wasting cheesy burritos is not vegan

This post was originally intended to be a simple comment on this post at Let Them Eat Meat, but as it grew and grew, it just made more sense to make a full post out of it. If you don’t want to read the original post and discussion, the summary of it is basically this: Rhys is saying that it makes no sense for vegans to be opposed (generally or personally) to eating non-vegan freegan food (NVFF). And I agree with him.

I think it’s interesting that so many of the vegan commenters there resort to the ad hominem question/statement of “Hey, Rhys, are you freegan? No? Then STFU!” Yes, Rhys sort of has a style that invites that sort of abuse, but seriously, can we stick to the idea at hand? The point is, partial or full freeganism (vegan or not), can definitely be a lower-impact, more animal-friendly lifestyle than what Rhys refers to as “consumer veganism.” I think it makes sense to 1) have a diet that is as low impact as possible if it doesn’t violate your ethics and 2) deal in the world of today, not in this far-off, hypothetical world where veganism is way more common than it is now. Many vegans quoted there are all about setting an example that a vegan world is possible. Okay, fine, but why can’t it be just as good to set an example that veganism that sometimes incorporates NVFF is also possible? Oh, right… because global vegan utopia is right around the corner and tomorrow we’ll all wake up in a land where recovering NVFF isn’t a totally realistic option.

There is so much talk of example-setting. Rob says that veganism “promotes an ideal that is attainable for everyone and possible for the planet.” Even though I have some quibbles with that statement, I’m willing to conditionally accept it as true. What I do not accept is the idea that allowing for freegan exceptions to an otherwise vegan diet/lifestyle ultimately hinders acceptance of veganism. I think one can make the case that the opposite is true. If someone thinks “hey, I see enough wasted NVFF to eat it multiple times per week,” maybe they can start to see veganism as more doable than they previously did. Vegans try to obliterate the idea that veganism can involve a sense of deprivation rather than admitting that it exists and finding ways to avoid it that jibe with vegan ethics. I think eating NVFF jibes with vegan ethics, and I think that it can satisfy some people who would try veganism, but who would still have cravings for non-vegan food.

Honestly, I just don’t buy most of the reasons given by vegans for not wanting to eat NVFF. I think it really does come down to concerns of personal purity and a desire to be seen as a “legit vegan” by one’s peers. Most vegans quoted in the article freely admit that they have no ethical qualms with someone eating NVFF, but they simply refuse to do it. Their reasons for being vegan are ethical, but their reasons for not wanting to eat NVFF are all… tactical. Or personal. Or based on taste. Hmmm…. okay!

And what’s more, most vegan commenters there focus on dumpsters as the source of vegan food as opposed to finishing a non-vegan meal destined for the trash. I’ve never eaten NVFF from a dumpster (but I would, if it seemed safe), but I’ve been eating NVFF for the past few months fairly regularly (just did it last night). Their claims that their aversion to eating NVFF stem from a sense of safety or decorum are really only true if they live such an insular, vegan lifestyle (i.e. in a vegan bubble) that they never encounter non-vegans wasting NVFF. If this is true, it’s no wonder that they worry so much about what kind of example they set for non-vegans: they probably don’t know any well enough to know that most of them would actually respect them MORE if they weren’t so hopelessly strict about everything, if they showed a little humility by displaying, with their actions and not their words, that veganism is NOT about personal purity.

Last year I stopped through a Taco Bell with three friends (two omnivores, one pescetarian). I ordered two cheesy bean and rice burritos with no cheese, no cheese sauce. I have generally had pretty good luck with Taco Bell getting my order right, but this time was a disaster. The first two came out with cheese AND cheese sauce. I sent it back, even though I had eaten messed up, cheesy orders in the relatively recent past (my willingness to eat NVFF pre-dated my ability to be open about it among non-vegans). The second two came out with no cheese, but cheese sauce. Again I sent it back, and I acted like kind of an asshole, raising my voice a bit. Nothing too intense, but I basically just did not try to hide the fact that I was pissed at all. I was extremely hung over and not in the mood to deal with incompetent restaurant employees. I told my friends “I would normally just eat it, but I’m in no mood to deal with this shit right now.” My friends were polite enough about it. They didn’t really say much of anything.

