We need to acknowledge that veganism as a movement has serious problems that need to be addressed, and these issues need to be dealt with so as to consistently oppose ALL oppression in order to make the movement safe and accessible to all working towards nonhuman liberation.
Often, when we raise these issues, the response has been a “My-way-or-the-highway” rejection of these ideas. Isn’t it hypocritical if you want people to modify their behavior in response to new information (for instance, once they see what happens to animals in slaughterhouses, that they stop eating animals) but when new information is presented to vegan activists about problems with how they are presenting information, then they don’t want to change?
Vegan activists often point out the cognitive dissonance of non-vegans, but frequently neglect to acknowledge that racist, sexist, ableist, transphobic, classist, etc. behaviour from vegan activists is another, equally problematic form of cognitive dissonance.
Another response is hostility to those naming the problem, especially to survivors of sexual exploitation when it comes to the problem of “hero worship,” as well as belligerent acts and threatening behavior in response to women of color/people of color who raise issues of white supremacy and white privilege in the movement.
Why would a movement based on compassion act violently toward others and create a movement that is not safe for some? Why would a movement that wants change cling to the status quo?
Listen, we know all these realizations and implementation of changes is not easy, but if we truly want nonhuman animal liberation, then we have to put in the work to evolve from what the vegan movement currently is – inefficient and unsafe. We must also reject the non-profit industrial complex that continues to further establish capitalist organizations, rather than embracing non hierarchical sharing or power. Where local groups might be empowered to have autonomy to make decisions, hierarchical organization structures prevail.
The concerns identified here DO NOT mean that we are decentering nonhumans.
It is to the advantage of non humans to have more humans on board.
We are inviting you to do this work collaboratively with us, towards a shared goal of unified liberation for animals, humans, and the Earth. The oppressions that we have discussed are messy, entangled, blurry, and often difficult to fully understand – we believe that confronting these issues together will help us all make our movement better.
Please commit to a veganism that is consistently anti-oppression.
We need to do this for nonhumans.