Reading Facebook comments about Beyonce’s announcement about her food choices made me think that a big part of our movement has lost it. I read hundreds of vegans complaining about Beyonce and criticizing her. This great videoblog by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, in which she refutes the criticsm, makes you see the craziness with which some of us approach all things (non) vegan all the more clearly. I urge you to watch it. It’s a breath of fresh air.
I think some of us have stopped thinking. Having an ideology, even if it’s a nice one, can be damaging for one’s ability to think. Veganism seems pretty clear cut in many ways. It seems straightforward, there’s few real counterarguments one might bring in against it, it seems consistent, etcetera. So we’re tempted to think the thinking is done. That it has been done for us, already decades ago.
Maybe that’s the case. Maybe we have some sort of complete and clear definition of what is and what is not vegan, what is and what is not a vegan, etcetera (even though I doubt it). But surely, we are not done thinking about the best way to bring veganism to the masses. The way we define veganism and the way we try to mainstream it are intertwined. We need to think about both. We need, above all, to be strategic and not dogmatic about being vegan and about communicating about veganism.
2 thoughts on “Thinking is vegan”
Think about the red Salvation Army donation kettles you see outside stores around Christmas time. Say you put a dollar in as you walk by, but then the guy ringing the bell starts coming at you, angrily yelling, “What’s wrong with you, dude?! You need to put at least $20 in there!!”.
I bet you’d say, “WTF?!” and run away as fast as you could, get into your car, and never go to that store again. You’d probably also tell all your friends and family about what happened and how crazy those Salvation Army people are.
Now imagine a different scenario where you put the dollar in the kettle, but the bell ringer thanks you very much for your donation, wishes you a wonderful holiday season with a warm smile as they hand you a candy cane.
Which would we prefer?
Getting a just a “dollar” now for veganism, but leaving the door open for more possibilities in the future?
Or responding negatively to the “donor” because we think they haven’t donated enough, also shutting the door to any future possibilities, and having them go on to tell others how crazy our cause is?
I hate may hate that Beyonce still wears fur and isn’t 100% vegan, etc., but if swallowing my gag reflex and responding positively to the whole Beyonce issue is going to do the most to help the animals, then that is what I’ll choose to do.
I personally think it all comes down to taking a just moment to reflect and asking this ONE simple question:
What is going to do the most to help the animals?