But I really wish that I would have just eaten the first fucking order of two cheesy bean and rice burritos with cheese and cheese sauce. Sending it back to the kitchen (where they probably threw it away) is actually counter-productive to the aims of veganism. What did I accomplish, exactly? I caused six burritos to be made, and it’s possible that as few as two of them were actually eaten. Great.

What’s more, my behavior made my friends think of veganism as this lifestyle that is full of situations where you either have to not get what you want, or get what you want, but possibly have to shout a lot and look like an asshole to make it happen. And that’s just not true on so many levels. But that’s what they saw. I wish I would have played it differently. But my need to be seen as a personally flawless ambassador for “the moral baseline” caused me to make the wrong decision, which was ultimately counter-productive. It was counter-productive in the moment in real, physical terms, and it was counter-productive in the sense that a number of people witnessed a vegan acting like an asshole and wasting food, all so that he wouldn’t get the Devil Cheese in his inner sanctum. I wish I would have given more thought to “destined for the trash” freeganism earlier. The incompetent (but nice) Taco Bell employee probably does, too.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in freeganism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Michael Pollan Is a Speciesist!

from The Omnivore’s Dilemma: (Pollan is recounting his weird, self-imposed experience of eating a steak while reading Animal Liberation):

I put down my fork. If I believe in equality, and equality is based on interests rather than characteristics, then either I have to take the steer’s interest into account or accept that I’m a speciesist. For the time being, I decided, I’ll plead guilty as charged. I finished my steak.

This is a good example of how the charge of speciesism is not as damning as abolitionist vegans would like to think it is. They spend so much time trying to paint speciesism as being morally equatable to racism and sexism. In fact, if you tell them that you’re really sick of hearing the analogies, they will probably get mad at you and call you a speciesist some more (and maybe a racist and sexist, if they’re really frustrated). So it really blows their minds when someone can just casually admit to being a specieisist and still feel like a normal, moral person.

And just to be clear, I don’t agree with Pollan’s reasoning in this little snippet. I’m just making the point that the speciesism = racism = sexism etc. analogy that so many vegans like to use is not nearly as effective as they think it is. You can tell someone all day long that speciesism = racism = sexism, but if there is just a little part of them that rejects the idea of species equality, they will reject what you’re saying and feel justified in munching down on some flesh. You will have to to try to find another way to (not so) subtly imply that they’re racist or sexist or that they approve of rape.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in speciesism, things omnivores say | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

is eating non-vegan freegan food compatible with vegan ethics?

Before I get to the specifics, just let me alleviate your curiosity and answer the question: yes, in my opinion, it is. I know it’s pure sacrilege in most vegan circles to assert that one can eat animal products and still be true to vegan ethics. But, trust me, I have my reasons for thinking this way.

But let’s first talk about things that eating non-vegan freegan food (NVFF) is NOT compatible with.

It is NOT compatible with the idea that maintaining a strict avoidance of animal-derived food products in one’s body is the the most important defining characteristic of a vegan. It is NOT compatible with the idea, popular in many vegan circles, that non-vegan food just simply is not food. You all know what I’m talking about. It’s often trotted out as a reason why veganism involves no sense of deprivation because you can still eat any food you want. If a corndog or cheese string is not food, how can you feel deprived by not eating it? If you find any of this to be a problem, you should probably just stop reading now. I might infect you with my moral baseline.

