Sunday 17 December 2023

A failed paradigm: "We the Free" and the futurelessness of vegan activism.

Two emails follow below: one is dated Feb. 1st, 2022, and the other was written and sent today (Dec. 17th, 2023).  Note that they retracted their offer to appear in an interview on my channel after reading the list of particular questions proposed, below.


Questions for "We The Free" (W.T.F.),


I'm sending these questions to an email address in Calgary.  Perhaps you'd disagree with me, but in a country the size of Canada (IMHO) there is no meaningful connection between the vegan movement in Calgary and the vegan movement in Montreal --nor is there a meaningful connection between Montreal and the West Coast.  Does it make sense for W.T.F. or any vegan organization to be "national" in scale, even in a country the size of Canada?  Does it make sense to have "national", "international" and "global" organizations, when the reality often is that the movement consists of very small groups (of perhaps five people) who do not actually collaborate with (or benefit from being supported by) other chapters in other cities, let alone other countries?

You may or may not be familiar with the vegan organization called "Nation Rising".  They have always insisted on grandiose claims about being organized on a national scale, but the reality is that people (including people I've met, face to face) are expected to spend huge sums of money traveling to Ottawa and staying in a hotel (at their own expense) just to have a demoralizing and disappointing experience (for the sake of a lot of revolutionary rhetoric that, frankly, the organization can never deliver on).  Travel within Canada (and staying in hotels in Canada) is more expensive than vacationing in Thailand (and I would know!).  In asking people to travel from Vancouver and Montreal to any "central" city (Toronto, Ottawa or even Calgary, for that matter) is really asking a lot (in terms of time and money).  In return, participants are not given a lot (frankly, they get nothing at all).

This is only the shallowest level of analysis, but it is still an important one.

Just one step deeper, we get into the question of practical democracy.  You'd need to have a long memory for minutiae in the history of the vegan movement to know this, but DxE began by claiming that their "global" organization was "entirely horizontal", with no hierarchy whatsoever.  For years, they dodged questions of who was in charge (and of how they were elected, and of where the money was going, etc.) by insisting on their "horizontality".  That ended with a series of sex scandals: they became a starkly "vertical" organization when they suddenly decided it was necessary to investigate and pass judgement on the sex lives of their activists.

Are there, in fact, advantages to national, international and "global" levels of organization that justify the disadvantages?


The initial pitch for W.T.F. sounds familiar: it reminds me primarily of the original plans for DxE (that were soon enough abandoned) mixed with Paul Bashir's plan for tracking the number of people converted to veganism by his street activism (that were eventually abandoned).  The main praxis of the organization looks a whole lot like Paul Bashir's A.V. without the masks (and without Paul Bashir… and maybe that's the implicit point here, I don't know).

There's a very broad question of, "Why would anyone start a new orgnization anyway?", but there's a very specific question here for W.T.F.: why would anyone create a new organization that so closely resembles other (still ongoing) initiatives in the vegan movement?

I do not begin with the assumption that an organization needs to be new and innovative to change the world (e.g., we could start a completely NON-INNOVATIVE gay rights organization that accomplishes great things, despite being old fashioned, or even because of it)… but yes, it is striking that W.T.F. doesn't offer anything self-evidently new (in terms of methodology or politics).


Some movements begin with people, some movements begin with a piece of paper (i.e., a manifesto or a constitution).  What is puzzling to me about W.T.F. is that it seems to have begun with neither one.

Gary Yourofsky started a vegan movement that basically "was" Gary Yourofsky: if people donated to it (or volunteered to work for it) they knew exactly who and what they were supporting (i.e., the ersatz philosophy of Gary Yourofsky: whether you like it or not is up to you).  The same could be said of innumerable other organizations that were never much more than their leader plus a small number of support staff (Dr. Greger now has a multi-million dollar foundation that exists for nothing more than supporting him in the creation of youtube videos).  To mention a non-vegan example, Extinction Rebellion has three very public founders (Roger Hallam being the most verbose, but he's not the only one) and supporters are aware of what they're supporting, just working from the words and deeds of those "founding executives", shall we say.

I do not know who founded W.T.F., I do not know who is in charge of it, or why.

Your first youtube video is narrated by "@bri_for_liberation".  She is credited as the "presenter", so I infer that she is reading a script written by someone else (and she is not the equivalent of Gary Yourofsky for this organization).  Who wrote the script?

