Exposing the Wrongs of the Animal Rights Movement

Added on August 15, 2014 by Michael Lanfield
www.michaellanfield.com / www.weareinterconnected.com
As humans we are all on a spiritual journey in life. We are on a path of raising consciousness, however many people and organizations have come to look at it as business and profit. What we need to do is follow our hearts and support individuals who are truly making a difference for animals and the planet. Yes we are called to be vegan activists and we can earn a living while doing so, however if money or personal image are the main motivations of doing so, we are not truly living with integrity as vegans. People who claim to be vegan, but don’t embody the vegan message in their everyday lives, who are materialistic money grubbing or kill animals directly or indirectly by paying people or getting volunteers to do their dirty work for them are in fact fooling themselves and the animals. They are not vegans at all. Though they may do some good work for the animals, they turn their backs and are committing crimes of unimaginable cruelty and death. They are hypocritical. While they say and do one thing, they turn around and cause harm in other ways. Some of these activists and organizations support humane slaughter or capital punishment.
We live in a world of immense suffering and violence, why do we have to maximize the cruelty on top of that by deceiving ourselves and others? We are not vegans if we feed our dogs or cats, non-vegan pet foods and we are surely not vegan if we own a restaurant that serves animal products. Nor are we vegan if we prepare non-vegan foods for other people or purchase non-fair trade products like cocoa for example. Activists, who use violence to justify the means, are not living the true meaning of veganism. Veganism as Donald Watson coined it back in 1944 means, “…a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practical—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose”. Even though in the context Donald meant non-human animals, humans are also animals, mammals that is. And we must have empathy and compassion for human-animals as well. Slaughterhouse workers and animal farmers also need our love. I argue in my book The Interconnectedness of Life, Unconditional Love means “affection without any limitations”. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is the universal principle we must all learn to practise and preach.
As vegan activists we are all far from perfect, but we can strive to minimize the harm we cause to others. Of course there will be times when we fall off the bandwagon, but we must pick ourselves up and stand back up on our two feet and learn from our mistakes. There are many people that often fail on a vegan diet and burnout. I’ve seen many friends over the year’s burnout and live as closet vegans or go back to meat-eating. Some of them in fact weren’t even vegan to begin with. These are the angry vegans who believe humans are viruses and we should all be exterminated from the face of the planet. It is also the vegans who do it purely for health or weight loss reasons that seem to also fail. I’ve seen it mostly in the raw food movement; people claiming to be vegans now including honey, royal jelly, deer antler velvet and colostrum in their diet. Some even switch over to paleo or primal diets.
In the end veganism is not about health or our selfish endeavours, veganism is not about keeping our opinions to ourselves or about being the judgemental angry vegans, veganism is a philosophy which seeks to minimize as much pain and suffering as possible and to share our stories with others. Veganism is the unconditional love for all beings. We must respect everyone.
Some people may consider me to be a pacifist and they’re right, I am. I do not support violence of any sort. That being said, it does not mean I don’t defend myself if absolutely necessary for my survival. If I’m out in the jungle and a tiger or lion attacks me, I would try to defend myself. That would also be true if I or my family was being attacked by another person. I would try to defend myself and my family. This also goes to insects or microbes that try to attack me or infests my home; I would try to defend myself.
We must realize that as vegan activists, slaughterhouse workers are not killing on their own free will. They were programmed just like all of us from a young age to see animals merely as food and commodities and they took on the job most likely out of desperation to earn a living. I certainly don’t like what they’re doing, but what good does anger or hatefulness do for the animals or for the planet? There is nothing wrong with showing loving-kindness to these people as well. Although, it is normal to be outraged when we witness horrible abuses towards animals, we must understand that these people are only doing this for two reasons, to earn a living and because they’ve been indoctrinated by the herding culture like the rest of us.

