Less and less sites, pages, groups and organizations that claim to be for vegans are not so, if they ever were. There is this push to make the movement appeal to all which is certainly not a bad thing as that’s how we can create new vegans but we have to have spaces that are purely vegan and animal rights driven.
The disneyfication of the vegan movement is becoming the standard everywhere you look as youtubers, Facebook pages, website’s and other vegan media vie for advertisers by watering down the message.
Being a big Star Wars fan I equate this to the creation of ewoks or pod racing simply to sell games and toys. In a similar way our movement is becoming all about beautiful thin women in bikinis who pretend to be vegan while taking endless selfies with watermelons and pushing a narrative that we have seen before from a Calvin Klein underwear model in a magazine. Its the idea sold to us by marketers that if we do what they do we can be beautiful and have the fan adulation on social media too!
Veganism has little if anything to do with diet and that’s getting lost along with speaking about animal rights as the beautiful people and corporate America highjacks it, hollows it out and turns veganism into a vehicle for designer shoes, face creams and red bull.
Those of us who stand up to them are called crazy and extremist by our own community, as if speaking up for animals is an absurd thing for a vegan to do! I call these people hipstertarians.
Hipstertarians are not actually vegan they just want to be different, popular, make money with it and generally just exploit the rise in popularity of veganism to drive one thing: Their ego.
You may ask what harm is there in what they do? Aren’t they spreading veganism? Don’t they build the movement up and convert people who wouldn’t otherwise become vegan who aren’t interested in animal rights or being ARA? And that is where you’re wrong.
They aren’t vegan. Nobody is vegan for any reason other than animal rights, these people are plant based. You may think I’m splitting hairs about semantics here but I’m not. People understanding what the word vegan actually means is important because if someone doesn’t know what a vegan is they don’t know the why, and not knowing the why means they won’t stay vegan.
If you aren’t vegan for the animals it’s not a moral and ethical position for you, it’s not a core belief inside you, it’s a diet and diets are cheated on and quit. When you’re a real vegan for the animals you no longer consider the pieces of their murdered corpses or what squirts out of them as food anymore.
When a real vegan sees a hamburger, leather, steak, cheese, fur or any other product, we see every video of a murdered sentient being going through unspeakable hell. We see their faces and hear their screams. We see THEM, not a pizza or a big mac.
So yes it is important to preserve the word vegan and protect its definition because if we don’t more animals die when plant based people who pretend to be vegan for ego “cheat” or “quit” being “vegan” and carnists see veganism as a diet and see us as movable from our position on animal rights.
The reality is there are no former vegans and the fact that phrase is becoming common place even in our community is a litmus test that should worry us all and make us stand at attention.
Call out the hipstertarians and don’t let anyone claim they are a “kind of vegan”, “percentage of vegan”, vegan for environment, health or any other reasons or dilutions. You’re vegan for the animals or plant based end of story