No, Gary Francione says that Gary Francione is not part of the existing movement. In this 30 second clip from Go Vegan Radio (September 6th, 2015), Francione explains it all to host Bob Linden.
In the clip above, Francione clearly states that he has nothing to do with the existing animal movement. Indeed, in his view, his separation from the prevailing movement means that he cannot be charged with being divisive within in. On the 23rd April, 2016, long-time Camp Francione insider, Elizabeth Collins (NZ Vegan), stated
- But there isn't any infighting if it is one movement criticizing another movement. If one is a welfarist supporter one is in the welfarist movement, not the abolitionist movement. We criticise the welfarist movement. That's not infighting.
In this, Collins accepts that the Francione "movement" (to the extent that it exists at all) is a countermovement to the animal advocacy movement. In fact, she uses a sociological definition of a countermovement: "a social movement opposed to another social movement."
Ever since the mid-1990s, Francione has embraced an increasingly isolated, outsider, position. He likes being seen as a maverick. The last thing he wants is to be part of the existing movement.
The longer audio clip (3:30 mins), below, and from the same show, is extraordinary. First, however, please be aware that it contains ableist language towards the end of the clip.
Second, it places Francione's statement (in the above audio clip) in the context of animal movement moves towards working for - or accepting - or partnering in - forms of other animal exploitation that are labelled "humane."
Third, Francione essentially argues against himself here. Listen to the clip and you will hear Francione saying that, not only are the traditional welfarist groups, such as the HSUS, partnering with animal exploitation industries, so are the "animal rights" groups. He names PeTA, Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals, and Farm Sanctuary in this context.
This is bizarre. It could be possible that Francione was trying to simplify things for Bob Linden, who shows no evidence of understanding the difference between an organisation that stands for animal welfare and one that stands (or says it stands) for animal rights. Linden often calls the HSUS an animal rights group - whereas Francione, in the clip and elsewhere, correctly places them as conventional animal welfarists.
However, for the above reason, or some other - like convenience, Francione is arguing that these "animal rights" organisations are in alliance with the welfarist ones, and all are partnering with industry to attempt to bring about the "humane" exploitation of other animals. Francione is flatly contradicting himself with this claim. Ever since he wrote Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement (1996), Francione has claimed that organisations such as those he lists are not animal rights groups at all. They are welfarist groups, more specifically, they are all New Welfarist groups.
By his own theory since the mid-1990s - we are not talking about an alliance of rights and welfare groups - the former don't even exist according to Francione. Therefore, the claim in the clip below is bewildering. This cannot be a rights-welfare coalition at all; it can only be, at best, a welfare and new welfare cartel.
Francione has declared that "animal rights is dead," - not least because he ran away from the fight for animal rights as initiated in the late 1970s by Tom Regan - and so it seems that he has rather lost the plot on this.
What he means, of course, is that the phrase "animal rights" is overwhelmingly used rhetorically in the "animal rights movement." In other words, for most animal advocates, the term "animal rights" is just that - a term. It is a label with no philosophical substance.
The idea of animal rights - that is, rights-based animal rights that takes the philosophy of rights seriously - is worth fighting for: within the movement.
Francione has backed off from the fight - and he's an outsider in any case. The fight for animal rights needs a reboot in the 21st century. Let's hope that there are enough rights-based animal advocates to do it!