Popular understanding of veganism is based around its practical application in the form of a diet and abstinence from using animal products, leaving the principles behind the practice open to inference. However, Leslie Cross, one of the founders of the vegan movement, wrote in 1951 that veganism is first and foremost a principle from which the practice logically flows. The principle, what some are now calling abolitionism, is "that man should live without exploiting animals." In other words, veganism is not about protecting animals from suffering, which is the stated goal of PETA; rather, it is about liberating animals from the system of exploitation that is the root of much unnecessary suffering.
Hence, the Election Day post by Dani of "The Vegan Ideal" blog discussing the significance of "alternative means of exploitation." Dani eloquently writes:
As Mohandas Gandhi said, we must be the change we want to see in the world, not the darkness we wish to leave behind. Exploitation, even "reformed," is the darkness we want to leave behind. Whether or not its advocates are conscious of it, supporting alternative methods of exploitation obstructs, marginalizes, and negates veganism (the change we want) here and now.In sum, Prop 2 is, according to Dani, a reform of exploitation. From a more plainly strategic perspective, Leslie Cross writes that veganism is
not so much an effort to make the present relationship bearable, as an uncompromising recognition that because it is in the main one of master and slave, it has to be abolished before something better and finer can be built.In other words, we are not capable of building something truly better or finer until the enslaving system is abolished. Indeed, Prop 2 is not truly better or finer. Many vegans who would otherwise support reform oppose or don't care about the proposition due to a lack of any evident improvement in conditions between caged animals and free-range animals in the U.S. Although I do not agree with reformism myself and do not encourage a reactionary approach, I leave you a shocking video from Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary which will have to suffice for the lack of vegan media on 'No on Prop 2':