A little over four years ago I wrote an article asking “How Entrenched Is Bullying Within The Animal Advocacy Movement?”
While I do hold high hopes for this ‘movement’, sadly things aren’t getting better.
In fact, I genuinely believe they are getting worse.
Which is especially concerning considering that this is a ‘movement’ that is supposedly based on compassion, and removing oppression.
It seems that the only way to ensure you don’t become the target of the social media bullies is to support the status quo.
Except that isn’t what veganism is about.
Dissenting Voices Shouldn’t Be Silenced
Gone are the days where veganism aspired to be a social justice movement.
Whatever the vegan ‘movement’ is now, if it is see out the decade it needs to change. Every single one of us should no longer accept, tolerate or condone what is happening within it.
The first thing we MUST do is stop the “Are You Vegan?” question
I was going to hide the names of those who made these comments, though as bullies should be identified, allowing them to stay hidden is no longer an option.
For those of you who doubt that this demand is meant to silence people, consider who it is directed towards.
I have only ever seen it demanded of those who are vegan, and when talking about something that is labelled “dogmatic”, or “purist”. I have never seen it directed towards those who are vegetarian or worse.
The only way that the vegan movement is going to remain relevant, and to attract new members is we encourage growth, transparency and discussion.
Any Bit Of Intimidation Is Unacceptable
Some of you reading this may think that I am having a bit of a whinge because someone said some mean words to me.
And you know what?
You are absolutely wrong.
The abuse and threats no longer bother me.
For the record, what has been published here is only a hint of the abuse I receive, I have chosen not to publish a majority of them due to the offensive sexist and ableist language that they contain.
That being said, if it only happened to me, you could be forgiven for thinking that I am after a bit of sympathy.
Except it isn’t only directed towards me.
I have seen people verbally attack online for daring to say anything that runs counter to status quo.
Yet all this boils down to one thing.
These bullies are attempting to silence people by intimidation and harassment.
Over the past few years people have come to me with:
Stories of people being shut out of the ‘community’ simply because they won’t worship the self appointed leaders.
Of events being boycotted simply because the organiser wouldn’t allow a particular group to take control of it. (They wanted to keep it about ‘the animals’. Rather than make it a “oooh, look at us” type of event).
Of people being told if they didn’t do an event “for the animals” a particular way (‘worshiping’ a Qld group that they would never be ‘invited’ to another one).
I wouldn’t be surprised if you know who and what groups I am talking about here.
If you do, let me ask you this.
Why are you keeping quite about it?
Why aren’t you drawing a line in the sand and saying “No. We will not allow other activists to be treated like this”?
Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you.
If you don’t stand up now, there will come a time when there will be no one standing up for you when it is your time to be labelled persona non grata.
Oh, and here is a fun fact for you before you make whatever blah, blah, blah comment you are going to.
Expecting “vegan” groups to promote veganism isn’t being divisive. It is something that we should ALL be doing.
The same goes for trying to get people to learn and understand what “animal rights” actually is, isn’t being divisive.
Pot Calling Kettle Black
Once again, before you tell me that people are simply doing the same thing to me that I do to others, let me ask you these questions.
Have you ever seen me call another person names?
Have you ever heard of me making threats towards another person?
Yes I am critical of the actions of certain faux-vegans. (Personally think we should all be).
If you claim that I have ‘no right’ to be critical of them, tell me, who does?
Then by the same token, what ‘right’ do you have to criticise what I do?
It way past time that we all took a stand to stop the bullying and harassment within this ‘movement’. Every day that these bullies remain protected and their actions excused means that it will be that much harder to get rid of it when it becomes unacceptable.
The more ingrained that it becomes, the harder it will be to find and keep new activists.
If this happens, who will be left to advocate for the animals?
This article was written by the founder of VeganPolice.com.au, Cameron Blewett.
Cameron is a long term vegan (25+yrs), and is passionate about veganism, and helping people to understand more about animal rights.
You can find Cameron’s other rants on his website, CameronBlewett.xyz