Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sinking Low: False Book Ratings

I came across a website that posts book listings and ratings as well. It included a half-star rating out of five for my book, Universal Animal Rights: Winning the Ethical Debate. I assume it is by some Francionist(s). They are the only ones who have offered to hit below the belt. As I have reported elsewhere, one prominent Francionist wrote to various officials at Brock University to ensure I would not be re-hired for sessional teaching a few years back (I was rehired anyway after some apt counter-measures were taken). Francionism has involved my being libelled as a liar, malicious, and so forth. My work and reputation has been tarred, and I have been dismissed without basis as mentally ill and so forth. The prominent Francionist I referred to, by the way, professes a philosophy of ahimsa or "non-violence." It was known that a campaign against Joan Dunayer also involved trying to rate her book low online. So I cannot prove this is by Francionists, but there is every reason to believe this is the case.

It will be replied that this is entirely fair. It is everyone's right to rate books as they please, and it is a democracy. There is no guarantee in advance that people will like someone's book. There is only one problem with this response. My book does not even exist yet, so this reviewer was rating a document that he or she could never have even seen. This proves that there is a smear campaign at work, closed-mindedness, judging a book not even by its cover (which also does not exist yet), but by someone's prejudice against me.

I do not call for revenge, or doing like things in response. I would never stoop that low. I am sure such smear tactics will result in many fewer books being sold or consulted. But I would do it all again in spite of such sacrifices. Estimates range from 95-97% of animals dying at human hands as being in the realm of animal agriculture. Most of these animals are factory-farmed, or are literally tortured, as I and others have noted elsewhere. The ONLY way to reach this vast majority of animals is through anti-cruelty legislation, and the Francionists are trying to block this as aggressively as industry. So yes, I would not hesitate to take on the Francionists for the sake of these and future animals. I will take the insults, the attempts to de-rail my career and to defame me my written work. And I will give my best for the animals.

Perhaps my books would have to do well not based on a tampered-with rating system, but reputation and word of mouth in other quarters. Imagine these people offering to "help" the readership with their ratings, and to engage in "fair criticism." They clearly only mean harm as a predisposition. I am the main writer against anti-anti-cruelty at the legislative level. In effect, my opponents here are a pro-cruelty movement purportedly based in animal rights. They are not neutral as to cruelty but are activating in ways that will prolong it disastrously. I hope I will get support from my comrades even as I am assailed by people who treat me harmfully as an enemy even while professing to avoid harm through "ahimsa." I will not stoop to that level, but I can say that such individuals are not my friends. Some Francionists are my friends, but not those who resort to such toxic tactics.


A Selection of Related Articles

Sztybel, David. "Animal Rights Law: Fundamentalism versus Pragmatism". Journal for Critical Animal Studies 5 (1) (2007): 1-37.

go there

Short version of "Animal Rights Law".

go there

Sztybel, David. "Incrementalist Animal Law: Welcome to the Real World".

go there

Sztybel, David. "Sztybelian Pragmatism versus Francionist Pseudo-Pragmatism".

go there

A Selection of Related Blog Entries

Anti-Cruelty Laws and Non-Violent Approximation

Use Not Treatment: Francione’s Cracked Nutshell

Francione Flees Debate with Me Again, Runs into the “Animal Jury”

The False Dilemma: Veganizing versus Legalizing

Veganism as a Baseline for Animal Rights: Two Different Senses

Francione's Three Feeble Critiques of My Views

Startling Decline in Meat Consumption Proves Francionists Are Wrong Once Again!

The Greatness of the Great Ape Project under Attack!

Francione Totally Misinterprets Singer

Francione's Animal Rights Theory

Francione on Unnecessary Suffering

My Appearance on AR Zone

D-Day for Francionists

Sztybel versus Francione on Animals' Property Status

The Red Carpet

Playing into the Hands of Animal Exploiters

The Abolitionist ApproachES

Francione's Mighty Boomerang

Dr. David Sztybel Home Page

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