Friday, September 25, 2009

Terminology in the Abolitionist Franchise

The Abolitionist Franchise (AF) within the farm animal welfare debate frequently uses the analogy between slavery and farming. It is common for the AF to argue that all arguments in favor of meat-eating can be extended to supporting slavery also.

My question is: does the fact that farm animals are largely dependent upon their property status for existence matter? When the slaves were freed, being equal to whites, they were truly liberated and were able to thrive as a population and a culture. If the property status of animals is banned, we will go from a world where large numbers of animals are raised on farms to a world where a few number of animals are raised as pets. In the case of farming, "liberation" is virtual extinction. This virtual-extinction be good or bad, depending on your perceptions of on-farm suffering of animals.

I prefer it when animal advocates who favor abolition clearly state that they have no problem with the virtual-extinction of all farm animals because I understand their argument. If one believes that it is impossible to simultaneously own an animal and treat it well, then the AF has a strong ethical argument. Even if one does not agree with that belief, the argument is coherent and understandable.

But when people ignore the virtual-extinction factor when arguing for abolition, I become confused about exactly what they are arguing. This blog has recently made some new friends who appear to be from the Abolitionist Franchise. I invite these new friends to offer their thoughts.