To say that veganism is now at the heart of what many animal advocates do - that it is indeed their moral baseline - is simply highlighting the central place veganism has in terms of campaigning: and this is very recent in terms of the history of the animal movement.
In terms of social movement theory, we now place veganism at the core of our claims-making. In other words, it is hard to imagine many modern day media interviews, for example, in which the interviewee does not very quickly talk about animal use in terms of veganism and/or that the interviewer would fail to ask a question about veganism.
When it comes to the "public" - based on direct experience of street campaigning - and on what others report - they tend to be "vegan curious" and have a whole list of questions they want to ask of vegans.
2016 has seen the full emergence of direct-to-the-public street advertising in the form of a range of billboards, ads on buses, trains, trams, and on taxis - and even the first developments in TV advertsing about veganism (see video below).
The movement backdrop to all this - the relative newness of vegan education, the growth in the availability of vegan options in dietary terms, increased vegan labeling on foodstuffs, and the evident openness that there is to straightfoward vegan street campaigning - is "professional" cautiousness. Even now, some groups seem worried about the dread "V" word, and some like Matt Ball and Tobias Leenaert will tell vegans that the best thing to do is not mention the word vegan very much, if at all, because it is a "scare word."
Maybe the word is scary for Leenaert in particular because he isn't even a dietary vegan, along with the fact that he mocks the philosophy of veganism.
I say, looking forward towards 2017 and beyond: ok, some animal advocates are not up to the task of talking about veganism, fine. However, it is absolutely wrong for such people to actively try to prevent vegans from advocating veganism. It is particularly criminal, in my view, that there are animal "professionals" going from conference to conference trying to convince new vegans that the best way forward is not to bother too much about what they eat, and to join in with limiting and mocking the wider philosophical senses of veganism.
That is unacceptable. I hope and trust that few vegans will be taken in by the anti-vegan sentiments that exist in the animal movement.
In the meantime, here's a recent interview with Sandra Higgins of Go Vegan World. This video alone shows that this is not the time to back off from no-nonsense vegan education, especially not long after it has just begun.