I was told to take my human concerns to Amnesty International and accused of having a large ego for daring to talk about the meaning of veganism, ironically in a group called "Real Veganism."
To my mind, this sort of thing is yet more evidence that there is a young generation of vegans - most likely angry plant-eaters in the mould of Gary Yourofsky - who are relatively new to veganism, and who know little or nothing about the history of the social movement that they have joined and want to impose on the movement their own idea about what it is about and what its values are.
This group of young vegans often appear to be immune to education about the history of the vegan movement. For example, when I've shared the views of the people who actually co-founded the vegan social movement in the 1940s and 1950s, I've received this response: "f**k the founders."
I find this response breathtakingly arrogant. Do others join Marxist groups and quickly declare, "f**k Marx" and then go on to state what they think Marxism means?*
I regard these "nonhumans only" people as reducetarians of a different stripe to those who want to limit veganism to be "only about food," such as "the vegan strategist," Tobias Leenaert. Indeed, the person I most recently talked to about this proudly displayed a banner on their wall saying that, "veganism is not a diet." Well, they got something right! However, just as the "only about food" reducetarians try to strictly limit the meaning of veganism, so do these "only about [other] animals" reducetarians.
I have argued - see HERE - that the views of the vegan social movement co-founders and early members should not be seen as laws that cannot be reformed and, indeed, social movements do "move" - and they must move with the times to avoid stagnation. However, moving with the times does not imply that the views of the founders should be jettisoned and/or ignored.
However, that is not what is happening - the reducetarian vegans are not rejecting the views and values of the co-founders of their movement, they don't even know what those views and values are.
Sadly, a total lack of knowledge of the history of the social movement that they have joined does not prevent them simply making up the meaning of veganism.
The arrogance of that is astounding.
There are agonisingly slow coups d'etat going on in the vegan movement and those of us who care that the meaning of veganism as a widespread pro-justice vision of human and animal liberation, environmentalism, and even caring for the soil, need to defend veganism.
* Note that I said Marxist group, rather than Marxian, or neo-Marxist. However, the latter, while being critical of Marx and demanding all sorts of reforms of Marx's theories, are unlikely to state that Marx should go to "f**k." Instead, many neo-Marxists still hold on to central Marxist idea, will give credit where credit is due and, most importantly in the context of this blog entry, actually not only know who Karl Marx was but have had the manner to read him!