Dr Steve Best, animal activist, associate professor at a Texas University and one of the leading voices in militant activism in the United States, a man who I think has been good for animal rights in his fight for “total liberation”.
However, Dr Best recently blogged this fascinating piece about the British Suffragettes
Note to pacifists: the UK suffragettes used sabotage, arson, and CD to win their campaign, attributed “Filed under: Uncategorized by drstevebest”. (*CD= civil disobedience)
This blog piece explores the history of the fight for women’s vote (suffrage). It shines a light on some of the leading figures in the women’s Suffrage movement, and some of their tactics – arson, violence, sabotage and civil disobedience.
It starts with “The votes-for-women movement exploded in popularity the UK in 1903 – hence this year’s centenary celebrations – but the story of the campaign begins before the reign of Queen Victoria.” (source: Steven Best’s blog article – Note to pacifists: the UK suffragettes used sabotage, arson, and CD to win their campaign)
This is what made this piece stand out, something in the phrasing didn’t sound right. The maths didn’t add up.
We are long past the centenary.
So let’s try that again
“The votes-for-women movement exploded in popularity the UK in 1903 – hence this year’s centenary celebrations – but the story of the campaign begins before the reign of Queen Victoria.” (Source: The history of the suffragettes By Dominic Casciani BBC News Online http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3153388.stm dated : Thursday, 2 October 2003, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
A quick string search found the BBC article, dated 2003, written by Dominic Casciani. I can find neither the name Casciani or BBC or a link to the original article in the Best blog article.
The a screen shot of end of the Best page is found here: graphic of the end of the article, to show that there is no attribution at the end of the blog piece either.
The original BBC piece was written in 2003, to coincide with the centenary of the “votes-for-women” movement, and uses the word “centenary”, which is what the year 2003 would have been.
Although it is possible that the BBC borrowed their piece from Dr Best and back-dated their website, I’m not sure that it happened that way
Even the images used to illustrate these pieces are the same.
This 2011 version of this article has been reproduced here: Negotiation is Over , using the title of the Best blog post, rather than the original title on the original 2003 web post.
It seems strange to me, that so many in the militant divide of the animal rights infighting, point the finger at the “Cult Of Francione”, yet fail to notice their own enthrallment with Steven Best, to the point that anything he says is taken and reproduced as if it was sacred words – without even checking if someone else had written them first.
A simple reading of the text of the blog piece should alert any reader that phrasing is odd. It is 2011, it seems strange year to be celebrating the centenary of 1903 event, not even the British would take that long to organise a celebration.
I am not out to cause trouble for anyone, lest of all a university professor. However, I have been a university student, and If I had have handed in a paper that was as similar to something else, as these two articles are, I would be given an automatic fail.
I am also sure if someone went through my blog they would possibly find instances of graphics and pictures that haven’t been attributed correctly (though wordpress has a function that allows you to insert public domain graphics, which makes this easier). I try hard to list sources, and if I cannot find a picture I like, I will create my own.
I am probably going to end up alienating every animal rights activist and vegan who I have ever respected in posting this piece, but surely the leaders of the animal rights movement should be held to higher standards than a teenage undergrad. I am probably going to lose every shred of credibility I have ever had as a blogger on animal rights.
I imagine I will get hate mail, saying why must I be mean to Dr Best. I hope not, I don’t think it should be sacrilege to point out the similarity between the two articles.
I sincerely hope that followers of Steve Best can respect my reasons for pointing this out. I did not enjoy writing this, I even put out a request of other animal activists, if they could double check for me, and see if what I read was accurate.
I will happily remove this post, if I am asked to
(Edited to add, I will happily remove this post, IF I AM WRONG and am asked to).