I had read about freegans before (while I was vegan) and I never faulted them for eating non-vegan freegan food (NVFF), but was not able to admit to myself that their approach was actually ethically superior to straight-up consumer veganism. I owe much of my rethinking of this topic to reading Let Them Eat Meat, specifically this article. And this brings up the idea of the moral baseline again. Why do so many vegans insist that veganism is the moral baseline? Why isn’t freeganism (vegan or not) the moral baseline? I think mainly because, well, it can be a lot of work and most people aren’t too keen on the idea of rooting around in dumpsters (or being known as a person that spends a good amount of his free time hanging out in dumpsters). Alternatively, why isn’t, I don’t know – buying only happy meat the moral baseline? Why not?

So many vegans have this smug attitude that veganism is the moral baseline and, goddammit, anyone that falls short of that is just not ethical. You know, because ethical vegans are ethical and everyone else is… well, unethical I guess. I’ve tried to explain to a number of so-called “ethical vegans” how offensive that term is, but to no avail as far as I can tell. Yes, I get that the “ethical” part of it is to distinguish yourself from “environmental vegans” or “health vegans,” but knowing this doesn’t make any of it seem less pompous to me. So imagine how the term “ethical vegan” sounds to people outside the initiated fold. Not good.

But as long as it gives you that warm, smarmy feeling of superiority you crave, I guess that’s what matters.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in freeganism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

donuts

Lest you, my loyal readers (ha!), get the false impression that I only have bad things to say about veganism, let me share something with you that I often offer up to people as an advantage of being vegan.

One thing that I definitely DON’T miss about being omni and vegetarian is eating desserts that I don’t really want to eat. People talk about eating all sorts of crap (donuts, cookies, brownies, cake etc.) at work and social functions simply because it’s there and they can’t help themselves. Early in the day they have good resolve and great intentions, but by the end of the day, they’re three donuts deep and hating themselves. I don’t have that problem. I have non-dietary reasons to avoid that stuff and it takes essentially zero will power. It’s actually pretty nice.

Obviously, this is far from a compelling reason to become vegan, but it is a nice side benefit.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

What’s the mortgage like for a treehouse?

Why is it hard to be a vegan without pissing people off?

Just so we understand each other, I’m aware that this gripe can appear to people with real problems as pretty minor, even self-indulgent. Fair enough. In the grand scheme of things, being a sometimes-reviled vegan really aint so bad. But, that being said, it can suck.

When you’re a vegan, you stand a strong chance of being considered smug. When you’re a vegan, your mere presence at a dinner can be a source of tension. When you’re a vegan, you can offend people simply by telling them that you’re vegan. When you’re a vegan, people try to hold you to a level of consistency that is at times damn close to unmanageable.

I once had a friend tell me that I was a hypocrite because I was drinking a Mountain Dew. What? Why? Her reasoning? She had known some vegans before and they would never drink soda, especially not from a can. So, I guess that makes me a hypocrite. Since I do something that other vegans don’t do, I’m being inconsistent. I guess I’ll have to push back my move into the wilderness (where I will live in a tree and eat sticks), because I’m not yet ready to try to achieve the level of hippyish asceticism that some people expect of vegans.

It’s really odd that non-vegans often detect a level of inconsistency between two things that they have no moral qualms with. They’re not on board with what you do and don’t eat and your reasoning behind it all, but goddammit, they’re gonna tell you when they sense some inconsistency. And isn’t that only fair? I mean, don’t I often go around telling people that they’re not living up to their ideals? Ohhh… no, wait, actually I rarely do that.

