I have criticized the futilitarians in the past for engaging in insulting behaviors. For example, calling anyone such as me a “new welfarist” is an insult since it is not descriptive and is evidently just intended to upset people. However, futility is a key theme descriptively and truly associated with Francione’s anti-“welfarism.” It is even more descriptive than “animal rights fundamentalism,” which only examines one aspect of the futilitarian position. It is not ad hominem, or directed against anyone’s personal characteristics, but rather impersonal exposition. It is not even an exaggeration. Is it satire in the sense that it is intended to make us laugh at the foibles of people who are lost in ways of error and causing harm? I have to agree with that assessment, but satire is not insult, but rather a civilized substitute for insult. Satirists invite deserved ridicule of a position that involves vice or folly. Futility deserves to be highlighted as a fault if it is indeed a shortcoming as it extensively is with the futilitarians. It may be insulting to subject someone to an indignity. It is indeed undignified to carry on with futile behaviour. However, I am not “subjecting” the futilitarians to that. They are engaging in existential absurdity of their own accord, however unwittingly. I apologize in advance if anyone feels insulted by the label. “Futilitarianism” is intended to be purely descriptive and satirical, or to highlight an irony in a certain movement that purports to be full of activist and noble purpose. Few would consent to be satirized, but few would consent to abolishing satire itself. For satire is a valuable tool for social criticism and social change.
FURTHER READING ON ANIMAL RIGHTS INCREMENTALISM
A Selection of Related Articles
Sztybel, David. "Animal Rights Law: Fundamentalism versus Pragmatism". Journal for Critical Animal Studies 5 (1) (2007): 1-37.
Short version of "Animal Rights Law".
Sztybel, David. "Incrementalist Animal Law: Welcome to the Real World".
Sztybel, David. "Sztybelian Pragmatism versus Francionist Pseudo-Pragmatism".
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