Tom Regan, ARZone, and the Challenge of Diverse Perspectives


As someone relatively new to the Animal Rights movement, I am always trying to absorb as much information as I can. I am fortunate to have access to a wide number of books due to my reviews, but find that some books I wish to read are not as likely to be sent my way. The local libraries are not well stocked with such literature, leaving my options for affordable sourcing rather limited. Online resources are plentiful, and with forums, podcasts, and chats, there is a lot of information free of any charge. Of course, the trick is to find valid information, because there is also a lot of misinformation out there, too.

I remember receiving something in my email last year about an interview with Dan Cudahy on a site called Animal Rights Zone, or ARZone.  This type of site was rather new to me, but I wanted to hear what Dan had to say. I knew he was part of the abolitionist movement, and frequently linked to his articles in my own blog. Following in short order were other interesting folks, including Vincent Guihan and Jo Charlebois, Gary Francione, Roger Yates,  and others with sometimes divergent perspectives.  I was able to ask questions of such noted people as Ric O’Barry of The Cove and Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson. They also profile the occasional grassroots activist, such as my good friend and technical advisor, Jordan Wyatt of Invercargill Vegan Society (and podcast Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals), an end-of-the-world one-man abolitionist incursion.  A few of the guests have been quite controversial, including those with very different viewpoints than my own, such people as Bruce Friedrich of PeTA, Matt Ball of Vegan Outreach, transhumanist David Pearce, or former vivisectionist Colin Blakemore.  Even the administrators have a wide range of views, with the shared commonality of being abolitionist vegans. Transcripts following chats are available for anyone who cares to further the dialogue and often the guests will return to answer questions, too.

The past few weeks on ARZone have been of particular note, with Tom Regan’s interview being published, and a workshop related to that interview taking place on Saturday, May 22, 2011. For any of you who know nothing of him, he is a one-time butcher who became a leading proponent of Animal Rights and has written extensively on the subject. He reports that if he could become an animal rights activist, anyone can. Of course, Tom Regan is far from your garden variety ARA, he has been one of the prominent voices in the movement for decades. His humility and quest for justice have stood the test of time. For further information, check out his interview or read the workshop transcripts on ARZone. If time permits,  read some of his many books on the subject.