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Gary Francione's moral baselines for a real animal rights movement

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Gary Francione.

The following extract is taken from an interview Gray Francione gave to the organisation Friends of Animals, which appears in their summer 2002 newsletter:

Gary Francione: I was recently asked by some animal advocates to write down a set of principles that might be used as shorthand for what I regard as the moral baselines of a real animal rights movement. I'm happy to share them with your readers.

1. The animal rights position maintains that all sentient beings, humans or nonhuman, have one right: the basic right not to be treated as the property of others.

2. Our recognition of the one basic right means that we must abolish, and not merely regulate, institutionalized animal exploitation -- because it assumes that animals are the property of humans.

3. Just as we reject racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia, we reject speciesism. The species of a sentient being is no more reason to deny the protection of this basic right than race, sex, age, or sexual orientation is a reason to deny membership in the human moral community to other humans.

4. We recognize that we will not abolish overnight the property status of nonhumans, but we will support only those campaigns and positions that explicitly promote the abolitionist agenda. We will not support positions that call for supposedly "improved" regulation of animal exploitation. We reject any campaign that promotes sexism, racism, homophobia or other forms of discrimination against humans.

5. We recognize that the most important step that any of us can take toward abolition is to adopt the vegan lifestyle and to educate others about veganism. Veganism is the principle of abolition applied to one's personal life and the consumption of any meat, fowl, fish, or dairy product, or the wearing or use of animal products, is inconsistent with the abolitionist perspective.

6. We recognize the principle of nonviolence as the guiding principle of the animal rights movement.

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