A central tenet of The Abolitionist Approach is that no discrimination or exploitation is justifiable, neither of nonhumans nor of humans, and that we must reject racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ageism, sizeism etc – all the ‘isms’ that represent prejudice and discrimination. Therefore once one becomes an abolitionist vegan, one suddenly wakes up to (unless they already were before and just hadn’t made the connection with nonhuman exploitation) the vast amount of exploitation that exists in order that those of us who are unfairly privileged to the detriment of others, can get all our products and things cheaply, or promote ourselves and/or raise money or whatever the case may be.
As animal advocates, we oppose speciesism because, like racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of discrimination, it uses a morally irrelevant criterion (species) to discount and devalue the interests of sentient beings.
But our opposition to speciesism means that we do have a position on these other forms of discrimination. That is, we cannot oppose speciesism but claim that, as animal advocates, we do not have a position on these other forms of discrimination. We cannot say: “We reject species as a morally objectionable criterion to discount or devalue the interests of nonhumans but we do not have a position on whether race, sex, or sexual orientation/preference are morally objectionable criteria when used to discount or devalue human interests.”
Our opposition to speciesism requires that we oppose all discrimination
~ Gary L. Francione
So now you are vegan, what vegan products do you use and how were they made – is there any further exploitation you can cut out of your life? Are you buying chocolate or coffee that is not Fair Trade? Are you buying synthetics that are very destructive environmentally, can you replace those with better options? What can you get second hand – do you need a blender? Maybe someone is having a garage sale and is selling their perfectly fine blender for a good price. These are things to consider. Buying second hand vegan clothing and other products is a way not only of recycling and reducing pollution, but voting with your dollar in that you take business away from providing new incentive to exploitative clothing and accessory production (hopefully the shop where you are buying your second hand goods is not exploiting its workers…)
If you can afford it a fantastic thing to do is buy from vegan retailers who have the common goal of eliminating exploitation in the production of all consumables, as well as using greener technology and methods to produce the goods so their production is less destructive to the earth. Human exploitation is rampant, and environmental destruction and pollution are out of control, and we are the consumers of it and therefore the cause of it, so it is up to us to do our best to change that, starting with in our own lives. Below are a few links to some information and sites that I hope will be useful. Let’s work together to fight ALL oppression and refuse to support it in any way.
This is a great link for some ethically produced vegan shoes if you can afford them: http://www.bboheme.com
Veg Fam seem to be doing great things, they are the vegan version of “Ox Fam” I guess.
Here are a few links I searched for about human slavery in food and clothing industries
Disclaimer: NZ Vegan does not necessarily endorse all opinions or links on the following pages, and absolutely rejects any promotion on said pages of any nonhuman animal use or products, or animal welfare reform campaigns, etc
Here is a video about slavery in the clothing industry: http://youtu.be/RER95ghO1uQ