I shouldn’t have to write this: on Veganuary-bashing

I’m going to do something stupid in this post, maybe. I’m going to give more exposure to an article that should never have been written.

The article is titled The Annual Veganuary Fail (you can find it with Google, unfortunately). It criticizes (an understatement) the wonderful Veganuary campaign. Veganuary, as you may know, is about getting people to try vegan for a month, and see where that takes them.

The article is the stuff that I usually try to ignore. However, it contains so many arguments that pop up again and again especially among newly minted vegans who believe in Gary Francione’s “abolitionist approach”, and the Unified Theory of Everything that I thought it was valuable to share some thoughts. Furthermore, I know the Veganuary organizers personally. They’re great people, and I think it’s good to speak up when great people are attacked or misrepresented (and I think we’re not standing up enough against this kind of bashing).

The original text is in bold, while my brief thoughts (I’m being selective and I’m trying to stay polite) are below it. Here and there, I will link to other posts of mine, in case you’re interested in reading more thoughts. Oh, and you may notice how I get a bit exasperated and exhausted near the end.

So, take a deep breath; here we go.

pig veganuary

 

The Annual Veganuary Fail

Original article: It’s getting to the time of year again when Veganuary start their fundraising campaign for January. If you’re unaware of who Veganuary are, the quick explanation is that they’re a charity that fundraises off the back of trying to get people to go vegan – for a month.

My comments: Now this is a pretty bad start. It is a very uncharitable and disingenuous description of Veganuary. If we differ in opinion about tactics, I suggest that we at least start from the idea that we have the same intentions and ambitions. We all want to help animals. There’s no need to imply that people who use tactics we don’t agree with are money-grabbers.

You may be thinking “great, an organisation that takes veganism seriously for once.” I hate to burst your bubble but, if that’s what you’re thinking – you would be wrong.

Telling people they are wrong – especially with this much conviction when we’re certain of so little – is rarely the most productive way of advancing mutual understanding. 

On a fundamental level, the mere concept of Veganuary itself is a rejection of fundamental nonhuman rights.

Note how the word “fundamental” occurs twice in one sentence…

Think about it for a second. They’re not informing people about why as a matter of fundamental morality we need to be vegan, they’re asking people to make what is nothing more than a personal choice decision.

First of all, I’m not sure how the author arrives at this impression from the Veganuary campaign. If you go to the “why” section on the Veganuary website, the first reason listed is “animals”: “Animals are able to perceive and feel, and experience pain and happiness just as we do. Production of food and clothing causes them to suffer in innumerable ways.” I’m hard put to see this as presenting people with “nothing more than a personal choice decision.

Secondly: whatever works. It’s a very common theme among some animal advocates to insist on the moral argument, and on being “crystal clear” that others have an ethical duty, a moral obligation, to go vegan. Even if that were true, presenting things as an obligation, and telling people they have to do things for the reasons that we want them to have is a recipe for failure. People don’t like obligations. They’re very unattractive. Presenting something as a moral duty is the kind of preaching that many people are allergic to. Presenting things as a choice is much more appealing. The Veganuary people know this, and are applying that knowledge. They are only bound by what works (even if it’s not always easy to find out what that is).

It’s a gimmick and an insult to the vulnerable victims of non-veganism. It’s the animal equivalent of “Movember” where some men decide to grow a moustache to help people with certain forms of cancer or mental health issues. The difference is that the latter doesn’t involve fundamental rights violations and so therefore will not be harmed by gimmicks; the former does involve fundamental rights violations – via our treating sentient beings as resources – and so relegating the issue to one of personal choice in the form of a 1-month trial is a denial of the very real exploitation that occurs on account of non-veganism.

Why would Veganuary be an insult to the animals? Why would it involve “fundamental [here we go again] rights violations”? Just because Veganuary doesn’t play the moral obligation card enough? Enough with the demagoguery already!

If you’re not with me so far…

I’m afraid I’m not. But let’s continue anyway, for the heck of it.

… consider how you might feel if we relegated other forms of fundamental rights violations to 1-month a year gimmicks. What about “Feminibruary,” where for the month of February we ask rapists to make the personal choice to stop raping women for that month? Outrageous! Preposterous!… you may think – but it’s okay. If we steal Veganuary’s logic, we’ll have “reduced the suffering” of women by “inspiring and supporting people across the globe” to not rape in February. Wonderful! We’ve provided absolutely no information about why people shouldn’t rape in the first place, but we’ve made a lot of money off the back of fundraising, and made the rapists feel better in that month for “reducing the suffering” of women.

