Utopian Visions and Pragmatic Politics: Challenging the Foundations of Speciesism and Misothery
Published in Animal Rights: The Changing Debate edited by Robert Garner (Macmillan, 1996)
Eventually animal advocates must realize that success in the animal advocacy movement is not a question of deciding which is a more effective vehicle for change: a national society or a local organization. They are both essential. Success is not a question of competition between national organizations and grass-roots groups. Each has a responsibility to help the other. Nor is success a question of whether incremental measures that improve the welfare of animals are inimical to the preferred goal of abolition based on the rights of animals. No one has ever proven that a small step obviates a larger one. Success in animal rights is, however, a question of the mind-numbing quantities of individual animals whose suffering cries out to those who hear them. In order to hear those cries more clearly, animal advocates must reject the artificial constructions and selfishness that divide their movement. They must unite around a long-term strategy that balances our utopian vision with pragmatic politics.