The following are questions that have been posed to the collaborators of the bill.
We will post them here so we can have an open and transparent discussion with the vegan/AR community:
1. We are a vegan group or individual working on intersecting oppressions. Can I still sign the bill?
RESPONSE: We’ve been asked by vegans working across other social justice movements if they can sign the bill too. Yes, absolutely, if you are making a commitment towards spreading a veganism that centers nonhumans and is not adding to others’ oppression.. It makes sense to also work with vegans working on the intersections between veganism and other oppressions.
2. Might this be perceived as an effort to redefine the word “vegan?” I am not opposed to that, I’m just curious if this is partially the intent.
RESPONSE: Veganism is basically a social justice movement centered on nonhuman animals in an effort to disrupt the oppressor-oppressed relationship between differing species. Veganism should never trample over others because it obviously doesn’t make sense to fight for the liberation of nonhumans while ignoring nonhuman oppression since the oppressions are intertwined. We don’t have a problem with the definition. We have a problem with a veganism that refuses to embrace consistent anti-oppression and acknowledge the interconnections of oppression.
3. Would it be worthwhile to consider retiring the word “human” in the spirit of the Ko sisters essays based on the word having been popularized during the colonization of America to separate “races” of people and homo sapiens from animals?
RESPONSE: “I can only speak for myself, and while I, as a biologist, completely understand that we are all animals, animalization is a tool still used to oppress PoC and other marginalized humans. Nonhumans are otherized and then used to otherize us, which means that these conversations have to be thought of in a way that will not accidentally push People of Color the other way due to “racialized” speciesism (mentioned in the first paragraph here), so while I agree that there is no us versus them, humans are the oppressors of nonhumans and there is a hierarchy that needs to be taken down. I do not currently feel comfortable giving white vegans the task of addressing “racialized” speciesism when they can’t even understand something as basic as racism, transphobia, or any other “ism”. There’s application and then there’s theory, and sometimes the application of a theory is blocked by hurdles upon hurdles which is what we are dealing with right now.” – Julia