My question here is not merely, "who is Bri?", "who wrote the script?", and why aren't they the person on camera pitching the idea.  Although there's very little accountability in fundraising, the audience feels they know who and what they're donating to when they decide to support Gary Yourofsky, Joey Carbstrong, Earthling Ed or Dr. Greger.  Yes, this may be an illusion (you can read Greger's form 990 and wonder where all the money goes), but the illusion has some significance here: most organizations begin with a person, and donors then understand that they're supporting that person, in a very specific act of trust.

The same is true of people as diverse as James Aspey and myself.  Although we may well speculate as to what anyone imagines they're donating money to support in relation to Aspey or myself, there is at least a specific person whose moral character, purpose and ambition they're "buying in to".

Again, this applies to myself as well: I collected $2000 from GoFundMe this month, and about $300 from Patreon.  Anyone may well criticize me, asking what it is that anyone is supposed to "believe in" that these donations will accomplish (and I have answers, but, of course, so does James Aspey, etc., and we can all be criticized and cross-examined on the point).

However, at this time, if I were to donate money to W.T.F., would I be donating money to "@bri_for_liberation"?  No, apparently not (apparently she is not the leader of this organization in the same sense that Dr. Greger is the leader of his, etc.).  Who am I donating money to?  Who am I supposedly trusting?

I don't think I need to digress into the other possibility mentioned, i.e., that people are donating because they believe in "a piece of paper" rather than a person: it has been largely forgotten that B.L.M. went through a phase of minimizing the significance of their leaders, when they tried to raise money on the basis of their written constitution, but they gave this up partly because their constitution was wildly unpopular (and couldn't give interviews).

If this is your strategy, i.e., if W.T.F. is going to be based on a published text (a book or a manifesto) rather than the leadership of particular people… well, let me know what that book is, because I haven't seen any indication of it, so far.

If there is an answer to this question of, "Who is W.T.F.?" we then begin to ask questions of why they're in charge (rather than someone else)… and, yes, I note, these questions have been asked (recently!) at DxE, Anon. for the Voiceless, and numerous other vegan organizations (whereas this question doesn't get asked at Dr. Greger's org., because everyone involved recognize that the organization is little more than an extension of the trust placed in Dr. Greger).


The website's statement on leadership I do not find convincing, and I can again allude to the crumbling away of DxE's commitment to "horizontality" as a significant precedent:

You say that you'll accept people of any political persuasion, and that you'll let local chapters lead (with the upper echelons following, etc.).  Is this true, in praxis?  If you have a local chapter in Portland, Oregon, that is entirely comprised of Communists, who are loudly associating your brand (and your t-shirts) with Communism, are you really saying that the central command structure of the organization will passively allow them to make excuses for mass murder under Stalin and Mao Zedong, and that you will respect their autonomy, their local leadership, etc., and not attempt to discipline or silence them in any way?  What if, instead, it's a local chapter in Virginia that's entirely comprised of vegan Neo-Nazis?  I am not joking: vegan Communists exist, and vegan Neo-Nazis exist, and I've interviewed examples of both myself.

In praxis, DxE found they could not tolerate even VERY SMALL variations in political beliefs within the organization (they ended up with ideological "witch hunts").  Paul Bashir's A.V. was instead committed to including conservatives and right wingers, precisely because of the dream of a broadly inclusive vegan movement of many ideological stripes, but if you ask around (or google around) you'll soon enough find that they can't really tolerate anyone who doesn't agree with Paul Bashir, down to the smallest minutiae of how the movement should be run.

I know you may be inclined to dismiss this question as a joke, but it's an extremely serious problem: I am now one of the most famous vegan leaders in Canada (I don't have much competition!) but I'm aware that I'm excluded from speaking at vegan events (even where the organizers do personally respect me and my work, i.e., this is a reality I've seen face-to-face, not merely speculation on my part) because I'm supposedly not left wing enough (and I did endorse Bernie Sanders in the last American elections, so I'm left of center… and yet this can never be left wing enough for the crypto-Communists who dominate most vegan organizations).

Every vegan organization I've seen to claim that it doesn't have a hierarchy (or that it has an inverted hierarchy, as WTF claims) really is ruled by just one man, or just one woman, or (often enough) just one married couple.

Tell me, if/when W.T.F. organizes a conference, who will decide on the list of invited speakers?  Who will decide who speaks and who remains silent?  This is a very palpable form of hierarchy: someone (even if they're invisible and anonymous) is in a position of authority to decide who gets to sit on the stage, who gets to sit in the audience, and who will be excluded entirely (i.e., not even allowed to sit in the audience).

