Gary Francione

About Gary Francione

Gary Lawrence Francione (born May 1954) is an American legal scholar. He is the Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law–Newark.

Francione is known for his work on animal rights theory, and was the first academic to teach it in an American law school. His work has focused on three issues: the property status of animals, the differences between animal rights and animal welfare, and a theory of animal rights based on sentience alone, rather than on any other cognitive characteristics.

He is a pioneer of the abolitionist theory of animal rights, arguing that animal welfare regulation is theoretically and practically unsound, serving only to prolong the status of animals as property by making the public feel comfortable about using them. He argues that non-human animals require only one right, the right not to be regarded as property, and that ethical veganism – the rejection of the use of animal products – is the moral baseline of the animal rights movement. He rejects all forms of violence, arguing that the animal rights movement is the logical progression of the peace movement, seeking to take it one step further by ending conflict between human and non-human animals, and by treating animals as ends in themselves.

Francione is the author or co-author of several books about animal rights, including The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? (2010, with Robert Garner), Animals as Persons (2008), Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement (1996), and Animals, Property, and the Law (1995). He has also written papers on copyright, patent law, and law and science.

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Quotes By Gary Francione

You cannot live a nonviolent life as long as you are consuming violence. Please consider going vegan.

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Welfare reforms and the whole "happy" exploitation movement are not "baby steps" They are big steps - in a seriously backward direction.

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We should always be clear that animal exploitation is wrong because it involves speciesism. And speciesism is wrong because, like racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism, classism, and all other forms of human discrimination, speciesism involves violence inflicted on members of the moral community where that infliction of violence cannot be morally justified. But that means that those of us who oppose speciesism necessarily oppose discrimination against humans. It makes no sense to say that speciesism is wrong because it is like racism (or any other form of discrimination) but that we do not have a position about racism. We do. We should be opposed to it and we should always be clear about that.

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We do not need to eat animals, wear animals, or use animals for entertainment purposes, and our only defense of these uses is our pleasure, amusement, and convenience.

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We cannot justify treating any sentient nonhuman as our property, as a resource, as a thing that we an use and kill for our purposes

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We can no more justify using nonhumans as human resources than we can justify human slavery. Animal use and slavery have at least one important point in common: both institutions treat sentient beings exclusively as resources of others. That cannot be justified with respect to humans; it cannot be justified with respect to nonhumans—however "humanely" we treat them.

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Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing nonviolence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable.

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Veganism is not a limitation in any way; it’s an expansion of your love, your commitment to nonviolence, and your belief in justice for all.

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Veganism is not a "sacrifice." It is a joy.

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Veganism is an act of nonviolent defiance. It is our statement that we reject the notion that animals are things and that we regard sentient nonhumans as moral persons with the fundamental moral right not to be treated as the property or resources of humans

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Veganism is about nonviolence. It is about not engaging in harm to other sentient beings; to oneself; and to the environment upon which all beings depend for life. In my view, the animal rights movement is, at its core, a movement about ending violence to all sentient beings. It is a movement that seeks fundamental justice for all. It is an emerging peace movement that does not stop at the arbitrary line that separates humans from nonhumans

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Veganism deprives us of absolutely nothing. On the contrary, it provides a priceless gift: the peace of knowing that we are no longer participants in the hideous violence that is animal exploitation.

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Vegan food: easy, cheap, fast, healthy, delicious. Don’t let anyone tell you anything to the contrary.

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To say that a being who is sentient has no interest in continuing to live is like saying that a being with eyes has no interest in continuing to see. Death - however "humane" - is a harm for humans and nonhumans alike.

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There is a tendency to see inherent or intrinsic value as some mysterious concept. It’s not. It just reflects the reality that some things–nonsentient things like rocks, cars, and cell phones–have value only to the extent we value them. Some others–humans and sentient nonhumans–value themselves even if no one else values them. Inherent value is the name we given to the moral recognition of that valuation.

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Stop trying to make excuses. There are no good ones to make. Go vegan.

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Speciesism is morally objectionable because, like racism, sexism, and heterosexism, it links personhood with an irrelevant criterion. Those who reject speciesism are committed to rejecting racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of discrimination as well.

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So it is always preferable to discuss the matter of veganism in a non-judgemental way. Remember that to most people, eating flesh or dairy and using animal products such as leather, wool, and silk, is as normal as breathing air or drinking water. A person who consumes dairy or uses animal products is not necessarily or usually what a recent and unpopular American president labelled an "evil doer."

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People need to be educated so that they can make intelligent moral choices

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Peace begins with what you eat, wear, and use.

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None of that is necessary. It's not as if we're in a situation where it is us or them. There's something peculiar about talking about the moral status of animals, when we are killing and eating them for no reason whatsoever.

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It’s really not rocket science. If animals are not mere things; if they have moral value, we cannot justify eating, wearing, or using them particularly when we have no better reason than palate pleasure or fashion. If you are eating, wearing, or using animals, then your actions say that you regard them as mere things, despite what your words say.

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It costs us so little to go vegan. It costs animals so much if we don't

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Is veganism a matter of "choice"? That depends on whether you think we have the moral right to choose to exploit the vulnerable for frivolous purposes such as palate pleasure.

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In order to be a teacher you've got to be a student first

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If you embrace nonviolence but are not a vegan, then words of nonviolence come out of your mouth as the products of torture and death go into it;

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If you claim to love animals but you are eating them or products made from them, or otherwise consuming them, you see loving as consistent with harming that which you claim to love.

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If you care about animals, there is one and only one choice: go vegan. Can you choose not to be vegan? Sure. You can choose not to care.

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If you are not vegan, please consider going vegan. It’s a matter of nonviolence. Being vegan is your statement that you reject violence to other sentient beings, to yourself, and to the environment, on which all sentient beings depend.

