Skin a Cat
So the rhetoric goes something like this.
Veganproper: I only wear canvas shoes and my wallet is made of duct tape.
Vegankool: My shoes are made of pleather and my belt is fake animal print.
Veganproper: You are just making omni’s think that you wear animal skins because your shoes and belt look so real!
Vegankool: But but but I look kool and anyways I’m not supporting the leather industry and I’m not responsible for the nasty toxins that are polluting the environment.
Veganproper: It’s very unvegan to wear attire that looks so much like the real thing. As a good kool vegan you should stop it at once before you stumble other aspiring vegans, plus you make us look like hypocrites, you’re muddying the very name of veganism.
Vegankool: Well if someone really cared they would ask me what my shoes are made of and I could tell them it’s pleather and that they could look kool like me and save the planet too, it’s a win win VP!!
Veganproper: But most people will just assume you’re wearing animal skin and go buy real leather, THAT’S NOT KOOL!!
Vegankool: I’m just one in a million that they see every day so it isn’t going to have any impact on their thoughts about buying leather, they’re gonna do it anyways, alls I’m saying is I want to look kool. Anyway don’t you work in a zoo you you, you hypocrite!!!!!!!!
And so it goes, around and around and around, fingers pointing, tongues lashing, I’m more vegan than you, blah blah blah.
The point of the above exercise is to highlight the redundant discourse between two vegans that are supposedly on the same side yet have disdain for each other and ultimately stifles progress, they’d rather argue semantics instead of looking for ways to promote veganism to people ‘open’ to it’s message.
Let’s try another little tête-à-tête, this time with an ecoethicalvegan…
ecoethicalvegan: Hi veganproper! nice to meet you! we have something in common, I’m vegan too!
Veganproper: uh I don’t think sooo!! you’re wearing (dun da dun dun) LEATHER!!!!!!
ecoethicalvegan: That’s because I’m an ecoethicalvegan, I wear thriftstore leather or if my grandma left me an old woolen cap I can wear it and still be vegan.
Veganproper: hahahahahah there’s no such thing as an ecoethicalvegan, stop trying to bastardize its meaning you apostate!
ecoethicalvegan: No problem there VP, welcome to the new world vegan, I am an ecoethicalvegan, you are the ‘traditional’ vegan and we can coexist 🙂
Veganproper: uh okaaaay?!?
ecoethicalvegan: By the way I heard you work in a zoo! but that’s ok too, because after all the zoo you’re working in is renowned the world over for its animal advocacy work it does and it’s also ok as far as an ecoethicalvegan is concerned so maybe just maybe we can be friends!
Veganproper: Hey how about them yankees!!
Ok that was fun right! unless you’re an uptight vegan fundamentalist fanatic with a penchant for wanting to hang on to your ‘vegan’ title and don’t want to allow for any other group to flourish with goals that are ultimately also looking to lay the groundwork for non human animal personhood to the extent that they are not viewed willy nilly (another term that’s funny) as commodities for humans.
It’s time for a protest/separation against the the vegan religion much like the time when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door of the university town of Wittenberg. In so doing a new religion was born.
I have started to draft a charter of ecoethicalveganism and will continue to nail it to the door of every vegan forum/blog as I can and will challenge veganism to work with me if it wants to.
It’s time for a paradigm shift within the vegan community, not one where ‘it’ is being asked to fundamentally change but one where ‘it’ is willing to accept there is more than one way to ‘skin a cat’
Talk to me….