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.

Assimilationists and mainstreamers appeal to regressive tendencies while rejecting the most progressive dimensions of social justice. For instance, veganism has been criticized as "too extreme" and even "fanatical" on the very basis that it is oppositional to our current society. For example, Peter Singer writes in "A Response" (printed in Singer and His Critics) that he does:

not advocate veganism to others, or at least not to those who are not already in the animal movement, because at our present stage of development of our society's concern for animals, this seems to be asking more than most people are prepared to give.

Of course veganism is "asking more than most people are prepared to give"; it is exactly the fact that most people aren't prepared to give up their human privilege that veganism exists. In November 1944, in the first issue of Vegan News launched the vegan movement. In that issue Donald Watson wrote:

A common criticism is that the time in not yet ripe for our reform. Can time ever be ripe for any reform unless it is ripened by human determination? ... There is an obvious danger in leaving the fulfilment of our ideals to posterity, for posterity may not have our ideals. Evolution can be retrogressive as well as progressive, indeed there seems always to be a strong gravitation the wrong way unless existing standards are guarded and new visions honoured. For this reason we have formed our Group, the first of its kind, we believe, in this or any other country.

So, at the formation of the vegan movement, Watson understood the need to oppose the existing social order, as well as the possibility that retrogressive tendencies would threaten to co-opt our movement.

Re: Veganism and Opposing the Status Quo

That statement by Singer is silly. People obviously care a great deal about animals. That is why the status quo systematically obscures animal exploitation. From language, to geographic distance, to suicide food, everything about the exploitation of animals is designed to hide it from people who would be upset if they fully realized what they were participating in.

Additionally, Singer wants to blame individual people for "not caring about animals," yet he is a major source of the problem, always being an apologist for exploiters and giving otherwise reticent people the green light to "eat meat as a treat" or experiment or use animals under our control for sexual gratification.