Life as a civilian vegan blogger while fairly mundane and frustrating at times, does lead you to develop a fairly thick skin.
Occasionally you are called “a bit of a flog” (whatever that means).
Other times you are called a meat industry shill.
And occasionally you are called “uranium to any ethical rights movement“.
While I let a good majority of these comments go through to the keeper, every now and then one comes at you and you decide to have a swing at it and knock it out of the park.
Let’s Clear Things Up
True to form, the poor misnomered ‘vegan strategist’, Tobias Leenaert follows his ‘effective’ strategy of making things up to ‘prove’ a point.
#1: The Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland is NOT a “vegan group” it is a group where “Membership is open to vegetarians, vegans, veg-curious, and those who support the lifestyle and our goals.”
#2: I am vegan (have been for about 25 years). I also live in Queensland. If that doesn’t make me qualified to have a free thinking view of someone ability to represent an organisation that represents us, I don’t know what does.
#3: The reason that I have said the former president should resign, is that her support and lack of criticism of Tobias support for racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of oppression. Along with the belief that you can consume fishes, and eggs and still be vegan.
Unlike professionals such as Tobias, I do not make any money from veganism.
This means that my employees, contractors, clients, and family come before I do anything ‘vegan related’.
It also means that sometimes, well more often than not, life gets in the way of all the vegan things that I want to do.
Mind you, I would also rather have 5 people who listen to, and understand what I am saying than an audience of thousands who don’t.
That being said, I guess that Tobias equates ‘effectiveness’ with how many facebook followers you have, and not the quality of the message that you are delivering.
Now if this isn’t a case of pots and the kettles, and glass houses, I don’t know what is.
While he is right that ‘we’ are too silent when it comes to exposing bullies, I doubt that what he is doing equates to speaking up about one. I also doubt that the things I have written, and YouTube videos I have made could be called bullying.
AS he is speaking up about the behaviour of bullies, is he going to admit to all the harassing emails that he has sent in the past?
Or how about the deliberate undermining and behind closed doors games he has played to remove a vegan from a not for profit board?
The Biggest Lie Of Them All
If Tobias defines “inclusive” as recommending that those who consume animal products be able to call themselves vegan, then I guess he is.
If the “Vegan Strategist” defines inclusive as asking women to tolerate more sexism and people of colour to tolerate more racism, I guess his approach is “inclusive”.
Mind you, his “extremely inclusive approach” doesn’t go as far as to include vegans, who he labels as “crazy”. (It was the only way that he could get government funding for his VEGETARIAN organisation).
By his support of those who are racist, his “extremely inclusive approach” alienates vegans of colour, and those who despise this sort of behaviour.
Tobias’ “extermely inclusive approach” doesn’t go as far as including ethical vegans. A group that he readily labels as “purist”, “dogmatic”, and “extremists”.
Who does this leave to be included?
By process of elimination, the only ones that are left are white racist vegans who don’t have any history of mental illness.
So I guess this means that his ‘approach’ isn’t as “extremely inclusive” as he makes it out to be.
Unless that is the vegan world that you want to be part of…
This article was written by the founder of VeganPolice.com.au, Cameron Blewett.
Cameron is a long term vegan (30+yrs), and is passionate about veganism, and helping people to understand more about it and giving other animals equal consideration.
You can find Cameron’s other rants on his website, CameronBlewett.blog