What’s outrageous and preposterous is this eternal and absurd comparison of eating animal products with rape. It doesn’t make any sense to compare something which 99% of the population condemns (rape) with something which 99% of the population actively celebrates (eating animal products). Even if you think that something isn’t any less wrong when everyone does it, at least you may want to consider that such completely different situations may require different strategies and ways of communicating about them.
It’s amazing how often I see this argument turn up, with the people explaining it believing they are so, so right, while I think they are so, so… misguided. (Posts that I have written about this topic: On comparing animal rights with other social justice causes and Is asking for baby steps speciesist? and Slavery Free Mondays.)

To the extent that Veganuary would find my “Feminibruary” idea offensive but think that Veganuary as a concept is just dandy – they engage in outright speciesism. By portraying veganism as some month-long trial, a personal choice, a way to “reduce suffering” (hello welfarists, I’m looking at you), they effectively deny the existence of fundamental nonhuman interests in life and serve to perpetuate the very same speciesism that feeds non-veganism in the first place.

First of all, it’s so easy to throw the accusation of speciesism out there. Following the author here – and continuing with his analogy – it would seem that it would be speciesist to not physically attack people in slaughterhouses, supermarkets or restaurants for processing, buying or eating meat, because if we saw a rape happening, we’d also jump up and try to stop it and beat up or punish the rapists, right? (See my post When the term “speciesism” gets overused.)

Furthermore, I’m not sure how anyone can say that Veganuary “effectively denies the existence of nonhuman interests.” Veganuary is a campaign by a couple of people who care a lot about animals and who have even invested a lot of their own resources in this project. They do that exactly because they believe animals have interests. They do what they do to get as many people on the vegan wagon, through whatever arguments and tactics work. They use a proven and psychologically sound strategy: trying on something for size, without any commitment for the long term, is something way less scary for people than a lifetime commitment, which as we know, most people don’t want to make right away (see Why Veganuary is a great campaign and The imperfect veganism of Ezra Klein).

We are offended by a concept such as “Feminibruary” because it is relegating the fundamental rights of women – to bodily integrity, to not be made to suffer, to not have their interest in life denied, to not be used as a resource – to nothing more than a month-long personal choice for those who readily engage in the exploitation of women. It is saying that the personal choices of those who engage in that exploitation matter more than the rights of the victims. It’s saying that the exploitation of women is not a fundamental matter of morality.

So again, what the author seems to be saying is that we have to tell people that they are under an obligation to feel and do as we vegans do; otherwise, they are fundamentally infringing on animals’ rights. I don’t think such a message works very well, but if you want to try it, go ahead, but at least don’t attack other people for using another message. And maybe stop ranting at campaigners like the Veganuary folks about how they are just into raising money, as well as being unethical for other reasons. 

Veganuary is no different in concept to my “Feminibruary” idea. Animals too, are sentient beings, with fundamental interests in not suffering and continuing to live. Their exploitation is every bit a matter of fundamental morality as the exploitation of any other sentient being with those similar interests. It makes no difference whether they’re human or nonhuman – all sentient beings are equal when it comes to being used as resources. The existence of Veganuary as a concept alone, is a denial of this, and so before we even consider the content of their fundraising, they’re perpetuating speciesism.

I think the author, me, the readers, and the Veganuary people all agree about the exploitation of animals being a matter of “fundamental morality.” Again, that is exactly what Veganuary is all about. As the stakes are very high, and as we understand the incredible suffering and injustice that is happening, we need to do something about it. And what we do should be based on what we believe or know works, not just on a theory or an approach invented by some professor or other. Veganuary isn’t a denial of anything. Or maybe it’s a denial of the dogma that we have an ethical obligation to present veganism as an ethical obligation, instead of doing what works.

Things get even more messy when we delve into the actual content. They claim to want to “reduce the suffering of animals while making veganism more appealing to the mainstream.” By focusing on “reducing suffering” alone they are embracing welfarist ideology. Most likely that of “the father,” Peter Singer, who maintains that because the animals we exploit lack more sophisticated human-like cognition, they don’t have an
interest in continuing to live – they only have an interest in not suffering.

Reducing suffering is a different approach from asking for animal rights. Both approaches may have their strong points, and this is an area where we could be open and curious about each other’s viewpoints and philosophy, rather than just saying the other side is wrong. Both a consequentialist and a deontological view can be respectable (although my money is on the former). What’s not respectable is to be dogmatic about what ideology we should use. And yes, while we’re at it, why not bash Peter Singer a bit: a man who has done more than almost anyone in the world to raise awareness about animal ethics. Makes a lot of sense.

