I am absolutely a kindness advocate.
I believe that kindness, when mixed with a non-judgmental attitude, is the best way to encourage more and more people to go vegan.
I started out on the ‘angry’ and very upset side… i’m pretty sure most vegans start in that place!
‘Cause yikes right!?
That is a whole load of ‘OMFG I have just suddenly realised the world is literally hell and I have been taking part in the most awful things that I couldn’t even imagine happening to me in my nightmares, I feel betrayed and like I have been tricked into being an evil person, I must tell everyone!! People, like me, just need to know and they will change too!’
Except they don’t change.
Even after they know all the horrors you know.
People literally look at you as if your have gone loopy, because it’s quite easy and normal to ‘love’ animals and pay someone to slaughter them and eat their dead bodies at the same time… you weirdo.
You lose your faith in humanity even more until it all just looks like a horribly dark, selfish and sinister place that you can’t escape from.
“Being vegan is like being the main character in a horror movie who knows who the real killer is, but no one will listen to you.”
It’s easy to continue down that path and slide onto that slippery slope towards being branded a ‘militant vegan’ – having said that, even I have been called ‘militant’ on occasions where I am simply having a chat with someone who asked a genuine question!
People don’t like to have their core beliefs challenged, it’s very uncomfortable, especially when there is a tiny voice in the back of everyone’s minds saying ‘killing is wrong’ – a voice that has been put there by the very same government that, ironically, continues to take part in killing if it reinforces their position in the world but tells everyone else it’s wrong when they do it (yeah, I went there…) and our parents who told us to be kind and not hurt our friends, whilst simultaneously feeding us pork sausages for dinner as children whilst watching Charlotte’s Web on TV.
We have had incredibly confusing messages all our lives, I completely understand why people have this protective barrier to reject any new and conflicting information, especially when that new information might conjure up horrible feelings of guilt and the like.
I understand all this because I had that barrier too once!
For 27 of my 30 years on this planet, I had that same barrier.
It was only when I connected with myself and remembered what it was like to look at things through the eyes of a non-vegan, that I knew I had to be more understanding, gentler with my approach and softer with my words if I was on a mission to make a change.
And it works!
I converted a whopping zero human beings to veganism with my initial aggressive approach (haha!) but the numbers are now in the hundreds since I founded Weird Vegan Lady a year ago.
I have many different types of activist hats for many different types of injustices.
But kind activism, when it comes to animal liberation, works.
However… I am human.
Sometimes, I get angry.
Sometimes, a big story involving vegans circulates social media and I end up doing that really stupid thing you know is never helpful or healthy to do… yeah, read the comments section.
It would be nice to keep the feel of this post as judgement-free as possible, but I am going to allow myself to express my emotions because this shit is emotional.
Besides, vegans are judged, aggressively pointed at and humiliated everyday as a general rule, but when a vegan gives a little back, out comes the ‘see!! vegans are so self-righteous and nasty!’
*deep breaths… peace and love, peace and love…*
If you are in the UK, you have most likely heard of #febudairy (the desperate attempt at a campaign to keep the cruel dairy industry alive) and the farming couple who have allegedly received death threats from ‘militant vegans’.
The incredible activist Joey Carbstrong appeared by himself on ITV’s This Morning, representing the animals, facing four people against him.
If you haven’t seen it yet, google it, though it makes for frustrating viewing and whatever you do… don’t read the comments unless you want to have a terrible day! Ugh.
Joey Carbstrong bearing witness
I will briefly share my views on a couple of things that were said, and then I will move on to the point of my post:
As Joey rightly said, death threats are never ok under any circumstances.
However, my personal view is that perhaps comments like ‘How would you feel if your child was taken from you and murdered?’ were misconstrued as ‘death threats’ by our wonderful tabloids? The couple breezed past the ‘death threat’ claim, making no comments on it at all and swiftly moved onto being called murderers and rapists by these ‘militant vegans’.
If there were actual death threats aimed at me, then this would certainly be the main thing I would be addressing having been given this opportunity to defend myself because yeah, that is NOT ok and needs to be dealt with!
They didn’t seem that fussed by these alleged ‘death threats’ though, which was strange.
*Squints eyes and twiddles imaginary beard*
The couple then attempted to ‘play word games’ by trying to redefine the words rape, murder and enslavement, in an attempt to try and defend the rape, murder and enslavement of ‘their’ animals.
However, no amount of redefining a word is going to change the act and make it moral, nice try though.
You can call a knife a fork if you like… but it is still a knife.
Then, Phillip actually bashed out the ‘canine argument’…
My eyes rolled so far back in my head they almost came out my mouth.
Defensive omnivore bingo anyone!?
You’d think they would do a little google before going into an interview and saying such ridiculously uneducated things *facepalm*.