For all the bad press vegans get as being “preachy,” I find it odd that the majority of the commentary tends to come at me, not from me. And that’s not to say that all non-vegans are preachy and judgmental about me being vegan. I get along with most non-vegans just fine and it’s really not an issue for the majority of people I know (as far as I know). But when it does become an issue, it’s rarely because of anything that I did. But I guess maybe it’s hard to blame them. NOT eating something is pretty damn extreme. Just like NOT punching people and whatnot is also pretty extreme. But that’s just me. I’m a crazyass extreme vegan that goes around NOT eating certain things and NOT punching people in the face. It’s fuckin’ crazy. It’s XXXtreme.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in things omnivores say | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

the scraped table, or: working backward from a conclusion

In my experience, most omnivores, when they even bother to give any real thought to their diet and alternatives to it (eating less meat, vegetarianism, veganism etc.), start with the conclusion “it’s okay for me to eat animals.”  Then from there, they start looking for evidence to support the conclusion that they already have. I believe I did the same thing prior to becoming vegetarian. But this is a fundamentally different approach from what most people think of as real ethical reasoning. It’s what I call working backward from a conclusion. We start at the end and then try to piece together the explanation for how we got there. It’s like watching a movie where we watch the detective solving a crime that we already saw the criminal commit. We know who did it and how it’s going to end, but we’re not entirely sure how it’s all going to come together.

Over four years ago, for various reasons, I made a conscious decision to treat the “should I eat meat?” question as an open one. Instead of looking for evidence for an existing conclusion, I decided to start with a question, look at my options, weigh the pros and cons of each, and then come to a decision. I know that this is pretty rare in my own personal history and I think it’s pretty rare for most people to take this approach. After all, most people want to have some sense that they’re doing the right thing at any given time. Even though most people go through at least a couple drastic changes in their way of thinking in some area at some point in their lives, most people take comfort in the fact that, at any given time, they pretty much have their shit all figured out and that’s that. It’s understandable. I know that being in a sort of ethical limbo is an uncomfortable position because I’ve experienced it a number of times myself.

Starting with a blank slate (or, tabula rasa “scraped table” for you smarty pantses out there) can be a very daunting proposition, indeed. But this is when true breakthroughs happen. When one sets aside their preconceived notions and lets the facts/arguments take them where they will, that’s when people can allow themselves to come to new conclusions.

So, to try to bring this back to veganland, is there a way to try to persuade omnivores to look at the topic from a tabula rasa point of view? Is there a way to persuade them to at least temporarily give up the comfort of the moral certitude that it’s okay for them to eat animals? If there is, I don’t really know what it is, other than just encouraging open, honest discussion where both sides freely admit the shortcomings of their own positions/arguments.

One thing that I’ve felt has value is trying to get people to commit to a temporary cessation of meat-eating. Complicity breeds rationalization, so if you can temporarily stop complicity, if you can convince them to stop doing the thing that causes them to start with the conclusion and then work backward, you have a window where different ideas can be considered with less pressure from one’s moral self-defense mechanisms. And that might just be enough to cause an ethical limbo. But that’s a post in itself.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

a baby, a puppy, a burning building

You probably already know where I’m going with this just by reading the title, don’t you? If you’re veg*an, you’ve probably been asked a similar question before, probably more than once. If you’re anything like me, there was probably some part of you that 1) realized the question is sort of ridiculous, since the scenario it presents is so unlikely to occur 2) felt strangely unsatisfied with your answer to such an admittedly silly question. But as silly as it is, this is a question that vegans need to take seriously and they need to give serious thought to their answer to it, especially to the fact that most answers are necessarily convoluted and hard for outsiders to understand (not Outsiders like Ponyboy and Sodapop, but outsiders like non-vegans).

The setup is simple and the specifics can be changed around. There is a building on fire. You approach it and see that there is a baby and a puppy inside. A ceiling beam is about to collapse and you know you only have time to save either the baby or the puppy, not both. So, which do you save? If your answer is “the baby” then congratulations, you’re a human, one that doesn’t disgust 99% of humanity, no less.

If your answer is any variation on “well, it depends” then you are full of shit. If your answer is “the baby” but then you have a three paragraph explanation of why your decision has NOTHING to do with species, you too are also full of shit. If your answer is a non-answer lamenting the implausibility of the situation, you need to ask yourself why you’re afraid to answer a hypothetical moral experiment. It’s not real, it doesn’t need to be believable and your reluctance to answer speaks volumes about your supposed position.

