Tag Archives: vegetarianism

Furries and Animal Welfare

An apparent contradiction for your consideration:

  1. Furries care about animal welfare. Collectively we dedicate significant time, mental energy, and charitable donations to animal welfare causes (especially at conventions where total donations several hundreds of thousands of dollars per year). 83% of furries say they support animal rights (ref).
  2. Only around 4% of furries are vegetarian (ref 2009 Furry Survey), about the same as the general population.

A group with a larger-than-normal proportion of animal welfare advocates, like furry, might be expected to have a larger-than-normal proportion of ethical vegetarians. This is not to say that all advocates of animal welfare can be expected to be vegetarian on grounds of animal welfare, simply that such a choice is more likely. So why are there so few?

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Looking for the Furry Vegetarians

This article was first published in 2012

In 2008, Klisoura’s furry survey asked “Would you describe yourself as an advocate of animal rights?”. 43% of you chose ‘yes’.

In surveys from 2009 onwards, Klisoura asks exactly the same question but only 27% of you choose ‘yes’. What changed?: in 2009, a new question was added on the following line: “Would you describe yourself as a vegetarian?”

This is an example of a phenomenon known in the psychology world as ‘priming’. When asked about animal rights and vegetarianism together, the thoughts of some users will have been drawn to their latest bacon sandwich and decided that, no, they weren’t an animal rights advocate.

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Food Stuff

I probably shouldn’t even attempt to write this article. I lack any real background knowledge on the subject, and have no academic credentials of any kind whatsoever. While I enjoy writing and contributing the occasional essay, I really ought to be devoting the time to my fiction-writing career instead just now; it’s at a crucial point, and not in a good way. Nor will many people will read this compared to my works of fiction. I’m beginning late at night after a long, hard shift at work knowing full well that I’ve got to get up extra-early tomorrow, and this after going short on sleep last night for other reasons entirely. In short I’m a damned fool to be sitting here typing this. And yet here I am, pounding out the words into my iPad at the local 24-hour eatery.

Why? Because I feel a strange compulsion to do so. A compulsion, I feel, that has much to do with not only who I am as a person, but also why I’m a fur. And it was inspired, of all things, by a coincidence in timing. Just days after finishing the final draft of a novel that in large part deals with the taboo of human cannibalism, I watched with wonder as the British media erupted in outrage over the discovery of horsemeat in the human food chain.

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A Horse’s Thoughts on the Horsemeat Scandal

Over here in the UK, there’s been an extended brouhaha after many cheap TV dinners, known as ‘ready meals’ locally, were found to contain large amounts of horse instead of the promised beef. Some of the meals contained 100% Pure Horse.

Nobody knows how long the horse has been there. It only came to light because a branch of the Irish Government performed some DNA tests and announced the presence of our equine friends in mid-January. And it’s been in the news since then.

I think it’s worth discussing here on [adjective][species] because it relates to our relationship with animals. Also, I’m a furry horse, so I get asked how I feel about horses as a source of meat.

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Eating Your Spirit Animal

Food, like sex, sometimes has a complex political subtext.

The politics of food made from animals can be especially complex. There are ethical, environmental, moral, and health arguments for and against the consumption of meat.

There are also gender issues associated with meat consumption: why is meat, particularly red meat, associated with masculinity? For example, check out these adverts from Australia, the UK, and the US: all satirical, and all accept the premise that masculinity is inexorably connected with meat consumption. Some feminists believe this connection reinforces objectification of women, arguing that it casts women as the passive supplier of flesh, and men as the active devourer.

Regardless of your own point of view, this seemingly simple basic need for the sustenance of life – the need to eat – has become a complex political subject.

And it’s complicated further if you’re a furry. If you identify as an animal person, it’s impossible to ignore that we live in a world where animals are commodities.

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