Five Reasons Why We Can Make Animal Liberation Happen
by Priya Sawhney
INFLUENTIAL PHILOSOPHERS BELIEVE EATING ANIMALS IS A THING OF THE PAST
In 2015, four contemporary philosophers shared their views on BBC, overwhelmingly agreeing that eating animals is unjustifiable. Professor of Moral Philosophy at University of Oxford strongly stated, “animals have moral status, and animal suffering matters because it’s a harm to something that counts morally.”
2. CHANGE HAPPENS… AND IT HAPPENS FAST
When it comes to predicting change, it turns out that humans are not very good at measuring if and when change will happen. The end of history illusion teaches us that when we are asked to predict change, we tend to imagine that we will be no different tomorrow than we are today. But it turns out, change does happen, and it happens far faster than any one of us can predict. A few decades ago, only 1 in 4 people supported marriage equality and the idea of it being legal was unthinkable. Today, over 60% of the population supports marriage equality and it has become a legal right in the U.S.A and many other countries.
3. SUSTAINED NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION WORKS. EVERY SINGLE TIME.
We’ve been told that in order to create change, we need to have majority of the population on our side. But political scientist Erica Chenoweth, who has studied past social justice movements, has proven otherwise. In order to win in even the most difficult sort of movement - a movement to completely replace the political order - you don’t need the majority. All you need is 3.5% (and probably far less). If we can mobilize 3.5% of the population in sustained and nonviolent direct action, we can almost certainly win.
4. WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF ANIMAL LOVERS
A recent survey found that 85% of the population believes that “animals should be protected from all suffering and harm.” In the United States, 3 out of 5 people have companion animals. And 95% of those people buy their companion animals Christmas presents. If we look on social media, it is full of videos of animals being rescued and saved. People who would otherwise make great sacrifices for animals have been forced into a state of complacency by a system which has conspired to make them passive in the face of unimaginable violence.
5. WE CAN BEND THE ARC TOWARDS LIBERATION
As historian of science Michael Shermer shows in his book The Moral Arc, contemplation and reflection have brought humanity closer toward justice and liberation over time. But we forget that the arc doesn’t bend on it’s own. We have to bend it. We all have a moral obligation to bend it together. Within each of us lies the power to create great change to make animal liberation a reality.