I have recently seen several posts and comments in social media referring to the ‘vegan police’, usually with a ‘lol’ or two thrown in.
I can understand the mockery if it comes from someone who does not know any better, someone who is as yet unaware of the sickening horror that is all nonhuman exploitation.
We live in a deeply speciesist world where our rampant exploitation of all other species on the planet is inherently ‘cruel’. It is also deeply immoral, unethical, unjustifiable, barbaric and dangerous for the ecosystem and human life itself. As more and more evidence of these facts becomes available, remaining ignorant of this is, to some extent, a choice. The choice is driven by entrenched nursery myths of entitlement and unwillingness to take responsibility for our actions and the inevitable consequences of these.
Having said that, I know to my cost just how deep the indoctrination goes, not having opened my eyes until I was in my 50s, but those who know no better can – and do – learn. All it takes is one day, one combination of words, images and circumstances to break through the armour of denial, and the process of education begins. The whole house of cards comes toppling down and leaves us unable to close our eyes ever again to the horrors that have been perpetrated in our name. At the end of that process, many of us are vegan.
But back to the ‘vegan police’. It’s no secret that I have no time whatsoever for welfarist organisations – but they are relatively easy to spot. When the ‘donate’ button is prominent on their page and website but the word vegan either does not appear, is optional or is relegated to small print on an obscure link – you can be pretty sure that they are sleeping with the enemy.
It is my belief however that one of the most damaging, if not downright destructive influences in the animal rights movement at the moment, is being exerted by self proclaimed ‘advocates’ who have absolutely no concept of animal rights. They have no understanding that injustice stems from disregard of what I believe to be the first right of a sentient being, namely that they must have the right not to be regarded as the property of any other being.
Sadly there are many proponents of plant based eating who mistakenly believe themselves to be advocates for animals, and who are endorsing the voices of the uninformed with vilification of the ‘vegan police’. These individuals, through their misunderstanding of the subject are encouraging the spread of misinformation and doing nothing whatsoever to change the prevailing paradigm of sentient nonhumans as property. Not content with selling out our nonhuman kin with half-baked diets that have nothing whatsoever to do with the ethical stance that is veganism, I have seen with my own eyes the endorsement and encouragement of speciesism, condoning ‘baby steps’ and supporting ‘every little bit helps’ nonsense.
Now the majority of people – and I am old enough to speak from experience – are minimalist in their actions. If they are told that signing petitions or donating to some cause or other is what they need to do, the majority will do that and not one bit more. And – again from experience – they will feel good about themselves, congratulate themselves for doing their bit, never once challenging the speciesism that is inherent in almost all petitions or single issue campaigns, and sadly never once realising that their own half measures are doing absolutely no good whatsoever for anyone.
Add to this, the voice of a self proclaimed ‘advocate’ that applauds such ‘heroic’ measures and vilifies the ‘vegan police’ and you have a recipe for disaster – disaster that is for those who are depending on a clear voice to advocate on their behalf, namely our nonhuman brethren.
When I think of the shrieks of terror, of grief, torment and horror that are happening as I type, when I think of the egg slaves and the dairy slaves, the bewildered, glazing eyes below slowly turning young bodies suspended by one leg with throats pouring blood, when I think of the mothers who are scheduled for rape today so that humans may steal their milk, or for slaughter when the precious cargo of their wombs will be used either for finest leather or discarded as waste as they struggle desperately to live, when I think of the babies who will become orphans today or who will be surgically mutilated without anaesthetic as their pitiful existence of slavery begins, I am truly sickened. They are as aware as we are. They know what is happening to them. Can you even begin to imagine the horror they experience? The terror?
And meanwhile, instead of spreading the message that this is utterly, deeply, horrifyingly wrong in every possible sense of the word, I see backslapping apologists, proponents of all sorts of dietary half measures, who will always find popular support amongst those whose quest is for self vindication and approval rather than truth.
I have another name for those who are vilified as the ‘Vegan Police’, it’s Honest Vegans.
Honest vegans are those who tell the truth. Who do not insult by pretending that others are not brave enough or clever enough to stomach the facts of the matter. Who tell it like it is and who are unwavering and clear in their advocacy. I have met very few honest vegans who will not gladly help or advise those who wish to know about veganism, who seek help with their transition. An honest vegan however can never applaud or endorse half measures because not one of us is empowered to speak for the victims whose lifeblood is draining in slaughterhouses across the planet during every moment we delay.
As advocates we must always remember that there may be a difference between the message and the way it is received. Once our clear message has been conveyed, then how our audience chooses to act upon it is for their own conscience to dictate.
We must educate that the way out of the nightmarish acceptance of extreme violence by the majority of humans in the world is by adopting a way of life that rejects all violence, namely veganism. In the end, we have truth and honesty on our side and I believe that this must prevail in the end.