Quote:Their findings were that:
[M]edia coverage of animal well-being and welfare has (i) reduced US pork and poultry demand and (ii) largely reallocated expenditure to non-meat food rather than across competing meats. . . . Therefore, . . . the beef, pork and poultry industries all stand to lose as meat expenditure is reallocated to non-meat food expenditure. (Tonsor and Olnyk, pg. 5)
Nor is this negative impact merely a short-term blip: Results . . . suggest that long-run demand for both pork and poultry is hampered by increasing media press on animal welfare issues. Moreover, this lost demand is found to exit the meat complex rather than spillover and enhance demand of competing meats. (Tonsor and Olnyk, pg. 6)
In short, the study demonstrates that welfarist reformsor at least the media attention generated by the campaigns leading up to themdo, in fact, cause consumers to buy less meat.
Another heavy thud against the opinions espoused by the strident and uncompromising abolitionists. It would appear that time and again, actual science and philosophy don't bear out the opinions of Gary Francione and others who think like him.For the sake of the animals whose only advocates we are, we have to put aside the sectarian squabbling that diverts critical time and energy away from the real adversary: animal exploiters.
The vegan advocacy espoused by the abolitionists is essential to the success of the animals movement. I support it. And my own advocacy is almost entirely vegan. But I also support reform campaigns. Achieving a vegan society will be a slow, incremental process. Each step forward must become the starting point for the next step forward. We must patiently pursue each individual step, while impatiently fixing our gaze on the goal of a world that is vegan.
Professor Francione is a brilliant, dedicated, and eloquent pioneer for animal rights. And he is certainly sincere in his advocacy. But his condemnation of new welfarism and his insistence that animal rights advocates abstain from supporting reform campaigns are distracting and divisive. Each of us should concentrate on the form of advocacy with which we feel most comfortable and in which we believe we can do the most good for animals. And we must respect one anothers choices. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, we must all hang together or the animals will all suffer and die separately.