What Would It Mean to Treat Animals Fairly?
Anyone pointing out moral culpability will provoke, in both others and themselves, a certain defensiveness.
The enduring challenge for any activist is both to dream of almost-unimaginable justice and to make the case to nonbelievers that your dreams are practical. The problem is particularly acute in animal-rights activism. Ending wild-animal suffering is laughably hard (our efforts at ending *human* suffering don’t exactly recommend us to the task); obviously, so is changing the landscape of factory farms, or Singer wouldn’t be reissuing his book. In 2014, the British sociologist Richard Twine suggested that the vegan isn’t unlike the feminist of yore, in that both come across as killjoys whose “resistance against routinized norms of commodification and violence” repels those who prefer the comforts of the status quo. Wayne Hsiung, the Direct Action Everywhere activist, was only recently released from jail, after being sentenced for duck and chicken rescues in California. On his blog, he wrote that one reason the prosecution succeeded was that, unlike in Utah, he and his colleagues were cast as “weird extremists.”