To this day the only answer to this question that rings of authenticity is the quick, almost unthinking, response “I’d save the baby.” It’s the answer that virtually all non-vegans give. It’s only vegans that get tripped up on this question because they have to protect the sanctity of anti-speciesism as an inviolable concept.

And it makes vegans look like morally confused, misanthropic idiots.

The comments on this YouTube video illustrate the avoidance approach very well. A commenter sets up a fairly similar scenario: “You’re stranded in the middle of no where. There is a chicken and a human. Do you eat either in order to survive and it means killing one or the other, or do you starve and die?” How does the video’s author respond? Straight up avoidance: “If there’s no plant life, then there’s no chicken.” Wow, brilliant. After that gem fails to silence her rival, she tries to pretend like the question is so irrelevant that it’s beneath her to even try to answer: “Seriously 😉 you will need to find a better argument than that.” Yup, just ignore it. Because answering it honestly exposes a flaw in your argument and answering it dishonestly just makes you look stupid.

If you have a different answer that you think makes sense, I’m all ears.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in speciesism | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Why I Am a Speciesist (well… sort of…)

Given the title of my blog, I should probably try to explain why I am a vegan that identifies as speciesist, right? Okay, so here I go.

It’s not that I actively identify as being a vegan speciesist. I don’t introduce myself at parties in this way. But I needed a provocative title, so I went with it. It’s more accurate to say that I am not dogmatically anti-speciesism as so many other vegans are. I just have a different take on the whole matter. This post will definitely not explain my position entirely, but it will get some of the main points out there and hopefully someone will comment and we’ll get a discussion going.

One problem that I’ve encountered is that a number of people that I consider to be at least somewhat receptive to AR/veg*anism claim that they don’t “believe” in animal rights. They think of rights as something unique to humans and they don’t believe that animals deserve the same moral status as humans. So I think it’s lamentable that the very thing that so many people in the AR movement claim is fundamental to making people go vegan (i.e. the preaching of AR) is the very thing that seems to be an obstacle to veganism for so many people.

I firmly reject the idea that theory is more important than praxis. I am interested, first and foremost, in getting people to become vegan (or at least to get people toward the vegan end of the spectrum).  I think it is absolutely ridiculous that some AR activists say that they would not want a world full of vegan speciesists (you know you’ve heard it). “Fuck that” is the only thing I can think of to say to that.

I don’t buy into the concept of speciesism, at least not as it’s commonly framed/discussed by vegans. I don’t believe that it is always wrong to favor one’s own species over another. I don’t believe in equality between all species.

Furthermore, I don’t really think that antispeciesist vegans do actually fully believe in the unacceptability of speciesism. Just see the hundreds of ways in which most vegans avoid giving a definitive answer to the baby and the puppy in a burning building question (and its many variations). Either that or they give what we all recognize as the morally correct answer, but they do some bullshit moral gymnastics to explain how species has nothing to do with it. Non-vegans see through this dreck and it turns them off.

So I see it as a problem that so much of vegan activism and argumentation is predicated on an outright rejection of speciesism. It’s not uncommon to hear/read a vegan berate omnivores, vegetarians and even other vegans as “speciesist.”  It is taken on faith by many that since racism, sexism, heterosexism etc. are always wrong, that it then clearly has to be the case that speciesism is also always wrong. And then this leads them to conclusions such as meat is murder, Smithfield is like the Gestapo, a dairy farm is like a slave plantation etc. This kind of argument by analogy frustrates me greatly and I don’t think it’s a very effective argumentative tactic for anyone outside the initiated, vegan fold. It just doesn’t sit right with most people.

I’ve had many conversations with non-vegans where the non-vegan says something along the lines of “I just can’t buy into a philosophy that says that humans and animals are equal.”  I don’t blame them.

