Following up on another thread (see "In Defense of Vegetarians")--
The abolitionist crowd has a very strange attitude toward vegetarians. We are actually worse than omnivores, they think. Unpublished comments from these people (last month) dismissed both my new book and my Animal Rights course as worthless, since I'm a mere vegetarian. Yesterday Alex even compared vegetarians to embezzlers. Not only do we contribute nothing to animal advocacy, but we actually take away.
I worry these people are single-issue moralists. They never think about any moral issue besides the treatment of animals. That's my suspicion because nobody would dream of having the "vegans only" type of attitude on comparable issues.
Let's make up some new words. Donans are people who do all that they should with regard to preventing death from poverty and disease. They give to the point of marginal utility, just as Peter Singer says we should in "Famine, Affluence, and Morality." They may not do so for exactly Singer's reasons (perhaps they're more persuaded by the arguments in Peter Unger's very interesting book Living High and Letting Die), but they never ever do anything like buying an ipod rather than sending $200 to Oxfam, an amount that will save at least one life.
Donatarians don't do as much. They are just as convinced by Singer or Unger (or by other arguments) but find themselves sometimes buying ipods. They are simply not up to doing everything they should.
Greenans are just as exemplary as Donans, but their focus is on the environment. These are people who recycle every single thing that's recyclable, ride bicyles rather than drive cars, never ever fly, and otherwise reduce their carbon footprint to the absolute minimum.
Greenatarians don't do as much. They are just as convinced of the obligation to be totally green, but they recycle as much as practically possible, drive hybrids, limit family size, etc.
Imagine saying that donatarians and greenatarians do nothing for the poor and the environment. Nobody would take this view seriously. It's just as silly to dismiss what vegetarians can do for animals.