaine, I think I know what you mean by this but I'm not positive.

His unfounded premise is that "improving animal welfare makes people feel less uncomfortable about animal exploitation."
He admits there is no proof for this claim (source) but it's essential to almost all of his writings.
04-30-2011 04:21 PM
KrisMTL Thank you Eric Prescott, can't wait to see the finished film.
04-30-2011 03:38 PM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post

I could believe that most people, when pressed,would admit they feel entitled to use animals any way they want.

That's just weird. You must be hanging out with very interesting people, if they were willing to say that they are entitled to use animals any way they want: including those cases that get you arrested on animal cruelty charges. That must mean they have no moral regard even for the law, then, because some uses of animals break it.

Modern Western culture, in relation to other species, makes distinctions between acceptable and unacceptable animal use, and frames that difference in terms of "unnecessary suffering". That distinction is an entirely arbitrary one, and the 'unnecessary' pretty much meaningless, but that is really Francione's point.
04-30-2011 03:28 PM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

There are two parts to logic: the structure of the argument and the truth of the premises. Gary Francione uses the right structure. It's just the other part where he fails.

Elaine, I think I know what you mean by this but I'm not positive. Is his premise that nearly everyone believes it is immoral to cause needless suffering and death to animals? I could believe that most people, when pressed,would admit they feel entitled to use animals any way they want. Most people would not directly torment animals for their own amusement, but they also feel that circuses are a net good even while aware that torment is involved in training circus animals. And most people are also aware that some dog breeds routinely have their ears and tails partially amputated for no reason that benefits the dog, because the breeders and owners want the dogs to look a certain way. Just those two examples blow his premise out of the water for me, not to mention profound disagreement in our culture over the word "needless."
04-30-2011 12:35 PM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

He discourages a kind of leafleting that is likely to be effective because those leaflets include photos, food suggestions, and focus on the acts that help animals most (avoiding consuming animal products or participating in animal exploitation) rather than on the beliefs or worldviews that some vegans have.

That claim would be a bit more believable with some kind of source for it.

Why are such misrepresentations needed in this debate? Francione uses them, do you need to use them too?
04-30-2011 11:51 AM
ElaineV Francione does encourage leafleting.

He encourages a kind of leafleting that is likely not very effective because the leaflets require a grad student reading level to understand. Just copy the text from the pamphlet he recommends and put into a readability tool.

He discourages a kind of leafleting that is likely to be effective because those leaflets include photos, food suggestions, and focus on the acts that help animals most (avoiding consuming animal products or participating in animal exploitation) rather than on the beliefs or worldviews that some vegans have.
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