2. The Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights – Principle Two

Abolitionists maintain that our recognition of this one basic right means that we must abolish, and not merely regulate, institutionalized animal exploitation, and that abolitionists should not support welfare reform campaigns or single-issue campaigns.


Recognizing the right of animals not to be used as property requires that we abolish the institutionalized exploitation of nonhuman animals, and not just regulate it to make it more “humane.” Abolitionists reject animal welfare campaigns. They also reject single-issue campaigns, a particular sort of regulatory campaign that characterizes certain forms of animal exploitation as different from, and worse than, other forms of exploitation and which suggests, by implication, that other forms of exploitation are acceptable. Both welfare campaigns and single-issue campaigns actually promote animal exploitation and result in partnerships between supposed animal advocates and institutionalized exploiters.

3. The Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights – Principle Three

Abolitionists maintain that veganism is a moral baseline and that creative, nonviolent vegan education must be the cornerstone of rational animal rights advocacy.


Abolitionists embrace the idea that there is veganism and there is animal exploitation: there is no third choice. To not be a vegan is to participate directly in animal exploitation. Abolitionists promote veganism as a moral baseline or a moral imperative and as the only rational response to the recognition that animals have moral value. If animals matter morally, then we cannot treat them as commodities and eat, wear, or use them. Just as someone who promoted the abolition of slavery could not own slaves, an abolitionist with respect to animal slavery cannot consume animal products. For an abolitionist, veganism is a fundamental matter of justice. As the Abolitionist Approach is a grassroots movement, advocating veganism as a fundamental principle of justice is not something that requires large, wealthy charities and “leaders.” It is something that we all can do and must do as a grassroots movement. Each of us must be a leader.