When I’ve brought my concerns about the baby/puppy thing to fellow vegans, I usually get a response to the effect that “such extreme, hypothetical cases are irrelevant.”  Yes, they are extreme cases, they are very unlikely to occur, and they are certainly not reasons to reject veganism. But they’re not irrelevant to the question of whether a strict anti-speciesism stance is the correct, honest, effective one. I think that adherence to a strict anti-speciesist philosophy is rigid, dishonest, and, ultimately, detrimental to the cause of spreading veganism.

Peter Singer is arguably the person most responsible for spreading the idea of speciesism. The dude has basically made a career out of it. He’s still respected by many people in the vegan/vegetarian/AR movement, but he’s also maligned, even despised, by many vegans, especially those of the Francione Fold (ohhh, how “rights” people love to hate utilitarians). But many, if not most, of these same vegans will still stridently defend the concept of anti-speciesism that he trumpeted some 30 years ago. I think it’s time to let it go.

Speciesism as a concept can be a useful way to talk about how we should treat animals and what we “owe” them. I think that in most cases, denying “rights” to a sentient being based merely on his or her species is pure folly and ethically unjustifiable. But to defend it as an inviolable concept, as many vegans do, is misguided. In this blog, I hope to give examples of when a strict anti-speciesism stance is unjustified and detrimental.

One thing that I also find problematic with the idea of anti-speciesism is that it seems to make the case that animals deserve rights/protection etc. because they are like us, like humans. Why do we feel that only things that are like us have value?  Yes, there are many similarities between us and other animals, but in the same way that we say that the differences don’t warrant poor treatment, isn’t it also folly to argue that the similarities are what should warrant good treatment/rights?  Why can’t we just decide that they have value because they have their own interests and just leave similarities and differences out of it?

I think it’s enough to say that it is ethically wrong to regard sentient beings as objects or property because they are sentient and especially because (with some exceptions) using/regarding  them as such is completely unnecessary.

Rigid anti-speciesism can lead one to some very bizarre, unpopular and, frankly, ethically troubling positions. What we need to do is challenge the idea that animals having certain basic rights needs to be predicated on being similar to or equal to humans. People have argued that only humans can have rights, and I think that some people feel that anti-speciesism is a way to counter this idea because, if there are no morally relevant differences between humans and non-humans, then non-humans should have the rights that humans have. But this is unnecessary. We need to argue that veganism is a morally laudable, supererogatory choice because 1) raising animals for food causes harm 2) it is (usually) unnecessary, therefore it is ethically unjustifiable. It’s really that simple. Talking about rights and personhood just confuses the matter.

Aside from the principled objections that I have, is rigid anti-speciesism actually an effective argumentative tool?  Is it likely to get people to go vegan?  My feeling is that in both cases, the answer is no.  Given the fact that the vast majority of non-vegans respond poorly to genocide and slavery comparisons, shouldn’t that be a pretty good indication that the average person doesn’t believe in equality between species? But I guess it’s our job as vegans to make people see the error in that way of thinking, right? Yeah, how is that working for us? Has a non-vegan ever said “wow, that makes SO much sense!” after hearing your answer to the baby/puppy question?

I think most vegans, if they’re being honest, will admit that they, and most vegans they know, came to veganism FIRST and THEN they started parroting and supposedly believing the idea of equality between species. Yet this does not stop tons of vegan/AR activists from arguing that the best way to go about convincing people to go vegan is to first get them to believe in species equality. They’re putting the cart before the horse (to use a non-vegan turn of phrase) and, what’s more, the cart never needs to be involved at any point anyway (in case my analogy got too confusing, the cart is the idea of species equality).

I am a vegan speciesist not because I believe that humans are superior, but simply because I am a human, and not some other type of animal. If a puppy and a baby are in a burning building and I can only save one of them, there is no ethical dilemma for me whatsoever. Some vegans and AR people will tell you that there is. The twisted logic that they often display in their answer (or avoidance) of such questions is telling.

