Sunday 3 December 2023

The vegan movement is more important than ever. It simply isn't important to vegans.

So many years have gone by, Footsoldier: you have known of my existence for approximately seven or eight years by now, correct?

I do not ascribe bad intentions to you: I would tend to assume that your intentions were —from the outset— to make the world a better place.  Even when you were a clueless Durianrider worshipper, your reasons for worshipping him were not the pursuit of money, fame, sex or even a more impressive physique.

Many, many other vegans, I would indeed ascribe bad intentions to.  I do believe your old nemesis Isaac (Ask Yourself) has bad intentions.  Richard (Vegan Gains) even moreso.

When you disagreed with me about the metrics indicating that veganism was then in decline, I did not ascribe bad intentions to you: I know what it was that you wanted to believe, and I know that your reasons for that optimism are "pure", so to speak.

However, I was correct: veganism was in decline, and it still is in decline.

Wayne Hsiung is now in jail and astonishingly few people care (even though the story was carried in the mainstream press).  Just four years ago, he was in a video (presenting him as a hero) that attracted 3.6 million views.  From the last seven years you can find examples of videos with tens of thousands, occasionally over a hundred thousand views, telling his story, "spreading his name".

His most recent uploads to his channel number as follows:




In the midst of the same storm of controversy, here are the numbers from "Direct Action Everywhere - DxE":




• 370 views (this one has Wayne's trial in it)


Now my own channel may be a dismal failure in many different respects, but I would hope that if I went to prison under dramatic circumstances, and it was covered by the mainstream press, I'd pull a good two thousand views, minimum.  I have videos with "the n-word" in the title that have pulled in more viewers than that, despite being (obviously) blacklisted (no pun intended) and I could say something similar for the videos containing my abhorrent opinions about autism and transgenderism, for example.

So this, now, is the world we're living in.  The decline that I spoke to you about —years ago— in statistical abstractions has become less and less abstract.

On the supply side, talent is scarce.  On the demand side, also, the audience is scarce.

Tragically, the vegan movement is more important than ever.  It simply isn't important to vegans: they've given up on it —we've given up on it —even I've given up on it.  And look around: most of the others have given up, too.

I'd like to invite you to read a book at (approximately) the same time I'm reading it myself: The Parrot and the Igloo by David Lipsky.

I have never understood why you showed so much good will toward such utterly despicable people (including Durianrider himself, etc.) and yet you could never reciprocate the good will I showed you.  Of course, I also do not understand the lapses in your memory (this may be a real medical condition on your part, and I am not prying for an answer) but I have often wondered if a large part of the problem is —simply— the extent to which you do not remember what has actually happened, what has actually been said, etc., by all parties on all sides.


Saturday 2 December 2023

Parody for your right to fight, and fight for your right to parody.

The video [It's only a theory: Jimmy Dore vs. Greta Thunberg and "THE VEGANS"] contains the audiovisual copyright of “More Than A Feeling” by Gamazda. Meanwhile, the video’s content itself is in reference to veganism and environmentalism. Parody comments on the copyrighted work itself, while satire uses copyrighted work to comment on another subject. As the video you’ve produced does not comment on Gamazda’s performance or the song “More Than A Feeling,” it qualifies as satirical commentary rather than parody.,not%20that%20specific%20creative%20work.




Thank you for your reply: although I disagree with your analysis of both the law and how it applies to this situation, I appreciate that you've taken the time to write in reply to me, and (evidently) to watch the video in question.

You are mistaken as to the meaning of parody both in courts of law (qua fair use) and apropos YouTube's transformative content policy.

To answer with a pragmatic example first: the works of Weird Al Yankovic would be illegal if your claims were true.  They are not.

Parody need not be on any particular topic --your notion that it must "comment on the copyrighted work itself" and not "another topic" is false.  Again: the example of Weird Al Yankovic is sufficient to prove the point.  If your claim were true, a parody of Sherlock Holmes would be strictly limited to making jokes about Sherlock Holmes, and not any other political issue.  And this is untrue.

From YouTube's perspective, the only criterion to be satisfied is that my song is not a substitute for your song: nobody will buy my album instead of yours, nobody will think that I am you —copyright infringement per se.  Any parody whatsoever satisfies this definition of transformative content: the specific political point (and the extent to which it is satire or parody) is immaterial.

