Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Moved to CandidHominid.com

This blog is no longer active. I have moved to a new location, A Candid Hominid, where I write about veganism and the abolition of nonhuman exploitation. If you have read or linked to Vegan Abolitionist in the past few years, thank you.

Nathan Schneider

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Veganism? by Eva Batt

updated 8:32 PM (EST) on 4/24/11

This post has moved. Please visit http://www.candidhominid.com/2011/01/eva-batt.html

Friday, March 20, 2009

On Veggie Pride Parades

updated 10:49 AM (EST) on 8/9/11 This post is provided for archival purposes and to avoid broken links.

History & Description
"Veggie Pride" parades take place in the spring, once annually [1].

• Since 2001 in France
• Since 2008 in Italy
• Since 2008 in New York
• Since 2009 in Czech Republic
• Since 2009 in United Kingdom
• Since 2009 in Los Angeles

The French parade inspired the NY parade, which inspired the LA parade. The respective promotional materials are revealing. The NY, French, and Italian parades are geared toward both ‘vegetarians and vegans’, which they will concatenate into terms like ‘veg*n’ and ‘veg*ism’. The LA parade is geared primarily, though not exclusively, toward vegetarians. The UK parade is billed as a "Celebration of Vegan and Vegetarian Lifestyles".

'Veg*ani': abbreviazione per 'vegetariani o vegani' [2]

Viewing pictures from the 2008 NY parade should help you understand these events. Some participants dress up in vegetable costumes, while others wear witty tee shirts. There is sign holding and chanting. The parade culminates in a park where speakers and entertainers take the stage. Advocacy groups and businesses (often overlapping categories) promote their agendas and sell their wares.

Criticism & Commentary
A "Veggie Pride" parade probably sends a worse message than an equivalent ‘Vegetarian Pride’ parade would. ‘Veggie’ and ‘veg’ are disturbingly popular big-tent terms. They are so broad, admitting, and ambiguous as to mean almost nothing. They conflate and obfuscate two phenomena that, despite sharing some letters, are radically different. Veganism means not participating in the exploitation of nonhuman animals. Vegetarianism means not consuming ‘meat’ from one or more species of nonhuman animal.

At least with a parade that is explicitly and consistently vegetarian, the organizers would not be stepping on the ideological toes of people interested in taking a serious stance on human/nonhuman relations (i.e. vegans and proponents of nonhuman rights). It's unfortunate that vegetarianism managed to emerge from the 20th century with any momentum. Vegans don't help matters by supporting ‘veggie’ events. Vegetarians should skip these parades and spend that time investigating veganism.

But what if they were ‘Vegan Pride’ parades? I would still object. Temporary satisfaction in becoming vegan is understandable, but pride in being vegan is unwarranted. Fulfilling our minimal obligation demanded by the rights of sentient nonhumans should be expected. Most would find it peculiar, and probably inappropriate, to have parades for people who denounce sexism or racism. So why should we have them for those who condemn species based discrimination?

Furthermore, such an event could reinforce perceptions of vegans as self-righteous. Veganism isn't about you or me. Vegans aren't heroes. If we ever hope to have a serious justice movement oriented toward abolishing nonhuman slavery, our efforts must cultivate an external focus on nonhumans. Marches, rallies, and other demonstrations could certainly do this if carefully formulated. But I don't believe the ‘pride parade’ model works.

That the LGBTQ community would have Pride parades is understandable. Among other functions and purposes, these events focus attention on people subject to discrimination and demonstrate resistance to hegemonic social norms (e.g. heternormativity). Pride parades can challenge the moral legitimacy of society denying a group equal consideration and respect because of whatever ‘defect’ it has identified.

Some vegans are teased. A very small number have been ostracized by friends or family. Nevertheless, nonhuman animals are the primary subjects of discrimination, not the vegans who avoid participating in their use and murder. Vegans couldn't organize a parade appropriately analogous to an LGBTQ pride event. We would be marching chickens, cows, fishes, bees, and other animals through the streets!

Endnotes
[1] "Veggie Pride" websites: France, Italy, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, New York, Los Angeles

[2] From the FAQ for the Italian parade

Monday, December 22, 2008

New B&W Abolitionist Poster

updated 2:22 PM (EST) on 4/29/11

This post is provided for archival purposes and to avoid broken links. I would probably change a few things if writing the poster today. Perhaps it will be updated in the future.
Poster SampleEnglish: US Letter and A4 size

German: A4 size (Translation by Martin Deffner)

Spanish: A4 size (Translation by Samuel Álvarez)

French: A4 size (Translation by Quentin Deboeuf)

Greek: A4 size (Translation by Anastasia P.)

Italian: A4 size (Translation by Gabriele Corbetta)