I remember a vegan conference in Muskoka, Ontario, that did not have a very impressive list of speakers (again, we don't have so many famous vegans in Canada competing to be on stage) that absolutely refused to even allow me to attend (i.e., to be in the audience).  This is not unusual: in reality, organizations like DxE have a very cult like "purity test" for who is allowed to participate (even though this is contrary to all the written declarations they made in their first year, etc.).


When you look back at the last five years, what have you accomplished?

When you look ahead at the next five years, what do you expect to accomplish?  Where are you going to be, and what are you going to be doing, in the year 2027?

I would direct this question toward the particular person answering in Calgary, but I would ask him, also, to try to construe an answer for whoever is really in charge at W.T.F. (i.e., whoever wrote the script that Bri performed, whoever wrote the declarations on the website, etc.).  I do not know who that person is, or, if it is a group of a few people, I do not know who they are.

I think this is a reasonable question to put to the founder (or founders, plural) of any political or social movement.

The founding documents for W.T.F. (including the first youtube video) allude to the problem of attrition (i.e., vegans quitting).  I wonder if this is linked to the question about what has happened in your life (or in the founders' lives, plural) in the last five years.


The pitch video promises "community" and a "culture".

Today, in 2022, what is the community that W.T.F. can actually offer me?

I will pose this question with "me" actually meaning Eisel Mazard (again, one of the most famous vegans in Canada, partly due to the weakness of my competition; but yes, as you can imagine, when I attend vegan activist conference, a large percentage of people know who I am, as soon as I walk into the room, etc.), but it is an interesting question, also, if we consider an abstract and hypothetical person as this "me".

Looking ahead just five years, in 2027, what is the community that W.T.F. will actually offer me?

My honest opinion, whether you consider this skeptical or not, is that I'd have a better chance of being a part of a vegan community (and a vegan culture) if I buy an airplane ticket to Taiwan, Thailand or Tel Aviv (with some possible footnote for the possibility of converting to Jainism and flying to India).  These are promises other vegan movements have made before.  I've never seen any vegan organization even attempt to deliver on them (not even when they have a multi-million dollar budget, interestingly!).


Finally, training: I do not believe the claim that W.T.F. offers "professional level training".

If I actually spend the time and money to buy an airplane ticket and live in a hotel (for weeks?) to participate in a training course provided by W.T.F., what is the credential that I'll gain?  What are the palpable skills that I'll gain?

If I have to convince my mother to pay for this course you're offering (in the same way that I'd have to convince her to pay for my tuition if I decided I wanted to become a dentist) where is the evidence that this is A PROFESSION for which I'm receiving PROFESSIONAL TRAINING that is really going to change the rest of my life?

I can only remember speaking to one other vegan organization that offered training of this kind, and I can say (honestly) that when I looked into the "training" they were offering, it was far, far worse than just casually watching the youtube videos on my own channel that discuss the history of the vegan movement and the "brass tacks" of how to organize dissent.  The reality was that they (i.e., this vegan organization that I'm leaving nameless) could offer nothing more than participating in Skype calls with middle aged windbags who haven't accomplished anything, as they pat themselves on the back for their past "activism" and vaguely encourage the next generation to "try their best", refusing to deal with any difficult questions, refusing even to engage in basic fact checking (let alone real research, etc.). In 2022, there are a whole lot of Skype calls like that going on… and there IS NOT much to be learned from them (aside from the demonstrable stupidity of the grey haired generation of vegan activists who have taken us so far, but can go no further).

I studied political science at the University of Toronto, and the quality of education was abysmal; however, if I compare the "pep talks" offered by DxE (as "training") I would have to say that a university education in pol. sci. is immeasurably better.

The idea of providing "professional training" in vegan activism is an interesting, daunting and slightly surreal one.  I honestly can't imagine Gary Francione doing a good job at it (and he has tried).  I can't imagine anyone from P.E.T.A. doing a good at it.

If I were to sign up for this "professional training" in 2022, what can W.T.F. offer me?  (And please note, I am in need of a profession! I can devote a great deal of time and money to this, enrolling in baking college to become a vegan baker didn't work out.)  If I were to sign up in 2027, what would W.T.F. be able to offer me?


I never heard back from you guys.

(1) Here's a relatively causal conversation with Sky of PETA & "Vegan of Course"… he actually read my book (Veganism: Future of an Illusion) in the few days AFTER this interview was recorded (not before).

