A Different Movement to Reduce Unnecessary Suffering: Animal Rights

| Personal motivations

As a war tax resister, I orient myself toward removing my participation from just one part of the war machine. It’s truer than I like to think about that I can’t completely keep from interacting in an economy that gets so much of its power and causes so much of its exploitation and death through the military-industrial complex. Furthermore, I’m not just motivated by reasons of conscience but by a desire to be effective in redirecting money from the military and convincing others to act based upon their opposition to war.

An organization that I really like, Vegan Outreach, frames their work as an effort to reduce suffering caused by factory farming and animal exploitation for food. As a result, while they urge everyone to become vegan, all their outreach materials focus on getting people to recognize the brutality of the factory farming system and at least reduce, if not eliminate, their intake of meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. Someone who eats less meat, or stops eating eggs, because of Vegan Outreach’s work is another person who is thinking about reducing suffering, and who may feel empowered to make future additional changes in their lifestyle. Indeed, I haven’t succeeded in becoming vegan – I don’t eat any meat, but I have three pet chickens in my backyard and I eat about half my egg intake from them and I don’t buy milk, but I do have a cheese weakness…

We already recognize that our stand against war taxes doesn’t end military spending, or even our own complicity in the military-industrial complex, but we do recognize that we have to start somewhere – it’s a strategy to reduce suffering. In my opinion, Vegan Outreach’s Why Vegan pamphlet expertly combines vivid (and disturbing) photography and colorful graphic design, a straightforward discussion of the suffering caused by factory farming, and plenty of information about how to reduce animal production consumption helps them make change in the world. I wonder if we could improve our visual presentation of our own facts and discussion of human suffering in war to further our cause, not necessarily with horrifying photography of the effects of war, but with other visual aids. (For more discussion on visuals in war tax resistance, see also Ed Hedemann’s discussion of the federal budget pie chart).

Post by Erica