Since when is Murder Considered Vegan?

On Monday, Salon.com was the first out of the gates with the rumor that Adam Lanza was “an organic vegan” who “didn’t want to hurt animals.” By now, with the help of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, that news has probably made it clear around the ever-widening Bible belt, up through the armpit of Idaho to the outback outhouses of Alaska’s North Slope.

But whether or not Lanza eschewed animal flesh, he really couldn’t be considered an ethical vegan since vegans make every effort to avoid harming animals and—although some people are loathe to admit it—humans are animals. Ultimately, Adam Lanza’a  food choices have no more bearing on his decision to go on a killing spree at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary than the fascinating anecdote that he was left-handed (if he was) or that he had Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism (which he did). (But, the point that his mother was a paranoid, survivalist gun-hoarder might actually have some bearing on the case).

The fact is, Lanza simply snapped. For whatever reason, the troubled twenty-year-old went completely off the deep end and acted out for no other explainable reason than insanity itself. None of his victims had anything to do with hurting animals; they were just innocent first graders minding their own business.

What concerns me is that some otherwise normal, caring vegan will snap in the name of the animals and set the entire animal rights movement back for years to come. Just today I received the following comment to one of my blog posts:

“When the subject of Wolf-murder was first mentioned, last year, I said people should put an ultimatum into the public domain to this effect: Kill ONE Wolf and TEN vermin will be randomly executed as retribution. Kill a SECOND Wolf and TWENTY MORE people will die. Kill a THIRD Wolf and FORTY more people will be slotted. For each Wolf murdered, the number of vermin ‘offed’ as retribution will be doubled, and absolutely ANYONE will become an X-Ray, with no concessions to age or gender or anything else. THAT is the way to do business…”

Although this commenter may sound like they’ve already gone postal, I think their point was to inspire others to take aggressive action. She doesn’t even live on this continent and couldn’t possibly act on her vindictive recommendations.

I’m certainly not going to argue that some of the wolf-killers out there don’t deserve a taste of their own medicine; but what if one of the hunters “randomly executed” turned out to be a good person in-the-making, such as the former hunter who recently wrote this?:

“I stopped hunting and trapping long ago. For years, I was ambivalent about speaking out because I accepted the cultural and psychological influences motivating those who grew up considering unnecessary killing a sport.  I’ve come to recognize how superficial, shallow, fleeting and self-destructive is this violent indulgence. I’ve come 180 degrees. For me, it is the senseless open seasons on wolves, bears, and in Wisconsin, even mourning doves.”

Nothing sways public opinion against someone’s cause more than when they decide to go on a shooting spree—especially if their victims are human.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

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18 thoughts on “Since when is Murder Considered Vegan?

  1. The fact that 99% or so of serial killers, random snipers, murderous rapists of children, and all the rest have histories of abusing animals never has swayed people away from SUPPORTING animal abusers in farms, labs, slaughterhouses, etc. Now, despite all the “facts” in this case that don’t add up, all the problems this guy had from birth, suddenly veganism will be to blame for what he apparently did in the warped minds of certain people with ugly agendas. How convenient for some. I’m actually surprised more ARAs don’t go postal with all the vile garbage people try to heap on us constantly and the hideous, absolutely monstrous cruelty people indulge in, promote and support. There are doubts about this case, things may not be what they seem, Lanza may have been a patsy, so says Jon Rappoport anyways, but who knows? We’re only told what the media wants us to know. Poor innocent kids, brought into this insane asylum, what a world.

      • Thank you Danielle; we always hope these stories are only urban legends, cannot possibly be true. May it all end and very soon.

    • I agree with what all you said here, Laura, except that I reject the conspriracy theory in this case. Why would someone go to the trouble of setting up a patsy, just to kill innocent children? It’s not like they were any kind of political target.

      • Look at all the anti-gun mass hysteria being fueled and used politically to get new gun laws passed all over the country, only serving in the end to take self-defense away from law abiding people.

        The truly worst school mass killing was by a farmer who used a bomb to blow up a school full of children because of tax grievances in 1927 in Michigan, no guns and he killed 38 children and 6 adults, and even though it’s harder to make bombs now, people still do it.

        All I’m saying is for people to not believe everything told to us by the media. We live in a giant insane asylum and any incomprehensible atrocity is possible. I’m crazy enough to be waiting for a real CURE for it all to get here.

      • Jim,

        This short is from Vimeo.

        WARNING!

        Graphic Content.

        http://vimeo.com/54531136

        We have made a HUGE difference in 2012.

        Call NM Gov’s office (Laura Gonzalez).

        The Center for Biological Diiversity has filed a lawsuit against New Mexico regarding the senseless slaughter of the Lobo.

        I was told only approximately 200 people have called!

        Let’s FLOOD their office with calls!

        All those World Wide, if you love our brothers and sisters, call US (505) 476-2200.

        Be kind to the one fielding these calls.

        This person had no idea of the Wolf’s plight and suffering.

        This person will be looking at this Blog, as well as Howling for Justice.

        Bless all!!