(2) Two of the book chapters have been uploaded as youtube videos (one is bilingual in English + French, the other is bilingual in English + Spanish).

The interview with Sky, above, you can listen to fairly casually while washing the dishes (etc.) but I admit: these (as narrated book chapters) are relatively exhausting (and require more of your attention… so to speak).

(3) The vegan movement is going to change.

It's going to change because it has to.

Progress is an ideology; change is an objective fact.

The future of this movement, James, is not Mariquita Solis of Vegan Empowerment Coaching.  And it's not Paul Bashir.  And it's not Peter Singer.  And it's not Wayne Hsiung.

And you know it.

On some level you know it: the next 20 years of the movement cannot consist of repeating the errors made in the last 20 years, again and again.  No matter how many millions of dollars from donors encourage precisely the repetition of those errors.


Monday 11 December 2023

When a man loves a woman… (Has this never been said or written before?)

In a man's relationship with a woman, there is a period of time in which he loves her more than he understands her.  And then there is a period of time in which he understands her more than he loves her, whether or not he loves her any less.

These are wise words that I genuinely believe have never been spoken in any language, anywhere in this world before.  If some of you want to google around in Russian, Japanese or Swahili and find me an example of someone who has said it before, I would be interested to hear.

Now allow me to switch the genders because it is just as true when stated the other way around: when a woman loves a man, at first, in the beginning, she loves him more than she understands him.  And then, after a certain point, she understands him more than she loves him.

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Generational Rift: Roger Yates vs Eisel Mazard

This is indirectly inspired by my conversation with Sky of Vegan of Course the day before…

The conclusion of the conversation ensues, audio only.

Seeing strength as weakness, weakness as strength; taking poison as medicine, and medicine as poison.

[Question from the audience:]

Im addressing this video here since you block comments:

I bet the white people at "no coloreds allowed" restaurants didn't want their lunches interrupted by black people sitting there during sit ins. The" other sides'" cause isn't just. OUR'S IS. That is why I would support DXE civil disobedience and open rescue. It will take many different approaches to win the hearts and minds of a meat addicted population.  Some people respond well to friendly outreach. Some to videos. Some to an appeal to health concern. And some people need in your face, irritating, emotionally upsetting annoying disruption. The problem with you, Eisel, is that you believe that change like animal liberation can come through simple peaceful means. I think it will take not just arrests but  the  death of vegans activists before society changes. In the civil rights era, it took the death of MLK, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and many more to free black people from political oppression. It took shoot outs between the feds and black panthers. All these events culminate in the social upheaval it takes for a society to make such drastic change. In regards to the oppressed people of china: If I could, i would arm every chinese man woman and child with the rifles you hate so much so they can engage in guerilla warfare against the evil communist dictatorship. Just because you're vegan doesn't mean you cant use violence to fight for a just cause. What If a man broke into your house and tried to rape and kill your gf? would you just stand there and let him do it cuz you're vegan? Or would you kill that man with no hesitation? I'd say being oppressed for your whole life is just as bad as being raped.


Quote, "In the civil rights era, it took the death of MLK, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and many more to free black people from political oppression."  This is the paradox of taking the poison as medicine, and medicine as poison: the death of MLK is not a positive template for what vegans ought to aspire to, it's not the winning formula (or "the secret to the success of") the civil rights movement —it's not medicine, it's poison.  Further, as is explained in all of the videos linked to (and in my book, which is brief, and I'd encourage you to read, costing ONE DOLLAR) there is absolutely nothing comparable about a mass movement supported by millions of people (MLK being supported by 99% of the students on black campuses) and the situation of vegans in 2023 (not even 1% support on campuses).  This is discussed in all of the videos mentioned, including yesterday's two hour discussion: you're making a series of false inferences here (perceiving weakness as strength, and strength as weakness).

Quote, "The" other sides'" cause isn't just. OUR'S IS."  Muslims see Sharia law the same way: anti-abortionists see their cause the same way, too.  You're not just half wrong here: you're 100% wrong.  

Re: "It took shoot outs between the feds and black panthers… If I could, i would arm every chinese man woman and child with the rifles you hate so much so they can engage in guerilla warfare against the evil communist dictatorship."  That sounds a lot like a Jihad, doesn't it?

It sounds like you're a bitter-ender, willing to die for a cause far less popular than ISIS —veganism has far less support in terms of volunteer soldiers and millions of dollars than ISIS ever had (and ISIS nevertheless was doomed from day one).

