Despite veganism itself being a relatively young movement, if you take 1944 as it’s creation date, it appears to be caught up in its own rhetoric, and is in major need of a reset.
And why shouldn’t it?
Hollywood does it all the time to get people interested in an “old” series, think Star Trek with Chris Pine.
The 1979 definition of vegan is:
A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
What Sort Of ‘Vegan’ Are You?
Despite veganism being everywhere, very few actually understand what it is.
Today’s vegan could be any one of the following.
A vegan before 6
A pegan (Paleo vegan)
A part-time vegan
A Cheegan (‘vegan’ apart from chicken/cheese)
A Beegan (‘vegan’ apart from honey)
The list is literally endless on the number of ways that people can cheat on actually being vegan.
Why It Needs A Reset
While the above are happening outside of the ‘movement’, the inside goings on, aren’t much better.
When YouTube ‘personalities’ think they are super heroes, the movement is in need of a reset.
When YouTube ‘personalities’ announce that they will no longer be doing a podcast because they aren’t making any money from it. The “movement” is in need of a reset.
When a YouTube ‘personality’ uses a quote from Martin Luther King Jnr on non-violence, then promotes a group that espouses violence, without anyone batting an eyelid, the ‘movement’ is in desperate need of a reset.
When a person who actually consumes animal products is able to give a talk at an “animal rights” conference, the ‘movement’ is in desperate need of a reset.
When an “angry vegan” goes on TV to give them the sound bite they want to reinforce their stereotype and is then proclaimed as a “hero”, the ‘movement’ is in desperate need of a reset.
When the insta-famous can literally get 10s of thousands of dollars a month from the “community”, then have their hand out for more, the ‘movement’ is in desperate need of a reset.
When people create new words for their own commercial purposes, the ‘movement’ is in desperate need of a reset.
When someone can write a book about creating a “vegan world” by changing the definition of veganism to include those who consume animal products, the ‘movement’ is in desperate need of a reset.
How Do We Do It?
This is the tricky bit.
The first thing you will need to do is put your critical thinking cap on.
More often than not, you will need to reject the status quo, and those who are ‘popular’.
Let’s get back to doing things at the grass roots level, rather than relying on shallow, one-track ‘personalities’ to drown out the voices of local activists.
Take the time to educate yourself about the history of this ‘movement’, and what it is about.
And most importantly, don’t ever let anyone tell you that standing in a particular pattern, wearing a mask is the most “effective” or “the” form of activism you should be doing.
This post first appeared on VeganPolice.com.au as This "Movement" Needs A Reset on 17 July 2018