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(Ex-?)Vegan abolitionist Gary L. Francione on May 31, 2010:

Hey, all: I am taking a leave of absence from Twitter while I do some other projects. Keep visiting www.abolitionistapproach.com. Go vegan. 

May 31, 2010 11:05:32 AM CDT via web

Excuse me, a leave of absence from Twitter? Is it really so difficult to copy and paste 140-character references to the “moral schizophrenia” of eating meat now and again? Francione’s last tweet implied that he would keep his followers informed of any breaking anti-speciesism news through his blog, but he hasn’t posted a new entry since May 2. Could that be because Francione hasn’t had any new anti-speciesism insights to relay?

And if he hasn’t, is that because Francione has finally embraced who he really is — a meat-starved, cheese craving, human-idolizing speciesist? The documentary Outrage explores politicians who enact anti-gay policies but are secretly gay themselves. Is Francione a self-hating speciesist who makes a big public show of anti-speciesism to hide the truth? Might “other projects” include a burger tour of the tri-state area perchance? 

It may seem like a leap to assume all this from Francione’s silence, but the fact is Francione’s rigid anti-speciesism veneer was starting to crack even before that last tweet. Let’s examine some earlier tweets that were quite telling in retrospect:

Now here’s smart thinking. Meat causes cancer so let’s keep eating it but reduce the risk by using spices. http://bit.ly/bL9VED 

May 24, 2010 8:37:51 AM CDT via web

Yep, that was Francione telling his followers to eat meat as long as it was covered in spices. He was being sarcastic, true, but Francione damn well knows that his abolitionist devotees take everything he says literally and believe it unquestioningly. He knew the consequences of that tweet — abolitionists eating spicy meat — and he tweeted it anyway. Probably to assuage the guilt he felt over indulging his own latent omnivorism.

vegannovice Per-capita meat consumption in the United States has increased by 8 percent since 1970 http://bit.ly/93wJeD 

May 19, 2010 4:53:15 PM CDT via web

This is a retweet, but it gives a good indication of how Francione was feeling about his own efforts, and the efforts of anti-speciesists in general: beyond useless, to the point of counter-productive. Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation was published in 1975 and Francione joined the chorus of voices for the voiceless in 1984. Nevertheless, we eat more meat than ever. How do you want to divide the blame, Francione? To be nice I’ll give PETA credit for six percent of the meat consumption increase, but that still leaves Singer and Francione splitting the last two. 

With that retweet, a defeated Francione seemed to be conceding that the focus should be on animal welfare rather than rights. “People are always going to eat meat,” Francione was apparently saying. “Meat consumption is up eight percent. No doubt it will be up nine percent tomorrow. To think animal use will ever drop to zero is a fantasy so childish it would make Peter Pan blush. We must steer course away from abolitionism and put all our efforts toward making sure these animals get the best treatment possible.”

Unfortunately, that was too long to fit into a tweet, so we got that enigmatic retweet instead. 

Talk with at least one other person today about veganism. 

May 7, 2010 7:48:26 AM CDT via web

Notice that Francione didn’t say “listen to my old podcasts and read my old blog entries about veganism,” the surest way to keep his flock happily in the fold. No, he ordered his followers to talk to regular people, people who are likely not to be abolitionists or even vegans. In other words, he demanded their exposure to other viewpoints, knowing his followers would face difficult questions like “Where do you get your protein?” and “What about cavemen?”

Francione is no fool. He knew this would have repercussions — many abolitionists would become speciesist animal users overnight. And that’s exactly what Francione wanted.

I am going to eat my vegetarian dinner, which is completely plant based,as all vegetarian dinners should be & then The Tudors on Showtime.

 

April 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm is where I’d pinpoint Francione’s first forays into happy meat. Look how desperately he insists that his meal is meat-free. He’s an abolitionist vegan who once tweeted “Go vegan” multiple times a day. Shouldn’t it go without saying that his meal that night was going to be “completely plant based,as all vegetarian dinners should be”?

And then he quickly changes the subject to “The Tudors,” making sure to name-drop Showtime. Why? So we know he has premium cable? What does this have to do with sentient beings, other than distracting us so we don’t ask for details of his meal, which was almost certainly a pile of butchered sentience? Did you say a prayer to the murdered animals before you ate their delicious decaying flesh, Francione?  

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Much of this is speculation, but now comes the most damning piece of evidence. Check out this excerpt from a Rutgers News story on June 28, 2010, which includes a quote from Francione, making it the most recent thing the father of abolitionism has said on record: 

Four rising young scholars will begin teaching at Rutgers School of Law–Newark during the 2010-11 academic year. “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to hire four excellent entry-level people who show every indication of becoming leaders in their fields. The appointment of these new faculty members demonstrates that Rutgers–Newark remains highly attractive to top candidates entering the teaching market,” said Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy, and Co-Chair of the Appointments Committee.

Who are these “excellent” “top candidates” that Francione was so “delighted” to have at Rutgers? They are: Taja-Nia Y. Henderson, Christina S. Ho, Chrystin Ondersma and Reid K. Weisbord. They seem fine to me, except for one little thing… none of them are vegan! They’re all avowed speciesists! Just look at this this quote from Henderson in The Dartmouth, from when she was in college (a time when most people of a compassionate bent are at least experimenting with vegetarianism):

Taja-Nia Henderson ‘97 said Byrne has “the best food on campus, honestly.” … Henderson said, “I eat at Byrne Hall because it makes more sense than walking to the Food Court to eat a hamburger or some random pasta dish. At Byrne they have several choices whether it be stir-fry or chicken and rice. You don’t have to worry about whether it will be tasty or not. The food is always good,” she added.

"The food is always good," eh Henderson? Is that what you call abused and murdered sentient beings rotting over rice… "food"? And Francione is delighted?!

In an interview with Columbia University Press a while back, Francione said: “Our only justification for using nonhuman animals in experiments is our species bias, or speciesism, and that prejudice can no more defended than can racism, sexism or heterosexism.” By that logic, a speciesist (non-vegan) professor is no better than a racist, sexist and homophobic professor. Would Francione be delighted to have David Duke as a professor at Rutgers if he were a “top candidate”?

Talk about “moral schizophrenia”!

Unless, that is, Francione is now a speciesist, which is the only conclusion I can draw from this that makes any sense. 

So enjoy your happy meat, Francione. At least the cow was smiling before you decapitated it.