I just recently saw one of those “Here’s a list of all the fucked up things PETA has done” posts. In the notes, I see people saying things like “If you really want to help, donate to or volunteer at your local animal shelter!” Don’t get me wrong, donating to or volunteering at an animal shelter is a wonderful thing to do. However, I noticed that… this was the only solution mentioned in the comments.

I’m starting to notice a pattern here. These people legitimately have no idea that animal rights involves more than just pets… and, ironically, it makes them part of the overall problem.

Non-vegans, stop pretending like you give a damn about animal rights, because you don’t. Stop speaking about animal rights as if you know what the fuck you’re talking about, because clearly you don’t. You only care about pets, and only about helping animals when it benefits you. You all treat animal rights like some hobby you get to do on the weekend and pat yourself on the back for, but as vegans, we are living it every day.

You don’t get to criticize PETA for being a harmful organization and feel good about yourself while you’re a part of the very system they were founded to fight against. Bottom line.

“Stop pretending like you give a damn about animal rights.”

Who the fuck here is pretending to be in favor of animal rights? Animal rights is bullshit!

Consider this: those people are saying to donate and volunteer for local humane societies instead of other things because the main issue with PeTA is that they’re a so-called “animal shelter” that kills over 90% of animals in their care. This is why they’re talking about shelters! It’s on topic!

Animal rights is horrible and they don’t actually do anything to better animals. It’s ironic that you’re preaching at people for not caring about animals or treating animals like a hobby for volunteering at shelters when in the same breath you’re defending an organisation that actively harms animals. 

So what do you do for animals then @opinionatedvegan? Instead of just talking about things you have no idea about, complaining about an industry you have know nothing about, defending a horrible harmful organisation bent on making $$ off pretending to care about animals and somehow convincing yourself that being a vegan is somehow “helping animals”. 

As someone who has first hand experience and education in the agricultural industry, as well as has read all the scientific research behind it and has basic understanding of how a global industry works in general. I can tell you with absolute certainty that being vegan does literally nothing for livestock. A person volunteering once a week at a shelter does more good for animals then a vegan does in a lifetime. 

If you actually wanted to help improve the life and welfare of livestock I’d look into actually being involved in animal welfare organisations that push for better stricter legislation.

But what do I know about this. I’m only a zoologist majoring in conservation and planning to do my Mres in honey bee behaviour and hopefully in the future study my PhD on Australian native bee species. I also am active in the Australian scientific community; assisting with research on emu’s, small native mammals, mange on wombats, and most currently helping create a database on all the information we know about alpine invertebrates found around the world in the last 25 years. I also volunteer (when I can, I’m obviously pretty busy) at an animal shelter. 

Discouraging people from helping at shelters, when that’s usually the only thing they might be able to do, is frankly stupid. Shelters are a good way to help animals and it’s always rewarding. 

There’s loads of other volunteering people can get involved with; especially when it comes to native / wildlife but this is often more difficult to get into, if you don’t have any qualifications. Hence why most people tend to help out at shelters. 

Another big way to help is to get involved in animal welfare organisations. 

Now there’s a huge difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Animal rights are groups like peta and vegan organisations that push an agenda as well as make money off people. Animal welfare organisations are properly regulated groups and are non-for-profit. They also have important roles in creating government legislation or laws in order to better the treatment of animals and are also often on ethics committees (these are committees that view animal ethics forms submitted by scientists, to ensure that animals within research are treated without cruelty).

Furthermore some animal rights groups are even labelled as domestic terrorist organisations and are often involved in vandalizing and terrorizing people and property. As well as “rescuing” or “saving” animals only to end up killing them or having them worse off. 

The biggest difference between animal rights and welfare is simple. Animal rights believe that animals should be completely equal under the law as humans; this means they get the same rights ect. (this is obviously ridiculous), while animal welfare ensure the proper treatment and care of animals. 

In short, don’t give a fuck about animal rights, give a fuck about animal welfare! 

Volunteer at shelters, get involved in animal welfare!, get involved in conservation efforts (important ones not pandas or other charismatic megafauna) even if that means just donating, fight for better government legislation for the environment and animals, support your local farmers and bee keepers! 

I’m now have my degree in zoology and am now half-way through my Mres degree, studying neruoethology in honeybees and I still 100% stand behind this.

I absolutely agree with everything @zoologicallyobsessed says here. Also, I absolutely disagree with everything a particular opinionated vegan says.

Ready for a plot twist? I’ve been vegan for so long I have to do math to answer “So how long have you been vegan?” Which is not a question I have to answer often because I purposefully remain in the vegan closet to avoid being associated with misinformed idealists with superiority complexes and an incomplete understanding of how the world actually works.

And I get it, I drank the peta kookaid when I was an outcast teen who had never met another vegetarian before, and I was an officer for the animal rights group at college in the early 2000s. So, as much as zoologicallyobsessed knows the ag industry from the inside, I know the “animal rights” industry (and YES it IS an industry) from the inside. I had friends who interned at peta, like, actually knew the people running the org. They are a bunch of heartless thieves who couldn’t give fewer craps about animals, and most of peta’s board (at the time, probably still is) wasn’t even vegetarian. Basically everything coming out of peta is propaganda.

Want to know what good being vegan does for the animals, from the perspective of a veteran vegan? It doesn’t. Being vegan is a personal choice, often one available only to those with considerable privilege. It confers no moral superiority over people who actually do something that actually helps actual animals, regardless of what that person chooses to eat for dinner. If you want to help animals? You have to do something.

I love animals. I love nature. I love the environment. So I volunteer hundreds of hours a year with organizations focusing on conservation and environmental stewardship. I go out into the community and give lectures on how insects are absolutely essential to healthy ecosystems. I contribute to citizen science projects tracking the effects of climate change on habitat and population distribution.

Did you know that hunters were instrumental in conservation and the development of the endangered species act? Or that without the funds received from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, many state parks wouldn’t be able to stay open?

You can eat or not eat whatever you want, but if you want to make an impact on animal suffering, yelling at people on tumblr is not where I would personally start.

October 24, 2018