The perpetuation of this false ideology is just another string to the bow of speciesism that Veganuary have aimed at the non-vegan public. They intend to let their arrows of confusion fly around the London underground this year where they aim to have 50,000 people partake in not raping… whoops, sorry, thought I was talking about Feminibruary again for a moment. Ahem – where they aim to have 50,000 people being “vegan” – for a month. No education as to why people should be vegan for life, just like we should always respect the fundamental rights of other humans and, you know, not rape them… ever. Just asking people to be vegan for a month for no apparent reason other than to “reduce suffering,” and they believe this will somehow make veganism “more mainstream.” Because, of course, as you know, animals don’t care that we’re killing them by the trillions every year for no good reason.

Someone fills the London underground with vegan posters, and we’re gonna complain and compare this to an appeal to temporarily stop raping. I leave it to you to assess the absurdity here for yourself.

Of course, Veganuary can help make veganism more mainstream. There is no evidence that telling people that they HAVE TO BE VEGAN FOR LIFE! works better than an approach where you tell them to try it out for a month and guide them along with daily mails, recipes, etc. But of course, there is the dogma: the “abolitionists” appear to believe that even if something else would work better, they still wouldn’t be ethically allowed to campaign that way. Following Francione-dogma trumps achieving results, apparently.

Animals just want to suffer a little bit less in January. That’s all they want – how silly of me to think they need more from us than that. My bad, Veganuary. But hey, it’s cool if you don’t want to go vegan in January anyway – It’s your personal choice to decide whether you want to engage in rights violations that month, right?

Pleeeeease, you’re killing me…

I mean, you’ve been given no real reason to take it seriously. Those rights violations would need to be made more “mainstream” in order for you to take them seriously, right? Whether or not you choose to observe a woman’s right not to be used as a resource in February is no different to whether or not you decide to give up drinking in October – damn it, I did it again didn’t I? Let me start over. Whether or not you choose rape women in February is no more a matter of your moral concern than whether you decide to go alcohol- free in October to “reduce the suffering” of your liver, right? – wait, I know. I know. I’ve done it again. I’ve confused one gimmick concerning the fundamental rights of a sentient being for another.

So many disingenuous, strawman arguments and so much absurdity here that I’ll leave this paragraph to you.

Obviously, I’m being facetious. What can I say? I’m sorry. I have a habit for doing that. What I really want to say is – Veganuary. Cut the crap.

I agree with “Cut the crap.”

Take the fundamental rights of animals seriously and use the zillions you’ve raised through fundraising over the years to actually do some real vegan education and educate – yourselves for starters – and then the non-vegan public. Educate about why we need to go vegan and stay vegan in recognition of the fundamental right all sentient beings possess not to be used as a resource. Educate about the nonhuman interest in continuing to live that we deny even exists through our “personal choice” to exploit them.

Zillions through fundraising. Sure. Let’s get more concrete. I checked with the Veganuary team. The campaign has been run for 12 months on around £70,000. The London Underground campaign was crowdfunded and raised around £30K more. Matthew and Jane, the initiators, work for free and told me they will never earn an income from Veganuary – in fact, they’ve put in around £200K of their own money since the start, and live in a small rented home. There are three other members of staff who are now paid very humble salaries – far less than they could earn outside of animal advocacy.

And we must recognize this, not just for January (what kind of insult is that anyway?) – but for life. That is the very least we owe animals. Just as recognition of fundamental rights is the very least we owe other humans.

Again, good luck telling people they have to go vegan for life. Again: is it more important to stick to one’s rules and ideology than to have actual results for animals? I know, I’m starting to repeat myself…

But wait – I’m getting carried away again aren’t I. You’re not going to do that, because you can’t fundraise as effectively from the truth as opposed to something as ambiguous as “reducing suffering.” You won’t make as much cash. It’s not “mainstream” enough – how very sad.

And once again, here’s the nasty implication that the Veganuary people are in it for the money. Deplorable. Really.

I can hear the protests already – “we’re effective, that’s all that matters!”
Effective at what? Perpetuating the age-old idea that animals don’t care about continuing to live? Perpetuating the idea that concern for the rights of animals is not a matter of fundamental morality but a matter of personal choice? A gimmick that one can partake in over a trial period with no real idea as to why? Yeah. Congratulations – I’m setting off party poppers right now in celebration.

