This post is inspired by a thought-provoking piece on the Provoked blog (clearly a good name for a blog!)
I believe that we have to be inclusive in the animal rights movement and attack the system using all kinds of methods in all sorts of fields. Economics, science, literature, film, politics, law, etc. I'm no sociologist or historian, but it seems like there has always been a variety of inputs involved in any kind of social change, even violence. Remember the impact John Brown and his failed raid on Harpers Ferry had on the abolition movement?
And, even though I sometimes want to smack people in the head because I am baffled at how little they care about, well, about ANYTHING, I am still practical enough to understand that there must be a mass change in thinking that involves a large number of people. This may take time and maybe lifetimes to build up to that tipping point, but we have to use everyone and every resource we can.
I do think that there is a real elitism in the movement, however. This is probably an unpopular view, but I think it's legitimate. Is a vegan's efforts at advocacy worth more than a vegetarian's or even a meat eater's if they happen to agree on the same issue? If a meat eater eats meat, but hates the factory farm system or animal experimentation, do we discount anything we can get out of them because they are not "pure." Or the vegetarian who still uses dairy? So instead of three votes, we alienate two, but still maintain our purity?
At the same time, do we have the time to wait for everyone to become vegan to enact laws that will at least allow more humane care in the short term. You can exhort people to go vegan, but if only vegans have legitimacy in the movement, then it's condemned to a very, very small voice and limited short-term impact.