Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - April 26, 2021
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Problems with Cancel Culture part 4, Speciesism
  2. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Problems with Cancel Culture part 4, Speciesism

I do think that systemic and structural racism, sexism, homophobia, and other injustices exist. Our desire to live in a just and peaceful society mandates eradication of these and other injustices. I have been arguing that cancel culture is not the answer, because cancel culture itself is unjust when people with good intentions lose their jobs or social standing for saying certain taboo words or articulating certain forbidden policies. Obvious injustice breeds resentment and desires for vengeance. Also, insofar as cancel culture provides little opportunity for forgiveness and redemption, it provides little incentive for people to explore new points of view and consider changing their outlooks. Finally, those who wish to maintain unjust social hierarchies can divert attention from legitimate social justice concerns by drawing attention to episodes of unjust cancellations. Do similar dynamics apply to systemic and structural speciesism?

It is obvious that systemic and structural speciesism pervade our culture. The problem is much greater than using animal names as epithets to describe undesirable human behavior, such as “pig” or “chicken.” Speciesist sentiments serve to justify the massive human abuse and murder of nonhuman beings. Speciesism is pervasive, with huge industries and institutions profiting from animal abuse, including animal agribusiness, vivisection, and the fur industry.

Though malevolent people exist, most don’t believe in racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Similarly, most people don’t want to see animals treated cruelly. However, most people do want the supposed benefits of the harmful exploitation of animals, so they tend to avoid thinking about animal abuse. Industries readily comply by hiding their abuse of animals and by providing comforting (though ludicrous) images of exploited animals enjoying their conditions of confinement.

Given that most people endorse the harmful exploitation of animals, efforts by animal advocates to “cancel” them would have little sting. Sometimes animal advocates refuse to associate with those who participate directly or indirect in animal abuse, but this does little to change the attitudes of the general public. We sometimes do see an analogue of cancel culture within the animal protection movement, most notably in the conflict between those who seek to end animal exploitation gradually through welfare reforms and those who seek to end animal experimentation by abolishing animal exploitation practices. Though arguments can be made for both strategies, nobody really knows which is more likely to reduce and eventually eliminate harmful animal exploitation.

How might Christian teachings apply to contemporary cancel culture, and what does this mean for animal advocacy?

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

Newsletter: This is the recent edition of our all-creatures Newsletter, which we hope you like and share with others to help end the exploitation and killing of animals: 


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