Boca Burgers are to Veganism as Virginia Slims are to Feminism

OK, beyond the fact that both of these products are manufactured by the Altria Group, Inc. (formerly Philip Morris Companies Inc.), both represent attempts to transform social movements into consumer markets. And just like smoking a Virginia Slim isn't going to challenge sexism or patriarchy, eating a Boca Burger isn't going to challenge speciesism or human supremacy. Consumer marketing is not a pathway to liberation, yet many organizations are pushing "veganism" as a niche market. (Read more...)

The Assimilationist Appropriation of 'Liberation'

Debates between the movements doing nonhuman animal advocacy often revolve around "welfare" and "rights." (I say "movements" because there are many different ideologies driving several divergent social movements.) I'm increasingly less interested in the welfare-rights debate. I think both welfare and rights are limited, although the former is more conservative than the latter.

One of the things I'm very interested in communicating with this blog is the difference between assimilation and liberation, and where veganism fits in.

Veganism and Opposing the Status Quo

The vegan movement was formed in opposition to the fact that "our present civilisation is built on the exploitation of animals." In order to remain relevant, veganism must remain in opposition to a society built on the exploitation of animals. Veganism can never be "legitimate" in a society based on human supremacy. (Read more...)

Culturing the Status Quo

An article by Jim Thomas on "Flack-Grown Flesh," The Ecologist, covers Ingrid Newkirk, founder and president of the nonprofit corporation PETA, who is offering a $1 million prize for "whoever can scale-up stem cell techniques that grow edible animal tissue – so called lab-grown meat – for a mass market."

Veganism and Backlash

As long as human supremacy exists, veganism will engender backlash. Veganism puts pressure on the system of human supremacy, and backlash represents speciesist resistance to loss of privilege and human supremacy.

I'm sure most of us vegans experience some form of backlash on a regular basis. And backlash can take any number of forms – from labels, stereotypes, and mockery to outright verbal and physical abuse. (Read more...)