By Gary L. Francione
There is nothing extreme about ethical veganism.
What is extreme is eating decomposing flesh and animal secretions.
What is extreme is that we regard some animals as members of our family while, at the same time, we stick forks into the corpses of other animals.
What is extreme is thinking that it is morally acceptable to inflict suffering on death on other sentient creatures simply because we enjoy the taste of animal products or because we like the look of clothes made from animals.
What is extreme is that we say that we recognize that “unnecessary” suffering and death cannot be morally justified and then we proceed to engage in exploitation on a daily basis that is completely unnecessary.
What is extreme is pretending to embrace peace while we make violence, suffering, torture and death a daily part of our lives.
What is extreme is that we regard people like Michael Vick and Mary Bale as villains while we continue to eat, use, and consume animal products.
What is extreme is that we say that we care about animals and that we believe that they are members of the moral community, but we support, encourage and promote “happy” meat/dairy labeling schemes. (see 1,2)
What is extreme is that we encourage our children to love animals at the same time that we teach them those that they love can also be those whom they harm. We teach our children that love is consistent with commodification. That is truly extreme-and very sad.
No, ethical veganism is not extreme. But there are many other things that we do not even pay attention to that are extreme.
If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do.