As we realize our interconnectedness with all living beings, our purpose naturally becomes to help and bless others, and it is a role we can carry without burnout or anger. The terrible suffering we see may certainly disturb and outrage us, but the outrage turns to compassion and creativity rather than to anger, despair, or vindictiveness. Rising above anger and despair while still keeping our hearts open to the ocean of cruelty, indifference, and suffering on this earth is not easy. It requires cultivating wisdom and compassion – both the inner silent receptivity that links us to the eternal truth of our being and the outer actions of serving and helping others that give meaning to our life. By creating an inner field of peace, kindness, joy, and unity, we contribute to building a planetary field of compassion that reflects this consciousness. A positive approach is essential because it mobilizes our spiritual resources, generates enthusiasm, and brings more joy and love into our world. In the end, as Mahatma Gandhi emphasized, we must be the change we want to see in the world.
‒ Will Tuttle, PhD, Author of The World Peace Diet


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12 Responses to Exposing the Wrongs of the Animal Rights Movement

  • Jo Konstantini says:

    I agree with the fact that you cannot extend unconditional love to all humans, simply because under the religious dogmas, atrocities have been committed throughout centuries; for example, pinning one religion against the other etc. Nobody even remembers or knows the 2 million Armenians exterminated by Turks, because they would not convert to Islam.

    This is why as Mango Wodzak smartly conveys, “You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong, then you need empathy, not religion”. And this is how I live my life by the same principle.

    • Jele says:

      Nowdays I think we all together are called to examine all systems and dogmas that we have to live in between till a certain degree, if we like them or do not like them. We have to consider them and critzise them up to their reasons, with all their shortcomings, mistakes and perversities that made this planet as filled with cruelty as he is. In addition belong also and above all the various religious dogmas that ever had existed in this world and still exist. Because the ideas of mighty Gods (that we have to be afraid of for example) had always allready to do something with the will of few or one to rule many and to controll them or even the whole world. And I think this was the point in our history when that violence started on this planet that we all living beings suffer under now more and more. In our minds we all have to return to the state before that when the people has simply been gratefull to mother earth that gives all life and had loved her unconditionally and all her miracles too. I wrote this in such a short and simple way because I do not know enough of the English language, sorry…

  • Jele says:

    Dear Michael, Dear WPR! Iwould like to tell You something about the ideas of the German Prof. for Philosophy H.F. Taureck about our Problem. I have read an interview with him on vegan.eu on the occasion of the “Festival der Philosophy” in the german city of Hannover now in spring 2014. It went about justice and Cornel West from USA has also been there and did the first speech about …justice. But he is not a vegan and as far as I know he didn’t say anything about veganism. Instead of this Prof.Taureck did that very well. I think when we consider the problem consequently from his point of view, we need not discuss so many various details or things that may be wrong anymore. Let’s say we need a consequent and perfect “Entnuntzung” (about: re-using) of the animals . Taureck calls the animals “Quellenwesen” instead we as “Strömungswesen” because the animals in contrary to us has always remained near their phylogenetic origin, conformist perfectly to their surroundings. In addition in the difference we have gone away from the phylogennetic conditions of our origin and go apparently on and on from it. So there is no reason at all to look at us as something more admirable. Humans are to stop to consider animals as “Null-Lebewesen”(s.th. like “sero-beeings”) but in the difference to us as “Quellenwesen”(“well-beings”) we cannot longer think that we could have the right to use them for anything we think we need. I would like to translate the most important part of this interview later on another place here on this side WPR.
    Peace! Jele

    • Jele says:

      Sorry, I think I have to add a correction: The german word “Entnutzung” is a sort of philosophical creation and does not exist till now in the vocabulary books. I think I was not quite right to translate it with “re-use”, so I say now it means s.th. like a consequent driven un-use or non-use! In any case it means to drive on consequently the stop of any using of animals for our own purposes in the sense of real justice and let them go back to their origin well and live their lives as they want and need it to live for their joy.
      Every beeing is born out of joy and the sense of each and every beeing is joy and not use.

  • Jele says:

    Yes, this is what I forgot to mention yesterday: I did not like this first photo too! Simply because it showes a very pretty and satisfied woman that presses a very unhappy looking tiger- baby to her face. I found it “kitschig”. I think you translate that with “dauby”, no?
    There was s.th. untrue with this photo and I wonder why someone could choose that who writes a text that remonstraces and worries about untruthness!Sorry!

  • As vegans we strive to avoid harming others whenever possible, but in the case of rescued carnivores there is no completely harmless path. Do we not rescue carnivorous animals, leading them (and the wild animals they kill) to suffer? Do we rescue carnivorous animals, but risk their health and lives feeding them an inadequate vegan diet? (There are no long term studies of vegan cats, and in particular cats with medical conditions which require specialized foods. The same applies to other carnivorous species.) Or do we feed them a food we know is safe and healthy for them, but which requires killing innocent animals? NONE of the three options lives up to the vegan ideal.

