a suffix of nouns, often corresponding to verbs ending in -ize or nouns ending in -ism, that denote a person who practices or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.: apologist; dramatist; machinist; novelist; realist; socialist; Thomist.Now we are dealing with abolitionism. Abolitionist in my case and those who are likeminded denotes being concerned with something, and indeed adhering to a principle, namely abolition, making the -ist label not only permissible but grammatically inevitable.
I would like to point out on this occasion a standard fallacy which has not been noted before in relation to this question. It is the fallacy of persuasive definition. What this refers to is an illogical move to define a term in such a way as to try to persuade someone of a conclusion. An example would be defining abortion as the murder of the unborn. Built into that definition is the idea that abortion is morally wrong, since murder means wrongful killing. Well, the case is no different with Francione exclusively trying to herd all the abolitionists of the world into his arms, like a kid trying to shoo out other kids from his sandbox. A typical animal rights person might say, "I support the abolition of the property status of animals, so I am an abolitionist. So I must agree with the abolitionists then." If the illogical definition or elitist restriction is accepted, then this charletan move will tend to funnel people into the Francionist camp. Well, I am an abolitionist with respect to this outright abuse of the term "abolition" and its grammatical variants.
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".
A Selection of Related Blog Entries