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International Animal Rights ConferenceInternational Animal Rights Conference
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Saturday, 09.09.2017   15:30-16:20   Room B
Resolving resentment towards carnists
Philosophy as support for becoming more compassionate activists
Marloes Boere

As animal rights activists, it is very common to experience resentment towards meat eaters and others who harm non-human animals. While this resentment might seem an indication of our own sense of justice, it has the risk of making us bitter, tired and less effective in our communication with carnists. As a daughter of a dairy farmer, the process of becoming aware of the injustice that speciesism is, involved a difficult struggle in how to relate to my parents, who do not only support the industry, but are active participators in it.

I found a lot of spiritual guidance in the philosophical theory of Gideon Rosen and Neil Levy. They hold that we should be skeptical towards judgments of blame, because people act out of ignorance. In my view, their arguments become particularly clear and sound when we examine carnistic behavior. In this presentation I will outline this argument. I will explain how the philosophical position I hold with respect to blame can help us deal with this resentment. Eventually, I believe, this position can support us in becoming both happier and more effective activists.




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