I say again: you cannot win by imitating MLK, you cannot win by imitating the tactics of the anti-abortion movement —nor the tactics used by muslim fundamentalists.  What hot ice is this, preaching poison as medicine, and strength as weakness?

Torn from the Comment Section.

[Question from the audience:]

Do you believe that MLK sit in tactics during the civil rights era was useless and foolish? It seems that you believe that legislation is the only practical way forward to achieve animal liberationI submit to you that it is not. Look at how much social upheaval, violence, attempted revolution(Jon Brown), protest(both legal and illegal), arrests and war it took to completely liberate black people from slavery and second class citizenship. And thats people! There's no way in hell that it will take LESS to liberate animals. Especially, since it is interwoven with supposed nutritional need and considered part of our species diet. I would say it requires civil disobedience and much more. In order to create drastic social change like that, we need social upheaval to reach the critical mass reaction required for that change.


So the inference you're making is "MLK used 'sit in tactics', THEREFORE naked women pouring blood on their boobs is a legit, proven tactic that's gonna work for the vegan movement"?  Here's a two hour long discussion (recorded yesterday) of precisely the error you're making:


Re: "In order to create drastic social change like that, we need social upheaval to reach the critical mass reaction required for that change."  It's NEVER going to work: not for you (not for vegans) and not for anti-abortion protestors and not for pro-Palestinian protestors.  My argument is not that your approach is 10% wrong, I'm arguing that you're 100% wrong, and unlike Wayne Hsiung, I can back up my argument with facts rather than fictions.  (1) A twenty minute long video:  (2) A one hour long video:  The ultimate price here, as the title of the second video indicates, is YOUR LIFE: just like a muslim terrorist, you are being asked to sacrifice YOUR OWN LIFE for this ideology that cannot ever succeed, and that will do vastly more harm than good, if any good at all.


I'm vegan and morally opposed to vegan activism: it's bad and evil and wrong. Nov. 29th, 2023.

Vegan Activists ruin their own lives… and nobody is trying to help them…  Nov. 28th, 2023.

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 of views, occasionally over a hundred thousand, 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 if it were 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

Monday 20 November 2023

What we do next: the flow chart to end all flow charts.


• Studying Latin
  + Possible at UVic.
  - Not aware of anywhere BETTER THAN Uvic.
         [Insert joke about Jordan Peterson University here.]
  - Short term future difficult to endure.
  - Long term future difficult to imagine.
  - Professors would probably hate me; the other students, also, would
probably hate me.
  + Relatively meaningful in terms of "the meaning of life".
  - Relatively dubious in terms of one's ability to make a positive
difference in the world.
• Studying Chinese
  + It's an excuse to live somewhere other than Victoria.
  - Long term future difficult to imagine.

• Studying Spanish
  + It's an excuse to live somewhere other than Victoria.
  - Long term future difficult to imagine.

• Studying French
  + It's an excuse to live somewhere other than Victoria.
  - Long term future difficult to imagine.

• Studying Religion (i.e., critique of religion)
  - Absolutely zero known options anywhere in the world.

• Studying Veganism (i.e., the politics of the vegan movement)
  - Absolutely zero known options anywhere in the world.
  NB: this was and still is my suggestion to Gail, if she's going to
talk to her contact at ________ or any other (English-speaking)
University, i.e., to ask under what department it would be possible to
make use of my expertise in the politics of the vegan movement (and
note that I already have a B.A. in politics, etc.).  There are many
examples of other vegan demagogues doing this, either for an M.A. or a
PhD or both.

• Studying Cinematography a.k.a. filmmaking a.k.a film school.
  - Absolutely zero known options anywhere in the world.
  - This does not mean "zero options", but zero that we know of.
  - Economically, the industry is currently in the process of contracting.
  - The other students would probably hate me.
  - Relatively meaningless in terms of "the meaning of life".
  + Very clearly useful in terms of one's ability to make a positive
difference in the world.
  - However, very high cost, for even the most humble of film
projects: stand up comedy is cheap by contrast, writing a novel is
cheap by contrast, etc. etc.

