Recently a well-respected blogger posted yet another fairly nasty e-mail she recieved policing her veganism.
I’m all for critical debate and the need to have an intersectional politics that includes an awareness of issues such as racism, fair-trade, queer inclusion, etc. I certainly don’t believe in humane meat. But I do understand being humane and ethical in all aspects of your life is not so black and white in all circumstances as some may want to believe.
I created this space as a place where we can talk about how to more successfuly critique and comment on issues of vegan politics without creating absurdly destructive in-fighting.
While the intent here is not to name names of those who have been “guilty” of this mean vegan policing, I do think it can be cathartic and constructive to share some stories of the times well intentioned, hard-working, ethically engaged vegans have been attacked while on their journey to create a better world.
I encourage submitters to share how the event, comment, e-mail made your feel and what might’ve been a more useful way to dialogue about the issue.
A very kinda and thoughtful email sent to bloggers who spent 3 years cooking their way through The Betty Crocker Cookbook veganizing all the recipes and who recently lost their baby.
“I thought I would like your blog… that is until I read the letter you wrote about your “Betty goes Vegan” inspiration. Honestly, “Lobster Killer,” really???? I know you are Vegan because of the animals… I love animals too and likely have more of them that I care for than you do. But still sheesh. You really sound bitter. Reading that made me feel embarrassed for YOU. Although I am guessing bitter may just be your personality Annie… I noticed it comes out here and there in your posts. I just want to say… Vegans should be more peace-filled and less bitter. I suspect if it’s just you, maybe you need to talk to a therapist lest you keep allowing it to leak onto the pages of your blog.”
It is imperative for us to realize that if our veganism is a statement for animal liberation, veganism cannot be an exclusive, ego-boosting club. Rather, we must become the mainstream. Fostering the impression that “it’s so hard to be vegan – animal products are in everything,” and emphasizing animal products where the connection to animal suffering is tenuous, works against this by allowing most to ignore us and causing others to give up the whole process out of frustration.
The way veganism is presented to a potential vegan is of major importance. The attractive idea behind being a “vegan” is reducing one’s contribution to animal exploitation. Buying meat, eggs, and/or dairy creates animal suffering – animals will be raised and slaughtered specifically for these products. But if the by-products are not sold, they will be thrown out or given away. As more people stop eating animals, the by-products will naturally fade, so there is no real reason to force other people to worry about them in order to call themselves “vegan.”
We want a vegan world, not a vegan club.