- Karin Ridgers of VeggieVision TV plays Cosmic Dancer for me on her wonderful House of Fun Show before it all goes wrong with Tim Barford, manager of VegfestUK and Plant-Powered Expo, with his new fangled "modern" music (not included for reasons of taste).
- Click HERE for Karin's special iconic bands show in full.
In the 5th of the series, I turn attention to a remarkable vegan movement pioneer, Kathleen Jannaway, of the Vegan Society and then the Movement for Compassionate Living.
Happily it seems that the influence on the animal advocacy movement of the now "retired" Gary Yourofsky is diminishing. I believe that historians of the animal movement will mark Yourofsky's time in the movement as ultimately a damaging one. I also argue that there is little evidence that he really understood foundational vegan values resulting in numbers of politically shallow right-wing "vegans for the animals" entering the modern animal advocacy movement.
Problematic organisations like Anonymous for the Voiceless appear still to promote this violent individual which is perhaps not surprising. Of course, the most problematic of all organisations in the animal movement, PeTA, are responsible for putting Yourofsky on the map in the first place, so to speak, by funding him in the early days.
The excellent Let's Rage Together Podcast collated many of Yourofsky's most violent outbursts which you can hear below. Naturally, there's a huge content warning for potential listeners to consider before they engage. Yourofsky hates humanity, including himself apparently, but some seem more hated than others, for example, Palestinians. He also appears to have an unhealthy obsession with rape fantasies, as you'll hear from the clips Let's Rage Together put together. The Let's Rage Together team also present an impressive critical analysis of Yourofsky's violence in Podcast 11 which can be heard in full by clicking the podcast link above.
One defence often put forward, particularly about Yourofsky's "wish" that fur-wearers are viciously raped to the point that they are scared for life, see HERE, is that the comments were made long ago. That is true but he never retracted them and explicitly refused to do so when I asked him to as part of the ARZone team - see HERE.
I often say "enjoy" the audio materials I post - but absolutely not on this occasion.
In the fourth in the series, I look at the contribution to the vegan movement of Elsie (Sally) Shrigley, Dorothy Morgan (who became Dorothy [Dot] Watson), Kay Henderson, and Eva Batt.
THIS is the link to the Vegfest Express blog entry.
In the third of this series, Dr. Roger Yates of the Dublin-based Vegan Information Project, turns his attention to Leslie Cross, who would have a profound effect on the vegan movement and, with Arthur Ling, the development of plant milks.
"He was certainly one of the outstanding people who have served the movement and, in retirement, he went up and down the country, giving his lecture, “The Milk of Human Kindness” - all voluntarily of course, paying his own expenses."
Donald Watson, talking about Leslie Cross.
You can read the original Vegfest Express blog entry HERE.
Sociologist Matthew Cole argues that, "The breath-taking scope of the transformative vision of the vegan pioneers...may inspire a re-centring of vegan ethics in the practice of and advocacy of all those who oppose exploitation in [all its] forms."
Donald Watson himself said that the vegan movement opposed the exploitation of *all* sentient life in 1944.
The driving force of the vegan social movement represents a revolution that is arguably more needed now than it was in the 1940s and 1950s when these radical ideas emerged.
HERE is the original Vegfest Express blog entry.
Welcome to the first of a number of brief vlogs outlining the themes in a Vegfest Express blog series on the founders and pioneers of the vegan social movement.
This first one is about the birth of the vegan movement, it's escape from being a mere "section" of the Vegetarian Society, and the beginnings of the justice-for-all philosophy of veganism.
Here's the introductory article to the series - http://vegfestexpress.co.uk/tabs/blog/2019/07/and-if-you-know-your-history-10-part-series-looking-at-the-history-of-the-vegan-movement
The Difficult and Argumentative Birth of the Vegan Social Movement blog entry - http://vegfestexpress.co.uk/tabs/blog/2019/7/the-difficult-and-argumentative-birth-of-the-vegan-social-movement
Apologies to Rupert Wheldon, whom I called "Robert" in the video.
I'm always keen to talk about the radicalism in the values of those who began the vegan social movement in the 1940s - and I'm always concerned if their vision is challenged in what I regard as movement-damaging ways.
Currently, it seems to me that the ideas that (1) veganism is a diet and (2) veganism is only about human relations with other animals are movement-damaging trends.
Here's part of the official "blurb" for the talk..
In 1944, during “World War II,” the vegan social movement emerged as declared peace and justice-for-all. At least three of the anti-authoritarian founders of the vegan movement were conscientious objectors, refusing to kill anyone, and prepared to suffer the consequences of their moral consistency. Donald Watson says that people were “shattered” by the experience of a global conflict, and the early vegan movement pioneers set about analysing why humanity was so violent and what could be done – their solution was a revolutionary philosophy of veganism. Their vision of a vegan future was truly remarkable.
Presently, that vision is being challenged and reduced versions of veganism are currently proposed. In this talk, I will argue that modern day veganism has lost the radicalism of the founders of our movement: a revolutionary vision needed more than ever at a time of climate crisis.
Many thanks to Tim Barford and Alan Lee of VegfestUK and Jeremy Hess of Vegan Interactions who filmed and edited the talk. Special thanks to Karin Ridgers of VeggieVision TV who helped us to find the correct exit.
It was a great pleasure for me to recently rejoin Aaron Yarmel for another conversation about veganism, the definition/meaning of veganism, and animal activism.
This video was a three way with Ronnie Lee, famously the best known of the co-founders of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) in the 1970s and long-time spokesperson for the ALF, and long-time animal liberation prisoner.
This is Aaron's description of the event on YouTube:
In this interview with Roger Yates and Ronnie Lee, we explore these questions and more: What is veganism? Is it a diet, a set of philosophical commitments, a commitment to activism, or something else? Is Paul Bashir correct that veganism is, and has always been, *only* about animals? What can we learn from the founders of the vegan movement, and what misconceptions do modern activists have about the history of veganism? What does it mean to be an activist, and what do different definitions mean for differently abled activists? Do activists expose themselves to too much trauma? How can activists do a better job reaching ordinary people who are new to veganism? What do real Animal Liberation Front activists think about the portrayal of the ALF in the movie, Okja?
Here's the video and (below) the individual vlogs Ronnie and I made with Aaron.
Worryingly, the answer is yes, according to Steve Best, in this clip from the end of his November 2014 podcast with ARZone. The movement has long tolerated sexism, racism, and ableism - and now this?
Dr. Roger Yates is a rights advocate and sociologist