Practical Issues > Things To Do > Activism

ARA's Criticizing Other ARA's

Since I run into this topic regularly (actually it's thrown at me so fast that I don't have time to step out of its way), I'm going to momentarily step up on my soapbox.

ARA's are often too critical of other ARA's who are not in precise step with them. Rather than marching along toward more rights for animals, they are busy looking at the feet of other ARA's and slowing down the AR movement. Glancing occasionally at their cadence is a good thing, but fixating on what other are doing has negative ripple-effects.

Okay, enough with the analogy.

The best thing for animals would be if the AR movement recruited all folks who feel that some animals deserve more rights, any rights, than they have currently. And recruit these folks to fight whatever battle they are willing to wage.

The ALF considers a hunter who decides to protest against puppy mills to be an asset to the movement. The hunter is taking real concrete proactive steps to help animals and the perceived "hypocrisy" is merely words used by people who never intended to do anything anyway. I guarantee is statistically true.

Too many ARAs waste energy arguing that somebody who wears a leather belt can't speak for animals or someone (like the Dalai Lama) who occasionally eats meat is a hypocrite for speaking about animal rights. These are the points that our enemies should be making. We should be defending these folks by reminding everyone that our movement is not dogmatic, nor  is it about demanding perfection that is not attainable. It is about doing the best you can.

Hell, even fundamentalist Christians forgive those who believe in their basic doctrines but don't achieve perfection.

The irony is that many ARAs are angered with folks who draw self-serving arbitrary lines for determining worth, and yet they turn around and draw lines at "vegan" or "fruitarian", etc.

These people don't draw others to our movement, and they aren't helping as much as they could.

Now I'll get off my soapbox before someone pushes me off.