Animal Rights versus Animal Welfare: what is the difference?

There are many reasons why we define ourselves as a vegan, animal rights organization, not an animal welfare organization.

Animal “welfare” organizations advocate for saving some species like bears, pangolins, elephants, dogs, or cats while only advocating to give more space or faster or more “humane” deaths for others. This is absolutely absurd and illogical and does not help the animals, but lines the pockets of these organizations with the money from animal-eating “animal lovers”. If you cannot outright end your support of animal agriculture while “loving animals”, you love pets, not animals. If you feel that a bigger cage for a chicken gives you the right to raise it to be murdered for a meal you won’t even remember, you support animal abuse and animal farmer profit, not animals themselves.

We have no need to consume animal products. None. We are NOT obligate carnivores like lions, so it is about time we stop acting like it. Meet me at the finish line of my next Ironman triathlon and I’ll explain to you how humans thrive on a vegan diet over a victory beer. For some reason, animal welfare organizations have not worked out that killing is wrong for ALL species. By far the most cruel act against any animal is to kill them, regardless of how it is done, and yet you will never hear any animal welfare organization come right out and say it.

In order to protect the fragile egos of those who continue to consume and use animals unnecessarily because they make up the majority of their donors, they choose to avoid ever sending out the message that killing is wrong for all bears, cows, elephants, rhinos, pigs, and chickens, instead choosing only the ones people don’t regularly consume. Heaven forbid we all tell the truth and finally start protecting animals over egos…

When we chose to take a stand against ALL animal suffering publicly a few years ago, we took a lot of hits. That’s an understatement. As a rescue, we were outright attacked, mostly by the anti-dog meat campaigners abroad. It’s hard to express how frustrating that was. We lost a lot of support by becoming an outspoken vegan organization that refused to use single issue campaigns to gain financial support. While we see dog meat restaurants and dog catchers in town daily here, we see thousands more pigs, chickens, ducks, and cows murdered for human consumption and yet we see no outrage in the “animal lover” community. The dog meat consumed in this country is a tiny fraction of the other animal flesh consumed daily by nearly all citizens but 98% of those animals are ignored.

If you want someone to lie to you about that and tell you that the dog meat trade is the worst thing on the planet, you need to look elsewhere. While it is objectively a sick and cruel trade, it is not in any way different from any other animal production regardless of the laws in place for animal cruelty. The Vietnamese (not many even…) consume dogs and cats for the same reason people consume chickens, ducks, cows, and pigs. They eat dogs like the French eat horses, the Icelandic eat whale, the Japanese eat dolphins, the Kiwis eat sheep, and Chinese eat shark fin. Their dog meat consumption pales in comparison to the consumption of pigs (80% of all animals consumed here!) and is not even statistically significant when compared to American bacon consumption/ Yet where are your picket lines at the Vietnamese embassy in London or DC over that? Where are your petitions to save the pigs? Why have you not held Congressional hearings for them?

Julian and Aimee. Which one deserves your love and which deserves your protection?

We are vegan because we know all animals value their lives equally and how they feel about their own lives means far more than what we will ever feel about them. The value of a fish, cat, pig, or rhino hasn’t got a damn thing to do with how you personally feel about them. Out of 8.7 million species on the planet, why on earth do humans think we have some sort of god-like right to define the value of a life?

We will continue to stand for all species at Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue because they need us. All animals suffer equally as do all people. Go vegan and save the animals, planet, and people.