veganism is not so much welfare as liberation, for the creatures and for the mind and heart of man [sic]; not so much an effort to make the present relationship bearable, as an uncompromising recognition that because it is in the main one of master and slave, it has to be abolished before something better and finer can be built.
The above quote is from a letter titled "Veganism Defined," printed in The Vegetarian World Forum in the spring of 1951. The letter, signed by Leslie Cross as vice president of the Vegan Society, makes explicit what was the movement's aim since 1944 — that veganism is a movement to end the exploitation of animals. It's sadly ironic to consider how a book with "liberation" in the title — written by a non-vegan 25 years later — has become the basis for a countermovement seeking to divert veganism from its original revolutionary, liberationist roots to a very conservative welfare standpoint. Thankfully this letter give us proof of veganism true meaning at a time when it's being attacked by those trying to rewrite history.