THE RSPCA SHOULD PROSECUTE ITSELF

Gary L. Francione
5 min readMar 17, 2022

The RSPCA is starting the process of prosecuting West Ham United’s Kurt Zouma for slapping and kicking his cat, and his brother, Yoan, who plays for Dagenham and Redbridge, for filming the incident.

What the Zoumas did was clearly wrong. They inflicted harm on the cat without any justification; the cat was not threatening them in any way and, therefore, their harming the cat constituted imposing unnecessary suffering on the cat. That is wrong.

But wait. Does the RSPCA take the position that all unnecessary harm imposed on animals is wrong? Nope. Not by a long shot. The RSPCA not only does not promote veganism as a moral imperative; the RSPCA promotes animal exploitation. The RSPCA makes money from promoting animal exploitation.

Some years ago, the RSPCA figured out that it could generate money by licensing a label — Freedom Food — for supposedly “higher welfare” animal products that would help to make humans more comfortable about continuing to exploit nonhumans.

The RSPCA “happy exploitation” label now has “RSPCA” in its title. It’s called RSPCA Assured.”

(source: https://www.rspcaassured.org.uk/about-us/)

The scheme is intended to assure consumers that the meat and animal products they buy “came from higher welfare farms.” Animal products with this RSPCA stamp of approval are now available in many chain stores in the U.K. Humans can continue to consume animals and animal products with confidence that it is all okay:

The RSPCA standards have been developed to ensure that all animals are reared, transported and slaughtered according to our higher welfare ideals and have everything required for a better quality of life. Whether they are kept on large or small farms, indoors or free-range, our standards ensure that every aspect of the life of the animal is covered from birth right through to slaughter, including their feed and water requirements, the environment in which they live, how they are handled, their healthcare and how they are transported and…

--

--

Gary L. Francione

Gary L. Francione is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lincoln.