  2. Rumors ans lies are out of control. What kind of smack are these people talking about? Trying to tarnish the animal rights movement again with the whole “Hitler was a vegetarian” thing. Ethical vegans are full heartedly against the death of innocence which includes animals and people(which are animals too).

    I prefer nonviolent activism like classroom presentations, tabling events, leafleting, sign-carrying protests, op-ed pieces, undercover investigations and civil disobedience. It takes a wider array of tactics, however, to achieve substantive change. Given the choice of apathy or someone liberating mink, burning down a research torture-laboratory, or killing a vivisectionist or other DIRECT murderer of animals, I will choose the aforesaid actions over apathy any day of the week.

    “Those who truly care about animal rights must begin to view all animals as family members. We should try and reason with those who enslave and kill animals in order to liberate our nonhuman family. But that process alone cannot produce freedom. The time has come to forcibly free our family members from their captors, even if that means injuring or killing someone in the process. It is not violent to physically stop someone from killing someone else. Using force to stop abuse or murder is a noble, justifiable act of vicarious self-defense.” -Gary Yourofsky
    Remember it’s the oppressor not the oppressed. You are not a ethical person for killing innocent beings.

    I personally wouldn’t kill a direct abuser of animals (more likely beat the hell out of them) but if it was that or stand and do nothing, the choice is clear. Empathy should only be reserved for
    innocent beings—human or nonhuman. Institutionalized violence doesn’t simply vanish with a peaceful protest, a dose of logic and a whole lotta love. If people continually deny animals their inherent right to be free, radical tactics are necessary and justified. Physically preventing an abuser from committing abuse and killing a murderer to stop the murder are noble, vicarious acts of self-defense. Remember that cop who killed a father abusing a child http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JfNUvgEsoE&feature=share&list=PL2D183EFED9619203

    If anyone who is reading this and supports what happens in the video, and then labels groups such as the ALF and ARM as terrorists, is the true definition of hypocrisy.

    • Dywane Brown, I had a lot to say about this post, but you said it all! Beautiful! It was beautiful! Thank you! On behalf of innocent victims everywhere, thank you! I’ll add just one thing: #17 of Derrick Jensen’s 20 Premises. “It is a mistake (or more likely, denial) to base our decisions on whether actions arising from these will or won’t frighten fence-sitters, or the mass of Americans.”

    • No doubt photos and videos can make you want to go out and kill, but there’s a big difference between beating a perpetrator of animal abuse and plotting the mass murder of twenty or fourty “vermin” (the kind of thing this post was referring to). Maybe you condone that as well. The problem is, it would be like shooting spit wads at a Sherman tank. All I know is that I’d hate to have to hear all the boo-hooing for the first trapper or vivisectionist killed in this country. The media would turn them into martyrs and play up what a great family man and philanthropist they were.

  3. Here is my prediction: After this rumor is blasted from the rooftops by fox fiction and other mainstream “news,” it will be proven untrue. This fact will appear in a few backwater locations on the internet.

    I can certainly see an animal rights activist “snapping.” What will NEVER happen is that they will mow down a class of kindergarteners. It is the suffering of innocents that cause decent caring people to become activists in the first place. But if they mow down a roomful of torturers, will it be “snapping” or will it be finally reacting in a manner befitting the heinousness of the situation?

    • You said you, “can certainly see an animal rights activist “snapping.” What will NEVER happen is that they will mow down a class of kindergarteners.” Well, why not? The commenter I quoted above suggested there should be “…no concessions to age or gender or anything else.” Maybe the kids were going to grow up to be vivisectionists or slaughterhouse workers; chances are good they’ll all be meat-eaters and maybe hunters. The point is, once you cross through that looking glass, where do you draw the line?

      • Got to disagree with you, Jim, on this one. By its very nature, animal rights views every conscious entity whether human or non-human as a unique being, the subject of a life, and intrinsically valuable. Thus, no sane ARA would ever target a person or persons just because of their species; it would have to be on the basis of what that individual is doing and how it is adversely impacting other conscious beings that co-habit the planet. That’s the crucial distinction between ARAs and “conservationists” who claim to be unconcerned about individuals, only about the health of populations and entire species. If a biodiversity advocate were to “snap”, understandable in the face of the current anthropocene extinction event, it might make perfect sense for them to go on a murderous rampage randomly targeting young and old, innocent and guilty humans alike without regard to the relative complicity of their victims in the extinction of other lifeforms; simply being a member of the human species, or one of their ecologically-destructive domesticated animal minions, would be justification enough for liquidation.

        In contrast, an ethically-consistent ARA would never countenance random assaults on any group of humans just because they are human. But, attacks, physical or otherwise, that prevent further animal abuse and suffering, done rationally, cooly, and with a clear tactical end in mind are not just defensible but morally imperative in these ecological end-times.

      • And that is preciesely why I believe that ARAs are ethically light-years superior to your garden-variety “environmentalist” and the organizations that represent them like the National Wildlife Federation, Audubon Society and the Sierra Club whose motivating rationale for conserving wildlife is so that they’ll be around for “our children to enjoy.”

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