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 (lovingallbeings.org) 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":

Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation (LOVE) is a collective of groups and individuals working to promote veganism as a response to speciesism and a means to ending oppression. We seek to provide resources for individuals interested in veganism and activism, foster the growth of activist networks and communities around the world, and serve as a virtual discussion forum and safe-haven for people interested in veganism and the elimination of speciesism.

There's a lot about LOVE to get excited about. Of course, I'm excited about LOVE's explicitly anti-oppressive approach to veganism, but I'm also excited about its equally explicit commitment to building on grassroots, community-based approaches to anti-speciesist and vegan advocacy. All of which is clearly identified in the mission, vision, values, and safe have and activism statements on the "About Us" page.

In keeping with its stated values, LOVE offers tips, resources, and information on "Vegan Basics" and "Living Vegan." The Basics are geared towards aspiring new vegans, while Living focuses on cultivating vegan advocacy.

One of the really impressive aspects of LOVE's approach to vegan advocacy is the willingness to question conventional thinking regarding activism. For instance, while many, if not most, nonhuman animal advocacy organizations proudly measure success in quantities of leaflets given out, not unlike how every McDonald's has a sign proudly quantifying the numbers of burgers sold, LOVE offers a take on leafleting that questions this sort of McDonaldization of activism. Instead, LOVE emphasizes making a connection with people rather than focusing on merely maximizing the number of leaflets distributed.

As with the limitations of leafleting, LOVE also recognizes the limitations of an online community and is "launching a Vegan Buddies Project, designed to connect activists who live near one another to foster the growth of larger local communities, provide support and friendship for both new and veteran vegans, and further expand the network of anti-oppression activists that has been created here." I just enrolled in the project and was pleasantly surprised to find it offers the more trans-friendly gender options of "other" or "I prefer not to disclose," in addition to the usual "male" or "female."

The advocacy suggestions and Vegans Buddies Project all fits with LOVE's overall tone that focuses on respectful activism.

Re: LOVE: Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation

Wow--the site looks fantastic! You've clearly put a lot of time, thought, work, and heart into it. I'll promote it on the Animal Rights blog at Change.org.

Re: LOVE: Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation

thanks for the write-up. you were and are obviously an enormous inspiration for us, and we're really glad to have you and your readers as a part of our community.

Re: LOVE: Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation

You know, I didn't realize until after posting this comment that I had somehow misread the post and had come away thinking that this was one of L.O.V.E.'s founders. Sorry for the confusing comment!