I think it's funny that GF has a locked - aka hidden - Twitter account...despite the fact his followers re-tweet [repost] his every utterance. GF's Twitter account is here: http://twitter.com/garylfrancione - the message you're likely to get is: "This person has protected their tweets." Again: no Tweets for you too!
I suppose some of this is 2nd-hand knowledge, as i haven't bothered to request acceptance into the GF Twittersphere, but here's the Twitition, and it's apparently started by GF according to the page: http://twitition.com/cojar
The text, presumably from GF, says: "The promotion of cage-free eggs and supposedly more "humane" forms of animal torture is wrong. We ask that HSUS use a small portion of its considerable resources to promote a clear, explicit, and unambiguous "Go Vegan" campaign."
On the surface this seems like a good idea, right? We want more campaigns for veganism, right?
I think this is a not-so-secret make-work project for GF, who apparently doesn't have enough to critique already. Allow me to explain:
In the Twitition statement, GF points out cage-free eggs and 'humane' animal products, two practices which HSUS supports and advocates for. True that. Hopefully this topic gets more discussion (which is perhaps a valid use for a model like an online petition, although I generally believe them to be useless..please tell me about an online petition that has resulted in some real change...)
HSUS also advocates killing healthy and adoptable cats and dogs in shelters (rather than ensuring they find homes.) They're also advocates (and founders?) of the 'Canadian Seafood Boycott', part of their Seal Hunt campaign. Apparently it's okay to leverage one animal species over another...not to mention that sea life from other country's waters are okay to consume. (And the term 'seafood' is offensive as well, implying that these animals are 'food'.)
These are just a few examples of the quality of 'animal advocacy' that HSUS perpetuates. It's really quite abysmal. And GF wants HSUS to begin a vegan campaign?! Considering how poorly HSUS represents other aspects of animal advocacy, does this make any sense?
Has any thought been given to how HSUS would represent veganism? All we have to do is take a look at their buddies over at PETA to predict how this would unfold.
One example is PETA's section of 'Accidently Vegan' food products. They highlight a significant proportion of junk foods that are 'accidently vegan' - almost all are from multi-national companies that profit from exploiting massive numbers of animals. And further, there's a footnote on the front page that indicates:
"*Items listed may contain trace amounts of animal-derived ingredients."
Gaaaah.. So items aren't necessarily vegan at all, but being offered as vegan fare.
There's no need to critique PETA further at this point (just scroll down to previous entries of my thoughts on PETA), but you can be assured that this type of listing would appear on an HSUS site, and offered as vegan food options. (For a further critique of PETA's list, check this blog: http://my-face-is-on-fire.blogspot.com/2010/01/oreos-where-petas-got-it-wrong.html)
If HSUS started this campaign, we would undoubtedly see them present veganism as an anti-factory-farming movement - not unlike Vegan[sic] Outreach. (When factory farms are gone, we can eat animal products again?)
It’s safe to say their campaign would see veganism reduced to a diet. And to assist in the 'transition', i would be willing to bet the left hemisphere of my brain that they would encourage lacto-ovo-vegans. No joke.
This is the quality of advocacy that we *know* we can expect from HSUS. This is no surprise. And already there are too many groups that misrepresent veganism, and degrade the meaning.
Why on earth would Gary Francione want to encourage yet ANOTHER group to join the ranks of those already mis-representing veganism?? There are too many doing this as it is! So very few promote veganism in a meaningful, honest way. And HSUS is anything but meaningful and honest when it comes to animal advocacy (check this piece about their requests for money to help animals in Haiti: http://www.anairhoads.org/animal/ASPCAlied.shtml ). I do NOT want to see them present their version of veganism...and it would be spread far and wide, considering their influence and money. This might actually be one of the WORST things that could befall veganism.
Is it possible for people 'unsign' from a Twitition? (I’m not going to sign it to find out!) At the posting of this, there were 618 people who signed it...
While GF has many good ideas, not all of them can be, or are. PETA and GF are similar in one respect: they both encourage us to question authority. Well, so long as it's not their authority.
If you do, PETA sends you a form letter. GF deletes you from Twitter, or sends his stooges after you. To disagree with GF can be a death sentence, so to speak.
If enough people speak up (yes, risking expulsion from his camp), perhaps GF will realize he makes mistakes, and will even be willing to admit as much. This would be better for activism and the movement. And if you're an activist, it's time to activate. Tell GF this is a bad idea, that HSUS would only misrepresent veganism, and that the petition should be shut down immediately.
Discussion, as always, is welcome.
My name came up in a Google Alert on Francione's blog, the text from the message is:
|On Johnny Weir, Single-Issue Campaigns, Treatment, and ...|
By Gary L. Francione
Perhaps that explains why FoA's David Shishkoff was opposing the “Go Vegan” approach that I urged HSUS to adopt. FoA tries to distance itself from HSUS and has done so historically. As I mentioned in the earlier essay, I have extended ...
Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach - http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/
Yet, the actual blog entry, as of 9am PST on Feb 1st is:
Has FoA been vocal on this issue? Any references there Gary, or when you type something we're expected to take it at face value? In case it isn't clear from the lack of my mention of FoA, this blog is my own independent project. When i comment on behalf of Friends of Animals, i'll sign my name with my FoA credentials (which i clearly haven't done here.)
Further, why did GF edit his blog and not post that corrections or updates were made? In other words, it could change from day-to-day, and no one would ever know. He can implicate someone, make accusations, and then simply edit it out once confronted..or make false claims, then simply pretend they never existed. Oddly, he's made the wrong edit here, and should be challenging me directly, not Friends of Animals, who's opinion on the issue i'm unaware of - although i would suspect it parallels my own.