Gary Francione with Mollie and Katie, who were rescued
from a kill shelter.
Born Gary Lawrence Francione on May 29, 1954. He is an
American legal scholar and Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas
deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University
School of Law-Newark. He has been teaching animal rights and the law for
more than 20 years and was the first academic to teach animal rights theory
in an American law school.
Gary Francione is well known for his abolitionist
theory of animal rights, arguing that animal welfare is
theoretically and practically unsound, serving only to prolong
the status of animals as property by making the public feel
comfortable about using them. His theory was developed in his
Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?.
He has written several other books about
abolition and animal rights that you can find at this
His website is
Rights: The Abolitionist Approach.
Gary Francione - documentary project I'm
Quotes by Gary Francione:
|"We cannot justify
treating any sentient nonhuman as our property, as our resource,
as a thing that we can use and kill for our purposes."
|"We all say that we take animal interests
seriously, but in reality, our society treats animals in much
the same way that it treats any other form of property. If,
however, we did accord animals this one right not to be treated
as property, we would be committed to abolishing and not merely
regulating animal exploitation because our uses of animals for
food, experiments, product testing, entertainment, and clothing
all assume that animals are nothing but property. If we accepted
that animals have the right not to be treated as our property,
we would stop—completely—bringing domestic animals into
|"We believe that no human should be
treated exclusively as the resource of other humans. We have no
rational or morally justifiable reason to deny this protection
to sentient nonhumans. We cannot justify treating any sentient
nonhuman as our property, as our resource, as a thing that we
can use and kill for our purposes."
|"if animal use cannot be morally
justified, then we ought to be clear about that, and advocate
for no use. Although rape and child molestation are ubiquitous,
we do not have campaigns for "humane" rape or "humane" child
molestation. We condemn it all. We should do the same with
respect to animal exploitation."
|"We all condemn Michael Vick for sitting
around a pit and watching dogs fight because he derives pleasure
from doing so. The rest of us sit around the barbecue pit and
roast the bodies of animals who have been tortured as badly
as—if not worse than—Vick’s fighting dogs, because we enjoy the
taste. That’s moral schizophrenia. We treat some animals as
members of our family, and we stick forks into other animals who
are no different from our nonhuman family members."
|"There is absolutely no morally defensible
distinction between flesh and other animal products, such as
milk or cheese. Animals used in the dairy industry usually live
longer and are treated as badly if not worse than their meat
counterparts, and they all end up in the same slaughterhouse
anyway. The meat and dairy industries are inextricably
intertwined. As far as I am concerned, there is more suffering
in a glass of milk than in a pound of steak, though I would not
consume either. Vegetarianism as a moral position is no more
coherent than saying that you think it morally wrong to eat meat
from a spotted cow but not morally wrong to eat meat from a
non-spotted cow. We do not need any animal products for health
purposes, and animal agriculture is an ecological disaster. The
best justification that we have for killing billions of animals
every year is that they taste good. That simply cannot suffice
as a moral justification."
|"I have been in a number of
slaughterhouses in my life. I have been on dairy farms, egg
farms (conventional, cage-free, and organic), and just about
everyplace else that involves institutionalized exploitation.
There is nothing—nothing—that I want to eat or wear or otherwise
consume so badly that I would ever be a part of the torture—and
I use that word literally—that goes on in the very best, the
supposedly most “humane,” of those horrible places."
|"I find it very annoying that so many
animal advocates talk about the difficulty of being vegan. Many
animal advocates are inclined to make the issue their suffering
and not the animals’ suffering, and I suppose that accounts for
part of the reason that veganism is portrayed as such a
"sacrifice." And many animal advocates are not vegans, or are
“flexible vegans,” which means that they do not observe veganism
at all or not consistently, and emphasizing the supposed
difficulty of veganism is part of justifying their own behavior.
Just as I take an absolutist position on rape and pedophilia and
racism, and do not think that being "flexible"0 about these
issues is appropriate, I am not "flexible" about my veganism. It
represents for me a matter of fundamental justice, and reflects
my moral and spiritual commitment to nonviolence."
|"the Internet has changed the landscape of
animal advocacy. People all around the world can communicate
with each other and can now form communities with others. We are
no longer dependent on the formal structure of the large groups
to communicate. And that is precisely what is happening. There
is a vibrant grassroots community developing completely outside
of the formal structure of the large groups. And advocates are
engaged in all sorts of creative, nonviolent vegan advocacy. I
am very excited about the future."
Quotes are from his
2002 interview with Friends of Animals and his
2011 interview with The Believer.