I posted this the other day - Just the photo, no text; no title. I had my reasons but an anon comment got me to think about what a "white flag" might be. I didn't mean for the white flag to symbolize "surrender" but rather "victory"... Or at least the way to it. If I were to look at the bus full of people - Each representing peers, friends and neighbors, each doing (in their own way), what they thought was ethical in their treatment to animals. I'd like to think that they are all "non-violent" abolitionists... And I'd hope they are all peaceful vegans... But neither is the case.
Some boarded the Animal Rights bus because it connects with the Earth Rights bus, and some boarded because they love dolphins... but they still eat cows. Some because they hate factory farms and still believe in "humane" meat. There's the woman who just took a seat... She's a vegetarian, and has never heard of a factory farm at all! There's also the few that got on the Animal Rights bus out of curiosity. Some are lost and they don't know the planned destination... And some board this bus with ill intent, or with baggage that takes up "extra" seats... What I'm illustrating is that I don't want to kick any passenger off this bus. If the meat eating dolphin lover is traveling "somewhere" in the direction I'm going, I want him along too... The curious one might get off at the "I Still Eat Fish" stop, another curious one might stay on board to exit at the "Happy Meat" stop. But if our message is true enough people will peacefully travel the entire distance. If we don't alienate anyone, if we each stay focused on our own positive advocacy - we can make a change.
If we stay reasonable and consistent in our position of striving for a better and more just world, we can persuade the many to make it such. This is where education comes in... And we can never stop spreading the word about Animal Rights being the inevitable evolution of our own human progress. And yes, scheduled or not, there are "detours" along the journey - We may have wanted to stay on one road, but had to take another, still going in the same direction - just a different way... Sometimes a shortcut will cost more time than it's worth... Sometimes not - No one can really know how this journey to animal liberation and rights maps its self out. And like any long voyage - it won't happen over night... And it certainly will be met with incremental change. Reaching the destination of Animal Rights through welfare laws, and civil disobedience, through politics and social awareness, through science, the arts and literature and through talking to a neighbor about what's wrong with the circus. It will be on all levels. Each to the other may seem insignificant at the time... Or it may even be judged as "wrong" advocacy. The methods and issues of others may not be paramount ones - to everyone. But, like I said in an earlier post... it's not like the bus is overflowing yet to be so picky about each and every strategy.
I'm not going to "fight" or alienate fellow passengers. Further still, no matter how much we say we only want to cause "legal" financial damage - "illegal" financial harm will also take place. If not... it will be the first time in history that a social struggle did not have some amount of unlawful collateral damage. I'm certainly not involved in that kind of activity. However, nothing I say or do is going to influence what others see as their best tactical strategy. None of us can "police" what another does. I'm certainly not about to tell someone - NO! Don't do this activity because it "may" not work. I don't believe there is one single strategy which will work, exclusive of others. Spreading the message through potlucks or protests all have their place within this movement. Unfortunately I've seen arguing from all sides...
No, I'm not speaking of productive and informative debate and authentic questions and valid comments. I'm referring to slurs, defamatory criticisms, ugly name calling, abusive language, accusations and other useless bickering. If I've ever associated myself with pointless "tear the other" down nonsense I sincerely regret doing such. You see... I am not the driver of this Animal Rights bus - I am merely a passenger too. I don't know the "exact" way the destination will be reached... long after my bones have gone to dust. But, what I do know - is that energy spent warring amongst ourselves is less that goes to fighting "them". I know who my "them" is... Do you?