If people try Veganuary for a month, many of them will get familiarized with the ethical problems of eating animal products. Moreover, they hopefully will have experienced that vegan food can be tasty, doable, affordable and convenient. That may make their hearts and minds more open to the ethical arguments. Attitude change often follows behavior change rather than preceding it. (See also Let Beyonce be. About the biggest oversight in our movement.)

Lets raise a glass and toast Veganuary for never failing to hit the final nail in the river-coffin that sends every animal down the waterfall and into the hands of corporate welfarism. Lets toast the perpetuation of denied personhood in favour of human supremacy and personal choice.

Oh boy. Can we finish already? I can’t take this anymore.

Way to go. This has to stop.

I’d love it if some things would stop. What has to stop is cruelty to animals, animal suffering, killing animals, injustice. Whatever you want to call it. We’re all in the same boat and on the same page here, I think. But what I’d love to stop also are articles like this, criticizing well-meaning, smart, committed and authentic advocates.

Articles like this are what following Francione-dogma leads to. If you believe you’re influenced by the theories of Gary Francione, think about them again. Keep an open mind. Know that nothing in life is black and white. Follow the evidence where it goes instead of just accepting and repeating the dogma. Know that our work is not about building and following a consistent grand theory of everything, but about having a positive impact for animals in the real world.

p.s. – Inevitably some people will tell me either that I’m wasting my time, or that I’m just continuing the bashing, or that I’m giving more attention to something that shouldn’t get any attention. You can read my motivation for speaking out here.

14 thoughts on “I shouldn’t have to write this: on Veganuary-bashing

  1. Tobias, it seems really simple: If you aren’t purely glorifying me and my personal view, you are the enemy, and worthy of more ire and attack than a meat eater or factory-farm owner.

    My question to you: What would it take for you to stop engaging the egoists? They can waste their time, but what has ever happened (other that praise from those already on your side, and further attacks from the other side) from this type of blog post? The vegan bubble has had its wars for decades, and meanwhile, per-capita consumption of animals is at an all-time high in the US. http://bit.ly/2iBcfRN

    1. call me naive, but i don’t think this is useless 🙂 I’m not trying to reach the absolutarians, but my hope is that new people don’t fall into the dogma trap right from the start, and can find enough material out there that counters it. I’ve had quite a few people telling me they found my page through googling francione and changing their views…
      That said, of course i only invest limited time in this 🙂

      1. Bang-on, Tobias! Cheers for getting the message out there. Engaging with problematic positions is no waste of time as long as it happens publicly – and as long as it results in such informative posts. Keep up the excellent work you’re doing!

      2. I don’t think it’s useless at all. And btw, I love your website Tobias, I get a real sense of empathy and compassion from you, and I feel actual non-violence needs to have people that actually can do this in all areas of nice, for example, being compassionate to all other humans, not just non-humans.

        I feel that the difference of the writing in bold compared to your responses – there is a very wide difference between the level of compassion and empathy you both have.

        When I read the words in bold, I just felt a sense of very harsh judgement, I felt that it sort of implies that people, in general, are stupid. And I also felt his idea of ‘Feminibruary’, using it as an example to devalue ‘Veganuary’, was, I felt, incongruent to the way he forces his opinions and his harsh judgement using
        scarcism and belittling to get his point across, making the reader, who might fall short of his high moral standards, bad about themselves. He points out the need for people to educate themselves, possibly implying that, in general, people aren’t as educated as him.

        He implies, as he mentioned rapes and the exploitation of women, and explains, quite rightly the problems of Feminibury’.

        Ok, so I’m gonna talk about exploitation in general terms, towards people here. And if you are a genuinely compassionate person, and the non-violence extends to humans as well as nonhumans, which the writer has covered as he quoted “Their exploitation is every bit a matter of fundamental morality as the exploitation of any other sentient being”

        However, I’m bit confused as to where abolotionists stance on abolition, does only apply to nonhumans, or does it apply to humans as well?

        Looking at emotional abuse:
        threats
        humiliation or ridicule
        provoking fear of violence
        shouting, yelling and swearing
        blaming
        controlling
        intimidation
        coercion

        so an abolotionist approach, how they get their message across, and how they speak to all humans, including non-vegans (who an abolitionist eyes, are everyone who is not in their small clique).

