- I have been extremely perplexed at the amount of hand wringing that has occurred over Alex O'Connor's (Cosmic Skeptic) recent announcements that he is "no longer a vegan."
It is not actually possible for someone who was never a vegan to be "no longer a vegan." Who said Alex O'Connor was never a vegan? Well, Alex O'Connor did - repeatedly - but the movement failed to listen to him.
The video below from Perspective Philosophy shows that Alex O'Connor was neither a vegan nor an animal rights advocate. In fact, because O'Connor does not believe in rights - including all animals' rights, including yours dear reader - and because he thought that the Vegan Society definition of veganism was way too strict, he repeatedly redefined it in order for it to become what he wanted veganism to mean.
Bear in mind that the video below was released when O'Connor had been a reluctant "vegan" for just over two years.
He kept redefining veganism to mean an attempt to reduce the suffering of other animals. One word in the definition he rejected - and therefore ejected - from his personal definition of veganism was "exploitation." Sadly he is not alone in this. Many vegans appear to omit this word from the definition or, even if they do include it, they place it second to the word "cruelty," thus weaking and diluting the definition.
In organisational terms, Alex O'Connor disliked the fact that veganism is an abolitionist philosophy - standing for, and advocating for, the end of all animal use. He therefore conceived of The Vegan Society as some modern-day version of the RSPCA and nothing to do with animal liberation and, much more than that, absolutely nothing to do with the dread idea of animal rights.
As Perspective Philosophy explains below, by routinely reducing and weakening the definition of veganism, he was able to reason that vegans can kill and eat other animals as he insisted that they do not have a right to life.
The real question is this: why did the animal movement put up with O'Connor's nonsense for two or three years rather than listen to the critique of his vegan reducetarianism such as the one below? Had O'Connor chosen not to be honest and had hidden his consumption of products derived from other animals, camp outs and conferences would still be cheerfully hosting him and facilitating the spread of his non-vegan anti-animal rights stance.
So, animal movement, can we please stop getting ourselves in a knot over a non-vegan who eats products derived from other animals?
Thanks a mil.
On language: both Alex O'Connor and Perspective Philosophy use speciesist language.