Wow, for someone like me who is vegan, and yet doesn’t align myself with any faction – this was quite a shock to me to read.
Shocked, stunned and speechless.
The word “vegan” was invented in 1944, by Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, who founded the UK Vegan Society. The British Vegan Society defines veganism this way:
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.
The co-opting and corrupting of the word “VEGAN” by a minority of online vegans has been explored extensively in a previous blog post here Vegan.
If the word “vegan” inherently meant abolitionist, then there would be no need for these little groups to call themselves “abolitionist vegan”. They would be just simply “vegan”.
There is no need to hyphenate the word Vegan, it means what it means.
I feel strongly that there is something slightly odd with people who feel the need to redefine a perfectly acceptable word in order to exclude a large portion of the population of vegans in order to control what and who “vegan” is.
Many, many vegans across the world have never read Gary Francione and are lucky enough to have never been threatened and harassed by Francione’s followers – Roger Yates, Dave Warwak, Jamie Rivet, or Carolyn Bailey.
And yet this little band of abolitionists group-think warriors have decided that they and they alone are the only true vegans on this planet.
Carolyn Bailey herself has also gone so far recently as say that, a persons IQ decided whether they were an activist or not; and that a lack of reading certain peoples philosophies means that person is a fake activist!
Unfortunately (or rather fortunately) I have never read anything by Gary Francione, nor Steve Best, nor Camille Marino, nor Will Tuttle.
There is nothing, nothing whatsoever in the definition of “vegan” that says a person has to read these people, in fact, it doesn’t say you have to read anything at all.
So, let us all stop worrying about what other people are doing, who is or isn’t vegan, who is or isn’t being read and concentrate on our lives. Vegan has a definition, let’s use it, and if you don’t like it, invent your own word, and we can all stop these pointless debates about the “fake” vegans who choose to ignore Francione.