    • I think sometimes the reasons that companion animals develop medical conditions in the first place is because of the foods that people are feeding them. We are feeding our pets tortured unfit animals that came from factory farms that were rejected and are not fit for human consumption and they are also fed dogs and cats that are euthanized in laboratories since they were young. They are just like humans, if they are fed these diets for a long time they succumb to similar diseases just like us. There are people who have companion animal, dogs and cats who when they put them on a vegan formula for some time (at least 6 months to a year), and they do get better. It is the same when we put humans that have been eating the standard typical animal-based diet on a vegan diet or better yet, a diet comprised mainly of raw fresh fruits and vegetables, and they usually do get better and the diseases doctors thought were incurable, vanished.

      Another thing I would like to point out is stones that cats and dogs (usually males) develop is because of the fact that some dogs and cats just don’t drink enough water. Therefore it is recommend to add water to dry kibbles. The following video explains it all. http://youtu.be/zIMBX3jdYM0

  • I have to say I am somewhat confused by the image of the tiger in this article. It seems to imply that keeping exotics as pets is OK?

    What do you feel that exotics should be fed? If we feed cats and dogs vegan food, what should reptile owners feed their animals?

    Honestly, for me veganism has become wholly confusing, with groups of vegans proclaiming that pet ownership, or ownership or carnivores is frowned upon, yet we are presented with pictures of tigers, who are wild animals and not a domesticated species, being handled as if they are part of a private zoo or collection………

    I don’t think we are living with integrity as people if we feel that it’s OK to keep an animal such as a tiger under such unnaturalistic circumstances.

    • Thank you for pointing that out. I didn’t make the connection until you pointed it out. I removed the photo and added another one. Animals in the wild are not domesticated like cats and dogs are, they need to eat animals in order to survive, our companion animals do not. Don’t forget three quarters of all animals on the planet are herbivores. Cats and dogs do not live in the wild like lions do. Conventional meat-based pet food contains ground up pieces of tortured and diseased animals unfit for human consumption. Cats do not eat cows out in the wild anyways, this is not their natural diet. Another thing to consider is a lot of cats and dogs that are killed in laboratories end up in conventional grade-pet foods. So our companion animals are tuned into cannibals. Is this their natural diet?

      I think we shouldn’t use animals at all. That is why I am vegan because I can’t stand seeing animals used, abused and killed for anything.

  • Jele says:

    I agree with all that is written here. I loved all animals since I came to earth an I cannot imagine a little child that does not. In case of this I think a child that is able to be cruel to an animal, that hurts an animal or even beats it, must have been hurted and b very deeply itself. People that we call murderers very often startet with hurting or killing animals in their childhood. In Germany for an example we had Jürgen Bartsch who abused as a grown-up many little boys and killed them after that. But he has been an orphan and given as a baby to a couple that sold meat and did not give him any love at all from the beginning on and it was told that he has always been marked with red and blue traces of heavy beatings as he still was just this little baby! After I knew this I felt very much compassion for this guy and I think his soul really needed and earned it! Sorry for my English but I normally prefer to write down my ideas to things that move me immediately.

  • Bill says:

    I wrote an amazing diatribe on your comments above. And then the fucking iPad crashed and I lost five paragraphs of text. Now I’m too tired to do it again. To express the same thing in fewer words please be patient with humanity. They are never going to come around fast enough for you. Or fast enough to save the planet. But there can be miracles. Miracles not liking the Bible or some stupid text. But miracles from technology from people waking up suddenly to the possibilities we imagine and create. Thank you for being the total saint that you are and also thank you for defining vegan for us all. Your definition was brilliant brilliant brilliant! Who has ever read that? Not me! Thank you for giving me the definition.

  • Sharon Kennedy says:

    Dr. Tuttle/Michael, I agree with most of your sentiments, but I also know that there are people in the world who have made the decision to serve evil (the beheading of Christian children in Iraq is prime example) and we have to be very careful of giving unlimited love to strangers who delight in sin and violence. We are also commanded that if the love and beauty of the gospel is rejected to shake the dust off our feet and move on.

    What it really comes down to is to follow God’s laws, rely on the Paraclete to guide our path and instruct our response in a dangerous world. If we place our trust with God and do obedience to His laws and do service to both realms animal and kingdom, we will bear good fruit. But we must not be foolish with our trust….Love Peace Justice Compassion for all creation.

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