Ever since Trump got elected people are forming tighter and tighter groups and they are not letting just anyone enter them. It’s all about identities and being 100% perfect in the group leaders’ eyes.
I’m afraid to say that a lot of vegans have adopted this view of the world and other people, and I need to speak up about it.
I noticed that there comes a day when being vegan is not enough and you are judged by everything else except how ethically you choose to live your life. It’s not about being vegan anymore, it’s about being everything else you are supposed to be to live up to the vegan stereotype.
There are more and more vegans who are looking at your political views to determine how worthy of the vegan title you are. If you aren’t a feminist who is also pro-illegal immigration and believes everything is *phobic* of a certain group, then you just aren’t vegan enough.
This type of attitude creates problems within this community and drives some people away from using this word at all. Because the popular vegans create these rules that we are supposed to obey to be good vegans and if we aren’t living up to them, then we just shouldn’t be vegan in the first place.
Have you experienced this? If you are a Conservative religious pro-life white man you certainly have and I have no doubt you don’t have to be all of these things to have been called out for not being a good vegan.
I mean, I got in trouble when I talked about the problems of open borders in Europe. Suddenly, this man thought I was a hypocrite for not believing in an open world for everyone and that talking about having compassion for pigs meant nothing if I was against letting everyone enter my country.
People are judging each other based on their skin color (and just about everything else) rather than their character and I have a feeling Dr King didn’t dream about that. Perhaps I am wrong and he actually wanted segregation to come back in a few decades (which is happening on some campuses).
But let’s go back to talking about how it feels to be less of a vegan for not being a stereotype.
I hear from vegans all the time about how they don’t feel they fit in because they happen to be more conservative, or science loving or a tad more controversial than an average human is able to accept. They feel like to be vegan you need to become someone else, even if your other beliefs are not tied to veganism at all.
As a proponent of free speech for all, I am concerned with this notion that there is one way of being vegan. And I’m not talking about these people who claim you can eat eggs and be vegan, but about those who think being pro-life is absolutely unacceptable when you are vegan.
It’s very weird to me because abortion is such a big topic that has a lot of grey area and whoever says it’s a black or white issue is delusional. But what does being pro-life have to do with veganism? What does being a Trump supporter have to do with living a vegan lifestyle? What does being anti-illegal immigration have to do with veganism?
I understand that Trump is not a good person and is not a big fan of other animals or his fellow humans for that matter, but voting for him doesn’t make you a bad vegan. Not being a feminist doesn’t make you a bad vegan, or a bad person. Loving guns, being a patriot, a religious fundamentalist or anything else doesn’t make you a bad vegan.
You may be a bad person but that’s a whole different issue because vegans can be immoral and unethical, too. I call out vegans who are anti-vaccines all the time but I don’t think of them as less than vegan, just a bad influence. Vegans are people, too.
I criticise their approach to activism or how dangerous their anti-vax ideas are to the vegan community, but I don’t criticise how vegan they are.
You can only not be vegan enough if you are not vegan. You either are or you aren’t, there is no grey area here. There is no occasional vegan or someone who is too vegan because they are living in the woods, have absolutely no money or possession and therefore do not exploit anyone (Tarzan is not real, you guys).
You can be anything you want to be and be vegan. You can be a vegan serial killer. I don’t think you should but technically you can be. Because veganism is not about human-animals, it’s about non-human animals.
It’s this one tiny thing we can do for others since everything else is about us, us, us and us.
I am a proud science-loving, politically independent sometimes Centrist, anti-illegal-immigration, a proud non-feminist atheist white woman who is also a vegan. I hate using all these titles but since in this age of identities that’s all that matters, here you have mine.
Please let me know in the comment if you feel unwelcomed by some vegans because you are not a stereotypical vegan. I would also love to hear how you handle being an outsider?