• Studying something related to stand up comedy.
  - We have found zero options related to talent management, being a
booking agent, etc., and there really should be many solid options
under this heading.
  - We have, also, found zero options related to venue management.
  - I am not aware of any options under the purely economic side of
the equation, but I think that would be a much worse preparation than
cinematography (already discussed above).
  - Although comedy is cheap in many ways (writing itself costs
nothing, doing stand up costs little compared to filmmaking, etc.) the
indirect costs of the exercise are considerable: the center of the
English-speaking universe for comedy is (now) New York, and spending
five days on Manhattan Island is extremely expensive (even if you do
not include the cost of airplane tickets).
  - The field still relies on entertainment lawyers (and contracts,
etc.), talent managers and venue managers that nobody can now afford:
the format of comedy has remained the same while the amount of money
to be paid has declined and declined.  Splitting off 10% of a contract
for this role and that one has become impossible.

Sunday 19 November 2023

Vegan Satan, Vegan Lucifer, Vegan Antichrist.

The people who hate Wayne paradoxically hate and fear his critics (i.e., me) even more: from their perspective, Wayne is a fallen angel, a disappointing exemplar of their beliefs, whereas I am actually their anthesis —their Satan.

Sunday 12 November 2023

[Now more than ever:] Greed & the Politics of Pandering: James Aspey, Brian Turner, Ice Poseidon.

Y'all let people like James Aspey lead the vegan movement, and now you ain't got no vegan movement no more.  Y'all let people like Matt Dillahunty lead the atheist movement, and now you ain't got no atheist movement no more.

As I said in Future of an Illusion“the scarf of a revolutionary wrapped around the neck of a bureaucrat".


And I would just like to say, again: I DO NOT WANT TO BE "AHEAD OF MY TIME"!!!



Friday 10 November 2023

Millions of Dollars Per Annum: DxE, Wayne Hsiung, and his Mysterious Sister, Amy Hsiung.


Though Hsiung officially stepped down as the head of DxE in 2019, he still has ties to the organization and its finances through Friends of DxE, a 501(c)(3) organization and DxE’s fundraising arm. Hsiung’s sister, Amy Hsiung, is listed as the organization’s president, [emphasis added] but neither she nor the other members of the organization have been visually active participants in the animal rights movement space. 

In a written response, Hsiung said his sister is “a highly competent professional who cares about animals and has contributed hundreds of hours of volunteer time to various organizations, without asking for any compensation.”


DxE’s internal issues spilled over into its pay structures and other financial issues. In 2020, the organization brought in more than $1.3 million in revenue through its fundraising arm, Friends of DxE. The same year, according to tax documents, DxE spent only $12,000 on salaries and wages. In 2018 and 2019, it listed paying no salaries or wages. Zeigler says she was paid through a system that allocated her a quarterly fellowship stipend based on the work she had contributed that totaled about $30,000 a year—a poverty-level wage for the San Francisco Bay Area. Zeigler said she did not have to pay taxes because fellows were not given an official income. But it was close to impossible to get health care or qualify for food stamps, which they needed but couldn’t receive without proof of income.


You never REALLY know someone until you've been co-defendants in a criminal trial together…

Rachel Cziegler (who for many years preferred to spell her name as Rachel Ziegler, I note) is now a dissenting voice in the midst of a very difficult to summarize controversy indirectly linked to the criminal conviction of Wayne Hsiung —and much more directly linked to her decision to denounce DxE as "a cult" in retrospect.

Cassie King, shown in the final photo (not the first one) is not to be confused with Rachel Cziegler… although the two were close friends and colleagues until quite recently… and they're both entangled in the current Wayne Hsiung controversy in very different ways.

And now, the sex scandal: Wayne Hsiung is in jail AND ALL OF A SUDDEN…

This is being "marketed" as a sex scandal, but note that there are financial and political aspects to the critique, some of which sound suspiciously similar to things I've said on my youtube channel many years ago (e.g., pointing out the financial role of Wayne's sister, holding the keys to the bank account, etc.).

By March 2022, K.S., who was about 15 years younger than Hsiung, agreed to meet with and help Hsiung record a podcast in Southern California. K.S. said Hsiung suggested the two get dinner the night before under the pretense of showing her how the mics worked before their morning taping. During the meal, K.S. said Hsiung asked her intimate and personal questions, including if she wanted to have children. 

K.S. said Hsiung walked her to her car and “launched into a profession of feelings” for the activist, admitting he had felt this way for a long time and that her disinterest in having kids concerned him. 


In September 2022, K.S. filed a report of the incident. The reports team—a small group of unpaid volunteers with no official human resources experience—responded by saying that Hsiung would sign an agreement committing to not pursuing or professing his love for members who reasonably believe they are in a mentor-mentee relationship with Hsiung. However, the reports team would not provide K.S. with a signed copy of the document.