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The Importance of Support in the Animal Rights Community
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The Importance of Support in the Animal Rights Community

I have noticed a disturbing trend recently, in the animal rights community. There seem to be an awful lot of people criticizing and berating each other about the ways in which they promote animal rights. Some people are too "lazy" while others are too "pushy". People who are very strict about veganism are "turning people off to the idea" and those who are more lenient are "not real vegans". One side says that we should only promote veganism for animal rights reasons but the other thinks the health argument is more effective. I have even seen people viciously attacking some of my favorite animal rights organizations because, along with promoting veganism, they have supported various welfare initiatives. 

I find this all extremely upsetting. Every animal rights activist knows how lonely it can be to be so passionate about a cause that so few people understand. So the idea of attacking the, very few, other people who care about the cause is just unfathomable to me. Of course, I have my own ideas about how best to further the cause but I refuse to distance myself from others in the movement just because they have other ideas. No one gets involved in animal rights for the wrong reasons. No one has anything to gain from it, except the fulfillment that comes from standing up for what is right. So why do we have to fight with each other over logistics? We are all on the same side. We are all just doing the best we can to help the animals. I don't think anyone really knows what the most effective tactics are, and different things work for different people. So it seems to me that the best methods to use are all of them. If we try everything, something is bound to work.

All of this fighting amongst ourselves is only making things harder on all of us and, in my opinion, it is already hard enough. We already face insult and criticism everywhere we go. Every day we have to deal with people who think we are crazy for caring about the lives of nonhuman animals. We are mocked, teased, yelled at and lectured by the majority of the population. The AR community is supposed to be our safe-haven, but I'm afraid it's becomming just one more place where we have to be on our guard at all times. 

My plea to all of you is this, support each other. Even if you don't agree with everything other activists do, remember that they are striving for the same goal that you are. I know that we can attain our goal eventually, but it is going to be a long road and it will seem so much longer if we each have to walk it alone. 

Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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  1. SnakeWitch
    You have quite a lot of good arguments here. I have noticed the same trend in other places. My degree is sign language interpreting and I have worked in the field several years, as well as volunteering for a few Deaf organisations. In that community, the two main 'sides', if you will, are the signing Deaf community and the hard-of-hearing Deaf who prefer speaking or, at least, feel it is necesary in order to lead a normal life. Both sides have very good arguments but, just like the animal rights activists and surely other activist organisations, they have a tendency to fight over who's right instead of fighting together against the common enemy. I wish this would stop because together we would be so much stronger. Voted! Have you had a chance to read my article about how dairy is now only suggested in the American Food Guide? Hope you enjoy it and vote if you like it!
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much! I suppose this is something that every group has to deal with form time to time. I just don't understand this need that people have to fight, even with those who are on the same side. I will check out your article! Thank you!
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  2. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. Awesome blog Whitney, I agree completely! I have noticed this as well, and so have friends of mine, what you say about vegans/ARAs being at loggerheads with others of the same cause, and how futile and ridiculous it all is! I particularly love your comment: "No one gets involved in animal rights for the wrong reasons. No one has anything to gain from it, except the fulfillment that comes from standing up for what is right. " So true! I wish people would remember that, and try to ignore their egos. You might like my latest recipe Awesome Aubergine Rolls, and if you do, please vote!
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you Maggie! I'm so glad you liked it! I will check out your recipe!
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  3. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    makes a lot of sense! Good post. Voted. Check out my cantaloupe Popsicle post and vote if you like:)
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you! I will check it out!
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  4. BuddhasDelight
    BuddhasDelight
    i love this! i agree, it's really not about the specifics in my mind, but rather the intention, the heart behind our actions. any little bit of veggieness helps! i support all who have the heart to think about these things and care enough to make even the smallest efforts and changes. thank you for posting this! voted. please check out my latest two posts and vote if you enjoy them. blessings!
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much! That's exactly how I feel. I will check out your posts! Blessings to you too!
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  5. Katapoet
    Katapoet
    Whitney, I fully agree with you. There is so much work to do, and so many animals dying every day, that time is of the essence, literally. My hope is that we can all band together, and make a difference. I will check out your FB page, and maybe we'll talk. It is lonely out here!
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much! That is my hope too. That would be wonderful! I am always looking for like-minded fiends. It is lonely out here and any time we have an opportunity to make it easier for each other we should take it.
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