Yes… I sound a little judgmental… but the way he thrust his head forward and pointed to his ‘huge lion-like canines’ exasperated me!
Dude, look in the mirror again and sit down.
I’ve gotta admit… those are some sharp looking, huge, predatory canines! Good argument Phil.
Ok… let me get to my main point.
While doing that very stupid ‘scrolling through the comments’ thing, I noticed something that kept popping up that annoyed me far more than the ‘vegans are idiots and need a bacon sandwich’ style comments (no point in even dignifying those with answers.)
The following attitude has made me cringe so many times, I thought it was about time I addressed it in the hopes of at least helping one of these people realise what a vegan actually is, and why, the vast majority of us, do what we do…
“I don’t have a problem with vegans, in fact, I really admire you guys and wish I could do what you do! I never will though, lol! What I don’t agree with is how you all keep on trying to force your beliefs on other people.
Just leave us alone, each to their own.
Go eat your vegetables and tofu it doesn’t bother me, just stop trying to get me to stop eating meat!”
Hmm… I don’t think vegan means what you think it means my friend!
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
The Vegan Society
First of all, it’s not about food!
Sure, that’s a pretty large part of the deal, but it’s about avoiding all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals.
It’s about living a cruelty free life and saving animals from lives of pain, fear and being killed before they even become adults.
So witnessing other people continue to pay for such cruelty and just ignoring it is being complicit in the very thing we are against.
If an elderly person were being physically abused in front of you and you said nothing, you are allowing it to continue.
You are complicit in the abuse of that vulnerable person.
If you stand up and say something or attempt to stop the attacker, sure, you may get an earful or perhaps even a punch in the eye, but you are no longer complicit. You are standing up for injustice and acting on your morals.
No amount of ‘stop trying to force your beliefs on me, I like beating up old people, it’s my personal choice, leave me alone’ is going to stop you right?
You aren’t going to care if this person calls you a ‘militant goody two-shoes’ are you?
Do you give two hoots if that person say’s you have obviously been ‘brainwashed by the PC brigade‘?
Nope. Still going to try and stop you attacking Mildred, mate.
Whether you like it or not, veganism is continuously on the rise and it ain’t gonna stop.
The entire reason this is happening is because of all the vegans out there ‘forcing their beliefs’ on people… or as we like to put it, telling the truth.
The entire reason women now have the vote is because of ‘militant feminists forcing their beliefs’ on people.
The views of men in those days who believed that women were lesser beings who didn’t matter did not stop women’s rights activists from speaking out, marching and campaigning.
We, unfortunately, are still fighting for equality and I fully support the work these amazing activists do and stand with them.
The entire reason people of colour are now able to choose what bloody seat to sit on, on the frickin’ bus is because of ‘militant civil rights activists forcing their beliefs’ on people.
The views of privileged white people in those days who believed it was their personal right to treat people of colour as slaves did not stop civil rights activists from speaking out, marching and campaigning.
They, unfortunately, are still fighting for equality and I fully support the work these amazing activists do and stand with them.
Looking back on these injustices now, it feels ludicrous that these thing even had to happen right!?
But if you were alive at the time, it would have been normal.
Just like the systematic slaughter of billions of animals a year for food that slowly kills us is normal now.
“Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
What on earth makes you think that vegan activists would be any different?
Will a vegan see your comment and view your discomfort with being confronted with the truth as something to worry about and stop?
Do you think that a vegan will suddenly believe that they should stop speaking out for those who can’t, because being complicit in the needless murder of billions of innocent animals make you feel a bit uncomfortable and you feeling uncomfortable is far worse than the needless murder of billions of innocent animals?
‘Oh golly! I have offended someone for their choice to play a role in the oppression of those who are different from us, I must apologise and shut my mouth! Then I will join them in stripping away the rights of those who are vulnerable!’ – said no activist, ever.
Without activists who have the courage to speak out, just imagine how much worse your situation could be right now.
“When we are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
So, although it’s ever so lovely to hear that you ‘don’t have a problem with vegans’ (how gracious of you) the fact that you ‘don’t have a problem with vegans, so long as they sit quietly in the corner eating their tofu and don’t make me feel guilty about my role in the innocent death of shit loads of innocent animals’ kinda makes it sound like you do actually have a problem with vegans…
So please just be honest.
Stop trying to make yourself feel better by masquerading as an ally whilst simultaneously attempting to silence us.
It doesn’t work like that.
We will never be silent whilst there is still injustice.
You are more than welcome to join us if you like?
It’s not all tofu and vegetables.
It’s cookies, vodka and good vibes too.
And, I promise, the vast majority of us are just good people hoping to change the world one vegan meal at a time and gently encourage others to do the same, but sometimes, just sometimes, shit needs saying.
Peace and love folks!