Guess what takes place next week?
Mark your calendars for the World Week for the Abolition of Meat (May 21 through 27). Although it’s centered in Paris, the organizers claim there will be companion events taking place elsewhere in France and in Switzerland.Not exactly worldwide participation, but one supposes that abolition of livestock and an end to all consumption of animal foods has to start somewhere.
“A large demonstration for the closing down of slaughterhouses will be an occasion to address the public and proclaim that the production and consumption of meat (and fish as well as other animal products) cause immense harm to animals, are not morally defendable, and must therefore be abolished as soon as possible,” a proclamation from the organizers announced.
Actually, that statement sounds rather tame compared with some of the incendiary missives from more radical groups here in The States.
“We hope that demonstrations such as these will soon be organized around the world and will foster a rapid increase in awareness: the animal question is a crucial moral and political question must be taken into account on all levels of society,” the proclamation stated.
The naiveté evident in such rose-tinted optimism is stunning. But it’s also evidence of the canyon-size gulf between theory and reality that infects the anti-animal agriculture community.
To be concerned about the humane treatment and well-being of both wild and farm animals is commendable. To be convinced that anything having to do with raising livestock or managing wildlife is immoral is certifiable.
In conjunction with the Abolition of Meat Week, a Veggie pride March is also on tap for Marseille, France. Its publicity pitch is equally revealing for the way it characterizes the rationale for vegetarianism. Here is how its organizers describe it:
- The demonstration must be centered on the refusal to eat animals out of regard for the animals. Other motives to be a vegetarian—the environment, health, the Third World—must be either left out altogether or be given a clearly subordinate status.
- The participation in the demonstration is open to any person who refrains from eating animals out of regard for the animals (whether or not that person has additional motives to be vegetarian).
- Veggie Pride must be a demonstration of individuals, who come to demonstrate as individuals. Associations and other groups may be present, but in a subordinate manner, for instance by participating in activities organized outside of the main demonstration.
- The demonstration asks society to accept an open debate on the issue of the consumption of meat in relation to the violence that it implies against the animals.