Intersectional Veganism-Episode III: Why Vegans Need to Check Each Other

•September 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

An important issue that needs to be addressed….

White Vegans Need Intersectionality

•August 27, 2015 • 3 Comments


I stand behind this 100%!

Originally posted on Striving with Systems:

By Justin Van Kleeck

The vegan and animal rights movements have failed at many, many things. Despite what large corporate organizations are saying, the evidence that “we are winning” is pretty damn sparse. Veganism is slipping more and more quickly down a slope of consumerism, while the many ethics-based activists try desperately to cling to principles and strategies that are part of an actual ethical framework rather than on (slightly) altering consumption habits.

“The movement” has also done an outrageously horrible job of ridding itself of most of the privilege-based biases that allow oppression(s) to persist in human culture: racism, sexism, nationalism/xenophobia, anti-gay and anti-trans heteronormativity, sizeism, ageism, ableism, and a disturbing amount of speciesism as well.

This is all quite evident in most online vegan/AR discussion forums, as well as in mainstream vegan marketing. The appeal is almost always to an audience that is presumed to be fully capable of…

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Hundreds march on Port of Seattle to protest Arctic oil drilling

•May 18, 2015 • 2 Comments

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

Hundreds march on Port of Seattle to protest Arctic oil drilling

Seattle police accompany hundreds of protesters as they march on the Port of Seattle on Monday.

SEATTLE – Hundreds of protesters marched Monday on the Port of Seattle, where a massive floating Arctic oil drilling rig is parked on the waterfront.

Organizers say their goal is to block the gates to Terminal 5 and engage in civil disobedience to stop any work on the rig.

The Polar Pioneer, which Shell hopes to use to drill off Alaska’s northwest coast this summer, arrived in Seattle on Thursday. Hundreds of protesters in kayaks and other vessels turned out on Saturday for a protest dubbed the “Paddle in Seattle.”

They plan to continue their protest on land Monday.

The protesters say they’re concerned about the risk of oil spill in the Arctic and the effects of burning fossil fuels on climate change.

Officials in Alaska have touted the money the drilling could bring…

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RE: Animal Liberation/Veganism, Preaching to the Choir, and What May or May Not be Productive….

•May 17, 2015 • 1 Comment

Hello, strangers! I was tempted to make a video about this, but videos are very time consuming, and I just wanted to touch on some problematic issues I’ve noticed going on in the vegan community.

A few years back, I wrote this post, expressing my concern about animal liberation advocates “preaching to the choir” as a large part of their work. I wrote that this is concerning to me because the issue of animal liberation won’t gain any ground if we just engage in back-patting congratulatory exercises. Which brings me to…

In the past couple of weeks on YouTube, I’ve noticed several prominent vegan activists upload videos with some rather disturbing (and some might consider, antagonizing) messages. Here are some (I’ll just let the content of these videos speak for themselves):

Yeah…I think you guys get it.

The bottom line is, these are extremely problematic videos, no matter how you slice it. Non-vegans don’t deserve to live….vegans are superior to people who are not vegan…human rights issues don’t matter because animal rights are more important (funnily enough, I hear that same fallacy of relative privation directed the other way around by non-vegans defending their habits, and a fallacy is still a fallacy no matter who’s using it).

As I read the comments under all these videos, I notice every single person praising these antagonizing comments is a vegan who agrees with them. Yet, at least in the case of the Freelee videos, I see many video responses from defensive non-vegans. In certain social justice circles of Facebook, the Gary Yourofsky video is already getting a fair amount of backlash. So…my question is….is any of this productive?

I mean, there are some days I get so exasperated with humankind, and its general callousness toward nonhuman animals and the planet, as well as the callousness humans in certain positions of privilege have toward humans they consider “beneath them.” It’s exhausting, and can seem so overwhelming. But…I see nothing to be gained from antagonizing people.

Think of it this way, people may already have a lot of stereotypes in their minds about vegans; that we feel we’re superior to other people, that we love all animals, and hate all humans, and you know….maybe that is really the way some vegans really feel. But my thought is, if you want to get people on your side (as I think the goal of every vegan activist should be), how productive is it to feed into those stereotypes, and to give people a reason to antagonize you?

I’m not saying that people who just refuse to accept the message don’t exist; of course such people exist. But if we really have the facts on our side (that animals suffer and value their lives, that animal agribusiness and exploitation are killing the planet, and that you can thrive on a whole plant based diet), what is there to be gained from giving them reasons to dismiss you further?

That’s my piece. Signing out…

Another Sign of Climate Change: Warm weather causes partial collapse at Big Four Ice Caves

•May 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

Big Four Ice Caves
By KOMO StaffPublished: May 13, 2015 
GRANITE FALLS, Wash. — The Big Four Ice Caves are in their “most dangerous state” due to unseasonably warm weather, U.S. Forest Service officials say.

Parts of the cave have collapsed and the Forest Service says people should stay on the trail and not go into the caves. The Big Four Ice Caves are a popular hiking destination in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

“The cave is in a condition that we would normally not see until at least September,” said Matthew Riggen, lead field ranger with the Forest Service.

Even during seasons with normal temperatures, the caves are prone to falling rocks and ice.

In 2010, 11-year-old Grace Tam was killed at the caves by falling ice.

Tam was standing on an ice field with her family when the accident happened.

Tam’s family has worked with the Forest Service to…

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Intersectional Veganism Episode II: Why Fat-Shaming/Health-Shaming Should Not be a Part of the Vegan Movement

•May 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Second video in my intersectional veganism series, The title more or less says it all, but the video touches on some things that aren’t often brought up about this topic (namely, presuppositions about food access, and why it’s counterproductive).

Intersectional Veganism: Veganism is a Feminist Issue

•May 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This was the first video in an ongoing YouTube series I have about intersectionality in veganism. I started this series because not only do I think more social justice movements should begin recognizing animal liberation as a worthy cause (because freedom is a birthright, for everyone), but also because I think there are things people and groups within the vegan movement could do to become more inclusive. This video goes into detail into an issue I have already touched on in this space. Enjoy!


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