        So I question why do they adopt the approach that they do? What is their goal? Is it because they want to make the world vegan, make it more accessible to more people, or is it because they want to keep, who the classify vegan, a very small group, in which, some of them know each other, and encourage their ‘approach’ with each other, propping each other up?

        I think we spend too much time, focusing on the faults of their message, rather than the agenda of the people behind that message.

        1. All the I agree with the writer’s view on that all sentient beings, human and nonhuman have fundamental rights.

          I feel, the abolitionist ideology, as it is fundamentalist, as there has to be a strict adherence to the rules (you must not support welfare charities, must not support single-issue campaigns), and I don’t think there is much leeway here, and there is a clear ingroup and outgroup distinctions, anyone who falls short, even slightly, is a non-vegan.

          I have mentioned ‘I have no problem with GF’s ideology, but I do actually,

          I take care of the wild hedgehogs in my area, I have been trying to encourage my neighbours in helping me care for them, and the local school, which includes chatting to the school children about how litter can damage or kill a hedgehog.

          So yes, I’ve paid for a few hedgehog houses, which keep dry through the winter and will keep them safe from preditors, and the money goes directly to a hedgehog hospital.. There has been times when I’ve seen hedgehogs, that a too small and have been born late autumn, and would have died in matter of weeks, if I had not rescued them and given them to the hospital to overwinter until they got released, big and healthy, free of lungworm and internal parasites at a safe level where it won’t kill them, and the odd older hog on it’s last legs, due to various reasons. All, of which, get released back into the wild.

          I donate money to them.

          Therefore, this, in an abolitionist mind set – this would make me flawed, and a non-vegan, because the hog hospital is not necessary campaign for abolitionism, and the owner, and her hedgehog foster carer, both have pet dogs. Also the hog foster carer, feeds a local fox dog meat, and the hogs get fed on a diet of canned dog meat, and kitten or cat biscuits.

          So as the hog hospital gets donations from other charities and their donors who supply them with food for the hogs, and supplies from the vets, this would certainly not be in the abolitionist category.

          However, I don’t care too much what the abolitionist think about this, as hogs are an endangered species, because of us. And I’m just simply trying to increase the population of hogs in my area.

          But because of this abolitionists strict adherence to the rules, it has given people the freedom to use the ideology, in a very negative, off-putting way. And I feel it’s very in-congruent with their slogan ‘make the world vegan.’

          I did go to a fast-food takeaway with an abolotionist once, and what surprised me was that the staff, where offering him free chicken as it was late night and about to shut up shop, and he found it quite amusing (I’d say surprised) that he was vegan. I didn’t question that, I wish now (as he was a regular customer), that I’d gone back into that shop and ask a few questions!

          so when talk about people’s agenda… I just think they way the promote abolitionism is problematic and we should question it a bit more rather than focus on GF’s ideology.

          1. How do you know if someone is a vegan? They will tell you
            How do you know if someone is an abolitionist? They will tell you, ‘you are not vegan’.

            1. I’ve realised the person who wrote in bold, seems a bit authoritarian to me. And perhaps, that’s the style of the abolitionist approach in general, or it’s just the writer.

              So this is why I think it’s authoritarian:

              Blind allegiance to conventional beliefs about right and wrong

              Respect for submission to acknowledged authority, i.e GF

              Belief in aggression toward those who do not subscribe to conventional thinking, or who are different – i.e. verbal in the abolitionist field

              A negative view of people in general

              A need for strong leadership which displays uncompromising power, i.e. GF

              A belief in simple answers and polemics – i.e. The source of all our problems is the loss of morals these days.

              Resistance to creative, ideas. A black and white worldview.

              This list is from Adorno’s theory of authoritarian personality types. And people with this type of personality typically see no faults in themselves but find it very easy to point out the faults or shortcomings of others, which are more likely to use techniques such as mind control.

              We have probably all been subjected to this way of thinking in different ideologies we, or the world, historically or present, have been exposed to.

              It’s starting to make me question how much involvement or encouragement does GF have online – and how much has he influenced how abolitionists get his ideologue across? Is it because GF is authoritarian? I know there are many complaints about him, usually narcissism, I would think an authoritarian personality type would be also a narcissist, it would go hand in hand.

              1. Also, the analogy to rape – It makes for uncomfortable reading, and I slept on that thinking why does it make me uncomfortable.

                And release is was because he raised it up, a very disturbing event for all of us to consider, and seemed have no problems raising it up and viewing the concept of using that idea as a form of humour in order to make people feel that veganary is a ridiculous idea. He did say, and make it clear, that he agrees that rape to women is fundamentally wrong, he made that very clear.

