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…