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If you are an environmentalist and not a vegan, you are ignoring the undeniable fact that animal agriculture is an ecological disaster;

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If you are a feminist and are not a vegan, you are ignoring the exploitation of female nonhumans and the commodification of their reproductive processes, as well as the destruction of their relationship with their babies

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If we take the position that an assessment that veganism is morally preferable to vegetarianism is not possible because we are all “on our own journey,” then moral assessment becomes completely impossible or is speciesist. It is impossible because if we are all “on our own journey,” then there is nothing to say to the racist, sexist, anti-semite, homophobe, etc. If we say that those forms of discrimination are morally bad, but, with respect to animals, we are all “on our own journey” and we cannot make moral assessments about, for instance, dairy consumption, then we are simply being speciesist and not applying the same moral analysis to nonhumans that we apply to the human context.

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I reject animal welfare reform and single-issue campaigns because they are not only inconsistent with the claims of justice that we should be making if we really believe that animal exploitation is wrong, but because these approaches cannot work as a practical matter. Animals are property and it costs money to protect their interests; therefore, the level of protection accorded to animal interests will always be low and animals will, under the best of circumstances, still be treated in ways that would constitute torture if applied to humans.

By endorsing welfare reforms that supposedly make exploitation more "compassionate" or single-issue campaigns that falsely suggest that there is a coherent moral distinction between meat and dairy or between fur and wool or between steak and foie gras, we betray the principle of justice that says that all sentient beings are equal for purposes of not being used exclusively as human resources. And, on a practical level, we do nothing more than make people feel better about animal exploitation.

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I am opposed to animal welfare campaigns for two reasons. First, if animal use cannot be morally justified, then we ought to be clear about that, and advocate for no use. Although rape and child molestation are ubiquitous, we do not have campaigns for "humane" rape or "humane" child molestation. We condemn it all. We should do the same with respect to animal exploitation.

Second, animal welfare reform does not provide significant protection for animal interests. Animals are chattel property; they are economic commodities. Given this status and the reality of markets, the level of protection provided by animal welfare will generally be limited to what promotes efficient exploitation. That is, we will protect animal interests to the extent that it provides an economic benefit.

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Humans treat animals as things that exist as means to human ends. That’s morally wrong. Sexism promotes the idea that women are things that exist as means to the ends of men. That’s morally wrong. We need to stop treating all persons — whether human or nonhuman — as things.

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Got nonviolence? Go vegan.

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Forty-two years after Dr. King was murdered, we are still a nation of inequality. People of color, women, gays, lesbians, and others are still treated as second-class citizens. Yes, things have changed but we have still not achieved equality among all humans. And nonhuman animals continue to be chattel property without any inherent value.

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Express your thanks for all you have by resolving not to harm others. If you are not vegan, celebrate today by going vegan and then let every day forever be an expression of your thanks through your refusal to participate in animal exploitation.

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Every time you drink a glass of milk or eat a piece of cheese, you harm a mother. Please go vegan.

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Every sentient being values her/his life even if no one else does. That is what is meant by saying that the lives of all have inherent value.

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Ethical veganism results in a profound revolution within the individual; a complete rejection of the paradigm of oppression and violence that she has been taught from childhood to accept as the natural order. It changes her life and the lives of those with whom she shares this vision of nonviolence. Ethical veganism is anything but passive; on the contrary, it is the active refusal to cooperate with injustice.

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Ethical veganism represents a commitment to nonviolence.

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Donald Watson, who founded The Vegan Society in 1944 and who lived a healthy, active life until passing on in 2005, maintained that dairy products, such as milk, eggs, and cheese, were every bit as cruel and exploitive of sentient animal life as was slaughtering animals for their flesh: "The unquestionable cruelty associated with the production of dairy produce has made it clear that lactovegetarianism is but a half-way house between flesh-eating and a truly humane, civilised diet, and we think, therefore, that during our life on earth we should try to evolve sufficiently to make the 'full journey.'" He also avoided wearing leather, wool or silk and used a fork, rather than a spade in his gardening to avoid killing worms.

Let us instil in others the reverence or life that Donald Watson had and that he passed on to us.

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If so, make sure four words are part of your vocabulary: vegan, educate, adopt, foster.

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Being vegan provides us with the peace of knowing that we are no longer participants in the hideous violence that is animal exploitation.

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Being vegan is not just a matter of being "kind" to animals. First and foremost, it is a matter of being just and observing our moral obligation to not treat other sentient beings as things.

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Being vegan is easy. Are there social pressures that encourage you to continue to eat, wear, and use animal products? Of course there are. But in a patriarchal, racist, homophobic, and ableist society, there are social pressures to participate and engage in sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism. At some point, you have to decide who you are and what matters morally to you. And once you decide that you regard victimizing vulnerable nonhumans is not morally acceptable, it is easy to go and stay vegan.

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Any serious social, political, and economic change must include veganism.

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Animals are property. There are laws that supposedly protect animal interests in being treated "humanely," but that term is interpreted in large part to mean that we cannot impose "unnecessary" harm on animals, and that is measured by what treatment is considered as necessary within particular industries, and according to customs of use, to exploit animals. The bottom line is that animals do not have any respect-based rights in the way that humans have, because we do not regard animals as having any moral value. They have only economic value. We value their interests economically, and we ignore their interests when it is economically beneficial for us to do so.

At this point in time, it makes no sense to focus on the law, because as long as we regard animals as things, as a moral matter, the laws will necessarily reflect that absence of moral value and continue to do nothing to protect animals. We need to change social and moral thinking about animals before the law is going to do anything more.

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All sentient beings should have at least one right - the right not to be treated as property

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