How Rhetoric Shapes the Animal Rights Movement
Open dialogue is an important tool for moving discourse forward and gaining a better understanding of the issues we face in our time. In the spirit of open dialogue, the following is my response to the essay Animal Rights and the Challenge of Activism.
In the essay, the author describes the different tactics used by animal rights activists to persuade non-vegans. She emphasizes the importance of free speech, open inquiry, and debate, in particular the importance of non-vegans’ ability to challenge vegans. But in doing so, she also unwittingly exposes how her own rhetoric might influence people in such a way that might undermine the animal rights movement. My response isn’t an attempt at a ‘take-down’ of the author, but instead it is a way to show how important language is in animal rights activism and how even those of us with the best intentions can fall into these traps.