                But I felt, a sensitive person, sensitive to other people, wouldn’t have dreamt of using that analogy.

                He did also use a style of sarcastic wit that I’ve seen before in people as well, and it’s a kind of wit to make people feel a bit stupid.

                I do feel slightly bad comparing his style to an authoritarian type of personality, but I was referring more to the whole abolitionist approach in general. I do have empathy for these types as I know now, that authoritarian types are likely due to having very critical parents, and inflated egos, are due to feelings of inferior deep down, which very suppressed. People that, on the surface seem inferior are usually the ones that know they aren’t inferior, and when you ask them ‘why were you putting yourself down’, the answers are more like ‘I just couldn’t be bothered with the conflict’ , and that happens a lot in some toxic work places, when you’ve had to cope with a very ‘tempermental’ boss.

                So I am trying to have, or find, some empathy here. And perhaps, when I do communicate with these personality types, I’ll remind myself of their vulnerabilities, when they start attacking me.

  2. This particular author seems to have taken over Ecorazzi. There never seems to be anything else on there nowadays apart from his articles, which seem to be just regurgitating Gary Francione’s work.

  3. At a base level I’m pretty sure most sane people recognise Gary for having only one singular goal i.e. to have his ego massaged by marketing himself as some kind unique saviour for the animals (whilst slitting their throats with his assanine attacks on others).

    Not one single social change for good has suceeded through an abolitionist approach. If someone wants to suggest otherwise I’m all ears. It is not only unrealistic and nieve like the demands of a petulant child, but moreover it is extremely damaging to the progress of the vegan movement. More so I would suggest than pro dairy and milk movements. Why? Because those industries are already servicing a vast majority of believers in their product and message. Gary however does more damage by pushing away the very people that can be engaged by campaigns like Veganuary. It sabotages the journeys people begin towards veganism and reducing animal cruelty through the ‘not good enough’ line from the least effective group within our cause. Every day an abolitionist criticises a potential fully fledged vegan instead encouraging and rewarding smaller steps taken by the majority of converts, they add to the suffering of animals as that person turns away from that journey. And for what benefit? Only so one media hungry simpleton can gloat at the the influence he wields over the weak minded who follow him, incapable of seeing through this charade of humanity. It’s no different to Fox tapping into the all or nothing idiocy of narrow minded Americans. To deny that Gary is just interested in promoting Gary and not reducing animal suffering is to deny logic in favour of some madmans unobtainable utopia where undoubtedly he would see himself as king. The sooner that philosophy and individual is flushed away like the waste water it is, the better for veganism and the animals.

  4. When one ignores the tribalism and heated rhetoric…..this seems come down to two issues:

    1.) What is the evidence that Veganuary encourages veganism long-term?
    2.) Does the Veganuary campaign have negative externalities in terms of promoting veganism?

    The argument highlighted seems to come down to the claim that the Veganuary campaign has negative externalities and therefore is ineffective. Without any empirical data on the campaign it seems hard to address either of these issues….so it just ends up being them vs us.

    1. I feel the intention is to end up ‘them vs us’, and perhaps it was written because there wasn’t any empirical data on the campaign.

      A fundmentalist ideology is about us and them. And of course, the ideology has to be more morally superior than others.

      We can see it in other ideologies, and it does, I think, attract a lot of young people, who are needing to be part of a group, hence the moral superiority – but it is run by bullies, so what happens, it creates a lot of victims in that group. I’ve read somewhere, it has led some people to feel suicidal, due to the need for them to attack, judge, tear apart, belittle and shame people.

      There is no room for flaws or slight differences of opinion, all under the guise of ‘make the world vegan’.

      I just think, if you are a fairly sensitive person, being part of this group could, temporarily, screw you up.

  5. In Finland the equivalent to Veganuary has made many people Vegan and also many celebrities, which is promoting veganism. All kind of activism is needed. “Let All the Flowers Bloom.”

  6. I recently made a video promoting Veganuary. I personally prefer seeing Veganuary as a time when new vegans can receive extra support, information and support, not as a “trial run”. But really, it’s a great thing, regardless of how it’s presented.

    Having just read his latest book, There are many things I like about Francione’s work. His emphasis on sentience, etc. are very interesting to me.

    However, I think Francione and his followers have a blind hatred for any and all “single issue campaigns” that is myopic and naive. Certainly there are some bad animal welfare campaigns out there. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to evaluate campaigns individually.

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