Say Welcome

Everyone is welcome to care for animals. I know some non-vegans who do far more for animals and towards the abolition of their exploitations than some vegans.

Animals Australia is not a vegan organisation, which I see as a definite plus as it makes it less exclusive and more palpable for a wider audience. It also protects the organisation from having to behave one way or another to satisfy the Vegan Police.

I am not ‘vegan’ either in the sense that veganism is not my identity: it doesn’t define who I am. The way Animals Australia describes its strategy in this “hidden agenda” piece below corresponds almost perfectly to the way I see things:

The obsession with strict veganism at all time is not only dividing animal activists amongst themselves, it is also reinforcing the “us” vs “them” dichotomy. When somebody hides behind the “vegan” label, it’s harder for them to get to know the person they are filing under the “carnist/animal abuser/[various insulting comparison]” label(s). It often makes it harder to get to know the person you are talking to and easier to blame stereotypes (and it goes both ways).

I don’t care if somebody is “vegan” or not but I encourage and applaud every step towards consuming less or no (sentient) animal products and living an animal friendly life.

It is good and right to encourage and support positive change as we humans follow a generally predictable behavioural pattern when presented with new information.
To me, everyone who is interested and involved deserves praise.

I created Friendly and Pragmatic Vegans and Vegetarians and as such it is not a vegan group. My blog The Animalist is not a vegan blog, it is about all animals in the same way humanists care for all humans. Most vegans are important, very important on the road towards less suffering in the world. I applaud this. But I don’t applaud the perceived necessity to fit in the vegan club to do good in the world.

“It might sound surreal, but the fact of the decisional matter seems to be that most people in rich countries have the capacity to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals. Given comparable resource input, it is much better to counterfactually raise someone else’s plant-based consumption from 0% to 90% (+90%) than to raise one’s own from 90% to 99% (+9%). The widespread focus on consumption therefore seems ethically unwarranted.” (Adriano Mannino)

“I am of course of the opinion that impact is much more important than purity. As a vegan of more than fifteen years, I believe that being vegan is a clear statement and a sign of consistency. Being vegan helps to be credible when you spread a pro animal message. But it is not a requirement to do good for animals.” (Tobias Leenaert)