Before I go any further on my thoughts on the article, this needs to be said.
As far as I am concerned, and based on my experience, there are usually only two types of people who use the term vegan police. Those who are bullies and those who knowing consume animal products. Both types use the term to shift the focus from them to the person who made the comment or asked the question.
I should also add that calling someone the vegan police is used to bully, ostracise, otherise or offend that person into silence or others into submission in the same way that those who follow Gary Francione label everyone else as a new welfarist.
There is no other reason for someone who claims to be vegan to use it to describe someone else who also claims to be vegan.
To be clear, when I say someone who knowingly consumes animal products I am talking about those people who tell everyone else they are vegan except for the eggs from the chickens they have in their back yard, buy leather shoes, handbag, etc whilst following a plant based, and so on. The people who knowingly and consciously make the decision to purchase a product that comes from or contains something that came from an animal. That being said, I am not talking about those people who purchase someone in good faith believing that it is suitable for vegans only to find that it contained some hidden ingredient.
As for the bullies, well they are easy to find…
Now getting back to the article.
The author seems to claim that because no one can truly be 100% vegan that the vegan police should ease up, and I would guess allow people to be almost vegan and focus on the ‘bigger picture’.
This might be a good time to refresh everyone’s mind on what a vegan is, as defined by Donald Watson.
The word “veganism”denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
Sure there are everyday items such as computers, tyres, and fire fighting foam that contains a by product of other animals though would avoiding these items be possible or practical for someone who wants to live in the 21st century?
As for the bigger picture, well I will leave it up to you to decide if trying to maintain the term vegan as per the original definition isn’t part of that, I will leave it up to you to explain to all the animals how your flexitarianism is going to stop them being used/killed/comodified.
What are your thoughts on the term vegan police?
Feel free to leave them below
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