Abolition, Liberation and Veganism

I'm glad The Vegan Police has a post discussing "Abolitionist History 101: Animal Abolition and Racism." In the post, The Vegan Police challenge the post-racial appropriation of "abolition." The post seeks to challenge readers ignorance and encourage us to dig deeper and learn something about the past and present abolitionist movements with regard to the historical and ongoing captivity of Blacks and other people of color in the United States. (Read more...)

Violence Within Activist Communities

There are no acts of violence that are purely personal or isolated. As a function of oppression, violence follows a social structure and purpose. This is why I find it so upsetting when accusations of violence are dismissed or at best treated as isolated, interpersonal incidents. ... It is privilege that enables some of us to sit on the sidelines while others are the targets of violence and oppression within our communities. Refusing to involve ourselves and others in addressing violence in our communities supports the status quo. ... Before accusations of violence can even be considered as valid or not, there needs to be a means of supporting survivors to come forward and a process for the community to hold perpetrators accountable. ... Violence within activist communities needs to be seen as something that affects those communities collectively and understood in terms of the social structures under which it is perpetuated. (Read more...)

Veganism και κατάργηση των φυλακών

Έχω παρατηρήσει πως όταν οι άνθρωποι μιλάνε για “ανθρωπιστική μεταχείριση” αναφέρονται συνήθως είτε σε μη ανθρώπινα ζώα είτε σε ανθρώπους που είναι φυλακισμένοι ή διαφορετικά, θεσμικά περιορισμένοι και ελεγχόμενοι. Εικάζω πως αυτό έχει νόημα από τη στιγμή που το να κρατούνται άνθρωποι σε κλουβιά και κάτω από πλήρη έλεγχο έχει κοινά χαρακτηριστικά με το πώς τα μη ανθρώπινα ζώα αντιμετωπίζονται γενικά στην κοινωνία μας. Παρόμοια, ο όρος “κακομεταχείριση” εφαρμόζεται συνήθως στην μεταχείριση των μη ανθρώπινων ζώων, στα ανθρώπινα παιδιά και στους φυλακισμένους ανθρώπους. Στην πραγματικότητα, η “ανθρωπιστική μεταχείριση” και η “κακομεταχείριση” είναι πραγματικά συνδεόμενοι όροι με τον πρώτο να προτείνεται ως μέσο αντιμετώπισης του τελευταίου. (Διαβάστε περισσότερα ...)

Why 'Vegan Oppression' Cannot Exist

I'm a strong believer that it's a mistake to appropriate the experience or struggle of any oppressed group or individual to further our own cause, especially if our advocacy is not designed specifically to address their exploitation. As such, I believe it is inappropriate when we use how other groups are the targets of oppression to describe being vegan or to use their struggles against oppression as a metaphor for the vegan movement. I say this for the simple reason that vegans as a group are not ourselves the targets of oppression. (Read more...)

Political Correctness, Political Expediency, and Veganism

The following is was written for and originally published on the Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation (L.O.V.E.) blog.

While L.O.V.E. takes an anti-oppression approach based on the vegan ideal of nonexploitation, there are many nonhuman animal activists who fear that as long as veganism takes into account the oppression of human animals, it will take away from opposing cruelty to nonhuman animals. The argument goes as follows: if we advocate against oppression as it targets human animals whilst advocating against oppression as it targets nonhuman animals, then people – having a finite amount of resources – will refuse to oppose the exploitation of nonhuman animals since it would include the "baggage" of being "packaged" with also opposing the exploitation of human animals, something, it is assumed, potential nonhuman animal activists are likely to be disinterested in. (Read more...)

The Renewed Vegan Ideal

I first started The Vegan Ideal as a personal blog, but this new website is best understood as the manifestation of over a decade and a half of writing, thinking and organizing around veganism as a social justice movement.

One of the first thing worth noting about this site is that I use the words "vegan" and "veganism" differently than they are widely (mis)understood – specifically, the superficial definition given in the dictionary, which says a "vegan" is "a person who does not eat or use animal products."

Here I use the broadest and most basic interpretation of veganism, as articulated from the movement's early beginnings. (Read more...)

Moving Beyond 'No on Prop 8'

This year, California's ballot campaigns "Yes on Prop. 2" and "No on Prop. 8" both received a great deal of national attention. As such, both of these campaigns represented and worked to frame the national priorities of nonhuman animal advocacy and queer advocacy, respectively. Unfortunately, both campaigns have also worked to establish narrow agendas and goals for nonhuman animal advocacy and queer advocacy – agendas and goals that increasingly move towards accommodating the status quo of human supremacy and heteropatriarchy.

LOVE: Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation

I'm really excited about Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation, or LOVE, a collective of anti-speciesist, anti-oppression vegan advocates who just launched a brand new website ( and vegan blog. In addition to the name LOVE, which brilliantly emphasizes what is positive about anti-violence and anti-oppression advocacy work, the collective is summed up nicely in its "L.O.V.E. FAQ":

Veganism: A Cure for Apathy

Why are people so apathetic when it comes to the oppression of other animals or any other oppression, including their own? I think this apathy is largely rooted the structure of oppression. In a way, apathy is a form of learned helplessness; that is, apathy is actively produced through ideological control for the purpose of domination and exploitation. It's certainly more than simple ignorance, because even if people are knowledgeable of the existing oppressive situation they are unlikely to act if they believe the situation is unchangeable. (Read more...)

Veganism as a Theory of Anti-Oppression

According to the "theory of oppression," there are three basic factors of oppression: 1) economic exploitation/competition; 2) unequal power, largely vested in the state; and 3) ideological control. In terms of the oppression of other animals these three factors are: 1) the exploitation of other animals; 2) human supremacy; and 3) speciesism. Given these factors, veganism offers the basis for a theory of anti-oppression. (Read more...)