The legal definition is actually even more broad and all-inclusive: there is absolutely zero ambiguity that original lyrics set to a familiar song qualifies as fair use.  There is no legal requirement that a parody even be funny or comedic: court precedent holds that completely dry political statements count as parody --and, again, there is no restriction on what kind of political statement it may be.

Thank you, again, for your reply: I do think you have misunderstood the court precedents I've already quoted to you.  Even Wikipedia will help to explain to you the implications of fair use doctrine in this area, if you have another few minutes to spend on the matter.

I say again: you cannot win.  You will be presented with the option soon enough to prove that you've hired a lawyer to take me to court.  Otherwise, YouTube will reinstate the video, in accordance with both company policy and the law.

Eisel Mazard


[Below: this is the first message in the sequence of three, incongruously appearing third.  This is pretty much my "boilerplate" response to threats of legal action of this kind, at this point.]

This concerns my parody video found on YouTube:

This is a parody presenting original lyrics over a familiar melody for purposes of comedy and social criticism: there is absolutely zero ambiguity as to how American law and YouTube policy apply in this case.

Representatives of your organization have filed an erroneous takedown notice that will remove this video (from public view) within seven days.

Quoting Cornell University's Legal Information website:

"In the United States, parody is protected by the First Amendment as a form of expression. However, since parodies rely heavily on the original work, parodists rely on the fair use exception to combat claims of copyright infringement. The fair use exception is governed by the factors enumerated in section 107 of the Copyright Act: (1) the purpose and character of the use; (2) the nature of the original work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the original work used; and (4) the effect on the market value of the original work. Generally, courts are more likely to find that a parody qualifies as fair use if its purpose is to serve as a social commentary and not for purely commercial gain."

Quoting Wikipedia:

"Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994), was a United States Supreme Court copyright law case that established that a commercial parody can qualify as fair use.[1] This case established that the fact that money is made by a work does not make it impossible for fair use to apply; it is merely one of the components of a fair use analysis."

Note that this court precedent (510 U.S. 569 (1994)) directly concerns a parody song (original lyrics over a beat/music owned by someone else).

This is the most clearly protected form of freedom of speech under (1) Youtube's own policies, (2) U.S. law and also (3) Canadian law.  Youtube has its own guideline videos on "fair use" and "transformative content" that explicitly protect this form of free expression —and it is even more expressly protected when the purpose is political commentary social criticism.

If it were not legal to create original lyrics over an established melody (or beat) that would have a chilling effect on both comedy and political discourse: it would create two classes of speech, one that can be criticized, and one that cannot (indeed, the latter class could not even be quoted without violating copyright).  Fair use is not a trivial concept, ethically, legally or politically; parody itself may seem trivial, but the suppression of parody through the misuse of copyright claims on youtube is a substantial violation of civil rights.

[The link to the same video again:]


Tuesday 28 November 2023

Self Portrait Sitting in the Middle of a Doomed Movement.

Disruption: the Stupidest Philosophy in the History of Political Science.

Quote, "This is buttercup, and she's someone, not something." [Timestamp = 1 minute 30 seconds]

ON SOME LEVEL everyone in the organization knows THIS DOESN'T WORK.

They did it a hundred times.  Some of them did it a thousand times.  It never worked.

They changed their methods without ever admitting that the old methods were wrong, and without setting out what their hopes and expectations were for why the new methods might be better.

And thus the cycle could continue: with the refusal to admit that the new methods weren't working, either.

Exactly the same pattern with X.R. in England.

For some mysterious reason DxE stopped running out into the middle of the field in the middle of a football game: they never admit why.  They're spending a million dollars a year ON NOTHING, while promoting what could fairly be called the stupidest philosophy in the history of political science.  And it's a million dollars they "earned" with stupid, fame-whoring stunts like running out into the middle of a stadium.

There never was any "social science research" to support ANY of their preferred methods —and there never was any recourse to social science research when switching from one method to the next.

It's a scam about a scam for the sake of a scam.  And there are victims: unlike my philosophy, people's lives are ruined by putting Wayne's philosophy into practice.

Friday 24 November 2023

And, irony of ironies, Wayne Hsiung is STILL anti-vegan in 2023… but nobody in the vegan movement seems to care!

This is Wayne writing in July of 2023, BEFORE going to prison in handcuffs, I should note:

In 2007, motivated by my readings in social movement research, I penned an article with an infamous title: Boycott Veganism. The title was clickbait. I was not, in fact, boycotting veganism but arguing that consumer activism was insufficient to create social change.

