As a strict vegan the last 17 plus years, or so I thought, there have been too many occurrences where the term 'real vegan' and 'perfect vegan' have popped up and to tell you the truth, it infuriates me. Like...yeah, it pisses me off.
Many who know me get it and agree that the word 'vegan' puts a sour taste in the general public's mouth.
After watching an awesome video by the amazing James Aspey, who I think is the shit (in a great way!) and who does so much for the animals, I have many thoughts running through my head. Again, the video is great and it makes sense.
To the people who have been vegan for many, many years. Yes, it makes sense, BUT there is so much more involved amongst vegans and within the vegan world that the term 'vegan' can be so many different things.....According to certain vegans. But preaching to the choir, in my opinion, doesn't help the general public rid of the negative stigma that the vegan term gets.
The term vegan has been changed and updated a few times since it's original description by Donald Watson back in 1944. I believe the most recent terminology was updated in 1988 by The Vegan Society to include the exploitation and use of animals for human use/consumption. This is what it reads:
"a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."
Again, I am ALL for this, but there is so much to think about within our vegan world when we scrutinize others who say they are vegan;like myself.
Before I continue, Plant Based is awesome and so many people are living a plant based lifestyle. Do they care about the animals welfare etc? Maybe not 100% of them, but I do believe a good percentage eventually work their way into educating themselves about animal welfare and exploitation.
So, back to the 'vegan' word......
Alcohol: when one drinks too much and end up having a severe problem they are considered an Alcoholic.
As with the word vegan and to help eliminate the negative stigma vegans get, I truly believe there needs to be another term for the 'intense' vegans.
Intense Vegan: Personally, I will NEVER walk up to someone who is wearing fur, eating an animal based hamburger or walk into a steakhouse and start screaming and yelling at people for doing something 'wrong' when they have no clue WHAT they're doing wrong. So guess what? The Vegan Police ( I call them Vuckers: Vegan **ckers) will not consider myself or my wife vegan because we do not participate in this type of movement. Although we live a total animal free lifestyle and dedicate time to farm sanctuaries as well as support them financially, we will still have people in this compassionate loving vegan world criticize US for not being a 'real vegan'.
Yes, that is very true and that has been brought to our attention. And yes, it pisses us off.
And the 'perfect vegan' judgments do not stop there. Hey, lets not forget.....I am talking about vegans judging vegans, not the general public. ugh....
Let's go to the food choices. After hours and hours of hard work a few years ago at a farm sanctuary, where the person running the sanctuary opened up her house to us for a vegan potluck, we had one special Vucker who after being ask if he wanted a certain food by a staff member actually say, 'No. I am a REAL VEGAN'.
So this is after we all busted our ass for hours for the animals. After we all brought food to the potluck. After the person who runs the sanctuary, who also happens to be a full-time nurse and works a shitload of hours then comes home to care for approximately 30-50 farm animals, cooked and opened up her house to us, says....
'No. I am a real vegan'
Seriously...my heart rate went sky high!
Here is why the Vucker is a perfect vegan: Because there was Seitan in the food!
S E I T A N makes the world of difference between him being the Perfect Vegan (Vucker) and anyone else who eats fake meat or anything processed to taste or have the texture of meat from an animal.
Now, he said that in front of over 20 'vegans'. Can you imagine what kind of representative he is to the vegan world outside of a vegan potluck at a farm animal sanctuary?
This is my point: The general public does not see us in good light. Whether you want to believe it or not, the majority do not. There have been numerous times over the years where someone has said to us, 'Oh. You're one of those PETA people?'.
Sadly, for us and the animals, this is true and is reality to this very day.
The negative stigma has to be fixed within the vegan community. First, by starting to be more compassionate in the movement. Gene Baur, who founded the Farm Sanctuary, speaks about animal abuse and veganism in a way I believe everyone promoting the lifestyle should. When done this way people will listen. The majority do not respond to being screamed and yelled at for something they don't even know they're doing 'wrong'. How do you like being screamed and yelled at? Not fun, I know.
I feel it is the vegan communities responsibility to figure out a new term for vegan and come up with other terms for the Vuckers out there who not only make other vegans look bad, but are also disrespectful to the very same people doing the very same thing they are trying to accomplish: Spread the word of animal cruelty - period.
Maybe a few terms. Let someone figure it out and let us know. The world has heard what vegan is as so many famous people are coming forward and eating a plant based/vegan lifestyle. Let the vegan community figure it out and spread the word within.
I loved what James Aspey said and agree, but again, preaching to the choir isn't going to change what the world believes and perceives. It is much easier to change the terminology within then it is to try to change the worlds perception of what vegan is. Especially with all the Vuckers out there representing us. And again, I call them Vuckers not because of their beliefs, but because of how hateful and disrespectful they are to others, including their fellow vegans.
So, someone, please get after it.
PERFECT Vegans: They don't drive a car, they don't use water, of course they don't eat fake meat, they don't use plastic bags, they don't consume soy, they hate all business for the exception of the ones who will give them stuff for free, the have a GoFund Me so they can tell us about vegan restaurants and travel the world etc etc..the Perfect Vegan.
What should their term be?
Sorry not sorry if you're a vegan and are upset by this post, but after almost 18 years as a vegan and meeting thousands and thousands of fellow vegans and being in the general publics eye and listening to what they say....something needs to change. And only we can change that amongst ourselves.
Thanks for listening and have a great day!