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  • Owen Gunden

Why liberation?

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

I use the term liberation in order to contrast with other types of work done on behalf of animals, such as animal welfare or animal advocacy.

At Phauna, we're especially interested in supporting groups who are doing liberation work, for a few reasons. We think it's more neglected than other types of work. We also think it's more honest, and that it pays dividends. Finally, we think it's more exciting.

Neglect. As far as I can tell, the vast majority of effort that's going towards helping animals is going towards welfare programs or specific types of domestic and wild animal protection. While we don't necessarily oppose all of these efforts, we do have concerns about the efficacy of welfare programs. More importantly, we feel our impact can be much higher if we focus our funding in the relatively tiny space of animal liberation.

Honesty. If I told you I wanted animals treated better on farms, I wouldn't exactly be lying, but I also wouldn't be telling the truth. The truth is I want animals free from farms entirely. Being honest about what we want shows respect for others. Being honest also accustoms us to being authentic. Being honest is admirable, and thus we may earn more respect from those who disagree with us. Being honest takes more courage, which shows bravery and inspires courage in others. Finally, it shows consistency, which engenders trust. All of these benefits accrue from a policy of honesty. If what you really want is to liberate animals completely from human exploitation, I hope you'll join us in saying so loudly and clearly for all to hear.

Excitement. It's easy to fall into "plan B", when plan A seems hard. But far too often, plan B isn't actually leading us to what we want, so we find ourselves feeling bleh. Staying focused on what we really want is key. I'm personally much more excited by liberation than I am about welfare, because that's what I really want. That excitement flows into my energy for the work. It also is more likely to inspire others.

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