Multiple vegan forums exploded with angry responses after I posted an early draft. I was criticized for being oppressive, arrogant, traitorous, and – most commonly – downright stupid.


But something strange happened, over time. A small number of people actually read the article, rather than just the headline. And many were swayed by the logic. Two points were key. First, I argued that veganism, as a narrative strategy, could not inspire people to anger or hope - the key ingredients to social change.

What we needed, I argued, was something different: direct action. Giving aid to animals directly was the right narrative strategy because it focused on animal cruelty, and our ability to stop it. Unlike veganism, it had the power to enrage and inspire. And direct action could expand the scope of the movement’s support, by focusing on identities (e.g., animal lovers, families with pets) that were much larger and influential than vegan consumers. It was a movement strategy that could mobilize the masses, rather than just a small dietary niche. […]

[Digression:] Is there ANY EVIDENCE that Wayne's strategy has mobilized (or "inspired") large numbers of non-vegans, rather than a tiny cult group, much smaller than veganism qua "a dietary niche"?

In the early 2010s, effective altruism (EA) was just beginning to capture the attention of animal advocates.


A closer examination of good scientific research around leafleting and other forms of so-called impersonal outreach, i.e., trying to persuade someone you have no other relationship with, showed dismal results.

The Science or Science-y blog post, like Boycott Veganism, generated an enormous amount of hate. The leaders of a few prominent animal rights organizations called me a mole for the meat industry, publicly, and would tell everyone they met at animal rights conferences that I was damaging the movement. But as with Boycott Veganism, the critique gained a following. A prominent (non-vegan) effective altruist thinker, Jeff Kaufman, began to question the conventional wisdom on the effectiveness of vegan advocacy. And the leaders of Animal Charity Evaluators, a prominent EA organization that had been extremely hostile towards my work (and towards me personally, for reasons I never fully understood) eventually ran a study in 2017 showing that vegan outreach probably had no effect at all.

That left the movement in a tough spot, after years of focusing on outreach above all other interventions. What do we do instead?

[Commentary:] So, yes, the man who led the campaign "it's not food, it's violence", that consisted of teenagers (like Zoe Rosenberg) breaking down weeping in a restaurant while screaming at random patrons claims that his methods have scientifically verifiable outcomes, whereas his rivals' methods do not, etc.

The burden of proof still lacking to demonstrate that Zoe Rosenberg screaming at strangers or Cassie King pouring blood on herself (publicly) has positive outcomes is considerable: I do not mean this from a position of phony skepticism.  I do not mean to insinuate that any kind of political action faces an insurmountable burden of proof as to its efficacy.

Genuinely, it is more difficult to believe that Zoe Rosenberg is succeeding in changing the world than it is to believe that the earth is flat: someone could show me scientific evidence that would change my mind about the shape of the planet, whereas it is genuinely impossible to imagine that there could ever be any evidence to vindicate the tactics used by Zoe, Cassie and Wayne.

It is not difficult to believe that what the Israeli military is doing right now will change the world: it would be phony skepticism indeed to ask aloud, "How can it possibly make a difference to hunt down and kill the leaders of a rival political faction, and to demolish their political-and-military infrastructure?"  Although we may not be able to predict the outcomes in Israel, there is no doubt that there will be outcomes.

What Wayne has been advocating (for so many years) genuinely belongs in the category of political actions so counterproductive that we may question —after the expenditure of so many millions of dollars, and the ruination of so many people's particular lives— whether or not there are any outcomes at all.

Nobody has ever complained about the negative outcomes of my philosophy (and of their own attempts to put it into practice) as Rachel Z. now complains about DxE in retrospect —after the somewhat sobering experience of facing the possibility of a criminal conviction in a court of law (as a result of Wayne Hsiung's preferred method and mode of activism).  The methodology set down in my books (all two of them) will not ruin your life, and will not cost anyone millions of dollars.

But here we are in 2023, when the evidence for the inefficacy of Wayne's philosophy has had quite some time to stack up, and he is still defending his anti-vegan (and frankly pro-violence) position from 2007.

The parallels to Roger Hallam's XR (Extinction Rebellion) and its sequels (Just Stop Oil, etc.) are so close that my refutation of one serves as a refutation of the other:

At what point do the proponents of empiricism admit that the empirical evidence is against them?