Preference for one’s own species is not wrong. However, this does not mean that I think we should exploit other species if it benefits us as humans. Far from it. I believe that, whenever possible and reasonable, we should just leave animals alone. Just let them be animals (call in “animal libertarianism” if you want). If there is not a demonstrable reason why failing to exploit a non-human animal would cause humans significant harm, then there is no justification for exploiting, killing or harming a non-human animal.

If, as a strict anti-speciesist, you encounter someone that believes firmly that animals are outside the moral community, what do you do?  You can’t convince them that they’re wrong by calling them a speciesist. That only works on people that buy into that logic, and they clearly do not. But, you may still be able to convince them that it is more ethical to be vegan than not to be vegan.

Similarly, what if you encounter a religious person that believes that God has given them the moral authority to kill and eat animals?  Short of turning them atheist (good luck with that), you will NEVER convince them that animals and humans deserve the same rights, but you may be able to convince them that it is more ethical to be vegan than not be vegan. After all, God saying that it’s okay to eat animals does not imply that it’s wrong not to eat them, does it? Both of these types of people may abhor a position that equates humans and non-humans, but can someone really be abhorred by the thought of NOT killing an animal?  I don’t think so (although this guy might disagree).

So, is it more important that you convince them of your convictions?  Or is it more important to try to convince them that being vegan does not contradict their beliefs and that they can become vegan without believing in species equality?  This latter approach does not even require YOU to change your mind if you do believe in species equality. It just requires that you put real-world results (convincing people to become vegan) over the temporary satisfaction that you get when expounding on speciesism and your supposedly superior answer to it.

I’ll have plenty more to say on this topic.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

Posted in speciesism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

This is happening…

Okay, it’s more than a year late, but I’m finally starting this blog. I’ve let this domain (which is no doubt highly sought after, what with all the self-proclaimed speciesist vegans out there) sit dormant for far too long.

Tonight I came across the site CarpeVegan for the first time, and I like a lot of what they’re saying, and I guess it was the thing that finally got me to throw my hat into the ring. I’m not totally sure that I’m on board with the “veganish revolution” idea espoused by the website, but I will say that it is very refreshing to encounter a vegan blog that is advocating for something that is at least kind of new (the concept isn’t exactly new, but the way they’re presenting it is unique) and that actually might prove to be effective. I don’t know how “effective” my blog will be, but I hope to sweet Zeus that it will not prove to be boring. I have opinions on vegan-related topics that I rarely or never see in print.

But I do like it that someone is making a serious attempt to, in a sense, do some PR for vegans. We need it. I am definitely one of those vegans that feels very little kinship with other vegans. Speaking of which, I myself could probably be described as veganish, even though I call myself vegan and probably 99% of my calories come from vegan food (and probably 95%+ of those non-vegan calories come from “freegan” non-vegan food). If you think that this makes me a non-vegan and hence makes my blog name misleading, that’s fine. I never did and still don’t have much interest in any debate that centers on the idea of what a “true” vegan is. But I encourage you to stick around anyway, because I think I’ll have some things to say that will piss you off even more than my (supposedly) ill-fitting name.

Two things that I think need to be addressed for veganism to be more palatable to other people are the following:

1) we vegans that disagree with the proposition that veganism is morally obligatory (as opposed to being a morally laudable, supererogatory choice, which is what I believe) need to become more vocal about this fact. I know I will be. I will eventually do a full (probably agonizingly long) post on this topic as it is one that I feel strongly about and which sets me apart from many, if not most, vegans.

2) we vegans that disagree with the proposition that speciesism is always wrong and indefensible need to become more vocal about this fact as well. I will explain what I mean by this eventually, but for now I just want to give people a chance to add my feed to their feed reader or run for the hills. Things are gonna get fuckin’ real up in here.

– – thanks for reading – –

SV

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yeah, man, this is a post.  Uhh… feel it!

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