Delinquent: the Simple Heart Initiative suspiciously started by Wayne Hsiung…

 …after he resigned his position as the leader of an organization with a budget of a million dollars per year created to do exactly the same thing.

I wonder if —formally or informally— DxE promised to transfer funds to support Wayne's new charity, as a sort of "golden parachute" package, when he handed over control to Cassie King, etc.

There is no "Form 990" information available for "The Simple Heart Initiative" created by Wayne Hsiung: if it had been delinquent in its paperwork before he went to prison, I assume it will only become more delinquent hereafter.

FEIN / EIN: 882248389 / 88-2248389 (sometimes you need to search with the hyphen, sometimes without it)


Eisel Mazard vs Wayne Hsiung: Torn from the Comment Section.

A Crocodile on Dry Land.

All the evils men do to attain power are minuscule compared to what they they will do to remain in power, once they've become accustomed to it.  A crocodile wandering on dry land is less dangerous than one that has become accustomed to your bathwater.

Source / context:

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Infighting: Victims of a Movement that Doesn't Move.

[My comment:] Dude, think about how petty this is: Roger Yates "canceled" you for saying something vaguely positive about Alicia Silverstone.  Yates has grey hair with a PhD.  And he came to the conclusion that you are "sexist and racist".  You are playing on the wrong team within the wrong team.  Yeah, you say that I'm hated and despised: can you imagine me insulting and reviling you in the way that Roger Yates did?  One step further: do you think I'd ever be as unreasonable in criticizing you as you were in criticizing me?  Different people are playing different games by different rules: the vast majority of vegans are playing by a set of rules that are —in brief— evil.  Rachel Z. has turned around and said that DxE is a cult and she regrets losing 8 years of her life to it, and (of course) condemning Wayne Hsiung: do you think anyone has ever said anything like that about my philosophy?  People like Roger Yates are stuck in the endless downward spiral of trying to rationalize a sunk cost fallacy: they're the greatest victims of the vegan movement (seriously: his life has been RUINED by this movement!) but they refuse to recognize their own victimhood (as Rachel has) so that they can continue pretending to be leaders (for an ever smaller number of followers).

[Note:] You do not need to watch the video, below, to understand the significance of the comment above, but…

Repercussions: "I hope you die in jail" breaks on through to the other side.

This is not a criticism of a criticism (because that would be like architecture about architecture, right?) but I'd just point out: it is really dishonest (facile) to say, "Well, what has a-bas-le-ciel accomplished in the last ten years compared to Wayne Hsiung?" —and then to treat this as a fait accompli condemnation of everything I've done with my life, without so much as a glance at my résumé.

DxE has burned through a budget of a million dollars per year, has done a lot of harm, and zero good, IMO: if you were actually willing to consider (1) what I've done with my life and (2) the model of activism I recommend (in Future of an Illusion) contrasted to Wayne's methodology (that requires millions of dollars and will put you in jail)... it doesn't occur to you that some percentage of intelligent people might actually think Wayne is on the wrong side here.

I'm not the one telling teenagers to chain themselves to machinery and get arrested: Wayne is.  I'm not the one telling people to get naked and cover their bodies in blood, running on stage at a Bernie Sanders rally: Wayne is.  You don't have one word of criticism for that. 

Guess what?  I learned Chinese within the last ten years: Wayne literally can't pronounce his own name in Chinese.  Is learning Chinese a waste of time?  Yes, but compared to what?  Compared to sitting in jail?

Both what I've done and what I urge others to do (in Future of an Illusion) really is superior to both what Wayne preaches, and his own imperfect practice thereof.

And here's the link to the original video that inspired the criticism, titled: I hope you die in jail.

His reply:
Fair play. This is just a reaction to your one video. I'm actually a fan of your work in many ways. I'd love to have you on the preshift to talk with me some day soon if you'd be willing.

My reply to his reply:
If you had a daughter, you would not want her to turn out like Zoe Rosenberg.  Nor like Rachel Z.  You probably would not want your daughter to meet and spend time with Z.R. & R.Z.; you definitely would not want her getting arrested doing the same things that Z.R. & R.Z. have done.  This may seem like an irrelevant reply, but it's devastatingly relevant, if you're willing to allow yourself to think it through and be devastated.  :-/  @VeganofCourse